After the expensive block clearing effort at the old supermarket, Kendal felt that it was time to earn some fresh money, so he looked at the job board again. There was a blatant wet work offer – killing some cult preacher, on behalf of the Fast Dogs. That paid good money, but he felt that going after a cult needed a very strong combat team, and he didn’t have that. So he took the other job: Planting sensor arrays on three separate floors of buildings in a relatively harmless block.
Kendal the Nomad and Snake Tooth the Ronin, with Kendal’s retainer, the Face Aryana, and a new Hacker hired by Snake Tooth: Ziv. Kendal also tried to hire a second nomad, but she was offended by his low entry level offer and told him to go where the sun don’t shine.
Fresh talent also joined: Diamondback the Sneak, and his retainer Hunter, a level zero human with great potential.
We moved out on foot and entered the target block, which was right at the edge of the safe zone, to scout it out. We noticed a group of gang members and avoided them, and found two good buildings: A two-floor and a one-floor office building.
Starting with the two-floor we attempted to enter through the window, but failed horribly. Meanwhile, a gaggle of unattended kids came closer. We were conflicted about how to handle them, and we did not have rations with us to pay them off. Then Kendal proposed to take them into the building after opening the front door. Snake Tooth opened the door and checked the main room, which took up half the building, and was full of cubicles — and a vending machine. The kids happily attacked the vending machine, plundered it of foods and money, and took off. Solved!
We pocketed some drugs, and Kendal was zapped by a trap. Then we opened the next door, very carefully, and found nothing much. Opened the next door, very carefully, and found a stray cat and vacuum cleaner. Hijinx ensued when we attempted to capture and pack up the cleaner.
Meanwhile, Diamondback on the roof fended off two little dinosaurs attacking the door — he killed one, wounded one, and the little survivor fled.
Then a group of waste wanderers showed up. Unafraid of Diamondback they walked right up and asked if they could take his rifle to look at it closely for a minute. He said no, but told them about us in the building. They decided to pay us a visit. Suddenly they were there, and we were quite unsure what to do with them. They offered to be our partners and hinted that they had great skills. We said, hm, well, maybe, go ahead, open the next door. They refused and instead “guarded” the already cleared area.
We went ahead and opened doors and went up stairs, always checking for traps. The freeloaders didn’t do a thing, they just watched us from the back. Kendal mumbled something about this not going to end well, but we were all too weak-chinned and weak-willed and timid and mild-mannered to actually confront them about it.
We even tried to weasel out of the whole affair by “giving up” midway during the top floor, but they egged us on to keep going, and we let ourselves be bullied into it.
The wastes hate weakness
By accident, we broke a big hole into the floor in a windowless, dark corridor. Then we found a big haul of treasure in the very last room.
That was the great weakup call for the freeloaders, their leader Sally was right at the treasure and super happy.
“We have to discuss shares,” said Kendal, “taking into account how much work everyone did.”
Sally got agitated and cried foul and unfair, and started calling for her friends who had kept farther back.
Hunter levelled the shotgun at Sally to underscore our slow development of a backbone — and then Sally shot Hunter right in the head.
Gloves off, almost relieved that finally the first move had been made, everyone opened up at Sally and shot her to pieces. Her friends ran at us to support her, but in the dark corridor they missed the big hole, fell down and broke necks and legs, and died in the rubble.
Hunter had paid the ultimate price for us all being wussies who tried to be nice to bad people.
Of our job, installing scanner arrays, we had done two thirds.
Collecting everything useful and/or halfway valuable, we returned to Club Lavender, cashing out, and vowing to go back and finish the job tomorrow, going into the other, smaller office building. And to be a bit more grownup next time we met bullies.
Photo: Photo by Alfonso Scarpa on Unsplash