GURPS After the End, Session 104

Dramatis Personæ

Ann Cameron (Lab Rat)
John Cromartie (Rigil Kent)
Korbin Savage (Mike E)
Nicholas Biermann (WxMan)
Wes Johnson (DefiantBudah)

Dead Air

23 Apr 2013, ~12:00

The Crew opted to wait out the thunderstorm in the dark garage of the tiny gas-station in downtown Council Grove, Kansas. They took the opportunity to scour the place for potentially-useful items, take inventory of what they had recovered from the attempted-mugging, check out the truck, and finally eat something—nobody had eaten anything substantial since they left the bunker in the wee hours of the morning. There was little left behind in the store-area but a few snack-foods, although they did find an old phone book; they checked it over in the occasional strobe-light of the lightning outside, and Wes pointed out an entry for Council Grove Telecommunications to Nick, who had been talking about trying to find a radio station they could use to make contact with whomever was still broadcasting. Looking for a police station or somesuch, they found the County Sheriff’s offices on the street-map they had liberated earlier; it was just down Main Street about a half-mile—their next stop. After sorting out the contents of the gangbangers’ sleeping bag, they noted that they now possessed quite the armory, but were rather low on appropriate ammunition; everyone selected their preferred firearm, even John, excepting Matthew, who is committed to total non-violence—however long that will last in this world. Wes went over the truck, and decided that the old folks that owned it, previously, must have had a son or grandson that took really good care of it—it was in excellent condition for its age and considerable mileage. The downpour raged on for an hour or so, and slacked off to naught but a drizzle, at which point the Crew moved on, headed West toward the County Complex.

Just leaving the downtown area, they took a pit-stop at an Ace Hardware store, and went in to see what could be had in a hurry. After twenty minutes or so, they emerged with an armful of heavy flashlights (that hadn’t been stripped of their batteries), and Nick had managed to hobble together something that might serve as bolt-cutters—otherwise, the place had been mostly picked clean already.

As they approached the County Offices, they could see that it had been boarded-up and locked down, with no sign of activity inside. However, at the same time, they were beginning to see quite a number of Zeds trickling in from the North—maybe a hundred, spread out—that would be upon them in short order should they stop to break into the Sheriff’s office. They decided, instead, to move on and see what could be done with the Telecommunications company.

Their new destination was on the West edge of town, up a poorly-maintained stretch of pavement—they spotted the radio tower quickly enough, and knew they were in the right place. They approached the office complex cautiously, and saw quite a few more walking-dead wandering about, scattered in small groups, a few of which appeared to be intently trying to gain entrance into what they guessed was the main-office—they guessed that to mean someone was inside. After a brief discussion, John and Nick dismounted to creep around the building, while the others continued slowly forward in the truck, honking the horn, in an attempt to draw as many zombies away from the area as possible.

Nick and John avoided contact with the Zeds that remained, leading them around the outbuildings in an attempt to lose them, and entered the office through a smashed, large, plate-glass side window. The office had clearly been besieged some time ago, blood staining the office throughout, but the two kept their wits as they carefully navigated inward. Nick yelled, “Marco!” Instead of the expected response of “Polo,” a voice answered from inside a barricaded conference-room, shouting, “Go away!” A formerly-living employee who was trying to get at the conference room also took notice of the intruders’ presence, and began to pursue them; Nick and John tried to trip it (her?) up with some network-cables—which almost worked—and then led it in a merry chase ’round the cubicles, tossing chairs in its way, effectively trapping it in a maze of discarded office furniture. Nick told John to go ahead and talk the survivor down, while he kept an eye on their maze-rat. By the sound outside the building, they were aware that the truck had returned; the others were preparing to dismount and come inside to help. John managed to convince the man in the conference room to let him in.

His name was Rush Renner, and he was an administrator at the company. After the Event (as he referred to it), everyone at the office stayed put, attempting to keep the broadcast going and “get the word out.” But, after a couple of weeks of zombie assaults, dwindling supplies, dwindling personnel (who were either killed by the undead, or broke away to get help and never returned), and a lack of fuel for the generator to keep the station working, he ended up alone, barricaded in the conference room, afraid to move. As he had run out of food and water, he had considered taking his own life, but had no instruments with which to do it. John merely needed to mention that they had food to convince Rush to come along.

At Nick’s request, Rush offered to help the Crew get the radio running again. They emptied one of their spare gas-cans into the generator for fuel, and fired it up. While the others kept the zombies away, for as long as the fuel would last, Korbin spanned the frequencies in an attempt to pick up whatever was there…

Zombie Lore

  • Although they react to sound, it doesn’t appear to be their primary “hunting” sense, which seems to be effective through barriers
  • Suck at mazes

GM’s Notes

  • GM Confidence: 3 of 5; didn’t feel all that excited about this one. In 103, I had a bit of a plan to start with, but not so, here, and I could feel it (whether or not anyone else did). Perils of “sandbox” gaming.
  • We spent waaaay too much time sorting out the weapons, and I was afraid we weren’t going to get anything of substance done; really should have gone ahead and done that during the week, but I kinda wanted everyone to “participate” in it
  • Still not 100% satisfied with the “scavenging system,” but it’s still being fine-tuned
  • The players are starting to develop a play-strategy I had not anticipated—avoid combat. Essentially the exact-opposite of what I’ve had to deal with in the past. Going to have to bear this in mind for the future. Figures 😛
  • I had located the telecomm company in Google Earth prior to the game, and I wanted the group to know about it, but I couldn’t find a good in-game excuse to just come out and tell them, so I ended up resorting to eliciting a plot-point for “GM Hint”—need a better way to handle that in the future
  • I’ve gotten as much information as can be easily had about the area, but in some cases, that isn’t much. Hopefully nobody from Council Grove is paying attention to this, and if so, this is an alternate-timeline where that building is a radio station—deal with it 😛
  • Mike E’s radio-broadcast schooling came in rather handy in this session; kept me from having to guess at how things work, and what’s what
  • Rush Renner was completely unplanned, a result of the tarot reading for the telecomm office

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