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Senator Samuel Blackwell was a pre-War senator representing the Appalachian Territory in the U.S. Congress. Very popular (wining 73% of the vote due to his pro-union stance), Blackwell became a pivotal figure of the Free States movement, before being forced into hiding. He believed it was due to his investigation into the activities of Thomas Eckhart, the Secretary of Agriculture, but in reality, these were the machinations of Daniel Hornwright, CEO of Hornwright Industrial Mining Company.
Background[edit | edit source]
Blackwell started his public life as a union activist, brokering deals between disenfranchised miners and regional powerhouses like Garrahan Mining and Hornwright Industrial. His star would only continue to rise during his re-election to the United States Senate, winning with a staggering 73% of the popular vote. Blackwell gained notoriety among fellow politicians for his consistent stance favoring the people, rather than the elites, and asking uncomfortable questions, like the purpose of building automated nuclear silos across Appalachia or the apparent timing discrepancies between civilian and military nuclear attack warnings - enough to be threatened with imprisonment by the powers that be more than once. Blackwell was effectively a senatorial muckraker, routinely causing scuffles in committees when he pointed out conflicts of interests and exposed corruption. In one notable instance, he humiliated a fellow senator before the Senate Committee on Nuclear Energy, when he revealed that the push for lifting the ban on extracting uranium from the largest deposit in the United States (situated beneath a national park) was motivated by the stake the senator purchased in AMS. Unofficially, Blackwell also made inquiries into the bizarre investments made by the Department of Agriculture in Appalachia and the activities of the Department's Secretary, Thomas Eckhart.
It would take the Senator's open support of the Appalachian Free States movement, a group of local survivalists with separatist overtones before his popularity would begin to wane. But as minor scuffles between the Free States and police broke into open violence, the Senator's support for the Free States only grew, as did calls for his resignation. However, his staunch opposition to Ballot Measure 6, which would rapidly accelerate the automation of Appalachia and deprive people of jobs and income, kept him popular. However, they also made him a target for Daniel Hornwright. To eliminate the senator from the picture, Hornwright's CEO hired a goon to silence the senator without killing him. The goon chose to issue threats against Blackwell's daughter, Judith. Convinced it was a retaliation for his investigation into Eckhart's activities, Blackwell vanished. Calls to his Charleston office and home went unanswered. His daughter, Judith, stopped showing up for classes at VTU. Multiple search parties were organized by police and concerned citizens, but to no end.
His last public appearance - so to speak - was in Quinn Carter's Herald interview, where he issued a damning indictment of the government and its indifference to the plight of the common man and called for Americans to find shelter away from cities while there was still time. Branded as a traitor by the more jingoistic circles, the senator's actions resulted in an accelerated election to replace him as the Appalachian Territory's senator and gained widespread notoriety. Although his daughter stood by him, his wife filed for divorce, granted shortly before the Great War. His enemies also started digging into his life, trying to smear his name by painting him as unreliable, due to the onset of Alzheimer's disease.
Post-War life[edit | edit source]
After the Great War, Blackwell lived in his personal bunker (the entrance of which is disguised as an abandoned toxic waste disposal site to deter any curious explorers) together with his daughter, Judith. Although the bunker provided shelter, Blackwell's Alzheimer's started to gradually worsen without proper medication. Judith mandated that he keep a journal to keep his memory active, while she tried to stay in touch with people on the radio, listening to endless pleas for help - none came. Samuel was disheartened, realizing that few listened to him. Read the interview, yes, but they did not listen.
Though life was far from idyllic, it was safe, for a time. Blackwell still feared discovery and retaliation. When one day Judith failed to return from her mushroom foraging (preparing a terrifying Mushroom and Dandy Boy Apple casserole), Blackwell tracked her down after cycling through foraging spots, finding her in conversation with two other men. He waited for them to leave, then confronted his daughter back at the bunker, leading to a fight between them. He was sorry about the fight - less so about the reason for it. He lost everything but his wife.
Which made the encounter with the scorchbeasts, the first one, so much more horrifying. He encountered the beast and it looked right at him while perched on top of a ridge, a monster the size of a Corvega looking straight at him through brush, trees, and 500 yards. He barely made it into the bunker, where Judith assumed that it might have been a hallucination caused by his deteriorating neurological state. Just to be safe, however, she also ensured her father always took the biggest gun with him when he went outside.  Sam was lucky enough to avoid being taken by the plague, but his daughter was not. Judith's brush with the scorchbeast afflicted her with the plague and on February 15, 2084, his daughter died of the Scorched Plague. She died practically in his arms, right as he was preparing to carry her to the Whitespring, in his arms, ready to trade his life for hers. He never got the chance.
The bereaved Sam reconnected with the Free States at Harpers Ferry. Everyone either didn't know who he was or pretended they don't. Raleigh Clay put him to work at the armory, cleaning weapons away from the people. However, Blackwell's neurological state steadily worsened. However, he was far from gone. He identified an Enclave operative at the Ferry, noticing how the newcomer was staring him down. He assumed correctly and tracked him down outside the barrier, as he was making a transmission to the Whitespring Congressional Bunker. Sam killed him, making it look like an animal attack with messy cuts, throwing some in the river. Although it caused a wave of fear in the town, of wildlife attacking the people of the Ferry, it did not fool the Enclave. A cloaked Vertibird passed over the town looking for him the following night. Sam fled to his shelter once it disappeared.
President Thomas Eckhart, still bitter over Blackwell's involvement and investigation of his activities as Secretary of Agriculture, issued a kill order. It was rapidly a moot point for Blackwell, struggling to live on after his daughter's passing. Grey breached the outer defenses of the bunker, then the inner, finally killing the senator in his inner sanctum. However, Blackwell had the last laugh: Grey reset power for the security systems to gain entry, which meant resetting the lures as well. Grey was ripped apart by deathclaws the moment he stepped out into the outer caverns.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
Sam Blackwell is mentioned only in Fallout 76.
- The Sam Blackwell Interview
- Back Off Sam
- Committee Meeting Notes
- Charleston Capitol Building terminals
- Sam Blackwell: "NO" on Measure 6
- The Sam Blackwell Interview
- CARTER AND BLACKWELL - TRAITORS!
- Whitespring Congressional Bunker terminals
- Record of Divorce: The Blackwells
- Sam Blackwell's bunker terminals: "Judy Says I Should Write"
- Sam Blackwell's bunker terminals: "Judy, I'm Sorry"
- Sam Blackwell's bunker terminals: "Some Kind of Bat"
- Sam Blackwell's bunker terminals: "Judy's Gone"
- Sam Blackwell's bunker terminals: "Been a While"
- Sam Blackwell's bunker terminals: "They Found Me"
- See Grey for references.