Vault 86 is a Vault located on the north side of Motown, near the intersection of Mound and 8 Mile. It is notable for being one of the few intact Vaults in the region.
Unlike most Vaults, which were designed for 20-year habitation, Vault 86 was intended for long-term cryogenic preservation. It was believed that important scientists, business leaders, and government officials and their families could be secured until such time that the world was once again safe for them to emerge. As a result, Vault 86 was not issued a Garden of Eden Creation Kit (G.E.C.K.), since its inhabitants were never intended to emerge until after the G.E.C.K. devices at the other Vaults were put to use. Similarly, Vault 86 was assigned a ZAX AI Overseer, ZAX-86, to monitor the inhabitants and initiate the revival process, as opposed to the human Overseer at most Vaults.
Vault 86 was originally planned to reopen after a period of 100 years, in 2177. However, ZAX-86's surface monitoring revealed that the world was not yet restored, and so postponed awakening the inhabitants.
As the equipment provided to the Vault was only intended to last for a century, problems began to appear. By the early 2200's ZAX-86 ordered half of the robotic maintenance force permanently deactivated, both to reduce supply consumption and to serve as a needed supply of replacement parts. By the late 2200's this had extended to more than three-quarters of the original force. Basic elements such as lighting fixtures began to fail throughout the facility. Cryogenic chambers began malfunctioning, sometimes with lethal results. As many as 27 out of the original 200 chambers failed completely, killing their occupants while they slept.
Disaster and reopeningEdit
The Vault itself did not fare much better. Water leaked under and around the base of the Vault, undermining it. On September 28, 2296, the lower levels finally gave way, dropping two feet into a muddy void and unleashing massive flooding into the reactor level. The understaffed maintenance force was barely able to contain the damage. When all was said and done, the results were catastrophic: aside from the considerable structural damage, the flooding had destroyed the reactor control processing computer, without which the reactor system was essentially unmonitored. Repair was impossible without a replacement THX-1138 proccessor chip. None existed within the Vault.
Faced with no other options, ZAX-86 opted to revive a small crew to head out into the Motown wasteland and retrieve the needed parts on October 6, 2296.
This crew, who became known as the Sleepers, would be the first to leave the Vault in over 200 years.