Fallout: Phil Vegas #3 -- Phil Jackson Saves Goodsprings

Posted on Tue 16 April 2013 in Fallout: Phil Vegas by Aaron McGuire

fallout phil vegas

philvegas catchup #2

"Alright, Starr. I'll play your little game. Call me Phil Jackson, savior of Los Angeles."


"I mean, Goodsprings. Sorry. Got caught in the moment there."

"Alright. Well, that's cool, didn't actually expect you to say that. Here's the situation. My caravan was attacked by the Powder Gangers. I fought back, but they killed my two associates and chased me around for a while. I was able to snipe two of them, but I ran out of ammo and had to hide out in this town. I'm 90% sure they're going to send someone to attack me at some point. Now, the people here have been really nice to me. I don't want the Powder Gangers to destroy their town. But I also don't want to die, and if I leave the town, I'll probably die. So I'm caught in a conundrum."

"If I help you eliminate these guys, will you tell me how to get to Las Vegas?"

"If you mean New Vegas, I mean..." Ringo paused, made to say something, then smiled. "Sure, I guess."

"It's a deal. What do I need to do?"

"Well, we need to round up a few people. Get Sunny Smiles in on the game, she's good at fighting. Try to get the barkeep in on it. Maybe the general store guy can provide us some armor, and maybe Doc Mitchell can provide us some chems. You never know, right? Anyway. You and Smiles come and see me when the Powder Gangers approach the town. I know they will. We'll kick their butts." Jackson nodded, and headed out towards the town_._

• • •

Although Jackson doubted that he had to talk to everyone Ringo mentioned, the completionist within him bid it so. He made a little mental list of the people he needed to talk to, and headed first to Doc Mitchell's place when he realized it was barely a stone's throw from the gas station. He entered the house, wandering aimlessly around looking for the doctor. As he wandered, he shortly pondered how weird it was that the doctor was letting him amble about his home aimlessly, and furthermore how odd it was that the doctor left all his valuables lying around. It was almost like he wanted them stolen... Finally, Jackson ran into the doctor in his kitchen, where the doctor was sitting at an empty table and staring at the wall. There was no food in the oven or on the stove.

"Hey, Doc. Uh... you OK, there?"

"How're you holdin' up?"

"Pretty well, I guess. Hey, can you help us out with some free medical supplies to fight the powder gangers?"

"Seems like wherever I go it's always the same. Folks just never leave each other alone."

"Wait, are you criticizing us or them or what?"

The doctor didn't answer, silently handing Phil several syringes filled with a darkish gray liquid. They said 'STIMPACK' on them. He shrugged and pocketed them. "Thanks. Hey, uh... are the objects in your house free to take?" Again, no answer. "It's definitely a yes if you don't tell me not to." The doctor stared impassively at our hero. "... alright, thanks for your patronage." Phil wandered around the house, taking a few guns, some ammo, and a few trinkets and baubles. He also took some cigarettes, just in case. Phil walked out of the doctor's house, his pack a bit heavier and his conscience more muddled.

From the doctor's office Phil ran the gauntlet -- he started with Sunny Smiles, who was seemingly more interested in killing off the Powder Gangers than Ringo was. She was in. Trudy took some convincing, but I mean... it's Phil Jackson we're talking about here, folks. He convinced Rodman to keep his lunacy off the basketball court for three years of his career. He's good at convincing people to help him out, and a barkeep named Trudy was well within his wheelhouse. She was in, and along with her the hastily cobbled together militia that Goodsprings called "protectors." From there Phil returned to the confusing and disturbingly emotionless husk of a man known as Easy Pete, where Phil pretended to know anything whatsoever about explosives to much success, easily convincing Easy Pete that he was an explosives mastermind who totally deserved five free sticks of dynamite. He then faced his last challenge -- convincing the shopkeeper to give them all free leather armor.

"Hey, Chet. Want to help us out and give us some free armor to fight the Powder Gangers?"

"This again? Like I said, I'm against taking on the Powder Gangers. My supplies aren't cheap, you know."

At this, Phil Jackson found himself uncharacteristically speechless. He'd easily convinced just about everyone else to give him aid -- this shopkeeper's blithe refusal took him off guard. "Uh... well... the Powder Gangers are really bad, man, and I'll totally give you a cigarette if you help us out, you know?" Phil Jackson pursed his lips. If I was him, I'd punch me right now. That was bad.

"... no. Make sure they know that if they kill you all I'll still do business with them, alright?"

"... why would I let them know that?"

"Good question. I don't know why I requested that. Anyway. Scram, unless you want to buy something."

Phil sifted through his pack, taking out a few things and asking prices. It took a while, but he was finally able to get around 100 bottle caps for some combination of gecko meat, cigarettes, gecko hide, and a flower he'd picked. While he had no idea if he'd sold those items at face value, that certainly seemed like a lot of currency for very little in the way of valuable material. I am the king of bartering. Time to try to get him to supply leather armor again...

"Hey, Chet. Want to help us out and give us some free armor to fight the Powder Gangers?"

"This again? Like I said, I'm against taking on the Powder Gangers. My supplies aren't cheap, you know."

"Yeah... well... if you ran the triangle offense, you'd make more money. Like Kurt Rambis did! Take that, jerk!"

At this, Phil Jackson nervously looked from side to side and fled the shop. Note to self: don't barter. Ever again. Wow.

• • •


Before heading back to Ringo, Phil Jackson decided to look into a claim that Trudy had mentioned was yet to be scavanged -- a safe in the Goodsprings schoolhouse, to be exact. She'd given him an issue of Lockpick Weekly, which struck Phil as quite possibly the least necessary weekly human interest publication on the face of the earth. Still. Jackson entered the abandoned schoolhouse, where he was immediately met by a giant mantis the size of a small toddler. Phil pondered. Why is everything larger after nuclear war? That doesn't even make sense.

He considered the thought as he quickly dispatched the unreasonably large mantis, abandoning it when he realized there was quite literally no way to sufficiently answer that question without a level of science expertise that Phil Jackson adamantly refused to have. Phil walked over to the safe. He sized it up, just like detectives do in detective movies. What would Indiana Jones do, though? Because I am now Indiana Jones. Phil thought on it, then without warning whipped out his pistol and shot the safe.

It remained closed.

That was a terrible idea.

Finally accepting that he was going to have to try and pick the lock, Jackson took out a bobby pin and kneeled down next to the lock. How do they do this in movies again? He got as close as he could to the lock and placed his ear on the safe, listening as he fiddled with the bobby pin. It quickly snapped. He threw it out and tried again, only to snap the next one. And the next one. And the next one. Phil closed his eyes in frustration and took out the magazine Trudy gave him earlier. He read through it cover-to-cover, quickly internalizing a lot of the ins and outs of lockpicking. The magazine may be completely and utterly useless as a weekly digest, but Phil could not deny its usefulness -- on his first try post-magazine, he unlocked the tumbler and opened the safe in less than 15 seconds. Inside there was a strange wrist device that looked like he could snap to the weird console on his left arm, as well as a few hundred bottle caps and a few magazines.


With his pockets full of change and his allies rallied, Jackson returned to Ringo's abandoned gas station. He explained to Ringo that he'd gotten the medical supplies, enlisted Trudy's aid, and gotten Sunny to agree to help out. Ringo nodded along, sharpening a machete and loading a gun while Phil explained the score. "Alright, then, Phil. Are you ready to take on the Powder Gangers?"

"Wait, don't we need to wait for them to show up? What if I say I'm ready?"

"Then they'll show up."

"And if I say I'm not ready yet?"

"Then they won't."

"That's awfully polite of them."

"I'll take your sass as you being ready. OY! SUNNY!"

As if on command, Sunny Smiles ran into the gas station. "Time to look alive. The Powder Gangers are here to play."


Phil stared at the two of them, completely befuddled. "... what?"

Ringo smiled. "How many are there, Sunny?"

"About six. Look mean, too. Joe Cobb's with them, he's no joke."

"Let's go, then."

The three left the gas station, taking their positions in front of the saloon. Indeed, six members of the gang were approaching from the north -- Joe Cobb had a shotgun, and was staring Ringo down from a distance. They weren't approaching very quickly. Phil leaned over and whispered to Ringo. "Hey, can we attack them at any time?"

He shrugged. "I'd assume so. All's fair in love and war, right?"

"Neat." Phil took out two sticks of dynamite, lighting them and tossing them at the Powder Gangers. They started fleeing, with half of them running into the desert (where they were stung by inordinately large scorpions and immediately killed) and half running into town, indiscriminately shooting at the townsfolk and Phil. "That's not very nice." Phil took out his pistol, cocking it and charging forward into the fray. He was flanked at his side by Sunny's dog Cheyenne, which was probably not for the best -- one of the Powder Gangers immediately caught Cheyenne in the face with a bullet, killing her instantly. "HEY! I like dogs!"

Jackson whipped out his shotgun and unloaded straight into the offending gang member's shoulder, reloading as Joe Cobb shot round after round into Phil's frame. He aimed out and shot Cobb in the head, satisfyingly ending Cobb's one-episode reign of terror over this particular episodic story. He approached the last Powder Ganger, throwing dynamite at the townspeople and generally looking like a jerk. "Are you gonna leave, or do I have to pretend I'm Michael Jordan?" The Powder Ganger made to slash Jackson with a machete, causing our hero to unload his last shotgun round straight into his chest.

"You reach, I teach."


The battle over, Phil walked over to Ringo in front of the saloon. Time seemed to stop, much as it had in Doctor Mitchell's house -- a weird pop-up dialog box covered his vision, telling him that he was now "vilified" by the Powder Gangers and would be attacked by any he subsequently met. Conversely, he was now "idolized" by Goodsprings. Nice. The screen faded as soon as he'd read it, and he stopped in front of Ringo. "Alright. Gonna be honest. I owe you a huge favor for this. Here -- these are technically Crimson Caravan funds, but I know they'll understand once I explain things. I'll give you a bit more if you meet me at the Caravan's outpost in New Vegas, but thanks for helping me out regardless"

"Not a problem, Best Beatle. But you agreed that you'd tell me one thing before I did this. How the hell do I get to Vegas?"

"Alright. So... I didn't want to tell you this until you'd helped me out, but... you know that thing on your left arm?"

"What, this giant bulky thing?"

"Yeah. That's got a map on it. It also organizes all of your items and stuff."


"... SONNOVAB... so I could've skipped all this and used the map at any time?"


"And you kept this from me just so I'd help you kill some crooks?"


"I hate you."

"Catch you in New Vegas, bud."

And so Ringo left Phil in the dust, as Phil narrowed his eyes at the console on his left arm. Jerk.

• • •

After taking a short nap and pondering the contents of his map, Phil decides he'd like to get a better real-life view of the road ahead. In so doing, he decides to go back to a place he left behind -- that is, the mountain where Barton Thorn's girlfriend was captured by geckos. If she's still alive, I'll save her, I guess? He also figured he'd find a few notable claims in the gecko's nest -- seemed that most people were afraid of the geckos, although they weren't that hard to dispatch. Jackson snuck past a sleeping Barton Thorn, making his way up the mountain and running into somewhere along the lines of 10-15 geckos along the way. They were aggressive, as was their wont, but they weren't really that hard to beat. A slice or two of Phil's machete seemed to do the trick, and his armor saved him from the bulk of their bites.

Phil Jackson reached the top relatively quickly, encountering the Gecko's nest. There was a half-eaten body of a girl around Barton's age, but it looked several days old. Given that Barton had asked him to save her yesterday, that struck Phil as odd. He made a mental note never to trust a man named Barton Thorn. There was also an inexplicably-still-working refrigerator, four incoherently well-placed red balls, a lookout table, a chair, the whole remains of a scavenging man, a few bear traps, and an old timey camera. Also a few boxes of ammunition, too!


Jackson sat down at the lookout table, staring into the distance. He was immediately struck by how utterly stupid of an idea it was to backtrack in an effort to see the road ahead -- instead of seeing Vegas, he just saw the cliffs and hills between Goodsprings and Vegas, with absolutely no better sense of where he was going. Smooth move, Ferguson. That said, looking at his personal map, he had a pretty good idea where he needed to go -- if he wanted to get to Vegas, he was going to have to go northeast through a mining town called Sloan (which, not coincidentally, was where Ringo's caravan had been robbed and murdered) and a patch of deserted highway.

Seemed pretty elementary to Mr. Jackson, if not a bit of a cop out. It didn't appear that there was anything remotely approaching a working car in the world as it is, but the distance didn't look like more than seven miles or so, which was absolutely doable. Probably even in one night, if he headed out now. Phil rose from his lookout, closing the dead scavenger's eyes and heading back down the mountain next to all the gecko corpses. Looking up, he noticed a scraggly haired man running up the mountain. Phil raised an eyebrow quizzically, quickly realizing it was Barton Thorn. Barton stopped.

"Your girlfriend had been dead for days. Why did you tell me to come up here?"

"Sorry I tricked you, but thanks for clearing out the Geckos. Now I can get to that stash up there... after I deal with you."

"... I just eliminated a gang. I think I can handle a guy named Barton."

"Take THIS, Phil Jackson!"

Barton whipped out his gun. Phil whipped out his machete.



Given how easily Barton was dispatched, Phil was surprised to find that he actually had quite a lot on his person. A few hundred caps, several suits of armor, three weapons, and a magazine. Nice. Taking an inventory of his outfits after looting Barton's remains, Phil quickly realized he had accumulated quite a few outfits. Enough so that he started to take them out, one by one, trying to figure out which one was the most Indiana Jones-esque for the road ahead.

• • •



Decide in the comments below, or on twitter -- mention Phil Vegas to @gothicginobili or use the hashtag #PhilVegas for all responses. Leave any format-type concerns/thoughts in the comments as well. This is, as you must have noticed, decidedly a work in progress.