The Commonwealth, December 24th, 2287.
Today started out like every other ordinary day. The sunlight invaded my bedroom, awakening me from my drunken slumber caused from the night before. A soft breeze, calming breeze caused the Minutemen flag that I had nailed over my window as a pathetic excuse for curtains, to whirl around, allowing unwanted sunlight to hit my face. Voices from the settlers who also lived here at Sanctuary Hills, going about their day, became clearer and clearer as they walked by my windowless house. Diamond City radio echoed throughout my one bedroom home that Sole had gifted me. Sole being Amber, the Sole Survivor from Vault 111, the general of The Minutemen, The savior of the Commonwealth, and Shaun’s mom.
When I first met Amber, she was leaving the Memory Den in Goodneighbor with her new recruit/companion, RJ MacCready. We were lured to one another, and I’m still not exactly sure why. Maybe it was the fact that we resembled one another, maybe it was the vault suits we both wore, or maybe it was the look of despair that we both shared.
She was desperately trying to find her son all while trying to accept that she was now well over 200 years old and in a wasteland that she had once called “home”. Me on the other hand? I was alone… travelling from wasteland to wasteland, hoping that maybe someday my memory from before I was shot in the head back in 2281 would somehow come back to me. It didn’t… it still hasn’t… and it probably never will.
The three of us had drinks at the Third Rail that night, getting too drunk and literally putting everything out on the table. Both Mac and Sole were parents, sole being a widow and Mac being a widower. Mac was from the Capital Wasteland, somewhere I had visited shortly after leaving the Mojave. Amber informed Mac and I that where we were from were called, “Las Vegas, Nevada” and “Washington, D.C” back before the bombs fell in 2077.
Sole was the most interesting person I had met in the last six years, and frankly, she was the only real friend I’ve had since leaving behind the friends I once had back home. She had a purpose here, Mac had a purpose here, and I didn’t… until December 1st, 2287, the day Sole and the Minutemen blew up the Institute.
Naturally, given my past, it all felt natural to me. For the first time in years, I felt like I was Courier fucking Six again, and not some random wastelander. For years I’ve felt nothing but emptiness inside of me. But when we invaded the Institute and I watched Sole say her final goodbye to her son, the director of the Institute, I felt sorrow. Then when I watched sole detonate the Institute, I felt pride.
This was my life now: A member of the Minutemen by day, and a Settler in Sanctuary Hills by night. I was looked up to here in the Commonwealth, respected. No one here knew about my life back ‘home’. Everyone here thought that the legend of Courier Six was nothing more than a tale Deacon would tell the settlers at “Nate’s bar” here in Sanctuary. It wasn’t until after the defeat of the Institute that people started gossiping, assuming that I was the infamous Courier Six. Mac and Sole knew, but out of respect for me, they never told anyone.
The rumors were true… I was everything that Deacon said I was and then some… I am Courier fuckin’ Six.
“Six?!” A young boy’s voice called from outside my house, awakening me from my thoughts and forcing me to finally get up and out of bed, “Six?! Are you awake?”
“What’s the matter, Shaun?” I asked, pulling back the Minutemen flag and looking out the window at Shaun.
“Danse and mom are back from their trip to Vault 88! They brought back Christmas lights!” Shaun exclaimed, “I’m coming in, okay?”
I winced as the splitting headache that I’ve been nursing in bed, stung and reminded me of it’s presence, “Yeah, come on inside, kiddo.” Reluctantly, I slowly made my out of my bedroom and into the livingroom.
The house Sole had given me was right next door to her home that she had lived in back before the bombs. It was nice, small, and secluded. Mutfruit was being grown in the backyard and the bridge to Vault 111 was my drinking place that was conveniently a short walking distance away from my house.
“Codsworth said you were feeling under the weather, whatever that means.” Shaun stated as he plopped down on my couch and played with the working pip-boy that his mother had brought back from Vault 88 for him.
Nodding, I chugged back a can of purified water and gasped as I pulled the can away from my lips, “Yeah, something like that.”
“Are you excited for Christmas, Six?!” Shaun asked, glancing up from his pip-boy.
‘No…’ I thought.
“Are you?” I asked instead.
Shaun shrugged, “We never celebrated Christmas in the Institute, so I’m very excited!”
My heart ached for Shaun at that very moment. He was unaware that he was a synth, a boy that may never age. Sole didn’t care though… she knew that Danse would always be there for Shaun and that eventually she would make sure Shaun was prepared for the wasteland… and that she would tell him the truth about his identity. A part of me is glad that there isn’t any other children in Sanctuary Hills… because he’s going to notice someday when Duncan arrives from the Capital Wasteland and only one of them grows up. Poor kid.
“I don’t remember if I’ve ever celebrated Christmas…” I admitted, frowning at the fact that I couldn’t remember my memories, let alone remember who I really was before Benny shot me in the head six years ago.
“The others said you don’t remember much of anything… I don’t remember much, either…” Shaun said softly, confusion spreading across his face.
“Hey…” I started, reaching out and placing a hand on his shoulder, “I guess you’re just like me then, kiddo.”
Shaun smiled, “I guess so.”
“Three in the afternoon?” I groaned, staring down at my pip-boy. “Damn…”
“You slept in again, Six. C’mon! Get dressed and meet us by the big tree! Mom’s gonna hang the lights for Christmas tomorrow!”
“Yay…” I mumbled.
"Mom said that Christmas is supposed to be spent with your family and friends, do you have any family Six?" Shaun asked.
I shook my head, "None that I can remember, no."
"Oh, I guess hey?" Shaun replied. "What about a boyfriend? Or husband? My Mom was married to my dad before he died... now she's with MacCready. I'm sad about my dad... he died when I was just a baby...but, I really like Mac, he makes my mom happy."
A sick feeling twisted my stomach in knots as my mind wandered back to the time in my life that I remember, the only time in my life that I remember. The one person that I can remember so vividly... him.
"No," I lied, flashing him a weak smile.
"Well, you have us. We're your family," Shaun said warmly. Such a smart boy for such a young age.
When Shaun left, I stepped outside to see if maybe Codsworth was around to get someone to fetch me a couple buckets of purified water so I could have a bath. Luckily for me, Codsworth was floating his way over toward my house.
“Miss Six!” He greeted cheerfully, “You will be happy to know that Mum has managed to get the ol’ plumbing working again!”
“What? How?” I questioned in disbelief.
“Something to do with the water purifying system, I believe,” Codsworth answered, unsure of how she did it.
“Well, I’ll be fucked…” I laughed, lifting my brows, “Is there anything she can’t do?”
“Very little, Miss Six.” Codsworth replied proudly.
“Haven’t had clean water to bathe myself in for years,” I laughed, folding my arms across my chest.
“Yes, well, now thanks to Mum, you can.”
I nodded, “Thanks Coddy for letting me know,”
“Yes…” Codsworth hummed, “Shall I wait for you to be ready?”
“Nah, I’m good,” I waved him away before heading back inside and testing out Sole’s latest accomplishment.
She pursed her lips and ran her fingers through her long dark brown hair, clearly in deep thought, “I don’t know what to do… I-I- I haven’t really spoke to him since after we took down the Institute…”
“And?” He questioned, cocking a brow.
“He wasn’t exactly thrilled that his one of his Paladin’s were stepping down from their rank in the Brotherhood to become the General of another faction…” She muttered, chewing on the inside of her bottom lip.
“How he treated Danse was inexcusable, General. You did the right thing,” Preston assured her.
She nodded, “But… why now? Why is he bothering me about this?”
“Well… the letter said something about the remains of the Brotherhood chapter in the Mojave…Naturally he’s going to come to you for help-” Preston started.
“And why is that?” She questioned, cutting him short.
“Because of Courier Six being here,” He replied.
“How did you-”
“It’s no secret, General… We all know who she is,” He answered before she could ask.
“Still!” Amber exclaimed, “Six hasn’t been to the Mojave in what, years? He should send a team from the Brotherhood to help, not one of mine-”
“What’s going on?” I asked, stepping inside of Sole’s office that was kitty-corner to her home.
Both of them stared at me like a couple of shaken up Radstag’s. Amber was the first to say a mumbled ‘hey’, before handing me a letter. I stared at the two of them suspiciously as I sat down on a chair and began to read the letter.
“Yours truly, Arthur?” I asked, cocking a brow up at Sole.
She clicked her jaw to the side and looked away from Preston and I, “I’ll tell you later…”
“What exactly is it that he’s asking from us?” I asked, glancing down at the letter again.
“He wants to make contact with the Brotherhood that’s in the Mojave,” Sole explained, cracking her knuckles, “Er… what’s left of them, anyway.”
“He’s completely insane if he thinks Six is going to help him,” Preston piped up.
“And where do we come in?” I asked, choosing to ignore Preston.
Sole chuckled in disbelief, “He thinks you know where they are!”
“What…” I whispered.
“I know right?! Just because you lived there doesn’t mean you know-”
“I do know where they are… or were…” I cut her off.
“Doesn’t matter,” She sighed, “We do not owe him or any of the brotherhood fuck all!”
“Fuck it, we don’t! I was the one who was involved with the Brotherhood, not Six.” She hissed, “How arrogant and self entitled can he be?!”
“I was too…” I admitted, watching as both of their expressions change, “Kind of anyway… I uh, know someone who can help get in contact with them.”
“Six…” Sole started.
I shook my head, “It’s okay… it really is. It’s time I make a trip back there, anyway.”
“Are you sure?” Preston pressed, “The General is right… we don’t owe Maxson or The Brotherhood shit!”
I nodded, “Positive.”
“Well… that settles it....” Sole sighed, “Six and I will make our way to the castle. We’ll get supplies and then make our way to the airport and up to the Prydwen.”
“We’ll talk to Maxson and figure out what he wants me to do then you’ll make your way back here,” I planned.
Sole laughed, “Back here?”
I laughed too, “Well you ain’t comin’ with me,”
“Six…” She sighed, “You’re not going alone…”
“Trust me,” I chuckled, “It ain’t my first rodeo.”
Sole pressed her tongue to the inside of her cheek and nodded slightly, “Of course, I forgot who I was talking to… Courier.”
A smirk spread across both of our faces while Preston shrugged, realizing that nothing he could say was going to change my mind. Instead he just stood up and cleared his throat.
“Alright you two, let’s focus on the task at hand here first,”
“Which is?” Sole asked, turning her head in his direction.
Preston flashed a smile, “Our first Christmas eve in Sanctuary!”
Sole and I groaned, neither of us wanting to climb the old tree in the center of Sanctuary’s cul de sac to hang lights around it. But, we knew that neither of us had a choice, especially since everyone was pulling their weight around here today preparing for Christmas tomorrow. We had no choice.
“Have a nice climb, ladies.” Preston teased as he strode out of Sole’s office.
“Meet me for a drink near the vault tonight,” Sole demanded rather than asked.
I nodded and stood up, “Alright, ready to go hang lights and possibly watch me fall and crack my head open?”
Sole smirked as she followed me outside, “Eh… from what I hear, that head of yours can take a lot.”
I snorted/half laughed, “You got that right.”