don't masquerade with the guy in shades
* There's brief mentions of drug use and a lynching in this app, and there's a couple parts that get a bit violent.
When you tell your story, sometimes you can’t remember what’s the truth and what’s a hoax. You can recall that you had a different face, a different name, and a different personality, but lying has become second nature to you to the point that there are times where you’re not sure if you’re actually
lying. You’ve shrouded yourself in mystery, and few people know about who you really are. Everyone who asks for your history gets a new story: you’re a synth, you’re the president, or you’re a ghoul with a really good plastic surgeon. Maybe all three at the same time. You always find some way to weasel your way out of talking about yourself. Lying, avoiding the question, coming up with some elaborate joke to tell instead; you’ve done it all.
Truth is, you hate telling the truth.
You were young once. You were a kid who’d seen a lot growing up. To be fair, everyone had seen their fair share of shit in the Commonwealth. Raiders ransacking homes, feral ghouls tearing people apart. The world has been a cesspool of betrayal and hurt ever since you can remember, and you came to the conclusion that the world was simply meant to be that way. You didn’t like it, but you understood that some things couldn't change.
In your youthful days, you had a special kind of hate for synths. They were artificially made people that hailed from the mysterious Institute and they looked startlingly lifelike. Human, even. But they weren’t people, not really; that’s what you told yourself. To think that some machine could go masquerading around as a person sickened you, and you hated the thought that such an abomination could walk freely among real humans. Most of them truly believed that they were human, and that disgusted you beyond belief.
You convinced yourself that they were infiltrators looking to ruin what remained of humanity, and you wanted every last one of them to drop dead.
There were a few boys your age who shared your warped ideas on synths. There was some sort of a kinship in your hate, something that brought you together to spit on anyone you thought was an artificial human being. You looked at each other and called each other brothers even though none of you shared a drop of blood. You and those other boys formed a gang: the University Point Deathclaws; the Deathclaws for short.
You loved to torment anyone you thought was a synth. There was a thrill in feeling like you were better than them, like you were better than some rusty bucket of bolts wrapped up in eerily humanlike skin. Man and machine were meant to be completely separate things, and you wanted to make that clear to everyone who had ever met you.
Everything started off as actions that could easily be dismissed as the aftermath of some angry, rebellious teens who just needed an outlet to unleash their anger. Sometimes you’d be the culprit behind some property damage. Sometimes it escalated into beat downs. At some point along the way, you lost track of how many skulls you bashed into the ground just because you thought they weren’t “real.”
But the day you helped tie a rope around a synth’s neck and left him to hang to his death was when you realized you’d gone too far. There was fear in his eyes, something that felt all too human to ignore. The way he struggled and fought in hopes to see another day was a horrific sight that you can’t forget about no matter how hard you try, and God do you wish you could forget those bulging eyes.
Looking back on it, you’re not so sure if the man actually was a synth or not. All you knew was that he was human enough to convince you to leave the Deathclaws for good.
You wanted to get away from it all. You wanted to isolate yourself, figure out who you were, decide on whether or not to forgive yourself for having a hand in brutally killing something -- no, someone -- that didn’t deserve it. The Commonwealth was not an easy place to live in by yourself, with raider scum and danger lurking in every corner, but somehow you managed to survive. Even when you spent most of your nights trying to forget the atrocities you committed with too many pills and too many needle scars were branded into your arms, you got to live to see another day.
Bit by bit, you put yourself back together. You left behind the pills and the needles, deciding that you weren’t going to touch them ever again. You settled on surprisingly fertile soil, deciding that you would live out the rest of your life as a farmer. A simple life, one where you wouldn’t have much to worry about.
And then one day, you met her.
Barbara was something else. A sight for sore eyes, an ethereal beauty. Her face belonged on the covers of magazines, that much you were certain of. Vividly, you recall that she spoke passionately and laughed loudly. You couldn’t say that you’d ever met anyone quite like her, and you’re not sure if you will ever meet someone even remotely like her again.
She didn’t belong in such a disastrous world, no; she deserved to live in utopia.
From the moment she walked into your life, you just knew she was going to change it somehow. To this day, you wonder how she ever fell in love with someone like you, someone who paled so much in comparison to her, but you suppose it doesn’t matter now. All you know is that you loved her beyond measure and you were thankful for every moment you spent with her.
You’re especially thankful that you were able to share “I do’s” with her.
The two of you wanted to start a family together, but life threw a wrench in your plans. Try as you might, it seemed that you were never able to have kids. So you accepted that maybe family life wasn’t for the two of you, and that was okay. You had each other. That’s what mattered most.
But karma has a funny way of getting back at you. It creeps up on you when you least expect it and it hurts like hell.
The Deathclaws crawled back into your life. Somehow, they’d found some damning information about Barbara: she was a synth. You don’t know how they figured this out, and you can’t say that you give a fuck as to how they found out either, but you do know that you were shocked. You didn’t know about it; Barbara was convinced that she was human and not once did she ever say anything that alluded to her being a synth. She seemed so genuine and honest that the thought she was a fake human being never crossed your mind, and apparently, it never crossed hers either. The whole thing flashed by in a blur with you trying to fathom how the Deathclaws found you, how they found out about Barbara, and how to feel about the fact that you had married a synthetic person.
Next thing you knew, you lost the love of your life at the hands of the Deathclaws.
There wasn't a chance in hell you'd let them get away with taking the one good thing you had right out of your life. Sure, you knew you deserved to lose her for some of the things you did in your youth, but she didn’t deserve to suffer a gruesome fate. Consumed by a drive of hate, you knew you’d get vengeance for her, no matter the cost.
One by one, you killed off these men you once called your brothers, and you did so gladly. Once again, you were slamming skulls against the cold hard ground, except this time you did so with enough force to break them and demolish their owners. Some of them you strangled with your bare hands, others received a well-aimed bullet to the brain, and a select few earned extra bullets littered throughout their bodies.
You were certain that every last one of them deserved to suffer, but... why didn't their deaths make you feel any better?
You couldn’t stand to look at the man in the mirror anymore. Reflected back at you was a man who made too many mistakes, a man who deserved every little bad thing that happened to him. You got cosmetic surgery so that you wouldn’t have to look at that man anymore. Whenever you looked back into the mirror, you saw someone else; someone who wasn’t a punk kid, someone who hadn’t seen his entire world crash and burn before his eyes. You saw a stranger, fit to mold as you pleased.
A man with a different face, a different name, a different story.
Somebody had heard that you slaughtered the Deathclaws. Somebody who really wanted them gone. Quite a few somebodies, actually. They tracked you down, even though you had made it a bit harder for them with your altered appearance and the fact that you were going by a different name, and they came to you with an invitation: they wanted you to join the Railroad. They called themselves liberators for synths, and since you wiped out a gang that thrived off of terrorizing and murdering synthetic lifeforms, they looked at you as if you were a hero.
You realized that they must have had no idea that you were once a Deathclaw yourself, and you planned on keeping it that way.
You felt it was only right to help them. After everything you’d done to spread hatred towards synths, and how you inadvertently hurt the one who mattered most to you, you felt compelled to join so that you could make up for past mistakes. It was an opportunity to change yourself, and you were willing to take it.
You’d never been in an organization like the Railroad, but you took to it like a fish to water. Secrecy, code names, code words, secret symbols. Picking up on the lingo was easy, and being able to be anyone but yourself was even easier. You remember getting surgery on your face again, and you had to get used to looking at yet another completely new man whenever you saw your reflection.
You’ve changed your face a lot throughout your life, but you’ve never been completely satisfied with who you see in the mirror.
Shortly after you joined the Railroad, things went to hell. The Institute didn’t like that you thought of synths as people. They saw them as nothing more than advanced pieces of machinery, as property rightfully belonging to them. Once they found out where the Railroad’s headquarters were, they barged in and slaughtered most of your fellow agents, then slipped away without a trace. When the remaining members regrouped, it was time for change. Time to rebuild from scratch.
Railroad work was all that mattered to you. You didn't have the luxury of having family and friends to interact with, so all of your time was spent on helping the Railroad. Among the rest of the agents, you were perhaps the most dedicated, staying up throughout entire nights to make sure that some poor synth reached a safehouse without a hitch. You helped come up with new code words, new ways to help synths, and you sweet talked new recruits into joining. Though you were never considered the leader, you might as well have been with how much you pulled the strings behind the scenes. Without you, the Railroad would have never gotten its first synth out of the Commonwealth and into the relative safety of the nearby Capital Wasteland.
Some believed that you should have just stopped the Railroad altogether. Some days, you thought the same thing, but you already poured too much work and effort to abandon it. Years of your life had been dedicated to the Railroad, and though you were certain one day it would fall apart for good, you wouldn’t let it go down without a fight. Even when it got hit hard by the Institute yet again, you helped pull everyone together.
You started calling yourself “Deacon” after that. At the time, you felt it was fitting. Drastic times called for desperate measures, and you thought religion might give you some sort of answer. Changing your name to one that related to a church sounded right to you, and while the name stuck with you, being a religious man did not.
You lied too many times to honestly say that you were a man of faith.
The more you aged, the more you lied. Everything you did felt like a lie. You had to lie to your fellow agents, lie to synths, lie to everyone. One lie only led to another, and you had to accept that your lips were specially tailored for lying. You were filled to the brim with secrets you hid from everyone you knew, and though you cared about the Railroad like they were family, you still lied to them all the time. Not every word you said needed to be fake, yet most of them were anyway. Someone would ask you a simple question to try to get to know you, like where you were from, and you'd tell them that you were an alien or something equally obscure for no real reason you could come up with.
You gathered information and intel, constantly looking for ways to help you and your crew out. Somewhere along the way, you became an encyclopedia of old world facts and secrets only you knew.
You watched the Railroad fall apart and pick itself up over and over again, and every time you had to put a fake smile on your face and reassure everyone that things would be fine and dandy. Just another lie spilling out of your mouth you supposed. You realized that you had to be the one to boost morale, the one to constantly crack off with some dumb joke and some sarcastic comment.
It felt like so much rested on your shoulders, and if someone asked if you needed help with anything, you'd lie and say "no."
You remember coming across a weird lead out of the blue: something about how there was somebody locked up in one of those old pre-war vaults where they stuffed a bunch of people in them to avoid nuclear war, and how they could be coming out of there sometime soon. As per usual, you kept quiet about it, only giving away snippets and lies of what you were up to whenever anyone asked.
And then it happened. Somebody -- a parent desperate to find a lost son -- emerged from the vault, just like you were hoping for. Their quest to find their young boy brought them to the Railroad. They’d gathered enough evidence to believe that their son was locked up in the Institute, and they believed the Railroad was their best shot to get in.
Luckily, the Railroad was able to find a way that would get this vault dweller into the Institute, and in the process, gained the dweller as their own eyes on the inside; their own agent hiding among the enemy. One of the Railroad’s head engineers built a machine intended to teleport the distraught parent into the Institute, but after they stepped onto the machine, that was the last you saw of them. In the blink of an eye, they vanished, and you can only assume that they made it to the Institute.
You sincerely hope that the teleporter got them into the Institute, but you can't confirm or deny it because in that same moment they're whisked away to who knows where, you also happened to be whisked away to a little place called the Capitol.