Chapter 41: The Morning After The Nightmare
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"Are you sure you are not consuming jets or something like that, Enzo?" Bob asked me.

I told the story of weird-looking soldiers during the night. Bob said that he never saw something like that, and neither had Jensen or Jansen. However, it appeared to me that it was rather strange for them to never see something like that. Still, it might just be a hallucination since I hadn't been asleep, but it was all too real.

"No, I'm sure of it, I see several black men down that highway," I replied.

Bob looked at me with his left eye higher than his right eye. "Enzo, you are lacking of sleep, next time, I'd stand guard, right, guys?" He asked Jensen and Jansen about it.

"Yeah, don't force yourself like that," Jansen said.

"I'll take your advice," I replied as we continued walking towards Novac.

The hot asphalt touched my boots and the hot sun hit me right in the face. This was only morning, and yet, the desert had turned its temperature by the margin. Well, just enjoy the sun and the whole ordeal, I guess? Novac was probably three hours away from where we were camping last night.

In conclusion, it shouldn't be hard to just enjoy the sun. However, I still needed to keep an eye on my fluid intake. I grabbed a bottle of water from the caravan and slowly gulped it. Just two towns left, and after that, I'd be free from all of this bullshit about caravan guarding.

To be honest, this job was as boring as it could get. No wonder many people wanted to get out as soon as they could, which was pretty much understandable. Still, they had paid me and it'd be better for me to repay with my best of ability.

Jensen then intervened, "I heard rumors about those black people around, too, to be honest."

"What kind of rumor?" I asked.

"The black heroes that fought Caesar's Legion to the last bit and will kill and murder every single slave owner. That's what I heard, anyway," Jensen explained.

"Those guys look elite, don't you think?" I asked.

"I never saw them, nor saw them last night. However, according to the new baseless rumor, they might have something to do with the remnants of the Desert Ranger after their unification with the NCR," Jensen said.

"Huh?" Remnants of the Desert Ranger? Didn't all of them got absorbed with the NCR? Or was it just me not knowing that not everyone liked to be part of the NCR. I didn't know. "What do you mean by that, Jensen?"

"Some members of the Desert Rangers preferred to die honorably in battle against the Legion rather than giving in to the NCR bureaucrats to take over them. After all, they became their equivalent of special forces," Jensen said.

"I see."

"C'mon, Jensen didn't really mean that. He just thought that the NCR is useless, which I agreed with in some parts," Bob said.

Considering how they didn't get a firm grasp on the area yet, it made sense why the NCR was useless. The NCR also occupied and annexed the Mojave alongside imposing heavy taxes along the way. Security was guaranteed in some strategic parts, but alongside some parts like Novac? I had my own doubts.

In other words, I wasn't sure how people around the Mojave saw the NCR. At first, it looked like it was the only hope for Mojave security if Caesar's Legion continued its expansion toward the west. However, it also seemed that the heavy tax looked bad for the traders around the Mojave, so they remained independent.

"NCR logistics are messed up, thanks to this campaign. Technically, they shouldn't even think of doing this, however, the Bullhead City incident didn't give the administration much choice," Bob explained.

What happened in Bullhead City that moved almost half of NCR troops from California here? It didn't make too much sense to me, and I was being honest about it. Mojave might be the only city that wasn't in ruin, but it didn't give the NCR much reason to annex it besides taxation. Even then, they still didn't manage to do that. However, Hoover Dam, on the other hand, served all of the purposes that the NCR needed for their electricity.

"Novac, here we go again," Bob commented as we stepped our feet into the town again.

My geiger counter went tick-tick-tick again once I entered this town. Man, this town wouldn't last more than ten years if this continued, everyone would be ridden by radiation unless the source was removed immediately. Like, who even bought radioactive metals nowadays? Unless they didn't know about it.

"Alright, we'll stop here temporarily, alright?" Bob asked.