Crackpot #2: The First Leg

July 26, 2017

I rolled on the d100 encounter table and got the dust storm (B: 0, R: 3).  Here’s how it played out.

After telling Samuel and Jackie that I’m headed out again, I start walking towards the tiny town of Flora where the NAL headlight factory is located. While Flora is not much more than a bump in the road, I’d still rather go around the bump to reach the factory on the far side of town than through. Even at only 1000 or so people, it’s not worth wading through Cs any more than I have to. That means trekking through alternating patches of woods and fallow crop fields long abandoned. Since I’m on my own, I usually go real slow so I can snipe any Cs or otherwise from a distance. Coming to the edge of yet another small patch of woods, I look out to see a larger than normal crop field. That will be crazy to cross if any Cs are hidden in the tall weeds, so I decide to wait for a few minutes checking for movement. Do I see anything?

The answer to your question is: Yes but

Expecting to some Cs wandering about, I instead see several animals all moving east across the field. (I’m facing north.) It was mostly just squirrels and a couple of rabbits, but that can be a meal, so I start lining up a shot. Before firing I decide to take another quick look around. I don’t want to scare up any casualties with my shot even though I have a silencer. (Awareness Check B: 8+2, R: 6, Pass)

Aha. That’s why they’re running. Just over the tops of the trees to the west of the field I see a swiftly moving cloud that’s beginning to block out the sun. Dust storm. I have to find some shelter fast. Since I’m in the woods already, I’ll look for a hollowed out tree or creek bed that I can throw some logs over to hunker down. Dashing through the woods, do I see anything?

The answer to your question is: No

What about a creek bed?

The answer to your question is: Yes but

Dang it. Sure there is one, but it’s too shallow to be worth anything. A hill at least, is there a hill?

The answer to your question is: Yes

After stripping my shirt off and dipping it into the tiny creek, I sling my now wet shirt around my neck. I’ll need that later. Then, I run to the eastern side of the hill and start pawing at the earth. If I can dig in just a little bit, I’ll fare better. Is the dirt soft enough for me to make an indentation fairly quickly?

The answer to your question is: No

Wow, screwed at every turn. The earth is hard. I gather up as many dead leaves as I can in a pile big enough for my head, wrap my whole head in my wet shirt, and shove my head in the pile leaving my rump sticking up like a silly ostrich waiting to bit by a wandering casualty. That’s when the dust hits. Do my brief preparations help at all?

The answer to your question is: Yes but

Immediately, the leaves blow away in my paltry pile, but the wet shirt seems to be helping. (Interpretation: Damage every 2 rounds instead of every round.)

Meta-question: How long will the storm last? (B: 4, R: 10, Storm will last 14 rounds).

Meta-question: Are there any casualties stirred up by the dust storm in this patch of woods?

The answer to your question is: Yes and

Of course. How many and how far? (B: 5, R: 6 meaning 5 casualties that are 6 shambles away)

Blinded and nearly deaf, do I hear the groans of the casualties coming my way? (Awareness check at -2, B: 10+2-2, R: 5, Pass) Through the wind, I hear some angry groaning and teeth clacking. Great that’s just what I need now. I’ve got two options: run away blindly or take off my shirt to try to fight these things. Well, I’m a coward, aren’t I? I’m running away.

I know I don’t need to move that fast, so I grab a stick in each hand and slowly walk away from the sounds turning one stick in a wide circle in front of me while testing the ground ahead of me with the other stick. Doing that, do I avoid the casualties?

The answer to your question is: Yes and

After walking for a while down the hill, I feel a drop off ahead of me. Praying it’s not that far, I take a leap of faith off the edge only to land about three feet below. Jarred, but unhurt, I scoot back towards the drop off hoping for an overhang that will provide a little bit of protection from the swirling dust. How long did it take me to get here from where I was?

1 roll of 14-sided dice: 6

6 rounds at 1 stun damage per 2 rounds puts me at 3 stun to the chest.

I dig into the earth under the overhang and try to use my body block out the dust as much as possible. Does that work?

The answer to your question is: Yes and

Seems like I originally didn’t make it far enough into the patch of woods to find this useful portion of creek bed. I start to breathe easier with my face and body crammed into the muddy overhang wall. It smells like rot and decay, but I at least have a small pocket of air. Just as I start to feel light-headed from re-breathing my carbon dioxide, I notice that the storm has settled down. I quickly pull my shirt away from my face and scramble back up the side to see if the Cs followed me. Did they?

The answer to your question is: No

No Cs. Well, that sucked, but at least I survived and there’s nothing left to harass me on this leg of my journey. Holding the two sticks in my hands, I cross them like a V and get an idea. I scrounge around a bit looking for two thicker fallen tree branches. For now, I’ll use them as walking sticks, but they’ll come in handy later. Time to move on.

Leg 1 complete after taking 3 stun to the chest and losing one ration.