On my way into town, I’m able to use some tat from my cupboard in the Crack Shack to repair the widowmaker shotgun until it’s pretty much flawless. Next, after my sale of the rubbish I’ve acquired today, I contemplate the crushing boredom of yesterday afternoon in Megaton, and review a vague policy I’ve been adhering to all week without really telling anyone.
I’ve avoided missions so far. It’s partly because I wanted to do something different (for my enjoyment as much as anything else) to the usual starting missions, and partly because I was worried that their cash rewards would remove much of the difficulty of starting out with nothing.
But it’s time I had a look at what’s available. If I’m going to experience life here, I need to explore the place and get talking instead of just drinking and glaring at anyone who stares at me.
First off, because she’s right behind me, I speak with Mad Moira. She wants to write a book, a guide to surviving in the wasteland, and wants someone to go out and research it for her. This sounds incredibly dangerous and stupid. Going out into the wilds on my own terms is one thing, but not on the whims of an obvious weirdo, especially as she implies that she’s had people do this before and they’ve just got hurt.
So no, thanks. I quite like being unhurt. It’s one of my favourite things.
Yeah sure, soon as I become a moron I’ll be in touch, yeah?
Next up, I head further up the craterside, and finally poke my head inside Moriarty’s Saloon. This place has been namedropped by several locals as full of bastards and horrible drinks, and its owner is the one the former owner of the Crack Shack was so afraid of. I don’t know whether I want to get involved in whatever was going on there.
In any case, I take a seat and wait for a while. The barman hangs around across the room, completely ignoring me. Well, fine. Screw you too. I say hello to Moriarty, who is clearly one of those Americans who wants to be Irish but doesn’t actually know what’s involved (hint: Catholic guilt, four hundred relatives all with the same name, and the power to draw sustenance from misery). He has nothing for me to do, so I try a young woman by the entrance. She asks me to deliver a letter.
Well then, you’re an idiot, and if it’s too dangerous for you to do, then I’m sure as hell not doing it for free. Is there some sort of stupefying agent in the water here? No deal, lady.
Next in turn is a spiv in a corner who’s been gesticulating for about five minutes in a bid to get my attention. I reluctantly walk over and he explains his problem. Sort of.
He yells and, quite absurdly, snarls at me for defusing the atom bomb in the town centre. Crap. I thought nobody saw me.
Oh. Okay, that’s a little too far, now. Threaten me, will you? Let’s just see how that works out for you…
Oh hey look at that. I guess not very well.
Doesn’t really suit me, I fear, and the hat is a rubbish trilby rather than a proper sexy fedora, so I’ll be selling both. But first: Action replay!
I’m calling that one self-defence, too. And conveniently, I got to try out my new shotgun! I think I like it.
Surprisingly, nobody objects to my eviscerating this guy with buckshot in the middle of the pub. This really is a rough place.
As well as the suit, he has a silenced 10mm pistol. That won’t be massively useful given that my stealth skills are comparable to those of a fire engine, but I hang onto it anyway, and see if the sideshow will get the other patrons talking. Most of them aren’t friendly, but another woman in some torn and tacky tights is willing to chat.
Well dang, that’s pretty ominous. She too has no work for me, though she does indicate that she’d be willing to work it for me, for a price. Yowser. Maybe some other time, dear.
I head outside. The bar was a complete waste of time, then. Some of the other locals are surprisingly nice, and chat with me a little, but none have any paid work to be done. The exception is Walter, a leathery old man who maintains the town’s water supply.
He’s in sore need of help fixing up some leaky pipes. He doesn’t mention a reward, but I think I can pull this off pretty quickly and then name my price. If he gives me any jip I’ll un-repair them again, or just rob him and run like buggery.
So, what the hell. I agree to help Walter out, and wander around town for a while looking for these leaks.
Along the way I find the last open building I haven’t looked into. Ugh. I suppose I should give it a try. Their money’s as good as anyone else’s.
I can’t believe I’m doing this. Think of the money, Cass. Lovely, lovely money.
Inside it’s not as creepy as I’d expected. Everyone’s sitting in silence on pews, facing an unoccupied pulpit. After hanging around for half an hour, it becomes clear that they’re not actually waiting for a sermon or anything. They’re just sitting there watching, for hours. Maybe all day.
With the stage ready, my next move is obvious.
Yea, and there didst grow a great clamour among them, for she of the Cass had arrived, and her form did know no imperfection, and her words were unto them like the most melodious song, coupled with the most delicious baklava, combined with the most sensual fellatio and/or cunnilingus. And reduced they were to mere vessels for her glory, and in their kind donations of all their worldy goods did they know peace.
I said “in their kind donations did they know peace“, damn it.
Oh, fine. Spoilsports.
None of them have anything to say that isn’t a little unnerving, and it suddenly occurs to me that they might actually think there’s been a sermon happening this whole time. Brrr. I make my excuses.
There’s no good work in this town, so once I locate and repair the last of the leaking pipes, I take a reward of 200 caps from Walter, who gives me a slight incentive for a future visit, and decide that this will be my last night in Megaton. Dinner, one quick beer and a smoke before bed, and then I’m off at first light. Screw Megaton.