Build Mass with Sass!

Over the next few days we thoroughly explore the surrounding ruins, but despite my untold optimism we don’t find anything to justify the time we’ve spent digging about.
We found an old pump station – but there wasn’t too much there worth taking other then a few caps. And the place looks like it’s still used by the NCR, so we didn’t want to piss them off too much.

We also found a barn with a giant ant-hill within it. But we didn’t even get any ant-meat out of that location, because we beat a hasty retreat the very moment I discovered that these ants inexplicably breathe fire. I’m all for starting a fight if something attacks me, or if something looks like it’s going to attack me, or for money… mostly for money… but I fail to see the benefit of braving fire-breathing monsters when the only profit is likely to be some poxy ant meat.

No, thank-you... I chose life!

No, thank-you… I chose life!

At this stage Joe is looking like a bit of a failure as a leader. Perhaps, rather than leading Procurements United, I should take up some other hobby… like knitting… or racket-ball. I keep hearing ads on the radio about some traders planning to head up north, and they’re looking for prospectors and caravanners to join them. Tempting, but right now I need to keep my mind on the job at hand.

We set out once again, early in the morning, and we attempt to eek a living out of the wastes.

Look... there's crap worth stealing out here somewhere, and by god I'll find it.

Look… there’s crap worth stealing out here somewhere, and by god I’ll find it.

Thankfully we stumble across a place that might actually have something worth stealing. It’s a tall square building with a giant sarsaparilla bottle out the front – the HQ of Sunset sarsaparilla. The whole place is ringed with a chain-link fence whose gaping rusted holes look like they’d do a piss-poor job of keeping people out.



The old trucks outside are stacked with crates of sarsaparilla bottles, and among the smashed glass and debris are a few good bottles, still sealed. Now, it not sound like much, but each bottle will sell for 13 caps or so. 10 bottles means 130 caps. It might not be high-technology, but enough bottles could mean big bucks.

Weeeeeee... we are going to need bigger pockets.

We… are going to need bigger pockets.

 Say, friend - you got any more of that good sarsaparilla?

Say, friend – you got any more of that good sarsaparilla?

The offices are looking pretty good for a building that’s over 200 years-old and I’m pleasantly surprised to find that it’s been relatively unmolested.
The reason for the relatively pristine state of the place is a familiar sight – just like the Reppco HQ, this place is crawling with robots. Like… a lot of robots. Happily, these were not security robots, but rather bottling robots.

I’m not sure if you’ve ever tried to protect a corporate headquarters from roving raiders, but bottling robots shouldn’t be your go-to defensive measure. The high number of robots might be what kept other raiders at bay, but it’s hardly the kind of threat that’s likely to send a hardened adversary running.

Besides… I’m backed up by Ed-e, a robot that is actually designed for light combat… with a laser gun… who can fly.

All your bottle-caps are belong to us!

All your bottle-caps are belong to us!

Turns out that Sarsaparilla isn’t the only thing worth taking in this place. It seems that this building was used to bottle Sunset Sarsaparilla, and bottling requires bottle-caps… and bottle-caps are what largely passes as currency round these parts. (Although, let’s be frank, it hardly seems like the most secure currency to build a civilisation around.)

It’s pretty profitable just poking around the various draws and cabinets around the factory floor. But things really pick up when I find a programmable janitor robot that’s able to sweep through the industrial machinery for trash – a task that was able to net me more than 500-caps in one go.

Basically, we get to stroll around the facility reaping a harvest of sweet cash money – a trick that’s got to impress even Veronica.

Once we have had our wicked way with the building, Procurements United head back out to the lobby. And thats when I notice an old booth sitting in the corner, one with a kind of creepy cowboy doll in it. One whose eyes always follows you… one broken eye that’s always watching.
Joe just about craps himself when the bowed head jerks upwards and the limp mouth starts to waggle, slightly out of time with a recorded voice.


Creepy. There’s totally a feeling I’ve felt somewhere before…

OHMYFRAKENGOD it's alive! Kill it. Kill it with fire!

OHMYFRAKENGOD it’s alive! Kill it. Kill it with fire!

I’m able to regain my undoubtedly regal composure once it becomes clear that robot cowboy doll thing was just playing a pre-recorded voice.

Damn thing is still creepy as hell, but I’m able to push down my revulsion long enough to hear out its rasping tale. Apparently, before the war, there was some competition to win a great prize – to win you had to seek out ‘special’ bottle-caps with a blue star etched into them. They could be found on Sunset Sarsaparilla bottles, but only small percentage of caps had stars upon thars.

I guess that explains the ‘lucky’ bottle-caps that I’ve seen about – I have several of piles of them that I’ve collected from here and there. I found the first one at the little pirate radio station outside of Goodsprings and since then I’ve found one or two in most of the buildings I’ve looted visited.

I figure it can’t hurt to offer the creepy robot doll what I’ve found. First 10, then 20 and then 40 caps are feed into the slot in his podium. Alas, it seems that I don’t have enough for whatever wondrous prise he had in store. But his recourding changed, indicating that I was very nearly almost there.

I don’t have an more star-caps, but I do have a whole lot of Sunset Sarsaparilla. The solution here is as delicious as it is obvious – drink ’til you vomit!

Sir, your sales predictions are shockingly wrong.

Oh, I’ll freshen up, alright!

67 bottles of Sunset Sarsaparilla later and we’re good to go. With a sense of growing anticipation we feed the remaining star-caps into the slot.
After throwing back 60 or so Sarsaparillas I was therefore fairly unimpressed to find out that the ‘prize’ in question was the just the story of how the company came about…
Something about saloon owners, a strange man, secret recipes and ghosts… frankly, I wasn’t paying attention as I was trying to choose between throttling the robot and vomiting sarsaparilla all over the floor.

Perhaps he saw the murder in my eyes, because the demon robot then says that there is a ‘real’ prize just around the corner.

Oh, my god. It's full of... stars?

Oh, my god. It’s full of… stars?

Plastic novelty sheriff’s badges wasn’t really what I had in mind as fair payment for services rendered. I’m about to storm out when we notice a corpse in the corner… looks like I’m not the first person to try leaping through these hoops.
Looking over the body I spy a holotape:

I guess this is it. Not much air left now. Minutes, maybe. And this is all I have to show for it. I guess the joke’s {gasps air} on me. Prolly shouldn’t {gasp for air} have killed… all those people, Prolly shoulda stayed at home… {gasp for air} and taken care of my ma. She… always used to say people who… murder and steal… die bad in the end. Said they… {gasp for air} {no sound}

Interesting… you know what else they say? Finders keepers, losers weepers. And just to be clear, I’m talking about this guy’s pants.
As a bonus it seems that this guy’s laser pistol is a custom model. So we’ll be taking that too.

"At least he died looking bad-ass."

“At least he died looking bad-ass.”
“But he’s still dead”
“But he’s dead and bad-ass
“But he’s still dead

And so we head off into the night, where once again the bright lights of Vegas seem to mock the grim darkness of the wasteland from behind their well-defended walls. But I don’t care – today everything finally worked out and Joe is a winner.

We win

“Not bad, if I say do myself. See? You follow me and ol’ Joe will make good!”
“Yeah, I’m sure the great sarsaparilla cap caper will go down in history.”


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