Piper grew up in a small community on the outskirts of the Commonwealth with Nat and their father, a member of the local militia. After her father was found dead under suspicious circumstances, Piper learned that he had discovered a raider plot to sack the town. His superior, Captain Mayburn, arranged to leave the main gate open and unguarded one night to allow raiders access in exchange for a cut of the loot and had Piper's father murdered to keep him silent.
The local authorities did not believe her claims and refused to investigate. Piper then created and circulated wanted posters featuring the captain and a list of his crimes. The conspicuously public accusation got the attention of the town's mayor, who accepted Piper's evidence. The settlers, outraged by the story, exiled Mayburn. When the raiders eventually showed up, expecting the gate to be wide open, they instead encountered prepared defenses by alerted townsfolk and were driven away.
Eventually, Piper and Nat saved enough money to relocate to Diamond City, where she began her career as an investigative journalist. She quickly found out that there was a lot "wrong" about Diamond City, from crooked guards to failing infrastructure. She started her newspaper in a desperate attempt to begin improving life in the city. Her fervor for discovering the truth made her popular for a while, but eventually, public opinion turned against her because her articles were seen as being "too negative," which caused her to get into a lot of trouble. People began to actively avoid her, treating her less like a friend and more like a nosy snoop. She began to feel that Nat was the only one she could count on.
Recently, Piper has written a controversial article containing an interview with Eustace Hawthorne called The Synthetic Truth, accusing Diamond City's mayor McDonough of secretly being a synth, although she has no concrete evidence and only speculation about events such as where the mayor has eaten his noodles. In response, McDonough banned Piper from the city, saying the article is all lies, although Piper is determined to get back inside the city.
Piper briefly joined the Church of the Children of Atom by faking a vision of Atom as a ruse to prevent her own execution. She was able to escape the cult before being discovered as an imposter.