Day eight. I’ve made it a week. Barely. Morning greets an injured, isolated, worried Cass a long, dangerous walk from town, surrounded in every direction by the completely unknown. I have never been near here before. I genuinely have no idea what to expect wherever I go, unless I head back.
My leg and arm are busted. In fact, both of my legs are, because I stepped on another mine when I woke up and went outside to have a quick look around with my binoculars in the night. I can’t blame anyone else for that one. Though my health has been restored with food and rest, this means that my walking pace is now agonisingly slow, and I have no hope at all of escaping anything I encounter.
There’s really nothing else for it. I have to go to the factory over the hill to the North, and hope there are friendlies or medicine inside. No booze today – I need to keep a clear head. Not before lunch, anyway.
This is excruciating.
It is extremely slow going, made worse by my need to crouch once I reach the foot of the hill, as I simply have to take every precaution against being spotted.
It takes three hours to reach the top of the hill. Walking back to Megaton would likely take another week. I might even die of thirst before reaching safe water.
At least it’s not raining. Looks like another nice day, actually.
I’ve so far had a tussle wth an indecisive molerat who kept retreating and coming back before I could hit it. Even the bloody mole rats are outmaneuvering me. I couldn’t dodge away from their bites, but once they were in range it was easy to punch them into submission. I press on, pausing very frequently to listen out and scan the area.
Once I get over a small outcropping I spy a substation and some electrical pylon connecting thing pieces (there’s a reason I didn’t tag the Science skill). It’s evidently a power station after all, and after watching it for several minutes, I feel sure that there’s nobody patrolling the site. This is neutral, really – there are no hostile sentries, but no civilians either. It could mean anything, though it’s unlikely to be a raider stronghold.
I move closer, and decide to start with the main plant building on the right. If it’s abandoned, it was at least a workplace, so probably has a medical kit somewhere inside, and while I’m in a bad condition, I am quite well armed with mines, shotgun shells and sniper ammo.
Besides, I don’t really have much choice. I step inside.
It’s dark inside. Very dark. Some kind of reception room greets me, with a door off to the left, behind which I can hear … something. I don’t recognise the noise as an animal, but it’s definitely not human. A kind of snarling hiss. It’s not directed at me though, and nothing is coming this way. Probably can’t open the doors anyway, whatever it is.
I sneak behind the desk area on the right – there may be a first aid kit or just some supplies in the desk or cabinet I can see there. Rummaging carefully through both, I find nothing useful, and no medical box.
Then the door opens.
What the hell is that?
The … something snarls and charges at me, arms flailing. Faffing about with screenshots lets it get close, but it fortunately doesn’t do much through my armour. The Policy!
It goes down with one shot, unsurprisingly, but it’s not alone. I look up and see that it’s been joined by an enormous, glowing friend with a neck like a tree trunk. I give the glowing one the second barrel, which it shrugs off, walloping me with its massive, clumsy hands.
Under pressure, I reload, ignoring another little one that’s arrived, and empty another two shells into it at point blank range…
I’ve unloaded all my shells and revolver ammo into it (in my first, panicky use of VATS aiming mode yet), and it’s not only not slowing down, but has cracked me in the head hard enough to cause a concussion, and somehow emitted a massive burst of strength-sapping radiation. I am in serious trouble.
I glance towards the door, and see with a jolt of horror that there are about a dozen more of the little guys swarming through the room. The exit is about ten feet away.
Maybe they’re nocturnal or just defending their territory. I’m slow as hell, but if I can make it to the main door they might let me go. Grimacing as claws and heavy, ghoulish fists lay into my back, I stagger on broken legs, my head spinning, to the exit, and practically fall through.
They follow me out.