I was alone. I had to do this mission on my own. I started to panic.
Some soldier was explaining to me what I needed to do but I couldn’t pay attention. I had to figure out how to do this without my friend Fawkes. I didn’t know what to do; I was in an unfamiliar land with unfamiliar people. This soldier finished his say and started climbing the face of the mountain. I just stood there dumbly. Was I supposed to climb this mountain? How do I climb? Did I miss the tutorial while bemoaning the loss of a friend?
I didn’t know if I hack it…
But then I thought to myself, “No, I can do this!” I had to make Fawkes proud. I had to make sure he knew that his presence had made me grow as a bastion of self-confidence in the Capital Wasteland. And damn it, if I could do it in D.C. then I can do it in Alaska!
I found my way down the path to the enemy Chinese invaders. I could hear Fawkes in my mind bellowing out a great war cry as I hacked down a soldier with my trench knife. This would be my moment to shine. This would be my glorious return as the lone savior from Vault 101.
I fought tanks, invisible soldiers and platoon after platoon of communist invaders. I blew up their artillery, destroyed their gas supply and disengaged their pulse field. I was unstoppable.
Then it happened.
I was charging the final bunker with a small army of soldiers. There was an explosion and a rain of bullets. The camera angle changed and a swell of brass instruments played as I watched my avatar slump to the ground, taken out by filthy communists. It was sobering. For the past 30 hours of game play I hadn’t died once. My streak was over.
It was a strange sensation waiting for the game to reload. I felt an emotion somewhere between woe and betrayal. The game had lured me into a false sense of security and then pulled the rug from underneath me. It made the fact that Fawkes wasn’t there that much more bitter.
It was a pretty low blow.
I finished the mission in a couple of hours and I returned to the Capital Wasteland two levels stronger and war hardened. I was rewarded with armor that never had to be repaired and guns that were previously unavailable until now. I collected my boon and once again I found myself “over encumbered”.
Being “over encumbered” normally isn’t that much of a problem. Well, at least it wasn’t when Fawkes was around. It was a painful reminder that he was gone. He could be anywhere. He probably abandoned me after I took this dumb mission. I thought to myself, “Well, this is going to be a long, lonely walk back to my storage locker.” I took a deep breath and opened up the door to the Capital Wasteland and there he was.
Just as dumbly as I had found him, Fawkes was standing there looking around and patiently waiting for me to return. I ran up to him and said, “Oh, thank you Jesus-God!” I unloaded all my extra equipment on him walked out into the Capital Wasteland.
Normally, you can instantly travel to places you have already been, but not today. I was with Fawkes. We walked all the way back to my storage locker in Megaton. On the way we fought Raiders, Yao Guai and Mirelurks. I told him about my adventures in Anchorage. Hell, I even sung him the Danny Kaye song “Civilization” when it came on Galaxy News Radio (I let him sing the Andrews Sisters parts).
All was well in post-apocalyptia.
The Capital Wasteland is big, dangerous and scary and it is best not to brave it on your own. I found my friend in Fallout 3 and on October 19 Fallout New Vegas hits the streets. Who will travel with me to the Hoover Dam? Who will go with me to the nuclear testing site? Who will travel with me to the Grand Canyon?
Who will be my friend in the deserts of Nevada?
By: James Hrom
Edited: Alex Daniel