Daylight! Hurrah! After an indeterminate period of unexplained and surely unimportant unconsciousness, I come to in a small rocky clearing on a hillside. Several benches and what looks like a caravan are dotted about, as are about half a dozen huge animals that immediately try to kill me. Christ! Fortunately, the same mysterious force that dropped me here also put a hefty section of lead pipe into my hand. Bad dog! Bad giant mole! Bad… flying spitty-from-its-arse thing! Ew.
With the local wildlife thorougly domesticated, I ought to get my bearings. I’m in a rocky, dead area near a broken highway and what might be a road. This narrows it down to about 87% of the map. I have a bit of metal for cracking heads, a 10mm pistol with 30 bullets for shooting heads, and a few bottles of water and some pills for oh god my heads. Also one stimpack. Precious, healing stimpack. I use it right away – those dogs took a few pieces off me already.
The waist-deep carnage around me means I don’t have to worry about food, but without more water and medicine I’m not going to last very long. I should also find somewhere to sleep.
Poking around the landing zone immediately pays off. A caravan, complete with a mattress! That’s sleep taken care of already.
Huh. This may not be a great sign. But I do find a few bullets in an ammo box behind Skellie there. They’re too large for my gun, but they may be useful later. The other two are locked, and I have no lockpicks. But I have a campsite and a few days’ worth of food nearby. There’s even a large puddle of massively radioactive water in case I get desperate, but I really should look for something healthier to drink. Picking a direction pretty much at random, I head left, hoping to find civilisation.
After splatting a few mole-lookin’ things, I head on along the road past this scene, and soon come to a promising cluster of buildings.
Behind a barricade I can see cattle pottering about. People! Or a race of highly advanced cows who overthrew their human masters. Either would be progress at this point. The whole town’s barricaded, so I circle round to the entrance, a short rope bridge over a laughably shallow moat. I see my first living person right away, and a moment of tension ensues.
Ay-i-ay-i-ah, wa wa wah! And so forth.
I don’t have to quickdraw this sucker though, as he quickly backs down and wanders off without a word. Wuss. A nervous guard invites me in, explaining that this is Big Town, some kind of overflow settlement for people booted out of another local town by the kids who run it. Seriously? Lord of the Flies ended when the adults showed up, you bunch of pansies.
He also warns me that slavers and ‘super mutants’ attacked recently. This gets him and the locals all wound up, but I’m pretty sure it should mean they’re safe for now, at least until they get a bunch of new townsfolk in from the insurers and the mutants find the boxes in the bin.
Wandering around, it’s pretty clear that this place is boned. An attractive young lady in some fairly raunchy leather passive-aggressively asks me to rescue her friends from mutants – fuck that – and confirms that there are no traders or even doctors here. The few buildings are empty, save for a man in a coma and some broad asleep in a corner. Jeez. I’ve seen livelier autopsies. There are beds, but I’m not sure sleeping here would be any safer than my caravan.
Only a man named Deitrek seems to have anything to do besides moan. He offers to escort me to some nearby towns for a fee, which I don’t have, unless he’s accepting pieces of dead dog as payment.
He is not.
Perhaps disappointed with my lack of interest, he ends our conversation and immediately shoots dead all three of the town’s cattle. Nobody says a word.
Deitrek clearly does not give one solitary fuck.
I think it’s time I got out of here.