After listening to DH, I took a week out of my regular writing schedule and wrote Fan Fiction. I thoroughly enjoyed Fallout 4, and there was one character in particular I was was extremely found of: Paladin Danse (because of course I was.)
He gets the worst ending ever, even by post-apocalyptic game standards. So, staying within the parameters of the story, I fleshed out a different ending without changing canon.
Even if you haven’t played Fallout 4, you should still get the story.
Part1: Second Chance for Paladin Danse
***2287 – Shortly After A Call to Arms but before the Sole Survivor Joins the Brotherhood of Steel***
“Something’s wrong,” Paladin Danse radioed as he nudged the dead super mutant.
“Second body, or is that the third?” Knight Cole looked over his shoulder. “Another Brotherhood patrol beat us here?”
“Don’t have the manpower to waste.” Scribe Fehl knelt beside the super mutant. “Unless there was a miscommunication at command.”
“Like that’s never happened.” Knight Cole crouched down beside Fehl. “Wasn’t energy weapons that killed him.”
“Something ripped him apart and was…”
When the scribe didn’t finish his sentence, Danse nodded. Not much would eat a super mutant, and while they all knew what would, no one wanted to jinx the mission by saying its name.
Glancing back at Cole, Fehl and the other two knights of his squadron, Danse knew none of them had ever faced a deathclaw. Super mutants had taken over the Revere Satellite Array nearby, and Command had expected them to be in the area when they sent Danse and his team to retrieve the tech.
The squad could handle muties. A deathclaw was something else altogether.
But there was tech to get, and Elder Maxson didn’t tolerate failure.
Danse looked ahead at the ruins of the 200 year old military convoy. Not much in the way of cover or high ground.
“Eyes and ears open,” Danse said as he motioned the team forward, their power armor making stealth almost impossible.
Rattling inside the lead truck of the convoy made him pause. A deathclaw couldn’t fit inside the truck. Then he glimpsed mismatched power armor.
“Raiders,” he radioed back to the team.
“What would they want with tech?” Scribe Fehl asked.
“Scavenging for whatever they can find,” Cole said.
The derision wasn’t lost on Danse, and a past he’d rather forget flickered through his brain. He silenced the thoughts and focused on finding the tech and getting his team out alive. As he started to move forward, movement from the left caught his eye.
Turning, Danse watched a deathclaw bound over the embankment and rake its claws through Knight Cole and his power armor as if he were wearing tissue paper.
Damn, these things were faster than he remembered.
Before Danse could unleash more than a couple shots from his laser rifle into it, a second deathclaw raced toward him from the opposite side. Danse aimed for its legs, knowing his only chance was to slow it enough that he could kill it before it got close enough to use its claws on him.
Fehl screamed behind him and went silent as the smell of ozone clouded the air.
Reloading His laser rifle, Danse pumped blast after blast into the second deathclaw. One final shot and the deathclaw fell against him, its claws scraping against his power armor as it collapsed on top of him and knocked him to the ground.
The second beast screamed, an agonizing howl that reverberated across the hills. Tearing through the last Knight, it charged Danse.
Throwing the first one off him, Danse rolled away but the deathclaw raked his left leg.
Growling, Danse aimed his laser rifle and emptied the rest of his energy cell into the creature. As he reloaded, the beast reared up, its claws ready to rip him to shreds when a brilliant flash of light slammed into the creature’s chest. The deathclaw disintegrated.
Danse grit his teeth against the pain as he slammed a stimpak through his shredded armor and into his leg.
He took aim as the raider in the mismatched power armor jumped down from the top of one of the trucks.
“Please don’t shoot,” a female voice said as she took off the raider helmet.
Without the helmet, he caught a glimpse of bright blue under the armor. A vault dweller. That might explain the strange weapon. He eased his gun down, but he kept his finger on the trigger.
“There are two more of those things out here,” she said. “That one’s howl might bring them.”
“Deathclaws?” Danse forced out between clenched teeth.
She knelt down beside Cole and whispered a prayer. “They’re a lot more unpleasant than the super mutants at the satellite array.”
“Unpleasant? You make it sound like eating a radroach rather than a monster than can wipe out a whole squad.”
She said nothing as she examined and prayed for the rest of his men. Confirming that no one else had survived, she eased next to him even though he continued to grip his laser rifle. “Leg’s bad. The servos in your armor are working well enough that you can get back to my makeshift base.”
“Old military bunker not far from here.”
He looked at her but said nothing.
She shrugged. “You can either come with me, or you can stay here and take your chances with the deathclaws and super mutants. Easier for me if you stayed, but my conscience won’t let me just walk away.”
Conscience. That wasn’t something too many wastelanders had. He looked at the sliver of blue underneath her armor. Vaulties were a rare breed. They either were something spectacular, like the Lone Wanderer down in the Capital Wasteland, or they were radroach food. And she’d just taken down a deathclaw.
Danse slipped on the safety and pushed himself to his knees.
“Let me help.”
Danse took her hand, small and fine-boned under the armor. He looked up into her brilliant blue eyes as she helped pull him back to his feet. Looping his arm around her shoulders, she kept her rifle within easy reach as she helped him limp back to the military bunker.
Danse grunted as they approached. “Listening Post Bravo. We found this, but the security system has the elevator locked tight. Scribe Fehl couldn’t break it.”
“So you’re the ones that destroyed my protectron. Had to replace him with some modified turrets.”
“Modified?” Danse said between clenched teeth as the pain sent black spots skittering before his eyes. He shook his head and focused on the small domes mounted on the guard desk.
“Same model as what you used to turn the deathclaw to ash?”
“Not quite as powerful given the close quarters.” She stepped up to the ancient elevator.
“You can make it work?”
She took off her gauntlet, pricked her finger and touched a drop of blood to the keyboard. A moment later, the elevator powered up and slid open.
Danse’s eyes widened.
“Crude, but it’s the best I could rig up on short notice.”
He said nothing as she eased him through the doors and they slid closed behind them. The elevator descended smoothly to the third floor.
As the doors slid open, Danse eyed the interior of the building. No dust. No dirt. Nothing collapsed. Nothing out of place. Even the ancient computer banks looked pristine. Danse had never seen anything like it. Not even on the Prydwen.
She escorted him past several protectrons, a couple of turrets, and rows of shelves filled with neatly stacked crates. “Fixed up the place?” he asked.
She smiled up at him, the expression reaching all the way to her brilliant blue eyes. “You have no idea what a mess nuclear war makes.”
“Never seen an elevator work so well, either.”
“It’s the only way down here. There’s a mutated bear on the level above this one, so be careful if you go back up alone.”
Danse looked down as his leg.
“Won’t be going anywhere for a while,” she agreed. “But we’ll get you fixed up right as rain.”
Given the extent of damage to his leg… “Never heard that said about the radioactive storms that plague the Commonwealth.”
“Pre-war expression,” she admitted as led him through a large metal door and into a room with floors cleaner than the tables in the mess hall.
A single large bed was nestled in a corner with what appeared to be a working sink next to it. The mirror above it was intact, and a screen concealed a toilet. On the opposite side of the room, behind some sort of glass wall, was a workshop with a table, microscope, and instruments Danse had never seen before. Neat piles of circuitry and computer parts were arranged beside the table.
He closed his eyes and sucked in a breath as unconsciousness threatened. “How long have you been down here?”
“Was only supposed to be a day or two as a radiation storm passed,” she admitted as she eased him down onto her bed.
“Where are you from?”
“Does it matter?”
“I think it does.” He took off his helmet and laid it on the bed next to him.
He looked less intimidating now that he had a face, and she met his warm brown gaze. “I can’t endanger the others.”
Her eyes widened and she took a step back, but she didn’t reach for her weapon.
“Blue of your vault suit gives you away.” He motioned to the collar of her power armor.
She looked down and color flushed her cheeks.
“Nothing else that blue in the Wasteland.” Except her eyes, but he kept that to himself.
She bit her lip. “Please don’t make me regret helping you.”
Danse sucked in a couple more steadying breaths and looked around the tidy room. “Plenty of Vaults still locked down. I won’t bring you trouble.”
“The Wasteland hasn’t been welcoming.”
“Lesson you learned well judging by all the security.”
“I still let you in and probably shouldn’t have.”
Danse grimaced as he looked down at his leg. “Glad you did. Being eaten by a deathclaw isn’t the worst fate in the wastes, but it’s up there.”
She looked at his mangled armor. “I need you to trust me enough to remove the armor and let me look at your leg. Those stimpacks help, but your injuries are severe.”
He grunted, watching as she gathered up several tools and sat beside him. Balling his fists, he swallowed back a scream as she jolted his leg prying off the armor plating.
“Worse than I thought.” She pressed her lips together, knowing the pain he had to be in.
“I have another stimpack.”
She shook her head as she took something from the chest plate in her armor.
“What is that?”
“It’ll ease the pain and let you rest while I put together something to help with your injuries.”
He narrowed his eyes but said nothing.
“Your choice.” She laid it beside him.
Taking off her power armor, she kept her weapon with her as she walked across the room and donned the clean suit hanging outside the glass enclosure. The doors slid open and a rush of air blew back her hair. The doors closed behind her, and she sat down at the desk and began working with the microscope and computer parts.
Danse grit his teeth as he looked down at the wound. She was right. It was bad. Only reason he hadn’t bled out was the stimpack. He looked at the strange stimpack she’d given him and balled his fists against the pain.