Gus, Henrietta, and sheriff Earp stood on the steps of the rangers office and waved goodbye to the posse as they headed out to the Uncanny Valley to collect Bot Masterson. Even as they passed by the Rusty Sunset they see Sonja and the card shark Woody waving. Woody seemed to be doing worse than usual. His wave was slow and ill timed. Even his face seemed to be sagging more than normal. Strokes just plain sucked. Sonja tossed the group a few bottles of wiskey and flashed them a winning smile.
She said, with a bit of sauce, tossing her red hair back, ” Safe journey rangers, see ya’ll in a week or so.”
Day One Fort Ohm was surrounded by these gigantic metal towers of arching electricity that provided a modicum of safety. Without them the city would be vulnerable to attack from the bots that were reportedly scattered across the plains. The landscape outside Fort Ohm was made up mostly of plains with a few rolling hills. A dry, yellowing grass grew tall and wild as the posse moved farther away from the safety of the Tesla towers. As the wind shifted, it created a rustling sound that made the deputies jumpy. Dark clouds in the distance threatened to bring rain, but otherwise the ride was uneventful.
Mica the fair and buxom deputy whom frequented mid tier whore houses, not for the savage sex but to remind herself of how far she had come, sat all cozy up in the wagon that was being drawn by a brown proud horse. The wagon was an armored one fit for a criminal of a particular persuasion. Without it the group would have been relegated to a normal carriage but after Edison had stolen it Nita and Crank had been able to track it down. Ole Eddy had hidden it underneath a burlap tarp behind fort Ohm’s own electric galvanized power plant.
The brown haired deputy did not say much until the sky darkened in the east and then she started spoutin all sorts of jumbo mumbo, “I reckon it looks like a storm is movin in.” Mica looked at the few swaying tall grasses with a bit of concern,”Wind is picking up By the looks of it, it’ll probably miss Fort Ohm. Cumulonimbus if I am not mistaken. Too bad it ain’t headed our way…” She gave Charlotte a wink, “Might be a good time to get all cozy by a roaring fire.” She spat out a bit of tar and kept an eye on the clouds never letting her rifle out of hand.
Behind her came a bit of a hoarse laugh. Lucky, narrow nosed and eyes so close together folks said he was Lucky to see straight, laughed again. He was riding a short pinto horse, that almost looked cartoonish with how tall he was. He had a nose for a crooked game and had lost his shirt on more than one occasion. He pulled along side Sir Andy and cracked a smile laughing, “Haha, you hear Mica… I reckon she spent a bit too much time in the clouds.“ His eye wandered around Sir Andrew Cross’ horse. Lucky was a well known horse trader and in some lesser known circles a bit of a horse thief. “Say Andy, maybe when we make camp you and I play a game of cards… If I win we swap horses, and if you win… Heck if you win, I’ll set you up with my half sister Sonja over at the Rusty Sunset. I hear she’s even been to England.”
Riding a black mare full of spite and more hatred than Bull’s face was Danson, the ranger Grandpa pulled out of the Gilded Rose. He hollered, “Stow it you two! We’ve been ridin for most of the day, we got a nice hollow coming up. Perfect place to make camp. But this weather... Keep an eye sharp.” Danson was a soldier during the last bot war. Hard boiled as they came and self appointed chaperone of any and all knuckle heads. As he rode passed Bull he nodded and whispered, “Son when we get back to the fort, I know a doc who can fix yer face. In the meantime don’t look the horses directly in the eye.”
The posse settled in for the evening around a group of tall pine trees about twenty in all. Out here on the yellow rolling hills it was the only thing to pass as shelter against the wind that was sure to pick up. Danson started yellin’ at the deputies to get camp ready, “Lucky get those horses tied up secure, specially Sir Cross’. Don’t want that thorough bred getting lost. Mica break out the pots and see if Crank has somethin for the fire. Were havin’ chili tonight.”
Lucky came by and made sure each horse was secure. Although he fumbled a bit when it came to the women’s horses. He was more than shy as he fumbled to tie even a simple loop for Nita’s horse, “Sorry ma’m, Usually I am better at tying off than this. I mean I’ll get this tied off shortly.” He smiled sheepishly fumbling some more. Perhaps sticking his foot farther into his mouth he asked,” What tribe you with anyway? Cherokee... Navajo?”
Mica unloaded a few pots out of her Saddle bags as well as some timber. She set up a small circle of stones where she could start a fire and poured some water into a pot. She looked around warily as the wind rustled near. After half a heart beat she found Crankshaft and in a manner beseeched him for something to light a fire, ”Engineers usually got all sorts of gagets. Got something for a fire?” Her voice dropped and she pulled him close whispering husky like in his ear, ”When I was four years old, I watched my mother kill a spider... with a tea cozy. Years later, I realized it was not a spider - it was my Uncle Harold. ”
As the evening dawdled on, the chili was hot and wind not so bad protected by the pines as you were, Danson handed each of you a badge made from robot parts. When you first joined the Tesla Rangers ya’ll handed Gus parts from your first bot killed. Danson was just handing them back reforged and symbolizing the conviction that each ranger bares. He didn’t smile, but his eyes twinkled with just enough mirth that made it seem he was proud to be riding with real Tesla Rangers. “Now…. You don’t got to share or tell a tale if you don’t want to.” He looked at the fire, and pulled his hat low against the slight breeze, “But I reckon we don’t got much to do before darkness draws too deep. But maybe a story or six about how you came to be a ranger and killed your first bot would do to help pass the time.”
Player directions: roll a d4 and consult the interlude table to help guide you on what kind of theme your story of your first bot kill takes. Gain a conviction and a benny!
- 1) Spades: Backstory: A great victory or personal triumph.
- 2) Hearts: Backstory: A tale of the hero's greatest love— lost, found, present, or waiting on her back home.
- 3 Diamonds: Backstory: Something your hero wants or already has. It might be a material possession, recognition, a political goal, or even a trip he wishes to take to some amazing destination.
- 4) Clubs: Backstory: A tale of misfortune from your hero's past, perhaps revealing something of his Hindrances or a dark secret.