The Road to Novac

So, remember how yesterday I ambushed the ambushers and was feeling pretty smug about everything? Yeeeeeeeah.

So it started out okay. Joe starts out, good as gold, and heads off to the north.
There is a brief close-call shortly out the gate, with some Legion soldiers waiting in ambush on the side of the road.

A hairsbreadth from disaster

A hairsbreadth from disaster

It could have turned nasty, but I noticed they weren’t normal raiders in time to refrain from opening fire. Last thing Joe wants is trouble with the legion – pack of crazy mo-fos that they are.

It’s not until Joe wonders past an innocent looking billboard that everything goes to hell. Joe doesn’t notice anything is wrong and I’ve already walked well past it when the raiders that were lurking behind it open fire on me.
A whole big group of the buggers.

Hit me with your best shot.

Hit me with your best shot.

Sweet jesus, ouch! Good shot.

Sweet jesus, ouch! Good shot.

It all goes pear-shaped pretty quickly. I don’t have a chance to get my act together before I’m surrounded and getting nailed from all sides. And not the good kind of nailed. Prison shower nailed.
It’s pretty much all FUBAR because whenever I try shooting any specific raider then all the others shoot me in the back.

Eventually I prevail, but Joe’s looking rather unhealthy – what with the bullet holes and crowbar marks and all. It’s a bit of an issue, because on hardcore mode stim-packs heal over time, not instantly like in Fallout 3.
On the bright side Joe is able to liberate a suit of reinforced leather armour, and that’s doing great job at holding the blood in.

No pain, No Gain... ing sweet leather armour

No pain, No Gain... ing sweet leather armour

Also Joe gets another Level up… which is good and bad, I guess. While good for Joe, I personally take this as an indictment of my ability to avoid conflict. To be fair, New Vegas doesn’t scale to your level as much as Fallout 3 does, and the start of the game kinda bottlenecks you somewhat. Nevertheless, I’ll have to try harder to be a snivelling coward.

Joe might be a bit beat-up, but he’s not got any crippled limbs – so we are doing better then yesterday. Joe continues to trudge northward, past an NCR guard post that I diligently ignore. I’m steering clear of both the Legion AND the NCR. No conscription for ol’ Joe.

Sweet and easy, down the road I go.

Sweet and easy, down the road I go.

Uncle Caveman?

Uncle Caveman?

Gozilla! Gozilla!

Godzilla! Godzilla!

After a long freaken walk I finally arrive in Novac. I swear to baby jesus, if it wasn’t for the feeling of crushing guilt at the thought of ‘cheating’, I’d ditch the ‘walk don’t run’ rule like a bad date.
Anyhow, first thing I notice (after the giant wooden dinosaur) is that Victor is here… somehow. Last I saw him was Goodsprings. Like I have a creepy, Texan robo-stalker.

No, no. It's.... ah.... it's good to see you too.

No, no. It's.... ah.... it's good to see you too.

What was the scariest prehistoric animal? The Terror-dactyl!

What was the scariest prehistoric animal? The Terror-dactyl!

The second thing I notice is the sign that gave the town its name. Outside the motel the No Vacancy sign has lot it’s ‘ancy’. The resulting ‘NOVAC’ has been adopted by the settlers who now live here.

The town itself is about the same size as Goodsprings, but this town is more of a trading hub. There are ranchers here, but most people are more focused on doing deals.
On another out-of-character side note: One thing I like about New Vegas is that each town has a ‘feel’. Goodsprings was clearly an agricultural town, exporting food and water to the other locations. Meanwhile Novac is a trade hub mixed with a good ol’ American tourist trap.

Honey you've always got a reservation. Anytime...everyday

Honey you've always got a reservation. Anytime...everyday

Happens there is an old motel room for sale, and while 100 caps is a lot of money it’s worth it to get a fully furnished home to rest in. After sorting all my gear into the storage containers Joe gets a well deserved rest.

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