Well, let me catch you up on what’s happened so far. I may not remember it quite the same way as you do, and you’re welcome to tell your side, but this is my side so wait your damn turn.
Our ragtag bunch of survivors have landed in Chippewa, a holding carved out of an old prison somewhere in Dakota. Kingfisher, the hardholder, is tough but fair, and he’s at the reins of one of the best manufacturers of quality rations in the region. You can count on a box of Chippewa Cracker Jack to last you at least a year under any weather conditions. It might be more chewy than crunchy by the end of that year, but it’s got sugar and protein and enough preservatives to keep the bugs out, which is more than you can say for most of the vittles around here.
Of course, all of that’s no good if the machines seize up like they did yesterday. The Cracker Jack has stopped flowing, somebody’s leg got all mangled up, and now the workers are out in the streets, milling about, looking for trouble. They got it, alright. Brightlark the Hocus rolled back into town- yep, the same one who stole Trey the Gunlugger out from Kingfisher’s gang awhile back- and she brought a new friend, Lively the Brainer. First thing she does, she starts having a drum circle right in the square, dancing and everything, and the idle workers start gathering like flies to honey. Kingfisher ain’t too happy about that, so the hardholder takes the gang over to suss out the situation. Bunch of fucking hyenas in bright orange jumpsuits, led by Grungeballs in brown. Next thing you know, Kingfisher and Brightlark are walking off together while the cult and the gang get down Woodstock-style. Stranger things have happened, but not by much.
Meanwhile Rigger’s got the shit job of trying to get the factory running again. His brain’s still a little sore from Lively using in-brain puppet strings to coerce him into fixing Knives’ bike- it doesn’t help that the folks who would know how the damn busted machine works are all out chilling with the cult. Plus he keeps worrying about this guy he glimpsed through the maelstrom, some soot-stained fucker giggling over a gas can with a filthy rag sticking out of it. Didn’t get a good look at his face, but he didn’t feel right. at. all.
Trey’s feeling right as rain after getting patched back together by Char, even if he’s short a vital organ or two. He does catch Lively sneaking off with Penny, a fellow cultist, while the others are distracted by all the dancing and drumming. He tails them to an old RV up on blocks, and soon enough the RV starts a-rockin’. Well, Trey starts a-knockin’. On a propane tank. With an assault rifle. One big fuckin boom later, everybody in the drum circle (and everybody else within earshot) comes running to see Lively and Penny step out of the RV, dazed and flushed and clearly up to some sexy times. Trey points to Lively with an I’m-too-dumb-to-lie grin and says “He made me do it. He’s a creepy fuckin brainer.” Hilarity ensues. After much shouting and pointing of guns, Kingfisher and Brightlark (who look pretty disheveled and sweaty themselves) come over to settle things, hauling Lively off to the brig and Brightlark calming poor Penny who is just frightened out of her wits. On account of the gang pointing a bunch of guns at her and all.
After that it gets a bit hectic- Trey starts checking the holding for security vulnerabilities, Brightlark opens her brain about the whole scenario going down, and Rigger tries in vain to convince the workers to help him fix the machinery. Long story short, they end up staring at a sewer grate with long black greasy fingerprints smeared over the side like someone was crawling in or out. The stains smell like burning engine oil, and it’s dark as sin down there. For lack of a light, Brightlark reaches out to pluck one out of the maelstrom. Well, she got what she asked for alright. When she pulls her head out of the clouds she notices a gas can just a little ways away. With a filthy rag sticking out of it. And that rag is on fire.
Trey was all ‘fuck this shit’ and gone in a flash. The rest- Rigger, Brightlark, and Kingfisher- were caught in the blast. When the smoke cleared and folks picked themselves up off the floor, Brightlark found herself holding a chunk of the exploded gas can… and it was still burning. Not her hand. Just the chunk of red plastic. Well, you’ve got a light now…
Lively, well… Lively gave the two people guarding him half a Chelsea grin. To match the one he gave himself. You really think they’re going to admit they gave a brainer a fucking knife?
At least Char’s stocked up again. Till next time.