<<UserID:Webb>> Oh god... oh god... okay, I don’t think they...
*Loud metallic banging noises.*
Jesus! They found us! They must have seen us come in!
They’re going to come right through the door! There’s no way that thing is going to hold -- what’s it made of? Tinfoil?
<<UserID:Webb>> Shut up, I’m trying to think.
Gah! We need to reinforce it! Eyeball, help me drag some of this furnitu- HOLY CHRIST! ANOTHER ONE!
<<UserID:Webb>> Damn it, okay! Okay! Stop beeping at me!
Whew... Looks like this one was already dead. Aaaand wearing normal clothes. Must have been a non-feral...
Poor bastard. He’s pretty torn up. I wonder what-
*Whirring and clanking.*
<<Unidentified Synthetic>> Time for your operations, gentlemen! The doctor is currently indisposed, but I assure you-
<<UserID:Webb>> WHERE THE *Expletive Deleted* DID THAT COME FROM?!
*Gun shots and laser fire, followed by a loud boom and the sound of falling debris.*
<<UserID:Webb>> Good god, what the hell was going on in this place? There’s a ghoul that’s been hacked to pieces, food and water that are making my PIP-Boy’s Geiger counter tick like mad, and a Mr. Handy that... what... he must have tried to modify to work as a medical assistant?
That clearly went well...
What on earth could he have been trying to-
*Metallic banging resumes.*
Christ! The door!
*Grunting noises and the scraping sound of objects being dragged across a metal floor. The banging continues, but muted.*
Okay... okay... good. Let’s take stock.
First off, Webb, make a note: detours are a BAD idea. So is altruism. You may have gotten those ants wiped out on your way back down the Long 15 from the Outpost... AND cleared out that cave of nightstalkers... but you sure as hell didn’t need to keep ranging off the road to look for other threats.
Jesus, the nightstalkers... they were bad enough. I’d only heard horror stories around merchant campfires in the Mojave, but they were as terrifying as I’d been led to believe.
After mopping up those ants -- a fairly simple task, as ED-E and I were able to pick off the ones on the road from range before they’d even gotten close to us -- I spotted a cave up the hill to the south and figured I’d give it a look before heading back north. No sense in killing the ants just to have caravaners dying to something else, right? ED-E’s sensors picked up multiple small objects moving around up there, so I figured it might be a pack of coyotes.
Well, I was half right.
Literally, half right. The damn things look like someone sewed a rattlesnake’s head and tail onto a coyote’s body. We were already almost at the cave entrance when I realized I should have just stayed on the road. Half a dozen of the things came boiling up out of the cave, and the only reason I’ve lived long enough to get stuck in this current death trap is because I was backpedaling while firing my repeater so intently that I actually tripped and fell backwards down the hillside.
The scrapes and contusions from the fall earned me enough time to keep firing, however, as the nightstalkers had to take a longer path down to me, and ED-E and I were able to lay down enough panicked fire to kill the last of them before they finally reached me.
A good thing, too -- as I looked the corpses over, I noticed their fanged mouths were dripping with venom. THAT would have ruined my day right quick. I pulled out a few empty syringes and drained the venom glands for later study, then, since I’d already gone to the trouble of killing the things, I poked around in the cave a bit and turned up a few bits of salvage on some other folks who hadn’t been fortunate enough to fall down a hill before the nightstalkers reached them, including...
Hah! That reminds me! Eyeball, do you still have that lever-action shotgun we found, or did you lose it when-
<<UserID:Webb>> Great! Great.. Okay.. let’s get this thing loaded. It’s not in great shape, but it ought to give me a better chance than anything else I’ve got for close-range firefights, and those fellows knocking on the door are going to be as close range as it gets when we make a break for it.
Ferals... ugh. Like I’ve said before, I’ve got nothing against ghouls, but some of them are just so far gone thanks to their wasting disease that they’re little more than animals.
Less than, even, as at least animals seek food and shelter. Feral ghouls just want to bash your face in, then move on to the next bashable face.
We were heading north but keeping to the west of the Long 15, just to check for any further threats to caravans, when a pack of ferals reared up between us and the road. Backpedaling had worked against the nightstalkers, but this time it just forced us into a green glowing hellscape of radiated pools. I spotted a shack across a rickety walkway over the pools and made for it, the ghouls right on our heels.
And that’s where we’re trapped now, with the ferals clawing at the walls. I’ve already gotten what’s probably a mutation-inducing dose of rads just from the dash through the pools, but it seems like a waste to hook myself up to a Rad-Away drip now when I’m just going to get ripped to pieces as soon as those ghouls batter through the door, and, as they’re basking in the glow of the rads outside, it’s not as if they’re likely to get bored and toddle off before I lose my hair and keel over in here.
Okay. Okay. No sense putting off the inevitable. ED-E, you ready?
<<UserID:Webb>> All right.
*Click of a lever-action.*
Here goes nothing. Wish me luck, girls...
*More scraping, followed by a loud bang, gunshots, laser discharges, and growling.*