Day 7: A Greene Day (Five Klicks)
From the Journal of Maya Ceros, Day 7.
I was alone when Greene approached me about a detour.* Turns out he hasn't always been mobile, but actually had a decent hideout about five klicks away crammed with junk until he was driven out by a nomad warband. His offer to me was simple-- scare off the nomads, and get a good chunk of the salvage as a reward.
Scare them off? Ha, if only it had been that easy.
The plan was to sneak in, make a lot of noise, and see if we could drive the nomads off without too many casualties.
But things rarely, if ever, go as planned.
We split into two groups, Merlin, Nike and Dora with me.
Sally took the other group, bringing our heavy hitters in from the other side.
Our approach was slow, and as quiet as we could manage.
But nomads aren't like ordinary raiders. Our approach wasn't quiet enough.
One of the nomads started banging on a drum of something toxic. When his hammer broke through, he pulled back suddenly, and the container went up, flooding the area with toxic waste.**
Nike moved up and, startled, started wildly firing at a Nomad, pinning the other woman in place.
Using Nike as a distraction, Merlin, Dora and I rushed around the barricades to take aim at the closest pair of Nomads.
Kassandra, Peregrine and Sally rushed to the barricades as the Nomads took cover behind a bullet-riddled car. Kate lagged behind, intent on a skeleton half-buried in the sand.
Dora and Peregrine were the quickest on their feet.
Stepping around the barricade with battle-hardened confidence, Peregrine levelled her heavy machine gun at the closest pair of the Nomads and sprayed them down with hot lead.****
Seeing their friends cut down by Peregrine was enough to drive the two closest Nomads back and into hiding.
But another pair of their friends were intent on revenge.
Dora stepped up and put one of the Nomads down.
Seeing her friend cut down, the other Nomad turned on Merlin and I and started firing wildly. I hate to admit it, but facing that gunfire directly threw me into terror, pinned me in place.
Out for blood, one of the Nomads turned a scrap rifle on Peregrine and dropped her solidly.
Motivated by the victory, the Nomads started to bunch up in cover, taking aim at the rest of us.
While I tried and failed to shake off the shellshock,***** Merlin stepped up and dropped the closest Nomad.
Kate pulled a portable terminal out of the corpse's grip-- not much to look at, but worth the scrap.
Turning, crouching, she took a shot at the advancing nomads, but the hastily-aimed bullet went wide, hitting nothing.
Spotting the enemy leader behind cover, both Nike and Sally took shots, but the guy was too quick, ducked to dodge both rounds.
That was when Kassandra stepped up, tossing a grenade right into the middle of the closest knot of Nomads.
The detonation caught three of the Nomads and splattered them against the nearby sea-crates. Terrified, one of the Nomads turned and sprinted into the wastes, leaving his brethren behind. Seeing the other Nomad flee, the one remaining guy in the knot turned and ran for cover.
Sally was the first to act.
And also the first to miss.
Recovering some of his confidence, the one grenade survivor who didn't rabbit utterly dropped into cover and took aim at Kassandra.
Something in me broke when I saw Sally hit the ground. The shot was clean, I heard the scream, and when the dust cleared, she wasn't moving.
An arrow whizzed by my head, but I couldn't tear my eyes away from Sally, couldn't stop watching her for any sign of breath.
Time unfolded around me. My terror kept me pinned. Vaguely, I remember Merlin stepping up and dropping the leader of the nomads with a rifle blast to the chest.
Seeing his leader fall, the bowman turned and ran, desperate to reach cover.
Then Kassandra closed ranks and dropped the Nomad that was ready to put a bullet in her.
I figure the bowman missed the headshot, because he didn't rabbit, just kept solid.
Kate closed with Kassandra and dropped into the sand to investigate a corpse half-buried there. Unfortunately, whatever the unfortunate traveler might have been carrying appeared to have been stripped away long ago.
With one Nomad left, we started to gather with the intent to finish clearing the place out.
Nike was the quickest on the draw.
But I. . . I was still paralyzed, still couldn't seem to shake the shell-shock.
Nike wasted no time. Strolling up, she found a decent angle and put the Nomad bowman down.
With the rest of the squad combing the hideout for any stragglers, I ran to Sally and shook her until she woke. Patting her up and down, I was glad to find no bullet wounds, nothing permanent at least, though she looked ragged as hell.
I hate to say that we weren't so lucky with Peregrine. The round from the angry Nomad had cut through her vital organs and left her bleeding out. Kate rushed in to help her , but even with her medical expertise, it wasn't enough to save Peregrine. Even though I hardly knew her, it still hurt to lose her, to bury another one of our own.
With Greene's help, we managed to gather a bow, a musket and a scrap rifle off of the dead nomads*** With a little finesse, we also managed to get an old cop car running again, and I was glad to be able to add it to our convoy moving forward.
With some digging, we also managed to pull out a scanner, an under-barrel launcher. a machine pistol and some scrap. Inside the building where the Nomads had been staying, we also found a young Nomad that they'd beaten half to death-- a warrior that had been exiled by his old tribe and captured by the one we'd just slaughtered. I gave him a simple choice, come with us, or rot in the ruins. Happy to say, he runs with us now, though I don't think I'll ever get used to calling him by his name, "Six-Toes."
Bringing the rest of the convoy in, we were able to trade a few things with Greene for certain assurances that we'd watch out for him and let him run his trade business within the Convoy. Between the pair of Cling-Fire Grenades and the Nomad Armor, I think we did pretty well.
At the end of the day, Sally stopped in and got a stim from the doc while I took Kassandra out for some rifle practice. Poking around, Kate found enough scrap to build the Needle Rifle we've had the schematics for forever. With Dedalus's help, they got the thing working and handed it off to Kassandra, who hasn't stopped grinning since.
Kassandra is MVP
Merlin defeated the enemy Leader
All others gain +1 XP
1 AP spent on searching for scrap: 1 scrap found.
Kassandra trains for 1 turn.
Loot: Bow, Musket, Scrap Rifle, Scanner, Under-Barrel Launcher, Machine Pistol
Trade: Cling-Fire Grenades (2) & Nomad Armor
Convoy leveled up! +1 Security
Maya leveled up! +1 to Initiative
Nike leveled up! +1 to Initiative
Merlin leveled up! +1 to Initiative
New recruit: Six-Toes, an Enforcer from a Nomad Camp.
Polybius returns to the squad.
* For Day 7, I rolled "Signs", or tracks suggesting a well-guarded loot pile. I worked it into the storyline as basically that Greene had a stockpile that was now well-guarded. It was either that, or follow the tracks of some indigenous natives and slaughter them mercilessly to get their sweet loot, but I couldn't get into that. I have no interest in playing the bad guy this time around.
**I realized when I was doing the write-up that I have been doing discovery of Suspicious Activities wrong. They're supposed to become visible within 6 inches of friendlies and 9 inches of enemies. They're also supposed to move. I've been treating them like objectives that my units have to physically interact with, and I kind of like the results enough to houserule my mistake as canon for my games.
Also, I think the "place a huge piece of impassable terrain" result is kind of difficult to put into play. I did my best with the exploding toxic barrel thing, but it seems very forced. I may re-work the Suspicious Activities table for my own games in the future to make them more interesting and less likely to break flow.
*** Custom loot rule. Roll 1d6 for each carried item on a slain enemy. On a 1, it can be looted.
**** Just before I published this post, I realized that Heavy Machineguns cannot be fired if the firer moves. Good to know-- will remember this moving forward. Good thing I gave Kassandra the Needle Rifle.
***** Apparently, I forgot about Rallying.
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