The Prospector Massacre

I’m going to grant you that following a trail of dead prospectors probably isn’t the most rock solid of plans for a prospector, but seeing so many like-minded freeloaders slaughtered is somewhat offensive. I actually feel a little angry – these people deserve vengeance!

Okay, so admittedly there is also a part of me that assumes that whatever drew so many prospectors out here must have been one hell of a find. (It also doesn’t hurt that I’m collecting a few items from each corpse I pass – but these guys were professional scavengers like me, I’m pretty they’d understand my compulsive need to strip them down to their frilly under-things.)

The trail led me to this cave, and despite all the obvious reasons not to, I’ve got to find out what the hell was going on here. Things inside aren’t any more encouraging, and the first thing I find is yet another dead prospector.

I can't help but feel that this bodes poorly.

I can't help but feel that this bodes poorly.

The cave tunnel is fairly short, leading to a bright chamber with a small cabin in it, and around that cabin are three gang members… although, for a change, they are from the Jackals rather than from the Powder Gang.
At this point I’m tempted to turn-tail and leave these gentlemen to their business, but Ed-e is having none of that. Before I have a chance to stop him, Ed-e floats out of the shadows, wildly firing laser busts into the midst of the raiders.

Almost immediately one of the Jackals catches a laser blast to the torso and collapses writhing on the ground. The numbers evened, I’m much more confident and decide that now would be a useful time for Joe to pitch in.
I forgo the scoped rife I’ve been using for the past few weeks and instead grab Benny’s pistol – the very gun that once shot me, the gun used to shoot me in the head and leave me for dead, now an instrument of vengeance against those who would dare to slaughter my brethren!
Or, at least, a force of potential vengeance… by the time I’ve finished fluffing about with guns and ammo and so forth, Ed-e has finished off the poorly defended Jackals and floated back over to me for further instructions.

Spirits buoyed by an easy triumph, I’m encouraged enough to push on through and explore the cabin. Ed-e and I make our way through the door, only to find ourselves in a small hallway with a lone, suddenly quite alarmed, raider. Once again Ed-e rattles off a few burst of laser fire, something that the raider’s thin cloth armour is not at all prepared to deal with.

Exterminate! EXTERMINATE!

Exterminate! EXTERMINATE!

The cabin is actually rather large… almost worthy of the title of ‘lodge’ rather than ‘cabin’, and the commotion inevitably brings gang members from the workshop and sleeping areas. Sadly for them, Ed-e’s scanners had forewarned Joe that there were additional hostiles hanging about… So while they were busy filing out into the hallway, I had already lit the fuse on a stick of dynamite and tossed it down the end of the hallway… shortly before I’d absconded to the kitchen.

In the space of a few seconds there was the sound of Ed-e’s laser fire, the sound of returning gun fire, a massive explosion and then, I swear, a leg hurtled through the doorway of the kitchen. Victory for Joe!

Despite the success of my conquest, looking about this place is still pretty damn depressing. It consists of a fairly nice barracks, a well-kept kitchen/living area and a workroom in the back. Clearly, this wasn’t the gang’s hideout. This was obviously the prospector’s home base and the riders had attacked it, slaughtering everyone.

Yay! Another free set of clothes fallen friend

Yay! Another free set of clothes fallen friend

I’m not sure exactly why, but I feel an undeniable compulsion to tidy the place up. It doesn’t seem right that the place be left with junk and dead bodies scattered about.
I end up building somewhat grotesque piles of bodies – one outside in the cave, just around the back of the building, and another inside in the workshop. I then gather up any mess left by the raiders and toss that in the corner too.

Well... where else am I going to put them?

Well... where else am I going to put them?

Okay... this strikes me as being fundamentally wrong.

Okay... so now this strikes me as being fundamentally wrong.

In the process of cleaning up I find a few possessions that had belonged to the prospectors that hadn’t already been stolen by the raiders – generally items that were locked inside of containers the Jackals couldn’t open or items, like a book on lock-picking, which would have been no use to a group of with so dull a wit.
I take all those items and store them in my backpack… It’s what the prospectors would have wanted.
Well… I suppose, if I was being precise, ‘what they would have wanted’ would have been to continue living in this idyllic, hidden little home for the continuation of their eventually long lives… but considering the circumstances, having Joe take their all their most valuable possessions was probably a close second.

A hint perhaps?

A hint, perhaps?

Once everything is tidy the place looks quite nice and I deside to use the bedroom to sleep the night. Can’t deny that this place is actually pretty comfortable.
I even briefly consider making it my new base of operations. An idea that lasts only as long as it took for me to remember what happened to the last group of people who called this place home. Nevertheless, I’m currently weighed down with gear scavenged from hereabouts, so I decide to leave anything of questionable value in one of the chests. I can keep exploring the local area and drop in here to grab it on the way back.

One thing still bugs me… That this place was the home base for the prospectors explains why there were so many prospector corpses about, but why make their home here? What were they prospecting out here in the desert hills, so far away from the ruins of New Vegas?
This calls for further investigation.

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One Response to “The Prospector Massacre”

  1. I have too say, I like this little short story, intrigued me, your roll play and description skills are threw the roof, you remind me of myself good sir and the way I write my novels.

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