In the beginning, there was science; Latin for knowledge; knowledge which had founded all civilization on all sustainable continents, it was knowledge which had brought all manner of life to the earth and it was that same knowledge that plummeted the earth into devastation and chaos.
This destruction was caused by nuclear warfare waged between the Chinese and the Americans, but nuclear warfare wasn't how it started, it started with oil and uranium; two of the earth's most scarce and enriching resources, and the final known location of oil and uranium was in Canada, the neighbour to the mid-west.
The Americans at the time had signed a declaration of peace and protection to Canada in exchange for oil. But the Chinese didn't take to kindly to Canada not sharing resources, so they invaded upon the hundreds of thousands strong, they came equipped with assault rifles and the metallic horses of war.
After many months of uninterrupted battle between the Canadians and thee Chinese, the Americans finally decided to instigate and try to put a stop of the Chinese invaders, but the invaders were more prepared than the Americans had expected. Not only had they brought their rifles and vehicles of war they had also brought the most advanced weapon of all...nuclear bombs.
The Americans were left at a stand still. More than thirty-four million people had died, including the most innocent of people from all sides of this war.
War raged for another few months before the United Nations gave in and gave up, disbanding and eventually becoming victim to the Chinese as the foreseen day came to be, the end of days and the end of life of earth...the bombs...the bombs that fell from the skies and caused endless destruction across all the plains of existence.
The war was brought to an end…or so mankind thought. Little did mankind know that there were still people living amongst the fire and anguish of the destroyed buildings of the nuclear apocalypse.
Some people are good, some are bad and others are just going along for the ride, some committing crime and others not, some settle down and others do not, life goes on either way, through the good, the bad and the worst.
But the people who were safe from the hellish pandemic of war and the bombs were the residents of the underground safe havens called Vaults.
The residents of the Vaults were safe from all harm and were left in complete solitude from the outside, though some vault dwellers escaped or had the willingness to leave and venture out into the wild and weary wasteland, where they were most likely to die or if they were lucky, allow themselves to settle down.
People of the wastes still existed even after the bombs had vaporised the entire surface of the planet, though most of these people were evil, they stole, robbed and raped for days on end with no punishment or law system to abide by.
The world wreaked havoc for years upon years when the bombs first fell, but soon enough people began to realise that a life without limits was a dangerous one too, people began to die mysteriously, others were mutated and some disappeared and for those who remained, rebuilt, started over from a blank page.
Most civilizations started and grew quite rapidly, mostly with people flocking in to find a quick safe haven, but without consequence came those whom of which destroyed.
That was in twenty seventy-seven.
One hundred and ninety years later in twenty two sixty-seven a young boy emerged from one of the only surviving refuge towns ever built and his name was Kelsea, Kelsea during this year was the age of six and rather oblivious to everything around him. He couldn't tell the difference between what was food and what was sand, but most of all he was completely unaware to what went on outside of the town's walls.
He had always been told to stay away from them and he always did, but one way or another he found himself every now and then wandering around aimlessly until he would bump into the wall, he'd then take a step back and walk away, he spent most of his time alone in the town, because his parents were nothing more than petty criminals and drug abusers, so he forced himself outside of their home and away from them.
But one night, while he was waddling around the town, he heard what sounded like trouble and he knew this as the guards of the town were riled up and shifting from place to place, sleeplessly on edge.
And that was when it started...the fire...Kelsea blinked for a split second and the next thing he knew the town was on fire and he was shielding himself by hiding in an upside down barrel. His ears rattled as the sound of gunshots and screaming echoed throughout the town.
It was many hours later that all the noise came to rest, all that was left was the burning ashes of what used to be a thriving community along with its only survivor, Kelsea.
Kelsea looked all around, before he started walking, not looking back as a few tears commenced to break from his eyes, he sobbed and cried as he climbed the sandy hills, but when he reached the top of the last hill he climbed, he lost his footing and tumbled down.
He stood up and brushed himself down when he had finally grinded to a halt, still with tears and now sand all over his cheeks, Kelsea then found something that would change his life.
…A vault, an open and obscure vault in the middle of the desert, he sought refuge there for many years to come.
Fifteen years later, Kelsea emerged from the steel savour of his life and attempted to wander the wastes with only his instinct and expansive knowledge. He obtained this expansive knowledge from the books he had found deep within the vault itself, where he found them is quite unknown, but from those books he had learnt to: read, write, solve mathematical problems, brew chemical remedies, and so on.
Kelsea was ambitious and was seeking excitement from the wastes, whilst being completely unaware of the dangers like he always had been.
He took his first few steps out into the wasteland and could already feel the heat of the sun beat down upon his bare forehead, and it wasn't long before he had began to work up a sweat.
He hadn't prepared for this, he was now what seemed like miles away from his home and had already ran out of food, water and had no chance of survival without a weapon, so he sat at the side of the nearest road he could find and waited for death.
Luckily for him a traveller happened to walk by.
"Hey, stranger." The traveller spoke.
Kelsea looked up and squinted, only to have the traveller's head blocking the sun.
"Hey." Kelsea spoke back.
"Are you lost?" The traveller asked.
"Yes!" Kelsea replied.
"I can take you to where I'm going, I could use the help." The traveller added. Kelsea clumsily stood to his feet.
"Sounds great!" He said much too eagerly.
"I'm Kelsea" He grinned. The traveller turned his eyes back to the road and started walking again.
"I'm Joel" The traveller stated.
"Joel, huh? That's a cool name, I never knew anyone called Joel before, then again I've never really known any body, other than my pet rat, but he died a long time ago and-" Joel quickly broke Kelsea’s chain of verbal thought.
"Shut. The fuck. Up. If you want me to take you to where I'm going then that's what you need to do." Kelsea quickly zipped his lips shut and followed close behind Joel, Kelsea being the sheep and Joel being his Shepard as they trek toward where Joel is headed.
“Just in case you’re wondering, I’m heading to a place called ‘The Raging Bull’, it isn’t the most delightful boozer in the wasteland, but the beds are cheap, the girls are cheaper and the water is kind of free.” Joel said as the tiniest droplet of sweat collected on his brow.
“Free water? I don’t believe you.” Kelsea accused.
“It’s not entirely free, but I found a way around it, okay? So, unless you want to pay twenty caps for a drink I suggest you shut your trap!” Joel snarled as he turned to face Kelsea dead on, only then to turn away and commence walking again down the abandoned road of faded nuclear shadows.
After at least an hour of walking from the Vault they had finally reached where they wanted to go, The Raging Bull, and Kelsea was quite astounded by the scenery of the fifty’s styled diner and along with the additional make shift motel rooms that had been placed above the diner, and to reach the motel one would have to climb a make shift staircase around the back of the diner.
The two men silently stepped inside of the diner to find the place riddled with wastelanders of every sort; from scavengers to mercenaries, townies to thrasher gang members, among them are the dancing girls and prostitutes that are desperate to seek the attention the individuals of the diner along with legal tender provided for their ‘expert services’.
Kelsea’s cheeks glowed a bright red colour from seeing the bare skin of these girls, while Joel’s were unreadable because of his thick, all round beard.
“Follow me…” Joel whispered to Kelsea as he casually walked over to a doorway by the bathroom, the doorway was concealed by a clear pea green cloth.
Kelsea raised an eyebrow before following Joel into the other room. Once on the other side, he looked around and collected the distinctive points in his current surrounding.
“Uhmm…Jo-“ Kelsea attempted to say before Joel cut his speech.
“Shh! Quiet…” Joel whispered sinisterly as he crouched down and silently creeped over to an old, rusted refrigerator, once in front of the refrigerator he reached for the handle and slowly pried the door open.
The cool breeze that emitted from the refrigerator could be felt from any where in that room, Kelsea couldn't believe that it had only been six hours since he left the Vault and already he felt homesick.
Joel reached inside of the fridge and felt around for some bottled water, unaware that he was being watched.
A gruff, boldly built thug stood beyond the doorway with his sawn-off pump shotgun aimed in the direction of the two men, the thug pumped the fore-end of his shotgun to snap the two men back in to reality. Kelsea spun around to find that the barrel of a lethal weapon inches from his face, Joel spun around too, but only to find Kelsea with carelessly standing in front of the thug’s shotgun.
“What are you fellas doing in here?” The thug’s raspy voice asked.
“Stealing…” Joel answered as he put his arms up in the air. The thug smiled through his yellow, chipped, disfigured teeth as his index finger slowly pulled back on the trigger. The two men closed their eyes to not meet their fate, but once they were both closed the shotgun did not make a sound, the only sound heard was the thug thumping against the floor and the shotgun chunking along with him, the two men opened their eyes and to their amazement a mercenary looking fellow, dressed in all leather armour was standing behind and above the thug with a Springfield rifle, custom fitted with a larger magazine, high definition scope, slightly less weathered barrel and a strap to sling the rifle over his shoulder.
Joel put his arms down slowly and stared the stranger down.
“Thank you.” Joel said to which the stranger gave a single nod back, Joel continued to stare at the stranger.
”Do you want something?” Joel inquired, raising an eyebrow in confusion. The stranger slung his rifle over his shoulder and nodded again, this time pointing at Joel and Kelsea.
“You want us?” Joel asked. The stranger shook his head and pointed to himself and then back to the men.
“You want to travel with us?” Joel suggested and the stranger nodded.
“Okay, that’s fine by me, what’s your name?” Joel asked. The stranger didn't answer, he instead signed his name.
“Wh-” Joel tried to say before Kelsea interrupted.
“Shaun. His name is Shaun.” Kelsea said before he looked down at the thug’s shotgun, eagerly picking it up and holding it tight in his hands.
After Joel had collected some bottled water from the fridge and borrowed some of the unconscious thug’s essentials, the trio set out for the distant city of Jericho far in the south west, despite the fact that they were travelling at the most dangerous time of all, at night.
The night time in the wasteland were short, but certainly the most dangerous. This is mostly because the mutants, ghouls, thugs, raiders and other scum come out to run rampant and destroy, committing the most horrific of deeds and dealings.
The three men didn't travel beyond the borders of the road and stuck together in a triangular formation, Joel led at the front, the leader of the pack, Kelsea wandered to the left of Joel and Shaun followed to the right.
The starry night sky almost lit up the dull darkness that hung below the clouds of the earth and all seemed at peace for brief moment in time, until the spectacle of a neon light broke the peace, the neon light read ‘Robco’. Kelsea looked up at the sign.
“Joel, we should stop.” Kelsea suggested.
“Why?” Joel questioned.
“That factory over there! There could be something interesting or valuable inside, maybe.” Kelsea replied quite excitedly. Joel gave the factory a quick glance over.
“Hm. Okay then, let’s check it out.” Joel ordered as he wandered over to the factory doors, whilst the others followed.