Episode 10: Escape from Firetown

Published on August 12, 2018

Let's just say our actions in the Warehouse District did not go unnoticed, though you could probably have told that from the drones buzzing around the truck. We needed to find somewhere to stash the truck, and then get the hell out of Firetown.

Vic analyzed the data he'd downloaded and discovered that we may have been played for patsies by the Deadheads. He turned up some information that seemed to suggest that our employer and that vicious bastard Colonel Lyboc were one and the same. Magpie buzzed in our comlinks wondering what the hell we did, because the Deadheads were talking about a purge. Now we really needed to get the hell out of dodge. Ol' Jack passed Magpie off to Vic as he scouted for a place to stash the truck. Vic told her what he'd found, and then the two of them worked on finding a way out of Firetown.

We found a warehouse that had seen better days. It would do well enough to hide the truck and maybe allow us to shake the drones following us. The drones took the bait and either got confused or went into a seeking pattern around the warehouse. We needed another vehicle to get us back to the hotel, so we could get Fer's sister and Velya and blow this popsicle stand. All that stood between us an a parking lot full of used vehicles ripe for the picking was an open field with nuthin' much in the way of cover. I was sure the drones would spot us, but someone was watching over us. We all made it across.

We were near a nightclub called the Bunker, which was in the middle of some sort of "End of the World Party" judging from the sounds of drunken revelry coming from indoors. I guess they all figured to have a good time until the end came. That was good news for us. Don't ask me why I settled on the SUV with a big can of Psi-Cola attached to the back. All ol'Jack cared about is that it was roomy, and wasn't a Dysgenix truck. Fortunately, the people indoors were too preoccupied to see Fer pop the lock on the truck, and didn't hear a thing when we took off in it.

As we closed in on the parking garage of the Hotel, Fer noticed the truck had a little snitch flash from just under the passenger side of the dash. She tried to disarm the tracker, but failed and ended up just grabbing it, ripping it out, and tossing it out the window. Which was good because we'd given the drones the slip by driving non-conspicuously, or at least as much as you can in such an distinctive vehicle, and didn't need to give away our position.

Velya was white as a ghost when we made it back to the room. She was holding a knife thinking we were some of the creatures rampaging through Firetown. She told how they had been murdering, devouring, and doing things too horrible to speak of in the streets. Charlotte was up, but she looked like a stiff wind could knock her over. She didn't say it, but her eyes said all that was needed. We took them and whatever food and water we could find and loaded them in the truck. Vic mentioned that he found what he thought was an old sewer entrance. Not having any other options we went for it.

A wooden structure like some sort of bunker separated us from the way out. A kid yelled out that "none should pass through the Kingdom of Brian." Ol'Jack was in favor of using the truck to "knock politely". He told everyone to get out while he backed up and revved up the truck. I know what you're thinking, but ol'Jack isn't suicidal he was gonna stab the accelerator in place with his knife and bail before the truck hit the gate. Brian mentioned that ol' Jack shouldn't do it and that was when we noticed the mounds of dirt in front of the gate.


If ol' Jack had went ahead with his plan, the kid would have been blown up with half the city block from who knows what kind of explosives he'd buried underneath. Cooler heads prevailed and Doc managed to get the kid to let him talk to him. Just when things were starting to look up that's when a squad of skelebots arrived on the scene demanding to see our identification by way of opening fire on ol'Jack. Fer managed to get a hit on one of the bots but it didn't seem to rattle it much. Jack took a couple of hits from the Deadbots, and was about to say his final goodbyes, when Doc again used that brain of his and flashed Burbie Bitch's ID card. You know it occurs to ol' Jack we still don't know the dame's name. Oh well Burbie Bitch will work until we have more time to question her. The skelebots scanned the badge, and confirmed she was supposed to be there which by default got us a free pass as well.

Doc had a heart to heart with the kid who'd been waiting for his dad to come home. He'd apparently been waiting a while. We learned from Magpie who finally joined up with us, that the kid's dad was in Payne's employ too and that he had died several days ago when he and his team were torn apart by the damned reaving cannibals. Brian agreed to let us use the entrance, and ol' Jack redeemed himself in Brian's eyes, by blowing up the truck for nothing more than the kid's amusement. It might not have been the smartest decision ol' Jack ever made because shortly there after we started taking fire from the walls, as the Deadheads sought to keep us from leaving.

The entrance inside the Kingdom of Brian was nothing more than an old sewer grate. It was slow going getting people down it and into what turned out to be some sort of water distribution tunnels. Ol' Jack took the lead. He was a mite better after Doc stitched him back together, besides I'd be able to smell any threats long before we ran into them.

We followed the left wall of the tunnel. Ol'Jack didn't know where it lead, he just hoped it wasn't back into the prison we just left. Ol'Jack had his flashlight and his pulse pistol at the ready. I ranged a bit ahead and encountered a pit in the floor. No problem. I made myself a telekinetic bridge and walked across it. Someone instantly appeared in front of ol'Jack and launched three energy bolts at him. My nose burned. Magic. The tunnel now stank of the stuff. That's when the ground vanished right out from under me with an audible "pop". I dropped the flashlight and my gun, and reached for the edge of the pit. Lucky me.

There I was dangling from the edge of the pit like a worm on a hook. I managed to haul myself out of the pit. The bozo in front of me was why my bridge vanished. Chuckles here had used his magic to dispel it. Cute.

Meanwhile there was some commotion at the the back of the line. Judging from the shouts, they had visitors too. Doc had noticed a weird shimmer and both he and Fer detected the scent of magic too. To them it smelled like tacos or pizza, but to ol' Jack it smelled like dirty feet. A strange blade of fire erupted and Doc tried to grab whatever was holding it, but missed.

The spelllslinger tangling with ol' Jack learned real fast why messing with me is a bad idea. Ol' Jack tore into him with his vibro knife. Funny boy thought he was getting out of the way by teleporting across the open pit. All this did was make him the main course for Fer who drained him dry. He clearly wasn't expecting a psi-stalker to be down in the tunnels. Ol' Jack snarled at the dead battery, recreated his bridge, and stalked back across to the spellslinger.

The other spellslinger slashed at Doc with the fiery blade but missed. Fer held the spellslinger she'd sucked dry and ol' Jack attempted to give him a new smile. I don't think Fer know's just how strong she is because she cracked the spellslingers head in her bare hands. Remind me not to make her mad.

Doc continued dancing with his partner and succeeded at getting some juicy mage, though it cost him big. The spellslinger ripped into him with that flaming sword. Fer left me to finish my opponent and went to go help Doc. Ol' Jack turned the spellslinger into a coat rack then barreled past Fer and into the hallway to cut in with Doc's dance partner. The spellslinger's eyes when his fiery sword went out was classic. So too when ol' Jack surrounded him in a telekinetic cage.

Ol' Jack told the rest to go on ahead, that he was going to have a chat with the mage. Jack didn't get much out of him other than he served the Coalition. That didn't fit with what ol'Jack knew of the Deadheads. They hated magic in any form. Did this guy see himself as some sort of "patriot" by serving the Coalition in the shadows? Ol'Jack didn't have time to find out and he didn't have any desire to fight with him, so with the last of his pyshic energy he reinforced the cage and hightailed ito for the exit.  Then used a small fusion block given to him by Brian to blow the tunnel so we couldn't be followed.

We had made it to the other side of the wall. Tandem Street from the looks of it. The gang members just looked at us with a nod as we passed. They didn't help us, but they didn't stop us either. Doc wasn't looking so hot and went to find someone to treat his burns. Fer kept an eye on Burbie Bitch with her sister and Velya, while ol' Jack went to look for some wheels to get us out of here, and by out of here, I mean the Burbs, Chi-Town, and Coalition territory in general. Staying anywhere near the Deadheads was a death sentence. Ol'Jack wanted to go somewhere there weren't any Deadheads, reaving zombies, or 100 ft walls. Maybe some where in the Colorado Baronies. He's heard some travelers talk about a place called Perseverance. Sounds like the kind of place they could lay low, give the Deadheads time to forget about them.