Its time, once again, for adventure and excitement with everyone’s favorite character, Cool Thomas Jefferson! If you are unfamiliar, he is my character in Fallout 3 and he has quite an interesting personality. He is possessed by a sentient colonial wig with a penchant for depravity. Once I donned the wig (and sunglasses, hence “Cool”), my character became something totally unexpected. I travel the wasteland trying to find a way to remove the wig, but in the meantime I do its bidding with no control over my actions whatsoever. Get cup of tea or coffee and prepare yourself for story time. Shit gets real.
Hmmm Hoom: The Tree That Spoke
In my many travels, I’ve come across some interesting places. Some I have enjoyed and others destroyed, but all have been interesting. As I do love exploring, and I wanted to make sure I saw it all, I took the Explorer perk when I hit level 20. This showed every unique location on the map, so that I could ensure I saw everything in the game. One day, while doing something depraved to innocents I’m sure, I heard Three Dog mention on the radio something about real, healthy trees. I thought to myself, “I shall see these trees with mine own eyes, I shall!” So I scoured my map for the place he had mentioned: Oasis. When I found it, my mind was set and I couldn’t do anything other than seek it out. After a long journey and much frustrated searching for an entrance, I finally found Oasis. As I walked up to the wooden gate, something terrible happened that I should have expected. Something that was so jarring that I almost shot everyone around me just out of reflexive habit. I was accosted by hippies.
Now, if you’ve ever met Cool Thomas Jefferson you’re probably dead. On the off chance that you survived our encounter, you probably know that CTJ hates hippies. The hatred stems partially from their love of all the things that CTJ destroys. That, and the smell. Mostly, however, its because they are weak. Weakness is just an invitation for The Terrible Shotgun. Of course, so is strength and power, but thats more of a challenge than an invite. Anyway, so I was accosted by a rambling hippie tree druid guy who spouted some nonsense about me being some hero of prophecy or whatever, and that I would need to meet with “Him”. After considering my options, I decided to humor the crazy old man and let him take me into Oasis. This is where things get interesting.
Upon entering Oasis, I saw something I never thought I’d see in the D.C. Wasteland: lush vegetation and trees. It was a rather drastic change from one side of the gate to the other. A juxtaposition of growth and decay, if you will. It was a pretty neat area. The problem was that it had an infestation of hippies. Why couldn’t they go to the Seattle Wasteland or something? Not in MY town. But I digress. I was led into Oasis by the old druid and told that I would need to take part in a cleansing ritual before I could speak with Him. You’re gonna need a LOT of soap to cleanse Cool Thomas Jefferson. I’m just saying. So I reluctantly acceded to this ritual, in order to push the story along. After partaking of some drug-like tree sap and listening to a coven of weirdos chanting nature nonsense in a circle around me, I passed out. When I came to I was in The Grove, sacred home of Him. I moved into the clearing, already having guessed at what I would find. Sure enough, there was a talking tree in the center. It was Him. It was Harold (he is important, see his full history here). What I hadn’t been expecting was that it was a poor bastard that had had a tree grow out of his head, and was in agonizing….. agony. He spoke to me slowly, as I’m sure every word was painful, and asked me to put him out of his misery. YES! That’s a free pass to murder, folks. Now, the hippies outside didn’t know that this was some poor shmuck with intense mutation going on. They thought he was some sort of minor god. CTJ has done some truly terrible things in his career, from murdering old women to eating the flesh of parents while their children screamed, but deicide? Kratos has nothing on Cool Thomas Jefferson.
So after discussing the ins and outs of what was really going on in Oasis, Harold asked me to go into some caves, where his heart had been displaced by roots, and shoot it. This would give him a nice and peaceful rest from his painful immortality. That all seemed a little unfitting to me, so I pressed further with my questions, asking why I couldn’t just burn him down. Harold flipped out, saying that it would a far too slow and excruciatingly painful way to die. Oops. Somebody let the cat out of the bag. So it was decided. I would burn him to the ground. Then I would walk back out into the goddamn hippie commune and set them all on fire while they slept. It was perfect. Now, I don’t normally have a Flamer on me, so I had to go acquire one. I left Harold, having agreed to shoot his heart, and went back into the main area. I told the old druid that I’d be right back, I just needed to get my flower tiara and burlap sack so I could join them. Instead, I fast traveled to Megaton and paid a visit to Moira who, by divine providence, happened to have some Flamers on sale. What luck. I bought them, repaired one of them to full and warped back to Oasis.
Cool Thomas Jefferson, and loyal sidekick The Sergeant, approached Harold once more. I stood in front of him and equipped my Flamer. I spoke with him again to see if he had any final words before being released from his mortal coil. Then I looked deep into his big sad eyes, full of pleading, and set the motherfucker ablaze. On cue, The Sergeant started blasting him with his flamethrower as well. Harold began screaming in pain and flailing as much as a tree can flail. I gave him blast after blast of fire, until I was sure that it had caught and he would burn on his own. Then I burned him some more for fun. I moved around behind him and burned his ass too. I wanted to make sure every single part of him burned equally. After I expended over 400 rounds of Flamer ammo on him, and he was long dead, I danced around his blazing tree corpse singing joyful melodies. Had I access to marshmallows, the night would have been perfect. I considered telling The Sergeant a ghost story as we stood by the fire, but I figured that would take too much time and I had hippies to incinerate. On top of the world, CTJ and The Sergeant left Harold’s charred remains and went out to the main area of Oasis once more, expecting to find a bunch of sleeping wastes of space. What we found, however, was a bit different than planned.
The silly druids must have been awoken by either Harold’s cries for help or my joyful singing, because they were all up and none too pleased with me. I guess they saw the fire. Great. So now I don’t get to set people on fire while they sleep. A perfect evening, ruined. Oh, and apparently these hippies aren’t all peace and love. Unless “Peace and Love” was the name of one of their Chinese Assault Rifles. They opened fire on me and The Sergeant as soon as I walked out. Now its time for business, kids. I set a few of them on fire, but quickly decided to change weapons, as it was not nearly as effective as The Terrible Shotgun. Once I swapped, the tree huggers dropped. We killed them all. Except for the leader, who tried to run away. I chased him right out of Oasis, only to find him cowering outside the gate, at the edge of death and begging for mercy. I’m a reasonable man, ladies and gentlemen. I gave him the mercy he so sought. Problem is, much like their guns, “Mercy” is the name of my Flamer. Like many who cross Cool Thomas Jefferson, he was left naked in death so that any who came across his corpse would note his undignified body and smirk (cause people are dicks).
All in all, I think my trip to Oasis was a positive one. I became a godkiller, rid D.C. of all its hippies, and secured the safety of a naturally beautiful little plot of land. I think I’ll turn it into a parking lot.