Blue's Blues part 2
We finally reached the bottom. I saw the sproketed doorway and I knew exactly where I was. "This is your vault, isn't it Blue." "Yes". She replied almost as if embarrassed. I have explored through many ruins, but none made the hair on the back of my neck stand up like this place. The previous vaults I had been in were all usually pretty spacious. This one however seemed small, almost claustrophobic by comparison. It looked cold and clinical. There was an acidic smell in the air.
As we slowly made our way along we came across two rows of cryo tubes. "So this is where Blue has been for the past two centuries" I thought. "They didnt tell us we were going to be frozen" she said to herself. "What was that Blue?" She turned to look at me. "They told us that the tubes were for decontamination." She was talking in a faraway voice as if she was reliving that day. "People were panicking, the bombs were falling. So they dressed us in their shiny suits and herded us into our coffins like sheep".
I looked at the tubes more closely. Inside almost every one was a frozen corpse. This was no pampered vault where the rich and the elite got to ride out the war. This was a vault of the damned.
Then I got a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. All this time I had been calling her "Blue". I thought I was being clever. In reality it was a sadistic slap in the face to the woman who called me her best friend. A constant reminder of the literal condition of her fellow vaulters. I felt ashamed, like some kind of monster. She had lost everything. Yet I, in my arrogance would not let her even keep her own name. "Look Bl,, look I'm so sorry I didn't mean to..." "It's ok Piper." She interrupted as if reading my thoughts. "You can keep calling me Blue. I'm used to it now. Besides Nora died October 23rd 2077." I did learn her first name. Though that didn't make me feel one bit better.
She stopped at a tube, kissed her fingers then gently touched the glass. "Is, is that who I think it is? You ok?" "That is, was my husband Nate. I didn't have the heart to bury him in that poisoned, radiated ground topside." She looked behind her at an empty tube. "That one was mine, directly across from Nate's. That twisted bastard Kellogg thawed me out just enough, so I could watch him murder my husband and steal my son. Then he refroze me."
"If only I had been holding Shaun that day." She said bitterly. "Don't say that Blue!" "It's true." She replied. "He was a decorated veteran of the Anchorage campaign. One of the best soldiers our country had!" As she was saying this her voice cracked. I could tell she was starting to lose it. "You know what I was before the war!? Huh!?" "No" I said weakly. "A lawyer! A goddamned lawyer! About as useful as a kickstand on a tricycle in this hideous world of yours! If Nate was here and I was dead in that tube he would have fixed things by now!"
I was stunned. She was always so sure of herself. I never saw her like this before. She was starting to go into hysterics. Tears were streaming down her face. Her fists tightly clenched. I tried to console her. "Your doing fine Blue." "Fine! Fine!" She swept her arms around the room. "Ask my friends and neighbors how f--king "fine" I'm doing!" Then pointing to Nate's casket. "Ask my husband how f--king "fine" I'm doing!"
I decided to let her cool off. So I just stood there and watched her. She eventually wiped her eyes and sank down next to her now empty tube. Blue sat there for a few minutes with her head in her hands. Finally she looked up at me with red rimmed eyes and said quietly, almost in a whisper. "I found Shaun".
To be cont.