Dust to Dust

Session Three

In attendance were:

Nils Spector, the Savvyhead
Pity, the Brainer
Mr Smith, the Battlebabe
Marlon, the Driver

and joining us was a new character:

Pitbull, the Chopper, aging motorcycle gang leader with a short temper

who, along with some of his gang, has been sent by Mercer to accompany the convoy.

Dez was absent, so she spent the session in the back of the Whambulance, recovering from the attack that left her choking with a badly bruised neck.

The warm, thick black rain began to thin and cool, until now it was pouring with cold, inky rain. Following his Bonefeel, Nils found himself drawn into the wilderness, heading towards a strange glowing light that beckoned him into the darkness. As he picked his way through the rocks and rubble, oblivious to the gunshots around him, he found in front of him a crashed jet liner, lying shattered in the wastes. The weird light seemed to be emanating from the cockpit, and he made his way there, ignoring the ominous smells, and the hooks and chains hanging from the battered ceiling. Entering the cockpit, he opened a sealed panel and withdrew a mysterious orange box from within, the glow fading as he picked it up. Only then did he hear the sounds of voices and movement in the plane behind him.

Meanwhile, the rest of the PCs regrouped. With bullets whizzing past overhead, they ascertain that Nils is missing, and that one of the Edgewatch mercs is dead next to Marlon’s car. They decide to head up the ridge in search of Nils. Pitbull manages to scrounge up a powerful flashlight from his saddlebags, but as he turns it on several shots ring out of the dark towards them. Mr Smith hits the dirt, Marlon disappears into the darkness, and Pity calmly walks directly towards the nearest muzzle flash. Pitbull props the torch up on a ruined power pylon, then turns it on again, drawing more fire. Pity spots a rifleman, and mentally orders him to kill himself. He responds by jamming a knife into his own throat. Marlon moves like a ghost through the darkness, circling around behind a cannibal with an SMG, and then knocking him cold.

Nils leaves the cockpit to see two figures hunched on the ground near the exit. He sneaks towards them, intent on braining them with his crowbar, but is spotted. In the darkness, one of the cannibals mistakes him for an ally and offers him a share of their gruesome meal; the remains of another one of the mercs. Nils bluffs them, and pretending to be one of them, orders them to leave the plane and join the fight. Reluctantly, they do so, only to be spotlighted by Pitbull’s torch, then blown away by Marlon with both barrels of his shotgun.

Returning to the convoy, the find they have suffered minimal casualties. Marlon torches the bodies, and the plane, and as the rain finally clears, they make their way northwards again. They stop at Devil’s Water, a polluted and irradiated pond near the road, for a break. Nils takes the opportunity to examine the mysterious box. He attempts to speak to it, but instead finds himself trapped in the psychic maelstrom. Strange voices murmur, and a weird shrieking noise nearly deafens him. Then, the voice of his mother tells him “I never really loved you”. The others find Nils lying in a pool of his own blood, bleeding from all the orifices in his head. Since Nils is in no state to drive, Pitbull orders one of his gangers Flatulent Bob to take the wheel, much to the displeasure of the Whambulance’s other passengers.

As Nils slowly recovers, they reach Edgewatch with no further complications. Edgewatch is a large hardhold of around 1000 people, built in the ruins of an abandoned factory, and situated on the edge of a massive crater. The hardhold boasts a working oil derrick, and a large mining complex, both worked by slaves and indentured servants. Once they arrive in town, they notice the very large number of armed guards, much more than were here last time they visited. They head to the gasoline tank to deliver the tanker, while Marlon goes to meet Millions, the hardholder, to deliver the package that Mercer asked him to transport.

Millions has his office at the top of a large tower, and as Marlon makes his way up the gantries and stairs, he is stopped by several armed guards, including Pierre, head of the militia. Pierre insists on taking the package, and Marlon refuses, telling him to check with Millions. After doing so, Pierre grudgingly lets him pass, but Marlon has definitely made an enemy. Reaching Millions’ office, Marlon finds Millions waiting along with several more armed guards. Millions fancies himself a business man, with his slicked back hair, ill-fitting suit and battered mahogany desk. He thanks Marlon for bringing the package, and arranges to meet him in the back-room of Randall’s Saloon to make the delivery, away from prying eyes.

Meanwhile, as Nils helps unload the tanker, Mr Smith realises the militia are all giving Nils the same dirty looks the mercs back in Grayweed were doing. Talking to one, he tells Mr Smith that he has heard Nils has strange powers, and calls him a witch. Puzzled by this, the rest of the PCs also head to Randall’s to get some food and drinks. As they arrive, they find the place full of well-armed militia, looking bored and drunk. Mr Smith attempts to defuse the situation and buy one of them a drink, but is rebuffed. Pitbull, never one to take that sort of thing quietly, then challenges the bar-tender and the militia man about their behaviour. Tensions rise another notch, and then Marlon enters the bar. Sensing the impending violence, he heads straight for the back room. Mr Smith follows him. As they enter the back room, they hear the distinct sound of Pitbull bouncing the insolent militia man’s head off the bar.

Millions looks distinctly angry at Mr Smith entering the room, and orders him to leave at gunpoint. Despite the four goons with assault rifles pointed at him, Mr Smith calmly stares Millions in the eye, and says he his here at Mercer’s request, and that he’s not going anywhere. Millions backs down, though with a look of murder in his eye. Pierre takes the package from Marlon, and Millions suggests they leave town right now.

Heading back into the saloon, they see Pitbull standing over the stunned and bleeding militia member, while Nils and Pity are still seated at their table. 30-odd armed militia seem poised for violence. Mr Smith glances around the room, then motions to the door. The PCs make their exit, but not before Pitbull tosses a handful of coins on the prone militia man, to pay for his drink.

Highlights of the session:

  • Pity crushing cannibals’ heads with his weird mind powers
  • Mr Smith first staring down Millions, then the whole bar, simultaneously impressing Marlon and making a whole hardhold full of enemies
  • Nils rolling snake-eyes for his Things Speak power, making three failed rolls in a row on his main stat
  • Pitbull’s introduction to the group, with both his uncouth and violent behaviour, and his gang of ill-mannered and bad-smelling bikers
Session Two

We had a full-house, so in attendance were:

Nils Spector, the Savvyhead
Pity, the Brainer
Dez, the Angel
Mr Smith, the Battlebabe
Marlon, the Driver

The session started at dawn, the morning after the events of the previous session. Nils was working on Marlon’s car, and noticed someone had pried open the trunk. He investigated, but found nothing else amiss. He was then summoned by Rum, Mercer the hardholder’s bodyguard, to help fix the pump on the gasoline refinery. Arriving at the refinery, he found a convoy from Edgewatch, delivering oil to be refined. Despite getting an odd feeling from some of the mercs there, he settled down to fixing the pump. Mr Smith, who was there to chat with the mercs, got an odd feeling from them too, and noticed that some of them were eyeballing Nils with distrustful looks.

As the sun rose and the air began to bake in the stifling heat, Nils made his way back to his workshop. He encountered Pity on the way, who asked him to repair a pocketwatch. As Pity briefly touched Nils with a gloved hand, Nils suddenly has a nagging urge to go and use his powers to read Marlon’s car.

Pity returns to their quarters to meet with Rum. Rum asks Pity to keep tabs on Dez, who Rum is concerned has too much influence over Mercer and her decisions. Rum gets on well with Pity; as it turns out, Rum is Pity’s brother, though no-one but Pity knows this. Pity treats him well, and in return is treated with respect by Rum. Pity promises to observe Dez’s behaviour, and Rum leaves a couple of cans of fruit as a gift before leaving.

Shortly afterwards, Dez arrives, looking for any information Pity might have about Rice’s murder. Dez had finished her autopsy of Rice, and determined that she had been attacked with something razor sharp with a single-edged blade. Something like a large scalpel, or a straight-razor like the ones Mr Smith carries. Pity doesn’t have any additional information for Dez, but mentions that Nils was planning on psychically reading Marlon’s car, despite Marlon’s objections. Dez heads over there to see if Nils has learned anything.

Meanwhile, in the saloon, Marlon is sinking some drinks, when Rum summons him to see Mercer. It turns out she wants him to make the run back to Edgewatch with the other PCs, and to deliver another package to Millions, hardholder there. They will also be escorting the tanker on its return trip, full of gasoline for Edgewatch.

When Nils reaches his workshop and escapes the blast-furnace of heat that is outside, he is greeted by Monk, the greasy courier who is Marlon’s rival. Monk has an unidentified piece of old tech, which Nils greatly desires, but Monk will only give it to him if Nils stops working on Marlon’s car, and offers his services exclusively to Monk. Nils refuses, and Monk suggests that maybe Tao, the town’s other mechanic and Nil’s competition, would like the tech instead. Monk leaves, giving Nils something to think about.

After Monk is gone, Nils speaks to the car, and after getting a brief read on the emotions from the argument between Mr Smith and Foster the previous day, gets an overwhelming sensation of pain. He feels as though his right forearm has been severed, and his mouth filled with hot coals, before passing out. Dez arrives to find him curled up on the floor, and carries him to the infirmary through the blazing heat.

Dez examines Nils, who has bitten the inside of his mouth, and has a burned forearm. Nils tries to relate what the car told him, but Dez suspects he had a seizure, and burned his arm on some hot surface in the workshop. Nils’ awkward attempt to make conversation is interrupted by Rum, who sends them to the saloon to wait for the convoy to leave. Dez asks Rum to pass on a requisition request to Mercer for the infirmary; Rum offers to take a list to her instead.

Marlon returns to the saloon, where he finds Mr Smith drinking and getting cosy with Tao. Tao tells Mr Smith that she wishes Nils wasn’t taking all her work, and insinuates that she could make Mr Smith very happy if he takes Nils out of the picture. As Nils and Dez arrive, Mr Smith informs Nils that some of the mercs have been giving him the hairy eyeball. Marlon casually makes conversation with one of the mercs, trying to find the source of the problem, only to be told that Nils has been accused of sexually assaulting a young boy in Edgewatch. Marlon is taken aback by this, but keeps it to himself for now.

With everyone ready and the convoy preparing to leave, Pity joins them at the saloon. Marlon will be driving his Impala, while Nils will transport the rest of the PCs in the Whambulance, a converted and neon-painted ambulance. With Marlon taking point, the convoy leaves for Edgewatch as the sun sets in the west.

Mr Smith talks to Nils about his conversation with Tao, warning Nils about her, and suggesting that perhaps if Nils took her on as an apprentice, it would resolve the situation. After a couple of hours of uneventful driving, a storm-front suddenly rolls in from the north. Thick, tar-like black rain begins to fall, forcing the convoy to stop as it becomes impossible to see. After the sounds of several gunshots, and a thump on the side of the Whambulance, Dez and Mr Smith exit to investigate. Mr Smith senses several figures moving around the convoy, but Dez doesn’t see the one who emerges behind her, looping a frayed piece of electrical wire round her throat from behind. Mr Smith moves to intervene, but not before Dez is choked and bruised. Mr Smith throws the attacker to the ground, then, after transfixing him with a killer’s stare, slices open his throat.

Meanwhile, Pity turns to see Nils has left the vehicle, inexplicably leaving his shotgun behind. Then, Pity hears the sound of someone trying the passnger door. Moving to the front seat, Pity winds down the window, coming face to face with another attacker, his face burned like the first one. He tries to reach in to grab Pity, but gets his mind crushed instead, collapsing silently with a spray of blood from his nose. Dez hits him with her stun-gun, before Mr Smith slices his throat too. The PCs turn to regroup, and figure out where Nils has disappeared to in all the confusion.

Highlights of the session:

  • Pity’s subtle use of the violation glove to use the in-brain puppet strings on Nils
  • Dez’s realisation that Mr Smith might not be a complete lunatic after his non-violent negotiations with Nils, only to then witness him slice two people’s throats in as many minutes
  • Marlon’s extreme displeasure at the thought of Nils adding fins to his car
Session One - Mr Smith

Mr Smiths journal:

Marlon got back into town….

Bored bored bored…
nearly got to cut one of those dumb fuck orderly’s heads off, so that’s a positive…
Bored Bored Bored…

Merc wants us to do some stuff… still bored

Session One - Dez


personal journal: Diziet m.d (dez)

*Busy day ahead.
Moxie’s taken some pretty serious blunt trauma to the face, and judging by her unhinged fury, I’d say Shigs knows who did it.

Could have done without the melodramatic cow dinging the CG with her coffee mug though.

Spose I’m going to have to get Nils to fix it up, but you know he kinda freaks me out with that weird f**king machine-whispering thing he does.

*Huh. Word is Marlon was the one that smashed up Mox’s face.

Yeah, I don’t really buy that.
I’m pretty sure he was on a job, and he’s always been a stand-up guy anyway, despite his textbook auto-fixation.

What is it with boys and their toys anyway? Seriously doubt Nils or Marlon ever handled a woman the way they do their machines. No wonder Merc’s top contender for a bit of a rumble now and then.

Anyway…I can’t see Marlon doing that to Mox.

Shigusa must be listening to the deadheads at the saloon again.

*Well,I was right, it’s one of those days. Smith says Rice has got into deep bad, wants me to help get what’s left.
Usually he’d be my top suspect for whatever badness round here, but he seems genuinely perplexed.

Don’t know how I’m going to break it to poor Mox; her and Rice were pretty close… I think?

Unless there’s more to her bruises? But she couldn’t hurt Rice in any serious way, surely?

*Sh!t. Poor Rice was eviscerated. Massive abdominal trauma from something large, sharp and angry.

The autopsy will have to wait though, gotta quiz Mox while she’s strapped to the slab.

*So Rice hit Mox….but it was some freak noise caused her to lose it?
I don’t have her flagged on her psyche profile OR as having any aural hypersensitivity, so what’s really going on?

And what happened to her after that?

*Can’t shake the feeling there’s badness coming, and if I’m right, I’m going to need a bigger ‘firm. If there’s real trouble, this 2-bit hospital isn’t going to cut it, pun intended.

I’m tempted to tap the Maelstrom and get some kinda read…but then if that’s what made Pity the way she is…
The way she just stares straight into your brain…without any eyes…I mean…damn…sh!t


…what was I saying?

Oh yeah. Merc wants the bad guy found, and it looks like it’s up to us involved so far to do just that.

Busy days ahead.

end transcripting

Session One - Nils

(Nils’ Relic of a Golden Age is a RoboSapien V2 that he found when he was young. It was missing it’s batteries and remote, but it was about this time that Nil’s Savvyhead abilities began to manifest, and eventually he was able to jury-rig a rechargeable power supply for it. Nils keeps it in a very well-hidden safe in his workspace, and it’s called Sparky (because it likes to dance). Sparky is Nils’ closest (only) friend, and he talks to it every day.)

Hey Sparky! Whatcha been up to? Ah, sounds like fun! You know, it’s been a strange day. I was working on my sonic screwdriver this morning when Marlon called in and wanted me to service his Impala after an all-night run. You know how much I love working on that car, and being a Driver, he needs it to be perfect, which is why he comes to me and not that stoner Tao. Aw, she’s not THAT bad Sparky, just a f*cking bad mechanic. Anyway, Marlon needed to use my toilet, which was lucky for him, ‘cos Shigusa was looking for him, and she seemed a bit upset. Then Dez, you know, the Angel – remember when she saved my life? She wanted me to fix a cardiograph machine with a cracked screen. Apparently Shigusa threw a coffee mug at it, which just seems careless. While I was checking it out, I think there was some talk of Mox being hurt, but I wasn’t paying much attention, too busy listening to the cardiograph. I seem to remember Rice being there too, but she seemed in a bad way and didn’t say anything.
I knew I had the perfect bit of replacement glass back in the workspace, but for some reason Marlon wouldn’t let me take a piece of his windscreen. Yeah, I know, sometimes I just don’t understand people either, Sparky. Anyway, i was pretty sure I had another bit that would work, so I went looking for that. Oh, yeah, that Mr Smith scares the sh!t out of me. He almost got into a fight with Foster and Wisher, those goons from the infirmary, in my workspace! I thought they were gonna smash all my stuff up, so I was about to get my shotgun, but he got them to back down by being a hard bastard Battlebabe. Yes, I know I keep saying, but I just think he’s gonna cause problems. Still, he did send the two idiots outside and away from my stuff, so maybe he’s not all bad.
Speaking of scary things, for some reason everybody decided to congregate in my workspace. Why here? Don’t they have other places to go, places that aren’t my workspace? One of the people was Pity, who completely weirds me out, being a Brainer. Yeah, you find her freaky too? Can’t say I blame you. Do you ever get the feeling she (I’m sure she’s a she) is watching you? Oh,yeah, of course not, but if she knew about you, I’m sure she’d watch you too.Okay, maybe not, I just don’t know what she’s about. I mean, I know things speak to me, which is a little unusual I guess, but I think things just want me to help them. Who knows what speaks to her, and about what? Oh, and Mercer was here too, she always seems nice. Though she was a bit upset today too… something about someone having died, I think. Hey, I wonder if it was Rice?
Good news though, I found the part I needed for Dez! Okay, you need to sleep again? Cool, I’ll talk to you later Sparky.

Character Creation and Session One

After distributing the playbooks and letting everyone look though them to see what caught their eye, we ended up with the following:

Nils Spector, the Savvyhead, who has an uncanny knack with machines but is terrible at relating to people
Pity, the Brainer, whose empty eye-sockets, androgynous appearance and odd clothing speak to a mysterious past
Dez, the Angel, whose rough exterior hides a caring heart, but with no patience for fools
Mr Smith, the Battlebabe, whose ready smile hides the dead eyes of a sociopath
Marlon, the Driver, more comfortable on the road in his Impala than dealing with other people

After going round the table to establish everyone’s initial Hx (their history with other PCs), it turned that Nils is Marlon’s regular mechanic (over rival mechanic Tao), that Dez has lived in the hardhold for most of her life and has history with all the PCs, and that Pity is one creepy dude/dudette who likes to spy on everyone else and generally freak them out.

The session started with Marlon arriving back at the hardhold of Grayweed, racing through a dust-blown dawn after driving all night to the settlement of Dust’s End and back. Marlon heads to Nils’ workshop to drop his car off for a sevice. However, as he pulls up, he is confronted by Shigusa, one of the nurses at the infirmary. Marlon quickly ducks through the workshop to the junkyard out the back, leaving a very flustered Nils to deal with a very angry Shigusa and her threats of violence.

Meanwhile, out in the weed-wastes that give the hardhold its name, Mr Smith is shooting some tin cans, only to be surprised by Pity appearing from the dust clouds. Pity is looking for Rice, but their conversation is interrupted by a piercing scream. Investigating, they find the source nearby; Rice, lying in a pool of her own blood and intestines, breathing her last. Pity opens hir mind to the psychic maelstrom, and receives a vision of Marlon’s car, accompanied by a loud shrieking noise. Then the vision ends, leaving Pity flat on their back on the ground.

Marlon heads for the bathhouse to wash away the dust. Unfortunately, as he settles into his bath, Shigusa bursts in, accompanied by Foster and Wisher, two massive goons who act as orderlies and security at the clinic. Shigusa accuses Marlon of attacking Mox, another nurse, and demands that he come with her. Marlon refuses, saying that resolving this dispute is the job of Mercer, the hardholder. Shigusa reluctantly agrees, but demands Marlon’s car keys to stop him from running. As a compromise, Marlon offers to let Foster and Wisher guard his car until Mercer arrives. Shigusa reluctantly agrees, leaving Marlon to his bath. Marlon also finds out that it was a rival courier named Monk who told Shigusa that Marlon was responsible for the attack on Mox.

Meanwhile, Dez has her hands full at the clinic. She’s been out to the weed-waste with Mr Smith to retrieve Rice’s body, and now she’s looking after Mox, who is unconscious after a nasty blow to the head. Nils arrives to repair a damaged piece of medical equipment that Shigusa smashed with a coffee cup after finding out what happened to Mox. Nils uses his weird knack to “talk” to the damaged machine, figuring out what repairs need to be made as well as creeping Dez out. As Nils heads back to his junkyard to look for a replacement part, Mox regains consciousness. Dez interrogates her, finding out that she hasn’t seen Marlon for a week, but in fact it was Rice who attacked her. Rice and Mox were having a drinking session, but after hearing a weird shrieking noise, Rice freaked out and hit her with the bottle.

Back at Nils’ workshop, Mr Smith is in a heated argument with Foster and Wisher about whether they can touch Marlon’s car. Foster moves to attack Mr Smith, but backs down in a hurry when Mr Smith puts a kukri blade at his throat. Smith banished the goons outside, just as Shigusa, Dex, Mercer, and Mercer’s bodyguard Rum arrive. All of which makes Nils very uncomfortable, having this many people in his workshop at once. Mercer quickly clears things up, establishing that Marlon was out driving a mission for her all night, and couldn’t have been responsible for the attack on Mox. Further, as Dez can attest, Mox has confirmed it was Rice who attacked her. This puts Marlon in the clear, but still leaves the question of who eviscerated Rice. Mercer is very unhappy about Rice’s death, and orders everyone to find out who was responsible.

Highlights of the session:

  • the look on Mr Smith’s player’s face when he found out that Pity had watched him sleep
  • Nils’ interrupting Mercer to give Dez the replacement part he had found
  • Marlon managing to keep both his dignity and car keys intact, despite being literally caught with his pants down

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