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Wasteland Waltz

By Dias Ronas

Action / Scifi

Reborn

OoO( 1 )OoO

It seems that a lot of the most important moments in a humans life, whether a single man or woman, or humankind as a whole, happen with a flash of light. The creation of the universe is said to have begun with an explosion on a universal scale, a massive flash of photons and galactic fire. When we first open our eyes, we are assaulted by an intense flash of light as our never before used eyes take in the world around us.

In October 2077, when the bombs fell, the entire world was exposed to a flash of light that literally changed the face of the planet. From the moment that flash covered the surface of the Earth, mankind was plunged into a world of fire and chaos, the likes of which they had never seen before. The entire world, reborn in a flash of light.

Just as one man was reborn as he kicked open the rickety door of the tunnel he stood in. As soon as he did, he regretted it, as the blinding light of the massive star in their solar system stabbed at him like knives. His entire life, he'd had nothing but the artificial lights of Vault 101 to guide his path. Now, he desperately covered his watering eyes as the ultraviolet light seemingly pierced him to his very core. For minutes, he shrank back into the small cavern, shying away from the intense burning blanket that the sun laid on him.

As he sat in the cavern, he also began to feel other sensations that he'd never felt before. His skin, at least that exposed to the open air, had began to tingle lightly when he had come into contact with the outside air. No longer did thick walls and air filtration systems protect him from the harsh irradiated world. He merely sat, running a single hand through his brown hair as he thought about everything that had just happened. It seemed as if just yesterday, he had had his tenth birthday almost ruined by the annoying and always intruding Butch. That was the same day he had gotten his Pipboy 3000, a device clamped around his arm that had practically become a best friend to him.

He looked down at the green tinted screen of the Pipboy. His smile slowly vanished though as he noticed that Vault Boy on the screen was no longer smiling like he usually did. Instead, the small figures face was placid, as if he was indifferent to his situation. But his left arm was blinking. The young man noticed the blinking appendage, then lifted and examined his own arm which was covered in the usual Vault 101 blue jumpsuit.

As it turned out, one of the officers he had had to gun down for firing on Freddy Gomez and Suzie Mack, had actually gotten him in the arm with a stray shot. Freddy had still taken a round to the leg, but both of them were still alive at least. Likely being attended to by Andy, now with his dad gone from the vault.

That's when he growled menacingly. His father, the man who loved him and cared for him, ultimately left him behind in the vault when he made his escape. No warning, no signs, no hints, no nothing. Just fell asleep one night, then gone the next morning, leaving his son to fend off psychotic vault guards, radroaches, and an Overseer with a power trip. He smirked slightly as he remembered his encounter with the Overseer.

The Overseer had been questioning his own daughter, Amata, ruthlessly about the good doctors son. Officer Mack, the guard that the Overseer was using to extract information from his daughter, was as sadistic and psychotic as all the rest put together. He had a baton out, one of the non-lethal methods used by Vault Security to keep the peace. But his had small rods on the tip, which sent waves of electricity into whatever they came in contact with. That was currently his best, and long time friend Amata.

The girl shrieked as he had snuck by to get to the entrance to the vault, a sound that froze him in his tracks and made his skin crawl. He darkly turned around and walked back towards the Overseer's office, simply walking in with the firearm he had, and blasting Officer Mack through the face shield. The bullet smashed the flimsy plastic and entered the mans cranium, rendering him dead in an instant. Then the gun was on the Overseer. The man quickly back up, raising his hands in defense as John, the doctors son, reached down to grab the electro-baton off of Mack's corpse.

"Please! Don't kill him!" shouted Amata. His finger froze on the trigger as he stared down at the man with a hatred that burned deeper than any of the fires that had sprung up in the vault.

"You killed him you son of a bitch..." John said as he whipped the edge of the baton into the side of the Overseer's leg, causing the mans stance to buckle, sending him to the floor in pain. Despite the probable knee fracture, the older man still managed to crawl backwards as the pistol was held in his face.

"Please..." was all he managed to get out before John aimed the baton at him as well.

"Save it." he said, whipping the baton across the Overseers hand as it tried to grab the leg of his jumpsuit. "You've killed Jonas, you've tried to kill me, and you had that barbarian torturing your own daughter!" he shouted, the force behind his voice shaking the walls. Two of the guards that had come up to the door, preparing to take the young man down froze in place at the statement.

"I-I did it for the vault!" shouted the older man.

"Say the phrase "for the vault" one more time and this'll be going up your ass." said John viciously as he waved the shock baton in the mans face. "Now, I'm going to say two things, and you're going to listen to me. First, I killed the guards because they attacked me. I didn't do it for whatever bullshit reason about being a traitor and following in my fathers footsteps that you seem to have stuck in your head." he said. "Do you understand what I'm saying so far?" he asked.

The Overseer, quiet up until that point, nodded. "I do. You did what you did in your own defense." he said, still eyeing the baton that was practically tickling his chin.

"Good. And second, this is for Amata." he said, pulling the trigger on his weapon. A loud pop sounded, and the Overseer, sitting up, fell to his back. Amata gasped in horror as she saw the weapon go off, her entire world slowing down as she saw her best friend kill her father. She wanted to scream, but couldn't. But from somewhere, she heard screaming.

Looking down, she saw her father grabbing his head, rolling around as if in pain. "D-Dad?" she asked. It was nearly a full minute before the fit finally ended, and the older man lay on the ground breathing heavily, with his eyes shut and tearing up. The girl walked over to her father and looked down at him, her eyes immediately locked onto the red welt directly in the center of his forehead.

"Amata is one of my only friends, and my best friend. She has my comm code, and I swear to you that if you ever lay another hand on her, I will kill you with my bare hands. Even if I have to rip away and blow through the vault walls myself. Do I make myself clear?" he asked.

"Yes! Yes! For the love of God yes!" he shouted, still rubbing tenderly at the sore spot on his forehead.

"What did you do to him?" she asked. He smirked and turned to her, handing her the gun he held in his hand.

"Taught him a lesson. If he ever gets out of line again, give him another shot." he said with a smirk. Amata looked down at the weapon and noticed immediately how small it was compared to the gun she gave him.

"A...A BB gun? You switched your guns out?" she asked. He nodded, and she laughed, and laughed. Her father glared at her, then stood up, noticing that John was now walking out the door to the office.

"Where do you intend to go?" asked the Overseer, his voice much less angry than a minute before.

John looked back at him, the temptation to give him the middle finger and walk out great. But he just sighed. "I'm going to leave and find my father. Then I'm going to ask him what the hell he was thinking." he finished. The Overseer stared at him, almost scrutinizing him. Then just nodded.

"Good luck then." he merely said.

Now, he sat out in the cave just outside the vault. The sight of the skeletons outside, the people wanting in, wanting shelter, wanting safety, all dead and rotted outside the vault door had disturbed him at first. But after having ventilated the skulls of three living humans, and crippling a fourth by putting about five rounds in each arm, after seeing the bodies of his friends, and the only family he had known since his childhood being desecrated by the radroaches, a few dusty old bones didn't unnerve him too much.

He pulled out the lunchbox that his dad had stashed for him "in case of emergencies." Opening it up, he found the note from his father to Jonas, something he'd listened to multiple times now since he had sat in the cave. The rest of the contents were a mix between different medications, and large amount of bottle caps. He sighed to himself as he threw the tape against the wall, shattering the fragile disc, then stood to his feet.

Staring once more out into the blazing sun, he covered his eyes and headed towards the closest thing he could see in the distance. "Dad, wherever you are, you've got a lot of questions to answer." he growled.

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