We don’t have “friends” anymore. People who we group up with for mutual survival, sure, but nobody here understands what it is to really trust anyone else. They don’t know a time when joy and compassion were virtues, instead of risks to life and limb. I’ve met hard-working people, perhaps even “good” people, but the modern reality is that everyone is out for themselves, scratching the dead Earth for one more day of existence.

Isn’t it ironic that some of the creatures humanity has labeled as “monsters” show more humanity than we do? Super Mutants are big, angry, unflinching behemoths of the wastes. Like most everything out here, the radiation’s done something nasty to their genes and made them this way. What the radiation didn’t do was lessen their bond with one another. Feared, and thus hated, by everyone, they band together wherever they can, making real settlements for themselves. They have pets, they defend their land with ferocity, and their natural gifts make them incredibly hardy, living in places and conditions others can’t.

They see any outside influence into their affairs, particularly trespassers, with a most unkind reaction. Honestly I don’t blame them – if everyone else on the wastes leveled their guns at me every time I came near, solely because I looked like a giant, I’d take issue with the rest of humanity too. I don’t see them raiding much, I don’t see them assaulting compounds or other groups of people. What I do see is them bonding like family, taking shelter against a world that is even more hostile to them than to others.

So many complaints of “they’re monsters,” or “they’re bloodthirsty,” or the ever-popular “they’re coming to get us.” Honestly? Tell yourself whatever you need to so you can feel superior and sleep at night, but I’ve yet to see a super mutant go out of its way to stir things up with outsiders. It’s only ever because someone stumbled into their encampment, poached their supplies, or shot at one of their dogs. Then, they run back to “civilization” and complain about the “horrible monsters” they just encountered.

I’m no angel, and I’ve killed my fair share of super mutants, but at least I recognize that maybe they’re better at holding onto the humanity that the rest of us have lost.