Cold Season

Chatanika Lodge

Silence had reigned at the Chatanika lodge for nearly two years since the winter of 2011 drove the owners south. The war had killed almost all memories of its existence. The cracked weather-worn red paint on the sagging eaves fluttering in the wind and the soft brushing of long untended grasses against the rusting hulks of old battered RVs had been the melody to which the endless empty days had progressed.

Now, a splintering thud of boots on wood sends the birds gathered in the trees lining the shattered asphalt lot into the air with a musical cacophony of protest. A second crash ends with the sound of splintering wood as the old battered door gives way and the large man in battered fatigues steps into the abandoned dining room.

Hardship and blowing cold have lined his face before its time and his beard grows thick and full, but his voice still holds some of the joy from years ago. “I was here a couple times back in the early 2000s. The owner’s wife, Shirley, made a mean batch of chili that could blow the frostbite right out of your fingers” he says almost to himself as his eyes scan the room and his memories add the sounds of clinking glasses and friendly voices. “They used to have a sled race here in the spring where people would race outhouses on skis down the hill. It was a gas.”

Glass and wood splinters grind together on the vinyl floor as the man’s companions enter the dim dining room. The man’s companions were both younger men. One was tall, dark haired and thin with a thick beard. He wore a battered leather jacket and answered to Uriel. The other who went by the name Egil was a tall and blonde, clean shaven but for a few days’ growth and bore rugged good looks that had served him well in another world. His toned, efficient movement spoke of his athletic training and his accent marked him a man far from home. Holding a compact but deadly looking submachine gun in one hand, Uriel pulled a flashlight from his belt as he walked through the shattered doorway. He spoke as he began to scan the room; “Unless you are going to make me a pot of chili I wish you’d just keep details like that to yourself Bernard. The owners must have left before the invasion. Look,” he said pointing to the empty tables, ”all the dishes are gone and everything is packed up orderly like they might come back some day.”

“They didn’t take everything, look there” said the blonde pointing to a cluster of small cylinders grouped on the bar that dominated the center of the darkened dining room. He strode across the dusty floor towards the objects, taking several of them in turn and shaking them lightly. “Salt and pepper. Mostly full, takke Gud.” He turned to the man in the battered fatigues; “When you were here before did you ever see a first aid kit or a medicine cabinet?”

“They had camping kits for sale in the general store through that door and I think they had a metal kit down here” the grizzled man replied as he leaned over the bar and fumbled with an unseen item behind the counter. “It’s mostly empty, just a box of aspirin.” “I’ll take whatever we can find” Egil said with a grim look on his face as the small box sailed through the air to his waiting grasp. He quickly unslung his backpack; it had cost him a fortune in the years before the war and his wife had chided him about the expense, but over the last year it had carried all the remnants of his former life in its cavernous interior and he had been glad for it.

Uriel continued through the dining room and into the darkness of the kitchen, the stab of light from his flashlight illuminating a narrow corridor as he advanced. Cautiously, he advanced into the unknown. His ears were open for any sound though he heard nothing but the occasional scuff of furniture as his companions searched the restaurant. His flashlight panned over the long abandoned prep line and across the dusty range and he wondered to himself if the kitchen used public natural gas or an on-site tank. He turned each of the knobs on the range and was rewarded by a gentle hiss. “Not at full pressure but maybe some we could siphon off” he thought to himself as the odor of rot caught in his nose. He quickly checked the refrigerator and found it empty before creeping towards the office door. Curled in front of a small potbellied stove was a desiccated corpse dressed in digital camouflage. Looking closely Uriel found a shoulder patch identifying the dead man as a member of the 297th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade of the Alaska National Guard.

Uriel rolled the corpse onto its back with his offhand revealing a severely corroded M4 carbine. The room told the story of the soldier’s demise to those who had eyes for it, and Uriel’s eyes were keen indeed. The soldier was wounded in the leg; a tourniquet around the leg had failed to stem the flow of blood from the wound as the faint outline of a stain in the dark carpet attested. Following the stain back to the broken window, Uriel could see that during the winter there had been a significant accumulation of snow and ice in the room judging from the mold and stains on the walls and floor. “Must have been here since before the main fighting stopped” he mused aloud as he removed the dog tags from the brittle corpse. “Specialist William Behner” he said softly as he turned the tags over in his hand. He tucked the tags into his pocket and went to work removing the dead soldier’s tactical body armor and boots. “Sorry Will, we’re gonna need these more than you.”

Piling up the vest and rotting boots he went to work on the M4, slamming the butt of the weapon against the ground to loosen the rusted receivers before pushing out the takedown pins and removing the bolt and buffer from inside the upper receiver and stuffing them into a leg pouch. He moved to the desk in the corner of the room, pulling the drawers open and rifling through their contents until the distant rumble of a diesel engine caught his attention. Running to the window, he stared out to the north quickly making out the outline of troop truck heading south towards the lodge. “Oh shit” he mumbled as he ran from the window and scooped the pile of salvage from the floor. He ran through the darkened kitchen towards the dim light of the restaurant.

“Well, there’s good news and bad news” said Uriel as his companions looked up at his hasty entrance. “The good news is I found Egil some body armor” he said as he dumped the armor to the ground in front of the blonde man. “The bad news is there is a Russian transport coming down the road and we are probably about to die.”

Bernard rushed to the window as Egil bent to pick up the offered armor. “Ugh” he said as he brought the armor to his face. “This smells like an abattoir, is it even safe to wear?”
“It’s probably best that you don’t know where I got it from and instead just put it on Sven. The Russians won’t stop shooting you because your armor stinks” Uriel replied.
“Ah shit… they’re slowing down” cursed Bernard as the whine of the diesel engine became louder and the crunch of gravel announced the truck’s turn into the parking lot of the Lodge. “Shit shit shit!” he said as he ran crouched from the boarded window. “We need to get out of here, NOW. “

The men ducked and began moving towards the darkened rear of the building. Outside, the slam of a tailgate and the staccato beat of boots landing one after the other lent urgency to their movements. They ran into the kitchen crouched and with as much silence as the old wooden floor of the dining room would allow. Each creak and groan of the floor amplified a thousand times in their ears. Afraid that their flashlights would give them away, they felt their way through the gloom using only the meager light flowing from the boarded windows.
“There used to be a back door…. Ah shit here it is..they nailed it shut.” Bernard regarded the door with hard look that even the darkness could not fully mask. “What now?” Asked Egil. “Now I’m going to have to knock it down… we won’t have long before they’re on top of us… Egil help me with this, Uriel I need you to make sure they don’t make it to us before we are able to smash this open.

Uriel slung his new boots over his shoulder and lifted his battle worn MP5-SD6 into his shoulder. “I’m not going to hold them all off with this thing but I’ll give them something to think about.”

“On three” said Bernard as he looked intently at Egil and squared his shoulder to the door. The Blonde doctor nodded and readied himself, his athlete’s muscles corded and primed for action. He closed his eyes for a moment and cast his thoughts far away across the land and sea. When they opened again there was nothing in them but the task at hand.

“One”
“Two”
“THREE"

The two men smashed into the door, the boards creaked and the jam splintered as the deadbolt tried to smash through the ancient wood. A commotion from the front of the building signaled the alarm of the Russian troops.

“Again! Hit it again!” Cried Bernard, all pretense of stealth vanished. He pulled his companion back and they readied themselves for a second desperate attempt.

Uriel flinched at the noise of the door but his eyes remained fixed on the entrance to the lodge. Outside he saw movement but he knew the small caliber of his weapon required him to wait for just the right moment to engage. Shadows crisscrossed outside the door they had opened only minutes before. Suddenly a man’s form rushed through the opening. Uriel tracked the form and found his mark. The silenced submachine gun clicked rapidly in a short burst and the form went down heavily. A second man was pushing through the doorway but a long burst from his weapon sent him scrambling for cover. “This is gonna get bad real fast guys.” he stated flatly.

“Now!” screamed Bernard and the two men charged the door again. With a smash, the door gave way and they burst into the light behind the lodge and tumbled to the ground surrounded by the wreckage of the door. From behind they heard a shout: “GRENADE!” and Uriel’s dark form darted through the now open doorway.

Though the blast was contained by the walls of the lodge, sound was overwhelming and the pressure wave rolled over them while bits of detritus pelted their backs. The sound of the detonation still ringing in their ears, they scrambled to their feet and ran towards the tree line after Uriel.

From behind them, the sound of weapons fire and suddenly the air was alive with the snap of live rounds passing them by inches. As they ran Uriel pointed to an off-white cylinder on the tree line in front of them. “It’s still got gas!” he shouted as he angled away from it. Bernard quickly changed his course and slid to a stop behind one of the cylinder’ stubby concrete legs, shucking his pack as he came.

“Keep them down for just a second!” he shouted as he rummaged through the backpack.

“Are you fucking insane?!” shouted Uriel “You are sitting under a bomb!"

“That’s why he needs us to cover him” stated Egil, as he brought his stolen assault rifle into his shoulder and took a single steadying breath as his body fell into its old routines. CLACK! CLACK! CLACK! The old rifle’s stamped parts worked with crude effectiveness and though it bucked like a mule each time, Egil’s trained hand guided it back to his point of aim at the edge of the lodge, blowing chunks from the wall and sending the pursuing troops into cover.

“Now! Go!” shouted Bernard as he stood and ran for the tree line, his companions in close pursuit. Just as the men cleared the trees, the harassing fire came again thick like a swarm of angry hornets and they ran like the devil himself was after them. “Go! Go! Go! Don’t stop! Shouted Bernard as they crashed through the bushes.

A snap and a spray of red shot from Uriel as he stumbled and then tumbled to the ground. His comrades lifted him and he weakly ran between them clearly favoring one leg.
Behind, a deafening thud announced the fruits of Bernard’s handy work as the cluster of pipe bombs he had jammed beneath the compressed natural gas cylinder detonated and showered the area with lethal fragments of metal.

The men ran and ran till they collapsed with exhaustion. Egil rolled Uriel onto his side and probed the wound with his finger as Uriel hissed in pain. “You’re lucky I’m almost dead or I’d murder you for that.

“You are not dying, stop making sounds like a woman” Egil replied. “It’s through and through and it missed the big artery by an inch or so” he said as he busied himself attaching a field dressing to the wound.

“No time to rest now“ Bernard grumbled as he pulled himself back to his feet. We have to get back to base and let the Captain know that the reds are back on the patrol. That little shitstorm we just caused is gonna have them swarming like ants on a picnic around here.

View
Hidden Creek

Praetus has connected.
GM has connected.
Egil has connected.
Gunny has connected.
Gunny:
I’ll be right back

Uriel:
Colonel Klink
Egil:
((So… about me at 2013…))
Egil:
((Just to be open and transparent… I have very little desire to play the ‘numbers’/mechanics/system part of the game. Bores me.))
Egil:
((I really LIKE the story, however… ))
Gunny:
(back)
Egil:
((so… when it gets to the tedium… don’t be suprised if i fall asleep…))
Egil:
((I don’t mind others getting into it, i just don’t enjoy it as much… and get sleepy))
GM:
like I said, im gonna try to automate it a bit more
Egil:
((i heard you..))

Uriel:
(Are we using a map tonight)
GM:
Rumors of a small independant community have brought you to the outskirts of a small town called Hidden Creek. Before the invasion, the town sat along a small stream called Chanto Creek and was primarily a place for truckers heading between Anchorage and Fairbanks to refuel and grab a bite to eat. You arrive in the area of the town just prior to dawn. The weather is chilly but the sky is clear and the day should warm.
GM:
((by the way, ammo counting is now live… please track your ammo expendatures))
GM:
You are driving the HMMWV with its mounted 240G MMG
Egil:
((Who is YOU?))

Uriel:
((Do we go through our personal ammo first, or the group ammo)

  • Egil sits in the back of the humvee, a leatherbound book in his hand and a pencil. He’s making meticulous notes.

Uriel:
“Have we heard anything about this settlement’s temperment?”
GM:
As you crest a hill, you see the village in a dell between two ridgelines… lines of smoke issue from a few of the chimneys
Gunny:
“Major, did we plan to scout the village first? Can stop a couple clicks out and doc and I can sneak up.”

  • Egil looks up for a moment and then goes back to his notebook.
  • Uriel raises his nose to the air upon seeing the working chimneys. Sniffing lightly
  • Gunny keeps up on his search pattern with the 240G while waiting for an answer.
    GM:
    (Assuming its around 0600
    GM:
    )
  • The Colonel yes, very good, gunny. keep on the look out for any signs of commies. report back asap.
  • Gunny taps the humvee on the roof signaling the driver to pull off.

Uriel:
2,1

  • Egil slips his notebook away in a pack, pencil wrapped in a cloth, and then he checks his medi-gear, looking up again. “A willage?”

Gunny:
“Egil, I want to be oscar mike in fifteen after we stop.”
Gunny:
((brb))

  • Egil looks at Gunny. “Oskar who?” (The ‘ooo’ is very nordic sounding.))
    Gunny:
    “Thats ‘On the Move’ soldier.”
  • The Colonel steps out of the hmmwv and survey’s the town with his binoculars
  • Uriel puts the HMMVV into park and looks over the village from the driver’s seat. He speaks up though keeps his eyes fixed forward, “Anyone else smell the manure? We might have some farmers.”
    You say to the GM: anything of note? do i need to make some kinda check?
  • Gunny dismounts the machine gun and exits the humvee, the readies his gear, including his M40a3, spotter scope and ghillie suit
    Gunny:
    “It’ll bring new meaning to ‘in the shit’”
  • Gunny chuckles a bit
  • Gunny puts his ghillie suit on and double checks his ammo stores
    You say to the GM: no tracked vehcile indications? people moving about?
  • Egil shrugs at Gunny and continues about his methodical pattern of setting up his combat gear. “Jeg er ikke en av dine soldater, din jaevel.” He mutters half under his breath before sliding out of the vehicle.
    the from this distance and with the low light, its hard to see. certainly the smoke should indicate that there are people in the town

Uriel:
“I’d say we need to be cautious, these are farmers, who chop wood for heat. They’re probably armed.”

  • The Colonel stoes his binocs and turns to the gunny.
  • Gunny approaches egil “Alright doc, lets go, time to find some commies to fuck.”
    The Colonel:
    “The town clearly has people in it, but there’s not much to see. The fields are maintained, no people in sight.”

Egil:
I don’t fuck commies.

Uriel:
“I’ll park the HMMVV off the road if we want to approach on foot.”
The Colonel:
“Survey and report back asap. No engagement. No contact unless needed.”

  • Gunny begins the arduous process of humping to an area he can safely observe the village. “Colonel I’ll give you a sit-rep in 60 mikes.”
  • The Colonel nods
    Gunny:
    17,7,17,5
  • Gunny makes some idle chatter with Egil while hiking to the far outskirts of the town.

Uriel:
“So how do you want me to play it, if we meet some people?”
The Colonel:
You are wanderers, looking for work or food. No mention of affiliation. You are civiilians.

Uriel:
(I’m still in the humvee

Uriel:
)

  • Egil remains quiet and stoic as they do their recon work.
  • Gunny draws back to a spot that can’t be seen from the town, and pulls out his tactical radio. “Oden this is Reaper, standby for sit-rep.”
    The Colonel:
    “Oden, standing by.”
  • Gunny looks over to Egil “Keep your eyes on the village, and stay frosty.”

Gunny:
“Sir, it appears to be just a bunch of dirt farmers. On the road there is a check point just before the village, one tango with a rifle. Standing by for orders.”

  • Egil frowns slightly. “Frosty, I know.” He moves beside a tree, hunkers down and watches.

Gunny:
(brb)

Gunny:
(so its not a check point, more a foxhole

  • Uriel looks over to the Colonel, “Do we drive down and act the American heroes, or approach on foot?”
    The Colonel:
    “We go on foot. Let’s put the HMMWV in a more hidden area, then hump in.”
    The Colonel:
    “Reaper stand by for approach. ETA 20 mins.”

Gunny:
“Reaper copies all.”

  • Uriel drops the HMMVV into gear and hits the accelerator gently, slowly pulling the truck off the road into a small gully. He spends a few minutes tearing down limbs and laying them over the truck.

Gunny:
“Interrogative Oden. Do you want Doc to meet up with you while I remain on overwatch?”

Gunny:
(uses viking in place of doc
The Colonel:
“Reaper, A firm. Trade may be possible with his skills.”
GM:
A few minutes later, the hmmwv is concealed off the road and Egil has returned to the group

Gunny:
“Reaper copies. Over.”

  • Gunny approaches Egil. “alright viking, you’re heading to meet up with Oden, then to going into the village.”
  • Uriel finishes with the camo job and walks over casually to the Colonel, “They’re likely to be a bit jumpy, more so with us approaching armed. We’ll need to play it by ear, and try to appear ready only to defend ourselves, not looking for trouble.”
  • The Colonel grunts
  • Gunny draws up a range card with the entire village, keeping an eye on potential sniper positions, then takes a few minutes to dig a small hide and to camoflauge himself into the greenery.
  • Egil nods and smiles. “Maybe I can get a cup of coffee finally.”

Gunny:
“Coffee? I thought you Euro-fags drank tea, or piss. Some shit like that.”

  • Uriel checks the sidearm in his thigh holster, as well as his MP5 before adjusting his crotch blatently
  • Egil looks over at Gunny for a moment and then looks back. “Just what I thought.”
    As you approach the village you can see several of the features layed out for you in the SITREP. As you approach within 100 yards of the OP you hear a long blast of a whistle.
    The farmers in the fields drop their tools and run for the town

Uriel:
“Skiddish, real skiddish.”
The Colonel:
“Nice and friendly everyone, nice and friendly.”

  • The Colonel waves his hand in the air towards the op
  • Gunny watches as the villagers flee and mutters about lilly-livered fucks.

Uriel:
“I’m all about the hearts and minds.”

Sentry:
HALT! Dont Move!

  • The Colonel comes to a stop and nods to Uriel
  • Gunny lines his crosshairs on the sentry and waits for the signal

Sentry:
What is your business?

  • Uriel stops moving foward and puts out his upturned palms showing he’s empty handed, “We’re just coming through, was looking to see if we might be able to trade. We’re not looking for trouble.”
  • Egil keeps his hands clear of his weapons. He plays attention as he walks along, considering the crops the farmers were working on .
    GM:
    now that you guys are a little closer it seems like they are growing some sort of wheat or long stemmed grain.

Sentry:
Stay where you are! Some people will be coming to talk to you soon! Dont make any sudden moves!

  • Gunny taps his radio, “Spook do you copy, just nod if so.”
  • Uriel nods slowly as he talks to the Sentry, “Understood, we’ll be right here.”

Gunny:
“There are a number of fresh tangos with rifles gathering in the village. Stay frosty.”

Egil:
11,19

Gunny:
?

  • Uriel turns his head to the Colonel and Egil, speaking softly, “Let’s keep our senses, hopefully we haven’t walked into a trap.”
  • The Colonel nods and places his hands on the but of his front slung right
    The Colonel:
    rifle
  • Gunny taps radio “Spook, these people don’t seem to be more than organized hill-billies, still may be hostile though.”

Gunny:
(Going to smoke quickly)

  • Uriel turns back to the Sentry slowly, nodding slightly in the same manner as he had before. before speaking, “What’s your name?”

Sentry:
Just stay there quiet stranger. Someone will be there in a sec
After about five minutes of waiting Gunny H reports a group of about ten armed men approaching from the village.

  • Egil smiles as he looks back. “A good lucking crop. You are fortunate.”
  • The Colonel waits in as nonthreatening a manner as possible
    Soon you can see them yourself. 10 men with a wide range of rifles, some assault wepaoons mixed in
  • Uriel speaks softly again to his companions, “This could go downhill fast, be ready.”
  • Uriel turns to the sentry, “The trading party looks well armed.”
    As they get to within about 20 yards, they stop. The men seem nervous but none of them is actively pointing a weapon at you

Kevin Gill:
What’s your business here strangers?

Uriel:
“Hey there, we’re just moving south, looking to trade or barter for supplies as we go. We figured we’d see if your village might be interested.”

  • Egil nods, still smiling. “What I would give for a hot cup of coffee…”

Kevin Gill:
If you’ve come to trade we’ll be happy for it. If you have some mischif in mind, youll be sorry for it.

Kevin Gill:
Name’s Kevin Gill. Mayor Ward is not available until tomorrow and I am not authorised to negotiate with outsiders.

  • Uriel claps his hand on Egil’s shoulder, “This here is Egil, over there, we call him the Colonel, and my name’s Uri. No mischief here, just men like yourselves, trying to survive.”

Kevin Gill:
We will put you up, feed you and allow you to recover a bit before any talk of trade. You’ll all have to come into town but you have to either leave your weapons outside town before you enter.
GM:

  • Uriel looks to the others, “That’s very generous, leaving our weapons though? That’s a pretty big sign of trust.”
  • Egil looks over at Uriel and then back at Kevin Gill. “Could I offer something?” His scandinavian accent is pronounced, but he’s understandable.
  • Gunny wishes he could reap lips

Kevin Gill:
We cant be too careful these days. I let you leave your weapons outside town so that you know we wont keep them. Those are our rules. We cant risk you starting a firefight in town so thats the way its gonna be

Uriel:
“True enough… these are dangerous times. If you can give me your word that our trust won’t be abused, Kevin, then I think we’ll accept.”

Egil:
Mr. Gill, I am a doctor. Perhaps you would be let me treat your village?

Kevin Gill:
I cant negotiate but im sure the mayor will be happy to have a doctor in town.

Kevin Gill:
You have my word that if you cause no trouble, youll have none

Egil:
I don’t mean for you to negotiate. I only want to offer my services to your people.

Uriel:
“Then we have an agreement.”

  • Uriel cautiously moves forward, his hands away from his weapons and extended forward in a handshake

Kevin Gill:
We will wait here while you stash your gear outside town. I give you my word we wont go looking for it later.

  • Egil looks back at Uriel. “A word with you?”
  • Kevin Gill walks forward and shakes Egil’s hand. his men seem nervous but a bit mroe relaxed.

Egil:
(switch order of that.))

  • Uriel steps back to Egil and turns slightly, “Hm?”

Kevin Gill:
Hmm?

  • The Colonel nods to Uriel.
  • Egil takes a few steps toward Uriel and motions him apart from the villagers. When they get to a fair distance, he says, “We should not go in. Better to wait until the Mayor returns.”

Uriel:
“I don’t like the idea either, but a free homemade meal sounds good. And I worry what it might tip off if we leave and come back.”

  • The Colonel turns to Mr Gill
    The Colonel:
    “Mr. Gill. Perhaps you could allow the doctor here to get a hot meal and Uri to accompany him. You’ll get to know us and I can return tomorrow when the Mayor returns. How doe sthat sound?”

Uriel:
“We can try and float the idea of coming back, see how they respond. But I imagine we’ll still have to leave our weapons behind when the Mayor is back.”

Egil:
((hey… need to deal with the dog… switch computers… need about 10 minute break))

Egil:
((ok??))
GM:
Our rules are not up for debate sir. We have to be sure that you arent a scouting party for a larger raid. No weapons, you all come in. Also no radios. Weve worked hard to survive here and we wont put our families at risk now.

Gunny:
((NOOOO))
Egil is disconnected.

Uriel:
13,14
GM:
what’s the verdict?

Uriel:
(I’d say tentatively go ahead with them, everything else at this point I think risks escalation)
The Colonel:
(fine)

Uriel:
“So you stay here while we go stash our weapons, then we head into town?”

Kevin Gill:
Thats right
The Colonel:
“Ok, back in a few.”

  • Uriel looks to the others and then nods, walking backwards for several paces before turning
    Egil has connected.

Uriel:
6,12,8

Uriel:
“I don’t like this anymore than you guys, but I think we’ve got to trust them. If they were after us they’d have probably just opened up on us back there and taken our guns. It reads clean.”

  • Gunny over the radio “Reaper, requesting sitrep.”
    The Colonel:
    “Reaper, Odin. Looks like we are going into town unarmed. No radios either. We’ll need you to maintain cover over us,”
    The Colonel:
    “The town’s mayor is returning tomorrow. If it looks like the civis are not letting us out by then, we’ll need some of your magic to get out.”

Gunny:
“Interrogative; whats your exit plan if the shit hits the fan?”

Gunny:
(need a beverage, brb)
The Colonel:
“Diversion if possible, force if necessary. It’ll be up to you to make that call.”
The Colonel:
“Make sure to watch the hmmwv”

Gunny:
“Reaper copies. Try to stay in the open, on near windows.”

Gunny:
(on = or)
you stash your firearms and radios in the vehicle and touch up the camo before walking back down the road where the men wait for you

Kevin Gill:
Im sure Mayor Ward’ll be happy that you chose to stay
The armed men form a cordon around you as you walk into the town itself.

Uriel:
(Note to self, not sharing my TP with Jered)
When you pass the first few buildings you can see that the inner buildings of the village lack the damage of the outer buildings. A few people com to their doors to watch you.
You are escorted to a two story stone building with a low stone fence. An older woman waits at the open green door.

  • The Colonel waves to the people in the windows.

Gunny:
(/me misinterprets the signal and opens fire on the people)

Gunny:
(Women and children first)

Maggy Kent:
Well hello there! Im Maggy and I guess youll be staying with me tonight! Ive got beds and some porridge with fresh perserves on if you’re hungry.
Ma’am
The Colonel:
“Much obliged, ma’am”

  • Uriel lowers his sunglasses, tucking the temple into the front of his shirt, “Nice to meet you Maggy, I’m Uriel. Some porridge sounds like it’d hit the spot right about now.”

Maggy Kent:
Just Maggie! Just Maggie! Come on in and freshen up! I have a shower out back if you’d like to wash up. Its cold but it does the trick.
GM:
Kevin interrupts…

Kevin Gill:
You are free to walk around in Maggie’s place, but you’ll go no further than her gate or you’ll makr yoruselves as hostile.

Kevin Gill:
(I got booted from vent, can you guys still read this?)

Gunny:
yes

Uriel:
(Yerp)

Kevin Gill:
ok then we’ll just keep going

Uriel:
“Bit of a leash.”

Kevin Gill:
makr = mark

Kevin Gill:
Now I need to search you to make sure you didnt try to smuggle in any guns or radios after what I asked. The faster we get it done, the faster you can get some food and wash the road off.

Uriel:
“You guys must’ve had some real troublemakers at some point.”

Kevin Gill:
11,9

  • Kevin Gill searches each of you in turn. Satisfied he tells maggy:

Kevin Gill:
Mayor wants the usual for them.

  • Kevin Gill turns to leave
  • Egil smiles generously as he nods to Maggie and others that he sees. “We appreciate your kindness. Grøtt would be good… Very good.” His v’s sound like w’s.
    All but one of the militiamen leave and go out to the main road through town
  • Uriel raises an eyebrow towards the old woman, “The usual?”

Maggy Kent:
Just good treatment! Nothing sinister in Maggie’s house, just a warm fire and a lazy husband.

Maggy Kent:
DAVID!

  • Maggy Kent snaps, totally out of character from her warm demeanor to you.

Maggy Kent:
DAVID WE HAVE GUESTS! GO MAKE UP 3 BEDS NOW!

Uriel:
20,7

  • Egil continues to look around. “Madam Maggy. Did they tell you I am a doctor? Maybe you have a room i could use to examine any of your villagers who need medical care?”
  • Uriel looks at Colonel and gives him a somewhat wary glance

Maggy Kent:
Well that’s the best news ive heard in a long while! A doctor! Im sure after Mayor Ward meets you tomorrow there’ll be a line out the door to see you

Uriel:
“Where is the Mayor?”

Uriel:
“Kevin never mentioned what he was off doing away from town.”

  • Egil nods. “It would be helpful to have a place cleaned before that lines starts.”

Maggy Kent:
Mayor ward is probably out on his farm right now, He usually comes in in the evenings for gossip and when he learns you’re here he’ll be here tomorrow morning bright and early
The Colonel:
“Have many visitors, Maggy?”

  • Maggy Kent leads you into a large dining room and begins laying bowls and spoons from a china cupboard on the wooden table

Maggy Kent:
Not too many these days im afraid. But they all want to come back for Maggy’s cooking I promise you that! I have the best garden in Alaska Im proud to say.

Uriel:
“How long have you all been here?”
You can all smell the porrige cooking in the other room.

Maggy Kent:
Since before the trouble. Town’s so small we just got ignored thank the Lord
The Colonel:
“Mr Gill mentioned some trouble with outsiders?”

  • Uriel sniffs the air expectantly and feels the rumble in his stomach. “That’s fortunate, would have been terrible if something happened to the state’s best gardener.”

Egil:
((10m warning for me))

  • Maggy Kent dissapears into the kitchen and comes back with a large pot steaming with hot cereal. Dissapearing again she returns with two small jars.

Maggy Kent:
Strawberry and raspberry grown right here in my garden. Bet you never thought you’d have jam again!
The Colonel:
The Colonel: “Mr Gill mentioned some trouble with outsiders?”

Maggy Kent:
Oh we’ve had our share of trouble havent we? Scavengers mostly. Come up from Anchorage looking for nice people to steal from. We hold our own though.

Uriel:
“Any news out of Anchorage? We don’t get to hear much.”

Maggy Kent:
Me neither! Roads arent safe anymore. Im not really the person to talk to about all that. The Mayor’ll surely know more.

Uriel:
“How’s one come to be Mayor here? Not that I’m looking for a new job.”

Maggy Kent:
Oh he was our mayor before the invasion, just kinda kept the job after. He’s got a good head for it I suppose.

  • Uriel begins to dig into his porridge, nodding in approval to Maggy

Egil:
((post a log))
Egil is disconnected.
GM:
It’s good. A little less refined than pre-war stuff but the best fresh food you’ve had in a while
The Colonel:
“Is everyone here a resident from before the war?”
GM:
Not everyone. There are a few refugees but they mostly work out on the farms
GM:
We help out where we can
The Colonel:
“Anyone ever choose to leave town?”

Maggy Kent:
Not that I know of! We’ve got it pretty good here I suppose.

  • Maggy Kent excuse me, Id stand here and chat all day but there’s work to be done.
    The Colonel:
    (pumkin at 11)
  • Maggy Kent bustles out of the room leaving more porridge for everyone in the pot.
  • Uriel glances around the room as he shovels more food into his mouth, leaning in somewhat conspiratorially, keeping his voice low, “She’s telling the truth about nothing sinister going on in her house, but I get the sense we’re not getting the whole story.”
    An older, harrioed looking man enters the room

David Kent:
Hello there, Im David, Ill show you to your rooms if you like.

  • Uriel glances up, “Pleased to meet you David, name’s Uriel, you’ve got quite a set up here.”
  • The Colonel nods
  • David Kent shows you to a series of upstairs rooms and the old bathroom which now houses a chamberpot.

David Kent:
Somone’ll be up in the morning to change the pot. If you need hot water let Maggy or I know and we’ll throw some on the stove for you

Gunny:
(well I’m off, night bitches

Gunny:
)
Gunny is disconnected.

Uriel:
“Will be nice to sleep in a real bed, and I’ll take some of that hot water to wash up.”

View
Hidden Creek, Next Day
Hidden Creek

When we left off, you had just been led to your rooms by Maggy’s husband David who left you to your own devices. Standing outside the two story brick building are two guards. Maggy can be heard working in the kitchen.
You can avail yourselves of the gravity shower or get up to some other mischief

GM:
Its a cool day, a reminder that winter is not far off. Youd guess its in the mid 60s

  • Gunny attempts to quantify the amount of sweat forming in he ass crack while laying in the bushes on the outskirts of town. FIgures it about 1 mL

Gunny:
(he = the)
jered is disconnected.

  • Uriel makes his way downstairs to David, inquiring about the necessities for one of the previously offered showers
    You find david outside the building tinkering with manual walter pump
    jered has connected.
  • Egil makes his way toward the kitchen, observant as he works his way there. He taps on the doorframe with a knuckle. “God morn,” he says with an easy, mellifluous sing-song voice. “May I help you, Miss Maggie?”
  • Uriel steps over to the man and crouches down next to him, “What’ve you got there?” Uriel asks pleasently

David Kent:
Its just an nold pump im trying to get working again. Nothing important

Maggy Kent:
I wouldnt think of having my guests work around the house! Relax. Its a luxury these days.

Uriel:
“Maybe I can help, I’ve got a knack for tinkering. I’d usually reserve my services for trade, but you and your wife are nice enough to put up strangers in this time, a rare thing. It’s the least I can do to at least take a look.”

jered:
1,20,3

  • Egil shakes his head, taking a couple more steps into the kitchen. “My mother taught me better than that, m’am. And my wife would be…” He goes slient for a few moments. “I hope that somewhere another man is offering to help in her kitchen.”
    Egil:
    ((pronounced Egg-ihl, or ehg-uhl

Gunny:
(or Eagle)
Egil:
((if you want dysntery, infection, or a late-life circumcision.))

Maggy Kent:
Im sure she’s waiting for you… wherever she is

Gunny:
(I’ll fish fight you, or shoot out from 1000 yards)

Gunny:
(fish count as hand weapons btw
jered:
The battle damage on the outside of the town looks like it was done intentionally.

Egil:
Mork Mork!

Bernard:
me

Bernard:
What do you think these folks are up to

  • Gunny continues writing up his range card, thinking back to the times that he was a spotter and had a shooter to help with this kind of work.

Bernard:
seems fairly elaborate for an ambush

  • Uriel leans a bit closer to the pump, trying to give it a quick visual diagnostic before David says anything

Bernard:
but i will defer to you military guys

Uriel:
17,6,14

  • Egil takes a slow breath, exhaling through his nose. “I am sure. Quite sure.” He crosses over toward where Maggie is working. “Are there any who are sick in the town?”

Maggy Kent:
There’s always someone in need of looking after. Most havent seen a doctor in years.

  • Egil nods as he looks at Maggy. “We should start with you, Miss Maggy?” He turns a chair around and sits down. “How have you been feeling?”

Maggy Kent:
Im well. Hard work keeps me feeling tip top. At least Im still at home.

Egil:
((jacking off))

Gunny:
((Just like gunny, combat jacks are the best!)

Egil:
((gunny likes to jack i his gilly suit))

Gunny:
(Though, not technically a combat jack)

Egil:
12,8,5,9

  • Uriel glances over to David, “Looks like that piston is shot, it’s just creating friction. If you’ve got something I could file it down with, and a decent wrench, I might be able to get it running smooth.”

David Kent:
Well thats mighty kind of you. We’d have to go check out any tools from Bloom.

David Kent:
Er… Ill get some for you later If i can.

  • Egil looks to see what maggie is working on. “What of the barna?”
  • David Kent collects the pump parts and wanders off quickly
  • Uriel looks curiously at the old man scurring away, he makes a note of the name and gets to his feet. Making his way around the perimeter of the property, the long way to arrive at the posted guards. Trying to observe people, buildings, anything of notice. Smiling friendly and carefree the entire time.

Maggy Kent:
A… Barna?

  • Egil shrugs. “Sorry. Children. Are the children ok? Any birthings?”

Uriel:
7,17

Maggy Kent:
Oh! Yes of course… Cant stop the young can you.

Maggy Kent:
We’ve had two children. One born to a refugee named Melissa who came south from… well now I cant remember. Anyways, she set up with one of Rose’s boys and now theyve got a little girl.

Maggy Kent:
The other was born to the Sealys… They do leatherwork.

Gunny:
(I’m not paid to care, I’m paid to fuck shit up.)
GM:
^

Gunny:
(And I’m not getting paid anymore…)

  • Uriel begins to put a picture together of the nature of Hidden Creek., for a moment his smile fades, before returning again as he notices another person within sight. He finishes his route along the edges of the property, and comes up to the guards

Uriel:
“Hey guys, how’s it going?”

Sentry:
What can I help you with?

  • Egil nods slowly. “Can you make sure that I see them? The barna… children? Just to make sure they have what they need.”

Uriel:
“Nothing much, just saying hey. I’m not one for cooking, figured I’d see what you two were up to. Gotta be pretty boring watching over an old couple’s B&B with a few unarmed traders mulling about.”

Maggy Kent:
When the women hear that there’s a doctor in town id imagine we’ll have to bar the door to keep them away.

Sentry:
Far as we know you’re raiders playing nice. Till Jim tells us otherwise, you’re dangerous.

Egil:
Why the women?

Maggy Kent:
Oh, you know how mothers are im sure

Uriel:
“Is that the Mayor? And hey, I’m not faulting you guys, gotta be hard work keeping a little slice of normal like this. But the fact remains, you’re the ones holding the guns, not us.That’s besides the point though, was wondering if you two might want to pass the time with a little game of chance.”

Sentry:
Jim… sorry yah, Jim Ward, the old mayor.

Sentry:
Look, I appreicate the act, but you can drop it. I got a wife and kid up the road and im not gonna have them get carted off because I was playing cards with you.

  • Maggy Kent notices the form of Bernard lurking near the doorway

Maggy Kent:
Now here’s a man who knows the value of a good cook, I can tell.

Maggy Kent:
Let me fix you a salad or some honey bread.

Bernard:
Yes mam i do

  • Egil nods. “Oh, yes. Well that is ok. I have made an oath… and I will honor it.”

Uriel:
“Hey say no more, I don’t want to get anyone in trouble. How about this, if Jim says we’re good to go, you know where to come for a good game, maybe with a stiff drink if that’s available in town.”

Bernard:
Thank you

Sentry:
Sure.

Maggy Kent:
Ive got some fresh greens just ready for picking. I wont be a moment

Bernard:
I could use a decent meal, I think these guys have been serving boiled shoes and porcupines for the last few months

  • Maggy Kent exits through the back kitchen door

Uriel:
“Take care guys, and don’t work too hard,” Uriel says with a laugh as he moves off, “If you need me, I believe you know where I’m staying.”

  • Maggy Kent returns a few minutes later with an armfull of produce the likes of which you havent seen in nearly a year. Peppers, Tomatoes, and fresh cabbage.
  • Maggy Kent sets to work cutting up the salad

Bernard:
Wow, nice looking veg. No problems from radiation or anything around here?

Maggy Kent:
Not in these parts. Noone got sick here, though weve seen em pass through.

Bernard:
them?

  • Maggy Kent gets a distant look in her eye for a moment.
  • Uriel stops as he’s almost back to the house and asks the sentries, “By the by, did you see Mr. Kent come by? I meant to ask him about that shower I’ve heard about.”
    refugees from further up north. Closer to the bombs.

Bernard:
How long ago was this?

Sentry:
Couldnt tell you.

  • Uriel shrugs indifferently, nods to them again and makes his way inside looking for the old man

Maggy Kent:
havent seen one for months now… maybe three months or so since we seen one of them all sick.

Maggy Kent:
Wasnt much we could do for them but move them along.

Egil:
Move them along?

  • Uriel makes his way through the house looking for David
    GM:
    David has made himself scarce
  • Uriel gives up looking for the old man and starts looking for neccessities for the gravity shower
  • Bernard sits down at the table and waiits for his vittles
    GM:
    You gather your things and make your way out to the shower. It’s screened by a high wood box and sided with old tarps. The water is cold but refreshing.

Maggy Kent:
Here you are! I had some boiled eggs and pickles too if you care for them.

  • Maggy Kent sets out several dishes.
    You say to the GM: Am I tall enough to see over the top, at 6’4"? to see if anyone is watching
    Maggy Kent whispers: some of the field workers seem to watch from time to time… noone seems to be taking a hard look.

Bernard:
Seen any chinese or canadians round here?
GM:
You eat another great meal at maggy’s table and she busies herself with small talk. When Bernard mentions that he passed through before the war she warms even more to him asking about his memories of better times."

  • Uriel finishes his shower and towels off quickly before dressing and heading back inside the house
  • Egil remains quiet, reserved, but attentively listening to the conversations that flow around him.
    GM:
    The day passes slowly with small talk. Several times during the day a few people enter the building to haul the garbage away. They dont look as well fed or healthy as the locals youve met. When asked, maggie just says “Oh they’re just refugees trying to make their way here. We didnt need much help so they do what they can to earn their keep”

Bernard:
3,6,6

  • Uriel waits in the house, keeping an eye out for David from time to time
    David appears again near sundown, he is noticably reticent to talk again
  • Egil takes time at some point during the day to take a shower.
  • Bernard wanders the house after his shower looking out the windows and trying to remember the layout of the town
  • Uriel gets David aside at some point during the night and begins, “Hey David, I just wanted to say you don’t have anything to worry about from us, I know my saying that doesn’t mean it until the Mayor confirms it, but I felt it needed to be said. One of the guards implied he’d get in trouble playing cards with me, I’m not trying to get anyone in trouble.”
  • David Kent nods but says nothing
  • Uriel pats the old guy on the shoulder, “My lips are sealed, and I’ll leave it there. If you want to talk or have me help with that pump, just say the word, till then I’ll leave you to your own.”
    GM:
    So do you guys want to do anything special over the night?
    jered:
    set up a watch
    jered:
    4 hours on 4 off or whatever

Uriel:
I will casually look through the house, trying to find a radio, or parts to one I may jerry-rig
GM:
There are very few signs of technology remaining in this house outside of the old empty light sockets

Uriel:
(I suppose I will watch second)

Egil:
((watch sounds good))

Uriel:
5,8

  • Uriel covertly moves from bed to bed, waking the others quickly to have them ready. He then makes his way towards the stairs to get a better ear on the group

Uriel:
6,19,2

  • Bernard looks for anything that can be used as a weapon.
    GM:
    bernard arms himself with a candlestick and a chamberpot (half full!)
  • Egil stirs and looks around as well for something, blunt force trauma sounds useful.
  • Uriel waves the group back cautiously, he speaks very lowly, and keeps his face turned away from the stairs and guarded by a hand, “Maggy’s telling them we’re decent folk.” Uriel turns back to the stairs and listens in, trying to pick up what the pair of men are saying, or if David’s voice pipes up
  • Uriel inches away from the stairs and mimics his earlier position as he speaks again, in a similar tone as to before, “We’ve got a good report, but something’s definitely off about Hidden Creek.” He stops quickly and motions for everyone to head back for the time being. Speaking quickly once back away from the stairs and closer to the rooms, “I don’t know if the man with Gill was Mayor Ward, or this man called Bloom, we’ll find out soon enough I imagine, but let’s play everything slow right now.”
  • Uriel keeps an ear out to towards the stairs in case any footsteps start up them, as he speaks

Gunny:
indeed
GM:
You hear the front door close. Peering out the window you see the two men walk walk away together talking.

  • Uriel recounts what he heard to the group, and gives his earlier impressions regarding the need to sign out tools, the sentry being carted off for playing cards, and the general malnourished appearance of the field workers

Egil:
((pumpkin warning… 5 – 10))
GM:
The rest of the night passes uneventfully
GM:
Last watch sees people heading out to the field and another change of guards.
GM:
A soft knock at the door of your rooms announces a working party of refugees who collect dirty water and the chamber pot from the end of the hall
GM:
Everyone can make an awareness check at -3

Bernard:
Whoa, hold up there guys i need to use that one more time real bad before you run off with it!

Bernard:
just kidding. Thanks

Uriel:
3,18

View
Hidden Creek, Barter Town
Hidden Creek

When you dress and come downstairs, Maggie has cut oats and fruit on the table for breakfast.

Uriel:
“Good morning, Maggie,” Uriel announces as he sits down for breakfast. “Another fine looking meal.”

Maggy Kent:
Kevin should be down in a bit to take you all to meet the Mayor.

Maggy Kent:
Oh this is nothing, but ill take the complement anywyas.

  • Egil nods with a smile. “Takk.” he looks to the others and then begins to eat.
  • Uriel digs around his bowl, eating the oatmeal first as best he can, leaving the fruit for last.
    The fruit is mostly berries and it reminds you strongly of home Egil

Uriel:
“Anything to know about the Mayor? Like do we call him Mr. Mayor, or what?”

Maggy Kent:
Oh he usually likes Mayor Ward or Jim once you get to know him.
As you begin wrap up breakfast, a hard knock is heard at the door.

Maggy Kent:
That’ll be Kevin now.

  • Maggy Kent leaves to get the door
  • Uriel looks to the others, flashing a somewhat skeptical expression to the others, but stays quiet
    Kevin and Maggie return a few moments later

Maggy Kent:
Its been a pleasure to have such nice men visit. Please come back again if you travel this way again.

Kevin Gill:
Lets go, the Mayor is waiting.

  • Uriel glances up at Kevin warily, then turns more towards Maggy as he rises, “The pleasure was all mine, Mrs. Kent, tell Kevin I’ll still help him with that piston if theirs time before we leave, and he finds the tools.”
  • Egil remains quiet thoug watchful.
    You follow Kevin out to the yard of the house and the two guards fall into step with you as you walk down the hill towards the east side of town.

Uriel:
“Nice enough morning for a walk.”
You reach the road near the gas station and continue south. Kevin seems to be bearing towards a red roofed church with several armed men milling around in front, talking.

  • Uriel gives a cursory but subtle glance at the gas station as they pass
    The doors of the gas station stand open and the windows of the mini-mart have been broken or removed.
  • Uriel looks to Kevin and the two guards, “What denomination is your Church?”
    Lutheran, but it hardly matters anymore. Noone cares about that crap anymore.

Kevin Gill:
Lutheran, but it hardly matters anymore. Noone cares about that crap anymore.

  • Uriel nods and continues walking on, “So no chance of a potluck Sunday then.”
  • Kevin Gill breaks one of the first smiles youve seen since you met him.
    you come to the front of the church and find that the back half of the church has been converted into some sort of meeting room
    Several people mill about, talking to one another. Kevin leads you to one of the tables at which two other men are seated. The younger, more well groomed one stands as you approach. The other stares at a ledger and only glances at you.

Egil:
((bio))

Jim Ward:
Hi! Welcome to Hidden Creek, Im so sorry I had left for the day when you arrived. My name is Jim Ward, im the Mayor around here.

  • Jim Ward Shakes each of your hands in turn.
  • Uriel looks over the younger man as they shake hands, afterwards he looks to the man still sitting, seeing if he can catch a meaningful glimpse at the ledger.

Jim Ward:
Now Ive gotta ask you, what brings the military back to our little town. We havent heard word of US troops in nearly 8 months.
Jim Ward whispers: It seems to be a supply manifest. Its hard to read, the man has his arm circled around the top of the book like a teenager at the SAT

Uriel:
“Pleased to meet you Mayor Ward, I’m Uriel Sagan.”

Uriel:
“Well, we seem to have a similar problem, we haven’t heard anything either from them. We’re trying to get somewhere that that’s not the case.”

Jim Ward:
Hmm I see. So just passing through then? Heading south I take it?

  • Uriel nods, “Nothing of note to the North but Russians and Eskimoes.”

Jim Ward:
And raiders. I heard the russians near fairbanks have broken up into bands and are looting whatever they can come across these days.

  • Egil mutters quietly, “… misery…”

Uriel:
“I’d like to think that kind of scum is nothing but Russians, but I know better.”

Jim Ward:
These are desperate times. Some people have become qhte the barbarians

Jim Ward:
Quite the barbarians. Sorry I bit my tounge.

Uriel:
“Yes, it gives me some hope to find this slice of civilization, perhaps there are others who remain intact.”

Jim Ward:
We try very hard here. It certainly hasnt been easy. Place like this is a ripe target

Jim Ward:
We have a few come up from around Anchorage but weve been able to either discourage them or beat them back so far.

Uriel:
“What about Russians?”

Jim Ward:
Theyve stuck mostly to the city limits thank god. Not really sure what they are up to but if they came, I doubt we could do anything to stop them from taking what they wanted.

Gunny:
10,5,11,12

Uriel:
“Hear anything about a resistance?”

Jim Ward:
We try to keep our heads low. I cant say weve been looking for much trouble.

Uriel:
“Yeah, is probably safest to stay out of the spotlight.”

Jim Ward:
How do you plan to get south? Kevin told me you came on foot. Thats a long walk

Uriel:
“Well, our Colonel here is a big history buff.”

Uriel:
“Give him a chance and he’ll tell you a dozen stories of men marching twice as far, three times as fast, with half the rations.”

Jim Ward:
Food comes dear these days. Speaking of which I hope you enjoyed Maggies cooking. She loves to have guests so we send all our visitors to her.

Uriel:
“She was a wonderful hostess, the fresh fruit and veg was a nice treat.”

  • Jim Ward nods

Jim Ward:
Have you found any other villages like ours? Its pretty lonely up here

Egil:
Maggie’s coking was excellent.

Uriel:
“Nothing really like this no. We know some people are still in Anchorage living under the Reds’ hammer.”

  • Jim Ward nods grimly

Jim Ward:
Well!

  • Jim Ward placews his hands on the table

Jim Ward:
This here is Mike Zafron. Mike is our bookkeper and master of the town’s supplies. If you brought goods to trade, Im sure we can work something out.
The man at the table looks up from his book, which he closes carefully.

Mike Zafron:
You can just call me Mike. Is there anything in particular you are looking for?
GM:
Fuel, food, ammunition, batteries
GM:
tools perhaps?

Egil:
Are you willing to barter services for these goods?

Uriel:
“Good to meet you Mike. Looking for standard things, food stuffs, some ammo, and maybe some batteries or fuel we can trade down the road. Spare tools can help, and I’m sure the Doc here is open to any medical supplies.”

Mike Zafron:
We might give some value for services. It would depend on the offering

Uriel:
(any of the voices so far sound like the midnight visitor?)

Mike Zafron:
We have a few repairs that need doing if you have a mechanic with you.
It was the mayor

Mike Zafron:
We need medicine if you have it. Weapons and ammunition of course

Uriel:
(quick bio)

Uriel:
“Well, I’ve got to be honest, we didn’t carry much with us since Kevin had us leave our guns.”

Mike Zafron:
We can arrainge to eaxchange goods outside the town if we make a deal

Uriel:
“Good good.”
afk one sec

Uriel:
“Well, with the right tools, I can lend a hand on those mechanical repairs you mentioned. The Doc here can probably help out on that front. What do you think that’ll be worth to start this off?”

Mike Zafron:
back

Mike Zafron:
For repairs of our generator, we can trade 100 liters of Diesel, or 200 liters of bio-diesel.

Mike Zafron:
We have some food and a few tools if you prefer that kind of thing.

Uriel:
(do we have that space in jerrycans?)

Mike Zafron:
you have 80l in jerry cans plus the tank of the vehicle

Mike Zafron:
can we make a deal?

Uriel:
“I think that sounds fair.”

Mike Zafron:
As for medical supplies, we would be willing to trade well for whatever you are willing to part with

Uriel:
“That would be Egil’s department.”

  • Egil smiles. “Our supplies are limited. But we have something else of even greater value: knowledge.”

Mike Zafron:
Your knowledge may suffice for now but it is cold comfort when winter comes and one of the farmers is mauled by wolves. We need antibiotics. I would be willing to trade, say, 3 Liters of Bio-deisel per hour of work you do, plus 50 liters for supplies you use.

Uriel:
“Do you guy’s have any means of communication? Long range radios or what have you? Should be able to stay in touch for a while after we’ve moved on.”

Mike Zafron:
We dont have any transmitting radios. We have a few emergency recievers

  • Egil glances at Uriel. “We will have to see. Our supplies are small to begin with.”

Uriel:
“I’ve got a lil’ bit of electronics behind me if you could use anything done there… same for reloading casings or fixing up guns that might be damaged, if you have the tools anyway.”

  • Mike Zafron looks to Gill, who thinks for a moment, then nods once.

Mike Zafron:
We have a few weapons that might be repairable

Uriel:
“Sounds like we have a very good start. Some of the details need smoothing over, like Egil said, our supplies aren’t that extensive, so we’re walking a knife edge on what we trade away.”

Those of you in the chruch hear automatic gunfire. Mayor Ward and Mike Zafron both nearly fall out of their chairs and hug the ground.

  • Kevin Gill rushes to the window, drawing his rifle
  • Uriel follows suit and gets a low to the ground, “What’s going on?”
  • Kevin Gill turns to the party with a scowl on his face.

Kevin Gill:
Is this your doing?!

  • Kevin Gill levels his rifle at you

Uriel:
“Hey, if we were going to attack your town, do you think we’d do it while we were in here and unarmed?”

  • Kevin Gill turns quickly and runs for the door
View
Hidden Creek, Shoot Out
Hidden Creek

so when we left off, Gunny hernandez was taking aim on the man in the back of the truck who is manning the machine gun.

GM:
Egil and Uriel have run out of the church and you see several armed men running to the east, about 100 feet in front of you is Kevil Gill
Another crack of automatic gunfire ripples through the air

  • Uriel takes up near a wall of the church, and shouting to Kevin after the burst of fire, “Where the fuck is that militia you greeted us with?”
  • Egil hangs with Uriel, eyes attentive for various details.

Gunny:
2,19

Egil:
2,16

Uriel:
17,7

Uriel:
(I hit it on the dot, so am I just at 15?)
GM:
3,16
GM:
15,17

Gunny:
11,6,10,17

Uriel:
(how many ticks was my yelling cost?)

Gunny:
4,4

Gunny:
12,12,2,1

Gunny:
5,6
GM:
8,20
GM:
12,18
GM:
6,14
GM:
11,16

  • Uriel sprints after Egil, shouting, “Damn your Hippocratic Oath Doc.” sliding in down next to them
    GM:
    12,13

Uriel:
(I’ll hold)

Gunny:
7,10,6
GM:
16,12

Egil:
6,20,15,9

Gunny:
afk one sec

Egil:
19,11
GM:
13,12
GM:
13,16

  • Uriel takes the weapon from the sentry and turns and falls into a prone position, readying himself for what comes next

Gunny:
16,12

Uriel:
5,12

Egil:
12,20,4,1

  • Uriel readies himself, adjusting his shoulders slightly as the butt of the rifle pulls tight, he follows the line of the barrel and levies the sites on the man with the machine gun

Uriel:
7,1,4

Uriel:
5,4
Egil has received initiative.
Uriel has received initiative.
Gunny has received initiative.

Gunny:
12,10,7,12

Gunny:
5,6
Several minutes pass after the last shot. Egil continues to treat the wounded sentry. Finally, you see Kevin Gill walking towards you with his rifle held in front of him. He sees you tending to the wounded sentry and nods but says nothing.

  • Kevin Gill speaks after a few moments

Kevin Gill:
One of them is still alive but he’s in a bad way. The other two are dead already.

Uriel:
“Americans?”

Kevin Gill:
Used to be. Just raider filth now.

Uriel:
“He have anything of use to say? Are more on the way?”

Kevin Gill:
I dont think anyone is interested in talking to him. He’s lucky if we just let him bleed out.

  • Uriel stands up slowly, brushing the dirt and pebbles off his clothes, holding the rifle in the crook of his arm, the barrel pointed at the ground
  • Gunny watches the movement of the sentries.

Uriel:
“I think your man here is gonna be alright, real lucky the Doc was here. Course, I’ll leave the official diagnosis to the man with the degrees.”

Kevin Gill:
Looks like you put some pretty accurate fire on them. I guess I should say thanks

Uriel:
“Just glad I could help before anyone else got hurt.”

Kevin Gill:
We should probably get him inside

  • Uriel turns to Egil, “Safe to move him?”
    You are shortly joined by The mayor and several farmers as well as a frantic woman who you guess is the injured man’s wife

Egil:
Yes. He can be moved, but i need to operate on him soon.

Jim Ward:
Of course, of course! Help him get James inside!

  • Jim Ward motions to another woman who is running towards you.

Jim Ward:
Karen is our town nurse, she’ll help you however she can… Karen?

Karen Bloom:
Of course!

  • Uriel leans down and gingerly puts his hands under the man’s left shoulder and waits for the signal to lift, “Hey guy, you’re gonna be alright.”

Karen Bloom:
We should take him to the school. I have the nurses office in the basement set up to handle any wounded or sick folks

Uriel:
“Let’s do it then.”
working together you move the wounded man to the nurses office

  • Egil nods, hovering over the patient.
View
Hidden Creek, A New Friend
Hidden Creek

Jim Ward:
We are incredibly lucky you were here to assist us

Jim Ward:
Especially you doctor

  • Egil smiles at Mr. Ward. “It is my calling. I do what is required.”

Uriel:
“I’m sure your guys would have taken care of the marauders.”

Jim Ward:
We’ve been plagued by these degenerates since the weather first started getting bad over a year ago. But, maybe you can help us find a more permenant security solution

Egil:
Who are they?

Jim Ward:
Just desperate men doctor.

Egil:
Ja, so it seemed. Where do they live?

Jim Ward:
But we cant let the sense of humanity we all shared endanger our security. Those thought belong to another age.

Jim Ward:
We have some evidence the men may be coming from a school further down the valley

Uriel:
“Evidence?”

Jim Ward:
hunters have seen vehicle tracks

Jim Ward:
we have food and fuel… what we dont have is trained men

Uriel:
“What exactly did you have in mind?”

Jim Ward:
What I propose is simple. If you can strike those raiders at their base, they may think twice about attacking us again. If you can wipe them out, all the better

Egil:
Have you considered negotiating?

Jim Ward:
These men are scarcely better than animals Doctor. they prey on the weak and the vulnerable. They respect nothing. They place no value on the sanctity of life

Jim Ward:
As I was saying, these men are not much better than animals. They attack without mercy and take what we make by our own hard work. We arent cruel here, we even have made room for what refugees we can. But these men dont value work, only power

Jim Ward:
South of here, there is an abandoned high school building ouside a town called willow. Thats where our men think these monsters are holed up. If you could somehow eliminate their threat, I think we could give you more than enough food and fuel to see you through the winter.

Jim Ward:
Perhaps we might even be able to convince you to stay!
Praetus:
“That’s a tough call Mayor Ward. While we need the supplies dearly, there’s a big difference between running off a small raid and assaulting a building of armed thugs. It’s something we’d have to think more about at least.”

Uriel:
“That’s a tough call Mayor Ward. While we need the supplies dearly, there’s a big difference between running off a small raid and assaulting a building of armed thugs. It’s something we’d have to think more about at least.”

  • Jim Ward looks slightly dissapointed

Jim Ward:
Well, consider it at least

  • Egil looks over at Uriel.

Jim Ward:
Our people would be incfredibly grateful. Not to mention the lives you would save here.

Uriel:
“Tell us more about it anyway. This school, was it built post-Columbine? How many men are we talking about? Will any of yours be accompanying us?”

Jim Ward:
Its an older school building, I dont know that anyone has been near it since the invasion. Ususally when our men find vehicle tracks, they stay far away. We dont want to draw attention to ourselves.

Jim Ward:
Our men arent soldiers like you.

Uriel:
“The truck the men drove up in, can any of the hunters identify if it matches the tracks they saw?”

  • Egil listens carefully, brow furrowing from time to time.

Jim Ward:
I… I didnt think to ask. Kevin?

Kevin Gill:
Ill check it out

Jim Ward:
In the mean time, perhaps I can offer our hospitality for a day or two more? We’d all feel safer knowing you are here
hearing a scuff at the door you look to theopening to find that a small crowd has gathered outside.

Uriel:
“I doubt either of us are going to argue with a warm place to stay and a good meal.”

Uriel:
“Though, I can’t help but think, that wasn’t a cap gun on the back of that truck. With your guy’s permission, I think we’d feel better if we could get our things from hiding.”
GM:
I think you’ve proven your intent, but im sure you wouldnt mind if we posted some guards with you. Id be remiss if I didnt always keep my peoples safety in mind.

  • Uriel turns to Egil, “What do you think, Doc?”

Egil:
Can’t hurt to stay for a while.

Jim Ward:
Its settled then

Jim Ward:
Ill let maggie know to keep your beds warm… speaking of beds, Im sure you could use some rest after this morning. If you’d like we can reconvene tomorrow to hash out any other deals

Jim Ward:
In honor of our mutual victory Id like to invite you to have the freedom of the town as well. We have a leatherworker in town, Mr. Sealy and his family make fine work.

Jim Ward:
And we have a small library here in the basement of the church

Uriel:
“Maggie’s sounds great. One last thing. If we’re looking to do something serious about this school, we’re going to need a more solid idea of what we’re walking into. With your go ahead I’d like to look into bringing in another guy. We left our radios back with our other gear, we can vouch for his character, but can understand if you have restrictions on him. But I think if we’re serious about handling this situation, we’re gonna need his help.”

Jim Ward:
I suppose a friend of yours is a friend of ours

Uriel:
“Good to hear, our chances improved significantly.”
Egil:
About your library… Could I look through it?

Jim Ward:
of course. A man of learning needs a place to expand his mind. Though, you may find our selection a bit… lacking

Jim Ward:
most of the books were taken from the middle school… You’d have to talk to Father Pisano, he watches over the books

Egil:
I look forward to seeing it anyways

Uriel:
“Do you think some of your men would be interested in coming along? I also had thoughts we might be able to help a bit with some training. Teach a man to fish and all that.”

Jim Ward:
Of course. Im sure our men could use whatever instruction you could give them

Uriel:
“I think we’ll be able to help each other out.”

Jim Ward:
As far as any assault goes, that would be a decision the men themselves would have to make

Uriel:
“That part of it will come more into frame as we get a clearer picture of what we’re dealing with. We don’t even know for sure that this school is where they’re coming from.”

Jim Ward:
Yes of course

Jim Ward:
Well then, lets give these men some time to rest!

Jim Ward:
I look forward to talking to you again in the morning

Uriel:
“Sounds good. We’ll think better after a good night’s rest.”

Uriel:
“Perhaps Egil and I will gather our things while the light’s still good.”
The meeting breaks up and you move to leave town and gather your belongings. On the way out, The young woman who assisted on the surgury approaches Egil

Karen Bloom:
We were fortunate to have an actual doctor here. I dont treat many gunshot wounds, even today

  • Egil looks over at her and smiles. “It was good to have an extra pair of hands to help.”

Karen Bloom:
My name is Karen. I used to work at Anchorage General as a charge nurse. I keep the bodies in the town working and my husband steve fixes anything mechanical. I guess you could say we are mister and misses fixit around here.

  • Karen Bloom looks at the crowd that is slowly following behind you as you walk out of town

Karen Bloom:
I guess word got out that we have a doctor in town. Im sure they’ll talk you right through the night if you let them.

Karen Bloom:
Look, I dont know if you intend to stay, but these are good people and they deserve more than I can give them. Do you think you might be able to give me some more advanced classes?

  • Egil looks at Karen for a moment, his arms folded across his chest. “I’ll teach you what I can, but it isn’t likely that will be hear too long.”

Karen Bloom:
Ill take what I can

  • Karen Bloom looks disappointed

Egil:
But as long as we’re here, I’ll teach you what I can. Where would you like to start?
You continue out of town and less than a half hour later, you meet up with Gunny Ramirez who, having seen you leave the town, has returned the the vehicle.

  • Uriel waves briefly to Jack as they approach. “Nice shooting with the truck, Doc might still be patching people up if they kept on shooting.”

Gunny:
“What have you learned of the town, and the people? Everything ’jive?”

Uriel:
“Ehh, they seem nice enough. And this could just be paranoia, but something seems off. They’ve asked us for some help dealing with those raiders, offered the food and fuel we’d need for the winter if we can do it.”

  • Gunny picks at the remains of an MRE packet while listening to Uriel. “We definitely need fuel, and food.” He tosses the empty packet onto the ground. “The least we can do is take a look. If its too much trouble we hit the road.”

Uriel:
“They’ve got refugees they’ve taken in, looks a bit shady at first glance. But that’s probably the times.”

Gunny:
“Are they requesting we still leave our gear here?”

Uriel:
“We can bring it along, but we’ll be tailed by some guards. Not like everything we do isn’t going to be watched all the time anyway, so what the hell.”

Uriel:
“Think we should probably keep the humvee under wraps still, but don’t know how others feel about that.”

Gunny:
“We’ll take the Humvee, it’ll be better if they think I came from further away.”

The Col.:
It sounds like a plan then

Uriel:
“Makes sense, and I won’t have to walk back. We’ll have to be careful in our approach, so they don’t think more raiders are coming.”

Gunny:
“Maybe you should walk back, and I’ll bring the truck up in an hour or so. Simulate some travel time.”

The Col.:
That way we could tell them you are coming

Uriel:
“Going to give me blisters.”

The Col.:
very well then

  • Gunny sets to uncovering the Humvee as the other’s head back to town.

Uriel:
“Alright so we walk back, let them know we got in touch, and the cavalry is coming.”.

  • The Col. nods
  • Uriel goes about the make-shift camp and gathers his gear
    You return to town. You notify the guards about the vehicle and a short time later, you see the HMMWV rumble around the corner. This causes somewhat of a ruccus in town as the children amass around you. Many of these people have not seen a US millitary vehicle in years
    In fact, many of them have probably not seen a working vehicle that wasnt bearing raiders in over a year

Uriel:
“Anyone seen the Mayor, or Kevin Gill?”

  • Kevin Gill stands at the edge of the crowd looking at the LMG on the HMMWV disapprovingly
  • Gunny steps out of the humvee and takes a moment to survey the crowd. “Is this what you have been dealing with?”
  • Uriel makes his way over to Gunny and waves him along to Gill, “Not to this degree, the ride must take it over the top.” Uriel pauses as they approach Kevin, “Hey Kev, this is Gunnery Sergeant Jack Hernandez. Jack, this is Kevin Gill, Hollow Creek’s security.”
  • Gunny looks Kevin Gill over for a moment. “Mister Gill. I heard you had a run in with some bad men.”

Kevin Gill:
And now three fresh graves on the edge of town to help warn any other troublemakers

Gunny:
“How often have they been raiding?

Kevin Gill:
We used to get hit maybe once a month or so. Recently its been every couple of weeks. They’re either up to something or they sense winter is coming. Either way they arent getting anything from us

Uriel:
“What normally happens in these raids? Are they always equipped like today’s raid?”

Kevin Gill:
Soemtimes they come in greater numbers. sometimes its just a shot or two in the dark of night. Back in june, Keith Oberman’s son was killed out on the guard post in the middle of the night

Uriel:
“Are they raiding the farms for food or stealing stuff? What do they risk their lives for?”

Kevin Gill:
Im not sure it even occurs to them that they might die

Gunny:
“Or it no longer matters.”

Gunny:
“To them”

Uriel:
“How often to you take one of them down?”

Kevin Gill:
Not often enough. Weve never taken one of their vehicles before

Kevin Gill:
they are getting brazen

Uriel:
“It sounds like we’re dealing with a pretty big number of men here.”

Kevin Gill:
They might be pressing people into service

View
Hidden Creek, Bacon Town
Hidden Creek

Jim Ward:
Gentlemen, I want to thank you again for helping us today. We’ll talk again tomorrow when youve had a chance to rest

  • Jim Ward walks off with Mike Zaffron in tow. They talk quietly to each other as they exit the church

Egil:
Is it me or does something not feel right here.

  • Gunny Hernandez looks to Kevin Gill “Have they taken anybody from the town?”
  • Uriel nods slightly, “Definitely something odd, can’t quite nail it down.”

Kevin Gill:
We’ve been lucky for the most part. Couple months ago a couple of boys dissapeared. We went looking for them but couldnt turn up hide nor hair of them

Kevin Gill:
I figure they ran into some animal in the woods and got dragged away.

Gunny Hernandez:
“Do you think they were just runaways, or something more sinister?”

Kevin Gill:
Nah, One of them was Jeff Rose’s boy. He was a good kid. The other was Ben Gorin’s youngest. He was just a loser.

Kevin Gill:
Couldnt be counted on and barely enough meat on his bones for a good meal for a bear.

Kevin Gill:
They were probably out past the edge of town like idiots and a bear got em. We get a fair amout of grizzlys around here on account of the dump.

Kevin Gill:
With the winters as bad as theyve been, the bears are pretty agressive

Gunny Hernandez:
“A bear got them and you found no signs? Blood, drag marks, anything?”

Uriel:
“Were they known for hanging out together?”

Kevin Gill:
We didnt, but its a big world out there. I have a town to look after. I can barely get these farmers to spare men for the watch much less for 3 weeks of searching.

Kevin Gill:
I saw em together once or twice.

Kevin Gill:
They were the same age.

Gunny Hernandez:
“Did you lose any gear when they dissappeared?”

Kevin Gill:
Gorin’s gear was missing along with one of Ben’s deer rifles but Rose’s was hanging in his room. Like I said, they probably went out for a walk and ran afoul a griz. If they ran into some of those raiders, I doubt they faired better.

Gunny Hernandez:
“Unless they intended to run into them.”

Kevin Gill:
I didnt think they were stupid enough to go after raiders with one rifle.

Uriel:
“How close do the grizzlies get to town?”

Kevin Gill:
but I suppose its possible

Kevin Gill:
We get a few inside town every month. We can usually shoot em before they cause much damage but they’ll rip apart anything to get at food.

Kevin Gill:
We’ve only had one good mauling in the last year and a half since we got left up here

Uriel:
“The boys knew about them then.”

Uriel:
“Would the rifle they took have stopped a bear?”

Kevin Gill:
Maybe if you hit em in the right place. If a big one caught them by surprise? not a chance.

Gunny Hernandez:
“And you’re sure they wouldn’t have joined up with these raiders that have plagued your town?”

  • Kevin Gill looks angry

Kevin Gill:
God who the fuck knows anymore. Im not a goddamn kindergarden teacher! Ive got to keep the goddamn town safe and I dont have time to wet-nurse every fucking kid that decides to go wander in the woods like an idiot

Uriel:
“Hey man, no one’s blaming you. We’re just trying to get as many details as we can. If these kids ran off then they may have told the raiders details. Even if they got eaten by bears, it’s good to know about the dump attracting them.”

  • Kevin Gill if you want to know about the kids you should ask their folks. Rose’s farm is just west across the river and Gorin’s is just south of town off the road about a quarter mile.
  • Uriel glances at his watch
    GM:
    It’s just after 14:00

Egil:
Bears… oh my.

Uriel:
“Perhaps after lunch we can see their parents. I mean if they aren’t trying to find them, can’t be much hope.”

Gunny Hernandez:
“You can do that, I’d like to inspect Mr. Gill’s security forces.”

Kevin Gill:
Its been nearly 2 months since anyone seen them… Im sure Mrs. Rose will talk your ear off if you let her but Id avoid her husband If I were you. he’s embarrased about the whole thing.

  • Egil frowns.
  • Kevin Gill looks at egil

Kevin Gill:
We have enough to worry about around here. Hostile armies, raiders, animals, weather, crop failure. You cant blame the man for being upset about the stir his kid caused.

Uriel:
“You said the raiders have started coming more often, ever couple weeks. When did their increase in activity start?”

Kevin Gill:
I dont know, a month or so ago?

Uriel:
“Do you guys have any maps of the area the school is in?”

Kevin Gill:
Not that I know of… you could ask the padre if he has an atlas but nothing close up

Uriel:
“Maybe Egil can bring it up when he heads to the library.”

Kevin Gill:
Ive got to go make the rounds and make sure the sentries are still looking for trouble after this morning. Ill talk to you later

Gunny Hernandez:
“I’ll go with you, if you don’t mind.”

Kevin Gill:
Sure.

  • Kevin Gill turns and walks out the door
  • Uriel waves briefly to the two and then makes his way back to Maggie’s for lunch
  • Gunny Hernandez begins to follow Kevin out the door but turns back to the others “Save me some lunch.”
    The group splits with Uriel and Egil heading in for lunch and Gunny Hernandez going with Gill to inspect the fortifications
  • Uriel glances about as the walk through town, making sure no one is nearby he says to Egil, “Keep an eye out on the refugees, maybe they’re doing these people some good, but refugees can turn into slaves quick.”

Egil:
Yah. It seems like they have all the meneal jobs in town

Uriel:
“Yeah… not sure how much security is worth, chamber pot emptier is up at the edge though.”

Egil:
But then again… why wouldn’t they? What do they bring to a community like this besides their labor?
As you approach Maggie’s house, you see that she is waiting by the gate watching you come up the path

  • Uriel nods at Egil and then notices Maggie and waves to her

Maggy Kent:
I heard the shooting! What happened?!

  • Maggy Kent waves

Uriel:
“Some raiders drove up in a truck and shot up the place, everyone’s fine now though. Doc here patched up the only one that got hurt.”

Maggy Kent:
Oh thank God you were here!

  • Egil smiles. “Could we bother you for a bite to eat? I’d like to get over to the library as soon as I could.”
  • Maggy Kent Walks out from behind her fence and Hugs Egil ernestly

Maggy Kent:
Of course of course

Maggy Kent:
Come in! I have some bacon, ill make you some sandwiches. Least I can do for the town’snewest heroes

  • Egil is stiff as a board when he gets hugged.
  • Maggy Kent drags you back into her house and sits you at the table. Soon the smell of bacon wafts through the open kitchen door
  • Maggy Kent over the sound of sizzling
  • Uriel glances around the room, “Sandwiches means bread.”

Maggy Kent:
We killed a fat hog about a month ago! You’re lucky Im spoiling you while I try to get rid of whats left before it goes bad!

Uriel:
“Speaking of spoiling, I don’t suppose anyone in town has any fermented or distilled beverages?”

  • Maggy Kent enters the room with a plate of steaming bacon and a loaf of hearty brown bread with a knife stuck throught he top

Maggy Kent:
I hope you dont mind, im saving the greens for dinner.

  • Maggy Kent shortly brings out another plate with onions fried in the bacon fat.
  • Uriel looks at the display tepidly, “Well, I suppose it wouldn’t be the first time.”
  • Egil smiles at the bread. “Will we ever again have a time when the world abounds with butter?”

Maggy Kent:
Id kill for a stick of butter myself!

Uriel:
“Can you milk a moose?”
You pick through the meal. About 40 minutes after you arrive, Gunny Hernandez arrives and digs in.

Maggy Kent:
I cant rightly say that Ive ever tried

Maggy Kent:
Moose are pretty onrey

Uriel:
“I’ve been around a decent amount of Alaskans recently… I’d put money down that someone’s tried.”

  • Egil pushes up from the table. “I’ll be inthe library if you need me.”

Maggy Kent:
Ha! im sure they have. Knowing some of theseguys it was a bull and not a cow though

  • Uriel laughs as he notices Gunny arrive and Egil leave. He nods over to Gunny, “How’d your tour turn out?”

Gunny Hernandez:
“Their fortifications, if you can call them that, are woefully inadequate.”

Gunny Hernandez:
“And the fighter need a considerable amount of training, they know which way to point the guns, but not much more.”

Gunny Hernandez:
(fighters)

Uriel:
“From what Gill said it sounded like most were farmers.”

  • Gunny Hernandez digs into the bacon, using the bread to sop up any grease.

Gunny Hernandez:
“That makes sense. Maybe some have had hunting experience, before the war and such.”

Uriel:
“Say Maggie, you ever hear about a school, out a ways through the woods?”

Maggy Kent:
We have the school here in town. Closest one other than that is Willow Elementary down the old State Highway 3

Uriel:
“The raiders might be using it as a base.”

View
Hidden Creek, One Pump Chump
Hidden Creek

Uriel:
“Any gas stations near Willow Elementary that might not be dry?”

Maggy Kent:
Most of the Matsu Valley has been pretty dangerous since the Russians pulled back to Anchorage
GM:
The Matsu valley runs north and east from Anchorage to near fairbanks. You are currently in it.

Uriel:
“Those raiders came in a truck. Gas is becoming a luxury that isn’t easily sqandered.”

Maggy Kent:
There are a bunch of old stations along the highway, I guess I just always assumed that someone had already stolen the gas

Egil:
They might have stolen it.

Uriel:
“Will be easy to see if any of them have gas. They’ll most likely be guarded if they do.”

  • Maggy Kent crosses her arms in front of herself.

Maggy Kent:
Aweful people

Maggy Kent:
Is there anything else I can get for you boys? I have some work to do in the garden if we want to keep eating this good

Uriel:
“Was curious if you knew the Rose and Gorin boys? Heard they’ve been missing for a bit now, around the time the troubles really kicked up.”

Maggy Kent:
They kicked around a bit together. Not many boys that age in town so they didnt have much choice

Maggy Kent:
The Gorin boy was a bad seed if you know what I mean. he was always getting into trouble, especially after the hard times started

Uriel:
“Would have to be kinda serious to get in trouble then, wouldn’t it? I’d think a blind eye would be turned on the minor stuff.”

Maggy Kent:
Early on we were living hand to mouth. It wasnt easy getting used to havin nothing

Maggy Kent:
And a lot of poeple didnt like it so much when Jim suggested that we give all the supplies over to pool our resources

Maggy Kent:
But I know he only wants whats best for the town

Maggy Kent:
He’s never done one single thing thats wrong by me.

Uriel:
“You guy’s must trust him a lot to give your supplies over.”

Uriel:
“Is that when the boy’s disappeared? When their stuff went to the greater good?”

Gunny Hernandez:
“That might explain the stuff that went missing.”

Maggy Kent:
It was some time later. Like I said, Jim has worked his tail off to keep our town safe. It wasnt till he put Kevin in charge that we even had guards round the clock. I dont know how we survived those first few months after the invasion. Now that you mention it though, Mr. Rose was one of the most vocal opponents of Jim’s plan. If you ask me though, he’s just having trouble adapting to the new times. We cant be so independant anymore.

Uriel:
“That’s gotta be tough. You Alaskans seem to pride yourselves on self-reliance more than the average.”

Maggy Kent:
I think thats how we got though this. But we have to pull together and realise that the town is one family. And families work together. We dont horde supplies to ourselves

Uriel:
“I mean even your husband seemed a little peeved that he didn’t have the tools I’d need when I offered to fix his water pump.”

Maggy Kent:
Im sure he’d just need to ask.

  • Maggy Kent looks around disapprovingly for her husband. When he dosent appear she looks uncomforable.

Uriel:
“Any chance someone in town might have something to drink tonight?”

Maggy Kent:
hmm

Maggy Kent:
I know some of the farmers make some whiskey out of the spare corn mash. Not much night life here anymore

Uriel:
“Don’t need a night life really, more a bit of unwinding.”

Maggy Kent:
We still try to have a harvest dance near the church in the fall

Uriel:
“Never been to one of those myself. Grew up in New York.”

Gunny Hernandez:
(What time is it?)

Maggy Kent:
We just get everyone together and try to be normal for an evening

Uriel:
“Where’s Jim live?”

Maggy Kent:
He has a farm north a bit up the road

Uriel:
“Have you been there?”

Maggy Kent:
A few times, mostly just after the trouble started

Uriel:
“Wouldn’t mind seeing it at some point if we stay around these parts a bit.”

Maggy Kent:
im sure he’d welcome you if you plan to stay

Maggy Kent:
was there anything else I could get you boys?

Uriel:
“Only thing I can think of is if you happen to have a map of where that Elementary School is, and it’s surroundings.”

  • Gunny Hernandez pushes back from the table “Well, I thank you for the meal Mrs Kent, but I should get to improving the towns security.” He looks to the Colonel “Sir.”

Maggy Kent:
I dont have any maps but you could try the library

Uriel:
“I think Egil’s got the library staked out.”

Uriel:
“One last thing before you go Maggy. Do you think it’d be worth going out to the Rose’s and Gorin’s? I don’t want to dredge anything up if it’ll make this world harder on anyone for no reason.”

Maggy Kent:
I dont know. Id imagine that Kevin did a good job looking into that

  • Egil tar medisinske bok ute fra biblioteket og finner seg et sted aa sitte der han kan lese boken i full solskinn. Deilig er det aa nyte nydelig vaer.

Uriel:
“He said it was bears.”

Egil:
(in other words… Egil goes outside to read i the sunshine.)

Maggy Kent:
hmm we have had problems with bears… especially over at the dumps

  • Egil smiles occasionally as he peruses the book.

Uriel:
(Is sunshine solskinn, and library biblioteket? medisinske bok, medical book?)

Egil:
((excellent work))

  • Egil sighs softly before stripping to the waist… he lays back in the sun, setting the book to the side for this rare moment.

Uriel:
“He mentioned that, the bears at the dumps. I just have trouble with the fact that there was no sign. If it was a single boy that got attacked by bears and you couldn’t find anything, I don’t think I’d find that suspicious. But with missing equipment, the fact that there was two of them, and that no blood, bone or clothing was found….” Uriel shrugs, and looks a little distressed “It’s just bears don’t add up with all that. But maybe I’m just overthinking it.”

Maggy Kent:
With all the dark things that have happened to us I find it easier not to dwell on these things.

  • Uriel nods sympathetically, “I’m sorry Mags, I shouldn’t dump all that on you. But it’s like I told Kevin, Jim’s asking us to handle these raiders from the school, and I’d rather know too much about it than miss something key, guess it’s just how I was trained.”

Maggy Kent:
Oh im not upset. Just find it easier to look forward if im not always lookin back

Uriel:
“Is probably why I’m up here in Alaska.”

Maggy Kent:
probably why a lot of us are

  • Maggy Kent turns and walks intot he kitchen
  • Uriel stands and walks out of the Kent’s home, somewhat aimlessly walking in the direction of the Bloom’s, best as he’s aware

GM:
After a short time, perhaps an hour or so, you find karen bloom tending to her front yard as though it was a normal sunday afternoon.

  • Uriel steps up to the edge of the property and waits till she takes notice, and waves when she does

Karen Bloom:
sorry I didnt see you there!

  • Karen Bloom takes off a set of gardening gloves.

Karen Bloom:
I usually help in the mills but everyone’s pretty antsy after the attack today so they sent us home

Uriel:
“No problem, I just got here, didn’t want to intrude.”

Uriel:
“The mills? Don’t know if I’ve seen them.”

Karen Bloom:
Nothing fancy I assure you. We just use a water wheel to crush grain and pack it into bags

Uriel:
“Then I’ve got to thank you.”

Karen Bloom:
thank me? why?

Uriel:
“I just had some bread in a sandwich at the Kent’s, I imagine the grain used was in part milled by your efforts.”

Karen Bloom:
YOu should thank my husband. He’s the one who thought to make a wheel

Uriel:
“Fresh bread isn’t something to take for granted anymore, and my people know a thing or two in regards to the importance of bread.”

Uriel:
“Mr. Bloom was actually the reason for my stroll in this direction. I think I may have made a mistake actually, I followed as best I could put together where you were, but was thinking of his work.”

Karen Bloom:
Oh? Can I tell him why you are calling?

Uriel:
“The Kent’s have been more than kind to us, and I looked to help, in what way I could, by repairing a water pump that I saw Dave fiddling with. As I understand, he’s the man to talk to for what I’d need to fix it for him, that being some sort of file, and a decent adjustable wrench.”

Karen Bloom:
Steve dosent keep many tools for himself. But he’s the man to see about fixing things. Let me get him

  • Uriel nods and waits near the verge, admiring the garden
  • Karen Bloom walks inside. Several minutes later she reappears followed by a thin but muscular looking man in jeans and a grey t-shirt. His hair is cut short and he has the look of a man for whom the end of the world was only a minor inconvenience.
  • Steve Bloom walks forward and offers his hand.

Steve Bloom:
Pleased to meet you. Karen says your friend saved one of the men today. I dont know how we can ever pay you back for that

  • Uriel walks up to the couple and reaches out his hand, looking slightly down into the man’s eyes he shakes Steve’s hand firmly, “I can’t take any credit for the Doc’s handiwork, but am glad we were here to help out.”
  • Steve Bloom ’s grip is strong and steady. You get a sense that this man has spent a long time working with his hands and probably hits like a truck.

Uriel:
“We’ve got a bit in common as I understand it, we’re both into fixing and tinkering with things.”

GM:
but kazic didnt seem to be too hot on renewing the forum since he’s not using it anymore
Gunny is disconnected.

Steve Bloom:
I worked over at the service station before the war. Just found I had a knack for that kind of thing

Uriel:
“Same, same. Something calming about the work. It made sense and fit together, unlike most everything else.”

  • Steve Bloom nods

Steve Bloom:
Was there something I could help you with?

Uriel:
“Well, in immediate terms, as I told Karen. I’d like to help out the Kent’s with a broken water pump. Piston in it is all jacked up. Needs some filing, and a bit of elbow grease. Was told you’d be the guy to see about the tools. As for the long term, wouldn’t mind working together a little, see if I can pick anything up, and maybe vice versa. Might learn something that’ll save my life later.”

Steve Bloom:
To be honest, The mayor keeps most of the tools lokced away and we have to ask Mike Zafron if we want to check them out. As for helping out with other stuff, If you really want to help, We have a hydrolic lift in the garage that’s broken down, but if we could fix it i might be able to do better maintainance on some of the old farm equipment

Uriel:
“I see, I see, Alright, I guess I’ll have to ask Jim about the stuff for the Kent’s. As to the lift, I’ll be glad to take a look. Fresh set of eyes never hurt.”

Steve Bloom:
I can take you over if your keen to get a look

Uriel:
“I’m not up to anything at the moment.”

Steve Bloom:
let me grab my keys

  • Steve Bloom goes inside and returns a few moments later with his keys in hand
  • Steve Bloom leads the way back to the filling station. Once there, he unlocks the rollup door with his keys and lets you in
  • Uriel strolls in and walks over to the lift in question, “What seems to be the problem? Loss of pressure? Fluid leak?”

Steve Bloom:
I think its something to do with the pump

  • Uriel makes his way over to the pump, kneeling down and leaning this way and that to get a cursory glance.
View
Hidden Creek, Domestic Abuse
Hidden Creek

GM:
When you come to the small shed housing the pump generator you immediately see the problem. The generator has been stripped down and will need parts to function again

GM whispers: oops. well You realise that you probably have the parts at base. Alternately you might be able to strip parts off some of the vehicles parked in front of the Bloom’s house
You say to the GM: What about the raider’s truck
GM:
perhaps
GM whispers: you can make a mechanics (AWA) test to see if you can strip the vehicle for parts to fix the generator

  • Gunny Hernandez wanders down the street looking for Kevin Gill, actively scanning for any signs of danger.
  • Uriel turns to Bloom, “So the pump generator looks like it’s been through some kind of salvage operation. I can maybe see about the raider’s truck if I can strip any parts off that, but if I can’t, it’ll definitely need parts from somewhere.”

Uriel:
1,19,15

Steve Bloom:
We should push the truck out of the field and onto the pavement before the farmers get the same idea and strip that truck down for traktor parts

Uriel:
“Don’t suppose you guys are hiding some oxen or some other beasts of burden for just these occasions?”

Steve Bloom:
Hmm.

  • Steve Bloom motions to a boy standing near the rollup door of the station

Steve Bloom:
Jimmy go down to Ray Manizic’s place and tell him to bring two of his big drafts down ASAP. But tell him to be quiet about it. Go now!

Uriel:
“The horses a big draw around town?”

Steve Bloom:
Small town.

Steve Bloom:
Nothing stays a secret in a small town.
GM:
As the boy leaves you make your way down into the field and up to the raider’s truck. You put the battered pick-up into neutral and start pushing. You’ve made it nearly 100 feet through the soft soil before the Horses arrive

  • Uriel wipes his brow with his sleeve as he eases off pushing and more or less leans against the pick up. “Well that’s a welcome sight.”
    GM:
    In short order youve lashed the truck to the horses and have pulled it to the service station. Once there you back the truck into the unoccupied bay and begin stripping it down for parts
    GM:
    It’s early evening by the time you look up from your task and realise that you have a small but serviceable pile of engine parts.
  • Gunny Hernandez takes mental note of the number of gingers he see while wandering the streets of bacon town.
    GM:
    (10 units of small mechanical parts)
  • Uriel takes a quick inventory of the assembled parts and goes through a mental checklist for the pump generator
    You say to the GM: figuring if I have enough to fix it
    GM whispers: should be unless you fail
  • Uriel looks up towards the sky, then glances down at his watch. “Think this might be something to tackle tomorrow, been a long day.”
  • Steve Bloom wipes the sweat from his face.

Steve Bloom:
Good to have a days work in though

Steve Bloom:
Meet you down here in the morning?

  • Steve Bloom Begins gathering up the peices
  • Uriel nods, “Sounds like a plan. Hopefully by lunchtime we’ll have made some headway.”

Steve Bloom:
Right. Thanks for the help.

MEANWHILE

Uriel:
“Anytime.”
Egil has connected.
GM:
Gunny Hernandez walks around the town for about an hour before being directed to a amall neglected looking brick house. It looks as though the people living here have little time or patience for either growing things or trimming them back. Metal shutters and a security gate indicate the owner’s concern for security, however.
GM:
You walk up to the front door and after several knocks you are greeted by a nervuos looking woman who tells you that Keven is sleeping and will usually be up in the late afternoon.

Gunny Hernandez:
“I see, its good to know that the town’s security plays second fiddle to nap time.” pauses a moment before walking back down the path “He knows where he can find me when he’s ready to get to work.”
GM:
The woman looks as though you hit her before gathering herself and quickly saying “K-Kevin stays up every night to help the watch! He takes it very seriously!” She backs away from the door, half expecting you to barge in.
GM:
You can be wherever you want this afternoon. Youve been given free reign of the town, though the watch still eyes you with some suspicion. Fero is working with Steve Bloom, the husband of the Nurse who helped you

Gunny Hernandez:
“WHere do they watch the perimeter at night?”
GM:
Kevin walks around and makes sure the men on duty are paying attention and not sleeping. Its a very important job.

Gunny Hernandez:
“What time does he start his rounds?”

  • Egil has cleaned up the nurses office at the gradeschol. While he was so engaged, he asked a couple people to spread that word that he has “opened the clinic” for the afternoon and is willing to talk to anyone interested in an exam or consultation.
    GM:
    Very shortly there is a line of people out the door waiting to be seen. The people are, in general, in very good health considering the circumstances.

You say to the GM: can I retroactively ask Bloom where I can find a drink?
GM whispers: some of the farmers make whiskey from corn mash, but Steve says if you get that generator working tomorrow, he’s got something special for you.

  • Egil grows more and more cheerful as the afternoon wears on, almost as if the open clinic gives him energy rather than takes it. He is especially good with kids, putting them at ease and taking time to coach them.

After a long day of work, you return to Maggie’s boarding house where you wash up and get a hearty vegitable stew for dinner

Uriel:
“Been a long day. Tomorrow might turn out to be longer, going to try and put a pump generator back together.”

Maggy Kent:
Steves been working on that one for a while now. Maybe if he gets it working he can fix up a few of the old trucks for harvest time

Uriel:
“Gonna give it a shot. Can’t make any promises, it’s pretty busted up.”

Maggy Kent:
Youve been nothing but good news for this town. Im almost afraid for the other shoe to drop.

Uriel:
“Who knows what will happen with that school.”

Maggy Kent:
It just seems so dangerous. The raiders havent taken anything big in months. I dont know why you have to go. If you just stayed with us we’d be as secure as we need.

  • Maggy Kent looks at you hopefully

Gunny Hernandez:
“If we stayed here, who would help the other towns that need our help too.”

  • Maggy Kent looks disappointed

Maggy Kent:
Yes, I suppose there are others who need you just as much as we do.

  • Gunny Hernandez pauses from his meal and looks to Maggy, “And truth be told, your town doesn’t have it nearly as bad as some that we’ve seen.”

Maggy Kent:
Oh! well, I guess I hadnt really thought of it. I mean, if we can make it I figured everyone… well…

  • Maggy Kent turns and walks out of the room into the kitchen

Gunny Hernandez:
“We’ll be here for a time.”

  • Gunny Hernandez finishes his meal and head to bed early.

Uriel:
“Eventually we hope to get back to friendly territory. Where we’ve been, and what we’ve seen might help in the effort.”

Maggy Kent:
We havent heard anything from down south in months, even on the shortwave.

Uriel:
“Same, but something’s still got to be there. They’ve got contigencies. Someone is trying to put the pieces back together.”

View
Hidden Creek, World Needs Ditch Diggers, too.
Hidden Creek
  • Gunny Hernandez meets Keving Gill outside his house at the time specified by his wife.
    GM:
    Gil meents you outside. He’s wearing an old realtree hunting jacket and a beaten baseball cap. Your breath is heavy in the air tonight and the cool air bites right through your clothes.

Gunny Hernandez:
“Evenin’ mister Gil. Shall we get going?”

  • Kevin Gill grunts by way of a response
  • Kevin Gill heads out to the field where the fight took place yesterday
  • Gunny Hernandez sighs, shaking his head. Then checks the bolt action and sights on his rifle before following Kevin. “So mister gil, what did you do before the war?”

Kevin Gill:
Dosent really matter does it. We aint going back to that,

Gunny Hernandez:
“Suppose it doesn’t. Just wondering what qualified you to be head of security.”

Kevin Gill:
I was the only one who gave a shit and Ward knew it. All these farmers want to do is look after themselves.
You approach the guard station in the field. The pit is shallow and wide, allowing the guard to lie down for the long watch As you approach the guard stands and welcomes you quietly.

  • Gunny Hernandez looks at Keving Gill and quietly speaks, “These foxholes need to be deepened.”

Sentry:
Any deeper and its hard to see out the edge while you are lying on your stomach

Gunny Hernandez:
“You shouldn’t be lying dow, you should be standing, or atleast crouching.”

You spend a few minutes describing how to reenforce the fighting position. In the end, the argument that he could be run over in the current position and that the shallow pit is a giant grenade trap wins the day. Gill snaps at the man,,,

Kevin Gill:
Get a shovel after your shift and bring it up. We can dig it down in the morning.

  • Gunny Hernandez says to gill as they walk away from the sentry, “It should be done with all of them. Afterwards, you should find your men are falling asleep less while on watch.”

Kevin Gill:
Ill make sure it gets done

Kevin Gill:
They’ll bitch and moan about it but maybe sitting up will keep them awake

Gunny Hernandez:
“How are your men with their rifles?”

Kevin Gill:
This is Alaska. Most people here grew up with a rifle in their hands even before things got bad

Kevin Gill:
Couple of them could use some work.But its hard to justify shooting off what little ammo we have just for practice

Gunny Hernandez:
“How many of them have killed a man? Bandit or otherwise.”

Kevin Gill:
Weve had a couple skirmishes to get them used to the idea of killing. War and bandits have a way of turning peoples attitudes about death pretty fast

Kevin Gill:
I think so

Gunny Hernandez:
“Well, if you don’t feel they need instruction, I’ll defer to your judgement.”

Kevin Gill:
Its not that they dont need it. Its that we cant just truck down to the Dicks sporting goods and buy a crate of ammo

Kevin Gill:
Not to mention every time we shoot a round, we make noise. I dont want to attract attention.

Gunny Hernandez:
“Given todays events, I’d say you already attract attention.”

Kevin Gill:
From those scum yes

Kevin Gill:
But the russians down in anchorage? Or the warlords up north/

Kevin Gill:
If they roll an APC down here they could destroy this whole village

  • Gunny Hernandez shrugs. “Guess I can go scout the school, seeing as you don’t need any help in the town.”

Kevin Gill:
Mayor ward seems to think it will help

Kevin Gill:
But I think he’s more interested in a strike than a scouting mission

Gunny Hernandez:
“Would you have your men go up against a force that you didn’t know how large or well equiped it was?”

Kevin Gill:
I wouldnt send these farmers up against anything that didnt involve protectin their own homes. They arent soldiers. They are just yokels with enough smarts to point the right end of the gun towards the enemy

Gunny Hernandez:
“Well I’m not going to send anyone into a situation where they’re completely blind.”

Kevin Gill:
I suppose

  • Kevin Gill shows you around to the two other guard positions
    One of the two remaning positions is on the nw edge of town along the river overlooking the bank. The second is to the south of the road near the bridge

Kevin Gill:
You gonna stay out here all night? I usually just walk the rounds till dawn

  • Gunny Hernandez having completed the patrol with Gill, makes his way back to the Kent’s house to get a few hours of rack time before begining the day.
    The next morning
  • Uriel wakes slowly and goes about his early morning routine
    Maggie has eggs and ham ready for you when you come down for breakfast
  • Uriel makes his way downstairs, feeling somewhat more refreshed and greets Maggy with a warm gesture
  • Gunny Hernandez cleans and oils his rifle before joining the others at the table for breakfast.

Maggy Kent:
Good Morning! Any plans for the day?

Uriel:
“Think I’m going to take a look at fixing the hydraulic pump.”

  • Gunny Hernandez looks at Egil, “Did you find maps of the area around the school?”

Egil:
I found an old atlas which showed where the town was. Nothing close up

Gunny Hernandez:
“Thats even more reason to scout the area before we decide on a course of action. With the Major’s approval I’ll set out at mid day, it’ll be at least a two day march.”

The Col.:
Just be careful

The Col.:
Dont take any risks

The Col.:
If you get made, Exfel immediately. Use your radio at 1900hours if you need help. Ill turn our MRC 113 on at that time every day

Gunny Hernandez:
“Aye sir”

Uriel:
“Will be nice to have a solid idea of what we’re being asked.”

  • Gunny Hernandez looks to Maggy, “Do you have any blank paper and pens laying about?”

Maggy Kent:
I have some pencils and some old letters you can use the back of.

Maggy Kent:
if that will work

  • Maggy Kent walks out of the room and returns in a few minutes with the pencils and paper

Gunny Hernandez:
“Whatever you can find, and as much as you are willing to spare.”

Uriel:
“Well, a meal like that to begin the day is a good start towards a long day of wrenches.”

Maggy Kent:
Im sure steven will be happy to hear that

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