Into the Wild

The days pass quickly in Jacobstown… I guess that they didn’t want to hang around.
It’s been about two weeks since the Keene incident, and life around Jacobstown is boring. Boring, Boring, boring. Keene seems to have settled back down and a serine peace has fallen over this mountain resort. Now, I should find it comforting, but I just find myself getting restless.
There’s very little for me to do other then visit Lily or Doctor Henry and Calamity. But after the first week we ran out of things to talk about. I was trying to help with the research efforts, but even after days of examining the data on their computer terminal I’ve really had nothing to contribute to their research efforts.
If boredom was the only issue Joe had to cope with it would be fine, but there is another problem that could spell an end to my stay here. Food, glorious food.

The hiiiiiiiiiiiills are alllllive, with the sound of muuuuuuuuusic!

The hiiiiiiiiiiiills are aliiiiiiive, with the sound of muuuuuuuuusic!

Days might fly by when I’m not doing much, but I need the same amount of food while I’m sitting about as I would if I were spending the day exploring a ruin or some old world site… and food is running out.
The mutants survive off of Bighorner meat, but none of that is coming my way. My own stock of food from the Followers of the Apocalypse’s safe house is almost gone, and Calamity isn’t bringing enough spare food back from her trading trips for me to just survive off of trades.
But even if she did have the food to trade my way, I’ve already traded most of the rubbish from the uninhabited cabins hereabouts… if I don’t find more items to trade soon, I’ll have to start trading away ammo or other items important for my survival.

I have made a few timid, exploratory trips to the hills around Jacobstown, but I’ve been unable to find any game, and the only plant life I’ve found is the odd lone xander root. That’s not going to keep me feed for any amount of time!
My only choice is to venture further afield and see what I can find.

Must. Not. Make. Obvious. Pun.

Must. Not. Make. Obvious. Pun.

Day 1:
Nada.

Day 2:
I find another Xander root. Spectacular.
It would take 5 or so of these to feed me just for one day, but it’s better than nothing.

Not exactly the sort I was hoping for.....

Not exactly the sort of root I was hoping for..... (sorry, couldn’t help myself)

Day 3:
Going to have to push further out. Wearing armour… just in case.
Today I thought that my luck was looking up. I found a honey mesquite tree…
And then I noticed a flicker of a bright-orange wing. Holy motherf&#*ing Cazadores.
I back up and then RUN all the way to Jacobstown. God damn Cazadores.

Well... a small improvement is still an improvement

Well... a small improvement is still an improvement

Let's see what's down here and OH, MY GOD

Let's see what's down here and OH, MY GOD

Day 4:
Nothing.
On the bright side, Calamity must have made a trading trip, because she has a little more food. Also, another two bottles of scotch. If worst comes to worst I’ll give up on food entirely and live off of sweet, sweet scotch. Scotch and rage.

Day 5:
Drank all the scotch.
MMMMMMMMmmm. Scotch burns away the hunger.

Day 6:
Found no food.
Also, have a raging headache. Perhaps related to my sad lack of scotch.

Day 7:
Behold: Joe the mighty hunter!
Today found a small family of Mantises. One of them managed to get its claws into me, but all things considered things went really well.
Have a fair number of Mantis Legs now. Sadly, I don’t have any wine or I could cook up some grilled Mantis… although, who am I kidding? If I had wine I’d just drink it and try to pretend it was scotch.
Still, I can trade them to Calamity for something I can actually eat.

Mate, you're really BUGGING me.

Mate, you're really BUGGING me. (Comedy GOLD! Wait, there's more!)

Say back, I know how to kills bugs... with my BEE BEE gun! (Oh god, I'm good!)

Say back, I know how to kills bugs... with my BEE BEE gun! (Oh god, I'm good!)

Day 8:
Ate the last of the Bighorner steaks that I brought with me from the safe house. I’ve still got food I traded from Calamity, but things might get unpleasant soon.
Was having a fairly good day – found more Xander root and another honey mesquite tree. Then stumbled across a door in the side of the mountain. I love doors! “Why not take a look”, I ask myself, “What’s the worst that could happen?”

If anything, this proves that I can't learn from my past mistakes

If anything, this proves that I can't learn from my past mistakes

Inside I found a shack that seems to lead to a deserted mining operation. Judging from the Pre-war instant meal I find, this place had been abandoned for a while.
I found a whole lot of pretty great stuff in there… a book on picking locks, ammo and some exciting looking explosives. If I had been ‘prospecting’ rather than slowly starving to death, that place would have been quite the find.
It was getting dark, but I decided to take a peek inside the mine itself before bedding down for the night in one of the spare bunks.

Come on, lockers... daddy needs something to eat.

Come on, lockers... daddy needs something to eat.

Oh good... More caves. I love caves.

Oh good... More caves. I love caves. And last time I explored a case everything just went SO well

Nothing. Oh, well... nothing is better than claws, I guess

Nothing. Oh, well... nothing is better than claws, I guess

The tunnels seemed long abandoned. After checking through the crates found at the back of one dead end, I backed up to try a different path. And that’s when I found them. Lots of them. Cazadores. Motherf&#$ing Cazadores.

I fled the tunnel… it was really my only option since the way forward was basically just a blur of bright orange wings. As I stumbled forward I could feel them ripping at my leather armour, which all at once felt too thin and flimsy by half, but I had little choice but to bolt for the door.

OHGAWD-CLAWS!

OHGAWD- STINGERS ARE WORSE THAN CLAWS!

I finally made it to the exit and slammed the thin wooden door behind me.
It’s a little known fact that, despite the ability to tear through power-armour with no problem, Cazadores are deathly afraid of wood. It drains them of their wasp-y powers and they avoid it at all costs.
At least I assume that’s true… since the rather flimsy wooden-plank door was able to keep that vast horde of them imprisoned in the caves and away from me.

Let's thank our good and fluffy Lord for the magical power of wood

Let's thank our good and fluffy Lord for the magical power of wooden doors

With the Cazador poison still coursing through my system I just stood, watching the door with my finger on the trigger of my shotgun. Not that the shotgun would do any good should the flock break through… but it gave me the illusion of safety, and I was willing to take what I could get.
When at last I felt well enough to leave I stumbled out into the night… and ran right into two wild Bighorners.

Better late than never

Food! Better late than never.

Yay, I guess… it would have been nice to find them BEFORE I was half-starved and trapped in a cave with mutant wasps from hell… but I’ll take what I can get. At least I’m eating meat tonight.
Limping back to town is less work knowing that there is BBQ waiting for me.

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One Response to “Into the Wild”

  1. Quinton Beck Says:

    Haha, I just imagined if Joe found the Remnant’s Bunker how irritated he would be that he couldn’t get in to really loot the place. Fun chapter, keep ’em coming.

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