Tommy tapped the side of the rusting monitor as if he were agitated. He pressed a few more of the thick buttons and tapped the screen.
‘Don’t think they want to trade,’ he sighed, rather than said.
‘I didn’t think they would. Folks at Megaton said it only opens for science teams. Can’t see why they don’t just all come out,’ said Susie. She knocked the huge circular door three times before turning back to Tommy. ‘A lost cause?’
‘I think so.’ Tommy looked up to see her moving away from the door. The three numbers were stenciled on in fading yellow blocks as ‘101’. This vault didn’t look like it was opening for them anytime soon. Susie hefted her hunting rifle back onto her shoulder. She had been struggling with it for a few days now. The strap was wearing out and her shoulder was chafing from where the tear hung the weapon from her shoulder. Susie was vaguely petite and shorter than most people, but her frame suggested her age regardless. She, unlike Tommy, didn’t wear combat armour, but a leather coat with an assortment of metal pads. Her hair was cut short into a bobbed cut, but tied back with a dark bandana. The red dye she traded for months ago was fading back to her original brown, but the bandana hid this well.
Tommy leaned against the monitor and thought about their next move. ‘We could try the tower over in the west?’
‘Bad idea. They won’t let us in to even sleep unless we have the caps,’ Susie mentioned, ‘and sleeping outside would only get us eaten by the zombies-‘
‘Ghouls,’ interrupted Tommy, but Susie went on regardless. This was a common issue for them.
‘-they’re having problems with.’
Tommy turned and stared back up to the tunnel entrance. It was about fifty metres away, but the light from the entrance was still visible and continued to shaft through the ramshackle doorway that feebly tried to cover the Vault’s existence. It didn’t do it’s job, because raiders and the locals at Megaton knew all about the Vault’s existence and the ignorant souls within.
A few minutes went by, interrupted by a small breeze that was colder for the shade the tunnel afforded and Susie took off her hunting rifle to sit against the vault door. Tommy sighed and ran his ungloved hand through his lengthening blonde hair. A practiced feat, as he didn’t fancy activating his power fist onto his own face, but he didn’t wear that thing right now. Eventually he left the monitor and hefted his pack onto his back.
‘We’ll go back. We’ll cut our losses there and head back to Rivet. Does that seem sound to you?’
‘I wouldn’t say no to that. I heard someone defused the bomb. I can’t imagine the Children being happy about that,’ She said, laughing at their supposed rage. Tommy smiled as pulled his goggles down over his eyes.
Their footsteps echoed through the tunnel, and Tommy peered through the cracks in the boards at the door. The goggles stymied the glare and he was treated to a view of a wasteland. There were no threats outside, but he couldn’t be too careful. This method had saved his life on more than one occasion.
‘To Megaton,’ he agreed.
– by Kier Sparey
© Copyright Kier Sparey 2013