Not a contender

Now that we’ve taken just about everything that isn’t nailed down in this locality, it’s time to move on towards New Vegas. I gather up all the crap intriguing merchandise that we had been stockpiling at the small motel, and once I’ve loaded Ed-e and Veronica up with luggage we’re ready to go on our way.
We set out once again into the hot Mojave sun.

You know, this place is so hot – I bet you could make a killing if you built some kind of Water Park.

Our path north will take us past the NCR’s main camp in the Mojave, and I recall offering to drop an invoice off there.
Okay, so I don’t recall at all… but my pip-boy recalls. Apparently, I volunteered to courier the invoice to the camp for the Crimson Caravan Company. That was months ago, which makes Joe the worst courier in the world…
Although, to be honest, the last job I was hired to do (literally years ago) was deliver a platinum chip, and I still have that chip stashed in my labyrinthine pockets now.
What’s more, I was supposed to deliver that chip to Mr. House… the same Mr. House who asked to speak with me last time I came this way… whom I then never met, because I was too busy killing Benny and fleeing The Strip. All of which means I’m probably the worst courier in galaxy and the last person you should intrust with your precious invoices.

Before beating a path to the NCR’s door I suggest that Veronica change outfits. The Brotherhood of Steel and New California Republic are not really on the best of terms… in fact they’re pretty much constantly at war. While there is no way for the NCR troopers to know for sure that Veronica is a member of the Brotherhood, it’s probably a bad plan for her to go tromping through the main NCR military stronghold wearing Brotherhood Power-armour. That seems like it would be asking for trouble.

My stealth suit brings all the boys to the yard.

My stealth suit brings all the boys to the yard!
It helps me, go undiscovered.
It helps me go undiscovered,
I’d show you, but it needs to charge.

With Veronica dressed in a much more sensible outfit, we mosey on over to the legendary Camp McCarran.
Back before the war Camp McCarran was a civilian airport, flying people to all corners of the United States – a feat almost unimaginable now. Then during the war, the US government took over the airfield, fortifying it and using it as staging ground for the US air force.
Flash forward 200 years or so, and the place makes an obvious stronghold for a new kind of army. Already fortified, close to Hoover Dam, close to the Colorado so they can keep an eye on the Legion and close to Vegas where they can keep an eye Mr. House… and it has monorail access directly into the strip for troopers with leave.

When we arrive, it looks like I’m not the first trade caravan here. After a brief conference, Veronica and I both agree that she should be the one to negotiate entrance to the camp.

Joe, you stay here

“Joe, you stay here with Ed-e. I’ll go sort out entry.”
“But I want t…”
“No”
“But I wan…”
No.”
“But…”
“No.”
“Awwwwwww…”

Despite not having any air force, the NCR have put the space to good use – line after line of army tent stretches off into the horizon, filling up the old runways of the former air-base. Among the tents there is little movement, but occasionally Joe spies a flash of khaki as troopers and members of First Recon dash amongst the sea of green canvas.

Tent city. Like a very angry Woodstock.

A Tent city. Like a very angry Woodstock.

We make our way over to the old Terminal Building, where the officers work and sleep. Along the way I ignore a sales pitch from some guy in steel armour, who tried to sell me on the idea of mercenary work. I am no less dedicated to the idea of avoiding choosing sides then I was when I started, so I politely nod and smile until I see an opportunity to quickly break off conversation.

The inside of the terminal was no less impressive then the outside, an old jet fighter is still suspended from the ceiling and ad-hoc defences arranged in the foyer.

Oooooooooo, I want a ride!

Oooooooooo, I want a ride!

Yep, still want a ride....

Yep, still want a ride….

There’s a lot more hustle and bustle here then out on the runway, and I get the feeling that if I were to search about I could probably locate some sort of supplies officer who might be interested in trading with me.
However, I don’t want to run the risk of accidently signing up to help the NCR or run the risk of having our advanced energy weapons confiscated ‘for the greater good’; so I make a bee-line for the R&D department, drop off the stack of invoices and then make for the door.

Invoicing work completed, we set off for the north once again – I’m determined to make Westside before nightfall. Despite complaints from ‘other’ members of Procurements United, our hustle pays off and we make it to Westside just as the sun starts to set.

Veronica... Are you checking out that chick's ass?

“Veronica… Are you checking out her ass?”
“Maybe.”
“I knew that there had to be some reason you were immune to my animal magnetism!”
“Oh, there are reasons. Trust me. LOTS of reasons.”

Veronica wasn’t with me last time I came to Northside – our parting of ways occurred before I came here to lay low. That means I get to show her about the place – for once it’ll be nice to show her around some place that is making a serious attempt at building a sustainable future. But that can wait until tomorrow… I’m sure that bringing Veronica here will in no way backfire.

You said there would be a bed here...

“Joe, you said there would be beds for us here.”
“There are beds… mattresses are beds. They are very..,. bedish”
“Joe… the mattresses are in amongst the rubble.”
“There’s a fine line between rubble and beds.”
“No, Joe. There really isn’t”

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