- "My dear, I remember a time when I was driven to work in the finest limousines - now, I'm lucky to get a lift on an old Brahmin cart."
- ―Silas Hammond
|Date of birth:||2017|
Mayor of Lentonville
Silas Hammond is the current mayor of Lentonville, Virginia, and the mayor-for-life of the town, running a very laissez-faire management of the town and adopting a very libertarian style of economics. Whilst admittedly one of the more honest politicians of the post-war world, Hammond is notably rather flexible with his moral code - drug-running and slave-trading isn't exactly uncommon, with Hammond and those partaking in such criminal activities coming to the understanding that the former would ignore the latter as long as no trouble came of their actions. Such actions have made Hammond fairly popular with the likes of Raiders and Slavers, but rather detested in the eyes of those such as the Regulators and Lentonville's own citizenry.
Born in late 2017 the son of a wealthy New York socialite family, Silas Hammond found himself growing up in a family awash in privilege. From the Champagne-drowned dinner parties, to the embroidered silk pyjamas he wore as a child, Hammond had arguably one of the best upbringings of any children of the pre-war age. A severely fragile ego was ensured through the constant molly-coddling, unchallenged throughout his early childhood by parents who applauded his every accomplishment, no matter how minor. When he began to receive his initial education, he predictably adopted a boisterous personality to counter any criticisms of his personal skills, beginning to rely on a charming personality and personal wealth to ensure he had loyal friends and helpfully ignorant teachers. His education, somewhat impaired by this narcissistic need for constant approval, ensured he was rather less literate than his peers. However, he did, by the time he had reached 10 years of age, have a fairly strong grip on mathematics. This was really to be expected, as it was one of the few subjects he seemed to have a natural flair for and thus was really the only one where any actual effort was put in on his behalf. By the time he had left his elementary education, he had come to the point where he was no longer interested in the sycophantic ramblings of his peers; he wanted to lord it over those lesser than him. His family's servants' children soon became victims of his vicious bullying; there was little they could do as, in the eyes of his parents, he was a little angel, incapable of wrong. His narcissistic tendencies only continued and even worsened as his High School education began and wore on, though many of the children he bullied fought back in school where his powers, or rather his parents' powers, halted. To counter this, Hammond began pulling strings with his teachers on his own initiative; through this, he refined his charming persona and, rather quickly, learned the value of a good bribe.
At the age of 17, Hammond acquired a job at one of the numerous prestigious building society and investment firms that one of his father's business friends operated as an executive manager; a job, unsurprisingly, that he was ill-prepared for. Though fairly competent, Hammond lacked the business and financial acumen to truly excel, instead relying on underlings to propel his own career in what was set to be his favourite go-to-tactic in the years to come; offering favours in exchange for work to his employees, Hammond found he could ingratiate himself both with the highers-up in the firm and the average workers beneath him socially and economically. This, it seemed, was where he could make himself a life worth living, with all the comforts of home. The years following this were a whir of activity, as Hammond gradually came to the realisation that more money could be made by investing the sizeable amount of wealth he had accrued in the newly emerging atomics market; by 2047, Hammond had multiple shares in varying stocks of varying corporations; from RobCo Industries to Nuka-Cola Corporation, he had garnered quite the portfolio. But for the ambitious Hammond, this was far from enough; he had emerged as something of a workaholic, albeit one with a charismatic streak and a fairly large social circle of sycophants who praised his work ethic as 'charming', working to fund all manner of 'business projects', from Swallow Hills' march towards an idealised image of a city of the future, to Lentonville's revived automobile industry. Hammond rather enjoyed the life of a high-rolling investor, able to influence not only local governments, but federal ones also; that of his and his father's contacts in the Senate and Judiciary made above-board business ventures easy and those of a more shady and sinister sort could easily be kept under-wraps by such contacts. The increasing march of technology and the subsequent increased automation of society made cities like New York rather cramped and, for the most part, uncomfortable places to live in. The likes of Hammond and his close friends and associates began to move across the United States from the early 2060s onwards to the more rural idylls inland; in Hammond's case, Lentonville, where he purchased a rather modest home in the suburbs, ostensibly to get away from the rush of financing. In fact, Hammond had come to oversee his investment in the town and, as was seen, lord it over the local government and businesses who increasingly found themselves in his pocket and thus at his beck-and-call.
By the time the Sino-American War reared it's head in winter of 2066, the 49-year-old Hammond had come to be a respected, pseudo-political figure in the town; Republican or Democrat, almost all of the local politicians went to see him. His comfortable existence as, essentially, the leading local figure in politics was hardly scratched by the outbreak of the war; if anything, it shot up to new heights. His wealth ensured a good send off for the local troops and the odd hefty warbond purchase that essentially served as a bribe also ensured that he had the ear of certain military highranks; worried mothers could go to see Hammond to, in exchange for a small bribe, get their sons and daughters out of harm's way, soldiers about to depart for war could arrange to be sent to safer postings and draft-dodgers could get out of service through offering Hammond "small favours" in return. The war served to stimulate the town's economy and thus increase Hammond's earnings, leaving him with no reason to wish for the war to end - such callous and cavalier attitude towards the war would come back to bite him as the war ground on to it's definite, bloody conclusion. The 60-year-old Silas Hammond, having planned to spend the day enjoying a spot of relaxation was still in his dressing gown when the Great War started; in fact, he was still in them when it ended. As the initial chaos subsided and devolved into anarchy, Hammond's comfortable world collapsed around him. He had baulked at the idea of reserving a space in one of the many underground Vaults that Vault-Tec had churned out prior to the war and, for the most part, had considered the idea of war breaking out to be a hysterical one. Now, he found himself with his proverbial trousers around his proverbial ankles, the single atomic detonation that destroyed nearly all of the town leveling his pleasant little house, scorching his skin and taking every little luxury he had gained through his many years of life. The following chaotic days, with the collapse of all order and the slip into anarchy that took place, Hammond found himself on the streets in a tattered suit, bare-foot and coughing up blood. Unwilling to accept that this was the end, Hammond struggled, along with most of the residents, to survive in the ruins of the once idyllic town; slowly, but surely, mutating all the while into the horrific post-war creature that would come to be known as a Ghoul.
The 21st century came to a rather bitter close for all in Lentonville, but particularly Hammond; he had lost everything, the easy life he had worked hard for, and was now reduced to shuffling about in a dirt-stained suit. This bitterness, surprisingly, did not crush his yearning for power or prestige - instead, it seemed only to reinforce it. A new resolve came to the determined, elderly Ghoul; he would restore his rightful place as the man to go to in Lentonville, restoring the comfortable existence he had enjoyed prior to the war, and he would go to any means to restore his prestige. At first, he made his initial earnings, now in the form of Bottle caps, through working at the one of the many local bars, accruing gossip as the slowly-but-surely most-trusted barman in town. This reputation was mostly accured through earning the trust of the less reputable businessmen in town and doing their spying and eavesdropping for them, occasionally pitting rivals against each other through half-truths and white-lies. In one such instance of this, Hammond managed to secure ownership of the bar he worked in following the former proprietor's demise at the hands of a rival who Hammond would later go on to have dispatched himself. From these humble beginnings, Hammond began buying up properties across the town; either through blackmail or charm, he always seemed to acquire these buildings at cut-down rates, restoring and adding to his reputation as a shrewd and effective businessman. By about the early 2130s, Hammond had set himself up quite comfortably, renting out his property's to other businesses and putting any rivals or competitors either under his influence or out of business, but had yet to achieve what he had wanted to do; restore his place as leader of the town. So, with a gigantic push that saw him spend most of the 2140s and 2150s bribing, blackmailing and in some cases butchering those who stood in his way, Hammond acquired the approval and even fanatical support of many in the town to the point where, when he began to softly suggest that the town needed what it had always lacked in the post-war world - a true, universally acknowledged leader - many were quick to recommend him; though with a mix of faux-modesty and tact he insisted that he was not the right man for the job, he slowly but surely shifted into place as the one and only choice for the mayoral office. Nevertheless, it seemed that he might not win; a few, slightly more influential and popular candidates remained. It was quite the stroke of luck, then, when in 2160 the infamous "Lentonville Riots" broke out; a strange gas, deployed by seemingly deranged Mister Handy and Protectron units, caused many of the town's citizens to break into fits of derangement, attacking friends and family in the ensuing chaos. Hammond was lucky to escape with his life in the bar he had once worked in, which was burned to the ground. The other candidates numbered among the victims of a dramatically afflicted town, with many settlers, wanderers and other unfortunates lying dead when Hammond and others emerged from cover. With his rivals dead, it was hardly a surprise when, in 2161, Hammond was finally chosen to be that which he had set out to become at the very start of the 2100s; the town's first post-war mayor, not to mention first Ghoul mayor.
The 2100s came to a close with the old Ghoul cementing his power through setting up a series of oligopolies, whether in the markets of food, medicine or weapons, to ensure that competition between the few businesses not already under his direct control was hampered to start and later maintain an economic boom the town was led to enjoy, something he was quick to take credit for, and to also ensure that those few who were, for all intents and purposes, given their positions through Hammond's goodwill were loyal to him and him alone, as their loyalty ultimately meant that their positions were secure and that the gravy-train kept on rolling. Newcomers who sought to set up their own shops, bars and even stalls to profit of the town's new status as a trader's pit-stop first had to get in Hammond's good graces to even stand a chance; otherwise, they faced being roughed up by thugs apparently, but without any solid evidence of such, in the employ of Hammond or his associates. Indeed, Hammond found great use in hiring the odd criminal; either to handle any threats to his power, rough-up those who sought to break the status-quo and even murder those who's loyalty had come into question - the types of people who would do this work were never really in short supply, and Hammond could rely on fresh-faced recruits willing to do his dirty work for a fistful of caps. His little band of murderous men and women also helped prevent any unwanted exploration; Hammond was by no means willing to risk another "Lentonville Riots" situation and, as such, sought to victimise the few scavengers still present in the area and drive them away, keeping them from 'disturbing' whatever unknown forces resided in the long-abandoned industrial sector of the town; so effective were they in this fairly universally popular control that Hammond had the first faint flickers of creating a new town sheriff's office; under his control, of course. By the 2230s, Hammond sought to legitimise the veritable army of thugs, misfits and criminals he had gathered in both the eyes of an increasingly fickle public and wary associates; Hammond's Gunners was formed late into 2238 under the auspices of securing law and order in the town, not to mention keeping the ruins of the old factories firmly out of reach of any would-be scavengers, and was, apparently, the town's first true body of impartial law enforcement since the end of the Great War - of course, this was all a lie. Hammond's Gunners were, as the name implied, his own mercenaries; as such, they protected his interests first and the town second, not that this was ever mentioned to those paying the salaries of Hammond's newly deputised thugs.
For the next few years, given an increasingly treacherous Virginian wasteland and worsening economic situation, the town's economic prosperity tapered off and the public of Lentonville became ever more wary of Hammond and his private army, no longer pacified by the wealth that had made Hammond and his policies tolerable. These men and women were increasingly despised by the local, with even the still popular Hammond unable to settle increasingly sour relations; instead, whenever Hammond brought the subject up, many pointed to him as the source of blame for the Gunners' lawlessness. Things grew worse as the 2240s and a series of commanders, all unpopular with the Gunners, came and went, until Hammond managed to find a commander who proved herself to be relatively popular around 2256; Linda Pascall, then in her 30s, seemed the perfect choice with her appeal, both sexual and business related, to the average thug in the Gunners and thus carved herself a comfortable position in Hammond's law enforcement body; much to the old man's tepid concern. As relations collapsed throughout the 2250s and 2260s between the town's citizenry and Hammond's Gunners, minor but fairly bloodless incidents took place where tensions boiled over; Hammond found himself increasingly arguing against his own force, with the new commander Linda Pascall apparently the woman who held the loyalties of the Gunners. In 2279, a fist-fight in a bar turned into a shootout where, in the immediate aftermath, both Hammond, Pascall and several prominent ranchers who happened to be associates of Hammond were herded into a corner of the town by an angry mob that threatened to execute all of them if Hammond's Gunners did not relent in their looting and burning; faced with the prospect of losing their commander and their paycheck, they relented. The whole affair shook Hammond to his core, with his threats of a pay-decrease to Pascall prompting the aging woman to simply laugh in his face. As the 2280s came, Hammond found himself more and more aligned with the citizenry he had for many years happily strong-armed, less out of choice and more out of necessity, with control over the Gunners slowly but surely slipping from his grasp. As of 2287, with Hammond still clinging to his ever-reliable army of thugs, an increasingly vicious prospect of civil-war has begun to rear its head; for Hammond, this is yet another threat to his power that needs to be crushed; yet, despite his fears, the facade of a sedate gentleman remains, orders are still issued to Pascall alongside payment and his position as mayor remains his, albeit slightly shaken by the machinations of his untrustworthy subordinate and a distrustful public.
Greed, as is often said, may well be good; but not without its consequences.
- "Now, now, gentlemen, let us all remain calm and discuss these important matters in a civilised fashion, shall we?"
- ―Silas Hammond
- "Why the hell would I need a gun when I pay good caps for others to use them in my defence?"
- ―Silas Hammond
- Tattered Suit: Old, slightly torn, but still relatively classy when compared with the more common rags and loincloths found on most citizens of the wastes, a tired looking brown suit and tie clings to the ancient frame of Silas Hammond; whilst he labours under the impression that the suit makes him look rather more debonair and suave, many of even his own cronies admit it makes him look rather slobbish and, for the more cultured, a schmuck.
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