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Fallout New Vegas Day#7: Cleanin’ Up the Wastes

Day 7 in New Vegas is a busy one. I complete a set of outstanding quests and do a lot of exploration of the wastes. I have to say I’m impressed by the world here. There are lots of social dynamics and groups that just make sense, and there’s a nice feeling of purpose to the position and types of locations you find. I also make my first ally and wow, does that game get easier after that. Maybe it’s a little too much of a jump, but it’s also possible I’ve just been using crappy weapons for too long. Narrative on the plots is solid and there’s a lot of side-taking as I pretty firmly ally myself with one of the two big factions of the Fallout Southwest. Spoilers within.

So I decide to start by doing some clean-up, and so it’s back to RepComm facility to give up rocket souvenirs that contain the fuel they’ve been given. I fast travel to the facility, but then I notice that there’s a satellite dish up on a rock outcropping to the west. I try to get there for a while, but I fail; there doesn’t seem to be a way through the rocks. I kill a bunch of ghouls that suddenly appear and charge me, including a glowing one that’s much tougher and bleeds radiation. I give up and go inside RepComm. Inside, I find a bunch of electrical stuff, more than I can carry. I go back down to the basement, and I give Chris the rocket souvenirs. I push him on the “you’re not a ghoul” thing. He tells me he was in vault 34 and that he had to manage the reactor. It caused his hair to fall out and he thus thought he had been disfigured. There’s a speech option that I don’t have the speech to pursue where I continue to challenge him, so I leave to see if I can level up to make that option. I go back to Novac, shop with a traveling merchant, and drop my stuff off.  I then go back towards Nelson to deal with the Legion once and for all.  I thought the Ranger was going to help with the attack, but I guess I was wrong since he doesn’t mention it.  I head back to Nelson anyway just to see. There’s literally no one around, but there doesn’t seem to be anything to do so I leave.

My last clue on the platinum chip thing was that the Khan went to Boulder City. As I head north in unknown territory, I find a toxic waste site. Again I don’t see anything to do here, so I keep going. North of that, I find the Gibson Garage. Inside the garage, I meet Old Lady Gibson. She sells junk. She has the  thruster the ghouls need and wants 500 caps for it, but I get it from her with my Lady Killer speech option for free. I fast travel back to the facility and give Chris the part. He’s ready to get the rockets started,  but ask him to hold the launch as I want to complete that last speech option first.  I fast travel back to the garage to keep heading north.

As I keep moving, I find Helios One, a power plant off of the side of the road. It’s surrounded by NCR guards. I lie to NCR and say I’m with them. Because of my Speech rating,  they believe it and ask for my help getting the plant to work. It seems that this is a back-up plant in case they lose Hoover Dam. I’m supposed to talk to some guy with sunglasses inside.  I enter the power plant. There are NCR guards stationed around the corridors. I activate a nearby terminal: there is some project called ARCHIMEDES here. It has something to do with the power and how it’s controlled. There doesn’t seem to be much of anything else inside at first, but game freezes while I’m wandering inside. Sigh I’m starting to understand just how buggy this game is. I restart at the door of Helios One. This time, I find a guy named Fantastic in the basement.  He thinks he’s in control of the station because there’s almost no power in the station. The deal is the plant works, but the power’s not running efficiently because the solar panels aren’t facing the right directions. I need to activate two terminals outside to route power into a control tower properly and then go into tower to get it set. The problem is that the NCR apparently trip some security in the tower when they first got here. I go out of the building here to find the west terminal. For some reason, it’s bobby-trapped and mined and I walk right into all of it to cripple myself. I do get terminal active; it’s easy because Fantastic gave me a password. I can’t get second terminal active — it’s too hard to hack for my measly 25 science. I decide to go into tower to see if I can find a password in there, but the security is massive with turret guns and explosive and die twice within ten seconds of entering. I’m not doing the tower I guess, and Helios One will wait for my Science to dramatically improve.

I take a moment to fast travel back to Goodsprings to heal and buy, and then fast travel back to Helios One to continue the journey. I next find the El Dorado Gas Station. Not much there so I continue. I’m approaching Boulder City as I’m attacked by a radscorpion. It’s not easy, but I kill it, taking the stinger out first. Once right around the corner are four more. I can’t kill them all, so I run from them until I enter Boulder City proper and they leave. The city is totally bombed out. It’s just a bunch of old ruins. I find a private at a memorial in the center of town. It turns out the NCR blew up the whole of Boulder City as a trap for the Legion, and in the procsss killed many NCR soldiers (now heroes) as well. On further exploration of the town, I find a soldier blocking a gate to the rest of the ruins. He tells me the Khans are here and have hostages past the gate.  I choose to say I’ll try to sneak in and save the hostages. He agrees but he wants me to wait until night. As it’s like 10:30 in the morning, I have a lot of time to kill.

I fast travel to Novac to heal and drop, then back to Boulder City. I decide the best thing to do right now is wander around and explore. I get to a 188 trade post location. There, I meet Veronica, a young woman in peasant clothing with some crazy power glove on. We have a short conversation where she explains that she hunts food for her family and probes me about the Brotherhood of Steel and the NCR. She talks about wanting to explore the waste, and I offer to have her join my group. She does so, and then reveals that she’s in fact part of the Brotherhood of Steel. They are in hiding because they don’t have many people here and the NCR wants everything that they have.  Now a duet, we wander on. I find Follower’s Outpost in a small snack up a flight of stairs. There’s nothing much inside but do-gooders with nothing much to say. I continue NW and find a Grub and Gulp Rest Stop. This is a water merchant, which is kind of a godsend because I’ve been getting dehydrated like crazy as I’m traveling and hoarding every water bottle I can find. I load up on purified water and leave. Up ahead I see a HUGE city not on the map — is that New Vegas itself? I start walking towards it, and on the way, we’re attacked by and then kill some fiends. Veronica fights by punching things with her glove, and she is a monster in combat. (She apparently can also help me build things at workbenches.) I enter a nearby warehouse to find nothing inside. Continuing towards the city, I find the El Rey Motel. It’s not an open business, so Idecide to pick the lock to a room to use for storage. I kill crazy guy inside, stash some stuff, and leave. The big city has a huge wall around it and I can’t see a gate, but I do find an big NCR Sharecropper Farms right at the wall. It’s what it says it is — a farm — and there’s no one immediately around. However, it’s now night so I go back to Boulder City and enter the Boulder City Ruins to deal with the Khans.

Right inside, I see a bunch of NCR guards crouching facing a couple of buildings. I try to sneak towards the buildings,  but I’m spotted immediately by the Khans and we just fight. I kill the Khans outside, and then run into the hideout to kill them there. It’s not that hard a fight now that I’m a team, and when I kill the last Khan, I level up twice!  There are no good perks so I increase my int to 8 for the bonus skill points. I also get my speech to 50 and so it’s time to see the rocket ghouls again. I fast travel to the facility and speech Chris to finally convince him he’s not going on the rocket with Bright. He feels betrayed and thinks about sabotaging the rocket. I choose to tell him that he’s no murderer rather than choose to goad him on. Wow, he does not want to get over this. It’s some nice roleplaying to have to repeatedly convince him to help Jason, but I eventually do and then convince him to go to Novac when he’s done. Once that’s secure, I tell Chris to launch the rocket. I have to go to view it for a viewing platform somewhere, and while I leave,  I hear Jason via intercom praising the humans that helped him. It’s takes some exploration, but I find the platform and hit a launch switch to watch rockets reveal from a dome (hey, that’s the dome I couldn’t get too!) and fly off.  A second quest done for the day, and now Novac likes me.

I fast travel back to Novac to find Chris settling in there nicely. I think I can go for three quests complete today, and I head out to see if I can end that free slaves quest from way back at Nipton. I start heading to the marker for the Free the Slaves quest. As I wander, we kill some random viper gang members at a random viper gang camp, and when we finish, an NCR guy appears from nowhere to give me an NCR radio to call for emergency back-up. This is quite cool — I’ve been doing a LOT for the NCR and it’s nice to see some development of our relationship.   As we head further to the Legion camp, we pass by a bunch of Legionnaires. I try to takedown to take them down, but I die quickly as they are not push-overs. After respawning, I kill them a second time because Veronica is tough and because we catch them sleeping.  And now the legion HATES me. We finally arrive at the slaver’s camp. I try to sneak up and again fail (I have to get my Sneak higher) and then die from confusion during the fight. We go back in when I respawn and this time I stealth correctly. We kill them all through by surprise because I finally equip a decent weapon: a totally badass sawed-off shotgun I found on the Khans. The range sucks, but the damage is phenomenal. Once the Legion guys are all dead, I notice that the slaves are Powder Gangers and not NCR. Suck. I briefly consider killing them on the spot, but my good guy instincts take over and I let them free. Third quest of the night complete, I go to Goodsprings to sell some stuff and save. Long successful session, and so, good night.

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