“Why didn't I listen...?”
In the year 2546, after the war hundreds of years ago when they dropped the hydrogen bombs during the cold war, were still held up in this fallout shelter... Our ancestors have been here since 1953 when the Russians dropped nuclear bombs on America, killing just about every single living creature on this entire country. Those of us who survived have created entire civilizations in fallout shelters that have been sealed shut and never opened since the war. Nobody knows what it looks like or if it’s even safe to go outside, everyone is scared to look but one day I plan to venture out there, I'm sick of being held in this metal chamber like a hamster.
I'm 16 years old, still in the learning chamber (school), they only teach us how to maintain the vault and nothing to do with history outside the vault or anything useful, it’s like we know nothing of life outside the vault anymore. This is getting ridiculous, it’s like they want to keep us here forever. It’s about time we leave this place and re-colonize the U.S. and figure out if any other vault dwellers survived. soon I'll assemble my survival kit (weapons, fire starter, flares, and tent/camping supplies) and journal with a team of my close friends who feel the same way and we’ll break out and find a safe place to live.(after a few weeks of preparation) a few noble vault dwellers try to convince us not to go but we refused to listen to them but soon they inform the elder of our plot... not much after we are completely surrounded by vault security with their weapons drawn telling us to drop everything and do not resist. We are thrown in jail, our plan is ruined... we need a new one.
*in a low whisper* “okay guys, we need to break out of this hell hole... now it’s a personal matter” -the others nod in agreement-. They wait and wait, plotting and looking for the right chance to strike... their plan consists of waiting for the weaker guard to be on duty and when he gives them food for lunch they’ll grab his gun and swiftly kill him and shoot out the lock and fight their way out. So they carry out this plan until they reach yet again another problem... when they peek through the door there are armed turrets and heavily armored guards blocking the vault door, which is the ONLY way out of this place. Normal weapons could never penetrate the armor of the guards, they need to sneak out or kill them stealthily.
They have to think quickly, or do something so stupid that it may actually work... impersonate a guard and kill them off one by one without anyone knowing, sadly this is easier said than done. So they loot the dead guard from before and take his equipment and one of them pretends to be the jailer transporting them to another cell, but they take a little detour to the armory. There they find laser rifles, 10mm pistols, and plenty of guard armor... so they use this to their advantage. Right away they head back to the main vault seal and attempt to kill the heavily armored and equipped guards and destroy/disable the armor plated turrets. A guard quickly stuns one of the six crew members with a cattle prod and locks his head in sawed off shotgun barrel and twists it with brute force killing him quickly. The leader quickly shoots that guard in between the eyes with his laser rifle and it literally cooks him inside his armor. After that short battle the alarm goes off and they need to leave fast... with already one member deceased, this won’t be easy.
They quickly pull the lever to open the vault seal -this could either be dangerous or a miracle by either releasing the radiation into the vault or bringing life back into the real world- as it slowly decompresses and slides out of the way it’s dark and cold, not a good sign. They slowly venture out but are quickly intercepted by the vault elder attempting to talk them out of it by stating it’s too dangerous to venture out of the cavern, for all they know there could be mutants or zombies out there. But they push him aside and move further but they hear a faint voice in the background saying that they’re closing the vault and never opening it again. They became slightly worried but continued on. as they reach the exit of the cave they see something quite disturbing--
There was a huge dead mutated rat, about the size of an average pet dog, it was horrific but they kept moving on... but with weapons armed and ready. Just as they exit the cave with the sun shining brightly, their eyes burn intensely because they’ve never seen the sun before in their lives, and maybe the first people to have seen it in centuries. After their eyes adjust to the new light, they head down to the bottom of the hill and a massive creature appears in the distance... it looked almost like a dragon, they imagined it must have been a type of lizard in pre-war times. They try to avoid it at all costs and eventually approach some sort of barricaded village, they attempt to scout it out before trying to enter or communicate with them.
They don't see any real threats with in the camp only a few little kids playing outside the big building in the middle. There are no adults around that they can see so they proceed with caution inside. The kids notice them and they look frightened and run away so the crew states that they mean no harm and holsters their weapons. when all of the sudden a massive greenish looking human appears followed by 3 more of them (that must have been what the kids fled from) -their Geiger counters start to go off which means they're omitting radiation so they've obviously been exposed to it or ingested it a lot- they're armed with large crude weapons like rebar mauls and old .308 rifles and on top of that they don’t look friendly. the crew of five go to reach for their weapons but before they can do that one of the mutants comes over and smashes one of the members of the group instantly killing him and swings his maul at the group leader seriously injuring him... right after that the remainder of the group quickly kills them and quickly tending to the leader. They look him over and conclude that he had a broken rib and leg and is basically immobile.
They drag him into the large building and the kids come out of hiding completely speechless from the battle they witnessed. one of the three able members of the crew asks if they have any medical supplies or more munitions and they nod and beckon them to follow... after several flights of stairs they approach the medical facility and its completely filled with supplies and ammo, for once something good happens to them. With two members already down and one incapacitated they've suffered heavy losses, and are stuck here until he has healed.
-Two weeks later- One of the kids found a pair of crutches in the storage closet to give to the injured leader so now they can leave the camp and venture forth. They say their good-byes and thank the kids for their help and begin to walk. After a few days of walking they exhausted their water sources and need to find clean water and fast, so they head to the nearest river which wasn't very far but it was murky and had a slight glow to it. They swore never to drink it to avoid becoming one of those monstrosities that killed one of them back at the village. they're becoming quite convinced this was a horrible idea and that they should have never left, they thing nothing else can get better, and they're about to be right...as they look further down the dilapidated road they notice a large group of humans, so they rush down to receive aid but they left the injured leader behind a little. Soon they realize they made a major mistake, those weren't ordinary humans... they were feral, irradiated humans gone cannibal.
One of the larger irradiated cannibals notices them running towards them so it signals the rest with a loud shout to rally them. The remainder of the exploration crew realizes they aren't very friendly and book it back to the limping leader. They lift him up like a soldier would do to a wounded soldier and carry him away running for their lives. They switch back and forth because carrying a 180 lb. male wearing full armor isn’t a walk in the park. The cannibals are gaining on them and they need to get somewhere safe and extremely fast, they spot a ledge they could mantle over and they’d imagine the “zombie things” wouldn’t be able to follow them any further.
They were right. The mutated zombies stood no chance against the simplest of things, they were once again safe. They notice that there was ANOTHER VAULT! They could go back to their original lives and start anew. So they dash towards it still with the zombies lurking by the ridge and their Geiger counters were once again going off slightly.
This wasn't good. As they approach the vault they realize the vault seal had been open, another bad sign, it wasn't opened normally... but it was smashed in. they make a very stupid choice to go in and investigate for the medical clinic because it was set up exactly like the one they lived in their entire lives.
As they cautiously enter they notice carcasses along the wall of the vault, some fresh some aged... no matter, it still smelled like burning flesh and decaying meat and flesh. It made them sick and one of them eventually threw up, right after they pass that horrific sight they hear a loud hiss followed by faint footsteps going a mile a minute. They chase after it in hope of some food. They find themselves in large chamber carved out of the original vault walls. They glance quickly around only to find a massive shadow of some monstrosity!
IT WAS THAT MASSIVE MUTATED LIZARD! it takes a deep breath and roars at the top of its lungs partially deafening the men, but that wasn't meant to distract them... it was to call the rest of them... soon the chamber fills up with the damn things and they just stand there, waiting... waiting for a chance to strike. when they see the injured leader collapse a little, the bunch of them attack them all at once ripping one if the members legs off making him fall to the ground and the little things devour him alive... it was horrible.
The hatchlings are quickly distracted by the sight of their new “food” and the last two survivors run (except for the leader on crutches) for safety but the “dragon” had other plans. It reaches its massive neck over and picks up the able- survivor in its ‘“jaws of steel” and throws him as hard it could against the ceiling of the hollowed out cave, but in a way he did save the leader. After he hit the ceiling it began to crack more and more, of course the “dragon” doesn't know what that means so he remains stationary and the last survivor on crutches escapes the cave as fast as he could and right as he makes it back to the vault halls the cave collapses killing every one of the vile creatures.
He searches the medical facility not caring what happens anymore, he’s lost everything, and not a care in the wasted world... he’s given up hope but yet he still carries on. His leg is infected with gangrene and he’s becoming dizzy. He finds the nearest medical bed and takes a bio-gel to kill the pain, he takes quite a few of them... he shuts his eyes slowly and says with his last breath, “Why didn’t I listen...?”