While walking to Diamond City, that beacon of civilization wherein which I hoped to make my fortune, I ran into a stern-looking band of Revolutionary War-era soldiers. At least, that’s what the tri-corner hats and long coats were meant to convey, I suppose. Most carried lazrifles or shotguns, and seemed to have an air resembling discipline about them. We squared off some distance apart, as often armed travelers do on the roads, and made brief introductions.

“We’re the Minutemen!” one of them announced proudly, doffing his hat with the introduction. I did not know who the Minutemen were or what lofty aims they claimed to have, and they seemed surprised. “We stand up to raiders, super mutants, ghouls, and the Brotherhood of Steel. We fight for the good people of the Commonwealth!”

So they’re opportunistic do-gooders who fashioned themselves from a rebellious militia that died out hundreds of years ago. Check.

All in all they didn’t seem like bad people, and quite earnest in their beliefs. Knowing when people are lying is an invaluable skill these days, and it seemed like this bunch were on the up-and-up, if a bit eager to talk about their little club. I asked where they were headed, all decked out with arms and armour as they were.

“We’re taking back Fort Independence!” came the answer, followed by cheers. In my day the Fort was a tourist attraction, a historic war memorial where children could go learn about the history of the Commonwealth. It hadn’t been used as an actual military base since … well since the time of the original minutemen, I suppose.

Making a long story short, they recognized that I knew which end of a rifle should be pointed at the bad guys, and I recognized they were a few hands short of whatever big push they were trying to make. Some caps changed hands, with promise of more to come, and my stint with the Minutemen was off with a bang.

It turns out that Fort Independence was a pretty big status symbol for them, and losing it a few years back both hurt morale and the public’s trust in their ability to hold off the wasteland’s many threats. Numbers dwindled, which made the situation worse, and eventually they all but died out. Apparently they had mustered enough new blood, and fueled them with red-hot idealism, to try and take back the fort from “the enemy.” They were always evasive when describing what we’d be up against, either from a genuine desire not to discuss it or from sheer ignorance.

Either way, they had the caps I needed and it was good to have other gun hands at my side.