" You got what you needed, Pay up," was the first thing i heard as i came to. I was tied by my hands and on the ground when i woke up, unfortunately this wasn't me trying new things, nope i was waiting for some guy to finish rehearsing his cool pre-murder speech and/or one-liner, that's why they don't kill you while you're unconscious, because they want to see the fear in your eyes.
"You're cryin' in the rain pally." said another voice, he sounded fanciful in a forced way, that kind of manner of speech doesn't come naturally even if your fucking parents have it. Unfortunately it also was the kind voice that was accompanied by the stench of expensive wine, preserved cigars, and pussy, all of which pointed to lots of caps which meant it can have anything to happen to anyone with less caps than the asshole it was attached to.
" Heh, look who's wakin' up," said a third, uniting voice which made the Trifecta of Assholes whole again. By this point i my vision has stopped being a dick and i could see what they looked like, atleast they had the decency to give a dead gal a few moments to look around. The two normal soundin' guy's were wearing leather vests and white bandanas around their foreheads, wonderful, Great Khans, those fucking hasbeens, the rich guy looked, well rich, he wore a clean checkered suit, well-heeled black shoes, his hair was, clean, slicked and black and he was clean shave. I guess if you got it.
"Time to cash out." said fancy pants, he threw his cigar and stepped it out, just bein' environmentally friendly and all.
"Would you get it over with." one of the Khans said like he had something better to do. It was nice of him to leave my arms tied in front of me so i could wipe the blood away from my eyes.
"Maybe a Khan would kill someone without looking 'em in the eyes but i ain't a fink, ya dig." Fuck this guy, but i can respect that, i've sure as shit done worse to better people. "You've made your last delivery kid." I however am not digging this kid shit, this guy is what a year or two older than me? I'm now staring down the barrel of his gun which looks obscenely expensive. I never really thought i'd go down like this, i always imagined it be more story book you know? Instead i'm here. "From where you're kneeling this might seem like an 18k run of bad luck, truth is, the game was rigged from the start."
"Can the theatrics and shoot the unarmed chick like the badass I know you are Be- " I attempted to retort with before he fired the gun. Time slowed down long enough for me to think, "All this for a fucking poker chip?," then it went dark.
WELCOME TO GOODSPRINGS
You know how sometimes you'll just be standing around and it'll feel like all the sound in your ears just drained out, it is not near as bad as when it goes in reverse.
I woke up and i was staring at the hazy image of what i eventually made out to be a ceiling fan, i was greeted by the sight of a kindly, looking old man, "You're awake, how bout' that." he said very calmly yet surprised, which was something of an understatement for me considering the last thing i remember was fucking dying. I rush to get up still not sure what's happening, he reaches for me a gently holds me in place to stabilise me.
"What the fuck happened? who the fuck are you?" I said in probably not the most professional way.
"Easy there, easy, you were out for quite awhile, can i get'cher name, pardner'?"
I was ready to speak but just as i opened my mouth i realized i had to think on it for a second, shit, what the fucks my name? I think i liked it…. "Amelia Six" i said a bit excitedly, i remembered just how much liked saying my name.
"Well i can't really say it's what i'd've picked for you but if that's your name that's your name." i wasn't entirely sure what he meant by that but considering that he just saved my ass when any other doctor would have just dumped me in a ditch i let it slide.
"Well, who are you" i inquired in retort.
" I'm Doc Mitchell, Welcome to Goodspring, you've been out for quit awhile, relax, get'ch you're bearings." I guess he was a certifiable medical doctor, rare thing these days, he also didn't seem to be a Follower even which made him a damn oddity in my book, still seemed trustworthy though. "You were out cold for a couple a' days now, i had to go rootin' around in yer noggin to get all the bits of lead outta ya, i'm not a plastic surgeon but i do pride myself on my needlework, how'd i do?
He hands me a mirror and i manage to get a good look at myself, I looked tired. It felt like this was the first time i've ever looked at myself, I had a narrow face, red lips, my nose was ever-so slightly off-center, I had large blue eyes and I had three scars: One was just a little above my right eye, another was a very small gash running at the very far right of my chin, the last one mostly obscured by hair as it at the top-left part of my face just above temple where I was hit by a metal rod when I was ambushed. The thing that caught my eye the most was neck-length, messy ass, red hair. I remember liking my hair a lot.
"Not bad," i said enthusiastically. I made it a point to flip my hair with pride. We went through some tests, i got a psychological evaluation and he's now seeing me out.
"I hope that you don't mind but i was looking through your stuff, i thought i might help me notify your next of kin but all i could find was this delivery notice, i hope this help's."
I looked through it and it gave me an idea of where to start, The Mojave Express office in Primm, my former(?) place of employment . "This is everything else i could find on you," he said as handed me a few Stimpacks, a 10mm pistol, my dad's old lucky spurs, and my trusty Vault 13 canteen. He gave me a small handheld Pip-Boy called a Readius which absolutely blew my mind in the moment. "One more thing before ya go, I have to go with the assumption that these are your clothes considering you were wearing them when the robot dropped you off at my doorstep."
This was my old get-up, nothing special really, a pair of jeans,some old cowboy (girl?) boots, a black crop-top and a leather jacket. Well this wasn't including my lucky spurs. "Clothes? It's a miracle!"
I figured you'd want 'em back so that folk don't pick on you lacking modesty." It was at this moment that i realized that i have been bare ass naked this entire time, i didn't say anything because he saved my life and all. "Welp, I suppose that's all she wrote."
Thanks Doc, for….. Everything. I said while throwing my clothes on.
"Don't mention it, it's what i'm here for, if ya plan on goin' after the guy's who shot you ya might wanna go talk to that robot fella Victor, he's the one who dug ya up and paid for the treatment. Now try not to get killed again."
Just like that i was off to the wastes and just like that i was blinded due to being flooded with natural light for the first time in at least a few days. I saw a big square on wheels and immediately assumed that he was this Victor fellow, as i approached over to him i was kinda surprised when i saw the big TV attached to his face and his… mannerisms.
Why howdy there pardner'! Might i say you're looking fit as a fiddle! He had a pseudo cowboy voice accent and a matching cartoon cowboy as the image projected on his screen.
"Ummmm, hey, what the hell are you?" I've never seen a robot like this before and i like to be to the point.
"Imma Securitron, model PDQ- 88b, most of my kind're livin' in Vegas, if you see any'a my brothers tell em Victor says, howdy! "
"Will do. So, um, how'd you find me when i was buried?" And more importantly why did you help me? I added mentally.
" Well i saw them harrasin' ya and i decided that that they looked bad news so i laid low, when i saws them shoot you and take off i figured i'd dig you up see if you was still kickin' and it turns out you were."
This sounded rehearsed to me, like it wasn't the whole picture, i figured i'd let it go considering he was a robot and all."Well, um, thank you very much, Victor." i said hesitantly. He took off just like that and i was left thinking about what the Doc said about this Sunny Smiles girl and i was thinking i might need something of a refresher to make sure i wasn't combat-retarded.
I walked past an old man chilling out on the salon's porch and as i entered i was greeted with a fairly large dog snarling at me, i was gearing to whip out my 10mm till a voice called out, "Cheyenne! Down girl!" A young girl, must've been 17 or 18 walked into view, She was short couldn't have been more than 5'1, she had brown hair in a ponytail, a sort-of leather jacket over torso that only covered one arm with pants and boots to match, and an almost overwhelmingly genuine smile at all-times it seemed like, "Don't worry bout' her she'll only bite if i tell her too, names Sunny Smiles, what can i do for you?
" I'm new around here and Doc Mitchells said you could show me a few things," i said ever so-slightly embarrassed.
"Sure can, why don'cha meet me out back and we can have a little target practice." Before i could answer she tossed me a Varmint Rifle and rushed for the door, i guess i would get a little stir crazy too if I lived In a place like this.
I knocked down a few bottles with the rifle easily enough, you don't survive as a courier for long if you can't aim. On one hand i was embarrassed that i was getting shooting lessons from a 18 ( at best) year old but on the other i got fucking double- tapped and it was probably best that i pace myself before i go barreling into firefight.
"Not bad, listen i'm headin' out to hunt some Geckos, you're free to come along if you're interested, there might be some caps in it for you." She said with her back turned to me.
"Sounds like fun." I said with enthusiasm. While we were hunting we heard a high pitched scream and rushed over to investigate, there was this girl who was surrounded by three Geckos, Geckos are, by the way, giant mutated, bipedal lizards, all she was armed with a cleaver and would of have certaintly have been killed if we hadn't been out and about, luckily for her we were out and about.
"Oh thank you, thank you so much! If i weren't for you two i would've been a goner!" She practically cheered at me.
I looked at her with the utmost seriousness and said, "Try investing in a gun in the future."
"Now look at that, we cleared out the Geckos and even got a little excitement towards the end there," Smiles tossed me a handful of caps.
"Thanks it was fun, hey, um, do you know anything about the guy's who attacked me?" i asked hopefully.
"No." She paused a moment for dramatic effect, "But if anyone here does then it's probably, Trudy, she runs the saloon and is kinda the town mom, she'll wanna meet you anyway, she loves newcomers."
"Well then i'll certaintly oblige her." I said as we started back for Goodsprings.
As i entered the saloon i was assaulted with audible war crime that is "Johnny Guitar" and the peaceful ramblings of a well-rounded individual.
"I'm done playin' nice Trudy!" i heard a man who was not using his inside voice yell as he slammed the counter as hard could, he was black and he wore a light blue button-up shirt, a bulky kevlar vest, and a grey pair of pants. "I you don't hand Ringo over soon then i'm gonna round up my friends and we're gonna burn this town to the fuckin' ground!"
"We'll keep that in mind, now if you're not gonna buy something, GET OUT! The bartender said whilst moving closer to his face.
The man pushed passed me, not without giving me a tough guy glare of course, as he made his exit out he made it point to slam the door as hard as possible.
"Hey there, you're Trudy, right? I asked pointlessly.
"I am, and you must be the newcomer makin' waves all over town, well what can i get you?" I pointed to a bottle of scotch she was attempting to block my view of.
"Soooooooo, do you know anything about a man in a checkered suit and his Great Khans friends who passed through town recently? I inquired.
"Yeah, but i don't know much, 'cept that they were a bunch a freeloaders who expected a few rounds on the house, I was able to….. Convince them to pay up, of course one those damned Khan's "accidently" knocked my radio over, now the stupid thing won't work."
"You still haven't said where they went!" I wasn't getting impatient i was just in a hurry, unfortunately that wasn't quite clear.
"They were having some kind of an argument about that actually," i was relieved that she didn't seem to recognize the tone in my voice. "The guy in the suit kept shushin' 'em, it sounded like they came from the North, through Quarry Junction, if that's the case then i can see why the wouldn't wanna go back." she said matter-of-factly.
"Do tell." i never understand why people left these huge spaces in- between their stories, like is she trying to make sure i'm listening or what?
"Well the whole way is crawling with monsters that just get mad if ya shoot at em, cause' of this the
Caravans have been avoiding that stretch of road like it's radioactive, and very well might be."
"Sooooo do you know where they went?" i continued to inquire.
"Well they decided to go through Highway-95 which would have takin''em through the town of Primm, so that's probably your safest bet."
So at this point i haven't learned anything my delivery order hadn't told me except a greater guarantee that i'll find information over there. I figured as a thanks i would fix up her radio, only took like a minute, she offered me some caps, well a more accurate way of saying it is she demanded i take her caps. I wanted to ask her about the guy who yelled when i walked in but i had to get going, but i really wanted to ask, but i HAD to get going, but i REALLY wanted to know.
"So what were you and that other guy bickering about? Trouble in paradise?" sigh.
"Just some unpleasantness, our little town's gotten itself wrapped up in something it wants nothin' to do with. A man named Ringo rolls into town not to long ago sets doesn't say much anyone, well as soon as he does we start gettin' harassed by the Powder Gangers demanding to know where he is."
"And the dude?" i said while nodding my head over to the door.
"That's Jacob Cobb, he's a coward." she said matter of factly.
"Why don't you just shoot the fucker?" i asked like it was the most obvious thing in the world. I always forget that even out in the wasteland there is still people who do everything in their power to avoid violence.
"You mean murder him? That's not our way, even if he is scumbag." I don't really se the point in waiting for them to caste the first stone when you know for a fact that they are going to, playing the good guy only delays the inevitable in situations like this.
"And what the hell's a Powder Ganger?" I ask after taking a few sips from scotch, shaking off the stupidity in that previous statement.
"They're a bunch of escaped prisoners who were brought by the NCR to help build the new rail-line, turns out, givin' violent criminals dynamite and blasting powder isn't the best idea in the world." she said as sigh slipped out.
"Where could a gal such as myself find this dude?" i an faux innocent voice.
"Oh, he's up in the old gas station, personally i hope he slips outta town in the middle of the night and takes all these Powder Gangers with him."
I should like, really go now, come on Amelia, lets get fucking going. "What do you think would happen if i were to help Ringo out?"
"Well, Sunny Smiles would probably help you out, other than that i don't really know."
"Well, i suppose i'll be heading out then, thanks for the hospitality Trudy." i said before downing the rest of my scotch.
"No problem, you take care." she said while waving me off.
I walked out of the bar and started for Primm, but i couldn't stop looking at that gas station, what adventures could it hold? No! Goddamit Six you have to find the fucker who shot you, this isn't your problem! this isn't your fight just! turn your happy ass around and GO TO PRIMM!
It was at this moment i arrived at the gas stations doorstep and have walked on in, I heard the unmistakable click of a pistol's safety going off, "I guess i'm doing this thing now."
"That's close enough, who are and what do you want with me?" He was of average height average build, he had well-trimmed black hair and was clean shaven and he had the voice of a twenty year-old who just got his first pack brahmin, over all he didn't exactly scream "hardened killer" so I was confident in my ability to put him in his place.
"If you're going fire that gun you better not miss." i growled.
"Sorry about that," he said while quickly holstering his weapon, "I guess i've been a little jumpy lately, the names Ringo wanna play a few rounds of Caravan?"
"Fuck no, anyway i'm here because i heard you're in a tight spot with the Powder Gangers, mind tellin' me what's it about?"
"Last week me and my caravan were on a return trip from California and was heading to the Crimson Caravan branch in New Vegas when we got hit, not even a 'Drop your weapons and throw your hands up' before the bullets started flyin', i'd like to think we put up a good fight but there was too many!' he said shamefully, "I managed to put a few of them down before i escaped, i'm guessing they're looking for revenge."
"So have you put any thought into what exactly you're gonna do ?" I asked not expecting much, i kinda liked the guy to be honest, he's clearly in-over his head here but he seem's to be handling it well.
"Well, i guess i'm just gonna lay low here and hope the town doesn't throw me to the wolves. I could probably deal with Cobb if he actually started looking for me but i don't stand a chance against his friends by myself." He said while resignedly slid down the wall next to the counter. He's really gonna make ask isn't he? Damn caravaners.
"Sounds like you need a hired gun," i said point blank, i proceeded to kneel down next to him, "And guess who's for hire." i said with some forced enthusiasm.
"I….. I don't have much in the way of money, i-i only have a couple handfuls of caps, bu-... but if i get out of this i'll make sure that the Crimson Caravan pays you back in full." he looked at me hopefully.
I sat there for a moment, not because i haven't made up my mind already, but because i'm an asshole. "It'll have to do…."
"Great, but before we do anything we're gonna need to gather support around town." he said while standing up.
"What, you don't think i can take care of myself?" I asked in what i thought was an obvious display of sarcastic bravado, he didn't seem to get it.
"It's not that at all!" he said in a hurry and too my amusement, "I'm more worried about myself, who's gonna watch my back while i watch yours? Ya know?"
"You've been here longer than i have, so who are suggesting?"
"There's Sunny Smiles, she's been kinder than most around here other than that i don't know."
"Wonderful, alrighty then, i'll see what i can do."
I walked into the saloon, and didn't bother to greet Sunny when i asked, "Smiles, i'm attacking the Powder Gangers, i could really use your help."
"I'm in." she said it so fast that i was already starting my 'Well you should help me cause reasons' speech.
"If you do- wait, really? Just like that?"
"Just like that, I got this feeling i'm gonna wind up fightin' those guys one way or the other, i'd like to get it over with, this Jacob Cobb says that if we hand over Ringo he'll leave us alone, I know his type and I also know that him and and his friends will come after Goodsprings eventually."
I hate saying shit like this, but, she reminds me of me when I was her age. She actually understands how the world works nowadays, there are some out there who seem to be straight from Old World, a lot of the town seems to be full of these people, they're good people but they don't understand how far bad people will go. I've seen some of the nicest, most peaceful people in the wastes on my travels and every single one of them has been taken advantage of in some way, a lot of them by me, but her, she's one of the nicest people that i've met and even then I can tell that she's understands how people are and she's not about to let them fuck with her.
"Well-er, thanks. I appreciate it." I got kinda lost in my thoughts there for a minute.
"No problem, but I think you're gonna need some more support if you plan on beating them."
"Yeah, you wouldn't happen to know how I could do that."
I spent a few hours gaining support from the locals including: some free leather armour from Chet the local salesman and some free stimpacks from Doc Mitchells and was running over everything in my head as I was making my way to the gas station.
"Okay, so I have: a 17 year old girl, her dog, an old barkeep, a few farmers, a caravanner, and myself against who-knows how many escaped, convicted felons, this couldn't possibly go wrong." I said to myself whilst nearing the door.
When I walked in Ringo shot off the ground like he was fired out of a cannon, "Hey there, did you, er, did you get Sunny's help?"
"Bitch, I got Sunny and then some." I said trying to assert confidence I only sorta had.
""Um….. That's-that's great, so I guess we're already to do this." Just as he said that Sunny barged in through the door, rifle at the ready.
"It's started, Powder Gangers are coming' over and don't like they're here to chat."
She started for the door, "Hang on, how many are there?"
"Bout' eight, maybe more." I nodded and started to get dressed, "Hey, try to remember that a lot of these people haven't been in a serious fight their entire lives, I don't know what you've done before this but I can tell this isn't your first rodeo and I need you keep in mind that these people aren't your everyday mercenary's, they're farmers and ranchers and aren't gonna have a clue what to do out there, i'm not asking you be their meat shield but just… just try and keep the heat off them, okay?"
"Alright, I promise." I meant it to, I don't know why i'm helping this town, I mean when I look around it doesn't exactly scream payday but I don't know, i'm not one to risk my own neck unless there's an obvious benefit in me doing so, the caps certaintly aren't enough, "Why the hell am I doing this? " I thought to myself.
We took our positions out infront of the saloon, there was Trudy, Sunny Smiles, Ringo, Cheyanne, three, local no-names, and myself and they were all wearing leather armour with the exception of Trudy who was wearing the same dress and apron ensemble, Ringo who was still wearing his dark cotton shirt, me, and the dog obviously, when I saw at what we looked like the doubt in my head seemed to dissipate and was replaced with a small sense of pride in the piss-poor little militia I set up in a little over two hours.
Then I heard a hiss. BANG! Was what followed along with a fuck ton of dirt, these motherfuckers were packing dynamite. That might have been curtains right there and there but thankfully that seemed to be there only stick and they the guy threw it must have had Parkinson's or something to miss the toss that bad, regardless it surprised the fuck out of us. Gunfire erupted from the same direction of the dynamite explosion and prompted us to snap out of it and get into cover, that's when we finally started to fire back at them, they immediately had the advantage, because they already hit one of our guy's in the leg and immobilized him and that some of them seemed to be wearing actual Kevlar, me and Sunny are pretty good shots so we were reasonably capable of hitting them in their unprotected heads, unfortunately the same couldn't be said of the others, they seemed to not be able to differentiate between suppressing fire and shooting to kill which actually ended up helping us because while they were wasting ammo at them me and Sunny were able to pick them off one by one
One of the armoured ones managed to sneak up on Sunny and tried to stick a knife in her throat but she whipped around, grabbed his arm in mid-air, spun around and broke it over her shoulder, while he was screaming in pain she stuck the blade through the bottom of his mouth and kicked him away, I was very glad to be on her good side. While I was in awe of this one of the shirtless, skittish little fuckers jumped over my cover and hit the rifle outta my hand with a tire iron. I'm pretty good in a scrap in most situations, however I have and always will be more comfortable behind a gun than behind a melee weapon, I was now unarmed. I took a swing at him but he just ducked out of the way, got behind me and put the iron over my neck and started pulling me in, I couldn't breathe and he had a tight grip. He probably would have squeezed way tighter but he noticed that he was the last one left, we were kinda at a stand still, the rest of town weren't good enough shots to safely fire and not hit me and Sunny was in an awful position. He reached down super fast to pull out a revolver and pointed it at my head when he saw the dog, "Anybody moves and I blow her fucking brains out!"
I was not willing to test my luck with another bullet to the head, "Alright just calm down, asshole! Look around you, you pull that trigger and the entire town follows suit. How exactly do you think this gonna go?"
"Shut up bitch! You all put your guns down and let me leave, when I get far away enough from this town, i'll let her go." They all relaxed to my chagrin, this guy wasn't gonna let me live anymore than he was gonna become an NCR veteran. Thankfully Sunny Smiles wasn't convinced and continued to aim at him, her ever present smile was replaced with a determined smirk. "You think i'm playing bitch?" he said directing his attention towards Sunny, "I'm not afraid of dying, but if I go down i'm taking her with me!" They eyed each other for a few minutes, he cleared his throat and relaxed his trigger finger just a little bit.
That was my moment. I grabbed the gun along with it's hammer and pointed it up in the air and elbowed the guy right in his ribcage. When he doubled over in pain I wrenched the gun out of his hand and started punching him the face repeatedly until he was lying flat on the floor with his face covered in blood, after that I took the gun and jammed the barrel into his left eye and pulled the trigger six times.
I ran over to make sure they were all actually dead, I counted eight like Sunny said but I couldn't find Jacob Cobb, I just shrugged and assumed he ran off. Then I heard a screech. I saw an old car sitting down the road and normally I wouldn't have given it a second look but this was….. Moving…. Really fast and in my direction. "Oh shit, OH SHIT!"
It came barreling down the road with speeding bullets pouring out of the right window, I dodged out of the way crashed through a wooden fence in the process, the car stopped and slide till it was facing me sideways and started turning towards and speeding at me again and again I proceeded to dodge to the opposite side of the road only this time I fired at the car as I ran past along with everyone else despite it's clear not working, as he drove passed me he crashed straight the Goodsprings sign and as it happened I was pretty sure I heard Trudy chokeout out a sob. As he turned to drive at me I ran across the street and tripped over a corpse.I looked up from the ground and saw that the car was at full speed at still heading straight at me, I knew there was no way I was moving in time so I decided to face my death with some dignity.
I raised my rifle and aimed at the car and as I did so the whole world seemed to stop, literally, "You have activated your Vault-Tec, Assisted, Targeting, System, please select a target." I heard a soulless yet feminine voice say say to me and then I saw head shaped silhouette in the windshield of the car and it said "37%" over it, I didn't know what to do so I took the shot. I heard a ping and then saw the car veer to the right of me and crash a burned out pick-up truck. "Thank you for using VATS."
The car stopped dead and had steam pouring out the front of it, the door opened and I saw a man, a Powder Ganger flop out of it, it was Jacob Cobb. He was in so much pain he didn't even say anything as I pulled the revolver from is his hand, or when I put it to his head, or before I put two in his head.
"Wow! that was incredible, with the car! How'd you do that?" Said Ringo
"I have no idea." I really didn't
"I-I, thank you, really you have no idea how much you just saved my ass, here take this." He tossed me a bag of caps and that was enough to snap me out of what the fuck just happened mode.
"I thought you said i'd have to swing by the Crimson Caravan company to get paid." I said not looking away from the car.
"Yeah well, I had some hidden away, it's yours now." He said with a smile.
"So what are you going to do now?"
"I'm gonna be heading out to Mojave branch of the Crimson Caravan company, it just started out so they're gonna need me to get runnin'." He answered with confidence. "What about you?"
I looked at the car for awhile longer and felt the gears in my head start turning. I turned to him real quick, "You wouldn't happen to anything about cars, would you?"