Deadlands HoER: Operation Damocles

Sessions 29 - 33;The Final Chapters
...or is it?

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February 3rd – 5th, 2098

Thomas E. Deathe

So the posse lick their wounds and press on towards their objective: to get video footage of the area, specifically the “tunneler” that the Combine used to enter northern Utah in an attempt to flank the Iron Alliance during a battle a few years ago, now known as The Harvest.

They spot it in the side of the mountains in the distance and begin their ascent. Strange green vapors crawl out of the opening around the tunneler as it sits precariously on the edge of the rough opening it carved as it passed through the mountainous barrier.

They reach the top and find a way inside. They get the footage they need, and there was nothing much to see; just an empty rig full of dead black hats.

On the way out they are greeted by a man dressed like a preacher, who claimed to on a pilgrimage and said he was watching them for a while. He offered to heal up their injuries, in return for some company. They agreed. DJ’s new character now that Droid had perished: introducing Thomas B. Deathe; a toxic shaman

Iron Dragons

They head back to the Junkyard with the stranger, and in route are attacked by a gang of bikers. They recognize one as having been part of the gang that attacked them earlier, on the way to Logan. They prevail with some great use of a barrier spell by Elmo, and their new member’s Thomas eerie power of controlling some sort of smoke fiend, and glowing bugs. The leader speeds off, but Sammo leaps onto one of the motorcycles’ and chases after him.

_Sammo has no driving skills, but rolled aces. He caught up and it came down to Sammo’s final benny saving him on a soak roll after taking serious damage. Facing the final villain, and with some serious hurt, Sammo cries, “I’m going to kill both you guys!”, and promptly skewered the outlaw._

The leader had a tat which read, “Iron Dragons”. The posse also gained some new wheels.

Back at the Junkyard

Back in town, they hand over the video footage to Ike Taylor, and Ike introduces them to Dr. Schwartz. _Which the posse greets with the obvious, “I see the Schwartz is with you, sir.”

They learn that Snake had lead the Sky Pirates attack on Logan, after killing his leader who refused the task. Sammo tells Ike that Snake served under him on their journey from Boston. Elmo mentions that many have served under Captain Hung…most have suffocated.

When they described the grey-haired woman to Ike, he suggests it sounded like Cynthia Bright, the Librarian who was in charge of the community at the time of the bombing, but that would almost be an impossibility for her to have survived.

They are shown to their new home; an old hardware store in town. It needs some serious repair, but it has a loading dock, a work space, and an upstairs living area.

They are soon asked to take on another task, but have to refuse. They need to go back and rescue Dr. Zoydberg. Bullett gets them resupplied without official approval because he appreciates their willingness to put their lives on the line for the town.

Four Neo-Luddites Approach

In route back to Logan, they are approached by four men, who turn out to be Josiah, Zebediah, and two more neo-luddites from back in Alliance, NE. They felt a callin’ to seek out their leader, El Minster. The posse felt it best to leave out the fact he was zombie-food and simply left it as they didn’t know where he was.

They notice Thomas E. Deathe with the group and draw their weapons. “They apparently don’t like you, Thomas”. Thomas pulled an adventure card that introduced sworn enemies in exchange for an extra adventure card draw Before much could be discussed, Thomas unleashed his swarm of insects which devoured two of the Luddites, and the posse took off on their motorcycles, leaving the remaining two neo-luddites far behind.

The Rattler

Back in Logan the posse pick their way through the ruins seeking clues. Suddenly the ground shakes and they take cover. It subsides and they notice that the tunneler up in the cliff face was pushed further out, as if somebody had started it and moved it … or something had pushed it from behind.

They move towards it to investigate when it suddenly shoots forward and crashes down the mountainside. The heroes climb up into the opening expecting black hats, or worse.

It’s worse.

Dozens of slimy tentacles emerge from the darkness and attempt to grasp hold of them. * Tiffany ‘Mistyfast’ McGyver* reaches for her C.L.I.T. to activate it and says, “I haven’t touched this in forever…”

The tentacles lead to the mouth of some gigantic creature that rushes out of the pitch black forcing them to retreat back down the cliff face. It chases them and a epic battle takes place. Thomas E. Death knows what it is aced his common knowledge: a Rattler! He knows there’s a weakness just inside its gaping maw; a nerve cluster. He informs the team. The trick is getting close enough. Srt. Rex attempts to toss a grenade inside and Srgt. Rex is promptly swallowed whole!

Deathe gets a few blasts near but not near enough. Meanwhile Capt. Sammo Hung’s manitou decides its time to bail, and takes over Sammo’s body, but realizes the only chance of survival is to defeat the creature. Sammo uses his Soul Eater power, and wounds the beast! Having never been injured before, it scurries away, down into the earth.

The rest of the party had made a break for it during Sammo’s battle with the rattler, and made their way to the bikes. Sammo’s manitou is in hot pursuit. That battle was too close for comfort and knows as long as Sammo’s friends live, it will never truly be safe.

It attends to kill them all.

Dr. Zoydberg In Chains and the Ruins Have Eyes

A figure lay atop a collapsed building watching the battle below. Its Oaf! The reformed black hat that traveled from Boston with the posse, and was ordered by Sammo to protect the group of survivors back in Nebraska, which included Lucy Abernathy’s mother. Geno picked up that NPC and we made him into a PC now that Sgt. Rex appears to have died

The party had taken the spark plugs out of the motorcycles to prevent anyone from stealing them, but now it may have sealed their fate. Misty rushes to start putting them back while Sammo descends upon them, blades slashing. Misty uses her telepathy and keeps pushing him backwards, slowing him down, and it seems to be working!

Meanwhile… Oaf hears some movement behind him and quickly turns his head. Just in time! A dozen undead horrors were sneaking up on him! He leaps forward and runs for the group, yellling, “Zombies!” He almost gets shot by friendly fire until they realize who he is.

Suddenly, the withered, grey haired woman appears, along with several more zombies, dragging Doc Zoydberg behind them, unconscious and in heavy chains. somebody had the adventure card that allowed all the PCs to draw another adventure card, but the villains gained reinforcements. The GM couldn’t resist bringing the BIG BAD back. Sammo’s manitou decides its time to make a run for it and heads deep into the ruins away from the action.

Thomas E. Deathe’s smoke creature quickly falls in the carnage. Elmo and Oaf attempt to escape on one of the bike’s Mistyfast was able to repair, but quickly wreck it. Elmo is hit by a fear spell cast by the woman, and goes catatonic! failed fear check, gains another phobia

Sammo regains control of his body, and uses his comm to check in.

“Team! What’s Elmo’s position!?”

“Fetal.”

Mistyfast, with some quick thinking and amazing use of her powers, is able to rescue Zoydberg/maybe-daughter, and clears out.

Meanwhile, Thomas E. Deathe, while attempting to protect his new friends, falls.

The heroes are overrun and they fall back, leaving Thomas behind, so they can live to fight another day.

Konan and the Final Showdown

They make it back to the Junkyard and tell Ike Taylor about the situation. Knowing he cannot have an army of undead 90 miles from the undefendable shanty towns surrounding his fortress, he assembles his best soldiers and inform the party that they plan to set forth to Logan at dawn.

The next morning they head out. The party is introduced to one of the soldiers who will be riding along with them in one of the trucks. His name is Konan, and they find out he’s one of the shanty town guards, and pit-fighter, who is friends with Bullet. He’s huge, maybe only slight smaller than Sammo, but all muscle. He and Sammo both climb into the cab, and the truck tilts forward, lifting the rear wheels off the ground. Konan is Jake’s newest character; his 4th attempt at surviving the wastelands (though to be fair, Lucy is living out in the hills with the Sioux

They reach Logan and spread out. They eventually converge on the long abandoned ruins of some sort of science facility. Ike’s team have a Geiger counter, and its picking up rads in the area. They also notice many footprints coming and going from the structure.

They enter and find the opening to another vault. On the way down its shaft, they find stenciled on the walls, “Vault 03”.

Vault 03 and the Wormlings

Once at the bottom, they spread out and find it of the same design as the vault they themselves emerged from several months ago. They find one of the hallways ends in a massive collapse that breached the facility. They can only surmise it was one of the rattlers tunnels that broke through at some point.

They back track to have Ike’s team lower down the Geiger counter to them when they are attacked by horrifying creatures eight foot tall, covered in some sort of exoskeleton, a mouth full of long slimy tentacles, and insectoid eyes.

Elmo is grabbed and taken by one down a burrowed hole, which collapses in on him as they move through it. He panics again! Poor Elmo has failed so many fear checks, he has more phobias than a psyche text book can list!

The disgusting creatures vomit acid, ruining armor and gear! Eventually they are able to defeat these abominations, and save Elmo in the process.

They move on to find a cryogenic chamber, the same as theirs was. Mistyfast makes quick work of the door with her plasma torch, only to find all the occupants deceased within.

They follow the Geiger counter into a larger chamber, which clearly contains the fusion generator. When they approach, they hear the voice of the grey-haired woman echo from the darkness.

“You have returned for your friend, but instead you will all die, muahahaha!”

The Final Countdown

More wormlings fall from the piping in the ceiling down upon them! Nearby, Thomas E. Death is strapped to a table, having slowly awakened from unconsciousness to find his comrades under duress up on the walkway 20 ft. above.

As he attempts to break free, his faithful pet Smog returns and helps break his straps! And just in time as a dozen Burnin’ Dead emerge from a giant hole in the side of the wall.

The grey-haired woman screeches, “You don’t know it yet, but YOU ARE ALL ALREADY DEAD!”

Mistyfast notices the Geiger counter going crazy and realizes somethings up with the fusion reactor and turns herself incorporeal, and races to its control panel, to find that a meltdown is imminent. She works to find a way to override the system, and return the coolant to its core while there is still time! Savage Worlds Dramatic Tasks activated

In the battle, Elmo falls first. Oaf, attempting to break off hand-to-hand with a wormling to get a chance to open up full-auto on it, is disemboweled, and is dead before he hits the grated floor. Next Konan, having withstood many blows, falls over the side of the elevated walkway to the cement floor below.

Only Sammo, Mistyfast and Thomas E. Deathe (T.E.D.) remain standing. T.E.D. has been wrecking the Burnin’ Dead with his flesh devouring bug-blasts, and took down the grey-haired woman, only to watch her only re-emerge where one of the zombies previously was standing, fully healed and fully pissed-off.

Misty continues her attempt to override the system, even while the Burnin’ Dead are upon her! T.E.D. attempts to save her with his blasts, and kills all but one remaining zombie! Unfortunately the one’s he killed have erupted in EMP blasts that shut down both Mistyfast, and the control panel she was working on! The Burnin’ Dead are known to perish in a burst of electromagnetic radiation, making them very dangerous to electronics, and to cyborgs. T.E.D. makes a mental note of this.

The grey-haired woman uses her “puppet” power and captures T.E.D. so he can no longer be a thorn in her side. Its all over but the fat woman singing. In this case, the fat kung-fu hero fleeing. Sammo high-tails it out of the room and races to the precipice they found earlier created by the rattler’s tunnel. He leaps over the edge at the same moment the fusion reactor’s core melts through the floor, igniting a nuclear reaction. Sammo had the adventure card “Out of the Frying Pan,” that saved him from certain death, but leads him to further trouble.

“Ka-Boooomm!!!!!!!” The facility collapses and the blast ripples up through the earth, blowing Logan, Ike Taylor, and his army up into Utah’s dry sky.

Is this the end of our heroes? Did Sammo somehow avoid certain death in the nuclear fire? Is Sgt. Rex still alive inside the rattler’s digestive track?

This is the end of our tale for now, my friends. Thank you for reading our Tale from the Weird West!

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Sessions 27 & 28: Junkyard & Logan

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Players Present: Elmo Maddox, Tiffany ‘Mistyfast’ McGyver, El Minster, ‘Droid’ Carver, Capt. Sammo Hung | ABSENT Srgt. Rex

February 3rd, 2098

Several days prior, during the journey to the Junkyard in Utah, Snake disappeared during his watch one night, without leaving a word as to why. The group figures it was due to Mistyfast’s clearly not liking him and blaming him still for the lost of the Stuart.

Our posse finally make it to Junkyard, Utah to find it surrounded by thousands of displaced people nearly starving and lacking clean water. They set up base camp and set out to explore the lay of the land.

Filling up the barren, lifeless ground outside the outer wall to a distance of a quarter mile is a stinking mass of tents, lean-tos, shacks, and shanties in which roughly 4,000 people live, sustained only by the daily dole of algae from [some guy named] Doc Schwartz’s hydroponic gardens and water trucked in from the Iron Oasis. Food riots are becoming more and more common, and not a day passes that a waster isn’t killed over a milrat or liter of clean water. Anyone with a supply of food can demand about any price, though those stuck out in the camps are typically those with nothing to their names. Prostitution is common, as is organ-
legging and deathsports, as folks try to get by day to day.

They sell some extra gear, including the winchesters from Minatare, and decided to enter Sammo in a deathsport match, betting most of their “widgets” (junkyard’s currency) and winning big, pissing of the establishment’s owner Tootsey, a scarred, tattooed, muscular woman with an icy stare.

They spend it on some battle armor and ammo mostly. They are noticed by one of Ike Taylor’s guards, Bullett, who takes them to meet the Junkyard’s leader, and they are offered a job tracking down what happened up in Logan, which was blasted by the Sky Raiders on Ike’s orders during The Harvest a few year’s back once he got word the Combine was attempting to flank his army from this small community. Ike wants to know what the Combine was up to, and wants video evidence to prove it. They take the job and head out.

In route they are ambushed by some wasteland raiders, who they quickly dispatch, but not before their horse is killed. They walk the rest of the way and get there at dusk.

They wisely decided to put up camp before entering the remains of Logan and enter at first light. They find the skeletal remains of the town in the center of a massive blast crater. They creep through the debris when suddenly the echos of a womans laughter echo throughout the valley.

“You will pay for your treachery, Junkyard!” she screeches.

Suddenly over a dozen of undead rise from the piles of rubble and attack! Some of them are burning as if on fire! Burn’in Dead!

The battle is brutal. Our posse gets surrounded and have to fight back to back in close proximity to fend off the relentless undead. Elmo’s Hell FIre flames kill many but not without damaging Mistyfast heavily.

When dust finally settles, Droid and El Minster both fell to onslaught. El Minster (Jake) roll snake eyes on incapacitation roll! Droid (DJ) was knocked unconscious by an exploding Burnin Dead’s EMP and the undead went for his brains before he could be saved

The cackling voice echos again, " You will know what true loss feels like! You will know my pain! She’s mine now, your DAUGHTER is mine!"

At first the posse is confused, but quickly they realize that Doc Zoydberg is missing. They must have grabbed her during the fight.

Daughter? Could Zoydberg be Mistyfast’s daughter she learned was hidden from her by Earl back in Boston!?

The posse discover a blood trail leading deeper into the ruins, and pursue the laughter. They catch sight of undead dragging a bleeding and unconscious Zoydberg, while a withered crone of a woman with long, grey hair leads the way. She glances back and they see glowing yellow pupils open wide. Sammo blasts through a wall and catches up and kills one of the undead carrying Zoydberg, but is held up by the other while another grabs her and carrys her off.

They lose sight of them in the maze of twisted steel and rubble. We used the chase rules from SW core book

Stay tuned for more HELL ON EARTH!

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Session 26: Wasteland Wanderers
Or You're Dead; Stay down after I shoot you!

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Players Present: Elmo Maddox, Tiffany ‘Mistyfast’ McGyver, , [[:elminster | El Minster]], ‘Droid’ Carver | ABSENT Srgt. Rex

Jan. 19th – 20th, 2098

When our POSSE approached the slaughtered, lifeless carcasses of the Undead they slaughtered at the outskirts of the abandoned town we now know is Minatare, Nebraska, they are shocked to find them begin to rise again! Never encountering undead such as these, they are startled, but seasoned to the curve balls the Wastes have thrown there way in all their adventures, they quickly recover!

The battle rages for what seems an interminably long time, as they soon discover only a slug to the nogg’in will permanently drop these bastards. They are able to finally bring them all down for good, but at the expense of considerable loss of ammunition.

The loot included:

12 Winchesters along with some ammo (one gun was jammed). (Droid and Elmo each grabbed a gun & shared the ammo; Low went to Droid and H went to Elmo. The rest of the guns went into the wagon.)

El Mininster found a SA M-50 in the ruins of the town, along with some water.

The bedded down and headed out in the morning. However, the dark clouds on the horizon alerted them to an approaching storm. They quickly found shelter, and none to soon, as a HELLSTORM blew for over 14 hours, keeping them from moving progressing closer to THE JUNKYARD.

Stay tuned for more on our next episode of HELL ON EARTH!

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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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