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  • Writer's picturebucky

"End, Shrink, Steak" - Fallout 4, Nick Valentine (2023)

๐šŽ๐š—๐š, ๐šœ๐š‘๐š›๐š’๐š—๐š”, ๐šœ๐š๐šŽ๐šŠ๐š”;

Nick was a Gen 2 prototype - He'd seen it all. From the early days of the New World, when resources were plentiful, when factions were still spearheading noble missions, Nick had watched through mechanical eyes as everything depleted. Food dwindled first, before the farmers and explorers found new, mutated cattle to rear, found ways to grow crops from irradiated soil. Bullets and weapons had gone next, until smiths and craftsmen forged new artillery, crudely built and twice as devastating. But, when morality began to shrink, replaced by a new ruthless, selfish sort of humanity, there had been no fix. There was no rebuilding the breaks, no salve to heal the gaping wound known as the human race.

More than once, Nick was certain they had stumbled into the end times. When humanity seemingly couldn't get any worse, when the land around them cried out for freedom, to be let go from the infinite shackles of man, Nick had thought it was close. That there'd be another nuclear crisis, or the Earth itself would split in two, crumble beneath heavy boots and plunge survivors into a molten abyss.

But, it never happened.

Much like the Earth, Nick persisted. Despite the horrors of it all, the android detective continued to exist, an ageless synthetic body carrying a weary soul through a desolate wasteland. He'd greet new faces, bury his friends and try to help those he could, all from his little, neon-flanked agency in Diamond City.

It's where he sat, glowing yellow eyes scanning over his latest case as he forked a thick Brahmin steak into his mouth. His taste receptors had long since burnt out, useless in his refusal to seek repairs from the bastard Institute, but he ate regardless. He ate, because it made things feel less impossible. He ate, because it made things feel almost normal. He ate, because if he didn't, the next man would only steal it off his plate.


Originally written and shared as part of Verbuary 2023:

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