Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Fallout Saga: Part 9

With a heavy heart and a head full of questions 101 made her way west. Megaton was on the way so she stopped by to replenish her supplies and let Moira know what was going on. Poor Moira was just as upset and confused as 101 and could only offer a few extra stimpaks to show her support. 101 thanked Moira, hugged her fiercely, then headed west once again. Vault 112 was a full day's walk from Megaton and since 101 had lost some of her former urgency she made camp in an abandoned gas station as soon as the sun set. Her sleep was uneasy; dreams of her father, winding Vault hallways, bright flashes of light and... some ragged looking man she didn't recognize. Most of this was forgotten by morning and she was left wondering why she was so exhausted by the time she managed to reach Vault 112.



Well, this was certainly the right place. 101 entered the door code she had retrieved from the Vault-Tec headquarters and entered Vault 112. She was greeted by a robot who offered her a Vault 112 suit and seemed to be under the impression that she was 200 years late for check-in. 101 accepted the vault suit, thanked the robot and rushed deeper into the Vault - she was ready to find her father and give him an ear-full. As 101 emerged into what should have been the commons area she was stopped dead in her tracks.



A chill crept up 101's spine as she tried to make sense of what she was seeing. This was nothing like her Vault at all. 101 kept her eyes on the pods below while making her way to the nearest staircase; all the while trying to keep her growing feelings of unease at bay. Where there really people in those pods? Approaching the first pod 101 confirmed that they did, indeed, contain people. The woman inside appeared awake, but somehow terrified. 101 tried to determine what sort of horror film this woman was being subjected to, but the screen on which the woman was fixated appeared to be a quiet suburban neighborhood. Curious. Perhaps the residents of Vault 112 were in some sort of virtual reality stasis? 101 checked the remaining pods. Most of the occupants appeared to be in the same terror-state as the first woman; save two. One pod contained a dead man and one was empty. The last, however-



Her father!! So he had made it to Vault 112. 101 banged on the pod, but he didn't respond. She tried prying it open, even checking the attached terminal to no avail. 101 went in search of the mainframe or... anything useful at all. There was nothing. The entire purpose of this Vault appeared to be the stasis pods. The only thing in the Overseer's office was the Overseer; in his own pod, of course. 101 returned to the main area and carefully regarded the empty pod. She did't want to risk getting trapped as her father had, but what choice did she have? Assuming the pods were connected into the same simulation, perhaps they could find a way out together. 101 took a moment to gather her nerves, took a deep breath and entered the simulation.



The simulation appeared to be nothing more than a quiet, pre-war suburban neighborhood. Everything seemed clean, fresh, well-manicured; she honestly didn't think she could have imagined such a place. As 101 made her way around the neighborhood, checking every face she passed, it seemed that nothing at all was amiss. She asked a few people about her father or the Overseer, but nobody seemed to know what she was talking about. No matter. If the Overseer was also in this simulation there had to be a terminal around somewhere. Perhaps her Pip-boy could pick up the signal...



101 stamped down the panic that threatened to overtake her. No big deal, just further proof that there absolutely had to be an accessible terminal. She looked around and noticed something peculiar. While there were adults and children wandering around all over the neighborhood, absolutely nobody was going near the park in the center. Perhaps, she thought as she got closer, they're avoiding that little girl? 101 approached the girl, "Betty", and asked her if she knew where the Overseer was. "Betty" avoided the question, instead prompting 101 to "go make Jimmy cry". What? She certainly wasn't going to do that! "Betty" became irate and as her tirade ensued her voice changed to that of an old man. So "Betty" was the Overseer, a twisted man who had grown bored of the simulations and had started torturing its inhabitants. He, of course, knew where her father was, but refused to disclose his location. He laughed as 101 went off to search the houses.



While she didn't find her father, 101 did manage to find the simulation control terminal. It was cleverly disguised behind a virtual wall; she may not have discovered it at all if she hadn't bumped into an errant garden gnome which gave off an odd sound, like a music note. 101 began randomly touching objects to determine what else might be connected and eventually narrowed down each of the five "keys". There was even a handy "blonk" noise when she touched a "key" out of order. 101 hoped there wasn't a lockout mechanism as she worked her way around, narrowing down the correct order. Once the terminal was revealed 101 shut down the simulation, despite repeated warnings that doing so would result in a system failure which would likely kill those who had been in stasis for the past 200 years. She only hesitated a moment, but the residents of Vault 112 had suffered long enough.



After exiting her pod, and offering a moment of silence for the poor Vault dwellers, 101 rushed over to check on her father. He was surprised to see her, but delighted as well. This seemed a bit short-lived as he immediately began filling her in on the information he had gathered. "Betty" (aka The Overseer) was, in fact, Dr Braun himself. He had confirmed the existence of the G.E.C.K. before changing James' virtual self into a dog; trapping him in the simulation and effectively cutting off any means of communicating or uncovering the exit. So, where was this G.E.C.K.? Dr Braun had not said. James was eager to get back to The Jefferson Memorial where Project Purity was started. He was sure one of their recovered terminals would have some useful information. This time, as 101 headed back east, she did so with her father by her side.

2 comments:

  1. Yay!! She found her father :) *still trying to get hubby to replay Fallout 3 but he's firmly stuck in 4*

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    Replies
    1. hehehe 4 is pretty great. There's so much to do! I've been randomly playing it between shifts in 3. ;)

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