"Jason…" the girl moaned, her back arched against the stark white sheets of the vault bunk.

"Amata…" he moaned back, kissing her again. He slid one hand down beneath her unzipped vault suit and began to explore, feeling the softness of her breasts, and her taught abdomen. As he traveled lower still, she said his name again, this time more insistent. Demanding. The tone of her voice sounded out of place, and it was jarring enough to make him open his eyes.

"Wake up! Come on, wake up!" She said, shaking him.

He blinked rapidly, trying to adjust to the sudden brightness. He could hear an alarm somewhere, but due to his confused state of mind, it didn't really register.

Hands gripped his shoulders, shaking him again. A shape melted out of the brightness: The brunette from his dream, looking considerably less enthusiastic about being at his bunk. She said, "Come on, you've got to wake up!"

Jason grinned, still groggy. "How weird, I was just dreaming about you…"

"Don't be a smart-mouth! This is serious!"

Jason sat up and rubbed his eyes. He stared up at his almost-girlfriend, and took in a few details: red eyes, unkempt hair, and the look of hurried terror. Something was wrong. He'd never seen a look like that on anyone in the vault. She had the body language of a spring wound up to the breaking point. He rubbed his eyes again, trying to wipe the dream from his mind. It was proving difficult, but everything about her high-strung attitude was making it plain that sex was as far from her mind as it could possibly be.

She stamped her foot, and he tried to ignore the way her chest moved. "My father's men are looking for you!" she told him, on the verge of tears, "They've already killed Jonas. You've got to get out of here!"

"What? Jonas is dead?" he stared, searching for the joke. There had to be a punchline somewhere… but then the sound of the alarms hit home, and everything changed. He sat up, suddenly wide awake. "What the hell is going on?"

"It's your dad. He's left the vault! My father thinks Jonas helped him escape, so he had his men…" She burst into tears, and he reached out to steady her. "My God, they killed him… They just beat him, and beat him, and wouldn't stop…"

"Oh my God..." Jason pulled her into a comforting embrace, his own thoughts racing at a mile a minute; Amata was crying. She didn't do that very often. Her tone seemed genuine enough to make it clear that something serious had happened. Then there was that alarm blaring in the background...

But he still didn't quite believe her. The Overseer of Vault 101 was a strict man, but Jason couldn't imagine him ordering anyone's death, let alone Jonas Palmer, the vault's medical technician and upstanding citizen. It just wouldn't happen.

Amata's cries had turned to quiet sobs, and she seemed to be calming down a little.

"Are you okay?" he asked gently.

She pulled away and wiped her eyes. "Yeah. Don't worry about me. I'm just sorry you had to find out like this. I know Jonas was your friend." She straightened up, took a breath, and gave him a serious look. "But we've got to go, now. My father's men will be here any minute!"

"My dad can't have left." Jason reasoned as calmly as her state would allow, "The door is sealed shut."

"Not anymore apparently. But…" she took a quick glance outside the window and turned back to him; the clock was ticking, "Are you honestly telling me you had no idea your dad was leaving? He really didn't tell you?"

Jason shook his head, still trying to make the mental adjustment. Everyone knew people didn't leave the vault. It wasn't a matter of not being able to open the door, or being scared of what was on the other side. The outside world was as real to him as the pictures in Brotch's textbooks. As far as Jason was concerned, there was nothing at all on the other side. It might have been black void for all he knew, or cared. The idea that anyone, especially James Howlett would want to leave the vault was…alien to say the least. What could possibly have been out there that wasn't in here? He felt a surge of hurt and anger; what kind of a man would leave his own son? Why? What could possibly be more important?

Jason barely managed to find his voice. "No. I had no idea he was planning to leave…"

He had once questioned his father about leaving the vault. The man had responded relatively harshly. You're safe here. Stay on the Overseer's good side, and you always will be…you're here now, and it's a hell of a lot better than being up there.

There had been more to it, but whether it was the stress of the situation, or the amount of time which had passed, Jason couldn't remember what else his father had said. Suddenly the strange wording of the reprimand hit home. James had been out of the vault before…

"I'm so sorry." Amata said sympathetically. She had always been able to read him. "I'm sure he had his reasons. Maybe Jonas was supposed to explain everything to you?"

She shook her head, regaining some of her previous determination, "But it doesn't matter. I can help you escape. I have my own plan!"

"Escape the vault? How?" Jason took a step back, reeling. His father leaving was one thing. But he couldn't imagine himself walking out as well. That just… well it wouldn't happen. It was not going to happen. Why would he try to leave? Why should he escape? He'd done nothing wrong…

According to whom? Asked a dark voice at the back of his mind. Amata's father? He knows you like her… and if what she said about Jonas is true…

There were only so many nooks and crannies in Vault 101, and the overseer's hounds knew them all. Jason realized that he didn't have a choice.

"Listen." She ordered. "There's a secret tunnel that leads directly from my father's office to the exit. You'll have to hack the computer in his office to open it." She handed him a set of keys. "Use these to get into his office. That's how I always get in."

Outside the window, Jason could hear movement, and the shouts of a security guard. Amata's look said it all: it's time to go.

"Sounds like a good plan." He said. "Let's get out of here!"

She nodded and hesitated. "Oh, one more thing."

Jason took another step back as she pulled a 10mm pistol from her jumpsuit.

"Amata…" he said, giving it a sideways look.

"I stole my father's pistol." She said, holding it out by thumb and fore-finger as if it might explode, "I hope you won't need it, but you'd better take it just in case."

Jason reached out and took it, feeling the cold metal, and the unfamiliar weight. He realized that it was the first time he'd ever held a real weapon. One capable of killing. One made for killing…

He didn't know how to use it. His father had trained him how to shoot a BB rifle, but he'd only ever used it to clear radroaches out of the lower levels. Using it on another person was…unthinkable…

"Thanks Amata. I'll only use it as a last resort. I promise." He told her honestly, slipping it into a pocket.

"Okay." She said, "I'll try and meet you at the exit. Watch out for security. Good luck!"

"Yeah." Jason said as she headed out. "You too."

She disappeared out the door, saying, "I'll meet you at the vault door if I can, but don't wait for me!"

Jason took a moment before setting out after her. He scanned the vault, trying to piece the world back together in a way that made sense. He found himself reaching for the familiar, grabbing his Grognak comic book and baseball glove.

What use is that going to be? The dark voice asked, but Jason was too busy to take notice. He picked up his baseball bat, along with his BB gun, and the small tin of lead pellets. As a last thought, he pulled his baseball cap from the drawer and turned for the door. His father had installed a first-aid kit on their bedroom wall. Jason emptied it; ten Stimpaks, and a few Med-X… Not much, but it was a start.


This'll be a three or four parter depicting Jason's expulsion from the vault, and his first experiences in the wasteland.

As of posting this, I actually don't quite know what would be an appropriate place to end it. Let me know if you have any thoughts. I was hoping it wouldn't be more than his first day or two, but how far should he get in that time? Not very, probably…

I know not everyone is a fan of Straight-From-The-Game dialogue, but I find changing things too drastically really bugs me (only when I do it, that is.) I try to be as accurate to the game as possible.