Previous Session: Back to the Grind
Fox the Operator has been trying to track down her missing solar panels, but in the meantime she's been having weird dreams about Dusk: in her dream she stole Dusk's new silver bracer, just to have something which has been touching her skin. When she wakes up she is actually wearing it!
Wire the Chopper is trying to get all of the new members of the gang on the same page. Mostly relaxing with a bit of light hazing. The new ones are getting some basic lessons on bike maintenance from Bull (Dask & Benny, T-Bone, Marlin, Sundown & Gritch).
Fox goes to pick up those solar panels from TumTum's to deliver them to Purity. They're not there though, instead there's a note from Kim explaining that she's using them in Johnson's hacienda where she needs the spare power for her experiments. So Fox heads up there, with Brother (back to full health he reckons).
Kim the Savvyhead's new taser is progressing, and Johnson really wants to give it a real test. Kim explains that some restraint may be required (charge levels still not completely sorted), but it should be ready to go soon. Johnson finds Zero's situation and attitude hilarious.
Kim parks near the barn that's Kim's base of experimentation, and walks inside to speak to her. Dusk the Skinner spots them from the veranda of Johnson's house and wanders down (nursing her mojito) to have a quick chat with Brother, who's lounging by their truck. Brother is acting all awkward, who knows what Fox has been telling him.
Johnson comes out and shouts out to his crew that they're going on raiding. Dusk wonders where he's going and he laughs, telling her that he's going to rip Monk a new one. Monk is a nearby hacienda owner.
She tells him that's not going to happen, that he's not going to attack any haciendas and he looks confused, or maybe just incredulous. He rails against her, but when she quietly tells him
-I'm not telling you what to doo, you can make this decision all by yourself
He just replies curtly, like he's hurt and he doesn't understand what's happening
His lieutenants are milling around, they haven't quite seen this kind of thing before. Johnson tries to regain his balance, telling them that they're heading south hunting scoundrels in the wastes (indicating up towards the foothills in Purity direction).
Wire is surprised when Red tells her that they're getting low on jingle; how fast can these bastards go through the jackpot they just had stripping the Circus bare! She looks at putting together a supply run for Watering Hole (specifically for the shopping list TumTum is working on for Purity). When Wire wonders where Dusk is, Sundown wonders who that is, and when Wire tells her she's like
-Oh, that skank-tacular girl?
There's obviously some twilight-related jealousy going on!
Wire take a few of her gang out to Johnson's.
Fox wanders over to Dusk, turning on the charm. Dusk is not impressed, to be honest she's moved on and is a bit tired of Fox's attitude towards her.
Dusk asks her about that shiny new silver bracer; it's disappeared and Fox admits that she took it. Dusk is even less impressed by her explanation of why, calling her a creep. Fox isn't giving it up, so Dusk grabs a nearby stave and climbs up to the rooftop of Kim's barn where the solar panels are. She raises it and threatens to smash them all.
Fox's solar panels are too precious to risk, she's got a lot of deals and pay-offs depending on them, so she dumps the bracer in the dust.
Wire arrives as Dusk climbs down from the barn. Wire recognises the dynamic from her past and intervenes to get in between the two, backing up Dusk. It looks like Fox is going to do something, but she hesitates and Brother drags her back to their truck.
Dusk and Wire talk about taking a trip, but Dusk isn't really interested in driving around with the gang on a raid, she reckons she'll head back to Watering Hole and get some work done. But looking at the nearby truck where Brother is talking Fox down she wonders
-Why do these assholes always act like they own you?
Dusk goes into the house to pack her stuff and Killer gives her a lift back to her place.
Kim is in one of Johnson's trucks, with Dustwich driving. There's very little small talk, but Dustwich is impressed by what he's seen of her new superweapon. They stop a little while later and Johnson tells them to stay put as he brings the rest of the gang off into the hills on foot.
Zero raises his eyes as Fox opens the door and enters the barn. He's aggravated and nervous as he asks her who's around. She tells him that no one else is, and he quickly realises that Kim has gone. He peers outside and then just walks away.
Fox and Brother are sticking around to keep an eye on the panels, but then they reckon they should just take them. As they move to disconnect the panels, a guard wanders over to them to wonder what the hell they're up to. Out of sight, Brother pulls out his pistol and screws the silencer onto it, holding it behind his back as he indicates to Fox that they should just kill this guy and get away.
Fox shakes her head at him and tries to talk the guard around to her side of this. But her reputation isn't quite as strong as she thought; he has heard of her, but only that she's untrustworthy. She doubles down with him, telling him that she's already cleared this with Johnson and he wouldn't like it if he delayed her.
He calls bullshit on that, lifting his shotgun to bear and telling them to get off the property right now! Fox goes for her weapon and yells
-They're mine! Fuck with me on this and we'll finish you!
Wire was still around, tinkering with her bike and chatting with the few gang members who came along for the ride. She cocks her shotgun to help out, and the sound spooks the guard, who shoot Brother in the chest with his double-barrelled shotgun. Fox kicks him to the ground and smashes his head with the pommel of her gun and he crumples.
Wire shouts to her lot to check their saddlebags for an Angel-kit, but some bastard must've nicked it. Jack, Brickhouse and Lou are bereft of ideas, they'll remember who it was for sure. Fox runs to the truck, under the seat there's a kit (say what you like, but she's prepared for the inevitable). They stabilise Brother, but there's bloody bandages strewn all over the place.
Guards from nearby come running, and somehow they don't wade in guns blazing; their guy is out cold, so without any real evidence to hold them they let Fox drive out with Brother alive (though without those damned panels!).
In the truck Dustwich can't really deal with Kim's manner and when she insists that they should pay attention to the perimeter he gets out of the cab and sits looking backwards as she scans forward, After a few hours of waiting around doing nothing, they get a squawk over the radio to say the expedition are coming back.
Johnson's gang has lost one, but returns with four heads and a bag of booty.
Johnson is beaming, ear to ear. He give Kim a big hug, lifting her off her feet
-We are going to make beautiful music together, my dear Kim!
Kim eyes up the heads, taking one. They're not Rum's Marauders.
Dusk sits down opposite TumTum at the bar, and gets him to pour her a whiskey. She wonders when his goon squad will be arriving from Jackson, and he goes all conspiratorial. He'll talk to her later about that, still very hush-hush. He's worrying about the shopping list, and has sent off a few messengers to go looking for the list.
Kim drives back to Johnson's place with the exuberant hunting party. As they enter the hacienda grounds, it looks like everyone's on high alert. He's a bit freaked out when she tunes the long-dead radio to a music channel (blaring The Girl from Ipanema). Kim picks up the head from the floor and sings directly to it. That's the final straw for Dustwich and he just abandons the truck at the gate and wanders down. A.T. comes up to drive her down the rest of the way.
The head is on the floor and the radio silent once A.T. approached, so he has no idea what's spooked poor Dustwich.
When Kim says she needs to give the solar panels back to Fox soon, he offers to buy them. She explains that she can't just take them. He yells out to Freddie
-Hey Freddie! If you steal something, what is it?
-I need to stay on Fox's good side until I have all the pieces (people and materiel) to just make them from scratch herself. Fox has contacts in Lopez
-Just tell me about the source, and I'll make sure the panels get back to Fox. Then, world domination!
Kim notices that Zero is gone. She reaches out for him, but he's out of range. She needs to find him and Johnson offers to send out search parties and she tells him to shoot to kill, just not in the head.
Dusk and TumTum are going into more detail about his plan. He's acting like he doesn't need the deal with Purity and he tells her that if push came to shove they'll be alright. Dusk pushes him cause she doesn't like the sound of that at all, saying she'll probably pick up sticks and find somewhere else if he's really going to do something so foolish. So he tells her; Jackson has a clean source of water. They're drinking it and not getting sick. She wonders if those not already affected by dirty water can drink it as well as Jackson's people, and TumTum points at himself. He drank it for a few days and didn't feel anything.
She says they'd better play it safe for now; the cost of switching might be chaos in the Valley. He nods; he's on her side as a right hand now that he knows what her intentions are.
Kim wanders her to speak to Dusk. She wonders if Dusk can call Zero, who's lost. Dusk isn't quite sure about it, but does it anyway. With her brain almost inevitably open to the Psychic Maelstrom, Kim sees the dreamcatchers on Dusk's body spread out down her body and onto the floor. Other people in the bar are walking over it, and it's sticky and viscous as they step on it. She sees a pulse spread out along the strands and Dusk calls Zero.
Kim goes outside and hunkers down with a view on the bar's entrance to wait for Zero. In the morning, she's woken up by the beeping on her tricorder. Zero's approaching and after another hour of waiting she goes out on the road to see where he is.
Dusk is working on Jesus' terrible tattoo. Dusk starts working on a giant tsunami on one half of his chest, the chaotic churn obliterates the writing in the 'I ❤ Bulldog', leaving only the ❤ floating on the wave. Jesus is in Found's cult so he's happy to share some gossip with her. Kobel has annexed some of their land, so there could be trouble brewing. They have to provide some hard bastards to defend Watering Hole, and they're the only two hard bastards they really have. Dusk'll try to convince TumTum to excuse them for a bit.
Zero comes walking down the road. He's dog tired and collapses in despair when he sees Kim waiting for him. Kim kills him using the kill switch and kicks his body into the ditch.
Next Session: Big Plans