On the Road Again

This morning I had a lot of time to think. My raging hangover from ‘scotch day’ means I have the energy for little else. I’m not sure of the specifics, but it must be almost two months since I took my revenge on Benny in the Tops casino. I spent just under three weeks in Westside, and I’ve spent just on three weeks up here in the Follower’s safe house. Most of my time in both locations has been spent eating, drinking, sleeping and keeping my head low – and yet last week I stumbled across that murder of mercenaries (that collective noun seems as appropriate as any).

Now, I can’t prove that they were sent by the Chairmen who run the Tops or Mr House who I’ve steadfastly avoided, but I can’t think of any other reason that a big group like that would be out in the desert.
What if this safe house isn’t that safe after all? Perhaps I need an even more remote hiding spot?
I might like to think that Joe’s concern is partly for the Followers who might get in trouble for harbouring him in their safehouse, but just like when Joe abandoned Goodsprings (a town that is almost ideal for my every need) I imagine that Joe is mostly worried about Joe’s skin.

About my only entertainment out in the safehouse is Radio New Vegas. Despite the repetitiveness of its programing I often have it on in the safe-house to help pass the time. One of the oft repeated stories claims that there are persistent rumours of a super mutant high up in the mountains in an old ski lodge. Apparently it’s quite safe as long as I don’t belittle any super mutants for taking the bunny slope. No one would be crazy enough to follow me up there!

I’m glad now that I have been collecting food while I’ve been staying here. I gather up the plants and Bighorner Meat in my pack, along with medical supplies and basic weaponry. My pistol, shotgun and grenade launcher should keep me safe no matter what I find on the road.

The Road is a be-a-itch, my friend - But it's the only road I know.

The Road is a be-a-itch, my friend - But it's the only f***ing road I know.

I head out the next day, and begin the long walk off into the mountains – passing by the ‘ghost cave’ that I discovered several days ago. The higher I go, the more pristine the environment becomes – more trees and plant life can be seen.
I pass a few Bighorners, but I avoid them. They seem to be moving in groups and that would make it almost impossible to sneak up on one without alarming the other. I’ve learnt that it wouldn’t be a great idea.

The only thing of note that happens today is when a chattering noise alerts me to movement in the bushes. All of a sudden a pair of giant bugs comes dashing towards me – they remind me of the small ones I squished back in the Goodsprings school house, but larger and more pissed off.

Shotgun > Raid

Shotgun > Raid

A great deal of squealing ensues (mostly from Joe rather than the bugs) as I try to side step the constant clawing – Their clawing is painful, but don’t threaten me like an irate Bighorner or Mutant Cazador Wasp might, but they are persistent and frustratingly hard to kill.
While bumbling about trying to avoid the first two bugs I manage to stumble into a third bug who joins in the fantastic game of ‘pin-the-claw-into-the-traveller’.
I eventually manage to shotgun the bugs into submission and feast on their meaty remains. You kill it, you’re allowed to eat it – it’s the rule of the wasteland.

I’m not badly hurt by the bugs, but I’ve developed a mean limp and it’s only an hour or so before night begins to fall. I figure I’ll wait here over night – it’ll give me a chance to bandage my leg and get my act together.

Next morning I’m off again, and this time my journey is fairly bug free. It’s about mid-day when I see the Ski lodge in the distance. Is it too late to turn back now.
I crouch down low and just watch for a while. Sure enough, there are hulking figures moving about inside the fortified walls. None of them seem armed other than the one guarding the gate… but frankly, when you’re their size you don’t need a gun to kill someone.
My experience of giant mutants from the capital wasteland isn’t exactly comforting, but peering through my binoculars I can make out a massive herd of Bighorners inside the walls. It’s quite comforting, as active farming doesn’t suggest I’m looking at a group intending to murder me and take my stuff.

It’s now or never… I have to make up my mind. Chicken out and retreat back to the safe house, or pluck up the courage to explore this settlement that the Chairmen would never think to check.
Well, the Capital Wasteland mutants might all be jerks, but Meansonofabitch from Westside was cordial enough.
Let’s do this!

I have doubts

I have doubts

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