Gone Fishing

Have you ever had one of those days where you didn’t want to get out of bed, because the day before you were attacked by an angry plant and you figure that, if even plants hate you, then perhaps life is no longer worth living?
If your answer was no, then I envy you.

After being snared by traps and attacked by the local vegetation I figure I deserve a bit of a lie in… and besides, it’s a chance to read a few of the books that I carry about with me. Given my current situation, I figure a medical book would be relevant and applicable reading.

Arguably, I shouldn’t be dragging a pile of heavy books around with me in the wilderness, and admittedly, I am often trying to find additional room in my pockets in which to store the stuff I find.
But finding readable books are a rarity in the Wasteland, and that’s doubly true for books that offer practical information to fine upstanding lads such as myself.

Curse you, lack of ‘the internets’! Never there when you could be of some use.

Curse you, lack of ‘the internets’! Never there when you could be of some use.

I do seem to have picked up the bad habit of destroying books the moment I’m done reading them, which seems like something of a waste… But I just can’t stop myself, no matter how hard I try.
Perhaps I subconsciously fear somebody finding the books and using the knowledge against me.
To be fair, a surprising number of books do contain oddly specific details on how do murder to people and it’s not like I need raiders reading up on additional ways to maul or mutilate me.
Regardless, I’m pretty sure that any Brotherhood Scribe would want to strangle me on sight.

The next day Follows-Chalk and I set out again. Even if I hadn’t been ready to make my way out, I was beginning to feel in dire need of water, dehydrated even – perhaps due to my use judicious of the whiskey we found in the gift shop.
Mmmmmmmmmm, whiskey.

Our path meanders through Zion and I pass the time by collecting all the odd fruit and seeds that we pass by. They really are all over the place – I’m sure if there was a Mrs. Joe, she’d be able to knock together some kick-ass jam. Even I, no master of the culinary arts, have had some minor successes mixing up some pretty good snacks.

We pass over another bridge and through another deserted camper-van park. Honestly, I’m not too sure if this is one that we had explored previously, as caravan-park are a fairly common sight. If there is one thing I can say for sure about pre-war society, it’s that they loved themselves some ranger towers and caravan parks.
Still, compared to the Capital Wastes and Mojave this place is an untouched paradise – I imagine that we are only running into these remnants of pre-war society so often because we are following the old pre-war roads as often as we can… Following a road is a lot less effort than climbing a mountain, only to find at the top that there is no friggen way over it.

Majestic. Dusty. Majestically Dusty.

Majestic. Dusty. Majestically Dusty.

While the old caravan park was unable to produce much in the way of enthusiasm, what with its amazing stockpile of dented cans and soiled clothing, I am quite interested in an old Fishing Lodge that we happen upon up in the northern hills.
These people used to like hunting things, and I like killing things before they can bite me. We would have got along famously. What’s not to love?

“Come, Follows-Chalk. Let us loot in defiance of your rich cultural heritage.”

“Come, Follows-Chalk. Let us loot in defiance of your rich cultural heritage.”

Considering that it’s more than 200-years old, the place looks in fairly good nick externally, and it’s covered in white handprints indicating that the natives of the valley consider this remnant of the old world to be taboo.

as they say, one man’s taboo is another man’s treasure. (That <strong>is</strong> something that people say, right?)

as they say, one man’s taboo is another man’s treasure. (That is something that people say, right?)

Inside it’s not too shabby either; with large (formally) luxurious carpets, a classy fireplace, a pool table and its own bar.
But it does show obvious signs of wear and tear sustained from the passage of time. From the passage of time and from the family of green geckos that have made it their home. Did I mention the geckos? Because they are totally gnawing on my leg right now.
But the joke is on you geckos, because my leg is ALREADY crippled! Your increasingly painful biting means nothing to me! HA!

I won’t lie – it the gnawing still freaken hurts. But what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, and if this bugger is going to try and eat me I’ll sure as hell try to eat him right back.

Oooh, fresh oeuvres. Classy.

Oooh, fresh oeuvres. Classy.

Plus I have Follows-Chalk and a shotgun on my side – a definitive improvement over lame ol’ teeth.

Fly, my little angel! Fly!

Fly, my little angel! Fly!

Once the geckos have landed, F-C and I are able to explore the rest of the lodge.
Resisting the urge to steal all the pool-balls as souvenirs, I instead focus myself on more likely targets of opportunity. There is a first aid kit in the bathroom from which I snag a few medical supplies, a gun cabinet that (predictably) provides a gun and the bar, which nets me a bit more booze. Hazzah!

We’ve struck gold!

We’ve struck gold! (Again)

Also… Gecko meat is on the menu tonight – fair is fair, after all.

There is also a locked cabinet, the key for which was rather oddly found in a crate in the bathroom. Never one to resist the lure of locked things, I open the cabinet with some anticipation.
I’m only mildly disappointed to find a pair of walky-talky radios – no use to me, but something that Joshua Graham wanted. Not that he’s paying me fat loots for them, but if he can help me get back to the Mojave it’ll be worth it.

It’s not that I don’t like Zion – indeed, in most ways it’s preferable to the desert of the Mojave. There is lots of free water, hundreds of free plants, there is very little radiation and the people are far more gullible friendly.
However, there are no shops. What’s the point of collecting all this crap if I can’t sell it off and then use the ill-gotten gains to like the rest of my life in the lap of luxury while everyone else does all the hard work? None, that’s what!

But that can wait… there is still plenty to see here in Zion, and as long as Follows-Chalk has room in his pack, I have sacred places to loot.

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