Today’s adventure started well, with the party gaining 20,000 cr. in trade at Mourne in exchange for the mini-gun they had found. Both Corinne and Growler received special instructions about how the PSH fort of Hawk’s Nest had been conquered by the bears of Spartak. Almost 90% of the population had been caught unawares and was either ripped to pieces or eaten alive. Both characters had to consider how this news applied to them. This potentially put the party on opposite sides of the approaching war, which put the whole party on edge for the day. They purchased a large collection of mechanic’s tools, which they put into a covered wagon. Under orders from Mourne to scavenge a vehicle at Zombietown and then try to rescue a group of survivors at Hawk’s Nest who had taken refuge in a bunker under the cafeteria, the party headed south again on Aug. 1, with the robot nearly popping some springs trying to pull the heavily-laden wagon. The rest of the party helped out, and since they were accompanying another caravan to Sittard, the trip passed fairly uneventfully. Five days later they were in Sittard, where they were joined by “Wrench” Sproggington, a hopeful mechanic tired of the low tech life in Sittard. A mutated human, Wrench brought exceptional mechanical skill to the party, as well as a few useful mutations (pyrokinesis, increased speed, radar, radiated eyes, & molecular understanding) but his decreased body mass meant his usefulness in a melee was limited.
The party separated from the caravan and continued to Zombietown. On their way they argued over the name of “their” town — Shelton, Luz Verde, and Carville being among the choices. Their argument attracted three giant wasps, and Melvin died from two successive stings that left his body exploding with poison that spewed out of his carapace. Corinne killed two of the wasps, and Growler killed the last. Wrench grabbed a couple of the .45 revolvers that Melvin had just purchased, and they buried the unfortunate Melvin.
At Zombietown (the name remains), Wrench began to work on repairing the black grav pickup they had earlier found. In three days, he had it running again, though he was chagrined to find that the robot controlled truck would only respond to Corinne, the PSH. They hooked the wagon to the back of the pickup and traveled overland to Sittard once more, where they were able to move faster as they got onto first the trail and then the road. They arrived back at Mourne on Aug. 14. They left the wagon there and travelled north to Hawk’s Nest to rescue the survivors. Growler came under protest, and Wrench had to agree to buy her 4 hams per day they went with her. Corinne, Wrench, & Grytock were in the cab of the truck; Growler was in the bed.
I used Lehigh University’s Mountaintop campus as the model for Hawk’s Nest. Then I had the players use Google Maps street view to drive up the southern hill and around the campus as they encountered various things. It worked great, including various moments where the party got lost or argued about which way to go.
When they got to the Nest, they drove to Iacocca, a name steeped in antiquity. They saw numerous human body parts, the victims ripped to pieces and eaten, with a few burned and bloated. At one point they spotted rats dragging loot down into a hole, but they could not catch them. As they argued over their comms, the survivors cut in and tried to learn who they were. Long story made short, the party flubbed the rescue and managed to convince the survivors that they were either raiders there to loot the base or were slaves of the Spartak bear riding in the bed of the truck. The survivors tried to call Mourne to confirm Corinne’s mission, but were unable to reach them and ultimately they attempted to force the party out of the vehicle so they could verify their identities and intent. The party would have none of this and ordered the self-driving truck to leave. A blast from a bazooka cratered the road ahead of them and the vehicle came to a screeching halt, activating its danger alert. As the PSHs in Iacocca reloaded, Corinne desperately ordered the truck to continue. A second missile missed just barely, passing just over the bear’s head and exploding in the trees to the left. Corinne finally managed to convince the truck to exceed the 15 mph speed limit and they roared off. The final shot of the bazooka missed them by a huge margin.
Reporting back at Mourne, Corinne was depressed. She had failed. But the mission had demonstrated that Growler was not an obvious threat, so something positive came out of it. Mourne’s leaders would wait and see what happened next. For the bear, the mission was a great success. She ate 20 hams over five days, and any observers at the Hawk’s Nest would have seen her being fired upon by the PSHs and being driven away by human accomplices or slaves.Corinne and Growler both reached second level.