We also had time to stop by the Crimson Caravan offices. Ran into our old pal Ringo and fleeced him out of some more filthy lucre with a quick game of Caravan. There were some job postings but I decided we had put off our appointment in Vegas long enough. We went to the front gate and I was shocked by what I saw.
Me: Who are they?
Me: How can you tell?
Boone: Don't have shit all over them.
Me: You know, they are quite well dressed and clean.
Boone: Yeah. Best dressed gang of low-lifes in the Wasteland.
Boone gave me the rundown on how the area north of The Strip was known as Freeside and how it was - for the most part - run by a guy called The King, who ran a gang called The Kings. He held court in a school of some sort, where he taught his followers how to be more like a figure... The First King - who was apparently a god of some sort in the Pre-War world.
Freeside was a rough neighboorhood, to put it mildly. There were several Kings and other mercs hanging around the front gate, offering to escort people around for a small fee. I figured that between Boone and myself we could handle anything. I was right.
Me: We're evolution in action, you know?
Me: The one guy waves us into the alley. His friends move up behind us. You'd think they'd have more sense to go after a guy in a First Recon beret and a guy with the shotgun by his side.
Boone: You'd think.
There wasn't much to be found in the north part of Freeside, save for an abandoned robot factory (which I saw fit to steer clear of), The Old Mormon Fort (apparently home to the local branch of the Followers Of The Apocalypse and their free clinic) and an abandoned train station.
The one thing of interest? A shop run by two men named Mick and Ralph. They sold quite a bit of everything and let me unload some excess gear. They also handled some... less than usual items - high grade weapons and passports to the Vegas Strip. I got a passport (never know when you might need a fake ID) and some more ammo for my rifles before heading down to the South Side of the Freeside.
Me: So... you know what's here in south Freeside?
Boone: Well, The King holds court in the school over there. The Silver Rush sells a lot of energy weapons and explosives. And then there's the Atomic Wrangler, which is the place to go for gambling, drugs, booze and whores.
Me: Somehow, I don't know why, but I think we should check out the Atomic Wrangler first.
The Atomic Wrangler was run by two siblings - James and Francine Garret. James was tending bar when I walked in. I took a walk around the place, played the slots a bit and chatted up the ghoul comedian before approaching the boss himself.
Me: Any chance you've got some work?
James: Well, we do need some whores.
Me: Woah, pal. I don't swing that way. Even for pay.
James: You're not what I'm looking for. Still... maybe you could help me.
Me: How's that?
James: Well, we do try to cater to a wide variety of folks here. But some of our richer clients have made some... requests. Three of them, to be exact.
Me: So you want me to go recruiting for you?
James: In a nutshell. You interested?
Me: Maybe. They'd be willing employees, right?
James: 50/50 split with the house. Willing staff. Not slaves. We don't cotton to that here.
Me: Sounds fair. What do you need?
James: Well, we need a sensitive but suave type. Someone who can play the part of the loving boyfriend.
Me: Fancy lad. Gotcha.
James: Then we're going to need a ghoul cowboy.
Me: ... a ghoul, who is also a cowboy?
James: Yep. Real cow-puncher. Not just someone in the outfit.
Me: Tricky but... well, I guess that's possible.
James: Hey, if it was easy, I'd do it myself.
Me: Fair enough. And the third?
James: Well, it's a little icky but uh...
Me: YOU think it's icky? This MUST be bad.
James: Yeah. Uh. A sex bot.
Me: As in a robot...
James: ... built for sex, yes.
Me: Right. Any ideas on where I'd find one of those?
James: You might check with Mick and Ralph. They have damn near everything else.
Me: Good call.
I decided to finish touring Freeside first, heading as far south as the heavily guarded gate to The Strip proper. It was here that I met a gentleman named Old Ben, who warned me away from getting too close to the gate guards. Ben had quite the story to tell, having done nearly every job you could in New Vegas - honest and dishonest. Including boy whore. It didn't take much for a fast-talker like me to convince him that a gentleman like himself could still make the ladies happy. He said he'd see me around the Wrangler.
Finding a ghoul cowboy proved to be a lot easier than I thought. I'd heard something about there being a female ghoul guard who had been watching over The Followers in Vegas. Turned out she had a thing for giving orders and was getting bored with following orders for a group of pacifist doctors.
That just left the sex bot, which turned out to be one of the few things that Mick and Ralph didn't carry. Ralph suggested that I check the abandoned robot factory and offered to write the program for the robot for me, if I couldn't manage it myself. He also warned me that he'd savaged the factory before and that it tended to be filled with vermin - the animal and the human kind.
Fortunately, all we had to content with were some giant rats. Unfortunately... well, I had to pre-program the bot myself and... well, SOMEONE had to test the thing. And Boone said he'd test his rifle on me if I even thought of asking him to do it.
As painful and strange as the sensation was... it was nothing compared to what happened as we left the factory.
*BLAM* *BLAM* *BLAM*
Me: Oh, what sad times are these when old ladies can say Ni at will to passing ruffians.
Me: Ever see anything like that before?