Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Chapter Six: End of Days (Atomic Highway Solo Playthrough)

The following is copied directly from my GoogleDoc record of the game, including my own notes at the time of writing. I try to keep with mistakes as part of the learning process, so there are some of those as well. The notes are in blue for ease of reading. Anything I add for this blog will be in dark green. Here we go!

(So I took an extended break between chapters six and seven, hence the recap and notes at the beginning. It's a prime reason why I record my notes in a sort of "stream of consciousness" format in with the narrative - I never know when I'm going to need to remember why I did what I did, so I just write it all down.)

I think it's a bit much to make Beaty and Shooty into full-fledged allies here - they've no desire to get killed helping Marcus. They might, however, and once Shooty wakes up, be willing to help him get his stuff back (or some of it) if he can help them in some way (other than not killing them outright, which he wouldn't really do anyway). Being weary and ragged, they might settle for some good food - and Marcus has some in his belongings.


***STEP ONE: The Setup***

Recap: Marcus has traveled from his vault to Denver, where he narrowly escaped being "processed" by fleeing into the nearby woods. His things were confiscated and he was tracked by two soldiers, one of whom is now laying unconscious and the other having surrendered at crossbow-point. It's doubtful he will straight up help Marcus but he doesn't seem to have much loyalty to his own people either. He and the unconscious soldier look weary and malnourished as it is. It is now dark and the three are standing in the wood, snow on the ground, Denver lights in the distance and an unknown number of patrols still searching for Marcus, which may include a helicopter he saw earlier.

Proposal: Marcus will attempt to broker a deal with the soldiers - help him get back his gear (with or without the tractor and fuel) and he'll let them know about a place where they can get food (Walensburg) and directions to the vault.

Notes: I haven't settled on much about details for what's going on in Denver, so I'll probably use this scene to tell some backstory guided by the rolls.

Character List: Sam Brown, Sandra Brown, Jessica Brown, Emma Brown, Nick/John/Elise, Jake/Mike/Finn/Maxwell/Washington sisters, fans, Winona (that counts, right?), "Beaty" (conscious soldier that surrendered), "Shooty" (soldier that was ko'ed).

Chaos Factor: 6 (Meh. It's dark and things are still tense - and Marcus is still outnumbered).

Threads: a) Survive, b) Get Winona back, c) Investigate Boston, d) Learn more about what's going on in general

Modifying the Scene: (3) - Scene is altered, and not the one I initially intended. Well, I intended to broker a deal with the wearied soldiers... barring that, the next most logical thing to happen would be that Marcus misunderstood the situation entirely and things aren't what they seem.

Chaos Question 1: "Is there something significantly larger going on here (as opposed to a mundane sort of explanation) than Marcus thought?" 50/50@cf6 = (36) Yes. I'm going to try Random Event roll and see if I can use that somehow. Focus = (42) "Move toward a thread", Action = (75) "Refuse", Subject = (89) "Portals". I'll roll to see which thread it might be about = (4) "Learn more about what's going on in general". Hmm. Let's try something new...

Fallout Wiki Question 1: "What is the primary facet of the situation that Marcus was unaware of and which the soldiers will inform him of?"
(I have also heard of some people using the Random feature of wikis. I think that's a lovely idea, though sometimes you have to hit the button more than once because you end up with a three sentence stub. This worked out very nicely.)


"Sky robots" - asteroid defenses have malfunctioned, stranding people inside the city (no one in or out). The soldiers were a part of a checkpoint to keep people from getting too close to the city because the asteroid defense system turrets were malfunctioning and shooting anyone that approaches. Unfortunately, they're also stranded hundreds of people within the city perimeter as well. This will be the content of this scene - this discussion, and maybe a strategy for Marcus to help (he can go and reclaim his things whenever). It wasn't the soldiers that were shooting at him before - it was the LR turrets.

***STEP TWO: Playing Out the Scene***

Marcus was listening to the first soldier, Zane Walton, explain how Denver had handled Ender. Some sort of military sensor network linked to multiple high-caliber auto-turrets to shoot down incoming projectiles. It wasn't perfect by any stretch but the city was still mostly intact, structurally speaking. The power grid was out in most areas, of course, and all the survivors that hadn't already evacuated were living in a block of apartment buildings running backup generators. Fuel was running low and scouts had been sent out. Zane was one of those parties. When they returned with fuel siphoned from vehicles they could find, the turrets suddenly opened fire and they were forced to retreat. That was a couple weeks ago. Radio contact with the survivors has been intermittent but without anyone going in or out it's now likely they are starving. The unconscious soldier started to wake up.

"What's... hey, Zane, what's goin' on...?"

"No worries, Harland, we're okay."

"Well, I don't know about that - we're still stuck in the woods. You think we could make it back to your crew without being shot at?" Marcus wasn't crazy about being shot at anymore, even if it was starting to get light out. Managing to avoid mutant attacks during the night had been enough excitement for him.

"Oh, that's easy." Zane again. "We can pretty much approach from the road like you did - we just can't go quite so far. We were on the extreme limits of the turrets' range - that's why we're still around. I don't know - Harland, what do you think, you think this guy might make it in?"

"The turrets opened fire last night for sure, but it might have been us or the tractor or something else in our general direction. And he managed to avoid being hit, and he took me out - but he had a little help there," Harland's eyes glare into Zane's face, "...so he just might be able to help. You got any useful mutations, or just lookin' weird?"

Marcus didn't like being volunteered for running headlong into machine gun fire but he wasn't crazy about leaving an entire city to die either. "Maybe. But... assuming I want to help, what would we do?"

They discussed plans on the way back to the checkpoint where a real plan began to form. No surprise - Marcus was tasked with jamming the system's sensors long enough for a technician to get in remotely and fix things. He suggested evacuating through some sort of sewer system but agreed the turrets should still be addressed.

"There's a, uh, place not too far from here. Walsburg or something like that... mutants don't seem to like it much and it seems to still have electricity. Actually," he hesitated, "...it's pretty creepy... I spent the night there before I came here. Plenty of housing and supplies and no crazy motion-tracking guns."

So the plan was simple: Marcus gets into the city somehow, climbs up to the nearest turret, plants a pulse device near it, and waits for a flare. Red flare - plan failed, retreat, come up with another idea. Green flare - plan succeeded. He didn't get any flares himself because dead people can't fire flare guns. Seems legit.

I have two more chapters to post and I'll shoot to get them up tonight after work - then I want suggestions as to how to proceed with Marcus. I imagine the Bwogosphere is about as random as any generator I could find and definitely more creative, so don't be afraid to throw out some crazy ideas. We're well into the Crazy Zone already.

We live there, actually. It's our home.

With Brightest of (climactic build-up!) Greens,

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