Back to our main storyline this time, and a shorter update, but one that covers another main story plot point. No big controversy is likely, although I came close at one point.
Got up, and decided though it wasn't the most comfortable, so long as I kept this leather armor clean it was the most fashionable thing I had. So, I left Novac with it, hoping that something actually nice would come my way soon.
Along the way, we pass a junkyard, with an old woman surrounded by dogs. I'd be almost tempted to talk to her, but now I actually know where I'm going, so theres no point.
I like Boone. He doesn't waste time shouting out warnings when something appears on the horizon, he just shoots it.
This typically inept Viper ambush nets me a magnum and some drugs, but nothing substantial. Thats why I hate these guys, they're just not worth shooting.
Across the desert, I can make out some points of interest: Some kind of installation with a tower covered in gizmos, and atop the nearby hills, some kind of giant antenna. Not sure what they are, but I'm not going out of my way just to explore.
Some ants get a little too close for comfort as we walk, so I take them out.
Looks like these bugs can be dangerous for other people.
A passing merchant comes along, and strapped to her pack is a nice-looking hunting rifle. I needed a proper long-range weapon to match Boones, he's starting to show me up, and the cowboy repeater is only so useful at distance. I'll have to fix it up as I go, but its a good start.
Ah, here we go!
Dozy little place, isn't it. Looks like most of the buildings are ruined.
The tiny XP reward for finding Boulder City is enough to level me up. Nothing special here, +5 guns and stealth and a few other skills tweaked upwards.
...Huh. This might be interesting if I cared what the NCR ever did.
The guy who can't read the text from more than 5 inches away is just a private, so I doubt he's important enough to know where Benny and the Khans are. Where around here can I find his commander...
Ah! Khans! Tell me where they are, whats going on.
(NCR training at its finest...)
Are what are you going to do about it, sir?
I'm not sure whether to nod at the good sense or laugh at the incompetence and negligence.
Look, Lootenant, you obviously need a professional here, to get in and handle these Khans. I assure you, I can be in and out and have them all dealt with in no time. And I'll find your people, I suppose.
Yeah, like that'll come in handy...
I head in, seeing the NCR squad at their positions. So the Khans must be over there...
Gah! Dammit, one of them must have spotted us, and Boone opened fire! Now we've got a firefight on our hands, with the NCR providing a distraction at most, and Boone doing most of the work. Dammit, how did I mess this up?
Somehow, even though I left no survivors, the Great Khans now know I'm not to be trusted and will likely shoot me on sight unless I disguise myself. Great.
Not that I was going to leave them alive anyway, but I'd hoped to kill them stealthily to avoid the reputation drop. Maybe I should have left Boone outside, so he wouldn't shoot stuff before I was ready?
10mm SMGs, a grenade, a switchblade, and a few caps. All the Khans have the same loadout, and none of them seem to have evidence of their thing with Benny. Dammit, better keep looking.
Oh, heres those hostages. Guess the Khans chickened out on killing them once the bullets started flying. Maybe Benny was the only real killer among them?
Eh, got better things to do right now. Don't tell me Benny's snuck off in the confusion...
Only one place left to look, the rest of these ruins are too blasted to hide in. Not a great place to assault, but I know theres someone in there, so I take some Med-X and get ready for a frontal assault.
GO GO GO!
Dammit Boone stop upstaging me!!
Ok, this one looked like the guy who dug that shallow grave for me back in Goodsprings....before Boone blews his head off....And sure enough, he's got a crappy journal which might have something to lead me to Benny. And it looks like he pickpocketed Benny's fancy lighter too. I'm totally keeping that.
The Chairmen....The Tops...Hurm, not 100% certain on that, but it sounds like something you'd find in New Vegas. We're certainly close enough to it at this point, so its the natural place to look. Not sure why Benny didn't just go northeast from Goodsprings if he was heading there, though. Maybe he wanted to lose the Khans along the way, have them be stuck in a place like this so he could skip paying them?
Thats the only reason that makes sense to me, since if he'd gone north he'd have gone right past Khan territory and they'd have demanded payment there and then. Although that raises the question of why they went south with him at all. 'Yeah, phase two of the plan involves me doing some business in Nipton, come on, you'll get overtime.'?
Dealing with the Khans and learning where Benny is gives you a massive XP boost, and I level again. Similar skill choices to last time, and I take another perk to supplement my chosen specialisation: pistol abuse. A sub-optimal choice? Perhaps, but definitely handy in New Vegas itself where weapon selection becomes severely limited.
Typical. The NCR are such chickenshits that they won't go to rescue their own people for fear of a trap. Well, I can't walk back to their lines without something to show for it all....Better let them go to avoid another tussle.
Actually I can totally walk out past the NCR without so much as a comment, but we're roleplaying here, dammit.
So, Lootenant, what do you have to say to me for getting your people out of there?
...Thats it? Not even a thank you? Oh, you did not just exploit me, buster...
Not sure exactly what happened here, whether I failed the quest to free the hostages somehow or if the game simply forgot to set him to 'say thank you' mode, but he didn't give us the dialogue options I expected, and he began walking out of town for no reason. So, naturally, I decided to try to murder him for not rewarding me properly. However, I couldn't set up a VATS sneak attack like I wanted, because I'd changed to one of my heavier pistols that my girlish frame isn't strong enough for, and before I could realise this and change guns, someone else showed up:
Victor? How did you get here?
Ok, that was a dumb question...so you saw that shootout?
Look, I'm not sure I like you stalking me, you overgrown mailbox.
You know what? Never mind. Did you see Benny around here?
I get the horrible feeling I'm being herded like cattle...Still, its the only way to get revenge.
Victor heads over to the old train station nearby, so I take the time to explore the ruins:
Huh....Nice to see yet more disregard for their soldiers from the NCR, if they can't even go looking for corpses after a fight. Nice rifle though, I think it might be handy.
Ok, back to 'base' to offload some of this crap.
Hurm...seems the ladies of the Great Khans aren't big on 'classy'. Hope I don't need to sneak into their territory anytime soon, I'll die of embarressment.
And back to Boulder City, to get back on the road to New Vegas, and my showdown with Benny.
All in all, not the greatest run of success, but whats life without a few bumpy patches?
I'm starting to wonder if Boone might be a hindrance in some areas, given his tendency to shoot first and shoot again at the merest sign of trouble. He's great for wandering through the wilderness and sniping wildlife and gangers, but he's not a subtle instrument. I can dismiss him, or start a policy of leaving him behind whenever I'm doing sensitive work and collecting him later. Or I can engineer his death by having him charge a cazadore nest.
There are two ways to get into New Vegas. One involves going to the NCR and being their lapdog for a few quests so you can ride their train. We won't be doing that one. Even if it is the long way around, we'll stick with the normal way in. There are might be a few asides along the way, but nothing too exciting. New Vegas doesn't have the random encounters to spice up the proceedings that Fallout 3 had, so unless you're OCD for checking every abandoned building for Star Bottlecaps, we should be in the city by the next update.