In which we describe the act of playing ‘Fallout 4’ by using every synonym for brown in the goddamn dictionary.
How many days has it been since I first emerged into the wasteland? This sunblasted ochre landscape that extends toastily in all directions to a shimmering bronze horizon? Day after day it stretches before me, endless, remorseless. Brown.
The earth is as dark as my mood as I check my Pip-Boy, the umber-laquered lifeline that envelops my forearm. Dogmeat barks and tilts his head, his dappled coat of burnt sienna complementing the copper coloured canopy of a chestnut sky.
As we set off apprehensively to track a distant beacon and its faint flickering signal, a fine film of ecru drab coats my skin, kicked up by a blustering beige breeze that obscures our vision. Shelter! We must find shelter. I scry a shambolic shack of tawny terracotta and we dart towards its hazel hearth. Chocolate footprints trail in our wake as I grip my cinnamon and rust pistol tighter between sweaty palms.
All of a sudden the earth is all akimbo, as the coffee coloured carapace of a rad scorpion upends the henna hued soil with its barbecue barb pitched menacingly as if to strike.
Dogmeat lunges, the radscorpion pivots and I seize the moment, unleashing a cocoa clip full of auburn lead. The bullets find purchase in its buff, bister underbelly, and flesh is torn asunder, exploding brownly in a victual spray of russet and tan viscera. Stagg Chili. I gather the sepia morsels gingerly, stomach lurching all the while.
My thoughts turn to Codsworth, my stoic robotic companion. How long had it been since I’d left him clipping his way through ceiling textures with the blissful abandon of an eternal optimist? Not so long hence we had been gathered outside my former home where he pointed me in the direction of a rocket who’s colour I assume was a glitch.
The night steals in like a khaki cloak. The radio chatters it’s litany of hopelessness punctuated by smooth jazz standards, their swing reassuringly beige in their uniformity. Love songs. My reverie twists melancholy as I picture my wife’s face, framed by her lustrous mahogany hair. The mood simmers brownly.
Somewhere out there is my son.
The sun breaks puce upon our encampment and throws beams of amber across bay coloured brick and a brick coloured bay.
The colour of shit and earth, decay and rebirth. To fertilise a new world.
Brown, Brown never changes.
‘Brownout’ Art by Tommy Webster.