The Pied Piper of Euless


Saul, Driscoll, Blondie, Karen

Unique NPCs:

Title The Pied Piper of Euless, TX
Scene Synopsis A man approaches willing parties to come and help him return abducted children to his town, but the situation becomes more complicated when stories conflict.
IC Date 8 March, 2194
OOC Date 12 August, 2009
Logger Nazareth

New Texas City, Bayou Vista

On this fine March day in the year of our Nuclear Hell, twenty-one ninety-four, the weather seems to be particularly warm. Concrete and steel still radiates with the heat of a hostile Texas spring sun as it slides down towards the Western horizon. Much of the town begins to finish their daily business, packing away into their homes or the bars of their choice. Several of the hovels can be seen casting amber lights into the canal district's byways; fires and candles taking light in the shanties.

On this particular afternoon, a desperate-looking wastelander with a forlorn look on elderly features can be spied lingering nervously at the northwestern frontier of New Texas City. Travellers pass this way and that. Mostly incoming traffic, few stop to hear the man out, but occasionally some bored party might stop to hear the man out before deciding to move on, unmoved by whatever sob story he happened to be telling.

Blondie has finally stopped drinking, but the old Ghoul seems to have lost whatever humor about his job he had before. Wearing old leather pants and a jacket with a large hole in the back, he moves slowly down the street with a vaguely glazed-over look on his face. Holstered up under one arm is the brutal looking SMG he now carries, one decayed hand fiddling with the clip absentmindedly.

Saul is on his way out. The man is carrying his usual assortment of junk, one big mess that sways at his side as he passes out of the outskirts of the city. Something new there, though, seems to draw his curiousity. He takes a detour, leaving his decided route to pay the man a visit, ensuring his weapon is safely at his side as he makes his approach.

A long stride carries the hump-backed form of Driscoll toward the entrance of the community, though the actual speed of his step is slow. In his right hand, he clutches the shaft of a large sledgehammer, the head of which rests over one shoulder. His other hand lifts as he moves, to tug the goggles from over his eyes up to his forehead and as he lifts his head, he spots the man whining about this or that. A dry, guttural noise makes itself known in his throat, as he changes direction slightly to stand near the man, though he doesn't engage him directly in conversation.

An outlandishly dressed young lady is among the foot traffic today, and she takes notice of various others… particularly Blondie, visibly starring at him and puzzled by what she sees. But 'Princess Sixty-Five' shifts her attention when she notices Saul and a few others gathering near a man, and this gets her curious enough to march over and listen in. She's very easy to see, standing close by and in plain sight, definitely normal conversation range.

One trader leaves and a whole crowd gathers! The old man sort of leers suddenly, as if shying away from an incoming blow. Once it seems as if he's not going to be mugged, he loosens only slightly, hesitantly starting in on the spiel he's repeated so many times today..

"Are you all travellers? Mercenaries maybe?" the man inquires suddenly, eyes lightening with hope like a child's.

"The fuck are you looking at, human?" The Ghoul hisses in a low and gravelly voice, showing green teeth to the woman. But as suddenly as his anger lifts, it drops and he seems to lose interest, turning his focus back on the traveler. "Yeah, I kill for hire, I suppose." Blondie rolls his shoulders back, a creak rolling down his back as he settles his cool look on the old man. "What do you want, kid?"

Saul comes to a stop a few feet away from the old man, taking brief glance over the rest of the little crowd that's gathered. He has to consider the question for a few moments, deciding eventually on: "Sometimes." A second more and he asks, "What is it you need one for?"

Karen blinks repeatedly when the man asks their occupations. "Mercenary? Absolutely not!" She puts one hand on her hip, the other making an odd salute gesture to her forehead. "A true ally of justice never puts a price tag on helping others! If you need assistance," She's still holding that silly pose, looking very proud and confident: "Princess Sixty-Five will be glad to hear you out!" …It's almost as if she didn't hear Blondie's

Driscoll drops the sledgehammer from his shoulder to the ground, resting the weapon on its weighted head. Soft green eyes pan over the rest of the impromptu group gathering, from the ghoul and the vault type - a faint snicker issuing from him at her outburst - to the other waster, who gets a bare nod. Turning his head for a moment, he spits onto the ground, before his gaze cuts back to the older waster, to hear him out.

A round of questions and he waves his hands, trying to dismiss the younger girl's sudden outburst, "No no, not like that.. It's my town. I live in a little settlement, oh.." He turns to the eat, stretching a finger out towards the wastes, "About a day's hard hike thataway. It's a decent sort of place, quiet.. But about two moons ago we had some real nasty sorts come down hard on us."

The man's desperation clearly shows through in his eyes when he continues, "Took a few of us away. I think they might be raiders from a ways up the interstate.. But we don't rightly know."

[OOC] Nazareth says, "Perception checks."
[ROLL] Driscoll rolls his Perception stat (6) and succeeds. (Roll Value: 1)
[ROLL] Saul rolls his Perception stat (6) and succeeds. (Roll Value: 5)
[ROLL] Karen rolls her Perception stat (9) and succeeds. (Roll Value: 8)
[ROLL] Blondie rolls his Perception stat (6) and fails. (Roll Value: 6)

You paged Blondie with 'You see an old man talkin'.'

You paged (Driscoll, Saul, Karen) with 'He seems pretty sincere about the whole affair, but there's more fear in his eyes than he's letting on.'

Well, Blondie stopped drinking but who knows what else the Ghoul is doing. He just blearily blinks at the man, smirking and lifting his lips. "I'll go. Let's go get us some fucking raiders." He's probably on his day off, too, so this might be a fun little side trip.

"Anything else about it?" Saul's gaze anders in the direction that man indicates, mentioning, "I might know it. Might help, too. There a lot of them? How many people they take?" The questions are pointed, coming in quick succession toward the old man.

Princess Sixty-Five follows the man's visual cues, looking where he's pointing, then facing him. "Raiders? Kidnappers and villains of the worst kind…" She gives one very sharp, deep nod, finally dropping her pose. "I'll do it! Every day of my training has been leading up to this, and accompanied by them," A quick look about the rest of the group, though Blondie continues to visibly unsettle her some before she's right back into her love-and-justice rant, "I know everything will work out! Tell us…" She nods after Saul's question, "Like he asked… how many? Who?"

"Pay?" Driscoll's voice grates out as he eyes the older man speculatively, hands now resting on the the top of his weapon's handle. As the young woman from the vaults starts again, his gaze swings toward her, a wry smirk curling his lips, before his head twitches from side to side in a brief, annoyed shake.

"Well, yeah.. Theres quite a few of them. They come in packs of maybe half dozen, but they don't come all at once and hit us at different parts of the village. But, we're not warriors," the man says, gesturing with both arms in a resigned expression. "We just farm what we can and try to keep our heads down.. We aren't rich, bt we've got some food and some odds and ends in terms of equipment. The raiders are really well equipped though!" he boasts suddenly. "We wouldn't try to keep any of it at all. We just want to be left alone."

"Well, maybe," Blondie glances around the group, looking at Driscoll, Princess 65, and Saul, "enough damage can be done that your little town can defend itself from them. You know, knock enough of them down so we can wipe out the band. Because if we don't kill enough," he scratches at his chin, removing some sunburnt flesh with a fingernail, "they're just gonna come back and fuck your shit up good."

"Usually I try to avoid that many people." Saul's fingers reach to scratch at his cheek, thoughtful motion before he decides on, "If you've got stuff though, and they do, maybe it'll be worth it. I'll see what I can do." He nods, affirmative motion with another glance between the group.

Princess Sixty-Five is just eating this up, extremely enthused and unaware she's irritating the more realistic/sensible folks here. Blondie's proposal gets a very warm endorsement, too. "That's right! It's not just enough to deal with your problem… if there are enough weapons left afterward, you could learn to protect yourselves too! Not just because of /these/ raiders, but what about the next group that thinks they can do what they want to you? Helping you here and now, and helping you to help yourselves…" She makes several nods, "It's perfect. Obviously, I won't speak for all these weapons up front, your pay is important for your risks." Apparently not volunteering the whole impromptu gathering to be a charity case, thankfully. She meets the various glances with a very confident, beaming smile.

Driscoll releases another heavy grunt, eyes twitching in another shift around the group, before he lifts his hammer up to set it on his shoulder once more. "Let's go." he growls, looking back to the man from the village to begin leading them wherever it is that they seem to be going.

"Wonderful!" The old man is clearly elated, so much that it almost seems to breathe life back into his rigid body. He moves off towards the fringes of the town. "I'll take us out, we'll camp for a night and should be there by morning…" He pauses, turning back for a moment, "They tend to hit us right before sundown."

And the journey begins.

[OOC] Nazareth says, "Alright, travelling rolls."
[OOC] Nazareth says, "Perception checks first."
[ROLL] Saul rolls his Perception stat (6) and succeeds. (Roll Value: 4)
[ROLL] Driscoll rolls his Perception stat (6) and succeeds. (Roll Value: 2)
[ROLL] Karen rolls her Perception stat (9) and fails. (Roll Value: 1)
[ROLL] Blondie rolls his Perception stat (6) and fails. (Roll Value: 6)
[ROLL] Nazareth rolls one (1) four-sided (4) dice. RESULT: 4
[OOC] Nazareth says, "Luck please."
[ROLL] Blondie rolls his Luck stat (7) and fails. (Roll Value: 3)
[ROLL] Driscoll rolls his Luck stat (5) and fails. (Roll Value: 5)
[ROLL] Saul rolls his Luck stat (5) and fails. (Roll Value: 2)
[OOC] Nazareth says, "Jesus you guys."
[OOC] Driscoll says, "C'mon, Karen. Save everyone."
[OOC] Nazareth says, "Get your act together."
[ROLL] Karen rolls her Luck stat (2) and fails. (Roll Value: 1)
[OOC] Nazareth says, "Alright, the journey goes well as your party is able to dodge the local hostile fauna. However…"

A night in the wastes with a rather eccentric old man singing long into the night later, and our gallant party can soon see the village. In fact, they can see the village from some distance away. The old man began walking quite fast some ways away and as the party nears it becomes clear that the village has been torched. A pillar of black smoke rises up into the sky, marking the town's location.

The approach is spent in pensive silence with the older fellow as he beats the path to the village. Once all are near the full gravity of the situation begins to sink in. Little wooden homes now simmer, burned out and charred black. The hickory scent of the burning wood intermingles with something else.. An acrid smell vaguely resembling rotton meat wafts about the place and here and there are a few despondant survivors of whatever hell was recently visited upon the little town. As the elder enters the main avenue down the middle of the town a younger lady with a soot-blackened face takes note of his return and immediately comes running.

"Jesus Lazarus, you're too late, they've taken them all," she says almost without emphasis, as if made dead by whatever she's been through.

Blondie walks smoothly, talks smoothly, but there is something off. Something about the way his eyes seem to glaze over whenever someone isn't directly speaking to him gives him an air of … Well, something still unintelligible. When they arrive at the village, however, those dark eyes flick around—skimming everything and pausing on little, as though the brutality of it has been seen before, and he's not entirely willing to see it again. He unholsters the largest of his three guns, checking the ammo, and frowning. "Where did they go?" He croaks darkly, eyes suddenly zipping to the woman. "How many were there?"

Saul has his weapon firmly in hand by the time they enter the settlement proper, the thing rising every now and again, lowering when whatever he spots turns out to be of no concern. His lips are set into an ugly frown as they move through the area, eyes taking in the whole mess in silence. It doesn't change when the woman appears, his head just making one nod toward Blondie, nothing more.

Princess Sixty-Five had been cheerful on the way over. 'Had been', past tense. The smoke worries her, and seeing its effects up close causes a mix of wincing and clearly not-at-ease breathing. She has only one word for this, a fist clenching, "Unacceptable…"

Driscoll wanders down with the rest through the main drag of the small town, nostrils wide as he breathes in the various scents of the destruction around him. "Burned flesh." he finally states, tone cracked and disused, as his features twist into a grotesque grimace. The others seem to be asking the questions that need to be asked, so he is content to stand there, weapon on his shoulder, for now a silent observer of the events.

"The children?" the old man asks, suddenly forlorn once more.

The woman simply gances at the assembled party before looking to the elder again, "Yes, all of them this time. We've got a bunch of missing adults too, but.." She trails off, clearly less bothered by the loss of adult life. She turns her eyes on the group, "I assume you're our backup. Look, they went north.. Probably towards another settlement they call Euless."

[OOC] Nazareth says, "Perception."
[ROLL] Karen rolls her Perception stat (9) and succeeds. (Roll Value: 9)
[ROLL] Blondie rolls his Perception stat (6) and succeeds. (Roll Value: 6)
[ROLL] Driscoll rolls his Perception stat (6) and fails. (Roll Value: 3)
[ROLL] Saul rolls his Perception stat (6) and fails. (Roll Value: 3)

You paged (Karen, Blondie) with 'You notice that for all the long faces, not a single person is crying. Additionally, you don't see a single child left in the town.'

Blondie seems aware that he is preempting the questions that everyone would be asking—but for a moment. His eyes glaze over again, briefly, before he gives a dour glance around the camp. Children. Not.. more… Suddenly, with the slam of a fist, he shoves a full clip into his gun. "We should move fast." He grunts, turning on his heel, "if there's anyone that can help against the raiders, you should bring them. They'll probably be moving slowly because of the captives. If we can cut the band off before they get back, we'll be in a better position." Of course, who the fuck knows what Raiders will do with the children when they realize they're threatened. His eyes narrow at the people around them. "Well, the fuck are you waiting for?" Then he just starts to stomp towards the north.

"What do you know about Euless?" Saul stops long enough to get the answer to that question, though he's not going to waste much time in following the ghoul. The story doesn't really seem to change the set of his lips, still indicating the man is in a rather poor mood. It's hardly surprising, considering.

Princess Sixty-Five looks up when the woman addresses them. "Backup… I… yes." A sharp nod, as the vault-dweller stops moping and, instead, opts to pose both hands on her hips, thinking this looks dramatic and impressive. "We'll absolutely get them back! If there are that many of them, we should be able to track them and catch up!" Despite Saul's excellent question, she apparently is in agreement with Blondie, and after a moment's hesitation jogs off to catch up with him.

Driscoll eyes the overzealous ghoul for a moment as it starts to move northward, brows lifting above the rims of his goggles. He emits a darkly amused snort, sparing the head of his hammer a glance, before shaking his head and following after the pair that are already headed off.

The woman's gaze shifts to the superhero, and just stares. The look in her eyes is hollow and she says nothing, but just turns and walks away. The old man remains, somewhat in shock, before he turns, "Look, you've got to get them back. They're all this town has. There's no telling how many of them are there in Euless.. We'll give you whatever we can just get them back for us." He pauses, "They might try to ransom them. If they do, tell them they can take whatever they want," though he seems much, much less convinced of this.

"Sure, whatever, you fuckwit. I'll go get the children and bring them back to this dump so another set of slaver's can come and get them." Blondie shoots back, disgusted by the old man apparently. He, however, does seem vaguely surprised when Princess bounces up alongside him, and Driscoll starts to follow. "If anyone is good at tracking… We could use that right about now to keep after them." He hiccups briefly, and smacks a fist against his chest. Ugh. Brandy-breath.

"Not helpful." Saul decides on that after a second of consideration, the man turning to hustle along after the ghoul and the rest. "Bullets take less time than reasoning." He's got that helpful tidbit to share, falling in beside to join the march.

"I can try," Princess Sixty-Five offers when the matter of tracking comes up, eyes tilting toward the ground. "I've never actually /done/ this before, but I've studied it plenty of times. You just look for footprints matching the direction and expected numbers…" Someone is oversimplifying this, a lot.

Driscoll follows after the others, long legged stride eating up the ground beneath his boots. The bottom of his robes sway lazily at every step, and he keeps a close eye to the ground as the small group moves, though he still doesn't break his silence.

[OOC] Nazareth says, "I'll take a single outdoorsman roll to see if you can pick up the trail."
[ROLL] Saul rolls his Outdoorsman skill (101%) and succeeds. (Roll Value: 58)
[OOC] Nazareth says, "You pick up a trail and are able to successfully follow it."
[OOC] Nazareth says, "Perception rolls."
[ROLL] Driscoll rolls his Perception stat (6) and critically fails. (Roll Value: 4)
[ROLL] Blondie rolls his Perception stat (6) and succeeds. (Roll Value: 1)
[ROLL] Saul rolls his Perception stat (6) and fails. (Roll Value: 6)
[ROLL] Karen rolls her Perception stat (9) and succeeds. (Roll Value: 4)

You paged Driscoll with 'You have no fucking idea how you even got here. You turns a few times but weren't paying attention and are now thoroughly clueless as to where you are.'

After only four or five hours of walking, the trail leads our heroes to yet another quiet little wasteland settlement.. Only this one is not on fire. In fact, though activity can be seen in it from a distance, it looks downright normal.
You paged (Karen, Blondie) with 'Nothing about this town whatsoever makes it look like a raider encampment.'

Ka-chick. As soon as they reach the camp, Blondie's confusion seems to surmount his surprise. He was expecting a raider camp—or something in the middle of being attacked. "Something's wrong," the Ghoul mumbles wheezily, the trek seeming to have put some strain on his lungs. Perking his head up and looking back at the small group, his lips pull into a frown. "… Should we try to sneak in or wait?""

Saul comes to a stop before they can be seen properly in the distance, squinting toward the settlement, making flick of hand toward Blondie after. "I don't plan on walking in. Waiting'll take longer than I'd like. I'd say we see if we can't sneak in."

Princess Sixty-Five looks just as confused as Blondie. "I can try to sneak in," a response to Saul's thoughts. "I've been practicing that for a while, too!" Nevermind that she wisely let Saul do the tracking earlier. "I can look around, see what I find, and come back."

Driscoll has spent the last four or five hours silent, head down, and tousled hair settled down over his eyes. As the next settlement is reached, surprise flashes over his features, both at being rustled out of his thoughts, and seeing the normalcy of the village. With a sour grunt, he starts out toward it again, "Just walk in." he states as he passes Blondie, voice a clipped, rough growl.

"… He'll be the one who can decided whether or not they're friendly still." Blondie says in reference to Driscoll. "I'm going to try and sneak in through a different direction. Maybe you two should do the same." And off he moves, creeping as well as he can.

"Good luck." Saul offers that to both the Princess and the Ghoul, eyes moving back toward Driscoll afterward. "Somehow I don't think it'll go well." He does, however, decide to join him. His weapon is kept lowered, the man heading in the general direction of the settlement.

[OOC] Nazareth says, "I need sneak rolls from Karen and Blondie, and perception rolls from everyone."
[ROLL] Blondie rolls his Perception stat (6) and succeeds. (Roll Value: 1)
[ROLL] Blondie rolls his Sneak skill (41%) and succeeds. (Roll Value: 41)
[ROLL] Driscoll rolls his Perception stat (6) and succeeds. (Roll Value: 1)
[ROLL] Karen rolls her Sneak skill (63%) and succeeds. (Roll Value: 36)
[ROLL] Karen rolls her Perception stat (9) and succeeds. (Roll Value: 6)
[ROLL] Saul rolls his Perception stat (6) and succeeds. (Roll Value: 4)

[OOC] Nazareth says, "You all notice the same essential details. The town appears fairly normal, men and women going about their daily tasks. Nothing about it smacks of being a raider settlement.. There aren't even any armed guards at the ungated entrances of the township. Blondie and Karen successfully go unnoticed to the villagers, though a few see the male duo approaching the main gate, but don't seem too interested or bothered by it. There's a few children here, but none of you notice any under the age of maybe five or six."

Blondie is crouched in one of the dark parts beside someone's home, gun in hand, his eyes roving around. He does not understand, there's just… Something is strange. And he can't put his finger on it, yet. Standing after a moment, he takes a step forward and lowers his weapon. "Hey! … Someone. You all … You… Got any raider problems recently?"

The fact that Saul and his companion can sail through the front gates sets of alarm bells. The salvager's eyes bead back and forth, suspicious looks all around. Soon enough, though, he's got the same idea Blondie does. His hand raises at one of the townspeople, the man calling, "Hey! What's the name of this place?"

Princess Sixty-Five starts to say, "W… wait," as Driscoll stomps off, then she gives a quick nod to Blondie. "Right!" She starts to jog off, trying to circle around to the other end of the settlement and find some way to approach quietly, slowing down once she's getting nearer to the town…

…And she makes it, managing to find various corners of buildings to hide behind, along with other little debris here and there, poking out to listen to Blondie as he takes the direct approach. Saul's question idly strikes her as a very good one.

"Strange times." Driscoll's clipped tone spits out to his companion, but beyond that, he lets him do the talking, or the question-asking. He eyes the inhabitants of the town as they pass curiously, particularly the children, but makes no attempts at anything until more information has been gathered.

As the adventurers converge steadily on the crossroads at the center of the town, one of the town's residents takes the liberty of answering back, "You're in Euless friend, and no.. No raiders around these parts," the friendly and helpful resident offers, glancing between the assortment of sudden visitors.

[ROLL] Driscoll rolls his Perception stat (6) and critically fails. (Roll Value: 2)
[OOC] Driscoll says, "Goddamm-"
[OOC] Nazareth says, "Whatever you were looking for, you found the opposite of it."
Blondie pages: Naz, Blondie is observing the people closely. He wants to see if they're putting up a front.
You paged Blondie with 'Roll it up.'
[ROLL] Blondie rolls his Perception stat (6) and fails. (Roll Value: 1)
[OOC] Driscoll says, "Well, then I guess there's definitely nothing… weird."
You paged Blondie with 'You don't really pick up on anything at all.'

"… Fine. But I want to know why I don't see any babes or toddlers or—or fucking kids. Where's your kids?" Blondie attempts to put as much force into his question as possible, eyes falling still upon the one that speaks.

"The hell do you want with our kids?" the villager fires back, it's almost like the whole town just went silent and the eyes of dozens are now on the foreign party. Simmering anger and tension begins to float about freely.

[OOC] Nazareth says, "Perception checks."
[ROLL] Blondie rolls his Perception stat (6) and critically fails. (Roll Value: 6)
[ROLL] Karen rolls her Perception stat (9) and succeeds. (Roll Value: 2)
You paged Blondie with 'Everything is absolutely fucking fine.'
[ROLL] Saul rolls his Perception stat (6) and succeeds. (Roll Value: 4)
[ROLL] Driscoll rolls his Perception stat (6) and critically fails. (Roll Value: 6)
You paged Driscoll with 'Everything is absolutely fucking fine.'
From afar, Driscoll is inclined to disagree! :(
You paged (Karen, Saul) with 'You've got more than eyes on you. You suddenly notice that you've walked into it, as villagers with simple pistols and home-made crossbows now have you in their sights. You can currently count five of them.'
Karen pages: As in, Karen has been spotted and is being targeted?
Karen pages: (Just to be clear, as she has been hidden.)
You paged Karen with 'Sorry, Karen hasn't been spotted, but you now see that your companions are in the middle of what looks like an ambush.'

"Nobody wants to do anything with your children." Saul's voice is reassuring as it can be, the man's gravely tone rising slightly. His gaze flicks across the little crowd, the man making short addition of, "Those weapons aren't helping. We just want to find people from the place south of here. You ain't seen em, we don't have a problem."

[OOC] Nazareth says, "Roll speech at challenging."
[OOC] Nazareth says, "And then roll luck."
[ROLL] Saul rolls his Speech skill (35%) at a difficulty level of Challenging. He fails. (Roll Value: 21)
[ROLL] Saul rolls his Luck stat (5) and fails. (Roll Value: 5)

The villager turns, moving back to Saul with a sudden fire in his eyes, "Those motherfuckers?!" He draws a pistol, unseen from within the left breast of his outfit, levelling it hastily at Saul's face. "You've got ten fucking seconds to explain what the fuck they have to do with you or we will mow you all down," he barks.

Driscoll swings his hammer down from his shoulder to grip it with two hands, though he makes no other aggressive action. A low growl builds up in the back of his throat as he looks between Saul and the villager with the pistol, form tensing beneath the robes that he sports, confusion plain on his features.

Princess Sixty-Five winces as the situation turns very nasty. While ducking out of sight, she's nonetheless giving away her presence somewhat by calling out, "Wait! This is a misunderstanding! We're tracking them down to deal with them, they hit another town not long ago and we thought they came this way." She's unseen for now, but it's not hard to get her basic position from here, given that she's shouting loud enough to be heard.

[ROLL] Karen rolls her Speech skill (61%) at a difficulty level of Challenging. She succeeds. (Roll Value: 52)

Two of the gunmen quickly pivot, repositioning so that the sudden newcomer is in their sights. The speaking villager, however, whom the others seem to defer to, does not move his pistol, but turns his head to address her, "Fuck them! There aren't any fucking raiders for miles, we went and got our fucking children back after three years of thinking they were lost to us! Those sick freaks took them from us and we took them back." There's fire and conviction in his voice, "Four fucking years and we had no idea where they were, and then those bastards turn up with my youngest?"

Blondie snarls at the man back, surfing his eyes back over the people. He's confused, and the situation is unravelling quickly. But he knows there's only a few people here he can trust the opinion of absolutely. "Where's the kids, I want to ask them myself." He says dully, lifting his gun, lips tightening.

"It wouldn't matter. They took them when they were infants.. The children think that /we're/ the ones who took them away from their parents," a women, previously silent says softly from the porch of her home where she stands watching the scene unfold.

[OOC] Nazareth says, "Perception, Blondie."
[ROLL] Blondie rolls his Perception stat (6) and fails. (Roll Value: 1)

"So why is their place torched?" Saul doesn't move, even when a gun isn't pointed directly in his face. He remains mostly still, leveling his gaze on the apparent leader, asking, "Did you torch the place?"

Princess Sixty-Five stands up into full view as they speak, since she has been spotted in any event. She looks quite alarmed, and sounds it too: "What!? But they sent us here to deal with 'raiders'…" She looks down at the ground, one foot tapping up and down. "I don't understand any of this at all. It almost sounds like a custody battle with no way to prove either side's story… or, is there?"

"You're damn right we did!" the lead villager shouts back at the question. "We tried four times to go in there in get them, even tried to pay them in food and batteries. Hell, two of the kids don't have fathers now because of them trying to keep us off," he adds. "I could give a fuck less what they think, these are our children, and no, you can't fucking see them."

Well, this place does look better. But it doesn't make sense to Blondie why one town would steal children, raise them as their own, and then let the other hill-billy group of pigfucks attack them over it. He seems thoroughly annoyed.

Saul's head arcs toward Blondie. "Same question, mostly." His lips thin afterward, adding on his own: "How many people were living at that place? You know what all they did? Didn't seem much like raiders there."

Princess Sixty-Five shakes her head several times, hair swishing about, before she looks up. "This is nowhere near being the heavily armed raider gang they talked about. Some of them have… /crossbows./ I think we need to head back to where we came from and see what they have to say for themselves… at least, that's my plan."

"Too many houses for two folk." Driscoll grates roughly, his form still tense as he grips his hammer, eyes shifting between the members of the group he came with, and the townsfolk around them. He still looks confused, and more than a little like he just wants to smash the truth out of the spokesperson.

That seems to get the leader's attentions quickly, "You're going back?" He suddenly looks up, realizing he's still been flagging Saul down with his pistol. His arm drops to take the pistol away from Saul's face. "They still have five of our kids, two boys and three girls. Some of them had a steel redoubt that they hid it, we couldn't get into it."

"Yeah. Well, see, they told us you got all of them." Blondie says, eyes narrowing on the people. "So, I suppose the deal is, some of us go back to look for the kids. If they're there, you were telling the truth. If they aren't, you're a sack of shit and we'll take yours. Is that how it's gonna be?"

[OOC] Nazareth says, "Roll speech, if you fail, roll luck."
[ROLL] Blondie rolls his Speech skill (74%) and succeeds. (Roll Value: 30)

"Whatever, freak," the leader says, "We'll keep hitting them until we have our kids back, fuck you if you can't be a part of something wholesome."

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