The party is spending its first day in Purgatory trying to stay alive. Axel fixed a helicopter earning himself some leniency. Now he is working with the Whisperer on his dirt bike for the Death Race trial. Coyote is gathering information on Purgatory, Longtooth and casing the area for that might be left unattended during the evening’s events. Hedda is hanging out with Dr. Powell hoping against hope that the Pit fight will be cancelled. Coral is being escorted to the Raider King without time to fix her hair, change her clothes or freshen her look. William Tell is wandering through Purgatory collecting intelligence.
“William Tell” a gravely voice calls out as Tell walks by. “William Tell, best marksman in the Wastes. You always kill what you aim at … or not eh?” The man taunts while pulling open his shirt showing a nasty bullet wound on his chest. He has long black hair and sliver teeth. There is a posse of men with him. William does not actually recognize him but then there have been a lot of marks in the past. The two of them talk for a few moments before Tell is warned that Silver Teeth will be watching him. Then Silver Teeth and his gang leaves. William Tell continues collecting intel but now it is focused on Silver Teeth. Eventually, Tell comes across a group of guys drinking ‘foul grog’ from a foul barrel. Tell joins them and learns that Silver Teeth is actually called Jericho. Jericho has been around for ages. He is a survivor of many battles, gun fights and drunken brawls. He is considered an ‘up and comer’ in Purgatory ranks. Basically, not someone to mess with or to be on the outs with. So situation normal for William Tell. The talk turns to the Death Race and Pit Match. Tell learns that Hedda’s opponent is Krugar, the infamous Legion fighter known for excellence in CQB (Close Quarters Battle). What such a person is doing here fighting for the Raider King is anyone’s guess.
Hedda notices that Dr. Powell is close to collapsing from exhaustion. She forces the guards to allow the good doctor to take a break. “At least a few hours, with food, water and time to sleep. Look at her, she is worn out!”
“No. Work.” Bloody Hand guard replied. Hedda continued to argue and got the guards to agree to a few minutes rest with food and water. Hedda led Dr. Powell over to a cot as far from the guards as possible and convinced her to lie down. They got to talking. Dr. Powell slipped Hedda some stim packs to help her out in tonight’s fight. Dr. Powell also begged Hedda to locate Jonah and get everyone out of Dodge er..Purgatory. Hedda hugs Dr. Powell and promises to put Old Man Coyote on the trail. Then, Hedda leaves the med tent area.
Whisperer and Axel decide that the dirt bike needs some special tricks. So Axel wanders over to the Inner Sanctum area to see if he can obtain anything from the good junkyard. The Bloody Hands guards recognize Axel but are reluctant to let him back in. Axel haggles with guard and gets a few minutes to grab whatever he can find. Specifically, Axel finds materials to make a smoke launcher. He returns back to Whisperer and the two of them work on the bike and learn a bit more about the other competitors.
The Death Race will be in a course outside Purgatory. The other competitors include an member of another dirt bike group and enemy of the Earth Spirits, a guy from the WingNuts with a tricked out Halftrack, and a Dune Buggy driver who is a survivor of several Death Races and well known for dirty tricks.
Coral Rose is being escorted by Bloody Hand guards through the inner sanctum to the coliseum. In the sandy center theater area, she witnesses 5 people being killed by Udah for being interlopers from Magellan. There are many people sitting in the stands, Raiders, slaves perhaps. One staircase has a red velvet carpet leading to a throne room. The stairs are lined with Bloody Hands who completely ignore Coral as she is compelled up the stairs. At the top, is the Raider King, reading a book, with his attendants. He is a giant man 6 foot 7 inches, bronze skin, long black hair and very gorgeous. Coral mentally calculates what it would take to remain here. With him is a woman Coral recognizes, Valeria of the Crying Wolf Raiders. The Crying Wolves were a group that used women and children to fake distress calls then would attack anyone that tried to help them, an effective technique. Valeria eyes Coral with boiling hatred. Coral tries to dismiss her. Coral notices a series of wires and tubes going into the wall behind the throne. Udah whispers something in the Raider King’s ear causing him to look at Coral and smile slightly. Suddenly, the King’s long, sharp saber is right under Coral’s chin tipping it up. “Why are you here Little one? What do you have to offer me?” The King inquires. “Why should I let you live?” Coral begins to fight for her life with words. Since the Raider King already has a Beautiful Thief, sex appeal alone is not going to cut it this time.
Valeria pipes up that Coral is not to be trusted and she should be killed immediately. After several banter rounds, Coral finally states, “Your Majesty, either kill me now or remove the sword. If you kill me, then you will never know what I have come to tell you. Either way, I am tired of arguing.” The Raider King approves of Coral’s plucky attitude, sends Valeria away, removes the sword and allows Coral to breathe freely. While this has been going on, Udah slipped away to begin the evening’s entertainment.
“Combatants Assemble” a deep bellow resounds throughout the coliseum and into Purgatory. Outside the Death Race is getting underway. Udah whips the crowd into a frenzy, “Spilling blood for the glory of the Raider King!”
Krugar steps out onto the ‘Killing Sands’. She is a woman forged hard by the Legion and the Wastes. Hedda joins her on the sands. The two look up the throne of the Raider King. Krugar bows to him. Hedda realizes he is not paying attention to the upcoming battle, he is busy talking to Coral! Of course, trust little Coral to find the most powerful male around as fast as possible. Hedda turns her attention back to her own situation. She realizes that Krugar is a grappler. Hedda is more of a heavy weapons shooter with hand-to-hand combat as a last resort. She slaps on one of the stim packs and the fight begins.
Coyote manages to sabotage with WingNuts APC. Unfortunately, after he jumps down from the APC and disappears into an alley, someone else finds him. He feels a knife on his neck and a breathy voice, “found you, Coyote.” Coyote dives, hits and gets away. His attacker vanishes but leaves a trail of blood drops. Coyote tries to hide in the crowd but he feels a specter of dread on him.
William Tell is checking out the Western District where Jericho is known to hang out. He mainly finds only people too drunk or injured to walk. Tell wanders aimlessly over to the wall of the coliseum to do some recon work, just in case.
Over to the Death Race, Axel gives the bike once last going over and Whisperer gets some last minute advice. Then the Whisperer lines up with the other riders and Axel finds a spot in the crowd. They learned that at some point, it will become legal for spectators to fire at the racers. So Axel has his plasma rifle and has taken up position to protect the Whisperer. The race begins! Whisperer is in second right behind Dune Buggy, the old dirty tricks guy. Dune Buggy knows the course – as well as it can be known – so Whisperer sticks close, but not too close – you know ‘fly casual’. The APC’s gun malfunctions when it tries to shoot at The Whisperer. It is starting to become clear that the other contestants are ganging up on the Whisperer. The smoke launcher is coming in handy. Suddenly, a loud horn goes off, “FREE FOR ALL!” The spectators start shooting – at the Whisperer. It’s official, they are all out to get him. Axel shoots his grenade launcher at the APC and takes it out. This gets him in trouble with the others in the stands. Meanwhile, the Whisperer is flying through the course somewhat literally depending on the jumps.
Up at the Raider King’s throne, the Raider King and Coral are not actually paying much attention to the “blood spilling in the Raider King’s honor.” Instead they are discussing, power, Vortigus, Haven, Serenity, mutants, water and the future. Coral is keeping half an eye on Hedda’s fight, the Race is outside their sight but it can be heard distantly. The Raider King has taken something of a liking to Coral, maybe, so he takes her to see his greatest treasure. In a room, down a corridor, behind the throne, where the wires go, is a sealed guarded chamber. In this chamber, is a frozen cylinder containing a sleeping woman. A woman unlike any other. Her face unmarked by life in the Wastes. She moves ever so slightly, alive, but not alive. Pale, very pale. “Behold, the Cold One. We do not know where she comes from. But think of what she could tell us. Here is power. She is why we located our base here. Now that we have two of the greatest loremasters here, one of medicine and one of mechanics, we can wake her.” The Raider King boasts to Coral. Coral is very afraid. The Raider King comments that the stars are wrong, and with the Cold One he will make it right.