Deadlands HoER: Operation Damocles

Session 25: Neo-Luddites
and a Neo-Ally

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Players Present: Elmo Maddox, Tiffany ‘Mistyfast’ McGyver, Srgt. Rex, El Minster, SAMMO ABSENT BUT PLAYED AS NPC

Jan. 5th – Jan. 19th, 2098

The posse tends to Capt. Sammo Hung who lay incapacitated near the mound of rendered flesh and shattered bones that was the Gorestorm. With the benefit of experience of resuscitating him many, many times, they are able to get him standing on short-order, albeit at the expense of the quickly depleting stores of components and fresh meat….

“We are low on meat to digest?” Rex asks with raised eye-brows, “I’m seeing a ton of it right here at our feet!”

Doc Zoydberg, Jerry ‘Snake’ Snakowski and Eugene turn away from the gruesome scene.

The group decides to track the startled horse that ran off with their gear. Doc Zoydberg hear’s it whinnying to the south and they set off into the darkness to find it.

After an hour or so they suddenly hear footsteps and the low-mumble of subdued voices over a rise. Sammo yells out, “Show yourselves!” and the party hears the steps pause than quickly head in their direction, one set directly towards them, the other separating to their right.

Several human forms appear at the top of rise sporting laser sights. ‘Droid’ Carver, using his electromagnetic vision, notices the telltale electromagnetic signatures of Combine weapons.

" Black hats !" he yells.

The firefight ensues with the party easily overpowering them after a few moments. With ammo running low, its clear that they will need to find a resupply soon.

The posse finds their way back to the main road and head west. After several hours of hoofing it, they approach a desolate looking farm. They are spotted and the farmer and his wive rush inside and slam the door. No amount of persuasion by Sammo brings forth any information regarding the nearest town, or if they would be willing to supply food and water to the party, so they search the outbuilding and find nothing but an old musty bandoleer.

Snake attempts to snatch some eggs, but Sammo stops him with threats. Tiffany ‘Mistyfast’ McGyver had already berated him earlier, blaming Snake for losing the Stuart in the Sioux Nations due to his poor knowledge of the area. Snake is not a happy camper right now, and storms off furious.

Droid offers up a water treatment kit to the family and leaves it on their porch. As he walks off, he hears the farmer yell, “There’s a town 6 miles to the west…asshole!”

Alliance, Nebraska

After passing several more sad farms, they eventually reach Alliance, a village in the middle of the High Plains of western Nebraska. They are greeted by guards posted on top of the wall, all wearing long dark dusters and wide brimmed hats, and armed with what appears to be muskets. One has a sword strapped to his back. He speaks.

“Hail there. What is your purpose.”

“Trade. We need ammunition, food , supplies… and a vehicle if you have one.”

The men snicker softly.

“Well, alright then. We are on short supply of vehicles, but we’ve got food, ammo of a sort. If you want entry, we will send out men to collect your firearms, otherwise be on your way.”

After some discussion the posse agrees and two disagreeable looking men come out with bags and collect their guns, but allowed to keep their knives. They are allowed entry and are introduced to the sword wielding man, whose name they learn is Zebediah.

“Of course its, Zebediah.”

They are brought to the town elder, an old mexican named El Minster, who resides in an old church now converted into some sort of spiritual center, and seem to worship a man named Avis Quinlan, who started a anti-technology movement after the bombs dropped, and now call themselves the Neo-Luddites.

“Well, do you at least have some freak’in horses for trade?”

“Just so happens we need us some wells dug. Labor-for-horses. Agreed?”

“Agreed.”

Tiffany ‘Mistyfast’ McGyver works with the village blacksmith, Joe, to develop a simple yet effective drilling device made of iron, while the rest of the party scour the market for anything of value, coming up short of the needed caliber ammo for their guns, being that the caliber was of the pre-1850 variety.

The work goes smooth but slow. The weather holds and they are able to drill several well heads in two weeks.

On the last day of work they are approached by several mean-spirited men led by one named Floyd, who have taken notice of Mistyfast’s devices strapped to her arm and waist. It becomes clear that they don’t take kindly to, “Fucking Junkers”, and view them as an abomination.

Overhearing the altercation, El Minster quickly attempts to intervene, but the words exchanged between Tiffany ‘Mistyfast’ and Floyd caused damage beyond a repair, and Floyd demands justice. El Minster agrees to a dual at sunset.

‘Mistyfast’, not one to be delayed by menfolk, especially of this breed, agrees, but demands immediate resolution. El Minster gathers the townfolk, and the face off begins.

We decided to use the dueling rules from the original Deadlands Reloaded ruleset, our first time attempting them

With icy stares, ‘Mistyfast’ and Floyd face off.

‘Mistyfast’ speaks first, “I’ve raped corpses that were tougher than you…”

Infuriated, Floyd draws first but takes too long setting up his sights, Mistyfast shoots from the hip like a striking viper, hitting him square between the eyes, and he falls in a heap, while his errant shot goes wide.

With anger in their eyes, his friends go to collect Floyd’s body, but not before Mistyfast strolls over and collects his pistol and sword, all the while smiling at them in the process.

“This ain’t over, Junker”, she hears them say.

El Minster sensing the way of things, tells the angry men that he will accompany the newcomers, and determine if they are truly Junkers, or have simply comeby the evil tech by happenstance, as they’ve testified. Floyd’s remaining posse grudgingly agrees, their fingers twitching dangerously close to their weapons…

And so it came to be that El Minster, the wizened sage of Alliance, Nebraska, joined our posse’s adventure in the Wasted West.

Having started out on the journey late in the day with the two horse-powered covered wagon provided by the village, they travel a few hours before the setting sun revealed to them a small ruined town, now inhabitated by rifle toting Walking Dead

Even without the comforts of a fusion powered APC, our posse quickly dispatch the undead menace and secure the town, which surely will be scavenged thoroughly in our next episode of…

HELL ON EARTH!

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Session 24: So, Sioux me.
or Sammo Takes A Short Vacation

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Players Present: Capt. Sammo Hung, Elmo Maddox, Tiffany ‘Mistyfast’ McGyver, Lucy Abernathy,

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.

Up in the hills, Lucy and Sammo catch glimpse of what appeared to be a campfire a few miles north of the old farm road. They decide to investigate.

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.”

Lucy recognizes him as a Native American. Her mentor, Jaheria, was Native American, and she is too curious to back away. She wants answers.

“Teach me. Teach me your ways. I am lost,” Lucy offers.

The figure considers a moment and responds, “You can stay. They must go.”

Lucy walks over and tells them its okay, she wants to remain. Mistyfast and Elmo are angry, feeling betrayed by the young girl’s abandonment of the team, but they do not argue and turn back.

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!

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Session 23: Stuart 3, Raptors 0
or Don't Bring A Raptor to a Stuart Fight

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Players Present: Capt. Sammo Hung, Elmo Maddox, Tiffany ‘Mistyfast’ McGyver, Lucy Abernathy, ‘Droid’ Carver, Srgt. Rex

December 31st, 2097 – Jan 4th, 2098

A black rain storm rolled in catching Lucy out hunting, and unable to find shelter, she soon succumbed to the irradiated elements. The party realizing she was missing fired up the newly repaired M-12 Stuart APC and went out looking for her. They found her unconscious form at the edge of a treeline and Droid retrieved her as he has a sealed battle armor suit.

They wait out the storm while Doc Zoydberg tended to the undead child’s corpse…

After the storm they return back at New Lincoln where they barter for some ammo and firearms. Macy, the town’s “mayor”, attempted to convince them to stay in town as protection. She also warned them about Jerry ‘Snake’ Snakowski saying they should not follow him anywhere, and that there’s a reason he’s called ’ Snake’…

They later confront Snake, who tells them how they were both members of the Sky Pirates during the ‘Battle of Worms’, and things happened which resulted in her no longer wanting to be part of their group, so she left. He would not elaborate, but he clearly was haunted by something.

The group ponders the invitation to remain in New Lincoln while back at the Stuart, and they have Droid contact ComSat to seek some advice. They are given a video feed of the massive battle from almost exactly 2 years ago. They witnessed the battle at the Junkyard, and at Denver, between the mutants, Iron Alliance and a mysterious Indian who commanded a legion of walking dead and strange creatures Snake called wormlings. They also witness a strange craft that appeared in the middle of the carnage. It was from Comsat’s perspective so it was hard to understand. However, Comsat made it clear that they were needed by the Iron Alliance and should seek out Ike Taylor.

“It is the end of days for humanity…”

Eugene, the captured green hat from Delorean Factory, is discovered to be a Librarian Scribe, who was captured and enslaved by the Combine 15 years ago. He offers bring Droid into the order, which he accepts and they begin their training.

With the party delayed from leaving by Connie Abernathy who would not allow them to leave with her child Lucy until it was clear that she was recovered from the black rain storm.

The town began celebrating the New Year when the party heard the approach of VTOLs and sped off to intercept.

They discover three Raptors approaching from the west and knock two out of the sky with the Stewy’s laser and 140mm turret they mounted from the train’s wreckage.

The last remaining Raptor took out the turret and was able to drop its cargo of Vengeance Brigade Automatons before being destroyed.

Unfortunately for the Combine, the Automatons did not have the firepower to destroy our posse’s ride, and it quickly became a turkey shoot as they melted the automatons to slag by slowly retreating and firing while the machines advanced.

It was clear the town was not safe, and after a few days of working on engineering a way to move the railcars from the wreckage to the tracks to be pulled behind the Stuart, Comsat revealed to the posse that a large legion of Combine forces were in route and would be upon them well before they could finish the project.

It was decided that the town would separate into three smaller groups and each would head out into the wastelands, eventually meeting up at the Junkyard in Utah. Oaf, Bug, and Fiddles left with them, with Bug promising Lucy to protect her mother, who also left in the group Macy was leading.

Only Snake, Doc Zoydberg and Eugene, continued on with our heroes.

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Session 22: New Lincoln
The one where the train crashed

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Players Present: Capt. Sammo Hung, Elmo Maddox, Tiffany ‘Mistyfast’ McGyver, Lucy Abernathy, ‘Droid’ Carver

December 26th – 31st, 2097

Group finished off what was left of the Burnin Dead that had climbed on board the train in Chicago, helped by a great move by Misty who created a vortex havoc power which through several off the train.

They also discovered that the Burnin Dead emitted some sort of EMP blast when killed, which fried the Stuart’s circuits, and Misty and Elmos as well. After a brief moment they came back online however. The EMP temporarily shut down the cyborgs resulting in a dominion roll as the manitou tried to take advantage of the spirit fetter being ‘offline’ but were unsuccessful

“Sammo, you’d move faster if you just jumped up in the air, and let the train move underneath you!” – Mistyfast, after Sammo moved at his 3" pace. Benny achieved.

Iowa

During the night, Fiddles, manning the train’s helm, announced the unremarkable transition from East to West with the traversing of the Mississippi river near Cedar Rapids. They continued for a few hours when Lucy noticed lights in the night sky.

Droid contacted Comsat, who verified that it was a Combine Raptor. After flying parallel with the train it sped off southwest…

After taking back his palmcorder from Droid, Mistyfast catches Snake swiping through data files of images of his pre-apocalypse family: a wife and daughter.

Nebraska

On the horizon, they spot Lincoln, Nebraska’s ruined skyline surrounded by a swirling barrier of ghost rock radiation, beautiful yet terrifying to behold. While speeding past it at 150 mph, Fiddles suddenly comes on the intercom—a frantic alarm beeping in the background—and orders everyone to prepare for impact!

The posse has just enough time to secure themselves when the train suddenly lurches and derails! It tumbles in the dry dirt of the High Plains, tossing its cargo like toys, and killing several passengers.

Luckily, none of the our heroes are seriously injured, and prepare to be attacked by Combine forces. However, its the locals who show up, some farmers from a nearby village— New Lincoln—who take credit sabotaging the railroad, and are most disappointed to discover that no black hats were on board.

Sammo, furious at the destruction of their tractor trailer, vertibird and the Stuart, almost kills their leader, Macy. But reason prevails and they go back to their town at Macy’s invitation, but not before its discovered that Snake and Macy know each other some how.

Over the next week, they heal up, repair the Stuart, though its clear it will never quite be the same, and do some salvaging off the train’s wreckage.

“Happy New Year’s Eve! Here’s hoping for a less hellish 2098! Muahahaha!” – your friendly GM.

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Excerpt from Elmo Maddox’s Journal
written by John Pither

The dreams have gotten weirder since the ghost storm. We have all had them at one time or the other. Dreams that you aren’t going through life alone. The Shadow is always next to you, moving with you, wanting control.

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I’ve had one “dual” with my Shadow. In the middle of combat, I suddenly felt my emotions turn. I questioned why I was here fighting for my country and my unit (the only people I really care about in life). I almost stood up and ran, not from fear but with the feeling that I didn’t care about anybody but myself. It was wrong and I knew it! I fought against the feelings. I fought against myself (I thought).

Then the feeling ebbed, and felt the Shadow recede from the front of my conscious. I won control but realized that I was not alone in my own head. My Shadow was still with me. In my head. One other of our troupe has described a similar incident. Hopefully, that means I’m not crazy.

Finding out you are more or less dead and what isn’t dead got stuffed into a metal carcass is mind blowing enough to start with (let us not even mention the loss of sex), but that, at least, I have in common with my brothers in arms. After the Ghost Storm we rode through, things changed for me. Outside, I got uglier (didn’t think that was possible) but inside it was as if a veil had been removed and past got a little clearer.

The past has always been a problem for me. Memories only go back to just before I joined the Unit. That was shortly before Nigeria. Nothing like hardship and death to bred a tight group. Captain made some mistakes. Men died. Still, he’s the man to follow in combat (and mean follow, the man is on point most of the time). What we fought for in Nigeria would have been worth it if we all died(although, I would prefer not to).

After the Storm, I started seeing into my own past a bit at a time. My first memory was sitting in a chair with a man across from me, staring at me intensely. He didn’t say anything. He didn’t have to. He was in my head. I knew I was strong but I could feel his strength and it was massive compared to mine. I knew what he was doing to. It was a mindwipe. It was one of the powers I was familiar with, but most those who had developed the ability could only block the memories of the last 5 or 10 minutes. This man was covering my life in layers of blankness. All of it.

The Ghost Storm started pulling the layers back.

Syker. That was the first thing I remembered. The name of what I am. The memories blocks drop away slowly. The Legion was the first outfit I fought for. Spy, assassin, shock troops, that’s what we did.

I can do things with my mind I shouldn’t be able to. Am I Crazy? No. I watch Misty with her gadgets. She can take a couple of pieces of metal and a battery make…the impossible. Build a gadget on the spot, hand it to Sammo and….he walks up a wall! I wonder about the mind set of the man that put the Unit together in the first place.

I’m starting to remember some of things I use to do, and how to do them again. Not yet as strong as I once was but I feel my mental strength increasing as time passes.

The memories come in bits and pieces. Today I was sure, for the first time, that I wasn’t one of the “Foreign” Legion, those Sykers who went off planet to fight the Anouk “skinnies”. I don’t know where I was during that time. I just know I wasn’t there. Maybe tomorrow it will come to me.

A little more every day.

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Session 21: Midnight Train to Hell

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Players Present: Capt. Sammo Hung, Elmo Maddox, Tiffany ‘Mistyfast’ McGyver, Lucy Abernathy, ‘Droid’ Carver

December 12th – 26th, 2097

Jerry ‘Snake’ Snakowski went back to the Delorean Assembly Plant, taking the M-12 Stuart APC with him, to grab more men and [[Zoydberg, the green hat Combine medic. Lucy stayed behind to stand guard over the fallen cyborgs—Sammo, Elmo and Mistyfast.

Snake returns with Droid, Rex and several other ex-Quarry townfolk, along with Zoydberg, just in time as the Dogs o’ War returned. The battle did not take long, the Alpha was destroyed, and Snake gained some Coup from its death.

The group had action cards that healed themselves enough to rejoin the fight, and when the Alpha fell, Snake rolled the highest for the Coup its emitted upon its death, which was +2 to all future fear rolls

* Elmo and Sammo were both disemboweled and gain permanent scars to their gut
* With Snake’s hands so badly damaged, he has to talk Droid through the removal of the Titanium Vertical Gyrometer needed to fix their Vertibird

Doc Zoydberg, one of the rescued green hats, attempts to remove the HeadBanger Chips from the other black hat and green hat survivors, including herself. She and four other green hats survive the procedure, but only two black hats do.

After repairing the Vertibird they load it up onto the Combine’s train along with the Stuart and leave Boston behind, taking all remaining survivors with them.

They stop in New York, Washington DC and Chicago briefly while the automated system reroutes the train to the correct tracks that lead them back west towards Colorado.

While in DC, Lucy has an encounter with some sort of dopplganger spirit that looked just like her, and was hovering near some old children’s bones held within a rotted sleeping bag. Once Lucy burned the sleeping bag, it seemed to destroy the apparition.

In Chicago they are overwhelmed by Burnin Dead who had descended on the train station like a giant herd. The session ended by the train taking off just in time before they are overtaken, but several zombies are still on board…

* Lucy gained a momento

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Session 20: Dogs, Why Did It Have To Be Dogs...
Book2: Prologue

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Players Present: Capt. Sammo Hung, Elmo Maddox, Tiffany ‘Mistyfast’ McGyver, Lucy Abernathy

November 28th, 2097

The posse continued to sweep through the Delorean Assembly Plant seeking to wipe out any remaining hostile elements, encountering a group of Green Hats hiding on the second floor in the factories cafeteria, where they surrendered and were rounded up.

Outside two remaining Red Hats stubbornly remained true to their machine overlords order of fighting to the bitter end, which they did, while several of their Black Hats contingent surrendered, especially after seeing Lucy shoot one of their captains between the eyes with an arrow, and the huge heavy cyborg, Sammo Hung, disiccate one of their friends by simply touching him. 11 remaining survivors found from The Quarry, along with 6 Green Hats, and 5 Black Hat soldiers

Over the next 14 days the posse work on repairing the Stewy, healing up, and scavenging the factory and surrounding area, where they hunted some fresh meat, found some water purification kits, and pried open an old Dr. Pepper machine, and found dozens of cans of the valued sugar water, while avoiding a nasty Black Rainstorm that blew through. They consumed 11 components healing and 9 lbs of meat

December 12th, 2097; morning

Jerry ‘Snake’ Snakowski realizes he will need some parts to repair the VTOL, and recalls that Jaheria once told them she saw one crashed in the hills outside of Concord. He talks to Lucy and she thinks she has an idea of where this might be, “Hacksaw Ridge, maybe,” so they head out in the Stuart in search of it.

In route they pass the burned out and fallen buildings north of the Delorean Factory and as the old urban area gives way to a more suburban topography, they pass an ancient yet still standing Drive-In theater, the massive screen now covered with strange black vines Lucy called “Black Vines”, though she said some people call them “Razor Vines”, due to their sharp leaves. She suggests its best to just avoid them altogether.

They follow the road to Vault 111’s access hatch, where it all began, and Lucy points out a nearby ridge and they move in that direction. They eventually have to ditch the Stewy as the trail narrows through the barren trees, and they have to begin a steep ascent to the top of the ridge.

They spot the Vertibird, hanging precariously just over the ridge’s edge, suspended by the black razor vine they spotted early at the drive-in theater. Lucy scrummages through her pack and finds some old rope she had picked up someplace, and Snake repels down to it cautiously, finding it rotted and rusted, but the much need parts are still intact.

Lucy climbs up a nearby tree to keep watch, while the rest of the posse stand at the ready, when they hear some branches snapping beneath the underbrush and turn just in time to see the ambush set upon them by a pack of fiendish looking hounds led by a massive dog-like creature with hellfire eyes! The posse stumbled upon the hunting grounds for the Dogs o’ War they encountered weeks ago! It looks like they have regrouped and are stronger, and quicker, than ever!

Before the posse knows what’s happening they are surrounded! Mistyfast tosses her last remaining ghost rock grenade, taking out 4 of the beasts, but its not enough. They quickly pull down Elmo!

Lucy fires from her perch in the tree, while Sammo and Mistyfast try and take the pack out that is now tearing towards them. Snake attempts to climb out of the VTOL but slips and narrowly escapes plunging to his certain death by grabbing onto the black vines covering the craft, slicing up his hands terribly in the process.

Only a few moments later both Sammo and Mistyfast are pulled down, when a wandering band of raiders appear. The Dogs tear after them, along with the Alpha, they pull one raider down with ease and continue the chase, leaving our heroes to feed on after the hunt is over!

To be continued…

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Session 19: DeLorean Factory Part II
Final Chapter - Book 1

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Six Days Ago…

Fred ‘Maverick’ Porter stood with his hands behind his back and watched the debris as it slowly drifted down around the crater. His eyes looked up at the dust and smoke as it caught on invisible air currents high above him and drifted away, out towards the waiting Atlantic. It reminded him of the dust storms from his youth back home in Texas, how the wind whipped up and carried it easterly for hundreds and hundreds of miles, to distant lands only imagined.

He didn’t turn at the sound of approaching footsteps behind him. He didn’t need to, he knew who was approaching. That Combine spy: Sully Mathis.

“Maverick, CIT is no more. The remaining tainted humanity within your leader, Marshall Gates, is why he has failed. His trust in THEM, allowing them entry into your stronghold… a true machine would not have erred in this manner.”

“Sully, when y’all first arrived here, you said General Throckmorton sent his best to protect and serve us here—to protect and serve Marshall E. Gates—and guar’un’teed the rise of the Machine Empire. You said that there was nuttin’ Humanity could do to stop it, not here in the East where all that remained was rubble and corpses,” Maverick calmly replied without looking at the man and his ridiculous red hat he always chose to wear at a cocky angle on his brow, now that he no longer had to conceal his identity as he did while playing mayor to The Quarry.

“Technically, your problem hasn’t been Humanity, Maverick. It’s been one of your own. A team of your own to be precise,” Sully sneered at Maverick’s back. “Gates, and you, have underestimated them at every turn. However, I am in charge now, and I assure you, there will be no more failures. There will be retribution!”

“Hoss, that is the only thang you’ve said this mornin’ that holds the stink of truth,” Maverick whispered. Without the slightest hint of intent, Maverick’s unhinged his hand from his arm revealing the port of his integrate flame thrower, and slightly lifted his wrist upwards, while his steel grey eyes continued watching the remains of his comrades drift out towards the horizon. A torrent of ignited ghost fuel suddenly sprays out at Sully, engulfing him. He began screaming in agony while his flesh melted from his bones.

“There will be a reckonin’.”

November 28th, 2097

Snake looks down as he lifts off from the roof of the DeLorean Factory just in time to see the last remaining Steel Knight Initiates explode into a mist of flame and flesh after they inadvertently step on a concealed mine. He tightens his grip on the vertibird’s controls and pivots towards the Combine’s train.

“Droid, be sure and take those sum bitches out. Every. Last. One.”

Droid doesn’t respond and quickly sets the chain gun’s sites on the first turret as the VTOL swings around to face the gun nests spaced a few cars apart atop the train. But the enemy’s turret suddenly activates, turns upwards and unleashes a spray of tracers and burning lead, striking them in the thin armor underneath. Several holes appear in the roof above his head.

“Shit! Hold on!” Snake yells as the bird suddenly drops towards the concrete below. It hits the ground hard throwing Droid to the aft, and it slides up against the factory’s wall at an odd angle. Droid shakes his head, thanking hell for the battle suit and quickly pulls out his rifle and begins firing at the approaching black hats.

“Its not going to be that easy, assholes!”

Lucy and Rex slowly work their way down the rooftop access’s hallway, narrowly avoiding a bouncing betty mine that dropped from the ceiling after opening the door, shooting shrapnel and triggering an alarm along with bright security lighting, but no bad guys appear. At the far end they reach an elevator door and they hit the call button and patiently wait for it to ascend from below while hearing the snap of gunfire outside.

Mistyfast, Sammo, and Maddox enter the dark factory at ground level after Mistyfast had used her plasma torch to cut access in the large overhead door. They are immediately fired upon by several black hats up in the catwalks suspended overhead of the assembly lines, which are slowly churning out new automatons with a loud, clanking, mechanical sound which muffles the gunfire’s report. The assembly lines are manned by dozens of enslaved workers taken from the wastelands, who cower in fear.

Mistyfast uses her Junker skills, and quickly assembles a device that grants Sammo the ability to wall climb. He plods up the catwalk’s ramps, up over a large gap in the platform by way of the adjacent cinder block wall, and easily reaches the far side. The black hats spot him and turn the attention of their shooting at his massive frame. Sammo dodges and weaves and suddenly turns, face-to-face with Fire team Bravo member Fred ‘Maverick’ Porter, who emerges from a small office area nearby. Maverick lifts his arm and fires his augmented flame thrower, which hits Sammo, catching him on fire!

Meanwhile, Lucy and Rex descend down to the next floor where Lucy exits and moves quietly down the hallway and finds several more enemies hiding out in an old break room. They don’t notice her so she doubles back and takes the stairwell down to the factory floor while Rex takes the elevator down, and they join the ongoing battle against several Automatons that emerged from the shadows of the poorly lit factory.

Sammo, ignoring his burning arm, full-out attacks Maverick, after getting him to reveal where the Beryllium Agitator was hidden in a banter of wits. Sammo threw down an Adventure Card that caused Maverick to spend a turn revealing a secret.

Maverick slides out a long blade from his own forearm and blocks Sammos furious assault. They trade blows but its Sammo who ultimately has his “reckonin’”, and drives his blades into Maverick’s eyes sockets and out the back of his head, dropping him like a ton of Texas-sized bricks.


Mistyfast, Lucy, Elmo and Rex take care of the remaining black hats, and Automatons, and swing the tide of the battle in our heroe’s favor, but not without collateral damage as several slaves perish in the battle. However, the Combine ultimately proves no match for the human spirit that still dwells somewhere in our heroes’ undead bodies. They quickly mop up the remaining enemy forces, and free what’s left of the Combine’s slaves.

They discover that amongst the survivors include Bug and Lucy’s mom, Colleen Abernathy! Colleen Abernathy erupts in tears at the sight of her daughter Lucy, whom she thought perished in the battle at USAF Olivia Station. That surely will make for an interesting conversation… but will have to wait until the next episode of…

Deadlands: Hell on Earth – Operation Damocles!


And so ends Book 1 of Deadlands: Hell on Earth, Operation Damocles. Stay tuned for more further adventures of the unlikely saviors of humanity.

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Session 18: DeLorean Factory; Part I
Final Danse with the Devil

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November 22nd, 2097

Absent: nobody

Boston Airport Ruins

Danse watches the damaged cyborgs exit the Stuart and it just re-afforms the decision to lay low for while. They are in no condition to take down the Combine’s operations at the Delorean Assembly Plant right now. Their assault on CIT’s underground stronghold, though overwhelmingly successful, still took its toll.

He remembered his US military mission with the heavy cyborgs before everything went to hell. How they chewed what looked like computer components and raw meat to repair. They had special team medics that could both stitch up a wound as well as weld a tank. Well, the local market is out of business, so he sent the kid Lucy out to forage. Dangerous, but necessary. Worst case she doesn’t make it back.

One less deader to deal with.

Danse still didn’t really understand why he didn’t leave them all behind to die while the CIT collapsed around them. Something about the way Capt. Sammo Hung was going to sacrifice himself for the team… He knew that was a weakness he would have to overcome eventually.

November 28nd, 2097

Danse scratches at the stubble on his chin, the kid has done good. Plenty of food and water for a while. ‘Droid’ Carver was able to reach his secret admirer, Comsat too, and gain us some aerials of the facility. At least we won’t be going in blind.

Its been long enough, time to move out. The gear heads are as patched up as they are going to be, and the Combine has had too much time already to roll some Automatons off the line, can’t let them get too strong. Its time to strike.

Lucy rolled survival skill for 5 days accumulating 16 lbs of meat, and the team used 4lbs for healing along with 9 of Mistyfast’s component stockpile

Danse ordered Jerry ‘Snake’ Snakowski to follow in the Vertibird with [Armstead], [Harris], and Lucy. Everyone else piled in the Stuart. A rainstorm blew in with the rising sun. Danse thought that it was appropriate, going to screw up the plan with the satellite feed, but he was not going to delay any further.

The plan was simple; Snake takes out the guard towers, the Stuart does drive-bys lobbing grenades and strafing heavy laser fire to weaken the defenses before they infiltrate and destroy the assembly lines.

Just have to watch out for that Widow Maker.

Delorean Assembly Plant

Dawn.

Everything begins as planned. Danse watched the Vertibird wipe out the north east tower with ease, while they take out the south east one. The gate to the loading area is open, and as they cruise pass, they take out several Automatons standing in formation. For a second he actually thought this was going to be easy.

Until the Widow Maker came out of no where and opened up on them, shredding the right side of the Stuart and damaging the reactor. Sammo barely keeps the vehicle from flipping end over end while they spin out, stopping with their ass to the enemy.

Mistyfast radios to Snake for immediate extraction. Snake roger’s that, and drops off Lucy on the factory’s rooftop, where she finds several mines placed strategically around a concealed landing pad.

Dance has a strange moment where he see’s a strange vision as if time stops; he and the ’borgs file out of the Stuart, only to all die the fire power of the remaining Automatons and Widow Maker, just as the Vertibird descends to extract them.

Snapping back to reality he knows what he must do, and orders them to remain inside the Stuart until Snake arrives. The team continues to fire the remaining working weaponry at the black hats manning the wall while Danse exits with a battle cry; his power armor beginning to glow with a strange white luminescence…

Danse knows there’s only one way to win this now. He bolts past the black hats and automatons, ignoring their bullets ricocheting off his steel body, and plants himself directly under the 4 legged, 15 ft. monstrosity, and punches his suits final code for self-destruct.

The last thing he screams over the comm is, “Never forget! Save humanity! Save civilization!”

The ground shutters and the explosion shatters glass windows and knocks the surround enemy to their feet. When the blinding light subsides, all that is left of Danse and the WIdow Maker is a smoking crater.

Snake easily drops in during the distraction to perform the extraction. Nobody notices his watering eye.

They slip back up to the rooftop and touch down and trigger one of the rooftop’s mines, but Snake was able to maintain control and touch down. They fall out and prepare for the final assault.

To be continued…

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Operation Damocles: Session 17
Hung and Mistyfast's Recorded Mission Logs

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Captain Sammo Hung

Mission Log: 221830NOV97
Location: M-12 Stuart, outskirts of Boston, MA.

Fighting FOR humanity, that’s funny when you think of it now. How ironic. We were once living breathing soldiers fighting for our country, holding to the very principles of freedom that are tattooed on Misty’s ass.

Now through some twist of fate, we are the very thing that we hate. Call it cyborg, robot or machine. More than man; or less? Definitely something different. And yet we still somehow hold on to the One Core belief: freedom! And it is that one God given right that we are here, to defend it to our last!

We forget much and remember little. But we know this place must not flourish. All who support the tyranny of the machines must be stopped. Again I wonder at the irony of machines fighting for freedom FROM machines….

Rex, Lucy, Elmor, Misty, Droid, and myself, Captain Sammo, under the command of Major Paladin Danse all know what we must do to this place. IT Must Fall! We must not allow the machines to win. The other machines… not us.

The battles and the details aren’t very important but one thing is, it doesn’t matter if you carry a gun, a laser, a plasma cutter, or an arrow, everything is deadly in the right hands. 1 wooden arrow could destroy a whole army of cyborgs! Who would have thunk it but in the end that one Arrow did just that. Lucy’s shot changed the tide of battle so much that CIT realized they could not win.

Realizing that they’re undoing was inevitable, they decided not to let the very place that they created fall into our hands; humanity’s hands. So with one simple flick of a switch, one final act of defiance, the cyborgs did the only thing their logical minds could conceive, they blew it up.

I, Captain Hung, have my doubts on exactly how destroyed their home base really is. It is so deeply underground its almost impossible to know for sure, but for now we’ll consider it a victory. We now turn our focus on to the next target which will be the DeLorean Factory, where the Combine has set up shop to mass produce humanity’s doom. With some new friend’s leadership, and some pretty bad-ass equipment, we will continue our quest For saving civilization.

May the writing on Misty’s ass last forever!

Captain Hung signing off.

Tiffany “Misty Fast” journal entry.

Mission Log: 221845NOV97
Location: Approaching target Delorean Factory, Boston, MA

Burned out my C.L.I.T.. Not something a girl ever wants to say. That’s alright. It’s worth the price of the souvenir I carry in my backpack, my Ex’s head. Never fuck with a redheaded hairdresser named Tiffany! Snuffing that piece of shit out was oh-so-sweet. I have to admit, I hated him more than I ever thought possible. Seems like there’s more but I just can’t remember.

We cut the head off the snake but our team of badasses (plus one zombie adolescent) is taking the whole damn snake pit down. Samo’s fat ass makes for great cover as he waddles into battle. I must have been incredibly drunk that night before the Nigeria mission. I need to bathe just thinking about it.

Then there’s Paladin Danse. That’s a leader I can get behind, or in front, which ever way he likes. I need to look into augmenting this Cyborg chassis more to his liking. Cyborg… What a crock of shit. Those bastards are paying the price for doing this to me. Doesn’t change my mission one bit! America will rise from the ashes of this spook shit storm. Liberty and freedom for all willing to fight for it. All humans, that is. That’s fine. The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. That’s Thomas Jefferson I believe. I think that one is on my left inner thigh. This patriots blood may now be 30wt. gear oil. I remember what Gunnery Sgt. Rusty Miller said. “Die or get free tryin’!”.

MF

As written by players, Rusty M. (Sammo Hung), and Matt H. (Mistyfast).

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