Wasteland Inheritance Tax

So much for enjoying townie life. That was an excruciatingly dull afternoon. So, the next day, having stashed the old armour and my revolver, I return to the scene of the sledgekilling to investigate a nearby building.

It’s dark, and there’s a distant voice and some scuttling sounds coming from inside. Hm. Bit worrying. I’d best slip on the old knuckledusters. I’m quite safe here, so I simply wait by the inner doorway, ready to clout whatever it is that seems to be coming this way.

Scorpion! Bloody hell! I lash out and leap back reflexively, narrowly avoiding its stinger, which I can’t help but notice appears to be bigger than my head. Jesus. A hit from that would be like taking a pike to the head, or watching an entire episode of Hollyoaks.

My punch hurt it, though, and I think I can outmaneouvre it. Dancing back and forth to keep that tail away, and luring it with a couple of feints, I manage to kill it, though not without taking a slash from its claw. I extract its poison gland for sale, then ransack the room for tin cans, machine parts, and general cack.

Further into the building another, much smaller scorpion goes down without any trouble. The place is empty save for lots of pipes, and a little area with more junk and a radio. That explains the voice I heard, but I do wonder whose turf I’m on. If the scorpion killed the resident, I can’t see a body. Maybe they’ve adapted to digest bone?

Not much else to say about this place, which looks like some sort of waterworks or sewage substation. There’s a manhole going further down, but I’m not equipped for potholing. Back to sell my gear, and I run into Doc Hoff, the oily travelling creep. Business is business though, and there’s no point in being snooty. He buys my junk, and I hesitantly buy some more brahmin cheese. It has anti-radiation properties, see, so it’s worth the high price tag.

As I have some metal, I do a little work on the motorbike. It’s now at 8%. I think once I get it over 30% it should be safe to use, though I’ll still need fuel. Still, this is progress!

Speaking of which, I need to find a new pasture. My brush with death in the East left me a little shaken, but the North seemed a bit more promising. I’ll compromise and head Northeast today, skirting round the city. There must be a safe haven somewhere nearby.

I head North past Springvale, and cross the river. The bridge is collapsed, but there’s enough rubble to climb over.

I need to be careful, as the water is massively radioactive and even a brief wade could make me sick. Thankfully I get across with only a slight misstep, and upon reaching the far side, Cass takes a moment to celebrate with a jolly dance from her Music Hall routine.

I’m a little nervous. This far from town there’s nowhere to retreat to if I bite off more than I can chew. I briefly chase a pair of those disgusting bumspitter flies, but they prove too quick for me and leg it long before I can clout them. Not worth a bullet, so I let them watch me from a distance. There’s not much else in sight.

A molerat evades me, too. Best not go running off without thinking though. No, I’ll follow what’s left of the bridge.

An abandoned truck is a good place to stash some goodies, though it could be a set-up. Still, I can’t see anyone (although my leaning does cause the car to suddenly shift slightly, with a loud scraping that scares the bejesus out of me), so risk it anyway.

Annoyingly, most of the boxes are empty and one has a lock I can’t pick. The rest, however, are full of explosives.

There’re enough mines in here to seriously hurt a group of raiders. I still need to be cautious though – the only gun I have is the pipe rifle, which is at best a weapon to harass people with at range. I’ll lose a stand up fight.

Still, the bombs renew my confidence somewhat. This side of the bridge is partly wooded (well, it was) and partly old ruins. I poke around in the latter, mindful of snipers, especially as a distant explosion resounds in my ear from somewhere to the right. No sign of movement, however I do hear someone shouting what might be a friendly warning behind me…

Crap! A clutch of molerats has just cornered someone in the rubble behind me, and he goes down. They turn their attention to me, but my armour absorbs their bites without much damage. Pow! Lots of dead ratties mean meat and teeth to sell. Lovely. Now, let’s see what that was all about.

Oh damn. It looks like another innocent wanderer. Where the hell did he come from? Poor guy, a molerat swarm isn’t a nice way to go. Kind of embarassing, too. But what’s this?

Ohhh ho ho baby! Rest easy, my brother. Your death was not in vain.

A shotgun. A shotgun! A double-barreled shotgun, no less (voted Sexiest Weapon in the personal firearm subcategory for thirteen consecutive years). It’s quite worn, but such a simple design should be cheap to repair. I might even be able to do it myself. This is fantastic!

As with many video games, Fallout’s shotguns are absurdly useless at range, but if I fire it at anyone within 20 feet or so, they will cease to exist. This is exactly what I need to compensate for my weak aiming skills. With only three shells, it’ll have to be my backup weapon for now, but once I’ve filled my bag I’m going straight back to town to stock up on ammo. Oh yes.

Now though, I’ve detected some raiders in the streets behind this nearby building, so I ready my rifle and sneak around for a closer look. Sure enough, a sentry comes running, but I am a wily fox and have already dropped a mine in his path and taken cover.

The blast propels dozens of pieces of wire into his legs and groin, which demoralises him for some reason. He screams and tries to do a runner, so I pop out of cover, and shoot him in the back.

Yes, I shot a fleeing man in the back. What of it? This is the Wasteland, not Disneyland. Try to kill me and I mangle your legs and shoot you in the spine. That’s how it works.

This doesn’t seem to have alerted the others, who are much further back, so I move closer and pull the same trick on another one who’s dumb enough to walk away from the herd.

Boom! Instant kill. Disappointingly, he didn’t feel a thing.

Again, there’s no indication that anyone else is coming to play. The two I’ve killed have a few bits and pieces on them – just enough to fill my bag, and should fetch an okay price. Time to head back.

On the way back to Megaton I meet some puppies! Awww. They’re passive, too, though they are growling a warning at me. I should probably kill them before they grow up into vicious pack killers, but I don’t have the heart. Also there’s no money in it, and mama needs her shotgun shells, so I skirt round them and make a triumphant, moderately badass return to town.

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