Vault 69

BY : SandStormHero
Category: +A through F > Fallout (Series) > Fallout (Series)
Dragon prints: 20058
Disclaimer: I do not own Fallout. I am not making any money from this fanfiction.

Chapter 1 – new beginnings

Mable Turner sat stone faced, surrounded by four other women. They were lied to. No matter how she looked at it, there was no other possibility.

In the wake of having their lives torn out from under them via nuclear Armageddon, what they found waiting for them in so called safety of their local vault was a farce by any means. At first glance it would seem wonderful. Stocked food, clean water, more than enough room for each of their thousand residence. It wasn’t until everything was somewhat close to settled that the first overseer of vault 69 discovered the treachery of her government.

One thousand residents, nine hundred and ninety nine of them female.

To say that this was a simply mistake, an oversight by the ones in charge of registry was simply too impossible to conceive. More so, the entire vault had been empty of any vault employees and no explanation had been given for their current predicament.  If not for the detailed manuals left behind as well as the helpful assortment of robotics seemingly just left behind they would not have even been able to produce their own food and power. Everything had been planned, everything was exactly as someone had wanted, and now they were left to deal with was left.

“You’re sure?” Janice Wong, questioned. An Asian woman of forty five as well as a gifted surgeon, she had been elected as lead on everything medical in their new home. This only made her anxious expression that much more worrisome to the others at the table.

Mable nodded her head, grim. “We’ve ran the registry ten times already,” she revealed. “I even commissioned a door to door resident check, but each yielded the same result.”

“One man?” Carla Robins asked, incredulous. A tall blond woman in her late thirties, before the bombs had dropped she had earned her place for her years in the military. It would be her responsibility to lead the vault’s security that had yet to be established. “That’s… why would they do this?” by the expressions on the rest of the woman’s faces, they seemed to be wondering the very same thing.

“Man,” Susan Buhari scoffed. “He is barely sixteen, a boy if I’ve ever seen one.” Her dark African skin set her apart from the rest of the table. But her degree in microbiology as well as agriculture would be keeping their hydroponic farm running for years to come. Her words, sent another wave of disquieted murmurs around the table. Finally, Mabel was forced to step in.

“Ladies,” she demanded, “do not fall into chaos. Let’s just take inventory of what we know and work from there. Mrs. Wong,” she turned to her right, “please, how long would our current population survive?” Shuffling paper, the Asian woman stood from her seat before addressing the room.

“While there is currently only one male in this vault, there is a great diversity of women. All ranging from infants to the age of fifty.” Pausing, she glanced towards her overseer, the oldest resident admitted inside the vault. “Given the ages in the registry, we have around fifty years before the population decreases to the point that we will no longer have the hands necessary to keep this vault operational. After that it’s only a matter of time before the vault collapses on itself.” Looking around the room, the woman’s worried faces turned grim. Nervously rubbing the paper in her hands, Janice quietly took her seat.

“Are any woman pregnant?” Carla offered. “Perhaps these children could turn out to be male.” But Mable simply shook her head, her bob of short red hair brushing against her cheek.

“I already checked, and no. As far as we’ve been able to see there are no women currently with child.” This left the table silent, until finally, the last woman at the table spoke up.

“So… there’s only one option then, right?” This prompted the rest of the women to turn and stare, each not wanting to admit what was on their minds.

Jessica Swan sat unflinching. Unlike the other woman in the room, Jessica’s life had been fairly bland up until the bombs had destroyed her reality. She wasn’t a doctor, or an engineer, or a politician; she was just a stay at home mother. The same mother of the only boy in the entire vault. This alone was enough to earn her a place in the deciding discussions concerning their vault’s future.

“Mrs. Swan,” Mabel spoke cautiously. As a former mayor she was used to the pressures of leadership and the obvious choice to lead the group of civilians. That being said, Jessica could only sigh at the obvious spiel ready to be thrown her way. She spoke up before the older woman had the chance.

“You need my son,” she spoke bluntly. Many other woman would feel intimidated under the eyes of so many accomplished people. But she was smart enough to know when someone needed something from her. And confident enough to not to flinch under their gaze. She may not have the degrees or abilities they might have, but that didn’t mean she was about to bow. “You need his… semen.” Despite herself, she couldn’t help but enjoy the small flinch of discomfort that rippled around the room. Mabel simply sighed.

“Yes,” she answered tiredly. “If we are meant to survive past the current generation.” Jessica could only take a long deep breath before answering.

“What are you asking?”

Mrs. Wong was the one to answer. “Unfortunately, while the medical equipment installed in the vault is advanced and invaluable, we were not given the equipment need for invetro-fertilization. That being said, if your son, Tommy right? If he were to accept this proposal he would need to… physically inseminate his partners.”

The only reason Mrs. Wong was able to keep the color from her cheeks was her years as a medical profession. That being said, no matter how she tried to word it there was no escaping the fact that she was asking a mother for her permission to solicit her son.

She quickly sat down. Jessica, meanwhile, continued to stare at the doctor, mulling over what she had just heard. Finally, closing her eyes, she only wanted a moment to collect her thoughts, her decision already having been made long before.

XxX

“I spy somethiiiiiiing… grey.” Tomas Swan offered in a dull tone. Seated on his issued cot, his neck craned over the edge as he stared at the room upside down.

“The wall… again,” answered his sister, equally bored. And hearing her brother grunt in acknowledgement, she swept the room, trying to find anything that hadn’t been picked a thousand time already. This was not an easy task.

It seemed only yesterday they were waking up in their home, and not this prison of iron buried beneath five miles of dirt. It had just been another day, the sun shining, the sound of cars and neighbors just out front. No one could have expected that the entire world would change in a matter of hours.

Eating breakfast and watching early morning cartoons, neither sibling was expecting the nearby Vault-Tech sirens to go off. More confused than frightened, it wasn’t until the news cut on and their mother rushed out of her room in nothing but a robe and her pajamas that the reality of what was happening settled in.

Sure, they knew about the war. It was impossible to ignore the rising prices of just simple everyday items. Even if they wanted to avoid the depressing news, their school never failed to report on the battle against communism. It seemed the demand for solders would never be satisfied. Even with half the graduating class already signed on.

The threat of bombs dropping was always a present concern. But the worry had been a part of so many people’s lives for so long, it was almost like fairy tale. No one really believed it would happen. Until it did…

They abandoned everything. Jessica ushered Tomas and Clair into the car before speeding down the road. Scared and confused, the children latched onto their parent like they were five years old again, as though she had the power to somehow make things alright. Lucky for them, their mother had pulled through.

Along the south side of their town, hills the size of towers stretched for a few good miles. They had to drive to the very edge of the wilderness before exiting their car, only to find other families already scrambling towards a fenced in gate. It was only once they joined the fray that they realized where their mother had brought them.

A vault.

Carved into the mountain side itself, a large yellow gear shaped door with the numbers 69 painted on its front stood open. A small number of people could be seen streaming inside. The rest were left panic at the gate, soldiers with guns and power armor keeping them at bay.

Their cries were desperate, words such as “Please!” and “let us in!” repeated again and again to no effect. Bodies of those foolish enough to try and force their way in laid at the feet of the crowd. It was madness, complete and utter chaos. And without so much as blinking their mother walked directly into the throng of people.

They were both sure that they would end up turned away like the rest of the community. But to their utter shock, after elbowing her way to the front of the crowd, she seemed to only say five words to a man with a clip board before the other soldiers forced themselves into the crowd, creating a path for the two children walk through. They did so quickly, Tomas’ eyes lingering on a little girl clinging to her mother’s pants who was reaching for them to take her.

They were just in time. As soon as they walked through the heavy metal doors, a man’s walkie-talkie began shouting out words. Not so much as blinking, the solder motioned to a female solder stationed by a nearby control panel. Pressing only a few buttons, the platform acting as a bridge into the vault began to retreat. And the mechanism controlling the heavy door began to seal.

Tomas, the closest to door, had stood in stunned shock at the last beams of sunlight stream into the vault. It wouldn’t be until much later that he would realize that would be the last time he’d ever see earth’s blue sky. The vibration of the bombs came soon after. And just like that, the world that they had known was obliterated.

All things considered, both siblings knew boredom was something pretty petty to complain about in the wake of the apocalypse. But this was their second week, trapped in the small box that was offered to their entire family. Open wandering of the vault had still yet to be allowed, and there was little in terms of entertainment. Still, it was either this or silence. An neither of them liked to dwell on the reality of what their world has become.

“You think mom’s gonna get back soon?” Tommy asked, rolling on his stomach to look over at his sister. She was still looking around the room, trying to find something they hadn’t already used a hundred times

“I don’t even know why they want her,” Clair answered, waiting a few moments before ultimately giving up. “I mean, what could she tell them? The best detergent to use on our laundry?” Mentioning clothing, Clair took yet another moment to look down at the unflattering blue and yellow jump suit she had been forced into. She would kill for a pair of sweatpants.

“Don’t talk about mom that way,” Tommy grumbled, without much conviction. Not that he didn’t care for his mother, more so that he was used to Clair’s opinion of their mom. Clair ignored her little brother’s words, choosing to turn and stare at the wall.

At twenty three, the young woman had never approved of her mother’s choice to forgo college and education to raise her and her brother. Not that she wasn’t thankful for everything she had done for her, but as a modern woman the thought of being a kept woman was appalling. She knew her mom was more than intelligent, and was constantly urging her to return to school. Unfortunately, that was a moot point now that the world had ended. And she was left to sulk.

Much like his sister, Tomas took the time to admire their new attire. More specifically Clair’s. Used to pleaded skirts and floral blouses, the near skin tight suit was a little more than the sixteen year old boy was sued to seeing on the female gender. The material wasn’t so thin to show anything specific. But the outline of his sister’s body was very visible. As was his own. He tried his best not to stare   

Seeing that his sister was no longer interested in their game, Tommy stood up from his bed, choosing to pace around the room. If only because it was something to do.

By himself he wasn’t exactly much to look at. He was neither intelligent or stupid, nor strong nor weak. He considered himself to be a fairly average young man. Medium length, pale blond hair. A thin face for his equally scrawny body. The only thing he ever really took pride in were his eyes, a startling electric blue. A shame his mother was the only one to every compliment them.

Up until the nukes dropped he had just been an absentminded teenager passing the time in school and more interested in the girl sitting next to him than whatever the teacher was writing on the bored. Not that they ever paid any attention to him. Rather, despite his best efforts Tommy found his high school life depressingly bereft of anything female.

He idly wondered what kind of future he could expect now that he would be spending the rest of his life surrounded by metal. Maybe this was his chance to try and finally get a girlfriend? It was at this moment the locked door leading to their room opened, revealing the pale faced vision of his mother.

“Mom!” Tommy grinned, excitedly taking a step towards his parent. The sight of three other woman stood behind her stopped him, urging his stomach to churn under their oddly intense gaze. Jessica stepped forward.

“How’s my baby?” she smiled. Tommy groaned at the term, but allowed his mother to pull him into her arms.

Despite his age, Tommy had always gotten along great with his mother, much more than his sister anyway. For as long as he could remember his mom liked to baby him, and while it could be annoying at times, he could recognize the love behind the embarrassing actions. That didn’t make him any less unhappy feeing her lips against his cheek however.

“Tomas,” the overseer stepped into the room. Looking over his mom’s shoulder he looked at the older woman once again feeling a sense of unease. This sensation tripled as the other two followed in after her, each refusing to take their eyes off of him. They offered their greeting. He could only smile, awkwardly offering a wave of his hand.

“Ah, sup.”

“Tommy,” Jessica spoke, running her hand soothingly through his hair as she spoke, “we’d like it if you’d come with us for a bit. We need to explain somethings to you, about what you’ll be doing for the vault from now on.” Tearing his eyes away from the three strange woman, Tom offered his mother a strange look.

“Like, my job?” he asked, suddenly nervous. He didn’t think he’d be sent to work so soon. He still had at least another two years of high school. Probably more the way his grades were. Jessica offered a calming smile, seeing her son shift.

“Kind of,” she agreed, “but don’t worry about that until you hear what we have to say. You might even like it,” she tried to offer.

“So that means there’s a chance I won’t,” Tomas followed his mother’s meaning. And rather than answer, the mother of two just gave his cheek another kiss before urging him towards the door. Clair sat up in her bed.

“What about me?” she asked, eyeing her remaining family. She stared at the two forlorn, not wanting to be the only one left behind. While it was easy to seem fine, the young woman was still fairly shaken up and scared to be alone. Her mother just cast her daughter a look, regret in her eyes.

“We shouldn’t be long,” she tried to promise. “I know you must be bored, but the vault is almost organized and lockdown should be lifted after tonight. Can you hold on for a bit longer?” She asked. And while her daughter didn’t seem all too pleased, the news of open wandering was enough to placate her until later. As a sign of this, she chose to lay back down and turn her back towards the group.

“Fine,” she sighed. And as much as the mother wanted to take a moment to rub her daughter’s back, there were other issues that needed to be addressed.

After exiting his room, Tommy couldn’t help but look around eager for anything new to look at. It was strange to say the least. Surrounded by metal, it was impossible to completely shrug off the cold isolation the walls gave. For the first time since they’d been forced to enter the vault, Tomas could actually feel how deeply they’d been buried away from the surface.

They walked through long hallways, all leading in different directions but none going anywhere important. Finally, after a few minutes, they came to a room and he was ushered in.

Once inside, the young man was quickly seated at the overseer’s table, only to find himself surrounded by middle age woman. Eyes wide, he tried to not to fidget.

“Honey,” his mother spoke, “I know you must be curious as to why you’re here,” she acknowledge. Tom gave a nervous smile, waiting for her to continue. “Well…” she paused, unsure how to continue. Staring into her youngest child’s face, the mother found herself unequipped with the knowledge of how to explain their situation. Finally, the overseer pushed herself forward, offering her hand.

“Tomas, right?” she asked. Tommy tentative nodded his head before taking her hand. “My name is Mable Turner, the overseer of vault 69.” He made the obligatory smile to her greeting. She returned the gesture.

“Tomas, we’ve been talking with you mother these past few days and with her permission we’d like to ask of you to perform a very serious and vital role in this vaults future.”

Looking around the room, he would have laughed if he didn’t see that everyone was one hundred percent serious. Not sure what to say, he managed to mutter, “Okay?” Mabel nodded once before releasing his hand and moving to sit at the other end of the table.

“Mr. Swan,” she addressed him, “it’s come to our attention that in registration of the vault populace there were a few procedures that accidentally resulted in a skewed gender divide. We’re asking you to help correct this imbalance.” Waiting for the young man to respond, the youth simply continued to stare at the older woman, as though waiting for her to continue.

“Ah…” he stalled, glancing around the room. “I mean, hey, I didn’t really score the best at… everything, so could you go over that again?” Smiling sheepishly, he hoped he wasn’t sounding as stupid as he thought. Mable smiled.

“Of course,” she nodded, “Tomas, to put it simply, in all of the thousand residents that were admitted into this vault, you are the only male citizen.” That, he understood.

Eyes opening wide, he glanced around the room, mouth agape as he waited for them to laugh at him. But again, each face seemed etched in worry as they waited for him to understand the words as truth. “What!” he finally exclaimed.

“As we understand it, in the initial point of entry to the vault a computer instructed males and females down different paths. There was a mistake in the vaults structure and the male population was exposed to the radiation of the blasts from outside and died quickly thereafter. For whatever reason, when it was your turn to enter you were introduced to the female dormitories with your mother and sister.”

In her seat, Mabel watched the young man, repeating the story the council had come up with to cover the conspiracy of Vault techs actions. If his shocked expression was anything to go by, he didn’t question it. Well, not much anyway.

“I’m, the only guy in this entire vault?” he asked, almost as though he didn’t believe his own words. “But that’s crazy! I mean, that’s bad right? Losing all those people?” he asked. At this the overseer had to breathe.

“Yes, Tomas,” she spoke slowly, “Without men and without the ability to pass on the next generation, we predict that it is only a matter of decades before the vault begins to fail, and us with it. You are the only one who can help us prevent this from happening and squandering the opportunity we have been provided.”

“Okay,” Tommy nodded his head, still trying to wrap his head around the overseer’s words. “Cool, I mean I guess I’ll do what I can. But, ah, I still don’t really understand what that is.” The overseer leaned back.

“Please understand that this has put us, as a community, in a nearly terminal position. If there were any other alternatives we wouldn’t even consider such drastic actions.” The more she spoke, the more Tommy could feel his heart beginning to pound. What could they be asking for that was this serious? What could he have that they needed so desperately? Finally, they told him. “Tommy, we… need you to help impregnate the women of this vault in hopes we may create more males to sustain the population.” Everyone waited for his response.

Blinking, Tommy didn’t bother looking around having already understood that this wasn’t a joke but what she had just said… how the hell was he supposed to respond to that!? He decided to ask them.

“Are you crazy?” he exclaimed, his breath having suddenly picked up. Feeling his throat suddenly go dry, the tell-tale warmth in his cheeks exposed his embarrassment. “How am I supposed to say yes to something like that?” Rather than get emotional at his outburst, each of the women in the room simply continued to stare at him, albeit a bit more anxiously.

“Tommy, you’re the only one we can ask,” Mabel explained. “Without you there will be no one to inherit the vault after we have passed. Everything we have done up to this point, all of the sacrifices we have been forced to make, it will all be for nothing. We beg you to help us.” Rather than answer, Tommy found himself turning away from the serious position and looking toward his mother.

No longer smiling, her eyes were tight as she was forced to watch her son struggle. She had agreed with this, given them all her permission to ask him. That alone was enough to give him pause. After a few moments he turned back to Mabel, his face pale but otherwise calm. He forced himself to speak.

“And… what if I say no? What happens then?” At his words sounds of distress could be heard around the room. The overseer ignored them, meeting the young man’s gaze without wavering.

“Nothing,” she promises. “We are not animals, and we would not reduce you to such. Understand that we are asking you for this. Should you choose to walk away that is your choice, but also understand that you alone can rescue us from this fate.”

Not expecting such an answer, Tomas found himself looking away, unable to hold her eyes any longer. Hearing her ask him so desperately shook him more than he would admit. And honestly, he wanted to help. He wanted to do whatever he could to help. But the thought of being a father, of actually impregnating women, it was a lot to handle for a guy who had yet to even get to second base.

“Okay,” he answered in a small voice, much to the relief of the room. “I’ll help however I can. Just… let me know what I need to do.”

Smiling brightly, the overseer stood from her chair to approach Tomas. Meanwhile, said young man could feel his mother’s hand on his shoulder, her grip tight.

“Thank you Tomas, because of you this vault has a future. And I promise that you will be remembered as the father of future generations.” Not really sure how to respond to such a promise, the teenager just smiled as he shook her hand, trying not to show how uncomfortable he was with the entire situation.

“So…” he trailed off, “I guess you’ll just call me or something when you have a… girl lined up?” Overseer’s eyes went wide before settling in a comforting expression.

“Tomas, once again I can’t stress enough how much we understand how much we are asking of you. Because of this we found necessary to… help transition and encourage you as much as we can.”

Tomas turned up an eyebrow. “Encourage me how?”

“There is no way for us to perfectly implement a volunteer scenario that’s entirely fair. Because of this we decided that, rather than pick and choose certain women from the populous, it would only be reasonable if everyone in the population was available for insemination. That being said, because of your understanding and generosity, we thought it would be for the best if you were able to choose your partners.” Finally, Tom could help but cry out.

“No way in hell!” collecting himself immediately, Tom blushed at his exclamation. Thankfully Mabel responded with a smile. “I… wait, so you’re saying that I can just pick whoever I want? Just like that?”

“So long as they are of appropriate age,” Mable conceded. “Obviously, there is no point if the girls have had yet to menstruate; and even then we want them to be able to carry the children to terms safely. Other than that, yes.”

“But, anyone?” he continued to ask. “W-What if they say no?”

“It’s not optional,” the overseer answered without hesitation. “This job’s too important for us to wait until women feel they are ready. We understand that in the wake of lost love ones and the devastation of the war many women will feel too emotionally distraught to consider the fate of the vault over their own feelings. However, as regretful as it is, for this to work we need children quickly. There is a limited amount of time before a majority of the population will be unable to conceive. And we need the genepool to be as diverse as possible to dilute the dangers of inbreeding. It would be better if you were able to find those willing to take on the responsibility but please understand that no one is exempt from this law.”

What she was saying, it left the young man reeling as he tried to understand the implications. Thankfully, knowing her son, Mrs. Swan could see her Tomas was done and stepped forward to defend him.

“I think my son has heard enough,” she spoke. Turning his head, Tom’s distressed expression softened under the protection of his mother easing his anxiety. Seeing this a smile graced her features. “How about we all give him some time to digest everything he’s heard.”

Mabel’s features were tight, a clear sign that she had more to say. But taking a moment to look past the future of the vault, she could see the unease building in his features and forced herself to remember that he was still a very young man. Seeing no other option she nodded her head.

“We are counting on you,” Mrs. Robins spoke from her place. And standing up to leave the room, Tom could feel sweat build on his brow.

“Come on Tommy,” his mother urged and looking back through the door he could see their eyes still watching him, waiting for him to do what he’d promised. Now he just had to wonder if he could.



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