Vulpes and his crew head off towards the nearaby pass, which, if I'm remembering right, is the way to Novac, the next place I need to find my attacker. Hopefully, they're just heading back to the river, and not to repeat what happened here.
I'll give them a head start though, because I like the cut of their jib. And I'll give Vulpes a freebie and deliver his message. Plus, that statues been bugging me for a while.
I head down the road, past Tomas ruminating on life, and the Lottery Winner wandering into the desert in a daze. I come to a group of ruined buildings and...is that a gang of raiders?
Yup! Vipers, judging by the guns. I have to unload two clips of 9mm into them to bring the gang down, and not only am I hurting after, but my hat is torn to shreds. Dang, I kinda liked that hat.
Catching my breath, I see that two members of the gang are still....standing at the ruins, staring at the brick walls. Must be high or something.
THIS IS FOR MY HAT!
Well, that could have gone better. I keep forgetting that Vipers tend to be well-armed.
Once I'm recovered, I wander down the road again, and find the side of the road crawling with giant ants. Looks like they make their mounds in the desert nearby. Well, I could just hurry past and hope they ignore me, but after those raiders, I'm in the mood to slaughter something, even if its a waste of ammo.
Wait, whats this? Who the hell is this guy, charging out of the desert, even though there's still some of the bigger ants alive? He must really want to talk...
|When? When I was in an abandoned shack, or a casino full of bandits? Or 5 minutes ago when I took two from a womans corpse? I need answers here!|
|That doesn't answer my....Fine, whatever. What kind of treasure are we talking about?|
|Wonderfully vague. So what, I just keep slugging bottles of Sunset, and hope I get lucky?|
|And Festus is what, the guy who gives out the prize?|
|Uh-huh. I'm sure you keep wonderful company, you creepy old ninja. Look, I'll keep a look out for these things, but don't expect me to get myself killed over a cockamamy story from before the war.|
|Y'know, there are people who kill people just because they waste their time. Now, if you don't mind, theres a Soldier Ant charging right at you.|
The 9xp from the ant is enough to get to level 3. No perk this time, but we can get Sneak to 50, which should be handy for maintaining the element of surprise, and some skill checks.
With that wierdo gone and hopefully not tailing me invisibly anymore, I head towards the statue again, meeting a travelling merchant at the bottom of the hill to offload more crap. Then I head on up, past a bunch of wrecked vehicles, to see the thing properly.
So thats what it was, a giant art project to celebrate the NCR coming to the Mojave. And like everything else to do with the NCR, it looks grand from far off but when you examine it closely, you realise its just rusted scrap and birdshit.
And here we are at the outpost that the Statue marks conveniently. Hey, you there, you look slightly important. Did you know the Legion have killed everyone in Nipton slowly, painfully, and in full view of your position here?
God, you sicken me. And don't the citizens of the NCR have to pay for all your training and equipment? If I lived in California I'd burn their stupid government to the ground for having such a shit army.
So this is the Mojave Outpost, gateway to California. I'm fairly sure I could kill everyone here in ten minutes if I tried, but we'll leave fun activities for another day. Lets see if theres anything of use around here.
Its kinda worrying that they've put one of their highest-ranking officers on meet-and-greet duty. What are all the grunts doing? Although, a parts repository might be handy, if expensive. The age old question, do you keep on weapon repaired even if it costs you, or do you pick up an new one whenever you need?
I'm really glad I don't live in California...
So, who's in charge heWoah! Are mustaches like that still legal?
|But you have this base, and the one at Primm, and you can't handle a few groups of raiders? Don't you have enough soldiers?|
|Are you frustrated?|
|Ah, the old 'Not worth the enemy's time' defense. Cute. And meanwhile the endless waves of reinforcements head to the 'valuable' areas close to the river. Heh, good luck with that.|
I got the impression during that conversation that he was waiting for me to ask 'How can I help?' or some shit. But I got better things to do than play errand boy to these doomed fools. But hey, if he's offering a free bed, I'll take a siesta to get out of the noon sun.
Oh hey, they actually have snipers up here.
Yeah, and you're doing such a great job of that.
Just like last time, I recieved and completed Ghosts quest in one go, just by talking to her and telling her what that panicky sergeant from before was probably babbling right below her sniper post. I understand they wanted a way to point the player towards Nipton to see the Legion brutality and all, but since I keep getting to the Outpost second, it makes Ghost look terribly incompetent to be so behind the news.
Theres a lady selling supplies in the Barracks, but I don't really need any of it...Woah, is that a pistol chambered for rifle rounds? Hot damn, if only I could afford it. Too many soldiers around to risk trying to steal it, though.
The only other thing to do around here is drink, and this redhead in the corner seems to be doing enough of that for the whole platoon...
Well, thats a little unusual...
How astute. I'd almost like this woman, if it weren't for the stench of alcohol.
I'd certainly look there before I stay here any longer. Not sure I'm in the mood for menial work though. I mean, I took this Courier job, and look how that ended up.
In any case, time for that siesta, then I'll head back to Nipton, see if theres anything of value.
. . .
Well, 'value' is relative, but there might be something worth scrounging....who's this?
What the hell are you doing here, asking people for their valuable morphine?
...Pffffthahahahahahaa! Oh, those Legion assholes, they are good at this.
Well, in any case, I don't have any Med-X to give.
Wow, you're not completely dumb after all.
Hmm, nothing here but some Salisbury steak and another busted laser pistol. Ah well, that ranger said there might be someone alive in the town hall, I'll check there.
Wow, these guys are taking forever to die. Well, at least they're being quiet about it. Now, whats inside the hall?
Well, there are dead bodies strewn everywhere, not that they have anything useful on them, and the Legion have mined the place, good on them. Not quite salting the earth, but then, the burnt bodies might suffice for that. What else...
A pack of dogs? Really? They have so many of these mutts that they just leave a half-dozen behind in every spot they pillage? How come I can't get useful disposable help like that anywhere?
The basement holds a nice selection of treats, including a just-about-functional plasma rifle, but my pack is getting heavy, gonna need to leave some junk behind as I find stuff.
Oh, wow...I knew this place was supposed to be a den of inequity, but I didn't think they'd actually have any of the good stuff here! Turbo...Ooh-ho, I'll have to hold on to this.
I've been forgoing picking up any alcohol or cigarettes this playthrough, out of a sense of puritanism on Latoonis part. Normally a character will take all the cigarettes they have in order to sell them, because they have a great weight-to-cost ratio, and a few bottles of booze can up your carrying capacity in a pinch, even if you do risk addiction. Latooni treats her body as a temple though....which means only the pure drugs get in.
More dogs...and it seems the Mantii are moving in already. Damn, this town was bad if they're already coming out of the woodwork...Ok, I'll quickly check upstairs.
Gah! More fucking dogs!! I'd better patch myself up before I continue.
Damn, I don't have many of these doctors bags, I hope I-
...Kaff....Ok, hiding mines underneath the corpses of the dead. You get that one, Legion. I'll applaud, this once...
Ok, the mayors office. Some nice reading material, another laser pistol, and a locked door...his computers still on.
Goddamn....I dunno whether to be thankful for the Legion or hate their guts. Damn you Caesar, how do you do this to me?
Anyway, I need a doctor for my poor shattered limbs, and also somewhere to dump all this crap. Piece of shit town, I'll get some good out of you.
By the time I hobble back to Goodsprings, its still dark, so I bunk down in one of the uncontested trailers for a snooze.
So far, I'm finding that food and sleep are easy to satisfy, but H20 is harder to keep at acceptable levels. It might just be the fast travelling I'm doing, though. In normal play, the Canteen I've got handles most of my water needs, but it works in real time, while fast travel increases the Hardcore gauges based on distance moved. Still, I have a few bottles of pure water, good to go. I'll be ok for the time being.
Morning comes, and I head to see an old friend.
|Never let them see you bleed, Mitchell. Just keep your game face on....|
Doc might have some skill after all, seeing as he gets me back in one piece in no time at all.
Unfortunately, he doesn't quite come through for medical supplies, leaving me kinda bereft of field supplies in case I find more assholes with landmines and leg-chewing dogs.
|Well, gee, its almost like nearly everything I owned was taken by a random passerby...|
|Oh come on!|
Too slow! Buh-bye old man!!
And with the Docs curses still lingering in the wind, I head back to Nipton, with the road to Novac and Vegas in front of me.
So, that update was mainly fluff, with little in the way of actual achievement. But then, thats kinda how New Vegas goes, and indeed, a big part of its appear, the joy of spending hours in any number of post-apocalyptic locations looking for scraps, shooting radroaches and wondering which of your 15 untouched quests to get lost trying to complete next.
In that vein, I feel I should ask one last time: Shall we stride boldly forward and try to forget this corner of nowhere, or will we linger in this valley a little longer to get the few last scraps? Or will we completely jump the shark and try something crazy?
In another note, I'm having real trouble with my carrying capacity, and while it might partly be the few sets of clothes and water and food supplies I'm carrying around, I fear there's a much simpler solution: Guns and Ammo. I'm still sorta operating in normal mode, where I'd like to have as many backup weapons as I can, but with Hardcore making bullets wiegh something, that approach might be counterproductive. So, should I backtrack to one of the storekeeps and offload my energy weapons and ammo, or go one further and unload the grenade rifle and other explosives I've gotten? Or even go full committal and dump everything but pistols? Or shall we struggle on to the next town first, and make a decision there?
And finally, having checked my sources, I think I've found a set of portraits that might better represent the character that the character generator ended up giving me:
Theres just one issue, besides changing horses mid-race: Those portraits are for a guy.
Anyway, let me know your thoughts!