Act I, Scene I: When Work Needs Doin'
The PC's are called in to meet with 'Steader commune's elders, receive instructions to take the trade goods they picked up from the expedition and go to Scraptown to trade them for fuel, ammo and a couple of good rifles. This is in preparation to convoy the grain harvest out to Scraptown a week from now. They're told they have a week to go and return, giving them enough time to make whatever trades and business dealings they think are necessary, as well as any modifications to the Titan they think are necessary for the grain harvest run.
The PC's discuss trying to pick up some extra ammo before heading out but it's clear the 'Steader commune sees the trade goods they picked up from the expedition as community property, which might make haggling a bit more complicated than just going on to Scraptown and trading there. They decide to go ahead, load up and hit the road right away.
Act I, Scene II: Autoduellin'!
The PC's hit the highway, heading for Scraptown. Only a couple of hours out, halfway to the bartertown, the PC's pass a group of raiders lurking in the woods off the road, waiting for something worth jumping on. The raiders aren't about to pass up the opportunity presented by Romeo's truck coming down the road, two cycles running escort. It's obvious there's loot to be had here.
Since the PC's aren't actively trying to sneak up on (or past) anyone in particular, the raiders get a standard Difficult Senses/Notice roll to see them coming well enough in advance to respond quickly. They flub it, getting no success at all, and don't notice the PC's rolling up until they're passing right in front of them.
Sanguine, on her bike, Rebel, is running point for the group while Nell, on the Bandit, escorts the Titan. She gets the first Senses/Notice roll to spot the raiders and wins the Competing Roll. She drops back to the Titan to signal Romeo there's trouble ahead before the raiders are even aware of them. But, since she's chosen to run only Short range out from the Titan and Bandit, that brings the whole group right alongside before she's able to make the other PC's aware of the threat. Nevertheless, we count that as gaining Surprise over the raiders for the combat/chase scene that's coming.
As the PC's only see a couple of bikes and cars off the road, they aren't 100% sure these folks are going to try anything nasty. So rather than simply fire on them as they pass or anything, they concentrate on speeding up and trying to put some distance on them in case they do decide to pose a threat. Since we're looking at a Surprise round, the PC's get their first roll unopposed. The first round of the chase will be unopposed as well, as it will consist of the raiders scrambling to load up and get out on the road in the first place.
By the second round, when the chase actually begins in earnest, the Titan has pulled ahead almost, but not quite, to Long Range. Sanguine and Nell are forced to pull back in order to stay with the truck and cover it. During this round they decide to Wait to see where their pursuers fall in the chase before acting. Titan then maintains Short Range ahead of the raiders, pulling ahead to Long Range against the family sedan with the Heavy MG turret.
Sanguine and Nell both decide not to speed ahead, dropping back amongst the two cycles and the armored muscle car to take on the cycles. Having Initiative and all the raider drivers having spent their Actions on chasing the Titan, they cut loose and combine Bursts on one of the bikers. Both land 3 successes, both of which the cycle driver fails to dodge. Since they didn't focus on the driver himself the two 30L hits are taken out of the cycle first. The driver manages to barely survive the excess damage the cycle and it's armor didn't absorb but the cycle is destroyed in the process and promptly crashes, which road pizza's the fellow quite nicely after all.
The raider riding shotgun in the muscle car comes up next in Initiative, so he fires off a pistol crossbow out the window at Nell, who's on his side of the road. With the increased Difficulty from firing inside a moving vehicle against a moving target outside, a "Specific Location" target riding a cycle, he has little hope of success and hits nothing but air.
The raider passenger in the family sedan one Range behind is manning a Heavy MG on an interior pivot-mounted turret. That seems to spell big trouble for the two biker girls when he turns his attention on them. He can't spray in that direction without spreading the damage around between the two gals and the muscle car in between them...but he's a raider. Not exactly a big picture kinda thinker. So he lets loose anyway, just really excited at the prospect of shooting something. And since the Heavy MG is an Understanding/Shoot kinda weapon he throws lead all over the place and doesn't hit a thing from way back there.
Considering the lack of significant threat posed so far, Romeo decides not to try to put distance on anyone this round after all. He figures he'll hold off and allow them to catch up, then start sideswiping folks. Sanguine and Nell do the same, not minding if they fall a Range behind the cycles and the muscle car, even if it brings them alongside the family sedan and its monster MG trailing behind. The remaining raider cyclist is intent on getting ahead of the Titan to drop smoke and oil on him though, so he pours on the speed and pulls up alongside at Close Range.
Romeo is Waiting when the raider cycle catches up, so he takes the opportunity to try sideswiping him right away. The raider dodges easily enough and he's free to try pulling ahead again next round. Mason is frustrated that the cyclist hasn't quite pulled into his line of fire yet but he's still Waiting in case he pulls ahead next round.
Back down the highway the girls are Waiting as well, expecting the muscle car to pull ahead of them, so when the raider cyclist up ahead tries to pass the Titan they combine bursts again him instead. They don't quite splatter this biker like they did the last one but they manage to drop some impressive damage on his bike, so that he'll be sporting some damage penalties to his maneuvers from here on.
The raider in the muscle car decides not to try to catch up with the Titan to sideswipe it but rather goes after the girls, since they're doing all the damage to his buddies so far. He sideswipes at Sanguine on the Rebel but she dodges the hit. Since no one is trying to move up on the Titan the family sedan catches up to everyone, pulling in among the muscle car and the two girls on their bikes, right behind Nell. The raider on the Heavy MG lets loose a burst right at her then, landing 1 success, which she fails to dodge. That's frightening enough to prompt her to drop 2 Fortune on eliminating the gunner's success.
Romeo uses his Action to sideswipe the cycle again rather than pull ahead, figuring that if the cycle does get ahead of him Mason can still take him out with the Titan's Medium MG. He still doesn't manage to whack the bike though.
Sanguine opts to drop back behind the family sedan to take a shot at it, dropping 2 Fortune for a couple of extra successes with it. She manages only three total but that does inflict a decent amount of damage on the lightly armored sedan.
Nell meanwhile is in a tough spot. With the family sedan right behind her and the muscle car off behind and to her left, it's going to take some maneuvering to get around behind them all like she wants to be. She takes a shot at it and pulls it off anyway with a trio of successes.
The raider biker up ahead with the Titan knows his bike is badly damaged and figures he hasn't much chance of pulling ahead of the truck, but with Nell and Sanguine positioned both ahead and behind the family sedan, dropping smoke or an oil slick on them would drop it on the sedan as well. He takes his shot at getting ahead of the Titan then anyway, lacking anything else he can do in the situation. Not to mention Romeo keeps trying to sideswipe him, which makes for a pretty terrifying position he's got himself in. Amazingly, he manages 4 successes, with the damage to his bike reducing that to 3. It's enough to almost pull a full Range ahead of the Titan and it sets him up perfectly for dropping smoke on the truck next round...but it does indeed put him right in front of the Titan at Close Range, which presents a whole other problem.
Mason, who's been Waiting since the chase began for something to shoot at, is very happy when the biker zips around in front of him and quickly drops a burst of Medium MG fire on the poor fellow. He lands 3 successes (losing one to firing out from an internal pivot-mount), which the biker fails to dodge. That's enough to finish the bike off, hit the biker himself fairly hard and splatter the whole caboodle down the road in bits and pieces.
With both their bikers splattered the raider's Plan A is out the window, along with the advantage they'd hope to get from smoking and oiling the truck ahead. The raider driving the muscle car figures Plan B will consist of taking out the two cycles on his tail, then focusing on the truck itself. To that end he hits the brakes and tries a backassward ram against Nell, who's right behind him. Nell snickers at the clumsy attempt, zipping out of the way easily. The raider in the family sedan decides to give that a go himself, since Sanguine is right behind him on Bandit. He likewise fails miserably, not scoring any success at all.
Romeo decides to stop Waiting for everyone to catch up, since they all seem preoccupied with one another, and decides to use his Action to actually drop back one Range in the chase. He slides in right in front of the muscle car and now everyone's at Close Range to one another. Sanguine and Nell then jink over to fire bursts on the family sedan, hoping to take it out before it can get bring that Heavy MG to bear on the Titan. Sanguine rolls 3 successes against the sedan which it fails to dodge, landing 22L on the vehicle after armor reductions. That's enough to drop a +1 Difficulty penalty on it from the total damage so far.
Nell, however, comes behind with her burst landing 3 successes as well, one of which is a natural 6 that explodes out to 4 successes(!) on it's own. The total of 7 successes drops 62L on the family sedan (-8 for its Light Armor), knocking the disintegrating hulk of metal right off the road in a bloody, burning mess. Not too shabby from a Light MG fixed-mounted on a bike.
The muscle car driver's Initiative comes up then and he's not at all happy with how things are going. Figuring...yeah, he's had enough of all this, he tries to pull a Bootleg Turn and get the heck out of there...and fails. He does manage to Keep Control but he's stuck in the chase for now.
Seeing the two raider cars try to brake-ram the girls earlier, Romeo decides that's a grand idea. So he hits the brakes right in front of the muscle car. The raider driver fails to dodge and...crunch!...Titan hits the muscle car for 50 damage, halved by the car's ram to 25 and reduced by 11 more from the car's armor. A not exactly devastating 14 damage in all. The Titan on the other hand takes 50, reduced by 17 for the truck's armor, for 33 total damage. So perhaps not the smartest move on Romeo's part. Still, Titan has a whole lot of Health to throw around in a fight.
Sanguine and Nell take a good look at the muscle car's armor and decides it's worth burning up a little more ammo on. They zip around and hit the raider from behind, plinking at the muscle car for a total of 28 damage after armor reductions. That drops a +1 Difficulty penalty from damage on the car and now the raider's getting desperate. When his Initiative point comes up, he zips up alongside the Titan for a sideswipe to put those Wheel Spikes to work. He lands a single success which Romeo dodges and now it's just not looking good for him at all. Romeo and the raider both manage to Keep Control.
Romeo sees those nasty Wheel Spikes on the muscle car and he doesn't want any part of that, so he opts to spend 2 Fortune for dual Actions, drops back and rams the muscle car from the rear, taking advantage of the Titan's own ram this time. He lands 3 successes on the ram, which the raider has little hope of dodging, landing 75 damage, minus the muscle car's 11 armor, for 64 total. That's more than enough to crash the raider's muscle car, killing both the driver and passenger in the process.
Romeo Keeps Control and the Titan takes that same 75 damage, halved to 37.5 from its ram, minus 17 from its armor, for a total 20 damage. Not quite enough to start applying a damage penalty but close enough to make Romeo worry about ole Titan.
Still and all, the raiders are wiped out with no injuries on their side and only a relatively moderate amount of damage to the Titan. So the PC's are very happy to stop, backtrack and swipe that Heavy MG from the crashed sedan, feeling they've come out well ahead of the game.
Act II, Scene I: Shopping
An hour later the PC's pull up to Scraptown's outer wall to get tagged by the guards at the front gate and allowed into the parking area. They take their parking spot, where the girls hang back to guard the bikes while Romeo and Mason head on into the trade grounds with the Titan. The boys make straight for the main trade office and trade in all the salvage from the earlier expedition (minus a few choice items) for Scraptown scripts. Mason does well on the Appeal/Persuade Competing Roll with the trade clerk and scores a nice bundle, leaving Romeo feeling that he can get away with going a little nuts on the modifications to the Titan.
With room in the back of the truck again, they head back and park, locking the bikes up in the back of the Titan and leaving the truck under the watchful eyes of the Sentinel in the guard towers. Everyone then heads out to scrounge up some good deals on the goods for the commune and find a Greaser with a machine shop to do some work on the truck.
With the fuel tank and 50 gallons of fuel they scavenged up on the expedition, scoring just a few more gallons to meet the demands of their shopping list is easy. Ammo for the machine guns is a little harder and a lot more expensive, taking a huge chunk of the scripts they've got at hand. They find and negotiate with the local Greaser-for-hire then, to see what they've got left after that before worrying about personal arms and whatnot.
The Greaser is confident he can replace the Titan's Medium MG with the Heavy they looted off the raiders outside of town pretty easily. The damage to the truck doesn't pose much of a problem either but both together...that'll be pushing the one week deadline they're working under. And that doesn't leave any time left over for converting that interior pivot mount to a full pivot turret, which Romeo was really hoping for. With a grump he's forced to conceded that'll have to wait a while and leaves it off in favor of replacing the MG and making the general repairs. They do discover the CB radio they scavenged up is in good shape and haggle the Greaser into agreeing to wire it in as no extra cost.
Turning the Titan over to the Greaser shop the PC's find they have enough to cover a full reload for each of their personal firearms, a couple dozen Heavy MG rounds and a dozen more for the girl's two bike-mounted Light MG's. They opt to hold on to the Medium MG, in the hopes of mounting on the Titan in the future. Sanguine goes off on her own then to trade in the Light MG she's been lugging around (and never used) for a Pump Shotgun and two full loads.
All that done they find they've only a handful of Scraptown scripts left and as much as a week to wait for repairs on the Titan. They hit the local roach motel where Mason and Nell manage to wrangle the purveyor into a single room for a whole week. They're completely broke now but have rations to gnaw on in the meantime, so they figure they're doing well enough. Nell isn't able to wheedle a few scripts out of the team for the light armor she was hoping for before it's all spent, having come to covet Sanguine's biker leathers. That makes our mutie biker a little sad.
Act II, Scene II: We Was Framed!
Jesse, our BBG's lieutenant, arrives and knocks at the door to the room well after they've settled in. When Mason answers the door she presents herself as someone interested in hiring them on to escort her to another bartertown. The PC's decline, already having a job underway, so she takes the opportunity to pour on the charm, start a conversation with the PC's and try to get info out of them. She snows everyone, convincing them she's just the nicest person who's truly interested in hearing their life stories...except Nell, who scores four successes on the Competing Understanding vs. Appeal/Persuade roll. I pass a note to Nell informing her that this Jesse chick comes across as very sleazy to her.
Jesse chats it up for a bit, expresses her regret that the PC's are already on a job and informs them all that there are usually games of various sorts going on in the bar across the street. Opportunities to earn some quick script, in fact. She'd love to see them there tonight, if they'll be around. She learns then that the PC's are stuck in town until modifications on the Titan are complete, which could take up to a week. She bids adieu and departs politely, leaving Nell to grouse at the others that this chick is trouble. At Nell's coaxing the other PC's agree to hold up in the hotel room until work on the Titan is complete. No one wants any trouble in town so they're inclined to trust in her instincts.
After holding up in the hotel room for two days the hotel owner drops in, knocking on the door and entering in a bit of a huff. Accompanied by a couple of bouncers, they set about poking around in the room looking for something. Mason manages to get it out of him that there's some suspicion about them, their keeping to their room for two whole days being a little odd. With further prompting he admits to trouble in the past with raiders using his hotel for various unspecified disturbing and unseemly behavior, hence his concerns. The PC's manage to put him at ease and he departs without any further trouble.
Day three, still not leaving their hotel room, Jesse pops in for another visit. Chatting it up, expressing some curiosity as to why she hasn't seen them around town, they freely admit to her that they're concerned about running into trouble and not being able to get back to their 'Steader commune on schedule. She totally understands that, of course. Assuring them there's little trouble to be had in Scraptown, she encourages them to get out more and departs politely yet again. And, again, Nell is the only one who sees through her charms.
Mason and Sanguine both notice her drop something sparkly behind the mattress of the bed she's sitting on when she gets up to leave. Sanguine steps over smartly to fetch it, in case they either need to return it to her before she leaves or toss it out the window before it explodes...and finds it's a surprisingly bejeweled necklace of some sort. Definitely the sort of thing that should be returned rather than thrown out the window. But Jesse is already leaving out the door, pretending she doesn't hear Sanguine call after her...
Sanguine goes after her, intending to catch her in the hallway outside, and finds half a dozen Scraptown sentinels armed with shotguns out there. And they spring into action the moment she appears in the doorway, while Jesse dodges between them to get out of the way.
Entering into combat, in case the PC's want to react in any way other than throwing their hands up and surrendering as the sentinels insist, the PC's have Initiative. Sanguine decides to simply step back and slam the door closed, warning the others that half a dozen town sentinels with shotguns are outside and have taken an irrational dislike to them all of a sudden. Giving them 30 seconds to decide what to do, they quickly decide to surrender since they don't know if modifications and repairs to the Titan have been completed, and so don't know if they even have a way out of town. They all fall back from the door, toss their hands up and surrender to the sentinels when they burst in a moment later.
Act III, Scene I: Jailbreak
Sitting in jail a couple of hours later, the PC's have been accused of swiping Scraptown's boss, Hep Brigman's, mother's pretty diamond necklace he gave her for Mother's Day. Jesse is on hand, hanging on her boyfriend, the sentinel Chief, and telling the exciting tale of how she caught on they were the one's who done the deed, her theories on how they pulled it off and how she barely managed to escape with her life after having bravely volunteered to go in and verify it was in their possession. The sentinels are all very impressed with Jesse, of course.
She makes a point of detailing how she overheard Nell Dorado bragging about how her plans to steal the necklace, making it clear she's to blame and is obviously leader of the little group of thieves. She embellishes in great detail on Nell's professed hatred of non-mutants and wonders if it was all part of some terrible conspiracy...
After Jesse and the Chief depart, the four sentinels left behind in the jail to guard them don't waste any time before deciding the mutie oughta be taught a lesson. They grab baseball bats, spring her cell door open and step in to bring the beat down.
Nell has Initiative so she drops 2 Fortune points for a Dual Action and takes a shot at grabbing one of the Sentinel's baseball bats. She lands the Extreme Nimbleness/Brawl roll and takes hold of one, then wins the Competing Attributes roll to snatch it away. Though armed now, the other sentinels come up on their Initiative and go after her. The three still armed with baseball bats all take a swing, landing successes. Her Notice of 3 allows to her to make Nimbleness/Melee rolls to block all three successfully before she's left defenseless against sentinel #4. The same fellow she just disarmed, he's forced to settle for a good old fashioned punch at her but doesn't score a single success. Nell manages then to get through the whole first round without taking a hit.
Nell drops her last 2 Fortune points on another Dual Action, intent on putting at least one of these guys down so she won't have to face a fourth combatant she can't dodge or block against. She swings twice at one of the guys with baseball bats and doesn't manage a single success. Mason happens to be in the cell next to her though, so he drops 2 Fortune of his own for a Plot Tweak. One of the armed sentinels puts his back up against the cell bars when Nell swings at him and that puts him within his reach. Mason reaches through the bars and lands a Grapple on the sentinel, holding him in place and winning the Competing Muscle/Brawl roll to maintain the Grapple when the sentinel's Initiative points comes up. Nell then blocks attacks by both the second armed sentinel and the unarmed one as well. The third armed sentinel misses completely.
Her Initiative point coming right up, she swings at the second armed one, smacking him for 9L (-8 for Light Armor) when he fails to block it. A mild bruise that doesn't stop him from swinging back at her. She misses her block, taking a solid 10L from the hit, leaving her toting a damage penalty now and knocking her Prone as well. The unarmed sentinel follows up with a Grapple attempt while she's down but fails completely.
Mason's discouraged to find the sentinel he's Grappling is as strong as he is, so he can't Bear Hug him, nor does he want to Slam him and thus let him loose. He settles for maintaining the Grapple again, which he does easily enough.
Nell is forced to spend her Action this round getting back on her feet, while Mason can only keep his hold on the first sentinel despite another attempt to break lose. Nell is hit right away by the second sentinel's melee strike for devastating 20L. Lacking any Fortune points to spend on reducing the damage or success of her opponent...that's enough to knock her out of the running.
Nell's dead in a messy fashion. And the PC's are extremely displeased about it.
Mason spends another 2 Fortune on a Plot Tweak and finds the sentinel he's Grappling has the cell keys hanging right from his belt. He releases the sentinel and grabs the keys, dashing right over to his cell door to start unlocking it. The sentinels aren't quite distracted by the sight of Nell's brain matter splattering about not to realize what just happened, so they spend their Action scrambling out the door to come around...but Romeo drops 2 Fortune points of his own to find they're in such a hurry they get caught up in a jumbled mess in the cell doorway, holding them off this round.
Mason still has 2 Fortune Points left, so he spends them on a Dual Action, springing open the cell door and diving across the room to snatch up a shotgun. That leaves the sentinels free to shove each other out of the cell and come after him swinging. He dodges one of the two hits but the second one lands with 3 whole successes, dropping 30L total on him.
Sanguine argues for, and gets, a reduction of 2 successes to that sentinel's strike for all 4 of her remaining Fortune points. Mason still takes 10L though, which knocks him Prone.
Mason's down and badly hurt but his Initiative point is up now, so he trains the shotgun on the sentinels. Using a Waiting action for someone to take another swing at him, he warns them he'll blast whoever does. That effectively ends combat as none of the sentinels, however amped up they may be from all the excitement, wants a round of buckshot in the face.
Mason uses a plain Muscle roll to try to Intimidate the sentinels but lacking any Intimidate skill at all, he's not very successful. Still, he manages to goad the sentinels into releasing Romeo and Sanguine anyway under threat of shotgun blast. They're quick to grab a shotgun themselves, herd the sentinels into the cell with Nell's corpse (just on principle) and dig up the gear the sentinels took from them when they were locked up, including Nell’s.
That done the PC's scan the area outside and don't find any sight folk out there have reacted to all the noise. Since the greaser's machine shop is in sight, just a couple of blocks down, they decide to take their chances with getting the heck out of Dodge. Romeo's the only one with any Fortune points left at all, so he drops 2 to determine the modifications and repairs on the Titan are complete so they can do just that. They head out of the jail as nonchalantly as they can and make for the machine shop...but the folk in Scraptown are apparently quite aware of who they are and the fact they're supposed to be locked up. Certainly not strolling down the street with shotguns, anyway. There's an immediately hullabaloo that sends the PC's sprinting down the street to the machine shop right away.
Act III, Scene II: ...The Hell out of Dodge
Dashing up on the greaser while he's putting the finishing touches on the Titan, they don't bother explaining the situation to him. Since they've already paid in advance for the work he's done they simply pile in...and find there's no room for Sanguine. So they're forced to spring open the back and snatch Rebel out for her to ride. That gives plenty of time for the sentinels down the street to find out what everyone's yelling about, spot them preparing to ride out of town and raise the general alarm.
Romeo peels out and drives straight for the parking lot with Sanguine right behind him on Rebel. They manage to dash through without hitting any townsfolk and slip through the front gate just as the guards above were starting to winch it closed. The moment they hit the highway they start rolling Nimbleness/Drive to put as much distance between them and any pursuers as possible.
The PC's find three sentinels in armored cars giving chase just as they pull out to Long Range. After nearly a dozen more rounds, with all three pursuing cars firing MG's at them unsuccessfully, they manage to reach and exceed Extreme range. Having given them the slip, they high-tail it straight for home. Thankfully encountering nothing else troublesome along the way.