- Craig: Pacifist Super Mutant, adhering to tribal religious beliefs, undertaking a vision quest in the wasteland at the behest of his spirit guide;
- Dexx: Young but experienced thief, hoping to start a new, prosperous life as a scavenger after having recently left behind the street gangs of the Angel’s Boneyard;
As the evening progressed, Dexx became more and more determined to make an attempt to break into Harlan Clint’s private office and steal some of the valuable items on display there, before leaving Landfill the next morning with the caravan from Two Sun. Dexx joined the group of traders, a few of which were having a few drinks at The Hill as well, at their table. Planning to leave the town as quickly as possible after the heist, he informed the dwarf Sébastian, the only one of the easterners to speak English, that he and his friends would meet the traders outside of town on the ruined I-10 highway. Together they’d then continue west along the interstate, heading for the Boneyard. The traders all seemed in good cheer, enjoying their beers after having been on the road for weeks and were more than happy to accommodate their new traveling companions. Having his retreat covered, Dexx began looking for some additional help to pull off the risky caper. Figuring he could trust Paul, Dexx provided him the details of the plan. Luckily for him, Paul proved a more than willing accomplice. The need to alleviate his boredom and especially Dexx’ promise to share the loot fifty-fifty was a powerful motivation, especially as Paul still owed him quite a few caps. Paul agreed to stand guard and if need be, create a distraction for the guards, or in the worst case, secure Dexx’ flight from the scene with violence. Dexx decided to ask Craig as additional backup as well, though not entirely sure if the Mutant would agree of his illegal activities. Craig was busy keeping the peace in The Hill as a bouncer, a job his robust physique was perfect for. To Dexx’ surprise the Mutant took very little convincing, assuring Dexx he could count on him. The three of them agreed to meet outside the bar in a few hours, Craig’s duties calling him as a few men were about to start a fight over a card game gone sour. Dexx opted not to tell Rhiannon or Xena about their nightly undertaking, instead just telling them to meet them at the highway the next day. The two women decided to call it a night, while Dexx and Paul then left the bar and waited in town for Craig to join them. Craig meanwhile had managed to break up the fight, which earned him some spiteful remarks from a couple of the locals who seemed none too pleased with having a Super Mutant around. The three men had left the bar after that, but around closing time suddenly appeared again to confront Craig. Unfazed the Mutant met their gaze and almost casually made an intimidating display of brandishing his sledgehammer. Two of them wavered immediately and made for the door, while the third, clearly jacked on chems, reached for a knife and lunged at the Mutant. Craig easily dodged the stab, grabbed the lout’s arm and twisted it behind his back, disarming him and making him fall to his knees in pain. He then picked the man up, carried him through the bar and threw him out onto the streets, with some satisfaction watching him fall face first and scurry off shortly after. After taking his leave of Donaldson, Craig went out and joined his waiting friends.
Under the veil of night the threesome walked through the deserted streets of Landfill, making their way over to the compound. As per the plan, Craig and Paul stayed behind on the outskirts of town, ready to create a distraction in case of Dexx were to be discovered by the patrolling guards. Just to be sure, Dexx strapped on the Stealth Boy they unearthed earlier, and started moving across expanse, about a hundred yards wide, which separated the compound from the rest of town. The dark, cloudy night provided the perfect cover and all seemed quiet ahead, with only a single guard positioned at the gates. As he drew closer however he noticed a light burning in a nearby building and, in the nick of time, a guard passing by a few yards in front of him. Narrowly avoiding the guard, Dexx continued along until he reached the buildings and sneaking from cover to cover, reached Clint’s office. Observing the patrol routes for a while, he timed a quiet dash around the corner to the front door of the office, his lock picking tools at the ready. The door was secured with a simple padlock, which due to the darkness probably took him a bit longer than it usually would have, but all in all it didn’t stand a chance against the thief’s years of practice. The latch bolt proved more troublesome however. Ill-maintained, the bolt jammed when Dexx tried to open the door, making it impossible to open it entirely quietly. Cursing under his breath for not bringing any oil, he had to risk pulling back the bolt in one go: to his relief the resulting noise didn’t draw the attention of any of the guards. Entering the office, his eyes has difficulty adjusting to the pitch black interior, which made him realize he didn’t bring a lamp or lighter either. Carefully shuffling through the room, he eventually reached what he thought was the display shelf. Feeling around he gathered the objects that had a heavy or metallic feel to them, put them in his duffel bag and started to move out again. Pausing for an instant, he took advantage of a few rays of moonlight piercing through the clouds to take a look at his plunder. Apart from the desired laser pistol there were: a large, damaged circuit board, a small tin box and a metallic egg-shaped object, with strange markings and a button on it. Suddenly approaching footsteps could be heard. Dexx gathered his stuff and snuck out the door and made a break for the cover of the buildings, leaving the office door unlocked. Moving back as quickly as possible toward the town and his waiting friends, he thought he could hear shouting coming from behind him. Paying it no heed, he met up with Craig and Paul, and the three of them left the scene of the crime, heading south for the highway.
Meanwhile back in The Hill, Rhiannon and Xena were fast asleep in their room, unaware of what their friends were up to at this late hour, and even more oblivious of what was going to happen to them. Rhiannon awoke with a shock as a man roughly put his hand over her mouth and grabbed her by the arm. In the dark of the room she could see another man approaching the bed from the other side, while a third clambered onto the bed toward her. As she got a good look at the face of the third, who turned out to be a Ghoul, she remembered seeing and talking to them some days before down in the bar, naively telling these scavengers about her Vault. The Ghoul started to connect a small handheld device to her own PipBoy. Trying to break free of her captors, she started trashing around and making as much noise as possible, biting down hard in the big man’s hand and screaming out for help. Fortunately this woke up Xena, who as an experienced merc always kept her gun in arm’s reach. Assessing the situation, she grabbed her submachine gun from under her pillow and, half-naked, leapt out of the bed, running toward the Ghoul who had his back turned toward her and pulling him away from Rhiannon. A frenzied fight ensued. Noticing the third man to have a shotgun in his hands, Xena shoved the Ghoul in his direction. At the same time, the brawny man tried to hit Rhiannon, cursing all the while. She managed to roll out of harm’s way, started climbing out of the bed and ran towards the door screaming bloody murder, dragging the Ghoul’s device, still attached by a cable, behind her. The Ghoul and the big man ran after, but she managed to dodge their rushed, desperate grabs. In the meantime the other man had recovered, unloading his shotgun at Xena hidden in the dark of the room, who retaliated by emptying half a clip in him. Ridden with bullets, the man slumped back in the corner, bleeding profusely. This bought Rhiannon enough time to make it out of the door, running towards the guard room, crying for help. The Ghoul and the big man thought better of it, leaving their friend behind and ran down the stairs, trying to escape. Alarmed by the gunfire, one of the guards was already out on the mezzanine and fired a few rounds after the retreating men, but to no effect. Another guard checked the room the men had been lodging in, while Xena went through the belongings of the scav she killed, but neither had any luck finding out more about their identity or purpose. Rhiannon however took a closer look at the device the Ghoul had hooked up; it turned out to be a battered old PipBoy 2000, chockfull of data.
After the rush of the fight the two women couldn’t get back to sleep, so they started packing and prepared to leave early and meet with their friends on the road. As they were sitting down for a quick breakfast one of Donaldson’s men hurried into the bar, informing his boss of a robbery at Clint’s compound. The culprits had already been caught and were to be hanged summarily. Intrigued Xena and Rhiannon decided to take a look before leaving the town, following the townsfolk massing towards the compound for the spectacle.
Once there they came upon the grisly sight of wasteland justice. A couple of gallows were already erected, with Clint’s men busy putting up a few more. Four corpses lay on the ground next to them, while the guards had rounded up two men alive, who seemed utterly confused and frightened. Three men were already dangling from the noose, judging from the bullet wounds already dead before they were hanged. To their shock the women immediately recognized one of them as the dwarf Sébastian whom they had met only the night before. They now understood that the other bodies were the remaining Two Sun traders. Other spectators in the crowd filled them in on the details; how these untrustworthy foreigners tried to steal from Harlan Clint’s office before trying to sneak away in the night. Clint himself paced around, shouting to the people of Landfill that crime in their town would not go unpunished. Rhiannon was appalled at this mockery of justice, but it was clear they could do little to help these unfortunate men. Disconcerted, the women left Landfill behind.
Around noon the group managed to find each other along the highway and though no one knew the surroundings that much, decided to set off on their own anyway, following the road west, hoping to get to Palm Springs. Rhiannon used the leisurely hours of walking to peruse the logs on the Ghoul’s PipBoy, which included quite a few interesting leads on sites the scavengers considered for prospecting. Glad to be back in the open, Craig used the opportunity to wander off on his own for a bit of hunting, quite successfully. After hiking for the rest of the day, empty desert around them as far as the eye could see and not meeting another soul, they set up camp for the night. Once more Craig was visited by an apparition from his spirit guide, a talking, ethereal coyote, who chided him for not following his councils. The words of the coyote were unclear and left the Super Mutant with more questions than they answered…