Novac Nights

So, Novac is Joe’s new home. At least for the time being.
I have quite a lot of fun setting up my new place – Armour is in the chest of drawers, clothing in wardrobe, guns in the safe, ammo in the adjacent draws, food in the fridge and junk items in the footlocker of the bed.

After cleaning house I position my prized Cola-truck on the ammo drawers. Now it’s a home!

Despite yesterday’s whirlwind tour I haven’t actually achieved anything in Novac yet – but that’s about to change. Joe’s pockets are fit to bursting after Nipton. So much so that he actually had to leave some of the crap he’d found back at the abandoned ranch he passed on his way here.
First thing I do is gather anything I won’t use and cart it on over to the Novac store. Joe sells the lot of it. I take my new found wealth and squander a chunk of it on a silencer for Joe’s trusty rifle.

I am become the silent killer.

I am become the silent killer.

I know that there are set upgrades for each weapon, but still I find myself becoming quite attached to this old rifle I’ve been dragging around with me since Goodsprings.

Having sorted out my inventory I’m ready to explore a little more. I head north out of Novac, sticking to the road, and head towards an old scrap yard I’d seen from town.

Snug   - Photo from fallout.wikia.com

Snug

I’d heard that this was a good place to trade, and sure enough I’m soon met by old lady Gibson and her pack of dogs.
Turns out that this old lass was quite the prospector in her day, and she retired to this junkyard after her husband died. Quite the role model for Joe – someone who knew when to quit.
There isn’t a lot there that interests Joe right now. There are a few weapon mods for guns that he doesn’t own, but the rest of the scrap seems to be the kind of crap that Joe himself would drag back from some site to sell to some other schmuck.

Can't help but think that the 2nd question is taking the piss.

Can't help but think that the 2nd question is taking the piss.

Joe wonders back into town, taking the opportunity to gather any nearby plants that might be useful later on for eating and suchlike.

I’m almost back when I notice a sign over a western path that indicates the road leads to an old rocket factory. Old lady Gibson suggested that it was a good place for prospecting, but the townsfolk of Novac have been worried about strange events up that way. There are even stories of ghouls.
Joe’s a plucky guy, but ghouls sound bad. And bitey.

3 laws, my ass. I wouldn't trust that robot with my kids.

3 laws, my ass. I wouldn't trust that robot with my kids.

Once Joes arrives back in town he wonders over to the McBride Farm to see if they are open to trade. Always good to sort out suppliers, right?

The McBrides are friendly enough sorts, but they aren’t selling their produce at the moment. I was about to leave disappointed, but Mr McBride stopped me and offered to make a deal.
Apparently someone was playing a prank and killing the McBride’s Cattle during the night. He offers me a big wack of fresh meat if Joe can stop whomever is doing it.

Crazy and mutated they may be, but meat from the 2-headed cows is very filling and has additional health benefits. It’s a tempting offer.

What do you do here? On this farm? With all these cows? Seriously, the anticipation is killing me.

Yes, What DO you do here in Novac? On this farm? With all these cows?
I can't imagine.
Seriously, the anticipation is killing me.

Joe agrees to guard the cattle. It seems simple enough, and the reward can feed Joe for about a fortnight. Quests for unique weapons? Rejected. Pleas for help? Ignored. Promise of hot food? Sign me up!

First thing I try is checking around town, but no one has any information for me other then No-Bark Noonan. No-Back is the town crazy-man, and he tells Joe that an invisible “chupacabra” has been killing Dusty McBride’s Brahmin.
He’s clearly insane, so I dismiss his yammering and decide to setup a stakeout. That way I can get the prankster, then Joe can get that meat and get some steak in. (Stakeout? Steak in? Ba dom dom, Pish!)

Suuure they did, mate.

Suuure they did, mate.

Well, I know that the perpetrator normally comes out at night so my first step is to throw down the few mines I’ve been able to collect on my travels – laying a cunning trap around the back of the farm.

I've got a plan so cunning...

I've got a plan so cunning...

And then Joe waits.

And waits.

And waits.

And waits.

Stakeouts -  not all they are cracked up to be.

Stakeouts - not all they are cracked up to be.

And waits.

And waits.

After a lot of waiting Joe is both hungry and thirsty, and no one has gone anywhere near the cattle…
…Or had they.
Over the back of the cattle pen there was a slight shimmer as if I’m looking through glass. The distortion is moving, getting closer to the fence. Clearly something is amiss.

And then the distortion fades, revealing a large blue Mutant. A large blue Mutant with a mini-gun. Zounds! Now would be an ideal time to flee. Accept… those mines. The moment that the Mutant steps on the mine it’ll look around for what damaged it… and then it will see Joe.

Oh, well. In for a penny, in for a pound.
I open fire with my rifle, which is now silenced. It’s a boon, because after the first shot my opponent isn’t able to see where the damage was coming from. He spins around, but while he’s confused Joe is able to fire his whole clip! Winner!

Once the Mutant figures out where Joe is, the blighter starts his chain-gun; but ol’ Joe dives behind the rock. Realising that shooting won’t get him anywhere, the mutant starts to run over (presumably to pound me) and stumbles through the mines I placed earlier.
The mines give Joe an advantage as he madly backpedals away… He manages to unload the rest of his ammo into the creature before it manages to close the gap.
BOOM!

O M F G

O M F G

Retreat! Retreat!

Retreat! Retreat!

My spoils are limited to a near-broken mini-gun and a Stealth boy, but I take them anyway. He also has a home-made holotape entitled “The Screams of Brahmin”. When I play it I get:
Most of what is recorded here is a mess of incomprehensible psychotic gibberish. It seems to express a general frustration towards a set of brahmin who are allegedly keeping the author awake at night by screaming inside his head whenever he closes his eyes
Sooooooo, this basically means that Joe is a guy who murders intellectually challenged people. Intellectually challenged people and puppies. That’s grand.
Still, tomorrow I get rewarded for killing the intellectually disabled guy. So… that’s good… I guess.

I go home for a good night’s sleep – I think I need it.

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