Chapter 37: As a Caravan Guard, I Must…
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"Well, hotshot, let's see how you get along with the pros like us."

It was one of the bodyguards. The two bodyguards that accompanied the caravan were siblings called Jensen and Jansen. There was so little difference between the two with the exception of their names. Of course, there were also their weapons, one was using a 9mm SMG while the other was using a 9mm Pistol. It would work against ordinary threats, but I had my own doubts about it.

Meanwhile, our boss was a man by the name of Bob. Who was this Bob? Probably an employee of Cassidy Caravan as far as I was concerned alongside being my boss for the time being until we arrived at Boulder City.

Right now, we were walking down the road from the Mojave Outpost, straight towards the Poseidon gas station down the road. I didn't know why Bob didn't ask for NCR soldiers to escort him, since the NCR was able to spare some personnel it seemed.

"Bob, I hope you don't mind if I ask, but why didn't you ask the NCR for an escort?" I asked.

"Because the NCR demanded heavy taxes and fees. In this case, I'll have to pay around 30% of the total things that I sold. And let me tell you, 2,400 caps for a trip ain't pretty, and the NCR doesn't escort anyone to Nipton."

It made sense since Nipton didn't provide any strategic advantage whatsoever other than being a town in the middle of a desert. Anyone could easily ambush it, due to its positioning with the hills from the East side alongside a wide open desert on the West side. Holding the town against the Legion from the East would be hard.

Still, the NCR put too much strain on the traders, it seemed. 30% was simply too much if the people that would accompany you were a bunch of conscripts looking to end their time at Mojave as soon as possible. That type of person would immediately run away from the human horde that was the Legion.

"Enzo, since you're new, let me introduce the job to you very quickly," Jansen explained. "We are Bob's helper during this trip, which meant you must both defend him from an attack alongside helping him in the trading business."

"Makes sense."

"Of course, we are not allowed to get too far away from Bob, don't forget about that, brother," Jensen added.

"Yeah, that too," Jansen said.

With the rifle in my hands, there shouldn't be anyone that would be foolish enough to attack us while in the vicinity of the NCR outpost. I might be used as the purpose for intimidation by this trader as well, to be honest, considering that I was the most well-armed of all of them.

Still, was I too well-equipped to become a caravan guard? Even in the game, the caravan guard was not as well-armed as I did. Heck, the caravan guard back in the game could be said to a basic cannon fodder with the only threat being if they managed to get a low-level player to accidentally attack them. Even then, it would be lucky for them to even survive from the player.

We eventually arrived at Nipton Pit Stop, the place where Jackals ambushed me when I was going into the town. It seemed that the same things happened again, and this time, they didn't shoot at us first, and they were willing enough to approach all of us.

"Hey, old man, you need to pay a toll first, the road is ours," one of the Jackal gang members said.

Let's just say, they were strangely passive if I had to say about it. Usually, Jackals were no better than average fiends. They would shoot first and ask questions later, but this time, they seemed to be way more lenient than usual.

Jansen intervened, "Hey fellas, what about we go our way and no one gets hurt?"

Then Jensen added again, "Do you really think it's worth it to be fighting us?"

I didn't say a word. For me, I'd do the same as what these Jackals would do if they met me alone, which was shoot them first and ask questions later. They were raiders, after all. The fewer of them, the better Mojave would be.

"Do you really think you can get past us?" He asked Jansen.

There was the usual formation of Jackals. Three of them were obviously hiding behind the building, while the other two were confronting us. Threat-wise, they were quite low since almost all of them were armed with Varmint Rifles and 9 mm Submachine Guns.

I then intervened, "Let's just put it more easily, let us go through, and I probably won't kill all of you, is that clear enough?" After all, if they were smart enough, Combat Armor was practically bulletproof as long as the user was tactically skillful.

Besides, even if a Vault Jumpsuit was enough to protect me, why a basic Combat Armor couldn't protect me from bullets? I stood there quietly, waiting for an answer from that Jackal gang member. The other people behind him were impatient.

I flicked the safety of my rifle to semi-auto.

"C'mon, time's ticking. My employer is waiting for me," I said.

Would my intimidation work? If they weren't stupid, it'd work. However, were they smart? That begged a question that needed an answer. However, the answer needed to come now or I'd be put in a disadvantageous position where those Jackals could take a potshot at my head.

"This madman would kill you, you know?" Jansen smirked.

"This won't be the last time, you hear? Go on. I'm not in the mood for shooting my guns, anyway."

"I'm glad you made a wise choice," I said.

We eventually walked past that 'toll booth' and continued our journey towards Nipton. That was too close for my liking. Still, if it worked, it worked. Bob let a large breath out of his mouth in relief. He was a trader, not a mercenary, after all.