How the Institute could be stopped without the sole survivor – A fan theory. (Warning: long)

Content of the article: "How the Institute could be stopped without the sole survivor – A fan theory. (Warning: long)"

Recently I watched this video detailing how, without the influence of the sole survivor, the Institute would have the best chance at winning the war of the Commonwealth due to one key fact; teleportation.

The video raises a very good point, the Institute could get to anybody anywhere whenever they wanted and it's pretty much impossible that anybody would ever be able to figure out how to get to them.

So, it got me thinking…is there any possible way that anybody could get to and possibly stop the Institute without the sole survivor's help?

And I pretty quickly came up with something…

It might be a little bit of a stretch, and I'm probably making a lot of assumptions as to how certain characters may act or react, but I reckon it's definitely possible.

I mean, think about how many things have to go right for the official canon story to happen the way it does. This theoretical scenario actually has a considerably smaller number of things that need to go right than that!

Nick Valentine.

Hear me out here.

Ok so in the canon of game, Nick has been captured by Skinny Malone and his crew, but without the sole survivor's help, knowing Nick, he'd probably smooth-talk his way outta that jam soon enough. He knows Skinny personally, and knows how to push the right buttons.

So Nick escapes Skinny's clutches…and we know from his conversation with the sole survivor in the game that he was already investigating Kellogg.

Let's say a rumor pops up in Diamond City that someone saw Kellogg talking to some synths. Now the whole city is like "That Kellogg guy is working for the Institute! I knew something was off about him! He's probably a synth himself!"

Nick picks up on this. Wanting answers himself about the Institute and why they threw him to the kerb, he's now thinking if the rumors are true, Kellogg may be his best lead to the Institute yet.

Nick already knows Kellogg is a dangerous and skilled mercenary so I feel he would go find himself a better gun than his weedy little pipe revolver.

He then informs the mayor he's investigating the rumours about Kellogg but McDonough stonewalls him about Kellogg's house key, saying rumors are not good enough reason for Nick to invade someone's personal residence.

So then Nick sweet-talks the mayor's secretary into giving him the key instead.

Nick snoops around Kellogg's house and would no doubt find that hidden switch for that hidden room quickly enough.

He finds Kellogg's cigars and calls in Dogmeat to help track Kellogg down.

He finds Fort Hagan, shoots some synths, hacks some terminals to get some Protectron help and shut down some turrets, and works his way down to where Kellogg awaits.

Kellogg is expecting the sole survivor and is quite surprised to see a synth dressed in a trench coat standing before him instead.

Nick has now seen plain as day Kellogg is working with synths, which means he's definitely in cahoots with the Institute. Nick wants answers, but Kellogg is not too willing to give them, so they fight.

Nick is a trained detective, so he knows how to handle himself in a gunfight. With a good amount of skill, and maybe a bit of that ol' Nick Valentine luck, he scores a headshot on Kellogg and blows his brains out.

Standing sombrely over his fallen foe, Nick notices something among the splattered grey matter. Neural cybernetics, and they look kinda similar to the processors he shot out of some of the synths' heads so, on a hunch, he picks it up and takes it to Doctor Amari in the Memory Den.

The two of them figure out the memories are encoded, and work out the whole two brains thing to crack it. Amari can't be one of those brains, she needs to control the process from the outside, so Nick goes to find some help.

He can only think of one person who'll be willing to help him crack those memories. Piper. A potential intimate look at Kellogg's life and his dirty dealings with the Institute AND potential clues to the who and where of the Institute itself? Yeah, there's no way she'd pass up that opportunity.

From Kellogg's memories, they see his visit to Vault 111 and his kidnapping of Shaun, not really new info to them, just another Institute abduction with Kellogg's help. Why from a vault, though? And why a baby? And why were the vault dwellers on ice? Questions that may be answered if they can track the Institute down.

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Then they learn of the teleportation from Kellogg's memory of being visited by X6-88, as well as about Virgil, a scientist who left the Institute and is hiding somewhere in the Glowing sea.

As a synth, Nick is not affected by radiation, so he sneaks his way past the dangerous creatures of the irradiated wasteland and finds that Children of Atom community hunkered in that crater, who direct him to Virgil's cave.

Virgil offers the same deal to Nick as he would have done the sole survivor. His know-how on building the teleporter in exchange for his FEV cure.

So now Nick needs to find somebody to help him build this thing.

There's no way he's going to The Brotherhood of Steel, they'll shoot him on sight.

He's heard of The Minutemen, the good guys willing to help anybody, but he's also heard of the Quincy massacre, which means they're all either disbanded or dead. Poor Preston Garvey and his group are gunned down by the raiders in Concord with no-one any the wiser.

That leaves The Railroad. Nick has heard the rumor about them floating around Diamond City, so he follows the Freedom Trail and finds their hideout under the old North Church.

His detective skills allow him to solve the puzzle to their hidden entrance, and so he talks to Des and Deacon.

"Well, this is certainly a first. We've had countless synths come to us trying to break out of the Institute, we've never had one that wants to break in!" Des comments bewilderedly.

Then Nick talks with Tinker Tom, who is able to make heads and tails of Virgil's super mutant scratch of teleporter instructions.

So, Des has Railroad agents start scavenging supplies to build this thing, in the meantime, Nick has one very important component to recover. A courser chip.

They learn of the courser hunting the escaped synth at Greenetech Genetics so Nick goes to take it out.

While Nick is off after the courser, Des consults with P.A.M, asking what would happen if they told Nick about Patriot before he goes to the Institute. P.A.M informs her that the Institute would most likely see Nick as quite the anomaly and would study him to try and find out find out why his mind is so brilliant as to be able to break into the Institute, accessing his programming…and his memories. On the surface, there is technology that can access memories in the Memory Den, so the Institute would definitely also have that technology, especially for accessing information in synth processors and memory banks.

From Nick's memories, they would see Des explaining about Patriot, and would certainly deduce Nick is there to sabotage them, so they would eliminate him, plus Patriot would be discovered and eliminated, meaning no more synths would able to escape.

Des agrees to hold off on informing Nick about Patriot for now.

"However…" P.A.M continues afterwards "…If Nick ever returns here, it would mean that they have already accessed his memories, and would likely never do so again without good reason, as they would believe they would not find anything new other than memories of the Institute. Not only that, it would mean Nick has gained their trust, further reducing the already low chance of them probing his memories again. It will then be safe to tell him of Patriot."

"Thank you, P.A.M, the Railroad would be nothing without you." Des praises.

Having taken out Kellogg already, it's not much of a stretch to assume Nick is able to eliminate the courser as well.

Courser chip in hand, Nick helps assemble the teleporter at the Taffington Boathouse, which the Railroad cleared out for their use.

Nick steps on the teleporter and…zap! He's in.

He then makes his way into the bowels of the Institute and finds synth child Shawn. Remembering him as the kidnapped kid from Kellogg's memories, Nick assures the kid he's gonna get him out of there, but synth child Shawn is scared and calls for Father.

Much like Kellogg, Father is expecting the sole survivor, so is quite surprised to find a synth prototype in a detective getup standing there.

"Wait…you're that synth prototype…the one that calls itself Nick Valentine…how in the world did you manage to get here?" A bewildered Father asks "My word, we must have programmed you better than we thought. You simply must be studied to further our scientific research!"

Nick, knowing showing resistance would likely get him blasted with Institute lasers from all directions, decides to play along.

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As P.A.M predicted, the Institute starts poking around in Nick's programming and his memories. They are unable to find anything too unusual in his programming but are finding his memories, his journey from lost synth prototype to ace Diamond City detective to finder of the Institute, most fascinating.

They learn of the surface world's view of the Insititute as the Commonwealth's boogeymen, snatching people in the night…this makes some of the scientists start to question the Institute's motivations, causing some unrest among the ranks. Unrest Nick wastes no time in fuelling further with some carefully-worded discussions about morality, knowing that kind of unrest can be used to his advantage.

The Institute also learn of Virgil and his FEV cure and how he trusts Nick. Super mutants smashing any synths they come across has been a bit of a problem for the Institute, so finding a solution to that problem is definitely something the Institute is interested in, They make a note that Virgil and his FEV cure are valuable assets they need to acquire, and sending normal synths or a courser will likely result in said valuable assets being destroyed, so they shelve the idea of retrieval for discussion later.

They also deem Nick as too fascinating a subject to destroy, so they keep him around as a sort of walking, talking anomalous museum piece, one they keep trying to study again and again to try and make heads or tails of, though they never bother to check his memories again, as they felt they wouldn't see anything new other than memories of being in the Institute. In their eyes this was obviously a complete waste of time. Again, as P.A.M predicted.

This suited Nick just fine, as he couldn't have them reading his thoughts on how to stop the Institute through his memories.

Nick now pretty much has freedom to roam the Institute as he sees fit, surreptitiously gathering information whenever he can, at one point learning of his escape with DiMA, that he wasn't just tossed out to the kerb like he thought. Learning the details of this only strengthens his belief that the Institute is bad news and sharpens his resolve that they need to be stopped.

He realises he needs to gain the Institute's trust…and there's only one way to do it…help bring Virgil back.

Knowing the Insititute already saw his memories of Virgil and how he trusts him, and knowing super mutants smashing synths is a problem for the Institute, Nick explains he may be able to convince Virgil to return…and with the FEV cure to the Institute could have an amazing new way to solve the problem of super mutants everywhere, and not just in the Commonwealth!

The Institute concedes it had already deemed a super mutant cure and it's creator as quite valuable assets, and so they agree that being able to retrieve Virgil not only without violence but also potentially have him come willingly is too great an opportunity to ignore.

So, the Institute fits Nick with his own fresh courser chip so he can teleport freely by himself, and then they send him back out into the Commonwealth.

Nick finds his way back to Virgil and explains his plan to gain the Institute's trust and use that to figure out how to stop them.

Virgil sees the logic in Nick's plan to gain the Institute's trust, plus knows he'll have access to the Institute's high-tech labs, his notes and his already-made sample of FEV cure, he'd be able to get to the stage of mass-producing the stuff in no time flat. He could then keep copies of the research notes and some mass-produced samples of the cure and be able to escape to the Commonwealth again when Nick pulls the preverbial trigger on the Institute, and from there be able to continue mass-producing the cure somewhere in the Commonwealth.

Nick returns to the Institute with Virgil in tow, promptly gaining the Institute's trust and unlimited access to being able to teleport. However, while the Institute does now trust him, Nick knows he still needs to be careful about his usage of the teleporter.

He returns to the Railroad. Thanks to P.A.M, Des knows it's now safe to tell him about Patriot. Nick promptly becomes a messenger between the Railroad and Patriot as they devise a plan on how to free the synths that want to be free before pulling the trigger on the Institute.

To keep the Institute's trust and help keep his usage of the teleporter from being too suspicious, Nick does some jobs for the Institute, such as retrieving that synth raider leader from the Libertalia with the help of X6-88.

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He also learns of Mayor McDonough being a synth. Quite a shocking revelation to be sure. So, he travels to Diamond City to confront the mayor with this info, only to find Danny Sullivan discovered the truth first. So, Nick and Piper confront the mayor in his office…and it inevitably ends with the mayor being gunned down.

Eventually, Nick and Patriot are able to teleport the rest of the Railroad into the Institute, liberating the synths that want to be free, sabotaging the Institute's nuclear reactor, grabbing Virgil and his mass-produced FEV notes and samples on the way out, teleporting outta there and blowing the place sky high.

Nick Valentine, destroyer of the Institute. Now there's a headline and a half for Piper!

There's just one more loose end…what happened to the guy they kept alive in that Vault? The one Nick and Piper saw in Kellogg's memories?

At some point while exploring the Institute's archives of their various operations looking for any valuable info to help with his plan, Nick found info about what happened at Vault 111 and where it is.

So, Nick and Piper pay Vault 111 a visit and find their way to the sole survivor…only to find, he didn't survive. A malfunction with his cryogenic pod meant when Father tried to release him remotely, it unfroze him but didn't release him. He died of starvation in his pod like everyone else in Vault 111, only it happened back when Nick was still trapped with Skinny Malone.

"Jeez, what a way to go. That's so horrible." comments Piper solemnly.

"Well…that's that, I guess." Nick replies.

Piper pauses for a moment as she looks at the corpse before her. "Why am I getting a weird vibe off of this guy? It's like a vibe of…destiny…like this guy was meant to change the fates of everyone and everything." She comments ominously.

"Huh…you know, I think I'm getting that kind of vibe off him, too" Nick agrees.

"Weird, right?" Piper responds. She pauses again for a moment, studying the corpse a bit more before continuing "So what's next for the great synth detective and destroyer of the Institute Nick Valentine?" she enquires.

"Well…I'm gonna go see if I can track down this DiMA character I learned about." Nick replies "Turns out I was not thrown to the kerb like garbage, apparently I escaped with this other prototype synth. My memories of this are kind of…fuzzy…it was a long time ago, and I think I was kind of out of it or something at the time as well, but I still wanna go thank him for helping me get out of there. According to some intel I found, he's holed up in some place called Acadia in Far Harbor. Once I'm done with that, I'll return to Diamond City and go back to just doing regular ol' detective work. Doing that is gonna feel like being on a permanent vacation after everything I went through to stop the Institute."

And with that, the story ends on a rather sad note.

What do you guys think? Certainly within the realms of possibility, I feel.

Source: reddit.com

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