When I exit the town hall, the Cosplay Legion have already buggered off. I start searching the town but don't find any evidence that they've stuck around. Apart from killing more scorpions and finding two burning corpses that I somehow know are named Owen and Beru, I don't find any signs of life...until I entered what was left of the trading post.
Boxcars: Son of a - GAAAAH!
Me: Hey! You're one of those escaped convicts.
Boxcars: And you're a freaking genius! Give me some Med-X.
Me: And why should I do that?
Boxcars: Because those Legion idiots broke my legs and called it a prize.
Me: Gee - and here I was thinking there was nothing good about them.
Me: Really not a good idea to insult the guy who might be able to get you some drugs and/or a quick death. What's all this lottery nonsense?
Boxcars: The Legion dorks held a lottery. First prize gets to leave. Second prize gets their legs broke. Third prize become slaves. Fourth prize get crucified. Everyone else dies.
Me: I didn't see any slaves in the town hall though.
Boxcars: No, man. They took all the slaves east.
Me: Okay. I'm going to go save them.
Boxcars: I don't care!
Me: Would a dose of Med-X make you care?
Boxcars: No, but it will make me shut-up.
Me: Eh... close enough.
I head into the pass to the east and see another biker gang ambush. I take out one of the snipers before they see me. Unfortunately, there's two higher up on the far side of the cliffs I can't quite get to. Luckily, the cliff wall makes for good cover as I hug the wall and look for a way up. Once I'm above the pass, I have a brilliant idea.... high ground. I avoid the highway pass and rough it, killing giant mountain goats and collecting the meat and skins as I cut northward, heading for a farm I spotted.
The farm proved to be deserted but the crops proved to be in surprisingly good condition considering the desert wasteland around me. Still, it gave me a place to rest a moment before progressing on to a campfire I saw in the distance. When I saw the guys in Roman armor I knew I had the place. But before I could plan my assault, one of the sentries saw me and waved me in.
Sentry: Hail herald! We were told to expect you!
Sentry: Indeed. It was thought you might wish to see our work here and the bounty of our slave raid.
Me: Well, I did want to see the end result of that, yes. I see you have two of the Powder Gangers tied up here. Where's the slaves?
Sentry: Ha! The herald jests with me. This is our bounty.
Me: ... Two guys is your bounty?
Sentry: Aye. They shall prove strong recruits for the Legion once properly trained.
Me: It's just... well, when I heard slaves were taken and that you raided a town full of whores... I just naturally made some assumptions about... you know... Nubile, winsome dancing girls? Mini-togas? Roman orgies?
Sentry: Ha-ha! Such things are a distraction from our Spartan code of honor.
Me: Right. Spartan. As in the guys who avoided women for most of their young lives and were so gynophobic that once they got married, their wives had to shave their heads and indulge in... certain kinds of sex until their husbands got used to the idea of heterosexual sex?
Sentry: Truly the epitome of masculine power!
Me: Riiiiiiiiight. Listen, I'm going to be over in the hills NOT loading a grenade launcher...
One Orgy Of Fire And Pain Later.
Me: Oh gee. Looks like your friend got killed in the crossfire.
Convict: Yeah! Nice job!
Me: Well, truth be told I was going to untie you both before I did this. *cocks gun*
Convict: What? You're freeing us just to kill us?
Me: Well, I can't have a man die in unjust bondage. But I can't exactly let you mother-raping sons-of-guns live either.
Me: Well, that was a waste of ammo. But I can't help but feel I'm forgetting something. *thinks* Of course! How silly of me!
One Long Trek Back To Nipton Later...
Me: This is for making me walk all the way back here to kill your lame ass after sending me on a wild goose chase after a bunch of non-existent innocents!
Boxcars: Hey, I just said they took the slaves east. Never said anything about there being any townsfolk among them. Not my fault you're too stupid to ask the right questions.
Me: And it's not my fault you're too stupid to not annoy a man holding a loaded shotgun.
Another trek northward, one more shooting match with a different gang of raiders and I see the boundaries of Novac. Hopefully I'll find some answers here.