Dust to Dust

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
View
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.

View
Session One - Dez

auto-transcript

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

View
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

View
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
View
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
View
Pitbulls musings..

Got to shoot some fuckers though they dinged up ma bike. Bullet in the head will teach them, haha.
Most surprising thing thats happened is that have discovered that Nils isn’t just a long armed freak but a genuine genius with machines. Decided he can look after the gangs bikes as just having him near seems to make her purr. Nils may be a kiddie fiddler but thats fine, wont be the first i’ve known and won’t be the last…might have to keep an eye out for him, not often you find a mechanic like this..now if only he wasnt so spacey we could be get along…ah but who really gives a shit about getting along…just tools for using.
Also that angel girl (wonder if she can be “used”)bought supplies that me and the boyz had ripped from Dust End (Fun time had by all) at Millions orders, he was gonna repackage them and sell them back to Dust End, but easier to sell it to Dez I guess. Took the packages off her to “get rid of”…might be able to use them to get back at that bastard Millions…talk to Mercer maybe?….or Mr Smith….he seems to know a few things…will need to deal with that french dick too, he knows too much…Seems marlon has a beef with him…gonna have to break some heads…fun times!

View
Session Four

In attendance were:

Nils Spector, the Savvyhead
Mr Smith, the Battlebabe
Marlon, the Driver
Pitbull, the Chopper
Dez, the Angel

While the events of the previous session had been happening, Dez has been negotiating for supplies to upgrade the infirmary back in Grayweed. Her haggling went well, and she loads up the Whambulance with crates of supplies, only slightly concerned at the “Property of Dust’s End” stamps on them. As she finishes loading the crates, the rest of the party approaches with the forced nonchalant stroll of people who have just caused a potential shit-storm.

Pitbull quickly rounds up the rest of his gang, who pile into the back of the Whambulance, with Nils driving and Mr Smith riding shotgun. Marlon goes to collect his car, only to find Pierre, the leader of the militia, lounging against it, his pearl-handled Magnums prominently displayed. Despite the threat of violence, Marlon drives off without incident.

The group drives out of Edgewatch under the malevolent gaze of the entirety of the well-armed militia, all of whom have appeared to make sure they leave. Pierre in particular was there to see Marlon off. Feeling they have narrowly averted disaster, the small convoy heads south back to Grayweed, with Marlon on point, Pitbull and his lieutenant Shithead at the rear, and the Whambulance crammed with PCs, medical supplies, and smelly gang members.

About half-way through their journey, as they exit the narrow ravine road that allows access to the plateau on which Edgewatch sits, the outriders notice a plume of dust on either side of the road, rapidly converging on their convoy. Marlon heads off-road to the west to investigate, while Pitbull and Shithead head east on their powerful bikes.

Marlon identifies an off-road motorbike and a baja-racer pickup heading directly towards the Whambulance. Suspecting they are driving them towards an ambush, he moves to intercept. Underestimating the power of Marlon’s car, the bandits continue onwards, taking potshots as he moves behind them. With some deft driving, he dodges most of the bullets, then shunts the pick-up, which ends up in a barrel roll, crushing the riflemen in the back and coming to a sudden halt wrapped around a large rock formation. Unfortunately, the impact also stalls Marlon’s car, and as he tries to restart it, the motorcyclist circles back round, SMG blazing.

Meanwhile, Pitbull identifies two off-road bikes approaching from the east, and recognising the potential ambush (having conducted plenty in his time), motions to Shithead that they should rejoin the Whambulance. The two bandit bikes approach within shooting distance, and pillion passengers begin peppering the Whambulance with SMG fire. Pitbull attempts a strong braking maneuver to drop back and flank the riders, but ends up stalling his un-cooperative chopper. As Nils speeds on, he sees Pitbull disappearing in his rear-view mirror.

As the western rider races towards Marlon’s car, SMG blazing, Marlon ducks down and grabs his shotgun. As the bike gets within range, Marlon pops up and opens fire. He catches an SMG round in the shoulder, but the shotgun blast tears the rider apart. His bike slams into the hood of Marlon’s car, and with a noisy hiss, a plume of steam erupts from the radiator.

Nils, driving the Whambulance, suddenly senses a disturbance in the maelstrom; Marlon’s car is in pain. He swings the wheel hard to the right, throwing the passengers around. Dez manages to cushion the most fragile crates, at the expense of some bumps and bruises. Ignoring the angry yells of the passengers, Nils races off into the dust waste, leaving Shithead wondering where everyone has gone.

Pitbull restarts his hog, and races up the road to try to catch up with Shithead. He sees the two off-road bikes cutting in front of him, and drawing his huge Magnum hand-cannon, begins blazing away. They return fire, grazing Pitbull and hitting something in the engine that causes an ominous clunking sound. However, Pitbull hits one of them in the face, and the resulting shower of gore convinces the riders that there are better places to be, and they hightail it into the wastes. Just as Pitbull thinks he’s in the clear, the ominous clunking suddenly becomes the sound of tearing metal, and the bike topples over, spilling Pitbull into a long slide down the bumpy highway.

Meanwhile, the Whambulance arrives to find Marlon trying to fix his radiator. Nils rushes to help, then opens his brain to the psychic maelstrom in an effort to communicate with the dead baja-racer and locate spare parts to repair Marlon’s car. Meanwhile, Dez and Mr Smith take to the high ground to get the lay of the land. They see Pitbull picking himself up on the highway, Shithead racing back down the road towards him, and a glint of reflected sunlight from something approaching further up the road. Their concerns are interrupted as with the sound of grinding metal, the baja-racer rolls over, trapping Nils underneath.

Pitbull sees Shithead approaching, and he looks like he’s not planning on stopping. Pitbull stares him down, and Shithead reluctantly stops to pick him up. He informs Pitbull that a truck full of bandits is approaching, and they quickly head towards the others. They arrive to find Marlon attempting to repair his car, Dez and the gangers lifting the baja-racer off a battered but successful Nils, and Mr Smith preparing to fight off whoever is coming in the truck.

The truck, a ramshackle ex-Army transport reinforced with sheets of metal, pulls up just out of range of small-arms fire. A voice over a loud speaker demands that they turn over Nils, and if they do they won’t be hurt. The more mercenary PCs debate turning over Nils, but Dez (and Nils!) don’t like that plan. Pitbull scrounges up an elderly stick-grenade from Shithead’s saddle-bag, and advocates fighting. The others suggest running, but Marlon won’t leave his car behind. The bandits force the issue by debarking some soldiers, and the group decides the best plan is for Shithead to take Nils and make a run for it. They do so, and the truck leaves, chasing after them.

After a long and unpleasant journey, Shithead and Nils reach Grayweed without the bandits catching them. Meanwhile, with no mechanic, the rest of the group tows Marlon’s car slowly behind the very cramped Whambulance, and after Pitbull patches up his ride, they limp back to Grayweed as well, managing to avoid the bandits on the way.

When everyone is back in Grayweed, Mercer, the hardholder, demands a report. Most of the group are pretty angry with Nils, blaming him for the situation. Marlon punches Nils when he sees him, and Nils starts to fight back before Rum and Pitbull separate them. The group inform Mercer that most of the mercs they talked to think Nils is a witch, at which point Marlon reveals the story he heard about Nils being a child molester. The group explodes with accusations and denials. Mercer quiets everything down, and after interrogating the group, finds out that they have managed to offend Millions as well as Pierre and his militia, that they attacked some of the militia in the bar, that all of Edgewatch think Nils is a deviant, and that Dez appears to have stolen a bunch of supplies earmarked for Dust’s End. And on top of all that, they failed to find any information about Rice’s death like she asked them to. With her head in her hands, she asks them to leave.

Nils heads back to his workshop to work on a bionic arm, Pitbull takes his bike from Tao’s garage to Nils for repairs, Marlon instead takes his car to Tao for repairs, Dez works to set up the infirmary, and Mr Smith threatens Tao with violence, at which point she seduces him. Everything is getting complicated!

Highlights of the session:

  • Dez – “What do you mean, can we trust his judgment? His name is Shithead, what do YOU think?”
  • Marlon and Nils coming to blows, and the underlying tension between them leading to Marlon changing mechanics
  • Mr Smith and his complicated personal interactions as a high-functioning sociopath
  • Pitbull realising that his gang stole the medical supplies destined for Dust’s End, and stashing the crates for future plans
View
Session Two, Three, Four - Nils

Holy sh!t Sparky, this has been the weirdest fvcking day EVER! I tell ya, I’m never leaving Greyweed again. Yeah, I know nothing happens around here, that’s why I don’t want to go out again. You? Out there? I don’t think so. Hey, calm down, I just meant… oh yeah? Go out there! You’ll be malfunctioning within a day, you nearsighted scrap pile! I’m sorry, I didn’t mean that. I’ve had a rough day, is all. Okay, so it started yesterday, Good Maelstrom, it feels longer than that. Anyway, yesterday morning I was working on Marlon’s car, when Rum told me I was needed to help at the refinery. I just knew it was going to be something simple that even Tao could deal with, and sure enough, it’s a bullsh!t repair job caused by those dickheads from Edgewatch.
So that’s fine, and I’m on my way back to the Workspace when I run into Pity. She wants me to fix a pocketwatch, yeah, it’s been many years since I’ve seen one of those. I don’t know if even I can fix it, but it’s real interesting so I told her I’ll look at it, even though it means dealing with her. As I was making my way back after that, I started thinking I’d get Marlon’s car to talk to me, which is real weird as I’d promised him I’d never do that; for some reason he doesn’t feel comfortable with it. Before I could do that though, I had to deal with Monk. Hot damn he’s a douche! He told me he’s got some real nice tech from somewhere, but he won’t give it to me unless I agree to stop working on Marlon’s car. I think he means permanently! I know, Sparky! I love that car… However, after a coversation with Mr Smith later on, I have a plan to get the tech anyway. Yeah, Mr Smith. No, it’s not like that, Tao is going to be fine… better than fine, actually, she might actually learn some skills along the way.
Anyway, I got Marlon’s car to talk to me, and that’s when sh!t got real strange. My arm and mouth felt like they were burning, and I guess I passed out cos next thing I know, Dez is helping me. She’s a fantastic Angel (how did she know I was in trouble? Spooky) but I get the feeling she didn’t completely believe what happened. But she fixed me up, and then Rum told me I have to go to Edgewatch! What the fVck? But it’s orders from Mercer, so what can I do? At thought at least I might be able to catch a Hardball game; they have some good players. Definitely not to be, as I’ll get to…
So we set off, me driving the Whambulance, and a bunch of other people, I guess. As we’re driving, Mr Smith suggested I take Tao on as an apprentice, there was a reason why, but that got my brain thinking about something Monk mentioned about giving Tao his tech, and boom! A plan was formed. Remind me to speak to her later, Sparky. Not long after that, it started raining black tar, not ideal driving conditions. As we were waiting, there was a bit of a commotion outside the Whambulance, but I didn’t pay much attention… hey, that’s uncalled for. So… what was I saying? Oh, right, thanks Sparky. I had that feeling in my bones that I often get, telling me to go out into the dark, dark night. Well, there’s no arguing with my bones, and they were right as usual. I found a strange metallic structure that had some sort of glowing tech in it. Using my handy-dandy toolkit, I had that free in seconds. It was only then that I realised I wasn’t alone in this odd building. Fvcking place was a cannibal lair! And there were some in there with me! Well obviously, Sparky, I’m here telling you the story, aren’t I? I snuck up on some doing Maelstrom knows what, hoping to brain them with Jemmy. My crowbar. Yes, I call it Jemmy. Anyway, they saw me, but for some reason, thought I was one of them and offered me something I don’t even want to know what it was. Stupid inbred cannibals. It was dark, I suppose, but really, do I look like a cannibal? Huh. You’ve never seen a cannibal, so I’m going to ignore that. Thinking quickly, I sent them outside; there seemed to be some sort of gunfight going on, and I hoped those cannibals would get fvcked up. My plan worked brilliantly, as they usually do, and they got themselves blasted. Only thing left was for me to escape… turned out to be pretty easy, cos the only people left out there were from Greyweed.
Now even though I had exciting new tech, things didn’t get any better. In fact, they got wierder. We stopped by some sh!tty lake called Devil’s Water to rest, and I figured I’d get the new tech to talk to me, so I could start to figure out what the Maelstrom it was. Well, speaking of the Maelstrom, instead of passing through it like I usually do, I got stuck in the deep purple clouds with flashes of green lightning all around. Yeah, that’s right, that’s why I had the lights of the Whambulance purple and green. Fvck knows who painted the body of it those colours though, totally ruined the cool effect I was going for. Ar$eholes. Oh, all of them. No, not you Sparky. So I was stuck in the Maelstrom, with weird voices and a horrible shrieking noise that got louder and louder, and all of a sudden this voice that sounded kinda familiar told me she never really loved me. Could have been Ma, no surprise there, but it also sounded like Philippa, my sister. Now that would suck, cos we always got on pretty well before she left for Fvcking Hell. You know, I haven’t heard from her for years… I wonder if she’s still alive?
Then I blacked out again, which was even less fun than the previous time. I’m told some smelly gang member drove the Whambulance, I’m sure there’s still a faint stench in there. That guy has some serious internal problems!
By the time we got to Edgewatch I had recovered, and got to work unloading the tanker. Then Mr Smith came over to tell me that the locals think I’m a witch! What the fvck? Stupid, backwards, superstitious retards… is it my fault things talk to me? I tell ya, all the weird sh!t that the Maelstrom churns out… Pity, for example, and they call ME a witch? Retards. We headed to this sh!tty bar to wait for Marlon and Dez to do their things, and the place was full of guys with guns! Mr Smith and Pitbull, the Chopper, had a chat with some guy at the bar. I guess he insulted Pitbull or something, cos after Mr Smith went off with Marlon out the back, Pitbull smashed the guy’s head into the bar, which shut him up good. The situation could have turned uncomfortable, but then Marlon and Mr Smith finished whatever they were doing, and we left.
I guess there were no Hardball games on, cos we left town pretty much immediately. Lots of people came to see us off, which was nice.
So I was looking forward to a nice uneventful trip back to Greyweed, but the Maelstrom knows, it’s never that easy. As we’re driving back, we noticed some activity out in the wastes, and Marlon heads off one way, and Pitbull and Sh1thead… you know, he’s Pitbull’s sergeant or general or some military term. Well, I’m assuming it’s a nickname, but as I’ve never met his parents, I’m not sure, Sparky. They came back pretty quickly with some trigger-happy assholes in tow… yeah, I know, it was hard to tell who was who! So there was a bit of a gunfight going on, when suddenly my bones told me Marlon’s car was in trouble! I swung the whhel round and took off across the desert, it was only later that I remembered the stuff in the back. Oh, and the people… well, they all seem fine, so I guess it was ok. Turns out Marlon’s car needed a new radiator hose and things, and the quickest way for me to find them was to ask the Baha Racer close by. Only problem was, it had just died. I had to open my brain to the Maelstrom to talk to it’s spirit, creepy as that is. Luckily it was pretty cooperative, or so I thought, and I quickly had the parts I needed. Just as I was coming out from underneath it, the treacherous fvcker rolled on me, trapping me! I tell ya, never trust a Baha racer, even in death. With a little help I made it out, only to find a brand new sort of weirdness had developed. A truckload of armed shitheads (no, not Pitbull’s mate, pay attention Sparky) wanted me to go with them to Maelstrom knows where. Now I’ve built up a tolerance for the people of Greyweed, most of them anyway, and there’s no way I want to have to deal with a new bunch of retards. After some discussion, we decide that if I get away, the mysterious truck guys should follow without butchering everyone else. Hopefully. So with limited functioning vehicles, I jump on the back of Sh1theads bike, and we take off like a cat out of the Maelstrom. You’ve never seen a cat affected by the Maelstrom? Fvcking spooky stuff, let me tell you.
Well, all’s well that end’s well, it seems… we didn’t get caught, and I hear the others coming back now. I expect Mercer will want to see us, so I’ll go and get this over with… I want to get on with my bionic arm, amongst other things… talk to you later, Sparky!


HOLY FVCKING SH! I’ve never been so angry! Fvcking Marlon! After everything I’ve done for his car, and then he goes and sucker punches me! How is ANY of this MY fault? And then he tells everyone he’s heard I’m a kiddy-fiddler like it true and he believes it! What the FVCK?!? If anyone believes that even possible, they’re even stupider than I thought. Fvck him. Fvck him and the car he drove in in. Actually, I take that back… I still love that car. Only one good thing came out of this… it might make it easier to get that tech from Monk now… I better catch him before he hears too much… again, see you later Sparky.

View
Dez's Journal Entries

Auto-transcripting active
Can’t…speak for more than… a few minutes at a…

time. Double Happies…self…administered… Yeeeeeahhhhh
[END]

Auto-transcripting active
Recovered enough to sort out some supplies for setting up a ‘firm back home.
Surprsingly easier than expected, but that could have something to do with the entire stash branded by Dust’s End, but screw it – we need it, and it’s not my care how these lowballs got their hands on it.
Now just have to make it back home with me and the meds intact, which would be a shit-ton easier if I wasn’t teamed up with the brainfukd brothers.
Speaking of which, the way they are strolling towards me, and the suddenly edgy mood of pretty much every bastard in Edgewatch, means they have probably kept true to form and it’s time to roll schnell.

Final testament. If You find this Merc, it is all Nils’ fault.
We were most of the way home when we got bushwhacked and ended up in a run and gun, which nearly got me killed when Nils’ driving forced me to dive under a ton of crates to save them – and now we are stuck behind this goddamn rock in a standoff with a bunch of militants with a hard-on for Nils.
Fuck em, he’s your property, not theirs, and I sadly may need him to help set up the infirmary. Hopefully if we send him off with Pitbull’s goons, they’ll leave us alone.

Huh. It worked.
Now we just have to crawl home sans Nils and dragging Marlons junked wagon.

Wellllll, that was revealing!
Guess we should have thrown Nils to the wolves afer all. I knew he wasn’t right brainwise, but never suspected him of being a kiddy fiddler as well as a techno witch.
That said… I just don’t know if he has the sharps to act as surprised and mortified as he did.
Spose poor Merc will have final say on his fate. I need to set up the ’firm and get rid of these boxes. Fortunately Pitbull has kindly offered to dispose of them, which is a weight off.
[END]

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.