A place to lay your head

Turns out that the Malpais Legate isn’t such a bad guy for someone who has killed hundreds, maybe even thousands, of people.
For those who missed it, this guy used to be the 2nd in command of Caesar’s Legion and was quite the figure in their folk law. He was the commander of the army that attacked NCR at hoover damn. But when he failed, Caesar had him covered him in pitch, set on fire and kicked him into the Grand Canyon.
That wasn’t to be the end of it, as there were rumours that the Malpais Legate hadn’t died, and thus began the legend of the burned man. (Had that nick-name not taken off I’d suggest perhaps ‘The Spectacularly-Resilient Man’ would also have been particularly suitable.)

But it turns out that his real name is Joshua Graham, and he started out as a Mormon missionary

You don't LOOK like a missionary

You don’t LOOK like a missionary

The way he tells it, Graham set out long ago to do the work of a missionary, and through a twist of fate he ended up traveling with a Follower of the Apocalypse… a Follower of the Apocalypse who would go on to become Caesar (a fact I don’t recall any of the Followers in Freeside mentioning).
As Caesar gathered various tribes together, uniting them under his banner, Joshua was caught up in his rise to power. He may have started out wanting to help the united denizens of the wasteland, but over time Joshua Graham became like the legion itself – full of menace and brutality.

Even years after his assumed death, Caesar’s Legion still never speak of Joshua Graham by his true name – under penalty of death. Any rumours of his survival were played down by the higher ranks, but lower ranking legionaries, tribals and slaves still speak of the Burned Man as if he was a vengeful spirit, waiting to return.
And so here is Joe – having stumbled into the lair of a myth. Luckily – this myth wants to trade.

Follows-Chalk’s introduction must have paid off, because Joshua greets me with an open mind. Out here in a cave in the middle of nowhere, he has few meagre supplies to trade, but as I’m carrying a crap-load of excess gear I’m happy to be able to trade a few useless guns for extra food and water.

Joshua Graham was also able to explain that, after his near death and subsequent survival, he had found his faith rekindled and his pride and vanity stripped away; and he returned to New Canaan, where he was welcomed like a prodigal son. Not really a happy reunion, his return meant doom for the city. Caesar ordered the White Legs tribe, the same tribe who hijacked me, to wipe out the city completely, killing almost everyone.
So the happy trails caravan was doomed from the start – New Canaan doesn’t even exist anymore.

The revelation that there is not even a New Canaan to travel to eliminates at least one plan. If I want to leave Zion, I can’t just try to push on through. The only option is to find a way back.
But for now I’m content to explore this brave new world.

I sleep the night with the tribe, who are friendly enough. Or at least, I assume they’re friendly – most of them don’t speak English. At any rate they aren’t attacking me, which in my book puts the Dead Horse Tribe head-and-shoulders over the White Legs.

You really need to be related to fit in here

You really need to be related to fit in here

While they might be friendly it feels odd to be camping with a group that are essentially one big extended family. I need to get my own place!

The next morning I leave Follows Chalk with his tribe and head out into the wilderness.
It’s amazing to explore this place, but as night falls I haven’t found any place to call home, so I have to make use of an old bivouac.

I don't feel like this was an upgrade

I don’t feel like this was an upgrade

The next day I spend more time exploring and I’m disappointed to find that it’s apparently possible to find nature as boring as I find sand. Also, there are no radio stations in Zion, so I can’t even entertain myself with spurs that jingle, jangle jangle.
While the honeymoon period might be wearing off, I do appreciate plentiful food… plentiful free food.
On the bright side, I do find a place to call home.

Back near the Dead Horse camp is a cave… normally I wouldn’t worry too much about caves – they’re dark and mean things tend to live in there. But the moment I step into this particular cave I trigger a trip-line and two shot-guns narrowly miss my head.
You might not think that an abundance of shotgun traps is a feature that would attract Joe, but traps (particularly non-primitive traps) would suggest that something worthwhile is hidden within.

Once I’ve disarmed a whole basket of traps I find the centre chamber, and it’s just what I was looking for. Obviously someone used to live here, but in the words of a great theologian: “Finders keepers”.

Losers.... are hopefully far away.

Losers…. are hopefully far, far away.

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3 Responses to “A place to lay your head”

  1. Are you familiar with the Youtube user AlChestBreach? He’s done a bit of a run through of Honest Hearts. Just happened to have been watching it recently.

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