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Civil Affairs: Old Business, New Business


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Commonwealth Ad Hoc Steering Committee
Inaugural Meeting

January 23, 2292

Major Jonas Coolwater (JC): Governor of Northbridge, Presiding
Gwendolyn McNamara (GM):Supervisor, Vault 81
Elizabeth Kessler (EK): Mayor, Bunker Hill
John Hancock (JH): Mayor, Goodneighbor
David Wiseman (DW): Chairman, Commonwealth Agricultural Alliance
Daniel Sullivan (DS): Mayor, Diamond City
Madison Li (ML): Director, Commonwealth Institute of Technology
Desdemona “Jones” (DJ): Governor, Nuka World
Veronica Shaw (VS): Commander, Commonwealth Minutemen
Amelia Stockton (AS): Merchant, Bunker Hill
Daisy Palmer (DP): Merchant, Goodneighbor
Constance Abernathy (CA): Merchant, Northbridge
Zachary Freeman (ZF): Carpenter, Northbridge
Natalie Wright (NW): Special Assistant to Major Coolwater, Recording Secretary

JC: Ladies, Gentlemen…

DP: Ghouls!

ZF: Synths!

JC: La-dies, Gen-tlemen, welcome, happy new year, and thank you all for coming.

ML: Did we have a choice?

JC: You did, but I understand why you would ask. Which is the reason we need to do this.

GM: And what exactly IS this? Are we here to crown you King of the Commonwealth?

JH: Sic semper tyrannis!

JC: Oh Christ, no. Definitely not.

DW: What then, President?

DP: Generalissimo?

ML: Lord High Muckamuck?

JC: None of the above. Has is not occurred to any of you that I might be tired? Tired of being The Man With The Plan? Tired of running around fighting all the fires? Tired of being the biggest goddamn bully in the Commonwealth?

DJ: You love being the biggest goddamn bully in the Commonwealth.

AS: No. He doesn’t.

JC: I did. For quite a while. Before I went into the Vault, I was an angry, angry man, with no real focus for that anger. Then I found myself in a world where I could use that anger for a purpose. And god damn did I use it. But that anger wasn’t caused by this world, it was caused by the old one. Daisy, David, you remember what it was like. We all knew what was coming. The world was gonna go to hell. We distracted ourselves with fizzy drinks and shiny cars and little blue houses and whimsical robots and rosy-cheeked babies and tried so fucking hard to pretend it wasn’t all gonna go to shit any minute. But we knew it would. And we were right. The world went to hell. The world died. But something came back when the old world died. Hope. We had no real hope back then, just desperate pretense. We had given up. We were just going through the motions. I came out of that ridiculous, pointless, sadistic deathtrap of a vault, which was just a microcosm of the ridiculous, pointless, sadistic deathtrap of a society that had created it, and I met people who were actually trying to survive. Trying to build something. Trying to improve their world instead of just racing to use up everything that was left before somebody else used it. Connie, when I met you, the dirt from your daughter’s grave was still ground into the knees of your coveralls, but there you were, pulling weeds and planting melons. Everything I’ve done since that day was to make sure you didn't have to bury another daughter and that anyone who wanted your melons would have to haggle for them.

CA: Um. Thank you. I…

JC: The point I’m trying to make is I’m not angry anymore.

ML: You were pretty angry at Doctor Holdren last month.

JC: That wasn’t angry. I was just pissed off. He’s still in one piece, isn’t he? Hell, Madison, you’ve never actually seen me angry. My anger was already spent before I went into the Institute.

VS: Is there a point to this, or are you just gonna talk about yourself all day?

JC: Thank you, Ronnie, yes. Yes there is. It’s time to start figuring out how things are gonna work around here now that the parasites and predators have been dealt with.

EK: Figure out? You mean you don’t already have a grand plan for all of us?

JC: This IS my grand plan. Get the most respected and sensible people in one place and let them talk to each other. As of today, I’m through telling everybody what to do around here.

JH: What the fuck, brother? Are you dying?

JC: Not dying, retiring. I’ve got a horse now, I can ride off into the sunset.
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DP: You realize that only two of us understood that reference, right?

JC: Two more than usual. At this point, I would like to yield the chair to Supervisor McNamara. Gwen?

GM: OK. Well. Um. I suppose the first order of business is to determine if we should proceed. Show of hands? Miss Wright, please record that the vote to continue was unanimous.

NW: Yes ma’am.

GM: Do we wish to form some sort of unified Commonwealth government? Miss Wright, please count and record this and all subsequent votes.

MW: Yes ma’am. Three in favor.

GM: Right. With that out of the way, let’s see what we DO want. Wait. Let’s not talk all over each other. There are a lot of strong personalities in this room. I will recognize each of you who wish to speak, and ask that the rest of you allow them to do so without interruption. Mayor Kessler?

EK: We need to come up with a way to keep the raiders and mutants from coming back.

GM: Mayor Sullivan?

DS: I’d like to see us establish areas of responsibility. Diamond City Security has always tried to maintain a safe zone beyond the Wall. Some of the other communities have allowed bad guys to nest right outside their doors. That has to improve.

GM: Mayor Hancock?

JH: We have to make sure that individuals are free to live their lives the way they want to, as long as they don’t hurt anyone else in the process.

GM: Chairman Wiseman?

DW: Food production is increasing steadily, but people on Diamond City, Goodneighbor and Bunker Hill are still paying as much as they were when things were bad.

VS: So are the Minutemen!

GM: Commander Shaw, you will have your turn to speak. Please continue, Chairman.

DW: We are happy to be producing enough food for everyone in the Commonwealth, But the caravans are still charging as if the roads were lined with bandits and monsters. Same with goods they bring us. Shouldn’t peace bring prosperity for all, not just the traders?

GM: Miss Stockton, would you like to respond?

AS: I’m so sorry. I’m still trying to figure out so much of the finer points of the business. All I’ve really been able to do since my father died is to keep the caravans running on schedule. Please let me know what I need to do to fix this.

[Many people begin talking at once]

GM: Please. PLEASE! I think we need to get a sense of all the issues we need to deal with before we start attempting to find solutions to any of them. Director LI?

ML: At this point, I believe The Institute has not earned a right to make any demands of the Commonwealth at large. I believe it is best if we are considered no more than probationary members of whatever body you establish.

GM: Governor Jo…

DJ: Desdemona.

GM: Very well. Desdemona?

DJ: I’m not sure how long-term of an issue this will be, but we probably need to establish a different form of currency than caps. The bottling plant at Nuka World not only contained several hundred thousand bottlecaps, but the equipment to manufacture more. Jonas has explained to me that this doesn’t make the Nuka World colony fabulously wealthy, but has the potential to completely disrupt the economy. Fortunately, my people are very good at keeping secrets, so we should be able to sit on this until a solution has been found.

GM: Commander Shaw?

VS: Hell if I know. The Minutemen aren’t much more than a handful of old-timers and youngsters. Thanks to Northbridge, we have The Castle, a powerful radio transmitter, and some artillery. We aren’t a proper militia, just a name, a flag, and a lot more hats than heads to wear ‘em. We stand ready to help however you folks want, but I’ll be damned if I know what that could be.

GM: Miss Stockton, did you have any of your own concerns you wanted to bring up?

AS: Yes, actually. The fall caravan from points south never arrived. One of the last things my father did before he died was to send a team to see if they could find any sign of what happened. The survivors of that team just returned two days ago, and they said that the Gunners have taken over Providence, and closed the road south.

[Many people talk at once]

GM QUIET! Thank you. Mrs. Palmer?

DP: We need a library. Not the old one, it’s in too bad of shape, but we need to organize the books that have survived, and make the knowledge in them available to as many people as possible. And we need to try to salvage as many more books as we can, and find ways to preserve them better.

GM: Mrs. Abernathy?

CA: Well, I think you’re all being foolish not wanting some sort of government. Up home, we’ve proved how much a group of people can accomplish when they have somebody in charge and a clear set of plans and rules to follow. I guess you’re all afraid of being bossed around by somebody who’s just gonna make himself rich and fat off of your hard work. It doesn’t have to be that way if you set things up well. Jonas made sure we could get rid of him at any time, and choose a new leader. He tried to get us to do that just last month. He resigned, but we all voted him back in. All of you know how important good leadership can be. Most of you ARE good leaders. I think you need to think farther than “nobody gets to be the boss of me.” I think that if you don’t come up with some way of organizing things, then my grandchildren are gonna end up right back in the mess we were in just a few years ago.

GM: Mr. Freeman?

ZF: As far as I can tell, the only reason I'm here is so there can be a synth in the room.

AS: There are two.

ZF: I’m sorry, Amelia. I forgot. I can tell you this much, though. I will never be a slave again. If whatever system you set up here becomes corrupt or unjust, I will fight to the death against it. And I won’t be alone.

[Many people talk at once]

GM: PEOPLE! Please. Thank you. If that’s all, then I propose… Yes, Major Coolwater?

JC: I think we’re all getting a bit ahead of ourselves. Yes. the Brotherhood has left town. Yes. the Institute is no longer a threat to the good people of the Commonwealth. Yes the Gunners have been chased off. Yes, Boston proper and a nice chunk of real estate north of the city have been cleared of raiders, mutants, ferals, and all manner of annoying beasties. Yes, the synths have been freed. Yes, nobody around here needs to go to bed hungry anymore. But we sure as hell aren’t safe yet. Our prosperity will attract more parasites. And if we don’t figure out a way to not just work together, but to know we can depend on each other, the bad guys and the monsters will creep right back in and nibble us all to death. I strongly urge you to reconsider your quick dismissal of some sort of Commonwealth government. I urge you to at least discuss the possibility, to at least discuss what it would take to make you put your individual interests aside and build something bigger that has a chance of lasting. But before all that, I urge you to break for lunch. I would like to introduce you all to the wonder that is pork chops.

GM: All in favor of lunch?

NW: Thirteen in favor.

GM: Well then, lunch it is.


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Pigs survived? Would be a nice addition to the commonwealth!

I know after 6 months in Turkey, a big fat pork chop (Iowa Chop!) was first on my list...



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Synth pigs. Thanks to trace DNA in Cram.

I first mentioned the possibility back in "Father Knows Best", then indirectly in "Mobile Resource Equestrian Development"
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