Day Four: River and Rail

Until I’ve cleared out Springvale of these raiders, I’m not happy to move into the Crack Shack. But I don’t want to live in a town that could explode at literally any moment.

Defusing the bomb proves awkward, as this idiot cultist is standing watch over it non-stop, bleating about atoms and Lord Xenu and whatever. It’s 4am when he finally leaves. Time to save the universe!

Hm. I think I can handle this. So I do. Bomb defused! I creep off and catch up on sleep. As long as I keep to myself, they’ll probably never notice.

The next day I chill with April O’Neil through a breakfast of brahmin cheese. Preacher guy is delivering his usual lunatic spiel behind me, none the wiser. Heh. This must be how Nietzsche felt when he shivved god to death in his sleep.

Righto, with my needs taken care of, it’s time I went back and finished looting those raiders. I replace my helmet with a lightweight hockey mask. and get to it.

Everything else is cheap armour and near-broken guns, which I stash in the Crack Shack for now, along with a pipe rifle. The pipe rifle is a single shot dealie made from scrap. It needs some serious patching up, but I think it’s worth stashing rather than selling for now.

I also sneak inside Springvale school.

The school is dark, filthy, disorderly, structurally unsound, and full of violent, ignorant psychopaths. Bethesda really did their research.

Without area effect weapons or room to move around I’d soon be overwhelmed in here. I pause outside for a smoke, and ponder my situation.

With salvage in mind, I head further North, past Springvale and under the bridge full of Raiders I spotted on my first day.

Heading down past the beached ship, I kill a few molerats and grab some helpless lizards for food. After looting the boat I press on across the riverbed. Some raiders have taken up residence up shore.

Birds are circling over a trainyard up a nearby hill. Behind me are the remains of a wooden building, but there’s a large animal roaming around. It might be a boar, or something far more dangerous. Perhaps even a mutant. There are also about half a dozen recently killed animals nearby.

Scorpions can be pretty tough, so that thing might be best avoided. Fortunately, all these carcasses means lots of trophies to sell.

Further up the hill is a lone figure clomping about in the grass. Moving closer, I peek at the trainyard, then move across to see – raider!

She runs uphill with a pool cue, at a woman brandishing a revolver. Idiot raider!

Excellently, I put her down with a single shot. Disappointingly, I hesitate to press the ‘record’ button, so there’s no video. Bah.

Ah well. She had a few caps on her, plus a bottle of lunch. Chugged!

More raiders are lurking in the distance, further up the hill (behind the ‘camera’ used above), but they haven’t noticed she’s gone missing. Must have been the work experience girl.

I leave them be, and cautiously investigate the trainyard, which is empty save for several toolkits, which I raid, hoping to put together a toolkit of my own back home, and several guard dogs, which I beat to death, hoping to put together a pile of dead guard dogs.

The blurriness is due to the alcohol, incidentally. With the dogs put to sleep, I’ve stuffed my backpack full of goodies, so it’s time to go unload.

On my second visit, I find that I’m not the first to go poking around here.

This unfortunate woman has lost an arm, presumably to the dogs. Nothing useful on her, but I strip her naked and try on her clothes, as is customary among women.

Dear god. Why would you wear this? I ditch it before anyone can report me to the Dweeb Police.

See the tunnel on the left there, with the door? That’s where we’re going.

I’m very wary of going underground as a rule. Not sure why, but it’s probably the natural claustrophobia of the wanderer. That and the darkness. My only light is the pip-boy (the chunky thing on my arm), which bathes me in light. Doing this in the dark is akin to flashing one’s chebs at a stag party.

I soon find a tangible reason to be wary of the underground.

This is easily disarmed, but stumbling into them is all too easy in the dark and clutter of a train tunnel. One wrong step will mess me up no end. I’d best move very slowly.

There’s nothing but more mantraps, trip wires, and mines. I disarm them all, save for a few mantraps that I leave in place in case I need to flee.

Further on are two enormous, but dead crab-like things, which might mean the traps are for them, rather than for human intruders. Not long after that, I spot a guard.

It’s clear that he’s not going to attack on sight. He isn’t friendly, but he’s non-hostile, and surprised to see anyone down here. Apparently this area is off-limits to anyone but “the Family”. He’s amenable to bribery, but I’m not paying 100 caps just to talk to a bunch of incestuous shut-ins.

I take a quick fag break. He seems satisfied that I’m not trouble, but I won’t get past him without violence. I move on, a little annoyed.

A fork further back leads to a natural cave system under the tracks, marked with a bundle of grenades. I’m not skillo enough to untie them safely.

Nothing comes to investigate my approach. The tunnel slopes downwards, so it looks like the grenades are intended to keep something down here.

It’s dark. Very dark. And there’s movement up ahead.

Crikey. They’re bipedal! Crab-men, eh? Good job they’re stupid enough to charge at me with their protective shell facing away from me. Morons. I don’t feel too bad about killing when I can consider myself an agent of natural selection.

Their meat ought to sell for more than the rubbish I’ve been hunting on the surface. There’s a ladder at the other end of the caves, but something feels wrong about it. I don’t know if I’m attuned to radiation or it’s just the thought of sticking my head up through a mysterious hole in the dark (yes, yes, shut up, we all thought of that clever joke too).

There won’t be time for another trip out, so I head back to the shack, sort through today’s finds, and cash in at Megaton. A slow day, but I’m up from 19 caps to 180. Not bad at all.

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