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Shannon Rivers

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Shannon Rivers
F76 Shannon Rivers.png
Biography and appearance
RaceHuman
GenderFemale
AffiliationHubris Comics (defunct)
Order of Mysteries
RoleVoice actress
FamilyFrederick Rivers (husband)
Olivia Rivers (daughter)
Gameplay
Mentioned inFallout 4
Technical
Editor IDMoMCorpseShannonRivers
 
Gametitle-FO4.pngGametitle-F76.png
Gametitle-FO4.pngGametitle-F76.png

All my life, I was just an actress, playing the part of a hero on the radio. But everything changed after the war. There were so many people in need, you girls most of all. Frederick and I were glad to adopt you, to share what we could. Food, shelter, and training - my old acting turned survival skills.

But this world needs more than survival. It needs heroes. It needs you. And these past few years, you have shown me that, together, as sisters, you can accomplish things that even the Mistress of Mystery could never have imagined.

Shannon Rivers (2024 - 2086) was a pre-War voice actress, famous for voicing the Mistress of Mystery on The Silver Shroud.

Background

Shannon Rivers was born in 2024 in Beckley, West Virginia. After an early career in regional and touring theater, and after signing with Shaw & Associates, Rivers made her radio debut in 2047's Invaders from Planet Zed!. She quickly earned a reputation as a gifted and versatile actress, starring in numerous radio dramas and serials. In 2051, she began her long-running role as the radio voice of the Mistress of Mystery. Beyond her professional skills, she was well known for her advocacy of charitable causes, especially issues affecting the economically depressed residents of Appalachia. In 2053, she married Frederick Rivers, noted inventor and architect, and eventually gave birth to a daughter, Olivia.[1]

The two met at a benefit dinner for Frederick's engineering institute. She was supposed to be a celebrity guest, but before her career really took off, no one knew her. Frederick found her in a corner, started babbling on about his work on fabrication algorithms and to his surprise, she actually cared and was interested. A casual conversation blossomed into a lifelong close relationship. Shannon had the brilliance and vision to not only understand his work, but also the value in exploring new ideas, new designs, without being subject to some giant corporation trying to exploit people for a quick buck. As such, the two agreed that thanks to Shannon's lucrative acting career and the royalties, Frederick would be free to pursue his projects regardless of their profitability. It suited them both just fine. He could dream, experiment, and build things beyond her wildest imagination. Then they would share them. Her reaction, her approval, meant more to him than any profit or prize ever could.[2]

When Hubris decided to put the Silver Shroud on the small screen, Frederick poured the fortune they amassed over the quarter of a century into replicating the gear and lair of the Mistress of Mystery, in a year-long secret effort. Together with Kent Connolly, a die-hard fan who provided input on nearly every design decision, Frederick built an entire, functional lair beneath the Riverside Manor. He showed the entire setup to her on June 6, 2077, bolstering her confidence just as the TV series pre-production was slowly wrapping up. The family didn't need the money, but Shannon wanted to keep acting. She loved it. And Frederick provided.[3][4]

On top of the facility, he's hired the best stunt actors, martial artists, military trainers, a cavalcade of experts, one after another, to make sure she would master every technique she would need for the screen. Regardless of who would play the Shroud, the Mistress of Mystery would be ready for her debut after months of intense training.[5]

By October, the stress of the preparations and Shannon's anxiety started to show their effect, especially on their daughter, Olivia, who grew sullen and withdrawn. Her mother was busy flying to Boston and back to prepare for the filming, forced to get by with an army of private tutors. Even her father had trouble keeping up with them all. Olivia could - and her parents wanted to keep fostering that potential.[6] However, Olivia felt neglected, with her mother's acting career taking precedence over her needs. The cancellation of their traditional camping trip to Seneca Rocks in June earlier in the year, due to her mother's packed schedule, weighed on her heavily.[7]

TV series debacle

The TV series promised to be a major change, especially after Shannon recorded the final, sixteenth episode of Season 8 in June 2077. The mood at the wrap-up party was rather sour, as there was no word of a renewal for the ninth season, with all resources at Hubris focused on the TV series.[8]

She was a natural candidate for the role of the Mistress in the television series... Until Hubris agents convinced Claire Redelle to accept a role as the character. Evans Richelli and Aaron Babowski decided that such a high profile actress would ensure the success of the TV series. Losing her to Wisemans or other competing companies was unacceptable.[9] Although both Vivian O'Dell and Tina Hopkins, the lead writer, preferred Shannon Rivers for the role, who was a natural brunette and had the right voice,[10][11][12] Aaron Babowski, the producer, was adamant. He casually dismissed Shannon Rivers as unsuitable for the role, based on her age: 20 years late for the role, with a "face made for radio", as he put it.[13] Although Peter Shiner, the executive of Hubris Comics, proposed dubbing Claire over with Shannon in post-processing,[14] Babowski forced Hopkins to quit with a subversive message, gaining total control over the project. Shannon Rivers would become a casualty of the corporate struggle, standing in for Claire until the actress arrived, then fired by Babowski. The nuclear war cut these plans short.[15]

Unaware of the struggle going behind the scenes, Rivers attended the dress rehearsals, until October 22,[16] when Babowski revealed that she would be replaced by Redelle. It didn't matter that Shannon voiced her for nearly three decades, championed the character, protected her integrity and ensured that the writers would not use her for love triangles or peg her as a damsel-in-distress. She was cut out and Hubris Comics decided to drop her from the radio serials altogether, replacing her voice with the shrill Claire Redelle. Understandably, Rivers was angry. Mad, even.[17]

Until the Great War put everything in perspective.[18]

Apocalypse

The Rivers family survived for months, using their supplies and then foraging from the area, using the Mistress base as a bunker. The routine they established lasted until July 8, 2078, when the family made for Charleston to replenish supplies. On the way back, they were accosted by the nascent raiders. Frederick tried to pay them off with freshwater and now-worthless money. They laughed: They wanted something else. When they put their hands on Olivia, Shannon reacted instantly. Months of constant drilling and exercise with Frederick's hired trainers gave her a tremendous advantage over the attackers. They didn't expect her attack and were laid low in under a minute with no hesitation, several dead.[19]

Olivia was instantly taken by her mother's heroic defense and asked her for training. Although Shannon was hesitant at first, her daughter's insistence and Frederick's calm rationale that the world changed and their daughter needs to defend herself worked. Shannon decided to fight - and pick up the mantle of the Mistress again.[20] A month later, she started to venture out regularly, donning the regalia created by Frederick, comprising a fully functional set of combat gear. The costume disguised her well and allowed her to fall back on her training. Her first major success was when she saved a caravan of refugees near Lewisburg from a raider attack. Shannon wouldn't know what to do. The Mistress did. An added benefit was that the training helped Shannon bond with her daughter.[21]

However, that was a band-aid on a bigger problem. The Mistress couldn't be everywhere or help the countless orphans filling Appalachia. In November 2078, she started taking in orphaned girl, starting with three: Clarissa, Eve, and Amy, found rifling through the garbage in the Rivers' garage.[22] Together, they survived the winter, but the situation only worsened. By 2079, caravans passed outside the house constantly, with a few coming up to the manor. Shannon decided to keep taking orphans in, focusing on the most vulnerable: Girls. Together with Olivia and Frederick, they converted the Manor into an orphanage. However, something more was needed.[23]

Order of Mysteries

The Order was born around 2079, as Shannon, Frederick, and Olivia took girls in, gave them food, shelter, and training. They decided to also give them something more, an idea to fight for. The girls would become heroes Appalachia needed. The Order of Mysteries was founded as a sisterhood dedicated to upholding the virtues exemplified by the Mistress of Mystery: courage, cunning, and compassion. Under Headmistress Shannon Rivers, the Order would fight in the shadows to protect themselves, one another, and the people of Appalachia from any threat to their lives or liberty.[24]

The new Order prospered and training intensified over the next several years. By February 2082, training has been going well and the Headmistress risked sending the older girls out on supply and data collection runs in pairs. Although she kept the more dangerous missions to myself, her pupils could handle themselves at that point. The situation seemed stable, with raider activity at an all time low since the Great War, except for the organized gangs hiding in the Savage Divide.[25] Everything changed in December, when David Thorpe's gang blew up the Charleston dam and flooded the city, nearly wiping the Responders out. The Headmistress, shocked by the savage act, decided that the raiders were more of a threat than anyone suspected and decided to focus the Order on extirpating them from the Divide.[26]

She spent the winter of 2082/2083 reconnoitering raider positions in the mountains and having her pupils intercept Responder radio communications. The challenge was daunting: Raiders had multiple bases, dozens of checkpoints and sniper posts fortifying the region, and their numbers kept steadily growing. It was time to let the Mistresses loose against the raiders.[27] The training regimen established by Olivia and Frederick, coupled with the secrecy of the organization, allowed the Order to strike hard and fast, then disappear into the shadows. By September 2084, the campaign was in full swing, with her daughter demonstrating immense competence... And hubris. She regularly went above and beyond the call of duty, ignoring orders or the well-being of her fellow sisters. Shannon found herself unable to deal with her ornery personality, mirroring her own.[28] For her part, Olivia was sick of having to continue playing the role of good little girl, the perfect, obedient little soldier and role model for the rest of the Order. She didn't mind the Order at first. But after six years, she was sick and tired of her mother's schemes, as well-intentioned as they were.[29]

The campaign continued and the Order had a flawless performance record for nearly three years, until the first death. Clarissa, a Mistress, was found dead on February 7, 2086.[30] Her death had a profound impact on the organization, leading some of the members to question the total secrecy and isolation that the Headmistress mandated. Although an alliance seemed wise, Rivers ruled any such action out to keep the Order invisible. Revealing its existence risked giving away the location of the Riverside Manor and opening the Order to attacks. In the Headmistress' words, "The Mistress of Mystery's greatest strength was always the element of surprise. A lone woman can do anything, because no one expects her to be a threat. If we were exposed, if the raiders knew we existed, they could fight back. They can't fight a shadow."[31]

However, soon the Headmistress made a fatal mistake. In May, she appointed a new Mistress of Novices, and rather than choose her own daughter, she selected Eve Devoir. Dependable and organized, she was the perfect fit for the position to handle training and mission assignments. Olivia did not take the decision well, treating it as a slight - an insult - by her very own mother.[32] Denied a position of power, she decided to abandon the Order and join the raiders instead, to join a faction that she believed could make an impact, rather than cower in the shadows.[33] She buried herself in work, taking far more than her share of missions and staying away from the Manor for most of the time. The Headmistress believed it to be an excuse to avoid her, rather than dedication to her work. At any rate, Olivia's missions combined with the success of the Battle of Huntersville by the Responders and the Appalachian Brotherhood of Steel suppressed raiders in the mountains. All seemed to be going well.[34]

Collapse

That was merely the calm before the storm. Olivia was actually using the missions to track the raiders and find an opening into the organization. When she tracked down a checkpoint manned by Brody Torrance, of all people, she knew she found one. She attacked them on June 8, effortlessly taking out everyone but Brody, sparing him, save for a nick to the leg. The two agreed to meet again at a remote cottage at the Whitespring, meeting every couple of weeks. By July 12, they had a plan ready. As Thorpe was dithering,[35] Olivia offered him a token of her trustworthiness: Intel on the location of Allison Long. Although he had difficulty convincing the raider warlord, Thorpe ultimately relented with an ultimatum: He better bring the Mistress' head or be relieved of his own.[35]

Sure enough, on July 24 Allison was killed at Summersville, and by Olivia to boot. As a veteran Mistress on a supply run, she was too much for the raiders to handle, breaking the ambush and nearly killing Brody. Allison intervened to save Torrance and with him, her opening into the organization. Brody brought back her head to Thorpe, while Olivia brought Allison's headless body all the way back to the Manor.[36] To secure the inroads, she traded intel on Order operations to the raiders. The Siphon holotape she recovered from Sugar Grove during the very first mission she ran allowed her to put the entire Cryptos mainframe on a single holotape, which she handed over to the raiders at a meet on September 20, 2086.[37]

The casualties suddenly started mounting. In three years between March 2083 and July 2086, the Order lost three Mistresses. Olivia's intel caused the Order to lose seven in just three months, between July and October. Raiders were waiting for the Mistresses at every mission site, killing them with ease. Shannon ordered Eve to accelerate the training program and automate the promotions, but it was too late.[38] The raiders had the upper hand. With Cryptos and the experience gained in the previous three months, they could ambush the Order in any location they wished. The Headmistress locked down the manor as a last resort, limiting excursions to only the four most senior mistresses: Herself, Eve, Amy, and Olivia.[39]

Shannon, embraced by her daughter in her last moments

It didn't help. The data from Cryptos contained all the missions for the next two months, allowing raiders to pick them off one by one. Olivia just watched, waiting.[40] The raiders were preparing for the final battle, rallying at Summersville, but instead of their attack, the death blow came from the least expected direction. Around November 13, the Mistress of Novices and Seeker Rachel West caught up with Olivia's plan. Backed into a corner, Olivia fought back. As the greatest of the Order's assassins, she slaughtered her way through the ranks of the Order - killing even her father, Frederick Rivers - before finally leaving her mother a parting message, inviting her to one last meeting in the Savage Divide, in their special place where they used to camp before the Great War.[41] After leaving a last message to any survivors, Shannon Rivers buried the bodies and departed for the last meeting with her fallen daughter.[42]

Confronting her atop the Appalachians, the two assassins squared off, fighting each other in an epic battle on November 16. In the end, all of Shannon's training and equipment put her a single step behind her daughter, decades her junior. Although the Headmistress received a mortal wound, she, too, managed to wound her daughter. Her mother passed from her wounds, but Olivia did not enjoy the victory for long. Her raider ally turned on her the moment he realized her state, gunning her down in the Divide, ending the Order.[43]

Appearances

Shannon Rivers is mentioned in Fallout 4 and her body appears in Fallout 76.

References

  1. Riverside Manor terminals: "About Headmistress Rivers"
  2. Riverside Manor terminals: "Personal Journal, 6/27/77"
  3. Riverside Manor terminals: "Personal Journal, 6/29/77"
  4. Riverside Manor terminals: "Personal Journal, 6/26/77"
  5. Riverside Manor terminals: "Personal Journal, 6/29/77"
  6. Riverside Manor terminals: "Personal Journal, 10/6/77"
  7. Riverside Manor terminals: "Personal Journal, 6/28/77"
  8. Riverside Manor terminals: "Personal Journal, 6/28/77"
  9. Hubris Comics terminals; Producer's Terminal, 10-14-77: "From: Evans Richelli
    To: Aaron Babowski
    Subject: Claire can't wait
    I tried stalling her, but things are spiraling over here. Her agent was having dinner with Maxwell over at the Derby. Not good. Claire's still on board. She loves the script. She especially loves the outfit, you got the shots of that, right? Yowza. So I don't care what's going on over there - we need to sign her before we lose her to the Wisemans... or someone else.
    We looked into that Hopkins contract. It's ironclad. The only way she's out is if she walks. Her partner signed over his rights to Hubris, but she still has hers. If she even thinks of going to a lawyer, you gotta work your magic, Babo. Imagine if we needed her approval?"
  10. Hubris Comics terminals; Manager's Terminal, 10-15-77: "From: Tina Hopkins
    To: Vivian O'Dell
    Subject: PLEASE HELP
    I want to pull my hair out. Babowski has cast and signed a contract with Claire Redelle for the role of... the Mistress of Mystery. I don't care how much The Tomb of Amun-Ra grossed. The Mistress of Mystery is a brunette. Not blonde, brown, and definitely NOT A RED-HEAD!
    And have you heard Claire's voice? The Mistress of Mystery is confident, a match for the Shroud at his best day, not some half-starved waif that's known for her shrill screaming. Shannon Rivers has worked for us for decades. She is THE voice of the Mistress of Mystery - end of story. She's even a natural brunette. She's not as young as Claire, but surely we can do something with lighting to help with that.
    If we don't fix this, I swear I'm walking. I won't have my name in the credits for this train-wreck."
  11. Hubris Comics terminals; Writer's Terminal, 10-15-77: "From: Vivian O'Dell
    To: Tina Hopkins
    Subject: RE: PLEASE HELP
    Shannon is family. I promise you I will fight for this. This needs to be resolved before Sunday. I'm not cancelling my honeymoon (again) over this. Make sure Babowski doesn't sneak out before I can grab him."
  12. Hubris Comics terminals; Producer's Terminal, 10-15-77: "From: Vivian O'Dell
    To: Aaron Babowski
    Subject: Mistress of Mystery Casting
    It has come to my attention you've hired Claire Redelle for the role of the Mistress of Mystery for the show. This is unacceptable. The Mistress of Mystery has an iconic look - she must be a brunette. The Mistress of Mystery is a strong female protagonist, not some damsel in distress. Shannon Rivers has voiced MoM for years and is beloved in the Shroud and every other radio drama she's been a part of.
    I know we've had our differences, but this affects more than the Silver Shroud. The MoM and the Unstoppables are big brands. We absolutely must talk before I go on my vacation."
  13. Hubris Comics terminals; Manager's Terminal, 10-16-77: "From: Aaron Babowski
    To: Vivian O'Dell
    Subject: RE: Mistress of Mystery Casting
    Vivi, relax. If it's that important to you, maybe we can put Claire in a wig. But the contract is signed, so this is happening. What is it with you guys and Mrs. Rivers, anyway? Maybe 20 years ago. But now, she's got a face made for radio. Am I right? Claire's got star power and that's what we need. I talked with Petey-boy and he's agreed to a couple new scenes. We need romance. And Claire's got the goods.
    If Tina can't roll with this then I can fly in one of my boys from Hollywood. He's a class act.
    I got a full schedule today, dress rehearsals until 8. This can't wait until you're back from the Bahamas. So if we have to meet, 8's my only window."
  14. Hubris Comics terminals; Producer's Terminal, 10-18-77: "From: Peter Shiner
    To: Aaron Babowski
    Subject: MoM Casting
    Vivi got ahold of me before she left. I got the photos of Claire and she's dynamite. Love the alterations on the costume, it still feels like the comic but more believable. So I'll back you there. But I'm with Vivi. MoM's a brunette. Period. And her voice needs to be strong. Claire's voice isn't. Can we have Shannon dub over Claire in post (that's the word, right?) That would be the best of both worlds."
  15. Hubris Comics terminals; Writer's Terminal, 10-20-77: "From: Aaron Babowski
    To: Tina Hopkins
    Subject: Need lines
    Tina, baby, we needed those new lines yesterday. I don't know how you do things in radio, but we got catering, foleys, best men, and actors sitting around on their tushes because of your most recent delay. We're not writing Shakespeare here. It's TV, right?
    I know you don't like the new monkey, but focus loves him. He's testing better than Claire in that silly wig. Speaking of which, Claire's agent is really not loving the wig. Really, really not loving it. Claire's flying in Monday and by then I think it's best if we nix the wig. Am I right, or what? And Shannon's being a real peach standing in for her while Claire wraps up her film - but it may be best if she's not around when Claire flies in. Will you take care of that? Thanks."
  16. Riverside Manor terminals: "Personal Journal, 10/6/77"
  17. Riverside Manor terminals: "Personal Journal, 10/22/77"
  18. Riverside Manor terminals: "Personal Journal, 10/22/77"
  19. Riverside Manor terminals: "Personal Journal, 7/8/78"
  20. Riverside Manor terminals: "Personal Journal, 7/8/78"
  21. Riverside Manor terminals: "Personal Journal, 7/8/78"
  22. Riverside Manor terminals: "Personal Journal, 11/11/78"
  23. Riverside Manor terminals: "Personal Journal, 4/29/79"
  24. Riverside Manor terminals: "Mission Statement"
  25. Riverside Manor terminals: "Personal Journal, 8/2/82 "
  26. Riverside Manor terminals: "Personal Journal, 12/25/82 "
  27. Riverside Manor terminals: "Personal Journal, 3/5/83 "
  28. Riverside Manor terminals: "Personal Journal, 3/5/83 "
  29. Riverside Manor terminals
  30. Riverside Manor terminals: "Personal Journal, 2/8/86 "
  31. Riverside Manor terminals: "Personal Journal, 2/14/86 "
  32. Riverside Manor terminals: "Personal Journal, 5/22/86 "
  33. Riverside Manor terminals
  34. Riverside Manor terminals: "Personal Journal, 6/1/86 "
  35. 35.0 35.1 Pleasant Valley Ski Resort terminals
  36. Riverside Manor terminals: "Personal Journal, 7/24/86 "
  37. Riverside Manor terminals: "From Olivia"
  38. Riverside Manor terminals: "Personal Journal, 10/7/86"
  39. Riverside Manor terminals: "Personal Journal, 10/7/86"
  40. Riverside Manor terminals
  41. Riverside Manor terminals: "From Olivia"
  42. Riverside Manor terminals: "Personal Journal, 11/18/86"
  43. Shannon Rivers' Recording