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Civil Affairs: Restoration


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Amazing, isn’t it?

Zachary has really outdone himself. To think the Institute had him sweeping floors.

Despite the changes to the central area, the structure is sounder than it was before the war.

Yep. Every pane is new, no salvage at all. Nordhagen is already planning an expansion of their operation. When people see this, everybody is gonna be demanding new glass. Everybody will have to get in line, of course, I’ve already got plans for the next year or so’s production.

That’s machine oil. Once we start painting, that smell should get covered up. We were using the space for warehousing and repairs of recovered machinery until last year. Most of that work has been centralized at the airport now. Arthur left us a nice facility when he ran back south. Wasteful not to use it.

Right. Everything but the squeal.

The echo should go away once the acoustic tiles are installed. Bobby DeLuca came up with the design. Woven razorgrain stalks, shrinkwrapped to slow decay.

You shouldn’t. He’d have been long dead by now instead if he’d stayed there. And that would’ve been a real waste. Hell, besides what it did for him, the detox techniques we developed have helped clean up over a hundred other addicts since then. Half of Zachary’s crew are ex-raiders, all graduates of the program.

Yeah, the shit is too easy to manufacture, but the inhalers aren’t. We’ve gotten the better part of a ton of those out of circulation, and I plan to keep paying the bounty on them for the foreseeable future.

No. That system was a dead-end. Typical demented Vault-Tec system: so what if it kills over half of the test subjects? There are plenty more where they came from.

By the way, tell Calvin again how grateful I am for the work his team did at 95. A lot of the Incomers wouldn’t have made it through that first winter without such good, safe quarters. It’s too close to the Glowing Sea for permanent habitation anytime soon, but it was a godsend when we needed it. 88 is still waiting for him once he’s through restoring all your new real estate. Or if he thinks Austin is ready to lead his own team, he could tackle it. There’s enough space down there to keep him busy for the rest of our lives at least. Codsworth has everything inventoried and organized, and all it needs are hands and brains to start setting things up.

No. None of it was worth salvaging. Bad history, badly presented, with a heavy coat of propaganda shellacked over every bit of it. Even the murals were ugly. When I retire--YES, goddammit, I WILL retire at some point!--I’ll work on compiling a text that presents an unvarnished history of the US. Sure there was a lot to admire, but unbridled greed was always the driving force in this… that country, did you know that the original John Hancock was a tea smuggler? The Tea Party was all about countering Britain’s attempt to crash the price of tea, and put him and his cronies out of business. The ‘patriotism’ was just an excuse. Paul Revere? Gifted artisan, complete shit at everything else he tried, especially leading troops. Washington? So-so general, but a damn fine leader. Also a land speculator and, like the majority of his contemporaries, a slave-owner. Lincoln? Pretty damned admirable for the most part, even if he was a lawyer. Jesus, don’t get me started. You know I can talk about this stuff for days on end.

Speaking of lecturing, since the Legislature will only need the space a few weeks out of the year, we’ll be hosting classes here as well. And concerts. Maybe even some plays. Don’t let that insane blowhard put you off, Shakespeare was incredible when performed well. At my suggestion, Zachary incorporated some aspects of the Globe Theatre into the design. See the balcony? There’s a trap door, too. No. Not for removing bad actors, for quick exits and appearances. You’ll understand once you see it. Great stuff. And so many of the stories still resonate today, maybe even more than they did in the old world.

And this is just a temporary home for the Legislature, of course. I imagine our eventual successors will want to move back into Boston proper one day. All power to them, but as long as I’m stuck with this job, it will stay here, just a few minutes ride from home. Remind me to show you when we get up to the roof, you can see my house from here.

This room will be for the Executive Council. It’s where Garvey, Sturges, Murphy and the Longs were holed up the day I met them. This balcony is where I first saw Preston, cranking away at that ridiculous laser musket and shooting it out with raider scumbags. I’m sorry you weren’t able to make it for the funeral, I spoke from the same spot where he was standing.

Of course the view is a lot different now. Look at all that activity. You know nearly all of the population of Northbridge is actually south of the bridge now, close to half here in Concord. We lucked out with what good shape the town was in. As soon as it was safe to do so, we started occupying and renovating down here. I sure wasn’t gonna let all these good buildings go to waste.

It’s funny, as hard as we worked those first few years to make our little triangle of death too tough a nut for any of the local monsters to crack, we outgrew it really fast. Less than three years, and all these brick walls started looking a lot more attractive than our ramshackle encampment. It’s mostly just the farms and light industry up there now. This is the real heart of Northbridge.

I suppose that once Garvey Hall is in use, and the Legislature starts meeting here, it will become the heart of the Commonwealth.

Appropriate, I think. After all, Concord means agreement.