Now playing on the E.A.R.A.C.H.E.:
Note: this is a restatement of the Mission choices with quite a bit of revision and additional info based on fresh intel. And stuff.
Okay guys, we’re just about ready to respond to Fleetwood’s challenge. We can’t afford to ignore him out here in the open. He’s much better supplied than we are, and much more mobile since we can’t afford to abandon the Ark. I have to go talk with him at the Citadel and I need some of you to come with me. He and his people are impressed by physical prowess, so we got some showing off to do. Also, we might be able to get away with some interesting high-value stuff… assuming we can get away at all.
To review: I expect our “audience” as he’ll call it to take place in his “Main Audience Chamber.” It’s just the factory floor with the machinery ripped out and a dancefloor and a few other attractions installed. He’ll be trying to intimidate and demoralize us through an overwhelming show of force, and we’ll be doing the same. There will be contests of strength, speed, and skill. All so very macho, Junior, you should love it. But there will be more for us to do in order to survive this encounter.
First of all, I need Mechanics to hack Stretch’s severed head. Stretch will know as much about Fleetwood’s operation as Fleetwood does. In order for my mission at the Citadel to succeed, I need to know of any weaknesses that fortress might possess. Just in case that info happened to not be locked down, I asked the head ten minutes ago what the Citadel’s weak points might be. The head buzzed, sparked, smoked a bit, and spit out four corrupted, incomplete pictures. Blazer thought they might be random errors, but I think I recognize what happened. These pictures are clues, and one of Stretch’s authorized employees would recognize those pictures and figure out what they mean. Jane, take these pictures to the Scouts and see if they recognize any of the locations. I have no doubt that key information can be found at these locations, if we can only figure out where they are. They’ll need to travel fast.
The Mechanics will need to hack the head and see if they can extract more information. Whatever they find should be forwarded to the correct people. Citadel weaknesses should be sent to me and everyone on Mission One (labeled properly, those posts can go here in this thread). Location data should be forwarded to the Scouts so they don’t drive all over creation trying to figure out where those pictures are from and what missing info they’re supposed to contain.
In the meantime, we’ve been directly threatened by the Toecutter. This threat was not expected, and so we’re going to raise the pay for those who choose to stay with the Ark to protect it and the Mechanics during their hack. As part of his security suite, Stretch’s model line came equipped with a force-field generator with a large enough radius to provide pretty good protection for the Mule Train and the Ark itself. But the effect is temporary, and difficult to engage through hacking. You guys will have to slug it out with Toecutter if he and his goons arrive before the mechanics are done hacking.
Mission One: The Citadel
This is a multimedia show of force. Mules will engage in a tractor-pull against the heaviest haulers Fleetwood’s fleet has to offer. Likewise, Escorts will be shooting skeet against high-FP opponents, and Scouts will be running another minefield autocross against Fleetwood’s fleetest drivers. All in good fun, and just as deadly as ever, since Fleetwood puts the “fun” in “funeral.” Fleetwood will speak to each of you, and ask you to tell him what, exactly, you think ol’ Cougar is up to. I hope you will answer in a way that satisfies him, for all our sakes. If all goes well, our Mechanics will send us intel about the weak points in the Citadel, which we will exploit to make our escape, in the likely event that Fleetwood seems reluctant to end the party. Mules: bring a stout tow hook. Walls will probably have to come down.
Mission Two: Hack The Head
This is back at the Ark, and is a twofold mission. Select one of two roles:
2A: As a Mechanic, apply your EN skill to finding out any info you can from Stretch’s head. Once the Mission entry form is posted, follow the instructions for hacking. Jane will coordinate this effort with the other Missions; keep in touch with her. If you gain access to encrypted information, do your best to solve the puzzle, and transmit any location info you access to the Scouts on Mission Three. If they find data for you, they will send it to you so you can enter it into Stretch’s head and see what happens. If you discover intel about the Citadel’s weakness, transmit that info to Cougar and the Mission One gang.
2B: While the Mechanics are hacking in the Mule Train, the Ark will need to keep moving, even if it comes under attack. Anyone accepting Mission 2B (or taking it by default by not choosing another Mission) will be simultaneously pulling the Ark and defending it from attack. You will be afforded extra protection if the Mechanics manage to engage Stretch’s force field, but until then it’ll be a slugfest between you and half a dozen of Toecutter’s finest. Keep Raiders from approaching the Marion crawler too closely. On no account will anyone be allowed to board Marion; shoot to kill anyone who makes the attempt. This is a fairly tough, unglamorous mission, but if we all get through in reasonably good shape (or enough of us do, at any rate), we’ll make it worth your while.
Mission Three: The Cipher Scout
Buff up your SP, MV, FP, and AR and get moving. Depending on the route you choose, a few Raiders may be coming your way, or some zombies might give you a chew. While you run & gun against them, you’ll be waiting for a location to be sent you by one or more of the Mechanics. You’ll haul ass to that location and will discover what is hidden there. You will transmit that information back to the Mechanics so that they may decipher it and forward the intel along to the Mission One gang. They may have multiple locations to send you, so stay agile, and watch out for zombies! As with Mission 2B, Jane will be coordinating these communiques, so stay in touch with her!
Gas. Mission One is 20 miles round trip. ½ gallon for Scouts, 1 gallon for Escorts, 2 gallons for Mules and Mechanics. Mission Two (both varieties) uses no gas (SHITGO only). Mission Three is 40 miles round trip. 1 gallon for Scouts, 2 gallons for Escorts, 4 gallons for Mules and Mechanics.
Mission One: tractor pull for Mules, stray bullets for Escorts, mines for Scouts, and everybody out to get you when we try to escape.
Mission Two-A: various hacking dangers like electric shock. Mild danger from Toecutter’s gang, increases if hacking takes too long.
Mission Two-B: Six Raiders. Your SP and MV don’t help you at all, since you’re chained to the Ark so you’ll have to buff up your FP and AR and hope the Mechanics hack fast.
Mission Three: A couple Raiders or a fairly sizable handful of zombies in some neighborhoods.
All Missions pay 20LP. Extra danger and/or extra valor will be rewarded commensurate with the badassery involved. Take a risk now and then!
Mission Signup Deadline: 12:00 noon Saturday PST (34 hours from now!)