I played this game a few days ago. When I used the encounter action, this happened; "There is movement inside the structure. You ready for a fight but relax as a figure appears and hails you with a friendly voice."
I'm on the highway. So how did she get IN there? Ok, what are my options? "Work with her to search for loot." "Kill her." "Ask the stranger to join you."
I'm not good at searching...or killing. But yeah, she can join, sure.
"Reveal assets cards until you find a companion; if you meet its requirements, take that card."
alright, I find a...protectron, and I have the intelligence for it.
To summarize A female protectron crawled out of the highway to search for loot. She decided to join me instead, because I'm slightly smarter than a molerat.