Walked past where I encountered the Super Mutants before. Looted everything I couldn't lift before and moved on. I found an abandoned drive-in theater nearby and a baseball field with two particularly stupid raiders who brought baseball bats to a gunfight. I headed north a bit, but ran for it after I encountered both a laser-shooting robot (looked like Robby the Robot) and a giant crab-man mutant near the lake. The former because the lasers hurt and the later because none of my weapons could break the thing's shell.
I found more raiders taking a detour to the south, camped out around a fallen highway overpass and an abandoned bed and breakfast. It took me two assaults (one picking off their sentries from a distance - the other an assault on the house itself in the middle of the night) but I managed to clear them - and their stash of loot - out after a few trips. Took most of my Stims to keep body and soul together, but I did get a nice flamethrower for my trouble.
Heading back toward Lucy's parents town, I encountered another robot. With nothing else for it, I opted to fight. Amazingly, my .32 and called shots to the head did wonders so long as I kept slapping on the Stims to heal up. Eventually, I got to the town and was immediately enlisted by the mayor/sheriff - guy named Evan King - to check on the rest of the towns folk while he guarded the road. Seems they are under siege from a gang called "The Family", who - for some weird reason - are less interested in killing or enslaving the populace and seem content to just tear stuff up and kill their animals.
Good news. Most of the town is okay. Bad news is that the entire West family, save for Lucy's brother, is dead. Worse news is that I don't have the medical skills to look at their bodies (horribly burned) and figure out exactly how they died. King suggests that The Family took them and gives me a list of places they might be hiding out.
One of them is the drive-in I already found. I go back there and move north, trying to find someplace called Hamilton's Hideout. I don't manage to find it, but I do find a boat full of ammo and manage to stay away from the crab men. Avoiding the giant mutant naked mole rats and bloatflies is a bit more difficult but I do eventually manage to get to the third location - an abandoned train-station.
Unfortunately, the tunnels are full of more giant mole-rats and a machine generating a LOT of radiation. Luckily for me, as I fall back to try and shoot the mole-rats, I get help. Two ghouls (i.e. people scared by radiation exposure who look like walking corpses) are living down here and they handily kill anything that chases me back to them. One of them, Murphy, is a chemist who is making homebrewed medications. He asks me to help him with making a new drug called Superjet. I turn him down politely and decide - since he saved my butt - I won't dispense with my own brand of justice... yet. Murphy helpfully tells me that The Family lives somewhere to the east and he thinks the tunnels under the train station lead to their hideaway.
After making my way through a radioactive tunnel filled with more crab men (who are somewhat easier to kill using a flamethrower at medium range) I find a lot of booby traps. Another shot of intelligence-enhancing medication gives me the skill I need to disarm the bear traps and deactivate the mines so I can pick them up and reuse them myself. All this and I emerge at the end of the train-station to find... no obvious The Family hideout. Down to one hit bar, out of Stims and almost overburdened with loot, I head back to Megaton (thank you Speedwalk Feature) to restock.
Not two minutes back in town and one of the townsfolk offers me a reward for all I've done to help. It's 7 bucks, but that's something... especially when I have to go to the town Doctor, the town general store AND the restaurant to sell off most of my loot. The Doc has restocked on Stims and I manage to get some new ammo from the general store. Since I'm out of leads on finding Lucy's brother and since I'm getting sick of Moira (the lady at the general store's whining) I decide to go investigate the Super-Mart east of town and see if it is a nice, safe place to scrounge loot.
Nice, no. It's freaking S-Mart and the shelves are mostly empty.
Safe, no. Somebody who - according to his corpse - was named Mel is lying here. I also find what is left of two raiders following what appeared to be a fire-fight with one of the Enclave flying-eye robots, which destroyed everyone.
Loot? Only off the backs of the numerous cannibal raiders hiding out inside the place. Thankfully, the fight goes a little bit letter since I'm now armed with a hunting rifle and some land mines. Another pop of Intelligence enhancer (amazing I'm not addicted to this stuff yet) and I manage to hack the computers to get into the backroom, allowing me to find both the medical and food supplies Moira wanted me to get for the town. I still need to make a trip back to finish picking up loot but Moria was happy enough to offer me another job that didn't require me leaving town.
Unfortunately, the job involved getting radiation poisoning so she could chronicle the effects and test her radiation cure. Getting the poisoning was easy enough - just stand next to the still radioactive bomb in the center of town for a few hours. Luckily, the cure mostly worked... I wound up with a mutation where I can regenerate any limb I lose due to radiation exposure. Useless, but at least I also got some radiation exposure drugs for my trouble.
I also finally had enough loot to sell and money from elsewhere to buy a theme for my house. I chose Wasteland Explorer, which now has my house looking like a Western Lounge. Lots of cow-skulls and whiskey bottles.
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