Just sing a song and bring the sunny weather.

Before we get started, I learn a little bit more about the trip I’ve signed myself up for. Jed Masterson and his partner Stella explain that we will be heading north, through some mountainous passages and across a wild nature reserve, to New Canaan. New Canaan is a big settlement of fairly religious folk that have a reputation for fair trading and good hospitality.

To get there we’ll have to head through some pretty dangerous territory, but Jed and Stella have hired some well-armed mercenaries to guard us, so Joe won’t need to put his own body at risk.
Frankly, it’s not too often you have people offer a job where someone else will take a bullet for you… more often they’re requesting that you take a bullet for them.

The journey through the Northern Passage seems to have taken no time at all. Seriously, we’ve supposedly been on the road for weeks, but it seems to have taken a minute or two, tops. I guess time flies when you’re having fun?
The whole trip is a blurry haze… like a dream. In my head, I can almost hear a man’s voice narrating our trek in a gravelly, yet strangely comforting, voice.

“Happy trails to you, until we meet again.”

“Happy trails to you, until we meet again.”

After the alleged week of walking, we have arrived in Zion – someplace that was apparently a National Park before the war.
From what I understand, the way world worked before the war is that people spread out all over the world and basically shat on everything. Reserves were small areas that everyone agreed not to crap in, so that they had a place to visit when they wanted to see what the world looked like before people shat all over it.
As a side effect, when the Great War started the reserve was largely ignored since not many people were living there. As such, Zion is relatively pristine.

“Yes... yes. This is a fertile land, and we will thrive. We will rule over all this land, and we will call it... This Land.”

“Yes… yes. This is a fertile land, and we will thrive. We will rule over all this land, and we will call it… This Land.”

As we emerge from the northern pass (although, on this side I suppose it’s the southern pass), and out onto a high plateau. It appears it’s too steep to head back that way, so if I want to head back to New Vegas I’ll have to find another way. Jed assures me that we will pick up maps for an alternate way home, but I’m a little sceptical.

I have to admit that being stranded on this side wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world; just being here is quite refreshing… the unspoiled paradise is a stark contrast to the Capital Wasteland or the Mojave. Or… it was… until people started shooting at us.

“But… you’ll protect me, right? Right?”

“But… you’ll protect me, right? Right?”

Uh-oh.

UH-OH!

UH-OH!

Jed didn’t think that there would be any trouble from the tribals, but the first sign of trouble comes not long after we first step foot in Zion.
Bullets are zinging about, grenades are exploding and Joe is hiding behind a convenient rock.

Our attackers are both ahead of us and above us, firing down from the slopes of the hill. Dressed in war paint and animal skins, they are attacking with an odd blend of modern machine guns and hand-made spears.
One by one, my allies are picked off by the ambush. Despite superior weaponry, we’re badly outnumbered and while we inflict heavy casualties, our party is steadily whittled down.
Jed is one of the last to fall, cut down as he tried to make it to the side of Stella who’d been shot early on.

“STELLA!!! STELLA!!! Can't you hear me yell-a? You're puttin' me through Hell-a? Stella, STELLA!”

“STELLA!!! STELLA!!! Can’t you hear me yell-a? You’re puttin’ me through Hell-a? Stella, STELLA!”

Not Stella! Noooooooooooooooooo!
What? Why are you looking at me like that?

Okay, you got me.
Honestly, I don’t recall talking to Stella during the journey here, but we were together for over a week and I feel pretty strongly that she would want me to take her gun.
And her ammo.
And her money.
And all of her clothes.

For that matter, I’m also pretty sure that everyone else would want me to put their gear to good use. You know… for the good of the survivors.
Or survivor, as the case may be.

By the time I’m finished looting the tribals, my former allies and the rest of the campsite, I’m laden with more gear then my poor reality-warping pockets can bear. But my glee at the potential profit turns sour the moment I look about and remember where I am. Sure, I might have lots of stuff to sell – but who is here to buy?

With nowhere left to go I set off down the path down the hill and over a tenuous looking rope bridge…
About half-way across the bridge more gun-shots ring out and I’m sent scuttling for cover. Luckily for Joe, a newcomer sneaks up behind my newest attacker and calmly slits his throat.

 "Hoi! White Legs don't leave survivors often. You're some kind of lucky, let me tell you." “Good sir, as far as I’m concerned, W is for Winner”


“Hoi! White Legs don’t leave survivors often. You’re some kind of lucky, let me tell you.”
“I’ve never been more happy to see a brutal murder”

My new friend is called “Follows-Chalk” and he offers to take me to meet his tribe – and as this gentleman saved me, I’m more inclined to want to visit his tribe rather than risking further encounters with the other. What other choice do I have?

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