So much about this world has surprised me, I thought I’d finally managed to just take it all in stride, each new strangeness just adding to the mix of oddities my life has become since I woke up. Turns out there are things to which even I haven’t grown accustomed, and it genuinely terrifies me.
The Wasteland isn’t a pleasant place; raiders, would-be mob bosses, super mutants, synths, ghouls, and all kinds of other dangers roam the countryside, looking for easy prey. Sometimes they come across me instead. That’s not to say I’m some one-woman army, cleaning up the scum of the Earth, but it does mean I can usually hold my own against whatever I run across.
Lately I have the hair-raising feeling that someone is following me. A single man, alone, waiting in the wings and shadows. My dog, the only companion I keep, never seems to complain about this mysterious stranger, but it’s really starting to bother me. I really don’t want this to just be in my head – a bad case of radiation-sickness from the last storm that blew through or some bad Dandy Boy Apples or something, either would be at the minor end of “bad news” – the last thing I need is to start seeing ghosts where there aren’t any.
I think there’s proof, but it’s never something I can trust. When a shootout gets too hot and heavy, too many raiders crawling out of the woodwork, I’ll sometimes hear a single gunshot. It’s not from me, and it sure doesn’t sound like any other weapon I’ve heard. I’ll poke my head out from behind cover and the biggest or meanest raider will be dead, shot right between the eyes. Usually that gives me just enough time to reposition and turn the tide.
Once I thought I saw something in the shadow of a nearby building, maybe a muzzle flash. More importantly, one of the ghouls that had been chasing me actually broke off from the pack and started toward the building. By the time I’d picked the rest off, the stranger and his pursuer were long gone, no sign of their trail. No bullet casing, no ghoul body, no footprints in the mud.
Am I going insane? That would make a lot more sense than some near-invisible guardian angel looking out for me. Selflessness and charity aren’t exactly common traits out here, and I can’t really imagine that someone would have been able to stay one step ahead me (behind?) for this long. I cover rivers and fields, places where there’s nowhere to hide, and yet I can’t shake that feeling, that ghost’s breath on my neck that someone is actually out there.
Maybe when I find a doc to cure some of these rads I’ll ask about a shrink. Do they still have those? I imagine everyone these days needs someone to talk to. Diamond City is supposed to be a “thriving metropolis,” maybe that’s where I’ll set my sights next.
I really, really hope I’m not going crazy.