People over in Goodneighbor made a big to-do about the old Freedom Trail, said it’s one of the only good things left in the Commonwealth. On a whim I decided to take a walk down streets I used to know so well. Instead of the well-kept storefronts and historic buildings of my youth, everything was burned-out rubble, evidence of raiders and ghouls at every turn. It was not the Freedom Trail of my youth, and put me in quite the sour mood.

I must have been distracted, lost my way or gotten turned around while thinking about the way things used to be. Piles of rubble and burned-out girders all start to look the same after a while, and I was all turned around, suddenly finding myself on a broken-down elevated freeway. I smelled old blood in the air and heard my dog’s low growl. Ducking behind a 2075 Crown Royal sedan, rusted with age and neglect, I heard the gravely bass voice of a Super Mutant demanding I show myself.

Just peachy – instead of reliving old childhood memories I was going to end up in some suspended blood bag, later to be eaten. As I’ve said before, I have nothing against Super Mutants as a species, but I’d really prefer not to be on their dinner menu. They wouldn’t be so bad to deal with if they were just big and strong, but they’re also smart and enjoy using weapons. Not a great combination for someone who wandered into their territory.

Running through a quick mental list of my options, I settled on my least favorite – fire. Super Mutants may be big and tough, but they aren’t fireproof. Whatever happened to make them so hardy also gave them a healthy fear of flames. Out came a small bottle of old bourbon, a rip of fabric, and a flip lighter.

Don’t ever think I walked out of there some kind of invincible soldier or anything. Darn near broke my leg rolling of the side of that freeway. A few cracked ribs and heavy bruising is a small price to pay when the alternative was getting shot and eaten by monsters, but I know all too well that my luck won’t hold forever.

Maybe it is time I find some real civilization so I’m not here alone, with only my dog for company.