Michael Radiatin’? More like Michael Radiated.
The Endless Peninsula of Doom is over, and instead I now face The Endless Coastline Of Mirelurks. Like some lethal Whack A Mole, the giant mutant crabs explode out of the sand every few steps. I’m facing their tougher Killclaw variant now, and while my ‘climb on top of a car roof so they can’t get me’ tactic remains dependable, the cost in bullets is astronomical. I’ve recently acquired the Scrounger perk which makes me more able to find ammunition squirreled away in the wasteland, but even that can’t keep up with the drain these Killclaws place on my bullet-bags.
One of them tries to follow me inside a diner, and mercifully gets stuck inside while I jump out the rear window. Rather unwisely, I decide to squander mines and grenades rather than bullets on it, and slowly explode it from a safe distance.
There will come a time soon when I will regret this decision.
I meet a few raiders too, and plundering their corpses completes my collection of metal armour. It’s not quite Power Armour, but I’m feeling so much hardier. If I can survive that peninsula, I can survive anything.
There will come a time soon when I will regret this confidence.
I see the sights for a while – an old parking lot, a bridge across the bay, a cluster of towering radar dishes, inactive for centuries but still mighty to behold. And then my PipBoy pipes up. It’s found something on the radio. A distress signal.
I’m overjoyed. Finally, a chance to help someone rather than destroy them on sight. I can be a hero, not simply a murderous nomad. Though it leads away from the coast, the signal doesn’t seem to be coming from too far away. It leads towards those radar dishes, in fact. A bit out of the way, but fine.
I hear shouting. Gruff, guttural voices. Then there’s a whoooosh sound. I’m able to dive into a boathouse before the rocket, mini-nuke or whatever it is hits me, and mercifully the Super-Mutant who fired it decides to chase me down rather than fire another. Trouble is, he brings a couple of friends with him. A couple of vicious mutant dogs, too.
I can’t possibly fight them all, and I can’t possibly keep hiding in this boat house, so I run. The dogs are faster, not so much snapping at my heels as tearing them off, while the Mutants’ shots slam into my back. Almost gone, but if I can just…
Into the water. The dogs can’t swim, thank God, but I have to keep swimming further and further out, until the Mutants’ bullets can’t reach me. So very nearly dead. I dourly imbibe the radioactive water I’m paddling in, spared the worst of its effects thanks to the Lead Belly perk I taught myself a while back.
This, I realise, is a viable plan. I can chip away at the mutant pack’s health, sprint back out to the water, top up my health and repeat. Then I can help whoever’s sending that distress symbol. The same kind of strategic thinking that got me through that fight with the Children of the Atom. A born survivor.
Second time around, there’s an addition to the mutant ranks. He carries no gun, but he never stops running after me no matter how many rounds I pump into his face, and he bleeps ominously.
This is because he has a miniature nuclear warhead under one arm.
It’s extremely difficult to shoot while running, and this guy has an extremely tough hide, even by Super-Mutant standards. Fortunately, I’ve been hoarding mines for a while, so all I need to do is…
That Mirelurk in the diner.
Run to the sea, Michael. It’s your only hope.
The bomber is closing in on me. I’m not going to make it. It’s over it’s all over it’s… And then the bastard tries to run through the boathouse I hid in earlier, and gets himself stuck on the doorframe in the process. I stop running. I can still hear that infernal bleeping, but it’s no longer getting any closer. It’s a miracle. A ridiculous miracle.
I should walk away. I should go track down that distress signal. But I can’t resist. That mutant damn-near killed me: I can’t let him live. So I loose a few rounds at him as he snarls and bleeps from his wooden prison. My bullets are running low, so I switch to my Gamma Gun. As its nuclear rounds thump into the Super-Mutant, he’s knocked free of his unlikely cage. And he’s on me again.
Run to the sea, Michael. It’s your only hope.
Not a noble death. Not a fair death. But it was a funny death. A preposterous death, even. Mere bullets could not fell me. Monsters’ claws could not take me down. It took an actual nuclear bomb to do it. A nuclear bomb carried by a sprinting man-mountain with a death wish. Can’t argue with that. Hell, abstractly I even died trying to save someone.
So long, Michael.