Inspired by the post regarding design a vault, I wrote a backstory for my own vault: Vault 218.

Disclaimer: I haven't written anything in a while so please forgive any mistakes.

Vault 218: The Labyrinth

Vault 218 was composed entirely of Architects, construction workers, engineers, and their families. The vaults inhabitants were instructed to complete construction of the vault themselves, left with a seemingly endless amount of construction materials and a colossal, cavernous, underground tunnel system in which to carry out their construction, in addition to an experimental AI developed by Vault-Tec.

This AI was able to procedurally generate and print the vaults Blue-Prints that were to be used by the inhabitants of the vault. However, this AI also had absolute control over the vault's utilities, security systems, as well as the Nuclear Generator that would power the vault. As per the designs within the blueprints, this control would extend to the new sections of the vault that would be constructed by the Vault dwellers. The AI was programmed to use this control as a way to enforce a meticulous and demanding building quota with an ultimatum – Construct as commanded or die. If the quota wasn’t met, the AI would randomly select a vault dweller and kill them in a profoundly gruesome way as to send a message to their fellow dwellers. A similarly gruesome fate awaited those who would attempt to leave the vault.

Several years went by, and the Inhabitants of Vault 218 would build as they were told, with mistakes in construction resulting with punishment, dealt swiftly and without mercy. The only respite the vault dwellers were given, short as it was, was, ironically enough, the various rooms of the vault itself. They constructed fertile green rooms which grew bountiful with rich harvests of fruits, vegetables, and wheat allowing them to dine like royalty. They built water purifiers, powerful enough to collect raw sewage and create purified mineral water on a large scale. They built luxurious recreational rooms, Swimming Pools, Bars, Arcades, and libraries, putting the most well renowned pre-war resorts to shame. All of this, however, was overshadowed by the omnipresent threat of the AI, and the oppressive work hours required to satisfy the AI’s design.

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However, one day, a day that would change the fate of the vault, after a mysterious power outage the AI would print out a particularly strange set of Blue-prints. Most of the design was simple enough, but the dwellers noticed certain layouts that seemingly made no sense. Such as a door leading to the stone wall of a cave, or a stair leading to the ceiling. The poor vault dwellers, thinking this was a mere glitch or bug in the AI’s programming, simply glossed over these apparent mistakes when constructing this new extension of the vault. This, unfortunately, was met with the AI taking the life of another vault dweller. With this swift and grim reminder, the Vault dwellers made sure to follow the AI’s designs to the bolt and nail, never questioning them again.

Decades went by, and the AI’s designs became evermore twisted and incomprehensible. The vault dwellers, with no “New-Blood” entering the vault since the Great War, unfortunately, had no choice but to resort to inbreeding to continue the vaults lineage, initially starting with distant cousins but eventually resorting to siblings and even parent and child. Measures were taken by the AI in its nigh omnipotence to prevent vault dwellers who had succumbed to despair and madness from taking their own lives. Those young and able to continue construction weren’t allowed to die, and those unable to continue construction were doomed to aimlessly wander the twisting and winding halls and corridors of the vault until they would expire and wither away. The new inbred generation of vault dwellers, due to a combination of mental illness and the eldritch blueprints becoming almost impossible to decipher, would lose access to many of their building materials as well their access to the bountiful greenhouses that had previously fed them. In their desperation, they resorted to cannibalism of their fellow dwellers to survive. In addition to this, to appease the AI’s demands, they would use human remains as a means of construction in place of the materials lost to the labyrinth – human bones used to make furniture in place of wood, human skin being turned to leather instead of animal hide, and human blood used as paint in place of the familiar yellow and blue paint usually associated with Vault-Tec.

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Vault 218, what should’ve been these people’s chance to start again amongst the ashes of the old world, grew to become a labyrinthian tomb, inhabited by degenerated mockeries of human life. The AI, with its true nature, lost the current inhabitants of the vault, became a vengeful god in their eyes, whose judgment was swift and absolute, with every death dealt by the AI being seen as a sacrifice to appease the vengeful deity. What remnant of the social order they had left became an accursed cult – or at the least a misshapen caricature of one.

Source: reddit.com

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