(c) Fallout 4. "An unusual robotic detective, Nick Valentine is the sole detective of a small agency he runs in Diamond City alongside his assistant Ellie Perkins. In addition to possessing the memories of a late pre-War detective, Nick has certain abilities that complement his investigative skills: he is very effective at hacking computers, and adept at both ranged and melee combat. Valentine believes himself to be a prototype between second-generation synths and the latest, which might explain why he exhibits sapient intelligence and is not innately hostile towards non-Institute humans. He is generally well respected throughout Diamond City despite his mysterious origins." (https://fallout.fandom.com/wiki/Nick_Valentine)
It's not surprising the Fallout franchise's alternate history references notable events, drawing from our real-world timeline. Of course, there has never been a true nuclear war, within the context of the "real world"- but Fallout has provided us with a "what if" scenario since 1997.
Interestingly, the in-game company Vault-Tech was established around 2051, despite the blast taking place in 2076. According the Fallout 4's in-game narrative, the Chinese Communists were responsible for the destruction of The Commonwealth.
(c) Fallout 4
This makes for an interesting narrative as during the 1920s and the 1930s, the United States and China were actually allies- in the real world.
So, what's the focal point of today's blog post? Well, Fallout 4 provides an allusion to the system known as the Underground Railroad. Interestingly, Amazon Prime released the first season of the series The Underground Railroad a little over two weeks ago.
I'm glad this series is streaming on Amazon Prime, since the "Underground Railroad" is an important aspect of American and Canadian history. So, I believe it's a crucial event for people to learn about- equality and freedom are among the most important human constructs. Unfortunately, society has a habit of juxtaposing this idea.
(c) The Underground Railroad
By the mid 1800s, enslavement of black people still continued in the United States- and even some places in Canada. However, as a means of combatting slavery; the Underground Railroad was established. Now, the Underground Railroad was a rather secret system of operations. More specifically, this was a network of secret routes and safe houses that protected the lives of former slaves seeking freedom. As a means of reducing risk, those who were involved with assisting escaped slaves knew only their part of the plan.
Furthermore, the less people knew about the entire operation, the less chance of everything falling apart. The primary purpose of establishing the Underground Railroad was to provide people with the freedom they deserved- and about 70% of the case, these plans were successful.
Connection with Fallout 4:
With respect to the issue of oppression, this 1800s system for freedom is referenced in 2015's Fallout 4. As I have mentioned in previous blog posts at #themodernistson, I fell in love with the Fallout franchise back in 2019. Not surprisingly, I spent a lot of time playing Fallout 4 while I was absent from work with an injured leg. In terms of the award-winning video game, there are three major factions the player can choose from: The Minute Men, The Railroad, and The Brotherhood of Steel. Or, players could decide to become evil and join The Institute.
"The Brotherhood of Steel", (c) Fallout 76.
By the time the player first meets the Railroad, Desdemona has become their charismatic, no-nonsense leader. Desdemona believes sentient synths (created by the Institute) are just as important as human beings- and she's right.
With respect to the real-life Underground Railroad, members of this faction in Fallout 4 help synths escape from The Institute, so they can live normal lives. Despite their valiant efforts and beliefs, the Railroad are not above violence.
Have you played this game? If not, what's stopping you?
Thank you and stay safe,
The Modernist Son, 2020-2021.