A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #901
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    While Richard approaches the building, Sean remains on lookout for any targets, of opportunity or otherwise. "Just keep in mind, we are not going in without some smoke or explosives through the windows. You might want to shoot the lock and release the slaves, though."

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    Watch the entrance to the building for a few seconds, ready to shoot anyone attempting to enter, then take a broader view, including the windows and such.

  2. - Top - End - #902
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    Tariq continues to aim, in preparation of launching another grenade.

  3. - Top - End - #903
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    Richard nods in response to Sean's comment as he trudges through the snow. He wasn't planning on getting inside alone, just getting closer to confirm their kills and see if his actions provoke anyone that Sean can then pick off.

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    Noted about the snow slowing him down (so he's actually just creping forward at 1 yard/second right now, between armour encumbrance, AoD half speed and the snow), still sticking to the AoD plan for the time being (particularly as presumably the snow -2 will affect dodging).

  4. - Top - End - #904
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    The building the slavers ran into do not have any windows - not even boarded-up ones. It's like the bricks have swallowed any promise of inviting atmosphere whole.

    Richard is not shot at as he gets nearer and nearer. He can't help but feel exposed as he trudges over the not-so-gentle slopes. It takes way too long to reach the edges of the camp, but Richard does make it.

    All is quiet and still as the exile looks around the place - the blasted areas where the grenades went off has scattered men prone and seemingly dead. Blood blots and wrecked materials gives the whole sight a very unpleasant aura. The slave pen cage is secured with a heavy chain and strong padlock, all of it polished and greased up. The pickup truck that was not hit by a grenade is not running, and the men who were in the back ran off. The other truck did not blow up or catch fire, but that is the only thing right with it. The men in its back tray have been crumpled and scoured. The keys are still in the ignition of both vehicles. There is a ladder on the far side of the building, up to the sniper's lookout on top.

    The door to the building is open, but Richard's careful glances inside reveal no-one in sight - they've wisely taken up position well behind a brick wall bend.
    Anachronism will never high-light the folly of my convictions!

  5. - Top - End - #905
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    Since nothing has shot at Richard as he advanced and, an utter lack of windows being evident, nothing probably will, Sean takes his turn to move. "You'd be the last, after I get in position and wave to you. Meanwhile, I think it's safe to reload. I'll want one frag and one gas into the door, after the slaves are freed, and then your choice depending on whether you'll hear them coughing. If not, maybe the ladder and a good blast charge through the chimney or such." Having said that, and got a reply, if any, Sean follows Richard, but takes a bit to the side.

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    The intention is to end up about 90 degrees around the building from Richard (from the side not featuring the door, and only if that side also lacks windows), then take a peek at the wall directly opposing our starting position to see if there are doors/windows there. This is to make sure we have not left any sneaky retreat options.

  6. - Top - End - #906
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    As Sean makes his way across the snow, Richard deals with the pen's lock, carefully shooting out the lock. Once he's dealt with that, he opens it and lowers his rifle to show the slaves he's not an enemy before indicating for the slaves to get to a safe distance.

  7. - Top - End - #907
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    Quote Originally Posted by Volthawk View Post
    As Sean makes his way across the snow, Richard deals with the pen's lock, carefully shooting out the lock. Once he's dealt with that, he opens it and lowers his rifle to show the slaves he's not an enemy before indicating for the slaves to get to a safe distance.
    (OOC: You did not need to roll an attack roll, more like Forced Entry.)

    Richard's bullets just barely ruin the padlock's internal workings. It comes off, as the slaves inside the cage scream. Opening it up, Richard sees the people inside are cold, hungry and scarred by fire branding. Half have been injured to the point of reeling. Half have also been restrained with extra chains and shackles. Most do not have the ability to make a run for it on their own.

    Quote Originally Posted by u-b View Post
    Since nothing has shot at Richard as he advanced and, an utter lack of windows being evident, nothing probably will, Sean takes his turn to move. "You'd be the last, after I get in position and wave to you. Meanwhile, I think it's safe to reload. I'll want one frag and one gas into the door, after the slaves are freed, and then your choice depending on whether you'll hear them coughing. If not, maybe the ladder and a good blast charge through the chimney or such." Having said that, and got a reply, if any, Sean follows Richard, but takes a bit to the side.

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    The intention is to end up about 90 degrees around the building from Richard (from the side not featuring the door, and only if that side also lacks windows), then take a peek at the wall directly opposing our starting position to see if there are doors/windows there. This is to make sure we have not left any sneaky retreat options.
    Sean re-positions and checks out the other side of the building. Still no windows, and no doors either. He can make out lots of bulletholes and big blood stains on the wall, however, and a bunch of corpses bunched around at the base of the wall. The slavers have executed people by firing squad at this side.
    Anachronism will never high-light the folly of my convictions!

  8. - Top - End - #908
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    Damn. He knew they were slavers and murderers, but the way they were treating these people...they were definitely doing the right thing here. Sometimes over the last few months he did have times where he wondered whether the aggressive strategy they were taking against the Gamblers was the right thing to do, but days like this reminded him just what their enemy was capable of. Looking over the slaves, he considers the situation for a few moments before speaking.

    "We'll get everyone out once we've dealt with the rest of these bastards. Just...hold on for a little longer, and if you can, stay away from any ways into the building. There's going to be more shooting."

    With that, he leaves the slave pen, getting into position for when the others are ready to assault the building.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shoot Da Moon View Post
    (OOC: You did not need to roll an attack roll, more like Forced Entry.)
    Noted for future reference, forgot that was a skill.
    Last edited by Volthawk; 2021-07-26 at 04:13 AM.

  9. - Top - End - #909
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    Sean completes the circle around the building, approaches the entrance and takes a quick look inside, putting his head in the doorway for only a brief moment. Standing next to the entrance, he rules out shooting the grenade launcher at the doorway, given the slaves' condition and proximity. Instead, he waves Tariq to approach, then points at the ladder and up. After that, Sean takes a grenade, pulls the pin, releases the handle, waits for two seconds then tries a low throw going into a roll to get the grenade somewhere inside, preferably behind the farthest corner reachable in such a manner. Sean moves out of the doorway again, and this time clears some additional distance before the grenade explodes.

  10. - Top - End - #910
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    Since Richard made it through without being attacked, Tariq resists the temptation to launch off another grenade "just to be sure". Acknowledging Sean's request, Tariq loads a tear gas grenade into the launcher, and then moves closer to the building.

  11. - Top - End - #911
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    Sean thinks he hears a short scream before he runs away.

    When the boom goes off, the exiles wait a little for their ears to stop ringing before they go deeper into the building.

    The interior is a little strange for an old world, perhaps it was built custom by the slavers? Down the sharp turn corridor from the door, they take a left turn into a single large room with no windows or doors. No way up to the roof, either.

    The grenade did a number on the one big room's occupants, the slavers who escaped inside. The explosion killed them all, and shredded their clothes and wrecked their equipment. On the remains of some desks are a lot of heavily damaged stuff - a smashed apart radio, a cooked-off ammo dump, numerous tools written off, burned papers, a cheap rifle bent and twisted by the impact, and so on.

    The overall feeling is carnage and ruin. Probably nothing to salvage.
    Anachronism will never high-light the folly of my convictions!

  12. - Top - End - #912
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    Nevertheless, Sean gives it a try, digging through all the stuff and the bodies. Then all the bodies outside, including the sniper. If he finds any keys, he'll hand them to Richard as soon as they are found. Otherwise, he'll just gather the loot into the one surviving pickup. He also takes an account of both pickups and other transportation, to see if they are any good (for parts, meat, and what not).

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    1. Black neck tattoos on everyone?
    2. Keys for the slaves? As small steel objects these should have a good chance to survive. Otherwise, it's a good time to practice some lockpicking.
    3. Well, maybe some scrap good for parts or something...
    4. Need stats for the truck(s) and what about the carriages and the horses? Do we have to do any catching and/or fixing?

  13. - Top - End - #913
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    Sean looks at the dead and predictably finds black tattoos on all their necks. These ones are different from others he's seen before, however, depicting two six sided dice with their ones face up. One man has a different tattoo, depicting four cards in a hand - eight of spades, ace of spades, eight of clubs and ace of clubs.

    The big heavy key ring was knocked off its hook by the bombing and landed in a corner, a stroke of luck for the exiles. Richard can easily unlock the shackles and free the slaves in the cage with them.

    The loot inside the building is less bountiful. The scrap from the wrecked metal stuff is probably good as 180 pounds of junk. All of the food and water was splattered uselessly all over the place, that's too bad. Another 30 minutes of searching the ruin finds small amounts of surviving stuff. A pair of whistles, a cigarette lighter and a warm sleeping blanket.

    The stagecoaches are still here on a technicality, the horses freaked out at the bombs and retreated 25 yards into the small hills. The exiles can retrieve them if they care to go out into the snow and wrangle the animals...
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    (OC: stagecoach stats are on HT232. WorkHorse stats are in Basic Set 2.)
    (54cross ST/HP, Hnd/SR -2/3, HT 12c, Move 4/8*, LWt. 2.3, Load 1.1, SM+3, Occ. 1+10, DR 2, Range F, Locations 6D2E4W, cost $4400x2)


    The pickup truck that was not bombed is in okay condition. It has six bottles of water, 12 pistol bullets and 6 rations in its cab, most of it in the passenger side and the glovebox.
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    (OC: pickup truck has 3 flaws, -20% Range and -1 SR. See B464, TL7 Pickup Truck for stats.)
    (55 ST/HP, Hnd/SR 0/4 -1, HT 11f, Move 3/50, LWt. 2.2, Load 0.85, SM+3, Occ. 2, DR 5, Range 450 -20%, Locations G4W, cost $20K x8 -30%)


    The other pickup truck will require major repairs.

    Five of the slavers are still alive, but heavily injured. They were all outside and got hit by the weaker explosions.
    Anachronism will never high-light the folly of my convictions!

  14. - Top - End - #914
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    Once Sean finds the keys, Richard gets to work unshackling the slaves and focuses the rest of his attention on them, getting a count of how many there are, roughly appraising the state of their injuries (mainly how well they can walk and move around, now they're unshackled) and talking to them. He's curious about who they are and what skills they have, as he tries to come up with a plan to deal with them. After all, the exiles can't just set them free and walk away, not when the people were in this bad of a state, but any plan is going to have to involve the freed people taking an active role in things, so getting a good read on their state and abilities is important to Richard. In particular, he's curious if anyone there has any talent with handling animals - he couldn't see the exiles making much use of the stagecoaches in the future, but they were big enough that they could carry a good amount of people out of here, if any of the slaves could get a handle on the horses and drive the coaches. There's also the question of where exactly they'd be going, and Richard works on that in the back of his mind as he works to address the immediate issues.

  15. - Top - End - #915
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    Richard examines the former slaves, and finds a full fifth of them have been deliberately injured as punishment. The rest were starved and deprived just enough to keep them off their escape attempts.

    Most of them are wandering scavengers or hermits who got jumped by small parties of black necks. A good portion of them know enough about foraging or trading to keep themselves alive. Four captured people even know how to handle horses and ride them, as such animals are good transportation...if the weather isn't too bad. One of them is a veteran hunter - they took his gun and bullets when they grabbed him.

    The wandering traders do know a few safe enough places in the region...

    Sean finds intact gear on the men who were shot rather than blown up. Guns, ammo, armour and other things.
    Last edited by Shoot Da Moon; 2021-07-28 at 02:10 AM.
    Anachronism will never high-light the folly of my convictions!

  16. - Top - End - #916
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    Having accounted for all the loot, Sean hands out the following:
    1. 40 bottles of water for immediate consumption, to be gradually refilled by boiling the snow and returned when we are back to civilization
    2. 4 cheap 10G double shotguns
    3. 2 (cheap?) 12G single shotguns
    4. 36 shotgun cartridges
    5. 2 (cheap?) .36 revolvers
    6. 24 pistol cartridges

    The hunter, being now part of the team, if only on medical leave from the actual work, gets the following:
    1. a (cheap?) remington rolling block rifle
    2. 11 rifle cartridges
    3. an early concealable vest
    4. a pair of boots
    5. a pair of leather gloves
    6. a cloth cap

    While handing the gear, Sean introduces himself and the party. He also asks the hunter's name and his affiliation(s), if any.

    He then proceeds with butchering and cooking, one dog at a time, to have enough food for everyone for the coming days.

  17. - Top - End - #917
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    The hunter says he has no affiliation, he was/is a lone wanderer.

    Butchering the dogs yields plenty of meat.
    Anachronism will never high-light the folly of my convictions!

  18. - Top - End - #918
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    The exiles and the former slaves clean up the camp and rest for the night in the building, hopefully secure. The hungry and thirsty former captives enjoy the meals and water, not to mention the marginally more comfy sleeping areas. The tied up and cuffed slavers are reluctantly fed.

    DAY 47

    The exiles wake up to a sunny day. A bright morning does not lessen the ugly signs of carnage outside the building, but they are much more faded than yesterday.
    Anachronism will never high-light the folly of my convictions!

  19. - Top - End - #919
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    I'm not sure whether Tariq declines the opportunity to plant a mine or GnomesofZurich just taking his time to post. If the later, consider one mine to be present across the road some 500 yards from the site, day 46 evening onwards.

    Having stayed guard duty for most of the night, Sean gets back to the freed captives in the morning. He announces that the group should depart as soon as they can sit the stagecoach and while they are not, he'd join them and press some mattress. And while at it, he would be willing to hear local news, gossip, life stories and all that sort of thing. He might share some of his own in return, if they are interested.
    Last edited by u-b; 2021-07-31 at 12:20 PM.

  20. - Top - End - #920
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    Richard spends his time not taking a watch shift with the former slaves, getting to know them and telling them a little about the exiles and what they've been up to, trying to keep spirits up and a positive attitude. He's curious about their plans for the future, now they're free - do they have any preference out of the safe spots they've discussed (he knows Sean wants to head to a town, and he agrees - it seems like the safest option and their best shot for the future, if the town is willing - but he still wants to hear their opinions), are they planning on sticking together or splitting up, that sort of thing. Once they're good to go, he gets into position behind the wheel of one of their vehicles, ready to escort the stagecoaches on the trip.

  21. - Top - End - #921
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    The former slaves were in the cage for at least two weeks. They do not have much recent news, outside of what they could learn about the slavers at the camp.

    The slavers had a big bus show up at the camp once every month, and the bus would take a few slaves from the pen and drive off somewhere. Slavers would switch off every week, driving off in a pickup truck and leaving fresh new slavers to take over the camp.

    The former captives, now free, plan to spend time healing their wounds and getting fed in a safe place before returning to their usual nomad lifestyle. The stagecoaches can travel 8 miles a hour under okay conditions. Good thing it is the middle of Spring. The former prisoners load themselves up into the transport.

    The wanderers prefer to go to the small town 15 miles away, as one former captive is owed a favour there, so he call that in and get a safe place to hide out for all those were enslaved. It should only take two hours, even on bad roads.

    (OC: Each player earns 4 bonus Character Points for liberating the slave camp.)
    Anachronism will never high-light the folly of my convictions!

  22. - Top - End - #922
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    The group sets off for the town...

    2 hours later, they arrive at an out-of-the-way settlement, where most of the Old World infrastructure has been either wore away by time or repurposed by New World scavengers to create civilisation anew. The current townies have cannibalised the ruins of some giant mansion for bricks and wood, making seven basic buildings for public use. There are food storage, a hostel, a bar, a guard tower, and so on...

    Just as the former slave said, one of the townies owes him. They arrange for accomodations and protection, settling in to a prepared underground shelter that is easily hidden on the outskirts of town.

    As thanks, the former slaves gift the exiles with a promise of a favour in the future, all they have to do is ask.
    (OC: all player characters can spend Character Points buying a Favour now, just one and once. You don't have to spend any points now, just tell me when.)

    The town is just a little too primitive to have a tow truck or a vehicle winch, the exiles will need to try harder to get that if they wanna salvage that damaged pickup back at the camp.
    Anachronism will never high-light the folly of my convictions!

  23. - Top - End - #923
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    Quote Originally Posted by u-b View Post
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    I'm not sure whether Tariq declines the opportunity to plant a mine or GnomesofZurich just taking his time to post. If the later, consider one mine to be present across the road some 500 yards from the site, day 46 evening onwards.

    Having stayed guard duty for most of the night, Sean gets back to the freed captives in the morning. He announces that the group should depart as soon as they can sit the stagecoach and while they are not, he'd join them and press some mattress. And while at it, he would be willing to hear local news, gossip, life stories and all that sort of thing. He might share some of his own in return, if they are interested.
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    Sorry, currently on vacation with my family and having trouble keeping up with the rate of posting. Tariq will plant the mine as requested, I'll roll in the dice thread.


    Tariq plants the mine as requested.

  24. - Top - End - #924
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    Sean checks with the local traders the things that they had available. That turns out to be quite a lot of good stuff. The most expensive part is a fairly modern radio set, appropriate for a vehicle, but also coming with a carrying bag. It has text and voice modes, fairly sophisticated RF part, built-in export-grade encryption and a slot for a secure crypto-module, which could be installed if only we found the thing. With this radio set it would be possible to text the base from all over the state and chat with absolutely no problem within about 100 miles or so. They also had other perfectly good stuff, like an excellent-quality shotgun, a laser rangefinder, red dot sight... but those were more or less affordable by today's party's standards. Buying the radio required dragging here that car as it was by itself worth a comparable amount, so Sean goes on to plan just that...

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    We'll also buy some gas (does pickup have the same 12-gallon tank?) and maybe bolt cutters, if they are available.

    By the way, what is the hunter's name? It is not secret, is it?

  25. - Top - End - #925
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    Quote Originally Posted by u-b View Post
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    We'll also buy some gas (does pickup have the same 12-gallon tank?) and maybe bolt cutters, if they are available.

    By the way, what is the hunter's name? It is not secret, is it?
    (OC: Yep, gasoline and bolt cutters are both available. The pickup does have a 12-gallon tank. The hunter's name is Bart.)
    Anachronism will never high-light the folly of my convictions!

  26. - Top - End - #926
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    The first thing to do was to buy some tow rope or cable. Sean finds a 6-yard piece of fairly thick steel cable, complete with loops on the ends. The cable seems way thicker than required to tow a moderately-sized car, but it's better than the other way around, so Sean decides not to spend the time looking for other deals. He pays twelve rifle rounds for it, no haggling.

    Back at the slavers' base, Sean lets Tariq and Richard fix the tires as they see fit while he stands guard just in case.

  27. - Top - End - #927
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    Quote Originally Posted by u-b View Post
    The first thing to do was to buy some tow rope or cable. Sean finds a 6-yard piece of fairly thick steel cable, complete with loops on the ends. The cable seems way thicker than required to tow a moderately-sized car, but it's better than the other way around, so Sean decides not to spend the time looking for other deals. He pays twelve rifle rounds for it, no haggling.

    Back at the slavers' base, Sean lets Tariq and Richard fix the tires as they see fit while he stands guard just in case.
    Tariq is able to fix the tires.

  28. - Top - End - #928
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    Although it takes some time, the exiles are able to repair the damage pickup enough to get it back on the road when they tie it to their functioning truck with steel cable. It still has no windows or a rear-view mirror, though, not to mention the various blast marks in the back tray.

    It is after midday by the time they return to the small town with the truck.
    Anachronism will never high-light the folly of my convictions!

  29. - Top - End - #929
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    Working the car in town is much safer and somewhat more convenient than at the slavers base, so Sean does not feel the need to stand guard, just telling Bart to help Tariq with "hand this" and "hold that". Looking at it, the car should be ready for handing over to buyers sometime afternoon, early evening at worst. Meanwhile, Sean and Richard interrogate the prisoners.

    "Okay, gentlemen, we are now able to give you some attention, which is not necessarily a good thing for you, but we'll see. I'll make it perfectly clear we are not interested in you personally, one way or another, not in delivering justice or any similar ****. But. We are interested in infos. And we are interested in our own reputation. So, if you hand us good infos, you'll be free to go. Not sure if you've heard it, but we've had a few seventy-seven guys go under similar term, so stay positive, stay talkative, and you might be just fine."

    "You see, your bunch, in a general sense of "bunch", has decided to target us for some reason. So we target you back. Again, your general bunch, not you personally. We'd like to get to a few more dozen of yours and your-likes. And for that, we are willing to let you go free, after what you would tell is confirmed. Sites, bases, organizational structure, whatever else you can think of. The more the better. My friend Richard will collect anything you are going to tell. If the sun sets without any of you telling anything, one of you will die and the rest will have time to think again. Fair enough, hm?"
    Last edited by u-b; 2021-08-04 at 01:47 PM.

  30. - Top - End - #930
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    The captives all play dumb. They claim to know nothing about any organisation or sites. "Gee, guess you'll have to kill one of us, huh?" One of them grins nervously.

    In the meantime, Tariq can get to work repairing the truck, somewhat ironically thankful that he did not manage to do more damage with his beloved explosives. The town merchants would certainly like a fixed-up pickup, but they may have problems getting a payment for it. Would the exiles like to trade it for draft animals? They have some good quality horses and hunting dogs...

    The sunset is three and a half hours away...
    Anachronism will never high-light the folly of my convictions!

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