Back on my feet

Bit of a long one today. Also, sorry for the uneven photos – I’ve yet to figure out which setting on my camera toggles between ‘awesome’ and ‘suck’.

So, newly patched up and dressed up, I’m ready to start making my way in the world. The doc suggested I talk to a ‘Sunny Smiles’ who apparently hangs out over at the saloon, so I start to make my way over in that direction.

It doesn’t take long to see why Joe would have left the Capital Wasteland and made his way to the Mojave Desert. In stark contrast to the Capital Wasteland the desert is alive.

A comparison shot

A comparison shot

Okay, so not quite – but nevertheless the short walk from the doctors to the pub quickly shows that the folk in the Mojave are doing much better then the folk in Washington. Rather then a large town allegedly supported by a single cow (like Megaton), Goodsprings has a modest number of people – most of whom seem to be engaged in something useful (rather then the Megaton residents who seemed to wonder about at random).

In several places I see people tending small vegetable gardens and there are large tame buffalo beasts in pens or wondering about the dirt roads. I stop for a moment to watch one of the town folk at work. Despite offering a friendly “howdy”, he’s not too keen to talk – Guess he’s too busy working.

Pretty good for a desert

Pretty good for a desert

The town isn’t too big – not even sure it’s a ‘town’. It’s more of an old western ghost-town, but with a handful of occupied buildings in the middle.

Goodsprings seems like the kind of place where one should make an effort to mosey, and so I mosey on over to the saloon, pass an old chap on the front porch and pop inside to have a look about. The very first person I see is Sunny Smiles who seems genuinely sympathetic to my run of bad luck.

Sunny Smiles - But not at me.

Sunny Smiles - But not at me.

She offers to go over some basic survival skills with me and I gratefully accept. The first thing we go over is shooting – she thrusts a beaten up old rifle into my hand and takes me out back to shoot bottles off a fence post.

She doesn’t seem too worried that I miss half my shops because she asks if I’d like to go and clear out a waterhole of giant mutant geckos. No Sunny. No I do not….

But she assures me that the meat is good eating and that the skins are never to hard to find buyers for. Well, I guess that’s different. I like selling skins. And eating meat.

With a dog in tow Sunny runs off ahead of me – and with her leather armour and dog she reminds me of Clover and Dog back in the Capital Wasteland.

She looks far more prepared then I am

She looks far more prepared then I am

I head south, walking at a leisurely pace and taking in the sights of Goodsprings. It seems like the bulk of Goodsprings’ residents live in one of several shared homes, and all the other buildings look ruined or boarded up.

There don’t seem to be many people living here, maybe 10 to 15, but it reminds me of a more populated Canterbury Commons with a distinctive country-western flair.

In this one shot you can see more of civilisation rebuilding then in the entirety of Fallout 3.

In this one shot you can see more of civilisation rebuilding then in the entirety of Fallout 3.

I eventually catch up with Sunny who suggests we creep and try to get in a sneaky shot or two before they see us. Good plan – shooting people in the back is good.
She wants Joe to go on ahead and no amount of ‘Ladies Go First’ was able to convince her that he would best be utilised in a supporting role. It was with some trepidation that lined up my first shot, but I shouldn’t have worried – the shot triggered an automatic critical and the lizard collapsed on the ground.

But that one shot alerted the others and suddenly there are two more bearing down on me. I frantically back-peddle to Sunny and her dog, both of whom make short work of the remaining geckos. I win! By which I mean Sunny wins, but I take all the meat.

Sweet Jesus, WTF?!?

Sweet Jesus, WTF?!?

My reward for slaying the geckos (or rather, slaying A gecko) is access to the fresh spring water from the pump there – unlimited free, pure water. Hazzah!

Apparently my unmatched skill and bravery has caught Sunny’s eye, because she offers me 50 caps and 60 rounds of rifle ammo if I help her clean out two more water-holes. I can’t imagine what part of the screaming and flailing caught her attention, but I agree to help.

Don't you hiss at me, you little s#$%!

Don't you hiss at me, you little s#$%!

We repeat my hysterics a 2nd time, freeing up a 2nd spring. I take the skin and meat from the geckos. I bested them, now I get to eat them – that’s the way the wasteland works.

At the third hole there is a bit of a complication – a woman from the town has come down to collect water and the geckos are attacking her. Joe manages to get several shots off and kill the geckos before she is too badly hurt. This might SOUND heroic, but I’m totally willing to shoot at anything that is not interested in attacking me if there is a chance it will BECOME interested in attacking me later.

As a reward I’m given 3 bottles of pure water – that would have been valuable in the Capital Wasteland, but here there are unlimited amounts of fresh water right next to town. I take them anyway, because I might need them if I ever venture further into the desert.

After clearing out the geckos Sunny pays me and then offers to teach me a little desert survival. She sends me off to find some broc flower and xander root while she waits by the campfire. Let me guess – the key to desert survival is to tell the other guy to go get the herbs? Nevertheless it sounds like a valuable skill, so I trudge back up to the town to find them.

The xander root is by a ruined schoolhouse. Two odd bugs take offence at my disturbance of their habitat, but I just stomp them flat. The two mantis looking creatures weren’t very tough and I didn’t even draw my gun.
The broc flower required a short walk up a hill just north of Goodsprings. Up the top of the hill I found the flower in the town graveyard.

There's a dug, but empty, grave up here. Like it's waiting for me.

There's a dug, but empty, grave up here. Like it's waiting for me.

I head back to Sunny who then shows me how to mix the herbs together to create a healing power. Nice! New Vegas actually has a pretty extensive crafting system which will help Joe survive the harsh desert.

And then for good measure I slap the gecko meat on the camp fire and cook them into tasty looking gecko steaks. Yum!

I head back up to town and start looking about for a place to stay. I take a quick peak about, but most of the homes are taken and the rest are too ruined to stay in.

I wonder if his wife is happy with his hoeing about?

I wonder if his wife is happy with his hoeing about?

Eventually I find an old ruined caravan. It’s just behind the saloon and has a bed along with two storage crates. It reminds me a little of Joe’s first home in the Fallout 3, and so I decide that it’ll be a suitable domicile until I can find something better.

I empty my inventory into the crates, separating the armour and weapons from the consumables. I keep my rifle and pistol, and some food and drink for tomorrow.

Why do these things always start with me sleeping in a trailer?

Why do these things always start with me sleeping in a trailer?

And that’s it for day 1! Tomorrow I’ll try to get to know my new hometown a little more.

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