A/N: So this is my attempt at writing a fanfiction for Fallout 4. The modding community is going strong. There are many mods that give off new armor, new weapons, creatures, lands, all sorts of things. But there were very few that revived your spouse. I don't think there are many fallout fanfictions with a true surviving spouse either. Maybe a synth version...if there is, I haven't come across it yet. So here's my go right here. This will be an AU. I'm going to implement many mods to aid in story telling. I've already got an endgame in mind. Just got to fill in the plot. I plan on alternating POV occassionally, but right now this is probably going to be in the male SS's POV.
Hope you enjoy this story. If you do, please leave a review.
The Surviving Spouses
Chapter 1: War Never Changes
My eyes were closed as I let the warm spray of a hot shower pound against my skin. Luxuries like a hot shower were rare when I was serving in the Army. Plus, I was there on the Alaskan Front line when the Chinese occupied Anchorage, so bathing was always bittersweet. I sighed as I started to go over a rough version of a speech I was going to give later on today, in front of many other veterans and a man I had utmost respect for. His name was General Constantine Chase. He had given me a top-secret mission, one that I'd understand when he told me I was unfrozen from my duties in Alaska. I didn't know what he meant, but it was a familiar sensation. Sleeper Protocol. He told me that the memories wouldn't come back to me until I was unfrozen. That was the thing about today's society. Technological advances were welcomed, and some strained a lot of moral codes. Everything was an experiment. I focused on reciting my speech. I had seen war, fought through many campaigns, so I knew that…
War. War never changes.
In the Year 1945, my great-great grandfather, serving in the army wondered when he'd get to go home to his wife and son he'd never seen. He got his wish when the U.S ended World War II, by dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
I turned off the nozzle and got out of the shower.
The World awaited Armageddon; instead, something miraculous happened. We began to use atomic energy not as a weapon, but as a nearly limitless source of power.
People enjoyed luxuries once thought the realm of science fiction. Domestic robots, fusion-powered cars, portable computers. But then, in the 21st century, people awoke from the American Dream.
I finished drying off myself before putting on some clothes.
Years of consumption lead to shortages of every major resource. The entire world unraveled. Peace became a distant memory. It is now the year 2077. We stand on the brink of total war, and I am afraid. For myself, for my wife, for my infant son - because if my time in the army taught me one thing: it's that war….
"War never changes," I spoke into the mirror as I wiped away the fogginess, revealing my features. Looking back at me was a twenty-five-year-old man with athletic physique. I had rested amber eyes and dark brown hair that would once dry off completely, would shape back into its normal self-looking similar to a Dapper hairstyle that a hairdresser would give people. In the army, my hair was shaved and kept short. But now, I was a little freer to keep it how I wanted it.
"You're gonna knock them dead at the Veteran's Hall tonight hon," I heard my wife say as she walked in putting her dirty blond hair in a "Wendy the Welder" hairstyle as she liked to call it. Her pale blue eyes looked at me with a type of love I wouldn't find anywhere else.
"You think?" I asked her.
"Absolutely," She spoke with that playful tone, "Now get ready and stop hogging the mirror."
"Right," I said as I looked at my facial hair, "What do you think hun? Beard or no beard?"
"Keep it," She said with that smile that could melt my scarred and hardened heart, "It makes you look like...a roughish lone wanderer." Her seductive tone always got to me, and she knew it. She and my son were my whole world. "My turn big guy," She said gently maneuvering me out the way, "Mhm...Someone's been hitting the gym."
"You know it," I replied as she checked out herself in the outfit she was wearing.
Even though she had an average body in terms of health in weight, she asked me something that she used to do when we first met as teenagers. "Do these clothes make me look fat?" She asked.
"No," I replied coming up and wrapping my arms around her waist pulling her closer to me, "You're the most beautiful woman I've ever met in my life." She gave me a look I could enjoy right before she and I kissed. "How about you finish getting ready and I see if Codsworth has finished breakfast?"
"Alrighty then," She spoke before turning back around to check her hair. I walked out the bathroom and into the kitchen where our Mr. Handy Robot named Codsworth had a coffee pitcher of coffee.
"Ah good morning sir!" Codsworth said pouring the coffee in a coffee mug for me, "Your Coffee! 173.5 Fahrenheit. Brewed to perfection! And today's Newspaper just delivered! And I have finished preparing you and Mrs. Nora's breakfast. There are eggs, bacon, and pancakes ready for you on the stovetop."
"Thank's Codsworth," I said nonchalantly as I picked up my coffee mug and drank some of it.
"Of course, sir," Codsworth said as he put down the pitcher and began to wash the morning dishes. Nora walked in behind me, going over and reading the newspaper.
"Hmm," She said smiling, "Weather's going to be perfect today. Not too many job ads though."
"Why don't you apply at Cambridge Police Station or the Boston Law Firm?" I asked.
"I will," She said, "But I don't want to leave Shaun unattended with Codsworth for an extended period of time. No offense Cods."
"None taken ma'am," Codsworth spoke, "I understand that advanced childcare was not included in my programming, so I cannot provide adequate care for him for an extended period of time. Maybe you could have gotten the more advanced model suited for childcare such as a Nurse Handy."
"Codsworth please," Nora said, "You're irreplaceable. And besides, what kind of parents would we be if we let a robot do all the work for us?"
"Well I could lay myself off," I tried to compromise with my wife, "Spend more time with Shaun?"
"But you love doing what you're doing," Nora said, "Even though sometimes I don't fully understand what it is you do as a freelance."
"What is it that you do anyways?" Codsworth asked, "If you don't mind me asking good sir."
"I'll give you the short version Codzy," I said, "I know I never told you, but I program people's Robco Robots for half the price, build engines, and recently, I came up with modification ideas for a plasma handgun that is soon to be issued to my old Spec Ops detachment." That was the thing about me, I wasn't just in the Army. I used to be a Green Beret. Before that, I was a Ranger. That's what happens when you're good at your job and you're a good tactician. You get detachment offers in wartime all over the place. There was a deal struck for me involving General Chase. After we had liberated Anchorage, I was finally released of my government contract and able to go home to my wife. General Chase even had a simulation created based off of my unit's operation there for simulation training military recruits."
"Bet you can't wait to show Shaun some things growing up," Nora said.
"No I can't," I agreed. Nora looked at me with an expression that would melt my heart. She and Shaun were the center of my world. All of this, and I knew she wasn't helpless. She was a lawyer but was also great in psychology. I taught her many things, such as firearm handling and maintenance, and general survival. We both looked into animal training as a hobby as well as Zoology. We went on a few hunting trips as well. I remembered we kind of got off topic. "Seriously though. I'm sure you could get a job there. Nick already said he'd recommend you for the D.A office. He's such a good guy."
She nodded but I could see the seriousness on her face, almost empathetic. "Yeah, He's a great friend," She said, "But ever since Jennifer was killed…." She trailed off. Our friend Nick was a touchy subject.
"Okay…." I said nodding, "Sorry I brought that up."
"It's fine," Nora spoke going over to the refrigerator, "But guess what. I forgot to show you this." She pulled off an envelope and gave it to me. "One of your war buddies sent this to you. Sorry, I already opened it."
"No problem," I replied pulling out a picture. I remembered this picture. It was of fifty or so soldiers, in front of a military tent on the outskirts of Anchorage, Alaska. It was my old unit for about three years during the Anchorage Reclamation. This was of the 108th Infantry Regiment and a few other detachments who had served in my covert missions and the Anchorage Reclamation.. I had met so many excellent soldiers and became friends with them. I had found out that some of them had gone MIA after this picture was taken and hadn't been recovered. I still wondered about them. In the picture, several people stood out to me. Corporal John Daniels, Corporal Alexander Beckett, Corporal Tobias Rheems, Corporal Amanda Spurlock, Private Lawrence Mears, Private Samuel Dawkins, and Private Elliott Tercorien were all still MIA. They served in the first Battalion of the 108th. There were others I recognized, some of them being friends. There was Captain Roger Maxson, Sergeant Nigel Platner, Sergeant Derek Allen, Private Levarius Soto, Private Perry Jensen, Private Edguardo Camarillo, Colonel Robert Spindel of the 205th Regiment. Of the 75th Rangers, there was Elizabeth "Liz" Taggerdy, Sergeant Ted Wilson, Corporal Johnny Moreno, Corporal Weber, Private Gabriella Esposito, and Private Hannah de Silva. They were known as Taggerdy's Thunder, an elite squad of the 75th led by Elizabeth. Finally, there was Sergeant Benjamin "Ben" Montgomery, Private Joshua McKinney, Lieutenant Travis Morgan, General Constantine Chase, and yours truly, Colonel Charles Nathan "Nate" Walker.
Well. I was a Major then. I was dishonorably discharged as a Colonel though. That was besides the point. I had become good friends with Roger Maxson, Elizabeth Taggerdy, Benjamin Montgomery, and Elliot Tercorien. General Chase…..that was up for debate. It was hard to get a read on him. He still gave me orders though. Elliot was missing in action along with a lot of the first Battalion. Ben along with Travis had received a nice paycheck from VSS for being part of the Anchorage Reclamation Simulation. Ben had settled down in Anchorage and was dating an honorably discharged medical officer. I think her name was Adrienn. I vaguely remembered her, but she is part of the simulation as well. Liz and her unit were transferred to Virginia. I miss that hothead. She had an attitude when angry, but she was a fierce soldier and leader. Roger…. that turd. He was like a brother to me in some ways. We had gone through so many ops together. It was a shame when we had to and Spindel got transferred to Mariposa for security detail. He acted rather unhappy being put under Spindel. I had spoken to him a couple weeks ago on the phone. Whatever was happening over there at Mariposa. He was extremely unhappy. Then I heard rumors from Liz about soldiers over there committing mutiny, though that was two days ago. That left me wondering, what the hell happened in Mariposa? I hoped he was okay. I silently thought, Ad Victoriam et ad salutem. Pro Fratriubs et Sororibus in Armis vivimus et morimur. Dilectus nostris tueatur et serviat. Sacrificamus ergo posteros, ut prosperum sit, posteros. It meant, To Victory, and to Salvation. For our Brothers and Sisters in Arms we live and die for. To protect and serve our loved ones. We sacrifice so the next generation can prosper.
My thoughts were jarred out of reminiscence by an eruption of cries from a certain baby down the hallway. Codsworth was already on it. "Ah, sounds like somebody made a stinky," He spoke over Shaun's cries, "I shall attend to young Shaun." With that, Codsworth made his way down the hall.
Nora looked up thoughtfully laughing slightly. "You know, I was nervous at first," She said, "But Codsworth's really good with Shaun."
"Yeah he is," I replied. At that moment, our doorbell rang.
"Can you get that?" Nora asked me, "It's probably that salesman again."
"Salesman?" I asked slightly confused.
"Yeah," Nora said, "He's been coming for you every day for the last week now. I've been meaning to tell you, but with taking care of Shaun and the neighbors visiting, I forgot. Sorry."
"It's fine," I replied getting up and going to the door. I opened the door revealing a man in a yellow trench coat outfit and fedora on.
"Good morning!" He greeted with a chipper tone, "Vault-tec calling! Is your name Charles Nathan Walker?"
"Good morning," I replied back trying to be polite, "And yes, it is."
"Isn't it?" He replied, "Just look at that sky out there!" He cleared his throat. "You can't begin to know how happy I am to finally speak with you. I've been trying for days. It's a matter of utmost urgency, I assure you."
"What's so important?" I asked confused.
"Why nothing less than your entire future!" He said enthusiastically, "If you haven't noticed sir, this country has gone to heck in a handbasket." There was a slight awkward silence. "If you'll excuse my language. The big kaboom is….it's inevitable, I'm afraid. And coming sooner than you may think, if you catch my meaning. Now, I know you're a busy fellow, so I won't take up much of your time; time being a, um, a precious commodity."
"Okay so what is a Vault-Tec salesman here for?" I asked already knowing the answer. He was here to try and sell me a spot in a Vault somewhere around here.
"I'm here, to tell you that because of your family's service to our country," He replied with a little dramatic flare, "You have been pre-selected for entrance into the local Vault, Vault 111."
That was a shocker. I wasn't expecting something like this. The last time a Corporate entity came to me was when I had to fill out paperwork for West-Tek, while in the military for acquisition of T-51f Power Armor. "Uh….that sounds great!"
"Oh it is," The Vault-Tec Rep replied, "Believe you me. Now you've already cleared for entrance, in the unforseen event of, ahem…..total atomic annihilation. I just need to verify some information, that's all."
"Tell me more about this vault," I spoke.
"Oh it has all the ammenities of the modern home, I assure you. Not to mention total protection from nuclear radiation and hostile mutants. A better future, underground. It's not only our mission, it's our passion."
"Okay then," I said, "Let's get this over with."
"Splendid!" The Vault-Tec Rep spoke, "Splendid. Now let's see…..read this and sign whenever you're done."
I went through the papers, which had extensive background checks on me and Nora, all which were provided by the United States Armed Forces. I was recommended by a commanding officer. Vault-Tec would never divulge that information, but I already knew. "There you go," I said.
"Wonderful!" The Vault-Tec Rep said as he looked over the signature, "That's everything…just gonna walk this over to the Vault." He started to back up. "Congratulations on being prepared for the future!"
"Um….thanks again." I said before closing the door. I looked at Nora with a perplexed look. "Well that was interesting…"
"Hey," She said from the couch, "It's a peace of mind. That's worth a little bit of paperwork isn't it?"
I walked over, leaned down and held her around her waist from above. "For you and Shaun," I spoke, "No price is too high."
She chuckled. "Good answer," She spoke, "Though you mentioned something about pricing when we got family pictures."
"I don't know what you're talking about," I lied comically before giving sharing a kiss with her, "Besides, I have my moments." Shaun's cries started again.
"Uh oh," Nora said, "Sound's like he's still cranky."
"I'll take care of it," I said getting up, "You just relax a little dear."
"Mr. Nathan," Codsworth uttered coming from down the hall, "Shaun has been changed, but he absolutely refuses to calm down. I think he needs some of that "paternal affection" you seem to be so good at."
Nora laughed. "You heard the robot," She said with a smile, "Our little boy needs his big strong daddy."
"Right," I said smirking. I walked in Shaun's room looking at a very unhappy baby. I picked him up holding him upright, his head against my shoulder speaking to him in the softest, reassuring tone I could. "There, there you're alright. Calm down son." His cries softened. "That's it Shaun." He finally quieted down as I slowly walked around the room looking at all the toys Nora and I had bought for him for when he gets older. I couldn't wait to see him grow up. I wanted to teach him to ride the tricycle and eventually a bicycle. Then, I'd teach him how to play baseball, driving a car, and eventually shoot his first gun. His mom would probably help him with his homework and teach him things only she could. I wasn't sure what those things were, but the thought of raising our child was more than enough for me. Nora and Shaun were my whole life, my whole world. I was living the American Dream.
I laid him back down in his crib and started to wriggle my finger in front of his tiny arms. He started to try and grab at it burbling playfully. "How are the two most important men in my life doing?" I looked over to see Nora leaning against the doorway.
"Playing," I said.
"Boys will be boys," She said jokingly, "Spin the mobile that you just fixed. He loves it."
"Why of course my dear," I said before looking down at my son who was a little busy body trying to get to the said Mobile. I wound it up and let it spin. He started to laugh about it trying to get to it. She joined me at the crib, her standing on the other side. "Hey...how's my little guy? Much better than before huh?" His tiny limbs were all over the place.
"He's going to be a little busy-body," I said smirking.
"Just like his dad," Nora concluded. "Hey listen. I was thinking after breakfast, we could head on down to the park for a bit. The weather should hold up."
"Will it be like that night in the park a year ago?" I asked slyly. That was the night that would conceive Shaun. She started to grin and respond before something stopped her.
"Sir! Mum!" Came Codsworth's voice, "You should come and see this!" There was alarm in his voice. I heard the unmistakeable sound of low flying Vertibirds and that was what made me move beforehand.
"Codsworth?" Nora asked, "What's wrong?"
I walked down the hall hearing a TV reporter on our Television giving a report. Codsworth's attention was directly on the Television.
"...Followed by….yes flashes, blinding flashes. Sounds of explosions. We're trying to get confirmation."
"What?" Nora asked from behind as she carried Shaun in her arms, "What did he say?"
"Hang on hun," I said my heart pounding. I hoped it wasn't what it sounded like.
"We've lost contact with our affiliate stations," The Anchorman said, "...wait….we do have, we do have coming in….that's uh, confirmed reports. I repeat confirmed reports of nuclear detonation in New York and Pennsylvania…..My God." The anchorman buried his face into his hands in worry before the TV lost signal. My heart hammered as hard as it had when I was in Anchorage.
"Oh my god," Nora said in shock. Incoming warning sirens started to sound.
"We need," I stuttered, "We need to get to the Vault! NOW!"
"I"ve got Shaun," She said holding him close, "Let's go!"
"Codsworth," I said as I walked towards the door, "Stay safe buddy."
"And your family as well," Codsworth replied.
I left him there, rushing out the door with Nora and Shaun beside me. I looked up seeing a Vertibird with a loudspeaker attached to it. The loudspeaker spoke over the whirring rotating blades of the vehicle. "Residents of Sanctuary Hills. If you are registered, evacuate to Vault 111 immediately."
It was Chaos. All our neighbors, were in a panic. Some held one another, others trying to pack and evacuate, and the rest were running towards Vault 111. Vault 111 was up a dirt path that went up a slope. At a nearby gate was a crowd of people trying to get though. But there were military personnel guarding the other side. The officer had a clipboard while there were two soldiers in T-60b model Power Armor armed with a Minigun or laser rifle.
I heard a familiar voice. "That's absurd!" The representative said, "I AM Vault-Tec!"
"You're not on the list," The officer said, "you're not getting in."
"I'm going in!" The Vault-Tec Rep said, "You can't stop me!"
He went to go through only to be stopped by the unmistakable whirring sound of a rotating minigun. "Sir!" The T-60b clad soldier warned.
"Whoa!" The Representative said holding his hands in the air, "Okay, okay! I'm reporting this!" And he ran through the crowd.
I fought through the crowd with Nora and Shaun behind me. "Stay close to me!" I said having to shove someone out the way. The crowd was getting more crowded.
"If you're in the program step forward!" One of the power armed clad soldiers yelled over the crowd, "Otherwise, return home!"
"Hey!" I yelled having to shove another person out the way, "We're on the list!"
"No!" A random person said, "That's not fair!"
"Let's us all through!" Another said from the fence side, "I'm climbing over! Come on!"
"Stay back!" the laser rifle wielding soldier ordered. "Don't come over that fence!" He got to the top and one leg over before a shot rang out stopping the desperate man immediately. He fell to the ground, dead.
"We're registered!" I said again as Shaun started to cry. I heard Nora trying to calm him, which was so far successful, "We're on the list."
"Last name Walker!"
"Walker?" The officer said looking for the names, "Ah, a family of three. Infant, adult male, adult female. Okay go ahead."
"Thank you," Nora said as we passed by.
"Good luck ma'am," The soldier spoke, "and God help us all."
"Everyone we have to get through together!" I heard one of the people yell, "If we rush them, they can't take us all!"
"Yeah!" Another said.
"Stay back!" The soldier with the minigun warned holding the rotary trigger.
"Now!" The first man in the crowd yelled. They started rushing.
"Open fire!" THe officer ordered. The Minigun clad soldier unleashed a spray of 5mm bullets mowing down the incoming group and a couple bystanders. Screams of horror erupted, leaving me uneasy.
"Get to the Vault now!" The other soldier ordered.
"You two follow me!" A security guard yelled. He was in a jumpsuit and riot gear.
"What's going to have to the rest of the survivors at the gate?" Nora asked as we jogged behind the security guard. The Vertibird that had the loudspeaker attached landed near our path.
"We're doing everything we can," The security officer replied, "Now keep moving!" We came up on a platform where there was a small crowd of people waiting. "Step onto the platform in the center!"
We obeyed, stepping onto a large cog shaped platform with white writing on it that said, "VAULT 111". I recognized some of the group that were on there. Especially the Whitfields.
"Alright that's all we can get!" The security guard yelled, "Send it down!"
Nora looked at me with a fear I didn't want to see in anyone. I held her close to me, positioning Shaun in between us. "We're almost there," I told her comfortingly, "I love you so much…...both of you."
"We love you too," Nora spoke back putting her head on my shoulder. I felt wetness on my shoulder. She was crying. I couldn't blame her. I would too. Then there was a loud distant "BOOM" that echoed from far away causing everyone on the platform to jump in fright. Nora turned to look as well
"Oh my god!" Nora yelled in fright.
A mushroom cloud formed as the explosion sent a shockwave of force towards us.
"Send them down now!" I heard a Vault security officer yell.
"HOLD ON!" I yelled grabbing her and wrapping her in my arms with Shaun still between us. She put her head down closing her eyes. I stared at the incoming blast as we were lowered down.
"Can't this thing move any faster?" Mr Whitfield said.
"Oh, god, oh god, oh god," Mrs. Whitfield prayed. The shock wave was coming rapidly, plowing through Boston. I watched as within ten seconds of its detonation, it was about to reach the nearby town of Concord. That's when I looked up and we were finally lowered enough to where another Vault Cog door began to close. I saw as the energy of the shockwave pass over us harmlessly until the topside Vault door shut completely. The ride down took about a minute.
Nora was breathing heavily. "We did it…" She said sounding as if to reassure not only me and Shaun, but herself. "We made it. We're okay."
"Yeah," I reassured as the elevator came to a stop revealing a large gt that fit the shape of the flooring. It started to lift.
"Everyone please step off of the elevator and proceed up the stairs in an orderly fashion," A security guard said. A man was standing behind him, with a slightly different jumpsuit on.
"No need to worry folks!" He said reassuring, "We'll get everyone situated in their new homes. Vault 111. A better future. Underground."
"So we just….?" Mr. Russell started, but was too shocked to continue.
"Yes," The security officer replied nodding, "Up the stairs."
"I can't believe it," Mr. Able said, "If we had left a minute later….we'd all be…."
"No," The second Vault official said, "no. Don't get caught up thinking about that. You're safe now. Everyone, just head up these stairs and right through the door there."
"I need a minute," Mr Whitfield said leaning against a nearby wall at the staircase.
Everyone else followed the first in line up the stairs. We walked along the walkway through another Cog shaped door frame. If it wasn't for the fact that we just escaped annihilation, I probably could have admired the tech and engineering of the door. I could hear the sounds of a computerized artificial intelligence speaking over an intercom. "Vault-Tec is here for you. All new residents, please proceed in an orderly fashion. Welcome home."
As we passed by, various Vault staff members were taking notes. There was a long line of people who were getting checked off and receiving a jumpsuit. We passed through a medical screening device just beforehand. We were last, with the exception of the Whitfields.
"Hmm," The staff member said looking at a computer. "The scanner said you're a jumpsuit size M-XL. Here you go." She handed me a jumpsuit, then turned to my wife and son.
"Aw what an adorable little baby," She said looking warm hearted, "Your infant's too small for a jumpsuit, but it doesn't matter. It'll grow into one eventually. I'm so happy you three have made it."
"Thanks," Nora said relief washing over her features finally. It seemed that she finally was relaxed now. It was easier for me, because of my days of life-threatening situations."
"Uh…. what now?"
"Follow the Doctor," The woman said, "He'll help you out."
"Alright you three," He said in an assuring tone, "Follow me."
We started to follow him just as Shaun decided to make a few baby noises, probably from the sudden change in motion, sounds, and whatnot in the past ten minutes. "See," Nora said to him, "This is our new home."
"Oh, you're going to love it here," The doctor said, "This is one of our most advanced facilities. Not that the others aren't great mind you."
"It's gone," A new resident said to a vault staff member while holding his wife as we passed by, "All of it. Our home is gone."
"My mother lives down in D.C," The wife said, "How will we know if they made it or not?" I looked pass them through a window to see several pods.
"How long do you think we'll be down here?" Nora asked the doctor as we continued down the hall of high-tech equipment and architecture.
"Oh, we'll be going through all of that in orientation," The doctor replied as we entered a room full of pods, where many new residents were talking to Vault staff members about life in the Vault. Some were changing in front of everyone, others were still in different stages of shock. I looked back at Nora encouragingly. "We just have to get through a few medical items we have to get through first. We got to the very end of the Pod room before the doctor spoke. "Okay now," He said, "Just put your Vault suit on and you can step into the chamber."
I held Shaun, so Nora could change, then she took him back so I could. Shaun started to whine. "Shh, shh," Nora said, "It'll be okay, daddy's right here."
"Who's my little guy?" I asked running my finger across his cheek, "Hmm? I'm not going far. I'll just be over there."
"All set?" The doctor asked.
"Yeah," I replied, "Nora?"
"What about Shaun?" She asked the doctor.
"Oh, don't worry," The doctor replied, "We set this pod right here for medical examination for two. It's calibrated just for you. Good thing you got here, otherwise it would've been a waste. Go right on in." I obeyed, getting in the pod, and watched Nora getting in the one across from me. "The Pod will decontaminate and depressurize you before we head deeper into the Vault. Just relax." He stood in front of my pod pressing a button. The pod shut down. I looked at Nora as she looked down at Shaun then at me.
"Time for a whole new life," I said to myself.
"Resident secure," A voice said, "Occupant Vitals: Normal. Procedure complete…..in 5….4….3...2...1" As it counted down, it got colder and colder before ice formed on the view port. Every second that counted down, I started to feel more tired and finally, my eyes closed as I fell asleep in cold slumber, and everything went white. Not a moment passed by and I started to wake up with groggy realization. The Vault computer was still talking. "Manual override initiated. Cryogenic stasis suspended." The whiteness began to fade into blurry vision. I realized that the viewport had ice all over the rim. I could see Nora across from me looking down at Shaun before moving slightly. She looked up at me shivering. I had never heard of Cryostasis used for medical scans. I noticed that there was a figure in a white suit. It was a high tech Hazmat suit of some sort.
"This is the one right here," the woman said pointing at my family's pod. Her voice was confident and intelligent, but didn't seem too thrilled about something. Another person came into view, this one having dark clothing on with specialized armor on. He had what looked like an assault rifle of some sort strapped to his back.
"Open it," He said. His voice was very distinct, very guttural in a way. This guy knew what he was doing. He seemed like the type of man who had seen death or had caused death. His features were something I couldn't forget. He was an older looking man, balding, and had a scar running across his left eye from his forehead to his cheek.
As soon as the Hazmat suited figure opened the pod I heard coughs from Nora and cries from Shaun. "Is…..it over?" Nora asked, "Are we okay?" The hazmat suited figure went to reach for Shaun.
"Almost," The man said, "Everything's going to be fine."
"Come here," The Hazmat suited figure said as Shaun cried, "Come here baby."
"No," Nora said her maternal instincts kicking in., "No! I got him!" The Hazmat suited figure tried to pull Shaun away from Nora. Then I realized, something wasn't right. I started beating on the glass, trying to get their attention. If I could get out of this damn pod.
"Listen to me ma'am," The figure in the hazmat suit spoke, "You need to calm down. Your entire community has been in Cryostasis for two hundred years. All other residents are safe, but with your child being the only infant, we have no idea what adverse effects he has suffered. Cryo was meant for adults, not infants."
"Who are you?" Nora asked.
"We are here to help," The woman said, "Everything will be explained, but right now, your son could be in danger of dying."
"O-okay," Nora said letting Shaun go to the hazmat figure.
The woman took a needle out and drew blood from Shaun, causing our son to cry. She took out a Biometric scanner and put the sample inside. "That's everything," The woman said, "Looks like he's a healthy boy. Now I'm going to have to ask you to relax. You'll have to re-enter Cryostasis." Cryo-stasis didn't have anything on the way ice filled my veins. No.
"What?" Nora asked, "You said you were going to-"
"Be quiet and do as you're told," The man said drawing a gun, "Lock them back down."
"Shaun!" I yelled.
"No!" Nora yelled, "Give me back my son!" And just like that, we were put to sleep once more.
"Cryostasis Pod B-14, opening for scheduled release-" I heard the sounds of that computer as I woke up. It was hard trying to focus on movement when your body had been frozen. "-for a containment period of two hundred and ten years according to Liquid Nitrogen preservation technology. Vault-Tec standard procedures, overridden, authorization Code GCC-1102077-ALASKA."
GCC-1102077-Alaska. I fell out of my pod on my hands and knees memories flooding through my head. The authorization code was what triggered my memories.
I sat in a chamber within Fort Hagen awaiting the arrival of General Constantine Chase. When he did arrive, he walked in with purpose. I stood and saluted.
"At ease Soldier," General Chase spoke to me, "You may be seated."
"Yes Sir," I replied sitting down at the table with him.
"First off," General Chase, "I want to thank you for your service in the Alaskan Reclamation and for your services that are not on public record, which I told you was redacted from said records for the interest of the United States."
"Thank you sir," I replied nodding.
"I understand that you were honorably discharged from service and now have a newborn," General Chase replied, "I hope all is well with you and your wife?"
"It is sir," I replied.
"Good to hear," General Chase spoke, "I know from our past dealings, that you wanted to shelter your family from involvement with anything that has to do with war efforts, but I'm afraid that this proposition will violate our agreement."
I stirred uncomfortably. "Sir I…."
General Chase held his hand up to silence me. "Please Sergeant," He spoke, "Let me finish. The mission I'm speaking of does involve them, but their future is secure, as well as yours. Tell me, have you heard of Vault-Tec?"
"Of course," I replied.
"I thought you have," General Chase spoke, "Well. Sometime in the near future, your family is going to receive a pre-approved notice personally from Vault-Tec, inviting you to take shelter in Vault 111 right outside your current residential neighborhood of Sanctuary Hills."
"May I ask why this is important to your mission?"
"Off the record?" General Chase spoke, "There are high ranking government officials who have given us….doubt involving their loyalties. There are only a few of us however. Vault-Tec was contracted by the government to design labyrinth-like underground Fallout Shelters to preserve human life. But here's the kicker. That's the public face. I've recently uncovered information that the Vaults are not actually meant to preserve human life, not directly at least. Vault-Tec is funded by a group, once again not known to the general public, as The Enclave. The Enclave are a sub-division within the government whose information is classified even beyond my own paygrade. My contact informed me of them, someone within the said organization who is a liaison between Vault-Tec and the Enclave. He is pulling several strings at the risk of his own life."
"What is he doing?"
"Vaults are not what they appear to be," General Chase replied, "Their sole purpose is not the sheltering of humans. They are nothing more than experimental groups for different kinds of experiments for the Enclave to study."
"What…..kind of experiments?"
"I don't know the details," General Chase spoke, "But I do know of some primary purposes of a few Vaults. Vault 69's experiment is every perverted single man's dream. Out of one thousand residents, there was only one male." I raised an eyebrow. He was correct on that assumption. "There are Vaults that are experimenting with FEV, environmental manipulation, and the very Vault you are going to be invited to, will put all of its inhabitants in Cryostasis. I only know of one other Vault with similar experiments, and it is somewhere in the Carolinas. But back on subject, my informant has tampered with Vault 111's Cryogenic array by adding a bypass code that will awaken you first. There is a biometric scanner upon arrival in the Vault after you enter that will keep track of you while in the."
"How long will we be in there?"
"I am not sure," Chase replied, "My informant informed me that the Cryogenic array will inevitably begin to malfunction. When it does, he told me that there is a failsafe to open your pod first, then you can release everyone else who is a part of the experiment."
"Won't there be Vault-Tec officials there?"
"I am unsure," Chase replied, "However, due to the nature of the experiment and the lack of supplies that will eventually run out in the Vault after the Vault is finally closed, I don't think that will be a problem if it is a hundred years later."
"So, what is my mission?"
"Simple," Chase replied, "I want you to lead your fellow residents into rebuilding America in the event of nuclear fallout. The list of candidates encompasses every Sanctuary Hills Resident and many from Concord. Ever since Sanctuary Hills was constructed, most of its residents have been in or family of the U.S Military. There are residents there who are survivalists, Chem manufacturers, farmers, mechanics, your wife has a law degree; you get the point. I'm choosing you because out of all of these people, your skillset dabbles in a bit of everything. Understand?"
"Yes sir," I replied.
"Good," General Chase said, "Of course, this all only goes into effect for if the bombs fall. Before I allow you to leave, I want you to take note of the many military installations around Boston and the immediate area."
He pointed at a military map. "These are strategic locations in which you will need to unlock. Each one has a hidden bunker or purpose. Use these to help rebuild."
"I'm sure you're well aware of sleeper protocol."
"Yes sir," I replied, "My backup is my wife of course." Sleeper protocol was a procedure done on certain soldiers who would retain valuable information but could not access it until a code phrase was enabled. It was a form of brainwashing for sleeper agents. It prevents divulging information to the enemy or anyone who'd use it against America. There could be spies in the government or military chain of command that could use this information. Sometimes, a backup person would be given the same information, who would have it just in case the wakening code was lost. The thing about my wife is, she put on a good act when it came to being oblivious to anything involving my orders and the military. Being a Lawyer, she could craft lies that you'd believe even if you were a Chinese spy.
"I'll give you a day to speak with her," General Chase spoke, "The wakening code will be GCC-1102077-ALASKA…."
I tried to get out of the Cryostasis pod, only to fall to the floor. My body was numb, everything was….numb. I breathed heavily hearing the sounds of water drip from the Cryo pod I came out of. I saw a flash of light to my right. It was too bright to be a warning light, but then again, I probably was hallucinating.
I struggled to get up, looking at my wife who just laid there distraught. I went to pull on the handle near the viewport. I scanned the immediate area to see a control panel. I pulled a lever and the pod started to open.
Nothing, she sat there lifelessly like a zombie. "Nate….." She said tearing up as she finally moved towards me, "Our son…."
"I know," I said wrapping her in my arms, which she did so too, "I know. We'll find him."
"We have to go now…." She said distraught, "We have to find him."
"Let's go," I said with tears running down my face. As we moved to the entrance of the room I looked around in the other pods. I also realized that I had this intense thirst and hunger while moving. It seemed that being in Cryo had taken a lot out of me.
"Let's try to wake the others," Nora said, "Didn't you say your C.O gave you a mission involving us? You told me everything right?"
"I believe I did," I replied nodding. The moment we walked up to one of them, we noticed something. The pods couldn't be opened. The switches were locked.
"Oh god," I said, "They can't be opened yet.
"Why would Vault-Tec do this?" She asked, almost rhetorically.
"I don't know hun." I said, "I don't think Vault-Tec is responsible for them being locked up compared to us. No, this is probably due to the same people who took our boy." I looked at the monitoring terminal near the first pod in the room as Nora leaned over my shoulder using me for support. "Let's see…."
Welcome to ROBCO Industries (TM) Termlink
Thank you for choosing Vault-Tec!
[Pod Occupant Status]
I went through each option.
Cryogenic Array: Online. 100.5 years duration left. Isolated manual and remote overrides detected. Controls disabled. Override remote detected offsite. Unknown Location.
Life Support: Online. 103.8 years duration left. Isolated manual and remote overrides detected. Controls disabled. Override remote detected offsite. Unknown Location.
The last option showed the information on all the occupants in the room. All were still locked in and frozen with the exception of Pod C1 which was empty, and my family's pod's. All of our neighbors we had known that were able to get in the safe secure vault, were still in Cryo, and there was nothing I could do about it right now. Somebody had some answering to do. This was unacceptable.
I noticed an oxygen tank turned over near the door. I ignored it. "Something's going on." Nora walked slowly behind me grieving for our loss. I opened the door revealing an empty hall. Everything looked different with it like this. Doors were closed. I opened the one closest to the right seeing more Cryostasis pods. I found the terminal listing several people as still in Cryo, including the Whitfield's. I left the room and continued down the hall. I tried to open one of the doorways we came through, but it wouldn't budge. An alarm went off.
"Malfunction in emergency exit door override. Please contact your Vault-Tec maintenance representative for service."
"Great," I spoke sarcastically as I noted the toolbox and tools near the door itself. I turned to the only other exit possible opening the door.
She descended down a short flight of stairs and turned right down the hallway as the left had another door that was shut down. I followed A window separated us and a generator room. But that was just a backdrop to what confused us. On the other side, sticking to the glass, was a cockroach. Not just any cockroach. A giant cockroach. As I walked to it, it jumped off the glass and onto the floor. "What the fuck?" I uttered as it scurried off.
"Was that a Cockroach?" Nora asked me.
"I think it was…." I said as I accidentally kicked a crate when trying to keep going, knocking something on the ground.
"Smooth," Nora sniffed with some kind of ray of humor. I nodding trying to smirk a bit in this bad situation. "What happened here?" She asked, "Why….why would they do this? Did General Chase know about this?"
"He knew they were up to something," I replied to her, "But…..I don't know. Hopefully we will find out."
What I knocked on the ground was a security baton, one that I picked up and put in my pocket, not knowing if I'd need it. We hadn't found any of the vault staff yet, so I wanted to try and make sure we were prepared. We continued down the hall until there was another door closed and a security room. Naturally, everything was in disarray except for a Stimpak and a terminal. Maybe it held answers that we needed. Nora read over my shoulder.
Welcome to ROBCO Industries (TM) Termlink
Clearance: VAULT-TEC SECURITY
[VAULT 111 SECURITY INSTRUCTIONS]
[Operations Protocol Manual]
I looked at the Security instructions first.
CONFIDENTIAL CONFIDENTIAL CONFIDENTIAL
SECURITY EYES ONLY - VIOLATION VTP-01011
Vault 111 is designed to test the long-term effects of suspended animation on unaware, human subjects. Security staff are responsible for maintaining installation integrity and monitoring science staff activity.
Under no circumstances are staff allowed to deviate from assigned duties. Insubordination or interference with vault operations are capital offenses. Security staff are authorized to use lethal force.
Next I looked under the operation's protocol options.
Upon Activation Notice from Vault-Tec, all personnel are required to report to the Entry Area and assist with admittance of Vault Residents. Security Personnel will maintain order and ensure that no personnel or residents attempt to evacuate the Vault.
Research staff will be responsible for resident intake and escort each to the designated cryogenic pod. Residents not accounted fr in the manifest should be asked to step aside and detained forcibly by security if necessary.
Once all residents have been sealed into their preservation chambers, dispose of an detainees. Vault entryway must remain sealed under any circumstances.
Members of the Research team must daily monitor the vital signs of cryogenically preserved residents. Cardiopulmonary and cognitive activity in particular must be recorded hourly.
Life-saving intervention is only permitted if greater than 80% of the resident population has perished while in Cryogenic suspension and must not interrupt suspension.
Independent research is encouraged and left to Overseer discretion.
Security patrols are to be carried out on a constant eight-hour rotation. Security priorities include:
-Monitoring for signs of intrusion
-Checking for atmosphere leaks
-Settling disputes among personnel
-Enforcement of regulations set forth by the Overseer
-Enforcement of regulations set forth by Vault-Tec
[[[Facility Services & Maintenance]]]
Due to the nature of Vault 111, personnel will be expected to perform duties outside their normal qualifications, such as janitorial duties and food preparation.
The exact distribution of these roles is left to Overseer discretion.
[[All-Clear and Evacuation]]
Following a nuclear event, Vault-Tec will monitor hazards such as radiation levels, enemy invasion, subsequent attacks, and other factors. Once conditions are deemed safe, this terminal will receive an all-clear notice.
Upon receiving the all-clear notice, Vault-Tec personnel may be evacuated at Overseer's discretion. Disregard any notices from organizations or individuals not associated with Vault-Tec, including government and military. Residents are not to be disrupted or evacuated. Vault-Tec will attend to their needs remotely once Vault 111 staff has been evacuated.
[[[Mandatory Shelter Period]]]
Vault 111 is classified as a short-term assignment. Non-resident personnel are expected to carry out research duties and basic maintenance of the Vault while awaiting the All-Clear signal to evacuate.
In the absence of an All-Clear message from Vault-Tec, the Overseer may elect to evacuate staff after a mandatory shelter period of 180 days of containment. Under no circumstance may Vault 111 staff evacuate during this shelter period, unless receiving the All-Clear message from Vault Tec.
[[October 23, 2077]]
God. It finally happened. The world's over. Barely got all the residents inside. Not everyone made it…
Now it's just us and the icebergs. I don't get it. Eggheads tried to explain to me that keeping them frozen is a big experiment. For a better future or something. I don't know. It just doesn't seem right that we were smiling at them all that time before putting them on ice. Shouldn't we have told them something?
Christmas underground. Got together with the rest of the security boys and support staff and had a little party. Best gift that got handed out was a Fancy Lad Snack Cake that wasn't too stale.
None of the scientists came. Overseer wasn't there either. I just don't get them. They hiding something from us? Another company secret only or the higher ups?
Whatever. Just a few more months and the All-clear is supposed to come through. Then we can start rebuilding.
[[March 14, 2078]]
Only a few weeks left in our mandatory shelter period. Everyone's getting stir crazy. Some people are even saying the All-Clear Signal is never coming. We can't stay here much longer, that's for sure. It's not just the fact that I've been staring at the same break room and bunk bed for over six months. It's the fact that we only have enough food for a few months. Tops.
The Overseer keeps telling everyone to be patient, focus on work. He's definitely keeping us out of the loop. Something bad is going on. I just know it."
[[April 23, 2078]]
The main door accessing the vault exit is malfunctioning. Now the only way out is through the Overseer's evacuation tunnel, how convenient for him. He has one of the science team watching the door into his office at all times from a little makeshift checkpoint.
Got invited to a meeting tonight. Support Staffers and security only. Sounds like I'm not the only one with an axe to grind.
No All-Clear from Vault-Tec is coming. We need to leave. We're all but out of food. I almost murdered Stanley for dropping a damn salt cracker on the floor.
A handful of us confronted the Overseer about opening up the Vault. I never knew a man that small could shout that loud. Now he's locked himself in his office along with the rest of the science staff. We're supposed to hand over any food, weapons, and medicine we have by tonight, or there's "going to be consequences."
I've talked to everyone. It's time. One way or another, we're getting out of this Vault.
I turned off the terminal letting all that information sink in as I leaned back into the chair which made an audible echoed creak. Nora's hands rested on my shoulders. This wasn't a Vault for a better future. This was a fucking science experiment. I was all for discovering something and learning something new, but damn. This was just cruel and inhumane. By the time these entries were put in, at least a year six months had passed since the bombs fell. If that was true, Shaun would be barely a year old now. That meant that this place was deserted. I growled. Because of these people, countless lives of our neighbors were ruined, from Sanctuary Hills and Concord. They may have saved us from being obliterated by a nuke, but only because they wanted to experiment with us.
"That's so…..cruel." Nora said voice wavering, "How could they do this to us? They're…monsters."
"You're damn right they are," I said shaking my head and getting up, "And they got whatever fate they deserved. Come on baby. Let's get out of this hellhole."
Survival mode started to kick in, and that meant that I needed to gather any supplies that I could and get out of here and find Shaun. I followed the hall and went through the door down another hall that bent left. After opening yet another door, I was met with one of those giant cockroaches. It turned towards me before scuttering my way. "Whoa what the-?" I uttered pulling out my baton. It got close and I swung down smashing the oversized insect with the baton. "Giant roaches…..it'd be ridiculous if one of us were taken out by one of those things."
"I love animals and all," Nora said shuttering, "But those things are gross."
"Makes me wonder what else got an upgrade," I replied back, "or mutated." We continued on, noting to grab another baton near another window of the generator room. "Here hun." I handed it to her, "You might need it."
"Thanks," She replied, "Look over there. Look's like a kitchen." True enough, there was a canteen in the back doorway. "You think there's any food?"
"Only one way to find out," I replied, "Let's check it out."
There was a recreational terminal. The terminal said that the security and support staff had taken all the edibles in there, which was evident by the lack of supplies in the barracks and canteen itself. I was looking around when I heard the sound of a faucet handle turning. Nora was the one who turned it on. She filled up a coffee mug full and drank it.
"Pour me a cup dear," I said, "Didn't realize how thirsty I was." She did so. The hydration only intensified hunger. We had to find some food. I noted yet another terminal in the room. I noted a holotape called Red Menace. It was a videogame. I ejected the holotape, thinking that Shaun might enjoy it if I found him and when he grew up. You have to stay positive in this kind of situation, and that's what I'm doing.
"What's that?" Nora asked.
"Red Menace," I replied, "…..for Shaun. When he grows up." I could see a brief smile coming from Nora before it turned to pain. "We'll find him hun." She nodded, unable to speak. We silently walked out the canteen and into the only other way out; the generator room, the same place where we saw our first giant cockroach. As we entered, I saw one get fried by sparking generator electricity. Nora made a scrunch in her nose in disgust. We weren't about to go through that thing. We walked around the generators along the wall. I had to bat away a few of those giant cockroaches as they came at us. It was a good thing I was good at swinging a baseball bat growing up. A larger one than the others jumped at me. I sidestepped it and kicked it into the wall before bringing the baton down on its head, killing it. I continued on keeping my security baton out, Nora right behind me. There was a makeshift area with Vault-Tec, metal crates stacked up like a fortification and a skeleton with torn clothes on. This was probably a scientist that perished at the hands of the soon to be escapees. I opened the door quickly dispatching more giant cockroaches before entering an office. It was definitely the Overseer's office. Nora trailed behind me, trying to stay away from the creepy crawlies.
I took note of our surroundings in the office, noticing a standard 10mm gun with a box of ammo nearby. There were two magazines near it as well. I needed to find something to carry all of this stuff with. My pockets were only so deep. I scanned the room, looking for anything that could help me with a load we were about to have. Nothing. I checked the small armory, which had a cool looking piece of tech in it. Some kind of weapon. A Cryolator? That's what was printed on the weapon's case. But I couldn't get to it. Then there was another 10mm gun with another box of ammo and some spare magazines. I didn't find a backpack or anything, but I did find several utility belts for security personnel. I put two of them on the Overseer's desk with our other collected stuff. I found a box of 10mm ammo in the bedroom. Altogether, we had about one hundred seven rounds of ammo with eight magazines, and five Stimpak regenerative applicators.
Nora sat there watching me gather things. Anyone else would've saw a helpless woman, one who couldn't survive anything without her supporting husband. If no one knew her like I did, she'd seem like a stereotypical trophy housewife needing a man to support her and take care of her every whim. No. She wasn't that. She was weak at the moment, understandably. She was down but not out. My wife was so much stronger than she was acting now. An enemy exploited a weak spot. They fucked with her family. The wrong family.
"Hun." I said.
"Hmm?" She said absentmindedly.
"Gear up," I said, "put this utility belt on."
She didn't move. Nora wasn't home at the moment. "Nora!"
"What?" She asked after shaking her head a little bit coming back to reality.
"Baby," I said walking around the desk and grasping her arms, "I know it's tough. I know how bad it is. But I need you to be strong. For Shaun. For me. We need to find him." She looked into my eyes, hopelessness becoming strength, pupils dilating as she looked up at me. Then her head flopped onto my shoulder wrapping her arms around me in a tight hug; one that I returned. I don't remember how long we stood there in each other's embrace. I know what happened after that. My Nora was back.
She strapped on the utility belt holstering a 10mm pistol and putting newly filled magazines in pouches. Her baton was snug in its own holster. She took two of the stimpaks and put them in a pouch. I took the remaining one. But she equipped everything like she wanted to. She slung a dufflebag over her shoulder that was full of "Let's get moving." I nodded in response. Determination was what I loved about my wife. She was one pissed off mother. I finished strapping on my own utilities before looking over at the Cryolator while leaning over the Overseer's desk with my palms down.
"We're going to have to come back for that thing," I spoke, "I can at least try to reverse engineer it. It's one hell of a concept, fires liquid nitrogen. This place is full of it…probably."
"Hmm," Nora said walking over to it with her arms folded, "We can probably make more than one. I know I'm better with pistols, and maybe an energy weapon or two, but I think we can figure out how that thing works eventually."
"We'll probably come back later," I replied, "We still have to free our neighbors. But first…"
"Look for Shaun." Nora finished. She looked at me nodding as if coming to the realization of something. "Babe, you know. About that."
"The world outside….." She said, "And I want to find Shaun as much as you do, but what if we die from the radiation as soon as we step foot outside? What if we don't find him? He could literally be anywhere. And we need to prepare. I don't know if there's going to be enough preparation…."
"Don't worry hun," I said, "It might take a while, but we'll find our boy." There was this nagging thought that made me think about the worst-case scenario. Shaun was dead. I pushed that to the recesses of my mind as I looked through the files on the overseer's terminal. There were details about the Cryolator. Its conception originated out of pure boredom on the Overseer's part, and it was the only one of its kind. The overseer had schematics for it in his desk on a holotape. I didn't have a holotape player yet but I could find one and a printer to print the schematics off. I took the holotape and put it
"Hey Nate," Nora said who was standing at the only other exit, "This door won't open."
"Give me a second," I replied, "I saw the controls to it right here. Everything in the Vault is controlled by this terminal." I saw logs on many different things, the almost depleted stockpiles of medical supplies, security gear, and
I strapped on one of the utility belts and slung the other over my right shoulder and through my left arm like a bandolier. All eight magazines were put in holsters that held them down, while my security batons were on both sides of my utility belt. My stimpaks were put in a very small bag that would attach to the back of my slung utility belt. Finally, I had both holsters for my two 10mm guns.
I went to exit the room via the Overseer's tunnel only to be denied. It was controlled by the terminal. The terminal had a lot of the same information as the other terminals did, only this one had overseer access. I opened the door and continued on. There were multiple of those giant cockroaches. I decided to get a little target practice in. I pulled out one of my 10mm pistols and took aim. I shot three cockroaches missing one bullet before smashing the last with a baton. I kept walking keeping in mind the exact ammo count I had in my gun's magazine. I opened the next door seeing that I was in the second door entrance chamber. There were skeletons all over the place and all the furniture was turned over. Nora even killed a few of those giant cockroaches. The Vault door was closed, nothing able to penetrate its hull. I walked over to the control panel. I tried accessing it.
There was a double denial beep before the Vault Computer spoke. "Pipboy Interface required to activate Vault door cycling sequence. Have a nice day."
"A Pipboy?" Nora spoke. Those things were rare outside of Vaults even before the bombs fell. Where in the hell would I find one here at? My foot hit something. A skeleton. There was something attached to it.
"Well, I'll be damned," I said out loud. It was what I needed. I pulled it off the skeletal arm before attaching it onto my left arm and fastening it down. I pressed the power button and wiped off the screen.
It ran through several start-up routines and coding could be seen scrolling up before it gave me the processing data and copyrights. Then the prewar iconic Vault-boy avatar popped up giving me a thumbs up. Words came up revealing the Pipboy's functions.
Factory Reset initialized, scanning Vault 111 residents via biometric functionality and processing….
Resident found. Charles Nathan Walker.
Thank you for choosing the Pip-Boy 3000 Mark IV as your Personal Information Processor. The Mark IV is one of Vault-Tec's latest models of the Pip-Boy 3000. It has biometric neural processing that can scan what is on your person and the latest in health monitoring processing. Returning functions are the Global Positioning Map based on area maps of our great nation. A Geiger counter is now located on the side of the Pip-boy HUD so that you can avoid dangerous radiation levels. Finally all documentation of data is displayed as a category. The Mark IV also has a Pip-boy interface plugin that works with most Vault-Tec access technology. The final major feature to the Mark IV is an updated holotape player.
Then several categories came up. Status, Data, Map, and Radio. My status was healthy. It displayed my internal body temperature and status of my health in limb intervals.
"Hon," Nora said from the other side of the walkway near a makeshift barricade, "I found one too!" There's a whole box right here."
"What?" I exclaimed, "Sweet!" She started to put it on, and her mind wandered. She looked deep in thought. "What's wrong hon?"
She didn't answer at first. She just looked around the room and then at me. "I was thinking," She said, "It's like you said. "We don't know what it's like out there."
"So I was thinking that this Vault…." She said shaking her finger continuously pointing it at the ground, like she was trying to work through some things. "This Vault….is ours." I gave her a perplexed look. "I know it's full of our frozen neighbors. But….this place is ours. It was abandoned. We can fix it up and use it as a storage facility or fallback shelter if we need it. Can we code the door to only open for our Pip-boys?"
"I-I think so," I replied impressed with my wife's ambition, "What brought this on?"
"We need to be prepared for anything," She replied, "Who knows, maybe civilization has already been rebuilt. But if it hasn't. This place will remain safe for a while for our neighbors. We got to find a way to wake them. But what's the point if it's all gone to hell out there?"
"Everyone deserves a chance," I replied, "But first. We need to find the people who took Shaun."
"They don't deserve a chance…." She asked, "Do they?"
I didn't answer. I just sighed and looked at the Vault controls. I synced the controls to my Pipboy. It was now password protected, in addition to needing a Pipboy to input the password. I planned to add more security to it, but I believed that it was time to go. I'd do it later. I pulled out the interface plug and attached it to the console. The button shielding released, allowing me to press the red button and activated the screen. Immediately the Vault Door Cycling sequence started up as said by the Vault Computer. We watched as the alarm went off and the machinery did its thing to attach itself to the Cog shaped Vault Door. It was loud as it slid out of place, when it started to spin, I saw light from the spotlight on the other side. The walkway extended out to meet the other end outside the door. We walked out, finally taking note of the neglect the Vault had endured. What was once shiny metal, was now covered in rust. We kept moving, proceeding to the platform elevator. I pressed a button, and the alarm went off again. The gate closed and the Vault Computer initialized her last announcement. "Enjoy your return to the surface. And thank you for choosing Vault-Tec."
A/N: Posted 7/24/2022, Updated 9 hours after post for typos found by reader.