Last week the band ambushed a group of humanoid mutants in the process of attacking a remote settlement, Fort Stanley. Professor Dink put his spring-fired mortar to great effect against the massed mutants, though it was “Jim” who really pulled through with the timely application of a Plaz grenade, incinerating a couple dozen mutants in one dazzling blast. With the mutant leaders sniped off, the attackers broke and the group entered Ft. Stanley as heroes.
Spending a couple of weeks at the fort, they exchanged their load of scrap metal for a nice haul of bullets, a second mule and a goat, as well as the services of Fort Stanley (in the form of a shack and the use of the town’s workshop). Dr. Gaz’s spider eggs hatched; over the course of a week only one dominant spider was left, rapidly grown to the size of a dog. Dr. Gaz adopted the arachnid, lovingly naming it Clementine.
In town they learned the Pit Boss was trying to make some kind of “security” arrangement with Fort Stanley, and heard rumors to the effect that traders (possibly sent by the Pit Boss) were trading weapons to the hill mutants west of the settlement. Fred, the leader of Ft. Stanley, hires the group to explore the hills and find out what’s going on.
Before heading to the hills, however, the group took a short detour to check out another of Pappy’s stashes, hidden under a Bob’s Big Boy statue nearby. As they approached, they encountered a large group of cultists worshipping at the base of the pre-war relic statue. The group was intent to leave the cultists be until the fanatics drug out some sacrificial victims and started killing them (thanking Big Boy for delivering “meat” to them). Springing into action, the group attacked the wackos, with “Jim” deploying several grenades and Molotov cocktails to break up the mass of cannibal cultists. With the cultists dispatched, they retrieved the hidden stash, netting some MREs, canned food, a few bullets and a set of BDUs and combat boots.
Exploring the western hills, they find an old service road that has recently be traversed by a wheeled vehicle of some sort, probably a heavy wagon. That night they come upon a rendezvous between mutants and a group of raiders. The two groups appear to be in cahoots, drinking and celebrating and generally disregarding security. They also have a large wagon laden with boxes. “Jim” sneaks down to the wagon to check it out, brining one of the boxes back to Prof. Dink. Dink recognizes gears and mechanical parts for some kind of catapult or ballista. The wagon apparently holds enough parts for 3 or 4 such weapons. “Jim” makes a few more trips to steal enough components to build their own ballista (minus the frame) while Prof. Dink posses as a mutant, infiltrating their camp to steal enough hooch to set the wagon, and its contents, afire. The mutants and raiders are too drunk (and stupid) to realize the fire was deliberately set.
The party returns to Fort Stanley the next day to report their findings. They sell the parts to the town and help them manufacture a frame for the ballista (actually, it’s based on the Roman scorpio), and create plans so the town can build as many of the weapons as they need. Worried that Fort Stanley will soon fall, caught between mutants on one side and the Pit Boss on the other, they decide to quit the town and head back to South Exchange. Dr. Gaz is intent upon exploring the Atomo Robot Factory, marked on Pappy’s map to the east of South Exchange. Spending the night, they load up on supplies, “Jim” in particular picking up several frag grenades and molotovs (explosives is quickly becoming his thing).
The Atomo Robot Factory is situated between the Reno International Airport (No-man’s Land in the war between the Pit Boss and the Exchange) and the UNR Agricultural Campus on the east side of Reno (now a vast ranch and plantation, notorious for using slave labor). The factory still stands, though every structure in at least a one block radius around the factory has been quite deliberately and thoroughly leveled. Approaching the back end of the factory the group comes upon a loading dock and three massive roll-up doors, one of which is opening as they watch. Taking cover, they watch in horror as a large, four-legged security robot steps out, proceeding in their direction.
The group throws everything they have at it: crossbows, a chainsaw, rifles, a burst from the S.A.W., even frag grenades. The best they can do is dent the think metallic armor. Taking heavy fire, their only chance is to blind the robot and flee, so they concentrate their fire on the robot’s visual sensor, severely damaging it. Then a small radar dish pops out of the robot and the group realizes they cannot escape the robot before being gunned down. In desperation, or a fit of madness, Prof. Dink grabs a defibrillator the group had looted earlier (a randomly drawn loot card, at that) and jabs the paddles into the robot’s damaged visual sensor, triggering it. Electricity courses through the robot, causing its internal ammo magazines to detonate. It collapses to the ground in a heap.
Pushing their luck, the group then enters through the front lobby of the factory. “Jim” trips a security sensor, drawing out another security robot. This robot was in somewhat worse condition, as their attacks had much great effect this time, though not without cost in blood and bullets. Prof. Dink finished the mechanical monstrosity off by jamming his chainsaw through its visual sensor, scrambling the internal electronics. Deciding two is enough, they called it a day, dragging the second robot off to a secure camp site nearby. Returning for the first robot carcass, the find a troop of cavalry from the nearby UNR farms investigating the dead ‘bot. The party attacked them immediately, killing two and driving off the remainder.
And that’s where the session ended.