Day 11: Hunting Shadows In The Sand (Five Klicks)

From the Journal of Maya Ceros, Day 11.

     It's been almost two weeks since we set out from Cinder Hill. When we left, I didn't know what we'd find, who we'd lose, or if we'd even meet anybody along the way. In the time that's passed, we've lost some good people, some friends, but we've also made a lot of new friends, and our convoy has grown. In some ways, I feel like a real leader, guiding our little wasteland nation toward whatever unknowable fate awaits us.

But after today, I know one thing for sure. We're not just a smattering of trucks and SUVs bumping along a rutted road anymore. No. Now, we have a war rig.*

    The day started simply enough. I sat down with Greene and started discussing a direction to head in, asking him if he knew the area and if he knew of any settlements that might have good trade or need a hand in exchange for scrap, guns, gas, anything to keep us rolling. Like usual, he knew a place, a little pocket of civilization in the wasteland, and showed me on his map roughly where it was. Sally and I talked about a route, about Greene's point on the map, but the wind had us worried. By the time we got to the outskirts of the place, we were in the midst of a full-on sandstorm, and visibility was about as crappy as I've ever seen it.

    Still, wasn't thick enough to hide the fact that whoever Greene had known at the spot was dead, wiped out. Nomads had moved in, we found out later, but when we arrived, it was just us and them, just guns stalking shadows in the sand.

With the haze so thick we could hardly see, the nomad warband easily got the drop on us.

I broke our squad into three teams, spacing everyone out into groups that put our heavy-hitters with our quick-runners.

Polybius, Sally, Dora and Nike rushed to the closest cover, trying to see something in the sands. The storm was heavy, and getting heavier. Still, I managed to pick my way to a corpse, digging around in the desiccated bones for something of value. Instead, I only found some kind of shrub someone must have been caring for, using an old tire in a planter.

The nomads rushed through the sand and closed quickly.

I found out later that one of their own had died in the camp before we even arrived. The one that found the dead nomad was set back trying to wake the dead man up.

Kassandra, Kate and Merlin moved to check out other corpses on the field. Only Kassandra found anything of interest-- a locked box. I really like it when my people find locked boxes.

The winds thickened. Visibility was absolutely garbage.

I heard the whirr as Polybius fired up his Booster Implant and started spraying with his heavy machinegun, splattering one of the Nomads and sending another running for the wastes.

The second volley of hot lead from Polybius cut through another Nomad and scared off the closest one in the process. In seconds, our resistance was cut in half.

I closed up into cover and let fly with my Machine Pistol, but all the rounds went wide.

Merlin sprinted up the tire pile while the others circled round, intent on closing in on the last of the nomads.

The sand was getting thicker, getting in our teeth, choking us as we chased shadows in the haze.

That was when three of the nomads opened up on me.

All I could see was red, and then I hit the sand, thrashing bloody in the storm. I don't remember a whole lot after that, but I'll try to fill in the details with what my squad saw.

The last four remaining nomads grouped up in cover.

Nike took a shot with her brand new hand-cannon, but the thing jammed instantly.

Kate moved into position.

The sandstorm lightened suddenly, seemed like it was starting to blow itself out.

Polybius was the first to fire, but all of the rounds from his heavy machinegun went wide.

Nike unslung her SAW and started firing, splatting one of the nomads. The SAW jammed immediately, making everyone very nervous.

The closest nomad to the corpse stood strong, resolute and unphased by the death all around him.

Sally stepped up and took her shot, but the round went wide.

Kassandra sprinted up and let fly with her needle rifle, splattering one of the Nomads and driving off another.

Kate took her shot, but the round went wide.

The last nomad was pinned, trying to shake out of it and failing.

Merlin, finally moving into position, took a shot with his hunting rifle and missed.

Dora stepped up and fired, but also missed.

The storm cleared even more.

And then Polybius cleaned out the last of the Nomads.

I remember Kate rushing to check on me, but the injury was so superficial that I was completely fine. Picking myself up, I brushed the sand out of my armor, and looked to the sky. Finally, the storm was clearing.

We picked through the loot and recovered a bow and a working hunting rifle.

But the real prize was the war rig that the Nomads had been using as a mobile base.*


Polybius is MVP
All others gain +1 XP
4 AP spent on training.

Loot: Diagnoser, Wasteland Currency, Bow, Hunting Rifle
Trade: Diagnoser and War Rig (Water Crystal)

Convoy levelled up! +1 to Security
Nike leveled up! +1 to Initiative!

New recruit: Unnamed Rookie

Henrietta goes Hog Wrasslin' and finds a whole pack of 5 hogs to wrestle. 

Hog 1: 3,6; Hog 2: 1,1; Hog 3: 3,6; Hog 4: 3,4; Hog 5: 5,4. 

Henrietta decides to try to wrestle Hog 5. She catches the hog, but the hog bucks her off and kicks her in the face. Henrietta is now Worn. She didn't run into trouble.

Daedalus goes fishing and finds a Secret Spot! (4 Fish) but didn't run into trouble.

Fish 1: C1 & S4; Fish 2: C1 & S6; Fish 3: C4 & S4; Fish 4: C6 & S1

Tries to catch Fish 1 and hooks it immediately. He catches it, and puts it in a bucket. He then goes after Fish 2 and hooks it immediately. The fish breaks away and gets away for good. He then goes after Fish 3 and immediately hooks it. After three turns of battling with it, he reels it in and puts it in the bucket. Lastly, he goes after Fish 4 and hooks it immediately, dragging it in and then throwing it back.

His catch is worth 2 scrap, so that is added to the pile. The two scrap and one currently in the inventory is enough to use the Schematics for a Heavy Machine Gun. He gains +1 AP.

Big Jimmy goes in search of herbs. He finds a patch with one useful herb but doesn't run into trouble. The patch turns out to be Albino Lavender, which he adds to his garden.

*I figured that since the Settlement statistics aren't really meant to go beyond 5 points in any one area, my fifth point in each statistic would be best represented by a big truck, a war rig from the collection I kitbashed myself. Medusa seemed like the perfect match for Security. I got it as one of my Trade items was a water crystal.


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