Things got heated last time after Kyle and Ida discovered that Adam’s grandpa is dealing with the raiders! The same sons of a horse who are raiding our outposts over and over again! But why? Apparently dealing with the “Machines”, sentient being that appear to be still functional! Are the machines really from the before?
Let’s review PUM’s plot nodes:
1-2 Play a threat (p. 272)
3-4 Anomaly: Rainbow (p. 294)
5-6 Machines are waking up
7-8 Raiders hunting machines, not humans
9-10 ADD NEW OR REROLL
3-4 Hostile Androids
5-6 Radioactive storms
7-8 Monster and horror (p. 272)
9-10 ADD NEW OR REROLL
Things to be found
1-2 Some way to unlock the androids
3-4 Grandpa Vesla
5-6 A freaking POWER Node!
9-10 A location (p.268)
1-2 Where did they take Adam?
3-4 What is grandpa Vesla and the raiders trying to do with the Androids?
5-6 Why is grandpa Vesla hiding all this?
7-8 What will the Elders think about this?
9-10 ADD NEW OR REROLL
The plot track enters the conclusion phase.
The last thing that Ida could see was Adam’s grandpa, Vesla, covering his “Horse-Machine” with a huge heavy blanket. They all knew a radioactive sandstorm was coming, and it wasn’t nice for whatever machinery there was left…
|🎲 Drawing inspiration (adjective) →
Armed, protected, defended, fortified, ready
Loud, sound, talkative, noisy, distracting, musical
The good thing about the “Radixstorm” (as everybody calls it these days) is that it’s loud. DAMN LOUD. As in, you don’t have to see it coming, you have to be lucky enough not to be submerged in waste and scraps, looking for fuel and food, to be able to hear it.
|🎲 Is the sound coming from the trash it picks up? → Yes
🎲 Does it have any “noises” by itself? → No
The amount of trash it picks up, building parts, trees, rotten vehicles, and whatever becomes a big ball of living scrap monster that rolls over everything it comes over. Some people say the Radioxstorm can “speak”, but really, it is the scrap-monster that we hear. And one of these were coming, toward us, now.
But on top of it, it also carries “Winds from the West”, those are the real deal. Of course, you could get smashed by a fridge or a train wagon on the fly, but the thing was the radioactivity in the air. Most masks will hold the poison back just fine, although everybody undertakes early training to voluntarily enter a sleep mode, and relax to breathe as little as possible when they come; being exposed to it cuts back a few years of your lifespan, they say, for every minute breathing it. The yet-to-solve problem is the impact on machinery and mechanical pieces. Nobody knows why, but some prophets call it the reason all the machines were doomed in the world of the before.
Ida takes one last look through the window before closing it, but Kyle hurries her up while shutting down the central computer in the computers room, over there on the top floor of the raiders’ warehouse. They open the previously unlocked door, Kyle carefully makes sure it looks “closed”, and proceeds to follow the metallic stairs down the interior hallways of the large and old warehouse electronic rooms area.
|🎲 Does anything happen on the way down there? → Weak yes
I’ll take the “weak” part as a modified proposal, but not a full interruption
🎲 Modified proposal → Bring someone convenient
The only thing convenient here would be either Adam who somehow got loose, or some rebellious android…
🎲 Is it Adam, did he escape somehow? → No – then it will be a rebellious Android
The Android, who previously spoke with Kyle and Ida, is now there, standing with a soulless machine face, in its human-like legs. Thinner than a typical man in his 30s, with pulsating lights in his chest, and hands with probably the same number of robotic fingers.
|Let’s get some additional detail about this android
🎲 adjective → Dynamic, moving, agile, unstable, acrobatic, sneaky
🎲 adjective → Historic, memorable, legendary, old, ancient
Despite being made of now rotten metallic sheets that scream for replacement, the articulating nodes and links connecting the limbs to its torso look incredibly sharp and dynamic.
Kyle and Ida stand also in shock, in the middle of the hallway, hesitating for a moment to describe the android’s intention.
|🎲 Does the android appear armed (subjective)? → No, (at least) not yet.
🎲 Apparent intention? → Oppose you/your cause
|Kyle will attempt to “Defuse” – a de-escalation move
🎲 +Lore → 2d6+1: 10
An alarm begins ringing, building-wise.
With the red alert ringing strongly, multiple sources of laser fire can be heard and people begin to scream, in desperation, survival, and coordination. Ida rushes downstairs as the Android makes himself to a side, allowing her to pass. She follows the green lights marking the path to the vault.
As she runs across various hallways following the lights, she arrives at a room in which a large container is all there is, in the middle of it. It opens automatically as she steps into the room, she looks back to ensure no doors shut behind her, which doesn’t happen. Inside, a briefcase with a super-charged power node inside. It is more than what they expected. This is not a power node, it is a power reactor that can supercharge any power node and do, probably, much much more. She takes the entire briefcase after closing it. It isn’t at all heavy. She runs back to the backdoor of the warehouse and exits the building.
Kyle makes haste, he follows the firing sounds into the room, dodging and avoiding multiple raiders rushing into the central area of the warehouse. As he stays in the hallways, close to the wall, and carefully advancing step after step, he arrives at the entrance hall where various raiders lay dead. In between in the middle of the center, a blindfolded Adam sits on his knees, confused, stunned.
|🎲 Uncertainty is high, calling for a modified proposal → Deal with some bad news
🎲 Adam is injured? → Yes
|🎲 Any living raider around? (subjective) → Yes, apparently.
One of the raiders around blindfolded Adam seems still to be breathing, the automated turret system that came down the roof seems like it didn’t “finish the job”. Yet, Adam does not move. There’s blood around him, but it isn’t clear to Kyle whether it is the raider’s… or Adam. But no time to think. Kyle surrounds the living Raider to surprise him from the back, the dying man seems to be crawling to drag himself out of the room. Kyle considers this man to be in no stance to fight, so ignoring him is fine, although the sight of an agonizing person isn’t something anyone is willing to behold.
|🎲 Does anything happen? → Weak no.
Other than the roof-turret scanning for targets, which, as promised, ignores Kyle and Adam, not a lot is happening, and the warehouse enters a silent state again. Kyle doesn’t want to know. Kyle doesn’t want to see. He puts his head between Adam’s arm and torso and lifts him just enough, to get out through the main entrance door, to outside. The door was indeed, Adam’s. Probably the machine’s mistake, or one of the raiders; Kyle will never know until Adam wakes up.
|Not sure what’s going to be presented when we come out
🎲 Scene beat → Put characters in a situation: Sudden change in the place
Kyle drags out the unconscious Adam, dragging his feet. When Kyle raises his head up, with his mask worn, he looks at a grim sight: That of a radioactive storm pushing strong, flying scraps of metal and trash and what not. Kyle looks around, in the hope of looking for Ida.
|🎲 Will Ida have it all figured out by then? (deterministic) → No
Ida is nowhere, but there’s no time. Kyle makes sure Adam’s face is covered with a mask, moves down the short stairs of the warehouse’s entrance, turns to his left, and begins to push strong against both winds, avoiding flying trash, and heavy radioactivity rotting metal. The warehouse on his back explodes; probably the raiders trying to win back the fight against the androids, or some reactive supplies.
An injured raider approaches, crawling to the outside, with a pistol. He opens fire at a fleeing Kyle with Adam in his arms, forcing Kyle to take cover behind one of the car wrecks nearby. Kyle softly drops Adam on the ground equips his patched-up pistol, and tries to buy time from shooting back at the raider. Next time, he should finish the job, he thought. Now he’s pinned down.
|🎲 Random Prompt for Ida’s scene → Unexpected complication: Delayed, blocked, a detour
Ida is running against the radioactive winds, pushing hard as well, to find the Wrangler. Their car. It is not a great idea to have their vehicle exposed outside, it has to at least move so its parts are kept in position before they begin to decompose and meltdown of radioactivity.
However, the way she came through is now uncrossable: a water river of what probably is a damaged canal or water dam is flushing hard, and violently. There is no way she can cross, and anything hitting that water will probably be carried away. She looked for alternatives, any sort of accidental bridges, a fallen try, or anything she could use to come across.
|🎲 Rolls +Steel → 2d6: [5, 5] = 10
🎲 is it a bridge? → Weak yes
The wreck of a truck got stuck in a curve, might take a risky jump and a bit of luck, but Ida spots a tree nearby where she can quickly tie her rope around it for a plan B, and attempt the jump, cross the water flow and cut the rope once safe. She senses Kyle is in danger, the explosion can be heard. But even if she gets to the Wrangler, how the hell would she come back for Kyle? It is unlikely the vehicle could cross that strong water current, or perhaps it could… if Adam were the driver. Thoughts for later, time to move on.
The truck seems to hold just fine, and the rope gives her some hope, while holding the Power Reactor’s briefcase on her armpit, tight and strong.
|🎲 Anything happens while or after crossing? → Yes
🎲 Prompt → Foreshadow an imminent problem
🎲 Gunfire? → Strong no. Tree giving in or truck unstable? → Yes
The tree begins to surrender to the pressure, tension, and winds and begins to bend in Ida’s direction. She didn’t expect this and stumbles forward on her knees. This will not last. She stands up, and jumps across over an old pier still standing on the other side of the truck behind.
|🎲 Rolls +steel → 2d6: [5, 3] = 8
She makes the jump to the pieces of a broken wooden piece on the other side, still holding as ground somehow. Grabbing the ropes that hold her body with her to not get stuck, on the other side of the river. She takes harm, as she lands on sharp wooden arrows that stab her left leg as she lands.
She catches her breath and verifies that the briefcase still holds healthy, and proceeds to run toward their vehicle. She takes out the bottle link and plugs it into the wasted power node host of the vehicle, remembering Adam’s instructions for it. The wrangler turns on.
Kyle is pinned down behind a car wreck, with Adam injured.
|🎲 Modified proposal → Add stress, or worry
🎲 Are more raiders coming? → Yes
Two raiders come out of the warehouse, and give aid to the injured one on the floor, pointing in Kyle’s direction. Somehow the fight with the machines inside is under control? Kyle couldn’t fully understand it, as he thought the machines would keep them busy for a while. Perhaps they knew how to react to such a situation. Or Grandpa Vesla helped them figure things out and bring the building back under control.
Whatever the reason, they are there, coming, and giving fire support. Kyle fires back but he’s running out of ammo to push them back enough.
|🎲 Any chance for Adam to wake up? (Unlikely) → Yes
Adam coughs up some blood, but that’s some good sign of him coming backup.
Adam opens up his jacket, he tries to indicate something.
Kyle takes out the Plasmanade and spins its cover to turn on its effect, then he gives himself some covering fire while throwing the grenade with his other hand.
A low-frequency sound pushes back everyone and draws a smoke line behind them. Nobody expected that. But Grandpa Vesla knows of them, he helped develop them for their family, the enclave.
The roaring Wrangler with Ida as a driver approaches their area, and Kyle stands up shaking his hands to be spotted. Soon after, he lifts Adam once again and rushes toward the Wrangler. A six-wheeled monster truck from the enclave, given to the best scouts the family can afford, let’s say… unofficially borrowed by Adam for the very sake of this disastrous mission.