Mojave, Mo' Problems

Been a while, f’botters. Sorry for the prolonged absence. Tahoma is very much alive and well, and traversing the wasteland as always, but her irl tumblrscribe has been consumed with pursuing distractingly attractive beau NPCs, playing LA Noire, drawing her journal comics, and work work working for university.

I promise new NPC Adventures soon! 

You know what they say….

Adventures in Fallout New Vegas with non-named NPCs

20. Pets Corner: Gecko Bartender

More by chance than decision, I had ambled up into the mountains, on to a caravan route, a long way away from the flashing lights and compellingly unsavoury company of the Strip. The sun was blinding, piercing the backs of my eyes, so I ducked into the nearest hut I could find, a rundown shack with boarded up windows, and a cracked-open front door. 

It was quiet from the outside, and as I stepped into the gloom, it took a second for my eyes to adjust.

Inside was a perfectly preserved pre-war public house, with charmingly old-fashioned decor, a fully stocked bar, and a…..proprietorial lizard?!

I had come across countless geckos in the Mojave before, of course: most of which had lunged at me aggressively or even projected fire at me as I accidentally stumbled across their home: but this one seemed unperturbed at my presence. He greeted me with a grumbling screech, not hostile: merely of acknowledgement.

I came closer and, out of habit, I began to introduce myself.

The gecko appeared a little confused by this- nevertheless he listened, interested, before stomping off to an opposite corner of this charming building.

The bathroom! He was giving me a tour! 

I couldn’t have asked for a better welcome, and although divided by language, I felt a sense of belonging as a visitor in this humble creature’s home. I settled down with a Nuka-Cola to rest my legs for a while. 

This blog. Is amazing. <3

N’aww. Thank you so much! Also, check it out!

100th follower! Well done :o

That’s pretty crazy stuff. I started this blog on a dare to do a challenge run, hence my less-than-serious tumblr url and patchy update schedule. But it makes me feel super awesome to know that people are enjoying my adventures :D 

Adventures with non-named NPCs in Fallout New Vegas

19. Pets Corner: Coyotes


Some side-jobs have dictated that I spend a lot of time in some rather heavily radiated areas lately, and I’ve been feeling somewhat under the weather; or more specifically, over the Geiger counter. I didn’t think it had affected me beyond some mild tiredness and sporadic nosebleeds until I started seeing things a tad out of the ordinary. 

Case in point: this scene at Bitter Springs.

That’s just not right, is it? I mean, it doesn’t look right to me.

I felt like I needed a break. Away from bustle of NCR camps and hassly mercenaries, I needed to get back in touch with nature. Spend some time relaxing. I retreated to my favourite thinking spot.

After a night of isolation, I felt refreshed and ready for human company again. Before I had the chance to march off with clipboard in hand, though, I heard a plaintive wailing echoing over the bushland, a noise that piqued my interest and unsettled me simultaneously. 

It wasn’t a very long amble to find the owner of the voice.

The puppy was charming, friendly and affectionate, but with no sense of direction and seemingly totally bemused by any kind of confrontation. I took it upon myself to insist he tagged along with me for the rest of the day, as we stomped through undergrowth and along cliff-edges. When the sun was low in the sky, the diminutive canine suddenly stopped me on a patch of cracked, scorched mud, and let out another sad wail.

Patiently, I waited with him.

A beat passed, and suddenly, from behind some bushes, two full-sized coyotes bounded, joyfully, tongues dangling, towards us. 

It was with a heavy heart that I parted ways with a short-term but loyal friend, but with a smile on my face regardless, because even if I’ve not found a place to belong yet, at least my puppy did.

Arcade and I have had to part ways! Initially we appeared to be a good match, our analytical approaches mirroring each other as we faced moral dilemmas and tricky terrain. But lately, although he hasn’t said anything explicitly, I have felt him becoming more and more didactic and prescriptive in his attitudes towards this project, and judgmental when I did something he disapproved of. 

He became so imaginative in his silent ways of snubbing me, that his reaction to my insistence we needed to find some Fiends to interview for a fair and balanced tableau of characters, was to stand pointedly by this sign. 

Rude, Arcade, rude.

Then he got upset and frankly, rather scowly, after my last bout of costume experimentation. (I’ve been trying to cut down armour weight!)

He seems obsessed over hunting ghosts from his past: and I can’t really identify with that because I don’t HAVE a past, and I’d much rather meet people in the present. Because of all this, and a simmering resentment that’s built up over the last few weeks of proximity, we bid farewell outside Novac.

Adventures with non-named NPCs in Fallout New Vegas

18. Ghoul NCR Ranger

My recent run-ins with people expressing strong biases against certain groups of individuals has made me re-examine my own core interviewee demographic, and I noticed that I haven’t yet spoken to a single Ghoul for the purposes of this project! Keen to remedy that, I was surprised with the timeliness that I stumbled across Ranger Station Echo in my travels, an NCR camp majoritively manned by Ghoul Rangers.

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Dear Tahoma - As the Mojave's foremost investigative journalist and most respected woman of letters, I was wondering if you were considering branching out into a little novel writing for NaNoWriMo? If so, do you have any ideas on what your novel will be about? I'm sure many of your fans will be as keen as me to see you branch out into belletrism.

Thank you very much for your kindly worded correspondence! I’m afraid I don’t have the time to produce fiction during November, with Deathclaws to bait and Ghouls to interview.

Also: chronic writer’s block tends to hit at the worst moment. 

(Tahoma has a pretty fast-paced life with unreliable typewriter access: but, at fear of shameless self-promotion, my alter ego Sugar Bombs will probably be doing something, comic-wise. Watch that space! )

Who would win in a fight between an adult Deathclaw and 5 Cazadores?
Anonymous

If there’s one thing that I really hate, it’s speculating. My time in the Mojave in a journalistic capacity has taught me never to make assumptions, and always to back things up empirically, firsthand if possible. 

So with that said, it was only with a few misgivings that I rose to the challenge to test this theory!

Obtaining the Deathclaw and Cazadors was easier than I thought it might be; Red Lucy in The Thorn owed me a favour, and even lent me guards to help transport them. Clearing up the damage, repairing my crippled limbs, and the homes and psychological trauma of the residents of Westside was sightly more labour-intensive.

But anyway, pictures speak louder than words.

(bigger)

The battle only lasted for a few seconds, with clouds of venom obscuring most of the action: but a clear victor emerged. 

Four Cazadors and a Deathclaw felled: the remaining muta-insect triumphantly thrusted its feelers into the air.

…and began to approach me.

Uhh…this wasn’t meant to happen!

Adventures with non-named NPCs in Fallout New Vegas

17. Securitron Gatekeeper

Recently, Boone decided to part ways with me for a while; his own stuff to sort out back at the NCR camp- which I totally respect, but it did leave me a little under-equipped in the way of muscle, as my combat skills leave a lot to be desired. I’d grown accustomed to traversing with a buddy who had my back, and ED-E, although invaluable upon occasion, wasn’t quite as good a conversationalist. 

I was musing on the situation of being one companion down, when I stumbled across this scene, outside a casino I’d spent far too much time in lately.

Was that Securitron following that NCR soldier? 

Certainly looks that way! 

The young lady in question, heavily intoxicated, was being overlooked by one of the new, beefy, Strip guards. The more I watched, the more it seemed like the Securitron was acting as a patient, calm, protector to Ms Soldier; staying back while she was enjoying herself, but ready to leap into action with red-screened rage and a rocketlauncher at the first sign of trouble.

This seemed like exactly what I needed.

With a spring in my step, I hopped through the gates back into Freeside, to see if I could find a spare robot-friend who might be interested in accompanying me on journalistic adventures in the Mojave.

Oh, fine.

Adventures with non-named NPCs in Fallout New Vegas

16. Followers Guard


I like to think that we never shy away from issues here at NPC Adventures, and sometimes challenging viewpoints and thought patterns can appear in unexpected places. Because I don’t like to argue with my interviewees, I sometimes have to bite my tongue when I disagree with the sentiments of individuals I meet on my travels.

One thing I’m not used to, however, is people opening with a veiled insult about one of my companions. 

Yes, I’m back in Freeside again, and after hearing consistently marvelous things about the work that the Followers of The Apocalypse do across the Wasteland, I was keen to meet some of them myself. But this introduction had me totally thrown! I tried to respect his seniority as an experienced and valued member of the Followers’ security force, and was considering a measured response that was both friendly but firm, and respectful to ED-E, when he came out with this:

This shocking piece of racism was made worse by the fact that it was clearly uttered in earshot of charming companion ghoul-guard Beatrix Russell, whom I had made an acquaintance of earlier. Trying to switch quickly into professional mode, I mumbled a question about why he felt this way, and whether he felt this opinion was shared by other members of his secular-humanist organisation. 

It was too late! She had heard, and was stomping forcefully over to grumpily respond to this unwarranted ghoul-hate.

I responded to this intensely socially awkward situation the only way I knew how, and I’m not proud of this.

Activate stealth skills!

(higher res right here)