(potential spoilers for the institute ending if you haven’t played it.)
You heard a broadcast that could be caught occasionally replaying on the radio upon your arrival and you thought back on delivering this very speech. Two parts specifically resonating with you.
“We are here and we are here to help.”
You had said those words with such conviction at the time…
“You may rest easy. Know that the future is looking bright, that mankind will thrive under our guidance.”
You had such optimism that you could reign in the beast that was the institute but what shaun had said following had given you pause. Through the subtext you could tell they were annoyed you hadn’t followed the script as intended and that your goals and their goals as an organization weren’t necessarily aligned but they tolerated it because they needed and feared you. . . As they should.
As your heavy foot steps slowly trod through the halls you remembered your sons wisdom. “There will always be threats, you must remain vigilant.” Perhaps in your grief you had lapsed in your vigilance. You already knew what the institute was like when you attempted to direct it so you wouldn’t be surprised if they had gotten up to something in your absence.
“Director Johnson, you’re back from your sabbatical?” A receptionist at the desk of the Synth retention bureau added surprised upon seeing your looming presence.
Helmet panning down at an angle without expression. “Indeed. Is director Ayo available for a meeting?”
“He’s in the back with X6-88, I’ll page him.” You nod and wait as they mutter into the comm. The back door opens. “Send him in.” You shift right as X6-88 passes you, apparently heading somewhere to clean blood and hopefully not shit off of his boots and lower courser uniform.
“What is it Johnson, Im very busy.” Director Ayo added as course as always with his interactions with those outside of retention.
“Nice to see you too.” You add standing your suit against the wall and exiting to properly talk face to face. “Im here to inquire, why a couple of unregistered synths interrupted my sabbatical.” You say rather flatly.
“. . .Elaborate.” Dr Ayo says attempting to play coy.
“I’ll be blunt, why are diminutive shitting pig horses being chased around my lawn by wasteland abominations?” You say in an irritated fashion.
Ayo smirks a bit at the mental image but quickly corrects his expression. “Apologies, there was an incident. A Railroad operative we were interrogating from a new cell attempting to infiltrate the commonwealth managed to escape and evade capture long enough to access the teleport relay.” He added with a pause. “We don’t know how they knew about project Giddyup Buttercup but when they discovered they couldn’t teleport themselves out due to security measures we put in place since your own initial intrustion, they…” He sighed.
“So not only do we have an intel leak, you failed to register nonhumanoid synths as I requested to avoid this very security flaw that I pointed out in our meeting a few months prior?” You added in a disappointed tone.
“It’ll be a cold day in hell before I ask a programmer to register animal-based simulacrum as ‘personnel’, sir.” Dr Ayo added disgruntled.
“And like I said, update it later but it was a ten minute fix compared to a 2 week project to work in all the exceptions.” You added with a sigh. “Did you find out anything from the operative?”
“They committed suicide to prevent capture and interrogation. Where will I be sending someone to collect the rogue synths?” Ayo added as if it were already decided.
“Oh no that wont be necessary. At least for now.”
“Sir I must insist, these units aren’t ready for the field.”
“I find them interesting so I’ll be keeping them for now. I’ll be bringing their offspring in soon enough for shots.”
Dr Ayo’s eyes bulged with worry and anger. “This is ahead of estimates, we’ll have to put the coursers on overtime before this gets out of hand.”
“Agreed. If you require my assistance in collections or investigating this new Railroad cell send coordinates to my PDA.”
It was obvious that Ayo did not wish to accept your help but was at his wits end. “I’ll consider it, now If you’ll excuse me.” They added leaving before allowing you to respond as you hop back in your power armor to leave as well.
“How many of these things were released?” You mutter under your own breath as you start to make your way over to bio science.
As you entered several crates of crying complaining fluffies sat by the wall a single gen 2 synth approaching picking up a crate and carrying them elsewhere. You got out of your power armor and instantly regretted it as the smell of bleach and shit hit you like a one two punch. You tied a bandana over your face and began searching for the director.
“Director, are you free to chat?” You add approaching as Doctor Calyton was giving a fluffy calming pets while examining them.
“Im busy but im listening.” He adds checking a few boxes on a clip board.
“Please tell me this isn’t the result of me approving funding to produce horses to be made after coming back from Nuka world with my cowboy costume.” You added attempting to make small talk.
“Well yes but actually no.” Dr Clayton responded as they proceeded to hand off the fluffy to a synth to be taken to a glass enclosure on the wall. “After we finished manufacturing the super mutant cure for use in the new institute grade syringers from your samples and virgils notes. We began purging the super mutant threat from the commonwealth, so we repurposed the FEV labs during the third directors meeting during your absence. You should really check your terminal briefings.” They chide as if it would have saved them both a lot of unnecessary conversation.
“I’ll do that after this. Elaborate Please.” You add pinching the bridge of your nose as a gen 1 synth working a mop came by.
“You wanted a horse and robotics wanted a pet people would want to bring into their homes and settlements. Something that would be overlooked, that they might speak openly in front of so we could monitor for subversive elements. I thought this would be a good test series to iron out a few details from generation 3 synths if we ever wanted to start making generation 4’s. Between that and retention wanting something easy to capture so coursers could be used in dealing with more prominent security issues to the institute’s commonwealth interests…” They added as if to imply ‘Well you can probably do the math’.
“. . .I see.” You added in an annoyed tone. As a Chinese half breed you were aware of what it felt like to be scrutinized and observed by your government before and especially during the war. It’s why your father took your mothers name in the marriage and why you often went by your middle name Richard instead of your First name Long unless you were comfortable with the person. You were hoping that kind of behavior was in the past. “I’ll be making myself available to help you with containment. Please send an up to date report on Project Giddyup Buttercup’s status prior to the release along with any units still missing.”
“Of course, and thank you director. I must say it is refreshing to have a hands on Director.”
You proceeded back to your power armor and got in, the sound of the hydraulics and the sight of the glowing eyes frightening the remaining pile of crates that began shitting in fear. The crates at the bottom panicking further as the shit from the top began to make its way down. You could swear you could feel a sadness on the gen 1 cleaners face as it doubled back to clean up the mess.
If the entire FEV labs had been dedicated to this project and even some of bioscience it seems, it was possible there were dozens or god forbid hundreds of these unfinished things out in the commonwealth. Since there weren’t signs of that many near sanctuary hills you had to imagine that they sent small batches randomly across the commonwealth to make it more annoying to contain.
You would probably have to call a meeting of department heads soon but first, your terminal…
(Was tempted to name this ‘The institute’ and name stories in the foalout 4 series based on where they’d be occuring. But felt that might confuse people into thinking it was another series. So i’ll be keeping the sanctuary hills title overall for now.)