Victor was about as forthcoming as before about why he seemed to be showing up just after I got into a major firefight tracking down the people who tried to kill me. Still, he wished me well in finding Benny and went moseying down his own path.
Boone and I took a longer route just off the main roads. I'd seen the biker gangs ambushing people using the roads and with all the excess gear I was packing I wanted to avoid any fights I didn't have to finish. We headed north into the hills above Boulder City first, finding a nice view of the nearby lake and an NCR camp which had some interesting decour.
Me: Where do they get the working printing presses for this stuff?
Boone: Dunno. Same place they print the paper money, I guess.
At dawn we headed west, cutting across the main freeway again, passing a few interesting looking buildings. We came across the remains of a caravan that - somehow - I knew belonged to Cassidy, the caravan driver I had met at the NCR base near Primm. Amazingly, the carcass of her pack animal was amazingly undecayed. I chalked this up to the radiation preserving everything much better.
Eventually we came to Camp McNamara - the center of the NCR activities in the area. Boone was recognized by several soldiers, who commented on how lucky I was to have someone from the 1st Recon unit watching my back. Didn't I know it.
I was hoping to barter with the quartermaster or some type of company store but I couldn't find one. I did take a couple of bounties from the Major patrolling the yard. Seems - like every other damn base in this outfit - they couldn't afford to send any men out to deal with the three most dangerous members of The Fiends (a local gang notable for their heavy drug use) and lil' ol' me has to go out with my trusty sniper sidekick and deal with them. This was a particularly difficult assignment for Boone as we were under specific orders to bring back their heads... intact.
Me: Not shooting people in the head. Kinda feels unnatural, doesn't it?
Our first target? A woman named Violet. Seemed she liked dogs more than people and lived on her own with a pack of wild dogs, west of the base. As I was gunning her dogs down, I suddenly got a feeling - like I was much more skilled at killing... everything.
Me: I AM LORD DEATH, SLAYER OF DOGS!!!
Next up? A Fiend by the name of Cook-Cook. All anybody knew about him for sure was that he was a rapist and he favored the flamethrower as a weapon. Tended toward raping the people he captured then burning them alive. The rumor was that he ate them too. Didn't know if it was true. Didn't much care. He was dying either way.
The final bounty was a bloke by the name of Driver Nephi, called such for his unique preference of killing his victims with a golf club. He was the easiest of the three to deal with.
Me: Hey! This isn't a driver! It's a 9-Iron!
Boone: Doubt anybody he killed or injured cared enough to note the difference.
Me: Yeah but... 9-Iron Nephi sounds so much cooler!
Boone: No it doesn't.
Somewhat richer after reporting back to the Major, we wandered around the base a bit more. I talked to a Lieutenant who asked if I could talk to one of his snipers who he knew wasn't fit for duty anymore but who refused to listen to him. For some reason - perhaps my way with words and my winning impression of a drill sergeant, she listened to me and agreed to check herself out for medical leave. The Lieutenant thanked me and asked if I could go to the clinic in Vegas and let them know that a new patient would be coming in. I pondered telling him to get on the radio and do it his own damn self but I decided against it.