Lights of Hoover 6: Working for a living.

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Lights of Hoover 6: Working for a living.
« on: March 23, 2011, 09:44:51 AM »
Doc and Harlan left the Chemist's place in Vegas (along with the NPC's, St. John, Shigusa and Mox and Pima).

Why was Pima, the Chemist's best gun with them?

Because the Chemist pressured him into becoming the Doc's apprentice over breakfast.

Pima offered the Doc his gun (he has two guns tattoed on his abdomen, so that they stuck out as if he always has guns in tucked into his pants).  Doc didn't want to take it until Harlan explained.  "He is taking you as his shogun and is offering you his sword.  Take it."

Doc took the gun after some hemming and hawing.

They drove out of Vegas, leaving Cybelle, who was working for the Chemist, Graham now.  Cybelle was escorted to one of Vegas' manufactories, where the drugs are cooked.  Graham introduced her to Nava, an elderly Mexican lady who shook hands with her before the Chemist said, "Cybelle is my counselor, much like Lovelock used to be."

Nava took her hand away, looking at Cybelle's Violation Glove like it was a venomous snake.  "Fucking brujah."  Nava and Graham sat down in the office to talk and the Chemist gave Cybelle leave to walk around the place.  "Feel free to go where you need to go and get a feel for the place."

Word had gone out among the workers that Cybelle was the new Lovelock and people started to get good and nervous.  She walked around, nice and slowly and one guy just broke.  He jumped a guard and took his gun, starting screaming that no witch was going to poke around in his brain and that he didn't steal much.

Cybelle threw knives at him and disarmed him, allowing the other guards to jump the guy and hog-tied him up (roll under fire).  I probably let too much get done with one Roll Under Fire roll but so be it.  The gun-man was taken into the basement and not seen again.

Happy with the whole endeavor, Graham called it a day and gave Cybelle some midnight reading, SPEC OPS MANUAL 053: Psychic Warfare.  We'd make that move in a bit.

Meanwhile, the guys were going out and doing their rounds.  They stopped by Cocktail to visit her working boys and girls.  A windstorm had swept through and taken her roof right off.  The prostitutes were grabbing bits of tin roof off the ground and putting them into piles.  The Croaker's crew helped as best they could but it was clear that Bar was short on temper and short on time.  They left, making their way around the rim.

The next town is called Gun.  Gun is a shack in the middle of the fucking desert with a speaker/mic, like in an old world fast food joint.  There was a dumb-waiter where one could put their gun and a barely understandable voice from under-god-knows-where-the-fuck.  Harlan got his shotgun sawed off proper and when Doc asked if they needed anything, the voice said that they did not.

Puzzled, they left for the next town on the rim, the Pit.  Pit is a pit with X-mas lights hanging from poles all around it.  Two biker gangs were parked around the pit and two gang members were disarmed and stripped naked, tossed into the pit until one beat the other and then all beef was said to be over.  One gang was on dirt bikes, they knew these folk, led by Esmerelda.  The other gang was led by a tall black fella named Lincoln, who had a necklace of shiny pennies.

"Your boy lost...he need me?" Doc asked.

"Nope, but thanks," Lincoln responded.

That was that.

Next around the Rim were the ruins of Library.  There was nothing but a burned out foundation and the concrete foundation, covered by sand.  Harlan and Doc walked around alone, talking about the politics of putting up the hospital here.

"I think its spitting in Phoenix's eye to set up here, Doc."

"Whaddya say, Harlan, want to stand up to her?  Want to set up here and fight?"

"No offense, Doc but this hospital was always your dream.  I'm always for moving on."

Then they ran across the map in the concrete.  They found a big ole map, etched in the concrete of Hoover and the Rim and the roads that connect them all together.

There was:

(gas, duh)

(drinks, sex)

(ammo, guns, repair)

(conflict mediation)


(parts, fixin)

(Ligers, Chaos)

(electricity, light)

Harlan made his new move, the one that allows him to read weird shit off of inanimate objects.

It was the first of failed Weird-based rolls that would send the game into an unforeseen direction.

Harlan's hitch-hiker

He failed his roll to read the lettering of Library, his new Weird read-stuff move from another playbook.  Suddenly, he was in a man's brain during his last moments of life.  He was in the back of an army truck.  It smelled like some kind of flammable liquid, like kerosene but worse.  They were setting their flamethrowers to burn Library down; it was a truck full of Engineers from Hoover.  The guy whose POV he is stuck in doesn't want to do it and says so.  He says burning down Library is wrong.

Someone slits his throat and he bleeds to death, watched by the men and women he thought were his friends.

The guy's name is Brooks and he's now in Harlan's head, another hitch-hiker, like Ma is in Cybelle's head.

Harlan found the man's bones nearby.

Speaking of Cybelle...

She read the book:
Cybelle reads the bookWhen you read SPEC OPS MANUAL 053: Psychic Warfare, roll + Sharp:

"It reads like stereo instructions but the stereo is your mind and the music it plays is the act of killing people."

On a 10+, you can take 1 of the following 3:

+1 forward with any Weird based roll used to hurt or infiltrate someone/something.
Take an XP in order to buy up your Weird stat or buy a Weird-based move (custom or from another playbook)
The next time you are in deep shit, you can roll Weird for the Seize by Force move.

On 7-9, you can take any one of the above but the MC can ask you to Roll Under Fire when you are doing something perfectly normal.  The book is training you to see people's minds as nothing but pieces in a wargame.

On a miss, this fucking book doesn't make any kind of fucking sense.  Fuck this.  And you also get the consequences of the 7-9 but with no good stuff to go with it.

I had it as a Weird roll but I like it better as Sharp.  I'll talk to Sarah about it, see if she's cool with future readings being Sharp rather than Weird.  I reckon she'll be able to read it once a game or so, though I allowed for two readings this game but from here on out, once a game seems reasonable, unless lots of time passes or something.

She failed.  She didn't grok the book at all.  What is the next thing Cybelle does, the next normal, human thing?

"She's been reading all night.  I guess she goes down to the kitchen, frustrated, looking for food."

"Roll under Fire."


"You have a bowl of chicken soup in your hands and your dog is growling at something.  At your feet is the quartermaster, the cook, the guy in the kitchen...what was his name?  Anyway, he's bleeding out of his nose and when he fell, he must've hit his head on the metal kitchen counter.  What the fuck just happened?"

The still-unnamed guy had some kind of seizure.  Cybelle screamed for help and Graham sent out a car to find the Doc.  The cook was put in a bed but he wasn't responding at all.  Everyone's spooked.  They remember the kind of shit Lovelock used to do with his brain and they're looking at Cybelle and they are fucking scared.

Cybelle goes into her room, throws up and locks the door.  Graham goes to talk to her and asks her if something happened, if the cook somehow provoked her.  She says that she really doesn't know what happened.

After the Chemist leaves, Cybelle spends the night talking with Ma, who doesn't know what the fuck happened either.  All she knows is that after reading the book she started seeing minds like pieces on a chess board, like things to be taken and something happened that she couldn't control.

She was still talking to Ma when Harlan and Doc came to her room, after the Doc had a look at the cook in a coma.  Harlan could hear her talking to someone in her room.

Other things to write about:
Doc meets Lovelocke
Harlan, Hum and Brook take a ride in the sweet new car
Cybelle and the Chemist talk
Not a whole lotta rolls tonight



  • 203
Re: Lights of Hoover 6: Working for a living.
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2011, 11:43:05 AM »
Doc meets Lovelocke

Doc met up with Graham and Nye, the cook's father (yeah, the cook is still not named...bad MC, bad, bad!).  Nye says something about how his son could live, that he could take care of him like he take care of...

And Graham cuts him off, obviously pissed off.  With that, knowing that the cat is out of the bag and not wanting the Doc nosing around, he takes Doc to his other manufactory in an old church.  In the basement is a proper hospital bed and medical equipment to keep someone alive who is entirely brain dead.  Its his former brainer, Lovelock.

"When we came to this city, my family and Lander and Lovelock, it was nothing but gangs and ligers.  Everyone lived in terror and we got folks together and drove those monsters into the canyon and made something for ourselves.  He did something and he just didn't come back.  I'm hoping that he's in there somewhere and he'll get back some day."

"Could you find another person who does what he does to bring him back?  Another brainer?"

"If I found one I could trust I would."

Also, Lovelock looked a whole lot like Cybelle - pale, bleached white hair and slim.

"I'd appreciate you keeping his a secret, doc."

"Of course..."

Harlan, Hum and Brook take a ride in the sweet new car

Harlan took Hum out in the Interceptor, newly dubbed as Porkchop.

Judd:  Pete, why did you rename the Interceptor Porkchop?

Pete: Because its a product of pig.

Harlan asks Hum how his studying is going.  He gave Hum the manual for the Croaker and told him to memorize important facts (engine size, gas capacity, etc.) and Hum said he was doing his best.

His best was turning to Cybelle after Harlan drove away and asking if she could read.  He just wanted her to tell him the numbers so he could memorize them but she insisted on trying to teach him to read.  She failed.

Hum said he was doing his best and making his way through.  He recited some broken bits of the alphabet as proof.

Brook had told Harlan a bunch of shit about Hoover, about how Phoenix was holding spirits against their will and taking what they knew.  He made Harlan swear that she'd never get a hold of him.  Harlan swore.

Harlan could see Brook in the rearview mirror, as if he was sitting in the back seat and wasn't dead.

I asked him to Roll Under Fire and he succeeded and then some.  A cobbled together piece of junk with a welded on turret platform did its best to roar out of an overpass to do some highway banditry.  On a success, he just roared on past, leaving them in the Porkchop's wake.  They shot at him, saw it did not good and then waved.

He rolled down the window and waved back from a safe distance, still roaring toward a nearby lake.  Brook had said that bodies of water were easy to cling to, an easy way to resist the pull of Hoover.

He got to a bridge that went over water that connected to the lake, rolled Weird and left Brook behind, waving in his side-view mirror.

We also used the teaching move and Harlan taught Hum about the value of knowing all about the vehicle that you are in.  It is a cool move.  I like it.

When you teach your apprentice a philosophical principle, roll + Sharp:

You get three rolls with each student and at the end, they will have 3 philosophical concepts that will guide them in their pursuit of this trade.  You might be teaching them something technical but what you are instilling is philosophical.  You might be teaching an apprentice driver how to do a hand-break turn but what you are teaching is how to drive the car rather than steer it.  You might be teaching an angel how to remove a bullet but what you are doing is showing how to care for every patient no matter who they are.  Got it?

12+ Shit, not only do they comprehend but they synthesize it and build something even better out of your lesson.

10+ They comprehend and you have instilled a philosophical foundation upon which they will pursue this trade.

7-9, either they are going to fuck up this up unless you do something a bit crazy to drive the notion you are teaching home...if you don't, this principle will go into their head fucked and side-ways.

Miss, Your apprentice doesn't grok your crazy fucking mouth-music and the principle you are instilling goes through their filter and comes out a mess.

Cybelle and the Chemist talk

The Chemist told Cybelle he needed to take her to the other manufactory.  They walked with Lander into an alley and there were men on nearby roofs with rifles.

"Are you here to fuck us over?  Who sent you?"

"No, I'm here to work."

"By killing my men?  Getting a feel for my operation?  You are going to walk away knowing an awful lot about me and mine.  I need to trust you."

Did she come clean and say that what happened was an accident?  I can't recall at the moment but I think she did. 

Whatever she said, it was good enough for the Chemist...for now.

The game ended with the Croaker leaving Vegas again.  This time that kid was on the road, the one who had pulled a gun on Doc, Shigusa and Mox back when the Chemist's joint was under attack.  The little tweaker kid was out on the road with his thumb out.

"That Purple Tarantula didn't do shit!  Asshole!  I snorted it all and didn't feel nothing."

"That is because you are stupid," Doc responded.

The conversation didn't go well for the kid.  He asked for a ride to Hoover, demanded his gun back.  Turns out a child raised by drug-addicted jackals, well, his manners weren't world class.  They left.

The kid threw a rock at the Croaker and hit it.  Harlan spun the big caddie around and drove straight at the kid.  The kid dropped his pants and waved his junk at them all.  Go Aggro.  Harlan won.

The kid dove off of the road, leaving his pants right there where he stood.  Harlan took the pants and they drove off, laughing about it.

Mox: Guys, that was fucked up.  He has no pants and no fucking weapons.  Kid's going to die out here.

Doc: Kid should learn some respect.  We could leave his pants and some water down the road a ways.

Harlan: Maybe half his pants.

Not a whole lotta rolls tonight

It felt a little conflict light tonight, not as many rolls as usual.  I'm not sure why.

I have a another Front to make up, I think.

Anthony asked me if there was any out-of-game rush to set up a hospital and I told him to do whatever he wanted.

It is feeling like a slow burn and I like that and there are a few things about the setting that I am still wondering about.  Next game I want to get everyone together, all of the bigwigs into one place to have a talk.