Diplomatic Duty

I wake up in my private cabin in a luxurious ski lodge.
That would be a perfect sentence if said luxurious ski lodge wasn’t also a refuge for crazy-in-the-brain-pan super-mutants. But at least it’s one place that mercenaries won’t come looking for Joe.

I spend the morning tidying up the place – clearing out the old cans and setting the table. I actually think that one of the neighbouring cabins is a little nicer, but that one has a lamp fallen across the floor that I can’t move and it would annoy the bejesus out of me.

This is as nice as I can make it... which is not very.

This is as nice as I can make it... which is not very.

I spend the rest of the day reading an old boxing manual I found in one of the other rooms. It has a lot of helpful tips, but if any of my travels in the wasteland ends up with me fighting someone with my bare hands, then something has gone horribly wrong.

I only pop out of my cabin for a moment to greet a few of the other residents. When your neighbours are massive inhuman monsters capable of ending you with a single blow, it pays to stay on good terms.
I decide to say hi to any mutants I met around the grounds, but resolve to avoid the lodge where they all live. I’m pretty confident that they won’t hurt me, but I’ll avoid romping through their collective living room.

"Seriously, Joe... I got got things I should be doing... *muttering* damn tourists"

"Hey! Could you pose for a photo?"
"Seriously, guy... I got things I should be doing... damn tourists"

Most of the mutants don’t have much of anything to say to me, except for one. You can spot her a mile away. Not because her skin is blue, but because she is wearing the remains of some gardening clothes and a rugged old bonnet.
And, while mutants are technically asexual, I say ‘she’ rather than ‘he’ or ‘it’ because she talks like a grandmother. A CRAZY grandmother.

“Oh, Jimmy, don’t you go being silly now. You come over here and give your grandma some sugar.”

“Oh, Jimmy, don’t you go being silly now. You come over here and give your grandma some sugar.”
"Oh. Oh, sweet. I'll just... err... I'll just stand over here"

This is Lily and she is quite the character. When we first met me she insisted that I was her grandson named Jimmy, and she continues to refer to me as ‘dearie’.
Obviously she was a grandmother before her change, and there is part of her that still is a grandmother. A grandmother that could crush me with one hand.

Still, it’s nice to have another friendly face about (in addition to Marcus) – someone I can chat to and/or hide behind if everything goes horribly wrong.

A few days later, I’m taking a short walk around the lake when Marcus calls me over to ask a favor. Now normally I don’t much see the benefit in gettin’ involved in stranger’s troubles without a up-front price negotiated, but in this instance… well, as I said, when your neighbours are massive inhuman monsters capable of ending you with a single blow, it pays to stay on good terms.

Apparently a group of mercenaries have been hassling the mutants, shooting buildings and killing livestock – trying the drive the mutants off. At first I’m worried that the mercenaries might have followed me here, but I’m assured that they predate my arrival by several months.
Marcus wants them gone, but wants them gone peaceful like. He doesn’t want blood, he just wants a negotiation. It sounds like something Joe can handle. I can’t guarantee I’ll handle it particularly well, but…

I’m unconvinced this is a wise idea,

I’m unconvinced this is a wise idea

Just in case things go pear-shaped, I grab my leather armour and then I head on down the road to have a ‘chat’ with the trouble-makers. At first I only see one guy there, but as I get closer I see there are heaps of them taking cover all around the hill. They are rather worryingly organised.
Now, all things considered, convincing people that I’m a great guy, along with convincing people to pay a premium for useless crap, is normally my strong suit. But no amount of sweet talk can convince these strapping men to move on. They do reveal that they have been hired by the NCR. Apparently some mutants from someplace else have been killing NCR cattle, so now NCR are trying to drive ALL mutants out of the area.
I make a counter offer, and they agree to leave for the princely sum of 2500 caps. Now, I don’t have that kind of cash, but even if I did, I wouldn’t want to part with that much money.

Don't think I can't see you three.

Don't think I can't see you three.

Luckily, Marcus does have that kind of coin, and he seems to think that it’s worth it to get these guys to leave. I worry that this will just encourage more mercenaries to try this kind of crap, but he’s the boss – literally.
The mercenaries are true to their word and pack up their things. I wish I knew they wouldn’t be back, but for now calm returns to Jacobtown.
There’s no reward for Joe, but I guess this will help cement my role in this little community.

I head off for some well-earned rest. If only I had some scotch.

This is as nice as I can make it... which is not very.

No bottles of Scotch on the wall. No bottles of Scotch.
My head hurts, my eyes are sore, I wish I had bottles of scotch on the wall.

I miss scotch.

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