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Father, Shaun, and the Institute

father shaun institute story theory

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#21
jcdenton2012

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I finally got around to this part of the game after a logged 4 days solid worth of gameplay, and now feel as though I can comment fully upon the topic material.

 

After speaking with Father (Shaun) I can give my thoughts on certain key parts of the conversation. First, yeah... he was a bit of a dick with that rotten trick of making you think the kid was him. However, I do add some points because of his raw honesty with being upfront to you about him, his life, the things he's done...  You gotta admire him for not trying to hide some of that evil s***.

 

Now, the part where he calls your spouse "collateral damage," a lot of you guys seem to be taking that out of context. I don't think he's actually calling your spouse that, so much as spitefully paraphrasing the reports he read, regarding how his prior superior had worded the brutal murder. In fact, he later went on to honestly admit that letting you murder Kellogg was some very satisfying revenge. Some of you guys say this makes him a sociopath, but I tend to view it as him being more vindictive for the alternate life he could have lived had Kellogg not kidnapped him and murdered one of his parents.

 

Afterwards, should you say you pity Kellogg, he expresses surprise, because here is a parent who went through hell to find him, and forgiveness for the man directly responsible for everything is... very out of character, given all the things you've done up until this point. I view that as justifiable surprise all things considered. 

 

For me, it seems like Shaun now finds himself with a bit of a moral conflict. On one hand he has his entire Institute oriented life which has trained him to think only in terms of logic, rules, and cold scientific thought. Then on the other hand he suddenly finds himself with a loving parent he has never known and struggles to comprehend. In short, he's torn between being cold and emotionless The Administrator, or discovering his past buried emotions to a parental figure who refuses to reject him. 

 

This seems best represented in your last interaction with him right before he dies. Indeed, I admit that this makes him a very tragic figure... 



#22
RelicDuDe

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With respect.. tell that to his victims. Or the family of his victims,

 

You can say Kellog did that, not he himself.. but as director, he was, and is responsible.

 

 

So trust me when i say:  If it looks looks a Rat, sounds like a Rat, smells like a Rat, acts like a Rat... chances are... its a Rat.



#23
Moraelin

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Well, I feel for him and the Institute too. Mostly recoil ;)



#24
jcdenton2012

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With respect.. tell that to his victims. Or the family of his victims,

 

You can say Kellog did that, not he himself.. but as director, he was, and is responsible.

 

 

So trust me when i say:  If it looks looks a Rat, sounds like a Rat, smells like a Rat, acts like a Rat... chances are... its a Rat.

Squirrels are members of the rat family... 



#25
Moraelin

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Man, that's a lesson in not reading the Nexus right after cooking and eating your squirrel bits stew. My character ain't gonna look the same at those foods ever again ;)



#26
VultureTX

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-but my proto-Sole Survivor just said "Son's a slaver. Gotta kill him."-

 

My first playthrough, Father ended the conversation after the young Shaun con, and I shot him and every one else on the way out who got in my way.  I was in Slaver HQ  and all the collars were built-in.

 

 

As for life extension for Father, You do realize that Kellogg's own mental state may have been triggered by cybernetics,  it is quite possible to conjecture that machine extended brain function may induce  or exacerbate mental abnormalities.  You can even today induce Psychosis merely by preventing the brain from resting or healing.


Edited by VultureTX, 17 December 2015 - 08:49 PM.


#27
Moraelin

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Ah yes, again the topic of life extension for Father, and why I wrote the previous conjectures: he's not dying of old age. He's dying of a very aggressive form of cancer, that their doctors can't cure.

 

(Long and ultimately irrelevant science background, that you may want to skip: bacteria can reproduce indeffinitely, because they have circular DNA loops. Vertebrates basically have a maximum division counter at the end of each chromosome. They're called telomeres. Each cell division chops off one unit of the counter. When it reaches zero, it can't divide (safely) any more. When enough cells reach the end of the line, more and more wear and tear can't be repaired for lack of cells which can divide to repair it. So eventually you die of old age.

 

However telomeres are also a main line of defense against cancer. Anything that triggers dividing out of control, including any herpes infection, would be guaranteed to end up killing you. Except, as long as that safeguard is still working, eventually they reach the end of the counter and the division stops. Cancer needs an extra mutation, one that activates resetting that counter.

 

Any form of rejuvenation would involve resetting the counters, basically, but that doesn't help with an existing tumor, and may even create a new one. So basically Father can't do that once he has cancer. And he may or may not have gotten a cancer by trying to do that.)

 

Anyway, he's dying of cancer and he can't be cured. Any form of life extension attempt at that point would be anywhere between pointless, and actually making his cancer worse and SHORTENING his life.

 

It doesn't matter if he WANTS to live or die, it doesn't matter if he's tired of living or not, etc. It's just not his choice any more. He's dying of something his doctors can't cure. It's end of the line for him, whether he wants it or not.

 

His only chance of living any further is as a Synth. Which is what I was previously musing about. There are very few options there, that wouldn't end up with him being a slave or a fugitive slave, given the institute's mentality about synths. As I was saying, it would be like going from being the grand wizard of the KKK to being black. You ain't gonna stay the grand wizard. In fact, I can see a single realistic choice that's reasonably assured to not end up a slave: the synth child, if he can get you emotionally attached to it.

 

Again, I don't say that that IS what he's doing. It's just really the only realistic thing he COULD do. But there's no telling if he did. He may have not even considered that, given his opionion on synths. He may simply be choosing to die with dignity, than live as a slave machine. Or whatever.



#28
Roriksbork

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What if Father is a synth based on Shaun's genetic material (which would explain his appearance and perhaps his monotonous voice and cold nature), and the child synth is a copy of the Father synth, but the real Shaun is long dead? I only finished the game once - siding with the Institute out of interest - and what I noticed was that after Shaun had died and the ending cinematic had played, his deathbed and his body were nowhere to be found. They seem to have been disposed of almost immediately by the good (cough) people of the Institute.

 

Is it possible, perhaps, that the question of what really happened to Shaun will be settled in one of the DLCs? For example, if Shaun died of a rare, aggressive form of cancer, perhaps it had something to do with him being a 'pristine pre-war specimen, sealed tight', but being briefly exposed to the changed conditions of the new world before being taken underground. This would mean that the player could develop that particular form of cancer as well, look for a cure, and in the process find out the truth about what happened to Shaun, whatever that may be.


Edited by Roriksbork, 17 December 2015 - 09:54 PM.


#29
VultureTX

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...

Any form of rejuvenation would involve resetting the counters, basically, but that doesn't help with an existing tumor, and may even create a new one. So basically Father can't do that once he has cancer. And he may or may not have gotten a cancer by trying to do that.)

 

Anyway, he's dying of cancer and he can't be cured.

 

Except Father is the basis for Gen 3 produciton, they can clone/synthesize all the human organs in his body.   That sure does imply control of cell replication.  

It also implies that if Father got cancer , then all the Gen 3s can develop cancer as well.   Caveat: Father was expsed to a mutagenic trigger (assuming enviromental but maybe his DNA was not that clean as they hoped)  that no other Gen3 will ever come across for some reason.



#30
Moraelin

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Well, we could debate the exact biology, but that's irrelevant in the end. What matters is: it is stated in the game that his doctor can't cure it. For whatever reason. Maybe their science isn't that advanced, or something. Or maybe it's just Bethesda needing drama. But that's the canon, for better or worse: he'd dying whether he wants it or not.

 

That said, if you still want to geek out about biology:

 

1. Well, cancer isn't terminal (with modern medicine) when it's just one tumor. If that's the case, you just do some surgery and cut it out. It's terminal when it metastasized all over the body.

 

2. It's also not quite the normal cell functioning. Cancer involves at least two mutations, both being not quite how cells are supposed to replicate. So whatever technology they use to pretty much 3D-print gen 3's (no, seriously, you can watch it done) it's not clear if it would work to control abnormal cells.

 

3. One mechanism that cancer does use to regen telomeres, is a gene that does that for, well, when you make a baby. The new generation must start with the division counters reset. But that's quite heavily controled, so it doesn't activate in any other condition, so a mutation in cancer must activate that out of control.

 

The other is basically in stuff like hair or fingernails, which must keep growing all the time. So they MUST keep regenerating telomeres, or you'd go completely bald and lose all nails before you even reach puberty. So the other variant of that KEY mutation in cancer is to have THAT control mechanism broken.

 

BUT, one varian only necessary or useful if you can reproduce. Synths can't reproduce. And the other, well, is only useful if you don't want to 3-d print them a new scalp and fingernails every couple of years, or just basically just give them a wig. Now I don't know if the institute thinks like I do, but if it were me designing the gen 3, I'd consider getting rid of both a pretty fair tradeoff for having them be nigh immune to cancer. Basically I'd just break the genes that can reset the division counters, and get some sturdier robots and an extra reassurance that they can't start reproducing ever.

 

So essentially, it doesn't quite follow that if Father (like any other human) can get cancer, the Gen 3's can get it too. Breaking the key genes that make it possible is actually not even SF, but within what one could do today with a clone.







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