It was a short war, if you could even call it that. One waged some two hundred years after The Resource War that left the world nothing more than irradiated scars: A war that pitted science against steel, secrecy against bravado, and father against son.

For years people of the Commonwealth had lived in fear that loved ones would be stolen in the night only to be replaced by synthetic copies known as synths. The mastermind behind this “synthetic uprising” was a shadow organization known only as the Institute. Comprised of scientific minds, the Institute had remained hidden under the remains of the Commonwealth Institute of Technology, CIT, during the Resource War. Years of this scientific think tank had brought about the birth of the synthetics that now roamed the Commonwealth. Being almost totally unidentifiable from the average wastelander, synths that were both institute controlled and freethinking alike were a fear of every human above ground.

On a bright sunny day, after years of the institute having free reign of the Commonwealth, the clouds parted and an enormous blimp appeared. The blimp only became bigger as it neared downtown Boston and was accompanied by of bi-bladed helicopters known as vertibirds. The Brotherhood of Steel had arrived.

In the years following the destruction of the world as we knew it, the Brotherhood had only sent small scouting parties into the Boston commonwealth. These soldiers in their hulking metal armor had only pre-war technology and themselves on their minds. But they left the commonwealths people to themselves. And for the most part, unlike the Institute, they were nothing the wastelanders had to fear.

Like a chess match, the table was set. Each faction had their pieces in place with Boston as their board. Pawns were sent out, expendable pieces released to find out what they could of their new foe. Like water behind a damn, the tension rose and rose until it reached its breaking point, both sides needing that ONE unknown something to tip the balance in their favor. That something turned out to be a someone.

Out of the depths of Vault 111, came a sole survivor. A man from another time that had been frozen on the day the earth was destroyed: Only to be thawed and released 200 years later. His wife had been murdered before his eyes in that vault, his child, stolen. Now, like an alien first setting foot on an unknown world, this sole survivor surfaced from his tomb of ice only see an unrecognizable landscape shaped by radiation.

Friends were made, fights were fought, causes were joined, and with each passing day, the Commonwealth shaped this man from before the bombs, this veteran of the Resource War, into someone new. Through it all, his goal remained the same… Finding his lost son. Like some giant staircase: Each step, each corpse, and each battle, brought him closer and closer to reaching his goal. And after months of searching and sleuthing, he found that his son was at the Institute.

After all the wasteland had hurled at the survivor, it still had one more, cruel, joke to play. The son was now the father. Because of his time locked in ice while his son was taken and raised by hands unknown, the son was now 60 years old, twice as old as his biological father.   The survivor’s son was now a father himself… the father of the Institute. Sadly, new world rhetoric was no match for old world values, and the reunion was short lived.   Fate had decided that the father would be pitted against his son as the war between the Brotherhood of Steel and the Institute finally had their catalyst.

For months the two sides battled, with the Brotherhood of Steel steadily gaining ground, each side took losses. Finally the institute was beaten, their underground shelter destroyed. The people of the commonwealth breathed a huge sigh of relief as their modern day boogey man lay in ruin. The sole survivor of Vault 111 had pushed that final button, the button that destroyed the institute, and his son. Through all the victory cries and jubilation, the sole survivor stole a moment to his self; when it was all said and done; people were killed, friendships were lost, and families broken. After 200 years, one thing had stayed the same… “War. War never changes.”