“Ghouls”

Alternate history of the Fallout Universe, where a man named Charles Ringhold creator and causality for the F.E.V, has survived the Great War of 2077 and seeks to make up for all the wrong he has done. Throughout 200 years the reader follows his journey from Day 1, watch as he transforms into a Radiated Ghoul, and saves the world he helped destroy. Eventually the narrator starts following the main characters from the games, acting as a mentor and behind-the-scenes main hero. Explores before Fallout 1 and right up until you create your character in Fallout 2.

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Ghouls

October 1st, 2077, 3:40 am, I am awake, barely. It is hard to believe the pressure and expectations *they* have for us. I put on my Fedora and grab my coat, heading to work. I hope to God the monorail isn’t late again. You would think that after a hundred years, primitive machines would run perfectly. “There’s no reason you should be late” is something that I am tired of hearing. If only we had the fuel to spare, I could drive my fucking Highwayman to work every day! It smells like it again…death in the air. As I look up into the rising sun, I can feel the anxiety of a new world, the fears of tomorrow. The great science that is failing us: the Great War soon to come. It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost eleven years since the Chinese first invaded Alaska, but things aren’t looking well. With the rise of nuclear warfare as a common denominator in modern warfare, and the great technology of Plasma and Laser weaponry, there is little hope for peace. It’s hard to believe… it’s just hard to believe. A hundred and fifty years ago, the world saw the fall of Hitler and a new paradigm to study: World Wars. But how little we knew of the future, how little we cared about life…

It’s October 1st, the first day of the month, and coming on strong to my fall. I can’t even look at myself in the mirror anymore, the things that I have done! The things that I will do! There is nothing worse than doing the job you hate, but none the less, a job that must be done. In Oregon, I am a scientist, a greatly trained soldier for this… fine country. But it wasn’t always so. It is almost like waking up from a bad dream, “Corporal, you have been reassigned. No more fiddling with peace, bio-chemical warfare cures, or the counting of supplies.” No, that was too much to ask for; the chance at rebuilding and fixing our stupid mistakes. Now I am assigned to studying Brain Bots, and providing “security for the research floor.” “Would you like to volunteer?” asked one of the scientists, fuck no I replied. You and your whole goddamn team of miscreants can literally go fuck yourselves. There was no way I was going to “volunteer” my brain for surgery, or a false sense of security.
“Anderson”, I said as I walked calmly into the lab, “what’s the news?”
“Brain Bots are going well”, he says. “Plenty of volunteers” Something I just couldn’t believe, who the hell would volunteer to having their brains removed? I asked him suspiciously, but I was reasonable with him. He told me that the spiel HR wrote up about it not being a permanent surgery suckered in nearly a third of the investors. They were tricking people into donating their brains to the army.

“We lied to them? About… the safety… in all of this?” “Of course” he says. “The base has been using “military volunteers” for weeks, prisoners are cheaper than recruits.” “Whose idea was this?” I asked, “You know I never approved of scooping out prisoner brains for Brain Bots! Now we’re using the rejects for experimenting? Who fucking approved this?!”
“Spindel,” he says, clearly too afraid to lie to me again. I take him by the neck and ask him gently, “does it make you feel better? For God’s sakes Anderson, we used to be soldiers! Don’t you remember what it was like to be the governments bitch?! Where the fuck is Spindel?! What kind of man authorizes this?!” “He’s… He’s in his office! Down by Mariposa, testing the new products.”
What new products? What are they doing down there? How come no one asked me directly! I am the leading scientist and security expert for this fucking place! How come I don’t have a say in what we do with our prisoners! For fuck’s sake Anderson! You’d better tell me before it’s too goddamn late! “I don’t know!” screams Anderson, “not even my own men were informed. We just deliver the test subjects and monitor their vitals! I really don’t know what they’re doing down there! Honest!” I punched him repeatedly, until he screamed “Court martial! Court martial!” Shut up Anderson, twenty years from now when you have died, you will be burning in Hell remembering the lives that you just threw away.
“Spindel! Come in Spindel! This is Ringhold report! I repeat, this is *Radio Static* what the hell are you doing down there with those prisoners?! You will respond or I will come down there and find out for myself. Just because you’re in command it doesn’t give you the right to break protocol”
“I highly advise you to regret what you have just said. Our research is not only vital for the survival of mankind and the human force, but it is key to reigning victorious over the Chinese. There is a reason why Anderson was assigned control over human testing, and you were not informed.”
“Have you forgotten what damage the FEV has already caused?”
“Have YOU forgotten the reason why they made you create it? Ringhold! You must see it my way, without proper super soldiers how can we conquer the world?!”
“This isn’t about power; it’s about the human race. Do you want to see our fucking home turn into a radiated wasteland? The only way we can stop the war is by finding a way to work together. If we can’t find a substitute for fossil fuel the whole world is fucked! Fuck power, or money! None of our fucking luxuries will matter soon! Everything you’ve ever wanted will be gone. Do you hear me Spindel? Gone! In a cloud of nuclear dust!”
“You truly are an idiot if you think the Chinese will ever listen to reason. I was there when you bought your Vault ticket…”
“Don’t you fucking say that to me! I spent my entire fortune trying to buy as many of those tickets as possible! I don’t even have a single piece of Vault-Tec crap left! Or a goddamn penny for Rotgut! Do you think I’m happy that our country can’t let go of ancient Hitler ideas?”
“I think that you should come down here, and see exactly what we have done. It is an amazing thing Ringhold, it is truly an amazing thing… What my eyes have seen with your creation…The FEV is working so well!” It was suppose to evolve us for the better Spindel. Forced Evolutionary Virus means to expand ourselves, make us evolve! Not turn us into monsters, what the hell did you do with my baby!”
“Come see Ringhold, come see indeed. *Click*”
Anderson, you’re coming with me, dead or alive. I need your hand to get me into Mariposa.

October 4th, 2077. It was a three days travel from the lab to Mariposa due to the crowds and traffic. I’ve never seen so many people dependant on fuel to the point that they are wasting their last gallons, lining up on the highways to try to buy the next available Vault ticket. I had to lock the doors and tie up Anderson when I slept, it was that bad. If he somehow managed to run away, I would never get into Mariposa. I would even have to leave his car behind and chase him through an endless wave of mold stained trees. So I did the unthinkable… they would court martial and execute me for this… but I kidnapped Anderson at gun point. I put my plasma pistol to his throat and asked him VERY nicely; if you want to save the world, do everything that I say.

We got out of the car and walked towards the Mariposa entrance, crowded with would-be soldiers and rambling scientists, endlessly running in and out of the building. Some carrying strange boxes, others carrying what appeared to be occupied body bags. There was an off scent of Formaldehyde in the air. Some of the soldiers questioned us as we walked in, but Anderson played along and insisted that I was to be granted access to the facility. They couldn’t refuse him. As we ascended upwards towards the very belly of the beast, my anxiety kicked in. All my fears were realized as I walked into Spindel’s lab, he was submerging deserters into vats of what appeared to be the FEV. But it wasn’t the FEV I created, it was much worse. One by one, I watched the bodies of these men and women slowly shape, and shift into monstrous forms. Their very skulls enlarged along with their muscles, as their skin would slowly begin to turn gray. “Damnit Spindel! What the hell did you do with my creation?!”

“Ringhold, greetings, come and take a closer look at what your FEV has created.”
I walked beside him, listening. Not knowing what to say or feel, I simply followed Spindel closely, contemplating killing him or listening to his story. Anderson silently waiting for me to order him around, “What exactly are you doing with my FEV?”
“I’m making super soldiers, damnit’! We took the FEV and made it stimulate the human immune system, instead of their minds! The Chinese are going to use biological warfare against us, and the only way to protect ourselves is by developing a cure to all disease in general!”
“Who told you this bullshit? That you are developing a cure to all disease? Injecting military prisoners with my virus is only going to turn them into violent, retarded monsters! It’s not designed to affect the immune system, or man’s muscle mass! It’s designed to only affect their minds! Make them smarter! Not turn them into monsters! That was the answer to war! Intelligence!
“Nonsense, soon in a matter of moments we will have a perfect specimen to display, Anderson, how long until she is ready?”
“She should be ready to immerge anytime now”
“Anderson you son of a bitch, I knew you couldn’t resist making a Frankenstein, you fucking Nazi.”
“Now, now, children the time has come, prepare to feast your eyes on this beauty! *Spindel’s jaw dropped* Wha… what the fuck is this?! Where is my beautiful Salina! Tell me! Coburn! What the fuck happened to my Salina!
Spindel grabbed one of his lab technicians and began freaking out on her desperately trying to find answers. I stopped him, and remembered telling him that he was lied to. Spindel wasn’t actually working on a new immunity booster, or disease cure, but rather a true virus to force the brutality of man to be exposed, ready to kill on command. Manifested into a physical form, but how… mutated they looked. Truly, I could see Spindel’s shattered dreams in his eyes, or was it madness? Betrayed by his government and exposed before his peers, there wasn’t much Spindel and Anderson could do. Anderson bashed me over the head repeatedly until I lost consciousness. I later awoke in a white room, my skull painfully kicking my own ass. On and off for six days I tried to reason with any of the individuals near my cell, but the scientists kept injecting me full of drugs and tranquilizers.

October 10th, I woke up with an I.V jammed inside my arm, wearing nothing but a plastic robe covered in my own vomit. I have no idea what Spindel and his scientists did to me, but it must be the reason I’m like this. I felt damn fine, like an athlete ready for the Olympics. That’s when the doors to my cell opened, “You’re free! Get the hell out of here before he catches you!” screamed a beautiful scientist; it almost felt like she was an angel. But I knew she was just as bad as the rest of them, “Why are you doing this”, I asked her. Before she could speak she was shot dead by Spindel. “That’s him!” he shouted to Maxson, “He’s the reason for all of this! And he’s trying to escape!” Captain Roger Maxson interrupts him and strips him of his weapon, “What’s your name?” he asks me, “If you’re the reason for the F.E.V why are you locked up and covered in your own vomit?” “Charles Ringhold, I’m the head researcher and security expert for West-Tek, I developed the original strand of the F.E.V”. Spindel begins to freak out and cause a scene, but Maxson’s men detain him, “Go on” he says.

“I came here to confront Spindel after I found out from Anderson that Spindel has been creating a super virus for the government. They’re trying to use it to fight the Chinese”. Maxson’s eyes filled with rage, but I had to continue. “I had originally designed the F.E.V as a way to force the evolution of man’s intelligence; it was supposed to make us smart enough to end the war instead of destroying the Earth”. It turns out however, that Spindel didn’t even know what he got himself into; he thought he was creating the perfect human. “And now we have a lab full of mutated monsters, freak scientists and cowards plotting doom with our government…Uh, Maxson…I…” “Shut up Ringhold. Corporal, get the rest of the Mariposa crew to the fourth floor. You two come with me, Ringhold, Spindel and Anderson; take us to the fucking West Tek Lab.”
Maxson silently lead us outside, guns to our backs and as the big doors to Mariposa opened, the bright sun blinded my eyes. We took a helicopter to the West Tek lab as Maxson ordered the Mariposa scientists killed. We knew the same was about to happen to us, but somehow it felt right. Once we arrived we walked like failures would into a firing squad, why didn’t we just fight our way out? I don’t know. Once inside the West Tek lab, Maxson gathered everyone into one room. He offered us a chance to all pray one last time before he executes us for whatever reasons he decided to justify it with. Suddenly, Spindel surprising managed to wrestle a pistol out of one of the guard’s hands and took off.
Maxson began executing the employees as Anderson and I ran out of the lab, having one perfect opportunity to cease it; I quickly picked up a plasma pistol from the shelf. As we ran out of the lab, I screamed to Anderson that we should destroy this place. But Anderson and I knew that it was too late, Spindel thought he had completed the F.E.V and never bothered waiting for the test results. Anderson explained to me how both he and Spindel decided to prematurely ship their product for mass processing several days before my arrival at Mariposa. Blowing the lab to pieces wouldn’t do anything but damage the city. I remember hearing the evacuation sirens right before deciding to shoot Anderson in the face with my plasma pistol. Five minutes, it said…Five minutes before half of this city goes up in radioactive waste. Spindel had initiated the self destruct sequence in the lab, Maxson no doubt having fled by now to be the hero.

I panicked and ran back to the lab to face Spindel. His white lab coat was stained with blood, but his weapon was lowered so I entered the room and confronted him. We didn’t say much before we both reached for our weapons, shooting each other with our devastating plasma weaponry. Spindel fell dead, but alas I could not get up, my left leg was completely torn and almost melted off. The pain was unbearable, not only could I not move but my whole body was completely numb. As the last seconds counted down, I cried, my whole world was about to be ruined, my attempts at stopping the war and evolving humanity had failed. I remember rolling into a vent to die.

My world went black as the fire and radiation filled my lungs, but I didn’t die, the mucous in my body somehow formed a bond with the lingering F.E.V in the air and I was changed forever. I began to feel young again, as if I could somehow never age. Intense heats were like the breeze to me and the cold was a thing of the past. My body began to heal three times quicker than ever thought possible. I developed the eyes of an eagle and my legs never grew tired. I thought the F.E.V had turned me into one of Old Hitler’s Aryans, until I saw my face in the mirror. I was slowly losing my hair and skin…I took a very long nap and died, only to be reborn a monster on October 23rd.

I woke up feeling great, almost forgetting what I had now looked like. I pulled myself from the wreckage of the lab and slowly crawled my way out of thousands of pounds of debris. I couldn’t believe that there were no fire trucks, or police anywhere. I could hear the sirens but what was this city coming to? We couldn’t even afford to fuel our emergency vehicles? I felt the uneasy feeling of a million evil bastards screaming for help, then suddenly silenced. As I looked up into the skies of Pre-war America I knew why. Hundreds of nuclear warheads began to fall from the sky, striking my precious country into oblivion. I dove right back into the remains of West Tek and kissed my ass goodbye.

I really don’t know what happened to me or how long I was dead for but when I woke up I was in Hell. It was exactly how you could imagine it, pure death, a once prosperous city turned into a shadow of a past memory. I could see the silhouettes of the deceased scattered across the city, as flakes of my dead skin fell off with each minute. I was slowly becoming a monster, but this was surely what I deserved for bringing the F.E.V into existence. A black rain was falling, more radioactive fallout from the bombs…and…The F.E.V seeping into the air. I feared that if there were any animals or insects left, they would be hideous monsters by now! And this rain is just going to make it worse. The F.E.V will spread into what is left of this world and change everything, but war, war never changes.

I dragged myself from the second remains of the West Tek building, with only colliding steel plates and dust left… it almost looked like some sort of make shift capsule, but I was no doubt extremely radiated. Wherever I managed to stay alive trapped me within clouds of the F.E.V and radiation. I had to figure out what to do with myself now, I still had a plasma pistol with me, and I contemplated blowing my brains out. But the idea just didn’t seem to satisfy me, I survived this much for some reason, but I was probably already dead. I looked dead that’s for damn sure, but I didn’t feel dead. I felt like I was in my prime… if only my skin wasn’t falling off. I began walking back to Mariposa.
It was a long trip on foot but I didn’t meet anyone. I spent a few days walking, never growing tired or thirsty studying the remains of my once fair city. The roads were scattered with radiated cars. I was too afraid to enter any of the buildings yet, in fear of the interiors collapsing. Perhaps in a few days or after a large wind storm I would stop window shopping and risk my hideous, worthless life. I could see my reflection once in a while in either the side of a car or a puddle of irradiated goo; I was still wearing the filthy blue hospital robe. I didn’t really care however, the world was over. My body destroyed and my face a pile of melting puss and mucous, the only thing I had a use for clothing was to protect what’s left of my body. If there’s anyone alive out there, I don’t think they’re friendly. When I finally got to Mariposa, I broke down from dehydration, but much to my surprise I was saved by someone who looked just as much of a monster as me. After feeding me and quenching my thirst, we introduced ourselves. He told me his name Chase, he came from Bakersfield and a vault called Vault-12. I remembered buying over a dozen tickets for that place before…all this happened… I told him how I gave them out to my friends and family. I really fucking wonder if anyone is alive out there…but please God, if they’re all like me… kill us. I don’t want to live in a world full of my mistakes! Chase told me that there was a malfunction with Vault-12’s door; it apparently hadn’t closed tight enough. Radiation has been seeping into the Vault for days, and everyone is either dying or turning into one of us. I felt that it was now time to tell him my story…

I remember breaking his arm and killing him with his own pistol. After I told him who I was and why this all happened he turned on me, screaming something about how this was “all my fault”. I almost let him blow my brains out, but I decided I wasn’t going to die that easily. Hell I survived a gunshot wound, a lab explosion and World War 3, there was no way I was going to let some punk with a bad attitude and no sense of decency to forgive, take my life away. Instead I decided to take his jumpsuit and walked towards Bakersfield and Vault-12. And that’s when it hit me, if I was going to use this guy’s identity I would have to figure something out fast, I didn’t even know his last name. From the looks of it though, he appeared to be some nobody the Vault sent out to “explore”, no doubt a suicide job. Hell maybe he was the MOST radiated individual in the Vault, they probably wouldn’t even recognize him anyways. I tightened my new boots, holstered my plasma pistol and his 10mm, and went out into the now scorching desert. Thanks to radiation sickness, it felt pretty cool to me. I wasn’t too far from Bakersfield when I died, so the travel wasn’t too intense. I found out later that it was November 7th, 2077. It would be almost five years until I left the radiated safety of Vault 12. It was still raining when I was standing in the middle of what was left of Bakersfield, but it barely looked like anything at all. It was just a bunch of broken buildings, slowly falling apart with age. Most buildings still had roofs though. The whole city was empty; I spent a whole day walking around looking for food, water, weapons, medicine and ammo. I didn’t find anything, except for a few half empty flasks of Vault-12 water, it was surprisingly clean. To conserve what was left of my water rations, I mixed the clean water with the irradiated shit from puddles and wherever else the rain would accumulate. I didn’t care if there was anyone walking around the remains of this place they were no doubt hideous freaks like me. This was the age of the Ghoul, and boy did our Golden Age last a long ass time. I eventually found a water pump, supplying fresh radiated water to the Vault below. I knew this place well because before I sold everything I had, I looked into Vault-12 and studied the schematics. Although I only had a chance at reviewing the Alpha design, it looked perfect to me. However Chase no doubt made it clear that it wasn’t perfect, the Vault door hadn’t shut properly, condemning the inhabitants to radiation poisoning. Perhaps the only reason most of them survived was because of the F.E.V being released into the air, or maybe the government had intended all of this to happen. My F.E.V was to be dissected and exposed to humanity for the pure purpose of science and experimentation. In any case, I walked down into the caves and approached the half opened Vault door. There was a big ass “22” marked on the front… not even close to the number of people it killed.

This place smelt like burnt and rotting flesh, everyone looked like me, albeit their looked way worse, they broke every single mirror in this place. I still had most of my hair and my goatee was still there, lucky me. Vault-12 was clearly overcrowded, half of its citizens were wearing Vault suits, the other half the same clothes they died in: dirty and ragged. This was the most depressing place I had ever been, it was almost worse than outside, but these people needed a leader. As I was ignored, I walked through the Vault, studying the people and the area. I overheard people talk about their fears, and the future. Most people were crying over lost ones, some were happy they survived, but the rare few were actually happy the world had ended. No rules, no systems, no one stopping you…War never changes. “Chuck?” asks one of the Vault’s mutated citizens, no it’s Chase, “Oh” he says as he walks away. Maybe no one liked Chase, or maybe no one even heard of him. A short while later as I was still exploring the Vault, another citizen approached me. “Dave!” she asked, “Where’s Chase?!” It’s me Chase, I replied. “Shut the fuck up you sicko! Where the hell is my husband?!” Oh shit I thought. I really didn’t know what to do; I could lie and tell her I’ve lost my memory but just remember her touch. I could tell her the truth and risk having to use my weapons, or I could walk away with a tear or a laugh. My glassy eyes looked deep into hers as I silently contemplated the choice.

He’s dead I said, but he told me to tell his wife that he loved her. I told her how we met in the wasteland, but Chase was dying of thirst. I tried to help as best I could, but he eventually succumbed to dehydration and radiation poisoning. She fell into my arms and burst out in tears, the mucous coming from her face seeped onto my shoulder and I grew disgusted. However I didn’t have it in me to push her away, I had just killed her husband and taken his suit. She took my 10mm pistol from my holster and placed it towards my throat. “Why are you wearing my husband’s Vault suit?!” I told her that Chase made me wear it as proof, she believed it. I spent the next few days with Samantha, where I eventually met their Overseer. Apparently the Vault was overcrowded and the citizens of Bakersfield had forced their way into the Vault before the bombs fell, if they didn’t relocate soon they would eventually starve to death.

December 25th, 2077, Merry Christmas! It was some party we threw, surprisingly. I suppose we were just thankful to be alive and I think Samantha was falling in love with me, I don’t mean to brag but I was the most attractive ghoul here, Samantha not so much. She was once a redhead, short, slim and very athletic, however the radiation didn’t help to express this. I also didn’t quite know what to do with my life yet; I never really had the time for a family and was never the type to settle down. My sex drive was also pretty absent since the bombs fell, I wasn’t impotent, but it’s hard to force yourself to be in the mood to fuck a ghoul, or forget your guilt. Anyways that night Samantha confessed her love to me, I wasn’t surprised since I had only told the Vault what they wanted to hear, but I found it hard not to smile.

I couldn’t remember the last time I had sex, but this night was different. We actually made love, after a dozen drinks or so we ghouls learn to accept each other and completely ignore our post-war prejudism. It’s awkward with the lights on because it’s like two burnt lizards thrusting into each other as the sweaty mucous from our dried skin drips from our bodies, but Samantha was my burnt lizard. This was the greatest breakthrough I’ve ever experienced in the world of science, ghouls can actually have sex. Our organs work as normal, and we are still human. I wasn’t sure if we were sterile or not, but I didn’t give a shit. If there was any way we could possibly recreate human life again we would do it with ghouls if we needed. We made love for as long as we could but eventually fell asleep.
On and off for five years I played house here in Vault 12, both balancing a relationship with Samantha and conspiring with the Overseer. The way we saw it was that if we are going to do anything productive or actually survive and somehow rebuild civilization we would need to leave the safety of the Vault. Since all of us were immune to radiation and disease there was nothing holding us back. I explored the surface with small groups of scouts both scavenging for weapons, supplies or whatever, but also the best place to relocate. We didn’t get very far before we discovered that we weren’t alone.

In 2080 new species were created almost overnight, hundreds of mutations occurred within all known pre-war animal life. Small critters became enormous and dangerous, large critters became gigantic and deadly, but at least nothing flew. The weight of the radioactive dust was too much for anything to fly through these skies, none the less we all started carrying guns. I hadn’t killed a man in a very long time but men were easier than plowing down hundreds of crazed insects and animals. The first six years after the bombs fell were the worse; we couldn’t even count the number of people we lost. We lost something like over 100,000 people the first five years alone, the amount of critters out there was intense! We went through fifty years of ammunition in just under a year; most of it spent simply defending the area outside of the Vault. It was almost like someone, or something was creating these monsters.
Then one day it just stopped, the mass amounts of critters seemed to slow down having probably died of radiation poisoning or starvation.

In the summer of 2083 Samantha was brutally beaten to death by one of my neighbors, apparently he was on some sort of drug. For reasons I couldn’t comprehend she was dead, for the third time in my life I would have to take another man’s life. I was almost emotionless, but I think part of me actually loved Samantha back. I dragged her killer outside and hung him by the foot; I took pot shots at him until his head exploded. I was pretty mad but this incident was the perfect reminder of how fucking worthless humanity was, all we are, are monsters in flesh. I took what little gear I had and left Bakersfield to its own fate, I grew tired of these decaying zombies…they were too nostalgic. I heard that they eventually started their own city of the dead. The Vault Overseer came with me, his name was Jack; he was a born leader and an ex-marine. We both decided to leave the rebellious ideologies of Vault 12 to the biggest dick there, some guy name Seth or something. Anyways, Jack and I decided to head to the next closest Vault, Vault 13.

Vault 13 was a waste of time and the door wasn’t opening anytime soon. I highly doubted that I would ever see the day that Vault 13 would spring open. There really wasn’t much else around, just burnt buildings in the distance. No ghouls, rare sights of critters and just absolutely no life. Jack and I didn’t know what else to do so we went back to Vault 12. We were welcomed back with pointy sticks, apparently Seth or whatever his name was didn’t want us getting too comfortable. We resupplied and checked the computers for more Vault locations. The only one worth mentioning was Vault 29 which was scheduled to open in 2090, far southwest of here. So off we went promising Set that we would never return, unless it was to put a bullet in his head.
Jack and I eventually made our way to the Vault but we were way too early, we decided to camp out in front of the gates and set up a defensive perimeter. For around six years we camped out gathering what supplies we could find and simply waited. It appears that us ghouls didn’t age, years went by like they were nothing and I still felt as young as the day I was born. We wondered how long it would last, but it probably had something to do with the F.E.V, unfortunately Jack was slowly losing his mind. He would ramble on to himself with what sounded like retarded gibberish, eventually he started growling instead. Over the years he became more like a pet then anything, I wondered if this happened to anyone in Vault 12, but I wasn’t going back there to check.

Ironically enough one morning I got Jack to dig his own grave, when he was done I shot him then buried him with his own shovel. I placed a small tomb that said “R.I.P Jack, Vault 12’s Original Overseer” but it probably didn’t survive the years. Eventually the goddamn door to Vault 29 opened and here were a dozen or so petrified Vault Dwellers, they fucking screamed and ran back into the Vault after seeing me there, waving at them eating some radscorpion. Eventually some guy named Harold came out and greeted me, he was a great guy. Turns out that Vault 29’s radiation meters were clocked at stable, just after thirteen years I couldn’t believe it…I was thirteen years old, so I wasn’t in Hell after all.
Nope I was very much alive, I told the Vault 29’s inhabitants what had happened to me and about the F.E.V, but I didn’t tell them my true story. I figured I would keep that for myself, there really wasn’t a reason I should tell anyone that all the mutations were my fault. Harold and I eventually became friends; he had a silly dream of becoming a millionaire trading around the wasteland so I went with him as his bodyguard. Vault 29’s computer stated that at least two more Vaults in our area would be opening soon, so we went off to visit them, they were Vaults 8 and the LA Vault. Vault 8 immediately told us to go fuck ourselves for some reason, no matter what we tried we couldn’t reach them. They eventually shot at us and I threw a grenade into their ammo pile, causing massive damage.

So we set off for the LA Vault, by the time we got there its inhabitants had already begun building a small town. Harold and I started our own Caravan Company and called it “Harold’s” why not I thought, it was simple and catchy. Bone yard eventually became a city full of pricks so Harold and I settled into what is now known as the Hub.
Harold strikes it big one day and thanks to my guidance he becomes the main Caravan Boss in the area. Until one day Spindel’s creations actually came to life! I was out with one of the Caravans one day when an obvious F.E.V subject jumped out at us, followed by about a dozen more. They had more firepower then we did but we managed to get out of there, I was just shocked that Spindel’s creations survived. Harold and I decided to leave it alone, we had killed a few of them anyways so we thought we wouldn’t be seeing them again, they were just failed experiments. Harold, me and a bunch of others kept up the Caravan business for years as there was no reason to stop; civilization was slowly coming back, people had jobs, families were started. For a brief moment in time, the future looked good.

May 22nd, 2102 I convinced Harold to let me find out where these monsters were coming from but he insisted that he came along. He also brought a bunch of other humans with him; one of them was the infamous Richard Grey. Everyone knows the story of Richard Gray and the Mariposa Military Base so I won’t bore you with the details, everyone died. Harold became just as radiated and ghoulified as me except he was exposed to a more irradiated F.E.V, a tree slowly began to grow out of his head. Richard Grey and I both got stuck inside the base, but because Grey fell directly into the vats full of F.E.V he turned into a fucking Nazi. I felt that now was the time to tell him my true story, with astonishing disbelief Grey’s rage grew furious and decided that he himself would set out to create the perfect race. I told him he was an idiot and left my old work for good, fuck it I thought I’m getting too old for all this “Let’s save the world” crap. I went back to the Hub and drowned myself in a bottle of whiskey, Harold and I eventually moved into Old Town and spent some of our lives there. For years we got drunk everyday and made a living telling stories while doing the odd gun-for-hire jobs. Unfortunately Harold eventually became a bum and I went back into the wasteland to rot.
“That’s about all I’ve got so far, the rest is just drunken babblings.”
“Well Gee-Wilikers! I ain’t ever seen one of them thingy’s before! What’chu guys call that?”
“It’s a holotape… you don’t have any of those in your Vault?”
“Well howdy do, I don’t really know, we must have had them funny tapes around but I reckon’ I ain’t ever really used one before. You know back home I did a lot of lifting.”
“You don’t say? Man take those fucking goggles off they make you look stupid, you don’t need them anymore. “Sure thing buddy!” How the hell did you get picked anyways?”
“Well I don’t know, one day the Overseer said that dang water chip broke and that I would have to find a new one, apparently I was the only one that forgot to show up on stick pickin’ day.”
I contemplated taking this guy’s PipBoy 2000 and leaving him dead in the wastes but he was just too damn clueless to kill; “Well that’s a pretty pistol” I remember him saying after I stuck my gun in his face and tried to rob him. I felt compelled to help him, so I told him that Bakersfield’s Vault 12 had a working water chip but it was probably full of hostile ghouls like me, whom also didn’t like me. “Have you tried saying sorry” asked the Vault Dweller, no I replied because they just weren’t the forgiving type. Over the coming months that Vault hick had a badass dog and some long haired guy following him, I didn’t get too attached because I knew they would just end of dying out there in the wastes anyways. Over the following months I watched Ian almost kill the Vault Dweller at least fifteen times out of pure accident, and that dog wasn’t very smart either.
I forgot to mention that its 2162 now, most Vault’s have opened and the whole wasteland is full of life again, hostile life. Raiders, bandits, rapists, murderers, thieves, hungry animals, aliens, mutants, you name it; it’s all out there now. The wasteland is a harsh fucking place and the more guns you have on you the more different types of ammo you can use to keep these fuckers from blowing your brains out. Shit we had to kill almost everyone around Vault 12 after grabbing the water chip, it’s a long story and all but eventually Ian died and the Vault hick and I went back to Vault 13, his home.
Vault 13’s Overseer told the hick that he had to stop the source of the mutations in the wasteland. Not only did they give HIM the impossible quest to save their Vault but he must now stop the evolution of super mutants? Jesus Christ that Overseer fucker must have thought the hick was either real clever or real gullible, if I wasn’t around I don’t think he would have survived the first week, hell I thought him everything he knew! In case anyone is lost by now, my name is Charles Ringhold and I’ve been recording the past 85 years on holotape as a journal. Why? You may be asking yourself, because! For the sake of humanity and the future of our possible children the world must know what the fuck happened to mankind!

The Vault Dweller was one swell fella’, over the few months that I knew him he managed to actually make the wasteland a better place. I’ll never know what drove him to it but that simple mind of his helped me let go. We never really spent too much time in one area and I remember doing a lot of fighting, but that Vault hick changed me somehow, together we killed hundreds of just plain old evil-doers. Shit the hick didn’t even care who he was helping, for someone that spent his entire life in a Vault he had no prejudice; he worked for both Killian Darkwater and Gizmo but eventually helped kill the latter. I remember us even working for the sleazy Deckard, the Hub’s crime boss at the time, although we eventually had to kill him I personally found it awkward how the hick helped just about everybody, geez did it feel weird.
“Well Gee-wilikers!” was the hicks favorite saying, sometimes we would get drunk and I would yell at him for sounding so stupid, but he always shrugged me off with some friendly 50’s jargon. If only you were there to see him, history had him placed as some sort of genius do-gooder but I knew who he truly was; he was a simpleton with a big gun and a big ass heart. Albeit he eventually grew smarter somehow, I think my influence on him and my teaching him of basic science and other intellectual disciplines increased his intelligence. Honestly I used to think he was a retard, some sort of Vault reject cast into the wastes by an angry and fed up “hand-that-fed” but he was a pretty smart guy, at least when it came down to ethics. I remember his last words, “Well fella’ it’s been fun but if it’s one thing I’ve learnt, it’s that you can’t change the wasteland…war” he said, “war never changes…”

And yes war never changes; the Overseer had sent us out to exterminate the super mutant presence in the wasteland so we did. It took us a long ass time, but we eventually did it. In the end we confronted my old pal’ Richard Grey now known as the Master, that Nazi bastard. I figured we should have shot him but the hick convinced him that his plan somehow wouldn’t work, so he killed himself and blew up my old work place. I couldn’t believe it! That hick had convinced Richard to kill himself! Hell I spent months trying to convince him that he was an idiot, but the hick did it in less than five minutes! “Well Gee-wilikers Master! Yer’ mutants are sterile!” Kaboom! It’s all it took! I guess I should have told him that fucking Samantha never got her pregnant. None the less the Master was dead and Mariposa was destroyed but the F.E.V lived on, that stupid color blind dog was dead too, he died trying to cross a red force field he obviously couldn’t see, he’s Dogmeat now.
I eventually killed Vault 13’s Overseer after he exiled the hick upon return, the Overseer told him that the outside had contaminated him or something, but I think it was because I was there. Anyways the hick and I travelled north and gathered a whole bunch of humans with us; we started our own town and lived off the land for years. The hick got married one day to a pretty damn beautiful woman named Patricia, but he eventually died of old age. I should have thrown him into the Glow and forced him to evolve into a ghoul, oh well he was a good guy but everybody has to die sometime, at least he served his purpose… and “saved the world”.

Before their deaths, together the Vault Dweller, his wife and I, we eventually raised the people of Arroyo with the spirit of the warrior true to pre-war Native culture; we taught them about weaponry, tactics, medicine, landscaping, horticulture, spirituality, you name it, it sounds silly but it was the best way to go, we had to sustain ourselves and start from scratch. Although we appeared to be primitive from far we had actually evolved as a civilization, we didn’t fight or kill each other and we lived in peace and off the land. It’s just a shame that the land around Arroyo didn’t last long enough for our people to prosper. After the hick and his wife passed I spent a good chunk of my life raising his daughter Alissa, teaching her the art of combat, philosophy and history, I taught her how to become a leader and showed her the vision her parents had of Arroyo. I spent the last bits of our guns and ammo trying to recover seeds from the EPA to maintain our crops, I was successful but without bullets we are forced to use spears. On February 2nd 2210, Alissa became the official village “elder” and so begun her struggles with maintaining the village, *sigh* she also got pregnant the night of her celebration.

She had a child, I wanted to call him Mathew but the tribe decided on the “Chosen One” for some retarded reason, I was pissed but it wasn’t my kid so fuck it. They had some strange idea that the child would save their village, for a second I thought why can’t I? Then I remembered how old I was and I was fucking old! I was in my 40’s when the bombs fell and it’s been 144 years since then. Eventually the kid grew up and I started teaching him everything I knew, he was smart for a tribal but his English was terrible, “Me like you, you teach fight”, he’d tell me but at least he could shoot.

THE END
To continue the story, go play Fallout 2.

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