Vault 122 is a Vault-Tec Vault located in the South-East Commonwealth. The main characters were born within its confines.
The early history of Vault 122 was not well recorded, as the initial inhabitants did not know that the vault would come to be their indefinite home until fifty years after the door was sealed. Later generations kept better records. The Vault was initially supposed to stay seal for the fifty year period scientist projected was necessary before the surrounding area was safe to inhabit, but the door opening mechanism was then found to be irreparably damaged. Luckily the powerful digging machines used to dig out the chamber for the vault were left in storage on-site, and the vault dwellers were able to use them to carve out a greater chamber beneath the vault. With the help of one of the vault’s two allotted Garden of Eden Creation Kit the cavern was made into an viable, if bleak, home for future generations of Vault 122 inhabitants.
While clothing and food became more varied with the codes found within the G.E.C.K., the only available building materials were portions of the vault itself, all unpainted metal, and the drab, gray rock of the mountain. The entertainment files left for the fifty year duration were already considered inadequate (provided for an assumed rate of one full feature length sound and motion picture and three animated shorts watched per week), and most vault dwellers can quote every line from memory. 2600 motion pictures and 7800 animated shorts seems like a lifetime supply to young vaultsters, but most inhabitants have viewed all of the entertainment material several times by the age of 10. Given the fairly lax work schedules necessary to maintain the largely automated vault systems and fertile fungus farms, adult vault dwellers often have nearly as much time for leisure.
Although the Vault society was intended to be egalitarian, some brought money, valuables, and other prohibited items into the Vault with them. This caused some degree of stratification within the Vault that was tolerated to a degree by the Overseer and Vault-Tec Security due to the perceived morale consequences of cracking down on offenders. Black market trading was frowned upon, but rarely punished. Thus some individuals avoided even the minimum duties assigned to Vault Dwellers with bribes, and others carved out a niche by brokering such deals and facilitating black market trade. Vault Dwellers were all still essentially equal, but some were more equal than others.
The community grew steadily with each of the three generations born within, reaching a population of nearly 8000. Although unexpected, this is theorized to be connected with the amount of free time available provided by the Vault-Tec systems that have performed at or above expectations for almost 300% of the original planned duration. The vault dwellers are at least comforted to know that no matter what might have happened outside, the inhabitants of all of the vaults would clearly have been safe and cared-for for the duration of any given vaults sealed period.
Trouble in Paradise
Overseer Wernher is the third in the line of excited, morale-boosting, and friendly Overseers of Vault 122. Unfortunately, his mood sank in 2242 when calculations confirmed that the population could not safely produce a fifth generation without serious risk of mutation and defect due to genetic stagnancy. Thus the digging machines were fired up once again, to dig a long tunnel back up and around the fortified block around the vault’s entrance. This expended almost all of the remaining micro fusion cells that the machines ran on, and only one machine was still operating when the tunnel opened into the cavern system outside the vault. Now a scouting team must be sent out to insure the survival of humanity.
Luckily, given the significantly longer stay within the vault, scientist’s projections indicate that the area outside should be safe, fertile, and blanketed in new spring flowers. Though many wanted the task, only a select few were chosen.