Holocaust World (North America) Worldbender Simulation.
Week 4, To the Sea of Deseret
It was a bad day for the party. First, upon rising, we found that Mario, the Achel, was dead from undetected internal injuries suffered in the battle back at the canyon. [Translation: the player can't attend anymore.]
Second, the amazons asked our team to help with the interrogation of their prisoner. Cantrel and Wu had a grand time. First they asked ordinary questions. Feeling that they were not getting the truth, Cantrel informed the prisoner that he, Cantrel, would start removing his, the prisoner's arm, joint at a time, starting from the tip of the index finger. To prove this, he removed the first joint. The man fainted. When he roused, he was pretty incoherent. When the second joint went, he passed out and stayed out for hours. The warrior women had very mixed reactions to this (as did the Jack Patrol).
The party moved on, going down switchback roads toward the Sea of Deseret (the Great Salt Lake, or rather a very good imitation of it). As we were descending, we got ambushed. Three nets came down on us -- one for the warrior women, one for the "elephant" and "wagon", and one for the riders behind. A voice shouted out for us to surrender. And riflemen began sprouting out of the shrubbery at an incredible rate.
Noon and Cantrel made surrendering noises. Noon asked who the speaker was and was told, "Romanoff." There's a strong Russian thread running through the West these days; the women are from the "Women's Soviet Republic" or something and the bandits are czarists.
Five of the six warrior women were well and fairly netted. They surrendered. Noon surrendered, having not much armor and three shotguns pointed straight at him. The Naza, of course, was doing her elephant imitation, and was not expected to surrender. But the rest of the erstwhile traveling circus did a great vanishing act.
Aphron turned his grav-belt on low and went bounding away down the hillside, giving and receiving fire. David tried something similar without a grav-belt and got sufficiently far that, when he was knocked unconscious, he fell behind some boulders, out of sight. Dr. Wu got away plain and simple, dodging, shooting back, and hiding, though he tried some of his fancy patharchy. The swordsmistress of the warrior women, Alexa, cut her way out of the net and bolted, taking heavy damage. And Cantrel radioed to the groundcar ("wagon") for anyone in there to kill the prisoner. Romana did, but not without a short scream from her victim.
Cantrel then dashed for the "wagon," turned on the grav sled, collected Romana, and split, accidentally taking one of the Naza's Cheza with him (the bug had got entangled in the net which also entangled the grav sled.
The Naza seized her opportunity and did a very creditable imitation of a stampeding elephant, taking out one of the opposition as she dashed into the woods, taking the groundcar with her. This left Noon, the five remaining amazons, and a number of horses, some of them robots. And a robot ostrich.
Noon realized that we had now got rid of all the anomalous hi-tech equipment except for the horses and the stuff he is carrying. Also, he would like to escape. He turned off his translator and, under pretext of wailing in despair in a foreign language, told the horses, "Stampede toward me." When they got close, he added the proviso, "Don't hurt." Then he tried to grab one. No such luck. But at least the robots are out of the way. Shortly before, he had heard Cantrel say, via hand-comm, "Everybody meet at the river mouth," so, pretending to scream at the horses in rage and despair, Noon yelled, "Go to the river mouth."
Alexa found the unconscious Dave and slapped him awake. They managed to slip away, and the remainder of the party managed to assemble on the other side of the hill. By that time, Noon (and the party, through Alexa) had discovered that Romanoff is a slaver. Noon was relieved of all his possessions, of course. They could make nothing of most of the hi-tech stuff, but Romanoff took the laser pistol for himself. Then the women and the loot were sent off in one direction while Noon was taken off toward the sea.
In Noon's party were Romanoff, a captain of the "jackers" (pirates who sail the Sea of Deseret), the captain's over-intelligent parrot, a captured Mor Men noble, and a young lady scholar, also captured. There were also ten or twelve other gunmen.
Almost all of these people were smeared when the Jack Patrol staged its own ambush. It was fairly simple. Cantrel hid people along an obvious piece of road (and Cantrel can hide people VERY WELL), then they sniped away when the slavers came by. They slaves-elect scuttled into the bushes and everyone else died. But we still have to go after the other party. Not only are the other amazons held captive (we might that shrug that off and leave it to Alexa to rescue them), but they have the widget that points to the piece of the diadem. We can't get along without it.
Copyright © 1998, Jim Burrows. All Rights Reserved.