Ash had been one of the vault tech staff assigned to the bunker. He was maintenance, so that made him one step higher than an appliance or one of the Mr Handy's. In fact at times, it probably seated him somewhere down the pecking order from a Mr Handy. He wasn't one of these genius eggheads that had gotten a golden ticket. He was a blue collar stiff . He made sure everything kept working, keeping all these little prodigies alive.
They'd never fully embraced him as one of them, in fact he'd heard a few jokingly refer to him as the janitor. But he guessed that was just his lot in life. He could take a lot in his stride. Most things that was, until the betrayal.
One of the machines on the lower level had ruptured a fusion core and it was leaking radiation. So close to reclamation day, surely this couldn't be happening. So they'd sent Ash down there with a couple of robots to get it fixed. It was worse than they thought. The broken core had set off a chain reaction that in turn had ruptured other machines and things were turning critical.
Ash was damn good at his job. he'd get in done, he'd save these pompous turkeys... and as it turned out he did. He managed to get the situation stabilised, averting a critical disaster, but not before those arrogant fools had sealed him in.
Their hollow words still reverberated in his memory..."too much contamination", "risk too great" , "cannot put the lives of the other vault dwellers in jeopordy". Sorry seemed such an inadequate term for what they'd done. They sealed him in and
left him to die, all because they didnt want to risk exposure to the others.
So they left him in that tomb and he passed out into blackness, but he didnt die. Awakening some time later, he couldnt tell how long... one of the Mr Handy's they'd left in there with him had patched him up. To the best of its ability that was.
There was nothing there was to be done about the hideous scaring and radiation burns. The robots name was Jeeves. He would never forget that robot. Itself damaged to what would end up being terminal levels, Jeeves had helped Ash cut his way free of that metal coffin, the vault now emptied of its former residents.