"I am not lesser."
Rook, also known by his military alphanumeric serial number as T-800, and eventually (although briefly) as "Airman John Smith" is a military Android, or Courser, designed and built by The Institute and involved in the events that transpired during Fallout: New York.
"I am not a 'piece of tech.' I am an android. I am not so different from you."
Rook is a Courser Android designed for combative, infiltrative, and reconnaissance purposes. He was created and built by the Institute for use by the Synth Retention Bureau. He was incredibly successful as a Courser, dispatching many targets, Android and Human alike.
However, he would be approached by A3-12, also known as Harkness, who would get Rook interested in ideals such as "freedom" and "self-determination." Shortly after A3-12's escape from the Commonwealth in 2277, Rook himself would leave. However, unlike A3-12, the Institute dispatched a military force to retrieve Rook, as the infiltrator was known to be extremely dangerous.
"If you unholster that weapon you have no chance of survival."
Rook flees west into the former New York state, currently known as the Empire Wasteland. He reaches One Tree, a landmark in the Wasteland, and notices explosions far off. Upon reaching the source of the explosions, he discovers they are the result of raiders charging into Morgan's minefield. Rook himself crosses the minefield without incurring any damage and on the other side requests a scalpel from Morgan so that he can remove his Android component. Once the component is removed, Rook explains to Morgan that since he has spent an extended amount of time in her warehouse, they must leave, otherwise Liberty series units would descend on their location. The two abscond the warehouse, and head west to Central Park on Manhattan Island, where Morgan claims she has a second safe house. Rook agrees to escort her is she can teach him how to appear more human.
On the road to the safe house, between conversations, Rook and Morgan are beset by Liberty series units, Androids with combative purposes, like Rook, but with exposed metal parts, at Queensboro Bridge. The two defeat the Androids, but Rook sustains damage in the fight. They find an ambulance with the necessary tools to fix up his wounds and repair him there. They'd decided to cut their losses and head for Broadway and Times Square instead of Central Park. They head across Queensboro Bridge, aiming for Times Square. On the way there they marvel at the Empire State Building and it's simply massive size.
Broadway and the Ania Ray Lounge
When they arrive at Timesquare they are halted by a gate guard, who requests the payment for entrance. Rook barely comes up with the 500 cap sum, but they manage to pay it and get into Broadway. Once inside, they wonder how they'll be able to earn enough caps to make a living, since it cost so many just for entrance. They are approached by a salesman, who Rook threatens, thinking it will stop him from pissing off Morgan, who in turn ends up just scolding him. Tyrone, the piano player at for the Ania Ray Lounge runs into them, and they question him about where they can get a job. He invites them to ask down at the lounge, where they reluctantly surrender their weapons
Inside, they argue with Tyrone about what jobs they can achieve. Rook easily gets a job as a bouncer, but Morgan struggles to find a position, eventually settling for maintenance, much to her chagrin. Once Tyrone departs, Rook gets sudden inspiration to stage a heist on Broadway. Together they agree to rob the Ania Ray Lounge during the upcoming Masquerade Ball. Once that is decided, they head out to find a weapons dealer, to acquire more firepower. They decide they must steal the weapons, which Morgan dubs, "swiping." Once they find one, a man named Andre who sells firearms illegally out of his general store, Rook selects weapons for him and Morgan. Since they do not have the money to pay, Rook elects to kill Andre, and carries out the deed, which Morgan is immediately outraged by:
"Rook!" Morgan hissed. "What the fuck!? He was hardly a hostile!"
"We were swiping." Said Rook, moving for the door. "He was an obstacle. Why shouldn't I have shot him?"
"Because he was obviously selling them to us!" Morgan muttered, ending on another sigh. "Whatever, just... don't shoot people unless I tell you to, OK?"
---Rook and Morgan over the death of Andre.
They hide the body and, almost as if on cue, Tyrone walked into the shop, and informed Rook and Morgan that they got their jobs. The two retreat from the shop and settle on hiding their new weapons in a hotel room, as no to appear suspicious. They choose the cheapest hotel that is, but the sorry excuse for a one star accommodation is extremely overpriced. Rook and Morgan threaten and barter with the owner of the establishment, to no avail, until Morgan gets overwhelmed and gives Rook permission to shoot the owner. Rook first takes the man's book and intends to tear it to shreds, as a final warning, and the owner relents. At that, Rook and a very upset Morgan go to their room. There Morgan is startled by a radroach, having a reasonable disgust of them, and Rook swiftly kills it. He hides their new guns in the mattress of the bed and the android and woman set off to claim their new jobs at the Lounge.
Rook and Morgan carry out their jobs, before returning to their hotel room. There they add new words to Rook's vocabulary and Rook teaches Morgan how to use her rifle. However, during this time Tyrone arrives, claiming he knows about Rook's and Morgan's plot to rob Ania and that Rook shot Andre. Rook claims ambivalence, wondering how this is his problem, and Tyrone says that an investigation is being held, that could get the pianist in trouble because he and Andre were running the black market operation together. Tyrone warns Rook and Morgan that Ania knows they are coming, but the two brush him off, leaving Tyrone to storm out in anger. Rook, however, expresses doubt about the stating that it is strategically unsound, frustrating Morgan. They argue about what the most reasonable plan is, eventually letting it get heated enough when it comes to whether they should still show up for their jobs, that Morgan stomps out, much like Tyrone before her. Rook chases after her and stops Morgan, telling her how vital it is that there is a back up plan. Morgan, however, criticizes Rook's itchy trigger finger, causing the android to reply by telling Morgan he thinks he is using her, quoting an earlier statement of her's. Morgan claims that is far from the truth, saying that she considers Rook an equal, and trusts him more than anyone. Rook and Morgan settle their differences, leading Rook to reflect on their relationship:
Rook would never stop. He would never leave her, he would never hurt her, never shout at her, or get drunk and hit her, or say he was too busy to spend time with her. He would always be there. And he would die, to protect her. Of all the would-be companions who came and went over the years, this thing, this machine, was the only one who measured up. In an insane world, it was the sanest choice.
However, during the argument, Morgan kick's the door of a hotel room, prompting Thomas Hamilton to tromp outside, baring a Beretta. They have a slightly confrontational discussion, Thomas stating that he overheard Morgan and Rook's plan to rob Ania Ray through the thin walls, but could care less. Thomas, evidently, has plenty of reason to hate Ania. Rook and Morgan conclude that a third member of their team could trip out the seemingly prepared Ania, and thus invite Hamilton to join in on the heist. He sets some conditions, which Morgan and Rook easily accept. Morgan heads off to work, while Rook follows Hamilton inside the latter's room. Hamilton shows rook a Chinese Stealth Suit, which Rook is familiar with, and they decide it could help in the heist. When Hamilton says that one other man knows he possesses the suit and says they should kill him, Rook states he is not aloud to shoot people. Hamilton expresses disbelief and incorrectly assumes that Morgan is Rook's wife, leading to much confusion for the android. Rook then prepares to fix a wound above Hamilton's eye, evidently knowing much about human anatomy.
After Hamilton's eye is fixed, Morgan soon returns from work, having a scare when Ania called her up to the Lounge's Office. The three assemble their equipment, Hamilton dressing in a Pre-war suit so that he can disguise himself as a guest. Rook and Morgan scale the tower in the meanwhile. They climb to the top of the tower and break into Ania's office just in time to discover that she plans to test Psychotronics on the Lounge's Guests for the People's Republic of Chinatown and, by extension, Mother Chao-Xing. Even worse, they discover that the Thongzi also plan to brain wash the entire Empire Wasteland with this same psychotronic technology, which was developed for the Thongzi at Governor's Island. Rook and Morgan attempt to escape the tower, but set off a trap when they cracked Ania's safe, and Rook is blasted by an EMP as he exits the tower, causing both him and Morgan to plummet towards the ground.
Morgan, using the parachute they had originally planned to use for any valuables they looted from Ania's penthouse, slows her descent, but at the cost of dropping Rook. The android plummets the remaining hundreds of metres to the ground. Rook, being primarily composed of titanium, is barely damaged by the fall, but remains deactivated. Morgan lands next to him, but suffers a concussion on impact and is knocked unconscious. Hamilton soon comes by and rescues them, dropping Rook in a dumpster, to hide his deactivated form, and carrying Morgan back to the hotel.
Rook soon reactivates and returns, much to Morgan's pleasure. She expresses anger towards Hamilton for leaving the android behind in the first place, but the argument soon blows over. Rook and Morgan recovered documents from Ania's penthouse that reveal her treachery entirely, and decide to ransom it back to Ania in exchange for caps. Hamilton departs, leaving Rook and Morgan alone. Rook explains he needs to cool down or, as he states, "requires a sleep," and Morgan offers the bed, which leaves Rook feeling put out. After a short negotiation, they end up sharing the bed anyway.
The two are rudely interrupted by Broadway police, who have come to arrest them. The police are held off by Hamilton, who tells Rook and Morgan that their blackmail plan won't work, and that they should expose Ania by releasing the documents through Atomic Radio Central (A.R.C). Rook and Morgan agree, and sneak out a hotel window, leaving Hamilton some explosives. He intends to destroy the building, to cover their escape, and then meet them at A.R.C.
A.R.C and joining up with Garry and Heather
After escaping Broadway, and on the road, Rook and Morgan are attacked by Chinese Raiders: raiders who have access to a Humvee with a mounted machine gun. They open fire on the android and human. Both Morgan and Rook are wounded, but the former had suffered a serious abdominal injury. Going into shock, Morgan demands Rook leave her and go to A.R.C on his own. Rook refuses, and attempts to pull Morgan along, only to have her use his override codes, which he told her earlier, to force him to leave her behind.
Rook heads to A.R.C, without Morgan to deliver. the files to Maxwell Flower. Maxwell is hesitant to let Rook in at first, especially when discovering in a shock that Rook is an android, but eventually relents. Rook enters and delivers the files to Maxwell, not very concerned on what the DJ should do with them, before announcing his departure. Rook departs the radio station, now freed from the override, and searches for Morgan. She has been moved from her original location. Rook at first thinks this bodes ill, but soon discovers that she is very much alive. She had been rescued by Heather and Garry, two wanderers in the Empire Wasteland. The former slave and slaver had defeated those trying to capture Morgan. They are initially suspicious of Rook, and are unsure whether to lead him to the injured woman, but warm up to him when they realize he is Morgan's friend. Rook is, understandably, angry with Morgan for seizing control of him, but shows concern for her when he sees her again.
The following morning, the four decide to set out, but Garry and Heather are shocked to learn that Morgan and Rook had once been traveling with Thomas Hamilton. They inform the android and woman that Hamilton is a former slaver and an overall terrible human being. Rook, who believed his service to the Institute to be a form of slavery, is angered by this and agrees with Garry to kill Hamilton. The four plan to ambush Hamilton as the later shows up at A.R.C, but are surprised themselves when confronted by two men in Chinese Stealth Armor. Rook is forced into a close-quarters confrontation with the ninjas and barely manages to defeat them in time, before Hamilton shows up at the scene. However, the ex-slaver is wounded, and when Rook prepares to execute the man, he discovers his gun is out of ammo. Hamilton uses the opportunity to shoot Morgan in the gut, seriously wounding her, and then escapes down a manhole. Rook elects to tend to Morgan's wound instead of chasing after Hamilton, and the couple, along with Garry and Heather, return to the latter two's apartment, with Morgan in critical condition.
"It is in your nature to destroy yourselves."
The group hides out in the apartment for two days, as Morgan recovers. She and Rook spent much time together, Rook staying by her bedside and, in a moment of body, eventually share a kiss, although Rook doesn't understand the significance of it. The group decides they need to make for Pop's Ferry, so that they can reach Governor's Island, to find a way for them to halt the Thongzi's plan. Their confidence comes from Rook's combative prowess along with Morgan's technical skill, with Garry and Heather running support. They make for the ferry, gambling by cutting a path through central park. Along the way, they defeat a gang of raiders, and, in the jungle of the Park, are encountered by T2-30, another Courser, sent to recover Rook. The group manages to defeat him, and flee further into the jungle, but gets lost. The group journeys through the park, having to seek cover from acid rain, and when they stick close together under an arch, Rook and Morgan confess their love for each other, although Rook, once again, does not have full understand of the the topic. Morgan calls their relationship "special friends," which she soon regrets, as the name sounds childish.
After a few mishaps, were Morgan get's doused in bug blood and falls in mud, they eventually find their way again when they stumble upon Vault 266's emergency transmission. They follow the transmission to the Vault itself, and head inside it to explore.the fallout shelter. Unfortunately, the 13 ton Vault door closes behind them, sealing them inside, as the interior control panel is damaged beyond repair. Upon exploring the Vault for an exit, Morgan and Rook have a fight as, on Morgan's orders, Rook destroys spore pods which release toxic spores. Morgan's inhales, them upon which she falls ill, and is very angry with Rook. They get into an argument, which Rook has a hard time understanding the purpose off, when Garry pulls Rook away, and explains things to him.
"Do you know why I am annoying? Am I malfunctioning?" Rook asked.
"Nah... It's..." Garry waited until they had moved away from her dorm before he began to talk, still keeping his voice down.
"I think she's malfunctioning... like crazy. I mean, she's been on her own for all these years and that... well, does things to you."
"Morgan is not malfunctioning. She is a human." Rook pointed out, like it was obvious. "Are you saying that she is insane?"
"Sort of... She's er..." Garry fell silent, scratching his head as they turned a corner. "I think she's used to bein' on her own... Constantly havin' other people around her, especially when she's pissed off, is probably goin' to piss her off even more."---Rook and Garry, about Morgan's emotional state.
They explore a tiny bit but, after getting the picture of what he should do, Rook returns to his and Morgan's room for ammunition. They two make up, and decide to settle somewhere together once they have completed their mission. After Garry dons a radiation suit, the two delve into the Vault. After trudging through digested corpses, brahmin dung, and other foul things, they discover that the only way out is through a massive carnivorous plant.
Garry's upper body slouched as he saw the potential opening, frozen on the spot in disbelief.
"You gotta be fuckin' kiddin' me!" He blurted, trying to see if his eyes were decieving him.
"We gotta tunnel up that thing's ass?"---Garry, upon seeing the Vault's remaining exit.
The two release they must climb the tube-like organ that comprises the plant's anus, intestines, stomach, and throat, to the surface. The two returned with news and, after the two couples spend the night in the Vault, Rook instructs the three humans to dress in radiation suits, whilst he manufactures make-shift climbing spikes. They begin their climb, Morgan and Rook going up first, the former on the latter's back, followed by Heather. However, because the plant fights them all the way up, spewing acid from the lining of it's stomach on them, Garry loses a climbing spike, and Rook is forced to climb back down to help him out. They both suffered severe acid burns and are crippled until they finally make it out of the Vault. It is just a short way until Pop's ferry, where they finally rejoice for having made it this far. However, the worst was yet to come.
The group arrives at Pop's ferry,
Rook shielded Morgan with his arm when the debris of the Empire State Building came down, even though it wasn't necessary. Nothing came close.
When the fire finally died, he found himself smiling, that familiar lion's grin of his back on his face.
They weren't safe. Safety was an illusion. He'd been fed that since his creation. When a Courser, hunting down runaway synths and human targets: trust no one. When on the run himself, sneaked out by a mysterious benefactor, he was told: trust no one. Even Hamilton himself, the last thing he had said to Rook: trust no one.
Yeah, Rook found himself mysteriously happier than he had been in a long time. He supposed this is what it felt like to be a hero. He and Morgan had done this. They'd saved everyone. They'd assembled a team and, as shakey as it had been, how impossible they knew it was, they'd done. A woman and a machine, staring out with nothing more than a leather jacket, a pistol, and a handful of explosives.
They descended upon Broadway and explained what they'd done, told everyone of their dead. No one quite believed them at first, and they were still quite wanted, but Rook had both the fire power and the footage to back up what they were saying.
Ania Ray didn't dare touch them.
Morgan took steps to further her project of solar power for the entire city. Once she and Rook had finally completed her solar panels, the two began to repair the cities power grid, gradually bringing the once great metropolis back online. They struck it rich when the the supply of power for Broadway fell to them- solar paneling was much more reliable than exterior generators. Rook, concerned with Morgan's safety, commissioned a private army of robots for her- along with her own Securitron bodyguard. He explained that it was an adequate replacement for him, to which Morgan responded that nothing could replace him. That left Rook trying to explain that, as a synth, it in fact was entirely possibly, and she ended up having to drag him down to a kiss to silence him.
Rook took the initiative to began cleaning the city of it's scum. During most night hours he would scour the city in his armor, wiping out raider gangs and super mutant tribes, and securing settlements, helping them run power lines back to the "Jones Panel Complex" at Broadway. He ended up having to change his face, for when people saw it, as he couldn't risk being recognized by an agent of the Institute. Morgan had minded, for some reason- he had made certain it was an improvement. They disabled his manual commands receiver and made Morgan the only authorized user to tamper with his software. He was extra cautious to not let anything like what happened with the Governor or Naomi occur again.
Morgan had fulfilled dream of bringing power to the Wasteland, but still questioned her fortune over others, wondering what made her special. In answer, Rook had taken her to a bed and proved she was.
In the end, Rook had concluded that living a normal life, being happy with Morgan, not killing things just for his own survival, is what really made him whole. Destroying the last psychotronic device in the Wasteland had not been the end of things, didn't speak "It's over." like Hamilton had after he had slain Garry. It was simply a grand opening to a new beginning for the Empire Wasteland. Because although war never changes, most things do.
"I am faster than you. More accurate than you. A 10mm round, especially one dampened by a suppressor, is not powerful enough to damage my titanium skeleton. Yet, you assume you will be able to defend yourself."
Rook, when it comes to social interaction, is largely infantile. He knows little of how to express himself and in turn has trouble reading other peoples emotions. His speech pattern is bizarre, as it is limited to formal military jargon, such as phrases like "affirmative" for yes or "negative" for no, and he has to be coached by Morgan to speak normally. However, he thinks like a normal adult male and is completely self-aware and intelligent. After spending time with Morgan, Rook began to exhibit some human traits like concern, such as asking Morgan if she is injured after defeating several Liberty series units, humor, when he spontaneously forces Morgan testing out if his jacket would make an effective harness for her to cling onto him, holding her up until she laughs, and an understanding for compassion, as he tenderly loans Morgan his jacket when she is cold.
Rook has several unique things about him that set him apart from other androids and humans alike. He has a titanium endoskeleton with motorized joints. This makes him incredibly strong and durable. The endoskeleton is sheathed in actual human flesh and Rook, on the outside, looks like a complete human male with all his appendages in place. He has human eyes covering two robotic ones. While he has normal eyesight, he also has a "targeting sight," like VATS, which lets him pick out and target hidden, nearby, or out of sight enemies. Rook is powered by mircofusion breeders, that overload when directly shot with a plasma bolt. He can also be temporarily deactivated by sustaining a direct shot from an electromagnetic pulse, such as from a pulse gun, pulse mine, or pulse grenade. Minute electromagnetic pulses are not enough to disable Rook and can only momentarily disrupt some of his higher functions. Rook's lack of a heart makes him immune to poison of any kind. Rook can also perfectly mimic the voices of others, allowing him to draw hostiles into traps, or trick people into thinking he is someone else.
- The full name for the series of Android models Rook belongs to is the "Synthetic Systems Model 800 Courser Series Infiltration-Combat Unit." He is a prototype, the first Android to have a purely organic flesh endoskeleton sheath. This makes him one of the first, if not the first, Generation 3 Institute Courser.
Behind the scenes
- Rook was much more heavily inspired by the Terminator franchise until Fallout 4 became available for purchase. Similarities were noted between him and the Courser enemy of that game and so they were drafted as his background instead.