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Melody Larkin is a character featured in Fallout 76.
One of the founding members of the Responders, Melody Larkin was the captain of the Charleston Fire Department, leading the firefighters in the relief efforts after the nuclear war. She was one of the most principled and selfless members of the organization, and wasted no time in bringing abuses of others to light. When the situation in Morgantown deteriorated in late March 2078, to the point that Police Chief Mayfield opened fire on the Vault-Tec University students and imposed a mandatory curfew, she appealed to Speaker Abigail Poole to quell the situation. Showing a political mind, she worked through the Charleston Emergency Government to avoid splitting off Responders who were with law enforcement and reducing an intervention to a political dog fight.
The proud scion of Appalachian working-class families, Larkin's strong moral backbone was known far and wide and made her the perfect choice for liaison between Charleston and the Responders. Melody handled various duties, most importantly security. Despite her grit, the constant stress and fatigue aged her fast and caused major sleeping problems, with the psychiatrist at AVR Medical Center referring Larkin to local chemists to help her cope.
She managed, though the experience of fighting the raiders resulted in her hating them with a passion. As head of security, she was the one to interrogate Rosalynn Jeffries after her capture on Christmas Eve, 2082, just before the Christmas Flood unleashed by David Thorpe.
Melody survived the flood intact. When the Responders decided to create a high-risk exploration unit for reaching out to towns isolated beyond the ravaged environment of the Ash Heap, she was Maria Chavez' first choice. Although Larkin balked at the idea at first, she realized it was the right thing to do, that Welch, Beckley, Bramwell, and other towns couldn't simply be left to fend for themselves. She warmed up to the idea quickly and named the division Fire Breathers in recognition of her grandfather's immensely strong moonshine. Although Chavez wasn't thrilled by the idea, she accepted it and provided Larkin will all the necessary gear to create the Responders' most prestigious unit.
Melody turned out to be an effective commander and judge of character, organizing numerous forays into the Ash Heap. The arrival of Hank Madigan in 2086, following his defection in the wake of Maxson's changes to the Brotherhood's mission profile, supercharged the unit. As Lieutenant, Madigan reformed the Breathers into a fighting force capable of confronting the scorched in The Ash Heap and prevent them from taking over. The steep selection criteria focused on people who can both fight and survive in the polluted expanse of the burning Ash Heap.
He proved to be an extremely useful asset and took a great many burdens off of Larkin's back, making numerous salvage runs and bringing back intel that helped Melody refine the Fire Breathers into an even more effective fighting unit. At the same time, Melody did not forget her loyalties and balanced the need for effectively combating the scorched with caring for her Breathers. Her final command as Captain was to order the attack on the Big Bend Tunnel and lead it herself... Eventually perishing there, going down with the ship.
Melody Larkin appears only in Fallout 76.
- Charleston Capitol Building terminals: "3.29.2078 Sender: [M.Larkin]
I need you to bring the situation at Morgantown to the council. Chief Mayfield opened fire on the students and has imposed a mandatory curfew. I'm not saying there hasn't been looting, but they are just kids Abigale. I've tried to talk to him but he won't see reason and if I move on him, it risks splitting off those responders who were with law enforcement. Most of them are good folk, but there are always a couple foxes in the hen house.
I know it'll put you and Holbrook at odds again, but we need something to quell the situation, and quick.
- AVR Medical Center terminals: "Patient: Larkin, M Observations: Patient shows signs of extreme stress and fatigue. Though the most common form of punishment now is exile, gun fights are still frequent and I've heard that the aftermath of raids by those in the mountains are rather grisly. I don't have anything I can give her, but I suggested that if she isn't willing to dip into the ration stockpile, the pharmacist on the south end of town might still be able to cook up something to help her get some sleep."
- Interrogation: Doe, Jane
- The Fire Breathers: Maria Chavez: "All right. We're recording.
Melody Larkin: "Good, 'cause now we can get on record that I think this idea's god-damned looney.
Maria Chavez: "I'm not thrilled about sending our people into a place that's actively toxic either... ... but there are whole towns down there we still haven't reached out to: Welch, Beckley, Bramwell."
Melody Larkin: "Bramwell? Come on, now! You really think the Hornwrights or the Garrahans didn't fly off to some private island the moment the air raid sirens turned on?"
Maria Chavez: "Most likely they did. But right now we don't know and don't have a safe way of finding out. And that's why I wanted your help, Melody, on how we can get there."
Melody Larkin: "... fine. We got a couple folks from the Charleston Fire Department. I can talk to them, see what they have to say about gettin' set up for those sorts of operations."
Maria Chavez: "Thank you."
Melody Larkin: "Anyone you send into all that smoke is going to need training, though. Need to be whip smart if they're gonna survive someplace that hostile. And breathing equipment's finicky as hell. Whole lot of care and maintenance if they're gonna be out there for hours, let alone days. You're talking about a whole new division here."
Maria Chavez: "I understand what I'm asking."
Melody Larkin: "Tell you what you ought to do... you ought to give 'em a name."
Maria Chavez: "A name?"
Melody Larkin: "Green Berets. Smokejumpers. Navy Seals. You want someone to sign up for dangerous duty, needs to be some prestige behind it. You give 'em a name, a new designation, extra rations, maybe, I'll guarantee you'll get the volunteers you're looking for."
Maria Chavez: "Hmm. Any suggestions?"
Melody Larkin: "Huh... well, gramps was a moonshiner. Made hooch so strong, normal folk couldn't come within a quarter-mile of it. Everyone called him and his boys the "Fire Breathers." Resilient sons-a-guns. What about that?"
Maria Chavez: "... I suppose we don't need to go with the first idea we come up with. But for now, I'd like you to reach out to those firemen. Convince them to get onboard with the... Fire Breathers. Let them know it's important. Prestigious."
Melody Larkin: "Oh lordy, I think she likes it."
Maria Chavez: "I'll work on getting them a place to train. Charleston Fire Department seems like the natural spot."
Melody Larkin: "Certainly won't have to travel far to get yourselves into trouble."
- Charleston Fire Department terminals: "Welcome to the Fire Breathers Training Program. You're here because we believe you have the stones to survive in the Ash Heap and, more importantly, to help us stop these "Scorched" things from taking it over. This system will walk you through three exams designed to prepare you for what's to come, starting with the "Knowledge" exam below. Be sure to review your unit-issued study materials before starting. Good luck. || Melody Larkin ||"
- Orders from Melody