Continuing a perma-death Fallout 4 diary, in which I begin with absolutely nothing other than a plan to to voyage around only the outermost periphery of the world.
The first test of my extremely rusty Power Armour is just a few steps away. There are dismembered bodies scattered messily across the ground, in boxes, in an old bath tub, as though some cannibalistic toddler was recently playing here. There's even a leg in a bin. A LEG IN A BIN.
The real cause soon makes itself known: Mole Rats. It's always Mole Rats. Although the bin is still a mystery. Mole Rats' arms aren't long enough to have lifted it in there. Maybe someone put his own leg there for safe-keeping after one gnawed it off, before hobbling back to battle.
I have precious little ammo, so I punch and punch and punch and it's really effective, but then I remember that it's sapping my precious Fusion Cores so I'd better be careful. Fortunately, the various bodies yield some food, ammo and clothing. Even the leg in a bin is somehow wearing an entire Flannel Shirt and Jeans and Radstag Armour, despite being just a leg in a bin. One trouser leg I'd have understood, but a whole outfit? What a leg, man. What a leg in a bin.
Stepping out of my power armour to admire my new togs, I feel that Michael now looks truly wasteland-ready.
Still very much like a confused British tourist, but with just a hint of having Seen Things. He'll do.
I'm getting really worried about fusion cores now, but the nature of my journey necessitates never, ever going backwards, so I can't just leave the suit somewhere and come back to it once/if I find more cores. All I can do is take it with me, and ditch it if and when it runs out of juice. So, onwards.
I go through another long period of finding nothing, fighting nothing, which is halfway a relief and halfway a concern - was this journey misguided from the outset? And how can I find supplies? Then a couple of giant mayflies bother me, followed by the horizon yielding the promise of things to come.
I lose a bit of health in the bugfight, and that fusion core drip, drip, drips away steadily. The fights are hard, even against small wildlife. I'm probably further out than a wasteland greenhorn should be, and the noose appears to be tightening.
That's why, when I spy three heavily-armoured Softshell Mirelurks lurking around an enticing-looking building, I decide on extreme measures. My PipBoy suggests I'd struggle to survive against even one of them, let alone three - and one's some sort of crustacean veteran, by the looks of it. So, about that Fat Boy I had...
And there goes my sole nuke. Let's hope I'm going to regret this later. Let's hope there's something great in that building which made such wanton destruction worthwhile.
There's nothing. Flupping nothing. Just a terminal with some emails about how the water's too toxic for fishing. Dammitall. I've strayed inwards a little in order to check out this useless place, so time to return to the periphery. I pass by a bunker I can't access without a key, and a quick search suggests it's not in the immediate area. A milk factory looks promising, but is deserted, yielding nothing but junk and few bullets. I'm beginning to feel lonely. I haven't had a conversation with anyone yet.
It's not long before I spy life again though - some sort of bandit fortress. And one of them has power armour on. Erk.
It's a tough, tough fight. I survive, thanks to a lot of running and hiding and ripping through almost all my stimpaks, but the aftermath leaves me with an arm and a leg of my power armour too damaged to work. Not good. I loot parts from the downed powered-raider, but maddeningly exactly the same limbs have been trashed in the fight with me. I stuff it all into wherever the hell my backpack is anyway, then look around.
Remarkably, I could use this place as a base. With the raiders gone, I'm allowed to craft structures here. It could be paradise.
Sadly, there's no point. I can never go back. So, instead I raze the place to the ground. I scrap everything I can, in case the resultant components can be turned into something more useful for the road later on. Turns out not even power armour can carry 50 concrete blocks around though, so I have to leave that there.
I feel sadness as I leave. This could have been a home. But home is not my way. Onwards.
After some difficulty avoiding irradiated ponds, I finally reach that huge bridge I saw in the distance earlier. I finally encounter some friendly faces too. Settlers. They don't try to shoot me or anything.
But there's barely a chance to secretly pickpocket them before a gigantic, monstrous Radscorpion spots us. My PipBoy tells me it's absolutely deadly, and watching it instantly rip through the friendly settlers, I don't disagree. Oh lord, I wish I still had that nuke. I don't. So I run. I'm afraid there are no photographs of it because I was ABSOLUTELY TERRIFIED.
It runs too. And spits poison at me as it does. I lose another power armour limb. It's almost on me. I reach a cliff edge and... well, fuck it, nothing else for it.
The rest my first Fusion Core power disappears as the suit absorbs the impact, but I'm alive and that scorpion hasn't plunged off the cliff after me. I've only got one fusion core left, but I'm saf...
Oh God raiders, loads and loads of raiders. I take a lot of hits, use most of my ammo, but I beat them. I'm saf...
Oh God dogs, loads and loads of super-tough mutant dogs. The last of my ammo goes. Back to punching. And being bitten and bitten and bitten. But I beat them. I'm saf...
Yeah, I am safe this time. And the raiders' corpses yield some ammo and food. My last fusion core is halfway gone already, though. Pray for a miracle there. The wildlife out here is so damned tough that I don't know how I could possibly cope without the suit.
Right now, I have another problem. I've gone as far East as the land allows. And so here I am, at the end of the world.
Except not. There's almost certainly something out there, isn't there? Hell, I can even see what looks like a radio mast at the water's furthest edge, and some small islands, one of which has a structure on it, if I allowed myself to turn a little more Southerly.
The question is whether I can survive the swim out there. Going into that irradiated water will be like gargling with rat poison. My power armour will absorb some, but its Fusion Core won't last for long, and swimming is much harder while wearing it. I have anti-radiation meds, but only a little. This may be suicide. But the plan was to travel around the world; the question is whether water counts. If, however, I instead now turn South and follow the coast, I won't face immediate irradiation but I certainly won't be seeing the outermost edge of the Commonwealth, as was the original intention. So, what to do? You decide.
Depending on how it goes, the next diary may well be the last. Or the next diary may not feel like I stuck to my guns.
You decide. Call it A Depth In The Family.