Christmas. Christmas never changes. Every day this week though, Fallout: New Vegas gets into the spirit of the season as a selection of mods make wishes come true... for better or worse. This silent night though, a woman called Cassidy just stares into another empty glass, killing time in Goodsprings' Prospector Saloon and waiting for a certain someone to finish walking a Lonesome Road.
'Twas the night before Christmas, and all over the Mojave
Not a... um... larvae? Harvey? Sod it, never mind...
So there I was, pretending to be in the middle of an anecdote, when this stranger walked into my bar. Did me a solid or two. Didn't even try to sell me to cannibals that one time. Can't say fairer, so we've been partners ever since.
Sorry, was you talkin' to me there?
Then he just runs off, for the fourth time. Sorry, Cass, he says, you wait here, some guy called Ulysses wants to see me alone-like, and it'd be rude to bring company. Some Christmas, right, sitting drinking alone like I got nothing better to do.
Girl, enough. This here's my saloon, not your Bar Humbug.
Only Christmas sprit I'm looking for this year goes in a glass, Trudy. Pint glass for preference. Keep it coming 'til I could strum myself off to a photo of Caesar.
Oh, if it isn't the man with the lobotomy scars coverin' up the bullet marks behind his brain. Can't say as I noticed you gone, save for no-one tellin' me what to do with my stimpacks or leaning in close for a while.
Who's this guy?
Pardner, I reckon you can just call me The Man With No Name.
Oh, that's not what I've been calling you these last few drinks, Courier. Trudy, pour him two fingers of whatever you've got left back there. Figure I about bought this saloon tonight already, may as well go for the furniture and all.
Much obliged there, little lady.
Be glad I'm drunk enough not to know which of you I can punch without a sore ass from hitting the floor. So anyways, find your mysterious fella rocking the epic hate-on? What did he end up wanting anyway?
I dunno. About five hundred corks to plug up the bulletholes, I'm guessin. That varmint had himself skin like his daddy was a deathclaw and his momma a radscorpion. Still, I reckon we both got what we was looking for.
Courier, have you heard that old world saying, 'do not shoot the messenger?'
I HAVE NOT!
Actually, now's I think, he probably expected more out of it, or he wasted himself a heck of a lot of time setting up his plans. And me, I just realised I had no real reason to play his game from the start. New stuff I got from it looks dumb too.
Well, great. I'm good too, since you're asking. So, where next, now you're all done with that business? We going to go deal with that House guy? Maybe give the Legion what for, or go questing for the NCR's spine in some cave?
Later, Cass. Reckon we take the Christmas off, enjoy some time with our loved ones, enjoy the holiday and all that. Saving the world can wait a few days.
Loved ones. Yeah, right. Never knew my Dad, Mom was a tribal, died when I was a kid, and last I checked you're not exactly Mr. Social, Mr. One Friend At A Time. Think a thousand turkeys out of my ass will be enough?
What the shit?!
Rose of Sharon Cassidy! I have been sent to help you learn the true meaning of Christmas! You will be visited by three ghouls of past, present and future, who will humorously show you the error of your cynical ways and-
Do we know you? You look as familiar as this sounds.
Oh, I do apologise. My name is Marley. You may have heard of me.
He's my cousin. I'm from Nipton. Or was, before... you know.
Oh. Seems like a missed opportunity, that.
Yeah, well, what are you going to do?
For starters, this.
Great. More mess to clean up.
Oh, stow it. You've had two hundred years and still not done anything about the broken mirror in the bathroom. Don't pretend to be Little Miss Houseproud now.
The heightened perception of this very nice hat on my head suggests you're upset about something. Was it something this guy said?
I just don't like Christmas, okay? If there was ever a Santa giving people what they wanted, he got nuked or stopped checking the mail centuries ago. Tomorrow's just another radioactive day like any other, and that's all there is to it.
You never know. Maybe this year will be different...
Please, there's only one impossible delivery boy round here, and he don't wear red. Gah. Calling it a night already. Anyone needs me, I'll be on a floor somewhere between here and Victor's place, or giving Easy Pete a run for his title.
Merry Christmas anyways, Cass. Santa asks, some of them sherries and mince pies was from you. Old soda and a squirrel on a stick anyway. Reckon we're okay swapping traditions up some, now everything's bout gone to poop.
"Merry Christmas, Cass," indeed. Not enough moonshine in the wastes.
Guess though... guess it wouldn't be so bad, that lobotomised optimism there being true. Like, just for a bit, the world waking up and there being snow everywhere, and presents under trees, and everyone just...
Yeah, right, Cassidy. As
Placeable Christmas Trees