Hoosier Wasteland: A Short Story (Prologue)

Jaucke squinted his eyes at the horizon, his gaze squared on the green clouds coming from the general direction of Base Crater. He had gotten lucky with dodging radstorms lately, but this one was coming directly for them. "That storm looks like a nasty one. My Geiger is going off already." He heard from his Assaultron friend, Kothra. Out in the middle of this grassy, hilly plain, they had plenty of sight on the sky, but no protection. Hope this bunker's airtight, he thought.


2 weeks ago marked Jaucke's 4th year of nomadry, having wandered and explored pretty much the whole circluar area of about 50 miles out from the old city of Indianapolis. Jaucke (pronounced "jock") himself was the son of an Enclave scientist, born in 2273. His dad was one of the last Enclave scientists to be travelling eastward (his group had suffered a comical number of setbacks, apparently), and his mom was similar but died after childbirth. Soon after a particularly gruesome skirmish, he realized he couldn't keep his 6-month-old son safe as long as his ties with the Enclave remained. So, when the fateful night came, he snuck off in the night towards an old town they had spotted, and left his son at the door to the old council building, alongside 5 items:

  1. A note,
  2. A Pip-Boy,
  3. A holotape (which just turned out to be a voice recording of the note),
  4. An old journal,

and finally, a metal vial containing some greenish liquid.

Now, what was that greenish liquid in the vial? Well, in the note, he explained everything.

"Dear Residents of New Bargersville,

It is with upmost importance that you see this and pass on the information enscribed in this note and/or holotape, as well as these two other possesions, to my son when he is of age. My name is Dr. Jacob Myers, and I am currently an Enclave scientist that is travelling to our group's rendezvous in the Capital Wasteland. On our trip, it has become apparent that my son is not able to complete this journey without being in danger of being killed, and so I entrust to you the hope that this location will allow a safer upbringing of him. His name is Jaucke Myers. He means the world to me, and I can't stand the thought of him dying at my hand any longer. I include with him 3 items that I feel are necessary to continuing my legacy through him. First, my personal Pip-Boy 3000 MK-IV. Second, a journal recovered from a doctor at Vault 13. Finally, my life's work: a single vial of a perfected version of a virus. Not just any virus, but THE FEV strain used to create the intelligent deathclaws in the west; you may have even heard rumors of them, even if you know nothing about anything else I just said. I don't feel like classifying information is so important so far away from the Enclave, which is why i'm even disclosing this. My only, and final request I make of him, is to finally implement my work by any means neccessary. Please, keep him safe at all costs, if you can. Sincerely, Dr. Jacob Myers."

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Yep, Jaucke's old man was one of the last Enclave scientists still dedicated to his original mission.

Turns out, that guy made a damn good choice, because Jaucke spent the next 13 years as a farmer in one of the few areas untouched by the hell that was radiation. By some stroke of luck, this particular area was spared from the fallout during the war (mainly due to a lack of nearby targets), and the lake that fed the large creek used for water by the village formed after the fact, granting the land a level of viability rivaled only by areas reborn using a GECK. In short, Jaucke got to experience one of the most peaceful upbringings one could have in a wasteland; just farming corn & practicing his aim with an old .308 in a shed.

Then, his luck caught up with him.

Raiders. The word every settler damn near has a heart attack to if heard in a serious tone. Such a safe haven is very much noticeable in the wasteland, and those who notice don't usually have the best of intentions. 4 years ago, when he was 13, Jaucke awoke in the middle of the night. That rude awakening was due to a sudden roar of gunfire erupting from outside. As his surrogate parents hid him in the cellar and armed themselves (he only knew them by "mom" and "dad"), he kept asking what was going on, but was shushed. His step-mother retrieved the 5 items, and gave them to him in the cellar. Then, she gave him one last look before quietly shutting the top door.

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That was the last face from the town of New Bargersville that he would ever see.

He never slept that night, too afraid that the gunfire would come closer. When morning came, he dared to peek above the cellar. Of course, the first thing he saw there was pool of blood on the floor.

He doesn't think about what he saw after that. Not in his worst nightmares.

All he remembers is that he retrieved his .308 stashed in the shed, some dried food, and some other guns & crude armor, and filled his canteen from the parts of the creek where the water hadn't gone red yet. After that, he started his journey as a nomad.


Jaucke had set off in this direction a few days prior, having bought some info off of some new guy in the Bloom for about 50 caps. He hadn't visited there very often, the city being a little too far south for his taste, but he decided to check up there just on a whim. What was this info? Apparently, this guy had located some untouched pre-war bunker that, according to some notes at a nearby home, some prepper had kitted out with stolen items from a nearby military base. Problem was, it was locked behind a Pip-Boy terminal. Well, he had a Pip-Boy, and he wasn't going to pass up an opportunity like this. Unfortunately, this radstorm was putting a heavy time limit on this, as he didn't bother buying rad supplies before the trip. Stupid move, yes, but this area wasn't too prone to radstorms to warrant any absolute necessity of these. Well, it was looking more like a necessity with every passing minute this thing got closer. Here's hoping, he thought.

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