I was disappointed not to see in-game fiction in Fallout 3 of the type we’ve enjoyed in the Elder Scrolls games, so I wrote a short story to be divided over four parts, which will take the form of Holotapes (to be displayed via the Pip-Boy) in a to-be-determined mod inspired by Terminator (in the same way that one of Fallout 3’s quests is inspired by Bladerunner). The books will just be lying around for the player to find, and won’t serve any particular function in the story. I’ll release them later as a standalone mod.
He vomited twice and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. It wouldn’t do to get sick down here, where no help was coming.
Alice turned to him. “Are you OK?” she said.
He nodded, still nauseous.
She looked concerned but said nothing. In the dim light of the cave, the only way was down. “Come on, we need to keep moving,” she said.
She was really frightened, but couldn’t show it: not now.
John moved with surprising agility for his large, muscular frame, leaping from rock to rock. He had more experience with this sort of thing, and Alice followed tentatively, feeling her way down with clammy palms against cool rock.
After half an hour or so, they rested. They were so far below ground by now that surely it was safe to stop. John prepared a fire while Alice unpacked their lunch. Beef sandwiches, an orange each, and a bottle of fresh water. She wondered if it was madness to drink the water now, but it wouldn’t keep for long; the Nuka Cola would last, so best to save that for later. They ate their lunch in silence, savoring the freshness. Knowing it would be their last.
They were lucky to get out when they did. Alice had felt the dread in the pit of her stomach all morning when the four minute warning came, so they were already out in the Appalachian Mountains. She had told him that they were there for a camping trip, but he’d guessed it was more when he’d seen the tins of pork ‘n’ beans, medical supplies and other sundries packed in their bulging backpacks. Knuckles white with tension, she’d insisted they start climbing down and down in uncharted caverns. Was it premonition or a bad dream? He knew it was too important to ask. They’d been friends for long enough for him to trust her, and she’d never been wrong – at least, not like this. They were still within reach of the radio signal when the bombs dropped. They felt the earth shake, and then nothing. Wordlessly, they had continued their descent, numb with horror and endless grief.