Fallout 4: The Riddle of Steal

Between the time the fires ate America and the rise of the synths, there was an age undreamed of.  And unto this, Floyd, destined to wear the jeweled crown of Diamond City upon his troubled brow.   It is I, his chronicler, who alone can tell thee of his saga. Let me tell you of the days of high adventure!

Into the Wasteland came Floyd, red-pompadoured, sullen-eyed, tire iron in hand, a thief, a reaver, a slayer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet …

Floyd Crop
Now I know how Red Sonja felt.

He thought now of his father’s words, as he taught him the warrior’s ways:

“There will come a time, my son, when laser rifles fail you.  But a tire iron with an axe attached, now that will f@ck some sh#t up.”

“But dad, I wanna be an accountant.  I put all my points in Intelligence.”

No strength

His father shook his grizzled head.  “Floyd, long have I battled across the Wastelands -”

“Even thought the war hasn’t happened yet?”

“Shut up kid, I’m talkin’.  I have fought with lasers, rifles, pistols, nuclear weapons, and once with an angry molerat, and if I have learned one thing in my battles, it is this – no amount of Pre-War SpeechTek nerdstuff will ever hold its own with Age Of Ultron’s Rogue Savager of the Wastes, not even in origami.”  He reached into a chest and handed Floyd what the Pip Boy said was a “bladed tire iron,” which, not surprisingly, turned out to be a tire iron with an axe attached.  He beckoned for Floyd to lean close; when he did, his father whispered in his ear:

“INT is a dump stat, my son.”

Floyd pondered for a moment.  “You mean, like how two strips of metal welded to a chestplate makes better armor than a full bodysuit of reinforced leather?”

“That is the Riddle of Steel.”

It’s clobberin’ time.

In the days to come, Floyd would learn the truth of his father’s words, as he ignored all logic and charged his enemies, bladed tire iron leveling man and beast alike, sending severed heads flying into the wasteland and leaving his opponents too stunned to counterattack.

“But – this is an FPS!” a Raider cried, moments before Floyd’s axe deprived him of life.

“This isn’t Skyrim!” a ghoul gibbered, as he fell before Codsworth’s rotary saw.

Though the similarities ARE striking …

And so it was that Floyd Winchester, Barbarian Accountant, fought his was past Radscorpions, Super Mutants, and really disgusting bloatflies to aid the distressed Brotherhood paladins at the Cambridge police station.

Soon he stood before Paladin Danse.  Girded spendidly in his power armor, Danse looked upon Floyd’s axe and greeted him as one warrior to another:

“Put some clothes on, fool.”

Floyd clothes
Oh, hey!  I didn’t know you could do that.

Back to back and blade to blade they fought through the bloody halls of … someplace or other, I forget, and also Danse was using a laser rifle, but anyway, the point is … back to back and blade to blade they fought their way to their prize: a “deep range transmitter” that … actually, Floyd wasn’t sure, because ever since New Vegas, he hadn’t really cared much for the Brotherhood of Steel. He was mostly just here for the loot.

They stood together, surveying the battlefield – behind them carnage littered the waste; ahead of them awaited the greatest of their foes.

“You know there’s gonna be, like, an army of Synths on the other side of that door.”

Floyd nodded.  Unbidden, the words rose within him: “Crom, I have never prayed to you before; I have not the words for it, for I failed my Speech check.  No one, not even on the Steam Forums, will remember if we had good karma or bad.  Why we fought, or why we died.  All that matters is that I have a tire iron with an axe welded on.  That’s what’s important. Smashing stuff pleases you, Crom … so grant me one request.  Grant me some murlurk-lovin’ critical hits.  And if you do not listen, then to the Vault with you!”

No sungs were sung to their victory that day, for none survived who could sing them.  But in that place, two stood against many, and f@cked some sh@t up:


As they surveyed the carnage, Paladin Danse turned to Floyd.
“You’re strange, kid, but I think you’ll do.  Are you ready to join the Brotherhood?”
“Does that mean I can’t loot the Wasteland anymore?”
“It’s time to serve a higher purpose.  To make your mark on the world.”
Floyd pondered a moment. “Nah,” he said.
“Floyd, what is best in life?”
“Kill people. Take their stuff.”
“Not friends? Not allies? What happens when you are overencumbered and can no longer run?”
Floyd nodded. “It is the Riddle of Steal,” he said at last.

Many wars and feuds did Floyd fight. Honor and fear were heaped upon his name and, in time, he became a king by his own hand. And he wore his assault gas mask upon a troubled brow.

But that is another story …

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