Sunday, October 9, 2016

The Fallout Saga: Part 14

Despite the previous day's breakthrough, 101 tried to remain "normal" on the way to Vault 106. She didn't want to get her hopes up that she had managed to cut through years (decades?) of brainwashing in just a few days. How arrogant! She had hope, though. As strange as it was she was starting to think of Charon as a friend more than a hired bodyguard. She considered that, perhaps, she was becoming too attached too quickly to make up for the loss of her father, but pushed that thought way down. She couldn't think about that now. 101 fell into a dazed silence as she concentrated on not thinking about her father; her stupor broken only when she noticed Charon's hand on her shoulder. They had reached their destination.



101 thanked Charon and approached the keypad to punch in her pilfered access code. There was a loud squelching sound as the long-unused gears forced themselves into moving. 101 looked up at Charon and tried to suppress an amused smile when she saw the intensity with which he was watching the Vault door slowly back up and roll out of the way. Of course he was curious, she supposed. This was the first Vault they had encountered together that wasn't sitting wide open. In truth, neither of them knew what to expect on the other side. 101's heart dropped a little when the interior was finally revealed.



Another Vault left in total disrepair. Vault 108 had taught them that "disrepair" didn't necessarily mean "uninhabited" so they proceeded with some caution. Vault 106's impact on 101's story has very little to do with the handful of insanity-driven residents, but everything to do with what had driven those residents insane in the first place. This Vault did have a few working terminals, but those were fairly useless. Entries limited to a handful of uninteresting official reports (repair, medical, security, etc - nothing out of the ordinary) and gibberish which she assumed was just corrupted data. They continued onward towards the maintenance room.



"What was that?" 101 asked, slightly alarmed. "What was what?" Charon responded. 101 didn't notice the anomalous response and pressed, "everything just went purple." "No, it didn't..." Their first true conversation and 101 was too freaked out to register it. They continued even more slowly through the winding halls; Charon visibly concerned and 101 stifling a scream when everything turned purple again. It wasn't just purple. Everything looked new. Then, in an instant, everything would return to it's normal, decayed, full-color state again. 101 thought they must have gotten turned around because instead of finding the maintenance room they ended up in the Vault's clinic.



"DAD?!" 101 rushed towards the figure, but as she reached out to grab him everything returned to normal and he was gone again. You may be interested in knowing that at this time Charon considered, briefly, asserting himself by suggesting they leave this, to him, very normal Vault that was obviously distressing his (friend?) employer. 101 had already forged ahead so he pushed the thought aside, opting instead to keep a very close eye on her.



This time the hallucination didn't simply vanish in an instant. 101 found herself in a brand new (if distinctly purple-ish) science wing, complete with a whole bay of working terminals, and she was determined to use them to get to the bottom of this. Charon could only stand by as he watched her type away on the long broken equipment.






Wait, what? "You talk to me you stupid computer!!" 101 screamed then stormed back into the hall.



101 looked around, shaking. Charon, for the second time that day, put his hand on her shoulder and with great difficulty meekly suggested, "perhaps we should go." 101 nodded slowly, tears threatening. Was this another sick Vault-tec experiment that, perhaps, didn't affect Charon because he's a ghoul? Or was something unraveling inside her? The prospect was a frightening one. She began to feel a little better when they passed a corpse on their way out and 101 remembered that at least some of the Vault's residents had been driven to madness as well. The best course of action was, indeed, to get out as quickly as possible before whatever was going on had a chance to take permanent hold on her. Vault 106 was dangerous. 101 made sure to close the Vault door when they left and smashed the control panel. If Vault-tec did their job properly a person would need something stronger than a nuclear bomb to get 106 open again.

2 comments:

  1. Went back to part 13 to make sure I remembered where I left the story and came back to a truly compelling part 14! Off to the next part, to see if Charon is going to make more decisions by himself and what will happen to 101 :)

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    1. Sorry I haven't been keeping up with this. I think I'm going to have to start sacrificing sleep to get more game time in! Especially now that I ended up re-purchasing Borderlands 2.... >_> I know... I'm terrible... lol

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