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October 23rd, 2077
Boston, Massachusetts

Life treated me pretty well. I lived in a good house with loving parents, made the honor roll every semester, started my senior year off strong, and owned one of those new fangled fusion breeder motorbikes. Sure we were on the brink of total war, but the draft was a year away for me. Life was good.

But instead of being woken up by my PIP-Boy alarm, which shouldn't have been on for a Saturday morning, I hear sirens. And I knew what those sirens meant. Bombs. Looks like I wasn't going to be drafted after all.

I sprang out of bed, still in my shorts and tank top, and grabbed my PIP-Boy 3050 from my bedside table and buckled it to my wrist.

"Mom! Dad!" I called to them. No answer. I didn't hear them come home last night, either. Where the hell were they at a time like this?

"Alerton!" I called to our robot butler, stepping into the hallway and speeding down the stairs. Our Mister Handy hovered out of the kitchen. Bright lights lit the dark house

"Yes sir, I know," his British voice speaker sounded. "Not to worry, contingency protocols have been activated, as per your parents' instructions. Follow me, sir. I have a message from your mother recorded."

Outside, I could hear people panicking and screaming, running towards Sanctuary Hills and Vault 111. I wondered if I should go join them. Or if Mom and Dad were already there and somehow forgot about me. Also, my motorcycle wasn't parked out front! Someone had taken it! But I was too panicked to be angry, the nukes were dropping!

My train of thought was interrupted by my mother's voice coming out of Alerton's voice speaker, soft and caring with a fair bit of authority in it:

"Chris, we're sorry we can't be there with you. But know that we're safe and you will be, too."

Alerton led me to the door in the hallway that led down to the basement as her message was played back.

"Get to Vault 111 when you wake up. We're not sure what will be out there, but we've made sure you're prepared."

Wake up? I thought. What is she talking about?

The answer to that question soon became clear after Alerton removed the rug from the floor of the basement and opened the large trap doors beneath it. A ramp led downwards to a steel door, which our robo-butler opened for me. More ramps went downward and led to a larger looking door. Was there a Vault under our house and I didn't know about it? No, it didn't have a coglike design.

Alerton opened that door, too, which revealed it to be at least three feet thick as it slowly swiveled open. He entered and I followed without question. The door then closed behind us, hissing as its pressure seal closed. Alerton suddenly put one of those blue and gold Vault jumpsuits in my hand. I immediately started getting into it. It fit snuggly on me, thankfully.

Looking around, I found cabinets with plastic windows and ice formed behind it. It looked pressure sealed, like the door, as if to preserve what was inside for a long time. There was a robot storage unit in the corner, for Alerton no doubt. The thing I noticed most of all was a metallic coffin on the wall, like a big refrigerator with a viewing window. I remember overhearing my parents mentioning a "decontamination pod" when they thought I wasn't listening.

"We had some people come and move your bike and a few things down to the bunker tonight. We're sorry this is sudden, but by the time you hear this, we'll already be in the long sleep. Vault-Tec's orders. Somehow they knew... "

"Step into the chamber, sir," Alerton told me. I did as he said.

"But anyway, I'm sure you have questions, like why any of this is here. For now, just accept it. We've been getting ready for this for a while. We'll see you soon. We love you."

As the message beeped and cut out, the door of the pod closed. Trapping me.

I could see Alerton on the other side. He was working the console on the other side, long and calculated sums from the speed and frequency of his servos. I felt my eyelids get heavy and my mind haze as some white gas steamed in. I closed my eyes and before I lost consciousness, I felt colder...

I had no idea of how long I was out, but as I opened my eyes and found the frost on the cryo unit melting, I knew my life was going to be very different. This was a hell of an eighteenth birthday.

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