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/qst/ - Quests


Impossibly, it has been only four days since 10/27/2020, the last normal day anyone would ever have. Even after spending much of that time unconscious, it still feels like it has been a dog’s age. That said, you are lucky to be alive, even if you were never in any danger from Nuclear Ordinance. Before this new World War kicked off, you had joined up with an openly seditious group of your neighbors and colleagues, who had figured out the proverbial writing on the proverbial wall, and was willing to play … sort of dirty … to weather the coming storm. The idea was that joining a group like this would protect and support you, but so far you have done a lot more for the group than they have for you – including being shot in the kidney while you were saving other group members from captivity, and possibly execution, and then refusing to divulge any information about the group under torture that among other things saw your left testicle crushed like an egg.

Right now, you are on a stolen hospital gurney in your living room, speaking with the group’s leader, Erwin Parasol, as well as the (former?) Deputy Sheriff Bartholomew ‘Bart’ Bean. While both of them were genuinely concerned for your well-being, and are now genuinely relieved that you have made it back to Mooseleg Lake alive (if not in one piece), they are still putting the screws to you here, in this discussion of what your dues to the rest of the group are going to be.

Maybe you are being a complete doormat here, but you cannot fault them for it. Right now, the group’s larder is inadequate, not up to the task of getting the roughly 200 members of the group through the long (as well as radioactive) Volcanic Winter bearing down on all of you, and your small Homestead here is the closest thing the group has to a farm – currently, at least. Two of your live-in hired men, Fleckkers and Norton, have head out to the surrounding areas, and are attempting to establish working relationships with nearby farms (on the behalf of the group). The rest of your household, being your third hired man, Tolle, and your mother, are taking your two guests, Registered Nurse Gunther Peake and his younger cousin Petra Peake (both of whom were instrumental in your miraculous escape from the clutches of Maine National Guard’s 488th MP Company) on a tour of the lake, in hopes of convincing the two of them to stay and join up with the group.

Your name is Reginald Mantle, and before all of this nonsense, you were a homesteader and odd job man who specialized in junk removal and salvage, in addition to moonlighting as an Animal Control Officer for your relatively isolated lakeside community in Northern Maine. And while what you have been through so far may seem like a lot, the fact remains that in your location, surviving the apocalypse was always going to be the easy part. Surviving the post-apocalypse, on the other hand …

[spoilers]>>>http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=TrashQM[/spoilers]
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>>4583804
Well, you can tell that it has been a long time - I forgot the command was 'spoiler' not 'spoilers', not to mention that control-s does it for you automatically. Oh well. Also, I have a bunch of things prepared. Rather than dump them on all of you, I will intersperse and explain them as needed.

Parasol and Deputy Bean are looking at you expectantly - and you realize it must have been at least half a minute since anyone spoke. Whatever exactly Fleckkers originally planned to do with the intelligence about the active farming operations nearby, the 'whales', you cannot simply keep that information to yourselves any longer. First off, the longer you sit on this information, the less valuable it is, because as more time goes on, the more likely it is that something happens to the farms or the farmers that would either prevent or dissuade them from cooperating with you or the group.

Fleckkers, as well as Norton, who you have yet to meet, are currently out in the surrounding countryside, trying to sound out 'whales', either for integration into the group, or if that fails, as targets for supply raids. So as far as that concern is ... concerned, it is being addressed, partially, at the very least. If, or rather, when you bring the rest of the group in on this, you will be able to speed up the process of 'sounding out' these whales. So as far as that is concerned, that issue is going to be resolved the second you open your mouth about this. The sticking point here is not the situation out in the surrounding countryside, but rather, how this is going to go over inside the group. Three days ago, Fleckkers found incredibly valuable information, but instead of sharing it with the group, as he would have been expected, if not required to do so, he sat on it. And then he headed out to act on that information, still without any effort to share what he found. Even if you covered for him, by lying and saying that he made a second trip to the store earlier today, or that the intelligence was found in a mess of papers that got brought here accidentally on the first day, and no one realized their value until today, or whatever the fuck ... the fact is that he left to act on this intelligence. By himself.

The concern here is that whatever you say, whatever excuse you come up with, the issue is going to be him leaving to go wheel and deal (and maybe steal) without mentioning it to the rest of the group, not when the intelligence was found. And while you could feed them a 'line' about when the information was found, there is no way around the fact that Fleckkers, along with Norton, left the lake. You cannot spin that. And as soon as the truth (or the lies) come out about the intelligence, then everyone is going to (correctly) assume that Fleckkers left to get food without telling anyone else.
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>>4583863
Under the current circumstances, that could be a serious issue. Now, your immediate instinct is to simply keep your mouth shut for a little bit longer, until you understand if Fleckkers has committed a proverbial (or God forbid, an actual) hanging offense. And as it stands, you were away from the Homestead while Fleckkers was sitting on this intelligence, so your hands are clean in this, at least for now. Unfortunately, by not saying anything to Parasol while he is right here, about the intelligence or Fleckkers mission, you are effectively implicating yourself in Fleckkers misdeeds.

You have several options here. You could simply tell the truth, to protect yourself, and hopefully the rest of your Homestead from being 'accessories after the fact'. Then, once you and everyone else is protected, you could see what, if anything, you could do to protect Fleckkers. You could attempt to cover (read as: lie) for Fleckkers, and minimize his potential 'crimes', at the cost of becoming very minutely implicated in the eyes of the group. While at first glance, it might not seem as attractive as remaining innocent in all of this, you need to remember that you aren't sure (and have no way of being sure) that this is going to be a major issue, especially if you are lying about it in the first place. The third option is to reverse course completely, and remain quiet about all of the intelligence. It is entirely possible that you could keep this a secret, and you have already been told that you have every right to trade or steal from non-members. You are a homesteader, you have animals, so it would be expected that you would have a great deal of knowledge of local farming operations. Of course, if it ever gets out that you hid this information, then you are completely implicated in it, and it will probably not be look on kindly. And while your miraculous ability to secure food for the group no doubt would raise you and your 'Satellite' to prominence, the fact remains that working alone you will almost certainly lose out on food and even animals by working alone, as opposed to working with the group.

>Please Pick One of the Following:
>"The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth". (You will abandon your original plan to cover for Fleckkers, and tell Parasol exactly what happened)
>"Some lies, some more lies, and maybe a bit of the truth" (You will stick to your original plan to cover for Fleckkers, even if it implicates the entire Homestead)
>"Nothing, the whole nothing, and nothing but nothing" (You will abandon your original plan to cover for Fleckkers, and tell Parasol nothing about the intelligence)
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>>4583864

>"Some lies, some more lies, and maybe a bit of the truth" (You will stick to your original plan to cover for Fleckkers, even if it implicates the entire Homestead)

The intelligence was found in a mess of papers that got brought here accidentally on the first day, and no one realized their value until today. Take full responsibility for the decision to make contact and admit it may have been a hasty move but you are trying to secure a food supply for the group and farmers have both food now and the skill to grow more later which will be even more important once supplies start running low and with the effects of Yellowstone(that you admittedly don't know much about) being in play.
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>>4583909
Solid vote to kick things off this thread. Supporting this.
Nice to see you back Trash. Figured you had put this on hiatus to focus on schoolwork.
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I'll leave this up for a bit while I grab dinner, but even if no one else shows up to vote, I'll close it when I get back.

>>4583921
More or less. Thankfully, I should be able to squeeze in a good portion of a run before the school term starts up again.
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>>4583909
I'll go with this
>"Some lies, some more lies, and maybe a bit of the truth" (You will stick to your original plan to cover for Fleckkers, even if it implicates the entire Homestead)
>>
Alright, that settles it.

Reggie Mantle – 23 years old, 5’9”, 164 lbs.

Skills:
Subject to slight corrections if playtesting reveals imbalances
Delusional or Unwilling in:
Teaching, Speech-Flirtation, Farming-Animal Handling
Oblivious in:
Learning, Melee-Bladed, Vehicle-Boats, Vehicle-Military
Nascent in Understanding:
Athletics, Mental, Melee-Unarmed, Melee-Bludgeon, Farming-Horticulture,
Rank Amateur:
Vehicle-Heavy, Speech-Deception, Speech-Rhetoric, Handicraft-Sanitization,
Ranking Amateur:
Ranged-Volumetric, Farming-Animal Husbandry, Vehicle-Car and Trucks, Handicraft-Repair
Competent:
Ranged-Sidearm, Ranged-Targeted, Handicraft-Demolition, Handicraft-Construction
Assuredly Competent:
Genuinely Skilled:
Handicraft-Salvage
Nascent Master:
Master:

Abilities:
Ballistic Frugality: Has a supranatural ability to know when a target has been downed – will never need to make checks against ‘overkill’.
Miraculous Shooter (T): Has an unnerving ability to score kills, even with completely inadequate weapons. (Penalty for inadequate ranged weapon is shrunk to a fifth of what it would otherwise be)
Garbage in, Salvage out: Has an uncanny ability to find workable if not saleable materials in what appears to be waste. (Sanitizing an area will provide additional salvage, calculated as 33% of the area’s determined total salvage value. Sanitization time and cost increased by 20%. Character must be present for entire Sanitation. Ability typically works once per area, with exceptions at discretion of QM).

Attributes:
Hard Nut to Crack (T): Is considered uncommonly durable, at least, for a human. (Has 6 pips instead of 4, and all 1’s rolled on resistance checks are rerolled)

Flaws:
Subtly Gimped:
Has a pair of very slightly aberrant legs (Athletic tests that involve use of legs are 33% more difficult)
Paranoid:
Has a dangerously overactive imagination (Mental tests are 10% more difficult, and are more frequent)

Here is Mantle's Character Sheet. This is going to be a Speech-Deception test; at his current level of 'Rank-Amateur' he rolls one set of 5d20 (with a -1 malus to those gross rolls) and one set of 1d6 (with a +2 situational bonus to that gross roll, as you are ultimately giving Parasol and the group really good news, so any ... questions about Fleckkers and the rest of your homestead are more likely to be overlooked.)
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>>4584089
When the net is calculated, you want to get at least a 60. If you get an 80 or more, then you have completely insulated everyone but Fleckkers from suspicion, while seriously minimizing the suspicion that he would be under. If you manage to get above a 100, then there are no hard feelings at all. On the other end, if you get lower than a 40 you have done nothing to minimize suspicion on Fleckkers or insulate the rest of you from suspicion, and if you somehow manage to get less than 20, you will have redirected all suspicion on Fleckkers completely on yourself (as much or as little as there may be).

>Please, one roll of 1d6 and one roll of 5d20.
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Rolled 3 (1d6)

>>4584090
o my moose-killing dice
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Rolled 5, 10, 3, 15, 13 = 46 (5d20)

>>4584090
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>>4584098
>>4584163
could be worse, I guess. at least that 3 becomes a 5
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Maybe that's a 60 then? Was a 5 on a 1d6 1.5x or 1.25x?
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>>4584177
just checked, it varied but in all likelihood it is not a 60, but above a 40 at least
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Rolled 10, 18, 12, 17, 4 = 61 (5d20)

>>4584090
Welcome back!

at least you dont have January exams, I'm dreading mine already. I will probably fail one of them
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>>4584089
What´s the difference between animal handling and animal husbandry?
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>>4584749
apparently he knows how to breed em but is shit at taking care of em
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Alright, so from Delusional or Unwilling to Rank Amateur, the modifiers are

Roll of 1 x0.5
Roll of 2 x0.625
Roll of 3 x0.75
Roll of 4 x0.875
Roll of 5 x1
Roll of 6 x1.125

The Gross Roll was 3, with the +2 situational modifier becomes 5. A Net Roll of 5 here means a 1x modifier. Alright, so far, so good.

Now, we have the other Gross Rolls; 5, 10, 3, 15, 13. At Rank Amateur, there is a -1 malus applied to each of these Gross, so the 'True' Gross is 4, 9, 2, 14, 13. With a modifier of 1x, the 'True' Gross is equal to the Net, so the Net is 42. Looking at the conditions, I realize that I sort of screwed things up, as between 40 and 60, there is no defined result. With that in mind, I guess I can consider this a partial success, where you completely insulate yourselves from suspicion, but do not minimize any suspicion on Fleckkers behalf.

>>4584749
>>4584757
Pretty close actually. Animal Handling refers to riding domesticated animals or taming wild animals (if that ever comes up). Animal Husbandry refers to raising, caring and processing domesticated animals.

Alright, I need to do a couple of things, but I should be ready to run in a few hours.

>>4584188
I can't even imagine January exams - but best of luck on yours!
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>>4584862
>Rolled 42: Partial Success (Everyone but Fleckkers is insulated from ‘fallout’ over delay in intelligence sharing)

“Well, on the topic of food, I have some good news for you … Fleckkers, my hired man, figured out where we might be able to source some stuff.” Both Parasol and Bean perk up noticeably, and Parasol shifts in his seat to lean in a bit, giving you his full undivided attention. Of course, considering that you are going to be lying through your teeth here to protect yourselves (and hopefully Fleckkers), Parasol and Bean being keyed up like this is not exactly ideal. Of course, under current circumstances, there is no real way to casually discuss food. But there is no way around this, or at least, you are unable to see one.

So, you have already decided that you were going to lie here. In fact, you had already decided that you were going to lie here back when you were first discussing this intelligence with Fleckkers, earlier today, but you admittedly lost a bit of your nerve. Now that you have decided (twice now) that you are going to bend the truth to protect Fleckkers and the rest of the Homestead from any potential ‘fallout’, there is the question of what exactly you are going to say here – with any luck, what you come up with on the spot will be good enough.

“Well, on the day that Fleckkers looted the Union, he cleaned out the offices as well – force of habit, I guess. Now, with everything going on, Fleckkers and the rest of the guys here didn’t think that much of it, beyond the little bit of money he must have pulled from the safe or strongbox or whatever. But today, when we were cleaning things up a bit, we got a good look at the loose papers – receipts mostly – and we realized that by cross referencing names on those receipts with phonebooks, we could conceivably track down most of the backyard farming operations and maybe even all of the professional farmers in the county. Him and Norton are out there right now, trying a couple of these leads.

Parasol looks as if he is going to melt into his chair in relief at the news, but Deputy Sheriff Bean is not sharing those sentiments, at least outwardly. Even as Parasol delicately pats you on the upper arm, avoiding your injured shoulders, Bean is straightening up in his chair and looking around the room. He will not find anything here of course – all of the ‘loot’ from the Union has been stashed away elsewhere on the property, and the documents themselves are … actually, you do not know where exactly they are, but you would assume that they are with Fleckkers and Norton. Still the fact that he is looking around like this is cause for concern. Parasol is in the middle of telling you how much this good news is going to mean to everyone, when Bean abruptly interrupts him, in an alarmingly professional sounding tone.
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>>4585004
“That is some very valuable information, Mantle. Thank goodness for the bad habits of this Fleckkers – and thank goodness that someone was able to figure out its importance. Who did you say figured it out again? They deserve some sort of award.” Parasol, who has not seemed to pick up on the line of inquiry here, agrees wholeheartedly, and mentions that he planned on discussing creating a system of awards and bonuses at the Steering Meeting tomorrow, when the entirety of the groups Inner Circle meets for the first time. You make a point of politely nodding along to Parasol, while your mind races, trying to figure a way out of this situation with Bean here. You deliberately avoided giving anyone ‘credit’ for discovering the value of the loose papers. Bean is clearly on to something, so what can you say to nip this in the bud?

If you say that it was Fleckkers that figured it out, then that would probably dump a lot of suspicion on him. If you say that it was someone else, maybe even yourself that figured it out, then … you do not know. That could put the whole thing to bed, or it could undo some of the work you did here to insulate the rest of the Homestead from any suspicion. There really isn't anyway to know for sure ... And if you were to say that it was someone other then Fleckkers who figured it out, who should you give ‘credit’ to? Who would be the best to deflect any suspicion off of all of you, if you were to go that route?

> “It was Tolle that figured it out.”
> “It was my mother that figured it out.”
> “It was Fleckkers that figured it out.
> “Well, actually, I figured it out.”
>>
“It was Fleckkers that figured it out."

This web of lies stuff is not Mantle's forte.
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>>4585020
I will leave this one up while I get dinner, and I will close it (rolling if necessary when I get back)
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>>4585007
> “It was my mother that figured it out.”
The old lady is certainly above suspicion
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>>4585080
She isn't that old, actually. While I get dinner going, here is here sheet for reference.

Dusk Mantle – 43 years old, 5’4”, 139lbs.

Skills:
Delusional or Unwilling in:
Vehicle-Military, Vehicle-Heavy, Ranged-Volumetric, Ranged-Sidearm, Melee-Unarmed, Melee-Bludgeon, Ranged-Targeted,
Oblivious in:
Melee-Bladed, Handicraft-Sanitization, Vehicle-Car and Trucks, Vehicle-Boats,
Nascent in Understanding:
Handicraft-Demolition, Farming-Animal Handling, Speech-Flirtation,
Rank Amateur:
Speech-Deception, Speech-Rhetoric, Farming-Horticulture, Athletics, Handicraft-Salvage,
Ranking Amateur:
Handicraft-Repair, Learning, Farming-Animal Husbandry, Teaching,
Competent:
Handicraft-Construction,
Assuredly Competent:
(none)
Genuinely Skilled:
(none)
Nascent Master:
(none)
Master:
(none)

Abilities:
Upside-Down Metabolism: This character has an uncanny ability to remain healthy at preposterously low levels of calorie intake. (Weight Loss begins at sustained (3 health checks) 1000 kCal diet, Potential Health from undereating can only arise at sustained (3 health checks) 500 kCal diet.

Attributes:
Kindhearted: It is undisputed that kindness can go a long way. But in which direction? (Can never receive Blooded or subsequent attributes, committing or reacting to violence requires moderately difficult Mental test, all Speech actions with non-hostiles receive +3 bonus to non-modifer Gross Rolls)

Flaws:
Very Gun Shy: While this character is not a complete pacifist, it remains an unfortunate fact that they are never going to be completely comfortable around firearms. (Ranged Skills are 100% more difficult for this character to learn)
Low Blood Pressure: This character has uncommonly low blood pressure, and if it is not controlled with specific prescription medicine, will result in a chronic malus to all health checks (-15), and increased susceptibility to certain health issues.
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>>4585007
If we go for
> “Well, actually, I figured it out.”
they couldn't really say we withheld intelligence- after all, this is the first time we're meeting with anyone since we came back to our house. We've told them just about as promptly as we could. The only odd point is that after we got here we just happened to decide, while laid up like this, to look through all these papers.
What do you guys think about this, does this seem like a feasible option? Fleckkers will be pissed we cracked on this either way though.
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>>4585150
The only flaw with this option is how unlikely it seems that bedridden Reginald was digging through papers instead of getting caught up on the situation or sleeping or anything else.
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>>4585150
I think its not that crazy. You get back, here whats happened, then get an idea.

After all, we are only covering for fleckkers back here. I think parasol can look between fingers here to some extent. I think we are a bit overly paranoid here. Everyone knows that everyone will try to benefit themselves some.
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>>4585020 Fleckkers 1
>>4585071 Discussion
>>4585080 Fleckkers 1 Mother 1
>>4585111 Discussion
>>4585150 Fleckkers 1 Mother 1 (You) 1
>>4585207 Discussion
>>4585275 Fleckkers 1 Mother 1 (You) 2

Alright, so that is settled. You are going to take credit for this. With any luck, this should put any questions that Bean has to rest. I will get to writing.
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“Well, actually, I was the one that figured it out. I was laying around in here, and I noticed some papers when we were cleaning up for your arrival, and I asked about them – they were the documents that Fleckkers grabbed when he cleaned out the office. I think he was originally looking for operating manuals or something like that … and he just must’ve grabbed everything … or something like that.” Bean is looking at you expectantly, so you find yourself continuing before you even know it. “So, a few minutes passed – and I am still on this bed, like a lump on a log, and it just comes to me how valuable these papers could be. So Fleckkers pulls them together, grabs my phone book, and heads out, intending on following some of these leads after picking up Norton.”

Now it is your turn to look at Bean expectantly. Hopefully, he will accept your story, and this will be the end of it. There is a tense moment, but after he realize that you do not have any more to say on this, he nods his head, and lets the subject drop. Parasol seems to have finally picked up that something is going on, but after looking between you and Bean for several-several seconds, he brushes it off, and gives all his attention to the good news instead. “This is an absolutely incredible windfall Mantle. With any luck, this should net us enough sustainable food production to get us through the Winter. When your man, Fleckkers gets back, have him come right into Mt. Kineo, and we’ll get people working on sounding out all of these leads.” Well … you knew that if you were to tell them about the intelligence, they would expect you to share it. Of course, considering that you have no easy way of copying it, “sharing it” actually means handing it over.

While you do not doubt for a second that if you asked, they would let you see the documents again after you handed them over, and they would probably even share leads that they had worked out from them, the issue is that by the time that you were able to get your hands back on the information again, its value would have dropped precipitously. Realistically speaking, you should not count on getting much of anything out of this intelligence after you hand it over. It is an admittedly bitter pill to swallow, but it goes down a bit easier with the knowledge that Fleckkers is the one working this. He is a professional – and knowing him, he will work as many leads as he possibly can before finally coming in. So you are about to agree to Parasol’s terms with as much false enthusiasm as you can muster, but as you do, a new thought comes to you.
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>>4585382
The food, and more importantly, the food production that these leads are going to bring in for the group is going to be a lifesaver. Parasol just admitted as much. Not to mention, the amount of food that is going to come from this is probably going to be actual magnitudes more than whatever your Homestead could produce regularly – maybe you could you try to negotiate here? Have your ‘taxes’ waved, in exchange for this somehow? But assuming you want to go through with that, how do you broach something like this without … you do not know … seeming like some sort of hustling profiteer?

>You should forget it. The ‘taxes’ you pay the group are not going to break your Homestead, but trying to weasel out of them like this, when lives are on the line might seriously damage your relationship with Parasol, which in the end could be more valuable than a permanent ‘tax’ exemption.
>Agree to turn the intelligence over to the group as soon as it comes in, but then immediately pivot, using your cooperation here as grounds for running a ‘tax-free’ ‘satellite’.
>Inform Parasol that turning the intelligence over to the rest of the group is going to come at the cost of a permanent ‘tax’ exemption for your satellite.
>Write-In Proposals will be accepted
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>>4585384
I forgot to mention that this was going to be an overnight vote. I intend to start tomorrow's run early, hopefully before noon (Eastern Standard Time). I hope to see you all then!
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>>4585384
>Write-In Proposal: Ask that Parasol onboard some number of willing, experienced farmers into the group. Their help over the nezt year will be valuable. More important though is that come spring after next, considering the likely conditions at that time, they will be the best shot at long term survival. This is a big ask, considering the people who didn't get in who were related to members, but one worth making.
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Realized I didn't paste it all.
>At least 2 but possibly more potential farmers will be suggested by Mantle and picked by Parasol. This is in exchange for the intel.
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>>4585393
>>4585443
I think I get your meaning here, but we should put it as a request rather than a demand. Something like this:
>Look Mr. Parasol, currently I am running this operation with my mom, two cops and, well, Flekkers. All of them are good and capable people, but none of them is exactly an expert in farming, and I'm more of a dabbling amateur as well. What I'm saying is, when I saw this intel, I was hoping we would be able to recruit some real farming know how and maybe some more lifestock to our little operation here.
>>
it wouldn't make sense to shut down a big, working operation, but maybe some old gut living alone with his 5 cows and 10 chickens or something would feel safer with us.
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>>4585497
True, I guess I was thinking more along the lines of recruiting the farmers to be Orbiters running their own Satellites. Offering it as kind of a strong request rather than ademand is fine too.
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>>4585488
>>4585497
makes sense to me. +1.
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Hey guys- really overslept on my part. I just need to take a shower and I will get the run going asap. I guess you can consider voting closed for this as well.
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After a brief moment of consideration, you decide against using the intelligence as a bartering piece. That said, you are not going to pass an opportunity up to ask for a boon. "Of course. As soon as Fleckkers gets in, I will send him and his papers on to Mt. Kineo. That being said ... about the situation here on this Homestead; I'm holding the place down with my mom, two firefighters and, well, Fleckkers. Now, they are all capable people - good too - but none of them really know that much about farming. And to be entirely honest, I can't consider myself that much of an expert either. Sure, I make money, and in that sense, you could call me a 'professional', but at the end of the day I would be hard pressed to call this operation 'sustainable', considering that I needed to work odd jobs to keep the Homestead solvent." You trail off a bit, trying to think of the best way to word this next part. "I understand that the 'books are closed', and that you are already making serious exemptions considering Petra and Gunther, but I was hoping that if we could find someone amenable, we could bring in some skilled - and properly kitted out - farmers into the group, preferably here.

Parasol chuckles at that and waves his hand in a dismissive nature. "Mantle, the issue with bringing on members is that we didn't have enough food to get us through Winter. But if the member produces their own food, then that is another story. And if the member produces their own food and then more, then that is yet another, better story. With any luck, we can convince these free-standing farming operations to become 'satellites'. If you find a smaller farm, and can convince them to fold themselves into your operation here, then that would be fine too. In fact, we'll do you one better. When we get the information, and start looking around we will make a point of keeping an eye out for any candidates for a 'merger' like that.

Oh. Well. Uh ... hmm.

On one hand, it is good to hear that you and Parasol are on the same page here, it is good to know that he understands the limitations of your operation here, and most of all it is just plain good that you got exactly what you wanted. On the other hand lies are serious sticking point: that 'exactly what you wanted' is what Parasol was already going to give you ... which means that there was stuff 'left on the table' here. Now, you will quickly need to figure out your next move - if you want to push for something more or not. You could use this opportunity to ask for something else, you could segue into discussing your 'tax' or 'dues' to the group, you could ask to put off the discussion of 'taxes' and 'dues' until you are on the other side of the windfall from the Prague Farmer's Union's intelligence, or if you had specific questions for Parasol (or even for Deputy Sheriff Bean) this would be a good time to ask.
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>>4585891

>Try for another boon, maybe even something that Parasol wasn't instantly willing to give you (Write-In)
>If you were to discuss your taxes right now, you could probably use the good will you got from handing over the intelligence to negotiate either a lower rate or complete deferment
>Ask to put any determination of taxes on hold for now, until everyone has squeezed everything they can from the intelligence
>Wind the meeting down, and ask a few more questions (Write-In)
>>
>>4585894
>Try for another boon, maybe even something that Parasol wasn't instantly willing to give you: Assure us that the belongings of the Peakes remain untouched.

Going back on our promise was a major dick move, and having Parasol lie to the Peakes made him think less of us. By turning the lie into a truth now, we can redeem this smudge and avoid any unpleasantness arising from it.
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>>4585959
I will let this sit for about another hour, then I will consider this vote closed and get to writing. For a big ask like that, we will definitely roll for it.
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>>4585959
supporting this. feeling like we can pull it off.
>>
Alright, with two votes in, I guess we can roll for this now. This is a bit of a stretch goal - considering that we are still in the process of negotiating with Parasol, that means we keep our modifier roll of 3+2 (resulting in a modifier of 1x). This should be a bit more difficult than the previous test ... so I will put the base CR at 66, a 10% increase over the first test. Considering that the medical supplies are literally worth more than their weight in gold, this is not going to 'painless' for you. Parasol is going to need to get something out of looking the other way on this.

106 or higher, and Parasol agrees to release the entire cargo with no strings attached, if the Peakes decide to move on.
86 or higher, and Parasol agrees to release the entire cargo, in exchange for an additional 1% tax for the next two years
66 or higher, and Parasol agrees to release the entire cargo, in exchange for an additional 2% tax for the next two years
46 or higher, and Parasol agrees to release half of the entire cargo, in exchange for an additional 1% tax for the next two years
26 or higher, and Parasol agrees to release half of the entire cargo, in exchange for an additional 2% tax for the next two years
6 or higher, and Parasol agrees to release half of the entire cargo, in exchange for an additional 3% tax for the next two years
5 or lower, and Parasol does not agree to release anything.

With the understanding that this is going to cost you something, no matter what, do you still want to pursue this? Doing the right thing here isn't going to be cheap ... (as a frame of reference, the tax on a satellite like yours could be anywhere from 7.5% to 25% of assessed production capacity, paid every third day)

>Ask for Parasol to guarantee the cargo (do not roll until this vote is closed, please)
>Let this drop, and wrap the meeting here up by asking to formally join the group by signing the Compact that was mentioned earlier.
>Let this drop, and segue into negotiating the taxes for your Satellite.
>Let this drop, and inform Bean and Parasol that you are getting tired, but intend to resume this with them tomorrow.
>>
>Let this drop, and segue into negotiating the taxes for your Satellite.
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>>4586194
I will leave this up for another hour or so, then close the vote and move along.
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>>4586091
>>Let this drop, and segue into negotiating the taxes for your Satellite.
I didn't really want to risk fucking them over but at this point it's too little too late and it will kill any chance we have to knock the taxes downwards.
If we can let's make it up to them, if they stay we can try to fix Gunther's truck, the speed demon wouldn't be whole without it.
>>
>>4586282
>>4586194
Alright, consider this closed. I will get to writing the next post up.
>>
>x7 African Layers @ 25-40 eggs a year (100% in Season) for first 10 years of life – quantity but not quality slowly decreases until end of fertility at 25 years. End of life at 35 years, with outliers living as long as 50 years. Meat is desirable, dresses out 7.9 pounds for Gander and 6.5 pounds for Goose. (also 3 African Ganders)
>x7 Khaki Campbell Layers @ 200 to 300 eggs a year (10% during Winter, 90% in Season) for first 5 years of life – quantity but not quality reduces until end of life at 10 years. Meat is desirable, take-home weight is about 1.6 pounds. (3 Khaki Campbell Drakes)
>x1 Holstein Heifer (Boadicea): Once lactation begins after calving, will average 61.7 pounds of raw milk each day for 300 days. Due in a week
>x1 Landrace Derivative (Dander): Current weight is 500 pounds, and gaining. If butchered now, would yield about 180 pounds of potentially undesirable meat.

So, you aren't going to get any eggs from the Africans over the Winter, they are simply to sensitive to lay out of season like that. Your ducks, on the other hand, are troopers, and will lay 10% of their yearly yield in the Winter, so long as you can provide adequate heat, light and food to do so. Which works out to anywhere from 140 to 210 eggs over the course of the Winter from the Khakis. I streamlined Milk production, it actually changes week by week over the lactation period - instead of dealing with that mess, I simply took a generous average instead. Obviously, you are not going to get anything out of Dander unless you butcher him, but 180 pounds of meat is a big deal. Also, it should be noted that you could attempt to incubate some of the eggs from your ducks instead of eating them, just be aware that it will be difficult to do so under the current circumstances.

CR 100 & up : Your taxes are set at 5 % of assessed production capacity.
CR 80 & up: Your taxes are set at 7.5 % of assessed production capacity.
CR 60 & up: Your taxes are set at 10 % of assessed production capacity.
CR 40 & up: Your taxes are set at 12.5 % of assessed production capacity.
CR 20 & up: Your taxes are set at 15 % assessed production capacity.
CR 6 & up: Your taxes are set at 17.5 % assessed production capacity.
CR less than 6: Your taxes are set at 20 % assessed production capacity.

I will need someone to roll 5d20 for the Speech-Rhetoric test to determine your taxes. The CR values reflect using your cooperation with handing over the intelligence as grounds for reduced taxes - the outcomes here have been appropriately skewed in Mantles favor.

>1 roll of 5d20 please
>>
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>>4586394
Also, this is the time. If we were going to lie about what we can make on our Homestead,to try to reduce the assessed production capacity of our Satellite, all as a ploy to pay less 'tax', this would be the time to do it.

CR 100 & up: Your taxes are reduced by 10%
CR 80 & up: Your taxes are reduced by 7.5%
CR 60 & up: Your taxes are reduced by 5%
CR 40 & up: Your taxes are reduced by 2.5%
CR 20 & up: Your taxes are not reduced, but you are not caught in a lie.
CR less than 20: You are caught in a lie - there are repercussions.
Please do not roll for the Speech-Deception test until voting is closed, and we have decided that this is the path that we are going forward with. Of course, if no one has, then someone should roll 5d20 for the Speech-Rhetoric test to determine your taxes

>Lie to reduce taxes
>Yes
>No

Also, the attached picture is a gaggle of Khaki Campbell's for reference.
>>
Rolled 12, 14, 1, 4, 17 = 48 (5d20)

>>4586394
Rolling
>>4586403
>>No
Not a fan of taxes, however I don't really want to dig ourselves too deep into a hole here. If Parasol ever finds out something is up, we'd be fucked. Lied to save our skin, asked Parasol to give a good (yet dishonest) word to the Peakes, then lying about Taxes? This has been one hell of a meeting.
>>
No lies. We've done enough to damage our rep recently.
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>No
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>>4586559
>>4586553
>>4586527
Alright, that settles it. I just need to take care of a few things, and then i can get to writing.
>>
It is uncomfortable for you, but you make a point of bringing up the guarantee that you were supposed to secure for the Peakes and their cargo. You ask Parasol point blank if there is any possible ‘flexibility’ on this point. At first, his only answer is a tired sounding sigh. Then: “Mantle, a shipment of medical supplies like that are an actual Godsend. It would be one thing if it were a matter of a group member looking to establish a private stockpile – under the current circumstances, scalping is almost certainly going to be the new ‘business as usual’ when it comes to critical supplies like that. Still, at the end of the day, it is easier to tolerate scalped supplies than no supplies. Now, I understand that you gave your word to the Peakes, and I respect the fact that you clearly feel indebted to them. But I gave our people my word that I would do everything in my power to see that they are taken care of. And it just so happens that it is definitely in my power to impound a shipment of medical supplies belonging to two outsiders.

“I sympathize with you. But the good of the group is more important than your word or your debts to them. It feels scummy, because it is scummy. But unfortunately, that is where we are and that is what we need to be now. I mean, we can talk about “finding” supplies, or “scavenging” them. At the end of the day, even “looting” falls short of what we are really doing.” Parasol pauses for a moment, and when he starts to speak again, there is a noticeable strain in his voice. “Every scrap of food and drop of fuel we pulled from the town or anywhere else, that is a scrap and a drop that our neighbors can’t have anymore. Chickless can try to ‘spin’ the whole thing, but this isn’t a fucking top – it is life and death. And for the non-members that are still around the lake, the hundreds of them, it isn’t going to end well. Now, of course, if we shared everything equally, or just let things devolve into a free for all, then it wouldn’t end well either, for us or them.

“But that is the problem. If we do live through this shit, then we live through it at the … expense of our neighbors.” Parasol pauses again, but after a ragged sounding breath, draws himself upright. “You keeping your word to outsiders like this … the only thing it is worth is your feelings. Now, we can’t do much with your feelings, but the food you produce here is another story entirely. If keeping your word were worth a few additional “points” of “tax” to you, for, say the next two years, then maybe, a guarantee could be worked out. But that is a far as I can go here. I simply – categorically – cannot let this shipment slip though with nothing to show for it. To be honest, I shouldn’t be letting it slip through with only duck eggs and raw milk to show for it either, but I will bend here, on this and this alone. For me, as much as you.”
>>
>>4587223
Of course, you should not accept those conditions either, and so you turn him down.

For me, as much as you.

If you had not already gotten the sense that Parasol might not possess the kind of ruthlessness and functional cruelty that command requires in this situation, it was crystal clear right now. In a way, it was a sort of silver lining to spend so much of the past three days unconscious. Parasol clearly did not have that ‘luxury’. This whole ‘us-or-them’, survival of the fittest – it is all well and good to talk about, but when ‘them’ turns out to be your neighbors, it becomes something else entirely. Something very had to bear. Of course, there are even heavier burdens placed on vessels even more fragile. Oher’s grandson, Matthew, who killed one of Carter’s deputies to protect you is who immediate comes to your mind. But with a sick feeling in your stomach, you realize that you do not even really remember what your savior looks like. His hair was … brown? And he was White, of course, would have stood out like a sore thumb if he were not.

That kid saved your life, and is now under an incredible burden because of it. And you cannot even remember his face – though at least now you can say that it is not from lack of trying. But for all your focus, the only face that comes to you belongs to someone else – Chip Allen, the kid from the ‘Kate’ who tried to coax that Bull Moose from the pool, only to be almost killed in the process. His pallid, dripping and broken face looms large out of the fog of your mind. Your stomach, which was already in knots over your inability to remember Matthew’s face, plummets. Chip was sent to First Light Eastern Maine Medical that day before the Strike. You know for a fact that charnel house ‘triaged’ a lot of its patients out. Chip would have almost certainly still been at the hospital when the ‘triage’ began, which means that he could have easily been turned out – either to a shelter, or even the streets.
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>>4587326
You feel a grim certainty here. Chip is as good as dead, if he was not dead already. There is more than a little guilt on your part here. If you had responded to that call properly, instead of taking your sweet time brushing off his father’s attempts at bribing you, then Chip never would have had the chance to make such an unequivocally retarded mistake. Now, of course, Chip and his father David are not, nor would they ever be members of your group. And as outsiders, the likelihood of their survival was always going to be slim. But to know, to know without a shred of doubt that someone is going die soon, and in no small part because of your actions – or more specifically, your lack of actions, it is … not easy to take.

For a more than a moment or two, you feel completely overwhelmed, but then you force yourself to focus and compartmentalize. Chip made a stupid mistake, and unfortunately for him, the timing was such that he made the stupid mistake the day before mistakes became increasingly fatal. And you would have taken the situation in hand, immediately, if his cue ball of a father did not purposely delay you from securing the situation. Now, you made a mistake – and you are not going to let yourself forget that, but you are going to remember that the only reason you could make that mistake in the first place was because of other mistakes made by other people. Set aside, if you can, that you are a professional, and that you were supposed to be in charge. Okay, that is actually pretty hard to set aside.

But you have to keep moving forward here – and to do that, you need to make your burdens bearable in ways that you can. Just like Parasol did, by eventually making an offer for the guarantee the Peakes were promised when he should have been laughing in your face instead.

For me, as much as you

Atonement is a very strong word, but it is the one that comes to mind here – and your atonement for the role you played in Chips injury and presumed-to-be-impending death is going to be getting Matthew through whatever the Hell he is going through right now. You are not going to let anyone else you are responsible for slip away. If you do nothing else with this miraculous second chance you have received than get that poor kid through this Winter in one piece, then you could die … well, less-burdened, at the very least.

After the conversation (and internal monologues) here took a notably somber, if not miserable, turn, neither you or Parasol (or Bean) feel the need to drag the meeting out any longer. The discussion pivots to the ‘taxes’ that you will owe, and for the first time in your life, you are gladdened to be talking about ‘taxes’. Truly, it is any port in a storm. (CR 43) You manage to negotiate Parasol down from 15% he originally threw out there, all the way down to 12.5%.
>>
>>4587330
Suppressing a sigh, you reflect that your negotiation abilities really could use a great deal of improvement. And as the next trespass in a long line of things to be ashamed of and guilty over, even after all of that soul-searching and promises of atonement for your mistakes (and misdeeds) you still gave more than a passing thought to lying or ‘obfuscating’ what a reasonable estimation of your Homesteads production capacity would be, in a bid to lower your ‘taxes’. To make matters worse, it was fear over being caught in a lie, rather than your sense of right and wrong that eventually dissuaded you against it. Jesus Christ – if adversity shows someone’s true colors, does that mean you have always been this rotten?

But with the hour growing later, and the taxes settled, Parasol leaves a copy of the group’s Compact with you, says that you can return it signed when you come to Mt. Kineo tomorrow for the Steering Meeting, and prepares to head out – calling in the three extremely unobtrusive armed Deputies that you had completely forgotten about to help him an Bean get ready to head out. They are still suiting up when you realize with a start that once they leave, you will be left completely alone on the Homestead. What should you do?

>You should be alright for a little bit. No need to bother anyone.
>You should ask Parasol to have them sent over as soon as possible.
>You should ask Parasol if some of his guards can be left here while you wait.
>>
>>4587331
>You should be alright for a little bit. No need to bother anyone.
don't want these guys snoping around.
>>
>You should be alright for a little bit. No need to bother anyone.
>>
>>4587331
>>>You should be alright for a little bit. No need to bother anyone.
>>
>>4587570
>>4587458
>>4587344
Alright, consider this closed. I will get to writing.
>>
After a moment of indecision, you stifle a yawn, and decide to let them go. While you are not thrilled being left alone on the Homestead, especially as the sun is going down, you are more concerned about these men rummaging through the place. Confined to your stolen hospital gurney, you would not be able to keep an eye on them, if you asked them to stay. As Parasol and company say their farewells, you realize that if Bean is still following on that line of inquiry that he was on earlier, if he got a chance to speak with anyone else from your Homestead before you could all get your stories straight about your ‘brilliance’ in figuring out the worth of the intelligence, then you could be caught in a potentially damning lie. No – it is for the best. Besides, you do not consider yourself in any great danger. And it is extremely unlikely that any would-be hostile would know that you were home alone, or for that matter that you were next to completely defenseless.

So long as your hired man, mother and guests are back soon, you are not going to worry – and you certainly are not going to panic. You know, for someone who was having a near total paranoid breakdown, thinking that they found a body in an oil drum just four days ago, you are being really even keeled about all of this. In fact, to a certain extent, you are even being kind of sloppy – the potentially dangerous kind of sloppy.

Hmph! Now that sounds more like you, does it not? Well, nothing to do about it now; your visitors are outside in the dooryard starting up their cars. Ah well. As long as you stay awake … well, no, that would not be worth anything, would it? You are all bundled up in a hospital bed, for that matter, you do not even know where the few remaining firearms you own are in the farmhouse any more after Fleckkers rearranged everything packing his loot in here. And even if you could get your mangled hands on a firearm, you know that in a firefight, you would not last more than a second, if even that. Nah, there really is not anything for it. You could take a nap, and in doing so, skip ahead to the return of your household and guests, you could read the Compact that Parasol left you, propped up against your left knee in your bed, the letter that Dr. Grisham wrote for you about your injuries, or you could try to plan out a project for the Homestead. Options, options, options.
>>
>>4587719
>Take a nap, and ‘time skip’ ahead.
>Read the groups Compact – even though joining the group is a foregone conclusion, you are still curious about the document itself.
>Read the good Doctor’s letter – you do not even remember if was written for you or a caretaker, but after racking your brain for a bit, you realize that you never got much of a prognosis out of the man.
>Take your time to plan out repairing the ‘replacement wing’ of the Farmhouse, to make it sound and secure, if not fit for human habitation.
>Take your time to plan out rebuilding the ‘missing wing’ of the Farmhouse, to restore the building to its fullest potential.
>Take your time to plan out building a new outbuilding for secure storage, to free up space in around the Homestead.
>Take your time to plan out building a new outbuilding for year-round habitation, to ensure that your household had room to expand.
>Take your time to plan out extracting your ‘tank-think’ from the ravine and rebuilding your poor bridge.
>>
>Read the groups Compact – even though joining the group is a foregone conclusion, you are still curious about the document itself.
>>
>>4587722
>Read the good Doctor’s letter – you do not even remember if was written for you or a caretaker, but after racking your brain for a bit, you realize that you never got much of a prognosis out of the man.
>>
>>4587722
>Read the good Doctor’s letter – you do not even remember if was written for you or a caretaker, but after racking your brain for a bit, you realize that you never got much of a prognosis out of the man.
>>
>>4587722
>Read the good Doctor’s letter – you do not even remember if was written for you or a caretaker, but after racking your brain for a bit, you realize that you never got much of a prognosis out of the man.
>>
>>4587722
>>Read the good Doctor’s letter – you do not even remember if was written for you or a caretaker, but after racking your brain for a bit, you realize that you never got much of a prognosis out of the man.
An outbuilding for storage and refurbishing the replacement wing would go a long way for making this place livable and a bit more inviting to the Peakes and any potential farmhands we'll be getting out of that intelligence, however we'd better get to the letter sooner rather than later.
>>
Alright, consider this one closed. I will get to writing ASAP.
>>
While you knew that you would need to eventually expand your operation here, first and foremost on your mind right now is that letter that Dr. Grisham gave you at the safe house. Gingerly, you fished the letter off of the bedside table, and shifted yourself so you could see what you were doing in the limited candlelight available to you. Embarrassingly enough, you actually had a bit of difficulty opening the letter, as you wanted to proceed here without using your injured hand (or rather, the hand with the injured fingers). It took longer than you would care to admit to anyone else, but eventually you managed to get it out, with only the one hand. The document in the envelope was not a letter however, but a very clinical diagnosis. Well actually, it was both diagnosis and prognosis – explaining to the reader what had happened to you in medical terms, as well as Grisham’s estimation of how long your recovery would be.

While you had been worried for a second that the medical language would have gone over your head, you were able to parse it much easier than you thought you would. Of course, considering that you know where you were hurt, that no doubt makes it much easier to make heads or tails (or perhaps in this case, heads and tails) of the document. Everything is more or less lines up with what you were told, or what you expected – continue with dialysis for the next few weeks, change your bandages as regularly as possible. As you said, more or less what you expected for recovery … with the exclusion of two points.

First, there was the bedrest. That night … last night, actually – blurred together something fierce, and while you remember that the topic of recovery time and bedrest had been thrown around, you thought your recovery was going to be a month, but according to this document, Grisham wants you on complete bedrest for that month, then another month in a wheel chair, then another three to four months of “no strenuous or sustained” activity “of any kind”. Now, it seems to you that Grisham here is seriously erring on the side of caution, understanding that if anything happened, odds are you would be able to get the necessary medical attention is effectively zero. Still, five to six months of convalescence … especially under the current circumstances … you do not honestly think you could do that. More than that – you have to wonder if it would be tolerated.

The second point of concern in the document is about the injury to your collarbone. The prognosis on that injury … assuming you are reading this right … is a lot worse that you understood. Without any real way to ensure that the collarbone knits itself back together properly, the best-case scenario is mild but chronic pain and stiffness, and the worse is that – again, assuming that you are reading this right – you lose some range of motion in your neck, permanently. You did not even realize that was possible.
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>>4588209
You realize suddenly, if you were to follow these orders to the letter, then you would have to attend the steering meeting tomorrow in your bed - what an absolute sight you are going to be. Well, whatever ... you are less concerned about being snickered at by your peers tomorrow, and more concerned with being resented by them for the next five to six months. God's sake - you were not hurt that badly, were you? Still, maybe there was a way around this.

>But just because there was a way, doesn't mean that it should be taken. No need to play fast and loose with your health like this. Everyone should understand that you don't want this vacation, and if they don't - then fuck them.
>You would not dismiss Dr. Grisham's concerns out of hand ... but was there anything wrong with seeking a second opinion? There are other doctors and medical professionals around the lake - no doubt that the group recruited at least some of them. Maybe you could get a second opinion.
>The fact of the matter is that Dr. Grisham is not here right now. If you didn't want to have to deal with this nonsense, then all you need to do is hide or destroy his letter, and you can claim it said whatever. Who would question you?
>>
>You would not dismiss Dr. Grisham's concerns out of hand ... but was there anything wrong with seeking a second opinion? There are other doctors and medical professionals around the lake - no doubt that the group recruited at least some of them. Maybe you could get a second opinion.
>>
>>4588251
>But just because there was a way, doesn't mean that it should be taken. No need to play fast and loose with your health like this. Everyone should understand that you don't want this vacation, and if they don't - then fuck them.

we should at least try to take it slow. I trust that shit will happen to force us out of bed soon enough.
>>
>But just because there was a way, doesn't mean that it should be taken. No need to play fast and loose with your health like this. Everyone should understand that you don't want this vacation, and if they don't - then fuck them.
Yeah, for the time being we follow doctor's orders. We can decide if we want to break them when we need to.
>>
>>4588306
>>4588302
>>4588277
consider this closed. I will get to writing.
>>
You look at the letter, and then shifting slightly in your stolen hospital gurney, you take a look at your body, though bundled up as it is there is not much of anything to look at right now. If Grisham said that it would take … five to six months … to get out of the woods, then you are not going to question that. More importantly, you are not going to let anyone else question that either. Anyone questioning your commitment to the group – or for that matter your Homestead – can take a running start to go fuck themselves. At the end of the day, this is your health you are talking about. If there is one thing that you should be overly cautious about, it is your health. It is sort of tricky to fold up the document and get it back in the envelope with it all looking nice, but right now, you have time on your hands – er, well … that is to say, you have time on your hand, so long as you are babying the other. You didn’t intend to, but soon after you got the letter bundled up, you must have drifted off to sleep.

You awoke to the sounds of your household arriving back from Tolle’s house, or wherever else they went. That nap, while unexpected, was far from unpleasant. There had been a dream too, though the details were already slipping away from you. You had to … buy a replacement torpedo? By the time that you manage to blink the sleep from your eyes, whatever meaning that might have had is completely lost to you. Your mother, having decontaminated herself first, comes over to see how you were doing. “How did it go, Reggie?” After stifling a yawn, you replied, in what you feel was an honest and objective summation.

“It went really good, mom.”

Her attention had already shifted to the copy of the Compact that you were left, and she does not look back at you when she makes her remark. “‘Well’, Reggie dear, it went really ‘well’.” Ah Jesus. Even if you have not had to much time with her yet, it is good see that she is more or less the same as always. Pointing to the Compact that has her attention, you ask in jest if she checked that for grammatical errors as well, before signing. “I didn’t check – but I couldn’t help but notice a few, and I only read it twice.” Oh brother.
Momentarily, Tolle and the Peakes filter over, and after polite inquiries and general pleasantries, Tolle floats the idea of preparing dinner. Well, you are certainly hungry – but with supplies temporarily stored in the barn, along with the last remaining things from Tolle’s place gathered in this day trip – there is still work that could be done.

>Have dinner first, but then get everything secure, inside the Farmhouse, before the going to bed.
>Work first, food later. Get everything in and secure, then have a dinner – a nice one – before bed.
>Should be alright for now. Besides, under current circumstances, working outside at night might not be safe.

All this talk of dinner has me hungry
>>
>>4588546
>>Should be alright for now. Besides, under current circumstances, working outside at night might not be safe.
We should definitely have someone keep watch on the barn throughout the night, shifts would be optimal. I imagine that after an outing, the prospect of heading out to carry things back inside, then having to decontaminate again wouldn't be appealing. Lets let them unwind, not run them like a slave driver
>>
>>4588588
Sounds reasonable. +1
>>
>>4588594
>>4588588
Alright, this is a pretty solid lead. Consider this closed - I will get to writing it up.
>>
Deciding that you have already conscripted your guests into enough labor for the day, you decide to lay off for now. You decide that it would be a nice treat to have some of the moose meat tonight – you should have anywhere between 250 and 300 pounds of meat to eat your way through. Pointedly, you ask Tolle if he would be interested in cooking up the venison – partly because your mother especially dislikes cooking with meat (especially red meat), partly because your mother does not particularly like cooking at all, and partly because you mother is neither a diligent or capable cook. For his part, Tolle jumps at the chance, and after heading upstairs to collect some of what you presume to be the finer cuts, he heads into the kitchen, and gets to work. As your mother and Petra sit down on the sofa, intently wrapped up in discussion you cannot quite hear, Gunther makes his way over to you.

Using your good hand, you point at the boxes of beverages stowed around if not under your hospital gurney. “Would you like a drink, or are you on call tonight?” Gunther chuckles at that – as we he should. It was a great joke. “Actually Mantle, I wanted to ask you –”. He cuts himself off. “Is that the Compact? Parasol mentioned that he gave you his copy.” Parasol mentioned? It takes several-several seconds to remember that you arranged a meeting between Parasol and Gunther, one that would hopefully clear away all remaining hesitation that he had about joining up. You were not so blunt or tactless to just come out and ask the man if he was ready to come aboard, but him asking about the Compact was almost certainly a good sign. “Would you like to look it over?” Gunther nods, and you pass him the box clipboard with the document inside. He thanks you, and wanders off to one of your Grandfather’s stuffed reclining chairs to read through it.

Uh … okay. You were expecting a bit more conversation, and that maybe you would find an opening, some opportunity to sell him some more on signing up. But you can respect someone who takes things at their own speed like this. No need to needle the man.

The smell of seasoned meat cooking draws your attention towards the kitchen – it seems like you chose wisely, putting Tolle on cooking duty tonight, over your mother … not that it was a hard decision, considering. To your surprise, she and Petra seem to be playing some sort of dice game – definitely not what you expected. Hmm. It is not immediately obvious what exactly you should do in your time before dinner.

>Try to make small talk with Gunther
>Try to get in on the game that your mother and Petra are playing
>Start to plan out repairing the ‘replacement wing’ of the Farmhouse
>Start to plan out rebuilding the ‘missing wing’ of the Farmhouse
>Start to plan out building a new outbuilding for secure storage, if not habitation
>Start to plan out extracting your ‘tank-thing’ from the ravine and rebuilding your poor bridge
>>
>Try to get in on the game that your mother and Petra are playing
Lets leave Gunter to his reading, and avoid distracting him.

Rebuilding the missing wing could make a pretty nice living space. I was more keen on the idea of building a storage building earlier, but why not just build a new wing all together, and leave the replacement wing as is. We construct (presumably) less, and we don't have to make a choice between keeping the loot secure in the farmhouse, or people secure in the farmhouse. One construction project rather than two seems optimal. We can get to securing the animals and putting something in place to protect them from the fallout and ash sooner. Although, the matter of insulation comes to mind. Winter is coming, and it may become difficult to source insulation. If the replacement wing is already insulated (albeit improperly according to thread 3) it may be a better idea to build a storage building which we could get away with not insulating, and refurbish the replacement wing. For the time being, we should look into getting ourselves that trailer left on the Morrison farm, we could talk over specifics of that with Reaves at tomorrow's meeting. And Reaves is an architect, right? Maybe we should talk over some of these building plans with him. Hopefully the tank-thing's journey didn't mulch the road over there too much. Might make getting that trailer over here just as difficult as a new construction all together. What was meant to be a short statement on my original vote became a long-winded rant about construction options. I was kind of all over the place with this, and didn't really reach a conclusion, but I think we should probably wait on deciding anything to build until we hear about the availability of materials, and potentially Reaves opinion. Though, I'm not really certain what he could clue us in on. Estimates as to how long building one of these options could take?
>>
>>4588744
You certainly have the option for completely new construction - just remember that this is Northern Maine, and buildings intended for year-round human habitation should have proper basements. There are the remains of the field stone foundation on the 'missing wing' that could be excavated and built on, but the project does not become impossible if you wanted to build something completely new, on the front of the farmhouse instead (or the back, but that would require moving the paddocks and working around the existing barn). The time that it would take would be largely determined by the decision to build a new foundation or use the existing one, how long it took to source the building materials, and most importantly, how long before snow, volcanic ash and fallout become serious hazards to health and safety.

I don't want to close a vote like this one just one vote if I can help it, but I also don't want to have this be the overnight, so I will leave this up until 1:00 am EST 12/31/2020
>>
>Start to plan out extracting your ‘tank-thing’ from the ravine and rebuilding your poor bridge
our poor tank :(
>>
Rolled 1 (1d2)

>>4588796 roll of 1
>>4588744 roll of 2
Well, I guess I will have to roll for this.
>>
>>4588841
Okay. At this point, I think I will call it for tonight. I will start the next run with us trying to get in on the dice game. I will make a post in the general to announce the start of tomorrow's run, but it should start up before the thread stops bumping. See you all then!
>>
>>4588845
Thanks for running, man
>>
>>4588744
>>4588792
regarding nuclear winter, I think digging might be a better choice. extending cellars and subterranean structures for better shelter. This should be done before permafrost sets in.
>>
>>4588960
+1 on this. things are going to get real bad soon. if anything, we will have problems with the cold without proper heating and looming dreadful winter.


also, isn't Petra some kind of nurse? perhaps she could look at our shoulder and get a splint or something in place.
>>
>>4589053
Otis is a nurse, I wouldn't trust Petra to brew a cup of coffee. If we need medical attention we should ask for an actual doctor but for now following doctors orders should be fine.
>>
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>>4588960
Definitely, a root cellar would be a fantastic option. And additional underground storage in general. Or a basement extension within that foundation from the missing wing. With those trains the group sourced, we might be able to convince them to let us get at some shipping containers to bury if they manage to snag any. Lack of any heavy duty tools to dig would be an issue, but we have the tank-think just sitting there in our ravine. We even have Tolle to pilot the thing. With the bucket loader, excavating another cellar would be a breeze.
>>
>>4588796
changing to this
>>
Alright, so it seems that there is more interest on figuring a way to get the tank out of the ravine instead. I will get to writing that up instead.
>>
>>4589266
burying shipping containers is a meme at /out/. Short version: they are not built for this and will cave in pretty much immediately.
>>
>>4589307
Ah, got it. In that case, we can find another solution and probably won't need to sink any good will or favors to do so.
>>
While you are intrigued by the sight of your mother playing a dice game of all things, you realize that there are much more important things you could be doing with your time. Namely – planning on how to get your tank-thing out of your ravine. There was a lot of other potential projects around the place, but all of those projects could be expedited by getting that thing working again. And that expediting would be necessary – no doubt Winter will be coming soon, and with it, serious complications for anyone looking to dig foundations. Of course, the biggest concern is the state of the tank-thing itself. It took a serious tumble, and if anything was broken, then you would have to find someway to fabricate replacement parts yourself. You will not know for certain until you try to drive it out of there, but you would imagine that the treads or suspension are the most likely to have taken damage.

There are additional concerns with the operation – specifically, what condition you want to leave the ravine in, and what you want done with the bridge. As it stands, the ravine that runs parallel to the road provides a nice bit of natural defense to the property. Simply digging your way out, right from the wreck site would probably be the easiest option, but would partially undermine those natural defenses. To remedy this, you had two options.

The first would be to rebuild the wall of the ravine after you dug yourself out with a retaining wall; a tidy option, but one that requires materials that you do not have at the moment. The second option was a spot further along the ravine where the tank-thing might be able to drive its way out without any digging, but it is about a quarter mile up the ravine – and on the other side of the bridge, meaning that you would need to completely clear that out of the way. Of course, these two options are remedies to a very specific problem – one that might never come up. The likelihood that you are going to be assaulted by a mechanized company seems to be vanishingly slim. Not to mention, your Homestead was attacked, and the intact ravine did not stop those assailants, whoever or whatever they were.

>Just dig your way out. The defense that you are impairing by doing so is of questionable value anyway.
>Dig you way out, but then take the time to rebuild the wall of the ravine.
>Clear away the bridge, and pick your way through the gentle-enough grade to make your way out.

Then, there was the bridge. And there were options there too – but as the situation with the bridge was largely, if not completely, independent of getting the tank-thing out of the ravine and ready to work on other projects, the big one was if you wanted to take care of it now, or later?

>If you were going to work on other projects around the Homestead, a normal entrance to the property would be nice.
>While it would be much harder to maintain, and it might present a security risk, the logging road would suffice for now.
>>
>>4589355
>>Clear away the bridge, and pick your way through the gentle-enough grade to make your way out.
>>If you were going to work on other projects around the Homestead, a normal entrance to the property would be nice.
Our bridge couldn't support the tank-thing, that much is clear. Why not tear it down, maintain the integrity of the ravine and rebuild the bridge entirely, yet study enough to support heavier duty vehicles?
>>
>>4589355
>Just dig your way out. The defense that you are impairing by doing so is of questionable value anyway.
>While it would be much harder to maintain, and it might present a security risk, the logging road would suffice for now.

building walls and bridges is a waste of time and resources at this point, all our efforts should be directed to making the homestead itself suitable for the long winter.
>>
>>4589399
Changing to this.
Tank-thing itself may need repairs, which could be time consuming as well. Lets just get through this process quick and dirty, once we have our other stuff out of the way, we can come back and clean things up a bit. If we get a chance.
>>
>>4589408
>>4589399
>>4589387
I didn't intend to leave this any longer, but I still need to eat something today.
>>
>>4589355
>Just dig your way out. The defense that you are impairing by doing so is of questionable value anyway.
>While it would be much harder to maintain, and it might present a security risk, the logging road would suffice for now.
>>
You flip back and forth on this for a little bit, but in the end, you decided to simply dig your way out, and to put of the rebuilding of the bridge. Even if the defensive benefit from the ravine was in some way negated by this undertaking, at the end of the day, it is still not anything anyone would really be able to drive through without risking a wreck – and as you already realized, whatever protection it provided when it was intact was not enough to stop an incursion onto your property. As for the bridge – well, you do not think you will ever truly live that down, but for now, you should be able to get on without a bridge. Taking the logging road in and out will be a pain, especially with trailers or heavy equipment, and considering that it is nothing more than two dirt ruts through your small little woodlot, plowing it is going to be an absolute mess. There is also the question of security, considering the circuitous nature of the road, as well as how you cannot drive through it too quickly. The road seemed to have been a slap-dash affair when it was put in; tellingly, you could find no municipal records that referenced it, indicating that it had been made without permission. If there had been any regrading of the land when the road was first cleared, you could not see it – the entire thing was just laid down right on top of the natural contours of the land. Predictably, driving on it was not a pleasant or quick affair. Of course, if you were to get the ‘tank-thing’ out of the ditch and in working order, then it would be a relatively easy project to properly grade the land for a road. The only sticking point for that project would be if you wanted to source gravel to keep the road in better condition longer, especially through the Winter.

Setting aside what you want to (or at the very least) could do with the ‘tank-thing’ you are acutely aware that you will be in no condition to drive it, anytime soon. Which means you are going to have to teach someone how to operate that thing for you tomorrow, and probably for the immediate future.

>Tomorrow, you are going to have to teach at least one person in the Homestead how to operate the tank, and there is nothing stopping you from teaching all six – except the consideration that the more people you teach, the longer it will take, and the more likely that something in the tank will be damaged by a ‘student driver’. Worth noting – that operating the vehicle effectively in combat would require four operators (commander, driver, loader, gunner) and operating it effectively as construction equipment requires two operators (driver, engineer). That is not to say that it can not be worked (or fought) by a single man, but it is not optimal to do so.
>Petra Peake
>RN Gunther Peake
>Jedidiah Fleckkers
>Fireman Doug Tolle
>Fireman Edward Norton
>Dusk Mantle
>>
Caught up on reading the backlog, and looks interesting as fuck.

>>4589723

>Jedidiah Fleckkers
>Fireman Doug Tolle

Fleckkers and Tolle are our main hired hands, and they're going to be doing a lot of the work while we're in recovery. Tolle has experience driving big-ass vehicles, and Fleckkers would make a good back-up. Teaching Norton would be okay too, but he isn't living here full-time to take much advantage of it. No point in teaching the Peakes until we know for sure that they're staying, and Mom isn't all that great at driving. May as well get a few capable drivers and not risk smashing it up by accident by limiting it to 2 students right now.
>>
>>4589723
>RN Gunther Peake
>Jedidiah Fleckkers
Gunther is a beast behind the wheel and the prospect of driving this thing might entice him to stay. Flekkers is our main man in general.
>>
>>4589887
actually I'd put in
>Fireman Doug Tolle
as well. If he can drive a fire truck this thing schould not be too hard for him.
>>
>RN Gunther Peake
>Jedidiah Fleckkers
>>
>Petra Peake
>RN Gunther Peake
>Jedidiah Fleckkers
>Fireman Doug Tolle
>Dusk Mantle

Don't know Norton well enough yet, but might as well teach everyone else. They'll probably need to know eventually and inside the tank could be a safe place to be in trouble comes calling.
>>
>>4590026
Speaking of Norton, we should schedule some time to have a talk with the guy soon. Can't have a guy living in our house whom we don't even know, and this whole Mt. Kino thing is also still unaddressed.
>>
>>4589723
Norton, and tell Gunther that you want to teach him too if he wants to stay.


>>4590026
think we should have people do other things instead would be more valuable, preparations for winter and do on.
>>
Rolled 5 (1d5)

>>4589740
Glad to have you along!

Hmm. There does not seem to be any consensus here, so I guess I will roll for it.

>>4589740 Fleckkers and Tolle -- roll of 1
>>4589887 and >>4589898 Fleckkers, Tolle and G. Peake -- roll of 2
>>4589914 G. Peake and Fleckkers -- roll of 3
>>4590026 Everyone -- roll of 4
>>4590075 Norton and G. Peake -- roll of 5

Also, quick vote - do you want to try to stay up until Norton and Fleckkers get back tonight, or do you want to just get some sleep after dinner instead?
>Get your beauty sleep
>Stay up to catch Santa Claus
>>
>>4590268
>Stay up to catch Santa Claus
It'd be nice if Gunther knew he his prior NASCAR experience was appreciated while he was thinking about staying tonight.
>>
>>4590268
>Get your beauty sleep
as long as we're not alone we can doze off
>>
>>4590268

>Stay up to catch Santa Claus

We could use our rest, but Norton and Fleckkers should know what was going on with Parasol. Giving them the heads-up that we'll be at the meeting tomorow and figuring out who'll be watching the homestead can be done tonight so that everyone gets a fair shake of rest and avoids the risk of burn-out.
>>
>>4590490
>>4590451
>>4590275
Alright I will get to writing this up.
>>
Hey - I just wanted to give a quick update. I haven't finished the post yet, and I feel myself fading fast, so the next post will either be an overnight, or if I throw in the towel, and early morning one.

Either way, I need two rolls. One 1d8 to determine how long Fleckkers and Norton are going to keep you up waiting for them (1 being 1 hour after dinner, and so on), and 1d4 to determine what exactly they found (higher is better).

>Please, 1 roll of 1d8
>Please, 1 roll of 1d4
>>
Rolled 6 (1d8)

>>4590613

Here's for the time.
>>
Rolled 3 (1d4)

>>4590613
come on Santa
>>
Whoops! Well - let me get this post finished. I'll make a post on the general when it is up as well.
>>
>Living Room, Homestead
>7:28pm on 10/31/2020
>Cold, but definitely above freezing
>Some Wind, Negligible Fallout and Ash
>Sunrise around 7:00am

After some thought, you settle on Teaching your guest Gunther and your oddly itinerant live-in hired man Norton how to use the ‘tank-thing’ tomorrow. While some might question dumping that kind of responsibility on a guest, who might choose to leave at any time and the member of your Homestead that seems to have at least one foot out the door, your plan – if you could even call it that; perhaps idea or hope would be more accurate – is that by giving them these responsibilities, they would be more tightly bound to you. It is a bit manipulative, to be sure … but you are not trying to guilt trip them into obedience, you merely are trying to show them that they are trusted. Really, that is the extent of it. When you get more time, you will need to Teach more people on how to use the thing – if you ever intend to take that thing into a fight, it would be for the best to have four operators. Further considerations on how exactly you would like to crew your tank-thing is abruptly interrupted by the completion of dinner. While you typically take your meals in the kitchen, the small wooden desk you use in lieu of a proper kitchen table is obviously not large enough to accommodate everyone here – so any group meals will need to be taken in the living room. Without prompting, Tolle, and then, upon seeing what he was doing, Gunther as well, moved your stretcher closer to the coffee table, where the meal was going to be taken. Placed between the coffee table and your merrily cracking woodstove, you cannot help but feel … cozy. Considering everything that has happened, and everything that is going to happen, both to you and the world at large, it seems almost indecent to think like that. Still, the living room, lit in comfortable candlelight, with the gusting of the wind around outside barely audible, and everyone siting around, waiting with smiles and anticipation as this celebratory meal is brought out.

Consumed and Removed from Inventory
>8/? pounds of Excellent Moose Venison
>8/? Slices of Whole Wheat Loaved Bread
>8/? (Homestead Grown) Duck Eggs
>6 pinches/? Pepper
>3 pinches/? (Store Bought) Salt
>1 oz/? of (Store Bought) Butter
>0.75 fl oz/? of Olive Oil
>1/? (Scavenged) Bottles of Wine
>?/1 Carbonation Canister
>?/? Clean Water
>>
>>4591635
Despite Tolle’s discomfortably toothy countenance, in addition to being a capable cook, the man has impeccable manners; serving your two guests, then your mother, then you (the largest and best-looking portion) then himself, leaving two remaining smaller portions for Fleckkers and Norton. Your portion was served to you on a TV tray that you pulled out of an actual pile of trash – all the way back during your abortive attempt to get a mechanical engineering degree. Outside of some frat house, if you remember correctly. During the course of the meal, one of the bottles of wine in the cardboard box of drinks that Fleckkers brought up is opened – you pour yourself a glass of carbonated water, and then another for Petra, at Gunther’s request. Petra does not seem particularly put out by being preemptively denied a glass of … whatever the Hell this wine was exactly – but after the toasts to your miraculous return home, and the miracle workers who got you through – she does eye the bottle bit. Seems to be more curiosity than anything else.

Dinner winds down relatively quickly. Despite being well made, the meal was not particularly large – and you are relieved that you do not need to chide anyone to finish all of the food on their plates; no doubt that would ruin the mood. Tolle heads into the kitchen, with the dirty dishes, as well as the portions for Fleckkers and Norton. Oh yeah – Norton. There was an issue with him splitting his time between here and his family back at Mt. Kineo. And it was not just an issue of you losing out on his labor either; there was a serious question as to the food situation. He could be getting meals from both Mt. Kineo and from your larder – which is against the rules. If he is able to get meals elsewhere (and he is) then he is not supposed to be receiving food rations from the group. Of course, you do not know if he is “double dipping” – Hell, you do have never even so much as seen the man, at least to your knowledge. But if he is, and he is found out, then he might the first member the group forces into exile, if they do not just summarily execute him.

If it turns out that the man is indeed “double dipping”, then you are unsure of what you really can do, beyond telling him to knock it off. The man did indeed take initiative during the attempted burglary to protect your mother, so you did owe him something, even if it was just the benefit of the doubt on this. But if he gets caught, you doubt that your favor with the group would be able to save him. You will need to figure out a way to deal with this … and probably soon. He will be returning with Fleckkers tonight, after trying to sound out nearby farming operations, either as potential satellites or potential marks for raids.
>>
>>4591636
When to deal with Norton:
>Deal with Norton as soon as he comes in the door and is properly introduced. No need letting this fester any longer than it already has, for all of your sakes.
>You do not want to sour the man’s first impression of you by immediately implicating him in a capital crime, regardless if he is guilty of it or not. Let it sit until morning, or whenever is convenient.
>The man has been out there, risking his life, not just for the group, but for your Homestead. If anyone deserves to be treated with kid’s gloves, then it is him. Wait until he is heading off to Mt. Kineo next to set him straight.

How to deal with Norton:
>Take the initiative, and explain your concerns. This is effectively accusing him of a capital crime; however, it will immediately get to the heart of the matter. No ambiguity will remain between you.
>Take a tactful approach, and do not mention any of your concerns. Instead, force the issue by making him choose between living here or in Mt. Kineo full time, as firmly and politely as you can.
>>
>You do not want to sour the man’s first impression of you by immediately implicating him in a capital crime, regardless if he is guilty of it or not. Let it sit until morning, or whenever is convenient.

How to deal with Norton:
>Take the initiative, and explain your concerns. This is effectively accusing him of a capital crime; however, it will immediately get to the heart of the matter. No ambiguity will remain between you.
>>
>>4591637
>>You do not want to sour the man’s first impression of you by immediately implicating him in a capital crime, regardless if he is guilty of it or not. Let it sit until morning, or whenever is convenient.
>Take the initiative, and explain your concerns. This is effectively accusing him of a capital crime; however, it will immediately get to the heart of the matter. No ambiguity will remain between you.
>>
>>4591637

>You do not want to sour the man’s first impression of you by immediately implicating him in a capital crime, regardless if he is guilty of it or not. Let it sit until morning, or whenever is convenient.

>Take the initiative, and explain your concerns. This is effectively accusing him of a capital crime; however, it will immediately get to the heart of the matter. No ambiguity will remain between you.

Don't come swinging right out the gate, but don't bullshit the man. We don't have a reputation as a smooth operator, and given everything from how we treated our people to the vibes I got from Tolle and Fleckkers, blunt as fuck is the way to be here.
>>
>>4591692
>>4591694
>>4591711
Alright, consider this closed. I will get to writing.
>>
You have never been a smooth operator. In fact, by any reasonable interpretation, you have never been any type of operator. The extent of your tact is limited to a vague knowledge of when is and when is not an appropriate time to broach sensitive subjects. This vague knowledge provides enough illumination for you to know that following up your introduction to this man with an accusation of what amounts to a capital crime is probably not going to make a good impression. And for Norton, that impression is important – if you rile him up too much, he might just up and leave. Which … would not be optimal. As crowded as it is here, the fact of the matter remains that he acquitted himself well during the attack, so you are loathe to give up a skilled and capable man, such as himself. On the opposite side of the scale, you are not going to pussyfoot around the topic at hand. When a decent moment arises tomorrow, you will take him aside (or rather, you will have to ask him to roll you aside) so you can have a sincere, direct, talk about this … issue.

With your plan on how to deal with Norton settled on, you allow yourself to sink into your gurney. Petra passes by, heading into the kitchen with Gunther and Tolle, carrying what you would have to assume was her dish and flatware. You notice that she had one of your steak knives, but the fork was not one that you recognized. Someone must have augmented what flatware that you own with their own – makes sense, you did not own that much. Those forks looked good too – thicker and with a much better finish than your own, considering you ‘misappropriated’ all of yours from the dinning halls at your would-be Alma Mater. You find yourself suppressing a sigh. When you … stole those, you were angry at the university (and in retrospect, yourself) – you had spent a great deal of time and money, doing what everyone says; stay in school, go to college, even when truly, your heart was not in it at all. The whole affair was a miserable slog. When you saw yourself starting to act out, by doing things that were otherwise out of character for you, like needlessly stealing worthless flatware, glasses, mugs, plates, stuff like that, you realized that if you were not at the end of your rope, you would be soon. You took a leave of absence (with no intent of coming back) and relocated up here, to do things you actually wanted to do. As time passed, you had given some serious thought to getting all of the stolen flatware together to mail it back, but you decided against that – concerns over them following it up somehow … and embarrassingly, concerns over the cost of shipping everything back. You were willing to do the right thing, so long as it did not actually … hurt … in anyway.
>>
>>4591820
You blink wearily. Quite honestly, you should not be in a position to judge someone like Norton, a courageous, family man, who made his living as a leader of Firefighters - but that is the way that things have worked out. You will just have to do your best … of course, there would not be anymore judging on this. You have already made your verdict. Of course, if he was doing this, and he challenged you over it, could you take the next step? Come to think of it, what even would be the next step?

Ah, fuck it. You will burn that bridge when you come to it.



An hour passes, of light conversation, during which you sort of deliberately avoid your mother. As far as you know, she is completely unaware of what happened to you at that charnel house. You have no idea how to broach the subject, and tell her the true extent of your injuries. For that matter, you are not entirely certain if you even should. Some might have assumed that Oher was joking around about having to administer sedatives after telling her you were injured in a firefight, but you knew your mother. In fact, you are sort of … just waiting for the other shoe to drop with her. You thought she would be much, much more … you do not even know … worked up, hysterical?

During a lull in the conversation, Tolle heads upstairs, and after a minute or so, returns down the stairs with a rifle slung over his shoulder – some sort of M-16 variant, no doubt from the Public Safety building’s arsenal. He announces that he is going to grab some things in his truck from his place to bring inside, and then he will take the watch tonight, at least until Fleckkers and Norton show up. Gunther gets up to offer his help, but Tolle gives the dismissive variant of one of his odd little waves. Already up, Gunther mentions that he is thirsty, and asks if anyone else wants some water. Petra accepts, you and your mother decline. Hmm – water. Admittedly, you had not given it as much thought as you had food, but for a full house like yours, especially one that was keeping a bunch of animals besides, supplying clean water is a serious issue – if you intended to expand your operation here. Of course, this was not a problem unique to you, other satellites of the group would no doubt have to deal with this – something to listen for at the Steering Meeting tomorrow.

Gunther is rummaging about in the kitchen, and after ‘suiting up’ Tolle heads out, with a flashlight in his off hand. Petra has wrapped her shoulders in a blanket, and is lounging on the arm of your couch, looking towards the kitchen, and presumably Gunther. Your mother is in another one of your Grandfather’s upholstered recliners and is looking directly at you. When she notices your gaze, she gives you this big, relieved looking smile. Glancing away in awkward discomfort, you notice to your surprise that she has a pomegranate, of all things, in her hands. Where on Earth did she get that? You love pomegranates.
>>
>>4591823

>You have hours before Fleckkers and Norton make their appearance. You can choose all of these choices or none of them, remember that speaking with one of the three people in the Farmhouse can (presumably will) be overheard by the other two. (For me to write an option, it needs a NET of two votes – meaning you should vote against choices you do not want)

>Your Mother, Dusk Mantle
>Ask her how she is doing with ‘everything’
>Ask her how she faired on the roads, getting here.
>Ask her about the pomegranate she has.
>Ask her for the pomegranate she has.
>Tell her the full extent of your injuries

>Your Registered Nurse Guest, Gunther Peake
>Ask him how he is doing with ‘everything’
>Ask him how his conversation with Parasol went
>Ask him what he thinks of the Homestead

>Your Registered Jailbait Guest, Petra Peake
>Ask her how she is doing with ‘everything’
>Ask her if her ears are alright from the Harpoon ND
>Ask her what she thinks of the Homestead
>>
>Ask her how she fared on the roads getting here.
>Ask him what he thinks of the Homestead
>Ask her if her ears are alright from the Harpoon ND
Do not inquire about the pomegranate. It holds many secrets.
>>
>>4591827
I believe the above Anon has chosen well. I also choose:
Mom
>Ask her how she fared on the roads getting here.
Gunther
>Ask him what he thinks of the Homestead
Petra
>Ask her if her ears are alright from the Harpoon ND
>>
>>4591827
>Ask her how she fared on the roads getting here


>Ask him how he is doing with ‘everything’

>Ask her how she is doing with ‘everything’
>>
>>4591832
>>4591893
supporting these two.
>>
>>4591832
>>4591893
those two, and I also want that Pomegranate.
>>
>>4592149
>>4591918
>>4591895
>>4591893
>>4591832
I am not ready to write yet, so I will let this sit overnight. I should start the run before 12:00pm EST but whenever it starts, I intend to post in the Quest Thread General
>>
>>4591832
How she fared on the roads?
Do not ask about the pomegranate
Do not ask for the pomegranate
What he thinks of the Homestead.
How are her ears doing?

>>4591893
How she fared on the roads?
What he thinks of the Homestead.
How are her ears doing?

>>4591895
How she fared on the roads?
How he is doing with 'everything'
How she is doing with 'everything'

>>4591918
How she fared on the roads?
What he thinks of the Homestead.
How are her ears doing?

>>4592149
How she fared on the roads?
What he thinks of the Homestead.
How are her ears doing?
Ask her for the pomegranate

So, I was looking for a net of at least two votes for something to ask that question.
How she fared on the roads? (5 votes for, 0 votes against, Net 5) Will ask
Ask about the pomegranate (0 votes for, 1 vote against, Net -1)
Ask for the pomegranate (1 vote for, 1 vote against, Net 0)
Ask what he thinks of the Homestead (4 votes for, 0 votes against, Net 4) Will ask
Ask her if her ears are alright from the Harpoon ND (4 votes for, 0 votes against, Net 4) Will ask
Ask him how he is doing with 'everything' (1 vote for, 0 votes against, Net 1)
Ask him how she is doing with 'everything' (1 vote for, 0 votes against, Net 1)

Not quite ready to start writing, but I will close the vote now, and at the very least, get a draft started.
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>>4592274
Alright, so my scheduled got all turned around. Post will be up ... soon-ish.
>>
Dragging your gaze and your thoughts away from the incongruent fruit, you return your mother’s smile, as genuinely as you possibly can. While she has been nothing but relieved since you have seen her, this is in no small part because she does not know the full extent of your injuries – and perhaps more importantly, how you got them. She would obviously want to know what happened to you, you do not want to ruin her good mood yet. Of course, it was not like you could permanently keep the truth from her. Gunther and Petra both knew both the extent and the cause of your injuries – in the case of Gunther, he was bodily hauled out of the room as Criminal Investigations Warrant Officer Spry went to work on you. Eventually, she is going to find out, and the other shoe is going to drop. But for tonight at least, you can not bring yourself to ruin the high spirits everyone is in by working your mother up, even if –

“Reggie, is something wrong?” Ah, shit. You mother has always been perceptive about this kind of thing. But you have a plan to throw her off the scent here. “Oh, I was just kind of wondering … how you fared on the roads on your way up here? By the time we made our way in from Bangor, they were an absolute mess.” A bemused smile breaks out over your mother’s face. “How I fared? Besides getting a little turned around, everything was more or less fine. I made it in long before things got really dangerous on the roads.” You look at her for several-several seconds, but that seems to be it. While you are certainly glad that she made it back alright, with how late she was, you were kind of hoping that she had more of an … adventure, as immature as it would be to wish an ‘adventure’ on some one in these times. You are about to turn away and ask Petra if her ears are doing alright after than ND with the Greener-Martini Harpoon, when you mother asks you if everything is alright. Again.

You did not expect to be placed under the microscope like this – and you are not sure how you are going to be getting out from underneath it. You could just admit that you need to talk to her later, but even if she did not immediately demand that you tell her right now what was going on, she would still expect you to tell her really soon. And more importantly, she would be getting herself all wound up in the meantime. Which would destroy any ‘coziness’ here. Already, her smile has disappeared, and her eyes have more and more of that familiar mix of suspicion and worry. Maybe you are being unfair, or a bad son, but you do not think that it is unreasonable for you to want your homecoming not ending with your mother … well, actually, you are not entirely sure what she would do. You expected a lot more hysterics from her when you were reunited, but she took it well. Maybe it will not be an issue to tell her, or to ask to tell her later. Or you could just … you, know, uh – lie.
>>
>Tell your mother the truth, as gently as possible, looking to avoid a meltdown (Speech-Rhetoric Test 60)
>Tell your mother that everything is fine. (Speech-Deception Test CR 60)
>Tell your mother that everything is fine now, but you need to talk later. (Speech-Rhetoric Test CR 50)
>Tell your mother that everything is fine, but you are just getting tired (Speech-Deception Test CR 40; forfeit chance to ask anyone else questions)
>Tell you mother that you were just wondering about the Incongruent Pomegranate in her possession (Speech-Deception Test CR 40; must ask about Pomegranate)
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>>4592681
>Tell you mother that you were just wondering about the Incongruent Pomegranate in her possession (Speech-Deception Test CR 40; must ask about Pomegranate)
I'm fine mum, gosh!
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>>4592681
>Tell you mother that you were just wondering about the Incongruent Pomegranate in her possession (Speech-Deception Test CR 40; must ask about Pomegranate)
this is only because we can't afford a meltdown right now
I don't want to play into the mysterious pomegranate's hands
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>>4592681
>>Tell you mother that you were just wondering about the Incongruent Pomegranate in her possession (Speech-Deception Test CR 40; must ask about Pomegranate)
>>
>>4592681
>Tell you mother that you were just wondering about the Incongruent Pomegranate in her possession (Speech-Deception Test CR 40; must ask about Pomegranate)
>>
>>4592681

>Tell you mother that you were just wondering about the Incongruent Pomegranate in her possession (Speech-Deception Test CR 40; must ask about Pomegranate)

Look, what's the worst thing that can happen with the Pomegranate? Hidden listening devices rigged up by the National Guard? Don't be absurd. That's the remains of the CIA's purview anyways.
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>>4593108
>>4592919
>>4592834
>>4592821
>>4592812

Alright, that settles it, we will ask about the Incongruent Pomegranate.
We will need 1 roll of 1d6 and 1 roll of 5d20.

Sorry for the delay, I thought I was going to have a lot more availability than I ended up having today.
>>
Rolled 4 (1d6)

>>4593165
Reggie Mantle in the Tale of the Incongruent Pomegranate sounds like a bad mystery novel
>>
Rolled 7, 17, 8, 13, 19 = 64 (5d20)

>>4593165

Here goes.
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>>4593187
>>4593191
Alright.

Raw Roles Modifier Gross Rolls True Gross
7.000 x0.875 6.125 5.125
17.000 x0.875 14.875 13.875
8.000 x0.875 7.000 6.000
13.000 x0.875 11.375 10.375
19.000 x0.875 16.625 15.625
________
51.000

CR 51.000 > 40
Deception Test Passed!

I will get to writing
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>>4593261
What the fuck happened to all my nice formatting?
>>
CR 51.000 > CR 40
Speech-Deception Test Passed

After making a split-second decision to not ruin the mood of your homecoming celebration by explaining the full extent and cause of your injuries, you find yourself having to think quickly on your feet (or rather, on your back) to come up with some way to divert your mother’s attention. You decide that the best diversion here would be to ask her about the pomegranate that she seemingly pulled out of thin air.

“Er – I’m fine. I was just … wondering about that pomegranate you got there, that’s all.” She glances down at the fruit, and when she looks back up at you, all of the suspicion and worry has faded away from her eyes, to be replaced with another familiar sight; her on the verge of tears. You suppress a sigh, as well as the urge to take your head in your hands. Out of the frying pan into the fire. “Oh, this? After the … attack, I guess? On that first night. I stayed the next day at Mt. Kineo. They were distributing fruit with the meals, at the cafeteria, and then me and this older couple were given this pomegranate to share – and I knew how much you loved them, so I offered to trade them my meal for their share in the thing, so you … would have one … when you came … back.” At this point, she is sobbing, really sobbing, crying more than you have ever seen her before. She rushes over to you, and with a bit more force than she should have, she throws her arms around you. Knowing that you will just make things worse if you tell her to stop, you do your best to not let any discomfort show – not that she would be able to see any, with her face buried in your neck brace.

“I was so worried! My baby, my Greatest – he got shot and then dumped off at that sty of a hospital, all by himself!” Jesus Christ. Considering how emotional she got, you had a hunch that she was bottling things up – you had been waiting for the other shoe to drop, after all, but she had gone just long enough without melting down like this that you started to think that just maybe she had actually gotten all of this out of her system. God, can you imagine what would have happened if you told her that you were tortured? She probably would have gone catatonic. It was a particularly long minute, before she stopped crying, and her breathing went from ragged back to normal . But she still stays where she is, her face buried in your neck brace. At some point, you had gotten both of your arms around her to comfort her without even realizing it, and so you just embrace her back. But your mind is not in it, not entirely.

You are beginning to think that it might not be the best idea to tell her about the torture at all. Obviously, you had other injuries, but maybe you could explain them away – as long as mother never saw the remains of your testicle, with a bit of fibbing, you could probably hide the extent of your injuries from her. Maybe.
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>>4594291
That would mean telling the Peakes and Oher … and whoever else knows to not tell her – and of course, you would have to hide that letter. That would also mean lying to her. Could you do that?

>No, you could not. Wait for the proper time, then tell her the truth. If you get the opportunity to do so, then ask the people that know to not say anything to her about it, you want her to hear it from you.
>Yes, you could. Make a point of seeking out anyone who knows the full extent of your injuries, and ask them not to say anything about it to her, that the truth will only take her mind off of more important concerns.
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>>4594293
>>No, you could not. Wait for the proper time, then tell her the truth. If you get the opportunity to do so, then ask the people that know to not say anything to her about it, you want her to hear it from you.
Holy shit. We actually passed a roll for once.
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>>4594293
>No, you could not. Wait for the proper time, then tell her the truth. If you get the opportunity to do so, then ask the people that know to not say anything to her about it, you want her to hear it from you.
>>
>No, you could not. Wait for the proper time, then tell her the truth. If you get the opportunity to do so, then ask the people that know to not say anything to her about it, you want her to hear it from you.

Oh Mom. Just knowing you're safe and having you here makes me feel relieved.
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>>4594704
>>4594585
>>4594346
Alright, that is the three votes I was looking for to close it. It is pretty late, so I will start writing this up after a good nights sleep.
>>
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No, no. You could not just lie about something like this. You will have to her – you are not FDR for God’s sake; she has a right to know. Just … not tonight, maybe not even tomorrow. But soon. After another minute or so, she finally pulls her head out of your neck, and smiles at you as she idly brushes your hair with her hand. You let this moment last for a bit longer, than interrupt her by asking if she wants to share the pomegranate. She brightens up at that and pulls away from you to go get it. But as she returns to your side with the fruit in her hands, she speaks up on the matter. “Actually, I was thinking. This is probably the last pomegranate than any of us are going to have for quite some time, maybe even …” She trails off, but her train of thought is fairly obvious. Maybe even ever. Thankfully, she does not seem to dwell on that at all, instead, she just blows right past it without a second glance.

“Anyway, I was thinking that we could save some of the seeds, and try to grow our own pomegranate tree. I know you can grow them here - my nana grew a few trees from seed at her home on Peaks Island.” It seems that this Incongruent Pomegranate brings nothing but surprises. Or rather, nothing but surprises and issues. It is certainly surprising to hear that your great-grandmother was able to grow such a Mediterranean fruit in such a … not Mediterranean clime, but it remains that there were several points as to why her ability to grow them does not automatically mean that you could. Namely, the conditions, primarily the radioactive volcanic Winter which might just completely preclude growing much of anything outside beyond fodder for livestock. Of course, the difference in growing conditions between Peaks Island and Debouche, even before this Nuclear War, were seriously different. You have at best a vague recollection of what the USDA Hardiness Chart was, and you know for a fact that this portion of Northern Maine is 4a. Peaks Island is in the middle of Casco Bay – Hell, municipally speaking, it was part of Portland. Pretty much as Southern Maine as you can get; which would put it as a 5b or maybe even a 6a – a serious difference in the lowest extreme temperature. And while the volcanic Winter would no doubt change all of the ratings, it would probably suppress them all more or less evenly. So where the lowest extreme temperature, the metric that was used to determine an area’s hardiness rating, used to be between -10° F and -5° F it might now be between -30° F and -25° F. It is possible that you will be living in a fucking tundra before you know it.
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>>4594896
The final sticking point in all of this is a sinking suspicion that your great-grandmother might have been a better gardener than you. You are about to start to explain why this probably is not going to work – and it should not be that difficult to sell it as impossible, considering how little your mother seems to know about any of this – pomegranates are not even trees, they are shrubs. But as you look at her expectant face, obviously enthused about the prospect, you find yourself beset with second thoughts. It is not like you needed to put the seeds in the dirt today – so long as you kept them at a safe temperature, you could plant them at your leisure. And if you could get a greenhouse up and running, as a long-term type of project, for more than just pomegranates, that could be really something useful. Not to mention, if you pulled this off, you would probably be the only fruit producer in the group. At this rate, you will be single-handedly protecting the group from Scurry. And perhaps … no, you definitely do not want this to be the last pomegranate that you ever eat.

Of course, this is not something that should even be considered lightly. Greenhouses by there very nature are delicate under the best of circumstances. If anything goes wrong, even once, and it is cold enough outside, then you stand to lose everything in one fell swoop. Of course, this is not the best of circumstances, by any stretch of the imagination. And you are not just talking (or thinking, in this case) about the fallout, or the ash, or potential tundraification. You are talking about thieves, vandals, and yes, arsonists. A large and delicate structure like a greenhouse is a tempting target. You could try to mitigate this by making several smaller greenhouses instead of one, to put your eggs in more than one basket, but that would be less efficient. You could try to … armor up the greenhouse, but how on Earth would you manage to do that? Bulletproof glass? Maybe if you got your Homestead secure enough, it would not be an issue – or maybe, you could build your greenhouses at a more secure location, like Mt. Kineo. But those two solutions come with their own problems; the former requires who knows how much time and effort spent into fortifying and securing your property, and the latter opens you up to issues with new taxes and the potential for group members helping themselves to your produce.

> “Sure, why not? I’ll start looking around for a greenhouse to … ‘requisition’ – and if either of you find any other fruit that we could grow, then be sure to save some seeds.”
> “We can save some seeds, but I can’t make any promises. We need to consolidate and improve the food production that we have, before we try to diversify. Also, Pomegranates are shrubs, not trees.
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>>4594898
> “We can save some seeds, but I can’t make any promises. We need to consolidate and improve the food production that we have, before we try to diversify. Also, Pomegranates are shrubs, not trees.
1) we really have more important shit on our mind
2) it takes a long time for a fucking tree to grow from a seed. This will not produce fruit for a long time.
So if we find greenhouses they should be used for tomatoes or strawberries. Otherwise just requisition as much canned fruit as possible.
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> “Sure, why not? I’ll start looking around for a greenhouse to … ‘requisition’ – and if either of you find any other fruit that we could grow, then be sure to save some seeds.”

We had Fleckkers steal rolls of clear plastic. Greenhouses and emergency window replacements were what I had in mind when I threw that on the list. Just need some framing material.
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>>4594922
+1 on this. I think it's not the most important thing, but man, we should try.
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>>4594922
It is quick and easy to build
LEAN TO GREENHOUSES
You need LESS glass/plexiglass/clear plastic
You need LESS time to buil it
The wall will STORE heat from the sun and give it back at night = less heating needed

It was really popular back in 18th Century England and France to farm warm climate fruits and flowers
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>>4595006
Isn't moisture a problem with this kind of setup? Moldy wallpaper and stuff?
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>>4595122
Thats why you need vents on both sides
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Alright, it looks like we are going to be getting into the fruit business. Consider this closed. I will get to writing the next bit up.
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Maybe this is biting off more than you can chew, but … to be entirely, honest with yourself, you want this. You do not need this, obviously, but you want this. You do not want to live in a world without fresh fruit, no one in their right might would want to. Considering that you are the only Satellite dedicated to food production at the moment, this responsibility falls pretty much entirely on you. Besides, something like this should not be that difficult – so long as you keep your (and everyone else’s) expectations tempered, you can definitely see yourself producing some fruit. And in the long term, someone should at least make an effort to keep these … oh, what is the word. Animals have breeds, plants have … strains? You do not think that is wrong, per say, but you think that there was a specific word for strains of a plant – was it ‘cultivar’? Well, whatever the proper word is, someone should make an effort to keep these plants around for future generations. Come to think of it, there are institutions that do things like that; things called Seed Banks. You read about them once or twice on the ARPAnet. Could be something to look into later.

You realize with a bit of a jump that you have just been blankly looking at the Incongruent Pomegranate this whole time. “Ah – Sure. Why not? We can definitely try; ‘requisitioning’ stuff like this should be no problem. And I am sure that everyone would be tickled pinked if we were able to produce fresh fruit. I will see what I can do to get some assistance, maybe some other types of seed – though, now that I think about it, Fleckkers probably grabbed some from the Union, but those would probably be vegetables, and a bit more suited to the climate and soil than whatever fruit seed we can source on such sort notice.” Mother smiles at that, and then wordlessly heads into the kitchen to get a knife to portion the pomegranate out. It takes her a bit – Gunther returns from the kitchen first with his water, and in the break from all of this, you take a minute to ask Petra if her ears have been ringing after the ND with the Greener-Martini Harpoon. As you explain how Tinnitus works, she gets progressively more and more alarmed. You try to explain that if she has some Tinnitus, odds are it will go away, considering that this was a one time thing, but it is not until Gunther says almost the exact same thing as you did (albeit with a bit more medical terminology) that she finally calms down a bit. “Well, there was a bit of that ringing, but that was just after the harpoon-thingy went off.”
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>>4595443
The harpoon-thingy. Jesus Christ. And your distaste for her choice in language there aside, you are not going to overlook how she is choosing to describe what happened. It was an ND, cleanly and clearly her fault – but not only is she describing it as if it were an AD, it seems that in her mind it is as if the gun was some wild animal that she didn’t have any control over. While you are not sure if that is just fear and unfamiliarity with firearms, or it is just her way of ducking responsibility … it is cause for concern. And frustratingly enough, it seems that Gunther is not going to say anything about it.

This is not the first time that Petra did something stupid and dangerous – when Gunther was heading off to evade the highwaymen that were chasing you after you blew through an abandoned checkpoint that they were looting, Petra panicked, and rushed after him. Come to think of it, were was Gunther in all of this? There was no reason for him to take Petra along with him on that escapade, and absolutely no reason for you to be left alone like you were. She is shaping up to be a bit of a liability, and Gunther seems unwilling to call her out on her mistakes, or is conveniently blind to his cousins missteps. Something needs to be done before this becomes a serious problem

Spank her! And with that unbidden thought comes the mental image of a completely naked Petra, vigorously scrubbing herself with her back (and her ass) to you, just so slightly swaying back and – Mpthmt! Ow! No more of that! No more of that! Stuff that potent will put what is left of your left testicle in traction before long, or whatever the Hell the proper medical for it is. But indecent, licentious and painful images and thoughts aside, it seems that you are going to have to do something about Petra.

>Offer to Teach her how to properly use a firearm, and then take the opportunity to have a talk about making good decisions under fire … or how not to be a liability, or something.
>Reach out to Gunther later, and reiterate to him what you said after the ND – she needs to be taken in hand, and as her elder (and male) cousin, it is his responsibility to have that conversation with her, as awkward as it may be.
>Try an alternative tact, and talk to your mother (later obviously) instead – the two of them seem to have hit it off pretty well, and your mother, emotional as she can be, is much more tactful than you, and might be more willing than Gunther to act.
>Let it drop for now – the danger has passed, and you do not need to rock the boat like this, before everyone settles down, and gets used to each other. You still fully intend to do something about it later, though, just not now.
>>
>Let it drop for now – the danger has passed, and you do not need to rock the boat like this, before everyone settles down, and gets used to each other. You still fully intend to do something about it later, though, just not now.

Gunther might just take initiative on his own. No need to micromanage people we are trying to win over.
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>>4595445
What the fuck Reggie
>>Let it drop for now – the danger has passed, and you do not need to rock the boat like this, before everyone settles down, and gets used to each other. You still fully intend to do something about it later, though, just not now.
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>>4595445
>>Let it drop for now – the danger has passed, and you do not need to rock the boat like this, before everyone settles down, and gets used to each other. You still fully intend to do something about it later, though, just not now.
Hopefully there isn't another issue on the horizon before we get a chance to speak to her on the matter. For now though, it'd be best to avoid it.
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>>4595545
>>4595529
>>4595493
You will gingerly avoid this, at least for the immediate future. Just don't forget about it! Consider this closed, I will get to writing soon - it will be the overnight vote.
>>
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It is definitely frustrating, but you are going to let this particular sleeping dog lie, at least for now. You want to win Gunther over, and anything that could be seen as micromanagement on your part runs the risk of souring things between you. So, you are just going to sit tight, and hope that eventually Gunther takes care of this without any prompting from you. And if he does not, then once things have settled into a sense of routine, and Gunther and Petra have officially joined the group (in your mind, simply a formality at this point), then you should be able to find an opening to talk with Gunther, or Petra, (or your mother, if you wanted to try to take that tact). Mother returns from the kitchen finally, with that meat cleaver you picked up from the Morton House job – one of you first clean-outs, ever. The sight of your mother attempting to saw the pomegranate in half with the cleaver is a humorous sight – you are almost certain that she knows how to properly use one, but is simply too ‘blade-shy’ to do so. It is all the funnier if you remember the condition the cleaver was in when you found it in that wreck of a house; the thing was covered with rust, and when you fished it out of the cabinet drawer you found it in, you discovered that a rat, a right big old bastard, had crawled underneath it to die. The thing cleaned up really nice though, barely any pitting on the blade after you got the surface rust off, and after some woodworking trickery, you were even able to restore the original handle to some semblance of respectability. If you mother knew any of that, she probably would not be able to bring herself to look at the damned thing, let alone use it on something that she would be eating. You are not worried, of course, you used some serious disinfectants on that thing – and three years later, you did not have Kudzu* or anything.

*Mantle is confusing the aggressive vine, Kudzu with the aggressive prion disease Kudu. It is also worth noting that Kudu is not something you can just randomly get from diseased or rotting meat – you must either eat human brains, or eat meat that has been contaminated with human brain.

Well, if you are not going to be asking him to have a talk with his cousin, then you might as well as him how he has been dealing with ‘everything’. You pose just that question to him as he is finishing off his glass of water, while curiously eyeing the small portion of pomegranate that your mother offered him. “Honestly, I haven’t thought about it much. There has just been so damned much to do – it really has not had time to set in.”
>>
>>4595788
You have heard that before, and you tell him as much. Of course, you leave out … certain aspects of the situation with Matthew. Even with that unpleasantness omitted, he does not seem to take that particularly well. His shoulders slump noticeably, and he sighs nasally. “Is there such as thing as ‘overcompartmentalization’? Where you just ignore things … that you should not be ignoring?” What kind of question is – Oh.

You had almost forgotten; that high-speed chase out of Bangor that he (and Petra) went on all happened because he accidentally knocked down a looter at that abandoned checkpoint as he was taking his truck to the safe house. You had forgotten about – or perhaps you had just compartmentalized it away – and it seems that Gunther had as well. Another Chip Allen situation – and while this highwayman might not be as bad off as that kid, this is no time to be taking anything more than the most superficial of injuries. You do not want to see Gunther worked up over this. In fact, you do not want to see Gunther worked up over anything at all. How should you try to settle this?


>Please pick ONE of the following:

>Empathize with him, by coming clean with the Chip Allen situation – and explain that compartmentalization is necessary to keep our heads, and to protect loved ones (Speech-Rhetoric Test CR 50)
>Gently encourage him – explaining that compartmentalization is necessary to keep our heads, and to protect loved ones. Keeps the unflattering situation with Chip Allen under wraps (Speech-Rhetoric Test CR 60)
>Tell him that there is no such thing as ‘overcompartmentalization’ – it is completely relative. Whatever he is compartmentalizing is exactly what he should and needs to compartmentalize. Deal with it later – or maybe, do not deal with it at all. There are more important things to get worked up over. (Speech-Deception Test CR 55)
>>
>>4595789
>>Gently encourage him – explaining that compartmentalization is necessary to keep our heads, and to protect loved ones. Keeps the unflattering situation with Chip Allen under wraps (Speech-Rhetoric Test CR 60)
Hard threshold, but a more noble sounding option. While we know what happened with Chip wasn't our fault, and it is something we can emphasize with him, I think that would probably have more fallout if it went wrong and he misunderstood the situation.
>>
>>4595789
>>Gently encourage him – explaining that compartmentalization is necessary to keep our heads, and to protect loved ones. Keeps the unflattering situation with Chip Allen under wraps (Speech-Rhetoric Test CR 60)
Above Anon has it right I think.
>>
>Gently encourage him – explaining that compartmentalization is necessary to keep our heads, and to protect loved ones. Keeps the unflattering situation with Chip Allen under wraps (Speech-Rhetoric Test CR 60)
>>
>>4595989
>>4595882
>>4595875
Alright - really overslept here, but no problem. Can someone please roll 1d6 and someone else roll 5d20, to see if we can swing it?
>>
Rolled 2 (1d6)

Rollan
>>
Rolled 16, 11, 12, 16, 15 = 70 (5d20)

>>
>>4596187
>>4596184
Alright lets see how we did.

Raw Rolls
16
11
12
16
15

Gross Rolls (2 is x0.625 at our current level)
10.00
6.875
7.500
10.000
9.375

True Gross Rolls
9.000
5.875
6.500
9.000
8.375

Net Roll
CR 38.750 < 60
Rhetoric Test Failed by 2 Degrees (greater than 20)

For future reference:

Modifier Tables
Modifiers from Delusional/Unwilling to Rank Amateur
Roll of 1 x0.500
Roll of 2 x0.625
Roll of 3 x0.750
Roll of 4 x0.875
Roll of 5 x1.000
Roll of 6 x1.125

Modifiers from Ranking Amateur to Assuredly Competent
Roll of 1 x0.625
Roll of 2 x0.750
Roll of 3 x0.875
Roll of 4 x1.000
Roll of 5 x1.125
Roll of 6 x1.250

Modifiers from Genuinely Skilled to Master
Roll of 1 x0.750
Roll of 2 x0.825
Roll of 3 x1.000
Roll of 4 x1.125
Roll of 5 x1.250
Roll of 6 x1.375

Rolls at Skill Rank
Delusional/Unwilling: Roll 4 times, then take the worst of the four sets as the Gross Roll (no True Gross)
Oblivious: Roll 2 times, then take the worse of the two sets as the Gross Roll (No True Gross)
Nascent in Understanding: Roll once, but then apply a -4 malus to each roll in the set (Gross -4 = True Gross)
Rank Amateur: Roll once, but then apply a -1 malus to each roll in the set (Gross -1 = True Gross)
Ranking Amateur: Roll once, but then apply a +0.5 bonus to each roll in the set (Gross +0.5 = True Gross)
Competent: Roll once, but then apply a +1 bonus to each roll in the set (Gross +1 = True Gross)
Assuredly Competent: Roll once, but then apply a +2 bonus to each roll in the set (Gross +2 = True Gross)
Genuinely Skilled: Roll 2 times, take the best set, but then apply a -1 malus to each roll in that set (Gross -1 = True Gross)
Nascent Master: Roll 3 times, take the best set, but then apply a -1 malus to each roll in that set (Gross -1 = True Gross)
Master: Roll 4 times, take the best set, but then apply a -1 malus to each roll in that set (Gross -1 = True Gross)
>>
CR 38.750 < CR 60
Speech-Rhetoric Test Failed by Two Degrees

Gunther clearly needs to hear something – you do not know what exactly, beyond just reiterating that compartmentalization is necessary to get through these sorts of situations, and that engaging in it does not make him a bad person. After a second of consideration, you decide against sharing your experiences with compartmentalization, as they do not paint you in a particularly favorable light – even if you really are not particularly responsible for that unpleasantness. Empathy would be an effective tool here, no doubt, but you are not going to risk Gunther’s impression of you when you are so close to getting him on board – with the group, and more importantly, with your Homestead. But you do have another tact you can take with this conversation …

“You ever read Dune?” Gunther just looks blankly at you for a second, before shaking his head no. “Oh, uh … well, okay.” Damn it. Well, you have committed yourself to this, so you better explain what you are getting. “See, I bring it up – because the main character, Paul, he goes through some unpleasantness – not entirely dissimilar to what we are going through, right now. Among other things, his father dies.” Actually, there was a bit more to it than that; Duke Leto killed himself in a last-ditch attempt to kill his nemesis and avoid torture at the hands of that nemesis as well – though if you remember correctly, the extent of the torture was just getting wax dripped on his back. That is like, fetish-tier shit. Hell of a lot better than what you got. Of course, Gunther does not need to hear any of that, either. “Anyway, even after getting out of danger he finds that he can’t mourn his father’s death, or really get that worked up about any of the other terrible things that happened to him, and his people. To him, at least, at first, all of this stuff is just a bunch of facts. But later, when things finally smooth themselves out, that is when he can properly start to process his emotions.”

Gunther does not seem to know what exactly to make of that. Maybe it was not the best idea to try to compare his situation to a sci-fi novel. Did he feel that you were trivializing things? And now the more you think about it, maybe it was for the best that Gunther had not read Dune: the book ends with Paul, now the Emperor, compartmentalizing and justifying his role in a massive, galaxy wide Jihad that saw the extermination of 61 billion innocents, in the span of just 12 years. Okay – definitely a good thing that he never read the damned book.
>>
>>4596667
Tellingly, Gunther changes the subject to the fucking pomegranate before you even have a chance to recover, or try another tact that does not rely on 55 year old pop-culture references (Jesus, what the fuck were you thinking?) If you had to guess, you have not assured him of anything at all – outside of the fact that you are uncommonly awkward at times and not a good person to turn to with stuff like this. Still, with the conversation turned to more lighthearted topics, the mood in the room recovers steadily. Apparently, Gunther and Petra had never eaten pomegranate before, and they clearly are enjoying their first tastes. After Gunther heartily agreed that trying to cultivate pomegranates would be a worthy endeavor, and the entire room was done laughing at Petra, after admitting that up until now, she had thought that pomegranates were just some type of large red onion, the mood in the room had completely recovered. Your mother was talking with Gunther about what other fruit seeds could be sourced, and of those, what could reasonably be grown, and Petra was closely examining the half of the fruit that was being left untouched to source the seeds from. Out of the corner of your eye, you can see a battery-operated clock that someone must have put up at some point in your living room. The time is 10:04 pm.

By 10:18pm, Gunther and Petra were ready to head for bed, but your savior had one more request for you. “Mantle, is there like a spare gun around I could have?” Petra and your mother, who were over in a corner, digging through their respective bags stop abruptly, and look over their shoulders at the two of you, their uncertainty and concern plain to see in their eyes at this abrupt request. You try to keep your face more neutral, but Gunther might have seen something, as he immediately takes a much more conciliatory tone.

“The group seems to have everything pretty well in hand, but … you know, ounce of prevention and all that?” It is a reasonable request, and Gunther has been nothing but helpful – to put it mildly – so you have no reason to deny him what is effectively a reasonable request. The issue is that you do not know where exactly your remaining guns are, and as much as you trust him, you are not entirely certain you want someone who could potentially (as unlikely as it would be, at this point) be leaving you tomorrow rummaging around your things, alone – not to mention he said ‘have’, not ‘borrow’.
>>
>>4596673

>Please pick ONE of the following - do not roll until the vote has closed:
> “I really don’t see any need for that – and besides, between Tolle out front on guard and Fleckkers with Norton out on the roads, all of my guns are accounted for.” (Speech-Deception Test; CR 40)
> “Gunther, I’m sorry, but we do not have any guns to spare at the moment. I hope you understand” (Speech-Rhetoric Test; CR 55)
> “Uh … well, go ask Tolle if there is anything that he isn’t using at the moment … for you to have for the night. Tomorrow, when we head into Mt. Kineo, I’ll see about you getting something you can keep.” (Commit to buying a firearm, or using a favor to secure one for Gunther)
> “Jesus. I don’t know where any of them are, after all the packing and unpacking, but you can knock yourself out looking for them. Just bring what you find by me, and I will tell you what you can keep. (Commit to giving one of your remaining firearms to Gunther)


On the Homestead, you know you have:
the Beater 10/22 with underslung light
the Ragged Single Shot Shotgun
the 'Firecracker’ – the M240b with bipod
>>
>>4596680

> “Gunther, I’m sorry, but we do not have any guns to spare at the moment. I hope you understand” (Speech-Rhetoric Test; CR 55)

Unless Fleckkers 'acquired' some, and if the hired hands are using our guns, this is the truest answer we've got. I don't want him rooting around in our unsorted inventory, and if they're sticking around, lying to him will get found out after we sort shit out and build emnity between us. If we find any to spare in the stash, we can play it off as having been found during the salvaging while we were laid up in Bangor.
>>
> “Jesus. I don’t know where any of them are, after all the packing and unpacking, but you can knock yourself out looking for them. Just bring what you find by me, and I will tell you what you can keep. (Commit to giving one of your remaining firearms to Gunther)

I have reservations about Gunther accidentally seeing something and blabbling about it but maybe we can use this as an opportunity to talk about discretion and our inventory and we have to start trusting him at some point. Also I REALLY want to get him gunned up.
>>
>>4596667
>the book ends with Paul, now the Emperor, compartmentalizing and justifying his role in a massive, galaxy wide Jihad that saw the extermination of 61 billion innocents, in the span of just 12 years
Loved Dune. iirc, the second book picks up as Stilgar's POV, and around 9 pages in he's debating as to whether or not kill Paul's 10 year old kids.
Things got crazy quick.
>>4596680
> “Jesus. I don’t know where any of them are, after all the packing and unpacking, but you can knock yourself out looking for them. Just bring what you find by me, and I will tell you what you can keep. (Commit to giving one of your remaining firearms to Gunther)
Letting someone who may decide to leave our homestead root around is fucking dumb in theory, (Fleckkers isn't going to be happy if he finds out) however, I think it could go a long way in building trust with Gunther, and besides we conscripted his help moving the Farmer's Union loot out to the barn already. He's already seen a lot, and with this we build trust and (hopefully) are able to avoid burning any more favors for Gunther/trading anything away. We already decided on trying to use favor to get his truck fixed, right?
I'm really worried about this web of lies we're digging ourselves into. It absolutely isn't Mantle's forte, and if we start asking people on the homestead to keep things from other people on the homestead, they're naturally going to realize we're asking others to keep things from them. Trust is a two way street.
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>>4596730

That's the third book. 2nd book is Paul becoming Jesus/Mohammed.
>>
>>4596730
>>4596713
>>4596688
I will leave this for about another hour or so, then I will close it, rolling for it if necessary. The next vote will be the overnight vote (or failing that, the first one of tomorrow's run).
>>
>>4596765
Alright consider this closed. I will get started on writing, but I might not be able to get it out tonight - just a forewarning.
>>
>>4596845
Thanks for running regardless.
>>4596734
My memory fails, then. Might be time for a re-read.
>>
>>4596896

No worries, I just re-read it like a week ago. Otherwise, probably would've made the same mistake.
>>
“Well, uh – I’m going to level with Gunther. I own six guns – and five of them I brought with me to …” Belatedly recalling your mother’s presence in the living room, you decide against discussing that shootout any further, and lamely attempt to cover this rather conspicuous self-interruption by coughing. “Suffice to say, I am not entirely sure where they are at the moment, as I left them … with friends. Some of them might have been returned to me, but if they had, I don’t know where they would be in the house at the moment. But if they were around, then among them would be an old break-action shotgun and a 10/22 with an underslung light. If you can find either of those, then you can have your choice of the two of them.” Gunther smiles, thanks you, then heads straight upstairs to start his search. With his departure, your mother and Petra resume digging through their luggage, leaving you once again with your own thoughts. You are, as one might expect, not particularly thrilled about giving away one of your guns, especially after two of them were cached away in fucking Bangor, probably never to be retrieved. But if Gunther does join up with the group, and does end up staying with you, then you really have not ‘given’ that gun away. It would still be around, protecting the place.

And if the Peakes do move on after all of this, then … you really cannot begrudge them something like that. You cannot reasonably expect anyone to protect themselves and a flighty girl cousin with a damned harpoon that has only three shots left. Your mother, having seemingly found what she is looking for heads upstairs, passing Gunther on his way down. From your position, parked between the coffee table and the woodstove, you cannot see them of course, but you can hear them passing each other on the stairs. Mother and probably Petra would be sleeping in the master bedroom, while everyone else bunked down in the living room. No doubt that would be a more comfortable arrangement for them, but the fact of the matter remains that when Winter hits, everyone living here will probably have to sleep in one room – the resource cost required to heat multiple rooms to comfortable, or even just safe, temperatures would be stiff. Looking around the room down here, you try to imagine it with everyone bedded down. It would be tight, but it could be done without removing any furniture. Gunther walks by, noticeably empty-handed, and pokes his head down the cellar stairs, before retreating to look for a light.
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>>4597093
There was that trailer on the Old Morrison Farm – as per your agreement with Reaves, it belongs to you now. If you were able to get that derelict moving, your tank-thing would be more than enough to tow it. Of course, there was the mold issue – not to mention, that trailers like that are poorly insulated – even worse than neglected Farmhouses. Getting that thing habitable, and then heating it … well, it certainly would not be an easy answer to your space problems – but it should be easier than restoring the ‘Replacement Wing’, rebuilding the ‘Missing Wing’, or even just putting up completely new construction.

Half an hour passes, and after what sounded like a miserable time of it in the basement, at least from what you could hear of it on the first floor, Gunther seems to have given up on finding a gun tonight. He apparently did not find anything – which you realize with a bit of a start, means you have no idea where on earth your ‘Firecracker’ is. If someone thought that was one of the guns from the Public Safety Arsenal, and took it, or gave it to someone – shit, you might not see that gun again either. You suggest that Tolle might have an idea where the guns are, more to assuage your concerns about the M240b not being in your possession any more than to see Gunther get his peashooter, but it seems that the man is ready to turn in for the night. He finishes off the glass of water that he started hours ago now, and sits down in one of the comfortable reclining chairs. He noncommittally agrees to ‘gear up’ to go ask Tolle about the guns, mentioning that he just needs a minute first before he does. But before that minute is up, your nurse has fallen fast asleep. Petra joined your mother upstairs some time ago, and judging from the lack of noise, the two of them have fallen asleep. The living room is now only lit with two candles; a fat white one, at least two inches in diameter, on its own candlestick, and the much smaller candle on the saucer that Gunther was using to search the basement. Conveniently, both of them are on the coffee table – you could blow both of them out safely, if you so wished.

>Please choose ONE of the following:
>Wake Gunther up immediately – he has had his minute, and there is no sense in leaving this undone.
>Let Gunther have a small nap, while you stay up for now and try to figure out how you are going to grow pomegranates or something more pressing like, how you are going to house everyone, or the water situation or something
>Time for some shut eye. Blow out both of the candles, and then get some sleep yourself. Tolle will wake you when Fleckkers and Norton get in. (Time-Skip to Fleckker's and Norton's return)
>>
>Time for some shut eye. Blow out both of the candles, and then get some sleep yourself. Tolle will wake you when Fleckkers and Norton get in. (Time-Skip to Fleckker's and Norton's return)

Reginald has been worrying enough. Some sleep will be good for him.
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>>4597094

>Time for some shut eye. Blow out both of the candles, and then get some sleep yourself. Tolle will wake you when Fleckkers and Norton get in. (Time-Skip to Fleckker's and Norton's return)

Time for sleep. Gotta do it eventually, and now's as good a time as any.
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>>4597111
>>4597107
Consider this closed. I will get to writing.
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You find yourself yawning just thinking about staying up any later. With little trepidation, you lean over toward the coffee table, and blow out the two remaining candles as carefully as you can. Darkness claims the room, and the smell of smoke from the extinguished candles drifts over to you as you gingerly curly up under the covers in your stolen hospital bed. Sleep comes quickly, but unlike earlier, there are no strange dreams.

You are awoken by the sound of the Farmhouse’s front door being opened – but before you are even awake enough to worry about it, Tolle calls out quietly, asking if anyone is still up. Gunther is sitting straight up, and you find yourself managing to prop yourself up a bit on your elbows. Seeing that everyone down here is up, Tolle turns on his flashlight, and enters the front door, followed closely by Fleckkers, carrying a covered bucket. Once the two of them are through the door, Fleckkers closes it behind them, and after joking saying ‘Trick or Treat’, the two of them start decontaminating themselves (and the bucket). Gunther seems to be a bit more awake than you are right now, and asks an obvious question – “Is everything alright? You were going to go out there with that Norton guy.” Fleckkers makes a dismissive hand gesture at that, then returns to cleaning and stowing his gear, carefully rolling it up, then stuffing it in a black plastic trash bag. Even once he is done decontaminating the bucket, he still takes several-several seconds to answer that question.

“Yeah – the guy is fine. Everything is fine, he’s just back at Mt. Kineo.” You poorly stifle a frustrated groan; at this point, you cannot help but start to think that Norton is deliberately avoiding you. Fleckkers must have somehow picked up on your discontent, even in the near total gloom outside of the beam of Tolle’s flashlight, as he elaborates on the situation without further prompting. “I explained your stance on the living situations to him, about him needing to be either here or there, full-time. His response to that was to tell me to drop him off at Mt. Kineo, so he can make a decision by the time you arrive for that Steering Committee thing tomorrow.” Your discontent has now boiled over into anger, and not all of it was directed at Norton. You do not know what exactly Fleckkers said, but somehow you just know that he was not exercising a lot of tact at the time. Of course, you never said that Fleckkers should not talk to Norton about his new need to make more permanent housing arrangements – in fact, you kind of expected him to say something. You just … did not consider that Fleckkers would be indelicate.
>>
>>4597581
But as you relax yourself back down into the gurney, and as sleep’s hold on your faculties continues to loosen, you find your anger towards Fleckkers cooling. While Fleckkers can be blunt to the point of being crude (when he is not inexplicably a bundle of nerves) the fact remains that even if he was indelicate in passing along your decision on Norton’s situation, as the head of the Household, you are ultimately responsible for not specifying what he should say, or how he should say it. Of course, while your anger towards Fleckkers steadily cools into self-reproach, your … continued aggravation at all things Norton-related does not slake. You had been willing to give the man the benefit of the doubt – against your first instinct to cut him loose – but now, it sounds like he is going to leave you before you can even give the man his second chance.

You can worry about what to do about Norton later – but right now, the more pressing issue is how their little farm tour went, and what on earth is in that bucket. Unfortunately, there is one thing preventing you from just coming out an asking how the trip went – Gunther. By your estimation, the man saved your life three times; by getting you out of that fucking charnel house, by getting you out of fucking Bangor, and by leading the highwaymen away from that absolute lemon of a safehouse. You feel a genuine sense of indebtedness, no doubt exacerbated by your failure to follow through on your promises to him, and you definitely want the man to stick around – and that is the problem here. Currently, he really only has one option, joining your group, and becoming a ‘hired man’ in your Homestead. If you let him overhear where intact and friendly farming operations are, all of a sudden, he has … more than one option.

And he clearly has some reservations – namely the guarantee for his cargo if he decided against joining up … and then there was the recent request for a gun – a request that was not predicated on him joining, or him doing … anything really. Your concern is that if you give him another option, then he might seriously consider it – which would seriously leave you in the lurch here. On the other hand – if you were to tell Gunther to relieve Tolle, it would be pretty obvious that you were sending him out of the room to discuss this stuff – sending him a clear cut message that he is not trusted, which again, might lead to a situation where Gunther decides against signing up. A third option would be to simply tell him to go play ‘Checkpoint Charlie’ so you can have an important discussion, and hope that his respect for your candor (as conditional as it is) is enough to smooth over any disappointment at not being trusted with this valuable information.
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>>4597582

>Please choose ONE of the following:
>Allow Gunther to remain in the room while you, Fleckkers and Norton discuss how the ‘barnstorming’ operation went.
>Ask Gunther to relieve Tolle on sentry duty, softening the blow by using this as an opportunity to get him one of your less powerful firearms. (Speech-Deception Test CR 66; modifier roll has +2 situational bonus)
>Ask Gunther to go relive Tolle on sentry duty, explaining that you need to have an important conversation for group members only; soften the blow by using this as an opportunity to get him one of your less powerful firearms. (Speech-Rhetoric Test CR 55; no modifier bonus)
>>
>>4597584
>>Allow Gunther to remain in the room while you, Fleckkers and Norton discuss how the ‘barnstorming’ operation went.
I think we need to be banking all the trust we can get with him. The other farmers certainly aren't as well situated as us, might not even know decontamination procedures. And Gunther must know that the group plans to move on those farms eventually, either for assimilation, where his cargo would likely get tampered with anyways, or as a target.
>>
>Allow Gunther to remain in the room while you, Fleckkers and Norton discuss how the ‘barnstorming’ operation.

Gunther is unlikely to leave.
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>>4597582
>Allow Gunther to remain in the room while you, Fleckkers and Norton discuss how the ‘barnstorming’ operation went.
>>
>>4597584

>Allow Gunther to remain in the room while you, Fleckkers and Norton discuss how the ‘barnstorming’ operation went.

He'll know, one way or another. Even if he debates bouncing for the barns, that'll probably change with the knowledge that the group is making moves on them later. He might snitch on us to Parasol though, which may be a problem if he isn't staying in the household.
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>>4597584
>Allow Gunther to remain in the room while you, Fleckkers and Norton discuss how the ‘barnstorming’ operation went.
>>
>>4598135
>>4598057
>>4598039
>>4597915
>>4597645
Alright - you will allow Gunther to stay in the room. No funny business.
>>
This whole being kept at arm’s length is not going to endear the trust necessary for them finally commit to joining up. At this point, you need to bite the bullet and demonstrate that you trust them, and in turn are someone that they should trust. Gunther has reservations true, but you need to remember that they are valid. You are asking a man to join up with an armed insurrection in the middle of a Nuclear World War – and while your government has clearly taken a serious beating, it still exists out there. Setting aside any questions of rapidly diminishing feelings of patriotism on your part, if they were to get their long arms around you again, and if they knew half of what you did, you would almost certainly be executed. Same goes for Gunther, probably … if he joined up. As it stands now, he could probably just … leave the lake, disappear into the Northwoods or whatever, assume a new name, and if the government ever got their hands on him … they would probably let him go.

His reservations are frustrating – but you need to remember, he has options, options that you do not have. You cannot fault the man for trying to consider all of the angles before making a commitment that would get him killed if he were ever caught. And the man might never make the objectively correct decision to join up if you continue to high hand him. Show some trust today to get him to sign that fucking Compact tomorrow. Or is it already ‘today’? What time is it, anyway?

“What time is it, anyway?”

Tolle perks up at that, and then after a bit of searching, manages to find and illuminate the battery-operated clock on the living room wall. 1:48am. As you try to figure out how long it will be until the Steering Committee meets, you realize that you do not remember when you were told to be at Mt. Kineo. Were you even given a time? And it is not like you can ask Fleckkers or Tolle, considering they were both out of the house when you were talking to Parasol and Deputy Bean. You will deal with that in a minute. First things first – “Fleckkers, how did you make out?” No response, beyond him shifting his weight from one foot to the other. Then finally, a very tight, very curt ‘alright’. Jesus Christ, this is like pulling teeth.
>>
>>4598465
“Fleckkers, it is alright. I trust Gunther to keep confidences. So … hang up the cloak, sheathe the dagger, whatever the fuck. Just tell us.” For a moment, you wonder if Fleckkers is going to refuse, but eventually, he clears his throat and starts talking. “We had time to follow up on seven different leads. There were two small dairies, but we struck out on both of them. One had been completely shuttered – well before any of this started, at least a month or so ago – and there was no one living in that farmhouse, either. The other dairy we found looked like it had been hit already, judging by some damaged fencing, but we could not get close enough to talk to them – they were firing warning shots as soon as they saw us. Shame too, it looked like a pretty big operation. Then there was a very small stockyard, just some guy with an old barn and a small pasture. The cattle were all locked up in the barn when we arrived, so I don’t know how many that guy had – but, we could hear them, bellowing and groaning. We were actually able to talk to that farmer, though his end of the conversation was entirely colorful threats and demands for us to leave.

Fleckkers takes a quick break in his accounting of the ‘farm crawl’ to cough and clear his throat, and you are finding yourself having to resist the urge to groan out loud in frustration. Then Fleckkers casually says “But we had a bit more luck the further we got away from built up areas”. He does not immediately elaborate, as he continues to try to clear his throat. “I’m sorry. That mask and getup I was wearing dried me out.” After several-several more seconds and a few dry (and admittedly hoarse sounding) coughs, Tolle leaves the room to get him a glass of water, and Fleckkers soldiers on.

“There was a … I dunno, was a really small operation, had a little bit of everything, bees, vegetables, chickens, sheep, a goat - I guess you could call it a Homestead, like what we got here. And this guy running it, he was the first person we were actually able to have a conversation with. Guy is named Boris Blackie; seemed nice, and sounded like he knows his stuff too. Had a wife, didn’t see any kids. Was willing to talk, and was willing to trade … for our rifles, which besides the truck were the only things that we were not going to be able to part with … but he didn’t seem that enthused about the idea of moving his operation closer to the lake when we floated it. And he is pretty damn far out there – and if the roads continue to get worse, then it might get to a point, eventually, where paying him would take more time and fuel than it would be worth.
>>
>>4598471
Tolle returns with the glass of water, and Fleckkers downs the entire thing in one go, thanks the Firefighter and continues with the accounting of his trip. “There were two more points of interest . Both of them turned out to be boarding operations – one was a horse stable, and the other was a dog breeder and kennel. Obviously, I don’t think anyone would be particularly enthused about eating horse or dog meat, but those animals obviously have uses beyond food. The kennel and breeder specialized in hunting dogs, and the horse farm had a bunch of those forest trails all set up – they train their charges for cross country races. And beyond that, the stable also had a serious supply of hay … so if you needed to source some more for your heifer, you might have options, provided you can afford it – these were round six-by-sixes, with full plastic wrap. No doubt that it is premium stuff. Oh, and before I forget – it seems that the stable and kennel are owned by the same family, cousins. Vincent and Chris Quammen – no idea what kind of fucking name that is. Anyway, I bring it up, because if we, or the group, were to do something to piss off one of the two, the other would probably cut it off with us as well. Something to consider.

The former safecracker pauses for several seconds and clears his throat one last time. “Now, those six were the only ones that we were going to bother visiting. But on our way back, we needed to take a detour on account of a blocked road, and we were passing close to another potential … point of interest. This guy bought stuff to raise a handful of turkeys, and we figured, why not swing by. It was real late, but we take a detour from the detour, and head out over to the place. So there is this old, dilapidated farmhouse, junk and old broken down equipment everywhere, the remains of a barn that looked like it collapsed in on itself …all completely at odds with this brand new, prefabricated warehouse – you know, the kind you can order in catalogs, and have installed in a weekend, just standing off to the side of an incredible mess. Well, now, we’re really curious, so me and Norton knock on the door and then this guy comes to the other side of it, and we explain who were are, why we are here, and how we found out about the place and what we can do for each other … you know, we feed him the spiel we cooked up for prospectives. So, he just stares at us through this little window on the side of his front door for a moment, introduces himself – his name is Andrew Greenly, by the way - and then he agrees to join. Just like that. Turns out that his farm needs constant power, and if there isn’t, the whole thing will fall apart, within as little as an hour. But if he can get that power, as well as clean water and table scraps … then he has an otherwise completely sustainable system, to produce – hold on, I had to bring some back with me, otherwise you'd all think I went nuts out there.
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>>4598475
He opens up the bucket and holds it out. Tolle points his flashlight in there, and when he looks in, he sort of jumps back a bit – much to Fleckkers’ amusement. After savoring that reaction for just a moment, Fleckkers walks the bucket over to you, followed by Tolle, who in the indirect light of his flashlight looks … a mixture of amazed and confused. Gunther gets out of his bed to come over and look as well. As everyone converges on your bed, you can just faintly make out the sounds of rustling in the bucket. You prop yourself up as much as you can without hurting, and crane your neck over to peer into the bucket, as Tolle points his flashlight straight into it. Inside are …

Crabs.

“Maryland Blue Crabs. This guy was on vacation down there a year or so ago, acquired at taste for the things, and decided to see if he could farm them, back up here. Turns out you – or he – can.” You cannot see his face, but you know from his tone that Fleckkers is feeling proud of himself for finding and recruiting a farmer. He continues, either oblivious to or uncaring of your lack of enthusiasm for all of this. “These things aren’t just meat, this is luxury stuff. You live on the Mason-Dixon line, these crabs are your lobster.” Suffice to say, you were not expecting to sign up a crab farmer, or any farmer with an electricity dependent operation, but as far as Fleckkers is concerned, this is ‘mission accomplished’. He seems to have a bad habit of inflating his accomplishments – first, the prowler that he killed became a Firebug in his recounting, and now his grand achievement of signing up a new Satellite that will require a massive expenditure of resources to produce an exotic luxury.

But just because this might not be the boon that Fleckkers has convinced himself that it is, that does not mean that this should just be dismissed out of hand. If there was a way around the power issues –

Wait a minute! Four days ago, at the Reaves job, in the garage, there was an old, odd looking contraption – a contraption that matched one of the Light’s descriptions of a device called a gasifier. If it was one, and you could get the thing working, then you might be able to save some of this crab farmer’s operation. At the very least, it should be enough to save this nutter’s breeding stock. The gasifier unit may not be a long-term solution, but it could be a decent stopgap, something to buy time for the group to find that long term solution … or to determine if seeking a long term solution for this is worth anyone's time. You turn to Fleckkers. “So this guy – how many days’ worth of fuel does he have left?” His enthusiastic tone noticeably falters. “One and a half – and that is with siphoning all of his vehicles and equipment dry.” Shit; that leaves you next to no time at all. You will need to make a decision immediately, then.
>>
>>4598485
>Please choose ONE of the following:

> “Let us see what we can do to save his operation without moving it – this will save as much of his production as possible, so long as he eventually gets the gasifier or an alternative energy source running.” (He will owe you for your assistance (and the working gasifier – if you have one, and give it to him))

> “Let us see what we can do to move his operation to the lake – some of his production will be lost in the move, but once established at the lake, he will have much more support available to him.” (He will owe you for your assistance (and the working gasifier – if you have one, and give it to him))

> “Let us see what we can do to move his operation to our Homestead – some of his production will be lost in the move, but once established at the lake, he will have our direct support available to him.”(He will join your Homestead, and you will need to help source food, fuel and water for the crabs – but everything he produces belongs to your Satellite.)

> “I’m sorry. This all sounds really interesting – but this is not the time for us to get into the crab meat business. I will inform the Steering Committee of his interest in joining, but beyond that he is on his own (Without your support, or the knowledge that you have what might be a working gasifier, it is unlikely that the Steering Committee will bring him into the group)
>>
> “Let us see what we can do to move his operation to our Homestead – some of his production will be lost in the move, but once established at the lake, he will have our direct support available to him.”(He will join your Homestead, and you will need to help source food, fuel and water for the crabs – but everything he produces belongs to your Satellite.)

I bet it would take minimal effort to refit his setup for a more efficient animal like catfish. If there is a fish hatchery nearby it is possible their breeding stock hasnt died out yet but is also running on emergency power. If there are multiple tanks and one tank dies off by accident or "by accident" that would be a good choice of what to put in there I think.
>>
>>4598489
>> “Let us see what we can do to move his operation to our Homestead – some of his production will be lost in the move, but once established at the lake, he will have our direct support available to him.”(He will join your Homestead, and you will need to help source food, fuel and water for the crabs – but everything he produces belongs to your Satellite.)
Other anon has the right idea about switching the operation around, depending on Greenly's set-up. Someone with the know-how to rig up a crab farm on his own must have a fair amount of technical knowledge, or some fairly decent skills. Although, seeing as he didn't greet our guys with hostility points to that kind of thing not being his nature/he's gunshy/he was desperate for a stranger to bail him out. I'm hoping he could be an extra gun in a fight if need be, however I'm a little wary about new people brought onto the homestead having problems with the people we already have here. Not everyone is going to get along.
>>
>>4598656
>>4598580
Alright, I guess this has been long enough. Consider this one closed - I should have the next post up before dinnertime.
>>
>>4598489
> “Let us see what we can do to move his operation to the lake – some of his production will be lost in the move, but once established at the lake, he will have much more support available to him.” (He will owe you for your assistance (and the working gasifier – if you have one, and give it to him))
I think this is the best option, keeping him close without actually taking him into our home. I'd also be careful to make assumptions about switching to another animal, the man does seem to love his crabs.

Just for clarification Trash: He does not have any turkeys right?
>>
>>4598944
Fleckkers and Norton did not see any evidence of Turkeys, but they did not actually ask Greenly if he had them or not.
>>
“Okay, alright. Let’s see what we can do to get this eccentric and his operation set up over here – with us, on the Homestead. Even if the whole ‘crab farm’ turns out to be a complete bust, this Greenly character seems like he would be a good guy to have around. Maybe his skills and knowhow could be directed towards less … exotic livestock, or even towards other fields completely. Like hydroponics, or something like that. Of course, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. If he is able to produce adequately, then there is no reason to through something out that works to try for something else, right?” Your eyes are still adjusting back to the darkness, so you cannot see your hired men or your guest react to your decision, but you can hear the general sounds of assent the make. Good enough.

“Alright then – I will get approval for him to join up and shack up with us at the Steering Committee tomorrow. The group has a standing offer to provide material support to the Satellites, so hopefully we can call that in; no doubt they would be willing to help out if we told them it was for food production – though they probably would blanche at footing the fuel bill …”. You trail off as you are suddenly struck by the feeling you are forgetting something important. There is a long moment as you try to think, while your newly acquired crabs scuttle around in Fleckker’s bucket. Then it comes to you – your promise to Parasol to hand the intelligence over, and your deceit that it was you who realized the value of the documents that Fleckkers snagged from the Prague Farmer’s Union.

“Fleckkers, when you dropped Norton off at Mt. Kineo, did anyone there ask you for those documents?” When his response is a prompt “nope” it seems that you have stumbled across another nascent headache here. Not to mention, an awkward position with Gunther … again. You had resolved to demonstrate trust in him by letting him stick around and hear Fleckker’s report. But if you were sending Fleckkers to drop off the intelligence, then you should seriously consider getting your stories straight, that it was you and not him who figured out the potential value of the documents that were completely incidentally taken from the office of the Union. Of course, this is not what happened at all, but it was what you told Parasol and Deputy Bean. You have already trusted Gunther enough to hear sensitive information – are you willing to tell Fleckkers that you lied to Parasol in front of him?
>>
>>4598983
>Please choose ONE of the following:

>Work around the issue by ignoring Parasol’s order to send Fleckkers directly to Mt. Kineo with the intelligence as soon as he got back.

>Hope that you can ignore the issue for now, and get a minute alone with Fleckkers later to get your stories straight before you head to Mt. Kineo.

>Simply bite the bullet, and directly tell Fleckkers that if Parasol, Deputy Bean or anyone else asks, it was you who figured out the potential value of the documents that were completely incidentally taken from the office.

>Try to get your story straight with Fleckkers in a way that Gunther does not realize you have deceived your group’s leadership. (Speech-Deception Test CR 66, +1 situational bonus to modifier roll)
>>
>>4598985
>Hope that you can ignore the issue for now, and get a minute alone with Fleckkers later to get your stories straight before you head to Mt. Kineo.
here we go again with the web of lies shit
>>
>Work around the issue by ignoring Parasol’s order to send Fleckkers directly to Mt. Kineo with the intelligence as soon as he got back.

This option means we wait an hour or something to debrief Fleckkers and let him take a breather before going to Parasol and in that time Reginald and he get their stories straight? If so, this seems like the best option.
>>
>>4599161
+1 on this. we should NOT tangle ourself up in more lies, that's suicide.
>>
So much to do.
Secure the gasifier.
Check on the Dander the pig's injury.
Dig out the sodium nitrite or sodium nitrate and make moose jerky.
Clean the chimney before things get icy.
Use spray insulation to improve the house.
Build the greenhouses.
Secure the laser for the tank at the Morrison place and search the place thoroughly for a bunker.
Check around for an orthopedist for Mantle.
Secure meds for Mom. Then long term plans dictate the need for a pharmacuedical chemist, non-crank herbalist, or maybe a diatician to help her manage her low blood pressure or whatever is causing it(congenital heart defect or genetic disease maybe?).
Negotiate payment to Gunther for dialysis.
>>
>>4598985

>Work around the issue by ignoring Parasol’s order to send Fleckkers directly to Mt. Kineo with the intelligence as soon as he got back.

If pressed, they did roll up at 2 in the fucking morning. Didn't want to send him up there, alone, at night, where he has a bad reputation and a tendecy to clam up when asked anything. Probably would've got shot.
>>
>>4599161
Supporting this.
>>4599286
>Secure the gasifier.
Definitely. The gasifier might not be in working condition, and with limited man power, I think it'd be best to get Greenly and his operation to our homestead before making moves on the gasifier. We can hold him over with a bit of our own fuel until we manage to recover it. We might need to borrow a larger vehicle to transport things, though. We have several trucks but there's no telling how large his set-up is. Unless I misread something, Fleckkers never saw what things looked like indoors.
>Check on the Dander the pig's injury.
I know Gunther isn't an expert on animals or anything, but as a paramedic, he must have some degree of medical training. Asking him to look at the wound to see if it's infected, or not looking good might be a decent idea. Should hold us over for the time being, or at least shed light on whether or not we need to bring in a veterinarian.
>search the place thoroughly for a bunker.
Good idea. The Morrisons seem very interesting. Checking with the records in town to see whatever became of them could have potential. Treasure hunt.
>>
What do you other anons think about taking over one of the other farms and building up an "off-the-books" farm out at one of them?
I considered it for a while but now it seems getting accidentally attacked by the Parasol Group or maybe just found out seems to outweigh the benefits.

I think the empty dairy is the best bet for a secondary "on the books" location. Move raided stuff there in case we step on the toes of friends of any farmers that join Parasol for some measure of deniability. Maybe move some people out there because it IS getting cramped.

Thoughts, Anons?
>>
>>4599082
Well, as far as the web of lies is concerned, you are pretty much out of it. Deputy Bean doesn't have much more beyond a partially correct suspicion that Fleckkers was holding out on the group, and as long as you and the rest of the homestead get your stories straight before Bean gets a chance to ask anyone else, he wont have any way to prove his suspicions - and with everything else on his plate, he will be forced to drop it.

>>4599161
Actually, the option meant (though I was not clear) that Fleckkers would stay the night, and head over to Mt. Kineo with you and whoever else wanted to visit while you attend the Steering Committee.

>>4599312
Fleckkers does indeed have odd tendencies, and it is a reasonable assumption that Parasol did not expect Fleckkers and Norton to make it back to the lake so late. The issue with assuming that you can just hand wave all of that away is that Fleckkers did in fact head straight to Mt. Kineo, to drop of Norton, before returning to the Homestead. (It is worth noting that neither Fleckkers or Norton had anyway of knowing that you were ordered by Parasol to have the two of them relinquish the 'farm intelligence'.)

So considering there were a few points of confusion on the vote, I will wipe the slate clean, and start anew.

>Please choose ONE of the following:

>Work around the issue by ignoring Parasol’s order to send Fleckkers directly to Mt. Kineo with the intelligence as soon as he got back.

>Hope that you can ignore the issue for now, and get a minute alone with Fleckkers later to get your stories straight before you head to Mt. Kineo.

>Simply bite the bullet, and directly tell Fleckkers that if Parasol, Deputy Bean or anyone else asks, it was you who figured out the potential value of the documents that were completely incidentally taken from the office.

>Try to get your story straight with Fleckkers in a way that Gunther does not realize you have deceived your group’s leadership. (Speech-Deception Test CR 66, +1 situational bonus to modifier roll)
>>
>>4599710
>Hope that you can ignore the issue for now, and get a minute alone with Fleckkers later to get your stories straight before you head to Mt. Kineo.
>>
>>4599710

>Hope that you can ignore the issue for now, and get a minute alone with Fleckkers later to get your stories straight before you head to Mt. Kineo.

Sticking to the vote I had before. Might be risky, but it still seems like the one with the best options so far. I don't trust our luck when it comes to deception right now.
>>
>>4599710
>>Hope that you can ignore the issue for now, and get a minute alone with Fleckkers later to get your stories straight before you head to Mt. Kineo.
>>
>>4599718
>>4599717
>>4599712
Alright that settles it - consider this vote closed, for the second time.
>>
You are not entirely certain how you wound up in the middle of this web of lies; all you wanted to do was to cover for Fleckkers, to do right by someone who had protected your mother and stuffed the Farmhouse full to bursting with critical supplies – it was a good deed, was it not? But now, you might just have to keep lying, again and again. And every time you do, that is another complication, another chance for Bean or someone else to figure you out – not to mention that the more you lie, the worse it would be for you if you were ever caught. You need to put an end to this as soon as possible, and the best way to do that is to stop lying.

Easier said than done, of course. At this point, you cannot let Fleckkers go to Mt. Kineo without getting your stories straight, otherwise someone might question him. You cannot get your story straight with Fleckkers without admitting to deliberately deceiving Parasol to Gunther – and a revelation like that would seriously undermine all of the effort you put into being a person worthy of trust … or perhaps just appearing as one. Either way, he will probably be making a formal decision soon, and something like that getting out could change his mind – or more realistically, give him second thoughts, and drag out his decision-making on going up even longer. The only way you see around this is for you to ignore Parasol’s order for him to hand over the intelligence as soon as he gets back, and have him come with you to Mt. Kineo when head over there for the meeting of the Steering Committee. If you get questioned on that … well, there is an issue there. Fleckkers was already at Mt. Kineo tonight, to drop of Norton … hopefully, you can justify this by saying that it was late, everyone was tired, there could be prowlers around the lake, but it just kills you that you are even in this patently ridiculous situation. Hopefully this does not mar the high opinion that Parasol has of you.

“Alright. Alright.” You find yourself rubbing your eyes with your uninjured hand as you figure out how to frame your orders for your hired men. “Fleckkers, will those crabs survive until tomorrow?” All you get from him is a non-committal grunt. “Well then … feed them something, table scraps or a portion of your dinner, and then we will bring them with us when we head over to Mt. Kineo tomorrow. No doubt the group would be more willing to furnish resources to get Greenly established with us if they saw that he could produce. After that, get some sleep. Tolle, I’m sorry to do this, but we need you back out there on guard duty – you can sleep during the day. Before you step out, please tell Gunther where my shotgun or 10/22 are, okay?” You do not ask if they had any questions, simply choosing to relax back into your stolen hospital gurney and close your eyes. After a moment of stillness, they get the idea, and as you fall back asleep, you can hear them quietly move off on their assignments.
>>
>>4599830
When you wake up, it is 8:06am according to the battery-operated clock on the wall, illuminated by the uncommonly red early morning sunlight. With a bit of a start, you realize that this phenomenon is almost certainly attributable to the nuclear-induced volcanic eruptions in the west. Honestly, the look of it was unnerving enough. In this unnatural natural lighting, Gunther is sitting on your couch, quietly reading what you recognize to be the instruction manual of your 10/22. Tolle is fast asleep on his cot, with his rifle stowed underneath. You do not see or hear anyone else. You straighten up a bit, and blink the sleep from your eyes, as you look around and try to figure out what exactly you are going to do next.

>Please choose ONE of the following:
>Talk to Gunther about teaching him to operate the tank-thing
>Talk to Gunther about administering dialysis to you
>Talk to Gunther about taking a look at Dander (your boar)
>Talk to Gunther about him making a decision on joining the group
>>
>>4599851
>>Talk to Gunther about taking a look at Dander (your boar)
Lets not put any pressure on the man about him joining up just yet. We'll need to talk to him eventually, but lets hold off on it.
>>
>>4599868
+1
>>
>>4599868
+1
It won't be "boar-ing" it will be interesting.
>>
>>4600052
>>4599940
>>4599868
Not quite ready to start writing, but with three votes in already, I might as well consider this closed.
>>
>>4599851

>Talk to Gunther about taking a look at Dander (your boar)

Animal anatomy is different than human, but a stab wound is a stab wound. He should be able to at least give us an idea of how bad it is.
>>
>>4600249
Alright I am going to start writing momentarily, but I just wanted to point out, >>4599457 Gunther is a Registered Nurse, which is a step or two above a paramedic.
>>
>>4600249

I know, but an RN isn't a Veterinarian. A stab wound is pretty straight-forward and diagnosing infection is relatively simple, but if it damaged any of his internals, it'll be harder for him to figure out exactly what and how badly. He knows about how to prepare for IVs, administer medications, and perform a lot of the common medical procedures, but Gunther isn't a surgeon or a general practitioner MD. Just something to keep in mind, especially if we get the opportunity to score some veterinarian books to make it easier in the future.
>>
>>4600274
>>4600288

Fuck sakes, meant to ping your post instead of my own Trash.
>>
>>4600052
>>4600274
please write in this fucking joke, it sounds exactly like the kind of shit Mantle would say in an attempt at humor
>>
>>4600346
Good thing I caught this, I was about to make the post. I will slide this in there.
>>
Not wanting to wake up Tolle after a real double-header on his part, a long day followed by a long night, you gesticulate and wave at Gunther until he finally notices. He puts down the manual, and as quietly as he can picks his way over to your bedside, to talk – or rather, to whisper. “Hey Gunther, could I ask you to do me a quick favor, when you get a minute, of course.” When he silently nods yes to that, you explain what you want from him. “… of course, I know that this is not your area of expertise …” a terrible pun comes to you suddenly, and in your drowsy, less inhibited state, you cannot help yourself “… and after working with people for so long, this would probably be ‘boar-ing’ …” Gunther hangs his head and gently snorts at that; a much better reaction than you expected. “Heh heh heh. I’m here all week.” No laughter is forthcoming for that one though, he just looks at you with a patient and vaguely plaintive look. Jesus, the well has already run dry.

“ - But seriously, out of everyone available, you obviously have the most medical knowledge, and I would hate to lose Dander to this sort of bullshit.” He readily agrees, and when you say that you owe him for this, he insists that it is ‘no problem’, and that he would take care of it first thing after breakfast. Still whispering, you ask the former night nurse where the rest of your household has gotten themselves off to.

“Well, your mother and my cousin are still dead to the world, as far as I know. Fleckkers was looking to improve the little ‘bunker’ they built out of stacked firewood on your front porch, where they keep watch. Wanted to get some sort of roof on top of it – though that does not make that much sense, when you think about it, considering that it is on the porch and the porch already has a roof.” In you still drowsy state, it takes you a moment or two to think of what on Earth Fleckkers needs a ‘roof’ for, but it does eventually come to you, and you explain to your guest what he is looking to accomplish. “If I had to make a guess, I’d say that he wants a roof on there so no one could throw anything into his little woodpile – defense against a Molotov, or something.” Gunther’s eyes go a bit wide at that – his next question is a predictable one. “Do … do you think that is necessary?”
>>
>>4600391
>>4600391
>Please pick one of the following:

>To be entirely honest, yes. Whether or not it was Firebugs who hit the Homestead the first night, the fact of the matter remains is that there are people on the lake who are capable of making improvised incendiaries. Making preparations against Molotov’s or improvised satchel charges are reasonable preparations, considering what we know about these people.

>To be entirely honest, maybe. While it is unlikely that those prowlers were Firebugs, or had any intent other than stealing food, there is a slight chance that they were like the Firebugs B-Team, or 'inspired' by them, or something. Making basic preparations against attacks that would be in their repertoire of them or an imitator makes some sense, though of course, there is a point of diminishing returns.

>To be entirely honest, no – considering that the fools who attacked us weren’t Firebugs. Firebugs are competent, stealthy, and above all, are arsonists. The prowlers on that first night were not competent or stealthy, and I don’t consider a Yippo, matches and fucking yarn enough evidence to consider their intent, primary or otherwise, arson. Fleckkers … maybe he is convinced, but ... don't you think it would be ‘politically’ convenient if they were Firebugs, because that would make him the only group member who managed to kill one? Don't worry about this.
>>
>>4600399
>>To be entirely honest, maybe. While it is unlikely that those prowlers were Firebugs, or had any intent other than stealing food, there is a slight chance that they were like the Firebugs B-Team, or 'inspired' by them, or something. Making basic preparations against attacks that would be in their repertoire of them or an imitator makes some sense, though of course, there is a point of diminishing returns.
Can never be too careful. If actual firebugs showed up here for whatever reason, all of this paranoid preparation would be well worth it. It's definitely not the sort of thing Gunther would want to hear, but it's something we should admit.
>>
>To be entirely honest, maybe. While it is unlikely that those prowlers were Firebugs, or had any intent other than stealing food, there is a slight chance that they were like the Firebugs B-Team, or 'inspired' by them, or something. Making basic preparations against attacks that would be in their repertoire of them or an imitator makes some sense, though of course, there is a point of diminishing returns.

This seems within the realm of honesty without unduely scaring Gunther or being dismissive to Fleckkers. Would't want to be boar-ish.
>>
>>4600399

>To be entirely honest, yes. Whether or not it was Firebugs who hit the Homestead the first night, the fact of the matter remains is that there are people on the lake who are capable of making improvised incendiaries. Making preparations against Molotov’s or improvised satchel charges are reasonable preparations, considering what we know about these people.

no lie here, making preparations is a reasonable precaution.
>>
>>4601085
>>4600883
>>4600866
Not quite ready to start writing, but we can tentatively consider this vote closed.
>>
You raise a placating hand towards your increasingly worried guest. While you have serious doubts as to Fleckker’s (and apparently some Deputy’s as well) belief that the prowlers were Firebugs, taking precautions against them is not a terrible idea. These … you guess that you could call them counter-insurrectionists … are sensible enough to target isolated and soft targets. Beyond the cute stunt they pulled at the bait shop to lure the crew of Engine 2 to their deaths, there have been other fires set – mostly at the houses of group members. Possibly just as a way to vent, considering that the group buttoned itself up after the first attack, possibly to hopefully draw out members foolish enough to try to protect their property, or maybe just as psychological targets. From what little of their ‘playbook’ you have seen, they are looking for ambushes, not assaults – but that does not mean that they will not change up their tactics, especially if you and the rest of the group manage to avoid a repeat of what happened at the ‘Boat House*'. Of course, Gunther does not need to hear that right now – but you are not as reckless as to completely downplay a legitimate, while still potential, threat to your Homestead, or to scoff at reasonable precautions being taken against it … even if Fleckkers is playing politics, or grandstanding, or whatever the fuck it is.

Speaking quietly, to not wake Tolle, you try to honestly appraise Gunther of the situation here. “To be entirely honest, I think it could be a reasonable precaution. Firebugs use incendiaries, and while I doubt those prowlers were Firebugs, ensuring that the Farmhouse is protected against … I don’t even know … modalities, I guess, of attack, that we know enemies in the area use is smart.” Gunther does not seem particularly reassured; no doubt he was hoping that you would just say that your hired man was just being paranoid or making busy work for himself or something. You do try to reassure him; insisting that your Homestead is not going to turn into the OK Corral – and while that does seem to calm him down a bit, you realize that you really have no way to make a promise like that. Still he does not seem as wide-eyed and worried as he was just a minute ago, as he returns to reading the manual for your 10/22 … well, presumably his 10/22 now. It does not escape your attention however, that he is reading the manually much more intently than before – in fact, he is really pouring over it – no doubt because of the conversation you just had.

* For those of you who do not remember, the 'Boat House' is the name of the small Fire Station on the property where Public Safety and Public Works keep some of their watercraft on their own dedicated wharf - located just outside of Debouche in 'Rockhead', an unincorporated community. 'Pic related' is the real Mt. Kineo, seen from Rockwood, the real world equivalent of 'Rockhead'.
>>
God damn it all to Hell. While it is certainly better that he knows the honest truth of your situation – you are very acutely aware that he could choose to join the group, but decide to live elsewhere. You had not given that possibility that much thought, and you do not recall discussing it with him at any point, but … this Homestead is pretty isolated, and while it is nowhere near as soft of a target as the ‘Boat House’ was …

You feel the need to do something, to convince your guest that your home is safe for him, and more importantly, his cousin, to live in. You have a couple of ideas.

>Choose as many of the following as you wish – just remember that these things are never as quick, easy, cheap or as straightforward as they seem.

> This would be a good time to tell him you have a tank-thing. Mention your pride and joy, ask him if he be willing to learn how to drive and operate it, so you could get it out of the ravine as soon as possible.

>Casually mention that if he did join up, you would be able to get him a much better rifle than that 10/22, and maybe even some body armor to go with it.

>Suggest that he attends the Steering Committee with you, as a note-taker, as your dominant hand is all bandaged up. He could get a better sense of the precautions that the group is taking, possibly making him more comfortable.

>Float the idea of having most of the Homestead head over to the Public Safety building at some point, maybe even today or tomorrow, to use the inside range for firearms practice.

>Tell him that you were going to request proper Firefighting equipment be sent over, to ensure that if there was some sort of incendiary situation, Tolle would have the tools available to deal with it.
>>
>>4601144
> This would be a good time to tell him you have a tank-thing. Mention your pride and joy, ask him if he be willing to learn how to drive and operate it, so you could get it out of the ravine as soon as possible.
This we already decided on
>Tell him that you were going to request proper Firefighting equipment be sent over, to ensure that if there was some sort of incendiary situation, Tolle would have the tools available to deal with it.
this sounds very reasonable
>>
>>4601199
I know it was already decided on, but it seemed kind of ... narratively awkward to leave out of this vote. Apologies for any confusion.
>>
>>4601144
>>> This would be a good time to tell him you have a tank-thing. Mention your pride and joy, ask him if he be willing to learn how to drive and operate it, so you could get it out of the ravine as soon as possible.
I don't see any downside to this option. We planned to float the idea to him later anyways.
>Tell him that you were going to request proper Firefighting equipment be sent over, to ensure that if there was some sort of incendiary situation, Tolle would have the tools available to deal with it.
It's probably going to be costly, but as the group's only current food producer, whoever would be supplying us would probably see it as a safe bet. Reasonable option, and one we should be doing regardless.
>Float the idea of having most of the Homestead head over to the Public Safety building at some point, maybe even today or tomorrow, to use the inside range for firearms practice.
I'm sure he wants to give the 10/22 a shot, and giving Petra some firearm instruction wouldn't be a bad idea either. This could be a good opportunity to float the idea of him having that talk with her.
>>
Hey guys just a heads up - my Wi-Fi has decided to completely shit itself. I dont know what the Hell happened, so it might be a bit before I can continue the run.
>>
>>4601334
Alright - thankfully I was able to troubleshoot this on my own. Not quite ready to start writing, so I will leave this open for another hour or so.
>>
> This would be a good time to tell him you have a tank-thing. Mention your pride and joy, ask him if he be willing to learn how to drive and operate it, so you could get it out of the ravine as soon as possible.
>Tell him that you were going to request proper Firefighting equipment be sent over, to ensure that if there was some sort of incendiary situation, Tolle would have the tools available to deal with it.
>Float the idea of having most of the Homestead head over to the Public Safety building at some point, maybe even today or tomorrow, to use the inside range for firearms practice.
>>
> This would be a good time to tell him you have a tank-thing. Mention your pride and joy, ask him if he be willing to learn how to drive and operate it, so you could get it out of the ravine as soon as possible.

Far as firefighting equipment goes, if Fleckkers got a sump pump from the Farm Coop(it was on the List), we could rig that to a hose and a tank of water(maybe mount all this onto a trailer or a hay wagon) that should be easy to scavenge and power it with a power source it should get some decent water pressure that doesn't require being on the grid.
>>
Did a little additional research. Looks like a good sump pump is only 1/4 as good as a low end mobile fire pump.
Thought it was better.
Could still work but not great.
>>
Sorry for the unexpected lapses today - I will get a post up for an overnight vote and I intend for a more regular run tomorrow.
>>
No worries QM, thanks for the update.
>>
While you are almost certain that Gunther will be joining the group, you are increasingly worried that he might not elect to move in with you, out of safety concerns. Personally, you do not think that your homestead is that likely of a target, but even if you are nowhere near as shaken up as your guest is, you are still acutely aware of your relative isolation out here. While you are relatively close to the town center, and the Deputies and other group members stationed in the Public Safety Building, it is an absolute rat’s nest of meandering, poorly maintained roads between here and there. In the best of conditions, driving faster than you should in your old, worn down trucks, it is still an eight-minute drive along a route full of potential ambush spots. And once there is snow and ice on the ground … how is that even going to work? Are they still going to plow?

So yeah, there are certainly valid concerns about how isolated you are out here, whether you discount the threat of Firebugs or not. When seconds count, the police are minutes away – that was your Grandfather’s answer as to why he carried a gun, when you asked him, all wide-eyed, after seeing his old Taurus .38 in its shoulder holster in the parking lot of Mace’s Diner. And while you have doubts that your Grandfather would ever call the police for anything other than insurance purposes , or maybe …

Wait, where were you going with this?

Oh right, you were considering how to convince Gunther than when … if, you mean if … anything were to go wrong out here, the Homestead would be able to deal with it on their own.

“Listen, Gunther – I just want to make this clear, anyone who comes out here looking for trouble is biting off more than they can chew.” You sort of lean in a bit, as conspiratorially as one can lean in while being bundled up on a hospital bed. As minute as the movement is, Gunther notices, and after putting down the manual and turning to face you completely from his seat across the coffee table on your sofa, he leans in a bit as well. “This is not common knowledge … but I got a tank.” Seeing the confusion on his face, you specify a bit. “A military tank – well, a CEV. That’s a Combat Engineering Vehicle … or is it ‘E’ for ‘Engineer’? Anyway, it is the real deal; treads, armor and guns. I don’t know if you saw my M240b around here, the belt-bed – but that big bastard is the smallest gun on the thing. There is a M85, which is basically an upgraded M2 Browning, and the main gun is this massive mortar-thing, designed for bunker-busting. The thing has a full tank of diesel, and everything is …”
>>
>>4602675
You were about to say that everything is in working order, but that was before you drove the thing off of your fucking bridge. It is impossible to not wince at the thought of having seriously damaged the tank in a moment of utterly unfathomable stupidity, but you do the best to push that aside as you tell Gunther the best possible version of events surrounding the strickening of your tank-thing, and ask him if he would be willing to learn how to operate it so he could get it out of the ravine for you. He is really receptive to that, and even though you commonly have a hard time reading people, you can plainly see in his posture and tone that he is seriously relieved. Relieved enough that it almost feels like you do not even need to bother mentioning the ‘plans’ (that you certainly did not just make up on the spot). Like it was belaboring the point, or something.

But while you telling him about how you are going to be making a request for firefighting equipment for Tolle (and Norton, if that prick ever deigns to show himself here) or getting some range time for the whole Homestead (including its guests, of course) is not as dramatic or reassuring as the reveal that you have a tank, at the end of the day, Gunther is still relieved. That is what matters, of course.

God, that tank-thing better work still – judging by how relaxed Gunther seems right now compared to just a minute ago, it might have just made up his mind about joining, and of greater importance to you – moving into the Homestead. Lost in thought as you are over this, you do not realize that Gunther is speaking to you for a moment, so upon realizing, you ask him to ‘repeat that’. “Oh – I was just asking when you wanted to do your dialysis today? I checked with Fleckkers, and he says there is a generator … several, actually … capable of running the machine. You could do it here, and have more time to spend at Mt. Kineo after this meeting you’ve got gets out – or before it, whatever – or you could just plan on doing it there; Fleckkers is certain the generators they are using up there will run the
machine as well.”

>Please choose ONE of the following:

>Ask if putting dialysis off until you manage to get Greenly set up on your Homestead is possible.

>Ask Gunther to administer your Dialysis at Mt. Kineo

>Ask Gunther to administer your Dialysis at the Homestead.
>>
>Ask Gunther to administer your Dialysis at Mt. Kineo
>>
>>4602714
>>Ask Gunther to administer your Dialysis at Mt. Kineo
Lets save our own resources for sustaining Greenly's set-up. We might not be able to get the gasifier immediately, or it could need repairs.
>>
>>4602714

>Ask Gunther to administer your Dialysis at Mt. Kineo

Dialysis take a fair while, at least 3 hrs if I remember right. Might as well do it there, otherwise we'll be held up at the Homestead until the afternoon. Not sure how long they'll be willing to put up with us being slow. Parasol and the others can talk to us about the farms while Gunther's running the dialysis.
>>
>>4602722
>>4602773
>>4602777
Okay, we can do this. But >>4602777 raises an interesting point. In the previous vote, there was an option to bring Gunther along to the Steering Committee - an option that no one voted for. So I guess we could consider this a secondary vote; do we want to do dialysis while we are in the meeting, which means that Gunther will be present, or do we want to do it before or after, knowing that it might not be the most effective use of time?

>Dialysis before or after, and try to find something productive to do.
>Dialysis during, and have Gunther on hand for the meeting.
>>
>>4602782
A point of clarification, when I say 'before or after' I mean while we are still at Mt. Kineo regardless. That vote was closed.
>>
>>4602782
>Dialysis before or after, and try to find something productive to do.
I don't want him on the meeting. Also I'm no expert but I think dialysis is actually a pretty draining process so I don't think we will be able to take part in a meeting properly when we're strapped in. best to do it after.
>>
>Dialysis before or after, and try to find something productive to do.

Best security practices dictate that the Steering committee be a closed affair.
>>
Taking Gunther to Mt. Kineo and then going "Sorry, you can't go into the meeting." sounds like it could end horribly, but if we do our dialysis now we might not get a chance to catch Fleckkers alone. Ugh.
>Dialysis before or after, and try to find something productive to do.
this is the best of the two options
>>
>>4602920
>>4602895
>>4602857
Alright, that is enough to settle that. I need to take care of a couple of things, so I can't get to writing immediately, but I intend to get another post out soon.
>>
>>4602920
>Taking Gunther to Mt. Kineo and then going "Sorry, you can't go into the meeting." sounds like it could end horribly
I don't think that's hard to explain actually. Not everyone who is a groop member gets to attend the meeting, and Gunther didn't even sign the damn compact yet
>>
>>4603003
Those were also my thoughts.
>>
>>4603003
I was originally thinking that too but when I saw that
>have Gunther on hand for the meeting.
was presented as an option with no clear "buts" I started having worries
Hopefully the logical excuse will be enough.
>>
“Why don’t we plan on doing in the Big House, right after the Steering Committee adjourns? Never been good with meetings, so I will probably need to be ‘topped off’ afterwards.” Gunther smiles at that, but before he can reply, Tolle starts to stir on his cot. Damn it – were you being too loud? He rolls over on his side to prop himself up a bit, while he looks around the living room, blearily and wearily blinking, before focusing on you the two of you. “Really sorry Tolle, didn’t mean to wake ya.” He slumps back on to his cot, suddenly enough that the metal frame squeals. Trying to make it up to him, you ask if he wants anything to eat before falling back asleep.

He is not hungry, but he does have a sore throat – he believes it is from wearing the respirator all night, probably a reasonable assumption. Without prompting, Gunther gets up immediately to go grab one … of course, considering you are bed bound for the immediate future, you realize that you were more or less volunteering him to go do so. Well, at least your guest does not mind the imposition, and you are glad to get Tolle some water. Gunther picks his way around the coffee table and cots of the room as quietly and efficiently as one would expect of a night nurse, before disappearing out of view. Momentarily, you hear him in the kitchen getting Tolle’s water. Your parched Fireman stretches his shoulders a bit, as he looks over to where Gunther left the room.

“He’s a good kid.”

“Certainly is.

“And you aren’t that bad yourself.”

“Don’t you forget it.”

The two of you share a quiet chuckle – but you find yourself wondering if Tolle would call Fleckkers ‘a good kid’. You are actually considering asking him point blank what he thought of the former safecracker before Gunther walks back, holding two glasses of water. Your guest, graciously moonlighting as a host in light of your infirmity, hands Tolle the taller of the two glasses, from which they both drink deeply. After both of the glasses have been drained, Tolle remarks that water was good … then proceeds to raise a related concern. “If we are going to make what food we have here last, we should really get a proper inventory taken, sooner or later. At least we are not going to run out of water – between the hand pump in the dooryard and the honest-to-goodness cistern in the basement, we are all set.” Oh Jesus Christ … had they been drinking water from the pump, or that fucking sty of a cistern? Neither of them are capable of producing potable water anymore – the dug well with the hand pump located in the yard had been thoroughly contaminated. It was the decades of manure from the larger and much more intensive operation that the Lasky family used to run here seeping into the groundwater that did that one in – you only use that water for the animals or to wash stuff with.
>>
>>4603185
And the cistern is even worse – it pulls from the same contaminated ground water, but as it sits directly under the Farmhouse, the water also became contaminated with lots of different dissolved solids over time, the most dangerous and alarming of which was lead. You would not use that water for anything – the only reason it was still there is because you had not gotten around to properly decommissioning the cistern. You got all your water from a third well, drilled far enough away from the contamination that the water was clean enough, but considering that it was electrically pumped … it might as well not exist right now. You will need to figure out how to source a supply of clean water – or get comfortable with the idea of drinking mildly soiled water from the hand pumped well in the yard.

>Please choose ONE of the following:
>Use the time before the Steering Committee meets to figure out how to get the electric pump for the clean, drilled well working again.
>Use the time before the Steering Committee meets to make an inventory of the food and water available to you on the homestead.
>Use the time before the Steering Committee meets to send Fleckkers and Gunther over to the Old Morrison Farm to retrieve what you hope is a gasifier – already there are several projects that you could use it for.
>>
>>4603188
>>Use the time before the Steering Committee meets to send Fleckkers and Gunther over to the Old Morrison Farm to retrieve what you hope is a gasifier – already there are several projects that you could use it for.
build a sediment filter and boil our water before drinking
>>
>>4603217
Also question about the las cannon: did we have an epiphany regarding the Messerschmidt logo? If so, we have an IC reason to let these two investigate the mystery box in the mystery shed as well.
>>
>>4603217
+1

The sump pump from the Farm Union should be able to be made to replace the water pump if necessary but its probably just a bad gasket/seal that needs to be replaced and heck we could probably salvage a whole new proper pump from an abandoned property or one that was up for sale without much trouble.
>>
Another thought, there is probably at least a day worth of soda/bottled water around the farm. We can take some lidded buckets with us to the meeting to fill up with water to use until we fix/replace the pump.
>>
>>4603277
To be entirely honest, I don't know. I suppose it would make sense for it to be an IC epiphany, but I really had not thought about it.

>>4603217
>>4603393
Alright, I suppose I will consider this closed so I can squeeze in another post today. This will be the overnight vote though.
>>
“Um … did – did you get that water from the cistern?” To your relief, shakes his head no, and you cannot help but breathe an audible sigh of relief. “Alright, good. Cause the water down there is no good – dangerously no good. The stuff from the hand pump in the yard is much better … but it is still not one hundred percent safe either. It is alright for the animals, and cleaning – and with all the stuff in the air now, it is probably safer than just drinking raw lake water if you needed to, but the best stuff comes from the drilled well, the electrically pumped drilled well.” This revelation predictably does not sit well with Gunther or Tolle. After a strained moment and some uncomfortable shifting, Gunther asks the obvious question. “What the Hell is wrong with it?” You explain how in spite of what appeared to be proper waste management, decades of manure eventually managed to contaminate the groundwater that the hand pump and the cistern draw from. Gunther looks equal parts disgusted and upset, setting his glass down gingerly on the coffee table as if it was some sort of explosive, and from what you can see of Tolle in his cot from your elevated position on your stolen hospital gurney he does not look that pleased either.

Not wanting them to dwell on this, you decide that this is the time to tell them about the Potential Gasifier. “Well, listen – the water is not dangerous, it is just that there are better alternatives available, we just need power to get to them. At some point, we will need someone to go down there and figure out how to get the electric pump for the cl – er, the drilled well hooked up to a generator or something, especially if we are going to need clean water for crabs and stuff. And in that regard, I think I have a lead on something better than a generator. Have either of you two ever heard of something called a ‘gasifier’?” Both your hired man and your guest shake their heads no. “Apparently, they are this device that can turn plant stuff – er, Cellulose, I think – into stuff that can used as fuel, piped right into a carburetor. And I think I might already have one.” You briefly explain how your clean out jobs work, and then explain how you found a device on the Morrison property that matches the description of a gasifier – generator combo. Both of them seem intrigued at the announcement, though it seems that any enthusiasm that they otherwise might have has been ruined by the revelation that they were drinking shit water, which, you suppose, is understandable.
>>
>>4603907
“Listen, how about we get the sleeping beauties down here for breakfast, then you –” gesturing towards Tolle “ – can go back to sleep, and you – ” gesturing in turn to Gunther “ – can go with Fleckkers to the Morrison property. There is actually a lot of good stuff there – I only had time to take the trash off of the property.” Both seem to be on board with your plan, and Tolle hauls himself out of bed and starts heading to the kitchen. You had expected him to sleep, not cook, but after that incredible homecoming dinner last night, you cannot bring yourself to tell him to go back to bed. And another, less guilt causing surprise - Gunther mentions that he has clean water in his truck, and that until the electric pump is running again, everyone should use that for cooking and drinking. You agree to that readily, and so does Tolle, as he pads into the kitchen in stocking feet. Likewise, Gunther heads upstairs to get your mother and his cousin down for breakfast, leaving you alone momentarily to gleefully savor your guest’s decision. While he has already decided to share the dialysis machine and fluid with you, that was something that only you could get any use out of. Water, potable water, on the other hand … he’s getting serious about joining – he has to be.

Moments later, as Tolle can be heard moving around in the kitchen, Gunther returns downstairs, passes by you briskly on his way to the improvised outerwear bundled up in their black plastic trash bags by the door. By the time he is suited up and heading out, Petra and your mother are on their way down the stairs. With the front door open for a moment, you can hear Fleckkers calling out to Gunther, asking him “What’s up?” before your guest closes the door behind him, pushing on it experimentally after it is closed, to makes sure that it will not just swing open again on its own. You say ‘good morning’ to the two women as they sit down on the sofa, and try your hand at making small talk for a minute until your mother notices the sounds of Tolle cooking in the kitchen, and gets up to go help him. You stop her, partially because you want to talk to her about your plans for the day, and partially because you are not keen on a repeat of yesterday’s breakfast – freezer waffles that were burnt and undercooked by turns.

You tell her, and Petra, about your plans for the day – how you will be longer at Mt. Kineo than you expected earlier, catching yourself before mentioning dialysis, as you realized at the last second that your mother might not know that your were shot in your kidney, or just how close it was to being fatal. Of course, you will still need to find time to tell her about the extent of your injuries … and their source. Just not before breakfast, obviously.
>>
>>4603909
Segueing away from that, you mention how Gunther and Fleckkers are going to be heading out today, after breakfast, to the Morrison property, to retrieve some things for the Homestead. Both of them are interested, and understandably concerned about that, so you spend some time explaining the object of their search and assuring the two of them that they will be safe. As you think you have finally convinced them, Gunther reenters the Farmhouse with a jug of clean water and Fleckkers. The two of them clean themselves (and the jug) in the entryway area before joining you in the living room proper. With everyone – minus Tolle, of course, present, you mention your other idea, of going to indoor shooting range in the basement of the Public Safety building and getting some practice shooting, all together, as a household – making a point to invite your guests along as well.

Surprisingly, Petra actually seems the most enthused about the idea – considering her most recent experience with firearms, you would have expected ambivalence, if not trepidation. Your Gun-shy mother, of course, immediately tries to decline, claiming that someone should be at the Homestead at all times, and she is too tired to go shooting. Obviously, she is trying to get out it – you do not even know when this will be, so ‘too tired to go shooting’ is Grade-A malarkey. On the other hand, she does raise a fine point – someone will need to stay behind to keep an eye on the place, and if she did not want to go …

>Please choose ONE of the following:
>You do not even know when this is going to be. Drop the subject for now, but try to convince (Speech-Rhetoric Test CR 66) her later. (If you convince her to go, instead of ordering her, she will have an easier time learning)
>This is patently ridiculous. How is she going to protect the place if she is so unwilling to take up arms? This could be a matter of life and death – if it is her sensibilities or her safety, you will choose her safety. Order her to attend, in front of the rest of the homestead. (Speech-Rhetoric Test CR 34 – if you order her to go, instead of convincing her, she will have a harder time learning)
>If someone does not want to learn, then odds are they will not. Let her and maybe someone else stay behind to keep an eye on the place.
>>
>>4603910
>You do not even know when this is going to be. Drop the subject for now, but try to convince (Speech-Rhetoric Test CR 66) her later. (If you convince her to go, instead of ordering her, she will have an easier time learning)
it is not an urgent matter, really
>>
>>4603910
>>You do not even know when this is going to be. Drop the subject for now, but try to convince (Speech-Rhetoric Test CR 66) her later. (If you convince her to go, instead of ordering her, she will have an easier time learning)
>>
>If someone does not want to learn, then odds are they will not. Let her and maybe someone else stay behind to keep an eye on the place.

We really shouldn't leave our massive loot pile ungaurded. Dusk and one other sounds good to me.
>>
>If someone does not want to learn, then odds are they will not. Let her and maybe someone else stay behind to keep an eye on the place.
>>
>>4604104
>>4604091
>>4604025
>>4604000
Hmm. Well, I will take another hour or so for lunch, then if there was not a tie breaker, I will roll for it.
>>
Rolled 1 (1d2)

>>4604107
Alright

Roll of 1
>You do not even know when this is going to be. Drop the subject for now, but try to convince (Speech-Rhetoric Test CR 66) her later. (If you convince her to go, instead of ordering her, she will have an easier time learning)

Roll of 2
>If someone does not want to learn, then odds are they will not. Let her and maybe someone else stay behind to keep an eye on the place.
>>
Okay. I need one roll of 1d6 and one roll of 5d20 to convince your mother to go with you to the shooting range. Good luck - the CR is 66, as previously stated.
>>
Rolled 1 (1d6)

>>4604164
>>
Rolled 4, 12, 2, 17, 20 = 55 (5d20)

>>4604164
Oh god
>>
Fitting roles for a half-assed attempt
>>
Well, this is impressive - thankfully this is something that can be worked around for now.

Raw Rolls
4
12
2
17
20

Gross Rolls (Raw Rolls x0.500, from roll of 1 at current rank)
2
6
1
8.5
10

True Gross (Gross Rolls - 1, from current rank)
1
5
0
7.5
9

Final Roll

22.5

3rd Degree Failure of Speech-Rhetoric Test
Due to this overwhelming failure the CR for Ordering your Mother to attend marksmanship practice is raised from 34 to 60

A Note on Degrees of Success and Failure - there is the CR value (Critical Roll) which is what is required for success. The First Degree of Success is from the CR to the CR +20 - in this case, from 66 to 86. If the final roll was in this range, then you passed the test and successfully accomplished what you were trying to do. The Second Degree of Success is from CR +20 to CR +40 - in this case, from 86 to 106. If the final roll was in this range, then you passed the test, successfully accomplished what you were trying to do, and received a small bonus, benefit or reward related to the task at hand. On the flip side, the First Degree of Failure is the CR -20 to the CR -0.001, in this case from 46 to 65.999. If the final roll was in this range, then you failed the test - however, there are no additional consequences, beyond simply not getting what you wanted. The Second Degree of Failure is the CR -40 to the CR -20, or in this case 26 to 46. If the final roll was in this range, then you failed the test, and incurred a small malus, penalty or complication related to the task at hand. In the case of Success and Failures of the Third Degree and beyond, the bonus/malus, benefit/penalty, reward/complication is increased exponentially

Anyway - I need to take care of some things, but I will get to writing as soon as I can.
>>
Hey guys, quick update. I'm kinda getting a bit of writers block on the post here - dialog has never been a strong suit of mine, and this one is dialog-heavy - I intend to get a unified post up for the overnight vote, one that encompasses Dusk's response to your attempt at persuasion and how Fleckkers and Gunther made out at the Morrison Farm. Sorry to keep you guy waiting like this.
>>
Just to be clear, we voted to drop it for now and talk to her later, right? So we'll make an ass of ourselves in a 1one1 with mum, not now in front of everybody.
>>
>>4605100
Correct. Still working on the post, but I intend to get it up soon.
>>
Obviously, your mother is going to need a bit of convincing to go along with this – she is as has always been Gunshy. Something about the idea of guns, and to a lesser extent, weapons in general, just set her off – even so much as talking about them is deeply uncomfortable to her. A case in point was one time when she, seemingly at random, initiated a conversation about shotguns – a conversation that you remembered, simply because it was so out of character for her to even talk about that kind of stuff. She was asking incredibly general questions about shotguns – things like size, weight, and length – and it took you a moment or two to realize that she did not even understand the difference between a rifle and a shotgun – but when you tried to explain the difference between them, she simply did not want to hear it.

She just completely shut down that line of conversation, insisted you answer those basic questions about shotguns, then ended the conversation abruptly by explaining that there had been a report in the news about a very young child, three or four years old, accidentally discharging a shotgun and killing themselves. The reason that she started this conversation in the first place was that she thought that the story did not make sense – something about the time between the death of the child and the discovery of the body. Somehow, she got it in her head that another, older child accidentally killed the toddler, and the parents were lying to protect their remaining child. While admittedly, you would agree that a three year old would be hard pressed to accidentally kill themselves with a full sized shotgun – which considering that the report did not mention it being cut down, legally or otherwise – the fact that your mother, someone who would roundly deride ‘conspiracy theorists’ of all stripes, who would almost always take the news at face value … that she was so unshakably convinced that this already sad and unfortunate tale had to be darker and more twisted, spoke to a deep seated fear … and even to a certain extent, a hatred of guns.

You had known that she was like this, and she held gunowners, especially ones who carried or were politically active, in no small amount of contempt – but the fact that this fear was able to color her perception so thoroughly, and that not even you could reason with her over this … to be honest, it sort of scared you. To see an intelligent, introspective woman completely refuse logic, or information that ran against her beliefs … regardless, you did not discuss anything to do with guns with her, even again. She knew, of course, that you had at least one gun, as you inherited it from your grandfather – but to her credit, she did not antagonize you over it, at least after you told her you had a gun safe (a bit of a deception actually – it was a metal strongbox that you kept unlocked in a larger wooden chest you kept at the foot of your bed).
>>
>>4605425
Of course, she might have been more inclined to grief you over your gun ownership if she knew you had purchased more firearms, one of which – the double stack M9A3 Berretta - for the express purpose of self-defense, before you had your job as an Animal Control Officer, or that you would carry outside of your job ‘like one of those maniacs’. So you know that convincing her to come along with you to the range is going to be an uphill battle – to put it mildly. Still, as far as you are concerned, it is one that needs to be fought … just not right now. You let the subject drop for now, acutely aware that you have two extremely difficult conversations with your mother looming over you now. Lost in your thoughts as you were, you manage to remain oblivious to the sounds and smells of breakfast being prepared, but when Tolle brings it in, you are promptly snapped out of your fretting.

> Consumed and Removed from Inventory
> (All) of the Pancake Mix
>?/? of the (Store Bought) Maple Syrup
>?/? of the Confectionary Sugar
>?/gallons of the (Store Bought) Milk
>4 oz/? of the (Store Bought) Butter
>3/? of the (Store Bought) Red Delicious Apples
>?/? Clean Water

“Alright – so, just a disclaimer. I’ve never made pancakes with goose eggs before, but I tried one, and honestly, I think it came out alright.” Tolle is really underselling his work on your old woodstove, the pancakes are excellent, with a real rich taste to them. And after seeing the seeds that were saved from the pomegranate, he took the initiative to save the seeds from the apples that he sliced up to serve alongside. It is a nice gesture, to be sure, but you know that apple trees take at least a decade before they begin to fruit, that you need at least two different strains to grow anything – something about how they pollinate – and that even before … everything that happened … Red Delicious apples were not grown in Maine. Still, in circumstances such as these, you realize that to a certain extent, planning for the future is important for morale, even if the plans are unsound, never are completed – or even acted on.

Despite how good the food is, the portions are smaller than you are accustomed to, and the meal finishes much quicker than it normally would, and compared to the homecoming dinner last night, the meal is taken more or less in complete silence, after the initial reassurances to Tolle that his goose egg pancakes are much more than ‘alright’. There is an unspoken common understanding around the living room about the small portions – that this is how this are going to have to be from now on, and it definitely puts a damper on what would otherwise be a wonderful light breakfast.
>>
>>4605429
Splitting your limited supply of food, six ways – seven if this Greenly agreed to shack up or Norton actually decided to show up, or eight with both of them – it is going to be a hardship, no doubt. Your reflections on the food situation lead you to wonder how viable – and safe – hunting game, small or otherwise, for food will be in the coming Winter and beyond. But these thoughts, much closer to daydreams than actual plans are eventually interrupted by your mother starting to clear away the dishes – thankfully, no one needed to be told to eat everything on their plate – and then Gunther lightly slaps his hands on his knees, and announces that he and Fleckkers should be heading out soon.

The battery-operated clock on the wall reads 9:32. By 9:37, Fleckkers and Gunther had left, after making many promises to stay safe and come back soon. You can hear the truck – you do not know whose – rumble its way out of your dooryard on the old logging road. By 9:40, Tolle has fallen back to sleep, and your mother, along with the younger of your two guests are wrapping up their cleaning in the kitchen. Shortly, the two of them make their way back into the room, and your mother asks your permission to go through the supplies taken out of the Prague Farmer’s Union to find a pair of boots – apparently, Fleckkers had the foresight (or greed) to take women’s boots as well. You do think of the multiple serious conversations you need to have with her now, but feeling that having to do it with a sleeping Tolle just a few feet away is not optimal, you allow her to go ‘shopping’ in the Replacement Wing – Petra follows her, and for some time, you are left to yourself. Stuck in bed, as you are, you find yourself beginning to drift off to sleep … it seems that in your injured condition, you are, perhaps predictably, in a near constant state of drowsiness.

You must have actually nodded off, because all of a sudden, the clock reads 10:11 and Gunther is back at the front door, asking to be let in. His voice is raised, certainly, but there is no panic in it, and when your mother and Petra come out of the Replacement wing, you gesture them to unlock and open the door – which now that you think about it, you should probably make a drop bar for. You can hear the two of them enter, and when they remove their masks and respirators you can instantly see that Fleckkers looks noticeably annoyed at something. Once the two are finally out of their improvised outerwear, Gunther comes into the living room to make a report.
>>
>>4605430
“Well, the good news is that we found that gasifier-thing you were talking about, and it appears to be in working order. The bad news is that we weren’t the ones to get to it first. There is already a family out there – group members, in a formal Satellite. They’re there to get the farm ready to operate whenever this coming Winter ends.” As Gunther is giving his account, your former safecracker leaves the entry way and sits down on the sofa, arching his back so that his head stares straight up at the ceiling. Gunther continues. “The guy we spoke to, named Reaves, said he knew you, that had actually done some work for him out there. Seemed like a nice guy, but maybe a bit absent minded. Anyway, I told him what we were looking for, and he showed me the thing, even got it up and running for a proper demonstration. Still, no need to worry – he is willing to sell it to you.”

>Mental Test I: CR 45 – please one roll of 1d6 and one roll of 5d20 to determine if you lose your cool at this welcher’s dogshit.

“Anyway, he says he is going to be that meeting today at Mt. Kineo, and that if you want to, you can meet with him before the thing starts to negotiate a deal – but he did say that he was planning on selling it to the group, after giving a demonstration at the meeting, so you will need to make ‘your best possible offer’ – his words, not mine.”

>Mental Test II: CR 70 – please, another roll of 1d6 and 5d20 to determine if you have any cool left after the grievous affront of this blatant extortion.

>Regardless of how upset you are at this dogshit, how on Earth do you respond to this? Please choose ONE of the following:
>Do not meet up with him at Mt. Kineo. Let him make the demonstration and attempt to sell the thing to the group, then tell everyone, including Parasol that by the terms of your agreement, that the gasifier belongs to you and that he is effectively trying to sell stolen goods.
>Meet up with him at Mt. Kineo. Tell him that if he makes a demonstration, or attempts to sell the thing to the group, you will tell them that it is stolen, and that he needs to keep his end of your agreement.
>Meet up with him at Mt. Kineo. He has you over a barrel here – odds are that no matter what he wants it will be easier to get the gasifier from him than it would be from the group.
>Do not meet up with him at Mt. Kineo. Head over to the Morrison Farm right now, and tell him that if he makes a demonstration, or attempts to sell the thing to the group, you will tell them that it is stolen, and that he needs to keep his end of your agreement.
>Do not meet up with him at Mt. Kineo. Head over to the Morrison Farm right now, to claim the gasifier and the rest of your salvage. By force if necessary.
>>
Rolled 6 (1d6)

>>4605435
>Do not meet up with him at Mt. Kineo. Let him make the demonstration and attempt to sell the thing to the group, then tell everyone, including Parasol that by the terms of your agreement, that the gasifier belongs to you and that he is effectively trying to sell stolen goods.
I think this is best resolved through Parasol
>>
shit I just thought of something! We knew all along that there was such a massively valuable thing at Morisson farm and kept this information for ourselves. This could fuck us! Changing to
>Do not meet up with him at Mt. Kineo. Head over to the Morrison Farm right now, and tell him that if he makes a demonstration, or attempts to sell the thing to the group, you will tell them that it is stolen, and that he needs to keep his end of your agreement.
but don't threaten him right away, try to work something out. Unless he wants the tank. He can't have the fucking tank.
>>
Rolled 10, 3, 6, 4, 16 = 39 (5d20)

>>4605435

>Do not meet up with him at Mt. Kineo. Head over to the Morrison Farm right now, and tell him that if he makes a demonstration, or attempts to sell the thing to the group, you will tell them that it is stolen, and that he needs to keep his end of your agreement.

That welching piece of shit. Even if he tries to pull that whole "Everything's diffeent now because of the Strikes", remind him that we put in most of the fucking work that even let him get to the Gasifier. Even if we are gracious enough to let him keep whatever salvage is there, this is some grade-A ratfuckery to call all your agreements pre-Collapse null and void when it's suddenly beneficial to his self-interest.
>>
Rolled 6 (1d6)

Oh Reaves, you little shit, we had a deal.
>Do not meet up with him at Mt. Kineo. Head over to the Morrison Farm right now, and tell him that if he makes a demonstration, or attempts to sell the thing to the group, you will tell them that it is stolen, and that he needs to keep his end of your agreement.
>>
>>4605435
>>Do not meet up with him at Mt. Kineo. Head over to the Morrison Farm right now, and tell him that if he makes a demonstration, or attempts to sell the thing to the group, you will tell them that it is stolen, and that he needs to keep his end of your agreement.
Weaseling out of a deal, with the group's sole food producer, and selling off a generator crucial to getting more food production going Reaves? This is definitely something we could try holding over his head, on top of potentially denouncing him in front of everybody.
He could be slightly upset with us, despite being a pretty nice (seemingly) guy. iirc, with the tank-thing's trip home, we ended up trashing the gate to the Morrison place, and mulching part of the road there. Still, we really could use that thing, probably more than he needs whatever profit he could pull from it. He's in the inner circle, and is probably living at Mount Kineo currently.
>>
Rolled 15, 17, 11, 16, 4 = 63 (5d20)

>>4605435

>Do not meet up with him at Mt. Kineo. Head over to the Morrison Farm right now, and tell him that if he makes a demonstration, or attempts to sell the thing to the group, you will tell them that it is stolen, and that he needs to keep his end of your agreement.
>>
>Do not meet up with him at Mt. Kineo. Head over to the Morrison Farm right now, to claim the gasifier and the rest of your salvage. By force if necessary.

Let's freak out and stomp their skulls in, no negotiations.
>>
>>4605895
>>4605862
>>4605718
>>4605692
>>4605652
>>4605520
>>4605514
Alright - that is settled. You will immediately head over to the Morrison farm to inform him that if he makes a demonstration, or attempts to sell the thing to the group - you will call him out publicly.

Mental Test I : CR 45 (Mental is at Nascent in Understanding)
Raw Rolls:
10
3
6
4
16
Gross Rolls: (Raw x1.125)
11.250
3.375
6.750
4.500
18.000
True Gross Rolls: (Gross - 4)
7.250
-0.625
2.750
0.500
12.000
Final Roll
21.875

2nd Degree Failure of Mental Test

It takes you a minute or so to regain your composure, and you wake Tolle with all your swearing. Considering that you didn't pass the first test, you aren't in a position to run the second.
>>
You try to keep you cool here – you really, really do. But this is just too God damned much to deal with; on top of everything else that happened to you, you are being robbed – and how! And FUCKING how! You have had thieves help themselves to the fruits of their labor before, and you have had clients try to (and in some cases, succeed at) bending the terms of agreements on you. But this is the first time that you have ever been robbed by a client. And that is what this is; that is completely what this is – you are being robbed, literally and physically in broad fucking daylight. So predictably, you blow your top – impotently raging in your stolen hospital gurney.

“The GALL of that man! My best possible offer? For something I already fucking OWN? I’ll give him my offer, I’ll give it to him right between his fucking eyes – ” This continues for some time, with Tolle, having long since been roused from sleep, sitting up on his cot and nodding along to your tirade, as everyone else in the room, save Fleckkers, looking more and more uncomfortable as your outburst metamorphosizes into a full blown tirade. After a minute or so of this, you finally calm down enough to the point where you can actually articulate your grievance. “- the Hell he had on the property, and he certainly didn’t care; it was all trash to him. So, the two of us made a deal; I clean out the dooryard and the outbuildings of everything that was not nailed, bolted, or cemented in place – and whatever I want out of whatever I pulled out was to be mine. We agreed on that – more than that, we closed the fucking deal – he paid me. That gasifier is MINE.”

You breathe heavy for a bit as you calm yourself down … but your mother, insisting on acting as the voice of reason here, trying to see Reaves ‘side’ as somehow being a legitimate position instead of dogshit skullduggery is making it really hard for you to level your head. “Well … certainly it does seem like he is taking advantage of you, but if your agreement was to clear out the property, and you left stuff there, then doesn’t that mean you aren’t upholding your end of the agreement either?” A damned fair point, but being as clever and articulate as you are, you have a rebuttal already on hand for that.

“Ah, shut up.”
>>
>>4606470
Disrespect to your mother aside here, is that Reaves’ argument – his paper shield? That you did not finish the job, so he can claim your agreement null and void? If that is all he has to work with, then he is completely outgunned and about to be outplayed – you never agreed on a timeframe that you needed to complete the job by, so if he is going to play that card, then he is basically asking you to finish the job – you have already removed the trash, so you would just be taking the salvage, including the gasifier. Heh heh heh. Confident that you have already figured out welching piece of dogshit’s playbook, you apologize to your mother for telling her to shut up before announcing that you will need to go over there right now, to square this out with him.

Everyone in the room, except Tolle, who is still half asleep, and Fleckkers, who still looks annoyed and preoccupied with something, is on edge after your outburst and tirade – and your mother even goes as far to ask if you going over to the Morrison property in “the state you are in” is a good idea. But you are adamant, and soon, you and your hospital gurney are draped in spare Improvised Outerwear and are being loaded into the back of Tolle’s truck. The cap on the back is quite a bit taller than the one on Gunther’s, but you still make a point of improvising a cushion for your head. Once you are strapped down and shut up tight in the back, Gunther gets behind the wheel and Fleckkers, after sliding open the window between the cab and the cap settles into the passenger seat, with one of the rifles formerly from the Public Safety building’s arsenal in his hands.

>Backroads, Debouche Maine
>10:36am on 11/1/2020
>Cold, but definitely above freezing
>Some Wind, Negligible Fallout and Ash
>Sunset around 6:45pm

You had been driving for several minutes, in complete silence – save for the truck, of course – when Fleckkers, with no small amount of exasperation told Gunther that he could actually go faster than this. Gunther replied that not only did he see no need for any more speed, especially on roads in such poor condition, he also pointed out that this was not his truck, and that if anything happened to it, he or anyone else would be hard pressed to repair any damage.

>Please choose ONE of the following:
>Remain silent, and let Gunther take this at a safe and deliberate pace.
>Tell Gunther that Fleckkers is right, and a little speed never hurt anyone.
>Order Gunther to make some haste here (initiates Driving-Test)
>>
>>4606473

>Remain silent, and let Gunther take this at a safe and deliberate pace.

We did kind of do a number on our heavy-weight truck with Tinn's Trials, we can't exactly afford to bust up any of the other vehicles right now, especially when they aren't ours. Tolle will still need his for any fireman related shit that'll come up iirc. It'll be rough for him to get to the firetrucks in a hurry if he'll have to bum a ride from someone else at the Homestead.
>>
>>4606473
>Remain silent, and let Gunther take this at a safe and deliberate pace.

Above Anon has it right I think.
>>
>>4606560
>>4606485
Alright - I will get writing.
>>
You decide against saying anything to Gunther – besides not wanting to be a backseat (or ‘undercap’) driver, it seems to you that Gunther has the right of it. Unlike your escape from Bangor through completely unsecured roads, the group has the roads around the lake locked down as well as they possibly can – if there were any threats on these roads, it would be an ambush, not a chase, so in your mind, driving fast here would put you in more danger, not less, considering that at higher speeds, Gunther would have less time to react to the hypothetical ambuscade after it was sprung. Nah, slow and steady is the smart play here, no doubt. Especially considering the road itself – despite being well strapped down, you are still being shaken and stirred like a fucking martini back here. You cannot see the road, and you cannot say that you have ever been down this portion while tied down on a gurney in the back of a truck before, but even so, you can not help but think that this stretch of road is really worse for the wear for some reason.

Even at Gunther’s relatively slow pace, you still think you make decent enough time on your way over to the Morrison Farm. Soon you can tell you are on the final stretch when you are suddenly pitched feet first up a decent grade as the truck begins the climb up the hill, and you have to actually hold your pillow cushion in place over your head to stop it from falling off as Gunther asks if you are still ‘sitting pretty back there’. Your first attempt to answer him was thwarted by the spare Improvised Outerwear draped over your gurney sliding straight onto your face and even into your mouth a bit. It takes a bit of doing, but you manage to get the runaway overcoats out of your mouth and pinned under your chin – no small feat with both of your arms secured at your side – and shout back (perhaps a bit louder than necessary) that you were ‘just fine, thanks for asking’.

Thankfully, before your seat back here stops being pretty, the truck makes that final, deceptively tight turn and you are back on level ground. Gunther kills the engine, and after checking on you, all the while having (and failing) to stifle chuckles at the absolute sight you must be after that, your guest and your hired man head out to find and bring that welcher to you, so you can set him straight.

Unthankfully, both of them return sooner than you would have expected – without Reaves. “ – before we even got to the trailer, we could see that his truck was gone. And after we tried knocking, I went to the shed-thing where he gave us the demonstration. Gasifier’s gone too … do you think he went to Mt. Kineo early?” Your response “YEAH, I DO” is louder and more venomous than necessary, but after having already vented earlier, and still being a bit dazed from the trials of travel in your condition, you manage to get yourself under control before you antagonize your guest any further.
>>
>>4606673
“Wait – a truck? When I met the guy, he was driving this small foreign sedan.” Fleckkers explains that when he and Gunther arrived the first time, there was a relatively new looking box truck parked inside the depot where he demonstrated the gasifier to the two of them – and no sign of any sedan, at least anywhere in the dooryard. Fleckkers makes a pointed observation that if Gunther had driven with a bit more urgency, that you might have been able to intercept him, considering that getting the gasifier unit into the truck must have been a fairly strenuous affair for one man, assisted only by his wife and children. Gunther does not rise to the provocation, however – instead,with a bit of a tired sigh, he simply asks; “Well, what should we do now?”

>Please choose ONE of the following:
>Get back in the truck and let us try to catch him before he makes it to Mt. Kineo. We don’t know how much of a head start he has, so it might not even be possible, but if we wanted to talk to him or attempt to take the gasifier back before he got to Mt. Kineo, then this would be our only option. (Initiates Driving Test for Gunther)
>If he is going to be at Mt. Kineo, so I guess we go to Mt. Kineo. Maybe we talk, maybe I convince him of the error of his ways, maybe I have to buy the damned thing from him.
>If he is going to be at Mt. Kineo, then let him wait. I don’t know when exactly the meeting starts, but the two of us could still sit down and discuss things before the meeting starts … even if the three of us were to linger here for a bit, to try to reclaim some of my stolen property.
>Let’s take this opportunity to properly fuck this bastard. Gunther, get back in that truck, and go get Tolle and my Mom to come here, each of them in one of my trucks, with the trailers. We’ll take everything he stole from me … that would be a good start. (Note – your hired men, your guest and your mother are tentatively willing to help you reclaim your stolen property, but some of them may need to be convinced if you wanted to take things any further than that – by taking things you have no claim to, or committing acts of vandalism or arson, for example).
>>
Is there a way for us to call parasol?
>>
>>4606679
You were going to be given a communicator (analogous to a cell phone) but you are not sure if you actually received it, and it is somewhere in the Homestead or Parasol still has it in one of his offices or something. I suppose that you could return home and try to find the communicator to get your side of the story to Parasol first. But it is not guaranteed that you have it, or that if you did, you could find it before Reaves made it into Mt. Kineo
>>
>Write-In, if possible. "Fleckkers, can you get in without signs of entry and loose for a way to poison their food supply? Like maybe smash up a bottle of pills and drop them in their booze or something? We're going to pay through the nose for this thing and be polite and understanding doing it, then we'll take back what's our plus asshole tax."
>>
Poison them, go to mt kineo and buy the generator, they die from poison, we come back and take everything. That's the plan.
>>
>>4606847
Jesus christ, this is worse than vodka time.
>>4606675
I'm tempted to stay here and get some of our shit back, but it's probably better to promptly make our stance known and defended so that he can't try to take it back later.
>If he is going to be at Mt. Kineo, so I guess we go to Mt. Kineo. Maybe we talk, maybe I convince him of the error of his ways, maybe I have to buy the damned thing from him.
>>
>Send a messenger to Mt. Kineo. Let it be known that we are at Morrison Farm to finish our clean out of the property, as per the terms of our agreement. Let it be known that if Reaves wishes to change the terms of our agreement, he better get his ass, and the Gasifier, back here.
>>
>>4606847
strong opposition to this "plan"
>>
Well, we got some good discussion going. I guess I will leave this up for a bit longer, see if one of these three options gets any more support.
>>
>>4606847 I withdraw my write-in.
>>
>>4606847
Relax, we're not fucking dirlewagner.

>>4606858
+1 on this however.
>>
>>4606858
This works
>>
Alright, we can do this. I will get to writing as soon as I can.
>>
Actually, I do have a question before I start writing up the post. If you are sending someone to Mt. Kineo, how exactly do you want to work that? There are several ways to do it.

>Please choose ONE of the following:
>You and your two men head over immediately.
>Gunther heads over, while you and Fleckkers remain on the property.
>Gunther brings you back to the homestead, then heads over ASAP
>>
For this one I'd actually prefer to send Flekkers, while we and Gunther sit tight
>>
after delivering his message he should come back without waiting for an answer, so that we can actually begin our clean out work. We ain't bluffing.
[s]plus I really want that Lascannon [\s]
>>
>>4607089
To do spoilers, you need to use 'spoiler' and '/spoiler'. Also, you can highlight what you have written, and use control-s to spoiler everything that you highlighted.

And to be clear on what you are looking for, when you say deliver the message, do you mean have him find Reaves and tell him or just tell people at Mt. Kineo and then return? Either way, I would consider that an acceptable write in.
>>
I would leave the details to him, just get the word to the man and make our position clear
>>
>>4607119
Alright, I can do that. And considering that there were no other votes for 12+ hours on that, I guess I will be doing that.
>>
“Alright. Just … alright.” You take several deep breaths, trying to come to terms with this dogshit. Momentarily, you calm down enough to actually think. It comes to you that if Reaves wants to be cute with the agreement, then there should be nothing stopping you from doing the same. “Fleckkers – I want you to get into that truck, and head over to Mt. Kineo, right now. Find that bastard and tell him we are here at the Morrison Farm right now, and that I intend to finish cleaning the place out, as per our agreement. If he has any issues with that, if he wants to change the terms of our agreement, then please, let him know that he can come back here to work out new terms with me before we start work … effective immediately, not when you give him the message. If you can’t find him, then tell anyone who will listen instead – make it as publicly known as possible. Don’t just air his dirty laundry, run it up the Goddamned flagpole.” You were about to tell your hired man to get going, when another thought comes to you instead. “And if you do see him – don't let him use you as a messenger. You say your piece, then you leave before he can get a word in edgewise. Run away, or, I don’t know, fucking plug your ears, but do not let that bastard weasel out of coming back here. Once you’ve either told him or enough people, then come straight back. We have work to do."

Fleckkers nods, and as he and Gunther start to unload you from the truck, you make one final amendment to the instructions for your safecracker. “If you do manage to find him, tell him to bring that gasifier.” Fleckkers nods, his mouth set into a thin, straight line. With nothing else to say, and nothing to do, you relax as your bed is finally trundled out of the truck’s bed. Fleckkers hops in the truck, and after making what looked to be a fairly dismissive gesture at Gunther’s earnest advice to ‘not drive her too hard’, starts the engine and pulls out of the dooryard. Your guest takes a minute or two to push you across the uneven, unmowed ground to the cover provide by the … you suppose you will refer to it as the garage from now on, but it was the large, almost hangar-like building, with the pits to work under the vehicles, where you … you! originally found the gasifier, as well as the maceration experiment that so thoroughly spooked you. Finally, Gunther gets you undercover, and he leans against the corrugated steel breathing heavily – exerting oneself though a full mask and respirator must be a real workout. You are more than willing to give him a minute or two to recover, while you think of what to do next. Is it actually in your best interest to resume work immediately, as you threatened? While this might be the only opportunity to recover the salvage, Reaves, despite his air-headed, absent-minded demeanor has demonstrated he is fairly conniving. Is it possible that he could turn this around against you?
>>
>>4607643
>Please choose ONE of the following:
>Enough of that wishy-washy shit. This is might be the last opportunity you have to recover the salvage that you earned for this job. Start moving right now – or rather, get Gunther moving right now.
>While just resuming work like this might somehow play into Reaves hands – maybe you could get away with sending Gunther into the ‘forbidden shed’ to retrieve the whatever was in that airfreight box experimental laser point defense system for the tank
>Well … maybe it would be best to simply not do anything, despite what you told Fleckkers to tell Reaves. You know, give that bastard no grounds to object to your presence here.
>>
I would like to get the Lascannon but there is still the issue on it being in a ramshackle shed close to collapsing. I wouldn't want to send Gunther in there for the shed to come crushing down on him. If we still had the truck I'd suggest we just tear down the shed and salvage from the debris. Or has the shed been secured by Mr. fancy architect now?
>>
>>4607645
>>While just resuming work like this might somehow play into Reaves hands – maybe you could get away with sending Gunther into the ‘forbidden shed’ to retrieve the whatever was in that airfreight box experimental laser point defense system for the tank
Lets at least have Gunther check it out. It's probably too much to handle on his own, ramshackle shed aside. Just explicitly asking him to scout it out, then come back here to let us know how risky it looks. We can decide whether or not to move on it after Fleckkers returns, and it wasn't like we started salvaging just yet, so whatever Reaves says about us for that has a negligible effect.
>>
>>4607650
+1
>>
>>4607649
The shed does not appear to have been touched, let alone reinforced since you saw it last.
>>
Alright, we will go with just sending Gunther into the shed. Can I get 5 rolls of 1d20 to determine the condition of the shed? I will sum those five rolls, knock 10 points off of the value and then use that value as an athletics test for Gunther. So you want these rolls to be as low as possible. If no one has rolled in about 15 minutes or so, you can roll again.
>>
Didn't we vote to just let him assess the situation and report back?
>>
Rolled 1 (1d20)

>>
Rolled 1 (1d20)

rolling for the shed.
>>
Rolled 16 (1d20)

>>4607688
>>
>>4607719
>>4607712
I've been thinking about it, and you are right. Forget any test for now. No need for anymore rolls here. I am going to take a shower, and then I will get to writing.
>>
“Gunther, why … uh. Hmm.” At first, you are not entirely certain what exactly you want Gunther to do for you – obviously, you want to take a peek at whatever that nameless Morrison had airfreighted over from Europe, but you do not want to put Gunther at any risk, or for that matter do anything that Reaves could object to later – save that ‘nuclear option’ until you have exhausted all of the more neighborly options available to you. Your guest does not seem to pay your indecision much mind, he is still catching his breath. Either he is weaker than he looks, or it is harder than you thought to push a hospital gurney across an uneven, unmowed yard – hopefully, it is the latter. “Gunther, while we got a minute here, could you head over to that –” you gesture with you good hand in the direction of the ‘forbidden’ shed “- and look around a bit? See what you can see, without disturbing anything? And be careful; the place is in lousy shape.” Gunther has recovered enough to at least nod, but still takes a few more seconds before pushing himself off of the corrugated steel wall of the garage.

He had not been out of your sight for half a minute, when you realized that the reason you had not been able to check out the ‘forbidden’ shed in the first place was not because Reaves told you not to go into it, but rather because it was the only building besides the Old Farmhouse on the property that was locked (or at least, the only one that you had found so far). Seeing the lock, you hesitated, noticed the condition that that shed was in, and asked Reaves for his … opinion? Which was the first time that welching fuck put the screws to you. If you did not have so much on your plate that day, you might have had the presence of mind to realize that if he could do it once, with a vacuous fucking smile, if you remember correctly, then he would be willing to do it again, and worse given the opportunity. And like some sucker, you gave him that opportunity. Well, you at least know enough to learn from your mistakes. Obviously, you do not want Gunther to do anything that would give that bastard leverage over you, such as break down a door to a shed that you had been directly told not to enter. You call out to him, for him to come back, and he does. Much too quickly – he must have already been on his way back.
>>
>>4607801
“Gunther, I’m sorry. I forgot that the shed was locked. You didn’t … break anything to get inside, did you?” He shakes his head no, but as relief is washing over you that Reaves did not just pick up something else to hold over you, Gunther makes an important clarification. “I didn’t need to break anything – there wasn’t even a door on the shed, let alone a lock, though now that you mention it, I think I saw on the doorframe where it originally was … oh, just to be clear, are we talking about the tall shed, off by itself, the one that looks like it is about to just fall apart, with the small barn door that has the … people door cut out of it?” You attempt to nod, forgetting again that your neck is still in a brace. God, you are such a dumbass. “Yes Gunther. That is the one.”

“Ah okay. Anyway, yeah, I didn’t break or touch anything – well, except the floor when I stuck my head in for a second. Looked like it was a proper little workshop in there at one time.” ‘Workshop’ is extremely promising, but ‘at one time’ is enough to rain on any metaphorical parade. Gunther continues to explain: “There were shelves, and lockers and peg board up against most of the three walls opposite the door, but they were completely empty.” You did not get a good look at the inside of the shed before Reaves opened it up, so you are not entirely certain that there was anything on those shelves, or in the lockers or whatever – still, you have to admit that you are more than a little bit disappointed. But Gunther is not done: “There were some bigger things still there. I recognized a lathe and one of those really big drills – and there were other machines that I didn’t recognize too – and there was one of those upright saws, and what I think was a welding kit maybe. And in the back was this big box –”

Gunther gestures with his hands, and your mood, which was already dramatically improved by the news that you now owned a lathe, and possibly a milling machine, shoots straight through the roof. It is funny, if you think about it rationally, because under your current circumstances, the lathe and milling machine are probably more valuable than whatever is in that box, but the fact that Reaves did not manage to steal this mysterious treasure away from you is just such an ecstatic sort of relief “ – and I don’t know for sure, but I think it is in German. Anyway, yeah, that is about everything in there. The shed itself is in really rough shape – just from the door, I could see where some of the rafters had actually snapped. I mention that because … uh, well, do you have some plan or something to get all of that stuff out of there? Cause, honestly, I don’t know if that poor thing can take it.”
>>
>>4607802
Actually, you have two plans. First, there is the one that Reaves outlined for you. How to go about safely and securely reinforcing each of the failed and failing pieces of the shed, and then removing everything. A lot of work considering that once you are done removing everything, Reaves will probably just allow the shed to rot, if he does not just knock the thing down. Alternatively … if your tank-thing was up to it, that A-frame crane would be absolutely perfect for dismantling the shed top down. Once the roof is removed, then it is a simply a matter of pulling the walls down and hauling out the machinery, any incidentals that you fine, and most importantly, the mysterious German box. Of course, that is assuming you have you tank-thing ready to go when you get the opportunity to start work here again – if you get the opportunity to start work here again that is.

You are so deep in thought that you almost do not notice Fleckkers pull up right along side the garage. He jumps out, to give his report. “Couldn’t find the bastard, but I certainly looked hard enough – spread the word as best I could. Also, when I was speaking with that Bean guy, the Deputy – he realized that he or Parasol never told you when the meeting was; wanted you to know that it is at 2 o’clock, sharp.”

What tangled webs we weave, when we seek to deceive.

Oh no. Oh NO. You never got a chance to tell Fleckkers that Bean suspected something fishy had been going with the ‘chain of custody’ of the intelligence on local farming operations from Prague Farmer’s Union. What had happened was that Fleckkers had deliberately taken documents and receipts from the Union, with the intent of backtracking them to farms by cross-referencing names with a phonebook to determine addresses. But Fleckkers did not share any of this information with the rest of the group. Concerned that Fleckkers, already sort of on thin ice with the rest of the group, considering his background as a convicted felon ‘from away’, would get into serious trouble, you covered for him by claiming that the papers were collected completely incidentally, and it was only later that you were the one who figured out their potential value. You have had been meaning to get your stories straight with him, but did not want to do it in front of Gunther, because you were worried that revealing to him that you were lying to your group would lower his opinion of you, just as he was looking to be getting serious about staying with you at the Homestead.
>>
>>4607806
You should have known that Bean would have been at Mt. Kineo – or at the very least, you should have realized that he could have been there. Not to mention, if you had sent Gunther, this could have been a great opportunity for you and Fleckkers to get your stories straight, and all of this could have been avoided. Fleckkers clearly had some sort of conversation with Bean – it is possible that this never came up? Probably not … but regardless, you will wait until you and Fleckkers are alone to have that conversation. For now, you need to decide what to do about Reaves and other incredibly fucked up situation at hand.

>Please choose ONE of the following:
>Wait for Reaves to return (How Long? – it is currently 11:48, the Steering Committee meeting starts at 2:00)
>Look for the salvage that you are entitled to from the dooryard.
>Look for the salvage that you are entitled to from the dooryard, and then start to load it into Tolle’s truck.
>>
>>4607808
>>Look for the salvage that you are entitled to from the dooryard.
Just a quick pass through to make sure it's there. Kill some time before the meeting.
>>
>>4607808
>Look for the salvage that you are entitled to from the dooryard, and then start to load it into Tolle’s truck.
build up some leverage and show that we mean business
>>
A guy like Flekkers should have the natural sense to be rather tight-lipped when talking to a fucking cop... at least I hope so
>>
>>4607871
>at least I hope so
Likewise. However, with how quick he was to jump at claiming to being the only group member who has killed a Firebug, I'd think he could potentially be a narcissist, or out to improve what the rest of the group thinks of him, so he doesn't get into trouble. Hopefully you're right, and he kept any bragging to a minimum.
>>
>>4607808
>>Look for the salvage that you are entitled to from the dooryard, and then start to load it into Tolle’s truck.
We'll keep our word and do our job.
>>
Trash, do we have a winch on our truck? I was thinking of pulling the ramshackle shack down like this
>>
>>4607922
We have one on our heavy truck, but unfortunately enough, Tolle does not have one on his. But, considering that this is a farm, if you wanted to go with the pull down method, I'd say that it would be reasonable for you to find some chains somewhere. Obviously, not as safe as a winch, but it could be done.

I am not quite ready to start writing, but I do have a second question here. If you are going to be poking around the Morrison Farm, then what exactly is going to be your policy about breaking into things to look for your property.

>Please choose ONE of the following:
>If you encounter something locked, you will not attempt to break into it at all - instead, you will move on.
>if you encounter something locked, you will attempt to break into it, so long as doing so will not damage anything.
>if you encounter something locked, you will attempt to break into it, so long as doing so will PROBABLY not damage anything.
>if you encounter something locked, you will attempt to break into it with no concern to how much damage is done in the process.
>>
>>4607948
>>if you encounter something locked, you will attempt to break into it, so long as doing so will not damage anything.
>>
>>4607948
>>if you encounter something locked, you will attempt to break into it, so long as doing so will not damage anything.
As long as it's within the area we were told to clean out.
Did Reaves ever specify a policy about this kind of stuff initially?
>>
>>4607948

>if you encounter something locked, you will attempt to break into it, so long as doing so will not damage anything.

Hey now Reaves, we're just finishing up the job we both agreed on. What's that? Hey now, you never reached out to us about it after everything was said and done pal, just helping clear out the junk so that you and your family can get moved in, just like ya wanted.
>>
>>4608043
>>4608025
>>4607962
Alright, I am going to grab something to eat, and then I will get to writing.
>>4608025
No, there were no instructions to any particular effect - however, he wasn't living here with his family before either.
>>
Reaves WAS the one who introduced us to Parasol and got us into the group, right? Are we being too hard on him?
>>
>>4608314
It was the other way around, wasn't it? I recall us having a long-standing work relationship with Parasol.
>>
>>4608459
Maybe I was just speed reading but it seemed unclear.

Also... just realized during the moose encounter... Sam Tsung. Heh.
>>
>>4608314
>>4608459
>>4608562
Well, if it was unclear, I can specify now that >>4608459 has it right; you have been doing clean out jobs for Parasol at properties he bought in the area for about two years now. He recommended you to Reaves, who was in the process of moving into Debouche when the Nuclear War started.

>>4608562
I was wondering if anyone got that one ...

Anyway, my apologies for the delay here - I will get to writing.
>>
>>4608606
Putting aside any concerns you have about Fleckkers perjuring you, you focus on the task at hand – recovering as much your property here as you possibly can. “Alright – while we wait for our ‘client’ to get his welching ass over here, you guys might as well pick up where I left off.” You know that you can be dense at times – real moronic. But somehow, you never let yourself forget what is owed to you. It takes a minute, considering that it has been four – actually, five days now – yet after taking your time, you can say with complete certainty that you can recall everything of value that you found on the job.

In the order that you found it (excluding trash and articles you already took)
Chainsaw oil - potential for chainsaws (0.5% weight, 0.5% volume)
25 pounds of green feed (1.25% weight, 3% volume)

10 Empty Hydraulic Fluid Buckets (Slicked) (0.25% weight, 1% volume)
25 pounds of green feed (1.25% weight, 3% volume)

5lb of scrap metal (0.25% weight, 0.5% volume)

50lb of green feed (2.5% weight, 6% volume)

Clawfoot bathtub, repairable condition (4.5% weight, 2% volume)
25lb of green feed (1.25% weight, 3% volume)

Cheber Grill with matching cover, working condition (5.5% weight, 8% volume)
Consumer LP tank, 0.75 filled (1% weight, 2% volume - explosive)
Niggs and Raffton engine, working? condition (4% weight, 5% volume)
Small Engine, possibly in working? condition (3% weight, 5% volume)
0.25 Cord of ‘slab’ wood (25% weight, 20% volume)
Set of Garden Tools, repairable condition (1.75% weight, 2% volume)
5lb of scrap metal (0.25% weight, 0.5% volume)

Porcelain Dinner Set (0.75% weight, 3% volume - fragile)
Sterling Silverware (0.75% weight, 2% volume)
Pewter Gravy Boat (0.25% weight, 0.25% volume)

Improved Light Crafting Workbench (5.75% weight, 8% volume)
Dressmaker’s Model (0.5% weight, 2% volume)
Dressmaker Sewing Machine (1.75% weight, 4% volume)
Assorted Sewing Machine Parts (0.75% weight, 5% volume)

Misc tire chains (3.75% weight, 3% volume)
Tractor Jack (2.5% weight, 3% volume)
Misc animal traps (2.25% weight, 2% volume)

20 Empty Pails (Not Food Safe) (0.5% weight, 2% volume)

3x Operational hay wagons (towable)*
Operational hay wagon frame (towable)
Non-operational improved hay wagon frame (40% weight, 200% volume)
Gutter cleaner frame (possibly rebuildable) (20% weight, 125% volume)

*One of the operational hay wagons (capable of carrying 50% of the weight and 200% of the volume of a truck) has a hitch that will mate with Tolle's truck, allowing it to be towed behind.


Well - before you send your two men off, you will want to give them instruction. This is all new them, after all.
>Teaching Test - CR 40 to moderately improve the odds of your men recovering items
>Please may I have 1 roll of 1d6 and 4 rolls of 5d20? (If you have already rolled, but more rolls are needed, wait 10 minutes, then roll again)
>>
Rolled 6 (1d6)

>>4608661

May as well get that modifier roll out of the way for others.
>>
>>4608661
dice+5d20
>>
Rolled 7, 9, 20, 7, 2 = 45 (5d20)

>>4608661
>>4608669
It's too early in the morning
>>
Rolled 12, 14, 11, 3, 14 = 54 (5d20)

>>4608661

Some more rolls to flesh it out.

>>4608670

S'all good, at least you cleared the CR 40 before the boost from rolling a 6 on the modifier roll.
>>
Rolled 5, 1, 17, 1, 10 = 34 (5d20)

Once more then
>>
>>4608671
>>4608675
If either of you two are still here, you can roll the fourth and final roll.
>>
Rolled 19, 18, 9, 11, 9 = 66 (5d20)

>>4608689
scavenging savant
>>
Rolled 14 (1d20)

Alright - so considering that Reggie is at Delusional or Unwilling for Teaching >>4584089 we take the worst of the four rolls - the 5,1,17,1 and 10. The 6 means that these rolls will be modified by x1.125; so they become 5.625, 1.125, 19.125, 1.125 and 11.250. Summed together, that is 38.250, just shy of the CR 40. As a first degree failure the only negative outcome is that you do not confer any bonus to Gunther and Fleckkers looking for your property.

"Well, before you go - I want to give the two of you some pointers on how to look for stuff." Your two men shuffle closer to your gurney, and you do your best to impart the wisdom, but after a while, you get the sense that they are not getting much of anything out of it, and just trail off for a moment, before abruptly sending them on their way. At the very least, you are pretty sure that you did not confuse them, hopefully.

You do not have anything to do, but just sit on your ass and wait, but eventually, the two of them come back to report ...
>>
>>4608705
... that things were pretty good, considering all of the constraints that the two of them had been put under. Gunther had told Fleckkers to stay away from the 'forbidden' shed, and as you had instructed the two of them not to force entry, or to even attempt to break in if there was a possibility that they would damage something, the areas where they were able to look were relatively limited. And as one might expect, the things they found were the larger articles that could not be stored away under lock and key.

List of Recovered Articles, available for loading and immediate transport:
10/10 Empty Hydraulic Fluid Buckets (Slicked) (0.25% weight, 1% volume)
10/20 Empty Buckets (Soiled) (0.25% weight, 1% volume)
10/10lb of scrap metal (0.5% weight, 1% volume)
50/100lb of green feed (2.5% weight, 6% volume)
Clawfoot Bathtub (rebuildable) (7.75% weight, 2% volume)
Cheber Grill with Branded Cover (working) (5.5% weight, 8% volume)
Niggs and Raffton engine (condition unknown) (4% weight, 5% volume)
Small Engine (condition unknown) (3% weight, 5% volume)
Set of Garden Tools (repairable) (1.75% weight, 2% volume)
Misc tire chains (3.75% weight, 3% volume)
Tractor Jack (2.5% weight, 3% volume)
2x Hay wagon (working) (towable)
2x Hay wagon frame (working) (towable)

List of Located Articles, that are currently unrecoverable:
Improved hay wagon frame (repairable) (40% weight, 200% volume)
Gutter Cleaner (rebuildable) (20% weight, 125% volume)

Excluding the oversized articles, you are looking at 31.75% weight and 37% volume - considering that the hay wagon has 50% weight and 200% volume capacity, you could stick everything on one of the functional wagons, and drive off. The only issue is that you don't have enough chains and straps on hand to properly secure everything - there is a chance that during the drive back to the Homestead, something on the flat bed of the wagon could fall off and break, get lost or otherwise become unrecoverable. However, there is some good news. Tolle's truck has additional weight and volume capacity: 87.5% and 25% respectively; or 15% volume capacity, if you are going to be under the cap as well in your gurney. Basically, look at the list of the recovered articles, and pick any combination of them that sums up to 25% volume. Anything under the cap cannot be lost, and has only a 1% chance to take damage during the trip - compared to items stored on the hay wagon, that have a 10% chance of being damaged, and a 1% chance of being lost; despite your men doing their best to secure everything, it is an open, wood bedded hay wagon after all.

>On the truck, under the cap (any combination up to 25% volume), rest on the wagon
>Please write-in (including yourself as Reggie; 12.5% weight, 10% volume if you want to ride back with the cargo)
>>
>>4608730
Alternatively, you can choose to put nothing on the wagon, and make as many trips as necessary with the truck - Tolle's truck has almost a full tank after all, but there might be better uses for it later, not to mention, better uses of your time as well.
>>
>>4608730
Under the cap:
>50/100lb of green feed (2.5% weight, 6% volume)
>Niggs and Raffton engine (condition unknown) (4% weight, 5% volume)
>Reggie; 12.5% weight, 10% volume
10/10lb of scrap metal (0.5% weight, 1% volume)
>Tractor Jack (2.5% weight, 3% volume)
On a hay wagon:
>Cheber Grill with Branded Cover (working) (5.5% weight, 8% volume)
Secure this with the tire chains, if possible.
I don't want to chance riding with loose items. This seems like the main "choice" loot out of the bunch. Unless I misunderstood, 50 pounds of green feed is 6% volume, and we would need another 6% to take the entire load, right? Maybe we can come back for the rest, or someone might be able to get a bit creative on how to store it, or secure it on the trailer. How many items could we reasonably manage to secure with the tire chains?
>>
>>4608783
That is correct, however, Gunther and Fleckkers were only able to find those 50 pounds. There is another 50 pounds of green feed, but those are ... elsewhere.

As for securing things with the tire chains, I would say that you could secure the chains themselves and one additional item - and when I say secure, I mean that you would reduce the risk of damage and loss to the chain and the other item (which at this point, would default to the grill) to the level that they are under the cap. (From 10% to 1% chance of damage, and from 1% to 0% chance of getting lost). You would still be able to attempt to bring other items back, at the typical odds for the hay wagon, if you so wanted.

As far as caching the other items, after a consensus emerges on what to take, I would be more than willing to put that to a vote.
>>
>>4608783
This mostly works for me, but I think that we should replace the green feed with either:
A.) Garden tools, Clawfoot Bathtub, Empty Buckets
B.) Small Engine, Empty Buckets
We do need the feed but (if I'm mistaken on this first part please correct me) it should keep fine for a while and the Reaves don't have much of a use for it and shouldn't understand that it has any value at all. (Unless they resort to burning it for fuel this quickly, but I don't think they will)
When we come back we can take it, and we will be coming back for this shed.
>>
>>4608847
>it should keep fine for a while and the Reaves don't have much of a use for it and shouldn't understand that it has any value at all
Excellent point. I'll change my vote to your suggestion. Preferably the Small Engine/Empty buckets.
>>
>>4608852
>>4608847
You are correct in your assumption that Reaves currently has no need for feed - and considering that in character, Reggie would know this, I can tell you that Reaves is not burning the brush for fuel - or he might have tried to, and then realized that burning green brush is a terrible idea. Worth noting however, that he already cannibalized all of the wood off of one of the hay wagons (there were three working wagons, and one working frame, and now there are two working wagons and two working frames) - it is unclear if he used it as fuel, or built something with it. And as far as the feed 'keeping', yes. It will continue to be edible for quite some time, and you can move it under cover in the garage to prevent it from being exposed to any more ash or fallout.

I will leave this up for about another hour or so, in case any of this information changes your votes, or anyone else wants to weigh in.
>>
I'm really unsure about the right course of action here. Should we really start carting stuff away? Or just load it up and wait, to have leverage in the negotiation? Should Mantle ride with all that junk or in a seperate trip? And what about the mystery shed and the Lascannon? Decisions, decisions....
>>
>>4608937
After hearing from Gunther and Fleckkers what they had managed to track down, and taking a minute to vent about Reaves stripping down one of your wagons to a near useless frame, you gave the order to for your two helpers to load up the truck. Both of the engines from the carport, the rusted out fixtures and assorted scrap you found all around the dooryard, the tractor jack and the empty five gallon pails that you found in the garage - and yourself are all safely bundled under the cap of Tolle's truck. Secured to the one of the two intact hay wagons with the remaining chains, straps and ties, as well as the tire chains themselves, is that really nice Cheber grill, with the equally nice branded cover. The thing is as secured as it possibly can be - the wagon was designed to carry hay, not static loads, and lacks the accommodations for straps and chains present on most conventional trailers. Not to mention that the wagon itself is in pretty poor shape, and that was before Gunther snapped one of the bed runners getting the grill up onto the bed. He was more upset about it that you were - the wagon had other snapped or rotten runners, and you knew from your limited farming experience with your Grandfather that hay wagons were meant to take abuse like this - which is why they were built with rebuildable wooden frames on top.

Once Gunther had been assured that the damage was of no great concern, the next question was what to do with your property that you weren't immediately taking with you. You had just thought to leave it where it lie, but Fleckkers suggested that you could cache it. Actually, he had two suggestions. "Either haul everything else into the garage, so we can just drive up, load and drive off, like a commercial outfit, or we could take the time to hide the stuff somewhere Reaves might not immediately find it. So if he shows up while we are away, he won't be able to hide it on us." Suppressing a very petty urge to inform Fleckkers that you were in fact a 'commercial outfit', thank you very much, you need to make a decision here. It is 12:14pm, and the Steering Committee meeting convenes at 2:00pm - sharp.

>Please choose ONE of the following.
>Head back to the homestead immediately
>Spend some time to centralize the remaining odds and ends into the Garage, to make later retrieval easier.
>Spend some more time to try to hide the remaining odds and ends somewhere nearby, to prevent them from being stolen again.
>>
Was actually thinking of asking about hiding stuff but didn't know if we'd have enough time.
How long do we reckon we're going to spend driving from here, unloading stuff at the Homestead, and then driving to get to Kineo? If it's tight I don't want to risk it, but if not we should hide away what we can off-property- it's our stuff after all.
>>
>>4609079
I don't want to give exact times, but driving carefully would probably take anywhere from 15 to 25 minutes from the Morrison Farm to the Homestead. Unloading would take probably 5 to 15 minutes, and the drive from the Homestead to Mt. Kineo is another 15 minutes. Gathering stuff together in the garage would probably be 5 to 10 minutes, or alternatively, caching stuff near the dooryard so Reaves couldn't (immediately) find it could take anywhere from 15 to 40 minutes.
>>
>>4609101
We can probably spare the time then, yeah.
>Spend some more time to try to hide the remaining odds and ends somewhere nearby, to prevent them from being stolen again.
>>
>Head back to the homestead immediately

We were supposed to get that intel to Parasol last night. Maybe showing up a little early will help offset our obvious tardiness.
>>
Rolled 2 (1d2)

>>4609108 1
>>4610107 2
Sorry I fell asleep on you guys. I guess I will roll for this now, to get things moving along again.
>>
Rolled 13, 85, 75, 8, 90, 25, 65 = 361 (7d100)

>>4610198
Oh, and the roll to determine what if anything took damage. Will roll 7d100 on this post, if any of them come up as one, then there is damage.

In order: Small Engine, 10 empty 5 gallon pails, Niggs and Rafton Engine, (you), 10lb of scrap metal, tractor jack, Cheber Grill.
>>
Once the loading is done, you along with some of your recovered property are buttoned up underneath the cap. You give the order to head out – immediately. Sure, maybe there would be enough time to hide some of the remaining stuff somewhere out of the way, to prevent Reaves from hiding the it on you, but you are on a deadline here, and fairly important one at that. The Steering Committee convenes at 2:00, sharp, and there are other things that you need to do – dialysis, hand off the Farm Intelligence, secure the resources … and now that you think about it, the permission too, to merge Greenly and his Blue Crab operation into your Homestead. And of course, confronting Reaves for his welching ways. You were still in the process of preparing yourself for another ride, when the engine abruptly started up. It is a bit of a scramble, but you manage to secure the spare pieces of Improvised Outwear that had been draped over your stolen hospital gurney in place, so they do not go flying off as Gunther negotiates the road down the promontory with the hay wagon behind him. Luckily enough, you manage to keep everything on you – as well as the pillow and bedding you got stuffed over and around your head as a make-shift helmet. It seems that you are finally getting used to this – of course, the minute that you can so much as sit like a normal person, you will never be riding under the cap like this again.

No one speaks at all, until Gunther pulls onto the restored logging road on the ass end of your property, when Fleckkers advises Gunther that when he reaches your barn, he should plan on first detaching the wagon right outside the big door, and then reverse his way into it, so that the two of them can unload everything on the truck under cover. Your guest grunts affirmatively, and shortly, you can feel the hardened ground of your dooryard switch to roughhewn planks as the truck backs into the relative safety of the barn. As you have already decided to immediately head to Mt. Kineo after you unload the truck, you are left to your own thoughts as Gunther and Fleckkers hustle to clear everything out of the cap, and to get it into the ‘overflow’ storage area that they had set up in the far corner of the barn.

While you do have a lot on your mind, what you are concerned about right now is who and what you should bring with you to Mt. Kineo. Obviously, you are going to need to bring Gunther, the dialysis machine with enough fluid for today’s treatment, the Farm Intelligence, and the Blue Crabs too, but you also have a bunch of other things you want … actually, you need to do, and most of it is somewhat sensitive. It is not that you do not trust Gunther to do it, it is more that as he and his cousin are still your guests, is really does not seem appropriate … proper, even – for you to foist so much responsibility onto them. But, if there ever was a time where impropriety could be excused, this would be it, right?
>>
>>4610270
>Your Homestead, Debouche Maine
>12:51 pm on 11/1/2020
>Cold, but definitely above freezing
>Wind, Negligible Fallout and Ash
>Sunset around 6:45pm

>Please WRITE-IN any combination of the six people currently at your Homestead who you want to go with you to Mt. Kineo. Gunther must be included.
>>
>Reggie
>Gunther
>Tolle
Fleckkers, make sure to keep mom and Petra safe. (And don't say anything more to the deputy by virtue of being here)
>>
>>4610286
sounds good. Before we leave, we MUST take Flekkers to the side and ask him what exactly he told Bean.
>>
Well, I guess I can consider this closed at this point. I am not ready to write yet, but I will start soon.
>>
After a bit of thought, you decide on bringing Tolle along with you – out of your three hired men, he is the most … reliable? Well, not that is not quite right. Fleckkers is reliable, and beyond that he has good instincts and knows when and how to take the initiative, as evidenced by the mountain of stuff that he brought back from the Union, the Farm Intelligence, and even the crabs – it was his idea to extend a detour and hit up the smaller lead that led you to Greenly’s operation. If you were to rank your hired men, Fleckkers is the ‘MVP’ here – but he has some issues … at the moment, the big one seems to be a tendency to inflate his own accomplishments; the prowlers that almost certainly were not Firebugs that became Firebugs in his retelling, or last night … well, this morning, actually – with him acting like the situation with Greenly and his crabs is nothing to be nothing but pure and easy opportunity for you, as opposed to a high-stakes time and resource intensive gamble, because if it was going to be hard in any way, then it would make his accomplishment of finding Greenly slightly less worthy of praise. Somehow. And that is not even touching on his nerves … when you ran into him at the Union before – actually, at that point it was probably during the Strike – he looked like he was about to have a breakdown, just like the times that you caught him poaching. Tolle, on the other hand, does not have the … issues that Fleckkers does. In fact, if you do not count that remarkably disturbing smile of his, he does not have any issues, at least, any issues that you have seen. For dealings with the Steering Committee, Tolle would be, if not the better choice, the safer one.

He would definitely be the more tired choice – but the man is a professional Firefighter after all, and if he is upset at constantly being asked to do things for you when he was supposed to be sleeping after being up at least twenty-four hours working, then he is professional enough not to let it show, though admittedly, from your position, still in the cap, you would be hard pressed to see anything as he climbs into the passenger seat. As the final articles are loaded and secure, you get a quick opportunity to talk to Fleckkers as he checks to make sure that everything is battened down under the cap. “Fleckkers – quick question. When you spoke to Bean, did he ask you about those leads – to the farms?” The former safecracker grunts affirmatively, slightly nodding his already bowed head as he clambers around and even under your gurney, checking that the straps are all still tight. “Okay, and what exactly did you tell him?”
>>
>>4610693
He looks up at you at that, brow furrowing as he no doubt heard something in your tone, before he quickly glances around to check that Gunther is not nearby, and then finally, quietly gives you the answer you were expecting and dreading. “Well, what we agreed on when we first discussed it, of course – the papers were accidentally taken, and I realized that they could be cross-referenced with a phonebook to generate leads later, on the thirty-first.” You deflate into the cushions, and you cannot stop the defeated sounding sigh that escapes your lips. Fleckkers looks at you a moment, then asks you: “Did something happen?” Yeah – and now you need to figure out how to deal with.

>Please Pick ONE of the following
>If you are questioned about this discrepancy between your stories, you will lie and say that it was a collaborative effort between you and Fleckkers. (Speech – Deception Test CR 45)
>If you are questioned about this discrepancy between your stories, you will admit that maybe it was sort of (read as: almost entirely) Fleckkers’ idea, but continue to maintain that he only came up with it on Halloween. (Speech – Deception Test CR 45)
>If you are questioned about this discrepancy between your stories, you will come completely clean – explaining that Fleckkers deliberately took papers and receipts out of the office on the 28th with the intent of using them as leads and did not share them with the group until you told him to. (Speech-Rhetoric Test CR 60 to mitigate nearly all backlash against you, Speech – Rhetoric Test CR 80 to mitigate most of the backlash against Fleckkers)
>>
>>4610696
>>If you are questioned about this discrepancy between your stories, you will admit that maybe it was sort of (read as: almost entirely) Fleckkers’ idea, but continue to maintain that he only came up with it on Halloween. (Speech – Deception Test CR 45)
Really dug us into a hole here. I have a good feeling about the dice bailing us out of this one, but not a good enough feeling to warrant voting for the "come clean" option.
>>
>>4610696

>If you are questioned about this discrepancy between your stories, you will admit that maybe it was sort of (read as: almost entirely) Fleckkers’ idea, but continue to maintain that he only came up with it on Halloween. (Speech – Deception Test CR 45)

Have my doubts we'd be able to logic our way out of it without a shit-tonne of problems. Dice can do something, but not everything, especially since they're at the same level of competence, with a -1 to gross rolls before modifiers.
>>
Could we try to brush this off as Fleckers trying to brag so he seems useful? He exaggerated with the Firebug thing and everybody knows about that, so maybe we could push it onto that personality flaw of his.
>>
>If you are questioned about this discrepancy between your stories, you will admit that maybe it was sort of (read as: almost entirely) Fleckkers’ idea, but continue to maintain that he only came up with it on Halloween. (Speech – Deception Test CR 45)

Lets give it a shot, hopefully we won't need it.
>>
>>4611022
Yeah that's what I thought too, although Flekkers will certainly not like being thrown under the bus like this.
>>
Or we could use the power of confusion and silliness, and say it's actually mum who figured it all out when we we're talking, and both we and Flekkers felt a bit embarrassed by the old lady being smarter than us so we took credit.
>>
>>4611022
Yeah, that would be acceptable too. It would also be a Speech-Deception Test, with a CR of 45 - any would come with the additional complication that Fleckkers would presumably get upset. Not quite ready to start the run today (and apologies for falling asleep on you guys again). I am not immediately ready to start writing, so I will leave this up, in case the confirmation that this is an acceptable write-in changes any votes, or new votes are cast.
>>
You find yourself taking several deep breaths, hoping that doing so will make you feel more at ease with the whole situation with you, and Fleckkers and Deputy Bean.

No dice, unfortunately, probably due to the fact that you have long since passed the point where one could come clean about the deception … er, deceptions … and not suffer serious repercussions and censures – for you, Fleckkers, and possibly even the rest of your Satellite by extension. So, at this point, you are going to need to lie, something that you are truthfully (hardy har har) inadequate at. Aware that you have seconds to make up your mind and get your story straight with Fleckkers, you rack your brain as you consider how best to talk your way out of it. Your immediate instinct is to say that in a tired condition, you might have seriously overstated your contribution in all of this, that truly, this was almost all Fleckker’s idea – banking on sympathy for your injuries to sell what would otherwise be almost comically suspicious reversal.

As far as you can see, this is your best play, claim completely responsibility for the ‘misunderstanding’ and then pivot to insisting that the accounting that Fleckker’s gave Bean was the objective, unvarnished truth. An alternative idea comes to you, one that plays on Fleckkers reputation for self-aggrandizement and questionable background, but you dismiss it – partially because you do feel some obligation to take the hit here, considering that you were who caused this mess by sending Fleckkers to Mt. Kineo without squaring your stories, and partially out of concern that shifting the blame like that would ruin what little goodwill the former safecracker had with the rest of the group. And certainly, out of the two ideas, no doubt you would have an easier time convincing Fleckkers to go along with the one that did not throw him under the proverbial bus.

Having decided, it is now a simple matter of conveying all of this to your increasingly worried-looking hired man. “Fleckkers – I don’t have enough time to explain in detail, but I think Bean suspects that you were sitting on the Farm Intelligence since the day of the Strike. He was asking pointed questions all of a sudden – and to protect you, I said that I came up with the idea, yesterday, before his visit.” His response to this is a look of equal parts alarm, confusion and reproach, but when he tries to ask a question, you just keep talking over him. “Listen – just listen. It was to protect you – if he found out that you were holding out on the rest of the group like that, for that long, how would that look for you? Or for any of us, for that matter?” The confusion and reproach slip away, but the alarm looks like it is rapidly metamorphosing into panic – his nerves are at it again, it seems.
>>
>>4611938
“It is fine – just look. If anyone asks again – we will say that it was almost all your idea, but I was the one who came up with using the phonebook, so in the state I was in yesterday – I claimed credit for an idea that was yours. You didn’t specifically mention anything about using phonebooks when you talked with Bean, right?” Fleckkers gets this blank-but-still-panicky look for a moment, before tentatively nodding his head ‘yes’, then clarifying with “Er – no. I didn’t say anything.” Alright – the pressure on you eases up, just a hair. “Okay, then that is our story. For your part, don’t volunteer anything about this – just when you are asked, tell them it was your idea, and that you thought it up on the 31st. If anyone asks specifically about using the phonebooks for reference, then you say that was my idea. I think anything more would look suspect. Sound good?” Your hired man just looks at you for a moment, before nodding intently and clambering out of the cap, somewhat jitterily.

Damn it – his nerves really are acting up. You are not entirely certain that he finished checking the straps holding your stolen hospital gurney in place. However, considering that the straps already held through the ride from the Old Morrison Farm to your Homestead, you are not concerned enough to ask him to finish his inspection. With him having raised the tailgate and buttoned up the cap as he got off, you are left once again ‘in coach’, with the only discernible noise being the soft snores of Tolle, getting some much-needed shuteye in the passenger seat. All you can do now is just peer at the ceiling of the cap in the relative darkness and wait for Gunther to get ready. You should be taking this time to plan, or reflect … or something … but you find yourself just blankly staring. Blankly and tiredly staring. Finally, Gunther gets in – rousing Tolle awake in the process, and soon you are on your way to the first full meeting of the Steering Committee. The ride itself is uneventful, and soon, after being waved through a checkpoint, you and company drive into the main gates into the ‘big yard’ of Mt. Kineo. You cannot see much – anything at all, to be honest – but you can hear it. Several vehicles, small groups of people walking around, and in the distance some piece of heavy equipment reversing. It is not much, you would not even consider it noisy, but compared the relative silence of the roads, where nearly all traffic stopped on account of the Strike, this place is a cacophony.
>>
>>4611939
But you do not stop yet, instead, driving to what must be a corner of the ‘big yard’, where Gunther is intercepted by a Guard who leads him to a parking spot, who you get a good look at as you are being unloaded. He is wearing what seems to be a more substantial version of the Improvised Outerwear that the group uses, and he is wearing a proper full-face gasmask. It makes sense, you suppose – that the Guards, who would be spending the most time outside, in the elements, would receive the best gear, though the rifle appears to be the same M-16 variant that had been issued to other group members. Gunther grabs the bucket with the Blue Crabs, locks up the truck, and then hustles to catch up to Tolle and the Guard as they push you across the dusty, packed dirt of the yard towards the ‘Club House’. You have been in there only once before, about two years ago, when you were formally deputized during a hunt for an escaped prisoner – it was where the administrative offices and meeting rooms were all located, and presumably, this where the Steering Committee will convene for its first full meeting.

As your party is being assisted in decontaminating themselves by other two other Guards manning the improvised decontamination vestibule that leads into the ‘Club House’, the Guard who intercepted you as you drove into the yard announces that he has been ordered to take you to see the Undersheriffs before the meeting starts. Undersheriffs – plural. Hmm. Well, obviously, he is not talking about taking you to Carter, but the announcement makes you realize that you still do not know the exact details of what happened here with the … you suppose you could call it a ‘standoff’ - on the day of the Strike, between Sheriff Arthur and his Deputies against Undersheriff Polk and his Guards. Presumably, it ended bloodlessly – if it did not, you almost certainly would have heard about it by now. But regardless of how it ended, you do not know who replaced Carter and Polk, or if Polk was even replaced at all – if things resolved amicably, then there really would have been no need to remove him. Or maybe, that is how things ended amicably – Arthur making a promise to Polk that he would not be set aside.
>>
>>4611941
Wait a minute; you do not have time for this – this speculation or this … whatever this golem wants to drag you too. Somewhere nearby, Reaves is trying to sell your Gasifier out from underneath you. And besides that, you still need to find your wayward hired man, Norton, as well as somehow scrounge together the resources to get Greenly and his crabs over here. Obviously, you do not have the time to be seeing anyone right now. Unfortunately … you and your party are not exactly in the optimal condition to be defying what sounded like an order. You are in wheeled bed, Tolle is asleep on his feet, and Gunther is not even a member – there are probably a bunch of rules against him even being here. If this Guard wanted to drag you to see the Undersheriffs, then really, you and yours could not do much to stop him. But would he? You are so used to being an outsider that you sort of forgot that you are a member of Parasol’s inner circle – the Steering Committee, and on top of that, you have already taken a bullet for the group. You got clout, maybe you can talk your way out of this?

>Mt. Kineo, Debouche, Maine
>1:13 pm on 11/1/2020
>Cold, but definitely above freezing
>No Wind, Negligible Fallout and Ash
>Sunset around 6:45pm

>Please pick one of the following:
>(Speech – Rhetoric Test: CR 66 with +1 bonus to modifier roll as you outrank him) Tell the Guard that you have important and time sensitive business to attended to, and you cannot talk to the Undersheriffs right now – but you will be more than willing to meet with them later (maybe during dialysis to kill two birds with one stone. (Please do not roll until this has been voted for)
>You are not being detained. Instruct Tolle and Gunther in the most authoritative tone you can muster to not let you be taken anywhere except to Reaves. Hopefully, this Guard will not actually stop you from leaving.
>It is not optimal, but you have been making good time up to this point – a (hopefully) quick detour to speak with the Undersheriffs would not be the end of the world, so there really is no reason to make a scene and waste time here trying to beg off this golem.

Really sorry about the lapse today - kind of got blindsided by a bunch of busywork. I hope to get one more post out today for an overnight vote
>>
>>4611942
>>(Speech – Rhetoric Test: CR 66 with +1 bonus to modifier roll as you outrank him) Tell the Guard that you have important and time sensitive business to attended to, and you cannot talk to the Undersheriffs right now – but you will be more than willing to meet with them later (maybe during dialysis to kill two birds with one stone. (Please do not roll until this has been voted for)
It's a reasonable sounding argument. Hopefully the dice agree, and Mantle manages to actually convey this to the guy without referring to Dune. We really ought to shore up our speech skills.
>Really sorry about the lapse today
No worries. The large post more than makes up for it. As always, thanks for running.
>>
>It is not optimal, but you have been making good time up to this point – a (hopefully) quick detour to speak with the Undersheriffs would not be the end of the world, so there really is no reason to make a scene and waste time here trying to beg off this golem.

CR66? Unlikely. I think we should just get it over with.
>>
>>4612006
I'll switch to this, in the event that there's no other tiebreakers by the time Trash is ready to write. You have a good point with the dice threshold, it's pretty unlikely. Biting the bullet and meeting the undersheriffs was my first choice, but the +1 bonus swayed me.
>>
>>4612006
+1, let's just hope for the best.
>>
>>4611942
>>It is not optimal, but you have been making good time up to this point – a (hopefully) quick detour to speak with the Undersheriffs would not be the end of the world, so there really is no reason to make a scene and waste time here trying to beg off this golem.
>>
>>4612489
>>4612400
>>4612232
>>4612006
>>4612002
Alright - you will allow yourself and your party to be taken to the Undersheriffs.
>>
It is not optimal – far from it – but you have been making really good time up to this point, good enough time that you do not feel the need to take your chances by either attempting to talk or walk your way out of this. Hopefully, this should be a relatively quick detour, and then you will be able to get back on task. A particularly tired-sounding sigh escapes your lips before you are able to muster an equally tired-sounding “Alright” to the Guard. The man does not even seem to acknowledge your response, but with the other two Guards that were stationed in the vestibule, finishes the perfunctory decontamination, and then wordlessly leads you through a hanging sheet of plastic and an opened and deactivated security door into what turns out to be a second vestibule. Unlike the improvised, if not slipshod nature of the first, this one was deliberately built into the ‘Club House’ when the Mt. Kineo House was converted from a preposterously large hotel to a preposterously large county jail. There is another opened and deactivated security door at the other end of the vestibule, as well as an older steel bar door, which has been closed – locked, too.

Unlike the previous vestibule, the lights in here are off – all of the fairly limited light in here comes from the room beyond, filtering through the bars of the closed door. There is a … you guess you could call it a guard station – on the other side of a presumably bullet-proofed window in one of the walls of the vestibules. Out of the corner of your eye, you catch sight of some movement in there, but you when you try to get a better look, oddly enough you cannot see anyone or anything in there – the room is dark, and it looks to be all sealed up. Must have been your imagination, or a reflection, or something. Momentarily, there are footsteps, and a fourth Guard enters the vestibule from the other side to unlock the steel bar door. Security seems pretty tight – understandable, considering that all of the ‘inner circle’ is going to be here soon. You are led into the foyer of the ‘Club House’, two stories, all in whitewashed brick.
>>
>>4612811
Unfortunately, some of the aesthetics of the room have been compromised by the realities of being an administrative building for a jail. Several of the large, open windows were bricked up, and those that remained provided all of the light in the room, even though they had been barred and on the lower panes, plated over. The footprint of the foyer itself is thrown of by the squat, cinderblock construction of the security vestibule, with two separate rooms built alongside the narrow and stout corridor; one seemed to be for storage, and the other must have been that sealed up guard station on the other side of the window. And from your reclined position on your gurney, you can see on the tinned ceiling (which was also whitewashed; almost certainly a later maintenance consideration than an original feature – who on Earth would pay for tin and then smother it in thick paint to the point that to the uncritical eye it would look like a popcorn ceiling?) a canopy and the fibula* where a chandelier must have hung at some point.

*Mantle is confusing a finial, the aesthetic spire mounted on the canopy plumb with the chandelier, with the fibula, the calf-bone.

You are snapped out of your architectural rubbernecking … or considering that your neck is still in its brace, your ‘rubbereying’ – eww, what a disturbing mental image – when the Guard who unlocked the door informs you all that both the offices of the Undersheriffs that you are going to meet and conference room that the Steering Committee will be convening in is on the second floor. Both of the Undersheriffs are coming down to meet you right now, but after that is done with there is a question of how you are going to be able to attend the meeting on the second floor.

There is an elevator, but clearly, the power in the building is off. The Guard explains that while they can temporarily restore electricity to the ‘Club House’ to operate the elevators for you, the process is apparently pretty involved – something to do with how the grid has been reworked lately to remove certain outbuildings, which of course includes this one. He estimates that it will take about an hour to get the power back on, which means that if you wait for the elevator, you will miss the first 10 minutes or so of the meeting. The Guard suggests, as an alternative, that you could be carried up the stairs, an awkward and potentially dangerous undertaking. Neither of those two ideas appeal to you, but … maybe you could ask Parasol to have the meeting held in the foyer, here – instead of the conference room? You do not doubt that he would agree to do it, but you are not sure if you want to draw that much attention to your infirmity, or even how much sway you have with Parasol. You are just worried about giving the ‘inner circle’ a bad first impression by making a big deal out of this.
>>
>>4612812

>Please pick ONE of the following:
>Wait for electricity to be restored to use the elevator, and miss the first 10 minutes of the meeting.
>Allow yourself to be carried upstairs to the conference room. Awkward and potentially dangerous, but the quickest solution.
>Ask Parasol to have the meeting held in the foyer instead of the conference room. You do not know how this will play with everyone else.
>>
>>4612812
>>4612827

>>Wait for electricity to be restored to use the elevator, and miss the first 10 minutes of the meeting.
>>
>>4612827
>Allow yourself to be carried upstairs to the conference room. Awkward and potentially dangerous, but the quickest solution.
>>
>>4612827
>Ask Parasol to have the meeting held in the foyer instead of the conference room. You do not know how this will play with everyone else
Just let him know the situation and ask to do it downstairs, if not we'll be a bit late.
>>
>>4612920
>>4612875
>>4612836
Well, I know I did a good job balancing things when three players vote for three different choices.
>>
>Allow yourself to be carried upstairs to the conference room. Awkward and potentially dangerous, but the quickest solution.

Strap us to a stretcher and get some big guys to carry us up. Next time we'll come earlier to take the elevator.
>>
>>4612827
>>Allow yourself to be carried upstairs to the conference room. Awkward and potentially dangerous, but the quickest solution.
>>
>>4613014
>>4613008
Alright, I just need to cook dinner, and then I will get to writing this up.
>>
Jesus Christ, is anything ever going to be easy again? Ever? You suppress a sigh, and try to figure out how to best deal with this latest problem. You do not want to make a big production of this, or draw any additional attention to … your current condition than necessary. Getting the power restored to this building, just to ride the elevator seems pretty … you do not even know. Wasteful? Selfish? Maybe. And it certainly would draw attention to you, even if no one would fault you for it – and for that matter, you cannot assume that no one would fault you for it. Of your other options; while having the meeting held in the foyer here would be less wasteful, it seems to you that it would be exponentially more selfish – and again, even if not a soul faulted you for it, it would still be drawing a lot of attention to your current … diminished … state. So, by process of elimination, the best – or really, the only option – is to have yourself carried up the stairs before the meeting starts. You inform the much more personable of the two Guards (the one who unlocked the steel bar door in the vestibule, not the golem who lead you over here) that after you speak with the two Undersheriffs, you would like to be carried upstairs – on a stretcher, of course.

He nods, and then instructs Gunther and Tolle, who at this point looks ready to pass out, to push you over to one side of the foyer. There are a few random chairs with upholstered seats and wooden arms nearby the area you are taken to – a truly pathetic attempt at creating a sitting area - and once you have been moved into position, with the wheels of your gurney locked down in place, Tolle just walks over to one of these chairs, and collapses as if he has found the most comfortable lounge chair in the world. The Guards spare him a glance – the more personable of the pairs has a hint of amusement in his – and then they leave you for their assigned stations, with the non-golem shouting over his departing shoulder that the two Undersheriffs should be down momentarily, as he heads towards a door underneath the paired staircases of the foyer. Looking back, to see where the other one is headed, you realize that he is already out of the room – he managed to leave so quickly and quietly that he might have well just vanished.
>>
>>4613807
A minute or two passes, with the only thing keeping the foyer from complete silence is Tolle’s soft snores and the faint sounds of comings and goings in the ‘big yard’. The relative silence is broken when a door on the second story is opened up, and out comes Polk, followed closely by … who else but Bean. You should have expected this – he was with the Sheriff in the Blue Sitting Room, he was coordinating both the siege of the Big House and the response to Carter’s ‘counter-insurrection’, he was paying visits with Parasol himself – should have seen this coming a mile away. Of course, you like Bean, and you are happy for him, it is just that you were hoping to avoid him, and now you are being dragged right, straight to him. Oh God – is this … are they going to question you over what the Hell happened with Fleckkers and the Farm Intelligence that you still have not handed over yet? You are seriously at risk of losing your composure here, and they have not even so much as asked a single question. (Modifier for Speech-Deception Tests against Undersheriff Bean receives -1 Malus)

For a good long moment, as the pair of them descend the stairs, you are completely dead in the water – you have no idea what to say or what not to say. Thankfully, Tolle, having woken up at some point during all of this manages to buy you enough time to get your head screwed on straight. “Jesus. Uh, well - congratulations on the promotion, Bean. No matter what, you can’t be worse that your predecessor.” There is a bit of laughter at that, and Bean explains that Parasol and Arthur told him the news earlier today, and that it would be made official at the Steering Committee meeting. By the time that the two Undersheriffs turn their attention towards you, you have managed to compose yourself – though the question that they direct you throws you for a bit of a loop.

Bean, without preamble or any further explanation, holds out a Polaroid to you – a headshot of what is clearly a dead body. Your mind goes blank for several-several moments before you connect the dots and realize that this must be the guy that Fleckkers killed during that abortive raid on your Homestead. Your head swimming in relief that this is what they want to talk about – at least for now – you reach out to take the photo to get a closer look. Of course, being the impulsive, forgetful and occasionally moronic guy you are, you are extending out your injured right hand before you realize it. But Bean delicately places the picture between the two uninjured fingers on your right hand – and awkwardly thanking him, you draw it closer to get your look. You can see that the picture had been taken several hours after the man had been shot, so his face is distorted in an unsettling rictus grin – but maybe … do you know this man?
>>
>>4613808
>Please I need ONE roll of 1d6 and ONE roll of 5d20 for a Mental Test. You receive a situational +2 bonus to the Gross Rolls because of the photograph – so at Nascent in Understanding, you are at a -2 Malus instead of the usual -4. The CR for this Test is 34.
>>
Rolled 1 (1d6)

>>4613809
...do we?
>>
>>4613815
With rolls like that we will probably never know.
>>
Sam Tsung?
>>
Rolled 14, 12, 13, 20, 2 = 61 (5d20)

>>
>>4613840
No - this far north, non-whites are few and far between. If the stiff was Sam, Mantle would have recognized him immediately.

Raw: 14 12 13 20 2
Gross (x0.5): 7 6 6.5 10 1
T. Gross(-4+2): 5 4 4.5 8 -1
Net: 20.500

20.500 < 34
Test Failed

Going to get lunch, then I will get to writing.
>>
That guy with the French name!
>>
>>4613944
Nah, Leblanc was one of the few people on the lake that Mantle would have considered a friend. If it was him, he would have recognized him immediately.

You look at that picture for a good half minute, but nothing definitive comes to you. It is hard to look past the distortion of the rictus grin and the unsettling pallid skin, but … hmm. He looks just like a face out of a crowd would – is it possible that you have seen him before, but never actually met? Debouche is a very small town, and even if you do not know someone’s name, you might start to recognize people around you. Which, you suppose makes sense. If this guy was from Debouche, then he could easily have heard from someone around the town that you had a ‘farm’, and decided under the cover of night to help himself to your animals. It makes sense – as far as an explanation goes, as to how him and four others ended up on your Homestead that first night, it is sound – but you are not certain.

“This was the guy that Fleckkers killed, right?” Bean nods, solemnly. Polk explains in his deep rumbling baritone; “We’re damn near certain that he was a citizen – none of the prisoners we cut loose around here looked anything like him.” Around here? You realize that you do not know how the planned prisoner release actually worked out, beyond that eventually, they were all removed to make way for the group members and their families – excluding a few who were kept as provisional members. Polk continues; “Anyway, we were trying to put this one to bed – the idea being that if we knew who he was, we’d be in a better position to say if what happened at your place that night was a Firebug attack or not.” As he talks, you realize something – for all of your complaints about how Fleckkers was ‘playing politics’ with declaring that this stiff was a Firebug solely because it would be to his benefit … you were in a position to run the same play. If this guy was a Firebug, then obviously the group would be much more willing to part with armament and firefighting gear, the latter of which, according to Tolle, is being jealously hoarded after the looting and attempting razing of the ‘Boat House’ following the Firebug attack there. Of course, you really do not believe that this guy was a Firebug – but would it really be stretching the truth to say that you were concerned about the possibility that they were, or that you could be attacked by them in the future? Obviously, this interview is not the time to be bringing this stuff up – that would be the Steering Committee meeting.
>>
>>4614054
Realizing that both of the Undersheriffs are looking at you expectantly you snap back to the subject at hand – the identity of the man in the Polaroid. “I don’t recognize him, but he looks like someone you’d see around town somewhere. I – and I want to make this clear – it isn’t like I’ve seen him before, and I just can’t place him, or he looks like someone I know – I don’t recognize the man, and I want to say that I have never seen him before, but I am not one hundred percent sure.” Bean finally pipes up. “Figured as much, but we needed to do our due diligence here. It’s a real bitch – at this point, we probably aren’t going to get any definitive answers on this. Obviously, with the way things are, our ability to go around the lake and investigate is limited, and of the dwindling number of Outsiders that are still around the lake, we are more likely to get shot at then get any of our questions answered. We were thinking, that once things got into a bit of a routine here, we could circulate the picture around the ‘Big House’, see if any of the members recognized the man. Obviously, we don’t want to do that quite yet – everyone is still … adjusting … to the current circumstances – and by that, I mean both the ‘living in a jail’ bit and the ‘fucking world has ended’ thing.” Bean makes a point of passing the picture to Tolle for him to look over, but after what feels like a solid minute of your hired man just blearily staring at the photo, he shakes his head ‘no’ then hands it back with a bit of a shrug.

With all of that out of the way, the conversation turns to what is basically small talk. Polk introduces himself to Gunther, and after your guest introduces himself in turn while explaining his current situation here, Polk asks him how things were fairing in Bangor – apparently, he has some extended family in the City. Meanwhile, Tolle and Bean talk about how their jobs have changed (and in the case of Bean, how they have improved), but you get a chance to confirm with Bean that yes, he did drop off that handheld communicator unit at the Homestead – “Was still in the box when I handed it over to that Fleckkers. You ask him where it is?” Oh fuck – that seemed an awfully pointed way to say that. No doubt about it, he is on to something – and it really is all your fault. If you had not sent him to the ‘Big House’ without squaring your stories, then Bean’s suspicion would probably have died on the vine.
>>
>>4614056
Come to think of it, why did both of the Undersheriffs need to be present to show you a photo and ask you just one question? Is … is Bean planning on confronting you in front of Polk? Is that what this is? This cannot just be some sort of courtesy thing, right? They must have more important things to be doing right now … right? Goddamned paranoia – you need, desperately need to think straight here. This could just be a courtesy, both of their offices are right here, they could have everything they needed to do done already for the meeting – it is possible that this is just a professional kindness. But it is also possible that Bean is planning on confronting or questioning you on the situation with Fleckkers and the Farm Intelligence right here, with Polk on hand as a witness. What should you do?

>Please choose ONE of the following:
>Attempt to correct the record here, using the decided upon story. Speech-Deception Test CR 45, with -1 to Modifier as mentioned in (>>4613808). Just launching into this might look kind of suspicious, however.
>Hand over the Farm Intelligence ‘before you forget’ and then play it by ear, seeing how Bean reacts. If he intends to confront you about the Farm Intelligence, then this will probably instigate it. If not – this is a quick and polite way to give him something else to do, and end the conversation.
>Do not do anything, and simply wait for Bean and Polk to excuse themselves – this decision will take more than a few minutes, or if Bean is going to confront you, then it will just waste time.
>Inform Bean and Polk that you are very sorry, but you speak with Reaves – urgently – before the Steering Committee meeting starts. If Bean was thinking about confronting you, then this could instigate it.
>>
>>4614058
>>Hand over the Farm Intelligence ‘before you forget’ and then play it by ear, seeing how Bean reacts. If he intends to confront you about the Farm Intelligence, then this will probably instigate it. If not – this is a quick and polite way to give him something else to do, and end the conversation.
>>
>>4614058
>>Hand over the Farm Intelligence ‘before you forget’ and then play it by ear, seeing how Bean reacts. If he intends to confront you about the Farm Intelligence, then this will probably instigate it. If not – this is a quick and polite way to give him something else to do, and end the conversation.
>>
>>4614058
>Inform Bean and Polk that you are very sorry, but you speak with Reaves – urgently – before the Steering Committee meeting starts. If Bean was thinking about confronting you, then this could instigate it.
>>
>>Hand over the Farm Intelligence ‘before you forget’ and then play it by ear, seeing how Bean reacts. If he intends to confront you about the Farm Intelligence, then this will probably instigate it. If not – this is a quick and polite way to give him something else to do, and end the conversation.

Perhaps also a solid way of seguwaying to the topic of the crab farm and its possibilities-if we have the right assets.
>>
>>4614129
>>4614077
>>4614076
>>4614059
Alright - not quite ready to start writing, but consider the vote closed.
>>
You feel like you have been trapped, pinned here – like quicksand, the harder you try to get out of this situation, the deeper you sink. Bean has two different accounts on the creation of the Farm Intelligence – Fleckkers, following the original deception that you all agreed on claimed that he spontaneously realized the value of incidentally collected papers from the office of the Prague Farmer’s Union on Halloween, but when you were discussing the intelligence, intending on sticking to the agreed upon deception, Bean started asking questions that indicated that he was suspicious of this accounting –assuming that Fleckkers deliberately took the papers, knowing that they would lead to farming operations in the area. If this was the case, and it was, then that means that Fleckkers was keeping incredibly valuable information from the group – for the exclusive benefit of your Homestead, or perhaps even just himself. Wanting to protect him and the rest of your household from suspicion, censure, or something even more serious than that from being handed down by the group, you deviated from the agreed upon story, and told Bean – and Parasol, you must not forget that he was on hand as well – that you were the one who figured out the potential value of the ‘incidentally’ gathered documents. And that there might have been the end of all of this, but then you slipped up, and thoughtlessly sent Fleckkers on to Mt. Kineo earlier today (to find Reaves) without telling him that you had altered your story – and of course, when he ran into Bean, Fleckkers parroted the original story – that he, not you realized the potential of the pilfered documents and receipts.

Despite all of your daydreaming about being a Deputy, your knowledge of police work is fairly limited – but you have watched enough procedurals to know that when an investigation turns up two contradictory accounts, that is not something that just gets ignored. Whatever suspicions that Bean already had have no doubt been amplified. You … you … you need to get a grip. Suspicions that have been amplified are still just suspicions – they are not evidence. If fact, if you think about this logically, unless you or Fleckkers admit to anything then they can never have anything but suspicions. Even if they somehow had security camera footage of Fleckkers stealing the papers, that would not mean anything – he was just … ransacking the office, doing his due diligence as thief, that is all. So even if you do not manage to sell this new lie to him, so what? He cannot prove anything at all. That is all that this is; you, as usual, are completely blowing this out of proportion.
>>
>>4615238
At this point, there is only suspicion. Bean does not have anything concrete, beyond two different stories, and now that you and Fleckkers are on the same page, this should be the end of it. If he asks, anything at all – all you need to do is feed him the line about how it really was Fleckker’s idea, mostly, but because your ‘contribution’, the idea to use a phonebook to cross-reference names and telephone numbers with addresses, you thoughtlessly took credit for it – that is it. One final line to feed Bean, and even if he chokes on it, this will all be behind you. (Your nerve has recovered; the -1 Malus on the Modifier Roll for any Speech-Deception Tests against Undersheriff Bartholomew ‘Bart’ Bean is annulled)

Feeling relieved and reinforced, you politely clear your throat, to get everyone’s attention and ask Gunther ‘before you forget’ to give Bean the ‘Farm Intelligence’. Gunther obliges, digging around in a backpack that he brought along for a few seconds, before pulling out a single faded blue three-ringed binder and extending it to Bean, who immediately opens it up and flips through the thing intently. A slight frown tugs at his mouth, but he does not say anything – no one does. Finally, he looks up from the pages, straight at you – then closes the binder then patting it dismissively with one hand. “Well, we will do what we can with this at this point.” You find yourself physically biting your tongue – and have to consciously stop yourself. Is that him being suspicious? You did say that you would send Fleckkers straight over to Mt. Kineo when he got back. Does he think that the delay had anything to do with … anything else?

>Please choose ONE of the following:
>He did not ask a question. Do not volunteer anything. He has nothing, and will continue to have nothing, unless you give him something. So for God’s sake, don’t give him anything more than a shrug.
>The situation here could be getting out of control – previously, he only suspected Fleckkers, but now after this delay, he could be thinking that YOU are holding out on the group. Explain yourself before you become anymore implicated in his mind.
>>
>He did not ask a question. Do not volunteer anything. He has nothing, and will continue to have nothing, unless you give him something. So for God’s sake, don’t give him anything more than a shrug.
Stop being an idiot and go deal with Reaves.
>>
>>4615250
+1.
>>
>>4615385
>>4615250
Alright - closed and writing.
>>
In circumstances like these, it is harder than one might think to not say anything. Again – you do not know much about policing stuff, but from watching the occasional procedural you know that interrogators will sometimes deliberately be silent, to get their suspect talking – get them to make a statement, anything, and then use it against them. Unfortunately for Bean, he is not dealing with some civilian here; you are more than ready for him and his tricks. So, the two of you just look at each other – a genuine standoff – then you try to shrug, forgetting that your neck and shoulders are not only immobilized, they are seriously injured too. The searing pain from your idiocy is enough to make you grimace, and sort of convulse too, but ultimately the spasm and the shrug had the same effect; Bean, and everyone else dropped the subject of the Farm Intelligence completely to fret and mother hen over you. After recovering enough to assure everyone that you are okay, Bean announces that he is going to personally run this over to Parasol right now, thanks you for taking the time to speak with him, and then finally leaves, heading back up the steps to the second story.

And like that, the danger – such as it is – passes, hopefully never to return. Even if your deception is called into question, Bean and anyone else he would care to involve in this must know that without a confession or a witness, there is no way to prove that Fleckkers or anyone else in your household was trying to hold out on the rest of the group. Obviously, these lingering suspicions are not going to improve your relationship with Bean, but the man is now an Undersheriff – he obviously is going to have a lot dumped onto his plate, even if the Firebugs or Carter’s Convoy never comes back. Sooner or later, without anything even approaching evidence, this whole thing is just going to fade away. Thank God. Polk speaks up; “I should get going – I’ll track down a stretcher for you.”

“Alright, sounds good. Oh, before I get hauled up to the meeting room, I wanted to try to track down Reaves – Jim Reaves, Parasol’s architect on retainer. You wouldn’t happen to know where he is, would you?” Polk takes as second, but then says that Reaves demonstrated his gasifier at the garage in the Intake Building – presumably, he is still over there, with his machine. “I didn’t get a chance to see the thing running, but my personal assistant did – was really impressed by Reaves’ machine. I’ll send for Keane to take you over.” Reaves’ machine – you are damned near mad enough to scream. You had been hoping to get to him before a public demonstration took place, because you were worried that coming in and claiming the machine as yours after one makes you look like you are trying to get one over him, or something.
>>
>>4615819
Of course, that could not be further from the truth – the deal you made with Reaves was in plain, honest English – that gasifier was not screwed, nailed, bolted, or cemented in place – so the thing belongs to you. If you had just known what it was at the time …

Your find yourself muttering about the things you would like to do to Reaves under your breath, only for Polk to ask if you said something. “Er … uh, I was just wondering if Keane was the toy solider you had bring us over.” “No, that was Dolan – wait, the toy solider?” Polk chuckles a bit at that, and when you explain that you called him that on account of it seeming like he had a windup-gear shoved up his ass, he actually laughs out load at that – his baritone hee-haws echoing through the relatively empty foyer. But shortly the laughter comes to a rather abrupt stop, and the man gets this pensive, almost concerned look on his face, before he speaks, seemingly mostly to himself. “You know, that – I should make a point to check in on him.” By way of explanation, he adds, directing it at you and company; “Most of my men have families in town that they were able to move in – or at least a girlfriend or something. But Dolan – as far as I know he doesn’t have anyone with him here – the kid is from Montana, and I think all of his family … well, you heard the news about Yellowstone. Just worried about them, and everything else that happened. I … I’m sure that is all it is.”

That last non sequitur of a sentence kind of throws you for a bit of a loop – unsure of what to say to that, you just try to smile politely at him as he excuses himself and then heads over towards the security vestibule before calling out of Keane. Keane, obviously one of the pair of Guards from the decontamination vestibule. Momentarily, this Guard makes his way through the deactivated interior security door, and receives orders from Polk to take you and yours to the Intake Building’s garage, where the gasifier was. With his business down here concluded, Polk thanks you for your time and then heads upstairs to his office while you and your party bundle yourselves up again for anything trip out into the elements. Keane is much more personable than Dolan was – he mentions how he thinks the first big construction project at the Big House should be to dig tunnels between all of the buildings so people do not have to mess around with suits and brushes every time they need to go somewhere, he jokes with his partner as he leaves him behind in the improvised decontamination vestibule, and even once he is outside and more than a little stifled by his mask, he comments that after seven years of working here, and all of the effort taken to keep the big yard clean and clear, for securities sake, how strange it is to see it crowded with trucks, equipment, supplies, tents, and even in some places, trash and human waste.
>>
>>4615821
The bit about tents concerns you – the Big House is appropriately named. The idea that there are enough people in the group that overflow in tents is deeply concerning, especially considering that you are going to be one of the few parties responsible for feeding all of them. But there is not much time to dwell on this new concern. You make good time on the dusty packed dirt of the big yard, and make it to the Intake Building, unique in that it is the only building that appears to have been purpose-built after this property was converted over into a jail. Keane leads you around to the back, of the building, and there, in an open garage bay on top of the loading dock, sits a shabby and incomprehensibly valuable hodgepodge of odds and ends hooked up to a generator. There is someone standing right next to it, but they have the build of a slender young woman – Reaves had three whelps, what looked to be twins and an older, teenaged daughter. This is almost certainly her.

Gunther, who apparently has had a watch this entire time, announces that it is already 1:36 – the meeting starts sharply at 2:00, and you are going to need a few extra minutes to get hauled up the stairs. Keane, having completed his orders, says that if there is nothing else he is needed for, then he will be heading back to the vestibule – people will be showing up soon for the Steering Committee meeting, and he has to be there to make sure they decontaminate properly before coming in.

>Please Pick ONE of the following:
>Allow Keane to return to his post.
>Ask Keane to stick around for now.
>Ask Keane to stick around for now and ask him a question (write-in).

>Please Pick ONE of the following:
>Ask Miss Reaves to tell you where her father is right now – you need to have a talk with him.
>Tell Miss Reaves to step aside, that the gasifier belongs to you, and her father is a cheat.
>Ignore Miss Reaves completely – she is just a kid; she will not know and cannot do anything.

>Please Pick ONE of the following:
>Run Miss Reaves off, then remove parts from the gasifier as a means of claiming the machine.
>Spend what little time you have before the meeting trying to track down Reaves to settle this.
>Spend what little time you have before the meeting trying to track down Parasol to give him your side of the story – the true side.
>>
>>4615825
>>Allow Keane to return to his post.
Keane seems like respectable enough. Lets not get him in trouble with anyone higher up.
>Ask Miss Reaves to tell you where her father is right now – you need to have a talk with him.
She may know where Reaves is. It's evident people here believe the gasifier to belong to Reaves. If we just start fucking around with the thing and making a scene, we're going to get no where, completely burn bridges with Reaves, and potentially delay the meeting, upsetting the other group members. It'd be nice to resolve this before the meeting, but then again Reaves already made a demonstration, and if we have him feeling spiteful toward us, he could end up opposing our votes on whatever the meeting is meant to discuss. Lets try to find Reaves and resolve things with some semblance of being civil. If we don't, no big deal. We can still make the meeting on time, and we can save anything that could have lasting fallout for after the meeting.
>Spend what little time you have before the meeting trying to track down Reaves to settle this.
>>
>Allow Keane to return to his post.

>Ignore Miss Reaves completely – she is just a kid; she will not know and cannot do anything.


>Spend what little time you have before the meeting trying to track down Parasol to give him your side of the story – the true side.

I've got a hunch Miss Reaves is going to be a total snake just like Daddy. I'm not hopeful going to Parasol will help much but leaving it up to him and accepting his judgement is a fine gesture of deferrence and loyalty even if we dont get the generator.
>>
>Allow Keane to return to his post.
>Ignore Miss Reaves completely – she is just a kid; she will not know and cannot do anything.
>Spend what little time you have before the meeting trying to track down Parasol to give him your side of the story – the true side.
Parasol knows our gig and he'll understand that Reaves is a welch. We are getting our gasifier.
>>
>>4615903
>>4615932
Fuck it, man. Supporting these. You guys made some interesting points. Any possibility of gettin an overnight, Trash?
>>
>>4615903
+1. Mantle is far too stupid to mess with a teenage girl, those things are dangerous!
>>
>>4615903
>>4615932
>>4615985
>>4616037
Alright - four identical votes. I will get to writing this up.

>>4615985
>Any possibility of gettin an overnight, Trash?
Tonight, I should be able to get one in. I find that I always write more on days I have other things that I should be doing.

>>4616037
This anon knows what's up.
>>
This girl, the eldest – if she is anything like that fucking ratfink father of hers, you will not be able to get anything out of her but a headache and a few more PSI’s of blood pressure … or whatever the fuck that stuff is measured in*. She is still standing by the machine, looking at you and your party. It is hard to tell, but judging by her posture, she looks kind of … apprehensive, even as she tries to puff herself up and possessively put one of her scrawny mitts on your gasifier. She is not saying anything – she just is standing there, waiting for you all to make the first move here. Which is understandable if you consider her position – a group of unidentifiable males mosey up to you, look you over, as well as the stolen property you have been told to guard by your dad, and then they just stand off and talk amongst themselves, probably just out of earshot for her. So her apprehension is understandable, and under … better circumstances, you would wave or try to reassure her somehow. But frankly, as far as you are concerned, she is effectively an accessory after the fact. Let that brat fret and stew – you will take her and her father in hand, soon enough.

“Keane, before you go back to your post – do you know where Parasol is right now? If I can’t talk to Reaves, then I suppose the next best thing would be to take it to the top.” The Guard takes a moment, looking up at the sky and tapping his right foot in thought before replying; “Honestly – I don’t know. He has an office at the ‘Club House’ but I’ve been stationed there all day, and he didn’t … Oh! Actually, I might know where he will be in a minute or two.” He turns to Gunther and Tolle. “Do either of you know where the Motor Pool is? If he isn’t already here yet, then he would have to be at the Motor Pool.” Tolle pipes up – very wearily – to say that he knows where it is. Keane quickly pulls out a small stenography pad from his utility belt, followed by a pen, and then jots down something, before ripping the page out and handing it over to Tolle, who you know, even under the facemask is just dumbly staring at the thing.

After bidding you goodbye, Keane leaves, to return to his post. Finally returning to conscious thought, Tolle lurches into motion, and tells Gunther to help him push your gurney, following his instructions. It turns out that the Motor Pool is located in the far corner of the big yard – located by the primary prison gate, and it takes a bit of effort to get you there. You feel bad about ordering them around like sled dogs or something, but you insist that they hurry on over – time is of the essence here. The most direct path to the pool takes you through one of the portions of the yard that Keane must have been talking about – there are trucks and cars here that seem to have just been strewn – parked at odd angles to each other, unlike the much more orderly parking that you were directed to.
>>
>>4616307
There are also pieces of equipment mixed in, and in some places, moving boxes, pieces of furniture – and just assorted junk. All around, with not a lot of rhyme or reason to it – at least from what you can tell. As your gurney weaves its way between all of this, you have a bit to wonder just what is going on here – and you eventually realize that group members who are now living here at Mt. Kineo would probably not be willing to just abandon their vehicles – or any of their property that they could haul off. The natural thing for them to do would be to hold on to as much of their stuff as they can; which explains why the yards of the Big House are being filled up like this - obviously, a family could not stuff an entire house’s worth of possessions into a converted cell. But whatever they could move into the yard would at least be safe from Outsiders and Firebugs; though sooner or later, someone would take something that did not belong to them – or something that they believed belonged to them, and then this would really become a mess. Of course, you are not exactly one to talk – you were lucky enough to keep your own home, and apparently, your dooryard had some overflow in it as well – though hopefully nothing like this.

The three of you make it out of the ‘midden’ to the Motor Pool to find the place a hive of activity. There are Deputies getting out of cruisers, and the uparmored ambulance and one of the prisoner transports – specifically, one of the two buses that the jail used, not the van that the deputies used – you totaled that one with your firecracker – look like they are being unloaded. The primary gate has already been closed, but there are Guards moving around, and you watch them start up, drive and then park a cement mixer of all things in right behind the gate – no doubt as a precaution against someone attempting to ram their way through. With all of this commotion – it is clear that Parasol must have just arrived. Which begs a question – what on Earth was Parasol doing outside of Mt. Kineo with all of these men? No doubt you can get an answer soon enough.

Or maybe not that soon. Drawing closer, you notice two Guards, fully armed and armored, dressed in their purpose made suits and full facemasks with the built-in respirators speaking to two others – both unarmed and in what appears to be an inferior version of the Improvised Outwear that you are wearing. You can tell that they are talking – you would have to guess, based off of the body language of the Guards, that the two of them are trying to get into the Motor Pool, and the two Guards are not having any of it. As you continue to approach, the Guards notice you, and one moves to head you off. Not wanting to make a scene, you go to tell your men to stop, but by the time you speak up, they have already stopped, and the Guard is already upon you.
>>
>>4616308
“You can’t be here – no one can, without a chitty, not even –” he points towards the other Guard and the shabbily dressed pair “ – if you were in the ‘inner circle’, or a knight of the round table, or whatever the fuck.” You blink a bit, while trying to formulate a response, but Gunther beats you to the punch. “What the Hell is a ‘chitty’?” The Guard grunts, clearly exasperated: “Authorization! A note! A fucking Hall Pass! It’s plain fucking English!” It might be ‘plain fucking English’ – now that you are thinking about it some more, it does sort of sound like some of the childish slangy shit that the Brits are so fond of, but you had certainly never heard the … word? before. In fact, you are so exasperated with this Guard’s exasperation over this that it takes you a second to register that you actually have a ‘chitty’. You instruct Tolle to hand it over, and inform the Guard that you got it from Keane, stationed at the ‘Club House’. Apparently whatever Keane wrote is good enough for you to be brusquely waved through.

Obviously, there has to be something else to ‘chitty’ then just jotting something down – must be some sort of code … or maybe the paper itself is some stationary, or official form or something, not just the typical lined paper of a stenography pad, like you originally thought. Consumed by these distractions, you are completely taken off guard when Gunther speaks up to the Guard, as Tolle lurches his way into position to push your gurney. “Excuse me; you said … er, indicated, I suppose, that those were members of the inner circle. By any chance, is that Jim Reaves?” The Guard, who had already started to turn away, stops and speaks over his shoulder; “Yeah – but even if that space cadet is your friend, no fucking dice. The chitty was for you three only.” Oblivious to the bombshell that he just dropped, the argumentative Guard with a strange sense of what is a ‘normal’ turn of phrase shuffles in his full body suit back towards your new nemesis.

The first thing you do is ask Gunther for the time: it is 1:47 pm. You will only have enough time to speak to Parasol or confront Reaves before the Steering Committee meeting starts. As it is, you will be cutting it close to get there in time.

>Please pick ONE of the following:
>Confront Reaves
>Talk to Parasol
>Head to ‘Club House’
>>
>>4616310
>...and a few more PSI’s of blood pressure … or whatever the fuck that stuff is measured in*.

**Blood Pressure is measured in mmHg's for those that were wondering
>>
>>4616310
>Confront Reaves
>>
>>4616312
I love how you insert random trivia like thatw
>>
>>4616310
>>Confront Reaves
>>
>Talk to Parasol

I think Reaves is in too deep on his lie of ownership and won't back down no matter what we say. It sucks to be a tattle tale but I believe getting a minute with Parasol gives us the leverage we need to force Reaves to save face by dealing with this quietly, though we may end up having to make some small concession to Reaves in return.
>>
>>4616596
This is fair, I'll switch to Parasol. I was mostly just hoping to intimidate Reaves but given our injuries we are quite possibly the least intimidating person in Maine right now. (short of Undersheriff Carter)
>>
>>4616617
>>4616596
>>4616469
>>4616405
>>4616404
Alright - so it has been 5 hours, and there have been three votes. I'll consider that more than enough to call it. I will get this post up, and then as promised, a proper overnight.

>>4616405
Well, you know, Mantle is pretty dense - and he does do and say dumb things, so it is appropriate for him to churn out the occasional malapropism (like confusing the finial with the fibula) or just saying something completely ignorant about blood pressure.

But then, to me, personally, if feels weird just to say things that are intentionally wrong, so I feel compelled to Correct the Record ™
>>
Forget that bastard – at this point, he is so far up the ass off his own lie that you cannot expect to simply set things straight with him. He has dragged your property around here, presenting it to all and sundry as if it were some sort of cheap circus sideshow, all the while insisting that the machine is his. You know that you are not some … silver tongued salesman, or a great orator, but even if you were, you doubt that you would be able to make Reaves see reason and do the right thing here. No – he is not going to willingly give the machine to you, especially not if he is as close as you fear he is to selling it to the group. It is a frustrating thought, and an anxiety inducing one if you consider that he could have already sold the thing – you have no way of knowing. God if he did, to the group, or another member – how the fuck are you supposed to be made whole? Is there even some sort of system for arbitration set up for this stuff? Do you just plead your cases to Parasol?

Damn it! You need to stop fucking catastrophizing and start fucking doing shit here, otherwise you will have blown this ‘eleventh-hour’ opportunity. “Hey! Forget him. Just get me to Parasol – and then we will finish all of this fucking nonsense.” Gunther and Tolle share a bit of a look at that – no doubt partly because of the ‘outburstiness’ of the command, and partly because of your use of the royal ‘we’. But the important thing is that you get moving, and with a lurch, your stolen hospital bed, with your Homestead’s spare supply of Improvised Outerwear piled high on top, begins to trundle its way towards the parked transports and cruisers. You cannot see from your position on the bed, but you just hope that Reaves is watching you head over. More spiteful thought are derailed when a small group of Deputies break off from those milling around the vehicles to intercept your approach, and one of them asks quite rudely ‘what the fuck is going on here?’ When you explain that you need to see Parasol, one of them snidely remarks that he cannot understand why, as Parasol is neither doctor nor a laundromat. But before you even get a chance to bite his head off –

“Mantle.” By the time it takes you to place the voice as Chickless, he had walked up and dismissed the deputies with a wave of his hand. “Parasol is going to be a few more minutes or so - he stopped by the Public Safety Building on our way back. He should be arriving at the ‘golf gate’. That said, if there is anything I can do …”
>>
>>4616806
Why is it that nothing is ever fucking easy?! The ‘golf gate’ – so called for its proximity to the ‘Club House’ and where the first hole of the golf course was – was a small, and you had believed to be deactivated, door in the perimeter wall, back on the other side of the big yard. If you had Gunther and Tolle ‘burn rubber’ you just might be able to make it back there in time to get a sentence or two with him in edgewise before he convenes the meeting. Swearing under your breath at this latest complication, you press your head back into the gurney, and try to think things through.

>Please choose ONE of the following:
>While you have yet to see an organization chart, you know that you, Chickless and that fuck are all more or less the same rank. You want something actually done, then your best bet is trying to see Parasol.
>Chickless is a trusted third party, who clearly has Parasol’s ear – and importantly, he seems very amenable right now. Make your case, and with any luck, you will find an ally in him.
>You only decided against butting heads with Reaves because you thought Parasol was right in front of you. Now that he is still (somehow) out of your reach at the moment, you would be best serve by confronting that fuck.

I promised an overnight vote - so I am going to have to close this at 10pm Eastern Standard time if I am going to have any hope of keeping that promise. If necessary, I will roll to break a tie.
>>
>Chickless is a trusted third party, who clearly has Parasol’s ear – and importantly, he seems very amenable right now. Make your case, and with any luck, you will find an ally in him.

The men carrying us have their limits and time is running hella short. Geeze, I'm not all in on this decision as trying for Parasol is tempting but getting Chickless on our side could make the difference if it comes to a vote.
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>>4616840
Alright, well. Consider this vote closed.
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>>4616807
>>Chickless is a trusted third party, who clearly has Parasol’s ear – and importantly, he seems very amenable right now. Make your case, and with any luck, you will find an ally in him.
I realize the vote is already closed, but I'm supporting this regardless. Looking back to the 1st meeting, Chickless was the one prepared to push the hard decisions forward for the good of the group, even if outsiders were stepped on. Assuming he's still following that logic, he'll probably be more keen on getting that gasifier set up here, or somewhere else the group needs it. If we can explain that we intend on using it for food production, that might be able to sway him a bit more.
>>
>Chickless is a trusted third party, who clearly has Parasol’s ear – and importantly, he seems very amenable right now. Make your case, and with any luck, you will find an ally in him.
Come on bud.
>>
“… I guess you could. Reaves – Parasol’s pet architect – is trying to sell something to the group that belongs to me.” After asking Gunther and Tolle to pushing you towards the ‘Club House’ so you can roll and talk with Chickless, you explain the terms of the agreement, how it was just like all the others you make, including the ones you had made with Parasol, how as the job was winding down it was suddenly expanded to include the inside of the farmhouse as well, and how you managed to clear away all of the brush and the trash, but before you could get the salvage out were interrupted by a call to deal with a bull moose in a swimming pool. “ … and one piece of the salvage was this strange machine. Honestly, I didn’t give it much more than a glance, it looked like a bunch of random parts had been mounted next to a generator. But at the Steering Committee meeting, when someone mentioned gasifiers, and explained a bit about them, I started to wonder if that pile of junk was one.” Chickless looks at you for a particularly long second, then: “But you didn’t say a thing to anyone.” Chickless does have you there, and funnily enough, if you had said something, then you would have had a much stronger claim on the machine than you do now – but you are not going to roll over, nor are you going to allow yourself to be rolled over.

“I didn’t say anything because I didn’t know anything. And believe me when I say I had found some really strange stuff on the property – that this could have been anything. I was planning on heading over as soon as I could get free after doing my bit to secure and consolidate supplies around the lake for the group. But then there was the thing – with Carter, and later with Maine National Guard. I didn’t get back here until yesterday. And I didn’t get a chance to get anyone over there to look at thing until earlier today – only to find that Reaves now says the thing is his.” All this time, Chickless has just been staring ahead as he plods along next to you in the gurney. Feeling desperate, you explain that you need the gasifier to power a crab farming operation that you are looking to merge with your Homestead. That combined with Gunther fishing out one of the crabs in the bucket for him to look at (while somehow managing to continue to navigate your hospital bed through the trashy, ‘midden’ of the big yard) gets his full attention, and he actually starts to look at you. You are feeling a bit more optimistic, but his next question blots out that bit of sunshine. “Possession is nine-tenths of the law. The remaining tenth is ownership. You’ve explained that you entered into an agreement with Reaves – and by your accounting of the terms of that agreement, you should own the gasifier. But that is the issue; your ownership of the machine is completely dependent on a verbal agreement. Was there even anyone else who heard the terms being agreed to?”
>>
>>4617267
Oh no. Oh, come on. Oh, come the fuck on. You want to shout of at him and tell him this is all dogshit doublespeak but … the reasoning here is completely sound. No doubt this is how Reaves intends to defend himself if this ever reached arbitration. If it was his word against yours, and you are both of equal legal standing in the eyes of the group, then that means both of your testimonies would cancel out. Which means that in a dispute, it would come down to who had possession of it. And the matter is made worse, when you consider that if there was anyone who overheard anything, it would have been that shrew of a wife of his. Correctly assuming your lack of an answer meant that there was no one to back your version of the agreement, Chickless returns to looking forward for a moment or two, then passes an unexpected judgement “Well – without a written document I cannot just give you the gasifier.” Wait – that was an option? He has that kind of authority? “But as the Chief Requisitions Officer, I can compel him to immediately sell the machine to the group, and then have it disbursed to your Satellite after we are done reverse-engineering it. The process should not take long – it could be ready for you to take home before dinnertime tonight. Of course, the issue with all of this is that you will have to pay for the thing – as an additional tax – and believe me when I say that it is not going to be cheap.

“For what little it is worth, Mantle, I find you more credible than Reaves. Erwin Parasol, like most people of his stature, gets his business agreements down on paper. For him to contract you again and again, verbally – even for the relatively small jobs that you do for him – it is a sign of significant trust. And I can tell you that Reaves is certainly not on some ‘verbal retainer’. But this is not a question of trust. Every single member of the group is going to be clamoring for it. Even if it is truly yours, so long as you cannot prove that, I will have to pay Reaves and charge you for it. Those of us in the inner circle need to model good behavior for everyone else – blatant favoritism and fruitless bickering will not inspire confidence in us." You cannot help but sigh.

>Please choose ONE of the following:
>Accept Chickless’ deal to secure the gasifier right now before something else goes wrong, or you get fucked over in some new and exciting way. Your effective tax rate will rise from 12.5% to 23.5% for the next two years. It would be a serious pain, but you would put this whole thing to bed.
>While things with the gasifier are in flux (so you do not want to leave things for too long) you still have options that do not involve nearly doubling your taxes to buy something that you already fucking own. You could try Parasol, you could intimidating Reaves, you could try building your own. And if those fell through, then hopefully, you would still be able to take Chickless’ deal.
>>
>Accept Chickless’ deal to secure the gasifier right now before something else goes wrong, or you get fucked over in some new and exciting way. Your effective tax rate will rise from 12.5% to 23.5% for the next two years. It would be a serious pain, but you would put this whole thing to bed.

Chickless is right. This verbal agreement will get us nowhere and trying to get a better deal will just piss people off. The upside is that we can boost production and cut deals to lower taxation.
>>
>>4617271

>Accept Chickless’ deal to secure the gasifier right now before something else goes wrong, or you get fucked over in some new and exciting way. Your effective tax rate will rise from 12.5% to 23.5% for the next two years. It would be a serious pain, but you would put this whole thing to bed.

Rip off the band-aid, and get what we needed. Fucking welcher putting us in this position, bastard probably didn't do jack shit when the chips were down when Carter started acting up.
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>>4617271
>>Accept Chickless’ deal to secure the gasifier right now before something else goes wrong, or you get fucked over in some new and exciting way. Your effective tax rate will rise from 12.5% to 23.5% for the next two years. It would be a serious pain, but you would put this whole thing to bed.
We need that thing, big time. The crabs should help cover the tax increase, as would any deals with additional farms we come across. Chickless makes a good point, and seems fairly reasonable.
>>4617294
>The upside is that we can boost production and cut deals to lower taxation.
Definitely. You have the right idea. Recalling that mechanic friend of Mantle, we might be able to enlist his help in building another gasifier to potentially trade back to the group in order to cover for this huge tax increase. Though, he was speeding off on the last normal day before the strikes. Maybe we can ask around Kineo and see if anyone has seen him. The crab guy mentioned he was running on generator power, right? There's another generator we can get our hands on to convert into a gasifier right there.
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>>4617320
I think the best we might be able to do is basically spite Reeves at this point. We offer the same deal to anyone we do work for in that we clear an area take the salvage as payment, possibly with cash as well offered only if the client voluntarily offers it. We have had the same deal with Parasol and I am sure a few others who will be there. If Reeves wants to take what is by right our payment for his own benefit, let him. But make sure everyone knows that in this society which requires trust and cooperation, he is solely concerned with his own profit and has demonstrated that he will put that before doing what is right. Cast him in the worst light. While he tries to enrich himself we have already sacrificed for our community our body and our homestead has now given to the group a means to help secure vital food resources even securing a possible immediate opportunity via the crab farmer we reached out to. If Reeves wants so badly to gain short term value from what is rightfully ours, make him pay by making him a pariah, show he is a sneak thief and an opportunist and see how well he likes trying to survive with that hanging over him.
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>>4617352
Additionally, we may want to start prepping for some things in the future. I assume that the nukes used are not atomics but thermonuclear which helps as those create fare less fall out than the fission warheads from back in the day, thank fully. The ash fall out from yellowstone is still a big issue depending on trade winds, but in addition to to the cold temp they will bring, ash is very acidic which will kinda fuck attempts to grow plant food stuffs. If possible we may want to try for cold weather crops like millet, winter wheat, root veggies with some kind of tarping to reduce ashfall fucking the ph of the soil.

The natural bodies of water will likely suffer as well as the micro flora some fish require will likely die and we may end up with algea blooms. Possibly, we could repurpose the swimming pool at the hotel as a source of aqua culture to help with food if we could stock it.

People with wells need to get those online. Ground water contamination will occur but if the water table is deep enough, it can provide more time to get things sorted. In fact, getting a good supply of well water should be a high priority I believe.

Might consider trying to trap enough small "varmint" in quantities large enough to create meat and hide farms a bit down the line as I fear protein mat become scarce. Same with trying to capture migrating geese and other fowl to set up egg farms kinda like we have now.

If there are grain silos from farming communites, these need to be explored before rot and vermin take hold, and to secure seed for future planting.

Also, I assume as a rural area, they have animal anitbiotics at the farm supply stores, These work for ppl just as well. Clavimox for large/small animals is literally the same stuff as as amoxicillin for humans fyi.
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>>4617294
>>4617298
>>4617320
Alright - that is enough. I will get to writing soon.
>>4617352
There will be an option to attempt to bad mouth him in front of everyone once you get to the meeting.
>>
This really, really, fucking sucks. But – if this is how you put all of this to bed, and get the Gasifier ‘lock stock and barrels’, then you cannot just pass this up. You might not be out of options, per say, but the fact remains that none of the options that remain are anywhere close to being a surefire thing. Still, being forced to eat a fat tax hike just to get your property back … that fucking animal is going pay for this. Someday, somehow – you are going to get back at him, with interest for this. You tell Chickless that you accept the deal, to which he nods, and then adds that he will have something written up for you to sign. You cannot tell if he is trying to make a point, or make a joke – so you drop it, and remain silent for the rest of the way back to ‘Club House’. As you approach, you notice that there is a bit of a line outside, four or five people waiting to get in, and you realize that there must be an enforced capacity on the decontamination vestibule. Chickless queues up with you and your guys in the line, as a guard, who after a moment you recognize as Keane lets people in one at a time. Just as you were wondering how much time was left before the start of the meeting, Gunther, seemingly having read your mind checks his watch, and announces that it is already 1:51pm. It takes at least another thirty seconds before Keane gets a squawk on his radio, telling him to allow another person into the vestibule to be scrubbed down.

>Please pick ONE of the following:
>Ask Keane if you can be ‘expedited’ through this, as you are going to need to be hauled up the stairs.
>Take this opportunity to speak to Gunther and Tolle – thank them for carting you around, ask questions (write-in) or make requests of them (again, write-in)
>Take this opportunity to speak to Chickless – thank him for working with you on this, ask questions (write-in) or make requests of them (again, write-in)
>Take this opportunity to speak with someone in that is in line with you – try your hand at networking.

I know this is a really pygmy of an update, but I want to try my hand at doing more but smaller updates - just to see if that is something that I should try going forward into the next thread.
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>>4617543
>Take this opportunity to speak to Gunther and Tolle – thank them for carting you around, ask questions (write-in) or make requests of them (again, write-in)
Thank them and apologize to Tolle, let someone show him to a nice place for some shuteye.
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>>4617352
>>4617379
Good stuff, anon. Nice thinking. We could definitely try to set up some greenhouses down the line, and using the hotel pool sounds like a good idea.
>>4617575
+1
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Is Mantle's writing hand the one that's injured and does he have note taking supplies for the meeting?
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>>4617671
>does he have note taking supplies for the meeting?
I bet some is on hand here. iirc, the official reasoning for Gunther being with us at the meeting is to take notes for us
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>>4617671
Actually, he is right handed - so unfortunately, he not able to write right now.
>>4617700
That was discussed as a possibility, but considering the sensitive nature of the stuff that was going to be discussed, considering that he is not a formal member yet, I believe I said I was going to put it to a snap vote - we should do that here. You will take a moment to thank Tolle and Gunther, and then you will announce who comes with you to the meeting and who stays behind.

Also, Parasol is a professional. Someone will be taking minutes for the meeting, and you will be able to request a copy. These minutes might not be as detailed as notes that you would have taken, or have particulars you might have wanted to jot down, but bringing no one with you does not automatically mean that you are not going to be able to get notes for the thing)

>Please choose ONE of the following - this vote closes at 5:00pm Eastern Standard Time, rolling to tiebreak if necessary:
>Go by yourself
>Bring Gunther the Outsider in with you to take notes - leave Tolle to finally get the rest he was hoping for.
>Bring Tolle the Sleepyhead in with you to take notes - leave Gunther to explore, and get comfortable around the place.
>Bring both of them - while your 'posse' will raise eyebrows (and possibly concerns)
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>>4617745

>Go by yourself

Tolle's notes will be a bloody mess from his sleepiness, and Gunther isn't in well enough to be okay at the inner circle meetings. Try and take mental notes, and use the copy of the minutes as a refresher. Anything that will stand out to us should also be displayed in them too, for the most part.
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>>4617745
>Go by yourself

The minutes and our memory should suffice.
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>>4617745
>Go by yourself
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>>4617763
>>4617756
Alright - that settles it. We will thank our two pack mules, and then go in alone.
>>
Sometime between the meeting and Dyalisis we need to have a word with our man Norton as well. Need to know if he's in or out.
>>
While you are not thrilled about waiting outside in the elements any longer than you absolutely need to, at least this time here gives you an opportunity to properly thank Gunther and Tolle for everything they have done – Tolle especially, who must be going on … you do not even know how many hours without a proper rest. “Hey, you two. I just wanted to thank you for carting me around like this – and to apologize for getting snippy with you back there, a minute ago.” Gunther makes a dismissive gesture at that, and insists that it is nothing, while Tolle just rocks back and forth – you are not even sure if he is listening. Undaunted, you continue; “I wish I could say that we could all take a break after this, but we gotta get right back on the ball if we want to get Greenly over here. So, when I am up in that meeting, why don’t the two of you find some place to catch a quick cat nap? It is almost certainly going to be another long night preparing, you know … burning the candle at both ends.

“Somehow, we are going to need to make room for the crabs, and everything necessary to raise them, which means we … er, well, you, are going to have to be moving things all over the Homestead – and once that is all done, then we are going to need to figure out how the Hell are we … you know what I mean … going to get the damned things over.” Realizing too late that your ‘thanking them’ for their attentiveness and patience has now metamorphosized into you dumping more work on them, you switch over to reiterating how thankful you are for the two of them, and how they should take some rest while they can. You are eventually interrupted when you reach Keane, who shortly waves you into the decontamination vestibule. All three of you enter, and as an afterthought, Keane waves Chickless through as well. After the brushing down, you, your men, Chickless, and Keane and the other Guard in there with you pass through the security vestibule, with the Guard locking the steel bar door behind you. Back in the foyer, you notice that coatracks have been brought in, to hold the attendee’s Outerwear – most of it is Improvised Outwear, just like the stuff you are wearing, but here and there hanging on the racks there are purpose made Suits, definitely not of the quality that the Guards wear, but a step up from what you are wearing – like professional painter getups, with matching respirators and facemasks – that sort of thing. Something like that would be a nice thing to have, once you are back on your feet of course; until you have recovered enough to walk, jumpsuits are definitely not in your future.
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>>4617989
The Guard who unlocked the steel bar door for you and your party the first time you came here is on duty in the foyer again, though this time, he is working less as a Guard and more as a coat-check. Still, you suppose that some of the purpose made Suits, and even some of the nicer pieces of Improvised Outerwear are worth setting a Guard over. When he sees you, he looks over to the seating area he brought you over to last time, before getting to work, helping your men and Chickless out of their Improvised Outerwear, giving them a ticket, and then getting their things on a hanger. It takes you a second to actually look over to where the coat-checking Guard glanced, because you have to roll yourself over (as your neck is still immobilized by the brace). Propped up on one of the tired looking chairs is an old-style canvas stretcher. Oh Jesus. You know that jails typically do not get the latest or greatest equipment, but for God’s sake, was this really the best thing that Polk could find? It was not even that short notice, either, the man had about 45 minutes and this is what he gets? The damned thing did not even have straps!

Of course, it is too late to ask to hold the meeting downstairs, and with the amount of time that it apparently takes to get the power to the elevators here, the steering committee will have just about ended by the time you get up stairs that way. Once everyone here who is going upstairs – even if it is just for a moment to get you into the meeting before leaving, as it is the case for your two very diligent and very put-upon men as well as Keane and his buddy – has their Outwear or their Suits checked in on the racks, all of them, including Chickless help in getting you and your blankets off of the gurney and on to the antique. Thankfully, they are considerate enough to take some of the straps off of the gurney and try to (hopefully) secure them and you to the stretcher. They haul you up to waist height, and then with great deliberateness, your two men on your left and the two Guards on your right move towards the stairs, with Chickless following closely behind you, carrying the bucket of crabs in his off hand.

>Please, two rolls of 1d100. Assuming you do not want to get hurt and miss the meeting, do not roll a 1, 2 or 3 on either of these rolls.
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Rolled 78 (1d100)

>>4618004

Here goes!
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Rolled 6 (1d100)

>>4618004
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>>4618026
>>4618008
Alright - good job. You managed to get up the stairs without getting hurt. Give me a minute, and I will get to writing.
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It feels like it was a near thing, but your friends manage to haul you up the stairs without dropping you or the antique falling to pieces out from underneath you. The sigh of relief you breathe, once you are on level ground again could be called theatrical, but you are beyond caring enough to restra