Monday, August 13, 2012

Fallout: New Vegas War Journal - Chapter Two

Damn NCR. The huge force that was holding them back from saving this one-horse town? Four men. Well, three if you don't count what was left of the one I found inside the minefield. Nothing a few grenades couldn't cure. The local courier office was abandoned so I went toward the one building in town that looked like it had some life in it a casino called: The Vicki and Vance.

No sooner did I walk in the door was I approached by the head of the local courier officer. Seems he did remember the thing that requested my job. Thing? Yes, thing. Seems it was a robot with a TV in his chest that was smarter than the average robot. Methinks I'll have to have a word with my "protector" up in Goodsprings soon. He also said something about somebody who refused a job after they saw my name on the list of couriers working the same gig. One more thing to worry about later.

What concerned me more at the time was the people who tried to kill me and finding them for some much deserved Q&A time at the end of a shot gun. Unfortunately, the best the courier service head could tell me was that the deputy might have seen something of them when they were in town. And the deputy was currently being held hostage by the main force of the escaped convicts in the hotel across the way.

I'd hoped that I could learn something else useful from the locals. Instead I got some of the local color/history from Primm Slim - a robot who had been programmed to tell all the history of the outlaw couple thie Vicki and Vance was named after.

After scrounging around the outside of the Bison Mike hotel and picking off the snipers set up on the non-functioning roller-coaster, I went inside the hotel to deal with the rest of the convicts. They weren't much of a challenge, even for a relatively non-violent type such as myself. Apparently this gang of NCR convicts were from the White Collar prison.

I wound up searching the whole building, top to bottom and didn't see any sign of the deputy. Content to say he'd probably gotten loose on his own or been eaten by the convicts (I found signs of recently used silverware but no actual food) I began searching bodies and taking everything that wasn't nailed down back to the courier boss for sale. It was on the third trip back, as I was cleaning the pots out of the kitchen, that I saw a man, on his knees, hands bound, not saying a word.

Me: Are you Deputy Beagle?
Deputy Beagle: Indeed, I am sir. And I am most satisfied that you have come to rescue me.
Me: Why didn't you pipe up earlier when I came through this room?
Deputy Beagle: Well, you were occupied in the middle of fighting the convict leader...
Me: Not that time! The time after that when I was dragging the convict leader's body closer to the door so I wouldn't have to walk so far to get his boots on the second trip!
Deputy Beagle: Ah. Well, I wasn't altogether sure that you weren't hostile at that juncture. As such, I thought it best to remain silent in case you proved to be a less than friendly...
Me: Okay, okay. Yeesh, you know it's bad when I think you're long-winded. I was told that you might know something about the guy in the checkered suit who wanted me dead.
Deputy Beagle: Indeed I might, sir. And I'd be happy to tell you as soon as you free me from my bondage. It's grown a bit stuffy in here and I need to avail myself of some fresh air.
Me: Okay. But you aren't going to run away from here or I'll shoot you myself.
Deputy Beagle: Sir! Whatever leads you to believe that I might go running for the exit, leaving you to fend for yourself against whatever dangers might remain here.
Me: Call it a hunch.

Thankfully, there wasn't anybody else hiding out waiting in ambush. Good thing as I get the impression Beagle would have been utterly useless in a fight, given that he told me - as we head to the door - that the sheriff and his sister, the sheriff's wife, had been killed by the convicts while Beagle... uh... observed and waited for the opportune moment to strike. Why the bandits hadn't killed him I had no idea unless they were planning a much slower, more painful death for him.

Deputy Beagle: Well, of course now that we're free of that place we're going to need a new sheriff.
Me: What do you mean? You're it!
Deputy Beagle: Oh, I'm not fit for command, sir.
Me: You're not fit to shovel shit from one ship to another.
Deputy Beagle: That's as may as well be but this town still needs some law and order.
Me: Fine. I'll do it! I was a sheriff once before. Well, sorta.
Deputy Beagle: Well, the job requires more of a settle-down type. Somebody who doesn't have outstanding quests and a destiny to fulfill.
Me: That's fair. Got any ideas?
Deputy Beagle: Well, I suppose you could ask the NCR if they'd take over the town. But martial law might not sit well with most of the folks here.
Me: Or me. Besides, those idiots were content to sit over there and let you rot so long as the convicts didn't come across to THEIR side of the highway. I don't think they'd protect the town from outlaws without orders signed in triplicate from the main office.
Deputy Beagle: Well, I also heard the convicts say something about there being somebody in their camp who used to be a sheriff.
Me: Huh. Well, while that WOULD piss off the NCR, I'm still not liking the idea of putting a gun-totting sociopath (besides me, of course) in charge of this town.
Deputy Beagle: Well, what are we going to do?
Me: Take a third option!

Five Minutes of Extensive Reprogramming Later. (Thank you 30 points in Science!)

Primm Slim: Howdy pardners. There's a new sheriff in town and his name is Primm Slim!
Deputy Beagle: Horray! Finally, law and order have returned to our one-horse town.
Primm Slim: As my first act as Sheriff, I am firing Deputy Beagle.
Deputy Beagle: WHAT?!
Primm Slim: From a purely logical standpoint, there is little sense in employing a man as a deputy who will sit and allow his sister and brother-in-law to die in front of him. Also, you never paid me back the five bottle caps you owe me.
Deputy Beagle: But... I'm not qualified for anything else. What other job is there in a small town where you can sit around, do nothing and pretend to be important.
Me: You could always run for mayor.
Deputy Beagle: Har har. Thanks a lot "lawbringer". You know this is just going to cause trouble, right?
Me: Oh, come on! I've only given power of legal authority to a soulless automaton who considers all crime to be equally severe to the point of equalizing a check-bouncer and gas-stealer to a bank robber and murderer. What's the worst thing that can happen?
Deputy Beagle: You mean besides our new robotic overlord killing everyone for jaywalking?
Me: Yeah. Besides that, what can go wrong?

Despite this, Deputy Beagle did tell me that the men who tried killing me were heading toward Novac by way of a town to the south called Nipton. On the way out of town, I stopped by the NCR camp.

Me: Just thought you'd like to know that things in Primm are peaceful again. No thanks to you.
NCR Lieutenant: Affirmative, sir.
Me: I've also left a robot in charge as the new Sheriff. He was the least annoying person I had to deal with here.
NCR Lieutenant: We don't really care, sir.
Me: Really? You don't care that the convicts are gone and that you could easily take over the town now in the name of your glorious republic, were that your wish?
NCR Lieutenant: If you really want us to take over the town, you could go to the nearest NCR base and request they send more troops here.
Me: Why can't you do that? You're in the military! Shouldn't they listen to you regarding what you need rather than listening to some random civilian?
NCR Lieutenant: I suppose. But that would require me leaving this tent, sir.
Me: ... you're so lucky I'm out of grenades right now.

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