New Vegas Travel Guide: Bob Makes a Friend

Chupacabras with Automatic Weapons

Computers and science stuff never came easy to Bob. He didn't grow up in one of those pre-war Vaults, where kids got real education. Bob was raised to think not with his mind but with his hands. He could fix a computer just as easily as he could arm wrestle a Super Mutant -- that is to say, not very well.

So Bob was pretty damn surprised when, in the middle of going to recruit an incarcerated former sheriff for the town of Primm, he discovered a heap of broken robot on the desk of a vacant general store. Though Bob the Courier distrusted most machines since he could remember, he always indulged his natural curiosity when it came to anything that might help him blow more shit up.

Bob expected this round, odd thing to be a Powder Gang trap which would blow up in his face. If that didn't happen, Bob assumed it would at least pluck his eyes out with some kind of evil robo-claw.

But what Bob actually got from this chance encounter in the Wasteland was something he didn't anticipate: companionship.

Together Bob and his new automaton accomplice would soon save the livelihood of a small settler town called Novac. Yet before this odd-couple of the Mojave could go on their first adventure, Bob would have to figure out how to fix a robot with his hands, and a brain that vaguely remembered what the "on" button of a computer looked like.

Like most everything in the desert wasteland Bob was now calling home, this scrap heap of a robot was rusty, dingy and broken. Afraid to crack it open and see what was inside, the courier opted for a much more simplistic option: instead of hacking into an electronics system he would be confused by, Bob hoped that stuffing handfuls of scrap metal and sensor modules into the little ball would prove a workable alternative. After all, he told himself, what's a robot but a bunch of nuts and bolts with some wires holding it together?

Unfortunately, Bob didn't have the necessary materials for a proper repair. He only had three tire irons and a few bottles of water on him. Then Bob remembered that he was supposed to be heading to a prison to find an elusive ex-sheriff; a prison guarded by the Powder Gang, whose material stores would likely contain all the robot-fixing parts to bring 10 of these contraptions back to life. So Bob set out with a new goal, and newly found determination.

Getting into the prison's storeroom was more difficult than Bob planned. Powder Gangers happen to get their name from a shared love of dynamite, a weapon they wield with confidence and accuracy.

Despite a broken arm and severe blackouts from a cracked skull, the intrepid courier managed to scavenge enough scrap metal from the prison grounds. Sensor modules, however, were going to be much more difficult to find. The ex-sheriff found and recruited for Primm, Bob hobbled back to the doctor in Goodsprings for well-deserved medical attention.

Hours later, his head cleared, Bob suddenly remembered he already had all the essential components locked in a container at the doc's house. It seems that years of severe head trauma had not benefited the courier.

Bob rushed back to Primm's vacant general store, a toolbox of parts in his hands, and got to work. Within minutes of duct taping all the random electronics and metal he could find into the robot, it beeped to life and introduced itself. Its name was ED-E, and it began quietly hovering at Bob's side. Bob liked that it was the strong, silent type -- they had a lot in common.

Over the next week Bob tested the limits of ED-E's programming and combat proficiency. ED-E's laser cannon barbecued dozens of gang members, mole rats and coyotes. The robot even carried the human's hundreds of pounds of loot, and the human protected the robot in return.

Bob was so impressed and inspired by the results of this chance encounter that when the pair found a cache of primitive, handmade art supplies in a shack deep in the wastes, Bob began watercoloring the various and strange events on his vengeful path to the city of New Vegas. His first finished work was of ED-E, his new friend and sole cohort in desolation.

Late in the afternoon one day, not long after ED-E had joined Bob, the travelers spotted a giant green dinosaur in the wavy heat of the distance. Made of metal, and thereby harmless (but still scary enough to trigger Bob's latent reptile phobia), the giant structure was a remnant of a pre-war motel once known for its trademarked mascot, Dinky the Dinosaur. Dinky and the motel just happened to be attached to the small town of Novac, which was struggling to keep its territory safe from Caesar's Legion, a murderous gang of slavers known to raze entire settlements for general raping and pillaging purposes. But these settlers warmly greeted Bob, and the sniper watching from Dinky the Dinosaur's mouth paid no attention to the courier.

The only resident of Novac who had anything interesting to say was the local coot, lovingly known as No-bark Noonan. He told Bob about the sinister chupacabra stalking the streets of Novac and killing brahmin each night. The chupacabra also had an assault rifle, according to No-bark, who swore he saw the creature. While Bob had never heard of a post-apocalyptic, firearm-wielding mutant chupacabra, there was at least one grain of truth in the codger's story. Every morning the brahmin ranchers had been finding the fresh corpses of their livestock. Bob told No-bark he'd look into it, and ED-E beeped in eager agreement.

They only had to wait for midnight to solve the true mystery of Novac's wave of cattle murder.

Bob and ED-E sat outside the brahmin pen until midnight. Bob complacently sipped from a bowl of squirrel stew and watched ED-E float back and forth in silence. He wondered if a robot could look (or for that matter be) bored.

At half-past midnight Bob was ready to call the investigation a wash, when all of a sudden an eight-foot tall Super Mutant came out of the darkness spouting gibberish at the brahmin. Frozen in surprise, Bob could only watch as the clearly insane Super Mutant perforated another cow with a minigun. The mutant then vanished back into the darkness, seemingly invisible to the naked eye. But Bob had seen that so-called invisibility before, and he knew to look for the sheen of light reflection which would tell him where the mutant was. He spotted it hiding behind a rock near the cattle pen, talking to itself.

Bob leaped and bludgeoned the mutant in the head with his tire iron, but that only pissed it off. Bob took three more swings at the mutant, all of which missed, until his torso was nearly punched clean through by the monster. As Bob waited for the final blow, ED-E shot the Super Mutant, destroying the skull and reducing everything above the neck into mush. A single eyeball, propelled by the force of ED-E's shot, landed at Bob's feet with a poignant squish.

After injecting himself with three stimpacks, Bob managed to crawl to the headless corpse. He found a hastily scribbled note that proved how insane this particular breed of mutant, called a Nightkin, really was. It was mad at the brahmin for mooing so much that they kept him his dreams.

Next to the body was a giant club made of rebar and cement, which Bob found to be a suitable replacement for his rusty tire iron.

Novac saved of any more unnecessary cattle deaths, an appreciative population decided their new savior could help them out with another problem. A pre-war facility west of town once belonged to an American rocket manufacturing company called REPCONN, and it was the likely source of a recent influx of feral ghouls. The town already had enough to worry about with Ceasar's Legion in the east, and No-bark was convinced that these "commie ghouls" were planning to turn the Moon into a pink-hued tribute to Lenin. Bob was determined to help these poor settlers, crazy theories and all, in exchange for information about the men who shot him. Bob would get that information, but only after he solved Novac's ghoul problem.

The courier and his robot pal would soon learn that sometimes the best way to deal with a ghoul is to put it in a rocket and shoot it into space.