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In 2092, a doctor was exiled from Vault City on charges of murder. Changing his name to Richard Grey, he journeyed through the California wastelands on his way to a grisly fate as the psionic demi-god known to men as "The Master".
But the residents of Vault City knew the reviled doctor by a different surname...Moreau.
- Creates a new set of quests related to Doc Barrows' work on deghoulification in Underworld.
- Inserts the National Institutes of Health into the Bethesda Ruins.
- New off-map complex based near Omaha, Nebraska.
- Special opportunities and rewards for players with high Charisma as well as Medical and/or Science skills.
- New companions from entirely new races.
- Some really horrible puns.
- 100% lore-compatible.
Doc Barrows is working on curing the "ghoul condition". But there's only so much he can do with a few scalpels and X-rays; he needs a complete human cadaver to perform a thorough comparitive autopsy on. No no, not YOU...he's not out to murder anyone. But all those body parts languishing in the Super Mutants' Gore Bags all over the Capital Wasteland would do for the purpose, wouldn't they?
Of course, the autopsy's only the start, on a quest leading from the DC Mall to the Bethesda Ruins and finally out to the flatland wastes of long-lost Nebraska...
Parts Is PartsEdit
Activating the mod puts new dialogue options into Barrows' conversation about researching ghoulification. Now, the player has the opportunity to fetch body parts from Gore Bags. Building a complete cadaver (two arms, two legs, torso, organs and skull) results in a reward of stimpacks and XP, triggering the next quest.
What A PrickEdit
Barrows is disgusted at the limited results of the autopsy, but it's enough to show him that he needs to perform DNA sampling comparisons if he expects to get anywhere. He already has ghoul DNA readily on hand, but needs a sample from that rarest of creatures: a pure-strain human.
- The player, having not actually come from Vault 101 stock.
- The Garys of Vault 108, being clones, and defective clones at that.
- Any wastelanders, especially Point Lookout's swamp folk. But the results might be funny...
- Enclave soldiers/officers/technicians, including Colonel Autumn.
- Any of the humans (with the exception of Somah) appearing on Mothership Zeta.
- Vault 101 residents.
Extraction can be taken easily from a dead body, but permission will be needed from the living (or a successful "Pickpocket").
Once the DNA is obtained and returned to Barrows, he realizes that his own equipment simply isn't up to the job. It's useless to him unless a proper comparison can be done, and the only place he remembers that might have the gear for it --- and is reportedly still standing --- would be the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. If the player opts out of the quest at this point, he gets a disgusted response and a small reward of caps "for the bother".
The Secrets Of NIHEdit
To the immediate north of the Bethesda Offices are two buildings: one squat and wide, the other ruined. The intact wing houses what's left of the National Institute of Health's Office of the Director, which was almost entirely given over to the NIH's administrative work in pre-War days. They contain(ed) the following:
- INTACT WING: National Institutes for (one each) Aging, Nursing Research, General Medical Sciences, Mental Health, and Human Genome Research. Also the Addiction Institute (conglomeration of Alcohol, Drug and Allergy/Infection Disease Institutes), National Library of Medicine (publisher of the D.C. Medical Journal), and the Center for Scientific Review.
- DESTROYED WING: National Institutes for (one each) Cancer, the Eye, Heart Blood and Lung, Arthritis, Dental Disease, Neurological Affliction, and Diabetes. Also the Center for Information Technology, NIH Clinical Center, and Center for Research Resources.
On entry to the building, the player is confronted with a small horde of Albino Mole Rats. These are the result of rodent experiments started by the National Institute for Mental Health during the early 1970s, accelerated by use of the Forced Evolutionary Virus from 2075 - 2077.
Codename: Cloacina (referenced in a surviving Pentagon archive computer) describes the common Mole Rat as having been created to infest China with "Mutant Undermining Lifeforms", these being bred without use of FEV because it led to sterility. Albino Mole Rats, however, were a late and successful attempt to infuse intellect into the Cloacina subjects. These results have been seen elsewhere in Fallout games, such as with Fallout 2's "Keeng" and "Brain", though these were cases of common Mole Rats infected with the airborne FEV strain under uncontrolled circumstances. It is also worth noting that, according to lore, all Mole Rats, Pig Rats and Giant Rats are related.
Albino Mole Rats will require reskinning a standard Mole Rat for white skin, pink undertones, and red eyes, adding the skills of Small Arms (32%) and Unarmed (48%).
The Rats escaped captivity during the opening moments of the Great War, fleeing into the depths of the NIH complex for protection and later taking it over for their own purposes. They have survived by scavenging the ruins of the Capital Wasteland under cover of darkness, having a natural aversion to sunlight, and have figured out how to use tools (after a clumsy fashion), but are physically unable to manage anything bigger than a rifle. Their best means of self-defense are Frag Mines and other booby-traps.
Being in an effective state of war with the Raiders who've taken up residence elsewhere in the Bethesda Ruins, the Rats have heavily booby-trapped the administrative rooms leading deeper into the building, and will oppose the player's access unless a deal is reached:
- Help the Rats eliminate Raiders in the area (either a certain number, 10 or so, or by clearing the area)
- AND/OR hand over the Mole Rat Repellent Stick if the player has it (they can smell it, and NOT handing it over results in immediate attack)
Note that the Animal Friend perk will result in better responses and may even allow building access without having to attack the Raiders. Under no circumstances, however, will the Rats allow the player to continue to possess the Repellent Stick, which they see as a tool for genocide.
Access to the building leads the player to a wealth of background information as well as some minor troves of medical value.
- National Institute for Mental Health: a few computers with archived articles and reports. Most of these cover the controversy over NIMH's focus on the brain and genetics (an actual real-world controversy) and its effective takeover, along with the National Institute for Human Genome Research, by West Tek in the early '00s (the Naught-ies). One details the origins of Codename: Cloacina, starting with Dr. John B. Calhoun's research on social overcrowding using rats in the early '70s (a real-world project which inspired the novel "Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH"). Last project leader was Robert C. O'Brien (a nod to the novelist), who reports on a nearby holotape that both the intelligent and non-intelligent breeds of the rats have escaped, just as the bombs are impacting --- perhaps a poor set of priorities, but he is a scientist after all.
- National Institute for Human Genome Research: here is the equipment for performing the DNA comparisons, along with a lot of other high-tech medical gear --- some of it apparently of alien origins (optional Mothership Zeta influence) and all of it well-kept by the Rats. The same computer which runs the DNA tests also networks with the rest of the West Tek Genetic Research operations and reports their status (Bethesda: STANDBY, Los Angeles: STANDBY, Boseman: OFFLINE, and Omaha: ACTIVE). Note that Los Angeles is the West Tek "Glow" facility from Fallout 1. Another computer contains fragmentary data on "Project Moreau", which is listed as a branch of the FEV project specializing in continuing the original animal research and advanced genetics, under project head Richard Moreau. This triggers a Map Marker in the extreme west of the Capital Wasteland leading off-map to the Omaha complex. Possible means of getting there: by foot (a month's travel each way!), a conveniently-discovered motorbike which breaks down on return (or simply integration with the Global Travel System mod), or even imposing on the Brotherhood of Steel for a Vertibird ride out with subsequent pickup and return.
- National Institute for General Medical Sciences: computer notes show discovery, via extensive studies, of long-term damage caused by radiation, even in persons who use Rad-Away (which does not repair cellular damage already done). Genetic defects may appear in later generations, with some minor mutations already having been observed, and being more common by far than found in test animals.
- Center for Scientific Review: tish-toshes all talk of harm via radiation as "alarmist", particularly mocking a cautionary report from GMS about symptoms which sound like ghoulification. Hacking into the Director's personal computer reveals orders from "on high" to suppress all negative reports regarding radiation or anything nuclear-related, under national security concerns, being as that by the 2070s so much of the US economy and war readiness was bound up in nuclear energy. The Director was also apparently taking kickbacks from Nuka-Cola regarding its new Quantum drink and the radioactive isotopes therein...his safe has 15 Pre-War Money in it and a thank-you note inviting the Director over to the Bottling Plant for a tour (optional Guest Pass for the Nuka-Cola plant?).
- Addiction Institute: plenty of opportunities for addiction abound here, with at least five of every known form of addictive chem lying around the place (except Jet, having been invented in the post-War era). Most of the former staff are here too, draped about on the furniture with holotapes and appropriate props (party hats, snacks, etc) depicting a major End-Of-The-World Party. Who ever said Armageddon couldn't be fun?
Return to Doc Barrows with the DNA comparison data, and he gets very excited...yes, there MAY be a ghoulification cure! Callooh, callay!
Ghoulification is, in short, the human body's defensive reaction to massive irradiation, engendering a spontaneous rewriting of the subject's genetic code to incorporate, rather than reject, its effects on bodily tissue. This results in the subject growing new tissue to replace damaged portions, harnessing the energy of the radiation itself to provide the catalyst. Unfortunately, the effects don't manifest until the body has already been ravaged, with the new cells taking on the already-damaged aspects of the cells they replace. Some small amount of cellular data is also lost with each regeneration, eventually leading to mental degeneration and the accompanying "Feral" affliction.
Therefore, a regimen of radiation cleansing using Rad-Away, in concert with a viral medication which inserts human-norm DNA patterns into the body via its bloodstream, should effectively "reset" a given subject to their former humanity. Theoretically this treatment could include Wastelander DNA, but Doc Barrows wants to eliminate all chance of stray mutagens or radiation particles munging things up.
Of course, it's not going to be QUITE that easy, is it? The NIH's facilities, though impressive, didn't have the equipment to actually tweak DNA or refit a retrovirus. Fortunately, the player found a place that might --- West Tek's Omaha genetics and animal testing facility, housing "Project Moreau", was listed as still being Active. Could the answer lie there?
Whether on foot, by ground vehicle, or by Brotherhood Vertibird, traveling to Nebraska puts the player in the middle of a huge, flat, blasted expanse which was once a vast cornfield planted expressly to hide the complex. There are no roads or buildings in sight, nothing but the rolling dust storms of the Midwest and a helipad atop a squat bunker (NOTE: I'm using the Raven Rock bunker entrance for this area, as well as much of its infrastructure, given the similar nature of the biolabs and the origins of the two facilities..."Moreau" has more in common with Raven Rock than with any Vaults).
Entry to the complex is simple: a coded transmission downloaded into the player's Pip-Boy along with the Map Marker. Getting close to the entrance automatically opens the door and sets off the entry alert, which is how VIP guests were normally received when the facility was properly staffed.
The alert brings the facility's guards running, and they will meet the player either at the door, or chase him down: Dog Soldiers.
Biped, armored, gun-toting, five-foot-tall Dogs. And they're not at all happy to meet the player. A short, terse dialogue later, and they're ready to tear a throat out, just as a Horse walks up and casually takes over the conversation in a clearly-affected Southern Drawl. The Dogs are obviously annoyed by the intrusion, but the Horse pulls rank, claiming to be a Captain, and the Dogs back down with much snarling and growling.
Welcome to Project Moreau. You've just met two species of the Zodiac.
The Horse, six feet tall and dressed up in Napoleonic finery that hasn't seen a minute of real battle, informs the player that he's been temporarily assigned as an escort. At this point, the player can refuse the escort, but won't be allowed in without it. If the player launches an assault, permanent alarms will be triggered and every creature in the colony will turn hostile on sight, necessitating either a retreat, or all-out genocide.
Assuming the escort is accepted, the Horse leads the player on a brief tour through the main areas of the colony enroute to the private quarters of its leader. On the way, examples of most of the colony's uplifted animal species are seen: Monkeys, Rats, Oxen, Horses and Dogs. All dress in human-style clothes and seem to have specific jobs, with Monkeys and Rats wearing labs coats, Oxen geared for heavy labor and carrying picks or sledgehammers, Horses wearing overblown military finery and Dogs looking like actual hard-nosed field troops. The Captain, who goes by the name of Chevy Chevalier, also talks about the place's origin and basic history on the way down:
This was originally a genetic research facility, created for the express purpose of developing quick-grown cannon fodder for the United States to throw into its war with China. Starting from the premise that America faced the same basic problem that Japan had when invading China during the Second World War --- simply not having enough troops to conquer and control such a vast land and its immense population --- it was believed by many that using FEV to create super-soldiers from existing US troops would not be enough to achieve ultimate victory.
The idea, then, was to capitalize on existing research into animal mutations, such as with the Mutant Undermining Lifeform, to create one or more species that could carry weapons as well as understand and obey at least basic orders from assigned commanders. Cross-pollenation with the human-research side of the FEV program led to fusions of human DNA into the animal strains in order to obtain the opposable thumbs which give humans their manual dexterity.
The problem (from the Enclave's point of view) was that the animals didn't just get thumbs; they gained increasingly upright posture, human ranges of size and motion, and distressingly (at first), human levels of intellect. They began exhibiting free will and arguing with their attendants over everything from ration contents to the nature of God. They also turned out to be sterile, for which the Enclave was thankful, as it meant that once the war with China had been won, the remaining animals could be allowed to drift into extinction (if possible, the Horse should give the player a reproachful look over his shoulder at this point).
When the cages sprang open and the animals seized the facility on June 13, 2092, slaughtering every human they could get a grip on (another look), they discovered that the only means they had of reproduction was to clone themselves in the gene tanks. They also discovered the truth, provided by Moreau in the base's computer files, regarding what they'd been intended for and their ultimate fate.
At this point, the Horse and player have arrived at what used to be the Research Head's quarters (which will contain a computer with communications between Richard Moreau and his on-site replacement, Alexander Y. Malcomson). The player is ushered into the presence of a sublime and relaxed-looking being sitting on luxurious cushions surrounded by burning incense.
This is Huang Di, a Golden Komodo Dragon, who explains that the colony needs the player's help to ensure its survival.
A Little Of Me, A Little Of YouEdit
Over the last two hundred years, the genetic code for each of the species has degraded slightly with each vat-grown generation. Eventually, they will degenerate into devolved forms and inevitable extinction. Even now, members of various species look very much alike due to narrowing of the gene pools (which they make up for, to some extent, through cosmetic differences such as clothing and hairstyles).
The solution? Huang Di's people need two things:
- DNA coding from a pure-strain human --- unfortunately, they'd killed and burned all the ones at the base, and the Enclave didn't send any more
- DNA coding from at least ONE known breed of sentient self-reproducing FEV-infected animal.
With these, reproductive capability can be reintroduced to each species, piggybacking on the human coding which all the species retain a portion of.
The player is carrying the pure-strain human DNA coding on his Pip-Boy, and can get the other coding from none other than the Mole Rats of NIMH, making this quest little more than a lot of exposition followed by a minimal amount of fetching. Only the distance between Omaha and D.C. should be an issue, if the player arrived on foot.
If the player rejects the request, and doesn't specifically offend, Huang Di is willing to allow him to remain as a visitor but states that the waiting list for use of the facilities' genetic equipment is five years long. The player will have to wait in line...or not, if he chooses to simply massacre everyone and try to get things running unassisted (will require very high Science and INT ratings).
If the player accepts, and completes the mission, Huang Di calls in his own "breeding marker" --- which he has never used, as he is the original and only Komodo Dragon, being over 200 years old --- to allow the player to jump to the first place in line. If all the player wants to do is create the retrovirus for Doc Barrows and get out, this is the fastest and easiest way to zip through this mod.
OPTIONAL: If the player comments on his Chinese name, Huang Di states with diplomatic aplomb that he is the reincarnated person of China's Yellow Emperor, from whom all Chinese are believed to have descended. The original Huang Di invented the principles of Chinese traditional medicine, which the current Huang Di has mastered, and according to legend transformed into a half-man, half-dragon creature on his 100th birthday before flying away into the clouds. As the historical Yellow Emperor was believed to have been conceived during a thunderclap on a cloudless day, Huang Di believes that the nuclear barrage of 2077 signaled his reincarnation, given that his own decanting from the Gene Tanks took place a few days after the bombs fell. This belief is reinforced by the fact that the geneticists working on Project Moreau could not replicate the process of his creation, making the Golden Komodo Dragon the only one of his kind.
- Because of his unique nature and long life, Huang Di is respected universally by all the Zodiac species, with no threats to his leadership.
- If the player knows of, and reveals, the existence of the Chinese Radio signal, Huang Di will insist on accompanying the player back to the Capital Wasteland and "his people" immediately, and will call in his "breeding marker", or threaten to withhold it, to ensure he is taken along. If he does, he will not be available at the facility during later events.
- Huang Di has a natural ability to "mezz" anyone of direct Chinese descent and upbringing...which is to say, the Remnant Chinese of the Capital Wasteland, and the Shi Empire of the West Coast (if ever encountered). His ultimate aim will be to reinvent the Chinese Imperial Era in all its remembered glory, with himself as its Eternal Emperor. To this end, he will want to help Doc Barrows find a cure for ghoulification once he learns that the Remnant Chinese are ghouls themselves.
The Dog and Pony ShowEdit
Assuming the player sticks around, either to find an alternate way of getting into the genetics labs or just to see the sights, he will inevitably end up at the colony's one bar: the "Dog and Pony". Signs and conversations with the patrons will reveal that the main evening attraction, when the bar becomes a dedicated nightclub, is Alicia.
There's a lot of excitement about Alicia, because she's the only case where genetic experimentation by the animals themselves has actually resulted in a viable product from the Gene Tanks: a female Unicorn. Like Huang Di, replicating her has proven impossible. Graceful, rare, and beautiful, the entire colony dotes on her, and she's turned that adoration into a successful career as a pole dancer and torch singer.
She's also the catalyst for civil war. The Dogs love her when she pole-dances to raucous, thumping, popular music, which the Horses consider an uncouth travesty, especially when the Dogs yell out encouraging epithets (and VERY especially given her Horse-like similarities). Meanwhile, the Horses go all doe-eyed and sigh longingly over their mint juleps when she struts the stage in a red dress, crooning old love songs...while the Dogs growl about how sickening it all is.
Most riots in the "Dog and Pony" start off with a Dog shouting a lewd suggestion and a Horse throwing a punch "for the fair maiden's honor". While the Dogs would normally mop up the Horses with relative ease due to their combat experience, the more sociable Horses have virtually everyone else in the colony on their side and the weight of numbers usually tells against the Dogs, though Huang Di has been studiously neutral in adjudicating any formal disputes to date.
The Dogs have finally grown sick of this situation and decide to eliminate their only rivals for military power. They don't wish to oppose Huang Di, but he's failed to put the Horses in their proper place. It's time to take control of the colony's destiny and stop hiding in this damn hole for forever.
They can't do it without their weapons, however, which are kept locked in the Armory by their Wolf Officers between raids. The Horses, responding to repeated instances of pack beatings against single Troopers, carry swords both for self-defense and ceremony, but have to give them up at the door to the "Dog and Pony". The Dogs have a sympathizer working at the bar who will open the lockbox, releasing the swords to the Dogs, who will use them to slaughter the Horses and "anyone who gets in the way", thereafter storming the Officers' Quarters to seize the keys to the Armory. Once having taken over the colony by force, they will impose a fascistic military order and em-bark (ahem) on a path to conquest of all Nebraska.
Today, Nebraska, and tomorrow...!
Assuming the player discovers the plot, there are several possibilities:
- A high Charisma score allows the player to talk to the plot leaders about it, after which several Speech successes can either Defuse the Revolt (returning matters to Status Quo for a few years), or allow the player to Lead It. A successful Revolt places the player in indisputed control of the colony, though Huang Di will depart in sadness over his failure to sense and stop the plot, and seek his fate in the wastes...leaving the Research Head's Quarters to the player.
- The player can Betray The Plot to Horse Captain Chevy Chevalier, who immediately leads a pre-emptive counter-coup to install a Napoleonic Imperium. In the event the Horses are victorious, Huang Di recognizes their right to self-defense and gives tacit support to Chevy's Imperium, though grimly concerned over the loss of life.
- The player can Betray The Plot to Huang Di, who will arbitrate a peaceful return to Status Quo, which it turns out he has done several times before. If he has departed to recruit the Remnants, however, he will not be available to do this.
- Ignore the whole mess. One week after the player's arrival at the colony, if he does nothing to affect the outcome, the Revolt will fire during one of Alicia's more romantic torch songs...all the better to distract the Horses, so far as the Dogs are concerned.
- Leading a successful Dog Revolt earns the "Sieg Howl" Perk: a surviving Wolf Officer becomes a companion, with a speech option that triggers the spawning of several Dog Soldiers up to three times a day. Normal Dogs will also be friendly to the player and attack his enemies as per the Animal Friend (level 2) Perk. If the Wolf Officer is killed, he can be replaced by visiting the colony Armory.
- Betraying The Plot to Chevy earns one of three rewards depending on the player's Karma...which Horses can sense. The player gets the refitted retrovirus Doc Barrows needs, plus:
- An Evil player gets a substantial reward of Caps, and is then ejected from the colony with orders never to return on pain of death.
- A Neutral player gets the Perk of "Imperial Arbiter", under which he is requested to open trade routes with Capital Wasteland factions. Doing so (through speech options made available with Uncle Roe at Canterbury Commons) earns twice the Caps of the Evil reward plus a significant XP reward. The player may also return to visit the colony at any time, with a Guest Room reserved for their use.
- A Good player get the "Imperial Ambassador" Perk. They are requested to establish a military alliance with the Brotherhood of Steel, seen by the Horses as a "fellow order of chivalry". Convincing Elder Lyons (or his daughter) of the value of such an arrangement earns the same rewards as the Neutral reward, with the exception that instead of Caps, the player is given a companion Horse Lieutenant, a mare who commands Horse Troopers in the same way as the Wolf Officer commands Dogs Soldiers, noted above. If killed, however, she cannot be replaced, as the player has lost the Horses' confidence.
- If trade agreements or a military alliance are made, Moreau caravans and patrols should start appearing in the Capital Wasteland.
- If Huang Di heads to the Capital Wasteland in search of Chinese Remnants, he will eventually end up in charge of Mama Dolce's. Everything there will now incur a Karma hit if taken, but none of the Remnants will attack unless there is a theft or Huang Di so commands it. If the retrovirus is delivered to Doc Barrows, the Remnants will start returning to human form, at which time all the contents of Mama Dolce's will be available for the taking with no Karma hit or attacks (even Communist Chinese can be grateful!).
- Successfully obtaining the tweaked retrovirus and returning it to Doc Barrows results in a big XP gain, a big permanent discount on anything purchased anywhere in Underworld (even the Ninth Circle), and the gradual return of Underworld's ghouls to human form. Some insist on remaining ghouls, having gotten used to it, or being unwilling to face renewed mortality as a "fragile" human again. This also allows for the wonderful irony of Gob returning home to Underworld, having escaped his enslavement to Moriarty, in order to obtain the cure for ghoulification which he left to find in the first place. The Perk "Ghoul Friend" is suggested: the player permanently gains the effects of wearing a Ghoul Mask without having to wear or own one.
SIDE QUEST: Rest and RelaxationEdit
There are two Morale Officers in the colony: Blanco and Wood, both White Tigers. Wood is the Sports Enthusiast, promoting a new one to the general public every few months...almost none of which are ever really suited for underground play. His current passion is golf, for which he has taken over a large unoccupied storeroom as "driving range" and a smaller room next to it for putting practice. If the player accepts the offer to try whacking a ball on the range, it will ricochet right back at him and do some damage...but he'll also gain a small amount of XP each time for the "learning experience". If he does it more than twice, then when he turns around he'll find a crowd has gathered to laugh at him...and that's the morale-boost Wood claims he meant to engender.
- POSSIBLE PERK: "Luck Favors a Fool" - A one-time, permanent +1 increase to Luck after getting laughed at. Similar to getting +1 Luck for wearing a Wooden Top Hat or Naughty Nightwear, isn't it?
Blanco (sometimes called "Blamco" behind his back) is the Relaxation Specialist, and his favorite form of relaxation is playing with balloons, the more the merrier. He can't understand why anyone would do anything else, except of course eat and sleep (two things he proudly proclaims Tigers naturally excel at). He maintains a room with an old dried-out pool full of rubber balls and balloons with a ladder on the side. Another, smaller, pool still has water in it as well as a number of floating pool toys. The player can have a little fun with the game physics before moving on to do something elsewhere.
- POSSIBLE PERK: "Water Wings" - You know how to traverse the waterways in safety with your trusty flotation devices! +20% to movement speed in water.
GENERAL LAYOUT: Project MoreauEdit
Ground Level: Raven Rock Bunker Entrance.
1st Level: Guardroom, Armory, and Reception. From here, Dog Soldiers mount deep raids into the sprawling wastes, ostensibly scavenging the ruins of Omaha and surrounding environs for scrap and supplies under cover of darkness, but just as often attacking settlements for whatever can be had. Recently, Horse Troopers have been "overseeing" the returning Dogs to ensure that nothing is being skimmed off the swag. The Dogs, some of whom have indeed been skimming, resent the intrusion and call it an attack on their honor. The player, visiting here after Chevy's tour, may witness an argument and a brief fight, as well as various goods and junk scattered all over the area in various states of (dis)organization.
2nd Level: Living Quarters. Originally for West Tek workers, split into areas for Technicians, Department Leads, and Guests (the best rooms, as these were for visiting government functionaries including Enclave movers and shakers). Currently, the hoi polloi of the colony live in these areas, with Species Leaders (except Huang Di) inhabiting the Guest rooms. Department Lead rooms are occupied by the actual Department Leads for the Engineers (Rats) and Theoretical Scientists (Monkeys). Technicians' quarters are held by those "common" animals with the income to afford the privilege; one of these can be rented by the player on a day-to-day basis.
3rd Level: Cafeteria, Common Lounge, Hygeiene, and Research Head's Quarters. The Cafeteria is much as it's always been, though Oxen (one-headed Brahmin, on two legs, who serve you food? Crazy!) are the ones wearing aprons and chef's hats now. The Common Lounge, a wide-open room with a central dais and a bar on one side, has been transformed into a nightclub called the "Dog and Pony" (after the majority of its clientele). Huang Di resides in the Research Head's Quarters, where a lot of information about Project Moreau and the creation of the Zodiac animals can be found...if the player and Huang Di are on cordial terms. Hygeiene is the only route to Level Four, as these include the "clean rooms" of the various labs. A scanner check to ensure cleanliness before entry keeps most of the colony's residents in regular association with the uses of soap...which is more than can be said for most folks in the Capital Wasteland!
4th Level: Coding Room, Bioexperimentation, Processing, and Bypass. The Bypass has been hewn out of the surrounding rock, immediately adjacent to the normal level entrance, in order to allow traffic directly down to Level 5 without intruding upon anyone working in the labs. The Coding Room is for the input, output, and modification of genetic code. It can be used to create a computer simulation of what a given creature should look like as a result of various tweaks, which the Monkeys find a harmless bit of amusing distraction (ala the game Spore). Any coding committed to actual development is electronically sent to Bioexperimentation, a series of vats which cobble together the various amino acids necessary. A monitor outside the tanks runs a checklist for compatibility, and if 100% is reached, a simple button press sends the completed DNA to Processing. Several days later, a fully-grown specimen will be decanted from a Gene Tank, having receieved a complete Presidentially-Approved General Equivalency Education (GEE!) and Basic Socio-Military Indoctrination from the neural transmitters implanted within the tank itself. This information has, of course, been modified by Dr. Moreau's confessional transmission to include all the nasty details of reality.
5th Level: Industry (formerly the Kennels), Barracks, and Common Living Quarters. After the Zodiac species took over, they realized that there were altogether too many of them to live exclusively in the humans' quarters upstairs. At the same time, they refused to go back into the Kennels, which were nothing more than cramped cages stacked on cages with he barest of sanitary considerations. These were knocked down and torn apart, the scrap being used to kick-start the basis of a small foundry running off the facility's power grid. The tools this provided allowed for hewing into the local bedrock and limestone to carve out living warrens. As the colony's space expanded, so did its population, with the Gene Tanks being pressed into service to create more citizens. The Commons are now an ongoing and extensive "planned community" with a wide central traffic lane that branches to either side for small shops, personal dwellings, storage rooms and even a movie theatre. Alcohol and loud music, however, are prohibited below 3rd Level, so for booze and dancing the "Dog and Pony" is the only option...which also ensures that those who go there must shower on the way back.
CHAIN OF RESEARCHEdit
1940s: Barbara McClintock (American, historical) discovers "jumping DNA" (transposons) while studying corn genetics. This lays the groundwork for all Pan-Immunity Virion and Forced Evolutionary Virus research.
1950s: Francis Crick and James Watson (British and American, historical) create the DNA model.
2002: West Tek founded, using its power within the military-industrial complex and ties to the shadow government to absorb the National Institutes for Mental Health and Human Genome Research.
2003: Human Genome Sequence complete (historical).
2055: West Tek's work in (unsuccessfully) developing a counter to the New Plague lays the foundation for their later research into FEV.
2073: Pan-Immunity Virion Project begun with aim of combating the expected Red Chinese use of biological warfare.
2075 - 2076: Animal experiments, beginning with single-celled organisms (after which PIV is renamed FEV), are highly successful. Testing moves on to flatworms, white mice, rabbits, raccoons, dogs and chimpanzees. A number of the raccoons escape, two pairs of which evade being hunted and exterminated. Increases in size, intellect, and immunities to disease and radiation are prominently noted, as well as increases in aggression amongst most of the test species.
2077, February: Not to be outdone, and with support from its friends in the Enclave shadow government, West Tek continues pursuit of von Felden's animal research as a mirror to the Mariposa "Super Soldier" program. Dr. Richard Moreau, one of America's top animal geneticists, is tapped to head the program at a new facility built outside Omaha, Nebraska.
THE TALE OF RICHARD GREYEdit
At some point, the player will find computer records to the effect that the bombs are falling, and that Doctor Richard Moreau's helicopter flight from a medical conference in Anchorage was re-routed to Nevada's Vault 8 "for the duration of the emergency". Unable to leave due to the Vault's status as an experimental control, Moreau remained in contact with Omaha via his personal communications briefcase and used his medical expertise to become one of the Vault's chief doctors.
From 2077 onwards, Moreau continued to collaborate with Omaha, secretly obtaining medical samples and other data from his unconscious patients to augment the project's work. Even when the Vault opened in 2090, he elected to stay in order to continue his research, having become more and more detached from humanity during his years underground. In 2091, impatient to "cross the Zodiac threshold", he abducted a Vault City resident and injected him with a retroviral compound. Developed in Omaha, the compound was meant to confer the canine ability to resist radiation, but instead triggered a transmogrification that turned the hapless Vault dweller into a ravening monstrosity.
Initially, Moreau was able to throw off suspicion by claiming he'd been attacked by a wasteland mutant, but the placement of the attack and lack of other witnesses led to an investigation and the discovery in 2092 of blackened bits of the missing dweller's Vault uniform in Moreau's furnace. The discovery of his collaboration notes thereafter would have sealed his fate but for the intervention of the Overseer, acting under orders from Vault-Tec to spare his life.
Not that this was meant with any particular humanity: Moreau's "funny-animal" projects had long been considered a drain on resources by the rest of the FEV project leads, whose Super Mutant-related research dominated the overall program. He was meant to be dragged off to the Poseidon rig and be formally disgraced before the Enclave leadership so that his project could be dismantled.
Instead, Moreau sent one final transmission to Omaha, triggering a mass cage release and granting full access to the facility to its inmates. His final blow struck, he fled into the wastes, changing his name to Richard Grey with the intent of restarting his life on a clean slate.
The rest is Fallout history.
Despite the results of the Great War, the Enclave still meant to one day destroy Communist China, and so Project Moreau continued forward despite the fact that its namesake Research Head had been diverted to Vault 8. Eventually, the FEV-driven anthropomophism of the animal subjects gave him inspiration for a new twist on the project.
The Chinese Zodiac, even as late as 2077, remained a system which hundreds of millions of Chinese considered authentic enough to believe in. Its incorporation into much of Chinese culture and history made it a powerful symbological weapon, if it could be harnessed as such. What better means than to uplift each of the twelve animal species which made up the Zodiac, and set them to rage against Chinamen, driving fear into their superstitious hearts?
Moreau personally drove changes in the project to refine and perfect his concept for these animal warriors, especially in that they had to actually look like good representations of the Zodiac animals. Malformed or hideous results were terminated quickly, while "whatever looks good" was retained. Zodiac animals were designed to look like they formed from nature, rather than human hands, which caused immense delays and cost overruns during the twelve years of their development.
Ironically enough, these delays and expenses provided Moreau's detractors with plenty of ammunition to attack his pet project, long before the Vault City Incident.
SPECIES, ASTROLOGICAL ASPECTS, AND PURPOSES:
(artwork links are used without endorsement, are completely safe for work, and represent theoretical as opposed to final designs)
- Rat (Mercury/Water/Black) - http://www.furaffinity.net/view/2648760/ - Core uplift, preceding Monkey research. Originally intended as Urban Infiltrators. Highly intelligent, they form almost all of the colony's Engineering Department and focus on practical applications for technology. Rats often work with Monkeys on various projects, but generally consider their simian counterparts to be "ivory tower eggheads".
- Monkey (Venus/Metal/White) - http://www.furaffinity.net/view/2645521/ - Core uplift due to similarity with humans, intended for jungle deployments as Light Infantry. When not teaching other animals advanced classes in the colony's several classrooms, they provide the colony with its primary source of Theoretical Scientists, delving into the nature of physical laws and creating new avenues of research. They speak of the Rats behind their backs as "beer-swilling grease monkeys", and then laugh at their own wit.
- Dragon (Jupiter/Wood/Blue) - http://www.furaffinity.net/view/2768652/ - Huang Di, the sole Golden Komodo Dragon, developed in the late stages of the project as a purely psychological ops function. Seemingly immortal, he serves as the colony's best single Doctor and its indisputed leader.
- Ox (Mercury/Water/Black) - http://www.furaffinity.net/view/1469874/ - Intended as "Battle Bulls" (or more classically, Minotaurs), Oxen turned out to be too docile for combat even when uplifted, with some rare exceptions. They were retained for further ungulate-related research, as well as to see if the exceptions couldn't be made into the rule. Currently, Oxen provide the bulk of service industry support and heavy labor...they can be found manning shops, cleaning up around the colony, or swinging picks and hammers in 5th Level's tunnels.
- Horse (Mars/Fire/Red) - http://www.furaffinity.net/view/1617842/ - Intended as Foot Cavalry, they make excellent light infantry on open ground or hilly terrain, with a second branch distilled from the Percheron breed meant originally as heavy-weapons fire support. The Percherons currently assist the Oxen with heavy labor, while the other Horses consider themselves to be "essential reserves" in the (unlikely) event the Dogs need help invading an evil empire or defending the colony in extremis. The Horses therefore see virtually no action, as the Dogs don't want their colorful uniforms gadding about the countryside and otherwise see no particular use for them in "a real war". As a result, the Horses stay home and engage in elaborate social rituals similar to a series of Civil War-era Southern cotillions. They adore anything Napoleonic, dressing in uniforms patterned after that period and discussing things like how Ney's great cavalry charge at Waterloo would have succeeded if only they'd been there to break open Wellington's infantry squares.
- Dog (Venus/Metal/White) - http://www.furaffinity.net/view/2657180/ - The original aim of the pre-Zodiac concept for Project Moreau. Dog Soldiers are fast, tough, naturally radiation-resistant, and absolutely no-nonsense about warfare: "what we do, is killin', and we're damn good at what we do". Because of this, they hate the Horses and their "gentlemanly" affectations with a passion. Unfortunately, the Horses are much better at making friends, leaving the Dogs as socially-ostracized, so that they usually restrict themselves to their barracks and the "Dog and Pony" when not on patrol. Dogs are also vulnerable to a Charismatic human, something for which their ancestors were often bred, and which was exploited in their genetic coding to ensure command reliability. As with Horses, there are a couple of Dog breeds, the Soldiers all being of the Doberman, German Shepherd, and/or Pit Bull persuasions. Their Officers, however, are all Wolves, which the Dogs find impossible to cow into submission.
- Tiger (Jupiter/Wood/Blue) - http://www.furaffinity.net/view/100119/ - Completed mainly as an "ain't it cool" thing to impress the Black Budget boys, White Tigers are singularly useless for actual combat operations though they were promoted as Combat Medics and Arctic Shock Troops due to their fur color. There are exactly two in the colony, both dedicated to improving the morale of their fellow citizens (as noted in "Rest and Relaxation", above). And yes, the astrological aspect is why one insists on calling himself Tiger Wood.
- Rabbit (undeveloped) - Although early FEV experiments included Rabbits, their development resulted in incomprehensible mental problems ranging from uncontrollable aggression to bouts of madness being triggered by seemingly inconsequential things such as musical tones. All development batches were terminated, although hope remained right up to the end that Close Assault Gun Bunnies could be made viable.
- Snake (undeveloped) - Various designs were promulgated and considered, but anything including thumbs was thought to detract from the intended appearance of an actual snake. Temporarily (and eventually permanently) shelved while other species were developed, in the hope that something better than "Suicide Mouth-Grenade Snake" could be thought up.
- Ram (undeveloped) - No one could think of a way to make sheep scary, aside from setting them on fire. A Flamethrower-Wielding Ram was considered and hastily placed on the back burner, but kept in the "promotional material" to show that something was in mind...like the Suicide Mouth-Grenade Snake.
- Rooster (undeveloped) - Fighting Cocks with bladed weaponry were the working concept, but enough was on the Project's mammalian platter to prevent expansion into the avian realm for the (then-)foreseeable future.
- Pig (undeveloped) - Fly Lords (essentially, half-feral guerilla loners) were a promising early concept, but put aside in favor of completing development on more impressive-looking designs such as the Percherons and Dogs, so as to impress the Black Budget types. It didn't help that some of the trial subjects seemed to disappear during the annual West Tek Company Employee Bar-B-Ques.
FURTHER INSPIRATION http://www.furaffinity.net/view/1978015/ http://www.furaffinity.net/view/2279256/ http://www.furaffinity.net/view/576987/ http://www.furaffinity.net/view/2282764/ http://www.furaffinity.net/view/551363/ http://www.furaffinity.net/view/2089326/ http://www.furaffinity.net/view/167230/ http://www.furaffinity.net/view/2310180/ http://www.furaffinity.net/view/2881719/