1. Vault 95
More than almost any corner of the post-nuclear wasteland, the Vaults are one of the most reliable pockets of misery and despair. Built by Vault-Tec before the war, dozens of these Vaults were set upacross the country; though they appeared to be bomb shelters, they were in fact traps for Vault-Tec to perform depraved sociological experiments on humanity. Volunteering the program most often did ensure survival in the apocalypse, but almost always at a very steep cost. It was a tempting offer that was too good to be true, like those banner ads promising Hot MILFs in Your Area.
Nestled in the Southeastern part of the Commonwealth, right next to the radiation misty nuclear bog known as the Glowing Sea, is Vault 95. Like many of its kind, this Vault has been taken over by violent squatters. If you're willing to spend all of your fusion cell ammo to fight your way inside, you'll discover that 95 was once a nice place to live. For about five years.
See, Vault 95 was specifically filled with people who were addicted to "chems," the gnarly future-drugs with names that sound like modern-day energy drinks. Though the citizens of Vault 95 were addicts, there was no Jet or Buffout or Turbo to be had in in their secluded bunker. It was kind of a perfect situation for anyone trying to kick they habit; they couldn't fall off the horse because they were glued to the saddle. For years, the rehabilitation program was going great. And then one undercover Vault-Tec agent sent it all to hell.
Planted by his superiors, the Vault-Tec agent's mission was to live among the addicts as one of their own. Then, after five years, the agent followed through with the next phase of the plan: Open a huge cache of drugs that had been hidden in Vault 95 all along. Judging by the sudden cutoff in log entries on the agent's computer, it seems as though this resulted in an instant eruption of chaos. Many of the addicts relapsed and died of presumed overdoses shortly thereafter, their dessicated bodies now scattered throughout the compound.
Many of the Vault Dwellers soon became resigned to their fate, picking their own dark little corners to die in, surrounding themselves in their curses. One of the skeletons is laying down in the shower next to several bottles of vodka. Another is tucked away in a bathroom stall with a stash of Psycho.
The most troubling part is not that these lonely people fell to their weaknesses, but that they were betrayed by someone they undoubtedly trusted. Whoever this Vault-Tec agent was, they spent five years among their "subjects." During that time, they probably developed friendships, bonds and maybe even a romantic relationship or two. It had to seem unlikely that Vault-Tec would ever request the findings of their sick experiment. Even some random suit did show up to check on Vault 95, what could they do? What would they even say? "You're fired! Also we're living in a post-apocalypse and we couldn't pay you or give you health insurance anyway, so jobs as we knew them before the war no longer exist, but you know. You're still fired!"
The agent was faced with staying loyal to the people he had lived with for so long and the uncaring, unseen organization behind this heinous experiment. And in the end, that supposed human being chose The Man over their fellow man.
The only upside Vault 95 is the sidequest involving Cait, a recruitable companion. An addict herself, Cait requests a visit to 95 after hearing rumors they had substantial rehabilitation equipment she might use to kick her crippling habit. As it turns out the Vault does come equipped with an excruciating Clockwork Orange-style rehab chair that still functions. After using the chair, Cait seems to be cured of her chemical dependence.
But that doesn't mean it's over. The addicts in the Vault were "cured" using the torture chair as well, and they still fell victim to their addictions. It doesn't have to be that way for Cait, but... maybe don't put Jet in her inventory, just to be safe.
2. Edwin's Home
There are plenty of huge and horrific stories with mass casualties in the Fallout universe, but the smaller stories that are somehow even more heartbreaking. Edwin's Home is one of many ramshackle abodes dotted across the wastes; though at first it doesn't seem like much, there are some details that make it stick out. In addition to a mutant cow corpse out front (named Bess, of course), inside there's a switch that turns on an industrial-sized bug zapper that still does a surprisingly great job at clearing out local bloatflies.
Edwin's terminal is still intact, and contains a few sporadic entries about his life on the homestead. It seems as though the original owner of the shack was a woman named Annika, who pointed a gun at Edwin the first time they met. Eventually they fell in love, and traveled the land together. But three years prior to the last entry in the computer, something happened to Annika. It's not exactly clear what transpired, but it is implied that Annika didn't survive. After these troubling events, Edwin decided to return to the shack where they met and live out the rest of his days with Bess. He must have cared a lot for that mutant cow, seeing as her welfare prompted Edwin to rig up that deadly bug zapper.
Of course, we know Edwin isn't around anymore, and the last two log entries tell us why. He was out on the pond when a huge swarm of bloatflies started harassing Bess. He overturned the boat in an effort to get back, but he did manage to save his only friend. Then Edwin made a horrible realization.
Edwin's only keepsake of Annika -- a locket bearing her likeness -- was likely at the bottom of the pond. And it's a pretty big pond.
Keep in mind that the water in the Commonwealth is still highly radioactive. Diving in is a big risk to life and limb, especially without the proper medical supplements. But Edwin had literally nothing to lose -- to him, everything he ever loved was still at the bottom of that pond. So down he went. And down he stayed.
Edwin's corpse can be found just under that overturned boat, next to what were probably his only medical supplies. Whether he died from drowning or radiation, he did so clutching Annika's locket. You can take the trinket for yourself, but in some cases it's best to leave things where they belong.