Vault 11: …Must be watered with the blood of martyrs

It turns out that the flooding isn’t quite as big a deal as I thought it might be, as I’m able to get around it after lockpicking my way through a sealed door in the reactor room. It took a fair number of lockpicks, but it eventually gave in to my incessant probing. I did have to seek advice from a lockpicking magazine to help me through it… although the resulting dampness insures that I’ll never be using this particular magazine again. Having said that, I’ll take ruining a magazine over drowning unnoticed at the bottom of a rusty Vault.

If Joe was hoping for fewer tricks, traps and hidden imminent death, I imagine he’d be more than a little disappointed. If anything, the landscape of this lower level is even more likely to suddenly explode in my face… but at the same time the grenades, landmines, ammo and armour that I’m picking up prevents any thoughts of retreat.

As I press onwards into the Vault I am becoming increasingly uneasy – while wondering aggressors are still limited to various vexatious vermin, there is a growing sense of dread (no doubt fostered by the growing number of booby-traps).
I take a moment to gather my wits, drink some bottled water, eat some food and rest in an abandoned bed. After a short rest I rise and make the decision to wear something a little less… vulnerable to explosions. From various chests and lockers I recovered some light stealth armour. Granted, I look like something of a tool, but that’s a fair compromise in return for keeping my legs attached.

Looking for some hot stuff baby this evening

Looking for some HOT STUFF baby, this evening

Feeling rested (or as rested as one can be when resting within a ruined vault) I once again turn my eyes to plundering whatever lies at the bottom of the Vault.
Whatever happened here prompted a civil-war big enough to wipe out all but five people – and while that’s terrible, the emaciated skeletons are all that stands between riches and myself.

Hey there, bud... Don't mind if I take this, do you?

Hey there, bud… Don’t mind if I take this, do you?

After looting the old canteen, I stumble upon a meeting hall… deserted lectern standing lonely vigil before an eternal audience of empty chairs.
After eliminating the assorted mantis that were found hiding under various chairs, I search the room for anything of substantial value. Alas, there isn’t anything worth selling in here, but there is a lone data recording up on the lectern that provides the last piece of insight I’m looking for.

Prepared Speech of Gus Olson, Ombudsman, for the Annual Overseer Election

Good afternoon. Each year it is the appointed task of the ombudsman not only to officiate the election, but to chronicle it in hopes that after the last overseer has finished his term and walked to his death in the chamber beneath his office, and the vault has become still, that one day some excavator from humanity or perhaps some yet-unknown race of super beings might find our records and incorporate them into historical canon.

But lately it’s occurred to me that that’s not really why. I think the real reason we do it is because we want to believe that somewhere in the archives there’s an answer to all of this, or perhaps there will be one when the historical records are completed and the whole story is told. We want it to make sense. To understand why the vault’s mainframe will kill us if we do not offer one of our own as a yearly sacrifice. To fully comprehend why we continue to have these elections despite the unfettered corruption that has plagued it for what must be decades by now. There was a simpler time when elections meant shaking hands and kissing babies. But now with the rise of the voting blocs and this infestation of bribery, drug trafficking, smuggling, and God knows what else, we want to know why.

Well I’ve been through the archives, and I can tell you, you won’t find the answer there. You’ll find an account of the first overseer, who entered the vault as the only citizen aware of the sacrifices that would have to take place. But he didn’t have the answers either. If he did, surely he would’ve foreseen the citizens’ anger when he broke the news. Surely he would’ve guessed that they would want to choose a sacrifice democratically, in the way that we citizens are accustomed to washing our hands of terrible deeds, and that his name would be at the top of the polls, and that the simultaneous vacancy of overseer and martyr would forever fuse the two positions here in Vault 11. But he didn’t. He had the answers no more than any of us, and the records state that after the citizens discovered that the sacrificial chamber’s password was his wife Betty’s first name, and its door was unsealed so he could be offered as the first sacrifice, he walked down into that room crying like a child.

I can only wonder if there are no answers to be found, and we are just going along with this because we don’t see another choice. Nevertheless, I still hold onto hope that we can find one. I urge you all to take the journey I took – to remember that it wasn’t so long ago that we were ruled by our civility and our dignity, and that those were times when we didn’t have to be quite so ashamed. Thank you.

We the people.... blah, blah, blah.

If you weren’t ashamed you clearly weren’t pay attention to the clothing you guys were apparently wearing.

Illuminating. This not only clears up the questions around why the Vault citizens would want to avoid the role of Overseer (and why the leading voting bloc would go to war to prevent its members being nominated) , but also provides the password to the Overseer’s chambers.
It’s certainly intriguing – and who knows what is actually down there. Perhaps the chamber just leads to the outside would? Okay… so I grant its not likely- but it could be true.

Finding my way out of the Vault is somewhat gruelling, but is achieved after fair amount of wondering and backtracking. Backtracking which inevitably leads me into the Overseer’s office.
With deft fingers and dearth of sense I tap the code from the speech into the console. With a grinding clank the Overseer’s desk moves aside, hoisted up by pistons revealing a stairway below.

I’m struck with sudden uncertainty… I really want to know what lies beneath. I’ve solved the mystery of Vault 11, but not the mystery of the final five inhabitants. I slowly, one hesitant foot after another, walk down into the chamber beneath.

Intriguing

Intriguing

Well, no going back now… no matter how hard I bash at the door behind me it seems locked tight…

A pre-recorded voice speaks:
“The light is calming, and puts your mind at ease. Go to the light”

Oh, the light calms me, does it? Really? Oh, okay then I guess that’s okay then… wait a minute! This isn’t okay at all! LET ME OUT!!!

Oh, the light calms me, does it? Really? Oh, okay then I guess that’s okay then… wait a minute! This isn’t okay at all! LET ME OUT!!!

With no other choice, I follow the tunnel of light.
The tunnel leads to a sitting room, with one comfortable chair and a flickering screen. As I stand, somewhat perplexed, a voice entreats me to sit. The moment my arse touches the cushion a film starts to play: Happy Trails.

A voice echoes from a speaker : “Greetings, Martyr! If you’re here now it means you’ve been offered up as a sacrifice so your vault may continue to thrive!”

I’ll be honest… That’s not an encouraging start.

“Currently, you may be feeling sad or angry. Perhaps you never got to have grandkids or enjoy a fresh cigar.”

Okay, this is bull****.

“But march with your head held high, soldier, and remember that each of us have a part to play.”

Okay… that’s enough of that. Time to haul ass… I stand and start to take in the room around me.

“For some people, their role might be to heal the sick. For others, it might mean they will drive a race car or fly a rocket ship.”

You know… those roles sound a lot better than this one….

“And some of us are meant to forfeit our lives for the good of the people.”

Errr…. No.
*Desperate scratching at the locked door to the chamber.* Bugger – still no way backwards.
Okay – so plan ‘B’ then…

“Sure, it might not be as fun as driving a racecar, but it’s every bit as important.”

I test the walls and the sides of the room. No catches, doors or triggers I can see. No way out, guess I better prepare. I load Ed-e up with health items and start laying out the mines that I had found while exploring the vault.

“Let’s take a moment to reflect on the moments that made your life worth living.”

Wait, I had those?

Turns out I got shafted on the life lottery

Turns out I got shafted on the life lottery

“Think about that time you kissed your steady girl for the first time under the bleachers at the big game.”

Okay… that never happened. But do you know what DID happen? Med-X, Landmines and stealthboys. That’s going to happen… to your face.

“Or when you snuck out after curfew to see that new flick that your parents wouldn’t let you see because it was too scary.”

The more I hear about this other guy’s life, the more I want to punch him. Sneaking out to movies seems preferable to being abandoned by your father.

“And who could you forget when you met the love of your life. What a looker!

These are just examples”

Okay, voice, now you’re being a jerk.

Okay, voice, now you’re being a jerk.

“Do you feel that stirring in your chest and you think of these things?”

Bitter disappointment with my own life?

“Good. What you are feeling is peace.”

Interesting… Peace feels a lot like abject terror….

“You’ve lived a great life. Living it has been its own reward. But it is only the beginning.
Close your eyes now, and imagine what joys await you in the next life – the afterlife.”

By close your eyes do you mean load all my guns? Because I’m loading all my guns.

“Can you see them? Good!”

Stealth boy ready!

The screen flickers out and the walls begins to slide back, revealing robots, gun turrets…. And then all hell breaks loose.

At this point I am possessed by the spirit of a ninja. Ed-e is already shooting lasers all over the show, and the mines I set previously have exploded showering the area with shrapnel, dust and an EMP field; but I’m on my feet, a grenade hand. As I hurl the grenade to the left, I’m already running into the right alcove. The moment I’m in there I punch a second sealthboy and vanish from the robot’s sensors.

RUN ED-E, RUN!

RUN ED-E, RUN!

Once I’m unseen poor Ed-e becomes the sole focus of the turrets and robots. But I’m not being tardy, instead I’m moving behind the assault droid looking for a chance to disable it. Once it powers down I move on to the next, and the next.

By disable I mean "tear out random wires"

By disable I mean “tear out random wires”

Finally my advantage of surprise vanishes, and I’m once again the target of turrets. But I’ve managed to disable the robots and clear out the right alcove completely. Luckily Ed-e had been in a corner where the remaining turrets had problems seeing… even so, the poor guy was pretty beat up. After a quick spot of repairs Ed-e is ready for battle once again.

Gaaaaaah! Turrets are hurty!

Gaaaaaah! Turrets are hurty!

As the last turret splutters out I take a well-earned sigh of relief.

The only thing left after the destruction rained down in this room is a mainframe – the heart of Vault 11. I walk over to the terminal and type in the code that opens the door and lets me out of this damn place.

Under the option to unlock the door are two last messages – one from the final five survivors to the mainframe, and then a message from the mainframe to the survivors.

Message to the Mainframe:
All right, I know you can hear me, so listen up. There’s five of us left. Five. Out of… I don’t know how many. So… it’s over. We’ve talked and it’s over. We’re not going to send anybody to die anymore. So shut off our water or gas us or do whatever it is you’re programmed to do. But we’re done listening to you.

Automated Response to Vault 11
Congratulations, citizens of Vault 11! You have made the decision not to sacrifice one of your own. You can walk with your head held high knowing that your commitment to human life is a shining example to us all. And to make that feeling of pride even sweeter, I have some exciting news. Despite what you were led to believe, the population of Vault 11 is not going to be exterminated for its disobedience. Instead, the mechanism to open the main vault door has now been enabled, and you can come and go at your leisure. But not so fast! Be sure to check with your overseer to find out if it’s safe to leave. Here at Vault-Tec, your safety is our number one priority.

Turns out that the mainframe is kind of a jerk.

Turns out that the mainframe is kind of a jerk.

At any point, the Vault 11 dwellers could have refused the call to send in a sacrifice, and they would have all been spared. So what has Joe’s adventure taught him?
Firstly, civil war battlefields are great for looting.
The second thing, is don’t go into sacrificial chambers. Even if you’re really curious.
Seriously.
Don’t.

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2 Responses to “Vault 11: …Must be watered with the blood of martyrs”

  1. Richard Says:

    Iwas seriously back logged and enjoyed reading all of your entries over the last few days. Keep them coming!

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