(This is part of my journey going checking out Fallout 2. You can follow the entire series on the Retro Gaming page.)
Well this is always a good sign when you go to a farm: bodies impaled on stakes. Except that, as my character notices, “Something doesn’t look right.” It turns out that these aren’t bodies after all, but dummies with cow guts and blood smeared on them. Frat prank?
The “bodies” lead to a little house in the middle of the fields and pens, where three “slags” are standing around mute. I go to check out some footlockers and end up falling into a cave system underneath. Armed guards nearby want to take me to their leader. Curiouser and curiouser.
The leader wants me to take a message to Modoc but agrees to answer a few questions before I have to make up my mind. As I don’t want to shoot my way out of there, I am already of the temperment to help, but I’m not going to pass on some backstory. Apparently all of these people are descendants of a militia that went underground when the nuclear war started and then never resurfaced. They claim they can’t because the sky is terrifying to them and the sun burns them, although some exposure therapy and sunscreen could help with both. Fine.
Before I leave I do take the time to explore the rather extensive cave network (and plunder all I can, obviously), which is when I bump into the little boy who got lost. Yay for two quest birds with one quest stone!
Returning to the surface — I can do that, because I am so very awesome — I begin to head back to Modoc. My newfound Ranger perk informs me that I have a now-optional encounter, a firefight between moonshiners and highwaymen. Sure, why not? Papa needs the XP.
It’s actually a terrific fight in that most of the combatants are focused on killing each other. I mostly waited until they ran out of ammo and then started executing them, one by one, and taking their stuff. Hey, the wasteland is a brutal place. I don’t make the rules. I just win.
I drop off the Slags’ letter to Mayor Jo in Modoc, in which the underground dwellers say that they want to live in peace and trade supplies. The mayor isn’t fully buying it, because he thinks the Slags have killed Karl (who is Karl? I forget.) and wants to attack them. I say I’ll go check it out and the mayor gives me 31 days until the attack happens.
Karl’s all the way back at the Den, and just finding him doesn’t give me the “proof” I need to forestall the attack. I try to butter him up with beer and bucks, but no dice. It’s at this point that I get too frustrated with all of this nonsense and give up. You guys knock yourselves out killing each other. I’m going to Vault City.