Note: Like a fool, I played through much of this day and some of tomorrow without first starting my screengrab software (Fraps), so today’s images are recreated as best I could using an old save. Also some parts I failed to grab completely anyway, as I was too busy running away and screeching. Sorry about that.
With Big Town proving a total waste of time, and apparently a target for all the local troublemakers, I decide to give it a wide berth in future, and head back to my caravan. I also strip the meat and some body parts from the wild animals I’ve killed and stash it by my mattress, along with a few bits of junk I’ve collected. Hopefully it’ll all still be there if I need it. I noticed a few people moving on the bridge opposite, but on moving closer it seems like they could be trouble – lots of guns, lots of spikey armour. Maybe they’re even the guys who were harassing Big Town? Either way, not worth the risk – I don’t have the skills or equipment to take on a whole gang if they turn nasty.
So, with two wide berthing zones established, I head in the opposite direction, up the hill behind and to the right of my caravan, which I’ve just this second decided to call La Cáscara. Note to self: be awake at sunset to check which way is West.
Uphill proves more interesting. I discover a few boarded up shops, a subway station, and a burned out diner with some junk in. Mostly cups and some tin cans, but I can’t afford to be picky.
While I’m in there, I’m startled by a crazy-looking red-haired woman in goggles, who comes running up to me and shouts about how “those raiders” have strapped a bomb to her, and asks me for help. Yeah, good one, lady. That’s a real thigh-slapper. My experience in dealing with explosives has only granted me the valuable skill of not being anywhere near them at any time. After I impress this on her, she runs off, howling. No explosion follows, so um… some kind of local lunatic?
Just in case, I look back up the road in the direction she came from, and sure enough, two rough looking guys appear in the distance. Hm.
I hide inside the diner and watch them walk past. Best not to interfere – if they can make a bomb they can probably handle those guns better than I can, and I don’t even have body armour.
Once they’ve gone I look into the building you can see nearby – some kind of shop. Some wag has set it up as an obvious booby trap; there’s methane leaking from somewhere and a Rube Goldberg system of pressure plates, boxes, and gas canisters. I disarm the trap and empty a first aid kit on the wall. Nothing in it but a blood pack and a hairpin, which I might be able to use as a lockpick. Better than nothing I guess.
Leaving quickly, I have a scan of the horizon. There seems to be a lot of wildlife. Some big boar-like animals are running around, and a few dogs too. Can’t tell if they’re chasing each other or part of the same pack, but either way, they look pretty mean. I also notice that there are birds circling on the other side of the hill, in the direction the bomb-woman and the raiders headed. If I remember my studies right, birds mean water, and maybe dying people. Water is good news, and dying people might mean bodies I can loot.
Ought to investigate that as soon as I can. I’m still sore from those animal attacks though, and it’ll be dark in a few hours. Time to get some rest, I think. I head back to La Cáscara, have a drink and eat the food packets I started out with, then lie down for a while. Going to be a long day tomorrow.