Fort Norton

Conflict brewing

Don't bring a gun to a lots-of-guys fight

Planning an assault on the Water Temple

Scratch confers with M’Beke first thing in the morning. He wants to sort this shit out. Are we going into the badlands? Or are we sorting shit out with the water cult? M’Beke admits that he’s not clear on who’s with him and who’s against him. So that plan is: the biker gang is going into the badlands to try to rustle up Rothschild, but the next day he’s coming back to join an assault on the Water Temple.

M’Beke sends Enrique and Bones to get Precious and Jess. Enrique goes looking for Precious, who is evidently in the Water Temple. Jess is cranky, marches over to M’Beke wrapped in a blanket. They consider plans. Will they punch holes in the roof of the hangar (with thermite) and drop in buckets of mustard gas? No, a better plan: Jess will put gas masks and poison gas backpacks on four trusted soldiers, send them in the doors, yelling, “Get out, there’s poison gas!” So Jess goes to prep that.

Burroughs talks to Pellet

Burroughs opens its brain and realizes that Rothschild was a zealot acting as part of a plan. Then it goes to check up on Pellet, who is ziptied to the bed. “Hi Pellet.” “Who are you?” “I’m Burroughs.” “What are you?” “I’m the person who saved your life. You will not try to escape.” The violation glove puts a hold on him with that command. “Mickey will be disappointed. He will assume that you have talked by now.” “He’ll come for me. You don’t have to worry about the people.” “You will tell everything relevant about Mickey’s tactics.” Now there’s a hold of 4. “He’s not big on tactics. He’s big on shock and awe. RPGs, mortars, armored vehicles. A few dozen guys.” “How long will it take for people to come for you?” “Could be soon. Hard to know.” “Don’t try to escape. There is a guard, who will shoot you.” Burroughs reminds the guard to keep a weather eye out.

M’Beke confronts Enrique

Bones and Enrique come back to M’Beke; they couldn’t find Precious; obviously lying. “Enrique, you’re going to want to be on the right side of this. There’s going to be killing tomorrow.” “You need to protect my ass.” “Okay. Where’s Precious?” “In the hangar. Been there all night, I think.” “How many people in the crew are in the temple?” “Lots. I don’t keep track.” “They’re stealing our water.” “I don’t know shit about that. I just go there for water and to hear them talk about the Light.” Enrique is now under M’Beke’s protection (but M’s roll was good enough that he doesn’t have to keep that promise).

Planning further with Scratch

Scratch shows up; they’re ready to go. The Colonel explains the plan, but Scratch would rather go in guns blazing. “So your plan is for me to shoot anyone who comes out of the building?” Scratch is not too bright. “No, we’re going to chase them out.” “Well, if my guys get … tense … there may be some rough stuff.” “My guys will have yellow bandanas. Shoot anybody else who is coming out of the building with a gun.” Scratch is about to leave and Burroughs asks to tag along on the trip too look for Rothschild.

Burroughs tells M’Beke that Rothschild was acting as part of coherent plan to assassinate him, and that a big armed response from Pellet’s gang is likely coming within a few days. Burroughs opens its brain hoping for information about finding Rothschild: look in the badlands … or wait because he will return. Burroughs rides with Stogie the Enforcer in a sidecar. Crank the mechanic and Goose the navigator.

They follow the ravine; if Rothschild went that way, they’ll reach him in under an hour.

M’Beke opens his brain, that goes wrong. He’s kayo’d.

Jess opens her brain, and gets that Sister Harridan knows what’s happening right now … so Jess goes to meet with Sister Harridan. Precious sees Jess on her way.

Negotiation between Precious and M’Beke

Precious goes to see M’Beke, who doesn’t answer the door because he’s still incapacitated by his encounter with the world’s psychic maelstrom. Greg the child guard lets Precious in … to see that M’Beke is KO’d … so Precious slaps his brother. “Jeremiah, are you okay?” asks P. He’s not looking so okay; there’s vomit on his shirt from the seizure. M’Beke drinks some scotch. “Where were you, bro?” “I was meeting with Sister Harridan. She knows about the plan, and has a proposal: everything stays the same, you get access to water, and you consult with her on major decisions.” “I’m not enthusiastic about negotiating with someone who has been taking shots at me.” “I wan’t part of that decision.” “Well then kill Sister Harridan.” “The problem is that she’s not completely in control of the Temple; there are ten priests scheming to take over the temple.” (Not a lie, but more definitive than the actual messy situation in the Temple.) “Look, I cannot have people inside our walls taking shots at me. We have a rival gang coming to fuck with us, we need unity.” Precious offers another possibility: “Sister Harridan likes things as they are. How about we take the fight to the Radiation Gang together?” “If Harridan wants this, she has to meet me in person.” “She’ll want to do it in the Temple, but you can coax her out if you can make her feel safe. Between the buildings?” “We’ll meet in an hour.”

Jess at the Water Temple

Jess asks to speak to Sister Harridan, but gets Brother Nebuchanezzar at the door. She tells him to tell Harridan that she’s “preparing for the party tomorrow” … and as a result a runner comes to get her before she even makes it back to her workshop. She gets taken into the Temple, and introduced to Sister Harridan. Jess says, “I don’t like trouble, and it looks like trouble is brewing.” Sister Harridan says it doesn’t have to be. Jess points out that the Temple is stealing water. Sister Harridan insists that she isn’t — and she’s telling the truth, though it’s not clear that she doesn’t mean that it wasn’t really stealing. Jess reveals that she makes stuff for M’Beke; Harridan points out that Jess is surrounded by Temple cultists and Harridan doesn’t need to allow her to leave. Jess draws a gun on Sister Harridan to persuader her to let Jess go, but Jimmy (one of the guards) jumps in front of Sister Harridan; Jess puts a bullet in him. Evan knocks her gun away and tackles her. Jess goes down … but hits the ground with a knife on Eric. “This doesn’t have to get any worse,” Jess tells the cultists.

Precious bursts in, “Wait! There’s an armed gang on the way to the Fort. We need to join forces with M’Beke!” Sister Harridan isn’t buying.

At Harridan’s nod, a guard shoots Jess, severely injuring her (10:00) … so Jess puts the knife to Eric. What will Precious do?



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