Someone must have known that the world would need me, John Cena, after the bombs fell. How else can I explain why, moments before the nuclear holocaust of 2077, I received word from a Vault-Tec representative that I had been secured a spot in one of their vaults, located about 200 feet away from my front door? I took my spot inside just as the radiation claimed the outside world.
The Vault-Tec representative who brought me the news—who allowed John Cena to survive into the age of the nuclear wasteland—didn’t follow me inside. To this day, I consider him a hero. I heard he is a ghoul now. I’m still not sure that means.
By now, I’m sure you know how I came to be the savior the wasteland needed, responsible for just about every good deed performed in the greater Boston area within a span of 30-70 hours (Fallout 4 is a long game). How I emerged from cryostasis, 272 years after claiming the WWE World Heavyweight title from Seth Rollins, to watch as my then-wife, Nikki, was murdered before my eyes, the child I’d finally been convinced to have with her stolen from her limp arms.
I began my journey to claim the title of hero delirious from my big sleep, but still ready to punch, clothesline and give a Five-Knuckle Shuffle to anyone who got between my child and me. I had to re-work the Attitude Adjustment to work on Super Mutants, but I’m still John Cena after all.
As I emerged from the Vault I could hear the horns from my past, and in my head they sounded like Pete Schofield and The Canadians’ “The Night The Lights Went Out in Georgia.” At home, before the nuclear bombs wiped out most everyone whose name was not John Cena, I’d gotten my robot butler, Codsworth, to call me by name. I’d been on extended sabbatical from the WWE since late 2015, but arriving in Sanctuary Hills, where I had centuries earlier decided to relocate my entire family at the age of 100 (yes, I’d gotten up there in years before the Great War, but you’d be surprised how well anti-aging practices had gotten by that point), I saw Codsworth again, unkempt but operational. It was nice to hear my name again, the way a radio host said it all those years ago, back when prank calling someone was not only still funny, but at all possible.
Codsworth informed me of a settlement in Concord that could potentially help me find my child. I grabbed a comfy bathrobe and headed out. Up until I ventured out on foot from Sanctuary Hills to Concord, I never realized how small that town really was, or how close the two were. It took no more than five minutes to walk from one settlement to the other. I’d always imagined Concord as a city with at least more than three square blocks, but I suppose a nuclear holocaust makes it hard to judge distance.
Upon arriving I witnessed a gunfight among several men near the Museum of Freedom, including one man firing down on them from above with what appeared to be a laser gun. I knew immediately who the good and bad guys were and, with the help of the man shooting lasers near me, murdered basically everyone in sight. The inside of the building was plagued by members of the same group, who I immediately understand to be my enemies, despite having woken from cryogenic sleep mere minutes earlier. With brutal efficiency I gunned them down as well. I would have preferred a real honest fight (preferably one involving a Five-Knuckle Shuffle), but I didn’t feel as though these men were the type.
After clearing out all of the Bad Men inside (and taking their clothes, of course) I made my way through the one very specific path that allowed me to get to the top floor of the museum. There I met Preston Garvey, one of the Minutemen. He explained that he and his group wanted to evacuate Concord, but couldn’t do it for all the men trying to kill them. It wasn’t safe. As he spoke, I heard a man named Sturges loudly utter “God dammit” over and over. I felt interrupting him to ask what was going on would have been rude, so I didn’t say anything.
Preston explained to me something about a Power Suit and a Fusion core, but I was far too concerned with Sturges’ utterances to pay attention. Without heeding Preston’s words, I ran out of the room and onto a balcony, where I helped pick off the rest of the men who were so intent on killing us. Preston seemed to have followed me, appearing out of nowhere beside me.
Then I saw it. An enormous monster made its way toward the Museum of Freedom. Half-dinosaur, half avatar of Satan, he noticed me and began kicking up dust in our direction. I jumped off the balcony, using the building’s various ledges to slow my descent. The monster’s hungry eyes begged me to fight it. It knew nothing but primal fear, mutated by years of radiation. But I couldn’t grant it the honor of a fair fight—no way I could RKO it. It was much too large to RKO. And I hadn’t RKO’d anything in almost 300 years. But I had to do something. This was my chance to be a hero and save these people’s lives.
As I strafed around it, noticing my 10mm pistol shots weren’t amounting to much in the face of its sturdy flesh, I realized I’d have to come up with something before it finally tore me to pieces with its claws. Evading its attacks, I accidentally opened the door to the Museum of Freedom and closed it again. The monster did not follow me inside. I left the museum again, fired a single shot of my double-barreled shotgun, then ventured back inside. The door seemed invulnerable, or the monster perhaps afraid of wood. Either way, I had my plan. I repeated the cycle again: leave the museum, fire a burst from the double-barreled, do a 180 and come back inside.
With every shot, however, the monster got closer. After five cycles of the Door Shotgun Shuffle, I had a vision: as soon as I walked through that door again, the monster would maul me. No matter how many times I went over the scenario in my head, there was nothing I could do; I would step out the door, and the thing would maul me. Stepping out that door again meant facing something as powerful as Brock Lesnar in his prime. (Before the nukes killed him.)
Then I remembered the words Preston Garvey told me, the ones I was too distracted by Sturges’ “God dammits” to fully process: the power armor! I immediately ran to the roof to don the armor. The Fusion Core that powered it was in the basement, so I rushed there to collect it, then rushed back to the roof. Fusion Core installed, I jumped off the roof of the Freedom Museum for the second time that day and unloaded 100 bullets from a minigun into the monster. Finally, it toppled. I had once again bested an opponent larger than me. I could hear the horns again. This time, the sound of my own theme song lingered, with a Howie scream at the end for good measure.
To honor the monster’s death, I extracted all of the meat I felt might be edible from his corpse, as well as a combination wrench.
Back inside the Museum of Freedom, Preston complimented me on my minigun-firing skills. While the Minutemen decided where to head next, an old woman named Mama Murphy told me where I could find my son, whose name was apparently Shaun. I needed to head to Diamond City. When I asked how she knew this, she asked that I not question her. I knew not to.
I would head out to Diamond City to find the only living being who mattered to me on my own time. First, Preston Garvey invited me to Sanctuary to take up residence in the house I had abandoned over 200 years ago because everyone was about to die. Without questioning a single detail, I accepted. I would help save more people from the tyranny of the wasteland as I had today. These mostly stationary and useless people needed me. They’d suffered long hardships, faced dealing with scarce resources, and were doomed to a hopeless future. But today, a 100-year-old celebrity had saved them from a monster that couldn’t move through doors. They had finally found hope. They had a hero.
And his name was John Cena.
Suriel Vazquez is a freelance writer who’d like to thank Nexus Mods users mrHandies, Iaman, explospe, and Iskander1996 for creating the mods that made this story possible. He’s written for Paste, Playboy, KillScreen, VICE, and many others. You can follow him on Twitter
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