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Calvin van Lowe

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Mentioned-only character
Calvin van Lowe
Biography and appearance
RaceHuman
GenderMale
AffiliationBysshe Company
RoleInventor
FamilyShelley van Lowe (sister)
Gameplay
Mentioned inFallout 76
 
Gametitle-F76.png
Gametitle-F76.png

Calvin van Lowe was a native of Lewisburg and a talented, if troubled engineer. His childhood was defined by small town America and his parents' taxidermy shop, which passed to him and his sister, Shelley after they passed. Calvin was immensely intelligent and went to college, then found work at a major company out of state, Bysshe Energy.[1] However, while his mental acuity and cognitive skills were rated extremely high by professional psychologists at the company, they also observed that he suffered from a dissociative view of the social world and had limited ability to contextualize stimuli, as well as suffered from frequent mood swings, indicative of non-functional interpersonal relationships and attachments to the contextualized world around him.[2]

In laymen's terms, Calvin's smarts were hampered by his detachment from reality and problems in relating to other people. In small town Lewisburg, this manifested as him running a small circle of cryptid hunters, the Truth Seekers, which blossomed into a lifelong obsession with sheepsquatches. The meetings of the three hunters - him, Ray Gary, and Scoot Conroy - started in February 2070 and continued for the next two years, visiting various locations, such as farms off Route 63, Point Pleasant, and Uncanny Caverns. In each Calvin hoped to find evidence of the sheepsquatch, but consistently failed in this endeavor. The February '70 sighting was just a neighbor stealing sheep, the April 2, 2071, sighting was pointless, and the March 2071 provided a glimpse of an albino animal that he assumed to be the sheepsquatch, but turned out to be an albino bear. All this time, Calvin was studying to get into Vault-Tec University and struggling with his sheepsquatch obsession. He forced himself to ignore all reports of the sheepsquatch after the bear fiasco, focusing on getting into the University. His efforts paid off and he was accepted into VTU in 2072, starting his studies in September and leaving Lewisburg.[3]

Five years later, Calvin returned to Lewisburg. As a Bysshe engineer, he was assigned to the town on a project, returning in August. However, instead of the controlled self his sister remembered from before his departure to Morgantown, he appeared to be the old, tormented Calvin again: Going out in the middle of the night and locking himself away all day.[4] What his sister didn't realize was that he sold the property off to Bysshe,[5] which proceeded to greatly expand the underground portion of the building, drilling into the foundations and establishing a small, covert robotics research lab. The construction was rapid and finished around September 27, 2077.[6]

Although his sister doubted whether he was really on a job or just relapsed, Calvin's unique talents were indeed harnessed for a project. As part of Operation Mary's Little Lamb, he was tasked with creating a deniable robotic asset, capable of executing orders given to it by Bysshe without attracting undue attention. Anyone claiming that a sheepsquatch, of all things, appeared to ruin someone's property would be considered insane. The plan was simple: By leveraging these sheepsquatch sightings, Bysshe hoped to throw property values in Lewisburg into freefall, so that it could buy the town up.[7] Despite his deteriorating mental state, due to the project awakening old demons,[8] he continued his work. He was alone, with just Bo-Peep, his handler and advocate at Bysshe, and the Big Bad Wolf as fixer for "company".[9]

Initial progress was poor, as the Assaultron provided for the purpose was an old model, impossible to keep running or accept Calvin's custom routines and execute them properly. The company immediately provided a superior replacement, with latest stealth tech upgrades. It was the perfect canvas, but sightings failed to attract the right attention, even after Calvin reached out to his old Truth Seeker buddy, Ray Gary, trying to nudge him towards looking into them. Soon, Calvin made a grave error and missed his first check-in. Due to the sensitive nature of the project, Bysshe only gave its operatives one chance. Calvin was aware that the next missed check-in would result in the fixer, the Big Bad Wolf, eliminating him and his handler, Bo-Peep, then scrapping the project.[10] For her part, Bo-Peep was similarly nervous after Wolf showed her Calvin's poor psych evaluation, making her rethink her choice of pushing for Calvin to get the job. She still believed in him and agreed to a proof of concept meeting at the Bastion Park, where he'd demonstrate his product for her.[11][12]

However, catastrophe was just a few steps away. Stressed out, Calvin made a fatal mistake around October 18, 2077: While reprogramming the Assaultron provided by the company with custom behavior parameters of his own making, he had to stop the robot from filing a report about guideline violation: The machine interpreted sheepsquatch mating rituals as trying to turn it into a sex robot. While ordering an administrative override, he mispronounced the word and the robot interpreted is as an overwrite command. When the hapless Calvin realized his mistake, it was too late: The robot has already rebooted, with the new sheepsquatch personality smearing Calvin all over the walls of his lab and escaping into the wild.[13] Its first steps led to Bastion Park, where Bo-Peep met a grisly end, vaporized by the Assaultron's head laser.[14]

Being dead, Bo missed the meeting, prompting Wolf to act.[15] He closed in on Calvin shortly afterwards, easily navigating the finding the mess left behind and immediately scrambling to find a solution and contain the rogue robot. His sister was none the wiser and in the few remaining days before the Great War, attempted to organize a campaign that would help her find her brother, plastering posters at train stations all over Appalachia. The nuclear war soon forced that project onto the backburner and Shelley out of Appalachia, leaving the Vault 76 dwellers to try and pick up the pieces.[16]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Calvin van Lowe is mentioned only in Fallout 76.

References