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Once Upon a Time: Jason Howlett left the vault he had lived in the entirety of his young life. Chased the trail of his father, and followed a path that would end, ultimately, in tragedy. Since then, he has been a lone wanderer.
This is the story that followed.
Once Upon a Time: Jessica Chase lost a certain package destined for New Vegas, and most of her memories. In the shadow of looming war she struggled to get back what was hers, and emerged from war as the right hand of the mysterious Mr. House.
This is the story that followed.

A collection of fanfics taking place within the greater Fallout universe. Written primarily by commandocucumber, Children of the Atom follows two distinct and largely self-contained plotlines that interweave from time to time, forming a greater whole. One thread follows the Lone Wanderer (Jason Howlett) and deals with ongoing difficulties of creating peace in the fledgling nation of the Capital Wasteland, though the later arcs are primarily about the supermutant invasion. The other follows the Courier (Jessica Chase) as she cements and expands Robert Edwin House's hold on New Vegas following the battle of Hoover Dam.

The Fallout 3 storyline is as follows:

Genesis (covering the events of Fallout 3, broadly), Modus Operandi (Complete), Aqua Vitae (Complete), Mutatis Mutandis (Complete), collectively known as the 'Modus Operandi' timeline.


The Fallout New Vegas storyline is as follows:

Pro PosterusFallout: Children of the Atom (Part 1)Needs Wiki Magic Love

Children of the Atom provides examples of:

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     Modus Operandi stories 

  • Action Girl: Sarah Lyons.
  • Agonizing Stomach Wound: Happens to some poor young Talon Company Red Shirt in Chapter 11 of Aqua Vitae. Jackrum gives him a Mercy Kill and then elaborates on this trope to the other fresh conscripts.
  • The Atoner: Elder and Sarah Lyons are both trying to make up for their actions in the Pitt.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking:
    • Brutus, commander of a gigantic Super Mutant army, is able to badly injure Fawkes, one of the toughest people in the wasteland.
    • Tanka is a general in Brutus's army, and over 13 feet tall.
    • Casey Jones, another of Brutus's generals, averts this. He was promoted because he's a visionary, not because he can fight.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: Jason Howlett, the Lone Wanderer. After roughly four years of adventuring, he can regenerate almost anything as long as he's in direct sunlight or has 400+ rads. He also has been augmented with Ant Might, which gives him the strength and fire resistance of Greyditch Fire Ants, from a sidequest in Fallout 3.
  • Badass Boast:
    • Narg delivers a truly epic one to the Enclave troops brought to help the wasteland.
    • Gallows also gets one during Point Lookout.
    Sarah: What happens when it tries to get rid of us?
    Gallows: [Dramatic Gun Cock] It'll meet me coming the other way.
    • Narg and Jason do a minor back-and-forth in Chapter 20 of Mutatis Mutandis about how long it would take each of them to kill the several-hundred-strong horde of Super Mutants in front of them.
  • Badass in Distress: Sarah is undoubtedly a competent soldier and leader, but she repeatedly winds up in situations she (and in fact, most people in the Wasteland) is simply not equipped to deal with.
  • Badass Longcoat: Jason wears a Regulator Duster. Notably, he wears it over the Chinese Stealth Armor, and the duster is more of a symbol than protective gear.
  • Badass Normal: Jackrum, the Talon Company mercenary. Also Gallows, the Brotherhood's Spec Ops expert.
    • Narg has no special mutations like Jason, just a suit of really tough power armor and enough guns to stop an army.
  • Berserk Button: Jason refuses to see the Enclave as anything other than monsters to be killed on sight, even when he needs their help to stop Brutus and his army.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Brutus is dead and the super mutant invasion is over, but most of the named characters are dead, including Sarah, Fawkes, most of the Brotherhood of Steel, the Tenpenny Tower residents, and a fair chunk of the rest of the Capital Wasteland residents. Becomes something of a Happy Ending Override in "Children of the Atom" when it's revealed that the Legion got to the Capitol Wasteland anyway.
  • Body Horror: What happens to supermutants when you expose them to the FEV virus.
  • Bottomless Magazines: In-game, the CZ-57 Avenger can be fired for four seconds before it needs to be reloaded. Narg fires it for 30.
  • Break the Cutie: Sarah Lyons, thanks to Point Lookout. Again, when the Citadel falls.
  • Bring It: A two-pronged one from Jackrum and Jason to Summers when she points out that Jackrum promised to hand Jason over to the Enclave.
    Jackrum: Right. Well then, here he is, Summers. Go ahead and take him.
    Jason: The FEV Cure is in my blood now. Try and take it. Please. I've had a bad day so far.
  • Brought Down to Badass: After nearly dying in Vault 87, Jason's lost his perforator assault rifle, his stealth suit, and Dogmeat. He's forced to go back to hiding in the shadows with his knife, and still makes short work of his opponents.
  • Bullet Catch: Narg catches a railroad spike from Jason's railway rifle at one point.
  • Car Fu: Jason kills a Behemoth by shooting it. With a jetfighter. Off of Rivet City's top deck.
  • Catch and Return: After catching the railroad spike (see Bullet Catch) Narg throws it through Jason's skull. Because he's Jason, all it does is slow him down.
  • Character Development: Narg tries and fails to invoke this with attempted diplomacy on some raiders.
  • Combat Pragmatist:
    • Jason prefers to use stealth and fear to his advantage, taking down his enemies before they know they're under attack.
    • Jackrum is confronted by Jabsco, who's waving a knife and asking to "Settle this! Man to man!" Jackrum grabs an assault rifle and shoots him in the throat.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Jason and Narg torture a mutant for info. Except Narg has different questions.
  • Cold Sniper: Gallows.
  • Cool Guns: Too many.
    • The Bozar.
    • The CZ-57 Avenger. A unique minigun with the highest DPS in the entire game.
    • The Perforator. A modified version of the standard assault rifle with a suppressor and scope. Naturally, it fits Jason's stealthy combat doctrine perfectly.
    • The Railway Rifle. A steam-powered railroad spike-flinging monstrosity. Need I say more?
  • The Corruption: Jason's exposed to just enough of the FEV virus that he slowly begins to mutate into a Super Mutant, as opposed to the much quicker transformation most people suffer.
  • Demoted to Extra: The companions play a much reduced part in this fic.
  • The Dreaded: Jason exploits this, using intimidation and stealth as opposed to confronting his enemies.
  • Dynamic Entry: Narg drops from a crashing Vertibird to re-enter a battle. His landing involves crashing through the deck of Rivet City.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Ug-Qualtoth and the Pint-Size Slasher.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Jason's first appearance in the story involves him saving Sarah Lyons by killing a Deathclaw with a combat knife.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Well, for a certain value of "evil," anyway - Jackrum works for the Talon Company, but he's utterly disgusted by Tenpenny casually leaving almost everyone in Tenpenny Tower to die and hiding out in a bunker.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: The player characters - Albert Cole is the diplomat build from the original Fallout, Narg is a straight-up guns-blazing fighter, and Jason is a stealth expert.
  • Fingore: While he's still unconscious and healing from the headshot Burke gave him, Narg cuts off Jason's fingers to test the limits of his Healing Factor. Jason doesn't even realize it, having regrown the fingers, until Narg tells him who the severed digits belong to.
  • First-Name Basis: Sarah calls Jason Howlett Jason. Everyone else calls him The Lone Wanderer. Most people aren't aware he even has a name until Sarah asks him.
  • Forced to Watch: Brutus resolves to keep the Lone Wanderer alive so he can see the destruction of the Wasteland after he destroys a third of his army singlehanded.
  • Genius Loci: Point Lookout, which is far more dangerous than it was in the game itself and features a great deal more horror. The trope name itself is dropped.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: Narg exaggerates this trope by giving Jason a few lethal wounds and letting him regenerate to calm him down.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Jackrum asks The Enclave remnants for help, promising them to give them Jason and take Three Dog off the air because they need their help to survive.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: Calvert. Jason killed Desmond and left Calvert alive for his knowledge of Pre-War technology, but did something that prevented Calvert from really interacting with the outside world in any way. By the time the Brotherhood finds him, his only request in return for giving them the information they want is a pathetic "Please kill me."
  • Good Is Not Nice: Jason and Narg both fit this category. Either are perfectly at ease with torture and mass murder, if they feel it's for the greater good.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Almost everyone. Softness gets beaten out of people pretty fast.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: Jason tends to take more damage (nukes, mass car explosions, railroad spikes to the eye) than anyone else.
  • Goomba Stomp: Narg airdrops himself onto a Super Mutant Overlord. There isn't much left to identify after he smashes it through the deck of Rivet City.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: When Jason is captured by Ashur, every settlement in the Capital Wasteland sends people to help out.
  • Gossip Evolution: Inverted. The Lone Wanderer (Jason) has done things too fantastic for most people to find credible. Most people actually assume he's a lot less dangerous than he is...
  • Gratuitous Latin: The fic names.
    • Modus Operandi: Method of operation.
    • Aqua Vitae: The waters of life.
    • Mutatis Mutandis: Only the necessary changes.
  • Healing Factor: Jason, as long as he has 400+ rads or is in direct sunlight. He can survive bullets to the head, regrow fingers, endure nukes, and heals from smaller wounds extremely fast. It only gets amped up when he's injected with the FEV II virus, where he walks off a headshot in less than a minute.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The Super Mutants stockpile lime to smoke Rivet City's defenders out. Jason uses it on its creators.
  • I Have Many Names: The Lone Wanderer, 101, Kid, The Drifter, Death...
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Jason's Railway Rifle does this. He uses it to crucify his enemies as a warning to the rest. He's on the receiving end of it from Alpha, which leads to his capture.
  • In Medias Res:
  • The Insomniac: Jason functions fine on two hours of sleep.
  • Invisibility Cloak: The Chinese Stealth Armor.
  • I Was Just Joking / Rhetorical Request Blunder: Jason wants the full text of Revelations 21-6 carved into his father's tombstone. Caleb sarcastically replies that once Jason finds a way to fly him to the moon and back, he'll make that happen. Jason, owning an alien spaceship, immediately agrees.
  • Killed Off for Real: Riley's Rangers, Fawkes, Elder Lyons, Phantom, most of the Brotherhood of Steel and the Outcasts, Little Lamplight, probably Arefu and Bigtown, Nadine, Tenpenny Tower...
  • Klingon Promotion: Jackrum becomes Commander of Talon Company after he kills the current commander.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Burke to Talon Company, Littlehorn to Burke, Calhoun's Legion to Burke and Littlehorn.
  • No-Gear Level: Vault 87.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Sarah to Nadine. She kills her, so Nadine can't take anyone to Point Lookout again.
  • One-Man Army:
    • Jason. The Enclave suspects him of killing 311 Enclave personnel. (He leaves no one alive, so they're not sure.) The total number of Enclave killed by the Brotherhood of Steel during the war is about 450.
    • Narg. He is The Chosen One, protagonist of Fallout 2, and he's been adventuring and leveling up far longer than Jason.
  • Rousing Speech: Jackrum gives a Dare to Be Badass variety when an army of Super Mutants are at the gates of Fort Banister.
  • Rule of Cool: Jason wears a Regulator duster because he likes the look, even though it's far from the most effective armor available. Notably, he usually wears it over the Chinese Stealth Armor, so its armor value is less important.
    • The author names this trope when talking about Nargs power armor.
  • Sadistic Choice: Brutus gives his prisoners a choice: die, or join them by becoming a Super Mutant.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: The Enclave pulls this once they lose enough troops during the assault on the Purifier. When they come back after the battle turns, they still expect Jackrum to abide by their deal.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: Jason locks the population of Megaton and the Brotherhood Remnants in Vault 101 with the rest of the vault dwellers.
    • Attempted with Jason himself. Burke shoots him in the head, then locks him in Vault 106, where he won't get irradiated or be exposed to sunlight. The Chosen One and The Mysterious Stranger break him out.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Word of God (author's notes here) is that Sergeant Jackrum is at least partially based on Sam Vimes from Discworld. There is also a Sergeant Jackrum in the Discworld books.
    • Sarah has a speech in Aqua Vitae that is based off of the first paragraph of The Call of Cthulhu. (Author's notes here)
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Jason is...jaded.
  • Story-Breaker Power: Toyed with. Narg and Cole initially stay out of the goings-on in the Capitol Wasteland, as they're hunting the person who gave Brutus the technology he needed to create his army and they want the Wastelanders to grow on their own and learn to handle their own problems. The other point being that Narg can wipe out an army on his own, and the story would wrap up far too quickly if he just strolled in and wasted all the Super Mutants. That said, Narg does get involved and is very much the reason that the humans even stand a chance of winning in the battle to retake the Purifier.
  • Strolling Through the Chaos: Jackrum when Talon Company is pinned down by Super Mutants at the Capitol, in order to inspire his men. He has Jason for cover, so he doesn't get so much as winged.
  • Tempting Fate:
    Merc: "(The Lone Wanderer) hasn't shot me yet!"
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Some raiders deliberately antagonize Narg who just wants to use a radio tower. After throwing grenades on him. Which did nothing.
    • Summers (part of the Enclave) tries to arrest Jason. She's unarmored and armed with a plasma pistol. Jason's armed with a Railway Rifle and is actively turning into a Super Mutant. If Narg hadn't been there to perform the above-mentioned Bullet Catch, Summers would have been killed. She then doubles down by trying to threaten Narg into handing over Jason's (temporarily dead) body.
    • Some unarmored Enclave troops try to arrest Narg, who is wearing a set of Enclave Power Armor that has stood up to just about everything thrown at it. He flings one of them out of a Vertibird, then tells the pilot to turn around. The pilot tries the same thing, and gets flung out the windshield for his trouble.
  • Was Once a Man: The Super Mutants. Most of the Wasters that find out are horrified. It gets worse with the creatures Jason encounters in Murder Pass, implied to have been the kids from Little Lamplight. And then there's Alpha, first of the FEV II mutants, previously known as Donovan of Riley's Rangers.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: The Brotherhood has a lot of problems, in no small part due to the fact that Jason isn't much of a team player. They've been bleeding troops and gear when they could have been using alien weaponry, seized Enclave equipment, and following (relatively) secure routes through the sewers. He also didn't tell the Brotherhood about how dangerous Point Lookout was, but he didn't think anyone would be stupid enough to go there, and he didn't realize how badly his taking Blackhall's book would affect the place. It's implied that Jason never even told the Brotherhood where the Super Mutants were coming from. The Brotherhood weren't doing themselves any favors, either - the Brotherhood was focused on fighting the Super Mutants in the ruins of D.C., on their own turf, rather than striking at the source of the mutants, soaking up casualties just to hold ground that they didn't need to begin with and relying on Jason to do the heavy lifting on actually defending the Wasteland.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?:
    • Averted by Burke - the minute Jason drops his guard long enough, Burke shoots him in the head and locks him in a Vault where he can't be retrieved or heal.
    • Averted again by Jackrum when he kills Jabsco.
    • Lampshaded by Jackrum when Brutus chooses to inject Jason with FEV II rather than just kill him despite knowing how dangerous he is. He also suggests Jason just shoot Brutus rather than fighting him hand-to-hand.
  • Why Won't You Die?: Brutus, to Jason.
    Brutus: Wanderer! How many times must I kill you before you stay dead?
    Jason: Once. When is that going to happen, exactly?
  • You Shall Not Pass!:
    • Fawkes, to Brutus and his army. It doesn't end well.
    • Riley and her team hold off Brutus's Super Mutant army so that Donovan can warn the wasteland about them. None of them survive.
    • Knight Dillon and his men hold off a Super Mutant attack so Jason and Three Dog can get to safety.
  • Zerg Rush: The Trogs in the Pitt are much more numerous than in canon, and can overrun almost anything. The Super Mutants themselves pull this when they invade the Wasteland itself.

     Pro Posterus stories 

  • Achilles in His Tent: After the Legion essentially took over the Wasteland and ruined Jason's reputation, he essentially turned his back on the Wasteland and retreated with a handful of people to what used to be the Republic of Dave.
  • Action Girl: Interestingly enough, the courier averts this. Jessica has more of a diplomat build, and is pretty useless in a straight fight. The other female members of her group play it straight, however.
  • Bigger Bad: Calhoun's Legion to Caesar's Legion. House knows they're coming and that his forces, the NCR, and every other faction in the Wasteland together couldn't stop them, but he also knows Liberty Prime is in the Capitol Wasteland and can stop them. He doesn't know that Liberty Prime was destroyed, though.
  • Compelling Voice: Due to having a maxed out Speech stat, Jessica is stated to be inhumanly persuasive and possesses what is called "The Voice". Ulysses also possesses this ability to a greater extent to the point that he can influence Jessica herself.
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Genre Shift: In-universe. Jessica is used to the post-post-apocalyptic Mojave, where things are relatively safe if you stick to the roads and don't go actively looking for trouble. She's not a gunslinger on a good day, gets dropped into the Death World of the Capitol Wasteland, and finds out the hard way that trouble can and will find you easily, and not being careful will get you killed quickly. Likewise, Arcade expects to be able to negotiate for information with Jackrum and the other free wasters, but they just beat him until he gives up the information they want.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: (Clone?)Burke.
  • Gratuitous Latin: Pro Posterus: For the future.
  • Guile Heroine: Jessica.
  • Hellish Copter: The Vertibird that Jessica, Arcade, and Cass are riding in gets downed. Arcade and Cassidy survive, but get separated from Jessica.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: The Legion has managed to turn Jason into one, smearing his name despite everything he's done for the wasteland and making him a pariah. He's withdrawn to a settlement to the north as a result, essentially abandoning the Capitol Wasteland to the Legion.
  • Killed Offscreen: When Jason was expelled from Megaton by the Legion, they killed Dogmeat.
  • Mysterious Past: Mister Burke appears to be connected to Jessica's past.
  • Mythology Gag: Victor Presper is mentioned as the man responsible for the Legion's new augmentations. Similarly, Bill Calhoun is now the new ruler of the Legion. Also, the abilities Burke demonstrates in his fight with Boone are very similar to the player perks Nuclear Anomaly and Solar Powered.
  • One-Man Army: Jason, in strong comparison to Jessica. He took down an entire hundred-strong Centuria on his own, crucifying a number of them as a message to the others.
  • Take That!:
    • A direct shot across the bow to Fallout 76 as they go to the Capital Wasteland:
    Arcade: Passed West Virginia around an hour ago.
    Jessica: Anything interesting down there?
    Cass: Nope.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: The Legion does not like the "abominations" that Victor Presper is supplying them with, but they're willing to work with them.
  • Wham Line:
    • Burke: (to Jessica) "You always were too much trouble! You and your Brother!"
    • Vorenus: [to Jessica] Welcome home, Jessica! You're with the Legion. You're safe now. Welcome home!
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Early on in the story, both Boone and Veronica voice their displeasure at the fact that Jessica cheated the NCR out of Vegas and massacred the Mojave chapter of the Brotherhood of Steel. However, the latter comes to terms with the fact that The Extremist Was Right.


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