Fallout New Vegas
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To Part Two , To Part Three , To Part Four
His vision is blurry when the courier first opens his eyes. "You are awake. How about that," a man's voice says. The courier tries to focus on the voice. He sits up. "Whoa, easy there. Easy. You been out cold a couple of days now. Why don't you relax a second? Get your bearings. Let's see what the damage is. How about your name. Can you tell me your name?" The courier is looking at a bald old man. He is sitting in a chair in front of him. The courier listens to the doctor. "My name...? My name... is... is Phil. Philip. Yes, that's it," he says. "I'm Doc Mitchell. Welcome to Goodsprings. Now, I hope you don't mind, but I had to go rooting around there in your noggin to pull all the bits of lead out. I take pride in my needlework, but you'd better tell me if I left anything out of place," the doctor says. He then hands the courier a mirror. Philip takes a look at himself in the mirror. There are hardly any signs left of his injury. He nods at the Doc Mitchell and gives the mirror back. "Well, I got most of it right, anyway. Stuff that mattered. Okay. No sense keeping you in bed anymore. Let's see if we can get you on your feet." Philips vision fades for a brief moment as he steps out of the 'bed' and stands on the floor. "Good. Why don't you walk down to the end of the room? Over by that vigor tester machine there. Take it slow now. It ain't a race," the doctor says. The courier slowly puts one foot in front of the other. With each step he picks up the pace a little. Before he knows it he stands in front of Doc Mitchell's old vigor tester machine. "Looking good so far. Go ahead and give the vigor tester a try. We'll learn right quick if you got back all your faculties," the doctor says. Philip uses the machine. He then waits for the doctor to comment on his result. "Yep, that's a pretty standard score there. But after what you been through, I'd say that's great news. Well, we know your vitals are good. But that don't mean them bullets didn't leave you nuttier than a Bighorner dropping. What do you say you take a seat on my couch and we go through a couple of questions?`See if your dogs are still barking," the doctor says. He has shown the courier into the nearby room. Philip sits down on the worn-out old couch. Doc Mirchell takes seat in an armchair in front of him. "All right. I'm gonna say a word. I want you to say the first thing that comes to mind. Dog." "Cat," Philip says. The good doctor says several words and Philip answers with what comes to mind. Lastly the doctor shows him some pictures and asks the courier what he sees. Doc Mitchell seems pleased with the result, though he admits he really doesn't have any material to compare the results with. "Before I turn you lose, I need one more thing from you. I got a form for you to fill out, so I can get a sense of your medical history. Just a formality. Ain't like I expect to find you got a family history of getting shot in the head," Doc Mitchell says. Philip, the courier, fills out the doctor's form. He feels his faculties are still coming back to him with each passing minute. He feels stronger, tougher, smarter, and more agile. The doctor has done an amazing job bringing Philip back from the dead... but the question, 'How did he end up here in the first place?' That was still unanswered. The courier gives the filled out form to the doctor. "All right. I guess that does it. Come with me. I'll see you out." Philip follows the doctor to the door. "Here. These are yours. Was all you had on you when you was brought in. I hope you don't mind but I gave the note a look. I thought it might help me find a next of kin. But it was just something about a platinum chip. Well, if you're heading back out there, you ought to have this. They call it a Pip-Boy. I grew up in one of them vaults they made before the war. We all got one. Ain't much use to me now, but you might want such a thing, after what you been through. I know what it's like, having something taken from you. And put this on, too, so the locals don't pick on you for lacking modesty. Never was much my style anyway," Doc Mitchell says. The courier puts on the leather armour and the Pip-Boy -- a wrist computer from before the great war. He checks his weapon, a 9mm pistol. It appears to be in mint condition. "Thanks for patching me up, Doc," Philip says. "Don't mention it. It's what I'm here for. You should talk to Sunny Smiles before you leave town. She can help you learn how to fend for yourself in the desert. She'll likely be at the saloon. I reckon some of the other folks at the saloon might be able to help you out, too. And that metal fella, Victor, who pulled you ootta your grave. Anyway, you ever get hurt out there, you come right back. I'll fix you up. But try not to get killed anymore," the doctor says.
Philip steps through the door and out into the world. The sun is scorching the earth. The courier takes a sip from his water canteen, then looks around. The saloon seems to be just down the road. Philip graps the empty canteen he sees on the doctor's fence. Water means life out here, but he first needs to find a source of water before he can fill the empty canteen. The locals should know.
Pulled from the grave
Philip walks down into the small town. He sees a settler working in the yard ouside of his house. "That Doc Mitchell sure knows his stuff, doesn't he?" the settler says. Philip nods in acknowledgement. He walks on until he stands outside the general store. The courier opens the door and steps inside. A man greets him from behind the counter. Philip walks over to speak with Chet. "You must be the one Doc Mitchell was patching up. The way I heard it, I didn't think you'd be walking out of that office. I've got plenty of supplies for sale. Even got some weapon mods and special ammo -- well worth the caps, if you ask me. If you're hurting for caps, I've also got boxes of surplus ammo in the miscellaneous section. They're not great, but you get what you pay for." "What makes the surplus ammo inferior?" Philip wonders. "It's all about quantity over quality. Trouble is, you'll be cleaning and fixing your gun a lot more than usual when you use those kind of bullets," Chet says. "Tell me about weapon mods and special ammo." "Weapon mods are things like silencers, scopes, bigger magazines. Special ammo includes things like armour-piercing bullets which don't hurt the target as much but let you punch through armour easier. There's also hollowpoint bullets which have the opposite effect -- you can kill unarmoured targets easier, but they don't do shit against armour." "Do you know anything about the people who attacked me?" Philip wonders. "The leader was a New Vegas.type, typical city boy. He had a bunch of Great Khans with him, probably hired guns. The Great Khans normally stay in their own territory way up northwest, on account of them being enemies with the NCR." "Anything else you can tell me about Great Khans?" "They're tough sons of bitches, mean but not crazy -- they'll leave you alone unless you've got something they want. The Great Khans deal in illegal chems. There's a good chance that most chems you come across were made by Great Khans," Chet says. "Have you ever been to New Vegas?" Philip wonders. "Twice. Both times, I drank a lot of liquor and lost most of my caps at the card tables. In that order, now that I think about it. If you ever get to New Vegas, be sure to visit Gomorrah. It's the best casino in the city. You won't regret it. Word of advice -- behave. Bewtween the NCR military police and Mr. House's robots, you don't want to be causing trouble on the Strip." "Show me what you have for sale." The courier trades with Chet. Philip sells some of his excess items and brings in a fair amount of caps. "I'd like to know more about Mr. House," Philip says. "I'm afraid I don't know much myself. Mr. House has his own casino, the Lucky 38, but nobody goes in or out except his robots. The other casinos follow Mr. House's rules, so I guess that makes him the leader of New Vegas. As far as I know, nobody's ever laid eyes on the guy. I think that robot who pulled you out of the dirt belongs to Mr. House. If Mr. House is looking after you, that's gotta be a good thing, right?" Chet says. Philip says goodbye to the shopkeeper and walks over to the saloon.
Goodsprings General Store
On a bench outside the saloon sits an old man in a straw hat. "Howdy. What can Easy Pete do for you?" he says. "Why are you called Easy Pete?" the courier wonders. "Was a prospector until I decided to settle here to get away from the NCR. Now I just take it easy and help out with the Brahmin and Bighorners." "You were a prospector -- like digging for gold and silver?" "Nah, nah -- means I poked through old buildings looking for working tech and such. Some folks call it 'salvaging,' but never like the term. Way I see it, salvage means it's broken, near worthless. Me, I looked for the good stuff -- guns, chems, spare parts. Good money in it," the old man says. "Did you ever find anything good while prospecting?" "Nope. Had a prety good claim once, way out east by the river, but got run off by Raiders. Eventually, got too old to keep going out." "What's wrong with the NCR?" Philip says. "Don't get me wrong -- the NCR got a lot of decent folk in it. It's just that they make you part of them whether you like it or not. Towns like Goodsprings and Primm don't stay independent for long, not if you've got something the NCR wants. Still, the NCR keeps the Legion away." "Tell me about the Legion." "They're slavers, led by a man called Caesar. Or Kaisar. Not sure how you're supposed to say it. A couple of years ago they tried to take over Hoover Dam, but the NCR beat them back. The NCR didn't -- or couldn't -- finish the job, though. The Legion got its strength back and is getting ready for another round at the Dam. My money's still on the NCR winning, but you never know. We've been hearing stories about Legionaires on the Nevada side of the river, so keep a gun handy. You don't want to get caught by them," Easy Pete says. "What's so omportant about Hoover Dam?" "The Dam powers a lot of New Vegas. And then there's all that clean water lying in Lake Mead, too. Anybody who owns the Dam owns the territory." "Do you know anything about Victor?" Philip wonders. "The machine? Harmless, no matter what Trudy says. She thinks it's hiding something, but I think it's just a broken down relic with no place to be." "Do you know anything about the people who attacked me?" "The one in the fancy suit seemed to be calling the shots, that's as much as I know. Other folks in town might know more. Word of advice, though: if you ever catch up with him, watch out. The man's got cold eyes like a snake. Can't be trusted, I'd say," Easy Pete says. "What do you use the Bighorners for?" the courier wonders. "Meat and hide, mostly. Can't put a pack on 'em -- they just lay down until you take it off. Can find a bunch of wild ones up in the hills, but gotta be careful around 'em. They can put up a decent fight if cornered. Keep you gun handy if you go poking around some of the abandoned places around here, like the schoolhouse. Critters move in there sometimes," the old man says.
Meeting Easy Pete
As soon as Philip steps into the Prospector Saloon he draws the attention of a dog. "Cheyenne, stay. Don't worry, she won't bite unless I mtell her to." The courier walks up to the young woman in leather armour, with a rifle on her back. The brunette is attractive. Philip looks into her eyes. "What do you do around here?" he wonders. "I hunt geckos, mostly. The meat's pretty good and I can always find a buyer for the hides. I also keep the town clear of radscrorpions and coyotes. Not many people live in Goodsprings, so wildlife is always creeping in," she says. "You must be Sunny Smiles. Doc Mitchell said you could teach me to survive in the desert." "Yeah, I guess there's a thing or two I could show you. Sounds like you need all the help you can get after what they done to you. Meet me outside, behind the saloon." Philip stares at her bottom when she walks by. The bulge in his pants tells him what is body is thinking, but the courier's mind know this girl won't just go to bed with anyone. If he wants her, he'll have to work hard on impressing the lady. Philip follows Sunny outside. He takes another sip from his canteen. He must fill it up soon or he'll go thirsty by tomorrow.
"Mojave Express Delivery Order ... INSTRUCTIONS ... Deliver the package at the north entrance to the Vegas Strip, by way of Freeside. An agent of the recipient will meet you at the checkpoint, take possession of the package, and pay for the delivery. Bring the payment to Johnson Nash at the Mojave Express agency in Primm. ... Bonus on completion: 250 caps. ... MANIFEST ... This package contains: ... One (1) Oversized Poker Chip, composed of Platinum. ... CONTRACT PENALTIES ... You are an authorized agent of the Mojave Express Package until the delivery is complete and payment has been processed, contractually obligated to complete this transaction and matrially responsible for any malfeasance or loss. Failure to deliver to the proper recipient may result in forfeiture of your advance and bonus, criminal charges, and / or persuit by mercenary reclamation teams. The Mohave Express is not responsible for any injury or loss of life you experience as a result of said reclamation efforts."
Philip snorts having read the note. He shakes it off and walks over to Sunny. The young woman hands him a Warmint Rifle. It's in poor condition, but it's still good for some shooting. "Now, see those sarparilla bottles on that fence there? Take this and try to hit a couple of 'em," she says. Philip takes aim. "That's the right idea. Look down the sight," Sunny says. The first shot goes off and the bottle is shattered into bits. The courier takes another shot and destroys a second bottle. "Try crouching down and staying still. It'll help your aim," Sunny says. Philip hits the next bottle, making it three hits out of three shots taken. "Well, that's a start. But I don't reckon you came to me to learn how to fight sarsparilla bottles. Tell you what. I gotta go chase geckos away from our water supply anyway. Darn critters are attracted to it. Why don't you come along?" she says. "Okay, I'm in," Philip smiles. "Follow me. It's just down to the southeast a short ways."
Philip follows as Sunny Smiles runs off, Cheyenne leading the way. They stop behind a large rock formation. "Hear that on the ridge behind me there? We got some geckos to clear out. Bunch of little monsters is what they are. Seems like Doc Mitchell treats more gecko bites than anything else. Let's see if we can get a little closer. If we move quietly, we can get the jump on 'em. More likely to hit something vital that way," Sunny says. She begins to sneak around the rock formation. The courier crouches down, readies his rifle and sneaks closer. "Okay, you're on. Go give 'em hell," Sunny tells him. The geckos notice Philip and immediately come running. Philip takes aim, carefully, and with his first shot he brings down the nearest gecko. The second shot hits the torso of the next gecko, but it still keeps coming. The courier's third shot is another lethal head shot. "See? You're getting the hang of it. There's two more wells that still need clearing. You want, you can come along. It'd be worth a few caps to me," Sunny says. "Sure, I'll come with you," Philip says. "Shouldn't take more than a couple of minutes. Especially with two of us. Come with me."
Sunny and Cheyenne run off in the direction of the next well, with Philip following close behind. Then, suddenly he hears the shouts of a female. The courier quickly runs off in the direction from which he heard the voice. He soon sees a blonde young woman surrounded by geckos. She is desperately fighting them off with a knife. Philip fires two shots into the first gecko and empties his magazine into the last gecko. He reloads, then jumps down from about eight feet high. "Holy moly! If you hadn't come here like you done, I'd be a goner for sure. I came here to draw water, but here, you should have what I got. You look thirsty," she says. Philip takes some meat and the hide off the geckos, then he goes to fill up his canteens at the well. And he takes a drink from the fresh water to quench his thirst.
Satisfied he returns to Sunny who is waiting near the second well. "Now that was some good work. Even got a little exiting there at the end. Here's a little spending money for the trouble. One more thing I wanted to show you. Thought I might teach you about living off the land, and making useful things for yourself. Interested?" she says. "Couldn't hurt." "All right, then. We'll need some ingredients to get started. Gonna want some Xander Root and a Broc Flower. Lemme think now. I know I've seen Bror Flowers growing up at the graveyard. And I seem to remember there being Xander Root over by the schoolhouse. Bring those back to me, and we'll get cooking."
Gecko hunt with Sunny
Sunny Smiles and Cheyenne head down to the third well while Philip head off in the direction of the abandoned schoolhouse. The mantises outside the building are no thrreat to him. With his trusty 9mm pistol he kills all of them. Near a huge tree stump, the courier finds some Xander Root. He pulls the plants out of the ground and puts them in his pack. He then thinks about entering the schoolhouse. Inside the building Philip shoots more of those mantis nymphs. With all the critters inside taken care of, the courier turns his attention to the safe. He uses a bobby pin to pick the lock. Philip is amazed at how easy it is. There is some money and items inside. He grabs everything and then turns his attention to the computer. It sems bugged and the curier quickly loses interest in it.
Philip heads off towards the graveyard. On the road up to the place, a barkscorpion attacks him. But one well-aimed shot from his 9mm pistol is all that's needed. Philip collects the scorpions poison gland -- it might be worth something to someone. Then he walks into the graveyard. He can see several bloatflies. One shot and he has killed the first. He misses his second shot but the third brings another fly down. These insects are hard to hit but Philip kills them all. The last bloatfly attacks him, but its spittle does no harm. Philip finds the Broc Flower and a rare snowglobe, and heads back to Sunny.
It's dark when he gets back. "Let me see what you got. Yeah, these'll do just fine. Just fine. All right now. We're gonna be making something folks on the trail call Healing Powder. Go on over to that campfire now. Give it a try," Sunny says. Philip prepares the Xander Root and the Broc Flower into a powder. "Hey, that's not bad! See? All it takes to make a recipe is the right ingredients and the right know-how. Sometimes it won't be a campfire you need. Might need to do some work on your guns and ammo, maybe. Important thing to get is it's all the same idea. You just need to find the right place to set up shop. Workbench or... a reloading bench, whatever. Well, I hope that's enough to get you started. I'm heading back now. Hope I didn't miss anything important on the jukebox. Cheyenne would never forgive me. Hey, do me a favor. Trudy -- she's the bartender up at the Prospector, kind of the town mom -- she likes to meet newcomers. She's be cross with me if I didn't ask you to poke your head in and say hi," she says. Philip remains by the campfire for a little while to cook his gecko meat. Then he, too, heads back to the saloon.
Bighorner, Schoolhouse, Barkscorpion, Bloatfly at the graveyard
Upon returning to the Prospector Saloon, there is a stranger in argument with the bartender. "We'll keep that in mind. Now, if you're not going to buy something, get out," she says. On his way out, the stranger bumps into the courier. "What the hell is your problem?" the man says, then runs off. Philip walks up to Trudy. "Well, you've been causing quite a stir. Glad to finally meet you. Welcome to the Prospector Saloon," she says. "I overheard your litle argument. What was that all about?" Philip says. "It looks like our little town got itself dragged into the middle of something we don't want anything to do with. About a week ago, this trader, Ringo, comes into town. Survivor of an attack, he says. Bad men after him, needs a place to hide. We figured he was just in shock, so we gave him a place to lie low. We didn't exactly expect anyone to come after him." "Who was that man you were arguing with?" "He's a convict. Just without the chains. Said his name was Cobb. 'Powder Gangers' is what they call themselves. Plenty more like him out there," Trudy says. "What happens if I help Ringo?" "If you were to get Ringo out of this mess, you'd have a decent reputation around Goodsprings. I'd even set you up with a discount. Of course, helping Ringo would also make the Powder Gangers mad, and they've got a lot of friends out there." "Do you know anything about the robot that rescued me?" the courier wonders. "I know that... thing... as much as anyone else around here. It keeps mostly to itself, which is just fine by me." "You don't like him?" "It acts friendly enough, but I don't trust that whole 'cheerful cowboy' act. I find it all very creepy," Trudy says. "What does he actually do around here?" "Other than rolling around once in a while, it doesn't do anything useful as far as I can tell. I don't know why it took an interest in you, but I'd be careful. It's never helped anyone before. It was here when I took over the saloon seven years ago. Some people have said its owner lived here, but no one knows who it was." "I'm trying to track down the people who attacked me. Know anything about them?" Philip says. "Not much, other than they're a bunch of freeloaders who expected a few rounds on the house. I was able to get them to pay up, though. Of course, one of the Great Khans did knock my radio to the floor 'by accident,' and it hasn't been working since." "Know where they went?" "They were having some kind of argument about it, but the guy in the checkered coat kept shushing them. Sounded like they came in from the north through Quarry Junction. In that case I can't say I blame them for not wanting to go back," Trudy says. "Why is that?" "That whole area's overrun with the kind of critters that just get mad if you shoot 'em. Merchants avoid that whole stretch of I-15 like it's radioactive. Which it could be for all I know." "Want me to take a look at your radion?" Philip says. "Sure. The outside looks okay, but I think something broke on the inside. There'd be caps in it for you. I do like to hear what's going on in the world. And that Mr. New Vegas seems like such a gentleman." "Do many people come through here?" "Mostly traders looking to buy Bighorner meat and hides. The traders are the main reason the general store manages to keep in business. Most travelers heading south on the I-15 just push on towards Primm unless in desperate needs pf supplies," Trudy says. "Anything interesting going on in the rest of the wasteland?" Philip asks. "There's always something interesting going on, but the biggest news has to be the coming dustup between the NCR and the Legion over the Dam." It's quite late and Trudy leaves the saloon for the night. Philip says around a little longer, tinkering with the radio. The problem is easy to fix. He then heads out in the night.
Philip strolls aimlessly through town, hoping to find a place to sleep for the night. The courier ends up at a small shack. The friendly robot is standing outside. "Howdy, pardner! Might I say, you're looking fit as a fiddle." "How did you end up in Goodsprings?" Philip wonders. "I moseyed into town, oh, ten, fifteen years ago? Before that, I... hmmm, I can't quite seem to recall. Odd. Anyway, it's a right peaceful town and I reckon it's as fine a place to settle as any." "Thanks for pulling me out of that grave." "Don't mention it! I'm always ready to lend a helping hand to a stranger in need," Victor says. "How did you happen to find me?" "I was out for a stroll that night when I heard the commotion up at the old bone orchard. Saw what looked like a bunch of bad eggs so I laid low. Once they'd run off, I dug you up to se if you were still kicking. Turns out, you were, so I hauled you off to the Doc right quick." "Do you know who those men were who attacked me?" Philip wonders. "Can't say that I'm familiar with the rascals. Some of the fine folks in town might be able to help you out with that." "I've never seen a robot like you before." "I'm a securiton, RobCo security model 2060-B. If you ever see any of my brothers, tell them Victor says howdy," the robot says. Philip enters the shack. It's past midnight and he welcomes the bed. In the morning he will search out this trader, Ringo.
Victor and his shack
The courier begins his moring with a breakfast on some of the cooked gecko meat from the night before. Once his hunger and thrirst are satisfied, he leaves Victor's shack and heads up to the old gas station. Philip takes three bottles of sarsparilla from the wending machine before entering. He takes the young man inside by surprise. "That's close enough. Who are you, and what do you want with me?" "If you're going to shoot, you'd better not miss," Philip says. "Sorry about the gun. You just caught me off guard, that's all. We got off to a bad start. What say we start over with a friendly game of Caravan? You know how to play?" Ringo says. "What are the rules of Caravan?" "It's a two-player game, and the winner takes the whole pot. You build a 'caravan' using the cards in your deck. The goal is to create caravan bids that beat your opponent's bids, so there's more stategy than luck involved. It's why you won't see Caravan in any casino -- too slow-paced, and more importantly, no house edge. Here, take this holotape -- it goes into more specifics about the rules. You'll also need a deck, so take one of my spares. So... you feel like playing a game?" Philip studies the holotape:
"Building a Deck ...Caravan decks are coprised of at least 30 cards from one or more traditional playing card sets. The deck may have any number of cards of any type, athough it cannot have duplicate cards from the same source deck. A balanced deck has a mixture of numerical and face cards, with the specific balance tailored to the player's personal style. ... Rules ... Caravan is played with players building three opposing piles, or 'caravans', of numbered cards. The goal is to outbid your opponents caravan with the highest value of numbered cards without being too light (under 21) or overburdened (over 26). ... The game begins with each player taking eight cards from their deck and placing one numerical card, or ace valued at 1, on each caravan. Players may not discard during this initial round. ... Once both players have started their three caravans, each player may do one off the following on their turn: ... Play one card and draw a new card from his or her deck to their hand. ... Discard one card from their hand and draw a new card from his or her deck. ... Disband one of their three caravans by removing all cards, numeric and face, from the pile. ... Caravans have a direction, either scending or descending numerically, and a suit. The suit is determined with the first card placed on the caravan, the direction by the second. All subsequent cards must continue the numerical direction or match the suit of the previous card. Cards of the same numerical value cannot be placed in sequence, regardless of suit. Face cards can be attached to numeric cards in a caravan, either on the player's own or one of their opponent's and affect them in various ways. ... Card values: ... Joker -- Played against A, 2-10. Effects change based on whether it is an ace or numbered card. Multiple jokers may be played on the same card. ... Ace -- Value of 1. Jokers played on aces remove all other non-face cards of the ace's suit from the table. E.g. a joker may be played on an ace of spades and removes all spades, except face cards and that card specifically, from the table. ... 2-10 -- Listed value. Jokers played on these cards remove all other cards of this value from the table. E.g. a joker played on a 4 of hearts removes all 4s, other than that card specifically, from the table. ... Jack -- Played against A, 2-10. Removes that card, along with any face cards attached to it. ... Queen -- Played against A, 2-10. Reverses the current direction of the hand, changes the current suit of the hand. Multiple queens may be played on the same card. ... King -- Played against A, 2-10. Adds the value of that card again. E.g. a king played on a 9 adds 9 to that hand. Multiple kings may be played on the same card for multiplicative effects. E.g. 4 + king = 8. 4+ two kings = 16. ... Winning ... A player's caravan is considered sold when the value of its cards is over 20 and under 27, however the other player may still outbid by increasing the value of their opposing pile, while staying withing the 21-26 range. When each of the three competing caravans has sold, the game is over. In the event that one of the three caravans are tied between players, the game continues until all three caravans have sold. The player with two or more sales wins the pot."
When Philip has taken in the content of the holotape, he accept the invitation to play. Ringo antes 53 caps and the courier matches the bet. Philip chooses 39 cards of his total 55 to use in his game. Ringo starts by playing the 8 of diamonds. Philip plays the 8 of clubs, then Ringo plays 3 of diamonds. Philip plays the 7 of spades, and Ringo the 9 of diamonds. Philip plays the 9 of diamonds, Ringo 10 of diamonds. Philip plays King of diamonds on Ringo's 10, thus overburdening his opponent's caravan. Ringo plays 9 of spades, Philp 7 of diamonds. The game continues with Ringo playing 6 of spades, and Philip 8 of hearts. 2 of hearts if played by Ringo, 9 of clubs by Philip. Ringo plays his ace of diamonds. The courier plays 5 of clubs. Ringo plays the jack of clubs, thus bringing his overburdened caravan back into the game. The 5 of hearts is the next card Philp plays, followed by the 6 of diamonds from Ringo. Philip plays his jack of diamonds to remove another card from the table. Ringo plays the 4 of spades. Philip plays the 6 of spades. Ringo's next card is the 3 of clubs. Philip plays the king of spades and wins the pot.
In the Prospector Saloon and Gas Station
"Did you know there's a man called Joe Cobb looking for you?" the courier asks. "Yeah. He doesn't look very tough, though. I hear he's afraid I'll shoot him down from one of the windows when I see him, and he's right. I'll have a much bigger problem once his friends show up. There's no way I could handle all of them in a gunfight," Ringo says. "Why are the Powder Gangers out to get you?" "My caravan was on the return trip from California and heading back up to the company branch in New Vegas when we got jumped. Not even a 'drop your weapons and hands up' before the bullets started flying. We put up a good fight, but there was too many of them. I took out a few of the bandits before I ran, so I figure their friends are out for revenge." "What are you going to do about the Powder Gangers?" Philip says. "I'm going to lay low for as long as I can, assuming the town doesn't throw me to the wolves. I've got no chance against the gang on my own." "You need a hired gun. I'm available." "All I've got left on me are a handful of caps, but you get me out of this, and I'll make sure the Crimson Caravan pays you back. You've got my word," Ringo says. "It'll have to do. What now?" We'd just end up sharing the same grave if it's just the two of us. Now, if some of the other people in town were also on board..." "I'll ask around and see who I can round up," Philip says. "Start with Sunny Smiles. She's been friendlier than most around here," Ringo suggests.
Philip leaves the gas station and heads down to the Prospector Saloon. Sunny Smiles and her dog, Cheyenne are in the same place as he found them the day before. "Hi there. Sticking around Goodsprings for a while longer?" she says. "I'm helping Ringo deal with the Powder Gangers. We could use some help," he says. "Say no more. I'm in." "Well. That was easy." "Joe Cobb talks about leaving us alone if we hand over Ringo, but I know his type. He and his friends will come after the town eventually. However, between you, me, and Ringo, we aren't exactly a force to be reckoned with. A lot of people around here look up to Trudy. If you could convince Trudy to join us, some of the folk in town might decide to help out as well. I know Easy Pete's got a stock of dynamite somewhere and Chet just got a shipment of leather armour we could borrow. Talk to them as well. Finally, there's a good chance we'll all end up with extra holes in us, so if Doc Mitchell could cough up some extra stimpaks, that would be great," Sunny says. "Any idea on how to convince Trudy to join us?" "A silver tongue would help. Convincing Trudy that we had a good plan to win the fight would also help." "Would Chet be willing to give us his supplies?" Philip wonders. "I don't think 'give' is in Chet's vocabulary. Even with the town at stake, he'd still make you barter with him." "How can I get Easy Pete's dynamite?" "Easy Pete's pretty protective of his dynamite. You'd have to convince him you know a thing or two about explosives before he handed it over," Sunny says.
"So, you're planning on taking on Joe Cobb's gang. It's a big risk, but I suppose you have to do what you think is right," Trudy says. "I fixed you radio," Philip says. "Yep, I heard it turn right back on after you got done tinkering with it. Here's some caps for the work." "Thanks for the caps." The courier pockets the fifty caps Trudy has given him. "You're welcome. So, can I get you anything?" Trudy says. "You should help me take down the powder gang. Bullets, explosions, lots of fun," Philip says. "I was planning on sitting this one out, but for some reason I can't help but like you. I'm with you. Let me have a word with a few other folks and I'll see if I can't round up some more members for this militia you're creating. While everyone owns a gun, we could stand to be a little better equipped. The general store probably has what we need in stock." "Tell me about the NCR." "The New California Republic's got the most power in Nevada. Money, troops, you name it. They do what they can to keep things safe in the region, but if you ask me, they're trying too much. They're spread too thin," Trudy says. "Why do you think the NCR and the Legion both want the Dam?" Philip says. "I'm pretty sure the NCR wants to hold onto the Dam because it's one of the few places around that can make electricity. The Legion are a bunch of savages, though. No idea why they'd want the Dam. Probably plan on destroying it or something." "I gotta go. More things to do before the showdown." "Be careful out there," Trudy says.
"Howdy." Easy Pete's sitting ousite the saloon as usual. "I hear you've got dynamite. It would help us beat the powder gangers," Philip says. "Too dangerous. Gonna kill yourselves if I let you touch it. Better leave it buried -- safer that way," the old man says. "I'm familiar with the care and handling of explosives, dynamite included," the courier says. "Uh huh. Guess you know what you're doing. I'll go dig it up and get it ready. You'll have it by the time the fighting starts," Easy Pete says.
Trudy and Chet
The courier enters the general store. "What do you know about the situation with the Powder Gangers?" he asks Chet. "If Ringo doesn't head out on his own, I think we should hand him over. The town shouldn't get itself mixed into the problem. Don't mistake that for coward talk, though. We're a town of survivors, and we'll fight tooth and nail if pushed, but we don't go looking for trouble." "Too bad. Trouble is coming. I need supplies to fight the Powder Gangers," Philip says. "Now just hold on. I never voted to take on the Powder Gangers. That's a thousand cap investment you're talking about." "Let them take over the town, then. I'm sure your business wil be much better off." "You made your point. I can provide people with some leather armour and extra ammo. I hope it's worth it. And, uh, I'll be guarding the store while all this is going on. I have to put my business first, you understand," Chet says.
Philip heads up to Doc Mitchell's house. "Welcome back. I had hoped you wouldn't need to come see me again so soon. What can I do for you?" the good doctor says. "The town is going to be attacked by bandits. Anything you can do to help?" "Seems like wherever I got it's always the same. Folks just never leave each other alone. I'm not much good in a fight, with my bum leg. And my supplies are scarce. But I'll give you what I can spare." "Tell me about yourself, Doc," Philip says. "Well, I already told you I came from a vault. After that, was a traveling doctor for a spell. Seemed like a good idea at the time. Most folks out here aint educated, so people with medical knowhow are hard to come by. Found that I could help a lot of people with what I knew, and that was all right with me. Eventually, I went back and married mt childhood sweetheart and that was the end of my traveling days. Didn't miss it then. Still don't," Doc Mitchell says. "You said before you had something taken from you." "Well, ain't we all, right? That was a long time ago. I don't pay it much mind anymore."
The courier heads back to Ringo at the gas station. "So, what's going on? Did Sunny agree to help us?" "Sunny's with us," Philip says. "Well, I guess that means we're ready to go. Unless you think there's something else you can do?" "Let's do this." "All right, I'm ready. I hope," Ringo says. Sunny Smiles bursts through the door. "Time to look alive. The Powder Gangers are here to play," she says. "Where's Trudy and the rest?" Philip wonders. "They're getting set up in cover, but it might not go well unless we get out there soon." "How many are there?" "At least six, Joe Cobb included. They look pretty mean," Sunny says. "Let's go," Philip says. "Oh, Easy Pete came through with the dynamite. Here's your supply. I really hope I don't blow myself up. I'll be near the store. Let's hope that the gang doesn't manage to make it that far." Sunny gives the courier some dynamite. Then they rush off. Philip grabs his mercenary grenade launcher.
Trudy and the militia are set up in cover in front of the saloon and the store. Sunny runs up to back up Trudy. Philip takes cover behind some crates in front of the store. When he sees the gang come into range he fires a grenade. The detonation kills one of the gang members and seriously injures Joe Cobb. The secondary explosion, caused by the dynamite that the powder ganger had lit just before being blown to pieces by the courier's grenade, kills Joe Cobb and another gang member. The bullets start flying. Philip takes a few shots with his warmint rifle butt does no significant damage. He sees a couple of bad guys at a distance and switches to his 10mm pistol. The heavy rain of bullets quickly takes the gang down. One of them did manage to get across the road, but Cheyenne quickly stopped him. After the fight, Ringo runs up to Philip. "I owe you a huge favor for this. Here -- these are technically Crimson Caravan funds, but I know they'll understand once I explain things," he says and gives the courier 100 caps. "Seems a little light for the work I did," Philip says. "It's all I've got with me, but if you look me up at the Crimson Caravan main camp in New Vegas, I'll pay you in full," Ringo says. Philip loots the bodies and then enters the general store. "That was a hell of a fight. Let's hope it doesn't bite us in the ass later on," Chet says. The loot from the powder gangers makes the courier a profit of more than one hundred caps when he sells it to Chet.
A little later, Philip decides to wander off into the wild. He surprises two coyotes out in the wild. Two headshots take them out before they know what happened. Philip walks on. He spots two radscorpions and gets his 10mm pistol ready. A couple of lucky and well-placed shots bring down the first over-sized creature. The courier quickly reloads and shoots the second too. While reloading the second time, a third radscorpion rushes at Philip. He fires in quick mode. The giant scorpion manages to pinch the courier, but luckily Philip is never stung by the poisonous tail. Philip takes the poison glands and continues his adventure. In an abandoned shack, Philip finds some salvage and a reloading bench. He breaks down his .357 ammo and makes some new 9mm ammo. Then he continues and finds the Yangtze Memorial. Nearby he shoots another radscorpion. Close by the railroad tracks, Philip spots another coyote on the road. He takes aim, but then decides to spare the creature as he sees she has pups. Philip makes a little birth around not to disturb the mother coyote and continues. Further down the railroad tracks, he runs into two powder gangers. Philip quickly shoots them both before they're able to toss their dynamite at him. Even further along his adventure, Philip discovers a new location. A worker halts him as he walks by...
Our adventuring in the wasteland
"Hold up! There are Deathclaws all over the place north of here. I'd turn back if I were you. If you want to get to New Vegas, you're better off geading east from Primm and then looping north. It's a heck of a lot safer," Chomp Lewis says. "What is this place?" Philip wonders. "This is Sloan, a camp for us quarry workers. The actual quarry, Quarry Junction, is up the road north of here. The whole thing is an NCR operation. We make cement for the NCR using the limestone we dig out with dynamite and draglines. Dirty work, but the pay's good. Wish we got paid in caps, though. Not a lot of merchants like taking NCR paper money." "You don't get paid in caps?" "Nope. The NCR's been trying to switch over to paper money, like the Pre-War days. Trouble is that the exchange rates ain't exactly fair. For example, a hundred bucks in NCR money is valued at roughly half that in caps around here. Sems like a rotten deal for us, but work is work," Chomp Lewis says. "What's a dragline?" "It's a big machine which moves rocks around, piles at a time. It's Pre-War tech, so you need to thump it once in a while to keep it running." "What does the NCR need with the cement?" Philip wonders. "It all gets shipped by rail over towards Boulder City and Hoover Dam. The NCR's probably building fortifications with it all." "Where's the Deathclaws come from?" "They moved into the quarry after the Powder Gangers came through and made off with most of our dynamite. We shut the quarry down while we waited for the NCR to get us some more blasting sticks, but now the Deathclaws have shown up. The NCR's a no-show, and my men and I have nothing to do but sit on our asses all day. It's damn frustrating," Chomp Lewis says. "Have you had problems with Deathclaws before?" "We'd see them occationally, but they dodn't seem too keen on getting too close to the quarry. Not sure if it was the noise or all of the workers. I can't believe that an entire pack moved into the quarry. I thought that kind of bad luck only happened in New Vegas." "I could take care of your Deathclaw problem," Philip says. "Have you even seen a Deathclaw? They're taller than a man and far, far stronger and faster. And, there's a whole pack of them out there. You'd have to be the meanest, toughest, rougghest bastard in the wasteland to have a chance against them, and I don't think that's you. You'd need to take out the pack leaders -- the Mother Deathclaw and the Deathclaw Alpha Male. Kill 'em, and the pack will scatter. Pretty tough job." "Tell me about the Powder Gangers." "They're a bunch of escaped cons from down south. The NCR was using them to maintain the railways as part of their sentence. I don't know who srewed up, but the Powder Gangers are loose. It was one group that attacked us and took our entire supply of dybamite," Chomp Lewis says. "What can you tell me about New Vegas?" Philip says. "I've been there once, and I don't recommend it. It's just a way to burn through a month's pay in five minutes. I've seen a lot of folks come through here thinking they'll have the easy life once they get there. It never happens. If you insist on going north, don't expect a rescue when you get into trouble."
The courier returns to Goodsprings. Philip spends another night in Victor's shack. The next morning, after eating more gecko steak for breakfast, he heads to the saloon where he meets Sunny. "That'll teach the Powder Gangs to avoid Goodsprings in the future," she smiles. "I'm a little short on caps. I don't suppose there's any work available?" he says. "Not in Goodsprings, no. But if you're up for a little scavenging, there's always the schoolhouse. Most of what's in there is junk, but there's this old safe that even Easy Pete wasn't able to crack with dynamite. If you want to take a shot at it, take these." "A magazine on locksmiths?" "If the lock's too much for you too handle, reading through the magazine might give you the edge you need," Sunny says. "Actually, I already cracked that safe." "Oh. Well, go ahead and keep the stuff I gave you, anyway. It'll be more useful to you than me." "I need to get to Primm. Can you suggest a route?" Philip says. "Sure can. Take the road southeast out of town till it hits the freeway. Primm is the town with the roler coaster, straight south. Can't miss it. NCR patrols do a good job of keeping the highway clear, but I'd keep your gun where you can reach it easily. You never know who you'll run into. Off the road, you probably start running into hostile wildlife. My advice is to stick to the highway when you can," Sunny says. "Thanks again for all your help," Ringo says and takes a seat at the nearby table.
The courier heads down to the springs and fills up all his water containers before leaving. But instead of sticking to the road, as adviced, he heads up in the hills. Philip finds a few Xander Roots ripe for picking and soon finds the Lone Wolf Radio Station. The place has some scrap electronics that he salvages before continuing. Philip sticks to the high ground and hunts the geckos he comes across for their meat and hide. Closer to Primm he finds Broc Flowers that he picks. When he's close enough to the town, Philip takes to the road to enter Primm, but he is halted by a NCR trooper.
Headed towards Primm
"Hey, where the hell do you think you're going? Primm is off limits," the trooper says. "What's going on in Primm?" Philip wonders. "Some convicts from the prison up the road have taken over the town. Everyone inside is either dead or in hiding. What's more, there are two tribes of raiders causing trouble in this area as well. You'd be safer heading back up to Goodsprings." "Shouldn't you be protecting the town or something?" "We'd love to, but they don't fall under NCR jurisdiction. Even if they did we're in no shape to protect them," the trooper says. "Why can't you protect them?" Philip wonders. "We don't have the equipment to take out the convicts, and even if we did we need some extra hands for backup. You should talk to Lieutennant Hayes. He's in a tent down the road. Just stay on the west side of the overpass if you don't want to get shot." Philip heads down the road to the NCR tents -- there are two of them. "I'm Sergeant McGee of the New California Republic Army, 5th Battalion, 1st Company. If you want to talk about something, speak to Lieutenant Hayes," the officer by the tents says. "Where are you from?" Philip wonders. "I'm from Hub originally, but it's been a long time since I saw it. I'm on my second tour here. Most Non-Commissioned Officers are."
Philip enters the command tent. "I'm Lieutenant Hayes of the New California Republic Army, 5th Battalion, 1st Company. What's your business?" "What are you doing out here?" Philip wonders. "We were sent out here to hold back the tide of convicts from the correctional facility. As you can probably tell, we aren't doing the kind of job we could be doing." "What's the problem with the mission?" "The mission isn't a problem. The problem is with supplies. The convicts are better armed and organized than our intel initially suggested. I'm trying to get some reinforcements, maybe some guns with some firepower, but... shit... things are just going slow," Lieutenant Hayes says. "Tell me about the correctional facility." "Most people just call it NCRCF. That's NCR Correctional Facility. A little bit ago the convicts there staged a coup, killed the guards that weren'r able to escape, and have been ransacking the area since then." "Do you have any information on the convicts?" Philip wonders. "Not much. They've taken to calling themselves Powder Gangers. Mostly because they've taken to using the explosives meant to clearing boulders as weapons. They got organized faster than I would have thought, most of them at least. Thankfully the small group in town here seem to have split off from the main force, so they aren't getting anything in the way of support," the lieutenant says.
The overpass is riddled with mines. The courier takes the safe route under the overpass, along the wall and then into town. He sneaks up into a ruin and finds some ammunition boxes. Philip grabs everything he finds. He can't see any sign of the convicts. Sneaking back down to the street, he sees the corpse of Courier no. 4. Sonn after he spots a convict around the corner of the Vikky and Vance Casino. Philip opens fire and kills the convict. Another Powder Ganger shows up to investigate. There is a brief exchange of fire, but the convict's bullet never hit their mark. Philip sneaks up to the bodies and grabs all the goodies. He then sneaks back across thestreet, into the Mojave Express. The eye robot on the counter immediately draws the courier's interest. It is an advanced model robot with a reinforced frame. It is well weathered and appears to have seen a good bit of action. There is very little in the way of serious damage. Philip takes a closer look at the damage. A few of the primary electronic systems sem to be fully functional, and the redundant systems are all working. "If I bypass some of the primary systems the secondary systems should compensate and make some of the repairs easier," Philip thinks. Some of the servos and gyroscopes need to be recalibrated and replaced, but it looks as though the robot can be repaired. But the courier currently lacks any sensor modules to replace the faulty ones.
Philip enters the Vikki and Vance Casino. "I don't know what it was brought you here, youngster, but you might want to rethink your plans. Town's gone to hell," an old man says. "Who are you?" Philip wonders. "Johnson Nash's my name. Husband to Ruby Nash. Lived in Primm going on eight years now, thick and thin. I'm a trader primarily, for what it's worth with things like they are. I also run the local Mojave Express outpost." "I'm a courier with the Mojave Express." "Well, I don't got any work right now, sorry to say," Johnson Nash says. "I lost a package I was supposed to deliver." "I'll tell you whatever I can. Do you have a delivery order you can show me?" "What can you tell me about this job?" Philip says and shows the old man the delivery order. "Oh, so you're talking about one of them packages. That job had strange writen all over it. But we couldn't turn down the caps." "What was so strange about it?" "That cowboy robot had us hire six couriers. Each was carrying something a little different. A pair of dice, a chess piece, that kind of stuff. Last word I had from the office, it looked like payment had been received for the other five jobs. Guess it was just your chip that didn't make it. First deadbeat we hired canceled. Hope a storm from the Divide skins him alive. Well, that's where you came in," Johnson Nash says. "He canceled?" "Yeah, got this look when he saw you next down on the Courier list. His expression turned right around, asked me if your name was for real. I said, sure as lack of rain, you were still kicking. Then he turned down the job, just like that. I asked if he was sure, it was good money. No, let 'Courier Six' carry the package, that's what he said -- like the Mojave'd sort you out or something. Then he just up and walked out." "Do you know who he was? Where he went?" Philip wonders. "No idea. Sounds like you two had a history for him to act like that. And turn down the money, too. Hope he didn't se any trouble in that package of yours. Maybe he thought your name was bad luck. Not for me to say." "Some men stole my package. A man in a checkered suit and some thugs. Did they pass this way?" "Well, now that you mentioned it, a few nights back one of the townies was out svavenging for supplies. He said he saw a fella with a daisy suit come through with some of them Great Khan misfits. They was talking about a chip," Johnson Nash says. "One of those men shot me. I need to know the best way to get to them." "Well for that your best bet is going to be talking to Deputy Beagle. Since they came to town he was keeping a good bit of notes on them, and he was slinking around Bison Steve when your pretty-boy friend came through. He may have heard where they were going." "I have some questions about your robot," Philip says. "That beat up old thing? What do you want to know?" "Do you mind if I try to fix it?" "You're welcome to try. It's yours if you can get it working. If I had my way I'd dump it in the scrapyard in Novac and be done with the damn thing," Johnson Nash says. "Where did it come from?" Philip wonders. "A courier dropped it off a couple of months back. I got it working for a little while, but the darn thing pooped out. I haven't been able to get it up and running again. I was hoping to use it for some courier work, but it ain't gonna happen."
In the Vikki and Vance Casino
The young courier leaves the casino and enters the Bison Steve Hotel. The middle of the entrance hall has been barricaded. Philip spots a convict in the door opening. The criminal slowly walks closer, completely oblivious to the courier's presence. When Philip has a good clear line of fire he starts shooting. The enemy goes down quickly. Philip sneaks up to the corpse and grabs the essentials. He waits a little to see if anyone else is coming -- no one. Philip then tirns his attention to the computer terminal on the desk. After some hacking he manages to enter the correct password and can unlock the nearby door. There is a safe in the sorage. The lock is more difficult to pick than on the safe in the Goodsprings schoolshouse. Philip breaks a bobby-pin, but he gets it open and greedily grabs all the valuables. Coming out of the storage room, he comes face to face with another convict. Philip reacts fastest and kills the enemy. He sneaks into the corridor. There is a locked door and stairs to the second floor. Philip ignores these for now. He sneaks up behind a door opening and sees several bad guys in a large room, including their leader. The courier opens fire and kills two of the enemies before they can react, but then the bullets start flying and Philip dives back behind the wall. A convict makes the mistake to come around the corner, wielding a cleaver. Philip kills him with two shots to the head. Another criminal is closing in on Philip's position from down the hall. Pilip spins around and puts four bullets in the man's chest before reloading. Philip sneaks into the large room and loots the bodies. The convicts have been barbequing a whole brahmin, and there are mattresses to sleep on. Philip sneaks on and enters the kitchen. There he finds the hostage...
"I don't suppose you came here to rescue me? I'd cross my fingers but my hands are numb." "You must be Deputy Beagle," Philip says. "Why, yes I am. It's a pleasure to meet you. I'm in a bit of a predicament here." "How'd you end up being a hostage?" "I must say it's been the low point of my career in law enforcement... The Powder Gangers stole into town at night and murdered my sister and her husband, the sheriff, in bed, while I was sleeping in the office. I watched them for a bit, waiting for the right moment to pounce and arrest the lot of them. Taking careful notes as I watched. To my dismay, they found me while I waited in the shadows and brought me here," Deputy Beagle says. "I hear you have information on some Khans that came through with a guy in a checkered suit." "Indeed I do sir, and I would be thrilled to share that information with you as soon as I am released from captivity." "I'll set you free now," Philip says. He cuts the hostage's bonds with a knife. "Oh that's marvelous. I think I'll be making my way outside. The air's a little close in here." "Sure, run away. You don't look like you'd be much help," Philip says. "Then I'll defer to your superior appraisal of character and prowess in the contest of arms and see you outside!" Deputy Beagle says.
In the Bison Steve Hotel
Philip takes a little time to search the rest of the bottom floor before joining the deputy outside. "Well! That was quite an adventure. We taught those convicts a thing or two, didn't we? Breaking myself out of a hostage situation -- not to diminish your role in it, of course -- but it was quite thrilling. Problem is, there's still no law in Primm. What're we to do the next time ruffians menace us and hold us hostage?" Deputy Beagle says. "What are you talking about? You're the sheriff now!" Philip says. "Oh no! I'm just the deputy. And I can't be a deputy without a sheriff. It's called chain of command!" "What are the qualifications for a sheriff?" "It should be someone brave like you, but more of a homebody. Someone who'll settle down and watch over us. I heard the Powder Gangers talking about aomeone in the prison named Meyers who has some experience as a sheriff. He may be a good choice. Also with the NCR so close by, you may be able to get them to take over the town. Not sure why they haven't helped out already," Deputy Beagle says. Philip sighs. "Allright. I'll help bring law and order back to Primm," he promises. "You will? That's just marvelous! I'll start thinking up questions for the interview! The sheriff that was incarcerated up at NCRCF may be a good choice. You also may be able to convince the NCR guy across the road to take the town under his wing, although martial law doesn't sound so fun."
Philip goes back into the hotel. He spends the night sleeping on one of the mattresses on the floor. In the morning he heads up to the second floor and clears it out of the Powder Gangers. When he's sure he has gotten everyone he heads back to Lieutenant Hayes. "Yeah?" "Primm is in dire need of some real law," Philip says. "We know Primm is a great strategic point, and we aren't blind to the needs of the town, but we're barely holding our own against the Powder Gangers. We don't have the guns or the personnel needed to carry out our mission, much less take on defending the town as well," the lieutenant says. "What do you need to take over protecting the town?" "What we need, more than anything, is bodies. If we just had one more squad we could easily install a sheriff and still handle the primary objective of protecting the interstate south of here. If you'd like to see the NCR include protection of Primm in its duties, then you'll have to get some more troops up here. Knight, at Mojave Outpost, may be able to help," Lieutenant Hayes says.
Philip heads back to Goodsprings. But before he gets back, he runs into a camp with two powder gangers. He surprises them and shoots one before the other starts firing back. Suddenly there is an explosion when the stupid, careless convict triggers one of the mines they have set near their camp. Needless to say, the courier is extra careful when approaching the camp to loot the bodies. On a table in the camp he finds a note: "Not many patrols out here lately, which means not much loot. Our crew is thinking we should make a move soon. Follow the tracks up north, head towards the Strip. You in? Ain't on the chain gang anymore, but we still gotta stick together." At Jean Skydiving, Philip runs into two more powder gangers. They are taken by surprise and never get the chance to draw their weapons before being shot dead. Philip sells all the loot he doesn't want to keep to Chet at the Goodsprings General Store. The night is spent in Victor's shack, and in the morning Philip asks Sunny Smiles to come with him.
In Goodsprings Cave
Sunny and Philip clear out the coyote.infested cave in the Goodsprings hills. Inside they find some corpses with valuable loot. Then they press on towards the NCRCF. From the hills above the prison they shoot two powder gangers below. By the visitor's gate, Dawes tries to stop them, but the convict has no chance. Philip grabs the entrance key. Sunny uses her rifle to shoot a guard up in the nearby watchtower. A powder ganger in a motorcycle helmet comes through the entrance door, checking what the racket is about. He never gets the chance to regret his mistake as he is rapidly shot down. Entering the visitor's center, Philip and Sunny are faced with four men. Three of the powder gangers immediately attack, but the fourth desperartely tries to get away. Once the shooting has finished the three powder gangers are alll dead. Meyers is the only one of them left...
Entering the NCRCF
"Didn't know anyone would willingly walk into this place, not unless they were looking for trouble. What's your story?" Meyers says. "Tell me more about what happened in the prison," Philip says. "I understand that Cooke was behind it all. I kept my head down the whole time. Didn't want ant part of it. I syck around, figuring the NCR would show up and put things back the way they were. No sense in making myself look guilty, right?" "Who's Cooke?" "Some kind of anti-NCR rebel. Some people just dont like being pushed around and told what to do," Meyers says. "Where can I find Cooke?" "He went north with some other guys. Didn't say where, didn't say why. All I know is he's got some kind of score to settle with the NCR." "What did you do before you ended up incarcerated?" Philip asks. "I was a sheriff, believe it or not, for a small town far to the west of here. The short version is that sometimes justice is a little slow, and I helped speed it up one too many times. I'm not sorry for anything I did, but I will do the time. Fair enough trade, if you ask me." "How would you feel about becoming Primm's new sheriff?" "Assuming an NCR pardon comes with the job -- and it had better -- I'll also need to be able to do things my own way. Due process has its place, but sometimes it's just a waste of time. I'll need to know that I'm not going to end up right back in prison," Meyers says. "You have a deal." "All right, then. Guess I'll just make a quiet exit -- no need for a goodbye party or anything."
Philip and Sunny enter the yard. There are more convics about, but the poweder gangers are quickly taken out. The pair enter the administrative building. A powdger ganger with a laser pistol spots the intruders. Philip and Sunny open fire. It quickly turns into a big shootout as Eddie, the leader and his body guards come running from the second floor. Philip and Sunny catch several of them at the bottom of the stairs. Cheyenne attacks the ones upstairs. Philip and Sunny quickly follow the dog to take out the last of the powder gangers in the building. Cheyenne has taken many hits by energy weapons and needs some medical attention. Fortunately, Philip has a supply of Stimpaks. Eddie has the key. His bodyguards and henchmen were well-equipped with energy weapons and machineguns. In the warden's office, Philip takes a look at the warden's logs. "[Guard transfers to the east.] They're transferring away three more of my men. They tell me it's all to keep the situation at the Dam under control, but what about this place? The situation here has become dangerous for my men and I -- I know it, my men know it, and the prisoners know it. It's only a matter of time before something happens." "[Comments on Caesar's Legion threat.] I've seen the reports of this so-called 'Ceasar's Legion.' It sounds like they're just another bunch of raiders, but the higher-ups back west seem to think they're a real threat." "[Suspicions about prisoner conspiracy.] Something's going on, and I'm sure that Cooke is behind it all. No evidence yet, but something just feels... off. ... About Cooke. He's quite popular among the younger prisoners, and many of them seem to have been taken by his anti-NCR dogma. Cooke's group are all model prisoners, especially Cooke himself. They don't fight and they always do what they're told. They make me nervous, and I'd have them watched every second of every day if I could." "[Draft of complaint to NCR command.] James, ... You and I served together for seven years and I'm calling in a favor. I need you to convince General Oliver to stop transferring my men out of here and deliver the replacements I was promised. I'm expected to put these prisoners to work making new rail lines and fixing the existing ones, but I can't do that if I don't have any guards to keep an eye on them. Does the general really expect the handful of men I have left to be able to keep several dozen hardened men in line? ... You owe me for that time in Modoc. Don't let me down. ... Nathan" From the administrative building they head to Cellblock A. There are two convicts inside. When they are dead, they go to Cellblock B and kill the two convicts in there. Carter has the key that unlocks the cell where the powder gangers have stored some grenades, caps, and other valuables. Philip and Sunny spend the night sleeping in the bunkbeds in the cellblock. In the morning they set on on their next leg of their journey.
Clearing out the prison
The courier and his female companions -- Sunny Smiles and her dog, Cheyenne -- make their way towards Primm. In the hills they run across a powder gangers camp. There are three convics, all armed with dynamite. Philip and Sunny get the drop on the enemy and kill two before the last one can react. But even before he gets a chance to throw a dynamite stick at them, the pair have riddled the convict with bullets. They take the few valuables there are and move on. Soon they come across another camp -- this one deserted. Philip finds a note: "Some of the fellas farther north are trying to organize. We're starting to think it's a good idea. Got to pool resources if we're to survive out here. Sure you've noticed the decline in travelers. If they're getting wise, so should we."
Attacking Powder Ganger camp
Back in Primm, Philip finds Meyers. "Have you gotten my pardon from the NCR yet?" he wonders. "No. Not yet. In fact, it would help a lot if I knew where I need to go to get you your pardon," Philip says. "There is a NCR camp down on the southern border of Nevada. Camp Mojave I think, try to find someone of authority there." "Who's in charge of the Powder Gangers?" "Right now, Eddie and his boys run the place. They've got the guns and the dynamite, so they call the shots," Meyers says. Philip grins. "You mean they had. We have their guns and their explosives now -- 'tis no use to them being dead and all, anyway," he says. "Watch yourself out there."
They enter the Mojave Express outpost, where Philip is able to repair the robot using some spare parts that were found in the NCR Correctional Facility. With the robot, now following, they enter the casino. "You got that old robot up and running? How is it working for you?" old Johnson Nash wonders. "Seems to be working fine. Still remains to be seen how it performs in a live situation out there," Philip says. "Any luck finding a suitable candidate for our next sheriff?" Deputy Beagle wonders. "I'm working on it. Can you tell me about the man in the checkered suit who came through here?" Philip says. "Ahhm yes, my memory is much clearer now that I am free from my bondage. I was sku... er, performing recon, gathering information on some of the Powder Gangers, when some Great Khans arrived with your friend in the suit. They were talking about a delivery they took from a courier, I assume that was you. They said they'd be heading through Nipton to Novac to meet a contact there," the deputy says.
Back in Primm
To Part Two