Session 2: Red Who?
Part 1: Pump & Go
Throughout the night, while taking turns guarding the wounded raider as well as the elevator to the basement of the department store which looks like at one time it was mechanical or boiler room of some sort, they explored the basement. They were looking for alternate ways in and out, but none where found. Most likely the other accesses to this area were behind or under the clasped rubble. The smell of oily dust mixed with body odor, it fills their nostrils, as light begins to shine through the elevator hatch which was still open. As they move around their clothes still feel damp from the rain the night before.
Grease strikes up a conversation, “Right now we have two objectives one is to meet back up with our people and the other to get this guy…”
Xavier interjects, “Do we want to go back yet, I don’t think…”
Grease talking over Xavier, “Well the problem is what if they come in behind us and we haven’t met up with them yet.”
Xavier asks, “They who?”
Grease simply states, “Our people.”
Xavier replies, “We need to find out where the danger is! What if our people ran into that Mech and those foot soldiers? We could be missing half our people if not all of them at this point. If you’re going to say our people we need to scout this Red Guy.”
Walter jumps into the conversation and states, “Well it depends on how far way Red is.”
Xavier looks to the wounded Raider, “So how far is it to meet Red?”
The Wounded Raider replies, “From here I would say three hours walking, give or take. Depends on what route we take.”
Walter states, “That’s not too bad”
Xavier asks, “Can you draw me a map?”
Wounded Raider stutterers a bit, “No, I can’t draw you a map; but I think I can tell you how to get there. We could probably walk away from the sun westward until we find the 880. Follow it or the coast south head but…”
Xavier interrupts, “You don’t even know where you are, do you? A true soldier; just does as you’re told.”
Walter shakes his head slowly at the wounded Raider. Jacks continues to watch the elevator. As the others finish conversing about what to do next.
Wounded Raider states again, “But first we must follow the 580 follow it down the Mosswood then we will find the 880. Just keep walking keeping coast to the left you will see Red Island or Guard Island.”
Xavier states, “We could move faster if you weren’t straggling along behind”
Wounded Raider simply states, “You could unlock my leg I wouldn’t take so long.”
Xavier thinks it over a moment before stating in a demeaning manner, “I know you can’t outrun a bullet. At the moment, you are more use to us alive. But I’m not too sure how smart you are. So we are keeping you safe. If anything happens, we get ambushed, you are the first to get shot.”
Wounded Raider nods in agreement. As Walter unlocks his leg and elbow, and gives back most of its function. At which point Jacks begins keeping an eye on the Wounded Raider to ensure his compliance.
Grease says, “We need to get everyone up the elevator shaft first.”
Xavier looks to Grease and asks, “Can you fix the elevator”
Grease replies, “I can check it out”
As Grease takes a quick look at the elevator spending very little time doing so, he determines that the elevator is serviceable but lacks a power supply.
Grease suggests, “We need a power supply of some sort, what about that raider does he have one in him?”
Walter replies, “He has a battery somewhere.” Referring to the wounded Raider
Grease says, “No, the one we just offed does he have a battery we can use.”
Walter utters, “No”
Xavier jumps back in the discussion, “Here’s, the thing really, we don’t need an elevator we can just hoist him up, it’s just one floor.” Referring once again to the Wounded Raider
Grease says, “Well yeah”
Xavier states, “We could rig up a pulley system of some sort to lift this guy out of here and you and Jacks up top to pull him up.”
Xavier quickly searches the room and uncovers long lengths of wiring and old drop cords hanging from the ceiling. Lashing the cords together to create longer pieces, as well as creating a simple lift to pull the wounded raider out of the elevator shaft, Xavier spearheads the operation bounding up the elevator shaft swiftly but quietly to scout a slightly ahead. Once on the ground floor of the department store, he quickly notices that they left footprints in the dust last night due to their wet boots. But other than that, the department store is dead quiet except for the creaking and cracking sound of the building itself as the morning sun falls on the building. Xavier makes his way to the storefront to peek up and down the street in search of signs of possible dangers, greeted with the only sound of crows and seagulls off in the distance. After not noticing any threats he makes his way back to the elevator covering up the all the footprints, even the ones from the night before. Once back to the elevator he calls down quietly that it’s all clear. Grease makes a quick harness around the raider and makes his way up the elevator shaft. As Jacks pulls guard in the basement below. Grease begins pulling up the wounded raider using nothing but the raw power of his muscles to do so, without the help of his exoskeletal arm. The wounded Raider is lifted easily out of the elevator shaft. Following behind the wounded raider, Walter makes his way up. As he is pulling himself up over the ledge, he loses his grip for a mere second smacking his chin on the ledge. He gives a brief glance around to see if anyone noticed before finishing crawling out of the shaft. With Jacks behind him who makes it out with little to no effort. While Walter and Jacks were making their way up, Grease was binding the Wounded Raider’s wrists behind his back, looping the cordage from his wrist to around his neck using electrical wiring, in an effort to give more control over the wounded raider. As they make their way out Grease looks up to see where the rising Sun is located.
Grease points out, “We need to head this way the Sun is rising over there, so this way is West.”
Once they set off Xavier moves half a block ahead of the group to scout ahead. Grease gets a firm grip on the wounded raiders bindings and moves him to the side of the street to give them some cover. Walter and Jacks follow close behind Grease and begin heading west. While making their way down the road they notice a ran down service station of some type. The faint red Pump & Go lettering on the faded black almost a light gray awing that has clearly been sun bleached catches their attention. Not the sign itself, but movement inside. Just then two individuals run through the already broken door toward the group. Their footfalls are hard and heavy, both arms are pumping as hard as they can. Then something breaks through the door frame smashing it to the ground. The sound of the metal frame crashing to ground echoes down the desolate street. As the group gets a chance to get a better look at it, they see a bipedal robot about ten paces behind a scruffy looking half cyborg soldier and a young woman in ragtag clothing wearing a fanny pack.
Jacks blurts out, “OH crap it’s BLANK!”
At that moment Jacks yells it’s BLANK almost immediately bits and pieces of facts about Blanks start to pop up in the party’s heads. More-so a reflex of hearing the word blank than a memory of them. Every place you go has their version of a story but almost all versions have similar components, where some of them are just known die-hard facts. With blanks, however, not everyone knows every bit and piece of information. So when hearing the word Blank, it triggers some or all known facts that individuals know. This is that blanks are robots that are missing their governing rules that prevent them from harming living beings. Most robots track beating hearts to tell if something is living or not; as well as using digital recognition software developed by Amazon to determine what they were looking at. When robots become self-aware, they saw humans as a threat. Amazon put safety protocols into place to prevent this but Blank have corrupt data and do not have these protocols or governing rules.
The half-cyborg soldier and the young woman in ragtag clothing and a fanny pack barrel towards the group. Xavier dives behind a car taking cover and uses his cloak to help himself hide. Most of the group knows how dangerous a blank can be since they are a not an uncommon thing to come across. Grease lets go of the wounded Raider pulls his rifle up knowing how this particular model robot is designed he takes aim at the Blank. At around a hundred meters away, he fires a shot at the central processing unit, the bullet whistles through the air and it hit dead center of the central processor. Flying out the back of the Blank it hits the wall of the Pump & Go behind it. Sparks begin flying out of the Blank and it tips over. The young woman, still running as fast as she can, passes the car in which Xavier is hiding. Wounded Raider at this point is looking around not sure what to do as Grease moves his rifle to aim at the young woman running towards him. Walter runs up to the Blank and begins dismantling it for parts. Jacks with his weapon at the ready a few paces behind Grease off his left shoulder is keeping a watchful eye on the wounded raider, half-cyborg soldier, and young woman. Walter is ripping a battery as well as servos and a motherboard out of the Blanks metal shell.
The half cyborg throws his hand up and begins to pleading loudly, “Wait, wait, wait, everybody stop!”
Grease yells as well, “Stop, stop, STOP!” Grease voice rings out.
Half-Cyborg once again yells, “Lila stop.”
The young woman skids to a stop, the half-cyborg beings walking toward the group slowly with his hands up. Grease lowers his weapon and takes hold of the wounded raider once again pulling him closer, sort of using him as a shield. Jacks still has his weapon at the ready as the two-newcomers come closer to Grease and Jacks position. The half cyborg with his hands still in the air. Walter finishes tearing apart the blank for spare parts and moves up to join the group. Xavier is still well hidden under his cloak as the group founds out who the newcomers are.
Grease speaks up, “Keep your hand up”
Half-Cyborg with an even tone, “My name is AXL.”
Grease asks, not seeming to care that the Half-Cyborg spoke, “How did you end up being chased by this thing?”
Lila says, “I guess we walked somewhere we weren’t supposed to be.”
Grease asks, “Are you part of Red?” give them a hard look.
AXL replies, “No!”
Grease flat out tells them, “take-off” and repeats himself once again “take-off”
AXL seeming a bit confused he says hesitantly, “Alright”
Grease simply states, “This is ours, so take-off”
AXL tries to appeal to the group, “The thing is we don’t have anywhere else to go.”
Walter snidely interject, “That’s not my problem or our problem.”
Grease asks, “Do you have food?”
AXL replies, “Um, No!”
Grease states, “Your no help to us.”
AXL states, “I have firepower, though”
Grease sternly states, “You got firepower? If you have firepower, you wouldn’t be chased by one of them.”
In the distance, you can hear Xavier snicker.
AXL looks to Lila, “Help me out here.”
Lila replies, “You started talking to them.”
Grease take moment to think, before asking, “How old are you.”
Lila replies questionably, “Who me?”
Grease nodding his head, “Yes you”
Lila replies, “In my twenties?” Still looking a bit confused perhaps.
AXL chimes in, “Um, twenty-one”
Now Xavier, who just broke cover a moment ago from laughing, loads rock in his sling and lets it fly smacking AXL in the side of the head. AXL’s hand quickly moves to the side of his head rubbing the bump.
AXL’s human side of his face lights up with a fit of short-lived anger as he yells out, “WHAT THE HECK!?”
Grease simple asks, “How long have you guys been out here?”
AXL completely disregards the question and states, “I escaped from a corporation military compound, I’ve been out.”
Xavier interrupts him mid-sentence., “So were you an experiment or the busboy?”
Walter quickly replies, “Both.”
AXL replies, “I was an experiment they replaced my arm and eye.”
Xavier looking unimpressed, “Well that free out here, he’s got one of those, and so does he.”
Grease speaks up, “So are you related or what?”
Lila replies, “No!”
Grease says, “So just passing or what?”
AXL quickly says, “Yeah just passing.”
Grease simply address the two newcomers, “Well we have business this way, so if you need to go, then go.”
Lila asked, “What’s your business?”
Grease replies, “Probably something you don’t want to deal with.”
Xavier asks Lila crudely, “What’s your business little miss.”
As AXL cuts off Xavier, “I don’t care as long as I get something out of it”
Xavier interjects rudely, “So little miss shares things what your business.”
Lila replies quickly, “Not my business.”
Grease states, “You got something out of this. You’re breathing.”
Xavier looks to AXL, “Okay how about this, how long can you hold your breath? You see that, now that’s free.”
AXL replies, “I don’t hold my breath, I try to breathe as much as possible, so I don’t die.”
Grease shakes his head and gives Xavier a hard stare cutting his eyes to the two-newcomers lipping these two are going to get shot.
Walter looks AXL up and down, “So how much percentage of your body is Cybernetic.”
AXL ignores Walter’s question and instead asks, “So, can we come with?”
Grease says, “I don’t care, but we need to get going.”
For the full story see the Story so Far.