Purgatory looked warm and inviting. There were cheerful fires everywhere. The welcoming committee crowded around Axel’s van waving assorted weapons and chanting greetings. Raiders as far as the eye could see, several ranks of people all turned out to meet the new visitors. In the distance, the group could see the wall around the inner sanctum and inside that wall a taller round structure, the innermost fortress. The voice repeated the invitation to “GET OUT!”
The group exited the van keeping little Coral in the back. It looked like a ‘trial by combat’ welcome, with the unspoken rule evident, use a gun and they would shoot back. Whisperer launched himself at the rabble, might as well start the ritual! Hedda followed close behind. Coral cowered back into the van. Old Man Coyote, looking much like a Raider, melted into the crowd. Axel worked his way through the throng. And the game was begun!
Whisperer’s brawling skills took out several of the Raider attackers. Old Man Coyote’s ability to sneak up behind people and whack them with his entrenching tool accounted for several other assailants. Hedda got in some good hits but unfortunately so did the bad guys. She took some bad blows but still kept several Raiders occupied. Axel took out quite a few by rolling an oilcan into the crowd. Coral tried to hide in the van but was smoked out. She fought back “Coral-style” by launching herself at the largest one and starting to kiss him. The guys were knocking down Raiders left and right and were starting to come to the rescue of the gals.
A wave of silence moved through the crowd and the Raiders came to a standstill. “ENOUGH! What is the meaning of this?” The shout rang out from a large man dressed in leather, accompanied by a cadre of Bloody Hand Raiders. He was middle-aged, scarred with an air of authority about him.
“I am Udah, The Hand of the King. What is your business here?” the man demanded.
“We are here to join up,” Coyote answered. A bit of discussion ensued while Udah explained the Purgatory situation, mission statement, job prospects, benefits etc.
Eventually Coral took over introductions.
“First, this is Axel Grease, the world’s best mechanic. He can fix anything.”
“Impressive. Tales of your abilities have reached here. We have recently acquired a piece of technology from the Legion that requires your expertise. Get it working and the Raider King might have a place for you. Take him to the Inner Sanctum to the Raider King’s prize and guard him.” Udah directed Axel to be taken away.
“Next, we have the Whisperer. He can drive anything car, truck, helicopter. Best wheel man ever. The Raider King must need excellent drivers.”
“And an impressive fighter. You will be put to the test tonight in the Death Race. Acquire a vehicle, be ready.” Udah says to Whisperer.
Udah then pointed to Coyote. “You look like a survivor, a one time member of a band.” Coyote and Udah chat about Coyote’s past and ability to survive in the Wastes. Coyote mentioned that he was once a Lord of the Plains, a member of the Raider Band wiped out by Udah’s Bloody Hands. “You will find your own test in this place. Pass and be allowed to stay.”
Udah turned to Hedda, “You look like you know your way in a fight. We are willing to give you a second chance. Tonight in the Pits.”
Finally, Udah looked at Coral. “What about you? What do you have to offer the Raider King?” He seems confused that she has survived this long in the Wastes (a feeling shared by most of the group). Coral attempted to sell her abilities without actually saying ‘I can steal you blind’. Finally, it came down to the usual, “there is always a place for a pretty girl.” Coral began to flirt with Udah, calling him Sugar. Udah decided to show Coral around Purgatory while figuring out what to do with her.
For the rest of the day the group is split up on their own missions.
Axel was taken to the Inner Sanctum coliseum area where the important and valuable machinery is being stored. The Inner Sanctum was surrounded by a wall and guarded mainly by Bloody Hands. There he was shown the Legion Helicopter. Axel inspected it and it seemed to be salvageable. A bit of work, a bit of good luck, a bit of tech from the junkyard and the world’s most famous mechanic should be able to get the copter up and running again. While he examined the computer, he found the flight information. A bit of sleight of hand and he managed to download some information. “seize objective alpha at all costs. diversion at objective bravo. seize bravo if possible.” Alpha = weapons console starfall? Bravo = piloting module starfall? What was the diversion? The third potential starfall was thought to be the Ship security section – what ever that means. After several hours, Axel and a few Raider techs and some lucky tech finds were able to get the helicopter mostly functional. The Bloody Hands Guards tell Axel that his reputation is well deserved and he is free to go about Purgatory – for now.
Whisperer set off to find a vehicle to use in the Death Race tonight. He also hoped to get some further details about what the Death Race entailed exactly. First, he checked out the van and did some work. Safe but probably too slow and not maneuverable enough for anything called a ‘Death Race.’ He would have to acquire another vehicle, either borrowed or stolen. Whisperer checked out the other cars and bikes in the parking area. He noticed over in one area a group of guys wearing dog tags. Former Legionnaires often kept their tags with them and tended to stick together on the outside. He walked over to talk to them showing his dog tags as proof of ID. Whisperer’s reputation both as a driver and a survivor preceded him, the former Legionnaires knew of him and thus were slightly more friendly. The group explained that the goal of the Death Race is survival. One of them was a member of the Earth Angels dirt bike group. He offered to trade Whisperer for one of their non-functional bikes. Luckily, Axel arrived about then and determined which bike he could fix up in time for the race. Axel also offered his services to work on other Earth Angels’ bikes in exchange for parts and information. One of the things they learned is that Krugar was going to be fighting in the Pits that night. Krugar was an ex-Legionnaire with a reputation for being unmatched in hand-to-hand combat. The Legionnaires were thrilled to have inside information on the driver in the Death Race and wandered off to place bets.
Hedda was rather beaten and bruised after the welcoming ruckus. With the second fight coming up tonight she was directed to go the Med Tent in the Inner Sanctum and see the new Doctor. New Doctor? Doctor Powell? The ubiquitous Bloody Hand guards at the Inner Sanctum take Hedda back to the Med Tent. It was filled with bloody, injured, moaning people on makeshift stretchers. In the back, a figure bent over a patient with two or three other people intently watching what she was doing. There were also guards stationed inside the tent, obviously keeping the doctor under control. Hedda realized the doctor was indeed Dr. Powell, exhausted but working. She looked around and did not see Jonah. Hedda over exaggerated her limp and ‘broken’ arm. Up close, Dr. Powell seemed even more fatigued. One of the Raiders barked, “Who the devil are you?”
“Hedda.” Dr. Powell’s head snapped up and she stared at Hedda with a look of fright/relief/disbelief. Dr. Powell asked one of the Raiders to close while she looked at Hedda. Very quietly they talked. Hedda learned that they captured Dr. Powell, took away Jonah and started her working on the children first. The Raider medics were supposed to be learning medicine from her because they had need of healers. However, they had not let the doctor rest in the 2 or more days they held her. Hedda reminded Dr. Powell that she had some medical skill and maybe she could help out in front to ease the work load. Also, that would allow Hedda time to recover and learn as much as she could about this set up. So Dr. Powell vouched for Hedda and set her to work patching up patients out front.
Old Man Coyote melded in with the Raiders easily, perhaps a bit too easily for comfort. As he had no particular place to be nor set test to prepare for, Coyote simply began to wander around Purgatory. Soon he felt someone following him, Dust Wolf. When Dust Wolf first appeared back in Haven he was self-assured, confident. In Purgatory, that facade was gone, the man was broken, nervous, even terrified. “You have to help me! He is after me, after you, after all of us!” Dust Wolf cried.
“Who?” questioned Coyote.
“Longtooth. He has a vendetta against the Lord of the Plains. No one knows what he looks like, who he is, where he comes from. It is rumored he is an outcast of the Bloody Hands.” Dust Wolf explained.
Coyote tried to get more information out of Dust Wolf but he did not have any more. Then, Coyote tried to make some sort of plan or something with Dust Wolf but instead, Dust Wolf backed into the shadows apologizing insincerely and left. Old Man Coyote, alone again, decided to investigate Longtooth and regroup with Whisperer.
Coral Rose managed to charm Udah enough to get a guided tour around Purgatory. Or perhaps, Udah figured that Coral was the weak link for getting more information about the party’s motives and information. Udah began waxing poetic about the Raider King, the future, Purgatory and probably telling Coral more than he should. The Raiders have one of the Starfalls, the Legion got the other one. The Legion is the main enemy and the two groups have started to clash more recently. Coral ran off a bit at mouth as well mentioning Vortigus, Haven and Serenity. At the mention of Serenity, Udah demanded she be taken in to an audience with the Raider King straight away. Previously, Udah had maintained that only special worthy people were granted audiences with the King and made it sound unlikely that anyone other than Axel would get and audience. He even refused to allow her time to freshen up!