In 2265 Vault 26 opens its massive blast doors finally being one of the last Vaults to do so. And naturally the Vault has to find out what the outisde world looks like. It looks like hell.
"This Vault has been closed for long enough!"
"James, we've discussed this, at lenght mind you, how many times? 5? 6? The answer is still the same as the other times: No."
"For Crist's sake Norman the both of us know how long this place was supposed to last, it's done its duty, we need to go. Now,"
"We don't know that, Tim told me his doubts as to the validity of Vault-Tec's dates as to when the door would open. You and I both trusted him..."
" 'Because he was like a father to us', I know Norm, I know." James finished, "Look, Norm, the War happened almost 200 years ago. Why are we still fearing it as if it might break out again?"
Norman sighed explosively, "Because James, as Overseer it's my duty to protect the wellfare of this Vault's occupants."
"Which you have done brilliantly. And it's my job to keep this bucket of bolts from collapsing down on our heads."
"Which is a difficult job but one you've excelled at," Norm said with a smile, "Look, give me a few days to think about it ok?"
James arched an eyebrow and a grin began pushing at the corners of his lips, "What happened to an unconditional no, eh?"
"Let's just say, times they are a-changing."
Norman hummed for a moment, "Maybe," James and Norm rose at the same time, shook hands, and James turned and left. He waited until the heavy door to Norm's Overseer Office was closed before he said anything else.
"D--n it!" James exclaimed. He slammed a fist into the nearest wall, barely missing Shelby Etzler, one of his assistant mechanic/repairmen. (Or in this case, repairwoman)
"I'ma gonna' guess it's a no-go then boss?" Shelby asked.
"What do you think Shelby? I ain't dancing and singin am I?" James countered.
Shelby paused a moment as the hilarious thought of him dancing wafted through her head, "Ok, I guess as much; so, what now?"
"We got a Vault to tend to, right?" James asked after calming down a moment. Shelby nodded her reply, "Well there's your answer," They began walking towards the Maintenence Department's 'Shop' two levels below them. "You fix the Miller's toilet?"
"Yup, clogged up a little farther back than we estimated. Their little one's a cute devil he is." Shelby replied.
"And the MacIntyers?"
"Almost same thing. Looked like a build-up of table scraps in the S curve, cleared that out in a jiffy."
"Ok, anything else?"
Shelby opened the door to the stairwell, an interesting feature of the Vault was a fully functioning stairwell that went all the way down and up the Vault, "One of Quinton's pistols jammed up. He called it in after it wouldn't fire afterwards."
"Firing pin was shot to hell, just snapped clean. Replaced it and fired off a few. Works just like new." Shelby replied happily.
"Good, good. Bet Quinton was pissed." James commented.
Shebly laughed, "You should have seen him. Almost strangled Troy and Jacen, and they didn't even do anything."
James rolled his eyes, "Those two, now I'm surprised they weren't part of the problem this time. Swear to God those guys will end up dead by supper."
"It's 6:19pm boss," Shelby observed as they reached the shop's door.
"Aw you gotta be kiddin' me," James said as he checked his Pip-Boy 3000 wrist computer, "Dang nabit! I missed it!" He opened the door and was greeted with, not the smell of grease and oil, but with chicken and mashed potatoes and gravy.
Shelby sliped by him, turned and smiled, "What? Think I'd let you starve boss?" James shook his head. If only I were 10 years younger... he though, then kicked himself, Ok, make that 20.