Fort Norton

Someone is stealing water
18 Mar 2012
Getting started

It’s a few days after the run-in with Fuse‘s gang of arms dealers. The Fort perimeter is secure, but the watchtower’s platform is blown.

Burroughs opens its brain; it reveals to the maelstrom that it is uncomfortable with other people and hears a buzzing sound, buzzing louder and louder and faster and faster.

Enrique tells M’Beke that the water supply is low … lower than it should be. M’Beke says to look for the leak.

Jess takes a gig in the Bazaar, rigging a solar charger for some old lead batteries.

Interrogating Pellet

Burroughs scans Pellet‘s brain. Pellet is really afraid of the dark. M’Beke orders Pellet into The Hole, a storm drain converted to a crude holding facility.

A bit later, Burroughs uses the violation glove on Pellet again; it turns out the hood they’ve put over his head doesn’t scare him. Pellet’s lowest moment was that he shot his brother Dog (who may have been a radiation victim, as he was hairless) whom Pellet hated because he was ugly — and then lied about it to everyone. Pellet doesn’t feel so good about that now.

Having learned that Pellet is not intimidated by the dark under the hood, they tuck him into a dark corner of the terminal. M’Beke, tries to manipulate him, “I’ll give you medical treatment if you tell me where you’re from.” “We’re from a big place a couple of days south of here.” He gives directions, but they’re a little rough. M’Beke promises to send a medic but gets distracted and leaves Pellet locked in the closet with a festering wound for at least another 24 hours.

Precious does some detective work

Precious borrows Jess’ geiger counter to look for folks at the Bazaar with radioactive weapons. He gets clicks on some traders from another handhold who do woodworking, and asks them if they know anything about the arms dealers but they aren’t talking.

The plot thickens

Enrique reports that there doesn’t seem to be a leak in the water tank.

M’Beke calls a war council of the PCs. "Someone is stealing water. Is it the Church of Light? We need to seek vengeance on the arms dealers for fucking up our guard tower."

They plan a paranoid watch of the water supply (guards watching guards, random rotation of guard partners, et cetera) and order the guards to submit to brain scans by Burroughs. (When they’re told, the Fort soldiers are not happy with this plan.)

The PCs plan a raid on the radiation gang: they hitch a lift with the bikers once the bikers return to the Fort and either steal or wreck something as payback.

Making preparations

Jess opens her brain, gets the impression that the water thief is actually a team of water thieves working together. Precious shows up at Jess’ workshop, asks her for:

  1. A couple of satchel charges: sticky, with a timer
  2. Grenades
  3. A mortar with just a few rounds
  4. Parachute flares

Burroughs opens its brain, gets a “useless” vision of Jess working on machinery, and goes to Jess insisting on a tour of how it works. Jess does so, and uses Things Speak to discern that yes, it’s all working properly. Jess heads back to her workspace. Burroughs goes to see the guards measuring the water; none of them seem guilty.

Precious tells M’Beke that he’s “heard” that there’s an organized effort to steal water. He dozes, then wakes up at 3:00 a.m. to continue detective work … but doesn’t turn up anything.

The next day

Jess returns the batteries; she isn’t going to be able to make the solar charger.

Burroughs opens its brain, hears the sound of chanting. Suspecting they are behind the theft of the water, goes to the Church. “I have come as an honest supplicant to learn of your faith.” They “go to get someone” but keep it waiting ….

Precious comes to the Church and sees Burroughs, who asks for a word out of earshot. “You know that Jess and I open our brains to the maelstrom? Seeking the truth of the missing water, I heard the sound of chanting, and I think the Church is behind it. Can you investigate.”

Burroughs leaves, Precious knocks on the door. Neb (Nebuchanezzer) answers the door. “I came for the morning service.”

Precious goes in to the Water Church and warns that he has had a dream about something in the water.

Burroughs goes and measures the water again. No discernible change, but then the measuring instrument (a rope with a weight) isn’t the most sophisticated.

M’Beke goes to the Water Church and asks Sister Harridan if they have had any water disappear. Sister Harridan says no, and M’Beke says, “Thank goodness, I was concerned. We will be okay because we have reserves, but I was concerned for you.”

M’Beke catches up with Precious at the armory, who is there to plan for the raid on the Radiation Gang. His plan is to lure the water cultists into trying to steal the “secret reserve”. Precious, as a water cultist, is less enthusiastic about blaming them for the lost water. They compose a plan: ask Jess about all the places where the water could be tapped, and spread rumors about the location of the secret water reserve.

M’Beke & Precious come to Jess. They ask her where the imaginary “secret tank” would be - she says it should be in one of the larger airplane fuselages used as perimeter fence near the terminal fortress so that they could use a short length of underground pipe and the terminal’s own system of pipes to connect to it.

The plan is to draw the water thieves to try to go for the extra supply …..

What happened to the prisoner? We forgot to send the medical attention we promised ….

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Plague of Awesome
They say radiation is bad for you ...

The night offered signs and portents: screaming in Church of the Water Cult, the lights in the mountains were out, Burroughs had a vision of “impending doom”.

M’Beke, troubled by the noise from the Church, confronted the cult about it, earning only hostility from Sister Harridan, learning nothing. He instructed the guards to keep a closer eye on the frequent comings and goings there.

People are taking ill. Burroughs found Pellet the arms dealer in the Bazaar looking very ill, and Lucas from the Fort also looking ill and reporting that the arms dealers have good gear. M’Beke asked Jess to try to diagnose the sick Fort citizens, so she set up a dispensary tent outside the gate so that sick people can be quarantined outside the Fort perimeter if need be. Jess locked sick Lucas in the dispensary tent, and also drew blood from Enrique to test. The microscope showed no signs of bacterial infection as Jess started to gear up a makeshift medical lab.

Reports of sickness spreading throughout the Fort and Bazaar, though at least Lucas doesn’t seem to be getting any sicker. Newcomers to the Bazaar Pellet, four other arms dealers, and their leader Fuse are doing brisk business. Burroughs has another vision, of people and big machines digging stuff out of a pit in the ground.

M’Beke decides to chase out Fuse and his gang. He orders his soldiers to shut down the Bazaar. A scuffle between vendors turns into a fight, leaving a handful of casualties.

Boom! The southeast tower on the east wing of the Fort explodes in a ball of fire, as from a grenade hit. The sound of automatic weapons fire rings out. M’Beke, confronting Fuse’s gang, takes a bullet, but kills one of the gang and severely wounds Pellet. Jess kicks Lucas out of the dispensary tent, locks Pellet in instead. M’Beke declares a quarantine, sending sick Fort citizens out to the cleared Bazaar space, but Lucas returns to the Fort before the gate guards get the order. In the confusion, Fuse’s gang ran off in their truck … but had to abandon Pellet, who remains a hostage of the fort.

Jess opens her mind to the psychic maelstrom again, and the Voices tell her that the Dig is full of mutants. Our heroes finally realize that people are taking ill from radiation poisoning from the new weapons from the arms dealers; a quick examination with Jess’ geiger counter confirms it. M’Beke has her test the camp, collecting radioactive weapons, marking them, and putting them in a separate armory space.

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