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The year is 2021, and the Civil War rages across America. Across major cities, communists rise under the banner of the Proletariat Revolution. In the Northwest, a fascist warlord state has emerged to provide order and security. The East Coast is consumed by fighting between remnants of the US military, local warlords, and U.N. Peacekeepers. Texas is its own republic again, and the West Coast has turned into a Chinese puppet managed by mega-corporations. The world's going up in flames, and nobody knows what tomorrow will bring...

You are the Messenger (former name: Walter White) and you lead the Sun Belt Crusaders. Your group is best described as a radical Catholic cult claiming the papal throne and supporting itself via meth trade, violence, and cunning diplomacy. Having fled your former territory in Southern California, you have established a presence in Arizona, specifically in the village of Mobile just southwest of Phoenix.

Your radical group has not only won the support of the nearby communities diplomatically, but has proven itself to be a powerful force on the battlefield in taking a mountain base used to launch raids on surrounding communities and finding success in smaller skirmishes. The nearby town of Maricopa has begun to provide significant material support in exchange for your services, especially in light of aggressive actions by downtown Phoenix's revolutionary republic. In short time, there will be a meeting between the town and said revolutionary republic to determine the fate of Maricopa.

Your faction has been up to now growing, building, and generally doing well. Recently, however, disaster has struck. A new warlord who appears to be a former prison warden turned raider has shown up to Mobile at a moment of critical weakness issuing demands. His forces are massive compared to yours, and fighting now is tantamount to suicide.

This new warlord, however, is but one of the many dangers in the Southwestern Badlands. Such dangers range from yet other escaped convicts turned raiders, potential cartel elements, hostile government actors (perhaps even in your own faction), and a myriad other groups you're slowly, but surely, coming into contact with. The proverbial elephant in the room though is the major urban center of Phoenix. Phoenix is currently occupied with a massive war raging between the communist Phoenix Occupied Zone (POZ) and a loose coalition of right wingers. If either faction takes control of the city, it will immediately become the regional hegemon and a threat to everyone else. And, of course, Chinese controlled California or another outside faction could start making moves in the area at any time.

Your short-term goal is to deal with local threats and build up your base of power. Your medium term goal is to secure Phoenix and the greater Badlands region. Your end goal is to bring the Glory of Christ to the entire country, no matter the cost in blood, meth, or tears...
>>
This post is not by the qm. The real qm will arrive soon

Past Threads: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=sun+belt+crusaders

Starter guide/refresher qm made: justpaste dot it/sbc-refresher
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>>4882202

Yeah question: when can we start massacring commies and trannies
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>>4882285
When the QM shows up and after we do some more faction building. We already Bad Ended once because we tried to throw ourselves at a stronger force without considering the consequences, I'd rather try to avoid a repeat if at all possible.

Hello Imperial Navy Captain QM.[/spoiler
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>>4882193
nice pic and welcome back
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>>4882285
You have a burning desire to shoot individuals of the communist persuasion? Well, it's just your luck, since the last thread ended almost just before what was going to be a small "action movie" type of sequence with one of the cardinals (Mueller) about to clear up a safehouse full of them as part of a missionary effort that went way, way out of control. You'll have to wait a little for that, though, since I'm almost obliged to beat up on the players a bit after the [Bad End] some months ago.

Oh, and >>4882309 is correct in saying that attacking factions willy-nilly might be a bad idea. The nearest significant faction of "commies" ("trannies" have not yet been encountered) own the better part of a city of millions, so they're probably too "high level" for the crusaders right now.

Also, I'll post the "US Map," not that it matters too with how small the player faction is and how remote the location is. If you're wondering what the fuck is going on, your guess might be as good as mine, I didn't make it! This quest was picked up from a guy who dropped his quest after making a funny Walter White photoshop...

Anyway, onto the actual quest!
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[REWINDING TO PREVIOUS EVENT...]

>Cardinal Trkulja dealing with the Warden

...
...
OPTION SELECTED:
>Try to negotiate terms [Try to pay them off with more meth]
You are determined to not give this maddened warlord what he wants. At least not the captives. "The people we ransomed are already free men, however, we would be willing to provide product equiv-"
"No," the Warden interrupts, his voice booming loudly despite his metal mask. "Whatever deal you made with the traitors is null and void. Their return is not negotiable."
"I was going to offer double the product. Since you refused, I'm willing to increase our side of the deal to triple the amount, medical supplies, some Bibl-"
"Am I not clear? Return them to us and you will be spared from the horror. Otherwise, we will not hesitate."
"Damn it," you think to yourself. You would very much rather not have to return the newly freed slaves, but it's clear you are dealing with an impossible choice. Their numbers are massive and your forces are severely lacking. While you can tell yourself you did as well as possible to in organizing a defense, and it can even be true, that doesn't change the reality on the ground.
The forces you are up against seem to heavily outnumber yours, to understate it. Their vehicles fill up most of the highway and extend for quite a distance since they need to keep enough space around themselves to maintain maneuverability and not be in a permanent traffic jam. If they could take Gila Bend, they're certainly no pushovers and must be a competent fighting force. The heads mounted on some of the vehicles are testaments to this. Meanwhile, your skeleton garrison is a significantly smaller and lower quality force than the one that had trouble with the raid what feels like a months ago (despite it only being weeks) and the mortar crew is so untrained and unprepared they're as likely to blow you up as they are to score a direct hit. Put it plainly, not giving in is suicide.
"Very well then. I'll tell my men about this."
You move back and are intent on ordering for an attack. You know in your guts that this is an absolutely terrible idea. It is suicidal. It is essentially guaranteed to get your entire faction killed and end up with the raiders getting their prize anyway! Nonetheless, you simply can't accept the reality of the situation. You are in the middle of starting up the radio and calling in the suicidal attack when you suddenly feel the worst headache of your life...

[1/3]
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[REWINDING TO PREVIOUS EVENT...]

>Cardinal Trkulja dealing with the Warden

...

...

OPTION SELECTED:
>Try to negotiate terms [Try to pay them off with more meth]

You are determined to not give this maddened warlord what he wants. At least not the captives. "The people we ransomed are already free men, however, we would be willing to provide product equiv-"

"No," the Warden interrupts, his voice booming loudly despite his metal mask. "Whatever deal you made with the traitors is null and void. Their return is not negotiable."

"I was going to offer double the product. Since you refused, I'm willing to increase our side of the deal to triple the amount, medical supplies, some Bibl-"

"Am I not clear? Return them to us and you will be spared from the horror. Otherwise, we will not hesitate."

"Damn it," you think to yourself. You would very much rather not have to return the newly freed slaves, but it's clear you are dealing with an impossible choice. Their numbers are massive and your forces are severely lacking. While you can tell yourself you did as well as possible to in organizing a defense, and it can even be true, that doesn't change the reality on the ground.

The forces you are up against seem to heavily outnumber yours, to understate it. Their vehicles fill up most of the highway and extend for quite a distance since they need to keep enough space around themselves to maintain maneuverability and not be in a permanent traffic jam. If they could take Gila Bend, they're certainly no pushovers and must be a competent fighting force. The heads mounted on some of the vehicles are testaments to this. Meanwhile, your skeleton garrison is a significantly smaller and lower quality force than the one that had trouble with the raid what feels like a months ago (despite it only being weeks) and the mortar crew is so untrained and unprepared they're as likely to blow you up as they are to score a direct hit. Put it plainly, not giving in is suicide.

"Very well then. I'll tell my men about this."

You move back and are intent on ordering for an attack. You know in your guts that this is an absolutely terrible idea. It is suicidal. It is essentially guaranteed to get your entire faction killed and end up with the raiders getting their prize anyway! Nonetheless, you simply can't accept the reality of the situation. You are in the middle of starting up the radio and calling in the suicidal attack when you suddenly feel the worst headache of your life...

[1/3]
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>>4882391

[2/3]

>TERRIBLE OPTION FORCED TO AVOID BAD END...

You are brought to your knees as pain wracks your very being. You quite literally cannot bring yourself to even look at the reactions of your allies, and it is fortunate that the raiders opposite to your defenses on the 238 wouldn't be in view. During this time you lose your sense of time. You, in fact, lose your sense of self. You feel as if you do not even have a body but are passively receiving stimuli from what you can only hope is God, but which you fear is something far worse.

In a flash, you see the frenzy of a hundred screaming lunatics tearing everyone you know apart limb from limb. You see a madman slaying all those before him until he is in turn slain by another madman, and so on until the Antichrist himself seizes the world and brings it under his will. You see yourself raving mad and utterly broken, with his only saving grace being such extreme weakness that he cannot even end his own misery.

"Cardinal! Cardinal!" you hear a voice cry out. "Can you hear me?"

It's a youth barely old enough to hold a rifle. It takes you a moment to recognize him, but he's one of the ones you had hastily come to the defense of Mobile. He's one of the ones you were about to consign to death.

"Give him what he wants," you tell the youth. He looks visibly confused, but you keep going. "The captives, medical supplies, meth, whatever," you let out in your still delirious state. He keeps nodding his head, clearly unprepared to act as a negotiator with a warlord after the current leader looked to have had a seizure. You feel bad for him. You feel bad in general.

What feel like hours pass by. You are totally and utterly unable to do anything and the remaining defenders utterly give into all sorts of demands. What exactly they were, you are currently not sure of. You have a very, very strong feeling this absolutely was not supposed to happen and you are receiving some sort of divine punishment. Perhaps you even deserve it.

>Negotiations collapse in the Warden's favor:

>FREED SLAVES FROM PREVIOUS DEAL LOST TO THE LEWIS CORRECTIONAL PROTECTORATE
>- 12 M.U.
>SIGNIFICANT SUPPLIES LOST
>RECEIVE SIGNIFICANT MORALE PENALTY
>???
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>>4882396

[3/3]

The remaining defenders leave you alone in their overworked rush to bring over the tribute. Whereas before you were losing your mind on the ground, you are currently sat up against a sheet corrugated iron that forms part of the highway defenses. The hot Arizona sun beats down on you, robbing your body of water and bringing yet further pain. In this state, you are utterly alone and humbled before God, with only your thoughts to keep you company.

Given that Mobile isn't swarming with raiders, you're sure that the Crusaders will live to fight another day, which means that this isn't he last you've seen of them. Since you are the only person of any worth to have actually met the Warden, you will no doubt have an outsized influence on how the Sun Belt Crusaders choose to deal with him and his faction, the Lewis Correctional Protectorate. In this weakened, half crazed state, the choice of what stance to take regarding this new warlord is purely an emotional and spiritual one.

You feel an overwhelming sense of...

[Select one option. This choice will not only affect the aftermath of this disaster, but will also determine what kind of trait is inflicted upon Trkulja.]

>Righteous Fury: For such a transgression, the blood of the Lewis Protectorate must water the fields of Mobile. The stance of the crusaders must be unyielding thirst for blood.
>Unconditional Altruism: You wish mercy upon your tormentors, they know not what they do! The stance of the crusaders should be one of compassion, trying to steer them towards the Good.
>Dejection: You feel a strong sinking sensation in your stomach. You feel as if the best approach is to avoid this conflict wherever possible and focus on anything else.
>[Write-In]: Highly encouraged! Just keep in mind that no matter what, this option/trait isn't going to have a good/healthy result for Trkulja personally, at least not in the short run...

Whew, that was kind of intense. I didn't want the previous decision to be completely nullified, so I opted to have Trkulja go for it anyway but be stopped in the process by some terrible shit (gonna result in a negative trait in the least) and having the negotiation go as badly as possible without having Mobile razed and another game over. We should be returning to more normal shit soon. I mean, unless you guys want to keep torturing this poor man!

Also, if you're new or might want a refresher, I slapped together such a document. It's the Just Paste It link that had to be bastardized because 4chan doesn't let you post a link to that site without it being flagged as spam.
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>>4882402
>>Righteous Fury: For such a transgression, the blood of the Lewis Protectorate must water the fields of Mobile. The stance of the crusaders must be unyielding thirst for blood.
>>
>>4882402
>>Righteous Fury: For such a transgression, the blood of the Lewis Protectorate must water the fields of Mobile. The stance of the crusaders must be unyielding thirst for blood.
>>
>>4882402
>Unconditional Altruism: You wish mercy upon your tormentors, they know not what they do! The stance of the crusaders should be one of compassion, trying to steer them towards the Good.
+
>[Write-In]: Conversion. Their military power is vast. They would make excellent tools for the LORD to Crush our more hated degenerated enemies. GODLESS Communists, baphometean tranny-maffia's, godless Chinese and Luciferian globalists. Perhaps... Perhaps a sense of righteous duty can be onstilled in the warden and his blood-soaked warriors, and give them a purpose in their killing.
We gave them what they wanted, perhaps they"ll see our words as harmless.
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>>4882402
You know, I'm not all certain that giving our resident Balkan War Criminal Righteous Fury is a great idea, but I am under no circumstances going to let the Warden get away with this bullshit. While we're not strong enough to take him on right now, if we can consolidate support from Maripoca, call in that favour I believe the Turbo Gun Nerds from the PCR owes us and teach our boys how to actually use the damn mortars properly we'll absolutely be able to rid the Badlands of him and his ilk. We'll not forgive this transgression.

>Righteous Fury: For such a transgression, the blood of the Lewis Protectorate must water the fields of Mobile. The stance of the crusaders must be unyielding thirst for blood.

Priority would then be to upgrade the Meth Lab so it can produce new mortar rounds, train in the usages of said mortars, recruiting new followers and properly arming and training new combat units so that we don't end up eating shit next time some punks come rolling down the 238.
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>>4882666
>Balkan
Belkan
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>>4882193
IT LIVES!

>>4882402
>Righteous Fury: For such a transgression, the blood of the Lewis Protectorate must water the fields of Mobile. The stance of the crusaders must be unyielding thirst for blood.
>>
>>4882402
>>Righteous Fury: For such a transgression, the blood of the Lewis Protectorate must water the fields of Mobile. The stance of the crusaders must be unyielding thirst for blood.

We are crusaders after all, and these heathens must be punished.

It is good to see this quest up and running again.
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>>4882853
You know, perhaps its just the want for revenge that prompted me to choose this even though it may be foolish. While a person like the Warden may very well be impossible to win over I think it might be worth a shot. Much like with Atilla being turned back by the bishop of rome(iirc) I think it may be possible, and the Warden would make a decent herald for our cult. And provide a large fighting force to use against the commies, that we would expend a large amount of men and materials to beat.

I'm going to change my vote to backing >>4882622
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>>4882402
>Righteous Fury: For such a transgression, the blood of the Lewis Protectorate must water the fields of Mobile. The stance of the crusaders must be unyielding thirst for blood.
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>>4882402
>Righteous Fury: For such a transgression, the blood of the Lewis Protectorate must water the fields of Mobile. The stance of the crusaders must be unyielding thirst for blood.
>>
>>4882402
>Righteous Fury: For such a transgression, the blood of the Lewis Protectorate must water the fields of Mobile. The stance of the crusaders must be unyielding thirst for blood.

He's going to crawl back into the hell he thought he left so many years ago, only this time he fully understands the necessity and even feels some relish at letting himself lose. He knows he will not deserve to even see heaven or St. Peter, but it is a necessary cost to stop hell on earth for the other more vulnerable people.
>>
So where are badger and skinny pete? Surely they would have made the treck.

For that matter, what of the people who were left behind? I might be a bit hopeful but I would like to believe they yet live and we might reconnect with them. Perhaps they have done some proselytizing themselves?
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>>4882193
This just made my day. Glad to have ya back mate.


>>4882402
Lads, I'd much rather subvert the fuckers and have them fight the POZ for us, not get involved in a struggle that isn't in our direct interest. We'll get our vengeance after we take Phoenix for ourselves, not before, and certainly not in the immediate future. We've already shot ourselves in the foot before, and this is the amputation, and I'll be damned if we get a Bad End from the same fucker again.

Subvert. Convert. Martyr. That's how we'll deal with these fucks.

>Divine Retribution: They will learn the Glory of God and do His bidding, or the Messenger will part the Red Sea and drown these reborn Egyptians at it's bottom.
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>>4882402
backing this

>Righteous Fury: For such a transgression, the blood of the Lewis Protectorate must water the fields of Mobile. The stance of the crusaders must be unyielding thirst for blood.

>>Divine Retribution: They will learn the Glory of God and do His bidding, or the Messenger will part the Red Sea and drown these reborn Egyptians at it's bottom.
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>>4883385
support
>>
Just saying anons, if we can convert the Warden we will win them all over. It's just one man, not an entire faction that we need to focus on. The Messenger should be able to convince him.

For that matter, the Pope was always one to crown an individual, not one to wear the crown. Look at the warden himself, if he can be convinced of the power of using religion himself to better his own goals why would he not adopt it? If we could convince him to be the one we crown and take our guidance we could actually be a force to be reckoned with. Instead of wasting manpower and resources fighting him we could use him to fight our actual enemy.
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>>4882402
>Righteous Fury: For such a transgression, the blood of the Lewis Protectorate must water the fields of Mobile. The stance of the crusaders must be unyielding thirst for blood.
>>
I mean really, with the forces they have how can we possibly hope to fight a two front war against them and the POZ? Do we want another bad end?
>>
Will any righteous fury anons at least consider changing votes? Start a dialogue?
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>>4883571
I mean why would we side with convicted criminals who deal with slaves? This is fucking heresy.
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>>4883583
Side with? Anon you're looking at it all wrong. This would be giving them salvation and correcting their mortal errors, to our own benefit.
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>>4883583
Nevermind we were the leader of a criminal outfit ourselves
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>>4883507
>>4883529
>>4883571
I agree wholeheartedly with you, anon. It'll be simpler, easier, and more beneficial than simply going Old Testiment on the Protectorate. Unfortunately, seems other anons want to pick a fight above our weight-class. Shame that.

>>4883583
Because we got realpolitik to worry about. Our goal is subverting Phoenix to our cause and keeping the POZ in check. Fighting Mad Max here won't get us any closer to that goal, and will drain us of resources and manpower better spent elsewhere. Better to Convert, Subvert, and Martyr these asshats in the name of Christ.
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>>4883604
You make a point.

>>4882402

Changing from>>4882598
to support>>4882622
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>>4883604
>Unfortunately, seems other anons want to pick a fight above our weight-class

Precisely the problem that I see. Which caused this quest to end up where it is now.

Now granted, I'm a practical man, if they won't take the cross we simply must put them on it. But we need to at least try so as to focus our fight against the godless communists. We lose nothing by trying. And as I've said, there is only one man we must convince, the Warden is the cult of personality keeping them together. A one on one with the messenger, fueled by some of his most divine blue sacrament I feel could play out in our favor. If not? Well, then war it is.
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>>4883610
Good man, would any other righteous fury anons care to chime in? Hopefully QM will allow a little more discourse before tallying the vote.

Realpolitik being the reality of it all, our defenses were effortlessly slaughtered by his warband, which I highly doubt was even near his full strength. How can we possibly hope to fight the Wardens army when we have POZ to worry about? Even with Maricopas backing? If we can convert the Warden and moderate his warbands hellish tendencies, then focus them towards holy fervor?

Then my fellow anons, we would have a crusader army.
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>>4883477
What exactly are you backing anon?
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>>4883716
The two I put, I.. am abit retarded right now from saddness.
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>>4883738
Sadness? Howso anon?
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>>4883625
The problem I see with the proposed idea of attempted conversion is that it honestly seems futile. As said, the Warden runs a Mad Max-esque clique where the chain of command and loyalty is estblished by fear of strength. The Warden rules because he's the biggest, the baddest and he takes no shit from anyone. He completely shot down any attempted negotiation that Trkulja made to keep the freed men from being taken, including words of the Good Book too if I am not remembering wrong.

He's not interested in our Meth Catholocism, we are beneath him as he's shown during his visit, and I doubt any attempts at preaching like we do in Maricopa would go over well at all. We'd be lucky if he simply sent our Envoys away instead of immediately slapping them in chains or just outright killing them. Remember, he's a slaver, so anyone we send to negotiate (or Preach) is in constant danger of turning into an "indentured servant" at the Warden's discretion. And if we do get rights to preach, without the fear of surprise slavery happening to our preachers, we'll have to work extremely carefully to keep any subversive element (which seems to be the suggestion of Conversion Anons, to run Subversion of the Warden's gang via Religion, correct me if I am wrong) so tight under wraps that the Warden wouldn't be able find out. Because if he does realize that there's someone attempting to undermine his Authority, and he find's out it was us, we're fucking dead. Immediately. Everyone.

Now, the logic behind my choice of Righteous Fury isn't that we run straight at the Warden after The Messenger returns from Maricopa. The reasoning is that we continue what we're doing right now for the near future, while preparing a Crusade against him, building our strength and securing alliances. We're close to a major breakthrough with Maricopa, with us uncovering the Communist Plot most likely giving us at least a couple of favors from the Mayor, minimum. Our preaching is relatively well recieved, and will probably hit record turnout after our involvment in securing Maricopa's internal affairs from communist infiltrators are released to the public. More recruitment = Larger Manpower pool = Larger Fighting Forces. We've also got connection to those gung ho weapons fanatics in the Phoenix Resistance, if we can help push back the Commies with our superior firepower (e.g mortars, motorized infantry) and tightening the lines, we could probably get their aid in our Crusade to put down the Warden. They're already receptive towards us, even if they probably all aren't onboard with our turbo Catholicism. That + assistance from Maripocas Armed Police (preassuring the Commies elsewhere will force them to take their eyes of Maripoca, at least for a while) will be major force multipliers to us, and at that point, when we're ready, we go Crusading. And then, when we've beaten them and killed the Warden, then we can convert those willing from his pack to our cause.
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>>4883625
>Hopefully QM will allow a little more discourse before tallying the vote.
Sure, I can give you guys some more time before updating. I'm truthfully surprised that there's as much interest/discussion as there is since the quest was put on pause for a while on pretty abrupt terms.

In the meantime, I'll answer some questions or clarify stuff or whatever

>General point:
The decision is from the point of view of Dragomir Trkulja and does not lock in the future actions the faction will take. That is ultimately up to the Messenger and whatever he plans in what will be a dedicated scene (and up to what kind of actions you take during the start of the coming half-weeks) This will however determine his personal... development. Yeah, let's go with that word. The main effect is that you'll get a severe negative trait and also affect how one of the main PoV characters tries to influence events

>>4883243
>where are badger and skinny pete?
Starting with the big question. Those two were probably crusaders among the original bunch. And if they weren't before, they are now.

>what of the people who were left behind?
It's a mystery. Since leaving California during the exodus to Mobile, the crusaders haven't checked the area. Even getting to the border area would likely require going through the Lewis Correctional Protectorate (i.e. Lord Humun-, err, the Warden) and other factions along the I-10. Alternatively, there's the southern route going through Gila Bend and the other towns along the Gila River, and then going up Route 95. Or maybe just send people into the blazing open deserts of Arizona and hope they don't shrivel up into human raisins and die in the sun! There're probably more pressing issues, I'm guessing

Fun fact: I almost ran a prequel/"gaiden-game" during the hiatus, but anons in the dead thread I was going to hijack for it weren't feeling it. It might have had some answers. I still might run a side story later, but I don't plan things that far ahead...


>>4883583
The best part about being Meth Pope is that nobody can lecture you on what is heresy or not since you can just scream "I AM the Papacy!" (meme related.) But taking a hard stance is definitely an option a lot of the crusaders might appreciate.

>>4882666
The Turbo Gun Nuts might have access to some serious shit, but 82mm mortars are too insane for even them to have training with... at least, as far as relative outsiders such as you guys would know. Maybe if you took them up on the mercenary side mission (or accept their next offer) they could provide you with some help though!
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>>4883799
>The Turbo Gun Nuts might have access to some serious shit, but 82mm mortars are too insane for even them to have training with...

Sorry, the implications that the TGN would be training us in the use of mortars isn't what I meant. We'd call on them for our Crusade agains the Warden, maybe have them do basic Sharpshooter training for us, as that's what they seem to specialize in, but we'd be training with the mortars on our own once we can reliably produce new ammunition for them. Apologize if it came out that way.
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>>4883791
>As said, the Warden runs a Mad Max-esque clique where the chain of command and loyalty is estblished by fear of strength. The Warden rules because he's the biggest, the baddest and he takes no shit from anyone. He completely shot down any attempted negotiation that Trkulja made

And that is where I am pushing my vote from.

We only need to worry about converting the Warden, his men follow him. We need a one on one between the Warden and the Messenger. Sorry, but Trkulja is not the man for the job.

If we can appropriate the wardens army to fight the POZ we have a serious in on being a regional power. And like I've said, if negotiations fail lets crucify every man jack one of them that won't take the cross.
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>>4883750
Family issues, and a 10 year old relationship ruined. Ruins a man.
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>>4883799
>Those two were probably crusaders among the original bunch. And if they weren't before, they are now.
So new minor chars?
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>>4883815
I can understand where you are coming from anon, best wishes I know it's all fucked.
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>>4883821
Thank you anon, I hope so as well. One must constantly question why we exist if all we feel is pain. But alas, in the end our life is not ours to spend willy nilly.
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>>4883823
At the end of the day you simply have to consider whats best. I don't know your situation and emotion and attachment will cloud how you view things. I imagine its a shitshow but you may very well be better off, unless it's your fault of course.

Kids?
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>>4883814
>We only need to worry about converting the Warden
How do you suggest going about converting the Warden? He didn't seem quite the Religious type, and taking the Cross would require him to subject himself to a higher Authority (God and The Messenger). Most mad dictators and warlords aren't generally OK with giving up the power they had to fight hard to get, and you don't get to be a Warlord/Dictator if you are weak-willed and easily influencable. That only works in democracy.
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>>4882402
>>4883477
Sure, if we can get 2 instead of one I'll support.
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>>4883830
No but planned on them, Actually was gonna give the ring ring this last trip LOL. Played for a fool.

Half my fault, Half the parents on her side. City boy meets farmer girl i'm sure you can guess how that goes in the current 'american situation'
>>
>>4883791
The problem with Righteous Fury is that it distracts us from our real goal, and we sacrifice manpower, material, and time fighting against a man who would a sideshow at best and our nightmare at worst, when we could simply try our best to seduce him to our cause or at worst not wipe us immediately. This doesn't mean that violence against him won't be used eventually, it just means we exhaust all our options before we go full Fire and Brimstone on his ass.

Plus, fighting the POZ then taking the pressure off them to fight a huge warband to our backs seems like a situation ripe for disaster.

>>4883799
This quest has aroused a passion in me that other quests have yet to surpass. I'm really glad you decided to continue, even with the looting-via-negotiations happening in the beginning of this thread.

>This will however determine his personal... development.

If that's the case, then Righteous Fury may be more useful as a negative trait, and would make the most sense considering his almost-attack and God granting him a vision of the Anti-Christ consuming the world. Why would a man avoid his religious duty in the face of such blasphemous damnation, or show the devil misguided love as a response? I would appreciate him being altruistic when it comes to those of the faith though.

>Maybe if you took them up on the mercenary side mission (or accept their next offer) they could provide you with some help though!

Done! I've been waiting for a proper mission with the Boiz for a while now.

>>4883814
Agree fully.

>>4883815
Sorry to hear that mate. Hope it turns out well for you.

>>4883843
Call him the second coming Christ, play on his ego. It needn't be for forever, and if he only listens half the time it would still be worth the diplomatic effort.
>>
>>4883843
As I've said a one on one with the messenger and his most divine blue sacrament. If anyone is capable of accomplishing the task it is him. The focal point of his argument, in my opinion, would be using religion not only to bolster his existing forces but to ease the process of indoctrinating newly conquered peoples into following our version of the future. And realistically, can even he alone challenge POZ? The messenger must make it a mutual survival plea, in my opinion.

>>4883854
Well, at least you aren't tied down man. Well, I'm a rural lad so idk if we'd see eye to eye hope it works out.
>>
>>4883864
>play on his ego
Precisely
>>
>>4883885
All I can say is Damn you rual lads and over-protective ways! lol

Be safe chief, I'm gonna go back too lurking and stop being a shit.

>>4883864
Danke lad. Doubt it though. Love who and what you got. no amtter what it is.
>>
>>4883864
>when we could simply try our best to seduce him to our cause or at worst not wipe us immediately
Again, working under the assumption the deranged warlord is even remotely interested in something that could potentially undermine his Authority. Again, working under the assumption that we will simply be given an in to his compound without questions, and be given free rights to preach without infringing on the freedom of our Preachers. Hell, he came here to antagonize us, do you really think he'll not suspect our motives when we roll up and act like extorting us in the middle of a Civil War is no biggie and he should totally let us preach? (He is most likely not religious, at least that is what I gather from our meeting with him, so our actions are in his eyes probably not justified by 'Turning the other cheek', he will be suspicious).

>Call him the second coming Christ, play on his ego
Which backfires hilariosly when, as the Second Coming of Christ, he demands we surrender ourselves completely to his Authority as good believers should. A very creative game over.

>>4883885
A mutual survival plea is a better basis to stand on than simply "You totally want a Meth Church Preacher do not ask questions about his seditious behaviour winkyface", but in the end we'll be on the reciving end of a ton of concessions should we seek an alliance with The Warden. We are the weaker party by far, we start negotiating we'll end up with concessions that would most likely amount to "Give me a dozen or more slaves on a regular basis, half your weekly meth output, a third of your grown produce and all your mortars, and we will not raid you so long as the PoZ exists", simply because we have no strength right now to resist. It wouldn't be an Alliance, it would be an unfavorable non-aggression pact. I would rather we ignore him in favour of strenghtening our relations with Maripoca to the point where we're guaranteed mutual protection between us and the city.

Overall I feel the idea that we "Simply convert the Warden" is too fraught with wishful thinking, that it'll go smooth as butter, no bumps in the road. A reminder that our infiltration of the Communists in Maripoca only succeeded because we rolled incredibly well, and several times we were on the verge of fucking it up completely. I feel it is better to focus on something that has a guaranteed good outcome, like our developing relationship with Maripoca, than attempting the incredibly dangerous conversion of a large, well armed raider faction that sees us as targets.

I just remembered, the Nazi LARP brigade will possibly return soon for more Meth. If we have the stockpile ready, we could probably pay them in meth to aid us against the Warden, another Force Multiplier there.
>>
>>4883936
Addendum to my post: I absolutely believe that when the Warden is dead, his host is open for conversion and recruitment to our cause. I simply do not think that we can, or should for that matter, attempt conversion of a man like the Warden. Even if we do succeed at playing to his ego, thereby bringing him and his men to our side, unless we can guarantee his full loyalty to The Messenger, we have basically signed away the autonomy of our own faction to him, as his followers would dwarf our own, thereby giving him full say over what goes on in our faction.
>>
>>4883936
I'd rather us try and fail than not try and fight in what would become the POZ's backyard. It's not like we lose anything by trying to diplo him for fucks sake. And it ain't like we're going to play ball in being absorbed by another faction lad.

And ignoring the Warden problem, thinking he'll leave us alone is wishful thinking on your part. At least engaging with the man will give us more diplomatic flexibility than ignoring him until he comes back to our doorstep again.

>>4883973
Killing the Warden will involve more manpower and material than we stand to gain from his host when he's dead. And no one is saying we give up our autonomy as a faction, we just think he's a fucking sideshow instead of the main attraction. I don't want to be fighting a two front war with powers that dwarf ours at all, and your plan necessitates such an action. It's the Schlieffen Plan all over again.
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>>4884022
We can always muck up the utilities to the city under a covert opt that leads to a false flag.

Best we honeypot or bait some baddies into a group first to take the fall.
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>>4883936
We dont need to entirely convert the warden into a good catholic. He can morph it into his own wasteland christianity for all we care.
We just want him sicced on communists and deviants instead of us.
Killing heathens sends him and his men to heaven. A simple message he should understand.
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>>4883507
Well anon, we tried our best. With any luck 'Righteous Fury' Trkulja may get our Killbozer project off the ground by himself, and we may get a buff or discount when it comes to the logistics of armaments. I will say, it would have been interesting having 'Unconditional Altruism' running the Black Site, though we're need someone to override his... overzealous altruist decisions. And driving the depressed Trkulja into Dejection leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Hopefully we can utilize this negative trait to the best effect- dealing with the godless POZ.

>>4883799
Alright QM, I think the talking is finished with for the moment. On with the show!
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>>4884022
>It's not like we lose anything by trying to diplo him for fucks sake
Yes, as a matter of fact we do. Every single person we send as an envoy to him runs the risk of being enslaved, used as a hostage against us, or being straight up killed. After taking the massive morale hit due to BAD END'ing, I'd rather not tempt fate further and attempt diplomacy with the man who just basically raided us for all we got. The people of Mobile, who just a few days ago wouldn't even question the presence of the Crusaders, are now most likely starting to doub that the descision to let us stay was a good one. Inspiring Zeal is needed to re-invigorate the populace, and I am afraid that bending the knee (which we will be doing if we seek to placate the Warden, mark my words) will do nothing but cement the defeatist attitude.

>And ignoring the Warden problem, thinking he'll leave us alone is wishful thinking on your part
True, the Warden will not ignore us forever. He will not return in any immediate fashion, however. He could've killed us all for all his might, yet his choice was to only take our supplies and the former slaves of his.
My belief is this: He sees us now as one of his tributary communities. And tributaries can only give tribute if they are allowed time between offerings. We'll have time before his next appearance, how much I don't know. If we're lucky, we have the time to clarify alliances and call on backup to take him out next time.

Current potential allies we could call on to deal with Warden (if we're lucky):

Maricopa's Armed Police: Basically guaranteed at this point when the Communist Purge ends, the help we've given Maricopa in the short time we've been in contact is massive. We hold political sway with the Mayor and the Police Chief owns us a favour for dealing with the Native Problem. Note, Maricopa is expected to parlay with the Phoenix Occupied Zone (Commies) about supply shipments and non-aggression pact. If we wish to first deal with the Warden, and ensure Maricopa can provide vital assisstance, we hold the power to shift the Mayor's decision to Agree with this cease-fire, therefore ensuring that no Two-Front War comes to pass.

Turbo Gun Nuts (Real name is something else, I forget what): A faction of gun nuts embeeded in the Phoenix Coalition of Restoration. Thinks favourable of us due to defeating a Native Raider band, clearing up their supply lines and having them be able to focus more on the POZ. Aided them in taking zero fatalities in a bro outting that ended with a surprise communist assault on our position. If we asked for support, we would assuredly get at least a few people willing to aid us. Specialize in medium-long range engagement, having them training our Crusaders and Mobile militia would probably make them able to hit worth a damn over longer distances.

>1/2
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>>4885796
>2/2

Nazi LARP Brigade: A band of /pol/ LARPers who said fuck it and formed a Mechanized SS Battalion. We've had very little contact with them, but they like our Meth. If we pay them in Meth next time they show up, (which they will, they've said they're interested in continued business. Unless of course, they are dead.) there's a chance we could sway them to our side, at least for this engagement. They wouldn't want to lose their prime suppliers of Meth, would they?

>Killing the Warden will involve more manpower and material than we stand to gain from his host when he's dead
We bring our potential allies in, thus lowering our own casualties while increasing our fighting strength exponentially and at the same time dealing with a mutual threat to the rear that could threaten Maricopas and the PCR's supply lines.

>>4884022
>At least engaging with the man will give us more diplomatic flexibility
The Warden didn't know about our community before we absorbed and freed his slaves. To him, according to what he knows about us after his visit, we're a weak community of mostly non-combatants trying to make a living near the 238, ripe for picking. We are insignificant, in his eyes. You want to up the ante by sending envoys to him from a community that he probably doesn't even think twice about. What we need right now is for the Warden not to care about us, so we can actually make preparations for his return.

>And no one is saying we give up our autonomy as a faction
That's exactly what we'd be doing if we attempt to absorb the Warden and his Raiders without being able to ensure the Warden's absolute and unwavering Loyalty to The Messenger. His force dwarfs our own, even with the Crusaders currently in Maricopa. We'd essentially be turning ourselves into a Minority Goverment in our own Faction, where the Warden has a Veto on anything we'd try to do because if he doesn't like it, his men (whom are loyal to him) will kill ALL OF US and it will be no skin off his back. And there is absolutely no fucking way we get The Wardens loyalty. For fucks sake, he killed his own Subordinate because he bought Meth from us without consulting him beforehand, do you really think he will ever submit to someone else's Authority? No fucking chance.
>>
>>4885796
>>4885798
We aren't placating the Warden or bending the knee to him, I don't know why you keep thinking that engaging him diplomatically will lead to that, or an increased defeatist attitude.

>"As for you, those whom the traitors bought from," he continues, "I have seized the product for myself. It has been found worthy. Before any formalized trade, we seek redress for our damages."

Not a tributary lad, but it has been a while since we last interacted with the Warden.

Fighting with the Warden will drain us and our allies of our manpower, supplies, and effort better spent elsewhere, while the POZ are gaining ground. Even if we lose an entire diplomatic group, it'll be small cost to what real fighting will do, and the Warden of the Wastes isn't the only big fish in town, we got other threats to deal with. If we can diplomacy him into not fucking with us, we gain a lot more security with little cost, and we can focus on the real threat here, the fuckin POZ.

>We are insignificant, in his eyes. You want to up the ante by sending envoys to him from a community that he probably doesn't even think twice about. What we need right now is for the Warden not to care about us, so we can actually make preparations for his return.

You're completely wrong here. The Warden knows about our meth and wants to trade for it. He's already thinking about us, and our best bet is to engage with him or he'll comeback in a week asking for more meth, and I don't want him anywhere near Mobile. We go to him and cut a deal.

It's also good to note that we ain't a government, we're a church. We don't need to directly control an institution to exert our control and authority, and I ain't planning on being a minority government in our own faction. We don't need to be in full control of his warband, we just need him to fight our enemies and not us until we gain control of Phoenix.
>>
>>4885856
Okay cool, I haven't had the time to go through the Archives to refresh my memory due to work crunch time before vacation (phoneposting from work right now), and I distinctly recalled him being more antagonistic towards us, which is why I was so against any attempt at diplomacy. Guess I was wrong, good for calling me out on that.

If all he wants is Meth without infringing on us then I am all for it. I was under the impression the diplomatic mission you and the other anon wished to send were Missionaries only, instead of a Meth Dealership. For the record, I still believe any attempt at Missionary work is wasted effort. As long as we have a strict understanding with the warden about pickups and delivery, this acceptable.

I was expecting that sending people to potentially die in a futile attempt at diplomacy would lower morale further, but since the Warden isn't as hostile as I thought this point is moot.

Even if I change my vote, Righteous Fury still wins pretty hard right now. QM has stated this has a negative short term impact on us (any choice would've), but it could probably be turned into a positive trait with some proper effort down the line. Having a Cardinal filled with Righteous Zeal could be beneficial, but right now we have to ensure Trkulja does as little interaction with the Warden as possible.
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>>4885877
I think the Warden became truly antagonistic when we initiated that suicide attack against him. Then it became no mercy. I don't blame you for forgetting, it's been awhile since we last encountered him.

>sending in Missionaries without Meth

What are we, some sort of gang? Of course we'll send the missionaries with the meth, it's our quirk in doing business. Like Mahoney with the water filters and lizard people, quirks of doing business.

>Even if I change my vote, Righteous Fury still wins pretty hard right now. QM has stated this has a negative short term impact on us (any choice would've), but it could probably be turned into a positive trait with some proper effort down the line.

Yea, I know it'll be a negative trait. I was hoping on sending him to Goodyear on a diplomatic trip to get that bureaucratic bullshit out of the way and establish proper contact with them, but that may not be so wise now. Trkulja will either be focusing on logistics and building our armaments industry (maybe get the Killdozer project off the ground), training, or doing a Boogie with the Boogie Boiz.
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>>4882515
>>4882666
>>4882841
>>4882973
>>4883034
>>4883518

OPTION SELECTED:
>Righteous Fury: For such a transgression, the blood of the Lewis Protectorate must water the fields of Mobile. The stance of the crusaders must be unyielding thirst for blood.

As you lay dying, or so weak you might as well be, your mind is utterly consumed by thoughts of revenge. Your current forces may be non-existent, with only a meagre handful of actual fighters bolstered by a "militia" unfit for anything but perhaps distracting an opponent before dying. In Maricopa, however, lies the bulk of the forces under the Messenger. While the raiders still outnumber the full might of the crusaders by a significant margin, you know that each of yours is worth ten of theirs. And if only your forces could actually train with those mortars and be able to use them effectively, the raiders will be utterly smashed. Your thoughts turn to detailed, graphic imaginings of the enemy getting mauled before you. The sights of them getting torn to shred by bullet fire, splattered into roadkill under the tires of the mechanized infantry, rendered into scarlet mist by mortar hits, and having their guts spill across the desert stands by means of bayonet, these things you see are more vivid and alluring than any desert mirage. That bastard will rue the day he travelled east from Gila Bend and came to Mobile.

Yet, in the very, very back of your mind, you wonder if this really is the only way. Did God not say "vengeance is mine; I will repay," and does the faith not command some degree of mercy and compassion even to your greatest enemies? Perhaps, you are to be his instrument of divine retribution. Perhaps, you fear for the briefest of moments, that this is all some kind of prideful delusion, and that you are damning yourself to the eternal flames. Maybe it would be preferable to damn yourself if it were to save a multitude. Maybe that's just the Evil One whispering to you.

It's all so painful and confusing...

You have received the following trait:
>Bloodlust: You are vengeful and wroth. When presented with an opportunity to take revenge you will seize it and act with the decisiveness you know to be necessary, no matter how others may perceive it. New choices may be available. This trait may also deny/overwrite/alter choices in certain circumstances.

[1/3]
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>>4885916

[2/3]

"Sir? I mean, Cardinal?" the high pitched voice interrupts your dreamlike delusions with. "The, uh-"

"H-h," you painfully let out before gathering up as much moisture in your mouth as possible and swallowing to ease your dry throat. "How long has it been?" you ask. It could have been minutes or hours. Hell, it could have been days, so distorted is your sense of time an reality.

"Si-, err, Cardinal, you've been here for a while. I mean, sorry, we were busy deal-"

"Are they, are they gone?" you ask despite your bone dry mouth.

"The Warden and his guys? Yeah, they're gone. We gave them pretty much all of the 'product' we had, and also a bunch of loot. We weren't sure how much of a tribute we needed to give, so we went kind of overboard, I think. But they're gone. He said something about returning in a week, but their cars are, uh, already in the distance going along the 238. Back towards Gila Bend, not towards Mari-"

"Get me some water," you tell him before letting out a few dry coughs. "And a damn radio too." This blabbermouth, obviously a nervous talker, has told you everything you needed to know. Normally, your mind might be thinking about the nightmare that will be taking stock of all of the resources, adjusting inventory, seeing if this will effect rationing, or a myriad other things. Right now, all you want is a damn drink of water and some time to yourself..

With some effort you pick yourself up. You don't seem to have any bruises or have bitten your tongue, and you're able to move around unaided. Physically, and only physically, you could be a lot worse. From the highway defenses you look west towards the 238 and sure enough see the small outlines of vehicles in the distance. Looking east towards Mobile you see a scattered community of people running to and fro. One of them appears to be moving towards you with a water bottle in hand.

"You're standing! I went to the doctor guy and he said he'll come s-"

You snatch the water bottle and radio from his hand before taking a great drink. "Tell him I'm fine. I want to be left alone..."
>>
>>4885919

[3/3]

The youth nods and runs back, leaving you alone at the highway defenses, save a group of defenders still looking west just in case something happens.

Just as many figures from scripture, you walk through the desert wilderness. It might not be a particularly wise choice, but you need to mull over things in a more sane, healthy way than when you were fantasizing about slaughter. Not that you don't still feel a sense of glee about it, but you need to focus on a practical matter.

In particular, you need to think about how you're going to communicate this to the Messenger. Since he and most of the crusaders are in Maricopa on a training exercise that's left them more isolated than normal, it will be up to you to decide how you want to break the situation and what you advise be done. In reality, this group probably isn't a threat in the near future. If they haven't already tried to raze Mobile, then they probably won't try to turn around on the highway and attack. Asking to recall the troops for an attack would be doomed to fail since it would involve driving all the way to their prison since moving everyone would take so long and they would then have a significant defender's advantage. Even ending the joint training exercise is unlikely, as there are serious diplomatic concerns with Maricopa.

Ultimately however, while the decision of what to do lies with the Messenger, your choice of framing and advice has weight to it. You are certain the Messenger will call for a council meeting on what to do about this new threat and how to prioritize resources (much like when first settling Mobile.) You pull out the radio and:

>Tell the Messenger about the Warden, emphasizing that Mobile is safe at the cost of significant stores of supplies
>Tell the Messenger about the Warden, emphasizing that Mobile is at extreme risk from outside attacks and to pull out from Maricopa and to send defenders immediately
>Tell the Messenger about the Warden and heavily imply (but not outright state) that Mobile is under attack and imminently needs every man it can get
>Tell the Messenger about the Warden and say that the crusaders have no choice but to attack those bastards right now with its full force [Option granted by Trait: Bloodlust]
>[Write-In]

>>4885698
>On with the show!
C'mon man! Barely about a day has passed...

And on that topic, I'd like to post a reminder about how the "posting schedule" looks like. Expect roughly one decently sized update per day. I might take small breaks, mostly due to professional reasons and almost always with a heads up. It's happened before. I won't flake though. Not without telling the players.
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>>4885928
>>Tell the Messenger about the Warden, emphasizing that Mobile is safe at the cost of significant stores of supplies
>>
>>4885928
>We gave them pretty much all of the 'product' we had, and also a bunch of loot.
>a bunch of loot

If it was medical or replenish-able supplies I would be alright, but the WP was ours damnit, we bled for that loot. That makes my blood boil, but I guess that's unavoidable. They will be paying higher premiums for our product because of it though, nonnegotiable. Fuckin Mad Max wannabes...

>Tell the Messenger about the Warden, emphasizing that Mobile is safe at the cost of significant stores of supplies

I will not sacrifice out training experience or diplomatic clout over this.

>C'mon man! Barely about a day has passed...

Man, you don't know how hyped and thirsty I was for this quest. Like a man stranded in the desert without water for months and finding an oasis.
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>>4885928

>Tell the Messenger about the Warden, emphasizing that Mobile is safe at the cost of significant stores of supplies

>>4885960
You still have to filter that water anon.
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>>4885968
Fucc, you be right. Damn water be turning the frogs gay...
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>>4885960
Reading back on the original 'repetitions', it was the slaves and two Meth Units. It seems like a steal compared to now, but now I'm hopping mad. I'm of the opinion that whatever they offer as part of the deal, we double the price at the least. Mad Max might not be happy about it, but violating their own word, the shakedown of loot and supplies at our weakest moment, and giving our cardinal a stoke makes me wanna take on some repetitions of our own terms, even if the deal falls though. We should be in a better position militarily to help out, unless we're needed elsewhere.

>>4885928
When are the POZ coming to Maricopa? I'm wondering if we can call on the MMP to help us flex on the Warden next time he comes a knocking.
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>>4885960
Reading back on the original 'reparations', it was the slaves and two Meth Units. It seems like a steal compared to now, but now I'm hopping mad. I'm of the opinion that whatever they offer as part of the deal, we double the price at the least. Mad Max might not be happy about it, but violating their own word, the shakedown of loot and supplies at our weakest moment, and giving our cardinal a stoke makes me wanna take on some repetitions of our own terms, even if the deal falls though. We should be in a better position militarily to help out, unless we're needed elsewhere.

>>4885928
When are the POZ coming to Maricopa? I'm wondering if we can call on the MMP to help us flex on the Warden next time he comes a knocking.
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>>4886019
>>4886021
Double post
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>>4886138
Actually, I noticed I misspelled 'reparations' with 'repetitions', and deleted the previous post. Sorry about that.
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>>4885928
>>Tell the Messenger about the Warden, emphasizing that Mobile is safe at the cost of significant stores of supplies
>>
>>4885928
>Tell the Messenger about the Warden, emphasizing that Mobile is safe at the cost of significant stores of supplies
Keep it brief and to the point, we haven't gone over the checklist of what exactly is missing supplywise so no need to give any specifics.

>>4886021
>I'm of the opinion that whatever they offer as part of the deal, we double the price at the least
Working off of this Righteous Fury to commit monetary kerfuffling, we can probably play this to our advantage. We must take initiative first during negotiation and place an upfront price that is quite lofty, citing lack of product (due to them stealing a large quantity of produce as 'reparations') and many interested parties waiting for delivery (technically not a lie), but then graciosly lowering the price to a less ridiculous amount to show we are not unreasonable men and can accomodate the needs of such esteemed repeat customers. This will hopefully buy us some goodwill with the Warden AND allow us to inflate the price at the same time. We should probably aim for 40-60% of the base price and not a straight up x2, if we try to push it too high we might end up antagonizing him instead.

And yes, we should absolutely have some backup from the MMP at the negotiations if possible to flex on the Warden and let him know we're not always a big pushover.
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>>4886415
>We must take initiative first during negotiation and place an upfront price that is quite lofty, citing lack of product (due to them stealing a large quantity of produce as 'reparations') and many interested parties waiting for delivery (technically not a lie), but then graciosly lowering the price to a less ridiculous amount to show we are not unreasonable men and can accomodate the needs of such esteemed repeat customers.

Not only that, but he stole the resources we were going to use to increase production, the mongoloid. I'm not happy about pricing it below double, but I will grudgingly accept 60% above base price.
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>>4887020
I am unsure what we actually charge in terms of Wealth Points per Meth Unit or how wealthy the Warden's faction is, but as you and other anons have pointed out, taking out the Warden or simply distancing ourselves from him requires a lot of growing as a faction before it can happen. Taking as much as we can from the trade deal without antagonizing him further is probably the best we can hope for at this time. Maybe 60% is shooting a bit low, who knows. The plan is adjustable depending on how much resources The Warden brings to negotiations and how receptive he is to bartering.
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>>4885946
>>4885960
>>4885968
>>4886242
>>4886415

OPTION SELECTED:
>Tell the Messenger about the Warden, emphasizing that Mobile is safe at the cost of significant stores of supplies

As much as you would personally like to request reinforcements or the full force arrive for a last ditch counter attack, you know it's a bad idea. The Sun Belt Crusaders are, to some degree, subordinate to and dependents of the Maricopa Militarized Police. Cutting the training exercise short to move west on short notice, especially with the cold war between Maricopa and the Reservation still going, could become an absolute imbroglio if the M.M.P. takes it the wrong way. You know in your gut that you have to swallow your pride and take the loss. You make the call.

You don't immediately get through to the Messenger. He is quite busy, as expected, and not available for immediate answer. In the time you wait for someone to get you through to him, you ruminate on the day's events. You're still seething with rage. You know you're going to be at blame for this when you in reality did nothing. Worse than that, if it weren't for you Mobile would not even have the meagre defenses present. No doubt the Warden would have attacked and simply taken the town had he known it was so undefended, which means that your actions misled him into thinking Mobile was a harder target than it really was. If anything, you saved Mobile! But now, you must shamefully explain that the town paid so much "reparation" that it might as well have been ransacked! It's enough to make a man lose his mind, not that you alrea-

"Speak." The Messenger's voice interrupts your fuming inner thoughts...

[1/3]
>>
>>4887642

[2/3]

OPTION ALTERED BY TRAIT: [Bloodlust]
>Tell the Messenger about the Warden, emphasizing that Mobile was shaken down for significant stores of supplies and remains vulnerable due to a lack of defenders provided

You recount the details of the incident. You start off as planned, detailing how the policy of scheduling regular test flights paid off as there was early warning and the ability to organize a defense. But as you do this, you can't help but slip in a few snide comments about how little you had to work with. Not only were the bulk of the fighters away at Maricopa, but the remainder were split between Mobile and the "black site" as you have heard some people refer to it.

You continue, telling him about how the entirety of the 238 was filled with the raider vehicles. You describe their leader, the Warden (with his elite guard), and how he demanded the return of the slaves ransomed from earlier and 'what was described as reparation for damages' from the faction. You quickly gloss over your - episode - and shift the blame for the gross loss of resources onto the others before mentioning the enemy forces have left and are unlikely to return. The Messenger of course presses you on this and you begrudgingly admit some degree of fault before bringing up how if there were more defenders this wouldn't have been an issue. Your pride and anger totally prevents you from even mentioning that you actually wanted to launch a attack with the hopes that a couple of untrained mortar operators with only a vague idea of where they were firing at would almost magically destroy the entirety of the enemy's overwhelming force.

"I see," the Messenger responds. By his tone, you know he is not pleased. "The training exercise with Maricopa will proceed as planned. When we return to Mobile, we will convene to discuss this. I want a full account of our inventory when I return."

With that, he terminates communications. You felt a hint of venom from his voice, although that might just projection. Radio still in hand, your thoughts turn to the masked man who caused all of this.

"God damn it!" you shout, kneeling and literally pounding the sand beneath you in rage. You cough violently a few times from your weakness. You still have not totally recovered from your episode earlier.

"Mister Trkulja, I presume?" a voice calls out. Without seeing him, the accent alone is enough to know exactly who this is...
>>
>>4887644

[3/3]

"Ondrejko, shouldn't you be-"

"Bedridden?" he finishes for you. "I can walk with my crutches and I decided to take a stroll during the commotion. Curious, just about everyone else had left the building."

"What do you want?" you practically spit at him. By this point, you've picked yourself back up and are face to face with him.

"I understand this..." he pauses while gesturing with his hands, "fine group of people have a small issue with defense." You glare at him, but he continues. "You have all been such gracious hosts that I feel it only proper to lend what aid I can. Only of course, if you are willing to lend me your ear."

You still cannot figure out what kind of accent he has. The way he speaks sounds like British English, but there's hints of Eastern European and Latin American as well.

"And why should I listen to some crippled devil who fell from the skies?" you tell him angrily, venting some of your earlier frustrations. "If you had any power, to help or otherwise, you would not be here."

He smirks at this. "If you don't wish to even know what I can provide, so be it. I will slink off alone. But I have a feeling I'm alive due to more than mere Christian charity..."

Will you hear him out?

>"Fine. I'll hear what you have to say." [Start optional scene with Nikolai Ondrejko]
>"Begone! I have actual matters to attend to." [Exit Trkulja PoV and begin Mueller PoV]

Alright, that should be the last scene of suffering and angst before Mueller taking on the last safehouse like it's an action movie... I mean, unless you guys want to talk to hear out this remarkably trustworthy figure!
>>
>>4887649
>"Fine. I'll hear what you have to say." [Start optional scene with Nikolai Ondrejko]

Peddle your words, be it poison or wares. We'll see whether you be Eden's serpent or a servant of God.

I don't blame Trkulja for this mess though. It was bad luck at the most inopportune time, and then he had a stroke during negotiations. It's just a really shitty day for him.
>>
>>4887649
>>"Fine. I'll hear what you have to say." [Start optional scene with Nikolai Ondrejko]

Finally
>>
>>4887649
>>"Fine. I'll hear what you have to say." [Start optional scene with Nikolai Ondrejko]
>>
>>4887649
>"Fine. I'll hear what you have to say." [Start optional scene with Nikolai Ondrejko]
I'd like for Trkulja to take a hour, start smoking again, drink some water, take a breather. Then arrive to see Nikolai serve him some tea he got from somewhere.
>>
>>4887649
>"Fine. I'll hear what you have to say." [Start optional scene with Nikolai Ondrejko]
My man Ondrejko gonna set us up with Putins finest gear. What a guy.
>>
>>4888045
If he really does, then I'm going feel bad we left him to die on his own, or didn't fix him up better. Although I do recall one of our cardinals told us to kill him or make sure he doesn't live.
>>
>>4888110
Cardinal Bob wanted him dead, but I think he changed his mind after talking with the man (and bonded when escaping to New Vegas, though that only happened in the Bad End).
>>
>>4888113
Alternate ending 1/13.
>>
>>4888116
Oh boy
>>
Heads up: the next two updates (the first is already written) will be rolled up into one due to how the optional scene selected doesn't have a choice at the end and goes straight to the Mueller scene. Both are in about a day's time.
>>
>>4889406
Thanks for the update mate!
>>
>>4889406
Copy that
>>
Thinking more on it, I do wonder if the people fighting around the Gila Bend would be open to missionaries that would heal their sick and wounded? Given that we have medical supplies, it would be relatively low cost to us, and it could open the door to us in the region.
>>
>>4890914
I don't recall if we have actually have trained medical staff, but we did set up a dedicate Medic unit didn't we? If we let them have some more training first and then send some of them along with a small escort, it'd certianly be worth it to try.
>>
>>4890965
Iirc they were started up the same time as the mortars, and they are obviously not up to par.

Personally I think it would be a bad idea on account of more than likely causing conflict with the raiders.
>>
>>4890965
The lack of experienced personnel is definitely an issue, but I'm sure we'll find some somewhere.

>>4890999
That's why we should probably clear it with the Warden when he comes around. The raiders would benefit as well, but if the Warden dismisses the idea, I'm not going to press the issue or cry about it.

Also, nice trips lad.
>>
>>4890999
That is a good point, though the Crusaders generally doesn't take kindly to raiders in most cases thus far. Again, we don't know what actual raider group is active in the area, if it belongs to the Warden we could probably see about clearing it with him when he shows up to negotiate next week. If it is an entierly different group on it's own, our help would be very much appreciated and give us an in to another community. Again, we'll see just what we're dealing with first before we make any commitments to Gila Bend.
>>
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>>4887665
>>4887668
>>4887733
>>4887789
>>4888045

OPTION SELECTED:
>"Fine. I'll hear what you have to say." [Start optional scene with Nikolai Ondrejko]

You accept his offer. You know he cannot be trusted, at least according to the other cardinal, and it's for good reason. The man literally fell from the skies with a cargo of military grade weapons and insinuates that he works for the former great power of the east. He is a living, breathing representative of the land you left behind and all of its evils. Still, you begin slowly walking back to Mobile with him. You can't help but think of when the Evil One tempted Christ in the desert wilderness although you really, really shouldn't be comparing yourself to Prince of Peace...

"Thank you, Mister Trkulja. In better times I'd try to discuss things over a nice dinner or cup of tea, but in any case I can tell you see the value in having some 'outside help' in times like this." You've known him for a grand total of thirty seconds and he's already trying to beguile you. "By the by - Trkulja - Balkans name. Since we all seem to be good Catholics here, that means you're Croatian, correct?"

"What does this have to do with anything?"

"Just curious. You look to be of the right age to have been in the war back then." Unsure how to respond to this strange, borderline insulting comment, you're momentarily speechless. He continues. "As you know, with these sorts of wars it's foreign involvement that can make all of the difference. With a direct invasion out of the question - even the Chinese needed the Californians to first beg for their takeover- that means the various governments of the world are placing their bets in the various factions in this country."

"And who is it you work for?" you ask.

"Oh, don't worry about that," he says with a dismissive hand gesture made awkward by his crutches. "It's the 'Russians,' let's leave it at that." You're not sure if you can believe him, but it really doesn't matter. "I recall speaking to your leader way back, and he approved of 'business relations.' In any case, the plane incident has given me a personal stake in this faction and I therefore would like to represent you fine folk to my benefactors." He suddenly stops and clutches his side in obvious pain. Just as suddenly, he regains his composure and continues. "Of course, I can't do this here and would need to be transported to my original destination."

"Las Vegas?" you interrupt.

"New Vegas, to be precise. The city's gone through quite the rapid change the past while, although in what I would say is a good way. Certainly much better than Phoenix tearing itself apart or Chicago losing its head or Los Angeles outright offing itself as far as I'm concerned. Your faction really should pay it a visit some time, and of course take me along..."

[1/???]
>>
>>4891360

[2/???]

Your eyes narrow with suspicion. "You want us to take you to some far away city with the vague promise you won't just disappear?"

"Well, it wouldn't be now, obviously. You may be able to tell that I'm not in the best of shape. This outing of mine is probably going to slow down my recovery. I'm in quite a bit of pain, you know?"

"That much I can tell."

"Same," he slips in with a smirk. Before you can make a comment, he continues. "Anyway, New Vegas is about five hundred kilometers away, or six and a half if we have to detour using the I-10. I'm guessing there'll be a lot of factions and raiders along the way, a lot more than you guys can handle now. Judging from the tail end of that army I saw just now, you have a lot to deal with and a lot to prove."

"Are you implying that we're too weak to support?"

"Implying? Oh dear no, I'm openly stating it. In normal conditions I wouldn't consider such an insignificant faction to be worth presenting to my benefactors, but I suppose I don't have much of a choice but hope you lot become worthy. Again, your leader has already approved of this to some degree, but it's hard to actually get anyone to lend an ear when everyone treats you like an outside devil and have greater priorities. For good reasons."

You still don't entirely trust him, but it's certainly a tempting offer. You reason that if the Messenger already approved this to some degree, it's worth continuing. "I'll see what I can do."

QUEST STARTED:

[The Treacherous Road]

Objective:
>Obtain the power, size, and influence required of "Nikolai Ondrejko's" benefactors
>Get Ondrejko to New Vegas

Acceptance Bonus:
>None

Completion Bonus:
>???
>???
>???

Stretch Goals:
>Figure clues about the truth behind Ondrejko
>???

"Ondrejko, what are you doing!" a voice calls out. It's the "doctor" who you know was looking after him. "You're-, oh cardinal, he's with you? Do you need time to-"

"No we're done here anyway," you tell him. "Take the man back to his bed."

"Understood. By the way, I heard a - troubling - story about you earlier. Would you like me to-"

"No. I'm fine. It's not like a had a heart attack or anything. I just need some more water and time alone."

The man nods and begins to deal with Ondrejko. It's been a long day. You have a lot to pray on before you begin the tedious work of taking stock of today's losses.

>END OF POV SWITCH TO CARDINAL DRAGOMIR TRKULJA
>>
>>4891361

[3/???]

>SWITCHING TO POV: CARDINAL RICHARD MUELLER

"Alright, so let's go over this from the beginning," Sheriff Dolores, your partner in crime (reduction) says as he takes a sip of cheap instant coffee. The two of you are again sat at his basement table and again behind a mess of papers.

"We go on foot in the dead of night. Three in the morning we should be there. You, me and a buddy of mine will bust down one door. Your other guy will be on door number two-"

"And Kai, my Kai not yours of course, will be on over-watch."

"Exactly. He's the best guy to give our only night vision to. We just got to hope they don't have a secret exit or anything."

"Something's definitely up," he says taking a bite of a donut. "Those building documents I dug up don't match what we saw of the place on recon. Here's hoping those two are able to hold off anyone coming from the other entrances."

"It's a risk we gotta take. If we don't deal with this soon, who knows what'll happen. Based on what we know, they got guys everywhere, and every day we delay is another day they can figure things out and send this place to hell."

"Right. It's a shame Maricopa couldn't spare any tear gas or any of the good stuff."

"Yeah, best I could do was the armor, weapons, and flashbangs. With the joint exercise between my guys and the MMP going on and the sense of danger, we weren't going to get everything. Still, we got about as much as we could expect."

"Yeah..." he trails out. "Man, I hope we can pull this off. If we fail, who knows what'll happen to this place, especially with the trouble about to come to Maricopa."

"We've come this far," you tell him. "God will push us that extra bit further..."
>>
>>4891363

[4/4]

Dolores doesn't make any comments, snide or otherwise, and just nods. He finishes his coffee and donut while you grab the necessary equipment. In short time, the five of you will be in position ready to end this crime squad once and for all. The place will be swarming with hostiles that have proven themselves to be highly armed and ready to do anything. While you don't expect them all to come down on your group at once, if you can't seize the initiative from the night raid things could go south quick. The goal is to clear the area, capture any VIPs, secure any items of importance, and neutralize as many of them as necessary.

Before you leave you, as might be expected from a high ranking member of the clergy, conduct blessings. In this case, you're using holy water to bless your loadout, which is oriented around:

>Close Brutality: Your primary armament is a heavy shotgun for maximum power in close quarters. Your side arm is a high caliber pistol.
>Penetration: Your primary armament is a high powered carbine for versatility and penetration against cover. Your side arm is a high caliber pistol loaded with penetrating rounds.
>Protection: Your primary armament is a machine pistol and riot shield to maximize self protection. You have a second, lighter caliber pistol as a side arm.
>Non-Lethality: Your primary armament is a shotgun loaded with beanbag rounds for ease of capture. Your side arm is a taser in addition to pepper spray.
>[Write-In]: Highly encouraged, but do so within reason. The others will be carrying utility items and their own items. All options above come with armor, flashbangs, and other such gear.

>>4888113
>Cardinal Bob wanted him dead, but I think he changed his mind after talking with the man (and bonded when escaping to New Vegas, though that only happened in the Bad End).
Yes, Robert Mazur grew a begrudging tolerance of and even bond with Nikolai after their escape to Vegas in the bad end. If I remember right tho, Musella does not trust Nikolai and actively wants him killed since he does not trust such infiltrators. He probably has good reason to think this.

>>4890965
>Medical staff
Yes. We do have a half-unit of combat medic types
>Trained
lolno, those guys aren't professional doctors or anything. Thankfully, standards are nonexistent in times like these.

>>4891057
>we don't know what actual raider group is active in the area, if it belongs to the Warden
If you're talking about which raiders are at Gila bend, I think you guys can make an inference from the following quote

>"I go by many names," he says in a deep, booming voice. "The Scourge of Arlington, the Conqueror of Cotton Center, the Butcher of Gila Bend, and the Warden of the Wastes. You, however, may call me the Warden of the Lewis Correctional Protectorate."
>>
>>4891371
>Penetration: Your primary armament is a high powered carbine for versatility and penetration against cover. Your side arm is a high caliber pistol loaded with penetrating rounds.

I was thinking about up close brutality, and even the crazy meme non-leathal option, but we should be able to blow though cover and take enemies out of the fight without killing some of them outright this way. My main worry is accidentally killing a VIP we can pump for info later.

Can't wait to seize these terrorists' assets after this.
>>
>>4891371
>Penetration: Your primary armament is a high powered carbine for versatility and penetration against cover. Your side arm is a high caliber pistol loaded with penetrating rounds.
More armour attack modifiers I'm guessing.
>>
>>4891371
>Penetration: Your primary armament is a high powered carbine for versatility and penetration against cover. Your side arm is a high caliber pistol loaded with penetrating rounds.

Penetration looking like the way to go here, heavy caliber enough that lets us punch through most everyday objects that may be used as cover during a firefight. I doubt these commie infiltrators have much in terms of body armor either so we hit them anywhere with this it ought to put 'em out of the fight.
We should probably set up some rules of engagement too. Of course priority is the lives of our own men so the MO should be 'Shoot to Kill', but if there is chance to incapacitate someone without killing them I believe it should be taken. If we're lucky we can snag a high ranking VIP that can spill some info on the PoZ and other cells that have infiltrated Maricopa.


>"I go by many names," he says in a deep, booming voice. "The Scourge of Arlington, the Conqueror of Cotton Center, the Butcher of Gila Bend, and the Warden of the Wastes. You, however, may call me the Warden of the Lewis Correctional Protectorate."
Okay, so promising aid to Gila Bend is out of the question for the time being. Which means we have to either focus on establishing a presence in Goodyear for recruitment next (and if I recall correctly, we've already all but blew our chances of Preaching in Goodyear due to fucking Bureaucrats last time we where there), or seek opportunity East or South of Maricopa. Unless of course we intend to focus completely on aiding the PCR next.
>>
>>4891543
I don't think Gila Bend is out of reach per say, but we should be focusing on expanding our reach as much as possible. I was thinking on sending another mission to Maricopa, double down there. Maybe after the POZ meeting we can focus on having a mission in every part of town, really start ramping up our preaching and conversion there. I'm still thinking about sending Trkulja to Goodyear to get the bureaucratic bullshit out of the way (maybe make a couple bureaucrat friends as well), talk to their leadership proper about preaching and helping out Mobile (the town is in their jurisdiction after all) as it relates to resources, and maybe do a Boogie with the Boiz if their up for it, increase relations and the whole shebang.
>>
>>4891547
Solid plan, accessing the whole recruitment pool of Maripoca would bolster our numbers significantly. Trkulja needs a break after this whole ordeal too, some Government Bereaucracy followed by Righteous Combat against the Godless Communists might be able to slake his desire for vengance, at least for the time.
>>
>>4891371
>Penetration: Your primary armament is a high powered carbine for versatility and penetration against cover. Your side arm is a high caliber pistol loaded with penetrating rounds.

Every captive taken is another source of information but fuck dying for them.
>>
>>4891371
>>Penetration: Your primary armament is a high powered carbine for versatility and penetration against cover. Your side arm is a high caliber pistol loaded with penetrating rounds.
>>
>>4891371
>>Penetration: Your primary armament is a high powered carbine for versatility and penetration against cover. Your side arm is a high caliber pistol loaded with penetrating rounds.

People seriously underestimate shooting through walls and doors.
>>
Alright, I've been a bit busy so I've not been as active as I usually was in this quest; luckily I've a bit of time to resolve that presently.

>>4891543
>Okay, so promising aid to Gila Bend is out of the question for the time being. Which means we have to either focus on establishing a presence in Goodyear for recruitment next (and if I recall correctly, we've already all but blew our chances of Preaching in Goodyear due to fucking Bureaucrats last time we where there), or seek opportunity East or South of Maricopa. Unless of course we intend to focus completely on aiding the PCR next.
Presently, we should focus on Maricopa; both as their population should be most receptive to us (given we're close-allies, have helped them in past, etc) but also because the more of their population that is working for us, the easier any potential integration of the Maricopan government into our own becomes. Failing that we could get round to establishing that radio station option so we can begin broadcasts from our own territory to draw in more foreign elements (both good and bad).


In terms of improving our strength more broadly however, we're probably gonna want to consider at least a few of the following ideas: fortification of Mobile will be critical to our continued survival and will let us deploy more forces to other tasks rather than defence; similarly, establishing outposts in the direction of Phoenix on the mountain ridge to our north as well as along the roads would probably be advisable since it'd help prevent us being ambushed while also giving us the potential to observe Phoenix or, in the case of the roads, control traffic / trade, with all of them giving us local supply dumps and points for our men to base out of; expansion of our industrial facilities is also critical given it'll let us produce artillery and vehicles amongst other critical items.

In terms of outposts however, we might want to consider making their construction subterranean, both to render them secure to attack but also to try and hide them from enemies. It's also useful since it'll cut down on the material needed for their construction.
>>
>>4891371
>Close Brutality: Your primary armament is a heavy shotgun for maximum power in close quarters. Your side arm is a high caliber pistol.
>>
>>4891386
>>4891457
>>4891543
>>4891855
>>4891873
>>4892032

SHOT TYPE SELECTED:
>Penetration: Your primary armament is a high powered carbine for versatility and penetration against cover. Your side arm is a high caliber pistol loaded with penetrating rounds.

Your focus on penetration may be unorthodox, but the ability to mitigate cover bonuses and heavy armor can prove invaluable in situations like this. You trust your guts and skills as a marksman enough to forgo the more close range oriented weaponry (but not enough to bring a taser instead of a pistol).

You finish sprinkling the holy water and say a quick prayer to God. Asking for courage, endurance, and good judgement you cross yourself and head out.

>Events influenced by trait: Veteran
>Leadership over operation automatically assumed

"Lead the way," the sheriff tells you, recognizing your experience and natural responsibility of leadership.

You and Dolores, both suited up and ready to roll, get into a borrowed car and drive off to a site on the edge of the Reservation to pick up the other two. You are told that "over-watch" Kai will be, or rather almost certainly has, already set up in a suitable location.

"Remember, we need to pick up any valuable documents and we really ought to secure at least one VIP alive. It'll make any..." he pauses in search of a good euphemism. "It'll make any cleanup a lot easier. God damn, I can't believe we might have to 'reset' the local government here."

"Stranger shit's happened," you say as you round a corner in the banged up foreign import. "The False Pope decided he could somehow break the Church and my hometown is likely making schoolkids learn Mandarin."

"Can't argue with you there," he says while giving his massive, high caliber revolver a once over. You wouldn't opt for such a shot type yourself, but if it that's what he's best with then that's what he's going to use. Besides, it saves on weight needed for utility. "Hey, the place is two lefts up."

You pull up by a dilapidated building, apparently in the possession of a family member of one of Dolores's two guys, and pick them up. The first one, Gad, is equipped with a shotgun and the same heavy SWAT armor as the rest of you. He'll be the other member of the main three man team. The other, Dan, is equipped similarly to you. He has a powerful rifle for holding off anyone escaping from "entrance two." Ideally, he'll just have to lay down suppressive fire and draw escapees to "entrance three" where Kai will be able to snipe them down. You're experienced enough to know that this plan and all other 'plans are useless, but planning is essential...'

[1/4]
>>
>>4892750

[2/4]

You drive as close the location of the safehouse as possible without being at risk of detection. The four of you head out of the vehicle as ready as ever. "Alright, enough fucking around, let's do this!" Dolores calls out as a final morale booster.

>Previously hidden recon result revealed:
>Average

When doing recon previously, your group managed to get the rough knowledge of guard patterns, which entrance might be most vulnerable, and very little else. Nonetheless, the recon went off without incident and the guards are none the wiser it seems. Their numbers and apparent level of alertness (or what you can tell in the darkness with minimal lighting from the building) seem to be unaltered.

It's time for the approach.

>Current stage: Approach
>Processing result....
>Positive
>Result further boosted by decent result on recon

The four man group consisting of Dolores, Dan, Gad, and yourself approach on foot. For a good while, you're able to close distance without the guards noticing.

"The fuck," you hear muttered in the darkness. You turn around and notice one of the guards pulling out his flashlight. Your marine instincts kick in and you unleash a quick three round burst from your carbine. Your hear the gun shots echo in the still desert night and the unmistakable thud of a body hitting the ground soon after.

"Dan, get to Echo-two, I'll cover," you order. Echo-two of course refers to entrance two. "Dolores, Gad, get to Echo-one." The latter two advance towards the entrance no doubt covering one another. You go prone and keep your attention on Gad's advance.

"I foun-" you hear from a guard rounding a corner to find Dan advancing. You cut him short with two bursts from your carbine. Even with your experience and the use of the ground to stabilize your shots, getting accurate hits in conditions like this is a challenge.

A salvo of shots ring through the air. Another guard appeared while you were focusing on the first one. Thankfully, most people are absolute awful shots in combat scenarios and worse shots still in the dark. You wait for another series of shots to illuminate his position before you take aim and fire. It's another instance of burst fire and another kill.

You're put down another few souls, but this is not the time to question yourself. You know your mission to be just and your cause righteous. Nonetheless you will have to pray for-

As your thoughts are briefly elsewhere, a shot and a thud are heard. You couldn't see a flash from either Dan or where the other two are supposed to be. It has to, you quickly deduce, be Kai sniping down an unseen foe.

Lights above you are beginning to turn on, or you're at least beginning to notice it. With the windows totally boarded, you're sure there is no threat from the upper floors firing outside. It nonetheless reminds you that the element of surprise is not total.

"Get to the others," you hear Dan say. "I got this..."
>>
>>4892756

[3/4]

"Roger," you tell Dan. Whether or not he will be able to suppress the situation on Echo-two is up to him, the enemy, and God. Almost entirely the latter, of course. Turning your attention away from the present situation, you perceive the loud banging of metal on metal. Gad and Dolores are clearly breaking battering the front door down with the battering ram. Somebody less experienced might be surprised that the loud banging of a battering ram went unnoticed, but you know that in the tense situation that is a firefight, a man's sense of hearing, sight, and even time itself are warped.

You get up from the prone position, quickly reload, and run over to the two man team. Instead of going directly to them, you head towards the corner any guards would have to round to reach the area. Without looking, you hold your carbine around the corner and fire wildly. Someone blindly returns fire, which you use to locate the guard. He returns fire but wildly misses in the chaos. You exploit the fact that he illuminated himself with the muzzle flash to lay down another burst. You hear a scream which sounds distinctly feminine (although it could just be the warped perception of combat) and a thud soon after. It's another neutralization.

Just as you've neutralized who you presume to be the last guard you hear the loud crash of what can only be the two busting down the front door. You shoot again into the night. This time, there is no return fire. If there are any guards remaining, they're on Dan and Kai to deal with.

Again you reload, not because you're out of rounds but because you want to keep yourself topped off. Someone of lesser experience might not think to use time moving from one position to the other to reload, but you've done service from the Helmand to the Amu Darya. You know what you're doing.

You join the other two in short time. You think you might have heard another series of gunshots and a thud, but you're honestly not sure. No matter how much someone gets used to combat, it's never a totally familiar space.

"We clear?" Dolores asks you, keeping an eye on the hallway (apparently free of hostiles) as he does so.

"Affirmative," you respond. As far as you know, the approach has been secured...
>>
>>4892757

[4/4]

>Stage 1: Approach... Cleared

Getting in, of course, was always going to be the easy part compared to slogging through the actual safehouse. In any case, you're in the position you wanted to be in, with the exits secured and a flank from behind therefore prevented. The enemy knows your group's here, but the element of surprise was never going to be total. At the least, you can hope that the hostiles will still be confused and disoriented by the time you get through the next stage or two.

"Alright," you call out, "towards the next stage, the..."

>"Office on the other side of this floor! Keep the objective in mind!" This will require going through an open area with tables, chairs, pews, and other minor obstacles. The prize at the end is (hopefully) where they keep important documents related to their operations. A firefight can be expected in this open area.
>"Upper floor! Most of their guys ought to be up there, let's get 'em while they're still putting their boots on!" From a study of documents, Dolores had a suspicion this is where they have people hidden. Expect a slog through close quarters and strong resistance.
>"Basement area! If they're keeping their weapon stashes anywhere, it's there!" The basement was marked as a 'storage area' which you take to mean where they keep their weapons, armor, and other goods given this place's status as a front. Anyone down there's got to be heavily armed and armored.
>"Side area! They got to have something hidden there!" You have no clue what's going on here. Recon got nothing useful and a study of floor plans says that this area should not even exist. It's a mystery!

Also:

>Someone, roll 2d20 for proceeding!

>Also, I'll need someone else to roll 1d100 for event/complication

Btw, this side mission is basically an action movie type of thing, so don't get too too caught up with realism. Not to say that this has transformed into an anime or some shit, but chalk up inaccuracies and strange things to fighting a kind of irregular force and a slightly unreliable narrator (and the influence of certain alcoholic beverage, but that goes without saying!) Also, I'm going to try and see if I can't update a bit faster than usual to keep things moving at an appropriate pace...
>>
Rolled 12, 5 = 17 (2d20)

>>4892758
>"Office on the other side of this floor! Keep the objective in mind!" This will require going through an open area with tables, chairs, pews, and other minor obstacles. The prize at the end is (hopefully) where they keep important documents related to their operations. A firefight can be expected in this open area.

Tough choice, but we have to keep the mission in mind. Not really going to cry about it if I'm overruled though.
>>
>>4892758
You want me to roll the 1d100 or wait for the others?
>>
>>4892862
If you want to, sure? No matter what I'll probably wait on writing until at least half a day passes and more votes are in
>>
>>4892880
If you wanna wait, I will as well.
>>
Rolled 6 (1d100)

>>4892798
>"Upper floor! Most of their guys ought to be up there, let's get 'em while they're still putting their boots on!" From a study of documents, Dolores had a suspicion this is where they have people hidden. Expect a slog through close quarters and strong resistance.
>>
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>>4893026
I should have rolled. Ah well, hopefully we'll be able to handle this shitstorm cropping up. Sort of want to roll for our response in spite of the odds.
>>
Rolled 12, 17 = 29 (2d20)

>>4892758
>"Office on the other side of this floor! Keep the objective in mind!" This will require going through an open area with tables, chairs, pews, and other minor obstacles. The prize at the end is (hopefully) where they keep important documents related to their operations. A firefight can be expected in this open area.
>>
>>4893043
Now I wish I haven't rolled at all. Damn, I'm just Schrödinger gambler here.
>>
>>4892758
>>"Office on the other side of this floor! Keep the objective in mind!" This will require going through an open area with tables, chairs, pews, and other minor obstacles. The prize at the end is (hopefully) where they keep important documents related to their operations. A firefight can be expected in this open area.
>>
>>4892798
>>4893026
>>4893043

OPTION SELECTED:
>"Office on the other side of this floor! Keep the objective in mind!" This will require going through an open area with tables, chairs, pews, and other minor obstacles. The prize at the end is (hopefully) where they keep important documents related to their operations. A firefight can be expected in this open area.

With the guards outside dead, you have a feeling they're panicking and ready to destroy some evidence. You can't let that happen.

You take point and lead everyone through the hallway. Gad and Dolores keep watch on the doors to the left and right side of the hallways leading to the other areas while you maintain forward focus.

>Now at Stage 2: The Office

With your experience in combat, you have the ability to keep cool and place accurate shots even as enemies are starting to trickle in. The first ones coming to the location's defense are scattered and poorly organized. Many of them retreat as your group moves forward through this initially tight area. You briefly think to yourself that they must genuinely be caught by surprise, since in an ideal defense this area would be highly fortified and a nightmare to get through.

>Friendly morale check automatically passed due to trait: Veteran
>+5 Bonus from decisive morale advantage over the enemy (bonus slowly being mitigated as enemy response organizes)

In addition to being poorly organized, they seem poorly equipped. While your carbine has enough power to deal with armor, nobody you're up against seems to be wearing any. A burst of fire never fails to take them out and single shots from your allies also seem sufficient. You also think they're equipped with just regular 'civilian-tier' weapons. You say 'think' because you're obviously not going to waste time inspecting them. It suffices to say that your group has the clear advantage here.

>+3 Bonus from superior equipment

One thing they do have is numbers. While they couldn't use their full force effectively in these currently tight quarters even if totally organized, they definitely have the numbers to throw bodies at the problem and get away with it. In more open terrain (such as the one you're moving to) this will definitely become more of a problem

>-2 Penalty from enemy numerical superiority (penalty currently mitigated by claustrophobic terrain)

None of the above is to say resistance is negligible or anything. Even with poor morale, organization, equipment, and planning they're still deadly. All it takes is one lucky shot to end any one of your lives. You move slowly, taking your time to carefully watch for and put down threats. The same applies to Gad and Dolores when dealing with corners and keeping an eye on the back.

You take no hits, and neither do your companions. So far, so good.

>Rolled: 12 + 6 = 18
>Good Progress...

[1/2]
>>
>>4893431

[2/2]

Now having successfully reached the entrance to the open area with the office at the opposite end. In your mind, you already have a plan involving moving up through pieces of cover, be they knocked over tables, pews, decorative pieces, or whatever else you find. There's a very low chance that they'll actually have the equipment necessary to shred through cover, which means you-

>COMPLICATION!
>RESULT: 6
>HARDENED TARGET

"SHIT, SHIT, GET BACK!" Dolores yells as he grabs you and pulls you backwards. In front of you, feet or inches you can't quite tell with how fast it all happens, a barrage of bullets almost disintegrates the floor you were going to step into. You recognize that distinctive roar of gunfire as only one thing. "THEY GOT A FUCKIN' MACHINE GUN!"

"What the fuck? How?" you mutter to yourself. You knew this place would involve a firefight, but the odds they would have a machine gun emplacement here, just ready to go in case of a raid, was next to nothing. From your corner, you take a few shots at some of the other hostiles to the left hand side of the open region. They seem to be trying to organize some sort of defense, and if you don't keep up the momentum, this place will further harden as a target.

You take a peek around the corner and see a glimpse of it. In the center of the large room at the opposite end is an actual machine gun emplacement with a bipod and corrugated metal sheets for protection (thank God it's not sandbags). At the helm is some big guy with what looks to be a metal helmet and other heavy, if improvised, armor. For a moment, you wonder if you're even in real life anymore or if you're been transported into a scene from a cheesy action movie or video game.

"You better have a plan Dick, or we're in some serious shit!"

What orders do you issue to your allies?

>"Fuck this, let's go back and target somewhere else!" [Abandon Stage to go somewhere else] [Where?]
>"We brought flashbangs for a reason! Chuck 'em in and make an opportunity!"
>"They're still disorganized, roll in fast enough that they won't be able to track you moving from cover to cover!"
>"Go in with hands up and pretend to want to negotiate! I'll shoot 'em when they're distracted!"

And what do you, yourself do?

>Exit Stage with the rest of them [Requires issuing Abandon Stage orders]
>Stay behind the corner and continue to shoot hostiles on the one side of the open area to avoid heavy fire
>Try to take careful aim and land a well placed shot on the gunner, potentially exposing yourself to gunfire
>Unleash a barrage of bullets at the metal defenses, hoping that at least one bullet penetrates and lands a killing blow [Option available from Shot Type: Penetration]
>Vault yourself behind a piece of cover and start moving up the room, hopefully faster than they can shoot at you

And, of course, roll 2d20

The 12 roll on the d20 is actually pretty good btw. That 6 on the d100 though... yeah, you guys triggered a boss fight. Good luck!
>>
>>4893434
>>"We brought flashbangs for a reason! Chuck 'em in and make an opportunity!"

>Unleash a barrage of bullets at the metal defenses, hoping that at least one bullet penetrates and lands a killing blow [Option available from Shot Type: Penetration]
>>
Rolled 18, 1 = 19 (2d20)

>>4893448
Support.
>>
Rolled 13, 6 = 19 (2d20)

>>4893448
>>
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>>4893434
>"We brought flashbangs for a reason! Chuck 'em in and make an opportunity!"
>Stay behind the corner and continue to shoot hostiles on the one side of the open area to avoid heavy fire

Seems like the most reasonable combination, if we start plinking away at the Machine Gun emplacement they might duck for cover and avoid the Flashbang. Better to try cover the Squad as they flashbang the nest.

>>4893451
>Rolled 18, 1
>1
>critfailing against the machine gun nest
We're dead now, aren't we?
>>
>>4893516
Well they should be absolutely fucked off by the flashbangs.

I'm looking at the positives here in any case, we should be able to capture a HMG.
>>
>>4893434
>"We brought flashbangs for a reason! Chuck 'em in and make an opportunity!"
>Unleash a barrage of bullets at the metal defenses, hoping that at least one bullet penetrates and lands a killing blow [Option available from Shot Type: Penetration]

I'm starting to hate this mission.
>>
>>4893543
God I hope you're right. I would hate if we killed ourselves on the first mission of season two.
>>
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>>4893448
>>4893451
>>4893516
>>4893798

OPTIONS SELECTED:
>"We brought flashbangs for a reason! Chuck 'em in and make an opportunity!"
>Unleash a barrage of bullets at the metal defenses, hoping that at least one bullet penetrates and lands a killing blow [Option available from Shot Type: Penetration]

"Focus on the big one then, alright," Dolores says as he grabs a flashbang and prepares to lob it. "Fuckin' machine gun my ass," you hear him mutter under his breath. You wouldn't put it so crudely, but you're of the same mind. You were expecting to bust down the door, shoot a few guys, and have some mass surrenders, but these guys are apparently serious and willing to die for the cause. It's all the more reason to fight.

"Fire in the hole!"

>Flashbang Barrage Ability Used

Multiple flashbangs fly out of the entrance and into the main room. You look away and cover your ears before popping out intent on unleashing a barrage of automatic fire. The scene is one of chaos as hostiles begin shooting wildly into the air or stumbling blindly. The tactic proved to be very effective and you have the opportunity necessary to focus on the big threat.

>+3 Bonus from Flashbang Barrage
>-1 Penalty for machine gunner over-watch (heavily mitigated by tactic selected)

You tune out the rest of the battlefield and focus on the gunner. Taking either an instant or an eternity to line the shot up (depending on who's perceiving time) you pull the trigger and unleash hell.

>Previous morale bonus unchanged
>Numerical inferiority penalty unchanged (still mitigated, now from disorientation)
>Equipment bonus reduced to 0 due to boss enemy

>Final Result: 18 + 5 = 23
>Resounding Success!

The high caliber rounds shred through the metal cover and, you're confident in presuming, through his armor. You think that because he fires off one last wild spray of bullets before flying back out of his position with a geyser of blood. As the hostiles are just barely recovering you get out of the open position and into cover behind an overturned table. As you signal for Dolores and Gad to back you up, you hear panicked yelling from the opposition.

"Ah fuck, Boss Man's down! What do we do, retake his position or what?!"

>Processing Hostile Morale Check
>Abysmally critical failure!

"Fuck! I don't wanna die!"

"The fuck?" you mutter. Your heart's still pounding in a frantic attempt to pump blood and adrenaline (mostly the latter) through your veins. You peek out and notice one guy running away and a small group following him. Another guy appears to have thrown his weapon on the ground and has his hands up in the air. At the presumed death of their boss, their morale totally broke. A few of them still try to fight, but you return fire and down one of them.

Your two companions swoop into the scene and secure the area. Those who haven't already fled have all surrendered and are herded to a corner of the room by Dolores while Gad scans the premises and keeps the area secure...

[1/2]
>>
>>4894186

[2/2]

"Good thinking on focusing the boss, Dick." Dolores calls out. "We got this, you get over to the main room and get the loot in case someone's trying to destroy it. If you hear trouble, just rush to that machine gun."

"Thanks D- AAAAGH!" you yell in pain while instinctively clutching your side.

>Nat 1 Result: Wound

Your hand is covered in your own blood as one of the plates in your armor has been shattered by a bullet. The bullet, which you presume came from the machine gunner's dying spray, has caused noticeable bleeding. Looking back, you notice you've been dripping blood as you've been moving. The adrenaline must have masked the pain, but its temporary effects have worn off.

"Dick, are you-"

"I'm alright," you say out of instinct still gritting your teeth in pain. It's technically true in that you're not going to immediately die, but the effects of unchecked blood loss are serious.

The area is secure, but your now faced with a difficult choice between securing the objective now despite the wounds or getting immediate medical treatment. Alternatively, you think, it might be possible to pursue some of those that have fled and secure their surrenders or score some easy kills on a rout.

You choose to:

>Secure the objective from anyone destroying evidence and position yourself near the machine gun
>Secure your blood supply by getting basic first aid done and getting healed as best as possible
>Follow the routed enemies to secure their surrender or cut down their numbers
>Issue an order to your companions [Specify]
>[Write-In]

Btw, the enemy morale collapsing and them scattering was not an asspull by me to save you guys. They actually rolled dogshit on the morale check after gunning down the Stage Boss. They were already unorganized and not in the best shape to fight, so a lot of them fucked off elsewhere or surrendered. Pic related. I guess two can play the shit RNG game! (Seriously, I was thinking this would be a slam dunk for you guys due to planning, bonuses, and good choices, but that 6 and the nat 1 causing a wound...)
>>
>>4894190
>>Secure your blood supply by getting basic first aid done and getting healed as best as possible
Dick is our ace in the hole for combat scenarios. Sure, we could score some vital, vital evidence but if we don't get this blood loss thing under wraps, we lose out on Nick Cage being able to shred like this in future fights.
>>
>>4894190
>Secure your blood supply by getting basic first aid done and getting healed as best as possible
>Issue an order to your companions

Dolores, get the insurgents in rout. Gaz, secure this bunch.

Honestly, I'm really tempted to secure the intel, but being a cardinal down, especially our combat preacher, won't do us any favors. That, and I hope that they're were more focused defending themselves than getting rid of any evidence.
>>
>>4894190
>>Secure your blood supply by getting basic first aid done and getting healed as best as possible

Do we have some quickclot on hand? Stands to reason that we would if it was available.

Also, can we radio in whats going on so people not in the know don't freak out about all the fireworks? Also perhaps calling in some backup to help cordon off the area
>>
>>4894190
>Secure your blood supply by getting basic first aid done and getting healed as best as possible.
Better than expected, worse than it could've been. Dying is for chumps so we better make sure we don't. Even if we don't get the Intel, prisoners and an HMG is a good consolation price. Hopefully we can grill the prisoners for some information afterwards.

>Issue an order to your companions [Specify]
>If possiblem, Gaz secure these surrendering insurgents. Dolores, go for the intel.
We don't have to hunt down runners, we still have two people stationed outside the building to do just that. Better to send one of our guys to secure any remaining intel instead.

>>4894323
>Also perhaps calling in some backup to help cordon off the area
If I recall correctly, the reason we're going in with such a small force was because there are suspected fifth columnists within Maricopa's Police Force. Worst case scenario is that a sympathetic squad shows up and tries to destroy evidence/confiscate weapons or just otherwise get in the way of any investigation. This might just be my Paranoia talking though, but I'd prefer we go through the building first before we call in any backup.
>>
>>4894487
>If possiblem, Gaz secure these surrendering insurgents. Dolores, go for the intel.
>We don't have to hunt down runners, we still have two people stationed outside the building to do just that. Better to send one of our guys to secure any remaining intel instead.

If you think that’s the smartest course of action, then I’ll support it to keep our momentum going. I hope our two lads will be able to deal/capture the majority of these fleeing terrorists then.

>This might just be my Paranoia talking though, but I'd prefer we go through the building first before we call in any backup.

I think he meant some of our boys as backup, which I don’t mind desu. If they need the extra manpower we can give them a platoon after the exercises are over.

>>4894190
QM, if >>4894210 doesn’t get any support, then I’m supporting >>4894487 Companion orders. Gotta keep the momentum going.
>>
>>4894523
>If you think that’s the smartest course of action, then I’ll support it to keep our momentum going
Yeah, I think it is. While there is a chance people might escape, they can only escape either to the PoZ or to other cells in Maricopa. We have people to interrogate, but we can't be sure they'll give us truth. Having their ledger of collaborators (if we get lucky) aswell as captives gives us the ability to cross-reference information for more accuracte pin-pointing of other insurgent cells. While you are correct that there's risk of enemy combatants escaping, I'm more comfortable taking that gamble than risk losing out on this intel.

>I think he meant some of our boys as backup
Ok yeah, that sounds reasonable. If we can get a group of Crusaders to stand guard that'd be perfect.
>>
>>4891371
>lolno, those guys aren't professional doctors or anything. Thankfully, standards are nonexistent in times like these.

Could we get some medical training from Maricopa’s hospital staff, in exchange for some medical supplies? I’m not expecting brain surgery here, just basic trauma treatment and medical assistance until we get them to a actual professional. We will eventually have to create a proper medical corps, but that’s for when we actually have the skilled manpower and resources to field them.

Also, for you military enthusiasts out there, here was the one of the first proper killbozers created by a real military. This one had the enviable position from being designed from a postcard.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Semple_tank

Meanwhile these bad boys faced combat on the Ostfront.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/NI_tank
>>
>>4894652
If nothing else, I'm sure Maricopa has the ability to at least manufacture some makeshift armored cars, I do belive the problem would be placing suitable armaments on them though.
>>
>>4894186
>Secure the objective from anyone destroying evidence and position yourself near the machine gun
>Follow the routed enemies to secure their surrender or cut down their numbers
>>
>>4894927
Hey, I'll take the armor for now. It's be a different story when we get that Machine Workshop up and running.

>>4895365
I agree with the sentiment, but we have limited manpower available, and we won't do anyone any favors by being a man down. Plus, the two other exits are covered, and we just came through the third one.
>>
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>>4894487
>>4894523

OPTION SELECTED:
>Secure your blood supply by getting basic first aid done and getting healed as best as possible
>Issue an order to your companions:
>"Gaz secure these surrendering insurgents. Dolores, go for the intel"

"You sure, we'd be vulnerable to a counter attack?" the sheriff asks.

"They way they fled, I don't think they're gonna come back to- aaaggh-"

"Dick, are you sure about-"

"I'm fine. I just need a moment."

Dolores seems to think for a moment before shrugging and handing the zip ties (and other equipment) to his partner. He pulls out his hand-cannon and goes to the objective.

You turn your attention to your wound again. It's painful to the touch and you're still bleeding quite a bit. Now free, you grab some hemostatic gauze and forcefully jam it in there to stop the bleeding. Jolts of pain wrack your body so hard you inadvertently start swearing like a sailor, blaspheming against God, the Virgin Mother, and everything else holy. The gauze itself burns your flesh with its mere presence and continues to make you want to remove the irritating substance. It's not your proudest moment and you're going to have to bring it up in confession. It still beats dying.

Next, you grab an alcohol pad and disinfect the general area as best as possible. As alcohol seeps around into exposed flesh, you again feel pain surge though your body. It's a lot more bearable though, so you do not sin in word this time. The medical supplies you're working with are rather basic and were made in Mobile, but it's enough to get you by for the duration of the mission. You take a breather for the remainder of the post battle time.

>Determining Enemy Counter-Attack...
>No Counter-Attack

>Healing Result:
>Condition: Stabilized
>Receive a penalty for mission duration

With the main objective secured (you believe) and a decisive upper hand gained, things aren't looking so bad. With the entrances covered and area surrounded by pitch black desert, there isn't exactly anywhere to run. Another decisive victory should be enough to break their will to fight enough to call it "mission accomplished," assuming you don't eat another nasty bullet in the process.

The door creaks open and Dolores walks out with gun in hand and a serious, stone-faced expression. You pull yourself up and walk over to him, meeting by the machine gun.

"Doing better?"

"Yea, I just needed a breather," you say nonchalantly, dismissing the fact that you got shot by a high caliber round. "What'd you find in there?"

"Too much to explain here. I don't think they had a chance to get rid of anything..."

[1/2]
>>
>>4895534

[2/2]

>STAGE CLEAR
>GET STAGE BONUS:
>???????

He opens his mouth as if to continue, but holds his tongue. "All I'll say is that I'm glad we kept the circle of trust as small as we did."

"What, that there're sleepers out there? We already know that."

"No, it's - never mind. We have a mission to finish," he says to you. "Hey, you done dicking around there?" he shouts to the third member, his demeanor instantly changing.

"Be there in a sec, tyin' up this last guy."

He soon arrives and looks at you. "Gad."

"Huh?"

"My name's Gad. You said Gaz earlier," Gaz says while he ties someone up.

"C'mon, he was shot," Dolores intercedes on your behalf. "Anyway, we have bigger things to deal with. Which area do we go for next? I was thinking we'd clear the upper floor area."

>"Yep, upper floor. If we're looking to capture anyone, why not go where there're the most people. With nowhere to escape to, they might even surrender easily." Expect a slog through close quarters and strong resistance if they do not surrender.
>"Let's go to the basement. Anyone fleeing from here might have gone there to get equipped. Let's cut 'em down before they're fully armed and armored!" The basement area was marked as a 'storage area' which you take to mean where they keep their weapons, armor, and other goods given this place's status as a front. Anyone down there's got to be heavily armed and armored.
>"I've been thinking about that side area. I have a feeling we should check it out." You have no clue what's going on here. Recon got nothing useful and a study of floor plans says that this area should not even exist. It's a mystery!

And while your here, besides this perfectly functional machine gun, you wonder if you could maybe 'upgrade' your shot type. Maybe operating a machine gun while wounded and about to fight in potentially close quarters might be a bad idea, but it's still a machine gun!

>Pick up the machine gun and embrace your inner action hero
>Your current shot type has enough penetration, fire-rate, and damage already.

I was going to have this update out way earlier, but I chose to wait in case there were any votes/discussion which I'm glad for since it ended up mattering. I think this is the right selection with the votes given, but attribute any miscounted votes to me being bad at math. That's actually very false, but w/e let's go with it. That, and technical difficulties, but let's pretend it was all the former.

>>4894487
>the reason we're going in with such a small force was because there are suspected fifth columnists within Maricopa's Police Force.
Within the Reservation's own law enforcement and government, but yes. IIRC it was explicitly stated that previous raids failed to have full impact because they got early tip offs and could move stuff out in time. MMP isn't allowed in the area after an incident the Crusaders were not present for.
>>
>>4895542
>"I've been thinking about that side area. I have a feeling we should check it out." You have no clue what's going on here. Recon got nothing useful and a study of floor plans says that this area should not even exist. It's a mystery!
>Pick up the machine gun and embrace your inner action hero

Fuck it, you've got my curiosity. And going full-Rambo is sure to damage their morale.
>>
>>4895542
>"Let's go to the basement. Anyone fleeing from here might have gone there to get equipped. Let's cut 'em down before they're fully armed and armored!" The basement area was marked as a 'storage area' which you take to mean where they keep their weapons, armor, and other goods given this place's status as a front. Anyone down there's got to be heavily armed and armored.

>Pick up the machine gun and embrace your inner action hero
>>
>>4895542
Can we call in the fella out back and have him use the MG to cover the stairs while we hit the basement?
>>
>>4895600
I don't think so, but we can have Gad cover the stairs if you want. We'll need Dolores to change weapons with our penetrating weapon if you want the fight armored people in the basement.

Of course, we can commit to the reverse and secure the upper floor with Gad while Dolores covers the basement.

Either way, drinks are on Dick after this.
>>
>>4895600
So, what are you thinking lad? Up stairs, basement, mystery box? I don't think there are bad choices here, just a preference.
>>
>>4895658
Actually, what I'm thinking here, is have Dan come in and have him cover the upstairs, and Gad cover the basement stairs while we along with Dolores check the side room. Once we've cleared it we can roll up the upstairs baddies who haven't jumped out a window and simply wait out the basement guys, assuming they don't have tunnels.
>>
>>4895665
Did we clear up Dan's door? If so, then I would support it. Otherwise I think it may be more prudent if he covered either our entrance or we remain a group and focus on one area.
>>
>>4895685
I was hoping for a quick consensus, but I can settle for a longer discussion if needed.

I will point out something.

>Another decisive victory should be enough to break their will to fight enough to call it "mission accomplished," assuming you don't eat another nasty bullet in the process.

We only need one victory to call it mission accomplished, so we don't need to divide our forces in order to cover this corridor.
>>
>>4895542
What kind of machine gun is it exactly? If its the one in >>4893434 not even rambo can carry it around and shoot it with both hands.... very effectively.
>>
>>4895723
It would terrify anybody who sees us using it, and it'll chew though anything in its path, even with personal protection.

Embrace your inner action hero anon.
>>
>>4895600
>>4895665
>>4895640
>>4895685

On general stuff regarding plans for rearranging personnel or shot types or w/e, it's allowed. I forgot to put in a [Write-In] option since I was thinking in terms of "okay, which stage are they going to next" and it's not like the players can write up a new section of building, which neglected more nuanced actions like what's going suggested. Also, the entrances cover miscellaneous parts of the building that do not get their own stage but are featured in transitions. For instance, going to the upper floor would require going through a stairway (hence the "slog through close quarters")


>>4895723
>What kind of machine gun is it exactly? If its the one in >>4893434 ...
LMFAO, nah, I just picked that image because I thought the guy's face looked kinda funny. I also should have titled it "Machine Gun from The Predator" since it's not from the real Predator movie but the recent cashgrab. Actual one looks more like pic related from previously in the quest. This wouldn't be the first time in the quest Cardinal Gunnery Sergeant Richard "Dick Cage" Mueller picked up a heavy weapon part way through an attack.

>>4894652
>Could we get some medical training from Maricopa’s hospital staff, in exchange for some medical supplies?
Can't really answer that as such a thing would have to be between The Messenger and Maricopa's Mayor Preis.

Also, general point, if you guys want to speed things up, I could 'streamline' things a bit by combining the stage transition and opening section. I'd require a decent amount of support since it would require requesting dice rolls (progress 2d20 and event/complication 1d100)
>>
>>4895742
>Also, general point, if you guys want to speed things up, I could 'streamline' things a bit by combining the stage transition and opening section.

I think it's fine from your end, I'm just impatient.
>>
>>4895742
>>4895542
>Actual one looks more like pic related from previously in the quest.
In that case...
>Pick up the machine gun and embrace your inner action hero

>I also should have titled it "Machine Gun from The Predator" since it's not from the real Predator movie but the recent cashgrab.
Yeah I think I saw parts of it and it was so cringey with poor production that I just skipped through it and was like "meh" closed video.

>"Yep, upper floor. If we're looking to capture anyone, why not go where there're the most people. With nowhere to escape to, they might even surrender easily." Expect a slog through close quarters and strong resistance if they do not surrender.
Yeah.... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gA-zBPR2KJg
>>
>>4895830
I'm willing to support this instead of my vote (>>4895551) if it would mean a quicker update. If the QM has fallen asleep though, don't pay this post any mind.
>>
>>4895665
Well ok, I'll cast my vote as

>pick up MG
>clear side room

Ideally the people upstairs and downstairs won't have enough time gor many to escape.
>>
>>4895542
>"Let's go to the basement. Anyone fleeing from here might have gone there to get equipped. Let's cut 'em down before they're fully armed and armored!" The basement area was marked as a 'storage area' which you take to mean where they keep their weapons, armor, and other goods given this place's status as a front. Anyone down there's got to be heavily armed and armored.
>>Pick up the machine gun and embrace your inner action hero
>>
>>4895542
>"Let's go to the basement. Anyone fleeing from here might have gone there to get equipped."
While the mystery box calls to me, it is prudent to secure the enemy weapon stash before anyone that escaped down there tries to mount a counter attack. It is also the most likely place where an escape tunnel would be located, and worst case scenario that leads to another cell who might just be on their way to reinforce right now. OK so we might be too far away for a tunnel to be dug to another safehouse, but I am paranoid as fuck and won't have us get fucked in the ass by Vietnam-esque tunnel networks.

And who the hell do you think we are, of course we pick up the damn Machine Gun. We one-hand that sucker like any respectable American would.
>Pick up the machine gun and embrace your inner action hero
>>
>>4895542
>DEUS VULT
>>
>>4895551
>>4895590
>>4895600
>>4895830
>>4896018
>>4896034
>>4896647
>>4896665 (good work avoiding the satan quads crusader)

Your current carbine has proven itself to have more than enough killing power and penetration. With the stairways and corridors in this place, giving up mobility and ease of use to double down on attributes that you already have in sufficient supply seems like a bizarre choice.

"Hey, hold this!" you say as you toss Gad your carbine.

"What in the-?" he says catching it. "The hell are you going to..." he says before seeing you eye the machine gun. "Why would you-"

OPTION SELECTED:
>Pick up the machine gun and embrace your inner action hero

"To quote a great leader of the church 'Deus Vult!' God wills it!"

NEW SHOT TYPE:
>Overkill: Your primary armament is a massive machine gun capable of leveling an entire small country's army on its own. You may be slower, more vulnerable, and less flexible, but this should not matter. Who even cares about a side-arm?!

"Well alright Mister 'Last of the Action Heroes,' where to now?"

OPTION SELECTED:
>"Let's go to the basement. Anyone fleeing from here might have gone there to get equipped. Let's cut 'em down before they're fully armed and armored!" The basement area was marked as a 'storage area' which you take to mean where they keep their weapons, armor, and other goods given this place's status as a front. Anyone down there's got to be heavily armed and armored.

"You just got yourself shot and you want to go to the deadliest place here? Well, if you insist."

"I'm fine Dolores. Besides, why else would I pick up this bad motha," you say while slamming the belt feed in for emphasis. "I don't care if they got a tank down there. This thing'll deal with it..."

[1/2]
>>
>>4896905

[2/2]

"Don't push your luck too much, Dick. You've burned a lot of it getting shot..."

>Mission Penalty Revealed: [Running out of Luck]
>Roll 1 extra die and drop the highest value.
>Further penalties negated by heal action

"I'm out of luck, but they're the ones out of time," you say as you advance.

>Advance to Stage 3: The Basement

A thought also crosses your mind. Maybe Gad won't be needed for this and would be better put to use blocking off escapees from the upper floor? It'd weaken the attack on this stage, but if two good men were worth committing to the other exits, why not commit the third?

You choose to:

>Send in Gad to cut off any (reasonable) escape route for hostiles on the upper floor while you and Dolores continue the attack!
>Keep Gad as part of the three man squad, you're not worried about them fleeing to open desert or a flank attack!
>[Write-In]: Specify

In addition, I'll need two d100's and three d20's.

I think these are the rightly voted options, at least with those last two votes coming in about twelve and four hours ago. For the record, I was awake earlier but chose to leave some more time for a few more votes to filter in. It probably turned out for the better. The comment about streamlining btw was because this part of the game has been pretty cheesy and self indulgent. It's in part to cut the flavor of angst from Trkulja losing his shit in the desert after he had some kind of seizure(?) and got a huge portion of the faction's wealth, meth, slaves, and prestige thrown to a psychotic raider group (not that the Sun Belt Crusaders are paragons of virtue, but still!) It's also because I find throwing in silly references to movies and video games to be fun! I digress.

>>4896647
>Vietnam-esque tunnel networks
Don't be silly... because hombre, in these parts, we call those El-Chapo tunnels!

>>4895830
Good call to skip that movie. Most remakes/reboots of classic action movies are, to perhaps understate it, utter dogshit (that one of course included). When I hear about a series getting rebooted it's not exactly a good feeling. Not to say that it was all perfect in the past, but man it feels like today it's just misses (I'll just leave it at that...)
>>
Rolled 3 (1d100)

>>4896910
>>
Rolled 12 (1d100)

>>4896910
>>Send in Gad to cut off any (reasonable) escape route for hostiles on the upper floor while you and Dolores continue the attack!
>>
Rolled 82 (1d100)

>>4896910
>>Send in Gad to cut off any (reasonable) escape route for hostiles on the upper floor while you and Dolores continue the attack!
>>
Rolled 16, 4, 15 = 35 (3d20)

>>4896910
>>4896914
>3
>"I don't care if they got a tank down there. This thing'll deal with it..."
They have a fucking tank in the Basement holy fucking shit kill me now.


>Send in Gad to cut off any (reasonable) escape route for hostiles on the upper floor while you and Dolores continue the attack!
No escape even if you have a tank in the basement. Lets hope our D20's don't suck ass
>>
Rolled 6 (1d20)

>>4896910
>Send in Gad to cut off any (reasonable) escape route for hostiles on the upper floor while you and Dolores continue the attack!

DEUS VULT!
>>
>>4896910
>got a huge portion of the faction's wealth, meth, slaves, and prestige
>wealth and prestige

Don't make me death war the Warden, I'm already mad that he stole our wealth, stealing our prestige is venturing into dangerous territory.
>>
>>4896937
I unfortunately am of the belief that we have to take a hostile stance towards the Warden at some point in the future, as the death of the Warden is most likely part of the pre-requisite for Trkulja's negative trait to turn to a positive one. I've been working on the foundations of a possible plan to deal with him and his raiders, I'll lay it out after I've put some more work into it and we finish our Rambo action sequence.
>>
>>4896945
I disagree that we have to take a hostile stance against the Warden, but if there's more shit we've lost to him I will vote for a death war anyway. Hopefully I'll calm down after some time, but I'm mad as all hell right now.
>>
>>4896920
>3
>"I don't care if they got a tank down there. This thing'll deal with it..."
>They have a fucking tank in the Basement holy fucking shit kill me now.
Fuckin' hell I'm laughing out loud. Yeah, I was thinking you guys might have a little better luck on this go around, maybe even getting a positive event... but yeah you guys are getting hosed. Hey, at least those d20's are pretty good!

>>4896937
>>4896945
Trkulja's very much in a "death war" mood personally and feels that the faction's pride and reputation (i.e. his own) has been utterly devastated by this and his view is that they must suffer vengeance seven times over! I can't comment on whether or not this is a good idea or if it'll make "Trkulja's negative trait to turn to a positive one" if such a thing is possible...
>>
>>4896963
I already know that this death war is a bad idea, I'm just in an insane fury atm. I also doubt a death war will turn Trkulja's negative trait positive, but it has it's practical uses, and I'm slowly converting to his frame of mind. I'm sure given some time I'll calm down, but the Warden will pay the price of his insolent, even if it's just exorbitant meth prices.
>>
>>4896963
>Yeah, I was thinking you guys might have a little better luck on this go around, maybe even getting a positive event... but yeah you guys are getting hosed

Always
>>
>>4897101
We can't expect God to do all the work.
>>
Rolled 15, 89, 31 = 135 (3d100)

>>4896910
>>Send in Gad to cut off any (reasonable) escape route for hostiles on the upper floor while you and Dolores continue the attack!

>>4896977
>>4896937
id like to eventually get the black site fully operational so that we can finally start pooling more manpower and resources to fight against the Warden
>>
>>4897881
I agree that we need to work on conversion extra hard right now. Simply put we need more bodies. We should double down not only on the black site, but sending out missionaries everywhere that we possibly can.
>>
For that matter when we take old boy to vegas we should work on establishing a sect there
>>
>>4898213
>>4898215
Eh, conversion is good; ordinary recruiting is better. Getting a radio station up and running will let us establish a presence region-wide without risking anyone on the ground, since all of our current enemies already know about us and where we live.

Also might be smart to potentially send out clerics to nearby settlements on their lonesome: even if they only convert one or two people each, that'd still let us get lots of information AND some converts.
>>
>>4898217
>Eh, conversion is good; ordinary recruiting is better.
I fully agree, however the blacksite is a reaource that we have available that we need to tap into as well. Nevermind we keep valuable manpower tied up keeping it under control.
>>
I'm of the opinion that we should focus on Maricopa for our recruitment efforts, if nothing else subverting the local government to reverse our current role.
>>
>>4896914
>>4896915
>>4896920
>>4896925
>>4897881

OPTION SELECTED:
>Send in Gad to cut off any (reasonable) escape route for hostiles on the upper floor while you and Dolores continue the attack!

"Understood, sir! If they want to escape, I'll have 'em dismantle the boards and jump out the windows before they get through me!"

"Good man." Gad does a quick salute and runs off with your carbine in hand. "Oh, and Dolores?" you ask nodding your head towards the the large group of tied up, disarmed hostiles in the corner of the room.

"Don't worry about them, they ain't going anyway. C'mon, we're wasting time here," he says with his massive revolver held up near his face.

The two of you move towards the basement area, or rather the stairway that acts as the transition between this floor and the next. The area is conspicuously without hostiles. As you walk through this miscellaneous transitional area under the harsh fluorescent lighting, you are struck with a bad feeling in your gut.

You find yourself before the basement door. It's ajar and you can hear noises and murmuring coming from it. You believe that-

-A loud bang cuts off your inner thoughts. You turn your head and see Dolores with his revolver out, smoke still rising from the muzzle...

[1/???]
>>
>>4898286

[2/???]

"They had a guy there to ambush us," he says gesturing his revolver towards where he shot. A streak of blood is clearly visible from behind a stray box. "They're getting organized, and we're losing the element of surprise."

>+3 Bonus from decisive morale advantage over the enemy (bonus slowly being mitigated as enemy response organizes)

You know there isn't a moment to lose. You kick the door fully open with your machine gun ready to blast anyone in your way. You receive no resistance as you lead the way down with Dolores following and ready to deal with any problems from the back.

You get down to the basement without incident. "Holy shit," you mutter under your breathe. The place is huge, way larger than expected. As you look at the many boxes and crates that fill the area you briefly wonder how much they paid in bribes to keep this under wraps.

"Shit, they're here!" you hear.

You rush behind a crate for cover and point your machine gun in the direction of the noise. It's a hostile in the middle of taking supplies from a crate, her armor still only half donned. They're better equipped than last time, but having caught them early you're able to mitigate their advantage.

>+2 Bonus from superior equipment

You unleash a torrent of gunfire and hear a scream. You don't bother looking to confirm the kill as there are threats from all over. They have the advantage in numbers, more so this time because you're down a man. The field is easier to work with here than in, say, the tight corridors you had fought in before. You start receiving gunfire from a number of locations.

>-4 Penalty from enemy numerical superiority

The situation is bad. You're currently being shot at by a significant number of enemies with good access to cover and enough organization to start using effective tactics. Too bad, for them, you have a machine gun.

>+4 Bonus from ideal shot-type

>Final Result: 15 + 5 = 20
>Decisive Success

With a level of rage and determination seen only in hardened veterans, death-seeking fanatics, and action movie protagonists you unleash a devastating curtain of gunfire. As you receive counter-fire massive splinters of wood fly off of your wooden crate being used as cover. Their cover, meanwhile, utterly dissolves before the rain of lead death unleashed. Behind a different piece of cover to your side Dolores keeps an eye out for threats you're missing and covers your proverbial behind to let you cut down enemies with maximum effectiveness.

"Damn it, we're finished!" you hear one of them cry out.

"This isn't good..." you inexplicably hear one of them say over the roar of gunfire. "We don't have a chance, unless..."

>CRITICAL COMPLICATION!
>RESULT: 3 . . .

>! ! ! CAUTION ! ! !
> T H E - T A N K
>! ! ! CAUTION ! ! !
>>
>>4898288

[3/??]

"Set your weapons aside," you hear a thunderous voice say. "I will deal with this."

Immediately, the fighters opposite to you begin to throw their weapons to the floor. They slink out of view into the back of the massive basement warehouse. In their place, a massive figure steps into the scene, his footfall echoing throughout the area.

The man before you is an absolute giant. His frame has so much muscle on it armor would have more value in providing modesty than protection. Tattoos, presumably of Native American spiritual significance, cover parts of his body and go all the way up to his bald head where they take the form of a massive bird. His massive gloved hands hold an absolutely gigantic minigun that would look comical on anyone else. It's the sort of thing you would expect to see on a god-damned attack helicopter. A regular man would not be able to so much as move an inch with that thing, much less move as fluidly as the behemoth in front of you with the gigantic ammunition drum strapped to his back.

"Raven!" Dolores shouts. "I should have known you were involved with this!"

You are shocked and look to Dolores with confusion. "You know this guy?!"

"He does. You are the Christian interloper, I take it?"

"My name is Gunnery Sergeant Cardinal Richard Mueller and I'm the man trying to help Sheriff Dolores bring order and sanity back to this place. Who are you?"

He brings his head back for a deep chuckle before responding. "A delusional man believing in reactionary fairy tales says he will bring sanity! I have not laughed so hard in some time. You may call me Raven Vulcan, although Dolores knew me as 'The Tank' from my strongman days..."
>>
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31 KB
31 KB .jpg
>>4898294

[4/4]

"Raven, what happened to you?! You left your entire life behind to disappear into the desert and come back having joined some terrorist group!"

"You call us terrorists, yet the dead government you act like still exists and pretend to work for has committed crimes a thousand times worse!" He turns to you and points his finger. "This companion of yours, a Gunnery Sergeant, has directly done the dirty work of the regime! You dare take the moral high ground against me!?"

Dolores is gritting his teeth with a heavy, furrowed brow. "You bastards put a gun to my daughter's head! Your side bombed a hospital! Your group talks about utopia this, equality that, but you're driving everyone straight into hell!"

"I apologize for what happened to your daughter. But in any revolutionary change, there will be collateral damage. Such things are justified, and it is not our side that does all of the evils. We didn't cause the incident at the casino, for instance."

"Is that true?" you ask Dolores. That damned incident is the reason you can't get the help of the M.M.P. here.

"The casino part is true. As for everything else-" Dolores spits on the ground. "Anyway, you've already lost! This compound is ours, your escape routes are cut off. Hell, even if you did escape, where would you go? The open desert? Maybe you can survive a journey in the desert wastes, but the chumps you surround yourself sure as hell can't!"

For a moment, everyone is silent before Raven speaks. "You resist the inevitable, Sheriff. The POZ is already setting its sights on Maricopa, and that means this Reservation will soon come under its purview. They have thousands upon thousands of fighters, an economy backed by millions, and the finest weaponry in the entire Badlands. You may have found this compound and cornered us, but it is Maricopa that is without hope of escape."

When you mused about finding a tank down here, this wasn't quite what you expected. Fighting this man, even two on one, will be a tougher challenge than anything you've faced up to this point. If you beat him, you're sure that it'll cause the surrender of everyone else here. Capturing him, which would take a miracle, would be the ultimate prize no doubt. Still, you wonder if there is perhaps some kind of diplomatic approach you could take, or if conflict could be avoided if you two merely go separate ways. There's always the possibility of trying to ask him something, although in this tense situation you'd be lucky to get even just one answer.

The options are many, but the time is now:

>Ask Raven Vulcan a question [What?]
>Pull out your machine gun and fire on him [Engage in combat]
>Engage in diplomacy, try to get him to surrender peacefully [How?]
>Signal to Dolores to use the last of the flashbangs to get an early salvo in [Engage in combat] [Last use]
>Offer to let him walk if he commands the surrender of this location
>Do something creative [What?] [Write-In]
>>
Also, forgot to specify in the update that asking a question is not mutually exclusive with other options, although that should be kinda common sense. This is an action-movie/vidja-gaem styled dramatic reveal and dialogue with the boss/final villain before getting into the actual action scene...

Also forgot to say:

>Roll 3d20!

>>4896920
'A fucking tank in the basement'? More like 'The fucking Tank in the basement' amirite?! Yeah, you guys got a nice mid-boss on a 6 that gave you guys a wound, now that 3 just hurled you guys into the final boss of this mission!

>>4896977
Oh, not saying if it's a good or bad idea or what should be done... just squeezing a little more "suffering" in from the poor guy's perspective. Customary for coming back after a [Bad End], of course
>>
Rolled 5, 16, 8 = 29 (3d20)

>>4898304
>Engage in diplomacy, try to get him to surrender peacefully [How?]

I'll let the smart anon's handle it, I don't know enough in this matter.
>>
>>4898296
>>Engage in diplomacy, try to get him to surrender peacefully [How?]

>yet the dead government you act like still exists and pretend to work for has committed crimes a thousand times worse!"

>I apologize for what happened to your daughter. But in any revolutionary change, there will be collateral damage.

This man is on the right path, but has simply been mislead by the godless communists. We do not represent the failed government, we seek to abolish the horrid legacy it has left behind. Being former military we have an edge in discussing this with him.

He is obviously a native nationalist, the communists would erase what it is to be native, the messenger, and God of course, care not one bit about that. In fact it should be encouraged that they take pride in themselves! They should join arms with us to resist the POZ destroying their way of life and identity if nothing else.

If anyone cares to write in a dialog to go with this feel free I'm shit at it myself.
>>
Remeber lads, catholicism always partook of syncretism to bind foreign cultures to the cross. The natives should be no different.
>>
Rolled 5, 12, 10 = 27 (3d20)

>>4898296
>Engage in diplomacy, try to get him to surrender peacefully [How?]

How about a bet? If you think Maricopa is damned, then to battle here would be fruitless for both of us. Why not come in peaceful, and be free when the revolution comes to Maricopa? Unless in your heart you believe that the revolution will ultimately fail.
>>
>>4898296
>Do something creative [What?] [Write-In]
>Signal for a flashbang, and shoot out the lights, in all that bulky armor, his awareness has to be low! Fight in the shadows.
>>
>>4898315
Give me a minute, I'll see what I can do. It may be fruitless, but God always said to turn the other cheek in situations like this. Maybe we can even use our life experiences to try and convince him from this folly.

>>4898342
We'll say this to Dolores under our breath before we try to talk to him proper.
>>
I for one am interested in bringing this beast over to the cause, as well as turning the commie sleeper agents to our side.

>>4898381
>Maybe we can even use our life experiences to try and convince him from this folly.

That's an angle well worth exploiting, who is his real enemy? Who is the tribes real enemy? Those that would erase them? Or those that would welcome them with open arms?
>>
Where does he see himself after the revolution? Making lattes? Being a uniform designer? Board member? He'll be in the labor camps if he survives, alongside the rest of the tribe.
>>
>>4898342
>>4898381

desu with a minigun he doesn't need to see
>>
>>4898296
You speak of collateral damage being justified. How much does it take for it to be unjust? One innocent life? Ten? A hundred, a thousand, tens of thousands? How may lives does it take to hollow a community, a people? When does the cultural genocide end? When terror becomes justice, doesn't that make the Revolution become the same monster they are fighting? How long until the Revolution commits the same atrocities as the regime they revile?

Yes, I used to be military dog, just another clog in that killing machine, and seeing evil machinations left to their own devices, I hated every minute of it. I grew so disillusioned that I left and found solace in my faith with God, who preaches Mercy as a virtue, not a fault. There is still some good in this world full of evils, family, friends, loved ones, why must they too be burned in the flames of this war, this revolution?

I wish to turn the cheek in this conflict, so I offer you this chance. Put down your weapons, and come peaceful. We needn't spill more blood on this day.


>If that fails

Then how about a bet? If you think Maricopa is damned, then to battle here would be fruitless for both of us. Why not come in peaceful, and be free when the Revolution comes to Maricopa? Would they not need you in the fights ahead? Unless in your heart you believe that your Revolution will ultimately fail, and seek to become another martyr to it's name.
>>
>>4898421
Don't say this to the man.

>>4898425
He can only point it in one direction, and if he can't see us, he can't aim it at us. It'll leave Dolores with more cover to flank from the side and behind while we distract the man by going full Rambo.
>>
>>4898434
I don't know if this is any goods lads, so I would appreciate some thoughts on this.
>>
>>4898439
Broski, I dont think you understand just how much lead one of those things can spit
>>
>>4898439
Personally, I've seen one in action it's amazing to see it at work, I can't imagine being on the receiving end of that shit
>>
>>4898455
I reckon it sounds good, better than I could do for sure
>>
>>4898463
It may work, but I'm not hopeful. I imagine hitting on the emotional undertones of his beliefs would do better, but we have neither the time nor the personal knowledge to really have that sort of conversation. If he survives it would be interesting to get into it in deeper detail, cause I don't think he's stupid or misled, just emotionally scarred and looking for a cause to believe in.
>>
>>4898296
>Ask Raven Vulcan a question [What?]
>Are you willing to commit even greater evils than the government or the many petty warring factions to achieve your utopia?

>If so then how are you any better? Why would anyone follow your path of greater evil when we all know that the mountain of sin you build your new society under will forever burden the new country's very soul and seem into the people who may lead it?

>How would you be any better?

>If it doesn't matter then why take down what you see to be evil and cause greater harm? Perhaps its not about righting wrongs but achieving power over others for you?
Anon's feel free free to edit or mix and match my post.
>>
Rolled 1, 18, 14 = 33 (3d20)

>>4898296
>>4898529
>Ask Raven Vulcan a question [What?]
>Engage in diplomacy, try to get him to surrender peacefully [How?]

forgot to add dice and other option.
>>
>>4898530
>two good rolls and a heart attack

Wew lad
>>
>>4898529
Are you willing to commit even greater evils than the monster you fight in the name of your Revolution?

If so, how are you not same beast you oppose? You can't create a utopia out of a mountain of sin and atrocities, you'll only create the same regime with a differing face. How would that be any better than it was before?

When China had it's revolution, the people starved. The elderly and young were the first to go, and the people turned to them for subsistence. How many toddlers have to be eaten for you to realize this Revolution is a folly? Must the Revolution eat it's children?

Don't know if this helps or not lad.
>>
>>4898564
Maybe drop the last one. Maybe QM can make some muffins with our dough.
>>
>>4898639
I certainly hope so, even if it doesn't work in the end.
>>
>>4898296
>Ask Raven Vulcan a question/Attempt Diplomacy at the same time [What?]
Supporting this write-in >>4898434 , it seems like it has the highest chance of making an impact. The other, more aggressive write-in most likely won't have the same effect, he's already brushed off the terrorist attacks his faction commited as being acceptable because it's "for the cause", so any attempt at that angle will most likely fall flat.

Our appeal to him that we've turned to God and that we now extol the virtue of Mercy is the major flaw in this argument. We blasted our way in here and killed plenty of people to reach this point, had we really been as Merciful as we say we are we would've demanded the surrender of those within the basement upon entry. Instead we cut a woman in half with a Machine Gun burst, which makes us look kinda two-faced. Yes, we allowed those who surrendered earlier to live but he has no way to confirm this thus making it unusable in our argument.

If we rework this particular point of the write-in it'd give us the best chance for optimal reception. I'll give it some thought when I wake up in 10 hours, but right now I am too tired to figure out something suitable.

>>4898530
Good thing we already rolled the d20's neccessary otherwise I would've scolded you for that critfailed speech roll.

>>4898304
>'A fucking tank in the basement'? More like 'The fucking Tank in the basement' amirite?
Vulcan? FOXHOUND? The Patriots? Metal Gear!? Psycho Mantis!?! This is just like one of my Japanese Animes.
>>
>>4898723
Ok, not mercy. What other virtue that we can use then as a replacement?
>>
>>4898746
Amity, clemency, benevolence, goodwill, empathy?
>>
>>4898723
Actually, give me a minute. I may have something better, even if it doesn't work.
>>
>>4898296
Shaman, what does the raven mean to you?

The Pima around here don't have many stories with the raven, but I know other Native American tribes hold the raven in high regard. Though there are many differing tales, the raven is often considered the creator of light, giving the world shape and form. The raven is quite the trickster as well, fooling other spirits and stealing the light this world benefits from today. The raven is often seen as the protector of man, and when he met people whom he saw take advantage of others or use their power for evil, he would kill in his efforts to deprive them of power. It is a dark world we live in today, but that doesn't mean we have to revel in it's violence. The old world is gone, dead and rotting, and a new world must take it's place. So I ask you, are you willing to bring light into this world and protect these people like your namesake, or will your greed for retribution blind you to the light and keep your people surrounded in miserable darkness?

(A syncretic argument may prove more fruitful here.)
>>
>>4898296
Do you trust a person who believes in a higher power, or a person who believes in nothing but power?
>>
>>4898296
Also, isn't Phoenix's mayor and her cronies leading the POZ with her militarized police? It seems you're fighting on behalf of the old regime mate, not I. Even now the remnants of the rotting government haunts you so. The only delusional ones are those that believe a revolution will remain pure from such corrupting influence.

(I think a mix of this and syncretism may convince him better, even if it's still a shot in the dark lads.)
>>
>>4898723
Hey I still had the highest total score overall.
>>
Rolled 8, 18, 8 = 34 (3d20)

>>4898434
supporting
>>
>>4898296

>>4898895
>>4898978
Agreed, an argument delivered out of his own faith would be an unexpected right hook to his reasoning in this situation, and it's not too far-fetched to argue that we'd have knowledge of native lore seeing as we're a Missionary of a Religion who built itself on Syncretism to spread. Slapping him with the wet trout that is the "no u" argument about who really works for the old order is bound to at least give him pause. This is probably the best we can get here, changing my vote >>4898723 to support these two meshed together.
>>
>>4899450
Thank you for the vote of confidence mate.
>>
The update will suffer a small delay in part due to technical difficulties. Based on the votes, we seem to be going for the "Hail Mary" strategy of talking the end boss into just kind of surrendering into custody. Hey, stranger things have happened, even in this very quest, I suppose! As always, votes/discussion/alterations are allowed until the last moment, even if I have a feeling it's mostly been hashed out already

>>4898723
Japanese Animes? Secret advanced nuclear weapons research? Is this quest being monitored by the military?

But on a serious note, this anon's right that the needed dice already came through. Some guy could roll the one in eight thousand triple ones and still only the first set would matter.

>>4898639
If by that you mean take the proverbial thousand random voices screaming and turn that into some whole I find semi-coherent, then of course. It's what I've been doing this whole quest and it is the fundamental principle behind any kind of representative system based on popular sovereignty (and also schizophrenia, but let's not dwell on that one!)

>>4898460
The sight is one thing, but the sound that kind of weapon makes is uniquely memorable in a 'great and terrible' kind of way.
>>
>>4900361
>Based on the votes, we seem to be going for the "Hail Mary" strategy of talking the end boss into just kind of surrendering into custody.

Call it a combination of luck, injury, having a calm moment to actually talk with these lads, and Raven Vulcan being so rad that it'll be a shame to murder the bloke. A 'Hail Mary' certainly, but we always have violence to fall back on if diplomacy fails.
>>
>>4900363
a hell mary with an 8?? nah we are dead
>>
>>4898296
bullshit act like we want to talk flashbang then mow down his arse
>>
>>4900923
With an 8?? Nah man we are dead.
>>
>>4900361
Still got technical difficulties mate?
>>
>>4898307
>>4898315
>>4898336
>>4898342
>>4898386
>>4898434
>>4898529
>>4898564
>>4898723
>>4898895
>>4898978
>>4899450

A reply means the post in some tangible way affected the update, although that doesn't mean non-replied to votes didn't matter. This update was a lot of mashing up the proverbial schizophreniac's thousand voices in the head into something coherent and in doing so tries to write based on the 'general feeling' of the posts rather than any one in particular

OPTION SELECTED:
>Engage in diplomacy, try to get him to surrender peacefully [How?]

You know what you're about to do is a longshot, but it's a chance you have to take. Besides, the worst that could happen would just be him shooting at you, which you know would happen anyway.

"I'm giving you an opportunity to avoid all of this violence, Raven," you tell him. "Come with us peacefully and we'll acknowledge your surrender, just as we have for a number of now-prisoners upstairs. As a Christian, I'm obliged to at least offer mercy."

"Mercy? When you show up uninvited and start blasting people in half with gunfire?"

"Hey!" Dolores shouts. "You bastards had a guy ready to ambush us at the door! And if we had given you advance warning you would've all moved your stuff to some other safehouse, like with the other raids!"

"Oh come on, don't give me this nonsense," Raven Vulcan says derisively. "I don't trust any of you anyway. You'd probably just execute me and anyone else kept prisoner when the Revolution comes to rescue us."

"Revolution? What Revolution?" you ask rhetorically. "Last I checked it was your side has the backing of the former mayor, Phoenix's law enforcement, major industries, universities, and just about every other institution that actually matters. From the outside looking in, your Revolution is just the manifestation of the ruling elite's interests. If anything, it's MY side that's bucking the status quo, starting out from nothing and bringing actual change."

"Bucking the status quo?" Raven angrily mirrors. "Your title literally includes "Gunnery Sergeant" and last I checked that's pretty damned high up. How many years did you serve as a dog to the state. Eight? Ten? Tell me, how many innocent people did you get killed - directly or indirectly..."

[1/???]
>>
>>4901761

[2/???]

"Zero years," you answer with confidence. "I did what I did not as a dog to the state, but as a man fulfilling an oath. A friend of mine took on consequences for me, and I served out the tour he would have in penance. Did I do bad things? Oh, you bet your ass I did." By this point, you're losing your cool as swear words start to slip into your speech and literally as sweat begins to drip from your forehead. "I've served in Kandahar, one of the biggest opium hotspots in the world. It felt like half of what we did was make sure the product flowed illicitly and the other half was to get rid of the competition. One of the world's biggest drug pushing operations, it was. Plenty of innocents died, both in the deserts of Registan and in the back alleys stateside. But those experiences have gotten me to where I am today and have given me the skills to do whatever good I do not. God can and does turn any evils towards the Good that is His Will."

"God's good? Don't lecture me about this when your people are the ones who have caused all of the problems of today!" You're pretty far away from him, but you can nonetheless feel the figurative venom he is (possibly literally) spitting out at you. "Cultural eradication! The destruction of true spirituality! Everything sacred being undermined just to have an inferior version of it sold back as either a consumer product or mind altering substance! You bastards have built up so much evil that it can only be cleansed in the fires of Revolution!"

>EVENTS INFLUENCED BY PREVIOUSLY SELECTED PREACHING APPROACH [Syncretic]

"And give me examples of when I have personally engaged in such things." He pauses, presumably unable to give a concrete answer. "Strange, you have your agents all over this place and in the highest levels of government, but you can't point to anything I or my faction have specifically done. I have gone to great pains to respect every cultural institution of this place, to note how aspects of traditional spiritual practice are compatible with the faith by means of Catholic Natural Theology, and have even made sure to jump through every hoop necessary to make sure I'm not stepping on anyone's toes! Maybe what you've said is true of some groups, maybe even some groups calling themselves Christian, but don't attach such falsehoods to the Sun Belt Crusaders!"

A palpable silence overtakes the area for seconds that feel like hours. You wonder if you are finally getting through.

"America is diseased," he starts with. "Rotten to the core. There's no saving it - we need to pull it out by the roots."

"Exactly! A hard break with the regime and the creation of something new!" You think you may have gotten through to him. After all, you have explained how he is embodying the regime's decrepit and most dysfunctional form, and how it is your group that offers an alternative. You sense great things to come if-
>>
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>>4901763

[3/3]

"And that 'something new' can only come about from the fires of Revolution!"

Your frustration is immeasurable. You feel he is, perhaps optimistically on your part, prime for conversion. He sees all of the flaws with the current system and the spiritual void it creates, but he's so emmeshed in it that he can see no way out except by unknowingly doubling down on its worst excesses. At least so you think.

Raven's stance changes and you can tell he's about to start combat. You have time for only one last question, and you hope to make it count:

QUESTIONS SYNTHESIZED:
>How much more 'collateral damage,' innocent blood shed, and atrocities before you reconsider your mad ideology?

Raven is silent as he readies his minigun. You hear the mechanism begin to slowly spin the barrels.

>RESULT: Failure! [Effects Hidden] [Modifiers Hidden]
>BEGIN COMBAT!

"Shit, shit!" Dolores exclaims as he runs off to the side and behind cover in anticipation of the wave of lead death about to come.

You had a feeling this was a longshot, and you were proven right. You are now in combat with someone who makes the machine gun guy from earlier look like a scrawny mook in comparison, and you have a strong feeling he won't go down in one well executed salvo like last time. Staying still will obviously mean death, as he can pump out way, way more damage than you could possibly hope to as well as taking more damage than your wounded self can. Especially at this range, his choice of weapon grants him a massive advantage. It will likely be a harder fought battle than most any other you've been in and require more than a little Divine assistance.

What is your opening move?

>Stay still and try to shoot him to death [Doing this is an extremely bad idea]
>Move up the battlefield from cover to cover taking shots along the way
>Say something, such as an order for Dolores to do something [Limit 1 per 'turn']
>Tell Dolores to toss his last flashbang at Raven while you shoot lights out [Option created by previous Write-In]
>Flee up the stairs with the aim of now merely containing the basement
>[Write-In]

And I will of course need three virtual twenty sided dice rolled. Obviously, some options will not be affected by dice rolls (you won't become magically unable to speak on a nat 1 for instance)

>>4898342
Small correction: He's not wearing bulky armor. He's just a massive dude with enough muscle to carry around a minigun and probably tank a claymore blast. Unless you mean plot armor, which a small amount of is just standard for bosses (and protags too, in case you haven't noticed.) The Write-In has been incorporated as a prompt though!

>>4901618
Yes, actually. I had to switch the medium I was writing on for this update. But mostly, the larger than expected delay (I expected to have had this out over twelve hours ago) was due to being surprisingly busy and a section being "re-written" that went on longer than expected.
>>
Rolled 19, 20, 15 = 54 (3d20)

>>4901764
>Move up the battlefield from cover to cover taking shots along the way

I'm hoping to save the flash bang for a crit, or at least a high roll.
>>
>>4901770
God is certainly with us on this day. Even though we discount the 20, I do hope the crit matters.

>Tell Dolores to toss his last flashbang at Raven

I'm even tempted to stand our ground and aim at him, but I'll leave that for the other lads to decide.
>>
>>4901770
noice roll seems we are not ded
>>4901764
tell dolores to throw his last flash bang
if we have a clear line of view go prone he will be firing largely at hip height we should be below that on the ground take aim and fire
>>
>>4901773
its certainly feasible, though op told us it was a bad idea. its worth considering.
supporting >>4901770 for now
>>
>>4901764
>>Tell Dolores to toss his last flashbang at Raven while you shoot lights out [Option created by previous Write-In]
Machine Gun Duel
>>
>>4901764
>[Write-In]
shoot the weapon, ideally the electric motor or the belt feed guide. Even the smallest dent in the feed belt can jam the fuck out of the minigun.

Maybe toss a flashbang or two.
>>
>>4901770
>>4901773

Support
>>
>>4901764
>[Effects Hidden] [Modifiers Hidden]
Ooo, spooky shit. Either we got through to him somewhat, making it potentially possible for a recruitment opportunity if we end this non-lethaly, or we steeled his resolve to the point where all we can do to end the fight is kill him.

>Tell Dolores to toss his last flashbang at Raven
>>
>>4901947
Jamming the belt feeder would be a Godsend, wouldn't it?

>>4902412
I hope we can end this non-lethally, but I won't be too sad if we do kill the bloke.
>>
>>4902527
We got a Machinegun, all we need is one round to hit, and it'd likely lodge itself in there.
>>
>>4901764
You still busy mate? We'll understand if you decide to take a day, it is the good ol' 4th of July, Independent Day after all.
>>
>>4901770
>>4901896
>>4901947
>>4902065

OPTION SELECTED:
>Move up the battlefield from cover to cover taking shots along the way

You're not dumb enough to get in a shooting contest with a damned minigun. The only method by which you stand a chance is to move quickly between crates and other pieces of cover before they get destroyed. If you and Dolores can maintain momentum, Raven should be unable to keep up, which would give you the precious moments needed to line up shots and win the fight. At least, this is what you hope as you dive for cover right as the slow spin of the minigun's barrels accelerates into a death spewing blur.

"Rejoice!" Raven shouts as he slowly sweeps towards you. "This will be a glorious battle!"

You don't have time to stand around and observe him as your focus is on moving as fast as possible towards him in a zig-zag pattern using the large boxes as cover. Within seconds of you leaving it, the first crate you hid behind is rendered into ten thousand wooden shards and splinters.

"Shit," you think to yourself. You push yourself to the next piece of cover despite your wound starting to flare up in pain from the exertion. Momentarily there's a pause in the firing before it continues back up. This time, it's directed at a piece of cover you're not behind, which means that your zig-zag strategy is to some extent working. You peek out of the cover with your machine gun looking to unleash a salvo.

It takes you a moment to find him, since he's not in the same spot as before. Evidently, he's also been moving. You find him just as he spots you, the two of your briefly locking eyes. Before you can train your machine gun on him he starts to fire at you. "No way I'll be able to get any shots off like this," you mutter to yourself as you're forced to again flee as the air becomes saturated with wooden shrapnel and the stale, musty odor of neglected wood fills the air.

All things considered, you're playing a great defense and avoiding his shots. Unfortunately, that's not going to be enough this time.

>SUCCESSFULLY AVOIDED TAKING DAMAGE SO FAR

Soon after, a single, loud gunshot rings through the air. You can't see him, but you know it's Dolores and his hand cannon. "Gah! Show yourself!" you hear Raven shout amid heavy footfalls and the roar of his minigun. This time, it's not directed at you, and you finally have an opportunity to shoot.

>EVENTS INFLUENCED BY [Write-In] SELECTIONS

"C'mon," you say as you adjust your iron sights. As long as he can shoot from his six barreled weapon, you're going to be at a severe disadvantage. If you can disable it, though, he'll just be left lugging kilograms upon kilograms of dead weight. You take aim at the small, constantly moving target that is the belt feed connecting the weapon and the comically large ammunition drum strapped to Raven's back...

[1/2]
>>
>>4903255

[2/2]

Raven, still distracted by Dolores on the opposite hand side of the battlefield to you, stays mostly still and does not interfere as you line up the perfect shot. Your iron sights are locked onto the belt feed as you pull th-

>CRIT DENIED
>You are [Running out of Luck]

"Aagh!" you let out as you feel a surge of pain. It's your damned wound again. You fire, but your shots miss the small target of the belt feed.

Raven notices this and moves back with a level of speed that should be humanly impossible given his loadout. You have a strong feeling that if you were just the tiniest sliver more lucky, you would have gotten the crippling blow and totally changed the outcome of this fight. You have a feeling that going forward he's going to be more careful and keep the belt feed in mind after this. Nonetheless, you did get a good series of shots in.

>WOUND SUCCESSFULLY INFLICTED

"AUGH! Dammit!" you hear Raven shout as one of the shots from your barrage finds its way into his heavily muscled side. Despite the pain and obvious damage, he seems to be moving unimpeded so far. You've spilled first blood, though, which counts for something. There's now way he can keep going if he takes a couple more hits like that, or so you hope.

The battle continues! Slowly, the three of you have been moving further towards the back of the de facto warehouse that is this basement with you and your companion slowly closing in the distance. Raven's wounded, but so are you, and you have a feeling he's able to tank a lot more damage than you can. Still, you and Dolores might have a trick or two up your collective sleeves, including that last flashbang and creative use of squad tactics.

What do you choose to do?

>Stay still and try to shoot him to death [Good luck, you'll need it]
>Continue moving up the battlefield from cover to cover taking shots along the way
>Say something, such as an order for Dolores to do something [Limit 1 per 'turn'] [Not exclusive with other choices]
>Tell Dolores to toss his last flashbang at Raven while you shoot lights out [Option created by previous Write-In]
>Retreat back along the basement towards the stairs
>[Write-In]

And, as before, roll three d20s

>>4902412
Yeah, I decided that it'd be a bit too revealing to list out every thought/modifier. That, and it'd be awkward to write and pace while trying to incorporate all of the shit in there

>>4903147
Of course, although it's only been about twenty four hours since the last update, which is about on par. Updates should continue as usual despite celebrations of what was arguably America's 'real' first civil war
>>
Rolled 13, 8, 1 = 22 (3d20)

>>4903256
>Tell Dolores to toss his last flashbang at Raven while you shoot lights out [Option created by previous Write-In]

Well, the more Raven bleeds out the more likely we are to win. We should try to play more defensive here.
>>
>>4903263
Fun. I shouldn't have tried to press my luck on a second roll, but what can you do with a 14.5% chance at a crit fail, and 0% of a crit success? Hopefully our luck won't be too punishing.

Happy 4th of July lads.
>>
>>4903263
Not trying to be defeatist here lads, but I don't think we can complete the mission. Maybe under normal circumstances against a boss, but with a wound (probably two now, and bleeding) against a tank and with us running out of luck, losing our highest rolls? I don't know. I'd love to continue the fight, but I feel that our situation is becoming untenable, and our Bad Ending weighs on my mind.

I don't know. Hopefully I'll feel better about our situation after I sleep on it.
>>
>>4903256
>throw the flash bang and
>Retreat back along the basement towards the stairs

F nic cage
>>
5 guys storming a hide out which has 4 times thier number was bad idea from the start
>>
>>4903282
The death spiral started when we rolled in the single digits for the complication in the first encounter. Crit failing straight after that was just one step in the grave, with that nat 3 putting both feet in. With the next crit fail we've effectively lost our paddle up shit's creek, and I don't know if we supposed to cut our losses now or whether we stil have room to maneuver heath-wise. I do know our best rolls are discounted, we're going to be down a wound on a tougher enemy, likely doubling our negative modifiers, and we don't even know if he's suffering any negative consequences from his wound. No benefits, all negatives, on a tougher enemy. It ain't good.
>>
>>4903292
You know, the more I think on this the more depressed I feel. We're running out of time, and the more organized the enemy gets the worst odds we'll face. We either bug out now, try our luck with a more organized enemy, or we continue this losing fight. I honestly don't know which would be worse at this point, but the negatives will keep piling on, and we got no reserves to fall back on. Damnit.
>>
>>4903303
who knows maybe poz will attack us first and it will be at the same time the motor heads come for tribute
>>
>>4903318
Fun. I guess the real question is how much punishment we can actually take before we're truely fucked. God, I really hate this fucking mission.
>>
>>4903256
>>Retreat back along the basement towards the stairs
Let's get out of here, if we don't get the evidence back, then our lives will be wasted.
>>
Frankly we've made amazing progress in taking down this place given the sheer difficulty of the rolls / situation. Yet it is actually becoming easier: we've taken down a fair number of their members and if we can secure the basement, we'll have their main armoury under control.

That'll mean that any future encounters in clearing out this place should be only somewhat armed and quite limited for ammo while we can restock readily from their own supply.

Hell, we could remove our present prisoners and light the building on fire after removing the stuff from the office if we wanted to; cutting our losses and running like that'd be smart.
>>
>>4903256
>Tell Dolores to toss his last flashbang at Raven while you shoot lights out [Option created by previous Write-In]
Fuck giving up, we've already scored a good hit on Raven and you pussies want to bail already because of a bad roll. This is why dice should be rolled after an action has been chosen, otherwise anons will just try and meta game the least worst choice after the fact. Do note that the critfail could be literally fucking anything and isn't just us dying straight up: Dolores takes a wound/Dolores fucks up the Flashbang/Our machine gun jams/Some overconfident schmucks joins in on Raven's side etc are all possibilities that don't end with us taking a [Game Over].

We beat Raven, we get a literal warehouse full of military grade armaments for the Crusaders and (most likely) information on every single damn collaborator in Maricopa, which basically cements our permanent influence in the region and is a fuckhuge step towards our goal of becoming something of note. We pull out now and torch the place, we lose most of the intel and all the fucking guns. I ain't having that shit.
>>
>>4903456
+1
>>
>>4903256
>>Retreat back along the basement towards the stairs

>>4903277

I agree, losing our best rolls especially.
>>
>>4903456
>you pussies want to bail already because of a bad roll

Because of a bad roll every step of the way, we're outnumbered and outgunned as it is, nevermind being wounded. Us being stupid won't be handwaved away our character will die.

Lets retreat upstairs and call in some backup. Preferably Crusaders, but why not some natives as well? Holding the stairs will be a lot easier than what we're doing currently.

I really wish anons would have just done the side room for the easy win js
>>
>>4903481
>Because of a bad roll every step of the way
Because the critfail already rolled will just go away if we try to escape, surely. You can not tell me the reason you want to pull out now is because you're trying to meta-game away a nat1 that should really have been rolled after an action was decided on, because looking at the last combat action there is no indication that this engagement is going badly.

>we're outnumbered and outgunned as it is
Outgunned, yes. Outnumbered, no. Raven is the only active enemy combatant.

>nevermind being wounded.
Our wound has no impact on us outside of the dice shuffling, QM said us treating the wound made any other negative effects it might've had go away. This most likely means we can tank one critical failure, two if we're being optimistic and counting on Dolores to share in our Critfails, before we go down.
>Mission Penalty Revealed: [Running out of Luck]
>Roll 1 extra die and drop the highest value.
>Further penalties negated by heal action

>Lets retreat upstairs and call in some backup. Preferably Crusaders, but why not some natives as well?
Crusaders are engaged in a training exercise with the MMP, they will not get here in time and having outsiders bust into Native territory is a major breach of the established Staus Quo between the Reservation and Maricopa. The Natives themselves are to be suspected of collaboration with the Communist until cleared, the reason we have only five people on this raid is because we can trust no one else within the reservation. There is no backup.

>Holding the stairs will be a lot easier than what we're doing currently.
The Commies are losing badly, they were in total panic mode when we busted down the basement door trying to get organized and getting equipped. All the commie mooks are standing down now because Raven said he'd deal with this personally. We fucking pull out now and they are all back on the playing field, fully equipped and properly organized. Who knows what other pieces of heavy equipment they have down here? How do you propose we hold the stairs against Raven and his minigun, let alone something like an RPG or a Grenade Launcher that they might have down here?
>>
>>4903554
>* You can not tell me there is any other reason you want to pull out now other than that you are trying to meta-game away a nat1 that should really have been rolled after an action was decided on

Sorry, I fucked up this sentence. This should more clearly convey what I meant.
>>
>>4903256
>[Write-In]
Shoot the big ammo drum on his back then, didn't think he'd present his backside to us like that.

Same thing allies to ammo drums and mags if they get dented or worn out the tend to get "finicky".

Or just shoot him dead by aiming at his feet LA Swat shoot out style.
>>
>>4903456
Frankly, it's less of the fact that we'd crit fail and more of a chance that our high rolls turn into a failure.

It doesn't matter though. I've slept on it and come to the realization that we can't afford to lose this mission, even if it means Nick Cage gets killed. It's not just the guns, the intelligence, or the PR success, but the destruction of the terrorist cell that is the real prize, and if we don't destroy them now we'll be dealing with insurgents at our back for the whole campaign, and compared to one man's life? That's a deal I'd take any day.

It's do or die lads, no retreat.

>>4903554
I think it's our high rolls being discounted that really affected shit. At best we can expect a grind, with the lack of success wearing us down, and the lack of crit success compared to the opposite? It's a losing game, and no one is cowardly for not wanting to bet their life on such unlucky prospects.

It doesn't matter though. Fact is, we need this success for the crusaders, failure isn't an option here. If that means the death of Nick Cage, so be it. We can't afford to lose.
>>
>>4903265
Pardon the statistical autism, but I believe the odds of a crit-fail given your assumptions would be 1-(.95^3)=14.2625% & the odds of a crit success would be (.05^2)*(3nCr1)=.75% if I'm remembering my stats right.

And I don't believe the luck will be or has been "too punishing." A lot of the stuff that's been happening has been more "accelerating" than anything. I mean, you guys are literally at the final boss fight that will "determine the fate of the world!!" to oversell it "à la" an action movie or a video game. The position you're in isn't as bad as you guys seem to put it, & the effects of the nat 1 are heavily mitigated by the choice to "play more defensive" with the vote. Not to say that you guys haven't been hosed by some of the rolls, but Raven shouldn't count this as a certain victory just yet!

Although I will admit that, watching players react and even "doompost" in response to stuff that I already know the outcome to is like a fine wine. Seriously, I'm glad to have players that are actually invested enough in what's going on to discuss things beyond just selecting votes. Not that there's anything wrong with just voting, but seeing vigorous interest for as niche (and quite frankly batshit-insane of a quest as this) is heartening.

Oh, and speaking of votes and rolls...

>>4903456
>This is why dice should be rolled after an action has been chosen, otherwise anons will just try and meta game the least worst choice after the fact.
This is a genuine concern that I have. I've previously made the conscious choice to allow people to make choices despite knowing the 'result' because in most cases you'll still have the same rank order of preferences. That is, the thing you think is best ought to remain the best choice no matter how well or poorly it is executed. Of course, this isn't always true, since there are times where choices explicitly mitigate the outcome of rolls (which in this case was the flashbang option, since it's like using a special item in an RPG or a bomb in an STG).

I primarily allow for simultaneous voting and rolling because I don't want to further slow this down. The quest is a daily(ish) update one and I don't actually check up on this 24/7, so I feel like having a system of [voting window]->[rolling]->[update] may be too slow. Also, I'd like to think that people have enough tact to not just blatantly meta-game, although it's always an uncertain situation by its very nature.

Given all of the above, I want to know if this is a serious enough issue that you guys think it's worth changing the general format over. I see the merit to both sides and will consider anything you guys say regarding this. Ultimately it goes down to executive decision on my part, but it's still kind of you guys I run the quest.

Also, I'll hopefully have the update done as you guys are finished celebrating . It might be a bit longer than usual, and it's almost certainly not what you guys are expecting, but we'll see!
>>
>>4903929
Thank you for supporting my analysis via statistics, but I'm generally an optimist with a glass half empty frame of mind. I consider it a quirk of the times.

I don't think it's a meta-game issue of trying to avoid bad rolls, but the reality that our highest rolls will be discounted, mitigating the chance of success to even to an even higher bar, and thus lower chance.

It doesn't matter, we can afford the loss in initiative and the enemy to reorganize, rearm, and counter-attack our small group. We must press onward, even at the price of a cardinal.

I'm glad someone's turning my misery into fine wine. Enjoy your Doomer's brew mate.
>>
>>4903929
>Given all of the above, I want to know if this is a serious enough issue that you guys think it's worth changing the general format over.
Truth be told, before this vote I hadn't even considered this way of doing it to be bad. This whole sequence we've been making due with comparatively low rolls the entire time, scoring very average to below average rolls on our d20's (up until the last combat roll, that one was hella good) and having the d100's specifically fucking us over both times. But even then no one called foul and demanded we pull out until now, and as I said I believe it is 100% because the first roll made had a critfail in it. Anons just see the 1 and are all like "Fucking dice we never should've come here, why do we only have 5 people where's the reinforcements waaaaah" without considering the actual situation we're in. Again, as I've said, in character at this very moment we have absolutely 0 reason to believe this engagement is going poorly and that we should immediately withdraw.

Not only did we clean house with considerably light consequences with such mediocre rolls (a single wound taken), we also just scored a hit so good on Raven that if we weren't injured it would've fucking ended the fight right there, instead 'only', and I repeat, 'ONLY' causing what I can assume is a very serious wound to him. But that's not good enough to be taken under consideration for people who pay homage to the almighty dice of critfailing. We're already doomed, we must leave now before we even know what the actual consequences of that critfail is, otherwise we might actually make rational in-character decisions and we don't want that.

>I primarily allow for simultaneous voting and rolling because I don't want to further slow this down
Understandable, and I would rather not see it changed if possible. Hell, a three-to-four post update a day is more than most quest I follow manage to put out and it's a really nice pace, but if people wet their pants because they're too fixated on the magic die and how to meta-game a bad roll before we even know the actual outcome, then the system needs to change.
>>
>>4903985
It wasn't meta-gaming for me, but the fact we're facing worse odds, and don't really know how much punishment we can take.
>>
>>4903917
>I've slept on it and come to the realization that we can't afford to lose this mission
Isn't that most mission?
>>
>>4904239
Not necessarily. The way I see it, this is most akin to David and Goliath, albeit with machine guns and the sheriff added into the mix. We can't abandon this fight, even if we wanted to.
>>
>>4903929
you could be the one too make the rolls on a random number gen site thats seems like the only way desu
>>
Rolled 15, 9, 9 = 33 (3d20)

>>4903456
supporting
NO RETREATING
>>
>>4904011
bear in mind that our wound is patched up while his is not. no matter how big you are, eventually he's going to start to bleed out. if we keep up the defenses we should be able to win in the long run.
>>
>>4903263
>>4903456
>>4903472
>>4903607
>>4904621

OPTION SELECTED:
>Tell Dolores to toss his last flashbang at Raven while you shoot lights out [Option created by previous Write-In]

Even with first blood drawn, you know you can't afford to be sloppy here. One wrong move and you're going to be rendered into a scarlet mist by a thousand high powered rounds. Now that the gap's been closed a bit, you believe it's time to use ace in the hole.

"Dolores, get ready!" you call out. "Because I'm moving in for the kill!"

You'll only have one opportunity to do this, so you're going to have to make this count. You blindly fire while moving forward to draw his attention. You take care not to actually expose yourself too much, since you're really just trying to give Dolores a good opportunity to hit this madman with a flashbang. Afterwards, you plan on shooting out various light fixtures with the goal of plunging this place into darkness as a further defensive measure.

"This is the end of the road for you!" His voice is somehow audible despite the low roar of the minigun and the rapid ringing of spent rounds hitting the concrete.

"Damn it, where's that fucking flashbang?" you think to yourself. As if on cue, you hear the pin being pulled from the grenade. "Thank God," you think to yourself briefly before realizing that the minigun is no longer firing.

"I've got you now!"

>Nat 1 Result: [Wound] [Botched Strategy]

Suddenly the place you're running to explodes in splinters and metal shards of what it once contained as the arc of the gun sweeps towards you. It seems like Raven's figured out your movements and has adjusted his fire accordingly. You react as swiftly as possible, but a combination of fatigue, surprise, and your previous wound mean you just can't manage it. As one leg's forward and your body is already moving to the other side, your opposite leg is still stuck 'back,' which means in the path of fire.

Although it all lasts just a few seconds, it feels much longer. A chunk of your leg is physically ripped out as the area torn open by a round (or half a dozen perhaps, there's functionally no difference in this case). You're involuntarily rendered prone, which should mean death in this situation as it means that you would be totally unable to move, injury or not. A mere tilt of the weapon downward would result in hundreds of round tearing you into pieces.

Your sense of sight fails you. The world fades to white. Lastly, your sense of hearing disappears and is replaced with a ringing noise...

[1/???]
>>
>>4904669

[2/???]

You regain your senses. A loud banging noise echoes from the hard walls of the basement area. Blood jets out into the air and settles on the cold floor.

>Flashbang Result: Automatic Wound

"One wrong move and you're dead!" you hear Sheriff Dolores bark out to Raven. He has managed to get very close to Raven, who is facing you with his minigun, while still spinning its barrels, not firing. Blood drips from new gunshot wound. It appears that you did such a "good job" of distracting him that Dolores has managed to land a powerful strike. Raven's currently positioned such that he can see Dolores from the side but cannot actually fire on him without taking long enough to get his head blown apart by the oversized revolver.

"Go on, Sheriff, end this already" Raven says in a low voice. "Or are you afraid that as you do so, I'll finish off your friend here?"

"Raven! What the hell are you doing?

"Huh?"

>Dolores takes independent action: Diplomacy

"What's the point of this? You've lost. It's all lost. I got guys surrounding this compound cutting off your exits." While Dolores may be overselling his position, it's true. "If you kill Dick here, you'll force me to blow your brains apart. You've always been thick headed Raven, but I don't think you THAT thick that a point five hundred round won't get through to you."

You would roll your eyes at that if you weren't currently clutching your wounded leg. Blood's pouring out and you're beginning to feel light headed.

"Your friend seems to already be dying already. If I merely maintain my position, he will surely bleed out."

"Exactly! And I don't want him to die. I may have only met that guy a few weeks ago, but in that time I've grown closer to him than damn near anyone here. He may be a white man, but I consider him family and wouldn't hesitate to take a bullet for him. Hell, looking at him now he's done more than that for me already."

Raven's eyes narrow. "And what is it you propose?"

"You put down your gun and I put down mine. Dick's wounds get treated, and you get yours. You let him live. I let you live. We can avoid this senseless killing."

"I would be surrendering this compound."

By this point, your consciousness feels like it's about to fade out. You're in a really bad state.

"But you wouldn't be surrendering yourself. If one former strongman happens to get lost in the whole affair and disappears into the desert," Dolores's voice gets weak for a moment before he composes himself again. "Well, it wouldn't be the first time, kid. The compound's already lost, but I don't think you are. What do you say, kid?"

"I never thought I'd see you again, much less hear you call me that once more. None of my views have changed," he says. "Yet your offer is too good to refuse. I-"

"FOR THE REVOLUTION!" you hear. It's obviously one of the fighters who you were fighting before Raven Vulcan showed up. You see Raven grit his teeth and swing around firing his minigun. This doesn't look good...
>>
>>4904674

[3/???]

>DIPLOMACY RESULT...

You hear a brutal barrage of rounds practically (or perhaps literally) cut a person in half as the screams are drowned out by the noise of the massive weapon. You see Raven holding his minigun as smoke rises from the tips of the multiple barrels. Dolores has his weapon pointed in the same direction.

>SUCCESS

"I accept your offer. And to you, comrades: the fight is over. This compound is lost. There is no use in fighting, and if you break terms of surrender I will not hesitate to cut you down like our former comrade here."

>SURRENDER OF THE FINAL COMPOUND SECURED

Once he finishes saying this, Raven suddenly collapses to one knee. It was as if he was keeping himself upright and carrying that massive loadout through sheer indefatigable will.

The world has already, in your view, narrowed to just the scene that played out in front of you. Now with little reason to purposely keep yourself "awake," you allow yourself to drift into unconsciousness, praying that the Lord will see it fit to allow you to stay on this earth a while longer to see out His will...
>>
>>4904675

[4/???]

>...

>...

>...

"John has come to."

"John?" you think to yourself. "Who the hell is that? And where am I?"

You're in a dull, white hospital room it seems. There isn't anything to indicate time or even any windows. You have no clue how long you've been out, but you're definitely not in the Reservation area anymore. This has to be Maricopa, there's no other possibility. As you think this a female nurse, white as the driven snow, appears in your view and examines an intravenous line going into your arm.

You open your mouth to speak but you're caught off guard by how dry your throat and mouth are. After some awkward attempts at vocalization, you collect yourself and manage to speak.

"What's going on?" you ask weakly.

"You tell me," she responds. "You were brought here unidentified and unconscious. A John Doe. You're terribly injured, it's a miracle you still have your leg after what happened."

You're pretty sure this isn't how nurses are supposed to introduce themselves to people just barely regaining consciousness, but you chalk this up to stress and a frankness that might develop after such things become semi-commonplace during civil war. You take the time to try feel your leg with your free arm, but all you sense is pain as you touch the area you were shot.

"You need to rest. You were found with two large gunshot wounds. One in your upper abdomen, which thankfully didn't hit any major organs and seemed to be in okay condition when you came in. The other one, in your leg, was significantly worse."

"Will I be able to walk?" you ask.

"It's medically not recommended. You'll stay in bed here a while longer assuming we don't have urgent need to free up the space. In any case, you won't be walking unaided for a good while. You're honestly lucky you're in as good condition as you are, especially with the way we found you and that unconsciousness. If you're a religious man, you should really consider thanking Whoever's up there." If only she knew.

"I have important things to do," you say as you're futilely moving back in an attempt to sit up a little. "Could you get a message through to somebody?"

"Well," she says pulling out a radio. "I was given this and told to send a message if you woke up. No-one's said anything on the other line-"

"Was it a guy with a handlebar mustache?" you ask. She gives you a strange look but you continue before she says anything. "Actually, it doesn't matter. Please give me that and, please, leave the room for a while. It's too hard to explain."

She looks at you nervously before speaking. "Leaving a patient just so he can call isn't standard procedure. Unrelated, I should probably check on the other patients." She puts the radio in your hands. "I'll knock when I get back."

"Hello?! Hello?!" you practically shout after the nurse leaves the room.

"Dick?" Dolores's voice comes through not too long after. "You've made it..."
>>
>>4904676

[5/5]

"The hell's going on? What's this John Doe cra-"

"It's a long story," he interrupts you. "Look, there's a lot of stuff going on. I'm going to need the help of 'your boys' from before."

What he means by 'your boys' almost certainly refers to the small group of crusaders who helped you in preaching.

"Those guys? Don't you have your own people over there?"

"No, I mean all of them. Even the ones out in M-town." He's referring to your entire damned faction it seems. "Again, it's a long story and am not sure how much I should even say over the air."

Last you remember, you were in a life and death battle with some giant minigun wielding Native American strongman terrorist and bleeding out on the ground. Now, you're in some strange room being asked to sign off on God-knows-what. The tonal whiplash couldn't be more intense. Still, you have to say something.

How do you respond?

>"Dolores, if you think it's the right idea, I'm behind you all the way and so are my guys."
>"I'll probably help you, but I'm completely in the dark here. Tell me more..." [Optional: specify details you want]
>"Look, I don't feel comfortable doing this. You'll need to track down the real 'boss' of my guys yourself."
>"I don't know WHAT the fuck is going on. It's going to be a hard 'no' from me."
>[Write-In]

No dice this time. It's more of "take the backseat" sort of thing while Dolores does ????? off-screen. It was something I would have had you guys do after the mission, but the action-movie climax went just a tad bit differently than expected... although, in hindsight... nah, I'll save that for after Mueller's PoV is properly over

>>4904494
I actually do that regularly. In this update for instance I had Dolores "roll" for diplomacy and he rolled well (even w/o bonuses). When it comes the player character actually doing things and for events, I feel like that has to be rolled by players. It's just something I feel to be right from other quests I've played in and something I wish to keep

>>4903959
>supporting my analysis
But the math says those numbers are off by nearly a quarter of a % and by an entire three quarters of a %! In some lines of work that's huge!

>>4903985
I'm surprised as I feel most other quests put out a lot more than this. Sure you'll have some that are like 1 post a week but most qms I feel like put out a surprising volume.

And the bit about "ending the fight" if not wounded referred to the fact that the reason you guys couldn't get the miracle shot was because the nat 20 was "dropped" from the set due to the effect from the previous nat 1. It was still a 19 tho, so that comes out to it being a "near miss" and wound. He still wouldn't have been totally out of the fight, it was set in an armory! Of course, what I really wanted was a classic action movie style fist fight, but... well, you know

>>4904239
"Sun Belt Crusaders: In the war-torn deserts of Civil War Arizona, every mission is do or die!"
>>
>>4904680
>"Dolores, if you think it's the right idea, I'm behind you all the way and so are my guys."

Well, there goes our Diplomatic action. No matter what, we help our bros, and Dolores is as good as family after that shitshow.

Funnily enough, I was thinking the same thing about the fist fight.
>>
>>4904680
>>"Dolores, if you think it's the right idea, I'm behind you all the way and so are my guys."
he did save our life though do we have the authority to pull all the guys without the messengers permission especially with the motormethheads

BTW i binged the archives of this quest for the last 2 days pretty good desu senpai
>>
>>4904680
>>"Dolores, if you think it's the right idea, I'm behind you all the way and so are my guys."
>>
>>4904680
>>"Dolores, if you think it's the right idea, I'm behind you all the way and so are my guys."
Can we still ask for some deets? And how much delicious loot did we secure for the crusaders?
>>
>>4904680
>"Dolores, if you think it's the right idea, I'm behind you all the way and so are my guys."
Probably moles and shit infested in his department, community, and government.
>>
Although it could also be a trap.... Having all our guys there in one place.
>>
>>4904680
>>4904976
Gonna change my vote a bit

>"Dolores, if you think it's the right idea, I'm behind you all the way and so are my guys."
>"I'll probably help you, but I'm completely in the dark here. Tell me more..." [Optional: specify details you want]

Ask him where are we.
What happened to the other guy who was "injured".
Ask him about the other guys that were at the house as "witnesses" (they where watching for anyone trying to escape) and if we could talk to any of them if not now then shortly after.
Ask if the supplies we found are safe and secure from thieves.
Ask if anyone else knows about our little dustup, like our family (crusaders) and friends (our respective community), and if he has talked to them and told them about our condition (we can ask them if they spoke to Delores).

We gotta play a bit of pretend and euphemisms.
>>
>>4904680
>"Dolores, if you think it's the right idea, I'm behind you all the way and so are my guys."
>"I'm completely in the dark here. Tell me more..." [Optional: specify details you want]
>"Current SITREP, location secure/no complications with prisoners?"
>"How long was I out?"
>"What about that other guy, Raven?"
>"...Did you check some of the intel on the collaborators? How bad is it?"

Dolores asks for aid, he fucking gets it. He's a pal for life, and you don't just flake on your bro who saved your life like this.
>>
>>4904987
probably not the best idea. if he is so adamant about responding its probably because he thinks it's not safe to talk over the walkie
>>
>>4904680
>>4905144
>>4905205
Good point actually, this is probably a Police Radio from the Reservation so asking too many questions could be fairly riksy, we don't know who else is listening. In that case we should ask short questions that can be answered without divulging too much information.

Changing my questions to only ask:
>"Location secure, no complications?"
This is a simple Yes/No question and shouldn't reveal much about anything. After we ask this we send for our bois immediately before any outside cells can organize and check out their HQ. Anything else we can ask after we meet up with Dolores.
>>
>>4905222
Keep in mind a lot of my posts are all you can eat and choose cafeteria.

>>4905144
No names dammit!
>>
>>4904680
>How's Spock?

Interestingly enough, Vulcan is the Roman God of Fire.
>>
>>4905402
>No names dammit!
Yeah that's why I changed my vote to only ask about security of the location and if there are any major complications.
>>
>>4904680
Still busy mate?
>>
>>4906136
probably still figuring out the new captcha

Gotta hit refresh on page f its telling you version 2 captcha isn't letting you post anymore.
>>
>>4904694
>>4904811
>>4904951
>>4904987
>>4905222

OPTION SELECTED:
>"Dolores, if you think it's the right idea, I'm behind you all the way and so are my guys."

"Really? Just like that?"

"Of course," you tell him. "I'll have to twist some arms, but I'll make sure you get whatever help you need. Consider them yours to pull by the ear."

"Well, not to say this'll be easy, but it'll help a lot."

>CONVERSATION INFLUENCED BY [Write-In] SELECTIONS

"It won't be easy?" you ask while thinking of how to phrase the next part. "You not feeling, uh, secure? Or are there complications with the, uh, doings?"

"Secure? Yeah, it's all secure. Complications? Too many, way too many. I think you marine types would call it snafu."

"Situation's Normal: all fucked up?"

"Absolutely. And I intend to un-fuck it the old fashioned way."

You can tell that whatever he's planning, it's big. If he needs a significant Crusader force you figure it can only mean one of two things. Either he's unable to trust a huge portion of the people under his nominal command or whatever he's doing is so big that it needs significant outside military forces. Come to think of it, both might be at play.

"Dolores, do you need me to do anything personally?"

He laughs, perhaps nervously, at that question. "Nothing you haven't already promised to do. With the state you're in, the only thing you should be doing is resting up. You should be de-" he stops himself. "- doing nothing else after all of the proverbial blood, sweat, and tears."

He could have left out the proverbial part, but you know the conversation must be vague and conducted through euphemisms for a reason. If you were put in a hospital as a "John Doe," that means he's trying to keep your identity hidden, at least for a time. If he's avoiding that subject, it certainly means there's a chance that this transmission is being monitored. By whom, you don't know. It could be escaped hostiles, embedded sleeper agents, hell, even the MMP.

This is all a bit too cloak-and-dagger for your comfort, but God never said that doing His will would be comfortable. You carefully explain to Dolores, through euphemisms and references that only the two of you would immediately understand, how to get in touch with the Messenger and convince him to grant command over the relatively near by forces in Maricopa. While the timing is inopportune in that it's during joint military exercises with the M.M.P., there is a silver lining. Any strange troop movements through Maricopa could be written off as being part of the exercise, even if it's after they're formally finished. Any potential enemies would be unable to react until the full Crusader force is at the gates, assuming Dolores can be trusted, which you know to be the case.

"Thank you g-" he stops himself before he says your title. "Soon, this'll all be sorted out..."

[1/2]
>>
>>4906817

[2/2]

With that, Dolores cuts off communications and you take a moment to rest. It's been a hell of a start to the week, and you're glad that you're done with your part. You won't pretend that you're not worried about the various loose ends such as your exact whereabouts, Raven's status, and especially whatever plan Dolores has cooked up since you've been out. Furthermore, you won't pretend that you can do too much now. Always, but now especially, how the situation plays out is up to God to decide.

>CARDINAL MUELLER POV... OVER?
>EVENTS TO BE DETERMINED... OR?

Is there some final thing you wish to do? You are currently in hospital, bedridden with multiple severe gunshot wounds you're recovering from. You have already given authorization for Dolores to enact... whatever he's trying to do with the Crusaders. You know that doing something like calling up the Messenger could have negative consequences due to potential monitoring, if he would even pick up. Still, you as a free man have the choice to try something if you so choose.

>There is yet something to do! [Write-In] [Specify]
>No, just let this half-week end already, damn it! [End Mueller POV for real and process events...]

After this, assuming you guys don't have anything else to do, the events of the first half of this week will finally progress with a special 'cutscene' going over its events and in-character discussions over what the hell to do. Of course, you guys will figure out just what the hell is going on with Dolores (given you guys basically did a speedrun of the issue of the Reservation before the POZ encounter and with how it played out, you guys might be able to figure this out...) as well as how badly you got shaken down with The Warden. It will be the first such 'council meeting' since settling down in Mobile about half a dozen weeks ago, except this time it will include more named characters than just The Messenger!

>>4904694
Genuinely surprised somebody has actually managed to slog through all of that. It's good to know that somebody has even the vaguest idea of what is going on (I personally haven't, for what it's worth!)

>>4904694
>with the motormethheads
But Anon, we ARE the meth-heads!! We are also the extremely legitimate successors to the apostolic line of Peter and the Holy See, as well as the rightful rulers of the entire United States of America!

>>4905421
Star Trek alien race, Roman god of fire, Primarch of the thirty first millennium (if you swap out the c for a k), and also shorthand for a minigun so well known that it has become a general shorthand!

>>4906185
This new captcha, a throwback, has nuked my ability to phonepost for some reason, which means that I may not be able to update you guys if I run into a sudden delay. In the event I disappear for a time period, know that I have not flaked or gone AWOL. Hopefully such a thing does not happen towards the end of a thread due to my extremely specific oath to never be an OP.
>>
>>4906821
>>No, just let this half-week end already, damn it! [End Mueller POV for real and process events...]
>>
>>4906821
>>No, just let this half-week end already, damn it! [End Mueller POV for real and process events...]
>>
>>4906821
>No, just let this half-week end already, damn it! [End Mueller POV for real and process events...]
Oh boy, time for the consequences of our actions.
>>
>>4906821
>There is yet something to do! [Make sure they're giving you the good shit]

If God decided to to give us a reprieve, who are we to dispute His will? Let's relax in style!

>No, just let this half-week end already, damn it! [End Mueller POV for real and process events...]

>Primarch of the thirty first millennium

Yea, it's our divine duty to convert the man now, if only for the Space Marine Memes.
>>
>>4906821
>There is yet something to do! [Write-In] [Specify]
Eat jello and enjoy hospital food. Not get sick.
>No, just let this half-week end already, damn it! [End Mueller POV for real and process events...]
>>
>>4906821
>panic?
>>
>>4906821
>Day 2- There hasn't been a soul in sight. Food and water supplies are running low. I'm starting to wonder if they've abandoned me. At least I have a shit ton of meth to hold me over. Amen.
>>
>>4906875
>>4906876
>>4906936
>>4907060
>>4907091

>CARDINAL MUELLER POV... OVER?
>EVENTS TO BE DETERMINED... OR?

Is there some final thing you wish to do? You are currently in hospital, bedridden and with multiple severe gunshot wounds you're recovering from. You have already given authorization for Dolores to enact... whatever he's trying to do with the Crusaders. You know that doing something like calling up the Messenger could have negative consequences due to potential monitoring, if he would even pick up. Still, you as a free man have the choice to try something if you so choose.

>There is yet something to do! [Write-In] [Specify]
>No, just let this half-week end already, damn it! [End Mueller POV for real and process events...]


Cryptic communications? A request for crusader forces?? Situation normal: all fucked up??? Something's going on! You're stuck here, location unknown under some fake name, while God knows what's going on! You may be wounded, but damned if you've let that stop you before! What's going on with that minigun wielding Native American strongman? Or with the information Dolores found?? And for Pete's sake, what's in that damned side area?!? You could escape from here, but what if there are people after you? You would need some way to get the heat off of you in the meantime, perhaps a body doub-

"Sir?" The female nurse at the door interrupts your wild thoughts enough for you to come to your senses. "Is this a bad time? I brought gelatin."

OPTION SELECTED:
>No, just let this half-week end already, damn it! [End Mueller POV for real and process events...]

"Of course, come in!" you call out. You've had enough action movie nonsense for one night...

>CARDINAL MUELLER POV OVER
>PROCESSING EVENTS...

>...

>JOINT TRAINING ENDS:
The first half of the sixth week after the exodus of the Sun Belt Crusaders was an eventful and strange one. As Cardinal Mueller dealt with the conclusion of the issues of the Native American Reservation the faction had its sights on as prime ground for recruitment, the promised land of Mobile itself was met by a seemingly irresistible force that managed to shake down the skeleton garrison under Cardinal Trkulja for all it was worth. Elsewhere a loose ally of the Crusaders saw their call to adventure rebuffed, and the spectre of the POZ looms over all. Throughout these days that felt like months, the bulk of the Crusader forces were unaware and focused on the planned training exercise with the MMP.

You, the Messenger, got word of the incident at Mobile, but purposefully chose to not inform his men until after things concluded. Ending the exercise prematurely to send forces to Mobile would be foolish and futile, as it would signal to the MMP weakness, instability, and fickleness for the non-existent gain of arriving too late to actually do anything meaningful. The training continued 'without incident' in Stanfield, the farmlands of Maricopa's south...

[1/???]
>>
>>4909375

[2/???]

Crusader Training Bonus:
>Strike First, Strike Hard: Bonus to ambushes and preemptive strikes

The training exercise consisted of both Crusader and Maricopa Militarized Police (M.M.P.) forces, mostly the latter. While the Sun Belt Crusaders have shown themselves to be able to 'punch above their weight' they are still very much the minority and not considered to be the main defenders of Maricopa. In light of this, the heads of the two forces agreed that the Crusaders should focus on having a strong first strike that would either shatter enemy organization/morale, weaken them enough to avoid the risk of a protracted engagement, or create a breakthrough/weak-point the larger MMP forces could utilize.

You figure the best aspect to focus on is low level leadership and coordination. You figure that making an opening in an ambush or first strike is useless if it is not capitalized on quickly. In the time it would take for information on a potential weak-point to filter up to higher leadership and for orders to then filter down to the individual level, such an opportunity may disappear. Much of the training involves locating the individuals with the right mix of intelligence, courage, and initiative to channel the crusaders' abundant élan to engage in a restructuring the chain of command.

The Maricopans approve of your selection. For their part, they have chosen to prioritize defensive tactics oriented around suppressing enemy advances, maintaining organization during tactical withdrawals, and being able to counter-attack. You know better than to dismiss this as 'planning to fail' as this regards one of the most volatile situations that can emerge on a battlefield. Poorly executed tactical withdrawals can turn into total routs, and similarly well executed counter-attacks can singularly turn a lost cause into a surprise victory. In your eyes it's still more important to maintain the offensive, but you have little say over how the Maricopans organize their military.

As the extended exercise concludes you receive a strange message from an emissary claiming to represent Cardinal Mueller and his strange friend from the nearby Reservation...

>[CRIME SQUAD CLASH] QUEST CONCLUSION REVEALED: DOLORES'S GAMBIT

What the emissary tells you is hard to believe. He tells you that, apparently, Mueller has been near fatally wounded and is in some undisclosed location. Mueller's sheriff companion, through this third party, is telling you to hand over control of your crusaders over to him for a period of time so he can eliminate a major threat to the region. You, however, are not allowed to mention any of this to Mayor Preis or especially to Brig. Gen. Greger (for unknown reasons.) To say it caught you off guard would be an understatement...
>>
>>4909376

[3/???]

You make a request to meet with Cardinal Mueller and after some back and forth you get what you weant. You find him, indeed, in hospital. You also find him, surprisingly, quite content in his position. You had walked into his room fully intending on dragging him out to Mobile, but he ends up being the one to drag you into his situation. He does a good job of convincing you of the necessity of giving this man, a stranger to you, the full support of your faction. He proverbially twists your arm about it with talk of how trustworthy he is and how vile the mutual enemy is. With the literal scars to prove his words, you (perhaps still hesitantly) grant authorization.

What follows appears on the surface to be a small change in plans. On the way out of Stanfield the Sun Belt Crusaders forces march along an alternative path that finds them at the casino that has become a sort of buffer zone. After meeting with the mustached sheriff in the dead of night, you grant authorization based almost entirely off of your trust in Mueller's judgement. In the meantime, you are offered various luxuries at the hotel and casino (apparently with a dearth of business given the circumstances) for yourself and your current Papal Guard. You refuse, preferring to instead steel yourself with prayer. You pray that this hasn't turned out to all be a giant mistake.

After intense prayer (and less importantly sleep) you find a portion of the Crusader force back at the casino at the mid-morning hour. Even before you speak with the Sheriff, you notice the returned forces strangely appear to be simultaneously haggard and energized. You are quite shocked at what he tells you happened during the interim.

Apparently, he found evidence of a large network working within his Reservation seeking to enact a takeover not dissimilar to what reportedly happened with Phoenix. This group was apparently biding its time until Maricopa was weakened due to fears of a revolution being used as a pretense for invasion and had planned on initiating some kind of uprising once POZ forces crossed the Gila River for the meeting. They had access to a prodigious arsenal of supplies to be used in the uprising including, but not limited to, crates of small arms, large stores of ammunition, communication equipment, armor, and heavy weaponry. This included a supposed minigun that went missing along with a strongman leader, although you believe that last part to be mere embellishment...
>>
>>4909378

[4/???]

More concerning, and the reason why he felt he needed your faction's support, was the people involved. You would expect this kind of revolutionary group to consist mainly of low quality rabble in it for a chance at attaining station beyond their worth. And such individuals, Dolores assures you, were part of the group. But they were not the only members, or even its bulk. The majority of members were 'sleeper agents' or non-violent members who provided the majority of the funding and support. These people, all of similar ideological bent, were able to turn what was already a de facto decentralized network into a unified organization with the goal of seizing power in the wake of the collapse of authority the wider chaos of the Second U.S. Civil War. These weren't dregs seeking to overthrow an existing order. If anything, it was the elites of the existing order seeking to expand and formalize their rule using said dregs as a pretense.

With the bulk of the government/business bureaucracies, education, media outlets, and other such groups already part of the group, the sheriff saw only one possible solution. Merely locking up the agitators would be insufficient. The primary engine driving the operation would continue unimpeded (or potentially accelerate their efforts according to the sheriff if his obviously biased narrative is to be believed) and gradual reform would be impossible given the sheer institutional opposition. A complete replacement of the existing order, one done literally overnight, would be necessary. And that's just what this Dolores individual did using your troops.

With a near complete list of important members and backers, Dolores was able to use the information available to him as a sheriff to target nearly the entirety of the terrorists at once. While a few did have to be dragged out kicking and screaming into the night or even shot, most gave in peacefully (even with the explicit cooperation, as was supposedly the case with rooting out members in one distillery). These were 'silent partners,' so to speak, not active terrorists after all. Literally overnight, the entire government was for all intents and purposes replaced with this sheriff (conveniently) as a new leader.

While you remain skeptical as to this man's true motives due to how conveniently this raises him to a position of power, you know that the story is not a total fabrication. In front of your eyes, sleeper members from the very casino you stayed at were dragged out in front of the entrance, given a short trial lasting no more than ten minutes, and shot. As their blood flowed along the asphalt and into the desert sands, you recall that as brutal as this scene may be, you have seen (and are yet to see) much worse. With state power and media control both assumed, Dolores now has effective control over the region. A new regime, he argues, must be backed by a new story to bind its people, just as his peoples once had in its myths and histories...
>>
>>4909383

[5/???]

Cardinal Mueller soon arrives at the location. He may be worse for wear, bearing scars and having to move around by means of wheelchair, but he seems to be of no worse cheer. Dolores, flanked by units from both his Native personnel and his Crusader allies, gives a speech narrating the events of the past while and of the heroism displayed by Mueller that made it possible. You know much of this to be a fiction, as parts of it include machine gun duels and dramatic speeches that would be more apt for an action film or even a video game. Nonetheless, the largely poor and simple folk of this place seem to be largely content with it. With local radio seized by Dolores's forces (including yours) and print media churning out works sympathetic to the new regime, the takeover looks fairly secure.

>Mueller Trait Received:
>[Homegrown Hero]: Feats of heroism and a sincere regard for those on the margins grant a massive bonus to recruitment/conversion from Native populations and a broader reputation as a fearsome warrior on part with any action hero!

Security, however, does not mean absolute stability. This Dolores individual maintains that he will require a garrison of Crusaders to remain until he can outfit sufficient forces of his own and cement power. He will be largely using supplies and resources acquired from the safehouses and expropriated from the various elements he purged. In exchange he will forward to you excess supplies once the situation stabilizes. You will admit that you have had and still have your doubts, but Mueller's steadfast support of this man and the fact that his regime seems much, much more sympathetic to the Crusaders is more than enough for you to go along with the situation. Earnestly, you're somewhat amazed that Cardinal Mueller's efforts in the Reservation have not only been of some use, but have resulted in the total installation of a friendly regime and almost certainly a massive influx of recruits if you spare but the barest of resources and time. Mueller may be, on account of his wounds, disabled for the time being (not unlike that odd 'Ondrejko' fellow who fell from the sky) but thankfully ones does not need to walk up stairs to perform missionary work...
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>>4909384

[6/???]

One final thing you note during this affair is the continued hostility towards Maricopa proper. The new leader of the Reservation, Dolores, is firm that the Maricopans and in particular their military head (a man whom you feel you can convert to your cause) are hostile and actively searching for an excuse to invade the Reservation. Dolores stresses that with this 'changing of the guard' the Maricopans may seek aggressive actions and therefore everyone must unite in vigilance against this common foe. You really are not sure if this is genuine fears or just an attempt at creating an outside boogeyman to secure power at home, although given the consistency of Dolores's statements on this matter you have a feeling it's not entirely the latter. The conflict between Maricopa and the local Reservation is not over, although if the reopening of the Hotel and Casino is any indicator, there is an upwards trend.

>RESERVATION NOW UNDER MORE FRIENDLY CONTROL
>SIGNIFICANT BONUS TO MISSIONARY EFFORTS IN THE REGION

With the events of the Reservation finally out of the way, you return to Mobile at the absolute tail end of the half-week. With good words from both the Reservation's new leadership and Maricopa's Preis regarding a possible détente, you head back to Mobile. You recall the statements from Trkulja regarding the tragedy that befell the location. You feel like perhaps God Himself is relating to you a sort of 'memento mori,' a reminder that you are mortal. A reminder that at any time whatsoever, your miniscule faction could be wiped off of the face of the earth with but the slightest error. The journey back to Mobile after the exhausting events of the past days feels much longer than the short drive it is in reality...
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>>4909385

[7/???]

When you return to Mobile you are welcomed much more strongly than would be expected. While you are the Vicar of Christ and "supreme authority on all the creatures" as a predecessor of yours put it, there is a palpable sense of relief at the entrance of your troops. The encounter with the mysterious masked warlord known as 'the Warden' has severely tested the spirits of everyone here. Many took Trkulja's 'incident,' which you presume to be some kind of seizure, as a very bad omen. Many are wondering if God has abandoned the Crusaders faction, and given the sheer loses incurred, you're not surprised.

>MATERIAL LOSSES REVEALED:
>-220 Wealth Points: 30 remaining (after accounting for half-week production)
>-110 Food Units: 109 remaining (after accounting for half-week production)
>-19 Meth Units: 1 remaining (after accounting for half-week production)

Almost the entirety of stored and recently produced wealth has been lost. A little over half of all of the food stores in Mobile has been lost. All of the meth except for one single unit, apparently hidden away in Mahoney's bunker under the noses of literally everyone else, has been lost. The confidence that the Crusaders are an unstoppable faction incapable of suffering from any setback has been totally and irrecoverably lost. The only spots of hope are that events at the Reservation went so well that people are expecting a new influx of converts and that Mobile is at full strength.

Trkulja, the man in charge of this place in your absence, seems like half the man he used to be. It's not without bad reason. From some of what you've heard, it's not without bad reason as all of this could have been avoided. This might be deflection from the part of others in an attempt to save their own skins, but you will get to the bottom of this in due time...
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>>4909387

[8/8]

You have decided that a council is necessary to properly process recent events and to construct a broad outline of events in the near future. Given that these events have primarily centered around yourself and three of your cardinals (and some random Mobile townsfolk who shall remain unnamed) the council shall be among the three of you while the remaining Crusaders act as usual.

>COUNCIL TO DETERMINE CHARACTER PROGRESSION AND ASPECTS OF FUTURE POLICY TO BEGIN

SELECT YOUR POV:

>Standard [The Messenger]
>Cardinal Musella D.E.A. Agent Robert Mazur
>Cardinal Mueller
>Cardinal Trkulja
>[Write-In] [????]

>>4906936
Yes! Although they're not all bad. All things considered, it's very much not bad, but that's just my opinion filtered by the reality that starting as an insane meth-head crusader faction in bumfuck Arizona is perhaps the single most difficult start possible. Despite all of the bullshit, you guys have been doing pretty well.

>>4907060
Vuklan is one of the most badass of the Primarchs imo and even though he kinda plays the role of jobber to Kurze at times, I think that's just because of his status as a perpetual and the fact that he can take being a jobber. Also, he's one of the last loyalist primarchs to go, maybe the last if it weren't for Rowboat Girlyman magics, and was present for the War of the Beast, which while being a shitty arc does take place literally thousands of years after the heresy if I'm remembering it right. It's completely unrelated to Raven Vulcan, to whom you ought to perhaps credit inspiration to another franchise, but who cares!

>>4908469
>>4909269
Lmao. I don't blame you. This update went way, way longer than expected. It's mostly because you guys did a 'speedrun' of the Reservation shit and got immediately to the end-game of that. I had to describe all of that (from Dolores's perspective filtered through the Messenger's perspective). I also had to do partial re-writes since I was debating between doing third person and second person points of view (I decided to stick to second person, but not before writing a bunch of shit third person.) I am also more than a little inebriated right now because I decided to purchase the cheapest whiskey I could for shits and giggles and may now have to deal with it actually being mislabeled hydrochloric acid that is currently burning through my system. If I do not respond in a week's time, I may possibly be dead! Bah, whatever! It's all jokes anyway....

Also, good idea keeping a fuck ton of meth with you at all times. It certainly worked for Mahoney during the epilogue (you didn't think he just happened to write literally thousands of works without something to keep him going, did you?)

Btw, fun fact, I almost didn't post the entire shit going on with Mueller thinking about a Hospital Escape because I almost didn't catch an error in copy pastaing due to BAC. I also really didn't expect an eight part update, holy shit.
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>>4909394
>Standard [The Messenger]

We're spending a diplomatic action on improving Crusader morale, even if I have to put fucking addict Colonel Custard in charge. We can't even spend our current WP, so our Construction action is completely useless. The meth I could give less of a shit about, we can always make more. WP loss, while punishing, I can deal with. The morale and diplomatic ramifications is what really gets my blood boiling. That punk bitch of a warden thinks he can shakedown our faction without consequences, think again. He'll either acknowledge the cross or be put on it, I promise God that.

Still think the diplomatic route is the best option, but fuck me how my heart sings for war.

Also, an eight parter? Nice!!! Pic related.
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>>4909394
Thinking more on it, the lack of WP is going to be a significant problem. We may have to raid the POZ with Cardinal Trkulja (in black non-descript gear, as I don't want more shit on our plate) or a POZ buyer for our product with Musella. Yea, I know it'll put a kink in our diplomatic plans, but we need those WP for infrastructure projects, and I personally hate having an action available and not being able to use it. That, and a redemption arc for Trkulja sounds rad.

Side note, can we get a proper church going in the Reservation? And what the fuck was in that side room??
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>>4909394
>>Standard [The Messenger]

>>4909420
At some point in we should do the same thing we did that lead us to winning against the Sierra Estrella natives: A forensic analysis of the Warden's base, their supply routes, how often they leave their base for raiding, hows the terrain, the amount of men we're facing etc.
Maybe use that as a scout action.
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>>4909462
I'd rather we leverage what little influence our meth and military force gives us into getting our missionaries accepted. Better intel, and we could actually preach to Gali Bend's citizens, God willing. Plus, we'll get an actual insight into the conflict raging on there, maybe convert some people after healing the sick and wounded.
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>>4909394
>Standard [The Messenger]
Now to unfuck the defences and work on our Mortar crews so they don't suck turbo ass next time we get attacked.

>>4909462
>At some point in we should do the same thing we did that lead us to winning against the Sierra Estrella natives: A forensic analysis of the Warden's base, their supply routes, how often they leave their base for raiding, hows the terrain, the amount of men we're facing etc.
A good idea for sure, but risky and ground recon should only be undertaken when we are sure we can at least negate any major threat against Mobile. The Wardens faction is significantly larger than our Native Raiders, and should we get discovered retaliation is bound to follow.

One idea is to attempt to score a good camera from Maricopa and fashion a tripod that can be attached to our Crop Duster Aircraft to allow for high altitude recon. This would lower the risk of scouting over both the Warden's territory and over Phoenix itself, unless any of the faction has actual AA guns (something I find to be fairly perposterous, but then again this is America so who fucking knows really).

>>4909429
>We may have to raid the POZ with Cardinal Trkulja
I believe this to be the most Prudent choice, Trkulja needs to blow off some steam and a quick trip to Goodyear to do some boring paperwork (holy shit Goodyear proper has a larger population than Maricopa, we have to get a foot in there for recruitment purposes) followed by a Combo Raid with the Boogie Boiz should hopefully settle him down for the near future. Not to mention a good strike on a Commie resource dump will shift them onto the defensive in the local area for a short while, giving the PCR some breathing room.

Oh yeah QM; Did we negotiate the handover of the Military Supplies under the Reservation HQ, or are they still left there?
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>>4909625
>Oh yeah QM; Did we negotiate the handover of the Military Supplies under the Reservation HQ, or are they still left there?

>This Dolores individual maintains that he will require a garrison of Crusaders to remain until he can outfit sufficient forces of his own and cement power. He will be largely using supplies and resources acquired from the safehouses and expropriated from the various elements he purged. In exchange he will forward to you excess supplies once the situation stabilizes.

Remember, the real rewards was increased conversion rate. Though I am still curious about that side room.
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>>4909394
>With local radio seized by Dolores's forces (including yours)

What does this mean? Are you referring to Redfield??

Also, if the sleeper agents/elite were charged with treason, what happened to their assets? Can we get a cut of that pie?
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>>4909672
Wait, you meant yours for the forces, not the local radio. My bad.
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>>4909394
>>Standard [The Messenger]

V nice update
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>>4909394
>>Standard [The Messenger]
>>
>>4909394
>>Standard [The Messenger]
>>
Perhaps we can take steps to more directly integrate Dolores into our faction, rather than just being friendly to us? We're certainly going to have to play a balancing act with Maricopa but I feel confident we can work out their differences.
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>>4910321
I'm sure that'll happen passively with his connection with Mueller, and religion can be the bond that binds the two factions.
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>>4910331
For sure, can't hurt working to expedite it though. Although, perhaps working to diffuse the situation between them and Maricopa could be a good way to do that. Being a third party with ties to both of them could be the glue to bind them, using religion of course.
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>>4910337
>Although, perhaps working to diffuse the situation between them and Maricopa could be a good way to do that
If I am not completely mistaken, the reason we were even trying to root out the Communists in the Reservation to begin with is because both the Mayor and the Chief of Police asked us to look in to the problem, due to us being outsiders and the MMP not being allowed to operate in the Reservation. With this situation now thoroughly handled relations between the two will begin to thaw quite rapidly if we're lucky.
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>>4910350
Not gonna lie, been so long I've forgotten that.
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>>4910350
They are worried about internal leaks, sleeper agents, and spies in their own ranks as well.
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>>4910421
You'd think there would be cooperation between traitors. Perhaps Dolores has some rather sensitive information in his possession.
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>>4910427
I mean, we did leave Gad to guard the stairs for the express purpose of interrogation. I'm sure we'll have something to go off of when they're all processed.
>>
I wanted to have the update out by now, but a combination of it being a bit longer than intended and poor time management means I'll have to push it back. Not dead or cursed as of yet.

I'll answer questions or address comments in the meantime...

>>4909625
>unless any of the faction has actual AA guns (something I find to be fairly preposterous, but then again this is America so who fucking knows really).
It wouldn't be the first time someone just casually acquired anti-aircraft weaponry from the Internet (you know, before it went down)! I say this purely because I wanted to post pic related

>Did we negotiate the handover of the Military Supplies under the Reservation HQ, or are they still left there?
This was something that Mueller would have handled at the end of the mission, but the mission ended with him getting shot and losing consciousness so Dolores decided everything on his own. The Crusaders have no real information on how much stuff was seized and how much (if any) will filter over to them. You guys will generally have to wait on learning what happens with the 'aftermath' due to how it ended and choices made at the tail end

What can I say, just git gud rng next time!

>holy shit Goodyear proper has a larger population than Maricopa
Goodyear is firmly part of the Phoenix Metropolitan Area (PMA), and most of Goodyear that the faction has dealt with has been its extreme southern agricultural zone. PMA in general is absolutely fucking massive, with the majority of Arizona's population, economy, infrastructure, etc. A choice between the PMA and literally the entire rest of the Badlands is easily in favor of the PMA (if that makes sense).

While populations may shift around to a degree during the war and I get to fudge things a little for this quest, a quick satellite view via Google Maps (or equivalent) should give a good idea as to the size/density of most communities.

>>4910442
Small correction: He was sent mostly to hold them at bay and make sure they couldn't escape (or flank you guys, mostly the last one actually) which is slightly different from interrogating, from what I recall

Also, I just noticed that in fixing a copy paste error that would have had the first part of the update "deleted" I accidently pasted part of the last update onto this one. It would explain why it went so long... I mean, it probably would have been an eight parter still as it was just under 700~ characters (5%~~~ of total length), but it's still a poor look
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>>4910652
>that image
I want to turn the Crusaders into the American Version of the GLA now. With Ondrejko's help we will give AK-47's to everyone!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBm2mz3IHoM
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>>4910913
Oh baby!
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>>4909394
Thinking even more on this, we could secure funding from Maricopa elites and middle class, potentially with another cardinal, while Musella get in with the Hispanic community, and Mueller with the disenfranchised slums when he isn't preaching to the Natives.
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>>4910913
Here are some songs I have enjoyed recently, and that I also feel fits into a general theme of this quest. I hope you lads enjoy.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yv3MJSpUDo8

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ff68PsXbCK4
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>>4910652
Is it still pushed back mate?
>>
>>4909420
>>4909462
>>4909625
>>4909797
>>4910276

POV RETAINED:
>Standard [The Messenger]

Back at Mobile's formerly abandoned chemical plant you convene a meeting of yourself and the three cardinals who have had the most involvement in recent events. Musella will be present as the man who first made contact with the Maricopans and with Goodyear and who acts as the primary diplomat for the faction (recent ban notwithstanding.) The recent hero of the Crusaders, Richard Mueller, will also be present. Finally, there will be Trkulja, who has organized much of the 'behind-the-scenes' work of the faction and was quite well regarded until the utter catastrophe when an inopportune seizure resulted in Mobile getting all but sacked. As for the other cardinals and players, there is too much to be done and too little likely input to justify their presence.

Upon arriving at the entrance to the meeting room, you are met by the three cardinals and a fourth man, presumably somebody helping the now wheelchair-bound Mueller. Naturally, you enter first and the rest follow, except Mueller's companion, who is obviously excluded. The area has already been prepared with one of the nicer sets of tables and chairs available to your faction and the tell-tale signs of recent renovation. While it is beneath what you are deserving of, which is nothing less than the true Papal Basilica, it's a long way from the grungy conditions of the first council convened during the initial settling of Mobile. You begin with a prayer to God and continue onto more earthly topics.

"I would like to congratulate you, cardinal Mueller, on your recent success with the Reservation." Cardinal Mueller nods in gratitude while you continue. "I was skeptical when I first met your companion and he asked for military aid. I wouldn't have even thought of helping him for a second if it weren't for the many promises and warnings you had given me. It was an act of providence that you did. No doubt, his new position as leader will grant our faction great influence and legitimacy in our claims.

Christ is a merciful figure whose countenance shines upon sinners such as the Adulterous Woman rightfully condemned to death under the holy laws of Leviticus, Christ is also the ultimate judge of infinite harshness (within His infinite lovingkindness). Trkulja, the cardinal under whose watch Mobile suffered at the hands of the strange barbarian, is a deserving target of your rebukement (in a sense of first among equal sinners, of course.) "And to you, Trkulja, I say: discernment is the highest of virtues. He who discerns by the Lord's will shall not stumble before the greatest trials of this world. To he who discerns by his own will, the evil one has no need to interfere, for self damnation is inevitable." You do not have a complete, unbiased account of the encounter between the Warden and the Mobile defenders. Perhaps you do not need such a thing. "I pray the Lord gives proper discernment to us all..."

[1/4]
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>>4912978

[2/4]

Cardinal Trkulja does not respond, but merely retains his firmly stern expression, the one he has had for days. You strongly feel that either he has long awaited to speak or that he has been long pondering important matters. "The Sun Belt Crusaders are at a crossroads, and while I alone infallibly determine the direction they go, I nonetheless value your input. Cardinals, invaluable members of the Papacy that you are, I seek your views, that I may add your wisdom to my own."

"Messenger," Trkulja begins, "with all due respect, we are in a weak position. We are surrounded by foes who wish to vanquish the last remaining bastion of the true Church. The masked madman, the whoreson of Satan that he is," Trkulja speaks with fervor and with, for which you would reprimand anyone else not within your True Church for, rage. "The vile son of Satan has threatened us. In a moment of absolute weakness he has extracted the wealth of our faction, the true successors to the apostolic succession of Peter. The Gates of Hell will not overcome our Church, we absolute must respond with overwhelming force!"

Before he can continue, cardinal Musella breaks his neutral expression and responds. "I agree, the Gates of Hell will never overcome us, but let's take a step back and look at this from the big picture. Their force, by your own admission, dwarfs ours. And that's just the ones they brought against us, they'll have more at their prison and occupying their territories. And I know you're going to bring up those mortars, but we can't rely on some kind of 'wonder weapon.'" He emphasizes the last part with the classic finger gesture.

"Then what do you propose, Musella?" you ask.

"I propose we stay on decent terms with them and focus on exploration. We have basically no idea what is going on outside of Mobile and Maricopa. Anything going on west of Gila Bend and east of Maricopa is totally unknown to us. Maybe Phoenix is a big pool for little fish like us, but just about anywhere else is worth looking into. The only way forward is to keep an eye out for threats before they show up on our doorstep and look for whatever opportunities are out there."

"Are you forgetting about the threat already at the gates?" Trkulja asks with a bit of anger in his voice. "We don't need to be sending our forces out into the desert miles away when we know - absolutely know - Satan's spawn is less than an hour away! Already, he is probably using the resources he stole from us to strengthen his faction and try to outright annex us!"

"Oh sure Trkulja," Musella says dismissively. "I don't think you're the one who should be talking about the Warden having our resources if what I heard about you that day-"

"You take that back!" Trkulja shouts in rage as he slams his fist on the table. "What happened that-"

"Enough!" you command. You will not let such behavior continue during your own council. "Mueller, you have been silent this time. Tell us what you believe we should do..."
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>>4912979

[3/4]

"Thank you, Messenger." He pauses for a moment and takes a breath. "I think we're really in a good spot when it comes to saving souls and bringing people back home to Christ. With the friendly new leadership at the Reservation, I'm expecting a lot of conversions. In times like this, people are desperate for someone to believe in and for stability in their lives. If we put our limited resources into continuing missionary outreach, we can build up the legitimacy we desperately need. I'm not saying we'll outgrow all of our problems, but it'll help."

"That's it?" Musella asks. "We can easily keep our presence in the Reservation and send scouts in keeping with my plan. That is, unless you have something more in mind."

Mueller smiles and adjusts himself in his wheelchair before responding. "Well, why stop at the Reservation? The place has a lot of people, a lot more than ours that's for certain. But if you think of the Reservation as a step up from Mobile, then Maricopa is another step up again. And while the Reservation never had much of a Catholic presence, Maricopa certainly had. We should spread word of the Messenger and, you know, 'bootstrap' off of their existing thing."

Trkulja says nothing, but he does give Mueller a confused look. You believe he has also recognized Mueller's misuse of the phrase.

"You don't think that's maybe we should diversify? Maricopa's been doing a lot for us, but the Badlands are a lot larger than just there."

Mueller shrugs. "If it works it works..."
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>>4912980

[4/4]

So far, you have a fairly good idea of what kind of general policies each cardinal is pushing for. Cardinal Trkulja is pushing very heavily towards military action and attempting to take over territory and factions to the west, especially the Lewis Correctional Protectorate. He has no doubt vested his personal pride heavily in this venture. Musella's plan is to push further out and seek out new opportunities, allies, and threats to be watched for. You can understand why an economic advisor to a power abundantly producing a resource it can't sell is looking to open new markets. Mueller is obviously looking to spread the faith. You expect nothing less from a man who has taken bullets for the faith in his missionary efforts.

With the faction's limited size and capacity to organize ventures and take action you cannot pursue all of these options at once. You must decide on what direction to take the faction, on what its focus will be. This choice will not be totally binding, but having a clear focus will no doubt grant bonuses to whatever option selected. Consistent failure to act in accordance with the focus can sew the seeds of confusion, doubt, and general ineffectiveness. Of course, you could always encourage further discussion or come up with a unique focus idea.

Which focus do you select?

>Cardinal Trkulja's focus: [War]. Seek to be on the offensive and challenge your enemies on the battlefield, trusting the Crusaders can take on anyone.
>Cardinal Musella's focus: [Exploration]. Seek out new regions and factions for trade and general knowledge, taking care to avoid open conflict.
>Cardinal Mueller's focus: [Evangelizing]. Seek out new converts as well as legitimacy as the true Church to those who were Catholics before the War,
>Stall the decision by encouraging discussion regarding a particular topic or elaboration on a certain point. [Specify]
>[Write-In]

Wow, that was a lot more a delay than expected. I wish I had a good reason, but the truth was that I was, how do I put this, vigorously carousing and only now recovered. The creeping length of updates probably doesn't help. I'll try to work on maybe writing less, hopefully getting a sub 3k character-limit one out at some point in the future.

>>4910913
>C&C
Good taste anon. With C&C I've always been more of a Red Alert line of games, as they had by far the best cutscenes and most charm to them. Although Kane from Tiberium games did singlehandedly give 'em a real challenge. The series in general's great But enough about C&C back to the screaming fanatical terrorists prowling the deserts...
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>>4912982
>>Cardinal Mueller's focus: [Evangelizing]. Seek out new converts as well as legitimacy as the true Church to those who were Catholics before the War,

Strike while the iron is hot i say, we should capitalize on our success at the reservation.
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>>4912982
>Cardinal Mueller's focus: [Evangelizing]. Seek out new converts as well as legitimacy as the true Church to those who were Catholics before the War,

Can the secondary focus be Exploration? It's smart to expand our eyes and markets elsewhere, especially if there are other dangers we don't know about.
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>>4912982
>Cardinal Mueller's focus: [Evangelizing]. Seek out new converts as well as legitimacy as the true Church to those who were Catholics before the War
As Anon said, strike while the Iron is hot. Expand Missionary work in the Reservation and Maricopa proper to solidify our recruitment pool.

>[Write In]: Cardinal Trkulja's demeanor differs significantly from the man whom you left in charge of your flock before you ventured to Maricopa for the training exercise. The event with this "Masked Man" has shaken him to his foundation and brought forth a beast you have not seen in him before. This is a concerning development and it must be quelled before too long, lest it fully develop into a Vice that can not be cleansed from his soul. Perhaps sending him with a small contingent of Crusaders and Missionaries to establish formal ties with Southern Goodyear would do him good, with Musella's "Handiwork" effectively barring him from further negotiations you can think of no one better to trudge through the bureaucracy of the Old World than him. Maybe his newfound fervor could be tamed and turned towards the greater good of our flock should we just give him a task to perfom which he know he'll exceed at?

>We will speak to him after the meeting, in private, to make our fear for his Immortal Soul known and to present him our plan to at least temporarily pacify these feelings. Should he accept, all the better, but refusal will not be met with punishment, for we are not sending him away because we are angry with him but because we care for him. Idle Hands are the Devils Playthings after all, and he needs a task in this moment that will keep him occupied lest these Wrathful thoughts overtake him completely.
>>
>>4913047
>Can the secondary focus be Exploration?
The [focus] choice does not lock in actions, but it does signal what the general course of action will be. It's what the faction will choose to focus on. When it comes time to select actions for the next few days there might be a 'recommended option' based on the focus. There could be bonuses for adhering to a focus, just as there could be penalties for disregarding them.

As was hinted during the council, taking the time to evangelize and to try and become accepted as the true Catholic church in Maricopa will mean taking up resources (including time and attention) that would otherwise go into vigorously scouting far and wide. In other words, you're limited in the amount of actions you can take as before.

Hopefully that clears up what exactly is going on here
>>
>>4912982
>Cardinal Musella's focus: [Exploration]. Seek out new regions and factions for trade and general knowledge, taking care to avoid open conflict.
Get a better picture of the region or state.
>Cardinal Mueller's focus: [Evangelizing]. Seek out new converts as well as legitimacy as the true Church to those who were Catholics before the War,
>[Write-In]
Trkulja should take a sabbatical with supervision.
>>
>>4913116
It does, thank you. I think increase our manpower and creating legitimacy will benefit us more in the long run than exploring far and wide, and certainly more than getting into a war with a larger power than us. We can focus on exploring with more focus and resources after we've fully set up in Maricopa proper, at all levels of society.

Would love to go full Kino in exploration though.
>>
>>4912982
>>Cardinal Mueller's focus: [Evangelizing]. Seek out new converts as well as legitimacy as the true Church to those who were Catholics before the War,
We must grow our forces with new converts.
>>
>>4912982
>>Cardinal Mueller's focus: [Evangelizing]. Seek out new converts as well as legitimacy as the true Church to those who were Catholics before the War,
>>
>>4912982
>Day Two- The Electric Boogaloo has begun. While God's Messenger still deliberates over the obvious course of action, the rest of the men have started a party in his and God's name. The meth flows like water, and you know the caliber of the party by how large of a hangover you get afterwards. It's shaping up to be an epic hangover. Amen.
>>
>>4882193
>Texas is its own Republic again
That's all I needed to know. Abandoning thread, my job was already done for me.
>>
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>>4913019
>>4913047
>>4913064
>>4914600
>>4915088

FOCUS SELECTED:
>Cardinal Mueller's focus: [Evangelizing]. Seek out new converts as well as legitimacy as the true Church to those who were Catholics before the War,

You are persuaded by Mueller's proposal. Of the three before you, he is the one who has gotten the most results. Trkulja's, and too a lesser extent Mueller's, plans have large downside risk. Losing a single battle could result in being in an unrecoverable position against a foe set on your destruction. Even exploration could result in as many dead ends or kicked hornets' nests for every good outcome. Based on past results, preaching in peace is a surefire way to grow in numbers and therefore have more leeway in future actions.

You inform the three that you have made up your mind and the faction will focus on evangelization. You mention how the best use of the Crusader military is currently in defense and how you don't see any need to particularly focus on exploration currently. To your surprise, Trkulja seems to take this well and that it's Musella who appears to be more disappointed regarding rejection. Sometimes things don't go as expected, and people may not be exactly who they seem.

"Thank you," Mueller tells you. "I'll be able to handle the Reservation myself, but I can't be in two places at once. We'll need to get more people who understand the finer points of theology and the faith, especially if we're going to try and get current the former Catholic clergy on board."

"You don't think we're good enough already?" Musella asks.

"He is right Musella," you answer. "We have up to now focused on commerce and crusading. While the flock's loyalty and dedication is absolute, they do not understand the finer points of topics such as systematic theology, Biblical hermeutics, the Catechism, or just war theory. I am fully confident in my abilities with these, but I am limited in how much I can do personally. As the Messenger of God and the true Bishop of Rome I cannot be expected to preach full time."

"And how do we address this?" Trkulja asks. "Will you be able to train such missionaries yourself?"

"It would take too long and yield too little were I to do it all myself. If can find existing people who are also learned in the way of the Church and show them the righteousness of this cause, then they should be able to take over and leave me free to attend to my duties."

It appears the work never ends...

[1/???]
>>
>>4916430

[2/???]

Building Unlocked:
>Basic Seminary: Decreases penalties for multiple simultaneous [Missionary Outreach] actions and slightly boosts effectiveness. - 300 W.P. [Requires Skilled Crew]

The rest of the council involves going into past events and into the finer points of what will be done. The topic of what to do in (now less than) a week once the massive juggernaut of Phoenix sends some presence in Maricopa comes up briefly. Not much can be said for it, as what happens is ultimately down to the actions of the POZ and of Preis, both of whom you cannot be expected to impact very much (mostly the POZ though).

Another topic that comes up is what happened with the Reservation. Cardinal Mueller recounts the story, and it's again unchanged. You have a tough time believing most of it, but in any case the situation seems better than ever there. At least for your faction, which now has considerable influence. You believe you could see a large influx of converts from the area, or at least some kind of close military alliance. You will have to take care to conceal some of the darker aspects of the captured base in the Sierra Estrella, as some might find the methods used there unsettling (especially with the ethnic situation). Or, perhaps, such a thing would be considered an asset for the new leader or others for that matter. You suppose only time will tell.

You bring up the issue with the Warden. Immediately, you see Trkulja's expression darken. You think of his soul and consider speaking to or even chastising him, but you decide against it for now. He did have what was likely the worst day of his life and you'll adopt a 'wait and see' approach for the near future. In any case, the losses were terrible. Based on the forces described, they seem to be a very mobile army with strong morale and competent leadership. This means that in a battle (as opposed to a siege) your 'ace in the hole' is worth little. Without an exceedingly devastating first strike made possible only by extreme accuracy or luck, they will be able to quickly close the distances needed without breaking in fighting spirit and destroy the vulnerable backline.

A thought occurs to you when discussing this. There were individuals among them who engaged in independent trade with your faction and which had access to slaves they thought they could get away with selling. Even though it's an obvious point, it bears mention that this is not a normal faction and that perhaps there are unorthodox methods to dealing with that would not be available for, say, Maricopa or the POZ. You also remark that your faction went several weeks without encountering them and that there seemed to be no signs of them during the exodus to Mobile. You're not quite sure how these pieces fit together, but it's something to keep in the back of your mind while your priorities are elsewhere...
>>
>>4916433

[3/???]

The talk and planning continues into the night until by the end everyone is exhausted. You finish the council off with a prayer to God asking for the easing of burdens, deliverance from evil, and the strength needed to put the Church back together by whatever means God deems necessary...

[END OF WEEK 6, HALF 1]

[START OF WEEK 6, HALF 2]

>1 platoon of Crusaders and Mobile Infantry return to Mobile
>1 platoon of Crusaders remain at the Reservation at Dolores's Command
>Side Ops opportunity passes
>One half-week remains until the POZ c-

SUDDEN EVENT:
>The Delay
Just as the second half of the week starts, before you can even begin to plan for the next half of the week, you receive word from your patron/suzerain, the leader of Maricopa mayor Preis.

"Good morning," he starts. "I was going to request a troop commitment for next week, but some strange, but good news dropped. Apparently the P.O.Z. ran into some kind of internal issue and will be delaying the meeting. I'm guessing this has to do with-" he pauses, likely trying to find a good phrasing. "With whatever you guys did at the Reservation. I'm still surprised your preacher managed to cut the tangled knot at the place. New leadership isn't perfect for me, but it's an improvement. Anyway, this overall doesn't change much long term, but it eases the pressure from the north and it might become a nice bargaining chip when they do arrive. I'll try to give you a pass on the next mission, but with the world as it is I can't make any promises."

>POZ meeting delayed until Week 8, half 2]
>Maricopa trust increased
>Likelihood of receiving a task from Maricopa decreased
>??????????

It feels good to get some recognition for a job well done...
>>
>>4916434

[4/???]

>Manpower:
1 full strength Mechanized Infantry Platoons
1 half strength Mechanized Infantry Platoon
1 full strength Mechanized Infantry Platoons [LOCKED WITH THE RESERVATION]
1 quarter strength Support Platoon [Priority: Artillery Section]
Full Platoon Garrisoned Mobile Light Infantry [Mountain Base]
Full Platoon Garrisoned Mobile Light Infantry [Mobile]

~265 followers (non-combatants)
~100 prisoners

>Wealth:
30 Wealth Points
+55WP per half-week from followers
+10 WP per half-week from Maricopan patronage
109 Food Units
-35 Food from consumption per half week
+30 Food from 5 farms
+15 Food from Maricopan patronage
1 Meth Unit
+7 M.U. per half-week

>ACTIONS AVAILABLE:
1 Construction Action
1 Diplomatic Action
1 Flexible Action

>Projects:

>Construction Actions Possible: Unless stated otherwise, assuming 1 week to complete:
Farm: Restore some abandoned farmland. Makes more food. - 35 W.P. [Takes only half a week]
Chemical Weapons Lab Level 1: Allows for the production of basic chemical weapons. - 400 W.P.
Machine Workshop Level 1: Allows for the production of basic weapons and ammunition. - 300 W.P.
Explosives Workshop Level 1: Allows for the production of basic explosives. - 500 W.P. [Requires Skilled Crew for Optimal Function]
Training Fields: Upgrade an existing firing range to allow for training with higher tier weaponry. - 50 W.P. [Takes only half a week]
Broadcast Tower: Sends messages far and wide to anyone with a car or receiver. Massive boost to propaganda. - 150 W.P.
Oubliette: Dungeon like room for basic interrogation/conversion. Unlocks conversion (brainwashing) oriented construction options. - 100 W.P.
Improved Housing: Continue improving housing to support a larger population - 40 W.P.
Hallucinogen Manufacturing: Create a variety of mind altering substances. - 150 W.P. [Synergy: Oubliette]
Advanced Pharmaceutical Workshop: Allows for the production of advanced drugs. - 550 W.P. [Requires Skilled Crew for Optimal Function]
>Basic Seminary: Decreases penalties for multiple simultaneous [Missionary Outreach] actions and slightly boosts effectiveness. - 300 W.P. [Requires Skilled Crew]
Nothing: Save the W.P. and forgo construction
[Write-in]

>Special: Can use a one time 50% discount on a factory upgrade if desired

>Toggles
Purchase advertising for Maricopa's radio to help with recruitment/outreach - 5 W.P. per half week [CURRENTLY ON]
Send Cardinal Mueller out to the Reservation to preach. - Free [CURRENTLY ON]
Crudely "preach to" prisoners at the Sierra Estrella location (i.e. brainwash) - 5 W.P. per half week [CURRENTLY ON]
>>
>>4916440

[5/5]

>Diplomatic Actions Possible:
Envoy: Send a diplomatic envoy to a location to engage in trade, propagandize, or make agreements. Better at getting deals than scouts, but has no stealth and is worse if a fight breaks out. Select from a location such as Gila Bend, Maricopa, Goodyear, or a [Write-in] and note what you specifically want them to do.
Scouting: Have the group organize a scouting party and explore a location. Stealthy and decent at a fight, but not very good if diplomacy is needed. Select from the Gila Bend, Maricopa, or a [Write-in] and specify what you want them to do.
Raiding Party: Send forces out to a location and attack them for loot and dominance. [Where?]
Missionary Outreach: Send missionaries to a location to recruit people into the totally legitimate religion. Could anger the locals if you don't have permission! Select from a location such as Gila Bend, Goodyear, or [write-in].
Side Ops: Do mercenary work [CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE]
Nothing: Forgo a diplomatic action.
[Write-in]

>Select a construction action, and zero diplomatic actions for this half-week (and optionally, toggle changes)

Focus [Evangelizing] Suggested Actions:
>Diplomatic Action: Missionary Outreach [Reservation]. Spend an abnormally high amount of organizational effort and manpower on missionary work here in light of Mueller's successes and (more importantly) the new and potentially volatile situation. Includes meeting with the leader.
>Construction Action: Nothing. You can't do anything with this until next week.
>Flexible Action: (Papal) Envoy: Maricopa. Have the Messenger personally survey and asses the various Catholic remnants in the city.

Also:

>Roll three d100s for events

Yeah, three this time. Maybe it's just a Season 2 thing, or maybe it has to do with the bad end... who knows!?! Also, I'm hoping I didn't botch up any of the reckoning (a fancy term for what some call 'bean-counting')

Oh, and the suggested actions are just suggestions based on the focus. Feel free to ignore them if you want to (it'd be weird since the focus was pretty unanimously picked but maybe you guys don't want to follow up suffering and 'tactical espionage action' with systematic theology...)

>>4916018
Yeah, I keep fucking up and writing longer updates than expected. I'll say I'll try to fix this, but there's a saying about talk and action...
>>
Rolled 60, 38, 52 = 150 (3d100)

>>4916444
>Select a construction action, and zero diplomatic actions for this half-week (and optionally, toggle changes)

Fuck, we don't have any WP to spend on a construction action, I guess we're doing jack shit this half-week...

>Diplomatic Action: Missionary Outreach [Reservation]. Spend an abnormally high amount of organizational effort and manpower on missionary work here in light of Mueller's successes and (more importantly) the new and potentially volatile situation. Includes meeting with the leader.
>Flexible Action: (Papal) Envoy: Maricopa. Have the Messenger personally survey and asses the various Catholic remnants in the city.

I would choose this if I could lads... :^)

I don't mind if the updates get longer, I just get antsy if there's nothing said about it though. Don't worry about my anxiety though, you got some rad trips mate!
>>
>>4916508
I'll take middling rolls, I'm just happy we didn't lowball the local one. Would've really put a damper on my day.
>>
>>4916444
>>Diplomatic Action: Missionary Outreach [Reservation]. Spend an abnormally high amount of organizational effort and manpower on missionary work here in light of Mueller's successes and (more importantly) the new and potentially volatile situation. Includes meeting with the leader.
>>Construction Action: Nothing. You can't do anything with this until next week.
>>Flexible Action: (Papal) Envoy: Maricopa. Have the Messenger personally survey and asses the various Catholic remnants in the city.

Going with the suggested actions, we need to consolidate our gains from Maricopa.
>>
>>4916444
>Diplomatic Action: Missionary Outreach [Reservation]. Spend an abnormally high amount of organizational effort and manpower on missionary work here in light of Mueller's successes and (more importantly) the new and potentially volatile situation. Includes meeting with the leader.
>Flexible Action: (Papal) Envoy: Maricopa. Have the Messenger personally survey and asses the various Catholic remnants in the city. (Only if the Messenger can make it back before the end of the week to oversee the Meth deal)

I'm on-board with prioritizing preaching, but I am against sending The Messenger to Maricopa if he can not make it back in time for the meeting with The Warden. I want our Faction Leader to handle negotiations of the Meth Contract if at all possible.

Now for the near future I think we should focus on training up the Mobile Population to be able to better defend themselves in case of attack if there are few Crusaders in the area and to build better fortifications around the perimiter, hopefully we can get some stationary heavy weapons out of the Commie Supply Cache to help with this. The Main Goal is to get an Explosive Factory up and running so we can start properly training our Mortar Crews without the fear of running out of ammo, I suggest using the Bonus to lower it's cost to 250WP which would allow us to start construction in two weeks with our current WP generation. They are an excellent force multiplier both when on Defense in Mobile and also when we eventually start doing Siege Warfare against the PoZ.

As for the Warden, all we can do at this point really is hear him out and see what he had in mind for a deal, and try to get as much profit out of it as we can without antagonizing him. We need to grow as a faction before we can take him on, and we can hopefully milk some Wealth Points out of him while we build up.
>>
>>4916836
+1
>>
>>4916836
supporting
>>4916844
>The Main Goal is to get an Explosive Factory up and running
too expensive. id rather save up for the oubliette. once the black site becomes fully operational, we can get them to work on farms and thus freeing up a lot of our own men, meaning we can start incresing our number of platoons. im also more interested in starting to make more W.P., maybe through increasing our meth capacities and selling more of our products so we can finally move on to bigger projects.
>>
I'd like to inquire what was found at the farm, I'm sure there's plenty of equipment down there that we can use the Delores would probably just sit on or not know what to do besides having it in storage "just in case".
>>
>>4916508
No, it's on me and something I'll make an effort to deal with (since I said I would.)

>>4916844
The Warden came in the first part of week six, and it's currently the second part of week six. It's only been a few days, although it's been months in real time. I've never had to debate deep Catholic theology (even though I'm basically forced to do it and play both sides fml) but I highly, highly doubt it's the sort of thing that you can't politely excuse yourself from after 'just' a few hours. Granted, what you guys were told was vague (it was literally just a guy saying "[h]e said something about returning in a week") but it should be clear that the event takes place the first half of week 7 assuming everything goes normally.

>>4917151
>I'd like to inquire what was found at the farm
The safehouse, I presume, as it wasn't a farm (just a somewhat remote location in the deserts.) You guys didn't loot anything since you guys went into lead induced unconsciousness during the mission and chose to fully support and let Dolores do whatever he wanted without making demands or anything. That is to say whether or not you guys actually get anything is totally up to him at this point

>>4915088
Btw, I just noticed all of your posts except this one have been deleted. I am certain that you did not do this, as too much time has passed for you to be able to delete posts. It's strange as you have done nothing to merit deletions from what I have seen archived. I'm not sure if this has significantly impacted vote counts for the purposes of option selections or anything, but it looks like a dozen or so votes were deleted.
>>
>>4917581
>but it should be clear that the event takes place the first half of week 7 assuming everything goes normally.
So we should be able to at least finish this half-week's activity then if The Messenger goes to Maricopa. Good. After 3-5 days of Theological discussion we can get away with calling a recess with those we meet with in Maricopa to go back and deal with the Warden.
>>
>>4917581
>Btw, I just noticed all of your posts except this one have been deleted
Got Vanned bro. Cant help it.
>>
>>4917581
With all the meth they've gotten, maybe it started causing some major unrest got everyone hooked. Like mess them up to the point of starting to fall apart hooked. Very likely given how much goddam meth they got ahold of.
>>
>>4917974
That would be the only silver lining on that dark cloud, but I'm not going to hold my breath over it.
>>
>>4917980
True, but one can only hope, they treat the meth like anyone with an abundance of snacks and candy.
>>
>>4916508
>>4916836
>>4916844
>>4916877
>>4917012

Global Event: 38
>Free and Sovereign State of Nogales
"-no, no, you're just a moron!" the radio blares. "Listen, if you think you could beat a chimp in hand combat you're either a prize fighter or more drunk than I am!"

"C'mon Redfield, they're like three feet ta-"

"Not this bullshit again. You know what, have fun getting your face bitten off. Jessica, cut the line!" The caller is soon abruptly cut off and you hear the distinct sound of an alcoholic beverage being opened too close to the microphone. "Well, that's all the time we have for call-ins this morning, but I got some exclusive news coming from Mexico."

Last you heard, Mexico was, like every other country in North America and probably the world, going through chaos and turmoil. As a nation plagued with chronic instability and lawlessness in certain areas, you are not surprised.

"So Nogales, you know that border city south of Tucson, they've decided to become independent. Kind of like Maricopa, except they're-" he abruptly stops and burps (slightly) away from the microphone. "They're split between the U.S. side or the Mexican side, or were. My source says the American side of the city has already decided to join the southern half."

If what he's saying is true, this means that some small part of Mexico has already taken over some part of the US. It's strange to hear about, but then again there were confirmed reports of Canadians seizing territory in the Midwest back when there was still information flowing in from such far away places. At least in this case it appears to be a minor independent faction of a couple of hundred thousand and not an actual country.

"Now, I'll be getting into more details and take some call-ins after the break, but what I'm wondering is how it's going to affect Tucson, or what's left of it. Anyway, some words from one of our sponsors, this time from the Mobile people." There's a small segment of dead air from which you can faintly hear some heated discussion before it transitions into the advertisement for your faction for which you tuned in for in the first place.

It is interesting to consider what role Mexico will have in the situation with the Badlands, especially with the absolute disintegration of any kind of border...

[1/2]
>>
>>4918102

[2/2]

OPTION SELECTED:
>(Papal) Envoy: Maricopa. Have the Messenger personally survey and asses the various Catholic remnants in the city.
With recent successes, you decide that it is time to formally introduce yourself and your faction to the shards of the Catholic faith in Maricopa. Some of your followers are apprehensive regarding your second venture out of Mobile, especially given the disaster during Cardinal Trkulja's stewardship. You assure them of the settlement's safety by pointing out that the near entirety of the Crusader forces are effectively on garrison duty with the lack of any kind of major venture this time. Maricopa is friendly terrain, and you need no significant escort.

While you doubt there will be any encounters, you must appoint someone to act as the leader in your absence. Mueller would be a natural choice, however his current wheelchair-bound status complicates the situation. Musella is a decent, if hesitant choice, who you know at the least to be an able diplomat. Cardinal Trkulja may be a terrible choice for inspiring confidence, however selecting him and having nothing happen may put people at ease regarding him. Of course, you could always make a different, perhaps even unorthodox, selection.

You decide that in your absence Mobile will be led by:

>Cardinal Mueller
>Cardinal Musella
>Cardinal Trkulja
>A Mobile native [Who?]
>[Write-In]

Ha! I can actually write a somewhat shorter update and get it completed in a day's time!

>>4917591
Yes? What I'm saying is that the selected action would/will only lasts for the duration of half a week, like any other action. It's the sort of thing that's very unlikely to totally 'lock you in,' especially for an entire week (I don't think debates on Magisterium or w/e take an entire week, lol.) Really, the Messenger being present or not is not much of a factor, but rather the total forces present is more important. The previous situation involved a single understrength platoon of defenders augmented with absolute bottom of the barrel tier 'militia' (i.e. those who couldn't make the cut for Mobile Infantry due to being too old, unfit for service, etc. just being tossed a rifle) that decided to provoke a comparatively massive force.

>>4917604
They must've really had it out for you if your posts in other threads were nuked with being b&
>>
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>>4918103
>Cardinal Trkulja

To ease their unease of him. We can't let this infection spread further. But second in command shall be...

>A Mobile native [Johnny Rico]

A farmer's son who father got burned in the attack on Mobile. Enraged by the sudden raid, he joined up with the Crusaders, distinguishing himself as a uncanny marksman, his very high courage, and inspiring the men under fire. He now holds an leadership position of a platoon, but being chosen as second in command will put Mobile at ease and give our troops a morale boost under Trkulja's command.
>>
>>4918103
>>Cardinal Musella

It's been a while since we've had his POV.

>>4918221
Though I do like the Johnny Rico idea
>>
>>4918103
I was initially going to suggest the Old Mayor of Mobile to take the reigns while we were gone, but rebuilding trust in Trkulja within the community isn't a terrible idea at all. Putting a Mobile native as second in command will also help restore trust in the Crusaders. Supporting this >>4918221

>>4918103
>Yes? What I'm saying is that the selected action would/will only lasts for the duration of half a week, like any other action
I was under the impression the action would be something like a toggle, where we'd have to spend one half-week turning it off for The Messenger to return back to Mobile. It sounded important enough to warrant several turns to complete, so I just kinda expected him to stay in Maricopa until it was finished.
>>
>>4918245
Don't worry, I'm sure we'll see more of him when we do more diplomacy.

>>4918253
I was thinking of Mobile's mayor as well, but we can't allow distrust to persist between our cardinals and crusaders, the bridge must be mended.
>>
>>4918221
love the Rico idea but id rather have
>Cardinal Mueller
in charge and Rico in 2ed
>>
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>>4918221
>>4918253

OPTION SELECTED:
>Cardinal Trkulja

You cannot afford to have a major leader lose the trust of your followers, especially the fighters that may have to battle under his command. You entrust him with the care of Mobile once more, which he accepts. Some of your followers are upset with the decision but they acquiesce. Your word is final and unchallengeable on such matters. And, God willing, the Sun Belt Crusaders will also be unchallenged for the remainder of this week.

>Reduced Crusader morale for ?????

You head off to Maricopa with a few "papal guards" you have selected and with the presence of the Holy Spirit. The journey is short and uneventful. You are let in by the guards of Maricopa's western defenses along the 238, whose presence you notice has progressively diminished over the course of your faction's service to the town. Later, Mueller and a group of Crusaders will arrive on their own mission, but for now it's just you and your small group.

Before you left, you collated information that's filtered over to you and your men regarding the three main blocs the Catholic community has descended into. If you are to be taken seriously as the legitimate successor to the Apostolic Line of Peter and rightful head of the universal Church you must secure the fealty of all three of these blocs by whatever means available. While normally an unthinkable and laughable task, the sheer chaos the Church has been through and the literal proclamations of the previous 'Pope,' if you can even call him that, make this somewhat possible. More importantly, God makes this possible, as He does with all things.

The first bloc is centered around the Cathedral of the Blazing Heart. Located in the relatively dense suburban tracts of Maricopa, the Cathedral of the Blazing Heart holds dominion over a large number of mostly well off people. While its followers don't appear to be especially pious and comprise a relatively lower percentage of the area, they over-index in skilled professions and positions of general influence. Based on similarities to certain parts of Southern California, you suspect that this is a church heavily plagued by modernism and possibly an enduring allegiance to the Self-Deposed Pope. While you have among your ranks followers from Maricopa, none of them can be said to have been from this bloc. You suspect you will need especially good diplomacy and a significant time investment in order to make inroads with this community and get them to accept your legitimacy as the true Pope...

[1/3]
>>
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>>4919496

[2/3]

The second group you know of is mostly represented by the Church of the Co-Redemptrix located at the outer edge of Maricopa. The church may be charitably described as eclectic if the information you have is accurate. Their followers range from low class 'trailer trash' to highly formal seekers of an older style of mass occasionally practice to local farmers who don't want to drive too far out. Their numbers are notably smaller than the previous bloc, but this is mitigated by the reality that more of their numbers actually show up and participate. A moderate proportion of your admittedly still few recruits from Maricopa have been from this bloc. You are told that their leader is a 'hardliner' who will likely be sympathetic to many of your faction's views, but who may also be stubborn on points of theology. Gaining their trust might not be so hard, but gaining their fealty is another matter altogether.

The last bloc has coalesced around the Holy Martyr of the Desert Catholic Church, or the Holy Martyr for short. Unlike the others this bloc developed not around principles but largely around ethnic solidarity. Their numbers are mostly comprised of Mexicans of moderate means who forge a living providing services such as trade-work to the more well of Maricopan core. This group banded together as a community as order broke down in the United States and the Church acts as a rallying point that's taken seriously (even if it's not in form of spiritual reverence.) While they do not have the raw numbers, military might, or motivation to forge for themselves a faction separate from Maricopa, they nonetheless have a measure of local rights an autonomy granted to them and are naturally a large proportion of the overall Catholics. Your remaining converts from Maricopa are from this group, and they report that the leader of this bloc is a charismatic but somewhat shady figure. You have been told that he himself is not actually a Mexican, but that he has a strong degree of loyalty and acts as a minor power player in the region. You feel like getting this bloc's loyalty may be more unorthodox than with the other two...
>>
>>4919498

[3/3]

"Messenger, where to again?" your driver asks as you contemplate this situation.

You will be headed towards the primary focus of this Papal visit, which is:

>The Cathedral of the Blazing Heart: Your faction is in need of this bloc's well-connected, skilled members as well as a more moderate face that can provide legitimacy to the less naturally fanatical. It is worth the time and hassle.
>The Church of the Co-Redemptrix: These people are the most similar to your people and are a natural match. You have a number of things you can offer and are confident that you can secure an easy win for your faction through theological debate.
>The Holy Martyr of the Desert Catholic Church: Whatever their leader requests will likely be worth the fealty of the largest bloc of Catholics in terms of numbers. The entirety of the Sun Belt Crusaders' recent dealings have been eccentric, so why stop now?
>Actually, you aren't heading towards one of these factions but somewhere else? {What?] [Write-In]

Will the choice of leader actually matter? Will we even see if Johnny Rico exists?! Find out after the ecclesiastical interlude that hopefully beats the audience over the head with enough 'Catholic' to convince them the Crusader part isn't just flair!

Btw, the Mueller option could be interpreted as a kind of trap, since he would soon after go on a mission himself and you'd need to select a new leader in his own absence, so good thing you didn't take the 'bait,' although it would likely just default to Johnny so maybe you guys wouldn't even mind...

>>4918253
Yeah, I wouldn't just hand wave this stuff away by saying it's done passively since it involves serious discussions over influence, introducing characters, unlocking things, etc. more than just getting more followers.
>>
>>4919501
>>The Cathedral of the Blazing Heart: Your faction is in need of this bloc's well-connected, skilled members as well as a more moderate face that can provide legitimacy to the less naturally fanatical. It is worth the time and hassle.
Upstarts?
>>
>>4919501
>The Cathedral of the Blazing Heart: Your faction is in need of this bloc's well-connected, skilled members as well as a more moderate face that can provide legitimacy to the less naturally fanatical. It is worth the time and hassle.

Let's see if we can get another update in. While the other two are very tempting, if making inroads are going to take some time, we might as well get started now with them now, and slowly work our way in while we focus down the other two. I'm especially excited about the other two leaders.
>>
>>4919508
The blocs aren't drawn on lines of new vs old, but on normative (Blazing Heart) vs marginal (Co-Redemptrix) and ethnic (Holy Martyr) from what it seems. There's also an element of lukewarm on the faith, headstrong/inflexible, and seemingly transactional (along the same lines.) Hopefully it'll become clearer if the explanations don't quite cut it...

If anyone would be an upstart, it's the former(?) meth kingpin turned crusader warlord insisting he is the Pope!
>>
>>4919525
But... we are the Pope! They just haven't realized it yet.

And I understand the blocs perfectly. I hope to hit on at least one other sect before we take our leave. I'm very interested in the latter two, though I would like Musella to accompany us to the Holy Martyr, I think he may be of particular use there, what with his previous survey of the area among other things...
>>
>>4919501
>>The Church of the Co-Redemptrix: These people are the most similar to your people and are a natural match. You have a number of things you can offer and are confident that you can secure an easy win for your faction through theological debate.

Seems like an easier win than the other two.
>>
>>4919501
>The Church of the Co-Redemptrix: These people are the most similar to your people and are a natural match. You have a number of things you can offer and are confident that you can secure an easy win for your faction through theological debate.

We need a win here.
>>
>>4919747
Yea, I was hoping for a quick update. I honestly don't mind either choices desu.
>>
>>4919501
>>The Church of the Co-Redemptrix: These people are the most similar to your people and are a natural match. You have a number of things you can offer and are confident that you can secure an easy win for your faction through theological debate.
Let's get the ball rolling. Looks the easiest if we can get past the theology.
>>
>>4919501
>The Church of the Co-Redemptrix: These people are the most similar to your people and are a natural match. You have a number of things you can offer and are confident that you can secure an easy win for your faction through theological debate.
We lay the ground floor first, get the easy win for the morale boost back home before we move on to the heavier stuff. Convincing the Suburban faction will go easier if we already have a pressence in the city that can spread our reputation.
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>>4919501
>The Church of the Co-Redemptrix: These people are the most similar to your people and are a natural match. You have a number of things you can offer and are confident that you can secure an easy win for your faction through theological debate.
The messenger is the most knowledgeable at theology so its good that we sent him here. The Blazing heart factions seems more of a mission for Musella while the mexican faction might require more of an endorsement by perhaps Mueller accompanied by Dolores, someone that holds significant power at Maricopa.
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>>4919902
Whats Musella family origin and background again?
>>
>>4919812
>Convincing the Suburban faction will go easier if we already have a pressence in the city that can spread our reputation.

We can send the addict celebrity cardinal to help out with those efforts, if you lads wanna fill in the addict/morale cardinal role right now.

>>4919902
The reverse may be true, but it certainly wouldn't hurt having Musella working the Blazing Heart personally after meeting with them.

>>4920224
Your name is Robert "Bob" Musella, and you were the chief money launderer of the meth operation. Your contacts in the world of banking, investment funds, and the Mexican Cartel allowed you to launder the significant sums of money made by the illegal drug trade.

Traits:
>Econ Degree: Formal training in the field of economics and finance unlocks otherwise locked dialogue options and grants you a bonus in trade negotiations
>Cucumber Cool: Grants a bonus to negotiations under threats or pressure.
>Skeptic: Bonus to situations that involve thinking rationally and downplaying the radicalism of the cult.

Actually, that's all a lie. Your real name is Robert Mazur. You're actually not a master money launderer, wizened from years of experience cooking the books for CalPERS. You're an undercover DEA agent who was working to blow the lid on this whole operation. In fact, you were planning the finer points of the "reveal" where you would get every last one of these bastards arrested. But then the president was nearly assassinated, the elections postponed, various federal agencies went rogue, the country collapsed into a civil war, California got turned into a technocratic Chinese vassal state, and... well, a lot more shit you can't even get into. Somewhere along the way, the head of this meth operation decided he was the new Pope or some shit, and you were basically forced to be a cardinal or God knows what. At the time, it wasn't the weirdest thing you had to do (it was nothing compared to that one time with the Bavarian Mountain Goats, for instance). But after being forced out of California, losing contact with the DEA, and being involved in a battle straight out of the Wild West times, you have no fucking clue or control over what's going on anymore. On one hand, you're grateful that you weren't slaughtered in the purge of law enforcement once California was "bought out", but on the other hand, well, these guys are nuts.

Trait:
>Powerful Friends: You know people in both law enforcement and in the Cartel. You are not in contact with them, but if they ever show up, you will have an advantage
>Left Behind: You are living a lie and have been forced to live a lie. You have an entire life left behind, family & all, and must find a way to reconcile this with your new persona turned identity.
>>
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>>4919747
>>4919790
>>4919796
>>4919812
>>4919902

OPTION SELECTED:
>The Church of the Co-Redemptrix: These people are the most similar to your people and are a natural match. You have a number of things you can offer and are confident that you can secure an easy win for your faction through theological debate.

"Understood," your driver says as he turns right towards the southern area of Maricopa. This is the same general region you were in earlier in the week during the joint-training. The smell of the dairy farms wafting out into the hot Arizonan sun is unmistakable. While there are still MMP personnel patrolling the area, especially as you are driven by the casino area, the situation is less tense.

The drive passes by quickly and you arrive at your destination. Sandwiched between empty lots is the Church of the Co-Redemptrix, which is named after one of the many titles of Mary, the mother of the Lord. The building is quite underwhelming. It's fairly large (enough to include some statues and fountains), but also squat and oddly shaped. It's sorely lacking in style with plain white walls and what appears to be too little stained glass. Granted, it's still much more aesthetically pleasing than what passes for a church in Mobile but this place predates the War and wasn't hastily constructed from an abandoned, burnt out husk of a building.

You and your entourage of heavily armed crusaders in highly customized, borderline garish armor leave the vehicle and approach the entrance. Your conspicuous entrance predictably draws attention from those nearby, as you knew it would. A small crowd begins to emerge from one of the empty lots, which appears to have some kind of encampment holding perhaps homeless people or refugees.

A few men who were loitering on the front steps of the church approach you. "Who are you?" one of their number asks while doing his best to present a strong face.

"I am the Messenger of the Sun Belt Crusaders. I wish to speak to your leader."

They look to one another and one among them scurries into the church building. You take the time to appreciate some of the statuary. The only one that really catches your eye is one of the Holy Virgin with an array of flowers in the ground in front of it circumscribed by a low decorative fence...

[1/3]
>>
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>>4920948

[2/3]

"Appreciating the beauty of the Co-Redemptrix?" a voice calls out to you.

"Of course," you respond. You turn and face who you believe must be the priest in charge. It's an aging gentleman in the traditional black cassock. "I take it the pairing of the statue with the flowers is in reference to the 'hortus conclusus.' Canticles four twelve, I believe."

"Very perceptive of you. Few in number are those who know the ways of the Church, especially among the clergy. I am Father Malvolion of the Church of the Co-Redemptrix."

"And I am the Messenger of the Sun Belt Crusaders and the true pope of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church."

"Your reputation precedes you," Malvolion says while walking towards you to get in more proper distance for conversation. "In any other time I would merely dismiss you as a theologically illiterate upstart. With times as they are, I shall simply start by asking why it is that the true pope would surround himself with those an outsider may perhaps describe as appearing more like a modern version of Alaric's Goths than anyone befitting a man of the Lord?"

The small crowd, some of whom look quite unkempt and rowdy, begin to inch closer. Your papal guard glare and posture aggressively to match them.

"At ease," you tell them as you raise your hand in the air. "We are guardians of Maricopa, we shall do them no harm as they shall not harm us." You know this is just posturing. Malvolion, for his part, also gets his people to ease up as well.

"And Malvolion, did the Lord not say 'nolite arbitrari quia venerim mittere pacem in terram non veni pacem mittere sed gladium,' or should I consult my copy of the Vulgate?"

"I can tell by the way you quoted the Latin that you know what you're talking about. And that you quote the Vulgate at all shows you are a serious Catholic. But anyone from a misguided protestant to Lucifer himself can quote scripture. I'm aware of your faction and have heard of your claims. Tell me, why is it that without a papal conclave, tie to the Holy See, position as bishop of any kind, or even support from any legitimate clergyman you can somehow be the pope..."
>>
>>4920949

[3/3]

He asks a good question in the sense that at almost literally any other point in time a seemingly random warlord claiming for himself the Papal Throne and sovereignty over the whole of Christ's Church would be immediately dismissed as a madman. Even if you may naturally have this man's sympathies, it's a ludicrously bold claim you will need to somehow justify.

As with proving any concept, there are many valid approaches. Some approaches, however, are more valid than others. You choose to center your argument around:

>Current Events: After the insanity that was the previous pope and the Council in 2020, anyone, even yourself, could have a valid claim after he practically dissolved the Church.
>Turnabout: You can claim that he and the people he represents were undesired by the old Church and on the verge of excommunication. You and him aren't so different after all.
>Church History: There have been many strange situations regarding the papacy, its succession, and other matters. You will convince him that your project is not so out of the ordinary.
>Practicality: Get straight to the point and tell him that without your faction, his already marginal religious body will either be forgotten or crushed by the forces of modernity. It's join or die.
>[Write-In]

And as usual:
>Roll 3 d20's
You guys get an extra die due to playing a genius supervillain as the main character that excels at this kind of thing in addition to regular bonuses and maluses

>>4920224
>Whats Musella family origin and background again?
As the other anon's quoted section of some previous thread indicates, very trustworthy! He was as far as the Crusaders know (in universe) formerly a financial wizard with ties to the Mexican Cartel who was recruited to cook the books for the meth operation. He rose up the ranks pretty quickly due to his close relationship with the Messenger!

Of course, he's actually the undercover D.E.A. member Robert Mazur who had been collecting mountains of evidence with the intent of busting the whole operation. Of course, the United States went bust first and he lost contact with his people, so he had to fully become his new identity. Some guy in a previous thread phrased it something like "he is so under-cover he turned into the mattress." I'm kicking myself in hindsight for not putting that quote in Musella's entry in the refresher/starter guide
>>
Rolled 5, 9, 5 = 19 (3d20)

>>4920954
>Church History: There have been many strange situations regarding the papacy, its succession, and other matters. You will convince him that your project is not so out of the ordinary.

An appeal to history seems the most interesting, though turnabout and current events can easily be touched upon.
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>>4920962
Not a good start, but not crippling either. We can work with this.
>>
Rolled 8, 20, 8 = 36 (3d20)

>>4920954
>Current Events: After the insanity that was the previous pope and the Council in 2020, anyone, even yourself, could have a valid claim after he practically dissolved the Church.

>>4920962
Church history is something that definitely should be mentioned, but i feel like that argument but would probably work better with the Blazing heart faction, and im sure hes already knowledgeable on the topic as well. Considering what we know of him as a radical, im sure he will appeal more to us if we shit-talk the current fake pope (something he probably agrees with), making us a more likeable candidate.
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>>4920968
With that flex I ain't even going to argue. You even got better duo numbers protecting that 20.

I just wish I could stop hogging all the first rolls. Maybe I should just chill and abstain from rolling when I vote for the rest of the thread.
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>>4920962
>>4920968

I agree mostly with current events, but what about historical precedents like the anti popes and the reformation? Of course I suppose we would be more of a restoration instead of a reformation wouldn't we?
>>
Since there's currently a tie in the votes (I don't count >>4921286 as a proper vote) I'll leave the window up for a bit longer in case people wanted to vote but were abnormally busy or something over the past day (not sure why, maybe busy celebrating July 17 World Emoji Day or David Hasselhoff's birthday according to search engine results.) In the perhaps more likely case that people just don't feel like voting and have no strong opinion/want to get this over with, then I'll interpret the backlinked post as supporting the latter vote.
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>>4922154
Yeah, guess I'll support historical, though I'm in favor of a melding of the two. Apparently no one was interested in conversation.
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>>4922154
I'll politely assume they were busy.

>>4922247
I had honestly thought you voted, I say we meld the two, what with that chad 20 just flexing on my right there. You gotta respect the will of the dice when they decide on the superior choice.
>>
Just an update so you guys don't think I've disappeared: The update's partially done (synthesising), but will take a bit longer to finish. The usual mix of unexpected things happening and it being more than expected (since there's a sort of scene transition which means doing a bit more than expected.) As always, voting/discussion/shitposting is open until an update happens
>>
Support >>4920968
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>>4923600
Thank you for the update, I appreciate it.

What should be our next course of action in town lads?
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>>4923714
As I said earlier, I think that using our one time -50% Construction Cost bonus to construct the Explosives Factory so that we may train the Mortar Crews without fear of running out of ammunition is what we should be aiming for. They'll basically be useless until they're properly trained, and we can't train them efvectively if we have to ration their ammunition usage. The faster our Mortar Crews are trained the faster they can make descisive differences in combat.

Another Anon suggested the construction of the Oubliette, which would imply we also get the Hallucinogen Manufacturing upgrade for faster conversion rates. I am 100% against this because it will delegitimize us as a group if word ever gets out that we have a Blacksite where we hypno-drug people into loyal believers. It will be a massive PR disaster that we'll have a tough time recovering from, and I'd rather avoid that whole situation outright than risk it for a few extra converts.

Another choice is the Broadcast Tower, setting up our own Christian Radio Channel that invites disenfranchised Christians to come settle in Mobile would give us a steady, but probably low stream of settlers from outlying communities that we currently have no contact with. It is probably the safest construction option outside of building more housing or expanding farmland.
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>>4923735
More importantly than mortars, we could make IEDs and anti armor weapons, even rudimentary MLRS trucks possibly.

Though I lean towards the radio station spreading word of ourselves and becoming legitimized is the most important thing for us right now.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Coughlin

They'll have to force us off the air with force of arms.
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>>4923735
We need to upgrade the training fields as well, plus all the other Construction iteams on our wishlist. We need a serious WP injection if we want to continue to build up outer faction's industrial capacity as quickly as possible.

>>4923801
Agreed. We already have Mahoney's media press up and running, but doing radio shows can never hurt. We'll have to build that Seminary first thing though.
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>>4923943
Honestly, turning mobile into a powerhouse is the wrong mindset, in my opinion. Subverting Maricopa and making it our base of operations is the better path, though we shouldn't neglect mobile for the time being.

The way I reckon it, winning over the Catholics of the city and working on some of the leadership, such as the former police chief, would essentially deliver us the city. I think the police chief is very susceptible to conversion, not necessarily via religion but via his ego. He wants to play at being a ww2 general? We could work at offering him a high place in our future military.
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>>4924299
My mindset is that we always make the most use out of what we got. Right now, that Construction action is sitting there looking pretty when it could be contributing to our cause. And while I do agree that Maricopa is our next step, we should still be building up our industrial and military capabilities in the meantime, if only to project strength into Maricopa to help subvert them to our cause.
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>>4924325
I agree, I merely mean that we should focus on necessities rather than everything under the sun.
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>>4924299
>Honestly, turning mobile into a powerhouse is the wrong mindset, in my opinion. Subverting Maricopa and making it our base of operations is the better path, though we shouldn't neglect mobile for the time being.
Au contraire, I believe that turning Mobile into a stronger community is exactly how we can get into a position to subvert Maricopa to our cause.

Here's the thing about our relationship with Maricopa: We have less influence than we'd like and we can not really subvert it from the inside at the moment. Up until this week, it's been very much a Master/Servant relationship with Maricopa equipping us and supplying us in return for using us as deniable military assets. This relationship is drastically changed now that we've dealt a thorough blow to the Fifth Columnists trying to destabilize Maricopa from within.

We've placed a friendly regime in the Native Reservation and earned the trust of both the Mayor and the Chief of the MMP, this will cement a change in our relationship from "deniable asset" to "reliable ally". Yet this isn't enough to actually enough to earn us enough political clout for a takeover, we might be able to call in quite a few favors and the Mayor most likely will consult us on issues regarding mutual defense and safety, but we're not turning him into a puppet from this.

What we have to do is insert ourselves into Maricopan Politics via annexation. We have to integrate Mobile into Maricopa as a Voter's District, and to do that we have to grow our population and our production output, both in food products and arms/explosives manufactuirng, to the point where the Mayor and his Cabinet sees our proper integration as a positive prospect for Maricopa. When we have are properly integrated we'll get a District Representative elected to the Council and can start influencing Maricopa's politics. We're already laying the ground work right now to secure additional representation of our Meth Cult by swaying the Christian Communities inside Maricopa to our cause, and once we have their backing we can start spreading political propaganda via our own printing press to sway more of the voters. Mueller would make an excellent propaganda poster boy as a Legendary Hero who helped protect Maricopa and it's people from the filthy reds.
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>>4920962
>>4920968
>>4922247
>>4923710

OPTIONS SYNTHESIZED:
>Current Events: After the insanity that was the previous pope and the Council in 2020, anyone, even yourself, could have a valid claim after he practically dissolved the Church.
>Church History: There have been many strange situations regarding the papacy, its succession, and other matters. You will convince him that your project is not so out of the ordinary.

"Your doubt is understandable. To an outsider, it must all seem very strange, but God has put us in strange times, has he not?" You begin walking off to the side of the church and signal to your guards to not follow. Malvolion plays along. "Even before 2020, attacks on the faithful by the Church were constant. They deposed wise clergymen and brought in avowed subversives. They spent endless time and money on currying favor from heretics, schismatics, and even outright heathens while the faithful were marginalized and even rebuked for their piety. All under His providence."

"So what? I've heard this a thousand times before. What is your point?"

"My point is that when the previous pope called the damnable council in Lagos, it too was part of God's plan."

"The Ecumenist Council was God's plan?" he momentarily stops with a shocked expression. "Are you crazy?! What part of declaring that all faiths are one and have equal access to the Divine could possibly be part of God's plan? He literally brought in Islamic clerics, Greek heretics, the most radical adherents of the 'black papacy,' and actual African witch doctors, blessing them with the formal laying of hands, madness of the highest order! During a council, no less!" He is speaking with such intensity and fervor that he would no doubt be looked upon as a madman were you in the presence of others.

"Exactly," you smile. It's just according to plan. "Is that what you would expect from a man chosen by God to lead His church?"

"Of course not," he says after composing himself with a deep breath. "But as much as I want to believe he is not the true pope, there are rules. There is a rigid procedure that must be followed to the letter, or else why even be a Catholic? It seems very clear cut to me, but I'm more than open if there is anything I have missed."

>+? bonus from espousing a sympathetic position

"Consider this," you start. "Popes do not necessarily serve until death. One pope can be alive while another holds the Office, as was the case until very recently."

"Unless you have information from outside of the Badlands nobody has heard yet, he has not resigned."

"Is there not another way for a bishop, any bishop, to lose his seat?"

"Excommunication?" he answers hesitantly. You nod. "Excommunicating a pope is impossible. Nobody stands above him, who could even do such a thing...?"

[1/???]
>>
>>4925390

[2/???]

"Another pope," you answer with conviction. You know some may consider what you are about to say a stretch, but you know that in times like this there is no other way. "Have there not been multiple claimants to the papal throne before? If the legitimate pope claims a predecessor of his anathema, then that predecessor is guilty of heresy. In theory, that pope may even argue that his predecessor was no true pope in the first place. Would the case of Honorius the first, anathematized by the papal approved Second Council of Constantinople, not prove a retroactive anathematization possible? Would removing a bad pope by installing a parallel pope not just be in line with the actions following Urban VI?"

>+? bonus from relevant church history

Malvolion opens his mouth as if to speak, but doesn't say anything. He's silent and seems to be in deep thought. By this time, the two of you have wandered into the church itself during the course of the pensive stroll. "I thought I'd heard every possible argument on this topic, but I'll admit I was wrong on that. So you're saying he can be retroactively deemed a heretic if we can just get a proper pope on the throne with the willingness to do so? And that this wouldn't even be a break with precedent?" He stares at a stained glass depiction of the crucifixion as he continues. "His mistakes, and even the mistakes of all other pontiffs, could be erased in one fell swoop. If what you're saying is true, of course."

"It is true. It must be true. Ecumenism is among the worst of heresies, as it does not raise the various faiths to the level of Truth, but rather tries to bring Truth down to the level of the world. As heresy of the highest sort it means an excommunication latae sententiae. Just as Urban IV was challenged by another pope with another set of cardinals, we can do the same. Nobody who is of sound mind and spirit could possibly stand idle as a pope commits flagrant heresy and thereby leaves the Chair of Saint Peter empty."

>+? bonus from current insanity

"What do you say? Will you join me, join us, in the crusade to take back this faith from the jaws of hell?"

>FINAL RESULT: 8 + ??? = ???
>??????

"It's a big ask," he says ponderously. What feels like a long silence follows. He buries his face in his hand in apparent anguish before speaking. "I'll need a few days to think this over. In the meantime, I'm going to need to research some of the stuff you said. I know about the Papal Schism but I need to make sure of the details. Among other things."

"I have a supply of materials with me, I need only retrieve them. Would you like me to share them with you and help in going over them?"

"I think it would," he responds.

The two of you walk out of the church and are soon back at the entrance area. Your papal guard is still there but the crowd seems to have gotten bored and left. You think you have a real chance at reaching through to him and will be spending further time here to sway him...
>>
>>4925393

[3/???]

>POV SWITCH TO CARDINAL RICHARD MUELLER

After the Messenger left early to begin the work of making the remnants of the Catholic Church whole again, you organized a small force to head out to the Reservation. While you are ostensibly only going there to resume preaching, there's a lot more going on. You have to first of all figure out what exactly is going on. You know that Dolores engaged in some kind of takeover, but that's about it. Second, you have to organize the return of the crusaders you let him 'borrow' earlier in the week, or at least see if such a thing is wise. Additionally, there is the element of acting as a potential mediator between Maricopa and the Reservation, which despite their close proximity are still very much two separate polities. Suffice it to say, there is a lot going on.

Your group travels east along the 238. Due to your inability to put any weight on one leg and the necessary wheelchair, you do not drive there yourself. As you cross into Maricopa you can't help but notice they're getting lax with security on this side of the city, probably for good reason. You continue on to the Reservation and pass by the casino. You've been here quite a lot and can't help but notice a sizable increase in cars parked outside. This could mean it's starting to open back up to Maricopans, or just that people perhaps want to distract themselves after recent events. You don't stop to find out.

You soon arrive to the Sheriff's Department building. "What in the hell?" you think to yourself as you see two hanged corpses out in the open. It really shouldn't bother you with all of the death in recent times, but seeing it so openly somehow makes it different. A few locals are on guard duty and they allow (and help) you in while your company is left outside, as expected. You get just outside his office when you're made to momentarily wait. A woman walks out of the office and soon Dolores comes out and meets you.

"Mueller!" he calls out. "Good to see you're still k-" he stops himself. "Still-."

"Kicking?" you finish for him, moving your good leg for emphasis.

"You said it, not me. C'mon in."

You enter his office and begin to have a proper talk with him one on one.

"I can tell a lot's been happening while I was gone," you remark.

"Oh man, tell me about it," he says with obvious exasperation. "Things have only just started to settle down."

"Dolores, I'll be frank with you, what the hell's goin' on here? Why are there bodies swinging in the breeze outside like it's the wild west?"

The man in front of you pauses, his expression becoming sterner. "Those two were council members who were in on the plan. I'll leave the bodies up for a while longer. They'll be good reminders..."
>>
>>4925394

[4/4]

"Wow, I'm not sure what to say. I mean, doesn't this at least cause problems with the other council members?"

"Not really," he says as he strokes his handlebar mustache. "I told the business types that if they wanted any special goodies they just had to go through me. They seemed happy enough to just have the casino open up and the promise to try and get trade with Maricopa going again. The other half, not including the ones we didn't have to get rid of, they were just relieved that I let them keep their salary while I let them keep pushing pencils. That and they didn't join the many prisoners we have taken recently."

"Well, on the way here it looked like the regular folk seemed in good spirits. I'm guessing they're happy there's order again with that fifth column gone."

"Ha!" Dolores says in a burst of laughter. "That's the story we'll tell 'em. If anything though, we were the fifth column. They had just about everyone who actually mattered on board. Council members, law enforcement, teachers, enough fighters to nearly put you six feet under, you know. They probably would've taken over when the whole War started if they weren't afraid that Maricopa would use it as an excuse to invade." His expression hardens again. "They still might," he says, followed by a slight pause and him seemingly returning to his usual self. "Anyway, what'd you come here for specifically?"

There are a lot of answers to that question:

>"I want to continue preaching and would like to know if/how you can help me with that."
>"We came to see what's going on and if we can take our troops back."
>"I'd like to know what exactly you found after that raid, if there's loot to spare, and what happened with that big guy?"
>"I couldn't help but overhear you have an excess in prisoners... we could help with that..." [Option Granted by Sierra Estrella Base]
>"We need to know what's going on with Maricopa going forward."
>"I want to know what your plans for the future are now."
>[Write-In] [Highly Encouraged!]

Aaaaaa, I keep telling myself to make shorter updates but the word-counts show the revealed preference, which I nonetheless endeavor to change. Anyway, regarding actually relevant stuff, you're not really limited in what/how much you can say, but I imagine not all of the options or potential [Write-In] choices would interest you guys so there's that.

And surprisingly, it's been nearly a full month and yet the thread's only on page 8. Such is /qst/

>>4923801
>rudimentary MLRS
Big emphasis on the "rudimentary" part!
Also:
>??? what relevance does some random 1930's pr-
>*keeps reading*
>nvm

>>4924837
As a matter of clarification, Maricopa and the Reservation are effectively two separate places despite them being located directly side by side. That, and the takeover was Dolores' own thing done mostly using his own guys. He's manifestly thankful for the help, but to say the Crusaders "placed him" into power is probably a stretch unless this is w/r/t rhetoric
>>
>>4925399
>everything except wanting troops back

The last two could wait, for convenience sake though I suppose.

Truth be told i like the long updates personally, but whatever works for you man.
>>
>>4924837
>"Yet this isn't enough to actually enough to earn us enough"
Jesus Christ I was tired when I wrote this, if I submitted this to my old English Teacher he would've fucking strangled me.

>>4925399
>"I want to continue preaching and would like to know if/how you can help me with that."
>"We came to see what's going on." (don't ask for the troops back, this is clearly way bigger than we thought it would be and he probably needs them for a while longer to kee