Fallout 3 – Good Samaritan -Fire Ants & Powdered Wigs

After the events of Big Town, I headed back to Megaton. The place was becoming familiar and even starting to feel like home. After I helped defuse the bomb lying in the centre of town, I was given the keys to a house as thanks. Unfortunately I got the sheriff killed in the process. Some people will commit any sin to get what they want, I may need to settle debts with that Mr Burke one day. I did some odd jobs around Megaton, mostly helping a young lady with research for a survival guide. Seems a bit naïve to me, the wastes throw up all kinds of hazards, it would have to be a comprehensive book that could help people survive in this world. Still it could help someone. Research for one chapter took me to an old Super Duper Mart. The shelves had long since been picked clean and now seemed to be a den for a gang of raiders. It sickens me how easily I dealt with them. But when they are trying to take your life, you have little choice but to fight, and fight to kill. Just as well. Clearly they had set up their base to lure in people hoping to find food and then ambush them. Outside I ran into a young boy, all alone in the wastes. He was crying and pleading for my help, which I offered, and helping him was probably the first undeniably positive thing I have done since leaving the vaults.

The boy’s town had been ransacked by fire breathing ants. Deadly. But with the Shotgun I picked up from the raiders, they were easily dealt with. Only trouble is, ants don’t drop ammunition when they die. By the end of it I had cleared the monsters out, rescued a scientist and saved the queen so that he could continue his potentially lifesaving research. All very good, but not I had no ammunition, my guns were useless, all I had was a pair of spiked knuckles and my trusty baseball bat. But my work was not complete, the young lad still needed a home, he’s couldn’t very well survive on his own in that ghost town, ants or not. He said he had an aunt in Rivet city, a floating fortress converted to a settlement a mile or so down the river. Looked like I had some walking to do.

I passed the burnt out ruins of DC, making my way to an aunt who might not even be alive, explosion billowed clouds into the air and bullets ripped through the air in every direction. Whatever was left of the nation’s capital, a lot of people were fighting and dying over it. I thought it best to keep my distance. I swam the rest of the way, trying to stay out of sight. I would have to deal with the radiation poisoning later, a bullet through the skull is a lot harder to cure. I passed the Washington Monument and Jefferson Memorial. Now more memorial to the world that once was than the people they were named for. Soaking wet and shivering, I reached Rivet City. Once a great war machine, now a refuge from the violence of the world around it, and what better protection. Inside the people had made a nice settlement for themselves, there was a market, bars and even a church. It was a great comfort to be able to attend a service again, all that was missing was a confessional. I sound located the young boy’s aunt. She was more than willing to look after him now his father was gone, before long they were reunited and getting on with their lives. Even out here in the savage wastelands, good deeds can make a difference to people’s lives.

I stayed in Rivet City for a while, resting and talking to the people. One fellow named Abraham Washington had set up a museum dedicated to the pre-war Capitol. It was long before he was asking for my help. What he was after though, was no less than the declaration of independence. A frivolous task to risk one’s life on, but I could see how valuable the preservation work was. If man was ever to drag itself out of the brutal survivalism it had descended into, then we would need to remember the culture of the past. I set off towards the war zone that once was the mall. I moved as fast as I could, the old subway system was some shelter from the battle raging over head, but held its own problems, giant mole rats, raiders, and wild ghouls would have been enough of a problem without getting lost in the winding labyrinth of concrete corridors. When finally I made it to the mall, I was immediately running for my life. Chased by a pack of dogs, super mutants battling humans in silver grey power armour, great mushroom clouds belching fire into the sky. I ran for a nearby building, it looked appealing as the human figure standing guard outside appeared to be the only thing not shooting at me. I got closer and saw the figure was a female, and a ghoul at that, I did my best not to look disgusted by her blackened eyes and half melted-off face.

“Damn tourist. You must be crazy running around out here.” I didn’t have an argument for that, I surely was crazy. Dodging gunfire to look for a 500 year old piece of paper. But I could say the same about her, loitering outside in the middle of such a battle. I went inside, looking for respite from the chaos outside. The interior was once a museum of some kind, I went through the doors under the big skull to find a thriving ghoul community. To see such tortured bodies, I would almost think the Lord had truly abandoned us, but they seemed happy enough in their little community. We are all sent afflictions to test us. The locals looked upon me with suspicion, but where happy enough to accept me into their home. Most seemed happy to have a “Smoothskin around who didn’t immediate scream and run to grab the pitchforks and torches.” I rested briefly and tended to my wounds before heading outside, once more into the breach.

It was a straight run along the mall to the national archives. Thankfully the big front doors were open, and there were no more monsters immediately inside. I crept past a large hall when I heard a whisper.

“Psst! Get over here if you want to live, just watch out for the mines.”

A young lady was dug in behind sandbags and landmines. Introductions would have to wait, no sooner was I behind the barricades with her then were attacked by a band of super mutants. The lady was a mean shot with her gun, and the landmines did their jobs. For my part, I was still weak and injured from the journey there, I mostly hid behind some rubble and lobbed frag grenades into the doorway from where the attackers were immerging. When the inhuman screams stopped and the smoke settled, the lady was able to introduce herself as Sydney. She had apparently been sent on the same fool’s errand as had I. It seemed Abraham had given her up for dead, but she had been merely pinned down, unable to escape. We shook hands, deciding we each would need the other to retrieve the declaration and get out alive. Sydney had found a way to open an elevator in the floor of the rotunda. The lift seemed barely intact but it carried us safely down into the bowels of the building. At least we could be sure there were no mutants down here. But of course nothing is easy. The archives basement was filled with security robots, but I found a laser riffle that seemed to take care of them easily enough. The one exception being a heavily armour plated Mister Gutsy. Sprinting through the corridors we made it to a stairwell, it spiralled upwards and thankfully posed a problem for the robots tracking. From atop the gangway we peppered it with gunfire until it spluttered and collapsed. We were through the worst but Sydney was injured, I was down to my last stimpak, but she needed it more, I would just have to hope there were no more hazards. We reached a strongroom where Sydney was convinces the declaration lay. Inside, was a pair of dormant turrets and a securiton robot, wearing a wig. The droid introduced himself as Button Gwint one of the signatories of the declaration, and seemed to believe intently that he was who he said. He also seemed to think he was still at war with the British. We humoured him and played along with his story. He would have had us make a journey to retrieve some ink, to prove our worthiness before we could take the declaration.

“Sure. We’ll get it for you.” Sydney said giving me a wink. We found cover and opened fire on poor robot. On another day I might have felt guilty about this, but we had come too far, and after all, it’s just a robot. Gwint went down easy, but the turrets came to life. If not for their aged state and slow aim speed we may have been in trouble. We both made it through the skirmish unharmed. All that was left was to scavenge Gwint for the codes to the safe, grab the declaration of independence and run like hell for Rivet City. If Abraham was surprised to see me, he was downright flabbergasted to see Sydney. We took our reward and a well-earned rest. A priceless piece of American history had been retrieved and I had rescued a soul given up for dead. I was starting to feel good about myself.

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Fallout 3 – Good Samaritan -Big Town, Big Trouble

I strolled into Big Town with as warm a welcome as a thunderstorm at a picnic. The residents of the ramshackle settlement looked tired and despairing. A dirty stinking man wandered about raving about their imminent and unavoidable deaths, no-one seemed to disagree. I managed to get a sensible conversation out of a lady calling herself Bittercup, though her outlook was just as gloomy. I learnt that the town was beset by enemies, one, a group of slave traders looking to restock their shelves, the seconds group they referred to as super mutants. I’d seen a mutant in Megaton, sickly and weak, skin peeling of like wallpaper after a flood. Super mutants just sounded like hysterical non-sense to me. How bad could they be? Bittercup explained how the mutants were their most pressing concern, they had rolled through town and taken some live captives, including the town’s only healer, clearly more than just the hostages lives were at stake.

The townspeople said their goodbyes as though it was the last we’d see of each other. I trudged up the road to the nearby Germantown police station where I was told the captives had likely been taken. I should have been more cautious, strolling up the road in plain sight like I was walking in the park. A figure appeared on the horizon, I thought it was a bear at first. A great hulking mass of green flesh, like a man, but twice the size, and it had seen me. It came charging towards me swinging a great chunk of steal I could have hardly lifted. Deadly, but without thought, he struck again and again, my baseball bat seemed pathetic in comparison. Yet I found I could easily dodge his blows, and those I couldn’t dodge, I parried with ease. For all his strength, he was not too bright. I dodged and danced around the brute, taking a swing at his head whenever I could, if it did any damage, he didn’t show it, or care. Maybe with an hour of chipping away I could have brought him down, providing I didn’t get struck in the process. But time was not abundant. The first I knew that we were not alone was a crack and a zip as a bullet whizzed past my face close enough to make my left ear ring like a church bell. Another Super mutant, this one brandishing a rifle, smart enough to work a gun then. My preconceptions about super mutants were now thoroughly shattered.

I ran. Legs propelling me in the only direction that my brain could conceive of. Away from them. I had been turned around in the fight, I didn’t know where I was going and I didn’t care. Another mutant carrying a rifle was like a sideways gust of wind in my sails, sending me careening at a right angle. I made for the cover of an old railway overpass, but I was surrounded, and I could hear them calling, hunting me. Out in the open I was as good as dead, I made for the nearest building, a concrete structure, half rubble, with an exposed stairwell to a once interior door. I ducked inside, found a corner to hide in and held my breath. The room was filled with computers, still inexplicably functional. On the screen was a 911 call report. I was in the police station. Fortune had placed me exactly where I had wanted to go, I had yet to determine is said fortune was good or bad.

Once I had recovered my breath and my wits, I went to explore my surroundings. I found an old stealth boy in a drawer, along with grenades in a tin box. Huge sacks of dripping back gore hung from the walls or were left in heaps on the floor. What madness made me take a closer look I don’t know, at first it looked like a butchers trash can, until I saw a piece of shoe, a finger, a head. The Family were not the only ones with a taste for human. That 200 year old can of Pork’N’Beans I ate was ready to make a comeback but the sound of giant feet gave me the strength to keep it down.  If these mutants were any one thing, it certainly wasn’t quiet. Useful when you are sneaking around trying to avoid them. I listened to those footfalls like steady war drums until I was certain he was far enough away then made my way for the stairwell. If the captured settlers were in the building they weren’t up here.

Downstairs looked as much like a wolf den as the upper floor had, untidy and littered with carcasses. Clearly they didn’t like visitors, landmines were left all over. I tip toed round one and made a dash to the door, and found my path blocked. Before my eyes was a massive, green chest, every inch that wasn’t pockmarked with sores, or scarred was pure muscle. Atop the chest was a gruesome face, missing an ear and something sharp protruding from its cheek. It let out a roar from a salivating mouth. I turned and ran for the exit, hopped over the mine, but had already found another way around and cut me off. If I was to survive this I would have to fight. I fled to the corner, putting the landmine between me and him and did my best to look terrified and helpless, not a difficult act to sell. Predictably he lumbered forwards, looking to claim his next meal. There was a bang and a cloud of smoke as he triggered the mine. Not too bright. The dust cleared, revealing the same face as before, only not somehow angrier and uglier before, oozing red streaks covering his scowl. He drew his rifle, and I drew my pistol. When both stopped firing, I opened my eyes and saw the giant slumped dead against the wall. He looked almost as surprised as I did that he was the one dead and not me. I heard footsteps again. No way the other mutants hadn’t heard that mine go off, or the bullets fired. I activated the stealth boy snatched his rifle and crept into a washroom by the stairs to the basement. The mutants came up from the basement, so it seemed like a good place to be if they weren’t there. Once I was sure they wouldn’t hear, I slipped past. In the downstairs was hot as hell and smelled like a barbeque. In the distance, voices. I crept close and could see silhouetted by an open furnace a mutant bigger than the rest. He was talking, which was surprising in itself. More he was bragging, saying how he was going to cook someone.

“Ha. I hope you choke on my bones.” The voice of a foolhardy man yelled, to which the giant guffawed.

“Me? Choke on your puny bones?”

Clearly there was little time left to save this man. I had to act. Now. I had surprise on my side, so I used it. Before he knew I was there, three grenades had blown at his feet. In a rage he fired blindly at me. But I was already in positon, taking cover behind a doorframe and taking steady shots at his head. For once I was in control of a fight, the beast hit the floor with a thud. I entered to find a man named Shorty tied up and somewhat relieved to see a human, picking through the would-be-chef’s possessions. I untied him and asked if there were any others.

“Yeah, they got red. She’s upstairs. You lead and I’ll show you where.”

“You know how to use this?” I said handing him my pistol.

“Hell yeah. Lay it on me.” His eagerness to take the gun should have warned me it was a bad idea to arm him.

We crept upstairs to the cell where the other captive was being held. The lock was beyond my picking ability, but I felt in my pocket for a key I had absentmindedly taken from the last mutant. To everyone’s relief, it fitted the lock. Quietly as we could we sneaked out a ground floor door. But then, stealth was off the table. A mutant saw us immediately and began calling to his comrades. Nothing else for it. I shouted run. We snaked across the open ground as fast as we could. Only when we were clear of the town did I notice only one person was with me. That damn fool shorty was fighting the mutants. One beaten and broken man with a peashooter in a crowd super mutants. If we had found the courage to save him, it wouldn’t have helped, he was dead before he had emptied his weapon. No time to mourn, they would be after us next. We didn’t stop running until we reached Big Town. The people stared at us like we were ghosts. None had thought to see either of us alive again.

Fallout 3 – The Good Samaritan Challange Run

Been A while since I have posted one of these. This is one I have been thinking about for a while, mostly out of a desire to revisit Fallout 3. The plan, to play through the game with self imposed rules to create a new experience. The idea, to be a wandering, saint. Helping the people of post-nuclear Washington with whatever little problem they are having. No task too big or too small. Here’s the rules

  • If someone has genuine need or aspiration, or asks for help, you must drop everything and help them. Naturally You may end up with more than one request at a time, so you finish the current one then move onto the next one.
  • Only help those who deserve help: The poor, the downtrodden, those struggling. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. And if they seem aggressive, rich, powerful etc. they don’t get your help.
  • When one quest ends, talk to those nearby until you find a new quest. If no-one has a quest, wander towards the next nearest populated area and ask around there. If you are quest-less, talk to every stranger you meet.
  • Main quest can be ignored or dipped into at your discretion. But it’s mostly about helping the common-folk.
  • No crafting or repairing or trading. Use what you find, if a weapon deteriorates beyond use, discard it. You can use any caps you accumulate for medical treatment or upgrades only.
  • No killing of sentients except in self defence, if a quest giver wants you to hurt someone innocent, either find a peaceful solution or don’t help them, or help the other party.
  • You may carry a maximum of two functioning weapons, if someone gives a weapon to you as a gift, you can stash it for later use or discard it. You may hold onto any additional melee weapons for use only when other options fail. You can drop a weapon at any time to take another you’d prefer.

So there it is. May need tweaking in practice, but I think it should be interesting. Since it is a role-playing game, it is nice to pick a role and actually play it, rather than what I and I bet many others do, which is to do whatever gives you the best loot, or sounds more fun. Excluding some gameplay elements like trading and repairing also means you can spend more time on other things, and forces you to adapt and play differently. I like the idea of replacing weapons when they deteriorate, meaning I will have to take whatever is available and scavenge on the fly, as well as providing variety rather than finding a weapon you like and sticking with it throughout the game.

Check back to see how I get on, and post your experiences in the comment if you try this yourself.