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Life outside of Chinatown is very odd... but very interesting.

—Zhōu Wěi Gāng

Paper note

These "scribbles" are actually the journal that Zhōu Wěi Gāng kept while on the run from the Shi, at least what survived and was not lost of the wasteland. There are, in fact, written in Mandarin Chinese, so to any common wastelander, the entries look like a lot like illegible chicken scratch. However, to anyone with a translation module on their Pip-Boy or computer – or in the slim chances that someone can read Mandarin – Zhōu's diary becomes readable. The following has been passed through such a translator, and is readable by all... as long as they read English, of course.

May 12, 2242Edit

I have decided to keep this journal to tell my story the way that I lived it. There is no doubt that the Shi have stricken my name from their public records and are keeping my name in government records only until I am caught and executed. Be that as it may, I find it to be necessary to take down my words and my ideas so they might have the chance to be seen by others, should they be destroyed by the Shi. I am not sure why Mǐn intended to murder me, but I can have ideas. Two days ago, an outsider, a tribal came to the palace. He did not look like an immediate threat, but I watched him all the same. He spoke to the Head Adviser for a time. The Brotherhood came up in the discussion. When the tribal left, I could not leave well enough alone and spoke to Mǐn about the Brotherhood. I merely suggested that the Shi and the Brotherhood share common traits; the Brotherhood collect technology and the Shi improve upon technology, so they could be natural allies. I should have suspected something was wrong when Mǐn scowled and sneered at me. I though nothing of it at the time, but I should have known. My instincts were clouded by his friendship.

Later that night, I remembered his sneers and they kept me awake. In the distance I could hear a muffled conversation; it must have been Mǐn and the Head Adviser. They sounded concerned and attempting to hide something. I reached my jian on the table and kept it close to me on the ground and then the talking stopped. I heard the quiet patter of feet approach my door and it slowly and silently slid open. The shine of his steel confirmed my fears and I leapt from the covers. Even if he was intent on murdering me, I could never bring myself to kill one of my own; Mǐn was a Shi, Mǐn was a guard, and above all, Mǐn was my friend. I could not do it. I kicked his jian from his hand and escaped through a window. I ran from Shi Town because I was frightened and confused. I was not thinking, only running. It has been two days and I have only now stopped running. I understand why the Shi are in pursuit of me, but if I was to stop and explain to them, I would fall on deaf ears. They would not listen to me, only to the decree of Ken Lee decree. I fear that if I stop running, my story will end the family name will be forever tarnished. I only seek to redeem the name of family Zhōu. It is a sharp irony that I cannot redeem the name if I stop; I can only succeed if I keep running, but running only tarnishes the name further.

May 25, 2242Edit

I fled around the bay and veered to the north. I have only been running for a couple of weeks, but it feels like months. Should not be surprising; palace guards are not exactly trained to have the endurance for prolonged sprints. I was fortunate to find a mining town where I could stay. They call it Redding. It is much more rustic than Shi Town, but I cannot complain, for it has warm housing and filling food. Life outside Chinatown is very odd... but very interesting. As I write this inside the Malamute Saloon, I am intrigued by how people behave. There are loud drunks blathering about nothing, alluring painted women and dirty miners having what the barmaid calls "drinking contests." I do not understand the appeal of participating in one, but watching one is most entertaining. [The logographs continue, but appear to be water damaged]

May 30, 2242Edit

I now have learned that Redding can be just as dangerous as I thought it would be. Last night, I was enjoying my dinner at the Malamute. A large and smelly brute of a man interrupted me, badgering me for money for another drink. When I told him that he already had had enough to drink, he mocked me for my accent and style of dress and asked for money again, this time more sternly. I declined again and he threw a punch at me. It was fortunate that his drunken stupor did all the work for me. I did not lay a hand on the brute, but he fell over anyway. He may still be on the saloon floor for all I know. Regardless, I am down to my last handful of bottle caps, so I will soon be living on the streets or wandering the wasteland again. We shall see.

July 12, 2242Edit

It has been a long time since I last wrote in this journal. I have been too busy earning bottle caps by doing miscellaneous jobs around Redding, to pay for my shelter. But the jobs stopped coming and I did not have enough bottle caps to continue my stay at the Malamute. I was convinced to guard a caravan transporting gold to a place called Enn-see-arr. I am currently writing this in the wagon of a caravan heading there, and bumpy wasteland does not do good to my calligraphy. I am being promised 2000 Enn-see-arr dollars when we arrive in the city, so I should be able to hide out there for quite while. That is, if the caravan makes it to Enn-see-arr. So far the trip has been quiet but the driver says we should always be looking out for raiders: strange and violent delinquents often under the influence of chemical substances. Such people... [illegible text continues]

July 15, 2242Edit

The driver was right. Our caravan was threatened last night by a group of delinquents asking for a toll of gold to pass through their territory, which they claimed was this wide expanse of wasteland. When I told them to leave, they mocked me for my accent like the brute at the Malamute. When the driver attempted to leave, a raider stood in front of the brahmin. The leader said we had one more chance before things "got ugly." He took out a pistol and aimed it at me, but I kicked it from his hand. Moments later gunfire rang in my ears. One of our guards, Gregory, was killed in the fight. We killed four of the raiders before the other two ran away. I would have rather not killed those men, but it was either my life or theirs. I cannot bring honor back to my family if I am dead.

July 31, 2242Edit

The gold caravan arrived in NCR this morning and I was paid my 2000 NCR dollars plus a 100 dollar bonus for keeping a "cool head". I now understand that NCR is an acronym of 'New California Republic' and the city is not called 'Enn-see-arr' like I thought. It was silly for me to think so, really. NCR looks like a very respectable town. No one has remarked on my accent or foreign clothing. The cost of living here is also favorable, so I should be able to stay in the city for quite a long time, unless Shi spies come looking for me. We shall see.

July 12, 2243Edit

[Pages preceding this entry appear to have fallen out from wear and tear]

I was able to live comfortably in NCR with the help of Anna, but I had to depart the city when I saw a Chinese man asking around the bazaar. He looked inconspicuous to most, but you cannot fool a Shi guard, or a former Shi guard at least. I saw right through his disguise. I promised Anna I would return when I could, but I do not know when that could be; weeks, months, I hope not years. For the time being, I have been heading north until I find a town. I still have some bottle caps left over from the caravan job last year, so I should still be able to pay for food and shelter, if I make it through the wasteland. As I always say, we shall see.

August 1, 2243Edit

I was not made for survival but I suppose if I have lived this long, I must know something. Lizard is not as bad as I thought it would be, but I would rather have the fish back home any day of the week. I feel like a town must be close, I have been traveling almost three weeks and I have come across nothing. I hear scuffles during the night like radscorpions or giant ants but I have yet to see anything. I suppose that is lucky for some, though I can say if I were lucky, I would still be in Shi Town. No use in fretting over the past though, it is passed after all. After breakfast, I will continue north in search of a town. Wish me luck! new

August 14, 2243Edit

I found a town this morning, a place called Broken Hills. It is a mining town much like Redding, except they are harvesting uranium from the earth rather than gold. Not to mention that many of the residents here are extremely mutated. They look like corpses that have not yet decided to stop walking. They may look horrific, but they are actually a very humble and kind people. I shall avoid touching them for fear of disease until a proper doctor deems them safe. Beside the walking corpses, there are also men, I suppose. They are huge, muscular and green. I have never seen such brutes before, but they are a common sight in Broken Hills, even the leader is one. They seem peaceful enough, so I will treat them in kind. Broken Hills appears to be a very honest town, and diversity is welcome. I suppose they will have no problems with a Shi like me living here. That gold caravan money goes a long way.

October 19, 2243Edit

It has been a long time since I have wrote in this journal. I have been too occupied with helping the community in Broken Hills, who have accepted me as one of their own by the way, with the sorting and refining of uranium ore. I may not have liked chemistry in my schooling, but it has most definitely come in handy in this town. Since my last entry, I have learned many things. For one, the "corpses who have not yet decided to stop walking" are called "ghouls" and they are not to be avoided. They have much wisdom from their many years on this Earth and although they may look repulsive, many of them are kind and honest people, always looking to help. I have also learned that the green brutes that hulks around the town are called "super mutants". I suppose "regular mutants" was not extravagant enough for them! I jest, but these mutants are something else. From what I have gathered with conversations with the super mutant mayor, Marcus, all super mutants once belonged to a sinister order, led by something known as The Master. Although a man destroyed The Master many, many decades ago, these mutants still roam the wastes. According to Marcus, most of these super mutants want to put their past behind them, but others want to resurrect his message to the wasteland and exterminate anyone who is not a super mutant. I can only hope I do not meet any of these renegades in my travels. We shall see.

February 14, 2244Edit

I find myself using this old journal less and less and I integrate within communities. However, it is with great sadness that I must leave Broken Hills. I shared my predicament and reasons for flee San Francisco with Marcus and he reacted with sympathy. As such, he warned me when a ghoul told him about a shifty Shi looking around mines. I left immediately, and promised Marcus I would return in happier times. I have headed east and decided to stay in a camp of other wastelands. Who seems to be the leader, John, was very kind and offered me food and bedding, which I gracefully accepted. The others in the camp are telling stories, but I have elected to go to bed early, so I can get a head start on travel tomorrow.

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