You have to love a place that gets its name from a burned out sign.
Novac seemed pretty quiet, but that’s about to be expected. Not many people are that interested in old tourist attractions of giant dinosaurs, and when you have a nasty habit of driving newcomers back with a well-placed 50-cal bullet at their feet coming from the mouth of that dinosaur, well, let’s just say I doubt the place ranks as highly as the biggest ball of twine in Minnesota. Even if it is still out there, which I doubt; heard some Raiders wanted to turn it into the longest bit of fuse in Minnesota, and succeeded. Of course, Ulysses told me that, and what he didn’t know, he’d make up, so take it with a grain of salt. Still, that’s there and this is here.
There didn’t seem to be a lot going on – even ED-E was only picking up the faintest trail of non-local heat – but I figured I should at least introduce myself to the sniper who’d fired that warning shot. I slipped through the gate, intent on climbing the dinosaur – and you know, I half suspect they put the sniper up there just to get people to come into the gift shop. Wouldn’t put it past ’em – when I ran into a familiar face.
My pal Victor, handy-dandy Securitron who just happened to be in Goodsprings and on hand when I got capped in the head. I asked him if he was following me or something, and he denied it… but something about it just doesn’t seem right to me. He claimed he was on his way to New Vegas. “Just got the urge,” he said. Yeah. Sure. I’m getting the feeling there’s more to Victor than meets the eye… but he did dig me out of a shallow grave, and he hasn’t done anything threatening, yet… so I’ll let it go. For now.
Anyway; up into the dinosaur I went, and had the fortune of meeting just the right person at just the right time. I said before that I don’t believe in luck… but fate has sure been dealing me a nice hand late. The guy who took the shot at my boot calls himself Manny Vargas; apparently, used to run with the Khans before he did a stint in the Rangers and finally settled down here in Novac, where he puts all his old skills to use making sure folks stay reasonably safe here. With a bit of prodding, he mentioned that he might have remembered seeing Benny and his armed escort cutting through town, but he got suddenly vague when pressed as to which direction they headed in. Can’t say I blame him; the Khans were probably his pals before they were Benny’s muscle, and I don’t imagine I look to pleasant on the subject right now. He offered to tell me if I helped him out; claimed there was a pack of ghouls making trouble, were coming from the REPCONN building just outside of town. I told him I’d have to think it over.
Normally I’m all for hunting feral ghouls – as long as they actually are feral, and not just some innocent folks with a bad case of radiation poisoning; you’d think after a couple of centuries in Vaults that we’d be a little less racist as a species, but nope. Had someone try to hire me to smoke out a nest one time, turned out they were vegans worshipping a Mother Goddess and didn’t have any beef with anybody. Told that client where to stick his caps, I tell you, especially after I damn near killed one who’s worst crime was probably wearing tie-dye paisley – but I’m on a timetable, here. I can practically feel Benny slipping out of my reach. I figured I’d ask around a bit more… and, as I poked into one of the motel rooms, fate intervened again.
Manny’s computer was unlocked, and he’d left a journal entry just sitting on the screen, all but neon-marking the route to Boulder City. Fair enough. I reckon the ghouls aren’t actually much of a threat to Novac, and if they actually need exterminating, well, there’ll be plenty of time for that after I deal with Benny and make my delivery.
I headed out of town – making sure to take the road heading towards REPCONN, just in case Manny was still watching and got any ideas with his bolt-shooter – and realized it was a whole hell of a lot brighter than it should be in the middle of the night. I glanced to my left and saw why.
There she was. Jewel of the Mojave, New Vegas, casting it’s spell over the rest of the wasteland. Only one stop between here and there… and Benny was waiting. Just on the other side of Boulder City. I knew it, could feel it in my head, pulsing just behind the hole in my skull and synching with the ache my poor perforated brain was emitting.
I’m comin’, Benny. And if it means a full-on showdown right on the gaming floor of the Tops, we’re gonna end this.
Courier Six out.