Here we have part two of the radio tower tales series! This is going to be some posts about the small stories that are found in the big wide world of the Commonwealth, specifically the ones found on air. There are a handful of locations called radio towers or relay towers and at first, they just seem like a useless map location for fast travel. But accessing the terminal and extending the satellites reveals some long-lost radio signals that you can follow to learn more about! This series is a part of my favourite topic: how amazing Fallout is at telling a story and filling out the world.
This location can be found east of West Everett Estates and west of the National Guard training yard. It has three signals after activation: default radio signal, separated family radio signal, and distress signal. Also found at the tower itself is a makeshift settlement. By settlement, I mean there is one mattress, several radios, and a very junky wall and roof. But there is also a skeleton laying right next to the tower itself. We’ll get back to him later.
Default Radio Signal
For some reason, I find this particular signal very cute! It’s basically the initial signal that is broadcast when someone starts using a Robco Hamtek radio operator’s hobbyist kit! It’s a bit of a mouthful, but basically, it seems like it’s a ham radio and instructions on how to use it if you’re new to them! I just love the idea of some kid getting interested in technology and radio so he gets a kit for their birthday. Then things get sad, and he is just getting it all unpacked when suddenly the bombs hit.
“Congratulations on your purchase of a new RobCo Hamtek radio operator’s hobbyist kit! Through the magic of radio, you’re well on your way to making new friends and being the envy of your neighbors. When ready, please refer to your operator’s holotape for further instructions!”
This one is pretty difficult to find, I found. It’s found in the basement of a bombed-out house nearby. The cellar doors are tricky to spot, and I originally circled around that house for several minutes before figuring it out. Just head northeast from the tower until you see a house that is mostly levelled, except for a couple bits of blue wall.
So I a theory about this. I think that the person who was in the middle of setting up their first ham radio set is the same person we find dead at the tower. I think this because of how you find him in the tower. This is someone who went out and bought a RobCo Hamtek kit. They were clearly very interested in radio and wanted to branch out with it. And the person who was living at the tower has accumulated several radios, ham and otherwise. There are all on when you first arrive as well, which is a bit weird. My theory is that when the bombs dropped, this person thought that they would try to find out what was going on by trying to pick up radio signals, probably ideally from the military. Who knows what ultimately ended their life or whether they got the answers they wanted?
Separated family radio signal
Here’s another depressing wasteland story of a family torn apart by nuclear war!
“Bonnie, honey, if you’re able to hear this message, the boys and I are safe at home in the bunker. I pray you are still okay. I want to be out there for you more than anything, but people here are relying on me. I can’t let them down. The boys say hi and they love you. Old Miss Chapel says hi, too. I love you so much. Please, come home. This has been a pre-recorded message. Message repeats in three seconds.”
Now, this is a heartbreaking story. Following this signal leads you to West Everett Estates. Be careful, because it’s held by super mutants, including a specially named boss. Once you find the backyard bunker, you enter to find an actually well built and stocked bunker. At least it was before a family of three lived there for months. There’s a terminal on a desk that contains journal entries from the father of the family. It tells a story about this father struggling to protect and house his two sons in the immediate aftermath of the bombs dropping. The first entry is literally days after the war.
October 26th, 2077
The boys finally cried themselves to sleep. It’s been three days since the bombs fell, and everything has gone to shit. Our director up at Medtech got advanced notice and if I hadn’t put that code into his terminal that forwarded his logs to me I would have been trapped up there along with everyone else when the lockdown kicked in.
I had to make my way on foot to Malden to get the boys. I’m so proud of them for remembering the plan. Michael managed to get David away from the teachers and they ran and hid like I told them instead of going in that vault. We made it back here into our bunker just as the planes started going over head. We listened to the radio for a while, but then the station cut out. I can still hear gun fire out there. Bonnie, I don’t know if you are still out there but I’m praying you are.
His wife was away at work and he doesn’t know what happened to her, the mother of his children. His kids are starting to ask after her and his alibis aren’t cutting it anymore. All they have is their radio and the reports coming in aren’t promising
November 9th, 2077
Bonnie, it’s been two weeks and I wish you were here. I want so badly to head to the hospital to try to find you, but Boston is too dangerous and I can’t leave the boys on their own. Little David keeps asking when Mama is coming home, and Michael has started to glare at me when I say that you are still at the hospital helping people. I’ve been listening to the intermittent reports on the radio after they have gone to bed and I think he overheard one where they were talking about the fighting in the city. It sound likes the fighting down there is really bad, I hope you’re safe, hon.
Their neighbourhood is falling apart as people struggle to survive. People are turning on each other but also creating alliances. Staying in the bunker is starting to not be viable anymore.
January 28th, 2078
It’s been three months since the bombs fell. I left the bunker for the first time last night. Our plan to tap into the main from the water tower worked, but the piping took more duct tape than expected and was leaking pretty bad. We didn’t have any more in the house so I tried to sneak over to Cobb’s house across the street. He was working with the construction crew in the neighborhood so I figured he might have some.
I was in Ron’s den, where he’d been working on that Nuka Cola machine, and must not have heard him over the distant gunfire and explosions. There was just that cold barrel pushed up against the back of my head suddenly.
He told me to turn around slowly, and oh god Bonnie, his face. The radiation had hit him hard, his hair was falling out and half his face looked melted. I begged him to stop, but he put the gun in my mouth and cocked back the hammer.
I heard the gunshot, but when I opened my eyes, Ron was falling to the ground, and I spotted Lance from down the street up on our roof. He saw the whole thing and saved my life. Said he’s got a plan and to meet him tomorrow night.
April 3, 2078
Happy Birthday Bonnie. I don’t know if you are still out there, but it’s your 30th so David and Michael made you a cake. It didn’t really turn out, but I let them open a can of frosting, which was nice.
The Ames’s and I have been busy the past few months. Lance and his brother had been on their way back from vacation to New York with their families when the bombs fell. Took them weeks to make it back here, mostly on foot. They had a plan to build a wall around the neighborhood and after he saved my life, I could hardly say no.
To get the biggest part done at night, we stole a couple of trucks from the Irish Pride Shipyard nearby. I didn’t ask how Leon knew how to hotwire a truck. Lance had us pull them around to the edges of the yards to start the wall. Truth be told, I flipped mine and damn near took out the house. It was another month before we had the rest of the wall ready, but we’ve been keeping watch shifts since then, and the kids all have enjoyed getting to come outside.
Finally, we get the end of their story on a holotape. It is chilling to listen to especially when you look around you and notice what is still in the bunker.
David: Mama, this is David. The bad men came back. I saw them shoot mister Lance and he fell off the roof. Michael said he’d be okay, be he isn’t moving.
Michael: David, come on. Dad said we have to grab our stuff.
David: No! I have to leave a note for mama so she can find us. Stop it!
Wayne: Boys, come on! We’re leaving. Now!
David: Hold on, I have to get Jangles.
Wayne: Michael, grab your brother. There’s no time. They’ll be back any second.
Yep, Jangles is still sitting on the top bunk of the beds in the bunker. David had to leave his home without so much as his favourite toy to cuddle. And in case you weren’t invested enough in this family’s story, you can actually find a holotape from the missing mother Bonnie at Mass Bay Medical Center.
Annnnnnd I’m crying. Not to mention how the details mentioned in the entries and tapes are found around the neighbourhood. The trucks from the shipping yard are actually built up as the defences for the neighbourhood, the broken Nuka-Cola machine is really in a nearby house, and the dead body of Ron left, from the encounter with Wayne. There are even bodies of raiders laying around, which I can only assume are the raiders that took over the neighbourhood from the original residents. It makes the holotapes have that much more weight and power.
This signal I’m not going to explain too much, because it’s a part of several other plot-important quests. When you first hear this signal, the quest The Lost Patrol should trigger and you can follow that to find the source. No real spoilers on this blog, no sir!