After taking a few quick minutes to verify their coordinates via GPS, the group quickly got back on the move, their morale bolstered by the realization they were only a few short hours from their target destination, Cooper’s Chase Distillery.
The road ahead was mostly straight, running through a large array of cornfields, the thick fog hiding the view to either side, the journey interrupted moments later by the rising heat gauge in Riley’s truck cab and a thin curl of steam creeping form under the hood, the unpleasant realization giving both occupants good cause to unleash a string of curses the likes of which only soldiers and old men can quite manage.
Pulling over to the side of the road, the group met in between the two parked trucks to discuss the situation, Riley quickly locating the problem, several slivers of metal wedged into the front radiator, past which still trickled a steady stream of liquid onto the wet blacktop. (Caused during their collision through the RV earlier) A in depth discussion then followed, the group debating how best to proceed, and trying to determine if the damage is repairable with duct tape or not, (with most of the group lamenting out of character how none of them thought to take automobile mechanics during character creation.)
In the end after nearly 30 minutes of trying to formulate a plan, with the fog lessening as the thick mist turns into a dreary cold drizzle, the group settled on temporarily abandoning war wag one and heading for a near by garage to look for something to add to the radiator as a quick fix. (Jessy with a successful jury rigging roll suggested using either black pepper or egg white to temporarily seal the holes, but wasn’t confident either one would work for long on a vehicle that size, and with so many holes.)
Moving the truck to the side of the road and yanking the battery cables, the group then piled into war wag two (after spending another 10 minutes transferring all their supplies from war wag one) with Heather and Renee in the rear with Heathers dogs, and making a detour off the interstate, to the near by town of Sweetwater, the icy rain helping to wash the rotting stink from their truck as they approach.
The empty streets seemed mostly deserted, save for tattered fliers warning about quarantine, and the weather faded banners of a spring festival hung between the stores spanning the street, several inches of murky water covering the road, a bloated arm seen wedged in the near by storm drain, several fingers bent at crooked angles.
Stopping at the edge of town the group discussed whether to risk taking the vehicle deeper inside, their planning session interrupted by the crack of a rifle, and the front windshield spider webbing from a bullet impact. Throwing the vehicle into gear Riley quickly reversed back up the road as more shots echoed from the town, everyone else ducking down and trying to spot the shooters location. (Which from a moving vehicle in the pouring rain proved impossible.)
After nearly backing into a ditch and over a parked motorcycle Riley pulled the truck to a stop around the corner of a clothing store and turned it off, the sudden silence and quiet tick of the cooling engine in the rain fall eerily menacing. Wasting little time the group vacated the truck and split up to flank around both sides of the building, Riley using a pair of binoculars to peer around the front down the empty street, scanning the windows for sights of the shooter, Heather kneeled down beside him with her lever action rifle at the ready.
Around the back of the structure Jessy leaped out with his MP5, immediately unleashing a rain of death upon the dozen naked humanoid shapes clustered at the back door. Renee wincing at the echoing roar of Jessy’s full auto greeting, wishing she had picked up some hearing protection when she was back in Ruthton.
Up front Riley nearly dropped his binoculars in surprise at the barrage of gunfire from the back of the store, but not before spotting movement on the rooftop of a bakery at the end of the street, His yelled orders to Heather drowned out in the echoing shots, along with Heathers screamed profanities at Jessy’s use of full auto gunfire yet again.
At the back of the store while Jessy hurriedly reloaded, Renee took stock of the carnage, counting a full five mannequins blasted into wood splinters and bits of ruined plastic by Jessy’s eager attack, giving him a stern reminder to check his targets before pissing away ammo all the time; Jessy only nodding in response as he chambered a fresh round.
After a shouted explanation of the situation at the back of the store Riley ordered Heather to fall back and breach the building from the rear with the rest of the group, and try to find a roof access or firing position from the second floor while he kept an eye on the shooter and provided cover as needed, the group making note of acquiring some small two way radios from a hardware store in town before leaving.
* * * * *
Will the groups attempted raid of Sweetwater prove successful? Will the sniper prove more deadly then the other hidden dangers in town? Will more innocent mannequins lose their un-life at the hands of a mad gunner? Find out in the next adventure synopsis #18!