The Jokers are called into the Briefing Room, as usual. Ossana is already there, waiting for you all. "Okay, I know you've been resting for less than a week, but we've got a situation that's come up. As you all know, we're trying to forge alliances with various independent entities in the area. Well, a goodwill opportunity has arisen."
She taps a button on her pad, and the lights go out, leaving only the glowing ember of her stogie butt glowing for a moment. "Montcrief! It's broken again!" The corporal sighs, and there's the sound of him moving over to her. Tap, tap, tap, and the lights come on, while the screens now show a map with a route highlighted, as Wilde picks up the briefing.
"This is Hochatown, Oklahoma, on the shore of Broken Arrow Lake. It's what's known as a banditburg--they have something of a watchacallit, symbiotic relationship with a bandit gang in the area. A bit like Little Pocahontas has with that scumbag Hellfire and his Hellions, but the Wildlings are less nasty than that crew. They also aren't really as unified--it's more like a confederation of a bunch of smaller gangs that operate semi-independently in the area--they only all show up if there's some threat to their turf rights from another gang or an overly aggressive patrol out of CS Lone Star. Townsfolk and bandits alike have a higher-than-usual percentage of Dogboys and other Lone Star escapees, so they keep a fairly firm policy of non-cooperation with the C-S troops."
Montcrief taps the pad again, and now the screen shows a shot of a human woman with a cyber-eye and a tin star badge, while Sergeant Wilde continues. "This is Antigone Montrose. She is the sheriff of Hochatown. Normally, her days are spent breaking up bar fights and reminding the sub-gangs that duels take place outside of town. But now she's got a bit more than she can handle. According to her, there's something weird happening--about a dozen people have gone missing over the last half year. Now, some of them may have just pulled up and moved out--it's Pecos, and that happens. But she insists that these are townies going missing, not travelers or bandits, and that's unusual. Some of the bandits have told her that a few of their members have gone AWOL as well."
She shake her head. "It's possible that this is just one of them, um, statistical anomalies, but even if that's the case, it's got the locals riled up. The locals are starting to say the gangs're getting nasty; the sub-gangs all point at each other, or say it's gotta be the townies... You can see how that could go south real fast. Now, normally, that wouldn't be our problem. But..."
She chews her lip, mulling over the next bit. "Certain individuals in Pecos have requested that the Legion intervene as an outside, impartial party. The sheriff's signed off on this, which makes things easier--and also tells you how bad it might get. If you can get to the bottom of this--even if it's just proving that the people left of their own accord, or whatever--then we will make a good impression on someone that the higher ups are looking to impress."
She dismisses the political intrigues with a wave of her hand. "In any case, something dark may be going on down there, so it's up to you all to dig it out, drag it into the light, and if necessary, hold the magnifying glass up to burn it to a crisp. Your new battlebikes are ready and down in the motor pool, along with your usual supplies. We've got a transport going south with supplies that will get you most of the way there by tomorrow night--Sasha at full march should be able to get from the drop-off point to the town in about 3 days. Any questions, ask Montcrief. My flask's running dry."
With that, she heads out, and as he so often has, Montcrief hangs around to answer any questions you may have.