Broken Mask Incident
Mr. Carter, as he was known, malfunctioned while dining at Power Noodles. He went berserk and killing the people patronizing the establishment. When security guards gunned the attacker down, his synth nature came to light, causing widespread paranoia about synthetic infiltrators that would persist well into 2287.
In 2229, on an uncharacteristically warm May evening in 2229, Power Noodles was still a bar, serving ice cold Nuka Colas, frothy beers, and stiff shots of whiskey. The barman's name was Henry, and that night, he facilitated the shared human experiences of drinking, smoking, talking and laughing. According to Eustace Hawthorne, twenty-two year old at the time, recounts the incident began without provocation. Mr. Carter came into town earlier that day, saying that he was from out west somewhere. His smile, his laugh, and the way he'd make everyone feel at ease quickly won him the affection of the crowds. That night, at the bar, everyone crowded around him to talk to him or hear about the state of the Commonwealth.
After three hours and four or five drinks inside, everyone was tipsy, but happy. As was Mr. Carter, smiling his smile. In an instant, he stopped smiling. His cheek started twitching and he reached inside his coat for his revolver and started shooting with no hesitation or emotion. The bartender was the first person to die. Twitching constantly, Mr. Carter continued firing, killing three or four people before he was gunned down by Diamond City security. Examining the shot up corpse, the inhabitants realized that Mr. Carter was actually an early Gen 3 synth: Synthetic organic flesh coating plastic and metal insides. This led to widespread paranoia about synth infiltrators that persisted well into the 2280s. The precise reasons for the shooting were never identified. Some speculated that this was a combat test carried out by the Institute, whereas others suggested that it was a simple malfunction - supported by the twitching cheek.
Of course, that was just the surface. Inside the Institute, the furious Director started a full investigation into the matter following an emergency Directorate meeting: The synth sent to Diamond City was a prototype, not approved for field testing. The potential impact of the operation, namely the exposure of Institute operations on the surface, would be a mark on the legacy of the then-Director.
The lasting impact of this event can still be seen in Diamond City and the greater part of the Boston Commonwealth. Ever since this incident, hysteria of neighbor of family members unknowingly being snyths grown to a fever pitch of paranoia.
The Broken Mask Incident is mentioned only in Fallout 4.
- Fallout 4 loading screen hints: "In the year 2229, a mysterious visitor to Diamond City killed several people. It was only after he was shot dead by city security that the stranger was revealed to be a synth. The people of the Commonwealth have feared the Institute ever since."
- The Synthetic Truth
- Nick Valentine: "Hey. Let me ask you something. It's just, with everything that's happened with you, your family. It's a whole hell of a lot to process. I wanted to make sure you're holding up alright."
The Sole Survivor: "I don't know, Nick. My family's in tatters. I've been dropped into this place where everything's trying to kill me. You tell me."
Nick Valeninte: "I'd expect you feel lost, scared, and mad as hell. I sure did. Took me a long damn time to get a feel for this place. Thank goodness I found Diamond City. It's got its flaws, sure, but it beats the hell out of anywhere else in the Commonwealth. Course, when I took up there back when, people were just as scared of the Institute as they are now, maybe more. The massacre of the CPG was still pretty fresh in people's minds at that point, and folks were still losing sleep over the Broken Mask. Plenty of people assumed I was just a saboteur, moving in to melt down the reactor or poison the drinking water. But, at the time, they couldn't exactly turn me away."
(Nick Valentine's dialogue)
- The Boogeyman Banished?
- Director's recording #108