<<UserID:Webb>> Good news is, I figured out why people don’t take this road either. Bad news is, I almost died in the discovery.
About half an hour out of town, I was attacked by enormous insects. I’ve never seen anything like them. They were bigger and much, MUCH faster than bloatflies, with orange wings and black carapaces. They were something like wasps, but without the charming disposition.
I make light of it now, but the fact is, I was terrified. They came up out of nowhere and swarmed me. I went for my pistol, but they were already on top of me, and I was sure I was done. The closest lunged at me and sank its sting into my arm before I could even start shooting. Fire raced up my arm, and I tried to draw a bead on the next one drawing back to sting, but I could barely hold my arm up. Not only were the stings as big as a knife, but they were apparently an injector for some sort of venom.
Then a hail of bullets ripped into them, shredding wings and spattering the rocks with ichor. I dropped down out of the way -- fairly easy to do, as I was already almost fainting from shock due to the venom -- and just kept my head down until the shooting stopped.
When the last cough of gunfire and angry buzzing had faded, I raised my head and, for a moment, thought the venom was making me hallucinate.
It was Victor! The old tin can cowboy apparently followed me out of Goodsprings. When I asked him why, he said he felt somehow responsible for me after pulling me out of the graveyard and wanted to keep an eye on me. I’m not sure if that struck me as noble... or suspicious. It’s also fairly clear that he feels like I owe him, even if he didn’t say it outright.
Still, if he hadn’t shown up, there’s no way I would have survived those things -- which Victor claims are called “cazadores”, by the way. Even with his help, I almost didn’t survive the poison. It’s just lucky Mitchell had given me some antivenom back when he was first getting me set up, or I don’t think I would have been able to get back to town, even with stimpaks to prop me up on the way.
The serum did its job, however, and the burning and numbness started to fade. I cleaned out the sting with water from my canteen -- looks like I’ll be headed south after all, so I can refill at the springs as I pass through -- smeared the last of my antiseptic on it, and bound it up with relatively clean linen. It’ll be a bit stiff, but it’s better than losing the arm and no mistake.
Make a note, Webb: either trade for more antivenom the first chance you get, or figure out if you can brew up some yourself ASAP. The last thing I need is to run into more of those wasp critters without a way to patch myself up. Also, if they’re widespread at all -- and isn’t THAT a horrible thought? -- antivenom is probably in high demand among caravaners and other travelers, so I might be able to make some caps out of the bargain to boot.
For now, daylight’s wasting, and my route just got a hell of a lot longer than I hoped. Gotta be more careful on the road, though -- I can’t count on the rust-bucket cavalry showing up every time I run into trouble.