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Let your surroundings be a reminder of what Science and willpower can accomplish.”— Father, Fallout 4
Born to future Sole Survivor and their spouse Nate/Nora, a family still living the American Dream as late as 2077, Shaun was barely a year old when nuclear fire buried America in a radioactive tomb. Taken to safety in Vault 111 and placed in cryonic suspension, Shaun was preserved as an infant for decades. It all changed with the coming of the 23rd century, as the Institute hit a snag with its organic synth project and needed uncorrupted, pre-War DNA. The sleeping child, sheltered by the rock and metal of the Vault, was the perfect donor. In 2227, he was liberated from his parents by Conrad Kellogg, a gunshot severing him from his old life and ushering into a new one.
After providing samples, Shaun was adopted by the Institute as one of its own members. He proved himself to be a talented pupil, easily capable of mastering the sciences the Institute held in high regard and eventually came to hold the position of Director. Called Father, due to him effectively ushering in the third generation of synths with his DNA, he became privy to all the secrets of the Institute. Including the survival of one of his parents. Until then, the now adult Shaun paid little mind to his parents, as he never really knew them. But now, knowing of their existence, he released them - both as a way to meet them and to learn how they would deal with the wasteland, as a method for understanding himself. And, perhaps, to give their surviving parent closure, by setting up a confrontation with Kellogg.
He is focused on preserving the Institute for centuries to come and advancing its agenda. As a member of the organization and its leader, he firmly believes that there's no future for humanity on the surface, with the only real option being continued dwelling underground. Unlike Morlocks, he intends to enable it by providing limitless energy to the underground metropolis, through the ancient CIT reactor that was kept dormant since the Great War.
The Institute holds Father in high regard, in no small part due to the appearance of a stoic, stable leader he maintains and a diplomatic face he puts on when settling down issues that arise between Institute divisions. However influential and charismatic he is, Shaun cannot escape biology. Although many knew he was under Dean Volkert's care, few were privy to the fact that Shaun is suffering from an aggressive form of cancer, one that the Institute cannot treat despite countless attempts and experimental treatments. To maintain continuity of governnance, Shaun intends to name his surviving parent as Director once he passes, to provide it with a capable leader. Scientists are a dime a dozen, after all, but true, capable leaders are quite the opposite.
Interactions with the player character
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- Shaun is the head of the Institute and can induct the player into its ranks - and starts all of its main quests. It's possible to be permanently barred from the Institute from the outset, by refusing to side with the Institute at the end of Institutionalized.
|Father's lab coat|
Drops on death
- "Hello. I wondered if you might make it here. You're quite resourceful. I am known as Father; the Institute is under my guidance. I know why you're here. I'd like to discuss things with you, face-to-face. Please, step into the elevator."
- "I assure you, no harm will come to you. Please, let's just talk. All I want is for us to have a conversation. I can only imagine what you've heard, what you think of us. I'd like to show you that you may have... the wrong impression. Welcome to the Institute. For over a hundred years, we've dedicated ourselves to humanity's survival. Decades of research, countless experiments and trials... A shared vision of how science can help shape the future. It has never been easy, and our actions are often misinterpreted by those above ground. Someday, perhaps, we can show them what we've accomplished. But for now, we must remain underground. There's too much at stake here to risk it all. As you've seen, things above are... unstable. I'd like to talk to you about what we can do... for everyone. This is the reality of the Institute. This place, these people, the work we do. But that can wait. You are here for a specific, very personal reason. You are here for your son."
- "Right, wrong... irrelevant. It was necessary. The Institute believed humanity's future depended on it. At that time, the year 2227, the Institute had made great strides in synth production. But it was never enough. Scientific curiosity, and the goal of perfection, drove them ever onward. What they wanted was... the perfect machine. So they followed the best example thus far - the human being. Walking, talking, fully articulate... Capable of anything." (After the Sole Survivor rightly accuses the Institute of kidnapping following the murder of dozens of innocents.)
- "You know, in all my years, I've never set foot outside the Institute. Not once, since the day they brought me here. I've never had a reason. But now... this just confirms the truth I've always known. The Commonwealth is... dead. There's no future here. The only hope for humanity lies below." (When meeting Shaun on top of the Commonwealth Institute of Technology campus.)
- "As a failsafe, of course. I was the perfect candidate; an infant with uncorrupted DNA. But if something were to go wrong... if I died... Well, the Institute realized a contingency plan was prudent. Another source of pre-war DNA, preferably related to their primary subject. It only made sense that my parents should fill that role. So, you were kept alive and safe within the Vault. I'll admit, when I had you released from Vault 111, I had no expectations that you'd survive out here, in all this. To not only do so, but manage to find me... to infiltrate the Institute itself... Extraordinary." (When asking "But... why re-freeze me?")
Shaun appears only in Fallout 4.