Narrowly avoiding the blast, the new group of people who survived were still in their lowered cowering stances as the platform was lowered. The screeching of gears onto metallics as the platform came to a halt, it took a fraction for Danny to adjust his eyes to the artificially lit bunker he now looks at.
“Everybody if I may please have your attention, make your way up the stairs and collect a vault suit, our employee’s will take good care of you in your new life underground”, the Vault-Tec overseer made his first impression.
Families comforting one and other, ‘is this really it?’ and others merely embracing each other. It was a mixed crowd as Danny looked around, his own wife was alright although still stuck in a distraught manner clutching Shaun tight, it wasn’t a common sight as normally she was the stronger one.
Lightly touching Nora’s shoulders, she looks up at her husbands face and understands, they move to the line of their surviving neighbors.
Although everybody was inquiring around and had so many questions to ask, it was only them coming to terms with each other without a single word, merely for Danny it was to much words to contemplate his life gone although as a war veteran he knew better then anyone it was a long time coming.
Shuffling forward to the front of the line, Danny hears once again the checking off of gender and name, in front of him was the African American woman already dressed in a blue futuristic jump oriented ‘vault suit’ she handed new sets out to people approaching her in their vacuum sealed packagings. Being handed two vacuum sealed packagings, Danny gripped Nora’s hand, she was clearly walking through the motions as she holds Shaun close, he himself was silent the entire time upto now without a single giggle or cry.
“Alright you three, follow me. You’re going to love it, all answers will be answered soon as we get you all de-pressurized and ready for orientation. Just through here now, everything will be covered in orientation.”
The Chavez family were being led through to a room specifically filled with de-pressurizing machines left and right. Nora started to feel relieved at least for receiving some answers, she perked up with a smile looking down at Shaun, re-adjusting his blanket around his small body.
“Just over here, I’m going to have to ask you to put on your vault suits and we’ll begin orientation very soon”
The doctor ushering Danny over to a chamber, he looks back as Shaun becomes upset, his crying reverberates along the coldly clandestine room.
“Honey, can you help me?” Nora calls to her husband as she tries putting her left arm through the suit.
“Who’s my good boy? Daddy’s not going far, just going to be right across from you” he tells Shaun, but his words feel off to himself.
Vault-Tec automated warning announcements woke Danny slowly into consciousness, the glass visor is frozen in cracked patterns along the edges. His body temperature is continuously dropping, his head feels woozy, overall he was quite nauseous.
A skinny figure in a strange hazmat suit came into view, it wandered upto the control mechanisms for Nora’s chamber, a man followed behind, his pistol held loose along his side. ‘That one’ the man pointed at Nora, Danny could hear vaguely an almost deep female voice talking back to the man, perhaps suggesting in a manner that it might be difficult. Automated announcements blare whilst the chamber door opens lifting, triggering an ongoing siren, Nora also feeling quite nauseous was discerning as she was being led through the motions in a rushed manner.
The strangers began yelling and grew impatient quite fast, the woman attempting to snatch Shaun out of Nora’s hands was struggling to pry him free from his mother, the man came into Danny’s view with his balding head, he warned Nora without a second chance then shot her in cold blood as the woman grasped Shaun and took him out of view.
Danny’s witness to the event made him feel helpless but he felt needing to do something… anything. He attempted to smash the glass holding his hands up to the visor, trying his best to break it but it was nothing but a weakened display of thumping.
“At least we got the back up, let’s go” his face was in clear view starring at the man infront of him’s pathetic attempts at trying to get any closer to him.
Once more the automated announcements blared their warning sirens as Danny fell unconscious his last thought on his mind was that of hate and vengeance.
Eventually as weeks turned to years, years to ages, Danny’s chamber door lifted open, he had no strength to pull himself together; his body flopped onto the cold floor as his lungs coughed up dribble.
“Come on, Come on! one of these fucking switches has to open her’s” Danny was doing his best to find the right switches.
The automatic voice kept spewing back the same redundant excuses why the doors won’t open, he tried prying it, pulling on it till he tried lifting the red lever beside her chamber covered in heavy ice; his hands felt a sensation of numb burns.
There Nora was in front of her husband, a lifeless corpse long frozen and covered in blood receding to the cold. Danny was shaking with rage and hurt beside the cold being the least on his mind, he grasped Nora’s hand looking onto her wedding band, a plain golden ring without any gem or inscription.
He wished there were a way but even he was unsure if he’d return to the surface, he did what he thought was right, removing her wedding band and minding in it her stead.
“I will find him… and I will murder that son of a bitch” he gritted his teeth, pledging to his deceased wife.
Nothing prepared Danny, he only had faint memory of how he got down here but it felt distant by the second. He retained where he came from, walking over through the pressurized door, he tried accessing the next door but again the same Vault-Tec announcement came up, he felt mocked in a cruel fate.
There were things of note such as tools and papers laying around, he armed himself with a ballpoint hammer overlooking the red toolbox from the non functioning door. He winded around through the other pressure door leading him down tunnel like hallways till he came across another door. The place was dimly lit now in contrast to the brighter reception he had coming into the vault, none of whats happened made sense to Danny, it kept racing through his head, questions.
“Who would possibly kidnap our baby? Why did they have to kill Nora? Why not me?”
His head kept racing with so many thoughts till the next door de-pressurized and infront of Danny was a gigantic cockroach. It caught him by surprise, turning over to him it lunged as Danny trying to get out of the way went for the table with a security baton. Tossing aside the hammer, he flicked the baton that descended down and proceeded to beat down onto the cockroach till it was bloody green and disfigured. His breathes of short gasps showed how exhausted he was, he spotted a water fountain and drank desperately trying to re-moisten his throat.
Looking over at the window, there was a way out but it had it’s share of risks, the door must lead through an exit but not without it’s share of getting shocked. The room looked like it housed the main power generator for the vault, it was sparking flashes of electricity discharging around the room. There may be a way around Danny figured, a side railing hinted there was a walk way but if he didn’t want to get shocked, he had to run to the door that would lead most likely to the next area.
Nobody else survived most likely in Danny’s understanding, aside from Nora, none of the other chambers responded. He found logs in the computer rigged next to the doorway before but the system confirmed everybody dead, even his own chamber which added to what he didn’t understand.
Making his way through hallway after confusing hallway, all he encountered were giant roaches until he stumbled over to the Overseer’s office.
Looking onto his computer, there was an option to open the tunnels and restore back up auxiliary power that would power that platform back to the surface. It also contained logs of the overseer’s account, all Danny thought as he read them was jealousy and pity for how he got to live luxuriously but mostly by himself.
The overseer spent his spare time tinkering with a device he called the “Cryolater”, he was an engineer and the scientists that ran this vault operation were keen to understand how the effect’s of cryogenic freezing had on the human body.
“So I was just a guinea pig for these scientists? a fucking test subject?” he ranted over the computer logs.
He definitely swore someday that he’d come back for the device and give his wife a deserving burial. Searching around the overseers bedroom, he found an old pack of cigarettes Danny stashed aside for later and a medical stimpack that was known to inject and reinvigorate the body. Danny made off with a few boxed rounds of 10mm ammo and took the overseer’s pistol and he walked down the final chamber, shooting the swarm of roaches that blocked his path back to the place he first stood in line with Nora.
Danny did recall that the doctor who escorted him had a computer on his wrist, they called the device a ‘pip-boy’. From recollection it hadn’t been out for the consumers yet but only the eggheads and scientists he knew from the army had one of these on their wrists and they were quite impressive to do almost any calculation you could think of.
Still, it peeved him to consider that the Doctor was in on this experiment as well, the doctor was rushing his family after all but he figured back then it had something to do with health risks as standard procedure.
The pip-boy although filled with dust was still in working ready condition. He accessed it’s mapping features to give a small test, his location in relation to the vault showed with a road map that centered around the Sanctuary Hills area and his direct location on the hilltop.
There was only one way out and it required the pip-boy for the lock mechanism. He scavenged around the area a little before descending down the stairs, found a few more bullets hidden in a cabinet. The Doctor’s skeleton laid dead on the floor adjacent to the controls. The big mechanism flung to automation as the door opener clicked into the heavily sealed door, locking it’s gears into the mechanisms and pulling the door off to the side. The platform was still intact and in working order, it was already lit just like the day they came and he stepped foot onto the platform without delay. His desperateness to see and feel the air of the surface again feels like a lifetime ago in the making, he pulled the lever mechanism and as the clanking of gears screeched the metal, it was a sign that Danny has to move forward with himself.