Daniel Hornwright

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Mentioned-only character
Daniel Hornwright
Biography and appearance
RaceHuman
GenderMale
AffiliationHornwright Industrial Mining Company
RoleCEO
FamilyPenelope Hornwright (daughter)
Liam Hornwright (son)
Gameplay
Mentioned inFallout 76
 
Gametitle-F76.png
Gametitle-F76.png

Daniel Hornwright is a character featured in Fallout 76.

Background[edit | edit source]

Hornwright Industrial Mining Company was a staple of Appalachian mining since the first pick was driven into its soil. However, that staple evolved under Daniel Hornwright's leadership, becoming something far more. Embracing Vault-Tec's mantra of preparing for the future, Daniel decided to bring his father's company into it, thoroughly misinterpreting his father's words that "products are only as good as the people who build them". While Daniel's father emphasized the human component, his son took it to mean that the products were only as strong and reliable as the workforce. As such, the moment he took control of the company, he went full throttle on every automated worker program the company had. Without human workers, the company would have no more sick days, no more vacations, no more maternity leaves and sudden deaths in the family. He could reduce the number of people needed to run the company, yet maintain the same output and quality control. The flagship Auto-Miner program was the beginning of an ambitious program to fully automate Hornwright before 2100, becoming the strongest and wealthiest company the world's ever seen.[1] The Rockhound, activated in 2070 atop Mount Blair, may have put Hornwright in the spotlights, but it was Daniel's reforms and Auto-Miners that would be its legacy.[2]Daniel started by sacking miners who worked in Hornwright mines, replacing them with Auto-Miners, and continued with a series of pilot projects to see what other molecules of the human element he could banish from the mining process. This included leaning on contacts in the Department of Defense, which provided him with the plans for VB-01 Vertibirds. The vertical take-off craft, outfitted for long distance flight, air-to-ground combat and reconnaissance could become a platform to carry an Auto-Miner brain and mineral detection system and speed up the pace of mineral surveying by a factor of twenty.[3]

Naturally, his stubborn pursuit of efficiency and profit, Hornwright neglected the impact his work would have on the environment. The Rockhound installed atop Mount Blair has polluted the entire region of Appalachia, devastating the ecosystem and filling the air with soot and ash from the strip-mined mountaintop. As any recovery measures would cut into his bottom line, the CEO refused to entertain such measures. However, when the Clear Skies Alliance approached the company with a proposal for shared ownership of air scrubbers that would purify the air, the CEO was interested. Not because of genuine concern for the environment - the millions of dollars of development costs were too high a price to pay for breathable air - but because of the potential to repurpose the scrubbers to ionize particles and convert them into usable minerals. These secret "ash forges", as Hornwright marketing called them were set up in the Ash Heap to test them in practice and appease the Clear Skies Alliance.[4] To make things worse, in order to feed the ash forges with input, Hornwright deliberately ignited the old, toxic mines around Mount Blair to fill the air with mineral-rich soot. Even Hornwright's own scientists were horrified at such wanton disregard for the environment.[5]

This was one of several signs that Daniel Hornwright's mental state was deteriorating. The biggest hit to his sanity and the company's profile came with the Motherlode Project. Although originally intended to be merely an automated, weak AI platform, the project took on a new meaning for the CEO after the death of Evelyn Hornwright from cancer. The Motherlode became Hornwright's obsession, turning into a single-minded pursuit of its completion to prove to his late wife that her death wasn't the end of him - it was just the beginning. Naturally, the scientists working on the project did not appreciate the obsessive level of scrutiny and micro-management that followed. Brigada, head researcher on the Motherlode project, was eventually fired for his resistance to the CEO and replaced with [6] Hornwright's obsession turned into casual cruelty when he decided to spin the death of Bill Breyer, an investigative reporter from the Charleston Herald, to advance his automation agenda. Breyer trespassed on a Motherlode test site to find out the truth about the project and was promptly shot by security guards, who mistook his recorder for a firearm. To Daniel Hornwright, this was merely a PR opportunity and an excuse to involve himself even more directly with the Motherlode Project, as a distraction away from dealing with the loss of his wife. Eventually, he started obsessively micro-managing the venture, to the point that even requisition codes for the most important components had to be pried from him.[7]

Politics and competition[edit | edit source]

Daniel Hornwright's ruthlessness translated into a particularly vicious form of competitiveness and treatment of workers. After AMS forced families out of Welch, triggering the massive Appalachian riots among miners, Hornwright supported the military crackdown with his fleet of Strikebreakers, commissioned from RobCo to deal with protesters and strikers (in a rare moment of empathy, Daniel commissioned them to avoid forcing his daughter, Penelope, to hire goons to deal with them).[8] The remaining human staff of Hornwright Industrial was disturbed by the violence and the brutality of the response, but to the CEO it was just evidence of the need to expedite automation. With the Motherlode project operating at peak capacity and exceeding expectations (despite Daniel's interference), the company would soon be able to remain in operation with a staff of just twenty.[9]

However, Daniel still had other foes. Garrahan Mining Company was playing all-in with their Excavator power armor, hoping to win over popular opinion and lucrative contracts. Daniel ensured that the Man vs. Machine challenge issued by Vivian Garrahan would result in a victory for them, gaining them the revolutionary tech used in the Excavator and establishing them as the premiere mining company of Appalachia. Of course, they did not play fair: A string of industrial sabotage and pressure resulted in a victory by a thin margin, just 1.85 tons. However, that was enough for Garrahan to implode and Hornwright to seize on the victory.[10]

Moreover, Daniel Hornwright was one of the biggest supporters of Ballot Measure 6 in Appalachia, which would have increased funds allocated for automation and a mandate to eliminate human employment within a decade. Naturally, that also meant working closely with Governor Evans, both officially and unofficially, providing political and financial backing in return for lucrative contracts for automation once the Ballot Measure passed. The CEO was sure that a local concern rather than a national, impersonal conglomerate like RobCo would help make the measure palatable to the Appalachians.[11]

As with the Excavator, Daniel Hornwright also took steps to eliminate any potential obstacles. Senator Sam Blackwell, an outspoken and charismatic opponent of the measure, was targeted by a goon hired by Hornwright. Threats made against his family forced the senator into hiding, also weakening the Free States in a time of need. Hornwright didn't care - he was just happy to see the senator out of the picture, at least until the Great War erased all of his plans.[12]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Daniel Hornwright is only mentiond in Fallout 76.

References

  1. Hornwright Industrial Headquarters terminals
  2. Bolton Greens terminals: "To: All Parents of Bolton Greens Members From: Thurston Wellingham, Headmaster Bolton Greens I'm pleased to announce that this year's Business Keynote will be delivered by Daniel Hornwright, CEO of Hornwright Industries. Daniel is an amazing businessman, who oversees one of the most aggressive and lucrative mining operations in Appalachia, the Hornwright Industrial Mining Company. All children are encouraged to attend the keynote, as it's likely to be full of insightful and perceptive information about the corporate world. As a special treat, Daniel will be presenting the original prototype scale model of the Rockhound Bucket-wheel Excavator. This device revolutionized the mining industry in Appalachia and helped push Hornwright into the spotlight. If you wish to attend the seminar with your child, please remit the nominal seating fee to our public relations office."
  3. Hornwright Industrial Headquarters terminals
  4. Hornwright Industrial Headquarters terminals
  5. Hornwright Industrial Headquarters terminals: "TO: Hornwright, Penelope FROM: Heyward, Dominick SUBJ: You Fucking Thieves ____________________ What's it like not having a soul, Penny? Do your insides clang around from all that empty space? My team and I were brought here with a purpose - clean the god-damned air YOU PEOPLE ruined. We SLAVED over this tech. Letting you light old, INCREDIBLY TOXIC mines on FIRE to fill the air with more shit you can harvest WAS NOT PART OF OUR DEAL. And you're not using our tech to do it. I'd tell you to go to hell, Penelope, but your plan was to just bring it here."
  6. Hornwright Industrial Headquarters terminals
  7. Hornwright Industrial Headquarters terminals
  8. Hornwright Industrial Headquarters terminals
  9. Hornwright Industrial Headquarters terminals
  10. Charleston Herald - Hornwright Wins!
  11. Hornwright Industrial Headquarters terminals: "Governor Evans, I'm thrilled to hear that Ballot Measure 6 will be taken up for referendum this November. Increasing the efficacy of the Appalachian government through automation will establish our territory as a national player for decades to come. We at Hornwright Industrial want to be a part of that. As you know, we have established ourselves as the experts at creating cost-effective automated systems. Our product line is constantly expanding and adapting, meaning we can develop custom tailored solutions for your needs. There is no better partner for the automation of the Appalachia Territory government than Hornwright. Not to mention dealing with a local concern rather than a national, impersonal conglomerate like RobCo will certainly help the pill go down easier with the local populace. Why don't you and the missus meet us for dinner to discuss? My wife Elaine has been dying to get to know the first wife more personally."
  12. Hornwright Industrial Headquarters terminals: "It's Daniel. I have a problem I need taken care of - Senator Samuel Blackwell. I need his voice ... quieted until the vote on Ballot Measure 6 has completed. I want you to ... scare him for us. No one's to be hurt. Just give him enough reason to disappear for a while. And, while I'm sure this goes without saying, make sure this can't be traced back to us. "