We eventually picked up the trail and found another NCR base hidden in the hills nearby. One of the smartass grunts asked if we were taking a tour of all the NCR facilities in the area. I decided to let him live - the NCR needs more smartasses. Actually, it just needs more smarts period.
Me: This desert air seems to be agreeing with you, Boone! I've never seen you looking so upbeat.
We headed north, stumbling across a path in the hills. It turned out to lead into an old abandoned Vault-Tec Vault. We poked around for a while, killing giant rats and mantises as we went along. What we found painted an ugly picture as I hacked the computer records. Seems that there had been an election for Overseer and - based on the records of the campaign speeches I found - it was a job nobody wanted.
The offices of the security team and the Overseer were locked beyond my ability to hack or lockpick and the tunnels past that area were flooded. Seeing no profit in continuing on, Boone and I went back into the desert, cutting due east to reach Boulder City.
Turns out there wasn't much to Boulder City besides the local bar and a memorial to the NCR soldiers who died there during the Battle of Boulder City. A soldier on leave told me something of the history, which I already knew. The bartender was a bit more helpful, letting me unload some gear for cheap and letting it slip that nobody lived in Boulder anymore, save for the NCR troops. I asked where the troops were and he said something about some kind of situation in the ruins to the east.
Turned out that a couple of members of the Great Khans - the gang that had a hand in trying to kill me - had taken two of the recruits hostage inside a house they'd set camp in, inside the ruins. I offered my services as a sneaky SOB and set out - once the sun set - to rescue the soldiers before the Great Khans knew what happened.
To make a long story short, I was successful. Thankfully, both soldiers were tied up in a room at the back of the complex, which had an unguarded door that my lockpicks opened easily. They were gone and running before the Khans new what hit them. I personally took out their sniper as the rest of the NCR moved in. I grabbed Boone to swarm the inside of the base.
I found a note on one of the Khans from a guy named Benny, who was in New Vegas. Something about a job opportunity in Goodsprings. Didn't take much to put two and two together that this Benny was the one responsible for my near death or he knew who was. One thing was for certain - Vegas was my next destination.
And for those who care to know just where we're standing stat wise.
Matt - Level 12
PER: 6 (+1 with Desperado Hat)
Energy Weapons: 13
Bug Stomper - Damage Bonus vs. All Insects
Comprehension - Double the bonuses from reading books and magazine.
Educated - 2 extra skill points each level.
Good Natured - +5 to Barter, Medicine, Repair, Science and Speech. -5 to Energy Weapons, Explosives, Guns, Melee and Unarmed.
Ranger Takedown - Special attack to down humanoids in close combat.
Sniper - Better chance of hitting an opponent's head using weapons.
Spotter - benefit from partnering with Boone. Can spot targets more easily while aiming.
Swift Learner - 3 Ranks - 30% Bonus to all xp.
Wild Wasteland - magnet for weird things happening.