• Chapter 1:
    Heartaches by the Number

    A doorbell buzzes…and buzzes…and buzzes…Gilbert was sleeping on the job for the third time now and it was starting to worry a lot of people. Dr. Philip’s had told him to stop working so hard, but he kept implying that he was the only one who could fix all the broken Pip-Boy’s and all the things going wrong in the now 100 year old vault.

    - Mr. Ramirez! Mr. Ramirez, wake up! It’s me, Daisy!- said a little girl from outside a glass door.

    Gilbert slowly woke up, - Daisy…sorry…I’ll open up- and pressed a button under his desk, unlocking the door. She walked in with a skip and approached the desk.

    - Mr. Ramirez, my Pip-Boy is on the fritz again and mommy wanted to tell you that the air is also getting thick in her room.

    -It’s the air filtration system…give her this- he said as he gave her a sort of conductor- It will help the air circulate better, and as for your Pip-Boy…-he grabbed her hand and moved it towards his desk to get a better look, took out a screwdriver and tightened a couple of screws, -There. Nothing to worry about- he said with a smile.

    -Thanks, Mr. Ramirez!-she responded and skipped away.

    Gilbert got on his computer and read his messages. One particularly got his attention which said “URGENT: SEE OVERSEER ASAP”. Without hesitation he stood up and jogged to the Overseer’s office.

    Vault 37 was an underground bunker made by Vault-Tec, a Pre-War company, for the safety of mankind. It’s primary use was to shield humans from the initial blast and radiation fallout from the Chinese nuclear attack. The quantity of Vaults made is unknown and life outside the Vault is shadowed as “hazardous and unsafe”, although the vault’s doors were to be opened 55 years ago. Vault 37 was located in the Mojave desert. The people of Vault 37 all wore a Vault-Tec standard, blue jumpsuit with the yellow numbers on the back “37”. People in the vaults had purified water, solar-powered electricity, a very small armory for the Vault Security, it was like a hotel. Robotic butlers, Robotic doctors, lounges, even a school were you took a exam at the age of 16 called the G.O.A.T. (Generalized Occupational Aptitude Test), which gave you your future role in the vault. Everyone carried a Pip-Boy 3000 in Vault 37. The Pip-Boy could download data, pick up radio signals, display health and stats, it had a built in Geiger counter, it was a very impressive piece of technology. But not everyone was as fortunate. Vaults were very expensive and many people were outside of the vaults when the bombs fell, so these were very fortunate people.

    Gilbert arrived at the Overseer’s Office and pushed a button. The metal door slid open and he walked in, the door slid closed behind him.

    -Hello, Mr. Anderson, you wanted to see me?-he said as he sat down in front of the Overseer’s desk.

    -Yes. You know as the Overseer, I’m in charge of the safety of the Vault inhabitants.- he answered. He sat behind the desk with a cold look on his face, as if he was the god to the people of the vault, and many people treated him as such.


    -And you also know the air filtration system is failing-by know, Gilbert knew what he was to do and he wasn’t happy. He sat there and stared blankly at the Overseer, waiting for his next word- I need you to exit the Vault and find a replacement. The lives of all the people in the vault are in your hands Mr. Ramirez. It is a great responsibility, you must feel honored.

    -Yet…I don’t.

    -And why is that?

    -Don’t you know what your asking me? To leave the vault? Risk my life? Enter a world, you continue to say is hazardous and unsafe? How do you know there IS still a world out there? How do you know there is still life? I could be walking into my own death.

    -Well you’ll have to risk it. You’ll be saving hundreds of lives Gilbert. Hundreds.

    -But what about me? What will save me?

    -As Overseer of Vault 37, I command you to exit this vault and find us a replacement air filtration system or you shall be exiled!-Gilbert stood up in anger and frustration and opened his mouth to talk but was immediately interrupted,- Choose your next words carefully son, for they may cost you your safety, your home, your life.

    After a brief moment of tension, Gilbert nodded at the Overseer reluctantly and left his office.