Jan 4th – Jan. 5th, 2098
Knowing that the Combine was heading their direction following the old 76/80 route, they opted to head north-westerly by way of central Nebraska towards Wyoming to get to the Junkyard in the ruins of Salt Lake City, Utah.
The Stuart handles the potholed backroads with ease and they fly past the flatlands, and deserted small towns for most of the day. As the sun sets, the terrain began to ease into rolling hills, almost like grasscovered dunes, with the sporadic mix of rocky outcrops that seemed out of place. Surely it was just their imaginations making patterns out of the stone outcroppings when they thought they saw tormented figures and demonic faces.
Not 10 minutes into the rough terrain the Stuart begins to act up, suddenly decelerating, with the control lights flickering. It shuts off completely and settles down with a thunk, its hover pods slowly coming to a halt.
The ‘Borgs all feel suddenly nauseous and ill, fading from consciousness, but they recover… well, most of them do. Lucy peeks her head in through the roof’s port and inquires to why they stopped. She looks at Sammo’s collapsed form in the driver’s seat. Her eyes, attuned to the aura’s of her Cyborg friends, quickly realizes that Sammo’s normally calm-green energy field is now a yellow-tinged angry red.
“Uh, guys… that’s not Sammo.”
Before anyone could react, Sammo suddenly goes from slumped over to action and attacks! The party unknowingly entered The Sioux Nations territory, and this area is surrounded by an anti-technology zone, which disables anything machine made. Cyborgs are somewhat resistant, but severly diminished, allowing Sammo’s manitou a great opportunity to wreak some havoc
After some quick thinking by the team, they all are able to slip out the Stuart, and Elmo take’s some shots at “Sammo” as he tries to pursue, so instead “Sammo” slams the lid to the hatch closed and precedes to smash everything, and anything, inside the vehicle.
Rusty played out Sammo’s manitous need to wreak havoc and despair perfectly here, while understanding it still had an instinct for self-preservation
After an hour or so, the vehicle’s shaking calms down, and Lucy catches glimpse of Sammo sneaking off into the night, towards the campfire they spotted earlier. They decide to pursue.
Sammo’s manitou anticipates this, and sets up an ambush, almost taking out Lucy, but she’s to fast for him! Sammo rushes ahead and stumbles upon a lone figure sitting by a campfire, covered in a blanket. It doesn’t even look up. There’s a horse nearby, and Sammo leaps onto it, and terrified, the horse screams and races west off into the night.
The rest of the party arrive and the lone figure slowly looks up revealing a disfigured face, pupil-less eyes, and knots of long, stringy black hair.
“Leave. Now,” it says with a croaky voice. “You are not welcome here.”
“Teach me. Teach me your ways. I am lost,” Lucy offers.
The figure considers a moment and responds, “You can stay. They must go.”
The random encounter here turned out as a perfect opportunity for Jake’s character to due some off-screen development, and for Jake to bring on a new character. Another great bit of role playing here
Its quickly clear to the remaining party that the Stuart is dead-in-the-water. They bed down for the night and awaken to the sound of hoof steps slowly approaching. Sammo has returned, and is back to himself. Navigating by the stars learned from his special forces training, he finds his way back to his friends after the manitou lost its energy to maintain his massive body.
The group fills him in on what happened, and how the Stuart is beyond saving. They pack up what they can onto the horse, and find the old road they were on, and begin trekking westward by foot. The day is clear and uneventful, though Sammo’s slow pace limits their mileage. They offer their sparse provisions to Snake, Eugene and Dr. Zoydberg and set camp for the evening.
During the night something wicked this way comes! A 30ft vortex of gore and bones roars over a rise and descends upon the camp! The party quickly reacts but the sight of the monstrosity terrorizes the horse, Eugene and the doctor, who run off into the dark.
The cyborgs remain to battle, along with Snake. Sammo takes point as usual, and attempts to cut it with his blades, to no avail. Snake and fires off a few shots but they pass harmlessly through it.
Elmo and Mistyfast both think to try explosives, and that seems to stagger the thing, the blasts throwing human appendages and blood all over Sammo, who is being beaten and battered by the vortex’s bone shrapnel.
The Gorestorm eventually is defeated, but not before Sammo falls beneath’s its fury.
Will Sammo rise again? Will the party find its terrorized horse and the gear its carrying? Will Lucy perish at the hands of “savages”? Stay tuned for more, Hell On Earth!