Hello mommy. Hello daddy.
First order of business was to find a compass. Follows had a small idea where it could be, so we went straight for it. We followed the river to one of the ther paths it led to. As soon as we got off the water we heard shots and saw a Dead Horse - one of Joshua's tribals - being attacked by three White Legs. One of them saw us and came right at us with a gauntlet made from a giant mantis' claw. Damn. I did chop his leg off with the fire axe though.
Then we arrived at the place that Follows thought would have the compass. I saw a crashed bus, broken in half. Then we approached and I saw skeletons... Little skeletons. It... wasn't pretty. At all. I had to search for a compass through children's bones. Finally I had found it. It was being held by one of the kids. It was broken, too. I was able to repair it, though. No biggie. Just had to get out of there fast.
Next up, walkie.talkies from the fishing shack. On our way there I started talking to Follows, to get to know him better. While talking about Zion he mentioned the Bighorners were going berserk because one of the calfs was missing. I said I could help. So we went back to Eastern Virgin, where the Dead Horses' camp was and looked into the matter. Fortunatly, I was pretty liked by animals. I can't remember they ever attacking me, even when I was a frail boy after you died, so it was going to be an easy job.
I found the calf high on the cliffs. I pulled out a banana yucca and teased him with it. He started following me around for the fruit, so I ran back where the big ass bighorner was, because Follows said that was the mother. I reunited them, fed the calf the fruit, petted him and Follows was all happy. He even gave me some Dead Horses' weapons. Ain't that something!
Then I went in a cave I saw from above the cliffs, still in the Eastern Virgin. Follows said it was called the Fallen Rock Cave. It was full of booby-traps. I went into one section that seemed to have been habitated, a long time ago. I scavenged the place a little before looking into the computer that was still there and with the power on. I found a weird gun that I assumed it was a taser gun. Interesting, I had never seen anything like that on the Mojave. I didn't take though, you know I don't like guns very much.
The computer apparently belong to a Great War survivor. It was a journal of what he did on the 28th, 29th 31st October, 2nd November 2077 and 1st, 10th, 15th, 28th and 30th January of 2078. It described what he, an army dude, went through during that time. Lost his wife and kid in Zion, while away. Was looking the other way when the bombs fell, or else he would have gone blind. Got trapped by radiation in that cave for three months, surviving on military ration and water that he mopped off the cave walls. Fucked up. It was time to go back to beautiful Zion. Time to leave the Eastern Virgin too and get to those walkie-talkies.
On our way we were once again attacked by White Legs - I could see that would become an habit. One of them had one of the most badass things I had ever seen: A sword that caught on fire with a mounted gas deposit. I took it from his dead corpse and called it Shishkebab. Had to wear an oven mitt to handle it though. No problemo, the guy had one. Boy am I badass.
By the time we got to the Fishing Lodge to get the walkie-talkies it was already night. The place had a couple of couches, so after we found the walkie-talkies we slept there.
When we got out in at dawn water started falling from the sky. What the hell? I had never seen such a thing. And God, was it awful! I got all soaked and the sky was all cloudy so the whole valley was dark! To make matters better a cazador appeared. But was it a normal cazador? No! A younger one, then. Nope! A freakin' giant one, that's what! God damn! Also, the "rain" - as Follows told me the water was called - was preventing me to use the Shishkebab. What a party blower.
We had to go to a Ranger station and a General store next, to find lunchboxes and medical supplies. On the way I kept talking with Follows. He told me about the White Legs, that they came from the Great Salt Lake and that their leader was Salt-Upon-Wounds (pahahahahah) and that he had ordered the survivors of New Canaan to be nailed to the cliffs (oh shit...). He also told me about himself. His name was Follows-Chalk because he followed the chalk lines left by real scouts and he - and the rest of the tribe - had tatoos because it was a sign of great hunts. Then he told me the story of his tribe, the Dead Horses. They were a weak tribe, found by the Legion when it was led by Caesar and Joshua. They were ready to follow them to war. But then the Legion lost to the NCR and Joshua, by then broken and burnt, led them to Zion and taught them how to fend for themselves. Told me that before that Joshua was ruthless, a cruel man. When he came back the Dead Horses were scared, but soon found out he ment only to protect.
As we neared the location we had to go we were attacked by two Yao Guais, a normal one and a cub. We killed them (not easily) and then took a deep breath. We didn't even finished said breath, the fucking chief of all Yao Guais came along! The God damned thing was freaking giant, really!
While doing some exploring, since I have never been there, we found another survivalist, this time there was a skeleton near a duffle bag. Well, that's what I thought, at least. I read the note inside the duffle bag and it was about an old, dying man who had tend been tending to children. It dated 2nd, 18th and 23rd January 2124 and it seemed to be on-going, because started by "I brought them books". He said he taught them to fend for themselves but to be nice to each others, to pray, to mourn, to care. The children called him "The Father". He was dying from what he thought was cancer, so he left on the 23rd, without saying goodbye to the children so that they did not see how frail he was and headed to where I was standing right then. Then he made his final goodbyes from the holotape. By reading the names he mentioned, I realised that the skeleton standing by me was also the one who had survived the Great War, that I read about inside the cave in Eastern Virgin. He signed on the end of that entry. Randal Dean Clark. Respect. Honest.
Even more ahead I found another skeleton with a dufflebag near. Not anything like Randal though. This one was mutilated, careless. Didn't have a journal. Had two Vault 22 jumpsuits though... Weird! We also found a cave in the river, as we were knee deep in the water. Follows told me it was the Two Skies cave. It was flooded for most part, so I put on my rebreather and told Follows I would explore. He followed me, though. He had great lungs. Inside were traps and mines. I disarmed them. The last time I found mines and traps it led to the story of one heck of a guy. There was a locked door in one of the higher levels. I opened it and got inside. Seemed like a campsite, like the first cave. Like the first cave, I scavenged the place before reading the computer's entries. I found a metal armor like the one I had once used and took it, because the NCR Ranger armor was pretty much destroyed.
This computer had entries from May 2083 to September 2095. Randall talked about how he saw the animals mutating, like the geckos. About how he went back to Salt Lake City to try and find his wife's and son's remains, only to come back to Zion disappointed, wishing that they had a quick death, like they were vaporized by the explosion, instead of burnt by them. Said he was a coward for NOT taking his life right there in Salt Lake City. About how he spotted people. 28 of them, 11 males, 8 females and 9 children, armed and from Mexico. He followed them for months, without getting to know them. He helped them as he could, without being seen. Like a ghost. Ended there.
I'm going to sleep now, in Randall's camp. Can't help but wonder if there are more of his stories spread around Zion. Must be, I'm assuming the children he spoke of in the last entry are the same children he saw now. But I prefer to discover the entries than to assume. Me and Follows say goodnight. I'm off.