I decided to try to fix the issue with the NCCS companions getting shelled at Nellis even when the player has done made friendly like.
Nailed it on the first try, and without touching a single base game object or script. Damn, I'm good sometimes.
However, the game continues to perplex me in ways no other game ever has. It's just so... badly made.
After the test at Nellis, we were walking back out across the bomb range, when the companions crashed. Nose dive into the fucking pavement from thirty thousand feet crash.
Now, I'd chalk this up to some unreported error in my new companion script... except that Veronica was in my party at the time, and she crashed too.
Wouldn't follow, couldn't be talked to... they just stood there.
To the apparent credit of my scripting skills, two of my three NCCS companions recovered on their own after a couple minutes, and began functioning properly again. The third and Veronica never did.
I haven't seen this sort of NPC behavior in a couple patches now. I guess Obsidian really isn't capable of taking a step forward without two back.
Tried waiting, tried fast travel, tried combat; nothing snapped the two statues out of it. Finally, I just closed the game in disgust. Without saving.
I remember in one of the first versions of NCCS, back before FNV had been patched at all, I used to run into similar issues. When it happened, it would infect any subsequent saves; requiring a clean save to fix. Of course, one can not clean save Veronica... so I'm not sure what the fix would be there; short of breaking out the feathered headdress and going looking for a virgin to sacrifice to the Old Ones from beyond the stars.
My game is up over 75 hours now, so all bets are probably off on this sort of thing... but it's still immensely frustrating -- not being able to cleanly separate what's a mod issue that I need to fix, and what's just shitty coding on the part of the slack bastards who got paid to turn out this half-finished game. Fuck, I've played Alpha builds less unstable than this...
About all I can do is fire the game up again, and see if the issue manifests again. If it does, I get to try the new game approach.
Y'know, one of these days I'm going to go apply for an EOD job. At least then there'd be something to look forward to in life.