October 23, 2287 – I’m going to try to remember everything exactly as it happened. I know my mind plays tricks on me sometimes, and it can’t always be trusted. I’m feeling hopeless, thinking I will never be able to find my son in this destroyed world. I saw him get taken away, but I was locked in some cryogenic chamber when it happened and couldn’t get out. They killed my wife. Saw that happen too. Two of them. A man and a woman. When I was finally released, only through the fault of some technical malfunction from what I could tell, everyone else in Vault 111 was dead as well. I took what I could find, which included a pistol, some ammo, and I gathered whatever intel I could from the local terminals. It wasn’t much. Turns out my family was part of some kind of hideous experiment. All of us were. “Long term effects of suspended animation on unaware, human subjects.” Human subjects. That’s all we were to them.
I took a last glimpse at Nora, still inside her own chamber, and just held her hand for a bit. I took the ring off her finger to take with me, closed up the chamber, and went to look for an exit. They always said the only things left after the apocalypse would be roaches and Fancy Lads Snack Cakes. Well, they were right. Biggest roaches anyone has ever seen. Maybe a foot or more across? Tried to save my ammo and just smacked them down with a police baton I found. One of them mashed my leg up pretty good. After that, I used the pistol. Screw it. I gotta get out alive first, then I’ll worry about saving ammo or finding more. Good thing I found a couple stimpaks.
I eventually finally found the exit, just past the bones of who I suspect was “The Overseer.” The RobCo security logs talked about a mutiny. The bastard probably deserved it. Near the exit, I found something that I think is going to be the key to finding my son — a RobCo Pip-Boy. Pip-Boy’s were pretty exclusive, an all-purpose electronic “Personal Information Processors” that recorded and played information about health and the environment. Huge find. There was also what looked like some powerful energy weapon locked up in a translucent case in the Overseer’s office. Not sure what it was, or if I’ll be able to get back here to get it at some point. I tried to get the case open, but couldn’t. I spent some time on it, but figured I better just get the hell out of there before who knows what else found me. The roaches were freaky enough. I didn’t want to know what the rats must look like by now, if there were any still left.
The lift to the top made the most horrible metal scraping sounds the whole way up. I was terrified it would stop at some point, but my joy at finding the power on at all kind of tempered that fear. Nukes killed the world, yet they continued to power it.
When I got to the surface, I didn’t know whether to collapse to my knees, cry, or just respect the quiet. So I did all three. All the trees seemed dead. I wondered how I was going to find food. Would anything grow again? It seemed like it wasn’t an hour ago I was running up the hill to the Vault among the most beautiful fall colors. Such terror and such beauty.
I looked down from the overlook. Sanctuary Hills was wrecked. Absolutely wrecked. Whatever structures were still standing were barely held together. Our house was still there. I had no idea how much time had passed. Had to be longer than half a year, because the logs said the mutiny happened just past the 180 days after they were supposed to hear from Vault-Tec.
I took the short scramble down some rocks and onto the cul-de-sac, and went back to the old house, into Shaun’s room. His crib was still there. Unchanged, except for a layer of dust — almost as good as the day Nora and I brought it home and put it together. I spun the mobile one last time. I won’t come back in this house. Not until I find my son.
Of course, Codsworth, that old stuck up robotic son-of-a-bitch was there. He would survive an apocalypse, you know? Just to show the Yanks he was better than any of them. Nora would have laughed. He asked me if I wanted something to eat, right after telling me that he had been waiting for me for over 200 years.
200 years. I didn’t think that could be right. Thought perhaps something must be wrong with his circuitry. But I later noticed the date on my Pip-Boy. He was right.
Codsworth put up a good front, but I finally got him to talk. He was distraught all right, and said that he was afraid we had all died in the initial strike. He said he tried to keep the house clean, even with all the holes in the ceiling and the radioactive fallout. Crazy, and kind of sad. He asked about Nora and Shaun, and handed me a tape Nora must have made just before we left for the vault. I can’t listen to it now. I just can’t. I had to tell him what happened.
He suggested we start looking for Shaun, so off we went. I half did it to humor him, as I doubt very much whoever took him would have stayed here. There had to be a reason they took him, and it sure wasn’t to camp out in this junkyard of a cul-de-sac. I think Codsworth realized it too, since he kind of broke down when the realization hit him that Shaun and Nora were nowhere to be found. The only things living in Sanctuary Hills were giant flies, roaches, and me. I don’t know which I was more disgusted with. We had been safe. How could I have let this happen?
Codsworth must have seen my spirit shift, as he told me not to give up, that I might start asking in Concord. I asked what the area surrounding the Hills was like now. He said there were some “rough folks” from Concord that had shot at him, and the occasional dog. I figured since it was getting dark, I better hunker down in one of the houses for the night. My plan is to head to Concord at first light.