Fallout: The Fine Line Edit
Fallout. A game I hold very close to my heart. I have spent countless hours finding guns, talking to the weirdos of the Wasteland and satisfying my thirst for death, don't worry, I'm not a serial killer or anything, I just like the satisfaction of seeing pixels and code drop to the floor. They let me get away with stuff I never would in reality, and I respect that, to a degree.
One day, whilst sitting in my room at my computer, which lit up the room with a bright and blinding glow, I was looking for something to fulfill my boredom when a page link caught my eye. Again, don't worry. 'Bootman Bill' isn't going to go "Hey buy this now, its cursed only $666.66!" This link was to Amazon, the standard page for purchasing stuff. With a minor amount of curiosity, which was certainly more than what I had before, I clicked. The linked directed me to Fallout 1. "Brilliant!" I thought to myself, without thinking twice. "I can finally play it again!" You see, my last Fallout copy was smashed when I got really angry with my sister. Ever since then, I have been scavenging game stores, in the hope that one will return soon. With haste, I entered my details and the website spouted back at me "Thanks for Purchasing. The package will arrive in 3 to 5 business days." Once I saw this message, my boredom suddenly flew away in a swift breeze
Due to me ordering the package on a Monday, I expected the game to come in that following week. The Tuesday that week was sure to change my life, for the worse. As the sun rose over the little town in which I lived, I heard a van pull up to the front of my house. The delivery man got out and walked down my driveway. As he was doing this, I had already begun racing down the stairs to sign for the game, my face, gleaming with excitement. When i opened the door, the man holding the box was covered by a blue hood. Unable to see his face, I continued on, putting this down towards the weather that unfolded on that November morning.
"Package for a... Mr Pond"
"Thats me, thanks."
Whilst i took the pen from his hand, he asked me to hand it back to him, saying that he had one last thing to sign before he could let me write my signature. I handed it back to him and, as he lifted the paper up to see, his hood fell down for a split second. In this moment, I saw something I wished I was strong enough to forget. Across his face, marked in, were the words "You crossed the line" Before i could question him on it, he handed the paper back to me. My face still looked up to his to see if he wouldn't edge closer to me, but I kept glancing at the paper to see what I had written. I handed it back to him and he placed the box into my hands, leaving in a hurry, as if he was ashamed of what i had just seen.
With glee, i opened the box to discover my game. I carefully took it out the box and placed it beside me. Also inside was a code for 'Amazon points.' Something which went straight into the bin. There was also a blank, A4 sheet of paper. I opened it up and started to read.
"Thanks for buying from us, we hope that you will join us on 23rd November for a 'Special Surprise' Also, just as a side note, don't do it. No matter what he says, don't. do. it
Many thanks, Amazon
Thoughts raced through my head at this point "don't do what?" I asked myself. The letter was written in size 30-something font, I believe, which filled up the entire page. Everything after special surprise was written in pen, sloppy and lazy, as if someone had rushed it before sliding it into the box. I checked the time on my watch. 6:49 am. Tuesday 22nd November 2013. "Tomorrow, I thought" At that moment, many other thoughts raced into my head "This has gotta do something with that delivery guy." I also realized at that moment that I wasting time on my thoughts instead of on my game. I ran back up the stairs and placed the disc into my PC and rushed through the installation process.
I booted up the game after the installation and it was everything I remembered. Starting at Vault 13 and venturing out into the wasteland to discover what adventures lay in store for me. For playing for about 14 hours straight, I was roaming around the wasteland, looking for something to trigger. At that moment, a middle aged man ran up to me, dressed in a long duster and cowboy hat and ordered: "Come with me" I had never seen this before even after me playing the game to completion many times. Maybe it was a hidden side quest that didn't count towards it. Once i considered this, my memory trailed back to the letter "don't do it. No matter what he says. Don't. do. it." I was now hesitant to click yes, so, being the coward that I am, I clicked no.
I was slightly shocked by this. Did this guy have some sort of quarrel with me? Why was he so angry? This time, the game gave me two options. "Back off" and "OK" Again, I just wanted to back out of this dialogue sequence and continue with the game, but at the same time, I wanted to find out where this was going
"You wouldn't harm a fly. Don't threaten me, you f**ker. "Come with me"
Now I was debating whether to turn off the game and come back to it later or to continue with these events. I checked the dialogue options and "Yes" was there. Nothing else. I had had enough of this. I wasn't going to let this ruin my game time so I clicked yes. The man turned and faced away from my character and began to run away. My character, began to follow without my input
After about 5 minutes on watching my character and this man running. The man stopped, faced my character and began another conversation.
I looked at where the man had pointed and a hole had opened up into the ground. The entrance was to dark to see what was down there. My head then glanced at the dialogue options. "Whats down there" and "OK" I ran my hand over my mouse and pointed it at the first option and clicked.
I tried to decipher what that meant and had another look into the dark abyss. There was nothing, just a black hole. There was no visible way down into the hole. My face, puzzled by this, clicked the first option
"May the lord take thee into the pits of salvation?"
As he said this, he pushed me into the hole and a loading screen appeared. I was questioning the game at this point. I had never encountered this before, but, on the contrary, this was something that Fallout would do as the game was unnerving at points already. I sat back in my chair, waiting. Once this loaded, i was bought into a dark, black room with a singular wooden table and about 5 chairs surrounding it. I could see nothing else in this room, so i sat in one of the five chairs. Suddenly, 4 people appeared, all clocked in white, with hoods similar to that of a plague doctor.
"Hello, Jennifer. We have been excited for your arrival
"What is this place?"
"Did the man outside not tell you?, This is salvation"
These people all seemed very relaxed and laid back for the situation that my character, Jennifer, was in. I continued on, perplexed.
"What does that mean?"
"It means that you should have paid more attention to the letter."
I instantly knew what he was referring to. The letter that had came with my game. My hands were shaking, how could he know that and this game is very old, there's no possible way that they could know about that.
"Look out the window, Jennifer."
Despite the man referencing me by my characters name, i knew that command was directed at me. I stood up from my chair and made my way towards the window. It was already dark out and the streetlights had came one a good few hours ago. My head glanced from left to right looking for anything out of the ordinary. People coming home from there jobs, kids coming home from the park and, then i saw it. The delivery man from earlier. He was just standing there, watching me. He made no movements, didn't speak and just, watched. I heard the game making a high pitched buzzing noise, I assume, to get my attention. I walked back to my computer and checked the dialogue box
"Check the time, switch off the game, and, thirdly, SURPRISE!"
My character was mauled to death by the four men in white and the game respawned me where I first met the man. I raced back to the hole where he had threw me into and there was no sign of anything. Following the mans instructions, I checked the time. 11:59 pm Tuesday 22nd November 2013. I switched off my PC and looked outside the window quickly. The man had gone. The church bells sounded for 12 am Tuesday 23rd November 2013. I knew at this point that any chance of escape had vanished from existence. I turned around and there he was, with the same horrific burn on this face. He injected me with some sort of sleep drug and stood there, as my vision faded.
I awoke after some time, in a blinding white room. Before I could get to my feet, people had begun to instruct me on what to do.
"Cross the line"
"Cross the line"
Once i had my vision come back to me, I gazed up. I saw my reflection in a window. I had watched my fair share of CSI and knew that it was a 2 way mirror, the ones used in interrogation rooms. I looked to my right and there was a red line painted all across the walls, roof and floor.
"Cross the line, save yourself. Refuse and they live."
I looked to my left and, to no surprise were the people that i loved, my friends, my family. All in one room.
"They will be dissected write in front of your eyes. Unless, you cross the line."
I knew what they wanted me to do. If i crossed the line, I would be saved but they would be killed. If i didn't cross, i would die.
"Choose now, Mr.Pond"
"Fallout has many of these choices. Time for you to experience this, first hand."
I considered my options for many moments and made the ultimate decision.
"Thank you, Mr.Pond. You made the right choice"
I watched in horror as my mother, father, sister and friends were slowly and brutally killed in front of me. I knew I made the wrong choice, But i wanted to live. Me. As the figure finished off the last person, two people took me by the arms and dragged me away. The fastened me tightly into a wooden chair and began to engrave my face. I knew exactly what they were writing in, but as i sat there, screaming in utter agony, i knew what those words meant. The line of right and wrong
I sit here, back in my room, typing this up for the whole world to see what all of us have inside us. The dark. The thing we try our hardest to try and conceal. The monster inside all of us. My target is a young boy, named Mark Green. My role is simple, deliver the package, wait, and make him seen the truth.
Written by SEVENFOURSEVEN