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Tom's Hardware Community: Superb Works Of 'Fallout 4' Fiction

After we posted our Fallout 4 giveaway contest, you fine readers populated the comments with a multitude of hilarity and cleverness. Although Ihmhi6's post was selected as the winner, several other lucky folks received a copy of the game, as well, and some of the responses were simply too good not to share.

SCREAM2NIGHT's primary (and frankly, recursive) goal in the wasteland would be playing Fallout 4 at max settings. Although therealduckofdeath got their storylines crossed, we would probably do the same thing. Likely the most accurate prediction of the future was provided by GMOTSL.

But here below is your winner. Behold the post-apocalyptic wisdom of forum user Ihmhi6. Take this superb work of short fiction as a lesson, friends!

If the parallel me in the "Fallout" timeline is anything like the real me, he would have been as ready as possible. He'd have seen every single episode of "The Walking Red," the thrilling tale of Communist Chinese Zombies para trooping all over America to infect people with dangerous Marxist ideals. I'd have heard a Vault-Tec advertisement on the news and thought it immediately made for a good investment. Fortunately, I chose to sign up for a Vault-Tec vault. Unfortunately, the local vault happened to be running a rather unsavory experiment. After the bombs fell, everyone was instructed to take an elevator deep into the vault. People were assigned rooms on different floors and were instructed by Vault-Tec personnel to remain inside for 24 hours. One of the nice things about an adrenaline surge is that it makes you burned out after the danger is over. And boy howdy, if anything can get your heart pumping it'd be the end of the world. I awoke to find myself in my own room at Vault 109. A digital clock on the wall read 1 day, 1 hour, 27 minutes, 15 seconds. Twenty-four hours had passed, and so I attempted to open the door, but the door would not budge. A speaker crackled to life. "We must administer a psychological exam before you are permitted into the common areas. Please tell us the color of the circle on the wall to your right." A vibrant blue circle was painted on the otherwise bland, metallic wall. "Blue," I said. "Incorrect," responded the unknown voice through a speaker. "The circle is Red. You may attempt an answer again tomorrow." "What?!" I shouted. I tried looking for an intercom button, but there was nothing I could do. Eight hours passed, and I was shaken out of my daydream by a clunk. A chute had dispensed a ration of food and a bottle of clean water. I hadn't eaten in nearly a day and a half. I quickly ate the lot and took a nap. Passing time in isolation with no entertainment is a strange thing. As the clock ticked ever closer to two days, I sorely began to miss the voice from the speaker. Two days, zero hours, zero minutes, one second. The speaker again crackled to life. "What color is the circle on the wall?" I stared at the circle intently. I was absolutely certain that it was blue. "The circle is blue, I'm sure of it," I said. "Incorrect," said the voice. "The circle is green. You may attempt an answer again tomorrow." Once again, my protests were met with silence. This patterned continued for two weeks. Every day, the voice would ask me the color of the circle. Every day, I was certain it was blue. Every day I would answer, only to be rebuffed. The voice had said the circle was every color I could think of except blue. It was different every day, but it was never blue. Day sixteen. "What color is the circle on the wall?" said the voice. I took a deep breath. "Every single day at the same time you ask me the color of the circle. I am quite sure I know what the color is. I answer, and you tell me that it is in actuality a different color entirely. You assert that it is a different color every day. If I am perceiving things incorrectly, then there is clearly something wrong with me, and I kindly ask you to help me. I do not want to be in this room any longer." The voice said nothing, and then repeated itself in the same monotone voice. "What color is the circle on the wall?" "I'm sure you'll say I'm wrong, but as far as I can tell the circle is blue." "Incorrect," said the voice. "The circle is orange." "Hey, orange. Another new one." Another day, another ration. Perhaps I could try another color tomorrow at random and it would work? No, there are so many colors that my odds are quite low at being successful. And even so, if I willingly lie, they might see me as crazy. Worse, they might just stick me in another room with another crazy problem. At least here I have a clock and a decent-enough ration to get through the day. "What color is the circle on the wall?" said the speaker. Silence. I did not say a word. I breathed as quietly as I could. I stared at the clock, watching the seconds tick by. After a full minute had elapsed, the speaker repeated its message: "What color is the circle on the wall?" I was stubborn. I refused to speak. An entire hour had passed, and every minute, on the minute, the speaker would ask me the color of the circle on the wall. After the sixty-seventh time -- and believe me, I counted -- I decided to respond. "What color is the circle on the wall?" "This is an unwinnable scenario. I refuse to participate." "Incorrect," said the voice. "The scenario has been won once you realized the futility of it. Door unlocked." I heard a loud clunk as the door unlocked. The hydraulics whooshed the door open, and I found myself looking at a much larger room. A speaker in the new room had another message for me. "You have passed the first test. There are three more. Upon the conclusion of the third test, you'll be released." "Why do I have the feeling there are more than three tests?" I said, exasperated. "Correct," said the speaker. "You have correctly ascertained the deceptive nature of the experiment. Door unlocked. Level 3 access granted." I found myself surprised to have my room tripled in size by a third door opening. This one had a window! I could see outside into a large, empty hallway with catwalks. Although there were dozens of other windows, I could only see a handful of people. For seven days the speaker said nothing. I spent my time communicating through hand signals with the few people I could see who hadn't lost their minds. I saw Mr. Johnson, my elderly neighbor, collapse on the third day. No one entered his room to help him. I saw Miss Jenkins, the local school teacher, finally break down and cry on the fifth day. At midnight of the eighth day, the speaker came to life once again. "Congratulations. You have endured to the conclusion of the test. You were the sixteenth person out of 500 dwellers to have made it this far. Four hundred and sixty-five vault dwellers remain alive. You may make one request within the capabilities of this vault, and it will be granted." "Before I make my request, may I ask a question?" "You may," said the speaker. This time the voice was different. The voice was monotone every single time prior, but this time it was clearly a real person speaking. There was emotion and a bit of an accent in the voice. "What happens when someone else makes it to the third room? Do they also get a request, as I have?" I asked. "They do," responded the voice. "And all that is required is that they reach the third room - no matter how they get there?" "A moment, please," said the voice. I could hear pages being shuffled. After a moment, I heard some indistinct mumbling and a heavy sigh. "That is according to protocol, yes." "Thank you. My request is that you open every door for everyone's rooms." "Hang--hang on," said the voice. The speaker cut out. Apparently they wanted to talk without being overheard. "The experiment has been amended," said the voice sternly. "We will open everyone else's rooms, but we will not open your own. Your request is so grand that we require you return to the first room as payment." The boredom I had suffered flashed through my mind, but the thought of hundreds of other people stuck inside is too much. I walked back to the first room and spoke. "Fine," I said. "Go ahead and close the door." "Congratulations," said the voice. "You have correctly proven that you are selfless enough to lead. You are now responsible for the 464 remaining souls within Vault 109. You may be monitored, but you will not hear from us again. Thank you for choosing Vault-Tec." That was the last time I ever heard the voice. The doors opened. I walked out into a common area and found myself among familiar people from my neighborhood. "The speaker said you're in charge," said a man whose name I didn't know. I recognized him as the man behind the deli counter at the local store, but I never took the time to learn his name. "What do we do?" "It's not safe outside. We have to stay in here for now. We'll get organized." And so, I set out getting a handle on the situation. I sent people in teams to assess the state of the vault. The food dispensers had enough rations to last at least 30 years. The water chip could provide clean water for as long as it held out. An overseer's office was discovered, and the terminal inside explained that we must remain inside for at least 20 years before it is safe to leave. I made a promise on that day. Last 20 years, and we will open the vault door. We have more than enough. Once things are safe to leave, anyone who wishes to leave the vault may do so.I kept my promise, and on the first day of the twentieth year, I stood at an assembly of the surviving dwellers and their descendants. "My time here began as it has for most of you -- locked in a small room with an obstinate voice and a wall clock. By virtue or by fortune, I was selected to lead. I'm happy to say that I've made it this far, and now I can keep my promise. I will be the first to exit the vault door along with a small team of volunteers. I have chosen Mr. Brooks' son as my replacement in the event that I do not return. It is my hope that we will find something good still left in the world, and if we do not find anything, then we will make the good for ourselves." I turned and left to the sound of fading applause. My assistant had my gear prepared: A radiation suit. A rifle. Food and water for two weeks. Rad-X. Rad-Away. Stimpaks. I met the four other volunteers in the embarkation room. I gave the signal for the door to be opened. A large motor locked into the gear-shaped door and pulled it out of the port with a horribly loud grinding sound. A cloud of dust flew in from outside. We stepped outside and watched the vault door close behind us. A small control panel would allow us back in once we decided to return. We walked down a short cave and found ourselves standing at the top of a small cliff. The land was blasted and inhospitable, but there were dots of civilization in the distance as far as we could see. "Hey Johnson," said Mr. Brooks. "What color is that circle in the sky?" "This color," said Mr. Brooks, making a rather rude gesture at his companion. Mr. Brooks walked up next to me as I stood at the wastes in front of me. "What's the plan, boss?" he asked. I considered for a moment. It was nice having a question asked of me where the answer wasn't going to keep me locked up in a steel box. I turned to him and smiled. "Explore."

As a final note, we would be remiss if we didn't note what this user suggests. We would never do that to you.

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  • Gam3r01
    I clicked the link at the end, saw the user was Astley, and I still clicked the following link.
    I.. I dont know what else I was expecting.
    Reply
  • SCREAM2NIGHT
    I clicked the link at the end, saw the user was Astley, and I still clicked the following link.
    I.. I dont know what else I was expecting.

    I did too, i regret not expecting that.
    Reply
  • dstarr3
    So when do we get Rick Astley/John Cena mashup memes? It's the next logical step.
    Reply