[Snowpocalypse] Can't Wash it Off (R 5.6)

edited May 2014 in Snowpocalypse

Jester was quiet the whole way back across the lake. Sure, he responded when you spoke to him, but otherwise, he was lost in thought. Silica and Hadden rode close by, Sil even pointed out a few spots to avoid, helping out in her own way.

You got back to the Crossover flats in tact, late afternoon. Snow's coming down heavy, but the lava pit is still warm in comparison. Crossover is hot enough to make a person sweat now, and it's gotten pretty popular for it. Invert was waiting for you, led you and Jester into the set of old, broken down basement offices where they set up shop.

"Other than Arbor, and the guys we left at the sub, most of them are holed up here." Invert says as you enter the hallway. "Amp Heads'll come around every day or so for jingle, but as long as we got stuff to trade, we're alright to chill. There's a washroom down the hall, but we gotta melt ice for the water. Doesn't take long in here." Invert's wearing, of all things, a dress. The kind you can just pull over your head, goes halfway down her thighs. She looks smaller, almost cute. Except she's got that shiv hidden somewhere, you're sure.

Jester doesn't even notice her. He heads into the first room with a bed, starts to pull off clothes to lay down. Invert asks while you're in the hallway (there are four others in the hall, just sitting on their asses resting), "Everything alright? I thought you were in Red Brick?" She sees your ring, and her eyes widen.


  • I'm looking around the little setup Invert's got going here as she explains what she's been up to, nodding when appropriate, and watching Jester disappear into his room. I feel like my stomach just tied itself into a knot... I knew I shouldn't have brought Jester along. I started fiddling with the ring on my finger, staring off into space, and that probably drew Invert's attention to my hand... I shouldn't have taken my gloves off. Fuck. I catch her eyes widening out of the corner of my eye, and I cross my arms reflexively...

    "We were... Then I got this sinking fucking feeling my sister was back home. I made the trek with Jester, and had to deal with my asshole of a dad." I pause, "well, he was an asshole. Now he's just a fucking bloodstain on some operating floor. Jester shot someone for the first time... He's taking it hard. Tell everyone to give him some space, OK?"
  • Invert gives you a nod of atta-girl when you explain that you offed your dad. There's even a hint of jealousy in there maybe. But it drops as soon as you mention Jester is in rough shape. She licks her lips, looking away, "Yeah, sure, boss, no problem."

    "You need anything?" Invert asks, looking back at you, up at you. "I mean, I got this, you can kick back. Spend time with, you know, him. Shit like that. We'll need to set something up for jingle in a few days, but for now, we're golden." Behind her a couple of the gangers are chatting over some food, not much, mostly scraps, but they're eating.
  • A few days down time does sound pretty good right about now... But I need to get some food on the table for these people first. Once we've got a bit of a security net, we can talk relaxation. "I've got a beef with the Pier I want to settle. They want me and my sister dead, and I think it's high time they came under new management — one a little more friendly to the likes of us. Let's get the gang together, and go have a chat with whoever the fuck's in charge over there."
  • Invert grins, eager to throw some muscle around, "Hell to the yes!" Before she turns to work on that, she moves in a step and says, "I hope you guys are happy, Rossi. Really." She looks at you for a moment, then breaks off, scampering down the hall to bring folks together, leaving you in the hallway.

    Jester's pulled off his shirt and boots. He's sitting on the cot, leaning forward a bit, just staring at the floor.
  • I'm happy... I know Jester's a little beside himself right now, but things are just a little fucking stressful right now. Hopefully, in time, he'll realize he did the right thing, and we can move the fuck on. I nod to Invert before she turns to walk away — I don't want to rub it in her face or anything — then make my way into Jester's room.

    It strikes me as I cross the threshold into the room that I don't really have a plan here... I stand there awkwardly looking at him for a second before closing the door behind me, and strolling over to sit down beside him. I pull him into a hug, gently brushing his hair, and not asking anything of him for a few minutes... Really as long as I can before Invert has the gang ready.
  • Jester is quiet, but he doesn't pull away. He doesn't cry, but he seems distant, pondering, thinking. He relaxes into your hug, it feels like a lifeline. The moments stretch and nothing happens except warmth and solace.

    You hear it before the knock happens. Feet shuffling outside, some bits of conversation, people gathering. Then a knock, a second. Invert says, "We're ready, Rossi."

    Jester sighs once, then pushes himself back up to sit on his own. He looks over at you, silently asking you to say no, "Want me to come?"
  • I kind of wish he would, actually — I'd like to keep an eye on him — but I shake my head no. "You'll be with me," I whisper softly, tapping my ring, "take some time for yourself. I'll be back soon."
  • Jester swallows, nods, then stays put. "I'll always be with you." He means it, but the tone feels off.

    You leave him there, because you've got work to do, right? Opening the door, you see Invert there chatting with Em-Sixteen. Inessa is behind them, Wandering is near the back. Your gang is ready to rock and roll.

    Anything you say to them before heading to the Pier?
  • I give Jester a soft kiss on the cheek before standing up and turning to leave. I'm leaving him here because he doesn't need to see everything I do... I'm hoping it doesn't come to bloodshed, but I want to be ready if it does.

    I step out into the hall, and close Jester's door before addressing the group. "I want you guys to act like you're going to the Pier to turn me in... I'll be masked up, and ready to go. Demand to talk to whoever's in charge... If they say no, then we'll fight our way in, and take what we need to live. Either way, I want Poke brought to me."
  • "Da hell we doin with lil Poke, boss?" Inessa asks with a grin. She's not one to just take orders, and you're cool with that, right?
  • I look over to Inessa, and flatly answer, "we're gunna take her shit and put it to better use — then I'm gunna give her a chance to act out her drunken fantasy of beheading me, if she can stay sober long enough to beat me into submission and swing an axe."
  • edited May 2014
    Invert snickers, but Em balks. Em doesn't really have much of a sense of humor, she takes most things literally.

    Wandering rumbles, "Good luck to that poor soul." He pauses, then adds, "Boss, those Pier-boys won't be letting her walk out. So, I 'spose we'll come in all Trojan horse-like with you, then just start the slaughter? No sense in chatting, you know? I can pave the way, but there's some things I want out of there, and some folks we do NOT touch. Cool?"
  • edited May 2014
    I wasn't joking. I don't laugh with Invert, because I full well expect Poke to do something stupid at the sight of me. I don't plan on hurting her unless she makes me, but I aim to prove a point here: people don't drop dead just because you put a hit out on them, and not every fucker with a hit out on them is actually worth the trouble of killing. I look over to Wandering, and nod,"we're not killing anyone who doesn't lift a fucking weapon against us. Do what you've gotta do to live, but I'm not here to raid the fucking place... Just get some meds, settle the prices on Silica and my heads, and bolt."
  • Wandering and a couple others don't like that too much. He clears his throat, "Rossi... they set two guard up on Poke. I know, I was one, you know? And more nearby. They aint gonna let her leave. And once a fight starts, we're pinned."

    Inessa says, "To Hell with Pier folk. If we're going in to take, then let's TAKE! Why do it halfway, pussyfoot around, Rossi?"
  • Ok, I'm getting annoyed. I hold a finger up to quiet Inessa for a second, "how many people, exactly?"
  • Wandering figures you mean "how many guards", "They've got a couple dozen regulars, and they call on a few extra and arm up merchants when they know something's coming. The big threat is that damn gate and the lake. We bring you in, we're halfway there. The rest is a good exit plan and not getting pinned... thing is, I don't think they'll let in more than ten or so of us, no matter how convincing we are."

    Inessa pipes up, "Then we split it. Ten in the gate, the rest of us come up from the lake."

    "In what?" Em asks, incredulous.

    "Fuck, I dunno, climb it?" Inessa says with a dismissive wave, since she's assuming she's part of the ten.
  • I shake my head incredulously, "Fuck it. I've got a sled, and we've got some fucking C4... Wandering and 9 others come to turn me in, Invert leads a group to set up a diversion on the side from the lake. One person sets off a bomb to draw their attention, and we fight our way out in the confusion."
  • Invert grabs Em by the arm and gets in her face, "Em, you're on Rossi the whole time. Do not let them lay a finger on her, you got me? They hurt Rossi, I will hunt you down." Em nods, all serious, probably thrilled at getting a choice assignment. Invert turns to Wandering, "Smooth talker, you lead the ones bringing Rossi in. They know you, so that's on you to get her inside. Inessa, you're with them, too. If you gotta flash the girls to get them to chill, do it. I've got the rest of you assholes for the diversion."

    Then with a cackle of delight, Invert yells, "Now move like you got a purpose, you bunch of bastards!"

    Anything left before we skip to the Pier?
  • Alright, let's skip ahead. You and your gang, which is just a few souls light for those down at the sub, head up to the Pier. Invert takes the bulk of them out to the lake to flank around while Wandering, Inessa, Em and seven others escort you to the gate.

    After Invert takes them out, Em walks beside you for a moment. She looks over, worry in her eyes. "I think. I think they won't try to hurt you so bad if you look rough now." She pulls out a small razor and slices her left thumb. "Let's get you a little bloody, ok?" She dabs at the scarf on your face and near your neck, too.

    Wandering chuckles from behind you both, "Em, girl. They're gonna punch on Rossi no matter what. Can't nothing be done about it. But, I'll make sure they don't hurt her too bad, since we got a reward riding on it."
  • Em's thumb on my cheek sends an image of myself as a little girl, with my mom hovering over me... Cleaning my cheek... I'm already on edge, but that thought just makes me sick to my stomach. I try not to comment as she mocks up a bunch of cuts and bruises — but a shot of defiance races up my spine, and I can feel my face red as a beet as Wandering dismisses Em's efforts. I instinctively turn and growl, "they'll have to fucking try pretty hard if they think they're going to lay a hand on me..."

    Then I turn back to Em and whisper, "I don't want you bleeding on my account..."
  • Em looks right at you, gaze steady as she says, "I don't want Poke to try and kill you. But we don't always get what we want."

    The Gate looms overhead as you eleven walk up in the late morning. Gnu looks out when Wandeirng calls up, and you all move to the front of the line, getting cuts for the masked murderer.

    There are four guards coming down on the platform. Gnu is still up top, and a couple of his have rifles trained on you all.

    Em is standing right by you, a pistol in your face, but you know she's got it out just in case. Wandering is talking mad shit about this.

    But you've got to sell this, Rossi. I'd like to see you either Manipulate to get through without trouble, or Act Under Fire when those guards come over to fuck with you.
  • What? They're gunna shoot me if I don't comply? I'm happy to headbutt the first motherfucker that takes a swing at me – let Em smack me upside the head to make a point: I'm dangerous, even in captivity. I will make them afraid of me, damn it.
  • edited May 2014
    The guards come over, checking you out. One of them pats you down, guy in his twenties, pasty skin, sweaty. Yeah, he thinks you're a guy and doesn't grab onto anything, but you've got that covered anyways. Not like he'd grab your "dick".

    Wandering's behind you still, saying, "Hey now, easy on the goods, man. We got to get him in to the Council for the jingle. I will crack your head if you break my fucking toy, get me?"

    Em's glaring at the guy, his name is Pantsed, one of Gnu's cousins, missing a front tooth. He laughs, "Hey baby," he says to Em, "I got a bigger gun'n that."

    What do you do?
  • My eyes narrow as he hits on Em right in front of me... What the fuck is wrong with this place? They fucking disrespect everybody that comes in here, and they somehow expect some fucking respect in return?

    Fuck this guy. I make a big show of shoving Em back a step or two, so I have a second to charge Pantsed... Get him on edge so he tries to subdue me. I'm gunna make an example of this asshole.
  • edited May 2014
    Em staggers back, she wasn't ready for your shove, but she rolls with it pretty well. Pantsed comes forward, ready to do something.

    It sounds like maybe you're trying to wrest control of this situation, right? It sounds like you want to Seize by Force. You'll be taking some Harm, but if you pull it off, they'll buy that you're "the guy" and get you to the Council quick quick.
  • OOC: That's indeed the plan. SBF: roll+hard. +1XP.
    (Rolled: 2d6+3. Rolls: 1, 5. Total: 9)
  • edited May 2014
    I'm more than happy to let this fucker hit me a few times to prove a point. I'm unleashing hell on him — like the respect of my whole fucking gender relies on it — and I'm not going to stop until someone drags me kicking and screaming off him.

    I'm not using any weapons/my gang here, so it should be a flat 1-harm before armor (to him).
    • You take definite hold of it.
    • You impress/dismay/frighten your enemy.
  • edited May 2014
    Yeah, Pantsed gets in a couple shots, backhanding you across the cheek, then a gut punch (Harm-0 after armor) before you're on him.

    And holy shit, Rossi, you're on him. Inessa runs interference on the guns and Wandering and a couple others pull you back off the poor sod. You're bloody now, for sure (Harm next post), but holy fuck these guys are on alert and they treat you like you're fucking Hannibal Lecter (whoever he is).

    In short order, they've moved back and the platform is brought up with you on it, the gang acting as a buffer, "keeping you pinned".
  • Harm:
    (Rolled: 2d6. Rolls: 2, 3. Total: 5)
  • Em whispers, "Shit, Innie's gonna punch me in the throat now, you know."

    Wandering chuckles, "That was perfect. Per-fect."

    The chains pulling up the platform to the second story groan and shudder under the weight and speed of your lift, but nothing breaks. Gnu is up top, and the guy has a shotty, trained on you. He isn't as spooked as the others, he's giving you a wide berth, making sure you're under control.

    As the gang moves you to the Gate, Wandering calls, "Check this shit out, Gnu. I got me a posse for the masked stranger. And you thought I just took off, yeah? We're here for the jingle. You wanna pay out, or is this a Council thing?"

    "It's a Council thing." Gnu replies sharply as he directs you and the group. "Wandering, turn over your weapons, man."

    Rossi, what was the plan for this one?
  • I follow the gang up into the Pier, and stare down Gnu as he points that fucking shotgun in my face. We're in... I bet we could fuck these assholes up and take this place before the rest of them even know what's up. I didn't really have a plan to get past security, beyond just letting them think having more guns on me than less was a smart idea...

    I stop right in front of Gnu, smirking under my scarves, and call him out. "You know, the second these guys drop their guns I'm going to shoot you with your own shotgun. Maybe I'll stop at that bitch doctor's shop on my way out, and make sure she can't sew you up."
  • Gnu blinks, taken aback at your spirit. He looks around at his men, then says, "We'll see... what is it they call you? Samaritan? Maybe not."

    Your gang makes a show of dumping off guns, but you know several of them are still holding. The four guards escort the lot of you out of the building into the open air. On the way, Inessa has started chatting up Pantsed, telling him that you sucker punched him, stroking his ego. He buys it, poor sod.

    For reference, here's an old visitor's map. It' about as accurate as you'd think.

    The sun is peeking behind streaks of blue and gray clouds, and the snow is coming down in big flakes like dandruff off an old man's scalp. The cold is bitter, and folks are moving away from you.

    You're in the area called "Festival Hall", which is mostly filled with closed doors painted with spray-painted numbers. Four older people in very nice clothes, light stuff like they stay inside all day, they're at the end of the hallway. The hallway goes on behind them, but this seems like some meeting place. The dark-skinned woman with salt and pepper dreads holds up a hand when you're about twenty feet away. The halls are industrial carpet, worn thing and never replaced after the Big Freeze. Corridor is about twenty feet across, big enough to move freight, really.

    "You killed half of Poke." The elder woman says. Her tone is flat. "Why?" It sounds formal. Rehearsed.

    What do you do?
  • Fucking idiots didn't even try to keep their guns... Fine. I guess someone just wants to make it harder on us. I should have ordered Invert to just blow this fucking place into the frozen lake. I don't flinch when he calls me Samaritan. I wonder if Jester thinks that's still the case...

    I'm quiet the whole walk out to the festival hall, and I do my best to seem disconnected as I take in the scene... The elderly woman acting like she's entitled to some degree of respect really gets under my skin. "You killed half of poke," she sounds so disinterested in it all, "why?"

    "Because he fucking deserved it."
  • "He was a rude little asshole," she agrees in a sudden break in her formal approach. "But he was the best doctor we've ever had. It broke the other half, and now people are getting sicker. Men, women... kids. She just wants to die, but then we'll be even more sunk."

    She looks you over, "We're giving you to her. Whatever she wants to do to you so she'll get over this... funk or whatever. So she'll get back to work." After a pause, she looks to Wandering, "Head to the trade office, Wandering. You'll be paid the full bounty, and you can split it among your... friends."

    One of the guards, not Pantsed, another guy about his size, starts to come over to take your arm, lead you away.

    What do you do?
  • That's so weird... I killed her "brother", or whatever, at the drop of a hat, and they're going to just put me in a room with her? With all the fucking stories about me? And all the fucking people I've killed?

    I pull my arm away when this other guard reaches for it, and growl, "don't fucking touch me." I turn back to the door, but look back at the elder, "you don't know what you just brought down on your fucking people..."
  • A pale old man with long white hair steps up beside the elder woman and asks, "What have we brought down, Samaritan? Do you think you'll be able to do anything to Poke? We're going to hog-tie and cripple you. You'll be her fucking puppy dog for all we care. I assume it will take a while before she tires of hurting you. Take heart that she took some fucking oath about doing no harm, so she'll feel guilty. Eventually." He sneers a bit.

    That guard is reaching for you again, Rossi. Em's tensing, sensing this is when it goes down. Those elders have pistols, shiny ones. The guards have rifles, too. Your guys have whatever they've hidden on themselves. You've got numbers, they've got arms. This will be one hell of a scrap, but you're rather sure you've got them.

    What do you do?
  • edited May 2014
    Fuck it. I need a gun and a body shield — and I know exactly where to get one. I'm going to punch this asshole guard in the face, and charge the elders. I'm tired of the fucking Pier, and the Gang's going to bring it all down.
  • You pull this guy, named Hula, to you with one hand, and punch him right in his fucking nose with a hard strike. His face mushes in a bit, his nose giving way. He staggers back.

    Pantsed is bringing his rifle up, but Em is moving over, and Inessa was already right by him. Wandering is moving with a couple guys to the other guard, and the rest of the gang charges the guy behind.

    It's going to be bloody.

    It sounds like you're trying to Seize the elders by Force, right? Use your gang and make the roll. Let's see how this pans out.
  • OOC: That's what I want. SBF: roll+hard. +1XP.
    (Rolled: 2d6+3. Rolls: 5, 5. Total: 13)
  • OOC: Eat shit, the Pier! That was advanced, so I'll take inflict terrible harm twice. If we were unarmed, and they were a gang size smaller than us, that would be 4-harm before armor.
  • edited May 2014
    Rossi, as you charge forward, the elder woman calls out an order and a couple guards step out of doors. They were waiting on you. But holy shit, you're too fast!

    They bring their uzis up quick and fire after you as you zip past, one of them tracking you and hitting one of the elders when you side-step out of the way. Then you're on the elders, and they just don't stand a chance.

    You hear more shots behind you, but you're busy doing your thing. A white hot rush surges through you, the thrill of taking these assholes down.

    Then, it's over. You're standing over the bodies of the Council, your gang took care of the guards, even the guys with uzis. Em checks the chamber on her uzi, wipes a little blood spray out of her eyes and gives you a confident nod. Wandering is still choking one guy out, looks like he's taking his time.

    Somewhere outside, towards the lake, there are two large explosions. Invert's team hit the Pier, too.

    What do you do?
  • edited May 2014
    You know, I've been waiting for this moment for a long fucking time, and it feels almost weird to step into the mask again... To be doing this harm deliberately, rather than hiding out in a frozen room somewhere, waiting for all this to blow over, or running to some new town, and starting over. I came looking for a fight, and holy shit I got one...

    I pick up a handgun from that old bitch's corpse, and make sure it's loaded... I don't need it perse, but it makes sense to have. With the gang armed up, I motion for the door. "Grab everything you need, and let's move for the infirmary. I want to clear it out, and burn it to the ground."
  • The gang works quick, grabbing weapons, bullets and an assortment of baubles and shit before they're ready to go.

    You hear gunfire outside, nearby and farther away. Invert's group is pushing hard on the Pier, she wants to prove something with this one. You know she's supposed to fight her way from one end of the Pier until she meets up with you, then either take off, or push back through to the Gate, based on your orders.

    You and yours come out of the parking garage into the open air. There are people hiding and running, a few men with guns who are in fortified positions. They're going to fight for their homes, Rossi. You'll have to pick them out like ticks.

    What do you do?
  • It sounds like Invert's clearing a hole for us to leave through later... She knows where I'm going, and I'll let her make whatever point she's trying to make here. I don't much give a shit about the people defending their "homes" — I'm here to kill people that want Silica and me dead, and clean out the infirmary so we can put those resources to better use. The minute they start shooting at us, though, is the minute I put them in my crosshairs.

    "Clear a fucking path, and you won't get hurt!" is my only warning for them.
  • I'm not sure if these folk know you're after the infirmary, Rossi.

    Let's see you Go Aggro on them.
  • OOC: Going Aggro: roll+hard. +1XP.
    (Rolled: 2d6+3. Rolls: 1, 3. Total: 7)
  • You and the gang keep moving, but since they aren't taking pot-shots, following your lead, the Pier guards hunker down, protecting themselves and people around.

    Making a beeline for the infirmary, you see the pair of men who were stationed here took off. Sitting in a booth near the front, is Poke. Her eyes are sunken, face drawn, body thin in her oversized lab coat.

    She looks down the hall to see you leading your gang towards her. She looks resigned. Tired. She doesn't even speak first, just watches as Inessa heads inside to start grabbing supplies. Wandering is near you, Rossi. He seems to have at least some concern for Poke, a little protective, maybe?

    Poke looks up at you, her expression unreadable.
  • Good. I didn't want to turn this into a bloodbath, if I could avoid it. I step into the room with Poke sitting there like a sack of potatoes, and keep my eyes on her — even as Inessa starts stripping the place. I turn to Wandering, and point to the racks of medicine and supplies. "Start stripping the place," I order flatly.
  • Wandering looks at you, raising an eyebrow, not challenging directly, but definitely checking in, "What about her? Lemma wants her out of here."

    Inessa and Em are working fast, grabbing high value shit while the rest of the gang is working on finding ways to bag it and carry it. You hear more gunfire down the pier. Invert's still fighting.
  • I don't miss a beat when he asks about Poke: I check the handgun I'm carrying one more time, just to make sure there's a bullet in the chamber, then slip the slide forward and put the handgun on the counter in front of her. "Council's dead. Beat it."
  • edited May 2014
    Poke's voice cracks when she speaks. Her lips are chapped, eyes sunken. "You... you ripped me in half. You murdered. Me. I can't stop hurting. Why? Because of words? What we said to you? That's why you murdered me?"

    She sniffs, "I did... good things. Saved lives. You just... you just take them. You... murder."

    She hasn't moved. For the door, or for the gun.
  • Oh for fuck's sake... "Get over yourself, you stupid bitch — I pointed a shotgun in his face and told him to treat me in the back room. What the fuck did you think was going to happen if he said no?" I push the handgun closer to her, lean forward over the counter to get in her face, and whisper, "you have no idea who I am, or what I've done. You think the fucking world's over because I shot a spoiled brat for threatening my life. All you had to do was nod your head, and treat me in private, and everything would have made sense. I don't owe you shit, let alone answers — and yet here I am, offering you your fucking freedom to run, or stay, or fucking shoot yourself, or me for all I fucking care — if you think you can kill me before I break your fucking arm."

    I pause for effect, and look deep into those sunken eyes, "you're not even that good of a fucking doctor. Sure I've killed a few people — some of them more deserving than others — but how many people are you going to kill giving them shit medical treatment? Sitting here drunk off your ass, and pretending the world owes you something... You're a pathetic piece of shit, and this," I motion to Inessa and the gang clearing the place out, "this is an opportunity to start fresh. Now pick up the gun, and get the fuck out of my sight."
  • Poke looks up at you with some fire when you tell her she's not that good of a doctor. Her lip curls just a touch, like some snarl started up, but she quells it.

    "...fuck you."

    Poke picks up the gun, and pushes herself up, using the table to get leverage, her starved muscles too weak to move without help. "I'm taking this gun and throwing it in the fucking lake, you monster. Take the meds, take it all! I don't fucking care...." It seems like she has more to say, but it's like she realizes you don't really care, either. Not about her, for sure.

    She starts walking out of the clinic, towards the Gate. Wandering comes up with a couple bags of shit, says, "Boss, I'm walking her out."
  • I chuckle to myself at her desperate little insults, and don't move until she's finally walking out of the clinic. I look over to Wandering, a little pissed that he wants to walk her out. She starved and drank herself into this state, blaming me for everything horrible in her life. "Move your ass then," I growl, moving to help the gang pack this shit up, "someone get me a bottle of ethanol, and a fucking match."
  • Inessa makes some cracks about some old song about burning down a house, singing a few verses while tossing fuel all over. Once the place is covered enough, Em brings you a matchbook, and you see down the hall, from the direction of the lake, Invert comes jogging up. She's got a pistol that she didn't bring here in one hand, her shiv in the other, spatters of blood on her face and hair, and a wicked little grin.

    Invert looks around, asks Em, "Where's dumb bitch?"

    Em blinks, then figures it out, "Left. Took a nice mag."

    "Fuck." Invert answers.
  • I'm all too happy to get this shit over with — the match is out, and ready to burn — but I pause when Invert comes running in with the rest of the crew. I let Em fill her in, then shake my head when she curses, "who gives a fuck? I chewed her out for being a useless tool, and kicked her the fuck out. Wandering decided to play gentleman and see her out of here." I toss Invert a bag of shit, and motion for people to clear out once the place is stripped. "Men," I grumble surreptitiously, "we're all fucking damsels to them."

    I look over to Invert, "anyone hurt?"
  • "Pinjake got his head blowed off. Tapoff took a couple bullets," Invert reports, "Went down hard. Long John lost a few teeth when some asshole hit him with a fucking pipe. Some cuts and bruises, BD was too close to the blast, her ears are still ringing. Otherwise, we're golden." She looks you over, "That all your blood?"

    Inessa quips about Wandering, "Give the guy a break, Rossi. He's not so bad. Sometimes we play damsels. How's he to know different?"

    Em doesn't offer up an opinion, but she's watching Invert, making sure Invert sees you're okay.
  • "Fuck," I mutter, hearing how Pinjake and Tapoff went down. That's really all I have to say on the matter... I look over to Inessa when she defends Wandering, and shake my head — but that's all I can really say on the matter myself... Deep down, I'm just pissed that he takes sympathy on Poke — even more so that Lemma is all on her side. This is a disaster waiting to happen... What the fuck am I even doing with these people? "I just don't want anything to do with that bitch anymore, and him playing all nice with her makes life fucking difficult."

    I look back to Invert, and point over to Em, "most of the blood is hers — she had the idea to bloody me up, make me look the part to get in here... Pretty good idea. The rest of it was us blowing out the council's brains. They never saw it coming..."
  • Em agrees, "Wandering really sold it to Gnu." She pauses, "Rossi... think we'll need to fight our way through him?"

    Inessa answers, "Doubt it. If he's smart, he'll make himself scarce..."

    Invert adds, "Backdoor's wide open. We can take the lake."
  • This merits a moment's consideration... I have no idea what that asshole intends to do about us, or if he'll just up and take over the pier as some corrupt warlord – raping every woman to knock on the gate, and putting hits out on everyone else.

    I lose myself in thought, and let the wind whisper me some truths...
  • OOC: Open brain to the maelstrom: roll+weird. +1XP.
    (Rolled: 2d6+2. Rolls: 4, 4. Total: 10)
  • You listen for whispers and the bitter cold wind carries you Gnu's voice as he speaks to his family, "Listen, we only have enough to get the Gate back up and batten down the hatches. We can pool food and rebuild, but we need to drop the open half of the Pier to tighten things up. Should never have been hit lakeside, and the Gate is on me. No Council BS, so we do things the right way." He pauses, there are voices of agreement. Then, he adds, "And that masked bastard is still on our shit list."
  • Fuckers... I look to Invert and shake my head, "Get the gang ready. Once this place is up in flames, we're hitting the gate. Anyone know where Gnu and his family lives?"
  • Eggflip, one of the ragamuffins that Wandering brought in, a young guy who seems to have eyes for Invert and no chance whatsoever, says, "Gnu's family lives right by the Gate, boss." Gang members turn to look at Eggflip, and he looks sheepishly around, explaining, "I sorta dated one of his daughters... for a while."

    Invert makes a dismissive noise in her throat, "Guess you get another date, then, Eggflip." She looks at you, Rossi, ready to take them forward, "Boss, we could get some good take if we head back that way."
  • I nod, "Then let's go. I want Gnu, and anyone who supports him, dead."
  • Invert jogs ahead of the group as the gang forms up, heading down the wide, concrete hallway. The clinic burns behind you as you head back into the parking garage.

    Eggflip walks near you, obviously interested in bending your ear, "Gnu keeps his family in some thick walls, boss. With the Pier under attack, he and his boys will be holed up in there. Invert used all the explosives on the lakeside, you know. How are we getting in?"

    Gnu's family has B2 secured as their place. The entrance to B1 is a bunch of cars piled up, with broken-up concrete stacked in every cranny. There's a door to get in there, just a stout steel door sitting in between a crushed van and a broken SUV.

    Nobody's out here, no power on the ramp leading to that door, just the bit of light spilling from above.

    What do you do as you come down towards the entrance?
  • edited May 2014
    I knew I should have brought extra... Fantastic. That only leaves us with one option then...

    "Get our shit from the lockbox at the gate, and get me my fucking assault rifle... I'm gunna punch a hole for us." In the meantime, I'm going to scout out the place, and make sure there isn't another way in.
  • OOC: Reading the Sitch: roll+sharp.
    (Rolled: 2d6+1. Rolls: 4, 6. Total: 11)
  • OOC: Sweet! Spending 3:
    • Where’s my best escape route / way in / way past?
    • What should I be on the lookout for?
    • What’s my enemy’s true position?
  • edited May 2014
    First, here's a pic.
    This is what the parking ramp looks like from Gnu's side. There are cars and concrete in that entrance.

    There is a set of stairs on the opposite wall that lead down to Gnu's level, but you know that would be booby trapped to hell and a narrow spot for folks to fire up at you. Bad move. It's the front door, and you need to hit it hard.

    Of course... you could smoke them out, too. If you're willing to spend the time.

    You should be on the lookout for the fact that whoever opens that door will be the focus on five guns. You will have to sacrifice some of the gang to get in. Gnu and the rest of the Gate guard (four others) as well as his extended family are all down here.
  • Fuck that shit — I call over a few people, and point out the door to the stairwell on the far side of the parking garage, and motion for the rest to stay on the door. "Everyone stay sharp! We're going to cut them off from the world, set a few barrels on fire, and smoke them out!"
  • edited May 2014
    Inessa grins, "Thank fuck. I thought we were going to act like men and be stupid here." She looks at Em when Em slaps her arm, "What? I sure as shit wasn't going in there first."

    Invert gets the gang moving on setting barrels up. What's in these things? Using up fuel, or burning trash or what, Rossi?

    "How long do we wait on them, Rossi?" Invert asks.
  • "As long as it takes," I answer, "I don't want anything coming out that doesn't get dead. Keep a few people on the door in shifts, and get a few people to start collecting barrels and shit we can use to fuck with them. Once they're dead, we'll take whatever the hell is left, and head back."
  • Eggflip comes over while Invert nods and gets to work on the barrels. He steps a little close, saying, "Boss... Gnu's got his wife and a few kids down there." He looks nervous telling you this. "And his two daughters, too."
  • I shrug indifferently, "I won't kill his family if they surrender. Him and his fucking guards are as good as dead, but I'm not out to kill people who don't mean us any harm."
  • "So... he and the boys are dead," Eggflip asks, "Even if they surrender?"
  • I nod, "they mean us harm. You got a problem with that?"
  • edited May 2014
    Eggflip shakes his head, "No... not really." He pauses, like he wants to ask something, but doesn't. Heads back towards the group.

    Invert's got the barrels set up, she's got Em lighting them in the corridor.

    Why don't you give me a Pack Alpha to see how this plays out, Rossi?
  • OOC: Pack Alpha to have the gang keep on it: roll+hard. +1XP, +1forward from read the sitch.
    (Rolled: 2d6+4. Rolls: 1, 3. Total: 8)
  • OOC: In this case, I think it's pretty obvious...
    • they do what you want.
  • The gang sits down to wait. Smoke pours down the stairwell, a little leaks into your level, but there's enough airflow for it to filter back up the ceiling and out.

    You hear a baby crying. It's coming from behind that door. Em comes over to you, not saying a word, but pleading with you to do something, anything. I assume you're hard, right? No response? I know you don't give in, but do you acknowledge it?

    Long John complains loudly, "You know? We could be hauling shit out the Pier. This is bullshit! We could be setting ourselves up for life, not taking out some fucking petty vengenace!" Eggflip is near Long John. LJ has a rag with ice inside, keeps holding it up to his teeth.

    Eggflip is backing up Long John, "We don't need to kill all of them. There's folk we can sell to Underlake. The girls are pretty, they could work for Roxy."

    Inessa doesn't like this, but she's dealing with it by yelling at the door for them to give up and walk out. She even tells them we can work it out, a peaceful surrender. Gnu yells back that you killed two of his kin, he's never coming out.

    When things heat up for your gang, pressure building, who do you make an example out of, Rossi?
  • I flat out promised nobody innocent would get fucking hurt — that all they had to do was surrender, and the family would be left alone — and now my own gang is pleading with me to let the whole of them go? No.

    I walk over to Little John, and take the rag of ice he's been breathing on for who knows how long now — I shove it down his fucking throat and kick him back down the hallway. "You wanna go fucking steal shit from people who'll come back and shoot you for it? Fine. Go. I'll deal with this shit. Just shut your fucking mouth!"

    Then I turn to Eggflip, pissed as all hell, and shove a finger in his face, "and who told you we're fucking selling people into slavery? Huh? If you think I'm gunna let you say one more word of that bullshit I'll kick your sorry ass out into the freezing cold. Gnu and his boys have a mind to fucking kill me — and now you — for fucking with this sweet little deal he's got raping women and stealing shit from whoever comes to his little home. I'm going to sit here, and make sure that asshole's bullshit dies with the fucking council. All he needs to do to save that baby's life is come out with his hands fucking up, and his whole family gets to walk."

    I storm up to the door and slam a fist on it, "you hear that you piece of shit? This is fucking judgement day! You willing to kill your whole family because you're too fucking greedy to face the consequences for the bullshit you've done? This is what you've been doing to people at the gate. This is fucking justice. Why don't you do one fucking selfless act in your whole fucking life, and save your family?"
  • A few tense minutes pass. Your gang is staring into the darkness, watching the door, but also the area around it, just in case.

    Some violent coughing near the door, then Gnu yells out, "Alright! Fuck... fucken alright! We're coming out!"

    Another long minute, the longest minute. You see the door shudder, open up towards you slowly. Then, with sudden effort, the door pops open, smoke billowing out around the edges and coming out to spill onto the pavement.

    A screaming person comes running out. He's got a kerchief over his nose and mouth, probably fourteen years old, screaming and running straight at you.

    Your gang guns him down, half-freaked out by this explosion of activity. Then gunfire erupts from the open doorway.

    Em takes a shot, falling back. Inessa dives to the ground. Invert was over by the stairwell, and she's moving up to flank the door where they can't see. But there's no way she's moving closer while your gang is firing hell in that smokey hole.

    What do you do?
  • I'm going to run in there, and grab that baby at all costs. If I make it out alive, then I'm going to barricade that door shut, and sit here as they all suffocate to death.
  • Let's see you Act Under Fire, Rossi.
  • OOC: AUF: roll+cool.
    (Rolled: 2d6+1. Rolls: 1, 5. Total: 7)
  • You hop up from your cover and dash straight ahead, heading for that door. Your gang stops firing, fearful of shooting you in the back. Em Sixteen curses in surprise and jumps up to follow you, three steps behind.

    Gnu and the others take aim on the most obvious target - you, unloading a couple shots before you're on them. One shot hits your left arm, another hits you in the gut, you feel it burning in your flesh as you grit your teeth and keep those legs pumping. (3-Harm minus your two armor minus Rasputin means 0-Harm, will roll in next post)

    BAM! You burst through the doorway, and there's some light here, red light, enough to make out shapes and forms in the smoke. They had set up concrete barriers in here, Gnu and his three boys are hunkered down behind them taking shots. You leap over the barrier, shotgun in hand. Gnu's your first target, I assume? Cut off the head, see if the snake will die?

    BAM! You level the shotgun on him before he brings his bolt-action up to bear. His head explodes in a pulpy mass, spraying his grandson, a buck-toothed teen full of fear and now covered in blood. He drops his gun, scrambles back away. You saw this one, Rossi. He groped a young girl in line, rubbed himself on her as she stood stock still, full of the same dose of fear shooting through his veins now.

    The situation looks like this:

    You know there are two more men behind you, you know that Em has your back. But it's hard to see, incredibly loud, and your lungs are burning from the smoke already.

    Rossi, you can leave Em covering your back, head for the baby, then head back out. You know you can pull that off, with your armor and the gang's covering fire when they see you running out, you can make it. But Em might not make it. Or you can push the attack, putting yourself in worse danger, and end this. It will probably save Em. Probably.

    What do you do?
  • Harm roll (0-Harm plus Juggernaut)
    (Rolled: 2d6-2. Rolls: 2, 6. Total: 6)
  • Damn it... What the fuck is Em doing here?! No, I've gotta focus. This has to end. I grab Em and point her towards the pissing teen pervert, then I cock my shotgun, and head for the other two. I want this fucking place, and they're going to give it to me.
  • Em doesn't flinch as she fires her rifle at the teen. You head over to the other two. Let's see you Seize this place by Force, Rossi.
  • OOC: SBF: roll+hard. +1XP.
    (Rolled: 2d6+3. Rolls: 1, 4. Total: 8)
  • OOC:
    • Take definite hold of it.
    • Suffer little harm.
  • You unload the shotgun into one, the other fires his pistol at you before you're on him (Harm-2 minus armor minus Rasputin minus suffer little means no harm).

    Without the shotgun, how did you dispatch the last guy, Rossi?

    Invert's at the door, coughing and calling for you, "Rossi!! Where are you?"

    That baby has stopped crying, you can't see more than a foot in front of your face.
  • The bullets sting, but I'm all about business. As soon as I see my target drop to the floor, I spin around and backhand him with the butt of my shotgun. We struggled for a while, as I wrestled him down to the makeshift barricade, and I brought his pistol up to his temple... His blood spattered against my goggles as I pulled the trigger. I don't bother to wipe it off as I reload my shotgun and look down into the darkness, away from Invert. "I'm fine... Em, you OK?"

    I can't see anything in there, can I?
  • Coughing as she answers, "Yessir." She's moving towards you, coughing and spitting.

    Invert calls, "Rossi! Da fuck are you?" She's near the door, the light. Exit.

    You can't see much of anything, but nobody is shooting at you now. There's more coughing deeper inside. A girl's voice calls, "Don't! Don't *cough* kill us! Please!"

    I'm going to assume you're not going to wipe out the rest of them, right? So you can get the three girls, aged between thirteen and seventeen, named Rippey Flip, Chicane and Suicide. But you've got eyes on that baby, right? It's a baby boy, and he's being held by Chicane, the middle girl. What did you tell her to get them out of there, Rossi?
  • At least I've got my mask cutting some of the crap out of my air... Not a whole lot, but it's better than nothing. "Everybody gets the fuck out now, and nobody else gets hurt." If these are the family members Gnu had, then he was a fucking pervert... I should probably mention, the only reason I've got eyes on the baby is to make sure they get out of here alive.

    I turn back to the light spilling down from the door, and call out, "Invert! We've got people incoming! No more shooting!"
  • Invert charges in, heading for your voice. The gang pulls down the door, Invert screams at them to douse the barrels.

    You save those girls, Rossi. Mask or no, you didn't murder those kids.

    A little while later, you're sitting on a piece of concrete, recovering your breath. Em is sitting by you. She's been shot in her thigh, and she's still coughing up black phlegm.

    Inessa asks, "Are we taking in those kids now?" She asks it like she knows the answer.
  • I snort loudly, "Fuck no." I do a quick reload on my shotgun, and check to make sure there are still rounds in my rifle. Chicane isn't much older than I was when I bolted from my Dad's place, and she's got a fucking baby in her arms... If I had to guess, none of them look like they know how to shoot. If they had a choice in being with Gnu and his family, I'd be fucking shocked... Forcing them to shack up with a gang of people who just ransacked their home? I may not be a good person, but I'm not a fucking tyrant.

    I swallow hard, and sling my shotgun over my shoulder. There's been a long trail of blood following me here, and with the exception of Merrell and his gang, I've done everything I can to keep myself, my husband, and my sister safe. I take off my goggles and pull down my scarf. The smell of blood, guts, smoke, and gunpowder lingers in the room, and the unfiltered smell of it on my nose would usually be enough to make me sick. I walk over to Invert and hand her my goggles. "Clean the place out. Find yourself a little place to call your own."

    Then, to the three girls, "come on... Let's get you checked out." I wouldn't want that kid dying of an oxygen deficiency...
  • edited May 2014
    Invert hesitates before she takes the goggles. It's obvious she "gets it", that you're effectively handing things off to her. The corners of her mouth curl up in a smile, and she snatches them, "Fuck yeah! No takebacks, Rossi." She puts them around her neck and asks, "You heading out with Jester?"

    The gang starts working on pulling out what they can use, what isn't ruined by smoke. They leave bodies lying, because really, who cares?

    --END SCENE--
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