The consensus of the group seemed to be 'See what we can do in this place for our own advantage', and that's what we'll be doing today. Be warned, this one is text-heavy, because there's a lot of people to talk to.
Right, if I'm going to show these people who's boss, I need to get on top of things. I start with this joker.
I'm naturally impressive. So, I'm to understand you're head of security?
(Your first words to me where 'How did you get in here?'....)
(That seems....rather draconian? They treat their own people as stupidly as they treat me.)
I might be able to hack his terminal with my pipboy, but I dunno if there'd be anything good on it. This terminal, on the other hand, obviously has something useful on it, but I wouldn't be able to hack it without codes.
As always, the BoS are rocking the energy weapons. However, because I'm low-level, they only have laser rifles, which aren't the worst thing in the world to fight. Still, that's T51 Power Armor, with a Damage Threshold of 30 or so, which will ignore virtually any round that isn't a sneak attack. These aren't easy people to take in a fight.
Also, as you saw above, Ramos is rocking a Gauss Rifle, which has extremely high damage per shot, something like 60 off the top of my head.
I think I see 3 or 4 high-grade turrets on this level alone...This place would take an army to assault, even if I did tell the NCR to come in here.
The turrets wouldn't be too bad if I had EMP weapons, which also do well against power armor, but since I've avoided Energy Weapons and Explosives like the plague....Also, again, low level. 20 updates might seem like a lot, but we've been avoiding heavy combat for a while now, so we haven't been racking up the XP.
A lot of this place seems really empty for it's size though. Also, what, they sleep on iron beds?
A doctor, eh? I get on great with those...
(Meetings with who?)
Ah. Guess you're not this Taggarts biggest fan then.
Oh come on, if you're cooped up in this hole in the ground all the time, you gotta put some time aside for proclivities.
Nothing but batteries in anyone's lockers. I wonder if I can make a slingshot to shoot them at people.
Ooh, education, and they're talking about things that matter, not fairy stories like the Boomers.
Ooh, target dummies, this must be the guns-ier section of the base.
Well screw you too!
Oh neat, you can go under the floor gratings here. Which I beleive leads to the back to the stores...
Well, if you're not going to offer me your gun stuff, I guess I only have one option.
Yeah, you guys are a regular set of bottlecap collectors, totally on my case.
What's getting you all mopey? Bed rusty this morning?
Maybe you shouldn't have left it lying around until it got sick then. But, you're saying you don't have patrols anymore?
Why is the lockdown in place though? It must be really serious.
Oh, dang, ok. So, rotten computer softwares, right?
I have to ask where the sections for the rest of their data are, and whether they're as big as this room with a dozen terminals.
Oh dear. Well, good luck with that!
At least someone here realises how busy I am.
And this, I guess, is the 'Broken Crap' room. Good to know they've allocated their space well.
....Thanks for that useless information. I'm sure each and every one of them has a bulletproof head.
As the game progresses, the NCR brings more and more units into the struggle, so you start to see their scarier guys. Whether it'll be relevant for us remains to be seen, of course.
This room's oddly sciencey, and it had those Bomber Game Pods from the Boomer cafe.
This is where you go to kill fake chinese, right?
Ah right, the whole 'we used to get out more' thing.
Don't worry, the elder says I'm just an uneducated brute. Speaking of which, aren't you a little young to be running all the servers here?
Not that you can tell the difference between a teenager and a pensioner with these facial models.
Ooooh right. I get you now. I'm sure you get up to a lot of interesting proclivities instead of learning how awesome my robot army is.
....Heeeey, what's this thing?
Hi, you must be Head of Proclivities, I mean, Head Scribe.
(Wow, what an asshole. You'd almost think he wasn't getting his dick sucked regularly.)
Guess there's nothing else to do but see what this asshole wants from me.
Right, so you came up with this plan in the last half hour. Good to know.
(So he trusts me more than his own people? What is with this guy?) Pencil me in as a 'yes', I want to see where this is going.
Oh, you mean like the guy I found turned to chunky salsa inside his armor from the Boomers playing with his corpse? I don't think I even found his buddy among the field of craters.
Optimism, how cute. But you really want me, an outsider, to handle all this?
Nice to know you care about their mental health. Well, ok, Mac Naddy, I'll put those on my to-do list. (Hope the guards don't see me crossing my fingers behind my back).
The idea that these holotapes put out a signal that can easily be tracked by any pipboy or similar device, but can't be tracked by one's own home base, makes the idea of sending out these teams into known hostile territory seem hilariously reckless.
Oh. Well, hopefully they have stock left. Well, don't worry, I'll get riiight on that.
After I check your rooms for stuff.
Ok, Boone, if anyone asks, you're my Brotherhood Chaperone, okay?
This power armor isn't factioned like the last set, despite being covered in generic Brotherhood symbols.
Okay, time to take stock of what's...Hello?
You don't say...But you're asking me to get up in the local politics, how do I know this isn't a trap?
Really? The Boomers have had nothing to do but bomb chinese too, and they seem to have good morale.
I see. And I suppose you'd be the man for the job?
Alright. So, what's your plan?
(Jesus, does no-one in this bunker trust each other? It's like my family thanksgiving.) Okay, I see where you're going with this, but what am I getting out of it?
It's something to consider, indeed. I'll see what I can do, ok?
Right, sure. I'm certain this'll be a wonderful working relationship.
Yeah, I was, um, thinking hypothetically, about how someone like McNamara might lose his job...
Right, I'll be all over the infectious data. But....What is this deal with the Helios place?
Ah, classic NCR tactics.
(Yeah, and then he kept it in a special box all to himself.)
Who's this Elijah fellow?
Huh....Thanks, Ramos, you might not be the oblivious knucklehead I first encountered.
....Damn, I came all this way, and it turns out there isn't a pressure cooker here. Dammit.
Man, I did realise what paranoid bastards these people are on my last playthrough. Then again, my last character was an incredible optimist, and wanted desperately to join the Brotherhood and have them survive the game, so I guess I overlooked that aspect.
Ok, so, we've explored the bunker, and gotten an angle on what we can do here:
1) Leave, and look elsewhere for a pressure cooker. Ramos's tip should be enough to justify a trip to the Helios station, if we want to try one of the meatier sidequests, with potential for hilarity in several ways, but we also have Caesar's camp and the Khans to think about.
2) Organise a rampage. If we can find a way to hack the turrets and get them on our side, we might be able to thin the numbers around here enough to risk mopping up.
3) Go into stealth mode, grab the three keycards, and set the place to blow, wiping the problem out in one stroke.
4) Go along with McNamara's request, heading out into the Mojave again to track down some Brotherhood agents in potentially dangerous (and XP-rich) areas.
5) Side with Hardin and have McNamara ousted. This will involve going back to Ispen to help with his computer trouble, and is generally the non-violent solution to all of this.
We should also consider if we want Boone to keep his new set of power armor. It's handy for keeping him alive in Hardcore mode, but if we end up pissing off the NCR or similarly do something reprehensible, there's a chance he might turn on us, and we'll have a power armored sniper to worry about.
In any case, now that we can access the shop, we might want to sell off Hardin's Super-sledge and plasma guns which he kindly left out in the middle of his bedroom for us.
So, folks, what will it be?