Everything is coming up Joe!

Apparently the soldier running the NCR mess hall seems to take the name ‘mess’ a little too literally, but it turns out that even my disastrous choice of eating establishment can work out in my favour. It seems that his disheartening lack of culinary skill is due in part to lack of quality ingredients.
Well you know what? I happen to currently be employed by the Crimson Caravan, and I’m quite sure I could negotiate an arrangement that would benefit everyone (especially me, ideally).

“Mmmmm, taste the salmonella! “

“Mmmmm, taste the salmonella! “

“We… are going to need a bigger broom.”

“We… are going to need a bigger broom.”

After chowing down on some fairly disappointing lunch, I pay a visit to the chap dealing weapons, but he seems to be a tad on the shady side. I sell a few odds and ends, buy some 10mm ammo and then resolve to never trade here again.

 “Dark and sinister… I can’t see anything to worry about here. Clearly everything is above board.”

“Dark and sinister… I can’t see anything to worry about here. Clearly everything is above board.”

Deals done, I head back to Freeside, stopping by Westside on the way. Freeside is great for bars and casinos, but buying the booze in bulk from Westside’s bottle-store can’t be beat. And when it comes to booze in the wasteland, it pays to have a stockpile, because you can never be too sure when you’ll get the chance to get more.

While marching back to home base I spend a little time listening to the ad for the happy trails caravan company and their trip north. They’re still looking for traders, couriers and prospectors.
Eventually I get sick of the chatter and flick it off, instead pondering on how traversing the Mojave waste is a significantly different experience to wandering the capital wastes. I can trudge all around these parts and all I have to worry about is what radio station I’m listening to (if you’re curious, mostly the jazz station to avoid Johnny and his goddamn guitar).
Meanwhile, in the capital wastes, there constantly seemed to be something trying to bite, shoot or bludgeon me… for an alleged wasteland, the capital wastes are pretty damn crowded.

Both have their drawbacks, but I know which I prefer… just seems a pity I can’t utilise some of these ruins to facilitate a somewhat quicker journey.

“Ed-e. all this would all go a lot faster if you could get these working.”

“Ed-e. all this would all go a lot faster if you could get these working.”

Back at the Crimson Caravan HQ, arranging a deal was easier than I could have hoped. I shortly have something worked out, however I didn’t manage to wheedle anything for myself.
I guess I got the good-will of the parties involved… so in a way, this its still a win. But good-will won’t keep me in sweet, sweet booze, so in a much more real and tangible sense, it’s a dismal failure.

 “Two for one – it’s like a one for one trade, only less fair!”

“Two for one – it’s like a one for one trade, only less fair!”

I decide that best use of time would be to focus on a job I know is going to get me paid. Alice McLafferty, head of the entire Crimson Caravan, had a list of jobs to do and I know I won’t be wasting my time if I follow up on those.

The first thing on my list is to ‘get rid of’ the spoiled brat currently running the New Vegas branch of Crimson Caravan. But ‘get rid of’ in a nice corporate way, not in a ‘found-dead-with-two-hookers,-no-lower- extremities -and-1000-grams-of-jet-in-his-blood’ way.

As luck would have it, I know the guy. He hangs out at the Atomic Wrangler, and I was heading there to piss away all my caps relax in a socially responsible manner anyhow.

 “A funny thing happened to me on the way to the bar…”

“A funny thing happened to me on the way to the bar…”

After absorbing a little liquid courage, I run into my mark, who is happily playing a slot machine over in a corner.
I take the machine next to him and, in-between hurling my money into the bottomless black-hole that is habitual gambling, I chat with him about life, love and addictive pastimes.

While chatting away he foolishly let’s slip that he is in debt to the Omertas, one of the casino families from The Strip. Sensing my chance to strike (verbally speaking), I casually suggest that I might let the Omertas know where he is if he doesn’t resign from his post at the Crimson Caravan.
Wouldn’t you know it? Turns out that he’s a big fan of saving his own skin, and he agrees after a minimal number of thinly veiled threats.

Ms McLafferty seems happy with the outcome and promptly pays the full 500 caps… which I promptly put to dubious use on the blackjack table.

Mmmm, compulsive.
On the bright side, the gambling does help mask the pain of Veronica leaving me.

“I have disposable income. Quick! Gamble it!”

“I have disposable income. Quick! Gamble it!”

Come on… Joe needs a new hat!

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