Fallout 4 Fiona fanfic finale: “All In”


Infidelity, confrontation & heartbreak at a saloon & brothel. Fiona leaves her husband MacCready for the ghoul mayor of Goodneighbor, John Hancock. “All In” wraps up the series.

This story is about twice as long as others in the series. Other stories also had a single point of view, such as “MacCready’s Lucky Cap” being told entirely from MacCready’s perspective, “Cold Cruel World” from Fiona’s perspective, and “Happy Birthday, Fiona” from Hancock’s perspective.

In this installment, however, the POV switches between Hancock, MacCready, Fiona and Cait, as events unfold at the Treasure of Jamaica Plain.

For context, I recommend reading earlier stories in the series, but it’s not absolutely necessary.

All of my fanfiction is posted on AO3 if you prefer, where I write under the name Jewelsmith (like my YouTube and Twitch channels).

This is based on my first playthrough of Fallout 4 If you’d like to see Fiona and my Fallout 4 settlement tours and gameplay videos, check out my YouTube channel.

If you’d like to see the actual Treasure of Jamaica Plains brothel I built in Fallout 4click here.

Fallout 4 spoilers, adult language, and explicit sex.

4,280 words

“All In”

Hancock had no clue what would happen next. Scratching the itch didn’t make it go away, it made it worse. He wouldn’t feel right without another dose of Fiona. The way she looked at him and called him “John,” all soft and suggestive, he liked it. He liked it too fucking much.

The smell of her still clung to his clothes, and all the liquor in the wasteland couldn’t make him forget the way she tasted.

When Hancock got an addiction, he secured his supply. That’s why he protected Marowski, sheltered him in Goodneighbor. That’s why he lobbied for a bar in every settlement. That’s why he wanted to keep Fiona close.

But what did she want? 

When her husband found out – and that was a definite “when” not “if” – he might put a bullet in Hancock’s skull from two-hundred yards. MacCready was just the angry sort of shit to do it, too, the kind who hadn’t cared about pissing off the Gunners, back in the day.

Would he care about pissing off Goodneighbor and the Minutemen? 

Just in case, Hancock sent a message to Fahrenheit so if he turned up dead she’d have a prime suspect.

Meanwhile, Fiona went off to do what she needed to do and Hancock stayed in Jamaica Plain to schmooze high rollers, threaten surly patrons and add an air of infamy to the place.

He carefully tended his intoxication while he considered all the things he wanted to do with her. There was the usual shit like getting high, fucking, dancing, partying, fucking, killing raiders, building bars, scavenging, killing mutants, helping the Railroad, drinking and fucking. But he found himself wanting to do corny, sentimental shit, too, like taking her for a walk around the bases of Diamond City where he grew up, serenading her at the Third Rail, or watching the sunset from the top of the church tower across the street from the Treasure. The kind of shit he would’ve wanted to do fifteen years ago when he was young and careless.

Okay, maybe twenty years ago.  

Alright, more like twenty-five. 

In any case, it had been a long time.

* * *

MacCready watched Fiona through his binoculars. She’d stopped at the checkpoint just outside Jamaica Plain and spent half an hour chatting with the troops.

He saw one of the Minutemen point north. Probably telling her about the synths at University Point. She touched the guy’s arm a couple times while they talked. The guy laughed at something she said.

MacCready talked to himself in a mumbled whisper.

“Sure, mungo, keep laughing.”

He zeroed in on the guy’s head and imitated the sound of a gunshot, followed by the sound of bursting flesh and a gurgled death.

“Not so funny now, is it?”

Something was going on, and he had to find out what it was. His wife seemed unhappy and distant all the time, and her absences grew longer and longer. So he’d started trailing her at County Crossing. From there, she traveled a while with Honest Dan’s caravan.

Honest my ass. 

MacCready expected to catch her slipping into Dan’s sleeping bag. He’d stayed up all night, chewing coffee grounds and watching them from a rooftop outside Bunker Hill, but nothing happened.

Then he followed them to the Castle, where she met up with that son-of-a-bitch Preston Garvey who didn’t like MacCready and probably told her what a mistake she’d made marrying him.

One of these days I’ll take a steaming dump in his stupid hat. 

MacCready couldn’t get close enough to see inside the walls of the fortress but Garvey definitely wanted to screw her, that much was obvious. Or could be she was screwing that smooth-voiced Radio Freedom guy. She spent an awful lot of time at the Castle, even for being the general.

Now she was in Jamaica Plain. From his position at the top of the old church tower, he watched her leave the checkpoint and disappear inside the Treasure.

Maybe she would meet someone there. 

As the sun set, he watched the bar until Fiona stepped into view again. She walked across the courtyard, followed by a familiar faded red coat.

MacCready’s stomach twisted into knots and he squeezed his eyes tight against the tears he refused to admit were tears. Hopelessness seized him like an angry deathclaw.

Shit. No. Not Hancock. Please. 

* * *

“I didn’t think you’d be pining away for me.” Fiona meant it as a joke but John didn’t laugh.

“Are we gonna carry on like nothing happened?”

She wasn’t used to him sounding so miserable.

“I’m trying to give you some space. You don’t seem like a commitment kind of guy.” She sat beside him on the couch in their special corner of the saloon.

He exhaled a sigh as deep and rasping as his voice. “Given my track record, I could see how you’d think that. I skipped out on my family, my life in Diamond City. Took up with you just to get outta Goodneighbor. Hell, running from myself is what made me into a damn ghoul.”

“But somehow this is different, you and me?”

“It’s been different for two years. Whenever I’m with you, things feel right. Whether it’s fate or destiny or god damn coincidence, finding you was like finding a part of myself I didn’t know was missing. Walking away is the last thing I’m going to do.”

Fiona believed him. He’d been there every step of the journey, from the early days of Hangman’s Alley to the battle at the Castle to wiping out the Institute. It hit her like a plasma beam through the heart, practically knocking the breath out of her. She loved him. Maybe she always had, but her head had been up her ass way too long.

“Jesus, John, I had no idea you felt that way about me.” She climbed into his lap and put her arms around his neck.

“I should have told you sooner, I guess. I tried, but it was tricky.” He put his hands on her ass and pulled her closer. “You’re the best thing that ever happened to me, but more than that, you’re the best goddamn thing that ever happened to the Commonwealth. I turned Goodneighbor into a refuge for the lost and thought I’d done something I could hang my hat on. But being around you made me realize just how small time I’d been thinking. I want to be by your side, be a part of it all. I can’t see it any other way.”

She tilted her head under the edge of his tricorn hat and kissed him. He reeked of cigarette smoke, whiskey, and the faint medicinal smell of jet, and all of it turned her on.

“You want to take this upstairs?”

Hancock glanced up as if he could see through the ceiling into the rooms above. “I think the red room’s empty. Let’s go check it out.”

* * *

Cait recognized MacCready’s slim silhouette even before he stepped into the glow of the Treasure’s neon sign. She flashed her most charming smile.

“Hey, there, handsome. Here to sample the merchandise?” The only service she offered at the Treasure was skull cracking but she’d make an exception for him.

His mood and the circles under his eyes were darker than usual. “Me? I’m a married man.”

“How about a dance then?” She nodded to the pink assaultron patrolling the courtyard. “I think Aphrodite can spare me for a few minutes.”

“I’m not gonna dance where people are watching me.”

“This is a fecking gambling hall full of whores. No one’s watching you, MacCready. No matter how blue your eyes are.”

He grunted and scanned the room. “Where’s Fi?”

Cait didn’t like the way he was gripping his rifle. The .50 caliber looked long, lean and angry as he was.

“Dunno, probably off having one of her meetings.”

Off snogging the mayor. Cait knew what was what, which is why she didn’t feel the least bit ashamed of thinking about pinning her best friend’s husband to a mattress.

“What meetings? Who’s she been meeting in a brothel?”

“Don’t you raise your voice to me.” Cait stopped him when he tried to enter the pub. “And put that gun away unless you want it rammed halfway up your arse.”

All conversation in the Treasure stopped and she could hear the distant, dulcet tones of Skeeter Davis singing “The End of the World” on Diamond City radio.

Why do the birds go on singing?  Why do the stars glow above?

Don’t they know it’s the end of the world? It ended when I lost your love …

Aphrodite’s servos whirred somewhere just behind her, waiting for MacCready’s next move.

He frowned so hard she thought he might break a tooth, but he swung the weapon behind his back and pointed to the gallery.

“Are those the meeting rooms, Cait? Is that where I’ll find my wife?”

She had to admire the way he deftly dodged her and elbowed her in the ribs for good measure.

Cait liked a ruckus.

* * *

Fiona shoved John against the door and it slammed shut. Her mouth and her hands were all over him, kissing his neck, and tugging at his shirt.

“Watch the coat, killer. It rips easily.”

“I’ll tear it off, if I have to.”

He grabbed her wrists. “Respect. The. Coat.”

“Alright, alright. Gentle with the frills. Rough with the man inside them.”

“I’m a ghoul, sister, not a man. Tell it like it is.”

When he let go, she grabbed his crotch and squeezed. “Don’t call me ‘sister.’”

He gasped through clenched teeth, then his ragged face broke into a grin. “Fair enough, but I need you to be okay with this freakshow, Fiona.”

“I am, John, I am.”

And then she set about proving it, dropping to her knees and working his dick out of his pants and into her mouth. He wasn’t fully erect and she took it all in, stretching her lips to the base. With light suction, she dragged her mouth from base to tip and to the base again, gagging as he hardened and hit her throat.

He put his hands on the back of her head. “Don’t move. Just hold it right there.” He stroked her hair, breathing heavy and murmuring disconnected sounds and little phrases, like “yeah, that’s good” and “goddamn.” He didn’t thrust, just seemed to enjoy being in her mouth, while her spit dripped down his hairless balls.

When he did pull out, she applied enough suction to make a little popping sound as they disconnected.

He wiped her chin with his ruffled sleeve. “Sit on the couch and show me your tits.”

She moved to the red velvet sofa, unbuttoned her shirt and pushed her tits around his dick.

“Look at me.” His left hand combed through her hair, pulling her head back so she could look into his dark eyes while he fucked her tits and shot a load on her chest. Her pipboy crackled.

Then he got on his knees, unbuckled her belt, tugged down her pants and buried his face in her pussy, still wearing his tricorn hat.

* * *

MacCready went for the stairs but a bulky redhead in a barbarian costume blocked him.

“C’mon, man. We can’t have people running around, shouting for their spouses, it’s bad for business.”

Grognak was twice his size but MacCready didn’t care. “Get outta my way.”

Before he could take another step, someone twisted his arm behind his back and slammed his head against the bar top, narrowly missing a half-empty bottle of Bobrov’s finest.

Cait loomed into his peripheral. “For fuck sake, MacCready, don’t make me break your face, it would be such a waste.”

A dangerously calm character with dark hair and even darker leather armor appeared at the end of the bar. He wasn’t as big as the redhead, but he looked – and sounded – exactly like the kind of badass every Gunner liked to pretend they were.

“Be cool, brother. Relax here with Cait and Grognak while I find your old lady.” He addressed the bartender. “Javier, get this man a drink.”

“Sure thing, Crow. What do you drink, friend?”

Cait eased off and he stood up, straightened his hat and brushed cigarette ashes off his face. His shoulder hurt.

“I don’t want a damn drink and I’m not your friend.”

Crow clapped MacCready on the sore shoulder and dug his fingers into a painful pressure point. “Are we cool, brother?”

MacCready squirmed in pain. “We’re cool.”

Crow eased up but didn’t let go. “Good. Let’s take a walk to the workshop.”

Grognak grabbed MacCready’s other arm in a grip like iron while he and Crow dragged him down the back stairs and away from the Treasure.

“Wh-what’s the workshop?” Crow refused to answer and MacCready dug in his heels, calling over his shoulder. “Wait! Cait! What the hell is the workshop?”

Grognak answered. “It’s where we fix weapons and armor and stuff. There’s a bathroom in there, if you need to go while you’re waiting.”

“Oh.” MacCready stopped resisting and glared at the Grognak costume. “You know, I was with her when she found that at Hubris Comics.”

* * *

Fiona came hard. John’s fingers were still inside her and his mouth on her clit when she heard a knock.

He wiped his hands on the old striped flag he used as a belt and yelled. “This better be fucking important.”

Crow answered. “It is, boss, we got a situation.”

She pulled up her pants and John opened the door. “Well, don’t be enigmatic, what gives?”

“The general’s old man, he’s here asking for her.”

“Fuck.” Fiona spat the word like a bad piece of molerat meat. She buttoned her shirt and double-checked Bang Bang, the 10mm in her belt holster. “Am I good or is your jizz gonna start making my tits glow in the dark?”

John adjusted his hat. “You’re good. You got some Mentats or something? I don’t want to start talking to him and my breath smells like you.”

“He wouldn’t know.” She went out the door.

John followed. “No shit? And you married him?”

Crow led them to the other end of the settlement, where the staff lived in a refurbished brick apartment building. Brian was in the workshop, restraining her husband. On the other side of the old garage, Cait had Mac’s rifle, ammo, knife and other gear, all piled up on the workbench.

John let her take point, hanging back and leaning against the door frame. She sent Cait and Brian back to the Treasure but kept a cautious hand on her gun. Mac glared daggers at Brian’s back.

“Okay, here I am. What’s so important you couldn’t call me on the radio or send a message?” The settlements had their own supply routes, which allowed them to share resources and send letters. She’d even scavenged some old pre-war postal uniforms and made a rule, to emphasize their importance: Anyone who fucked with a provisioner got hunted down and killed twice as hard.

“I know something’s going on, Fi. I’m not stupid.”

He was mad. He was about to get madder. She wouldn’t deny she deserved it. She looked at John.

John looked back. “It’s your call. I’m all in.”

Fiona inhaled and planted herself between Mac and his equipment, just in case he made any sudden, hotheaded moves.

“I’ll send a medic to live in the boat house, in case Duncan ever gets sick again. You’ll be flush in caps, Nuka-Cola and whatever else you need, for as long as I live. It’s the least I can do for helping take down the Institute. But I won’t be living at Taffington any more.”

Mac liked caps and he especially liked a balanced ledger. She hoped a lifetime bribe might persuade him not to get too ornery about breaking up.

“Are you… leaving me?” He looked like he’d been stunned by a pulse grenade. He blinked several times and struggled to find words. He settled on, “We’ve got a life together.”

“Together?” She had to laugh or she might punch him in the face out of months of pent-up frustration. “I’ve been scavenging screws, clearing rubble, planting crops, stockpiling weapons and ammo, opening bars, medical centers and manufacturing hubs, building power armor, trying to keep the Brotherhood from commandeering every last carrot, and where have you been, Mac? Where the fuck have you been?”

“Waiting for you to come home!” She heard a catch in his voice. “I … love you.”

“What exactly do you love about me, Mac?”

He teared up. “It killed me… it fucking killed me… when you stepped on that molecular relay platform and I thought I’d never see you again. I got so drunk, I threw up on Sturges. And it’s killing me now, always wondering where you are, why you haven’t come back…”

“You’re telling me how you feel. You’re not telling me why you love me.”

“What am I supposed to say? I don’t know why, I just do.”

“And yet you bitch at me every time I search a filing cabinet. You complain when you have to haul weapons back to an undefended settlement. You sit at Taffington on your ass while I run the Minutemen and build settlements.”

“You told me you were only going to be the general long enough to find Shaun. Haven’t you done enough yet?”

“We don’t make each other happy. Let’s just stop arguing about it so we can move on.”

“I’m sorry I didn’t get you anything for your birthday. I don’t celebrate birthdays because I don’t have one.”

“This is not because you forgot my birthday.”

“No marriage is perfect, Fi. That’s what being married means, it means putting up with each other’s crap.”

John muttered. “Sounds more like a hostage situation.”

Damn, how he enjoyed lobbing grenades. 

Mac exploded. “Oh, I’m SORRY she has a husband who LOVES her, who’s waiting around for her to come home and help him weed the tatos, hug a kid, maybe sit on the porch and drink together until the stars get blurry. How HORRIBLE.”

A bare bulb dangled from the ceiling and its light glinted off of Nate’s ring. Mac wore it on his left hand. He might offer to give it back but she wouldn’t ask for it. She didn’t need it any more.

“It’s what I thought I wanted, but things changed. I tried to tell you, last time I saw you.”

He sniffled. “What about Duncan?”

“Tell him I love him. He has you, Trash, Vicki, Bob and Maria. I’ll still come around to see him, if it’s okay with you. He’ll be fine. You’re a good dad.”

He took a moment to gather his thoughts and wipe snot on his sleeve.

“Why is this crap more important than being with me? I mean, I get that places like the Treasure make fat caps and keep us in bourbon, but what about the places like Murkwater or Tenpines? Why do you waste so much time on nothing?”

“It’s not for nothing, Mac. This is not about birthdays, or even about the Minutemen, it’s that you just don’t understand. There are things that matter besides caps. People matter. It matters what kind of world we live in. If nothing else, it should matter to you because it matters to me.”

“Yeah, I know, I’m a jerk and I only think about myself. I’m not like you. I don’t trust people. I don’t even like people. But you think Hancock is any better?” He scoffed. “He’s probably skimming caps, scamming you and spending half his time high. Same way he runs Goodneighbor.”

John grumbled in disappointment. “I thought you knew me better than that, MacCready. I spend all my time high.”

Mac laughed dismissively. “You think you’re a big hero for giving Daisy a shop and letting a few drifters crash in your attic?”

Many of those drifters were synths because John let the Railroad use the Memory Den as the hub of their liberation operation. The rest, they were the folks who fell through the Commonwealth’s cracks. Goodneighbor was the one place that wouldn’t ask too many questions, wouldn’t judge them, and wouldn’t expect too much in return. She reminded Mac of that fact.

“He took you in, protected you from the Gunners. Hell, he’s the one who recommended I hire you in the first place, because you needed the caps. You think YOU’RE a big hero because you killed Kellogg for me? You did it because I hired you to do it and because I took out Barnes and Winlock for you. You never give anyone a single cap more than you think they earned. And in the Commonwealth, that’s more noble than most, I’ll give you that. But it’s not how I want to live my life. It’s not how …”

She almost said “John” but that might be too much for Mac to handle.

“It’s not how Hancock wants to live either. He’s here because he understands what I’m doing and he wants to help me do it.”

“He’s here because it’s a damn brothel. He’s probably fucked everyone, including the assaultron.”

“At least he fucks.” The minute she said it, she knew she shouldn’t have. But she couldn’t take it back.

“Am I s’posed to feel bad I didn’t bang you on that satellite dish or dress up like Grognak or whatever crazy crap you wanted me to do…” His eyes widened with the horror of sudden realization. “Is that why you opened the Treasure? Are you banging Grognak?”

That wasn’t the accusation she expected. Fiona shook her head, laughing. “I’m not banging Grognak.”

Mac narrowed his eyes and slowly lifted one finger. He pointed at John. His voice was a whisper. “You’re banging him , aren’t you?”

Memories of the Blue Room filled her head and spilled out onto her face. She couldn’t help it. This was why she didn’t play poker.

“Yeah, of course you are, it’s Hancock.” Mac heaved a heavy sigh of resignation. “How long? A week? A month? Since before we got married?”

“A week, kid. Of course, I wished it happened ages ago, but…” John shrugged. “If wishes were fishes.”

“Screw you. You could have had anyone in the wasteland, why did it have to be my wife?”

“I think you know why, or you wouldn’t be clinging so goddamn hard to hope. But at the end of the day, it’s up to her, MacCready, not up to you or me.”

John was right. Mac still had an ember of hope in his eyes when he looked at her and she had to smother it, once and for all.

“You and me, Mac, we’re done.”

“Yeah, well, fine. I’m keeping Taffington, and the power armor, and Dogmeat, and all the caps in the safe, and the comic books.”

“It’s all yours.”

“And this.” John took a blue bottle cap from his pocket and held it out to him. Fiona had no idea what that meant but it meant something, she could see it on their faces. Something serious.

Mac looked at the cap, then at John. “I hate you.”

“I know.” John replied in a menacing voice that would’ve scared the living shit out of her, had it been aimed in her direction. As it was, it gave her an unsettling sort of shiver. “But if we end up with a bullet in our heads, we’ve got people who will hunt you down and make your death very slow and painful. You feel me?”

“Yeah.” Mac snatched the bottlecap from John’s hand. “Now we’re even.”

* * *

Cait waited near the rear of the pub, keeping her eyes on the patrons and her ears on the workshop. So far, she hadn’t heard gunshots. Eventually, the three of them emerged, looking tired but unbruised and without a drop of blood on them.

How disappointing. 

Fiona took MacCready to the bar and set him up with a pint and a hot meal, while the Mayor lurked in the smoky shadows giving him the stinkeye. Then she approached Cait for a private chat.

“I’ve got a favor to ask.”

“I’d give you the shirt off me back, but then everybody’d be looking at me tits. It’s bad enough they can’t keep their eyes off me arse.”

“Great, I need you to take Mac home. Make sure he gets there and stays there and doesn’t drink himself to death. I’ll pay you twice what you’re making here.”

“Sounds like a sweet deal.”

“Not really. It’s combat pay. He’s going to be angry and sad and talk a lot of … uh, shite… because I left him.”

“So, are you and the Mayor more than business partners, now? What’s that like?”

“Like being with anyone else, but I have to use more Rad-away and I don’t get pubes stuck in the back of my throat. Look, promise me you’ll keep a close eye on Mac. I don’t want him drowning himself in the lake.”

“So, instead of a bouncer, I’d be a bodyguard?”

“Do you mind?”

“Guarding his body? Not a bit.”

“Good. Radio me if he leaves Taffington without you. Better yet, don’t let him leave. I guess that makes you more like a jailer. But don’t tell him that. I’ll tell him I’m sending you to help out around the place, since I won’t be living there any more.”

“And if he needs consoling?”

“He’s all yours, sister.”

“Well, then, let me go and get me things.”

She bounded off to her bunk, feeling like she’d fallen in shit and come out smelling like a rose.



However they happen, break ups and divorces are some of the most traumatic events in people’s lives. Emotions can easily run the gamut through rage, despair, jealousy, humor, and relief, even over the course of one argument. I’ve deliberately tried to avoid portraying anyone as The Good Guy or The Bad Guy in this situation. There’s nothing wrong with Mac wanting someone to drink with him “until the stars get blurry” and enjoy a simple life. There’s also nothing wrong with Fiona needing a higher purpose and some kink in her life. Sometimes two people just can’t make each other happy.

And sometimes they do. Far as I’m concerned, Fiona and John, and Cait and MacCready, lived happily ever after.

~ J.L. Hilton

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Wanton Wasteland: “The Blue Room” (Fallout 4 fanfiction)


Fiona picks up where she and Hancock left off in “The Treasure of Jamaica Plain” after deciding to leave her husband MacCready in “Happily Never After.” For context, I recommend reading earlier stories in the series, but it’s not absolutely necessary.

This is based on my first playthrough of Fallout 4 If you’d like to see Fiona and my Fallout 4 settlement tours and gameplay videos, check out my YouTube channel.

Or all of my fanfiction is on AO3 if you prefer, where I write under the name Jewelsmith (like my YouTube and Twitch channels).

If you’d like to see the actual Treasure of Jamaica Plains brothel I built in Fallout 4click here.

Fallout 4 spoilers, adult language, spanking and explicit sex.

2,600 words

The Blue Room

Lightning crackled and Hancock felt the prickle of radioactivity sweep over his skin like a warm caress. He took a pack of cigarettes from his coat pocket, tapped one into his hand, and held it between his teeth while he searched for his gold-plated lighter. At the other end of the bar, FIona confronted a wastelander who’d blown in with the radstorm.

“Looking is free, but if you plan on making a friend for the night, you might want to clean up.” She directed the guy’s attention to the clinic, salon and clothing store across the courtyard. “And if you cause a ruckus, the only one-on-one you’ll get is with Aphrodite.”

Aphrodite, a pink assaultron, spoke with a sultry robotic voice. “Welcome to the Treasure of Jamaica Plain.”

The guy shuffled up to the bar and ordered the cheapest drink on the menu. Javier poured him a shot of vodka then refilled Hancock’s glass with a concoction of whiskey, Deezer’s lemonade and deathclaw egg. The cocktail was Fiona’s idea, something she drank before the war, and like most of her ideas it was a fucking good one. He took a swig and savored the bittersweet burn but reminded himself that he wasn’t above cheap liquor.

Fancy drinks were on the house because Hancock and Fiona bankrolled the house and stocked the liquor cabinet themselves. The Treasure’s menu of debauchery included beverages from every corner of the Commonwealth, from Bobrov’s moonshine to tarberry wine. They even had a soda machine hauled over from Nuka World on the back of a brahmin.

He found his lighter, flipped it open, and lit the cigarette. Fiona swung a leg over an empty barstool to his left.

“Hey, Hancock, what’s up?”

He took a long drag and answered with an exhale of smoke. “Just waiting.”

The words had a tone of reproach. After their little rooftop rendezvous, she’d disappeared for weeks. Cait, several Minutemen and all the caravan folks told Hancock she’d gone home.

“Home” meant back to MacCready.

Since then, he’d spent a whole lotta time thinking about how he should stop thinking about how he couldn’t stop thinking about her. Then she showed up again. Alone. But there were no more late-night chats, slow dances or running her hand carelessly over his faded velvet sleeve. She hadn’t said more than two words to him until now.

“The toilets flush and all the neon letters light up, some brighter than others. Candace says –” Fiona imitated the woman’s husky voice “– we ain’t hoity-toity but we sure as hell ain’t no handy-for-candy operation. I’m not sure what that means, but I’m guessing back alley handjobs in exchange for chems?”

“Bingo.” He tapped his ashes into an ashtray.

“So I guess we’re fully operational.” She drummed a little rhythm on the bar with her hands. “If that’s what you’re waiting for, you can head back to Goodneighbor. Or Hangman’s Alley. Or wherever. If you want to.”

He could tell she was fishing and he was happy to bite.

“I ain’t waiting for a grand opening. I’m waiting for you.”

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw her head turn. Heard a change in her voice, too, from casual to a low kind of post-coital softness.

She moved close enough to rest her chin on his shoulder. “I thought you’d be mad, the way I left things.”

He replied in a similar tone. “Would take a lot more than that to make me mad at you. Where’ve you been?”

“I had some shit to sort out.”

His murky black eyes locked on her bloodshot grays.

“And did you get him sorted?”

With a wry half-smile, Fiona took his hand in hers and pulled him away from the bar. He knocked back his drink and dropped his cigarette into the empty glass, assuming she wanted to dance. But she led him past the dance floor to the stairs.

“Have you seen the rooms we fixed up?” She was two steps ahead and still holding his hand.

“Not yet.”

“Then I’ll give you a tour.”

Maybe he should’ve brought the whiskey with him. He felt a rush of anticipation but tried to keep things in perspective. A tour was just a tour until somebody got naked.

Cait kept watch from the gallery overlooking the saloon. She gave them a wink and a “good evening” when they passed. Hancock thought she’d be better suited to bouncing the Starlight arena fights than leering at cathouse customers but this wasn’t the time to talk business. Not that kind of business, anyway.

Fiona opened a white-painted door on the second floor. Inside, he saw a small, tidy room with a bed, nightstand, and a few shelves.

“As good a place as any.” He knew the staff would be happier working in upscale conditions. Himself, he could fuck in an old bus, over a diner table, or up against a brick wall. He wasn’t particular.

Fiona pointed to the painting above the bed. “We chose that one because it’s a pussy cat nibbling the tip of a toy rocket. It’s symbolic.”

“Yeah, I get it.”

She picked up a feather duster and teased the front of his ruffled shirt. He felt the implication more than an actual sensation and imagined what it’d be like to tickle her naked skin into the sort of goosebumps his ghoulified flesh could no longer make.

But when he reached for the duster, she put it back on the shelf. “There’s two more rooms to show you.”

He followed her further down the gallery to a red door. This room was twice as large as the first, with ornate red velvet furniture, a bathtub and a huge bed.

Hancock inspected a box of cigars beside a crystal decanter. “Fancy digs.”

“For guests who want a private party.” Fiona made a show of relaxing on the couch. “They can watch the Silver Shroud pound the Mechanist.”

Silver Shroud, Mechanist, gangsters, cowboys, raiders, and even Grognak the Barbarian could be hired at the Treasure, for the right price.

He spread his arms like a showman. “We’re here to make dreams come true.”

“What about you? What are your dreams?”

Her wide, eager eyes gazed up at him, illuminated by the pink glow of a shelf lined with Nuka-Love soda.

He lifted her face, hand cradling her chin, fingertips lightly touching her ear, while he traced the edge of her mouth with his thumb. When she licked her lips, he felt the soft wetness of her tongue and a warm shiver ran through him, like the effects of the radstorm.

“If you gotta ask, you haven’t been paying attention.”

Her eyelids fluttered and he leaned in to kiss her, but she pulled away.

“There’s… one more room.”

Her voice, her body, broadcast the kind of nervous excitement that made his instincts cry “ambush!” But it was Fiona, and it was a brothel, so …

Hancock followed her to a blue door.

The last room was similar to the first, but instead of a painting there were objects on the wall. He saw a baton, a dog collar and a wooden spoon, and noticed a pile of chems on the dresser, before he heard Fiona close the door behind them.

When he turned around, she handed him a wooden measuring stick. Without a word of explanation, she climbed onto the bed, threaded a pair of handcuffs between the iron bars of the headboard and locked them around her wrists. They rattled as she pulled a cloth sack over her head to cover her face. It muted her voice but he could hear well enough.

“This is a special kind of room.”

Yeah, no shit. 

“And what am I supposed to do with this?” He could take a good guess, but he wanted to hear her say it. He tapped the seat of her pants with the yardstick and she wiggled her ass.

“Don’t tell me the Mayor’s never had to dish out punishment.”

“Only after a confession.” He swatted her hard enough to make a sound but not enough that she’d feel anything through the canvas trousers of her Minuteman uniform. She made a little whimpering sound. It was all part of the game.

“I stole Marowski’s chems and helped Bobbi break into your warehouse.”

“Yeah, we settled that score.” He swatted her again. “Tell me something I don’t know.”

A pause. An inhale. Her fingers squeezed the iron bars.

“I have really bad thoughts.”

“Oh, yeah?” Another swat, this time a little harder. “Like what?”

“Sometimes I want to fuck in the middle of a raider camp.”

With each swat, her words tumbled out faster and with more urgency.

“I want to kill a bunch of motherfuckers and then get bent over a table and fucked… right there, with my rifle in my hands and the smell of green plasma goo burning my throat.”

Nothing wrong with that, far as he was concerned, and he’d be happy to oblige. But he had to play along, so THWACK went the stick.

“Anything else you wanna tell me?”

“I think dirty thoughts… about ghouls… about you.”

“What kind of thoughts?” He struggled to keep his voice even and ignore the distraction of his growing dick.

“You’ll have to try harder if you want to find out.”

Hancock believed in helping those who needed helping and hurting those who needed hurting. Right now, somehow, she needed both. She needed something the likes of MacCready, Preston or Sturgis could never imagine or understand. Pain was its own kind of drug. She needed release from the burden of difficult decisions, distraction from the terrible things she’d seen and done, and penitence for her guilt.

Or maybe she just likes weird shit. 

Hancock grabbed her shoulder to hold her steady.

I am the fucking king of weird shit.

He swung so hard he thought he might break the stick and she answered with a cry somewhere between pain and ecstasy, muffled by the hood. He worried it was too much until she taunted him with a breathless challenge.

“C’mon, mayor, is that all you’ve got?”

He dropped the yardstick and grabbed her pants in both hands. She didn’t argue but she didn’t encourage him either.

“You gotta tell me you like it, cuz I don’t wanna do something you don’t wanna do.”

With one rough tug, he exposed her ass. The hood bobbed and she repeated “yes” in between making the kind of noises their staff got paid to make. He turned her ass pink until his hand stung and he was damn near out of breath, but he was hard as a deathclaw and twice as horny.

Reaching under the hood, he grabbed a handful of dark auburn hair and climbed onto the bed behind her, his knees on either side of hers. When he pulled her hair, she ground her ass against his crotch and wildly dry humped him like her life depended on it.

The clothes were seriously pissing him off, though, and he reached around her to unbutton her shirt, unhook her bra and cup her bare tits. They were round and soft, filling his hands like ripe tatos.

He pressed his cheek against the rough burlap hood and made his own confession. “I need to be in you, Fiona, deep in you. You’re already in me, so far under my skin it hurts in places I didn’t know existed.”

She twisted around and yanked off the hood. Her hair was a mess and her cheeks were as pink as her ass as she fixed him with a fierce stare.

That was it. He’d gone too far. Everybody had a line. Maybe hers was actually taking ghoul dick.

Wouldn’t be the first time. 

He placed one booted foot on the floor and backed away.

Fiona released herself from the handcuffs, threw her arms around him and kissed him like no one had kissed him in a long, long time… not sober, anyway, and not since his transformation. Deeply. Desperately. Without hesitation. It took him back to the sort of days he paid Irma to relive in the Memory Den, and he surrendered to a surge of euphoric nostalgia until Fiona’s crackling pipboy broke through the bliss. He didn’t want to stop, but he had to, for her sake.

“There’s something we gotta do first.” He found a bottle of Rad-X and unscrewed the lid. “Stick out your tongue.”

She obeyed, opening her mouth wide and round, as if she expected him to shove in his dick. Which he seriously considered, standing there, pill in hand, memorizing every detail of her. Sweaty, half naked, a glimpse of auburn hair between her smooth thighs, and one visible breast rising and falling with her impassioned breath.

He opened her shirt so he could see both tits.

Yeah, he would return to this mental image over and over again, for the rest of his life. He would think about it, jerk off to it, it would be his last thought before he died, he was sure of it.

Hancock put the pill on her tongue and she swallowed. He removed his red velvet coat and tricorn hat, laying them carefully on the dresser.

She reached for the belt around his waist. “I want to see your dick.”

“Yeah, you do.” He grabbed her hands and pinned them behind her back. “But we’ll get to that.”

He didn’t know if he’d get another chance so he took his time kissing her, touching her, tasting her, everywhere. She needed a lot more Rad-X before they got around to fucking, but when they did, she was on him, slick and perfect, every inch heaven.

She rode him slowly at first, gingerly tracing the twisted furrows of flesh across his chest. “I don’t want to hurt you.”

“You got nothing to worry about, sunshine. You ride as hard and fast as you want.”

And she did. But he wanted to make her come, not the other way round, so he switched places with her and tried every angle until he found the one that made her moan louder. He tangled one hand in her hair and pulled, not so gently, while he dragged his tongue up her neck to her ear.

When her fingers dug into him and her whole body tensed, he spoke in rhythm with each thrust. “Yes, Fiona… Come now, come hard… You gotta come all over me.”

And she did. She was a screamer, and gave as good as she got, and god damn it, he was dying to come. When she was done, he started to pull out.

“Where are you going?”

“If I finish in you, you might get a rash.”

Her thighs and her pussy tightened around him as she begged in a hot whisper. “Give it to me. Please.”

She got a lot when he finally unloaded. He blamed the “please.”

He collapsed and could have stayed there all night, tangled in her tits, but he needed to make sure she didn’t get sick. She beamed at him with well-fucked satisfaction as he fixed her up with Rad-Away and a stimpak.

When he reached for his clothes, she put a hand on his arm to stop him.

“Don’t. Not yet. Stay here with me, John.”

“Yeah, I guess we’re on a first name basis, now, right?”

Fiona lifted his hand to her lips and kissed his gnarled fingers. Shit, it wasn’t just kissing, she kind of nibbled and sucked on them, too. Somehow, it felt more intimate than what they’d just done. No one had ever kissed his hand and looked at him like that.

He still couldn’t believe, of all the people in the wasteland, it was Fiona.

“Every time I call you ‘John,’ I’ll be thinking of this room and this moment. Always remember that.”

“Like I could ever forget.”

* * *

~ J.L.Hilton

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Video game inspired prop replicas

I recently made the Nuka-Cola bottle, Buffout and Wasteland Survival Guide props in the above picture, and gave them away as prizes for the FALLOUT SCAVENGER HUNT 2021.

I’ve also made bottles of Daytripper (based on the item in Fallout 4) and Nuka-Cola Quantum (based on the version in Fallout 3). I know Quantum is supposed to be blue but it always looks lavender to me when I’m playing Fallout 3 on my laptop.

Or there’s the glowing cannister of nuclear material I made based on the junk item in Fallout 4, shown here on top of my plasma rifle (not handmade, it’s official Bethesda merch) and next to its in-game version.

I love making replicas of items from video games, TV and movies. Sometimes, this takes the form of jewelry, props or even food, like these Minecraft cakes I made for my husband’s birthday about ten years ago.

That’s a very nice birthday you have there…

Or sometimes it’s not crafting so much as finding objects and putting them together, such as this Stone of Barenziah from Skyrim, made with a brass cricket cage, gray silk and Swarovski crystal.

Or there’s the mini Honningbrew meadery bottle necklace …

A larger, LED lighted version of the Honningbrew bottle…

And the bowl of moon sugar I keep beside a bronze statue of Aphrodite that looks very similar to a Dibella statue from Skyrim. I commissioned the handmade ceramic bowl on Etsy to look like the alchemy ingredient in the game and then filled it with rock candy.

Finding bath salts became a running joke when I played through the Dishonored series, so I purchased a lovely pyramid-shaped Italian crystal bottle and filled it with the same color bath salts as those found in the games.

You can watch me play all of these games and more on my YouTube channel at YouTube.com/jewelsmith or read my video game articles and stories at JLHilton.com/videogames.

~ J.L. Hilton

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Try-It Tuesday: APICO free Steam demo

APICO is a casual-sim game about collecting, breeding and maintaining bees. It features farm building, crafting and resource gathering, similar to Terraria or Stardew Valley, but there are no enemies to fight and even the bees won’t sting you!

Beekeeping is one of my favorite things in Stardew Valley, and APICO takes that to new levels. Build different types of hives. Gather honey, wax and other bee products. Plant flowers that give the bees different boosts. Crossbreed bees for new species. Build and paint structures. Collect and read magazines. Rehabilitate dwindling bee populations.

Interactions with other island inhabitants are limited in the free demo, but I suspect the full game will include more characters and more story development, and possibly a way to build boats and leave the island to visit other locations.

A release date for the full game is TBA other than sometime in 2022.

APICO is being developed by TNgineers, a team of two brothers who were inspired by their love of old Minecraft mods, casual, and crafting games. The publisher is Whitethorn Games, who also published TeacupCalico, and my favorite of 2021 Wytchwood.

TNgineers hopes to promote bee conservation and will be donating a portion of APICO sales towards national and international beekeeping charities, according to their website.

Rated “E” for everyone.

For more about APICO see Whitethorngames.com/apico and Apico.buzz.

UPDATE: The full game is going to be released on May 20, 2022. 

I was inspired by APICO to make some bee-themed earrings and a necklace, which I’m planning to give away during my 2022-sub celebration on YouTube.

~ J.L. Hilton

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The value of happiness

At times it is difficult to see the value of my work as an author, artist and content creator. With the world so full of cruelty, ignorance, injustice and pain, the thought of writing a story, making jewelry or livestreaming a video game feels self-centered and indulgent.

I occasionally receive comments on my YouTube channel asking why I bother to make videos when I have so few views or subscribers. These comments echo the voice inside of my head that asks, “What’s the point of it all?”

This spectre of melancholy nihilism judges creativity to be a kind of privileged hubris, pursued by a lucky few who have time to build sand castles while storms rage and tides lash unrelenting upon the beaches of our lives.

But there’s a bible verse that says, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10). And while I’m not one for seeking solace in organized religion, I do believe there’s a valuable lesson in this passage.

Whichever god you may or may not believe in, we all have gifts, and by the grace of human evolution or the Creator, or both, we have those gifts for the purpose of helping each other.

For many years, I had panic attacks, anxiety disorder, insomnia, and health issues. In the midst of sadness, despair and pain, I realized how very, very much it meant to me when someone made me smile, or when something gave me a reason to get up in the morning and get through the day.

I am so grateful to others who embraced their gifts and shared them with me. One laugh is a treasure worth more than jewels to someone who feels no cheer. A glimmer of hope is as precious as gold to someone hopeless.

My gifts do not bring me riches or fame but they are valuable if they can bring a smile to someone’s face, if they can help someone see a little bit of light in the dark or feel a little less sad and lonely. Those gifts are true magic and I shouldn’t doubt them.

This year, I want to believe in the value of happiness. I want to thank the people whose gifts make my life worth living, and remember that I, too, have a responsibility to share the gifts with which I’ve been blessed.

~ J.L. Hilton

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I won the “Narrate Your Own Twilight Zone Competition 2021”

My entry “Memory Lane” tied for 1st place in the NARRATE YOUR OWN TWILIGHT ZONE COMPETITION 2021 sponsored by the Rod Serling Memorial Foundation!

Winning entries will be performed by actor Stephen Dexter in a video posted on or before Christmas Day, which is also Rod Serling’s birthday.

UPDATE (DEC 16, 2021): Watch the video on RodSerling.com!

I only found out about the contest a week before the Halloween deadline. At the time, I was in the middle of running the Fallout Scavenger Hunt, participating in the “Falloween” (Fallout + Halloween) photo challenge and celebrating my favorite holiday and month of the year with my family.

To enter, I had to write an opening and closing narration for an imaginary episode of The Twilight Zone, in the style of Rod Serling.

These were the rules:

  • Maximum word count, excluding titles and labels: 150 words total, both narrations combined.
  • Maximum entries: 2 per person. (I only had time to write the one, “Memory Lane.”)
  • Title and Narrations only. Any additional content will be ignored.
  • Deadline: Halloween 2021 (October 31)

Entries were judged by Rod Serling Memorial Foundation board members, based on these criteria:

  • Originality
  • How easily we can imagine Rod speaking your words
  • How well your narrations suggest the imaginary episode

Twilight Zone marathons every Thanksgiving & Twilight Zone Magazine in the 1980s were a huge influence on my desire to become a writer and to write speculative fiction, and probably no small influence on my personality, if I’m being totally honest.

Though The Twilight Zone began more than ten years before I was born, I was such a big fan of the show that I had a Twilight Zone sign on my bedroom door. As a little joke, my dad took black electrician’s tape and covered the “Z” so it said “Twilight one” because I was such a weird, imaginative kid.

“The Night of the Meek” Christmas episode that originally aired December 23, 1960, starring Art Carney, is my favorite holiday program and I watch it every year.

But I never imagined I would someday be a small part of the Twilight Zone. What an incredible honor!

Rod Serling was the head writer for the original series but several episodes were written by Charles BeaumontRichard Matheson and Earl Hamner Jr. Matheson wrote for many other TV shows and his books and stories have been made into the movies I Am Legend, What Dreams May Come, and one of my childhood favorites Somewhere in Time. Hamner went on to create the popular and long-running TV shows The Waltons and Falcon Crest. One 1962 episode, “I Sing the Body Electric,” was written by Ray Bradbury and became the basis for his 1969 short story of the same name.

There are several versions of The Twilight Zone, including the original TV show that aired from 1959 to 1964, Twilight Zone: The Movie produced by Steven Spielberg and John Landis in 1983, a revival of the TV series that ran from 1985 to 1989, a UPN series that ran from 2002-2003, and a series developed by Jordan Peele, Simon Kinberg and Marco Ramirez for CBS All Access that ran from 2019 to 2020.

I’m a fan of the original series and have only a vague memory of the ’80s movie and TV show. I haven’t seen the other versions but I highly recommend the older episodes. They used to be on Netflix but are now available on Hulu and Paramount+.

The Twilight Zone episodes typically include one or more elements of science fiction, fantasy, horror and supernatural, but at its heart it’s a show about the things that make us human, things like love, death, fear, humor, nostalgia, hubris, temptation, regret, good and evil.

~ J.L. Hilton

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FALLOWEEN photo challenge 2021

FALLOUT (video game franchise) + HALLOWEEN (holiday) = “FALLOWEEN

The FALLOWEEN photo challenge was issued by Mrs P on Twitter. There were spooky prompts for each day of October, inspiring players to take screenshots in Fallout 3, Fallout: New VegasFallout 4, Fallout Shelter and Fallout 76.

Fall is my favorite time of the year and Halloween my favorite festival, so I set myself the goal of posting at least one picture for every day of the month.

Here’s what I came up with… (click on the links to see more photos)

OCT 1: Black & Orange – Misty morning, power armor, Shroud Manor
OCT 2: Graveyard – Cat cemetery & Gage’s tomb
OCT 3: Moon – Museum of Freedom, Nuka Girl & Virgo II

OCT 4: Witch – Museum of Witchcraft in Salem
OCT 5: Haunted – Mysterious figure in the woods
OCT 6: Skeleton – Skelly baby, Old North Church crypt, Shem Drowne’s grave
OCT 7: Howl – Three Dog (Fallout Shelter)
OCT 8: Vampire – Vance and the Family
OCT 9: Boo – Contacting the spirits in Hangman’s Alley
OCT 10: Scary movie – Night of the Fish Men’s Revenge in Far Harbor
OCT 11: Pumpkins – Roadside produce stand

OCT 12: Monster – The Red Death
OCT 13: Bat – Fiona with a black baseball bat
OCT 14: Harvest – Abernathy Farm
OCT 15: Autumn – Thanksgiving feast
OCT 16: Gore – Fizztop Mountain in Nuka World

OCT 17: Demon – Evil wakes in the depths of Dunwich Borers
OCT 18: Spooky – That time Hancock vanished
OCT 19: Campfire – Raider altar, Hancock, Cricket
OCT 20: Spider – Since there aren’t any in-game spiders and I don’t use mods, I made a Lord of the Rings / Fallout crossover

OCT 21: Mask – Ghoul mask from Fallout 3
OCT 22: Scarecrow – County Crossing corn field
OCT 23: Candles – Children of Atom, Sanctuary Hills
OCT 24: Party – Halloween in Fallout Shelter
OCT 25: Twilight – Kiddie Kingdom in Nuka World
OCT 26: Trick or Treat – Hancock and Fiona hand out candy at Kingsport Lighthouse
OCT 27: Candy – Careful, too much can cause tooth decay!

OCT 28: Owl – No owls in the Fallout games I play so here’s a “seaghoul”
OCT 29: Costume – Fiona and Hancock as Sally and Jack Skellington
OCT 30: Phobia – Fear of blood, fear of the dark, fear of water
OCT 31: Happy Halloween

~ J.L. Hilton

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What is a scavenger hunt?

It’s a game in which players gather items on a list. Sometimes the game is played in teams, with the winner(s) being those who collect the most items within a time limit, or those who collect all of the items in the fastest time. American writer and high-society hostess Elsa Maxwell is credited with making the game popular in the 1930s and variations – like this one – continue to be played today.


The Fallout Scavenger Hunt is a game withing a game. Instead of finding items in the real world, players will gather them in any Fallout game of their choice. We’ve tried to make it possible to complete our scavenger hunt whether you have Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, Fallout 4 or Fallout 76.

The Fallout Scavenger Hunt is entirely free to play and free to enter. The game organizers are not being paid or compensated in any way, other than by having fun. We are not affiliated with Bethesda, Microsoft or anyone, we are doing this on our own.

What can I win?

FALLOUT SCAVENGER HUNT 2021 US PRIZES (laptop with “please stand by” screen for backdrop purposes only, it’s not one of the prizes, read post for details)

One person in the US will win a fan-made prize package which includes ALL of the following:

  • One Nuka-Cola LED bottle light
  • One blank composition book with the classic “Wasteland Survival Guide” cover as seen in Fallout 3 *
  • One prop bottle of Buffout *
  • One Lucky 8-ball tin (based on the item in Fallout 3) containing a Nuka World replica ticket, a Grandchester Mystery House replica ticket, one Nuka-Cola bottlecap necklace & one Nuka-Cola bottlecap key chain

FALLOUT SCAVENGER HUNT 2021 EUROPE PRIZES (laptop with “please stand by” screen for backdrop purposes only, it’s not one of the prizes, read post for details)

Players in the UK and Europe can play to win a prize package of fan-made goodies that IceStella will ship from the UK, which includes:

  • One Nuka-Cola LED bottle light
  • One lined excercise book with a classic “Tales from West Virginia” cover
  • One prop bottle of Buffout *
  • One Mentats tin containing 2 Pleasant Valley claim tickets, one Nuka-Cola bottlecap magnet, one Nuka-Cola bottlecap key chain and a selection of Stella Stickers

See IceStella.co.uk for details.

People outside of the US or Europe are welcome to participate but are not eligible for prizes. (Sorry, international shipping costs are too high.)

* Survival guide cover graphic and Buffout label courtesy of emptysamurai on DeviantArt

An example of how the scavenger hunt conditions might be fulfilled in Fallout 4

How do I enter?

Submit ONE screen shot from any FALLOUT game in which ALL of the following are visible (or as many as you can manage to gather together):

  • an animal
  • the color orange
  • a toy
  • a super mutant (dead or alive)
  • a food item
  • a skull
  • something that glows
  • something wooden
  • YOURSELF – meaning your character, vault dweller, sole survivor, etc – wearing a hat and holding a bladed weapon

Something that is both a toy and wood, such as a wooden block, may count for both items on the list. However, the skull inside of the super mutant does not count, as it is not visible.

To submit a screen shot, post it publicly on Twitter or Instagram using #FalloutScavver or email the screen shot to j.l.hilton.author @ gmail.com (remove spaces) or DM on Twitter @AuthorJLHilton.

PLEASE NOTE: Submitting a photo means you allow us to share that photo and your online name or Fallout name with the public. The mailing address and real name of the winner will be kept private and used only to send the prize.

An example of how the scavenger hunt conditions might be fulfilled in Fallout 3

When is the deadline?

Midnight on Halloween, October 31, 2021, but please leave your picture up until November 2 so we have time to find it, in case there are a lot of last-minute entries.

A US winner and a UK/Europe winner will be selected from all eligible entries and contacted on November 2. If you post an entry on Twitter or Instagram, please make sure we will be able to DM you.

If we do not hear back from a winner within 24 hours of attempting contact, another winner will be chosen and contacted.

Who are the organizers? 

Jewelsmith on Twitter @AuthorJLHilton

IceStella on Twitter @IceStella77

Any other rules? 

This game is for entertainment only and the organizers reserve the right to decline entries for any reason or to change the conditions of the game at any time.

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Try-It Tuesday WYTCHWOOD

This week, I played the free Steam demo of WYTCHWOOD, a game developed by Toronto-based Alientrap and published by Whitethorn Games. Whitethorn also published two other recent Try-It Tuesday titles, Calico and Teacup. With little time to play video games lately, I appreciate Whitethorn’s focus on stress-free and “bite-sized” games.

“While our games might challenge you, they’ll respect your time”

WYTCHWOOD is a single-player crafting adventure with storybook artwork and a fairy tale narrative, coming soon to Steam, GOG, Epic, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation and Xbox. As the old witch of the woods, players explore a strange countryside, collect magic ingredients, brew sorcerous spells, employ creative problem solving, and meet several odd characters along the way.

Keep in mind that an “adventure game” is one in which an interactive story is driven by exploration and/or puzzles. This is distinctly different from an “action-adventure” game. WYTCHWOOD plays more like Adventure Time: Finn & Jake Investigations, Teacup or My Brother Rabbit, than like God of War, Dishonored or Tomb Raider. 

Unfortunately, I had some technical difficulties during my Twitch stream, which were entirely my own fault, and I don’t have a video to share, but here’s the trailer:

WYTCHWOOD is yet to be rated. The demo featured a talking goat, witchcraft and occult imagery, but lacked sex, graphic violence or adult language. I don’t know what will be in the full game.

I had fun with WYTCHWOOD and the end of the demo piqued my interest so much that I’m eager to stream this soon as it comes out.


UPDATE DEC 2021: The full WYTCHWOOD game released December 9, 2021, and I streamed my entire playthrough on YouTube.

I loved it and it is definitely one of my favorite games, not just of 2021 but of all time! The combination of fairy tales, witchery, clever writing and unique artwork, along with a sassy protagonist and the collecting, crafting, problem-solving game mechanics, make this a 10/10 for me.

~ J.L. Hilton

My PS4 platinum trophy for WYTCHWOOD

Nintendo Switch: https://cozygames.pub/wytchwood-switch
Xbox: https://cozygames.pub/wytchwood-xbox
PlayStation: https://cozygames.pub/wytchood-playstation
Steam: https://cozygames.pub/wytchwood-steam
GOG: https://cozygames.pub/wytchwood-gog
Epic Games: https://cozygames.pub/wytchwood-epic

See a complete list of video game fiction, articles and more under the Video Games tab of this website or click here

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Try-It Tuesday: TEACUP

TEACUP is a short and sweet narrative adventure game about a shy frog who collects herbs, sugar, honey and cookies for an upcoming tea party.

It released September 23, 2021, for PCSwitch, Xbox and PlayStation, at a price of $9.99. I played a review copy on PS4 that I received from the publisher, Whitethorn Games, who also published Calico, a game I played earlier this year and really loved.

TEACUP was developed by Smarto Club, a team of three young developers from Santiago, Chile, inspired by games such as Night in the Woods and A Short Hike.

I’m not familiar with those games but of all the games I’ve played, TEACUP reminded me most of Burly Men at Sea because it felt like an interactive picture book, and the game mechanics were a bit like Arthur’s Camping Adventure, a PC game from the year 2000 that my kids loved to play when they were little.

The game’s strengths are its cute and colorful graphics, casual gameplay, animal characters, subtle humor, and variety of mini-games and brain teasers, including a hidden object puzzle, tangram, QTEs and a retro-style arcade game.

TEACUP had a few issues, though, which I hope will be addressed in updates.

Text included multiple typos and confusing sentences, I assume because something was lost in translation. This seems to be common in indie games made outside the US and is not a big deal but … if anyone needs an editor, I’m available!

What was kind of a big deal though was cursor control in several of the mini-games. For example, in the hidden object game, I had to find and click on a very small key but had a really hard time getting the arrow to hover over it.

I couldn’t find any options to adjust the sensitivity settings and this turned what should have been a fun, relaxing experience into an exercise in frustration. I might have thought something was wrong with my controller – like the piece of garbage Xbox knockoff I bought once that was full of deadzones – except it’s the same controller I use for every other game and other joystick movement TEACUP was just fine.

This might just be an issue with the PS4 version. Wouldn’t be the first time I’ve played a game that was fine on PC but janky on console.

I think TEACUP is worth buying if you’re looking for a low-key, movie-length adventure or if you’re looking for something to play with children. It’s a singleplayer game but would be perfect for an adult and child to play together.

TEACUP is rated “E” for everyone. While the mini-games are pretty easy (aside from wrestling with the controls from time to time), a few might be too challenging for a young child. The protagonist is a young adult and the text includes some big words that are probably not in a 5-year-old’s vocabulary.

~ J.L. Hilton

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