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Spoilers for the Patriot storyline in the Institute, and some spoilery discussion of the vague explanation provided for why any of this is even happening

Butch:

Ok, finished yapping at people in the institute, met Patriot, who I don’t think you’ve met cuz he is part of the RR bit, but he’s a dude named Brian Linet, and went back to Sanctuary and called it a day.

Two things:

So I found the list of the Institute’s informants. I want to confront these informants. One has been in my settlement the whole time. I do not want her there. But I can’t seem to bring it up. Probably wouldn’t do to shoot her……Strange I just have to leave it there.

Also….Madison Li, huh? She gets around that one does. She was a very, VERY major player in FO3. Indeed, all of a sudden I’m pretty sure that Maxson doesn’t care all that much about the institute per se, but wants Li.

See, Li was in love with James, who was your father in 3 (she was there when your 3 character was born), and continued working on the water purifying thingy long after James left. She tussles with the BoS over it, and expects them to leave after it’s done. When they don’t, she realizes they find her to be a security risk as she knows quite a bit, so she bolts to parts unknown. Well, now we know.

But also…..

Remember the whole synth bitofcourseyoudo I keep talking about it. That was in Rivet City. We know Danse is from Rivet City. Guess where Li was doing her thing in FO3? Did you say Rivet City? Why you’re right!

Indeed in that quest, Zimmer (Who is mentioned as missing in one of the terminals) goes to confront Li asking for his synth back. I killed him IN LI’S OFFICE.

And now here she is….with the BoS looking…. hmmm…….

Layers.

Feminina:

Very interesting! I met and chatted with Dr. Li, and got the BoS “find Dr. Li” quest, but didn’t know that backstory. Intriguing. Most intriguing. What DOES the Brotherhood/Maxson want with her?

I did some fetch quests for people last night, exercised my powers of persuasion to end a standoff, took the serum to Virgil, and am supposed to go check on Virgil in a few days and see what happened. I hope he’s OK. I kind of like Virgil.

I also like Hancock. He’s got a way with words. “Someone needs helping, we help them. Someone needs hurting, we hurt them.” You said it, man!

Reminds me of Homer Simpson’s line, “finally, a way to combine my love of helping people with my love of hurting people!” That pretty much sums up a lot of video games.

You’re right, I haven’t met or heard of Patriot, or received any list of informants. Must be a Railroad storyline. Maybe if I told Desdemona I’d side with the RR over the Minutemen…

Butch:

Ooo! I hadn’t gotten the ‘find Dr. Li’ quest yet as I haven’t been back to the blimp. But I’m not surprised.

Has the Enclave come up? Cuz in 3, the BoS was fighting with the Enclave over Li’s stuff.

I like Virgil, too. I like he rocks the glasses even with a big green head.

Helping people and hurting people…Basically. Though for me it’s helping, hurting and wooing sorceresses.

So what was your “in the Institute” quest? Cuz this dude….

Ok, so he’s a young dude that’s been helping synths escape for a while. He sent out this coded message telling whoever found it how to help, and that someone, to his SURPRISE turns out to be the railroad. He doesn’t KNOW he’s working with the railroad, or they call him patriot, but he’s heard of the RR and he’s impressed (if misguided. He’s all “WOW if they figured out my code they must have AMAZING tech!” and I wanted to be all “Nah, they got some dude wearing a junk hat who talks like he’s in The Wire.”).

Anyway, he has this plan to free 13 synths at once, and he, of course, needs you. But what’s interesting is that he discusses this with you AND A SYNTH and the synth is not exactly pleased with the idea, or with him. Indeed, you meet the synth and he’s working, saying “we should talk LATER, not HERE,” and trying to talk patriot out of it all. Patriot has this attitude of “I’m going to be a secret agent hero and it’ll be AWESOME” and the synth seems to recognize it’s his life, and his people’s lives, on the line. Indeed, he even calls them “My people.” Interesting. It should be good and themey.

What did the Minutemen want you to do?

Feminina:

Ooh, sorry, I somehow thought you’d already talked to Maxson about her. But yeah, if you go back to the blimp he’ll be all “there’s this scientist we’re trying to locate…since you can get into the Institute (which he somehow knows even though I, at least, did not make any point of telling him), you should find her and convince her to join the Brotherhood” or something. No mention of the Enclave, though. At least, not at that point in their plot.

I love Virgil’s (totally useless) glasses! It’s like his way of clinging to his pre-mutant identity: I WILL wear glasses, even though they don’t have lenses and don’t fit me, because I wear glasses, damn it! Interesting that he’s managed to retain that much of his personality…most supermutants really don’t seem to have much left going on beyond “crush puny humans”.

I should go back and talk to Sturges and/or Garvey again, because I didn’t get an extended Minuteman quest for the Institute. It was just “load data from the Institute computer onto this holotape, bring the holotape back to Sturges.” Which I did, and haven’t heard anything else about it. Next time I’m in Sanctuary, I’ll go talk to Sturges and see if he has any follow-up. I’ll feel kind of cheated if you got a whole detailed themey quest from the RR and I got nothing.

Butch:

Virgil’s trying, man. Give him that. I hope he’s ok. He’s good people. But he should get out of there if he’s gonna be cured.

I’m sure there’ll be no themes at all in this Patriot thing. I mean, how could a quest in which a young, starry eyed blond rich kid wants to help a minority and “his people” who don’t seem to want it because the rich kid thinks it’s kind of right and a whole lot of fun fit into any themes? It’ll be a fetch quest. Nothing more.

Feminina:

Yeah, I hope when I go back to check on him, Virgil’s looking all human and feeling great. I don’t know where he can flee to considering the Institute is presumably still trying to hunt him down, but yeah, he should probably get out of the Glowing Sea at some point. I mean, we don’t know exactly when that memory of Kellogg’s that led us to Virgil was from, but presumably it was still an active mission of his on some level.

Which reminds me: I guess we should assume that the ‘Shaun’ we saw in Kellogg’s memory was actually synth-Shaun? (Since actual Shaun is 60, and Kellogg was living in Diamond City with a boy recently enough that Travis Miles mentioned it for a while on the radio.)

So what was the goal with that? Just to give us a clue to follow? Kind of seems that way. The Institute (i.e., Shaun) has been MESSING with us, man. Also, they pretty much set us on Kellogg, knowing one of us was going to wind up dead. Cold.

I’ll count on you to reassure me that the Patriot (no theme-relevance there either!) quest is totally boring and devoid of meaning, to match my boring Minuteman holotape mission. Unless I get a much more interesting quest from them, in which case we’ll compare.

Butch:

Virgil gotta go find Marcus from the last game. He’s in Maryland somewhere. It’s nice.

Wait, shit, you’re right about Kellogg. I totally missed that. I mean, I thought that we were just seeing Shaun 50 years ago, but you’re right: DC Radio mentions it. Must’ve been synth Shaun. DAMN. Nice catch.

And it did seem he knew that we’d kill Kellogg. I don’t like him.

Feminina:

Yeah, I’m not really feeling a lot of familial love here, FATHER. You basically sicced me on your hired killer because you were getting tired of said killer and figured either I’d defeat him, or I’d die in the process, either of which was apparently fine with you. And this must have been months or years in the planning, too, since Kellogg was living in DC with synth-Shaun well before I ever woke up. How long have you been plotting to jerk me around this way? And WHY?

It’s possible the Institute really is about as horrible as everyone thinks. I mean, I hate to just say “everyone’s sweeping generalizations are correct!” and certainly I’ve met some pleasant-enough people in the Institute so they surely aren’t ALL bad, but as an organization…they seem shady. Very shady.

Butch:

WHY is a very good question. Indeed, another good WHY is why a) Shaun and not b) me and c) why was the husband expendable? I mean, they seemed ok with me as a backup, but obviously didn’t think the husband was a good backup. Hmm?

They do seem shady. I have a quest that tripped, where the picture is me dragging a synth back by his collar. It obviously involves getting synths back. It’s first thing is “Talk to father.” Not doing that yet.

And that list of informants wasn’t from the RR. It was on a computer in the Synth retention bureau.

By the thing about DC’s mayor…..

Feminina:

From Father’s vague explanation, I think it was Shaun and not me (or my husband) because Shaun was a baby, and therefore had the most uncorrupted possible DNA (frozen not only since before the bombs, but at a young age where he would have been exposed to a limited amount of whatever background radiation was common in pre-war society).

My best take on why I was a worthwhile backup but my husband was expendable is that technically we WOULD both have been worthwhile backups, but Kellogg lacked the patience to argue with my husband and just shot him instead of bothering to force him back into the pod to refreeze. Father implies that Kellogg was not great at staying on script (although he was apparently still worth keeping around for 60 years), so I assume maybe he wasn’t exactly SUPPOSED to kill Shaun’s father, but, you know, what else are you going to do with a guy who’s upset that you’re stealing his baby…reason with him? (With my charisma, I could probably have pulled that off–“hey, relax, we’re just going to run some tests and we’ll bring him right back, you just wait here for one minute…”: ZAP–but Kellogg did not seem nearly as interested in passing persuade checks as I am.)

None of which really explains why Shaun decided to lead me on this merry Kellogg chase now.

Butch:

Not buying it.

And another question I don’t have an answer to yet: Who ordered Kellogg to kidnap Shaun? Ok, Shaun’s the boss now, but he wasn’t THEN. So who was pulling Kellogg’s strings when he showed up in the Vault?

Feminina:

Yeah, it’s unclear who ordered Shaun grabbed in the first place. Presumably someone who’s dead by now and cannot be confronted by us — not necessarily, since we know from Kellogg’s example that they can prolong vigorous life, but it seems likely that if they were still around, they would still be in charge or at least active enough in Institute affairs that we might have talked to them on our “talk to people” tour. Although who knows, maybe we did and they’re just keeping quiet about that particular thing.

Butch:

Or maybe Father isn’t just a benevolent leader. I mean, we did come across a lot of people who don’t agree. Maybe he got rid of the other guy. Maybe he’s all about revenge. Who knows?

I’m still waiting to see how the metaphor goes.

Feminina:

Oh yeah, Father could be vengeful and ruthless. He comes across all gentle and caring with that soothing demeanor and quiet voice, but…he did leave his own mother wandering the Waste hunting a professional killer. For some unknown reason. He’s not all kindness and benevolence (if at all), that’s for sure.

Butch:

If that is, you know, really Shaun.

Just saying.

Feminina:

Hm. True. I mean, he looks a lot like me, and Mr. O’ said his Father looked different (more like his character), but he could just be a synth, designed to look like the PC.

Everyone could still be a synth! That theory hasn’t been disproven.

Butch:

I did read that Bethesda used tech to make your kid look like the kid of you and your in game spouse. My father is spot on. We should compare screenshots.

Feminina:

Next time I talk to Father I’ll try to remember to grab a pic. He does look very like me (especially, as I said, with my bleached white hair. Hey, my original hair was ‘graying,’ so I figured after some time in the Waste I decided to just skip right to the end of that process).

Butch:

You got to fight the aging process! Jessica still manages to find lipstick.

She gets it from the same place Morrigan gets the eye shadow.

Feminina:

Lipstick? Frances cares not for these frivolities (unless they gave me a charisma bonus). I mean, dude, I already have five lovers. I don’t need to be any more attractive than I am.

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