5am. Time to get up, Cass. This is day seven in the wasteland. It could be my last, but then that’s pretty meaningless when you think about it. I haven’t thought about it though, although now that I’m saying that I’m starting to, and frankly it’s all a bit much for my brain to handle at 5am.
This will not be a trip of scavengey profit-seeking. I’ve packed enough food and water for a few days, all my weapons, and the few odds and ends that fit. If I happen to see anything very valuable I will have to mark it for later retrieval. Today’s objective is to find a new haven. Seek out new territory, and if possible, a life outdoors.
It’s almost daybreak when I set out, heading Northeast, skirting the city and ignoring Springvale altogether. There’s an intact bridge this way that will be safer in the dark than the watery rubble I crossed yesterday.
It’s an uneventful trip, and even the bridge is unguarded. Some dark figures are lurking on the right, so I follow the riverbank to the left instead. All the while, I’m crouching low and moving in short bursts over any open terrain. While it’s still dark I have the advantage of concealment, but careless movement will give me away, and there may still be night creatures lurking.
Dawn is breaking. So far only a dog has seen me, and then shortly thereafter it saw an extreme close up of my knuckle dusters. On the opposite side, I stash some food and water behind a large billboard in case I’m ever in the area again.
I move further North, uphill. To my right are some old ruins I cling to for concealment. I soon come across a lone figure engaged in a gunfight with an unseen enemy, and move into position to help flank whatever’s fighting her, or finish her off if she turns on me.
Turns out it’s just a pack of dogs she was shooting, and she doesn’t turn on me. She does, however, reveal herself to be a slaver. She also gives me some lip. You know what that means!
I’m already coming to think that the Shotgun Policy is the greatest I have ever devised. The Shotgun Policy goes thusly:
1) I have a shotgun.
2) I express my displeasure through the shotgun.
3) There is no disagreement that cannot be resolved by sufficient expression of my feelings.
Spending a shell in this way gains me her semi-automatic shotgun and several shells. The gun’s in poor condition, but it has some potential. I add her armour to the billboard stash. It’s worth a little cash, but too bulky to take with me today. And yes, I am gently implying that the slaver was fat.
Progress is really slow crouching down like this, and it’s doing my knees in something awful. Daylight is well and truly upon me before my next encounter, which occurs after some slow and very paranoid creeping past ruined buildings high up on the hill over the river. That encounter is something big coming my way fast.
I’m a crabman! Bababababa beee bop ba budda bop! Bop ba budda bop! (Younglings: ask your parents)
Oh right, yeah, mortal danger. I refer you, good crabperson, to the New Universal Shotgun Policy subsection 2b regarding interspecifc disputes, to wit, ‘BLAM!‘
THE POLICY PREVAILS. Even if I did have to repeat myself. Damn ammo hog. Oh, and yeah, it doesn’t reload properly, I know. The “break open to reload” animation doesn’t exist for rifle-sized weapons, see, only revolvers.
This was one tough freak of nature, I have to say. Bigger and hardier than the ones I saw underground, and it came at me from quite a distance. I can only see one more, much smaller crabman the area, and that’s running away from me. Did I just kill the crabman version of the heroic self-sacrifice guy from TV’s famous Films? I’d feel terrible.
The remaining lobsterbloke runs around for a bit until its lumbering invokes the wrath of a hovering laser robot. Erm.
Strangely, the robot doesn’t seem interested in me, and flies right past, firing ineffectually at its quarry. I shrug, and have a crafty smoke under a bridge. Man, this takes me back.
Time to move on, and I can see that I’m quite close to where I blew up those raiders yesterday. I pass by without incident, but am spotted not long afterwards by a lone raider who charges at me from somewhere ahead. Ulp. Fortunately, it’s nothing that The Policy can’t sort out. Then his friend shows up, and does the same. Then another one gets the drop on me, landing a solid blow on my back with a pipe that would have been really painful if I was still wearing armour from the swimwear section.
Unfortunately for my wee flanker though, I’m wearing a real woman’s armour, so I’m able to whirl around and use my fists to cave her goddamn head in.
When it’s over, I inspect their gear. Mostly crap, and all melee. One of them has a Power Fist – a powerful but large, ungainly and kind of awkward mechanical boxing glove thing. It’s too shoddy to be worth carrying, so I drop it and head up the hill, already feeling the craving for a cigarette. I don’t know why I started on th-
… wha… the hell was…
How’d I get on the floor? Oh bloody hell, grenade! Run away! The policy is void! The policy is void!
Wait… it’s just a raider, and he doesn’t even have a gun. The hell am I running for?
That’s more like it!
Did Cass punch him to death already, or is she nonchalantly crushing his windpipe with her thighs? Well now. That’s a complicated question.
While I’m picking through this surprisingly happy-looking dead man’s belongings, another raider tries his luck, only to realise that he has none left, and that I’m about to replace any luck he may have previously had with fractures, internal bleeding, and abject humiliation, as I chase him down and round the hill like a violently psychotic Benny Hill.
(Note: His jet black shirt is actually his chest. This is a texture error that’s popped up once or twice since I incorrectly reinstalled some body mods. It’s since fixed, so shouldn’t appear in future.)
Phew. This time, I look around more thoroughly, and wait a minute or two before I go a-lootin’. I’ve just shot two guys and punched several people to death, taking a pipe to the back and a grenade blast in the process. I think it’s fair to say at this point that Cass is not the kind of woman to piss around.
And yes, she is indeed striking a pose while standing on that man’s testicles. That wasn’t deliberate, but hey.
I leave the raiders and their rubbish gear behind, and keep moving Northeast-ish. The ground is very open here and there’s no safe haven to run to. The only signs of life are a few animals running around to my left, but they’re ignoring me. I press on under an old railway bridge, and come across a scrapyard.
Now this… this could be very handy. I’m still short of some tools for my tool and medical kits. But someone must have claimed this place, surely. I stalk about very slowly, trying to see who’s home. This goes on for some time. The entrance to the scrap yard is a cross section of a train carriage, with piles of wrecked cars acting as a fence.
There’s still no sign of any life, and the whole set up screams of an ambush or trap to me. With extreme caution and my shotgun at the ready, I start to creep through, and…
…nothing happens. After a minute or so of sneaking around just inside the entrance, the total lack of noise or movement is creeping me out too much. I bug out.
On the way in, I spotted what looks like a settlement in the North – several intact white buildings, and even a factory or power plant of some kind behind them, which looks very solid, and a good place to bunker up. Hope they’re friendly.
Maybe that’s a village, and they just make the trip out here if they need stuff. The group of raiders I spot hiding along the way support this – makes sense that they’d lie in wait for townies, right?
I give them a wide berth, and after another long and slow crouched walk across the plain, the town is in sight.
Hm. Looks a bit more banged up than I’d thought.
Ah dammit. Mines. Looks like this isn’t a safe town after all. They must be under siege. Still, I can disarm these and add them to my collection, so I start to work my way up the street, picking up mines as I go. I leave most of them alone in case the locals get annoyed, mind.
By the time I get up the street it’s pretty clear the place is deserted. There’s nobody in sight and the whole area seems like it was abandoned long ago – there’s none of the makeshift walls or homes of Megaton or even Big Town.
If the residents have moved on, the building over the hill with the chimneys is sure to be the obvious first stopping point.
That’s odd. I’m sure I heard a ricochet… oh. Oh god.
It’s a wide, deserted street downhill from loads of ruined buildings, littered with mines to slow down any approach. It’s a sniper’s heaven.
I’ve walked into a trap.