Day 19: Bolder Bandits (Five Klicks)
From the Journal of Maya Ceros, Day 19.
They're getting bolder. Those lucky enough to bail before they catch a bullet always end up coming back in the end, and in greater numbers. After today, I'm thinking it's time to move again.
The bandits that came today were prepared. They were armored and knew exactly where to push to meet us head on.
I counted eight in total. Two machine pistols, one shotgun and the rest with handguns.
We saw them coming, didn't get much lead time, but had enough of a lead to eye the area and decide to hang back, let them come to us. There was a lot of cover on their side, but we had the range advantage, and moving in too quickly would kill that advantage quick.
Moving quickly into cover, they piled up behind an old cop car and a beat-up convertible, taking aim at us, almost daring us to close the distance.
Polybius wasted no time firing up his booster implant and quickly hammered off a volley of rounds from his bipod-equipped heavy-machinegun. Sally joined him, but most of the shots went wide. The one that found its mark took down one of the bandits. The bandit next to him got enough brains in his face that he bailed immediately, screaming back into the sprawl.
Cover was minimal, and Merlin is starting to get a reputation as a bullet-magnet, so I was more than happy to follow his lead when he darted into cover with the intent to try to flank the enemy.
Nike ran into cover and let fly with her needle rifle, but the thing only burped once before it ran out of ammo. The shot got close, peppered the hood of the cop car and pinned her target in place, so it wasn't a total loss, but I could hear her cussing and hitting the rifle after the shot missed.
Snarling at the lack of death, Kassandra rushed forward and lobbed a grenade at the closest two bandits. When it hit the back window of the convertible and bounced across the road to the pinned bandit, I think we all held our breath, but in the end, the shot was completely ineffectual. What shards of the grenade might have peppered the pinned bandit only got stuck in her armor instead.
Mentally, I calculated the distance between Kassandra and the last bandit brandishing a machine pistol, knew I had to get in there and put him down before he turned one of my best people into swiss cheese. Kate joined me, but it was my shot that put the raider down, dropping him in the dust. I grinned when another bandit bailed, running back into the sprawl.
With two less raiders to deal with, Dora stepped up boldly and took a shot, but the round only pinged off the bandit's armor.
Things felt desperate then. Things felt too close to the wire for comfort, but we pushed on, knowing there was no way out but through.
Kassandra, Sally, Polybius and I filled the air with hot lead, dropping one bandit, pinning one, and driving the one with the shotgun back into hiding.
When they closed ranks again, two of them took shots at Dora, but she boldly shrugged off even the hail of buckshot meant for her. The last of the raiders tried to get his wits back, but couldn't manage it.
I heard Nike cussing and thwapping her needle rifle, but it was all in vain.
Standing her ground, Dora let fly with her SAW, but none of the rounds seemed to find its mark.
Meanwhile, Merlin slipped out of hiding and peppered the back-end of the convertible with enough lead to pin the bandit he had been aiming at.
Kate's own volley of hot lead turned the cop car into a pincushion, dropping the bandit that had been trying to hide behind it.
Deciding he'd had enough, the bandit with the shotgun finally panicked and bailed.
And that was when backup showed up.
Six hooligans showed up suddenly, shouting, waving their pistols in the air.
Ignoring the closest bandit, Merlin lined up a shot with his rifle and dropped the one hooligan armed with a hand cannon the instant she appeared on the field. The others with her seemed unphased as she hit the dirt, but all that was about to change.
Dora tried to take out the bandit pinned behind the convertible, but ended up running out of ammo before she could do more than fill the car with lead.
Still cursing at her needle rifle, Nike crossed in front of Kate and I and tossed a grenade directly at the Hooligans. The shot was a gamble, aimed at the corpse of the one dead hooligan, but the gamble paid off, killing three of the hooligans instantly and wounding a fourth.
Devastated by their losses, the wounded hooligan and his buddy looked at each other in shock and immediately decided it wasn't worth it to do more than make a showing. Both bailed before another shot could crack the air.
It was at that point that I decided I was done. Leveling my SAW at the last bandit, I dropped him, then gestured for my squad to circle before any more stragglers could arrive.
We didn't have much time to pick through the bodies, and there didn't seem to be much worth picking up anyway.
Even the hooligans were mostly just a heap of steaming meat that no one really wanted to pick through.
Nike is MVP
All others gain +2 XP
4 AP spent on training.
Loot (1 +1 +1): Heavy Machinegun, Scrap Rifle, Shotgun
Trade (2): Scanner, Med-Kit
Convoy did not level up.
Maya leveled up! +1 to Combat Skill!
Kate leveled up! +1 to Combat Skill!
Sally leveled up! +1 to Combat Skill!
New Recruit: A Rookie
Progress Toward finding The Hazy Caves: +0 (1 of 3)
Big Jimmy prepares a dose of Sprawlwort to give Daedalus an advantage in fighting fish. He then goes in search of herbs but finds none. He does not run into trouble.
Daedalus goes fishing and finds a Secret Spot with four fish he can try to catch. Fish 1: 3/2; Fish 2: 4/3; Fish 3: 6/2. Fish 4: 1/2; He then attempts to catch Fish 1 and hooks it. After a little fight, he reels it in to shore. He then goes after Fish 2, and has to noodle around in the water a little before he hooks it. After a slow, slogging battle, he catches it. For giggles, he then goes for Fish 3 and, because it's a good day, I suppose, hooks it on the first try. He easily drags it in to shore. Lastly, he goes for Fish 4 and takes a lot longer to hook it. Once it's hooked, though, he easily pulls it in. Grinning, Daedalus returns from fishing feeling quite triumphant and when he sells the fish to Greene, he contributes 3 Scrap to the community pile. He does not run into trouble. He does level up his fishing ability, though! (+1 Fishing!) With this second +1, he is also able to get his fishing rod "perfectly balanced."
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