The Broken Road
The Journey Begins
The Journey Begins
January 17th 110 PA
Four came alone to a snow-capped clearing, all tracking a wild boar. The boar in
question was large and not alone, and so, despite the possible dangers, they decided to work together to abate their hunger for at least one night.
At first, nothing came easily. The elegant chemistry of most groups comes with time and facing adversary together. This group is no different. Despite the moments of awkwardness, the travelers managed to kill the boar. Once their meal was secured and cooking, they began to speak of who they were and where they had been in guarded tones.
After the meal, they decided to continue on together. As they trekked east, they met a Coalition patrol out on maneuvers. The party gave them a wide berth, not wanting to run into them with a De Bee in the party, but they were discovered and stopped. The Coalition officer, Lt Jason Gideon, questioned them for a moment and checked to be sure they did not have warrants. Once cleared, he warned them of a feral dragon to the south and then left them in peace.
Leaving the patrol behind, the party arrived at Hillgrant Homestead, a small cluster of ranching families overseen by the patriarch William Picardo. There, they worked on a farm for their meals and information about the surrounding area. They learned that there were three small towns to the west, the feral dragon to the south, the Coalition to the east, and almost nothing to the north. The party wanted to continue on west, but decided to wait until the caravan came, as there is safety in numbers. When they discovered that the caravan was late, the party set off to see if something had happened to it.
As they were traveling down the path, the party saw smoke and heard gunfire. The caravan was under attack by bandits! The party took the scene in quickly: The caravan had been hit by a rocket or other explosive that had killed its tactical leader. The survivors had rallied and were returning fire, but the bandits had them penned down with machine gun fire. It was a standoff.
The party split up, with Soren, the Cyber Knight, sliding down to support the caravan while the other three circled around to flank the machine gun nest. As they slowly made their way up, however, they were spotted by a sharp-eyed bandit. Cody, the Psi Slinger, and Doctor Binky, the Techno Wizard, laid down cover fire—Cody even putting two neat shots into a bandit from 300 feet away—while Phoenix, the Maxi-Killer, sprinted up the hill, taking more than a few rounds of fire as he went. Despite his injuries, Phoenix didn’t even hesitate and pressed all the way to hand-to-hand combat, slashing a bandit open before the machine gunner managed to reposition and shoot him. Fortunately for Phoenix, Doctor Binky cast a magical net over two of the bandits before blinding the remainder with a magical flash. With the machine gun nest neutralized, Soren and Phoenix led a charge against the remaining bandits and quickly overpowered them.
The next morning, Lt. Gideon arrived with three Super Samas. While it was clear that he wanted to help, the Lieutenant wasn’t sure how or even if he could. However, he agreed to let the party borrow a radio while they scouted the surrounding area. If they could find any reason for him to attack, he would come in hard and fast, obliterating the bandits in one lighting strike. With the promise of backup if they found trouble, the party spent the day preparing for the recon mission.
The next morning three Super Samas arrived with Lt. Gideon. He told the group he was not sure how he could help and if he could even could. Anyone looking could see that he wanted to help but had to be careful about how candid he was in front of his men. He did agree to let the group borrow a radio and recon the area. If they could find a reason for him to engage then he would come in hard and fast obliterating the area in one fast lighting strike. Agreeing the group prepared themselves for the mission.
As the next morning dawned, the party found Mr. Picardo putting fuel in the pickup truck they had appropriated from the bandits. He wished them luck and warned them that it could run a little hot before leaving them to their mission. The party drove down the path the caravan had been following and found a pair of LP/OP deer blinds watching the road. Shortly after those, they spotted a slaver camp next to a shantytown where all manner of things were sold or traded. As they observed the town, the party saw weapons, drugs, fuel, slaves, and more being traded. It didn’t take long for the party to decide that they had to eliminate these slavers.
The party called the CS patrol and told them about a UAR-1 Enforcer standing in the slaver camp. Recovering stolen CS equipment was a good enough excuse for Lt. Gideon to order the assault. With their backup arranged, Soren, Cody, and Doctor Binky headed into the shantytown, leaving Phoenix behind to remove the sentries. While they waited for the attack, Binky started to arm wrestle people while Cody egged the crowd on, netting them about 100 dollars from bets. Rather than join in the game, Soren waited until the final minute before the attack to demand that the slavers surrender. Their response was laughter and loaded weapons. Soren was forced to dive into a ditch, still demanding that they surrender.
While the others were in the town, Phoenix was busy stalking and removing the sentries. He would have defeated all of them without being spotted if he hadn’t slipped while climbing and been forced to bum rush the last sentry.
Back in town, knowing that the Coalition was only seconds away, Soren demanded the slavers surrender one last time. When they refused, he stepped up out of the ditch and fired, timing his first shot with the opening salvo of the Coalition patrol. Forty plasma mini missiles launched from the east and west, instantly obliterating the slavers’ bunkers. Two Scout rocket cycles charged the front gate at full speed, launching another salvo, swiftly followed by Soren and Doctor Binky with their psionic and magical attacks blazing. Cody was about to join them when he spotted a slaver dragging three young women away. Without hesitating, he killed the man and hurried the women off the battlefield.
As they fled through the bazaar, Cody and the women ran into huge ogre with a vibro axe. Cody reacted instantly, firing off a mind bolt which the ogre barely managed to dodge and following up with a bullet the ogre didn’t dodge. His troubles weren’t over, though, as Cody discovered when a half-broken juicer rounded the corner. Shouting for the women to get to safety, Cody fired, trying to draw the man away. His ploy worked, but before he could get to a better position, his psionic senses warned him that the juicer was leaping upon him from behind. Cody rolled aside and fired, but the juicer absorbed the damage and kept coming. A split-second before he reached Cody, Phoenix intercepted the juicer and beheaded him with a single blow.
Looking toward the gate, the two saw Soren shot in the back by a particularly stubborn and feisty guard with a 9mm. Cody opened fire and put him down from over 125 feet away, allowing Soren to drop another guard and assist Binky with the last guard.
Once the fighting was over, Lt. Gideon landed and informed the group that the CS would take the robot and any energy weapons and leave once the slaves and slavers had been sorted out. He was leaving behind all of the spare food and water and the more conventional weapons for the former slaves, who were to be allowed to go on their way.
Soren asked if the slavers were going to be given a trial, but Lt. Gideon didn’t see the point. Soren then spent four hours trying and executing the slavers—all 42 of them. Once the Coalition troops left, many of the slaves chose to take the gear and their chances in the wilderness, but a few accompanied the party back to the homestead. With the slavers wiped out, the party decided to rest and plan their next move.
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