Felicia dropped her plasma rifle with a satisfied sigh, patting its still-hot barrel with no small amount of affection. “Good boy,” she crooned, reloading the cartridge with reverent hands. It was a good gun, the Scrawling Star. The best she’d found so far. The dirtbag raider carrying it had not died in vain. How he’d even gotten the thing to begin with was beyond her, but she was thankful. Coming across a good plasma weapon these days was a complete oddity, and they were her absolute favorite.
They were beautiful, a perfect marriage of form and function. Two worlds-- technological and tactical-- collided to create something ruthlessly efficient. Even in the days before the war, Felicia respected them as the deliverers of justice and of destruction, something dangerous bent to the will of man. That was something she could respect. The same was true for any gun, really. She knew that there was an implicit acceptance of responsibility as soon as one came into your hands, but out in the wastelands, that seemed like such a small thing to trifle over.
Everyone was trying to kill everybody. Why should she feel bad for doing the job first, with something more precise than a simple bullet in a chamber? Shotguns could blow people to smithereens, but they couldn't reduce them to ashes, to dust.
But that was only part of it. Felicia looked down at the metal in her palms, tracing the planes of it with a modicum of sadness. They were beautiful, but more than that, they were were relics of a bygone era. Her era. Back then, technological advances had been so unabashed in their own wanton indulgences. Now, any scrap that still worked was something to be treasured instead of passively taken for granted. A working pipboy and working guns were more coveted than purified water and food without radiation.
They were things out of time, and Felicia included herself in that assumption, too. How could she do anything but collect it all as best she could?
And so: her weapon stash grew until it rivaled small armories, walls lined with all of her favorites and a few of John's. In another warehouse, she dressed mannequin after mannequin with more apparel than a department store, ready to grab for any occasion, be it battle or casual. In Hangman's Alley, she stored a chem collection so vast that not even her and Hancock on a two day bender could make a dent in it. All around Boston, she stashed no less than six full sets of power armor, just waiting for a core.
Sometimes it felt like she was readying for a reckoning. Supplies hidden away, emergency caches all over, collecting favors and people like baseball cards, ready to send her best up to bat in case of all hell breaking loose. It was like bunkering down like she should have, before.
Felicia sighed, staring out to the horizon. Leftovers found in blown out buildings and hidden trunks long forgotten and sealed in old vaults: these were the hidden cornucopias of progress reduced to stagnation, scavenged remains of a civilization advanced enough to go into outer space. It seemed paltry in comparison to the paradise it had been before, because it was.
Paltry or not, though, they were all she had left to preserve the better days. Armor, weapons, Mr. Handy units, and the occasional terminal: that's all that was left. Felicia wanted them all for herself.
(Not including Synths. As fascinating as they were, they were new, and any self-aware advanced models weren't eager to be pried apart and examined so that a woman from the past could see they way they worked. She opted not to take it personally.)
And...Maybe that all extended beyond the strictly useful.
Hancock judged her a little for it, but Felicia collected anything and everything from the pre-war days. Didn't matter if it was a toaster or a burnt magazine: she got it all. If it didn’t end up being scrapped for the sake of settlements then she tucked it away into an old storage room. Or two. Or three. Okay, maybe she didn't need everything she'd picked up, but could anyone really blame her? When she thought too much about how much the world at large had lost, it filled her with despair. It was a personal kind of anguish, one shared between her and the older ghouls-- and half of them had gone feral.
Sure, there were those that wanted to preserve technology, but it wasn't the same, not with how they refused to unless it was in the ways they approved of. Felicia knew she couldn’t compete with the whole god damned Brotherhood of Steel but she could do her part: deconstruct things from the days before the bombs to help the days after them, and store the rest, good or bad be damned.
Fuck anyone that wanted her to do otherwise.