[NU] The Ruins (Ro, Ru, Th 1.0)

edited June 2014 in nupocalypse
You've been in this city for three days. For the most part, it's been quiet — shy of the occasional, but short-lived, bursts of gunfire off in the distance. The city was once a sprawling place filled with life, but now it's simply an empty husk littered with the rubble of rapidly crumbling buildings, and alleyways filled with corpses who couldn't out-run the anomalies. You're on your way out, the city limits about 30 minutes north of your position, but the way you came has suddenly become ... Impassable. It looks like a fighter jet came roaring through here — cars are overturned, building windows are all smashed up, and lamp posts are ripped right out of the ground. It's a far cry from the quiet, abandoned city street you found on the way in...


Robinson, one of your portable anomaly detectors is giving off a faint bleeping sound. There's something nearby — something that wasn't here before. Did you take the Range Rover out here? Or are you relying on Cinch to pick you all up?

Thirds, this marks your second trip out here this month. What did you find two weeks ago that you needed Robinson's help retrieving?

Rue, why did you tag along on Thirds' little outing, Rue?


  • [Rue]

    Been askin myself the same damn thing. Why the hell am I out here on pretty boy's outin? Told myself I oughta come out cuz he said it'd be dangerous, an figgered I'd get some barter outta what scrap he finds. But it's been borin' as all get out.

    Gunfire inna distance means the good shit aint here, most times. Robinson's squealer is goin off, which tells me we came to the wrong place. At the wrong time. And I aint gonna do neither o' these limp dicks no good shootin at anomalies.

    Well, that aint totally true. Some of 'em fall when ya shoot 'em. Some of 'em don't. Coin flip on what happens. O' course, I aint nervous. Even if this hunk o' junk crashes and I gotta walk back, I'll make it back ta Monroe. I always do.

    "Oughta watch yer nine o'clock, Robbie." I tell 'im from the backseat. I'm a helluva backseat driver, I am. I got my right leg up against the back seat where pretty boy's sittin, window down, just in case I gotta wheel up Shelly to pop offa shot. Shelly's my lil girl with a big bite. She's packin' AP ammo and purrs when I squeeze her lil trigger. Best gun the frakkers had. An now it's mine.

    "Hey Thirdie, maybe we'll get some fun after all, yeah?" I say as I nudge the back o' his seat. I like messin with that guy. He's pretty damn good at moving, an I don't mind watchin.
  • Sometimes it makes sense to have Cinch provide a pick-up. Sometimes it's better to have the truck for flexibility's sake. This is one of those times. The torn-up street is enough of a warning that Robinson stops the Range Rover with lots of room to spare. This street wasn't like this on the way in. Change is bad.

    "A moving one," Robinson mutters, as if to himself, glancing left to check his nine o'clock on Rue's instruction. "I'll have a look. Probably best to go around."

    The "one" in this case is an anomaly, a big and violent one. Looks like some sort of gravitational disruption. He once saw a man walk into a grav bubble maybe the size of a baseball. It sucked him into its orbit with enough force to snap his leg, grabbed onto him and kept pulling until he was a big red stain. Ugly things. Usually pretty easy to detect- you can see the space around them, curving and pulsing. It's the ones that relocate that are scary and, thankfully, rather rare.

    He takes the detector that is resting on the dash, turns off the engine and steps out of the vehicle. A mass of metal- like, say, an aluminum-bodied Range Rover- can interfere with the proper operation of the device. Holding it in front of him, he takes a few cautious steps away from the truck, frowning at its simple display, a 180 degree arc in front of him.

    (I wonder if it's more appropriate to consider this device "reading the sitch" or "opening your brain"?)
  • [Thirds]

    Electric Water Heater.

    Sounds delicious, doesn't it? Say it again with me. Electric. Water. Heater. A decent size, too. Look at it. Total pain in the ass to find. Lotsa gas ones. A whole lotta gas ones, which don't help because we got the wrong kinda gas or something. I know we can't fart into it. Some're too big for the car. Some're busted. I know what to look for. Check seams and pipes, that kinda thing. Been looking a while now.

    Electric Water Heater.

    Bit of a target, though. Tarps and blankets only do so much. Rue's a bit of a bitch. Keep her on the right side of a gun. Honest when you pay her. Do just fine. Legs go all the way up, too.

    What else I got? Hot water not good enough for you? Got lucky a while back, don't you know. Found a big box of comics and porn one time. Stashed it good, but too much to carry all at once. Been takin' a backpacks-full each pass. Worth a barter or so out if you dole it slow. Fresh porn and comics? Farmers, townies, raiders... hells yeah, even if you can't read.

    Oh, and drinking water. Never can carry too much water. Fill your bottle when you can. Fancy one broke months ago. This is a regular thermos bottle.

    I look out the window. Robinson doing this thing. "Maybe, Rue." I peer out the windows. Checking the three. And the six. And the nine. And the twelve. I should say something else. "Um. You bored?"
  • [Rue]

    Thirds looks back at me with them eyes o' his. We're sittin in the middle o Anom City with Robbie, the frakkin driver, on walkabout with his hoozits talkin all his mumbo jumbo and I'm makin eyes at the one fella that can outrun me. The hell I am.

    I look away first. Glance out the window. Check for... somethin other than gawkin. "Yeah, Thirdie. I'm itchin fer a fight with haints n spooks."

    Damn it all, I'm getting itchy an twitchy now. He's still lookin, I'm damn sure he is. Not like there's anythin to look at, me bein all skin n bones. He's just showin me them pretty eyes to make me get squirrely. Frak, it's workin.

    I sit up, real quick, open up the door and hitch up Shelly, "Gonna keep an eye on Robbie's six. Stay put, Thirdie, may need ya to drive, see?" I'm walkin round back o' the truck, then comin up behind Robbie, lookin for what's what.

    Could be helpin ole Robbie Read the Sitch, if he wants.
  • [Thirds]

    Drive? Me? My eyebrows about walk off my head. I can drive. I'm not Cinch. Dunno what's out there. Rue seems spooked. Not good.

    "Okie doke...?" Sidle over to the other seat. Start the engine. Turn off the music. Buckle my seat belt.
  • Robinson, I suppose that depends. Are you trying to learn something about the anomaly? Or figure out how to navigate this situation? If it's the former, open your brain. If it's the latter, read a sitch.

    Rue, you can hear something in the distance. It's impossible to make out exactly which way it's coming from, thanks to the buildings, or what it is just yet... Just a muffled grumble somewhere nearby. Clear as day once you step out of the car.
  • The wheeze of a starter and the Range Rover shudders to life behind Robinson, only moments after he shut off the engine. He turns, pivoting at the hip half-incredulous, and fixes Thirds with a stare like he's just spit in the soup.

    "Turn it off," he says firmly, "and get out of my seat."

    He notes Rue has disembarked, too. Looks on-edge.

    "Never mind. Don't turn it off," he says to Thirds.

    Maybe the walls are closing in sooner than he thought. Some unfriendlies, or the earth herself determined to swallow them up? Badness abounds.

    Another step forward. He has the detector in his left hand. He's staring into the little monochrome monitor on the device as it triangulates any environmental threats that are out of the ordinary, glancing back up at the street to corroborate. The detector works instantly: it's the interpretation of its input that takes work.

    Strictly speaking, it's a navigational device, not an analytical one. So it makes sense to be reading the sitch:
    (Rolled: 2d6. Rolls: 1, 1. Total: 2)
  • Robinson, et al: just as your device starts getting a real reading, the noise in the distance becomes clear... A huge yellow box truck comes careening around the corner at top speed just to the east of you. You watch as it lifts off the inner wheels, hovers for a minute, and then comes crashing back down to the ground. Goods fly out the back as the truck swerves violently, skidding on some water that must have gotten spilled out of a fire-hydrant when the anomaly came through, and slams directly into an overturned Grand Caravan.

    Glass from the windshield goes flying as the driver clears the minivan, and skids to a bloody stop ten feet from the wreckage... You hear frantic screaming from the truck, and disoriented men scramble to retrieve the goods as a woman in the passenger seat screams at them to ignore it and help her start the truck.

    From the sound of the engine, and the beat-down look of that frame, you know they aren't going anywhere — but then, one of them spots the three of you when his world stops spinning, and points you out to his crew... He starts jogging towards you as fast as his legs will carry him, screaming, "Hey! Hey guys, check it out!"

    They all turn to look at you, and drop what they're doing to follow their friend.

    What do you do?
  • [Thirds]

    Always wear your seatbelt.

    Rue shooting and Robinson frozen? Not yet. Not going to leave them. Curious about the goods in the truck. Wondering what they are running from. Happy Robbie's jeep is better than theirs.

    How many? They look armed? I roll down my widow. Anybody behind me? Make sure the doors are unlocked if clear.
  • There's a whole lot going on that makes the savvyhead wonder. Who are they that they're traveling in a truck like that? Why were they traveling at that ridiculous speed? What kind of panic are they in that they would run headlong at a group of armed strangers?

    Most pressingly, though: if his detector is right, those people could be running into a tear in reality that'll, at best, throw them into the air like ragdolls, and at worst rip their bodies to pieces.

    Deep breath: "STOP," Robinson shouts.

    If that's not enough to dissuade them, this example should: he picks up a nearby piece of debris, say a brick or a good-sized chunk of concrete, and hurls it in the most likely direction of an anomaly.

  • edited June 2014

    Stop, he sez. Hell far, I got a stopper in my hands that's much more effective than bein polite. I bring Shelly up to fire from my hip, an I squeeze out three shots inna ground in front o' where this a-hole is comin at us. I don't gotta shoot the fella, but I will if he don't hold up. I'll put a bullet between his eyes if he makes me.

    No, I aint showin off fer Thirdie.
  • edited June 2014
    Thirds, there are five of them — well, four if you don't count the bloodied man twitching on the pavement, but he's not really moving much — and you know that anyone in the city is carrying a weapon. They don't have it out and showing, but that just means they're probably small... knives, brass knuckles, maybe one or two of them have a pistol...

    All, the young woman getting out of the truck is dark skinned, and thin from years of eating scrounged goods. A cut on her forehead is bleeding pretty profusely, and she's chasing after the leader of the pack screaming, "Mimi! Mimi! Would you pay the fuck attention to ... Hey! Fuck off and stop already!" You recognize her as Matilda — one of the scavs that frequent Monroe with an unusually large collection of goods. The men she's with are her retinue.

    Unfortunately, Mimi is running on adrenaline, and he isn't listening to her... Rue, let's see a Go Aggro to stop these fuckers in their tracks.

    Left to right: Matilda, Mimi, Big Ed, H.
  • [Rue]

    Going Aggro:
    (Rolled: 2d6+3. Rolls: 3, 1. Total: 7)

    (+1 XP)
  • [Thirds]

    I know her. That's Matilda. She's okay. What a haul. I check through the other window. Just in case. Mimi really should listen to Rue. Don't run them over. Robbie's make you clean the guts off the car.
  • The gunshots echo through the streets in quick succession, and Mimi stops hard, pulling back away from the ricochets, screaming, "Holy fuck!" He holds his hands up, nice and slow, and his buddies follow suit. "Hey, man! We're just fuckin' tryin' to get outta here!"

    Matilda comes up behind him nice and slow, grabs his shoulder, and looks over to the lot of you, "Rue? Robinson? We don't want any trouble — we just wanna get out of here." She points back over her shoulder, "There's a fuckin' anomaly back there like I ain't ever seen. We don't want any trouble... We just wanna get out of here. You've got plenty of room in that truck, right Robinson?"

    So you're aware: most of the stuff that came off their truck was big — boxes and crates of stuff that won't fit in the back of your truck with passengers... But leaving her stuff here would leave Matilda and her gang with nothing.

    What do you do?
  • [Rue]

    I ignore the runner an lookit Tilda, "Whadda ya payin fer transport out?" I aint lowered Shelly from my hip. We could just as easy take their shit, an they know it.
  • [Thirds]

    Shut off the engine. Monkey out the window. It's a smooth motion. Checking out their van, their stuff. Gonna be hard get everyone back. All the stuff, too. Maybe if we get real cozy. I mutter to Robbie, Rue. "I can ride on top. We get first pick?" Don't want to leave people to anomaly. Not running a charity.
  • Robinson, As it just so happens, that brick you threw wavered only slightly in flight... like a basketball player hanging unnaturally long in the air during a shot. There's obviously something here, but it's not an immediate danger to you.

    All, Mimi's expression drops to shock when Rue asks what they're paying for transport out... Matilda's brow furrows, and she takes a few steps forward, "pick from our stash when you get us back home safely. Not a thing more, or sooner."
  • [Rue]

    Good enough for me. I look over at Thirdie. Robbie's busy playin with his hoozits machine.
  • [Thirds]

    Not sure why Mimi looks shocked. Do Rue have history with Mimi? Maybe that's why she's skittish. Or the anomaly.

    Tilly's offer seems fair. I look at Rue, nod. "Robbie? Your car." Your rules implied there.

    Makes sense to load up quick and motor. Me up top fua sho. Rue probably with that gun she loves. Looking for fun. I bounce on my feet a little, ready to haul.

    Nervous energy.
  • edited June 2014
    Plenty of room in the truck?

    "Not THAT much," Robinson says, unenthusiastic.

    Not everyone will fit, meaning the truck will be overloaded or limited to a walking pace; beyond that, Robinson is fairly selective about who he'll work with, and that display of carelessness has seriously killed his appetite for associating with these people. They were running from the anomaly? What's the hurry? It's not like they chase people. It suggests to him that there's something they're keeping hidden.

    "I'll give you a ride out. I'm not hauling all of that loot. Bring what's critical- what'll fit on top- and stash the rest in one of these buildings. Come back for it when you can."

    Three in the back seat, one riding shotgun, Thirds on the roof rack with some of the cargo, and probably someone riding the back bumper. It'll be awkward, and he won't outright abandon them here, but Robinson doesn't feel any compulsion to risk the trip for the sake of someone else's scavenging haul.
  • edited June 2014
    Robinson, Mimi doesn't like that answer — in fact, he looks nervous about it. He grunts back, "so you get a big-ass truck with some ... Izat a water heater? You get a water heater, and we've gotta leave all our shit out here for some other fuckin' scav — or you — to come back and get?" He looks back to Matilda and shakes his head. "You go back with H... Me and Big Ed'll stay behind and watch the shit."

    All, Matilda bites her lip, and looks back to the truck impatiently... You get the impression that if she leaves her stuff here unattended, she wouldn't be much better off back home. "I don't suppose you could switch out the water heater for some of my goods? Or at least help us move some of our stuff to a safer place a block or two away first?"
  • edited June 2014

    I give Mimi a level stare, "The one with the guns make the rules." I aint gonna budge, this is already a raw frakkin deal. "Or, y'all can walk to wherever." I swear by all that's holey, Ima gonna cap this a-hole.
  • edited June 2014

    I shake my head, once. "Spent too long looking." Not leaving the water heater. It goes to Monroe. I look at Robbie, Rue. I hold my hands open. Look at Tilly. "Mebbe I can rig the truck. Make it go."
  • Rue, Mimi narrows his eyes at you. As if it could be any less obvious that he doesn't like you.

    Thirds, Matilda's mostly watching Robinson, but your comment has her attention... She breaks eye contact with him long enough to answer, "yeah? How quick you think you can swing it?"
  • [Rue]

    "Robbie," I ask, not takin my eyes off Mimi. That frakker's got my stink eye goin. Ima gonna shoot his ass any minute now. "Got any Anoms close by? Feels like we're wastin time jawin when we oughta be movin."
  • [Thirds]

    "Dunno." I want Rue & Robbie to get. Move that damned water heater. I can always catch up. I wanna know what they got. Where they got it.

    I look at Rue, nodding agreement. Don't want anomalies.
  • edited June 2014

    "So you get a big-ass truck with some ... Izat a water heater? You get a water heater, and we've gotta leave all our shit out here for some other fuckin' scav — or you — to come back and get?"

    "Uh, yeah," Robinson says, like, no shit. If they didn't want to leave stuff behind they should have been more careful with it. In a threat-filled environment like this, Robinson drives his Range Rover at a crawl. For them to have rolled a cube van is patently ridiculous, and he finds it increasingly wondrous that Matilda's crew have enjoyed success- or something like it- for so long if they're so liable to panic. "You want a way out, you're welcome. I can take a crate or two. Otherwise-" he shrugs.

    It doesn't seem like Rue is very fond of them, and Robinson gets a feeling that it's either move along or she's going to start shooting. Though he could be of help repairing their truck, he's inclined to get moving, and on Rue's question he glances down at the detector again."There's a little residual weirdness in the street. Nothing dangerous right now."

    He inches toward his truck, addresses Matilda: "You want us to haul something out to Monroe, you're welcome to secure it to the roof rack."
  • [Thirds]

    I glance at the roof rack. Water heater plus me. Not much room for their crap. "Let's see that truck." I look at Rue, watch my back.
  • [Rue]

    Robbie sayin it aint so bad lets me ratchet it down a tick. Still ticked off at a-hole, but no reason to waste bullets. Then Thirdie goes all Samaritan on them, and I'm thinkin this is a waste of time. Maybe he'll leverage fer jingle, maybe this is some frakkin charity case?

    I'll get me mine, that's that. But fer now, I'll ease Shelly down so she's pointin to the ground. I speak at Matilda, "You wanna move shit to the truck, then startin pickin what goes."
  • edited June 2014
    Thirds, Matilda considers your offer for a bit and says, "deal. Mimi, Big Ed and me will stay behind and watch your back. Lemme see if Rob will take back some of our scav."

    Robinson, Matilda turns to you after a moment and and says, "H here will pack up two of our boxes, and unload them. You get your pick of shit once he's unloaded it — one crate for the two of you." That's about 1-barter to split. "That square?"

    Rue, Mimi is watching you closely, and he whispers something in his ear before Matilda calls back to them both, "H, get the shit." Then H silently, and dutifully goes about collecting two of the boxes from the back of their truck.
  • edited June 2014
    "Square," Robinson says.

    More than square. He doesn't mind at all to be taking a box or two, or a passenger or two. It was the idea of piling everything on and taking on their risks, accordingly, that he had balked at.

    He reaches into the Range Rover, puts the detector back on the top of the dash. While H is packing the stuff up, he might as well have a glance at Matilda's crew's truck, see if he can offer any insight on getting it running again. He leans over, looking into the wheel wells. Tie rods? Control arms? Any fluids under the vehicle? Hmm... maybe best to have a look under the hood.

    Thirds, note that Robinson has Things Speak ("how do I fix this") and Oftener Right; i.e. you can ask him for advice regarding the truck and take +1 if you follow that advice.
  • Robinson, Matilda nods in agreement, and motions for everyone to get to work, leaving you to your business.

    Thirds, then Matilda nods to you, and motions for you to follow her over to the truck. She seems anxious to get going.

    What do you do?
  • [Thirds]

    I look to Robinson. "Wotcher reckon?" Meaning the truck. I hope for just body damage. Maybe a loose hose. They say these cars used to crash into each other all the time. I've seen plenty in the city. Highways, too. Some still have keys and gas and battery and go.

    I got my pack in place. My sawedoff slung in its holster. Still looking all about. Ready to move.
  • edited June 2014
    "Well," Robinson says.

    He doesn't continue the sentence, instead lifting the truck's crumpled hood and peering around inside. Everything on the front of the engine- radiator and cooling, belts and pulleys- might have suffered in the collision. The impact might have damaged motor mounts, jostled the engine around, bending or knocking off other parts as it shifted.

    A look over his shoulder: how is H getting along? He doesn't want to hold things up. But examining their truck also lets Robinson get some insight on Matilda's crew. Here's how.

    He leans over the truck, brow furrowed, stares hard into the darkness of the engine bay. Things speak. Spend enough time with them and one begins to sense that even the inanimate is caught up in the maelstrom of wrongness shrouding the world. That maelstrom radiates back out, infused with the memories of metal, of rubber, of glass. That's what it's like: a half-remembered dream you never had.
  • edited June 2014
    Things Speak: (Rolled: 2d6+2. Rolls: 5, 6. Total: 13)
  • The most pressing question is: what’s wrong with this, and how might I (or Thirds) fix it?

    But also, what happened in the moments leading up to their appearance here: what strong emotions have been most recently nearby this? What words have been said most recently nearby this?
  • edited June 2014
    Robinson, there's a lot wrong with this truck. It's been neglected for a long, long time, and it's in need of more than some minor repairs — and that was before the crash. Now, there's a busted fan-belt that'll need replacing, the radiator is bent, and stress fractures in the metal will eventually render it inoperable. Of course, your examinations brought you away from the engine as well, and that's where the real story is...

    The sheer state of their driving, and the stress they put on the engine tells you the people using this were scared out of their minds... That'd happen in the presence of an anomaly, but the bullet scoring in the back of the truck, and the sides say something else was at play.

    Furthermore, there's a fist mark on the steering wheel — somebody was recently making a very important point. Flashes of an argument in this very cab run through your mind. You can hear Matilda's driver's voice,"I told you Stopsign would fuck us over, and you didn't listen! We're fucked now! I want out, Matilda! I want out, and I want my fuckin' cut!"

    There's a pregnant pause, and you can feel Matilda glaring at him, before she mutters, "Stopsign's a fucking dead man, and if you don't have the stomach for the work anymore. I'll find someone with some balls who knows opportunity when they see it. You just... Fuck, Trip, look out!!!"

    And that's when the truck came around the corner.

    Who's Stopsign, Robinson?
  • edited June 2014

    Stopsign gets around, mostly appearing at the landmarks, lean-tos and crossroads where travelers tend to meet, rest, and trade news. He's a rumor-monger and sometimes opportunist. Robinson doesn't know him too well: he once bought some water from him, and has had Stopsign try to convince him to investigate this lead or work for this guy or that. Typically to no avail: again, Robinson has a sense for fools. He's a bit of a fool himself; no need for another to send him astray.

    Suppose Stopsign fancies himself a power-broker. Certainly fits with Robinson's feeling that he set Matilda's crew up with something over their heads.

    The truck suffers mostly from lack of maintenance. Made the damage much worse than it had to be. "Serpentine belt's done, and the radiator's broken. That means no fan, no water pump, and you're going to be leaking fluids. Fast. Replace the belt, or find some other way to keep the engine cool. Then it'll maybe- maybe- get you out of here, but this thing has seen so much neglect I wouldn't count on more than that."
  • [Thirds]

    Thumbs-up, Robinson.

    Not so bad. Just get her rolling. I look at Till's crew, really Big Ed. Dude that size... "Borrow yer belt?" Decent leather belt, fake a engine one. Busted radiator a different story. I scratch my head. Amble to the crates of shit. Ask Tilly, "Or bubble gum?" Don't laugh. It only needs to go a few miles, right? Or dump water over the block. Waste of good drinking water. Piss on it maybe? Nah, hot piss stinks too much.
  • [Robinson]


    "And be careful," he adds.

    He returns to the Range Rover, studies Rue's face briefly, and is ready to go when H is.
  • [Rue]

    I catch Robbie lookin back at me, an I give im a nod. It's like "I aint lovin this job, but I aint causin trouble if y'all wanna be frakkin idiots". I get paid either way.

    Besides, I'm purty sure a-hole's gonna end up shot anyhow.

    An no, I wasn't starin at Thirdie's backside.
  • Robinson & Rue, go here.

    Thirds, Big Ed pauses a second when you ask for his belt, answering, "You think I'm gunna run 'round with my pants down by my fuckin' ankles? Shit son! Fuck no! Mimi, go check the fuckin' boxes for somethin' leathery."

    If you want to roll Good Enough! go for it now. It'll probably take you a while to get this thing up and running though... At least a couple of hours.
  • [Thirds]

    Seems fair. I spend a few hours. I get a stash pick, maybe a hint from Tilly. Bit of goodwill, maybe. Rue and Robinson get the electric water heater back to Monroe. So two weeks payoff at least.

    I pull out my multitool and get to work.
  • [OOC, Good enough! roll+sharp. Marking XP.]
    (Rolled: 2d6+3. Rolls: 6, 3. Total: 12)

  • Good enough!: when you try to repair something, roll+sharp. On a 10+, choose 3. On a 7-9, choose 1:
    it'll work more than once or twice
    you don't cause serious long-term damage to it
    you don't take -1forward with it 'cause it's crap
    you don't have to strip something else for parts

    [OOC: Multitool gives an extra pick. So all four?]

  • The sun starts setting behind the buildings on the horizon when the truck finally lurches back to life. It sounds like shit, and you don't know exactly how much longer it'll run on its own — but it is running, and other than the obscene amount of wear and tear the truck has, it should get you all home.

    Matilda and her gang were on edge, getting the goods back into the truck as they waited for you to finish. Mimi was watching you closely the whole time. You know there are people out in the ruins, even if you don't run into them very often — why do you stay clear of them most days?
  • edited June 2014

    Reckon this'll be worth it a little. They got stuff, I don't have to find. Not as exciting. This how Robinson feels? Folk commat you with problems? I gotta move, though. Get bored staying in one place. They say if'n you sit still long enough, every body you know will come by. I'd rather go out and see.

    I try to sound friendly. Ish. Just people. Doing stuff, getting stuff. "Truck'll go, Matildas. Whatcha got I can carry?" I got a hinky feeling. Always good to be light on your feet. Fast. Don't have to be anoms. Could be raiders. Or bears. Or packs of wild dogs. Or that sex cult. Those Highwaymen. Weird people, regular people. I'm not good with people. Probably why... Monroe. I can't even don't look Tildy in the face much long. Awkward. That's me.

    Not ignoring Mimi. Just. Tilly in charge here. I think.

    Did they do anything for their dead friend?
  • Mimi doesn't care that you're ignoring him. Matilda comes around once you've got the truck running and eyes you up and down when you ask what she's got that you can carry. "You can have a look once we're out of here. I don't want this piece of shit falling apart with us half-way out of the city, and you gone. I've got a few camping supplies, some bullets... Whatever the hell you want." Mimi comes up behind you, and puts a hand on your shoulder... It's not exactly reaffirming. Matilda continues, "That fair?"

    The upward inflection at the end seems to imply that was a question... But make no mistake, the look on her face says it all: payment happens when they get safely out of the city.

    What do you do?
  • [Thirds]

    I shrug off Mimi's hand. "No touchee, gorgeous." A little frowny at him. But Monroe has the water heater. I can walk on this deal.

    "Tills, not fair an you know it. But let's roll." And I'll monkey up to sit on the roof. Feet touching the cab.

    I like wind in my hair.
  • Mimi smirks when you shrug his hand off. He was looking for a reaction, and he got it. Matilda lets you climb up onto the roof, and motions for Big Ed and Mimi to follow. Mimi was in the car when Big Ed came up to the driver-side window and asked Matilda, "we just gunna leave him?"

    Matilda nods, "you feel like lugging a rotting corpse back home? What're we gunna do? let his piss and shit get into the well water?"

    Big Ed shrugs, and walks over to the fallen driver. By now, all the blood on his corpse has dried, and flies are circling around him. Big Ed bows his head, and makes his way back to the truck. He doesn't say anything as he climbs in the box. Well, nothing other than, "let's go then."

    The truck slowly shifts into gear, and crawls up the street in the direction Robinson and Rue went earlier. After a 20 minute drive through the winding streets, the damage done by the travelling anomaly starts to taper off, and you get the distinct impression that someone is watching you... The streets are quiet, but the sunlight spilling in through the cracks in the buildings keeps the path well lit.

    Any conversation on the road?
  • [Thirds]

    I like the wind in my hair. Feels good to be moving again. I bop along, humming my own tune. From here, I can see the horizon. Or ambush. Is anything following us? Pretty sunset.

    I lean over and duck my head in the passenger window. Latch my toes on something. Steady. Whoever's there, H maybe, or Big Ed, "Not sure this truck gonna make part two. If there's more. Back where ya found it all."

  • Mimi is in the passenger seat when you lean down. He's got his eyes peeled when you start talking, but you can tell he doesn't understand what you said... "Whadaya mean? You sayin' the truck's gunna break down again?" That's when an arrow comes flying through the air, and nicks your leg against the roof of the cab. No serious bleeding, but that was frigging close. The loud thwack of the arrow on the hood of the truck draws the attention of Matilda and Mimi in a heart-beat, but they don't react right away.

    What do you do?
  • [Thirds]

    Don't care about a second scav run right now- finish the first! A quick glance at the arrow — homemade or machined or...? — then I flip over, get my feet on the running board, passenger side by Mimi. I'm alongside the cab for better cover. I scan up ahead, over the cab, then in the mirror behind. Where'd they shoot from? Are there more?
  • edited June 2014
    Sounds like you're reading the Sitch Thirds. Hit the dice.
  • [OOC: Read the Sitch. Roll+sharp. Marking XP.
    (Rolled: 2d6+3. Rolls: 5, 5. Total: 13)
  • edited June 2014
    • which enemy is the biggest threat?
    • what should I be on the lookout for?
    • what’s my enemy’s true position?
  • Thirds, as far as you can tell, there's only the one person here... I mean, if there were more, why would they bother hitting you? They'd be trying to immobilize the truck, right? If you had to guess, he's probably up on that roof to the west of you, using the setting sun for cover. He is by far the biggest threat here, because anyone brave enough to come out here alone probably has contingency plans... Traps, ambush points, escape routes... Hey! You should be on the lookout for them!

    A moment passes, like he's waiting for the opportunity to fire off another shot. What do you do?
  • [Thirds]

    "Brakes!" Shouted to Mattie, there's maybe caltrops or worse ahead. Not enough bubblegum to replace the tires. I point in the direction of the sniper to Mimi, "Hopefully just arrows. The truck's cover enough." I'll scamper along back on that side of the truck, keeping my feet off the ground just in case. Thump back at the rear doors to H and Big Ed. "Gotta joker with bow-and-arrows. Heads up!" I wonder if there's a good way up there? Maybe they gotta nest with some keeper gear. I check behind me, too.
  • The truck squeals loudly as Matilda slams her foot on the brakes, and you're forced into the back end of the truck as it slows to a stop. The streets are silent, with the exception of the idling truck. Matilda yells back into the box of the truck. "Don't let nobody in! You hear me Big Ed? Mimi, take cover! I got my gun out!"

    You spot a narrow alleyway just up ahead that you could probably shimmy up, if you were quick enough to get to it. It's a long ass run, but at least it would spare you having to go up whatever prepared funhouse he's got leading up to his position. You'd be exposed for the whole run; but if you can do it quickly enough, he won't even get a shot off before you're in cover.

    What do you do?
  • [Thirds]

    I bounce a couple times, like before you'd go into a water dive. One giant deep breath. Then I leap down and sprint for the alley like zoom. Arms and legs pumping. Quicksilver, a little zig and a lotta zag. Go, baby.
  • Act Under Fire to cross the distance, Thirds.
  • [OOC, AUF, roll+cool, marking XP.]
    (Rolled: 2d6+1. Rolls: 2, 4. Total: 7)
  • Thirds, everything's going according to plan. You bolt for the alleyway at full tilt, and you can practically feel the bugger bearing down on you. The problem is, when you turn the corner, there's a metal gate blocking your egress... You aim to kick it open, but it doesn't budge... Rusted shut. You can go to climb it, but you know the asshole on the roof will get a shot off first... It'll hurt, but you'll definitely have the drop on them. At least a chance to catch them.

    If you keep moving, say to the little house of horrors they've set up for you, you'll likely get out unscathed (since you know to expect trouble in there) — but they'll probably be long gone by the time you get up to the roof.

    What's it going to be, Thirds?
  • [Thirds]

    I want this guy. I don't want him bad enough to get proper shot. Gotta stay mobile. Can't be laid up. First kick is no good? The second kick and I bounce off the rusted gate and spin-turn against the building, to cover. Looking up a little to see, just in case.

    I take the safer path.

    This time.
  • edited June 2014
    Thirds, by the time you get up there, the rooftop is empty — but a second arrow comes speeding into the door beside your head, just narrowly missing your face. The shot was dead on, which means you know roughly where they are — but then, they know where you are. That was a warning shot. You can already see someone in a black hoodie bolting across the rooftops away from you.

    What do you do?
  • [Thirds]

    Not thinking. Got momentum and about to leap. To follow. But STOP, skidding like brakes. Watch 'em go. I got a nick, sure it stings, had worse. I got two arrows. Hey, free barter. They're on the run. They any good at roof runnin'? They leave anything else behind? I'll looksee.

    I bet that would be a good race, too. I hop from foot to foot. Limber.

    I could leave them four cheats. But then I'd have to camp here. Spend all day tomorrow walking back.
  • The figure leaps over a huge AC unit, and drops down off the far edge of the rooftops into unknown territory. They're gone... Whoever they were.

    A quick survey of the area didn't reveal much in the way of personal effects, but you certainly find the traps they left behind... A couple of trip-wires on hand-made frag grenades — tin cans filled with forks, knives, scissors and the like — and bear traps. You've encountered this kind of hardware before, and definitely heard the rumors. Matilda, and other scav operations have mentioned them around many a campfire. A girl named Sun. She's usually out on her own, but she's been known to run with one of the raiding groups here that took over a military-run shelter deeper in the city.

    Matilda won't go anywhere near the place. Why are they so scary, Thirds?
  • [Thirds]

    Yup. Glad as hell I didn't go chase. I put my foot in the wrong roof-spot, might lose it. No doubt she knows the safe spots. Another time. I'll update my maps on the drive back. I don't want to touch the claymores. Liable to go boom if you move em. But I can cut the tripwire, spray some bright orange arrows to warn the next schmuck. Safe, careful. The bear traps, different story. If they not staked down, hit 'em with a bit of wood or pipe, drop 'em down. Not gonna spend too much time. Hey, free barter.

    I'll whistle down to the truck, couple sharp notes. Give 'em a thumbs-up anna big okay sign, like all clear.

    Looking at that tin can says FOLGERS. It's full of death. I make sure Mimi and Big Ed are clear, toss down a trap. Watch it fall and whump on the overgrowth. Almost lost from the eyes like that. Different kinda death. Kinda hope Sun's not running with them. Military fetish folk be crazy. A breath away from neonazis. Extremist types. Not sure how a pretty girl like her make it. Sun's tough.
  • Thirds, sounds like you're a little fond of Sun... I might be imagining things though. Matilda and Mimi watch you carefully as you scour the place for traps, clearing it out to make it safe... It takes you a good 20 minutes to clear the place up entirely. Matilda comes in after you just as your finishing up, "hey Thirds... It's getting late. We don't normally drive through the night. People get tired, and make mistakes. You know a place nearby we can set up camp or something?"
  • edited June 2014

    Sun's pretty. And good. People imagine stuff all the time. So?

    I know, Mattie. Been thinking about this for a piece. I nod. "Bout two miles upda road to Monroe, Nash Park. There's fishing maybe in Dundee." Plenty places the water's no good round here. The wrong crick will kill ya dead as a bullet, maybe faster, maybe slower.
  • Matilda nods and motions for you to join her in the truck. If you have no objections, they'll ride up to your campsite, and set up for the night. What's your nightly ritual like? Do you camp with these folks, or find a place for yourself?
  • [Thirds]

    I'll ride shotgun this time. Basically playing navigator. Window down, you know it. Hand in the breeze like a kid, thinking.

    Nash Park's got open space, sort of. Trees slowly taking over baseball fields. But still room to drive in, hide some. I'm not so good fishing. I'll try, maybe get lucky. Someone can come along if they like.

    On walkabout like this, with them, I sleep different. Always gotta be ready to go-go-go in moments. I got a little bedroll, nothing fancy. Sometimes I use my boots as a pillow. Not now. I do my stretches, some fluid slow motions. Wind down. Keep limber. Relax. Takes a little bit, totally worth it. See to the cut on my leg, just check it. Wash my face, hands. I'd like to do the rest. Not gonna strip to the buff and get left, though. I look at the river and think about that electric water heater. Back in Monroe. Still got time to check my suit, maybe sew a loose bit here or there.

    I want to sleep alone, up high. Maybe inna tree or onna roof. Something changes my mind. Traveled a fair piece with these four. I sleep by them, by the fire. Take my turn on watch.
  • The night passes without any further incidents beyond a minor scare when Big Ed thinks he spots something by some trashcans... Turned out to be a raccoon. The next day, you all load back into the truck, and finish the slow trip back to Monroe... The truck is crawling along at a snail's pace thanks to its messed up radiator.

    At least it's running though, right?
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