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/qst/ - Mitsuba Archive


It's late 2020, and you're running out of time. The City of Angels is collapsing along with the entire country, and you need to get the hell out. Your plan is simple. Take your modded muscle car and make a break for the deserts outside the city. It won't be easy though. Law enforcement in the area has collapsed, and now every nutjob in the city out on the streets either causing mayhem, pilfering the remains of the city, or trying to take power themselves. What's left of the authorities are doing their best to cut off the exits and seal up the region, and with it your fate. But with 8 cylinders, some armor plating, and a trusty firearm, you just might have a chance to escape from the Valley!
>>
>>5215771

[A 2nd US Civil War Gaiden]

Note: I, the person posting this, am not the QM. The real QM forced me to post this copy pasted thing against my will. He, by his own admission, is on a wild bender (he is still "drunk off of [his] fuckin' mind"), but will show up shortly to post the actual first post soon.

This is a one-shot and an experiment in mechanics, writing style, etc. Expect at least an update a day if there are votes. It could go well or it could be an alcohol fueled deranged dumpsterfire. Who knows! Again, first update to follow soon
>>
[START INTRO CUTSCENE]

You put down your welding torch, lift up your visor, and turn on the radio.

"-to close out 2020 with some windy weather. Just a normal day, everything is normal, just some mostly peacef-" You turn the knob. This isn't what you're looking for.

"- and there was some crazed junkie biting his face off! HIS FACE!!! The whole place was on fir-" Not it.

"-RISE COMRADES! THE REVOLUTION HAS-" Nope.

"-Kilo-5, maintaining positions in Sherman Oaks, over." You've found their freq- "Understood Kilo-5. Continue the advance, company ain't paying us to sla-" Just some private security outfit, even if they are packing more heat than most 'law enforcement' in the region. You adjust the frequency again.

"- requesting status on the Santa Clarita blockade effort," a gruff voice calls out. Definitely sounds like law enforcement.

"Santa Clarita has been totally sealed off. Concrete barriers, heavy weaponry, the works. Almost as secure as Ventura. We've already gunned down the rats trying to flee."

Damn it. That was your escape route. Well, LA is a big place and there's more than one way out. You're thinking you can go through the mountains on the north side. There are some roads up-

"Mountain group reporting that we've secured the choke points," a different voice calls out. "Anyone trying to escape here will be in for a nasty surprise." Shit. This isn't good. Well, there is the long way all the way to the Cajon Pass where you can-

"Status on the Cajon Pass?"

"We've got it secured." Oh for fuck's sake! "Just barely, but you said back-up's coming soon, right?"

"Right. Real soon." This is bad, real fucking bad. Where is there even left to escape to? "That just leaves the Banning Pass. What's the status there?"

There's a long pause.

"I said, what's the status there?" the gruff voice, presumably their leader demands.

"Uh, sir." You can barely make him out amid the static and constant gunfire in the background. "Situation on the Banning Pass is- shit, shit!" Loud gunshots almost blow your car's speakers. "Sir, with all due respect, the situation is FUBAR! I don't know what the hell's happening, there are at least five different groups fighting each other in this region, it's total chaos! Even the Casino g-"

"Get it together! Look, I don't care how bad it is out there, if you don't hold out there, it'll get a lot worse. Get your unit's shit together and hold out just a little longer. This will all be -over- soon. Remember the Sheriff's standing orders. It'll all be -over- soon."

You've heard enough. You turn off the radio, put away your welding gear, and get your gun. The Banning Pass is about a hundred city miles away. You thought it'd be tough enough fighting through just your native San Fernando Valley, but it looks like you'll be slogging through the San Gabriel and San Bernardino ones as well.

Revving your car's engine up, feeling the V8 roar to life, though, you think you might just have a shot...

[END INTRO CUTSCENE]

[1/2]
>>
>>5215819

[2/2]

Your garage door opens up. Smoke fills the air. Screams, gunshots, and chaos can be heard in the distance. As you leave, you see yourself in the rear-view mirror...

How difficult will this be? Who are you?

>CHARACTER/DIFFICULTY SELECTION

EASY MODE - Yusuf Shirazi
>You're a Persian-Jew born in the hills with a silver spoon. Your occupation is "social media influencer," which means you just fuck around for a living. You own a tricked out fancy sports car with all sorts of electronics built into it and limited self driving. You originally got this car for social media views. Initially, you planned on livestreaming your escape as a meme before the Internet went down. Your weapon is a gold-plated Desert Eagle with "FUCK YOU" engraved on it.
>Self-driving features and top tier equipment make this much easier. All checks are easier and you get special options. If you pick easy mode however, you are a total bitch. You feel like this is a bad idea...

NORMAL DIFFICULTY - Arsen Hovakimyan
>You're an Armenian car mechanic, one of the many in this part of town. You drive a modern muscle car with custom tuning and armor. It's your pet project, and a damn fine one at that. Your weapon is a classic Soviet Makarov handed down to you from your father.
>Being a car mechanic, you have significant bonuses to repairs, something you will no doubt have to do as you receive damage. In addition, your general competence makes most checks slightly easier and more forgiving.

HARD MODE - Sammy Cooper
>You're Sammy Cooper, the All-American actor. Some would say you're "washed up," but they can fuck themselves. You drive a classic muscle car that's somewhat outdated and not in the best condition. As an actor, you're not a pro mechanic, or a pro driver, or even a pro warrior. You just played those in the movies. Your weapon of choice is a sawed off shotgun lovingly nicknamed "boomstick."
>As a C-tier actor, your skill-set is not suited to trying to high speed escapes without movie magic. Your car looks nice, but is in practical terms inferior what someone could buy new. All checks will be more difficult.

LUNATIC DIFFICULTY - Porfirio Ramirez
>You are a Mexican illegal immigrant odd-job worker. Your car is a lemon you got conned into leasing thinking it would save your marriage (it didn't). It's in terrible condition and at some point you learned to ignore engine lights. You can't afford repairs after the divorce and have illegally rummaged around junkyards for parts, including what you think was an improperly scrapped police radio you now use. Your weapon is a shitty old revolver you've never used before (it might not even work).
>As a random guy looking to escape his shitty life situation as much as LA, the odds are bad. Really bad. All checks will be more difficult, especially with one fewer die you can roll. You will need to pray to God for mercy, because Lunatic Difficulty won't show you any! Good luck sucker!!!
>>
>>5215835
>HARD MODE - Sammy Cooper
>>
>>5215835
>You are a Mexican illegal immigrant odd-job worker. Your car is a lemon you got conned into leasing thinking it would save your marriage (it didn't). It's in terrible condition and at some point you learned to ignore engine lights. You can't afford repairs after the divorce and have illegally rummaged around junkyards for parts, including what you think was an improperly scrapped police radio you now use. Your weapon is a shitty old revolver you've never used before (it might not even work).

jajajajajajjajaja
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>>5215835
>HARD MODE- Sammy Cooper
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>>5215835
>HARD MODE - Sammy Cooper
Nice one QM

https://youtu.be/I5XOVR49ifo
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>>5215835
Nice to see that you’re back QM.
>Arsen Hovakimyan
I’m voting this purely because that one anon wanted a mechanic cardinal in the main quest, so I figured this could be a test run of that idea.

I was thinking of choosing Yusuf just to be a cunt.
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>>5215835
>NORMAL DIFFICULTY - Arsen Hovakimyan

Nice one QM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5XOVR49ifo
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>>5215835
>LUNATIC DIFFICULTY - Porfirio Ramirez
lets fucking go
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>>5215835
>Lunatic Difficulty
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>>5215835
>NORMAL DIFFICULTY - Arsen Hovakimyan
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>>5215835
>NORMAL DIFFICULTY - Arsen Hovakimyan
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>>5215835
>LUNATIC DIFFICULTY - Porfirio Ramirez
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>>5215835
>HARD MODE - Sammy Cooper
>>You're Sammy Cooper, the All-American
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>>5215835
>LUNATIC DIFFICULTY - Porfirio Ramirez
...ay dios mio....andale!
>>
>>5215835
>NORMAL DIFFICULTY - Arsen Hovakimyan
>>
Switching my vote to
>LUNATIC MODE
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>>5215835
NORMAL DIFFICULTY - Arsen Hovakimyan
Makarov based
>>
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>>5215856
>>5215986
>>5215995
>>5216441
>>5216594
>>5216707

CHARACTER SELECTED:
>Porfirio Ramirez ~ LUNATIC DIFFICULTY

You see yourself in the rear view mirror, plain old Ramirez. You're not some Hollywood action star, rich kid from the hills, or even a car mechanic. Before this Pneumonia Virus and the forced lockdowns and martial law and chaos, you were cleaning toilets for cash. You came to America thinking it'd be this land of riches and prosperity, but that's all for the cameras. This place is a dump, as it was even before the insanity of this year. Maybe not up in the hills or in the nicer parts, but you swear you've seen more dirtiness, vagrants, and general misery where you live here in San Fernando than back in Mexicali. Maybe you would have just hopped the fence the other way before it was too late if it wasn't for that damned woman.

Carmen, "Carmen mi amor" as you said, she's the real reason you're trapped here. That witch, that devil, you should have known she was out of your league and just using you when you first saw her. You knew she wasn't staying for your tall, dark, and handsome allure (you're very much the opposite of that, maybe except the dark part), you knew it was doomed to fail, but you couldn't resist. You gave her every last penny you had and even leased this car for her, but it didn't work. You can only thank God that the country fell apart before the repo man could come and take that, too.

You try to distract yourself from that demon by grabbing one of the many religious accessories in your car and praying. You're a God-fearing man and know that He is the ultimate protector. That, and religious accessories are much cheaper than car-insurance, which you cannot afford. It's also cheaper to have your car "held together by rust and prayer" than to actually fix it, as the array of warning lights on your car would suggest you need. So far praying the thing doesn't crap out has (mostly) worked so far, and you only need it to work for another hundred miles or so. You'll figure something out once you've escaped beyond the Banning Pass...

[1/2]
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>>5217613

[2/2]

But before then, you might want to take a quick detour while you're still in the Valley proper. People argue about what to have prepared for a societal breakdown situation, whether they should keep food or gold or guns. You think the real answer to that may just be to have someone you can count on. You know a few people in the Valley who you believe you could pick up and have ride "shotgun" with you. Their skills and companionship may prove valuable in the journey ahead.

Who will you pick up to ride shotgun?

>SHOTGUN TYPE SELECTION

[REPAIR] FOCUS ~ Big Nic
>Big Nic is a guy you met on an odd job in a shady jobsite over in Sun Valley. He's a car mechanic who's vouched for you in obtaining under the table work, although he swears up and down that he has no Cartel connection and is an East Coast native. He was the one who suggested you sneak into junkyards and steal things instead of paying for parts, and is himself an obvious thief.
++ Bonuses to [Repair] checks
+ Chance to gain extra HP on successful repairs
- Petty kleptomania forces him to unnecessarily waste time pilfering when stopped for repairs (or otherwise). Chance he won't even share what he loots.

[DRIVE] FOCUS ~ V
>V (short for an Asian name you can't pronounce) is a street racer in the area who you met when you first got this car and tried to get into street racing to have fun and get some respect. He has a good sense of the streets around here, knows when to "zig" instead of "zag" during those high stakes chases, and has a good feel for how far you can push an engine. It almost makes up for his disrespectful youthful attitude and eccentricity.
++ Bonuses to [Drive] checks
+ May unlock special shortcuts/routes at times
- Insufferable weeb, will force you to listen to shitty obscure Oriental electronic music and may even try to trick you into performing maneuvers from his Oriental animations

HELL FOCUS ~ Carmen
>Carmen is your bitch of an ex wife. She has caused you nothing but misery and heartache. She ruined your life, drained your wallet, and left you for God-knows-who. She probably hates your guts and there is a 0% chance you two will get together in any healthy relationship. You've tried...
--- She will make your life worse
--- There is literally no bonus
--- Why on Earth would you pick this?

SOLO FOCUS ~ Nobody
>LA is burning! You need to get to the Banning Pass, and fast! Sure, picking up a local from here would take almost no time, but almost isn't nothing! Besides, you like the idea of being a badass solo rider! Like one of those Hollywood movies!
+ Small "head start" from not having to pick up whoever's riding shotgun...
--- You don't get anything else though. When shit hits the fan, it's good to have friends!
UNLOCKS THE MYSTERY BOX
>>
Aaaaah, I hate having to write updates for ties. But I want this quest to actually update at a reasonable pace, and with a genuinely shocking amount of votes, I'll have to call it here. When I started writing, Porfirio was in the lead, and I even did a tiebreaker die roll when I saw Arsen had tied it (result was unlucky 13, fitting for Porfirio in addition to being one of the d20 results for him.) Make no mistake, playing the world's unluckiest illegal migrant will probably be a more painful experience than playing an actually competent mechanic who's care isn't held together by rust and prayer. But it will be the funnier one... At least for me, ajajajajajajajajajajaja!!! Good luck suckers!!!

>>5215919
I knew the intro cutscene was a little on the nose (i.e. completely ripped off) but I wasn't expecting anyone to recognize it and call it out until maybe later. As you can probably tell by some of the mechanics being hinted at (even at this early "tutorial" phase where they haven't been formally introduced) there's a lot of influence from the sequel. There wasn't any repair in the first game, unless you count driving into water barrels when your car engine catches fire. They're both absolute classics of the medium, though. Absolute gems that never get old that are well worth play-throughs even today. It was during a play through of one that I had the idea to run EFTV.
>>
>>5217614
Either
>REPAIR] FOCUS ~ Big Nic
or
>SOLO FOCUS ~ Nobody

Not gonna lie, the Mystery Box intrigues me.
>>
>>5217614
>SOLO FOCUS
>>
>>5217614
>Big Nic
we can't drive without a car...
>>
>chargen

Well that sucks, how long before crusaders is back on?
>>
>SOLO MODE


>>5215919
>>5217620
Had strong vibes but didn't want to bring it up, because this seems cooler
>>
>>5217614
>SOLO FOCUS ~ Nobody
>>
>>5217614
>SOLO FOCUS ~ Nobody
or
>[REPAIR] FOCUS ~ Big Nic
Cant choose

>>5217620
Its fine. I love the first one, second one not so much because of its slowdown, but nothing else.
>>
I only have the ability to create what is around me
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>>5217614
>SOLO FOCUS ~ Nobody
>>
>>5217614
>>Big Nic is a guy you met on an odd job in a shady jobsite over in Sun Valley. He's a car mechanic who's vouched for you in obtaining under the table work, although he swears up and down that he has no Cartel connection and is an East Coast native. He was the one who suggested you sneak into junkyards and steal things instead of paying for parts, and is himself an obvious thief.
>>
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>>5217658
>>5217664
>>5217883
>>5218011
>>5218025
>>5218391

You roll out of the driveway and leave your home, your former life, behind. As you blow through stop signs and pick up speed, you can see your neighborhood burning in the rear view. You can even make out some figures moving about, no doubt armed groups looking to score some loot or show dominance or just cause general mayhem. No, this country is truly dead, and with it your old life. You could pick someone up to help you out, or even make one last mad appeal to Carmen, but you're leaving everything behind. If you need company, you will settle for your image of the Santa Maria you keep in your car...

SHOTGUN TYPE SELECTED:
>SOLO FOCUS

Besides, you like thinking of yourself as a lone badass "Driver," like one of those characters from the movies! Also, for some strange reason you cannot rationally explain, you intuit that some kind of opportunity has opened up for you. Maybe Someone really is looking out for you?

>STAGE 1 ~ The Valley

You turn onto a main street due south towards the southeast part of the Valley, opposite of where you were initially headed. Looking at the streets you have a basic idea of the terrain ahead and the dangers. Luckily, the Valley's chaos is disorganized and scatted, at least in this region. Nobody's actively trying to murder you, which is good, but you have a feeling that will change. The longer you stick around, the more time there is for that to change.

>TUTORIAL: [DRIVE] Checks

>Driving through LA was a miserable enough experience pre-War, as any local can tell you, but this is outright dangerous (at least more so than usual, probably)! You need to actively avoid the myriad hazards while keeping yourself from getting lost in the chaos. This is done by making [DRIVE] checks. If you roll well, and you can make progress through the city. Roll poorly and... you'll see

>Before this, however, you need to choose how you progress. As you drive through L.A., you need to make choices on what path you use to force your way. Your choice will determine things like possible encounters, [Drive] difficulty, and what kind of opportunities might be available.

>For this initial selection, you are given the effects of your choice. Such effects may not be given in the future...

[1/2]
>>
>>5219777 BLESSED

[2/2]

Ahead of you is the vast sprawl of Los Angeles. There are buildings stretching into the horizon, some of them being burnt down and looted. Behind them are the hills around Glendale. That's where you should be heading. Also nearby is an open entrance onto the freeway. When the "quarantines" were first announced, before the chaos began, they cleared out the roads, blocked off most exits, and established checkpoints. You're not sure who else may have taken up the abandoned checkpoints or when you might find another opening, but you could probably make some quick progress on the highway. Finally, you know there's an airport nearby and a large industrial zone by it. Fuel, car parts, industrial gear, and pretty much anything else you could want would be found there, although from the smoke rising from that area, you wouldn't be the first person to think of grabbing some loot.

What's your route through this stage?

>Get on the I-5 freeway southbound and make a bee-line for the [Guaranteed progress and small chance to make double progress. Cannot stop for repairs. Cannot leave the freeway until STAGE 2]
>Keep going off on the suburban main streets [Standard]
>Take a shortcut through the airport and industrial region [Increased danger, slight bonus to [DRIVE] checks, chance to stop and loot potential valuable items]
>Get on the I-5 freeway northbound and try to get through the Santa Clarita pass and into safety [You are guaranteed to die if you select this. Please don't.]

First picking Lunatic Difficulty and now deciding that Jesus alone (& the mystery box) is your co-pilot... better hope the rolls favor you! And speaking of rolls, I'm split between locking in the vote at a certain point and asking for rolls or just rolling on my own behind the scenes. The way rolling was done in SBC was that they were done simultaneous to the votes, but part of doing this is to mess around with mechanics and try things out in its own contained space. I'm open to both and would like to hear what you guys think, since it'll have a real effect on pacing and "election integrity" (can't think of a better phrase).

>>5217853
This is a one-shot. I intend on wrapping things up in a single thread, even if it means I'll have to rush things towards the end. I am not planning on running two threads unless something insane happens, like /qst/ getting raided and bumping off half of the threads on the board all at once. I think it'll be manageable since, unlike most quests, this has a very clear end point (literally, it's the Banning Pass) and for much of the time you guys will be actively speeding towards it.
>>
>>5219778
>Take a shortcut through the airport and industrial region [Increased danger, slight bonus to [DRIVE] checks, chance to stop and loot potential valuable items]
>>
>>5219778
>>Get on the I-5 freeway southbound and make a bee-line for the [Guaranteed progress and small chance to make double progress. Cannot stop for repairs. Cannot leave the freeway until STAGE 2]
>>
>>5219778
>>Take a shortcut through the airport and industrial region [Increased danger, slight bonus to [DRIVE] checks, chance to stop and loot potential valuable items]
>>
>>5219778
>Get on the I-5 freeway southbound and make a bee-line for the [Guaranteed progress and small chance to make double progress. Cannot stop for repairs. Cannot leave the freeway until STAGE 2
And I have no opinion on how to do rolls. This is the first thread on /qst/ I'm ever participating in so I don't even know how to roll lol. This looks like it'll be an interesting story tho
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>>5220273
dice+1d100
In options newfag
>>
I'm going to leave it a little longer in case someone wants to submit a late(r) vote or switch, but I'll break the tie behind the scenes if nothing happens (so don't feel obligated). Also, I'll probably try out having dedicated updates for rolls instead of doing it behind the scenes or the usual simultaneous method. May switch it up later
>>
>>5219788
>>5220102
>>5220227
>>5220273

Breaking tie...
OPTION SELECTED:
>Get on the I-5 freeway southbound and make a bee-line for the [Guaranteed progress and small chance to make double progress. Cannot stop for repairs. Cannot leave the freeway until STAGE 2]
You don't have time to waste. Every moment you spend here is another moment some crazies will try to kill you for literally no reason. Going to the industrial zone is tempting with all of the usual loot floating around (God knows you could use spare parts,) but you won't risk it. At the least, you know Cartel types are in the area, and from the sounds of gunfire, they're in an active battle. Crossing yourself, you move to the highway on ramp.

The on ramp itself is littered with degree and absolutely filthy. Law enforcement blockaded the highways to control population movement amid the increasing civil unrest, nominally to enforce the "quarantine." These positions were abandoned once the Police moved inward to the Basin and the Sheriffs moved outward to the periphery (interfering with your escape) but the structures remain. Luckily, the part of town you live in is bad enough that crazy homeless people, probably on drugs, have mostly scrapped them already, at least enough to drive through. With the trash and -other things- all over the place, you think some of them are actually living here.

The I-5 highway itself is a scene of madness. Abandoned cars litter the area, as well as stray individuals. There's one guy you can see hunched over what looks like a corpse in a pool of blood beside a car. He could be rifling through his pockets or even eating him for all you know. You don't want to find out.

You put your foot down, pumping gas into the engine and picking up speed as you shift gears (cringing at that strange noise you hear with every shift). As the car reaches and then passes the speed limit, it rattles and shakes.

"Santa María, have mercy," you whisper as you begin to navigate the maze of debris, abandoned cars, and stray individuals the I-5 has become...

>Roll 2d100 for [DRIVE] check (increased DC and -1 die, down from 3, due to LUNATIC difficulty)
>Roll 1d10 to determine any complications

Alright, I'll go with "split the update" then. Ideally there should be another post soon after rolls (but with my record...)

>>5220273
Surprised that there is anyone new to /qst/ with the meme that /qst/ is reclining, but I'll give a quick rundown. As that other guy said, you go to the options field (just below the name field) and type in "dice+XdY+Z" where [X] is the number of dice you want to roll, [Y] is how many sides the dice have, and [Z] is a flat modifier.
For instance, to roll three six sided dice with a flat modifier of +5, you type in "dice+3d6+5". If you want to subtract from a roll, you still add the plus sign, but put a negative after it. So to subtract 5, you would have to put "dice+3d6+-5" then. You can only roll 1 die type at a time. Hope that clarifies
>>
Rolled 31 (1d100)

>>5221576
>>
Rolled 64 (1d100)

>>5221576
Honestly, I don't much see the point in voting as we're obviously a dead man. I'll wait instead for something that interests me before we inevitably get ourselves killed.
>>
Rolled 6 (1d10)

Complications is my middle name

Also I prefer QM or player roll in the thread to behind the scenes

Captcha 2m8my
>>
>>5221603
>>5221616
>>5221642

>Roll: 64
>Processing modifiers...
>Bonuses: Early Stage, Relative Calm
>Maluses: Lunatic Difficulty
>Result: Mildly Negative
You drive forward along the I-5 due south. Above the horizon, you can see the Verdugos hills and that greater region. The road ahead is filled with hazards, and you have to do your best to avoid them.

Just ahead is a large highway interchange. Under its overpasses and ramps a lot of what you think are homeless people are converging, carrying all sorts of scrap metal and random junk. Up above you can see them starting to build some kind of settlement (you think?) You're not going to rubberneck and find out, though, especially as some of them notice you and begin throwing objects at you.

You have to slow down and maneuver around various road hazards like crates, burning cars, and people. It's not easy, especially since your brakes are low quality and could give out at moment, but you manage it with more than one close call. You continue forward, picking up some speed as the road hazards become fewer in number here. Just as you think things have calmed down, however, you hear a large explosion from out east, from where the airport and the industry is located.

Quickly, fire begins to spread in the area. You know there's a gas power plant about a mile away (you cleaned their toilets once) and some idiot must have set a bunch of gas alight. That, or someone purposely sabotaged it. You're not sure why anyone would be stupid enough to do that, even if local factions are fighting for control in the area. Looking at it, you can tell it could have been worse and was probably just localized to a-

"Hijo de puta!" you call out as you slam the brakes and try to turn left as hard as possible without crashing or flipping your car. Part of the freeway here opens up to the 170, and you almost got on the wrong freeway while distracted by the large explosion.

"Chinga tu madre, güey!" You weren't fast enough, and your car crashes through a number of barrels on the road. Your seat belt stops you from getting knocked around too much, but you can definitely feel each impact as the car rattles. Fortunately, the road is clear and you're able to stabilize before you accidently crash into anything else. From where you're sitting, you can tell that the slab of metal you have on your front is bent, but still hanging on and providing protection. You do notice, however, that the car is now oversteering to the right.

>EFFECT: No HP loss. Receive malus to [DRIVE] checks until next successful [REPAIR] stop

The oversteering is a problem you've had with this car for a while. The power steering is in bad shape, and you couldn't afford to repair it so you just put duct tape (a lot of it) on the hose to keep the fluid from leaking and making it imbalanced. You think that got knocked off, or maybe you turned so hard the pressure was too much. Next time you stop, you should be able to duct tape it again. Hopefully...

[1/2]
>>
Rolled 70, 43 = 113 (2d100)

>>5222292

[2/2]

After that close encounter, you continue on. This section of road is strangely free from vagrants, abandoned cars, or anything else. You're guessing the entrances here haven't been dismantled and that the crazies haven't gotten here yet. That, or there's something else down the way keeping them occupied. In any case, you take this opportunity to tune in and see what's going on.

>Tutorial: RADIO INTERLUDES
>Periodically, there will be a lull in the action. You can use this time to tune into the radio and see what's going on. You can insight into what's going on in parts of Greater Los Angeles you're yet to reach, get clues as to what choices would be wisest in the current stage, or just uncover the lore of what the hell is going on in these once United States. You will get a preview of the various stations beforehand...

Select which faction's reporting you will listen to

>Law Remnants are trying to organize their retreat into the edges of LA
>A well respected news station is running a report on the state of the nation
>A conspiracy oriented hippie station is accepting call-ins from Angelenos
>The Revolutionaries are broadcasting their propaganda
>Some local faction is broadcasting in a strange language

>>5221616
>we're obviously a dead man
Truth is... the game was rigged from the start!

>>5221642
Noted. If you see me roll randomly from time to time, assume it's something I'd normally do behind the scenes. Or who knows, maybe I'll just be trolling!
>>
>>5222296
>Law Remnants are trying to organize their retreat into the edges of LA
or
>A well respected news station is running a report on the state of the nation
>>
>>5222296
>Law Remnants are trying to organize their retreat into the edges of LA
>>
>>5222296
>>A conspiracy oriented hippie station is accepting call-ins from Angelenos
>>
>>5222296
>>Law Remnants are trying to organize their retreat into the edges of LA
>>
>>5222296
>>The Revolutionaries are broadcasting their propaganda
>>
>>5222616
+1
>>
>>5222296
>>A well respected news station is running a report on the state of the nation
>>
>>5222313
>>5222314
>>5222371

OPTION SELECTED:
>Law Remnants are trying to organize their retreat into the edges of LA
You tune into the Law Remnant faction and see what's going on with them. Might as well since you're able to actually tune into their frequencies, unlike most people (you imagine.)

"-if we've heard from the rest of the state? Or the national guard? We can't hold out like this," a voice calls out. You can tell she's obviously stressed out.

"Negative. We are to maintain the current strategy according to the Sheriff's last orders: make an organized, fighting retreat to the fallback points and hold back the chaos."

"Fighting retreat? Hold back the chaos? With all due respect, we're getting slaughtered here in the Verdugos and San Gabriel regions. We hardly broke out of the defenses they set up on the 210, it's a deathtrap. Requesting backup as we move to the Morris area."

Sounds like you should think twice about taking the 210.

"Request denied." You now recognize that this is the gruff voice from before. "Mountain group is to maintain defensive positions and cannot cover your arrival."

"Nothing? Don't we have helicopters, can't someone organize an evac? Try borrowing resources from the Antelope Valley area? Lancaster, maybe?" You can tell she's desperate.

"Negative."

"Oh, c'mon! I heard there were choppers flying out from the Basin towards the Antelope Valley. We're getting-" she's interrupted by a few loud gunshots before continuing. "We're getting bogged down here on the ground, we need support!"

Choppers from the Basin? You thought the city of LA, not counting the Valley, was sealed off by the LAPD and others following the mayor.

"As you know, the skies are closed off. Air travel is not safe. And with the mayor's declaration, the Basin and the LAPD are hostile groups to be treated as enemies. Your orders are to push through to Morris by whatever means necessary, and fast. It'll all be over soon. Is that understood?"

There's a pause. "Yes, sir." The resignation is palpable.

>Potential options later on unlocked

After that interlude, you've reached what you think is Burbank. And you've figured out why things were so quiet earlier. It was the calm before the storm.

"Dios mío..."

[1/2]
>>
>>5223222 (so many 2's...)

[2/2]

Up ahead is a huge mass of people clogging up the highway. For some reason, what you can only describe as a horde has emerged.

>STAGE 1 BOSS ~ THE HORDE

The Horde seems to be moving in your direction and is completely blocking the highway. You know they are on drugs, not from seeing them, but because only junkies with their brains actively being fried by drugs would do this kind of thing. With the exits blocked off, you can tell that you won't be able to simply drive past here. Not without using your car as a tool of [COMBAT].

>TUTORIAL: [COMBAT] Checks
>[COMBAT] Tutorial: At times, generally at the end of a stage or during [REPAIR], you will encounter something blocking your progress and actively trying to kill you. You will need to keep a cool head and fight back, using either your firearm or your muscle car as a weapon.

Between you and the Horde, you see a lone individual frantically waving his hands towards you in an obvious cry for help. He's actively being chased down by a presumably bloodthirsty horde of junkies who want to eat his face off, for all you know. You did hear something about a face getting bitten off on your radio sweep just before heading out.

This complicates things. You are obviously the only hope this person has. You're pretty sure the Bible and the Church tells you to help strangers. But stopping to pick him up would, best case scenario, lessen your ability to deal with the Horde. Worst case scenario, he's a psycho who'll try to kill you.

In any case, you have to figure out some way to deal with the Horde. Turning back is obviously not an option. The only way out is through. How do you go through?

>Put the pedal to the metal and force your way (Will incur [DRIVE] and [COMBAT] checks)
>Stop your car and shoot them until they disperse or devour you (Will incur multiple [COMBAT] checks)
>Hand your shotgun driver the gun and have him shoot while you try to ram through [Unavailable due to lack of shotgun rider]
>Get out of your car and walk up to them so you can politely reason with them (??????????????)
>Come up with some super creative plan to get out of this bind [Write-In]

And how do you deal with the complicating factor of this stranger?

>Pick him up and pray nothing bad happens
>Leave him to get torn apart by the Horde
>Run him over for shits and giggles?
>>
>>5223226
>Put the pedal to the metal and force your way (Will incur [DRIVE] and [COMBAT] checks)
>Pick him up and pray nothing bad happens
>>
>>5223226
>Put the pedal to the metal and force your way (Will incur [DRIVE] and [COMBAT] checks)
>Pick him up and pray nothing bad happens
>>
>>5221576
thanks for the rundown on how to roll dice on this board
sorry to hear it's in decline
>>5223226
>Put the pedal to the metal and force your way (Will incur [DRIVE] and [COMBAT] checks)
>Pick him up and pray nothing bad happens
>>
>>5223226
>Put the pedal to the metal and force your way (Will incur [DRIVE] and [COMBAT] checks)
>Pick him up and pray nothing bad happens
>>
>>5223226

>Put the pedal to the metal and force your way (Will incur [DRIVE] and [COMBAT] checks)
>Pick him up and pray nothing bad happens
>>
>>5223226
You alright QM?
>>
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>>5223329
>>5223332
>>5223340
>>5224094
>>5226602

The city is collapsing as it degenerates into a frenzied bloodbath. It's like the entire city, the entire world, has become demon possessed, or at least schizophrenic. You'd have to be a lunatic to think picking this guy up as a horde approaches is a good idea. It's some random shmuck who'll probably backstab you.

"I assure you that when you haven't done it for one of the least of these, you haven't done it for me."

OPTION SELECTED:
>Pick him up and pray nothing bad happens
"Santa María, help me." You brake, coming to a skidding stop and ending up just next to the stranger. "Get in the car gringo," you say pointing the gun at him. "We're escaping the Valley."

The gringo looks shocked, like he wasn't expecting his plea to be answered. Looking back at the Horde, he nods his head and gets in the car, folding back the shotgun seat and getting in the back.

"Oh, thank you, thank you kind stranger!" The stranger, a totally unremarkable ginger, says nodding his head. "I don't know what the hell is going on, I was just, uh, minding my business and this mob appeared! I think they got corralled and driven out by that checkpoint up ahead."

"Checkpoint?"

"Oh, it's a long story. Bunch of guys up ahead, nasty people, blocked off the highway after the Law pulled out. There's an open exit you can take just past it. I'd recommend it, at least."

This guy seems to know something. "Who the hell are you and what are you doing here?"

"Oh, don't mind me. I'm just John Doe." Something about him is off, you can tell. "Just John Doe, thankful that there's still some kindness in the world for a poor stranger. Hey, I noticed you got some Christian stuff here, hey, do a brother a favor and-"

[1/2]
>>
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>>5226815

[2/2]

"¡Cállate!" This guy talks too much. You interrupt him and drive out before the Horde catches up to you guys. You can listen to whatever lecture he has some other time.

OPTION SELECTED:
>Put the pedal to the metal and force your way (Will incur [DRIVE] and [COMBAT] checks)

You double back to get some distance from the Horde before trying your maneuver. You're going to build up as much speed as you can and ram your car at full speed. You're no physics professor, but you're pretty sure that you'll have more than enough energy to plow through a few homeless lunatics (hoping neither your armor nor engine break). Besides, you're not sure about trying to disperse the crowd with gunfire. Drug fueled crazies aren't known for their self-preservation instincts (and honestly, you're not sure your gun even works).

You stare down the Horde from behind the wheel, a large part of your vision blocked by the large external supercharger sticking out from your hood. "Hold tight!" you call out as you slam the gas pedal. You shift gears as quickly as you can and ignore whatever sounds and warning lights the car throws your way. You're quickly closing the distance with the Horde as you shift into sixth gear and watch as the RPM and engine temperature increase to levels you know this thing shouldn't be sustaining. Fortunately, you won't need to for long.

>Roll 2d100 for [DRIVE]
>Roll 2d100 for [COMBAT]

>>5226813
Yeah, just had some stuff pop up. May or may not have involved the usual substances. I'll just leave it at that...
>>
Rolled 17 (1d100)

>>5226817
Well, this will be interesting.

Nice to see that you're back QM!
>>
Rolled 57 (1d100)

>>5226817
>>
Rolled 18 (1d100)

>>5226817
>>
Rolled 6 (1d100)

>>5226817
LETS GOOOOOOOOO!
>>
Nice to see that we still have that Crusader luck QM!
>>
>>5226843
>>5226949
>>5227000
>>5227739

You hold tight as you make impact with the horde. The first dead-eyed junkie bursts into a shower of gore as the reinforced metal slams into him. Instantly, your windshield is covered in red as blood and (what's left of) internal organs except for a small section in the center where it's blocked by the supercharger. You don't have time to wipe the windshields or hardly even react as there's more than one body in your path.

You hear another slam, and then another. You think one of them might be dragged underneath the car or caught up in the guts or something based on the loud bangs and thuds coming from beneath you. You have no clue what's going on, and you have more important things to worry about.

Despite keeping your foot on the gas pedal, your car slows down as it rapidly loses kinetic energy. You scramble to shift gears to compensate to keep the engine alive as you slow down. There's an overwhelming cacophony of screams, slams, and strange noises coming from your car as you force your way through the Horde.

"Shit, shit!" you call out as your car comes to an abrupt stop. With the wipers (and copious amounts of washer fluid) you're just barely able to see what's in front of you. The Horde ahead of you is thinned out, just a few deep. Behind you is a slurry of corpses and gore.

"Excuse me, what are you doing?!" he asks, probably too calmly for the current mayhem.

"I'm pushing through," you tell John Doe as you rev the engine and intentionally stay in low gear, keeping your RPM high. It's not great for the engine, but you manage to build up enough power to push the last few out of the way.

"Was it just me or did we almost die there?"

"Eh, don't worry. Is fine," you say as you keep driving ahead, half to calm yourself down. "Gotta clear the windshield," you say as you activate the wipers, again, and get a clear view. You almost wish you didn't...

[1/???]
>>
>>5230107

[2/???]

Loud thuds come from the windshield as what appears to be a bloodied, heavily wounded madman is clinging onto the hood of the car with his legs using the supercharger as support.

"AAAAAAHHHHH," he yells as he begins to headbutt the already damaged windshield with his skull with more force than should be possible. Just what the hell are these people high on?!

You try some basic vehicular combat maneuvers. You first swerve back and forth in an attempt to shake him off. It doesn't work; he's holding on for dear life and still causing damage to your car. You then slam the brakes, hoping he'll be sent flying. Instead, he's just pushed onto the giant metal block sticking out from your engine. You're pretty sure that thing is superheated with how hard you've pushed your engine and the strange burning smell in the air, but he's too high to care.

With your car stopped, your options are now limited, and your time is running out. You look for your gun, but it must have gotten lost. Somehow, the madman is still trying to bust into the car, his face peppered by blood and shards of broken glass like some kind of demon.

"Padre, Hijo, y Espiritu Santo," you begin praying, because at this point the only thing that will save you is a miracle...

Glass shatters with a loud bang...

There's screaming...

Everything becomes red...
>>
>>5230108

[3/???]

You open your eyes?

"...tened piedad?" The madman in front of you has half of his face torn off as he lies limp on the hood. Your windshield has a massive hole in it, and what hasn't been rendered into shards looks like a giant spiderweb obstructing any view. The interior of the car is seeped in gore. But you are unharmed.

You just notice John Doe with a revolver in his hands pointed at where the foe was. The ginger breathes heavily for a bit before he speaks up. "Had to do it," he says exasperated. He must have gotten the gun when things were getting bad and, thankfully, he didn't miss. You don't have time to start questioning him, though, as you look around to see if you're safe.

Looking back, you see the highway marked by red trails going back a fair distance. There are a few corpses there and, in the far distance, you can see the Horde. For some reason, they aren't trying to pursue you or anything and are headed to God-knows where. To your front is just the deranged clinger, or what's left of him. All the drugs, adrenaline, and bloodlust in the world can't help a skull blown open. It's why you have to shoot them in the head (or have a stranger do it for you...)
>>
>>5230109

[4/???]

Also in front of you is the highway leading to the hills. You've got to be deep in Burbank now, maybe even at Glendale already. You're in the Verdugos, which means you've escaped from the Valley, at least the first one...

>Stage 2 ~ Greater Verdugos

You get out of your car and inspect the damage from this madman.

>TUTORIAL: HOTROD POINTS [HP]
>HP: As you carve a path through the Greater Los Angeles region, you will take damage. Your hotrod will get in worse and worse condition. You start the journey being [Reinforced] by armor (or [Reinforced+] if you are a child and select [EASY MODE]) and go down according to the following:
>[Reinforced ->] Undamaged -> Scuffed -> Damaged -> Devastated -> Critical!!! [-> Destroyed]
>You can [REPAIR] your vehicle up to undamaged, or even make it [Reinforced] with rare, special checks
>Generally damage comes with maluses, which can result in a death spiral where poor rolls cause poorer rolls in a tailspin. As is the case with real life, just be lucky and you will be fine!!

It's bad. You've definitely taken some serious damage from that dismal combat...
>>
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>>5230111

[5/???]

>Combat Roll: 18
>Processing modifiers...
>Bonuses: Early Stage, Perfect HP
>Maluses: Lunatic Difficulty, Boss Encounter
>Result: Solidly Negative...
>Lose 1 HP
>Irreparably damaged windshield: general [COMBAT] check malus, higher chance of dying to gunfire, malus to [DRIVE] checks while broken glass remains
>Bloodied intake: Cannot continue until cleared out, [DRIVE] check malus
>You almost died

You drag the still warm body off of the car and onto the road. You can see bits of him still on the intake, some of it burned on. You have to clear it out before you progress or the car could be totally inoperable. The windshield is, of course, beyond saving. In fact, it's an active impediment to your sight since what's left of it is covered in spider cracks and is best removed all together. That's all in addition to general damage to the body, which goes without saying. Oh, also, you should have died. You got lucky John Doe had enough sense to do something.

"Hey mister, uh, what's going on?" Speak of the Devil. "Don't tell me we have to go on foot."

"No, we just got to do some repair. You think we're safe for now, right?"

"Sure, but repair? With what?"

"I got a car jack, a welding torch, duct tape, water displacement, wrench..."

For a moment, his face is totally deadpan, as if he is questioning all of his life choices and what he did to deserve being in this position. He quickly recovers and puts a smile on. "Ok then, can I help?"

"Sure, open up the hood and keep an eye out."

You soon inspect the damage from the actual drive through the horde. It's not as dramatic as the demolished windshield, but it's not nothing, either...
>>
>>5230113

[6/???]

>Drive Roll: 57
>Processing modifiers...
>Bonuses: Early Stage, Choice Selected
>Maluses: Lunatic Difficulty, Damaged power steering
>Result: Mild Negative
>Lose "Reinforced" HP
>Overheated transmission: Temporary [DRIVE] check malus

That reinforced bar of metal you had protecting the engine is totally devastated. You no longer have reinforced armor. Hopefully, you won't have to plow through another horde.

"Any damage to the engine?" John Doe asks you while you look at the engine.

"Power steering's not good, but I thinking that's from smashing into the barrels. No, engine's looking not bad. I mean, it was kinda bad when I started driving, but it's not much worse. Guess that reinforcement took the damage."

"It's covered in blood. Besides, what's that horrible smell? I don't think that's charred flesh."

You sniff the air and understand what he's talking about. You immediately recognize this smell from when you first learned to drive standard transmission.

"Oh, that's nothing. I must have been too hard with the gears, overheated the tranny you know."

"Wait a minute, WHAT?!?"

"When you're sloppy with the gears, work it too hard, the clutch can get hot. Burning. It's not leaking fluid or anything, it'll cool down on its own."

"Oh." You have no idea why he got so particular about the transmission.

Anyway, it's time to [REPAIR] while you have the chance...
>>
>>5230116

[7/7]

>TUTORIAL: [REPAIR] Checks
>REPAIR: With driving, getting there is half the fun. The other half is the repair and modding you do before you even turn the key. Or in this case, the repair you do after the insanity of Los Angeles half destroys your car!
>You will have opportunities to [REPAIR] your vehicle up to repair your vehicle via a pool of dice rolls, which determines how much you could get done in a session.
>As you roll, you get to choose between focusing on certain repairs over others or just doing whatever is most convenient to the protagonist at the time (random repairs, but get an extra die)

Select your repair priorities (can select multiple with descending preference):

>Unclog Intake
>Duct Tape Power Steering
>Cool Overheated Transmission [Unavailable: Will auto-repair in 3 updates]
>Replace Destroyed Reinforcement [Unavailable: Don't have necessary part]
>Clear Out Irreparably Damaged Windshield
>No Priority [Overrides other options if voted for]

Rolls will come later, maybe not from players....

Anyway, Boss Battle over! I know I said I'd go for shorter updates, but Boss Fights would be the exception (although I did think about breaking it up into 2, and those posts aren't maxing out on post length so it's a little deceptive). I just needed to pay respects to the inspirational material, as well as to the cheesy, over the top horror movies that inspired it. Hopefully that will be the last encounter with drug addled zombie vagrant hordes, unless of course you happen to live in real world Los Angeles, if the reputation is to be believed!

Also, for any of you gearheads out there, this quest has a healthy dose of "movie logic" to it. For example, people obviously don't explode into gore when rammed into by an armored muscle car, or at least not quite as badly as described in the updates. Hopefully it's clear without being made explicit, but it doesn't hurt to mention.

>>5227764
I always keep giving the same advice: Just roll better numbers! Hopefully it's just getting the bad rolls out of the way now while you haven't been shot at yet...
>>
>>5230119
>Unclog Intake
>Clear Out Irreparably Damaged Windshield
>Duct Tape Power Steering


Not a good start.
>>
>>5230119
>No Priority [Overrides other options if voted for]

Fuck it, I don't really care enough to deal with priorities, we're already dead anyway.

>>5230119
>Hopefully it's just getting the bad rolls out of the way now while you haven't been shot at yet...

HA! You're a riot QM, I knew we voted for a long drawn-out suicide the moment we got Solo Ramirez.
>>
>>5230119
>>Unclog Intake
>>Duct Tape Power Steering
>Clear Out Irreparably Damaged Windshield

goood shit qm
>>
Rolled 88, 68, 73, 56, 6, 26, 26, 78 = 421 (8d100)

Don't mind me, just going to roll some dice for repairs and... something else... it could be nothing (it could even just be me trolling!)
>>
>>5230125
>>5230126
>>5230311
>>5231068

>MAIN PRIORITY: Intake
>SECONDARY PRIORITIES: Windshield/Power Steering
You should probably do something about the chunks of gore in the intake. Being able to see clearly and not having to constantly overcompensate is lower on the priority list than making sure your engine isn't bricked forever.

With that in mind, you take out your trusty wrench and get to work. At first it doesn't want to be taken off, but some water displacer takes care of that. You have to be careful with all of the gore everywhere, but you're able to carefully clear out most of the bigger bits.

"Gringo, hold this for a minute," you ask of John. He complies, and you begin to clear out whatever's left. "So, what's your story, anyway?"

"Ah, you know, you just get caught out sometimes in the wrong time and wrong place. Happens to the best of us, right?"

"In the middle of a closed off highway while the city's in total chaos? While people with guns are patrolling everywhere and causing mayhem?"

He just shrugs. "I mean, eh, stuff happens. Say, where are you headed again?"

"Out. Out of the city and to the freedom of the deserts."

"Out of the city? Did you hear about the sheriff's peoples, uh, they said they're blocking off LA, I think. They probably have all of the exits locked down like Fort Knox."

"Not the Banning Pass," you say as you clear a particularly chunky section from the grating. "That's the one chance I have. I hope. I pray." That's not hyperbole.

"Look, you did me a big favor trusting me out there. I just have one last thing to ask you, just one thing. You know, one Christ Follower to another, do what Jesus would want. Just one thing." This is an awful lot of set up. "Please, you have to drop me off at Whittier..."

[1/4]
>>
>>5231523

[2/4]

"Whittier?! Did I hear you right, Whittier?!" This guy is out of his mind. "Whittier is in the Basin. Well into the Basin! Why don't you ask me to drive you all the way to Ciudad Juarez, it'd probably be safer!"

"Most of it, yes, but the very northern tip of Whittier is just over the hill. There's a church, yea, a church I need to be dropped off at. Christian charity, sanctuary! C'mon, you just go down the 60 and take a short, short detour south by the San Gabriel River. Please, please! I'll make it worth your while!"

You don't need to be a psychic to tell that he's desperate. In fairness, the part of Whittier he's talking about would just barely be in the San Gabriel region you need to pass through, if what he's saying about it being over the hills is true. But it wouldn't be a minor detour.

"Look," you tell him as you stand up having finished work on the intake. "You'd be better dropped off anywhere else. That close to the Basin, and you're at real risk if you stay in Los Angeles. What about any other church or hospital or something like that?"

"Not an option, I'm afraid. It's Whittier or bust. But you'll take me there, right?" He's shaking like a leaf, and somehow you don't think it's him just being tired from carrying that intake part.

"Eh, I'll thinking about it. Anyway, put that back in place, I'll wrench it in."

>Reckoning Intake Repair Attempt #1...
>Success!

You get the intake in place. You can already tell it'll work. Only a little foreign material got in, but the car's been through worse. You'll make it.

Next you focus on the windshield. It should be an easy 'fix,' since fix really just means removing the glass left by any means available. The hard part is just doing it in a way that doesn't hurt yourself by accident or something. Despite a deep gut feeling telling you that punching the windshield to totally destroy it would be cool, you have more sense. You simply bust out the hammer and bust through the glass...
>>
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>>5231524

[3/4]

>Reckoning Windshield 'Repair' Attempt #1...
>Success!

As expected, you clear what's left of the windshield out of the way. You'll probably have to do without one for the rest of your journey, since it's not something you can just duct tape or hammer. But hopefully, you won't have too much flying at you, especially not bullets.

"Hey, uh, buddy! Check that out!" John Doe calls out to you. He's pointing at the hills.

You join him in watching a helicopter climbing in altitude over the hills of Griffith Park. It bears the black and white pattern of the LAPD.

"Well gee, I didn't think the LAPD was doing anything outside of the Basin. I wonder what's going on with-" John Doe stops himself as flashing lights can be made out, but their source is obscured by the wooded hills. The helicopter begins to move wildly as you notice what looks like a flickering red spot on it grow. "It's sputtering out of control! Did they shoot it down, what's going on?!"

You notice smoke coming from a few spots on the hills as the helicopter fails to control itself. It crashes before your eyes as you notice the area is starting to catch fire.

>EVENTS ALTERED BY SOLO FOCUS SHOTGUN TYPE

"I have a feeling this wasn't supposed to happen," you say without even thinking about it.

"No kidding. What were they even thinking trying to fly out in-"

"No, I mean- it's hard to explain. I have a strange feeling we should check it out."

"Check it out? You mean you want to take a detour into Griffith Park? Into that dangerous area?"

"Didn't you just try to convince me to go to Whittier?" He shuts up like a clam at that question.

There's just one more repair you have in mind. You might be able to duct tape the power steering and stop this thing from constantly trying to veer you to the left.

You pop open the hood to see what you can do...
>>
>>5231525

[4/4]

>Reckoning Power Steering Repair #1...
>Failure!
>End of [REPAIR]

You take a look at the power steering hose and can immediately tell that this won't work. With all of the debris and still drying blood, there's no way you can get the tape to stick on there. It's a very temporary fix that hardly works anyway, and under these conditions you just can't do it. Maybe next repair session it'll be dried out enough to just scrape off, but not this one.

"Any luck?"

"No, John." You close the hood and get into the driver's seat. "Porfirio," you tell him.

"Porfirio?"

"Si, Porfirio Ramirez. You saved my life, you are at least owed my name."

"Porfirio. Got it. Anyway, where to? As I said, there's a checkpoint up ahead. Some crazy types with flags, guns, and fencing. You could probably brute force through, but I wouldn't recommend it. You could get off onto surface streets just ahead through before that point and try your luck on the streets. Wouldn't be as fast as the freeway, but you'd have better luck surviving I reckon. And you could access Griffith Park through the zoo area if it isn't closed off, if for whatever reason you really want to head over there."

"I have a strange feeling it'll be open," you remark.

"Oh, and one more thing. Please, I need a simple yes or no, I'll take nothing else. Will you promise to get me to Whittier? Please, I'm begging you!"

Well, where are you going?

>Keep at the freeway and try to get through whatever checkpoint they have set up
>Get out of here and find a way to progress through the surface streets
>Detour to the Griffith Park region where the helicopter crash happened [MYSTERY BOX OPTION]

And how do you answer this John Doe's plea?

>Yes
>No

>>5230126
>we voted for a long drawn-out suicide the moment we got Solo Ramirez.
Anything Ramirez might be an insane, one might even say -LUNATIC- option, but it should at least be funny!

>>5231068
>Rolled 88, 68, 73, 56, 6, 26, 26, 78 = 421
Nooo!!! 1 away from the 420 meme number!
>>
>>5231527
>>Detour to the Griffith Park region where the helicopter crash happened [MYSTERY BOX OPTION]
>Yes
>>
>>5231527
>Detour to the Griffith Park region where the helicopter crash happened [MYSTERY BOX OPTION]
>Yes

Fuck it, I wanna see where these plot threads lead before we die, and I will vote for every combat opportunity possible if we don’t get our damned Mystery Box, I swear to God.

>it should at least be funny!
Do you see me laughing QM?

>421
>Nooo!!!

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3IC76o_lhFw
>>
>>5231527
>Detour to the Griffith Park region where the helicopter crash happened [MYSTERY BOX OPTION]
>>
>>5231527
>Detour to the Griffith Park region where the helicopter crash happened [MYSTERY BOX OPTION]
>Yes
>>
>>5231533
>>5231535
>>5231604
>>5231828

OPTION SELECTED:
>Go to the Griffith Park region where the helicopter crash happened [MYSTERY BOX OPTION]
You have to check out that helicopter crash. You don't know what's up there, but you feel an irresistible urge to go there. It's not a minor detour and the dirt roads mean you won't be able to blaze through it like you could with the freeway. You really don't have time to spare on even more unnecessary detours...

OPTION SELECTED:
>Yes
But you can't tell this stranger no. He did save your life after you totally botched your combat with the clinger. Whittier seems like a death trap, and you really doubt he can actually repay you with anything to make it worth your while, but so be it. What's one more cross to bear? While it's more of an Easter season topic than a winter one, sacrifice and giving things up for the sake of others (within reason) is an obligation. Hopefully you don't end up killed for it.

"Oh, thank you mister Porfirio! It was Porfirio, right? Anyway, I promise I'll m-"

"We can chat-chat in the car; we have a hill to go up."

With that you get in and continue along the highway toward the promised exit.

"Juan, you said there are barricades up there? Crazies with guns? Who are they?"

"Got a bunch of bad guys up there around Glendale trying to declare their own, independent faction. Out here, they don't have much resistance, just vagrant hordes and the stray gangers. But around Pasadena and San Gabriel, it's a real warzone. All of the other factions, from the senior citizens to the Communists, are trying to carve up as much territory as they can while the chaos lasts, but I guess they think if they can hold the roadways connecting the region, they'll be able to assert control over whatever's between."

"Uh, ok." Most of what he says goes over your head. You never expected the US to break into what seems like a thousand different groups, much less LA. "Hey, that's them over there?" you ask pointing up ahead where there's a barricade with what look like a bunch of guys with rifles. You can't make out any details about them, but you do see a bunch of flags with weird, ominously spiral looking symbols.

"That's them, alright." He points to your right. "And there's your exit, don't miss it!"

You get onto the off ramp and out of sight of the armed men. Removable bollards, temporary barricades, traffic cones, and similar items litter the area. It's like they tried to build defenses here but abandoned the attempt. You continue along the long, curved path and end up by a massive wrought iron gate blocking the path up the hill via the city's zoo. Or rather, it would normally be blocking off the path. This time, it's open, and you're able to proceed...

[1/2]
>>
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>>5234374

[2/2]

>Secret Area ~ Griffith Park Hills

The zoo is strangely empty, except for the faint noises of the animals. For whatever reason, this position has been abandoned by everyone. That, or something's keeping everyone busy. The narrow paved road to your destination up the hills becomes a dirt one, and you have to progress slowly. With that damned power steering problem, you have to put real effort into staying on course, but you can manage. Up ahead you can see the small fires growing larger, but for now there's a calm.

>Complication Roll to come later

For now, you have time to check the airwaves and hear what's going on in the city. You do a quick sweep of the radio before settling on one of the stations:

>Law Remnants are complaining about organized resistance
>A well respected news station is reporting their perspective on recent violence
>A conspiracy oriented hippie station is hosting some screaming old person
>The Revolutionaries appear to be arguing among themselves
>Some local faction is broadcasting in a strange language
>>
>>5234377
>The Revolutionaries appear to be arguing among themselves
>>
>>5234377
>Law Remnants are complaining about organized resistance
>>
>>5234377
>>Law Remnants are complaining about organized resistance
>>
Rolled 6 (1d10)

Don't mind me, just rolling for complications and the like. Continue as usual, I'm sure it'll be fine
>>
>>5234398
>>5234401
>>5234427

OPTION SELECTED:
>Law Remnants are complaining about organized resistance
"- don't even have enough ammunition," you hear as you tune into the frequency the remaining Sheriff's remnants are using.

"Now listen here, son. We know you don't have as much ammo or personnel or, hell, maybe even food as you want. That's just how it is: make do."

"C'mon, it's hard to 'make do' when these guys are better armed and outnumber us. They're probably better organized t-"

"Watch your mouth."

"Sir, what I mean to say is that the locals are giving us trouble and we may have to adjust our strategy. I'm requesting authorization to launch a counterattack. We've got the Santa Clarita pass here sealed up, but the actual city is practically lawless and a constant source of problems. We're cut off and getting hammered here, and it's a matter of time until we run out of supplies and get picked off. We need orders."

"You are to maintain your positions and defend the pass. Help will arrive soon." The superior lets out a gruff sigh. "But if you feel like you have to launch a counter-attack, well, just tell me the story again, the short version."

"Sir, it's a bunch of organized gun-nuts coming from the hills up northwest. We think they number in the dozens, and they're winning the aiming contest."

"As I thought. You are to organize a withdrawal to before the freeway narrows."

"Excuse me?! Sir, that-"

"That will lure them into a false sense of confidence. I know these types. They fancy themselves as tough guys, action movie stars but with a keg instead of a six pack. They'll either act like they've won and buzz off, or they'll be stupid enough to move into the open where they'll be easy targets. And since the south front should be totally locked down, send a small group of people due north before the fallback and have them positioned to flank. Fire from two sides out into the open, it's slaughter. Happened plenty out in Anbar."

"Slaughter? Sir, they're still civilians, are you sure there isn't a different way? Just drive them back?"

"You're the one who wanted tactics for a counter-attack. Look, if you're not willing to annihilate the enemy, then I suggest you follow orders and maintain the defense. Half-measures is what got us into this mess in the first place. Don't talk tough like a Pendleton Marine if you're not willing to shove a bayonet through someone's heart. Keep your heads cool until this all sorts itself out. I'll be over soon."

"Yes sir."

With that, the radio goes silent. It paints a picture of an overstretched, ineffective force that's struggling to survive, at least in Santa Clarita. Unfortunately, it doesn't provide you with any directly useful information. Here, navigating the dirt roads of the wooded Griffith Park region, Santa Clarita might as well be in China...

[1/2]
>>
>>5236010

[2/2]

>No special options or bonuses unlocked from this [Radio Interlude] selection

"What do you think's going to happen with LA?" John Doe asks. "They're blocking off the exits and that gruff sounding law guy on the radio said it'll all be over soon."

"Don't know, don't care. If I don't escape LA I'm dead, and if I do then who cares?"

"I was listening to Real Earth Radio earlier-"

"The hippie station?"

"Yep. They were doing call-ins. This one guy says they're going to nuke the city! That the quarantine and travel restrictions is a plan to box everyone in and nuke us!"

You're left utterly speechless. "Huh? Wait, what? Was there any proof?"

"He said he saw a bomber plane fly over his house!"

With that interlude out of the way, the road curves, you think to loop back towards the zoo. You've reached as far as you can go by car. You'll have to reach the mysterious helicopter crash site by foot now.

"Keep an eye on the car, Juan. I'm going in." You grab your gun, which for some reason was jammed between the shotgun seat and the passenger side door, and head out. The terrain here is lightly wooded and slowly filling up with smoke, with just a short distance separating you from whatever prize is at the crash site.

"Oi, the fuck is that!" A strange voice calls from the woods. It seems like you're not the only one here.

>>5235018
>Stage 2 Complication: Minor Hostile Presence

"Hijo de puta!" a different voice shouts. You can hear a number of gunshots. "Oh shit, it was a deer."

"Ey, maricon, save your ammo for the helicopter. It's just up ahead, jejeje!"

Looks like you weren't the only Latino looking to loot the chopper. There's at least two of them and you know they're armed. They haven't spotted you yet, and you could probably go unseen with all of the smoke starting to fill up the hills and many distractions, but one way or another you'll have to deal with them.

What kind of approach will you take?

>Charge ahead with your gun and try to shoot them in [COMBAT]
>Skulk behind them and attack them once they reach the crash site, mid looting
>Abandon your pursuit of the [MYSTERY BOX] and go back to the car
>Call out to your fellow Hispanics and convince them to split up the loot with you
>Come up with some zany scheme? [Write-In]
>>
>>5236014
>>Charge ahead with your gun and try to shoot them in [COMBAT]
>>
>>5236014
>Skulk behind them and attack them once they reach the crash site, mid looting
>>
>>5236014
>Skulk behind them and attack them once they reach the crash site, mid looting

Ambush them while they’re distracted.
>>
>>5236014
>Skulk behind them and attack them once they reach the crash site, mid looting
>>
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>>5236042
>>5236099
>>5236251

OPTION SELECTED:
>Skulk behind them and attack them once they reach the crash site, mid looting
You're not mister Hollywood action star. These guys would probably kill you without much trouble. You need to take them on when they're distracted, which means stalking them until you're at the crash site and then figuring it out from there. Clutching your revolver, you stay behind them.

>[COMBAT] avoided... for now?

Luckily, these two don't even bother checking to see if anyone's following. In fact, they're basically running straight for the crash site like it's a sprint. Your "skulking" is more of a brisk jog, and after a few minutes of pursuit, you're almost out of breath. The smoke around this place is getting thick and the wooded area is taking a subtle red hue. Those small fires you saw on your way here look to be growing and the smoke is starting to interfere with your breathing, although if you don't get out of here in time a dry cough will be the least of your worries.

"Ey, Nacho, you hear something?" Damn it, did they notice you?

"Foo, the fuck you saying? You got-" he's interrupted by a coughing fit. "You got another deer to shoot? I bet that heli's got good shit, after the LAPD went- ah!" He starts coughing again.

"No just- hey man, wanna catch a breather a-" He pauses. "Hey, Nacho, you seeing this?" He's pointing to the west. From a distance away, you look over there too. It's Hollywood in flames - literally.

The Hollywood Sign, a landmark of Los Angeles, is totally up in flames. One of the letters has already been reduced to just a frame, and the rest of it looks like it'll follow. Either the fire started right in that area, or God really, really hates Hollywood with how bad the flames are. Both of them are still and silent like yourself. It's a sight to behold.

"Hey, Iván," one of them chimes in after a long pause, looking west. "You ever think we fucked up?'

"Like, going after the chopper? I mean, the loot's p-"

"No, I mean like, WE. Like a peoples. Americans. Y'know what I'm sayin'? Like, this is LA in front of us. If we were in a movie they'd show this on screen to be like 'yo, this LA.' And it's burnin' up in front of us." During this unprompted philosophical tangent, one of the letters seems to be consumed by the fire.

"They fucked this place up. Been fucking it up for years." He pauses. "But y'know, we on the hashtag loot-crew grind, so maybe we're the bad guys?"

"Us? Not the politicians or the bankers or the lizards if you're into that-"

"But that don't mean we got the right to fuck shit up ourselves! Y'know, it's like, if I was all high up and shit would I be different?"

"You saying we're wrong? That we should turn back and give this shit up?"

You genuinely weren't expecting this kind of introspective, philosophical talk from what you thought were a bunch of deranged looters. Maybe you really could have talked things through and dealt with this peacefully, without bloodshed?

[1/???]
>>
>>5237830

[2/???]

"Give this shit up? Nah, fuck that, you know what them chinos say: loot a burning house! Hope you caught your breath, loot crew for life!" He then sprints to the crash site while the other guy tries to keep up.

"Never mind," you think to yourself as you keep up. It really is hopeless.

The three of you reach the crash site. Even though you're a fair distance back, you can see it clearly. It'd be hard not to. A number of trees are knocked over and small fires dot the area. You move closer with your revolver at the ready.

You prepare for your moment to strike. With the smoke now acting as a scarlet mist covering your approach, you get quite close. One of them is hunched over a piece of debris and the other is near the main section of wreckage with his gun at the ready.

"Shit, Nacho, someone's here!" you hear.

>START [COMBAT]

It's go time. You take aim and line up the iron sights of your revolver, closing one eye and gripping your gun tightly with your shaking hands. You're surprised that it's come to this, to you about to take a human life.

You're even more surprised to see the person burst into a shower of gore in a hail of gunfire before you even pull the trigger. "Huh?"

You look to the second looter, who also gets immediately killed by a volley of fire. This time, you're looking out for where it's coming from.

"Freeze!" you shout as you point your gun to the source of the gunfire, the crashed helicopter.

"Who the hell do you think you are, LAPD?!" a female voice yells at you. It's a woman in some kind of blue uniform lying on her back underneath a piece of wreckage.

"My name is Porfirio Ramirez!" you shout, your hands still shaking. You're staring down the barrel of a submachine gun. "I am trying to escape this God-forsaken city!"

"And I'm Special Tactics and Rescue Service agent Valentine. I'm also trying to get out of here, or was before this thing crashed. Why are YOU here?"

"I was driving through the city, but I saw the crash and, I really don't know. I felt like I had to come over here, like I'd get something very important for it." You realize you've slowly, unconsciously been lowering your gun this entire time.

"You have a car?" she asks, also lowering her gun. "Look, we don't have time to waste. Here's the deal: We take whatever's useful from here, I help you out on your way out, and you get me the hell out of LA."

"Uh, sure?" you respond. She's already gotten up and started pilfering what she can from the crash...
>>
>>5237831

[3/???]

>[COMBAT] RESOLVED

>MYSTERY BOX CONTENTS OPENED:
>SPECIAL SHOTGUN TYPE OBTAINED
>[COMBAT] FOCUS ~ STARS AGENT VALENTINE
++++ Massive bonus to [COMBAT] checks
+ B&E skills makes looting easier
+ Gain special loot items
-You're currently stuck in the middle of an out of the way, burning hill when you should be escaping!

"Hey, catch!" Valentine calls out as a suit of body armor lands in your hands. "There's more where that came from!"

>Porfirio Loot Obtained
>Second Life Armor: A heavy, military grade bulletproof vest. It's cumbersome to walk around in, but you'll be sat for most of the time behind the wheel, so it's not a big deal. It's powerful ability to absorb bullets can save your life.
>Arsenal of Democracy: A wide variety of weapons suited to almost any engagement. You're really not sure how these people carry so much stuff with them, but you won't complain about upgrading your weaponry.
>Vaccine: A vaccine for the Viral Pneumonia. You're not sure if this actually does anything or if Viral Pneumonia is really a big deal compared to the country disintegrating before your eyes, but apparently the government was/is obsessed with people taking this. Probably useless.

You're loaded up like a pack mule as Valentine loads up her pouches. The two of you escape the crash site, which is quickly starting to catch fire. Just as you get out of the area, a large explosion blows up everything behind you. The fuel tanks must have caught on fire. Flames quickly spread through the woods, and the two of you just barely manage to reach the car.

"I- ah," you try to speak, but you're totally out of breath. "Here's the car..."
>>
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>>5237833

[4/4]

"You drive, I'll take shotgun," she says with pump-action in hand. "Hey, who are you?!"

"Ah, don't mind John Doe in the backseat! I'll be off, soon as we reach Whittier!"

"Whittier?" she asks while sitting down. "And what happened to the windshield? And what's that smell?"

"Is all a long story."

"This car looks about as bad as your gun. Speaking of that, hand me your pistol." She grabs your gun and begins checking it. She has a horrified look on her face. "Can this even fire? No, looking at the firing mechanism, this thing's inoperable. Have you even shot it?"

"Well, no. But just now-"

"Take this. It's a magnum, guaranteed to blast apart anything you can hit. Just in case I need you to cover me."

>Obtain Magnum pistol

"Oh gee, the fire's getting awful close. Mister Porfirio, let's cut this short and just get out of here!"

You have to get out of here. There are three possible routes you could take. First is to go to the bridge across the LA River and enter the surface streets of Glendale. You know this place is open and not directly blocked off. At least if it is, it's not so much that you'd be able to see it from up high. Second, you could try to take your luck and merge onto the I-5 and travel along the absolute southern edge, right on the border with the Basin (the Basin itself being a no-go). You have no clue what conditions are over there, but it would be the fastest by far if everything goes well. Third, you could loop back and try to go back on the highway to the 134, where you encountered that checkpoint before. Maybe you (i.e. Valentine) could just shoot through the defenders and continue via the highway to the 210 or somewhere else.

Which way do you go?
>Up to the 134 and the checkpoint
>Down to the I-5 and the border
>Across the bridge to the streets

Those images in the opening post weren't just for show! Anyway, the long awaited(?) "mystery box" has been opened. You could imagine that without picking someone up from the Valley proper, you got to the hills just in time for the crash and the minor ally. Lucky that in this case, waiting paid off since the situation resolved itself (or she resolved it herself? I don't know)
>>
>>5237834
>>Up to the 134 and the checkpoint
>>
>>5237834
>Whichever is the fastest route

You’re acting like I already know which way’s the fastest QM. Is it the I-5, the bridge, or the checkpoint? Even then, I don’t like our chances going though an armed checkpoint with this piece of shit car.
>>
>>5237834
>Across the bridge to the streets
Might take some time invested up front but its our best chance of not getting blocked in long term
>>
>>5237834
>Down to the I-5 and the border
>>
>>5237834
>Down to the I-5 and the border
>>
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>>5238093
>>5239526
>>5237866

OPTION SELECTED:
>Down to the I-5 and the border
"We are getting out of here," you say as you shift gears and get yourself on the road out. "I'm taking the Five. Every minute we here, the Law is blocking off the city and we get closer to whatever thing they keep talking about."

Valentine, who's currently spraying something on a wound, seems to perk up when you mention that. "They're blocking off the city already? Damn, it's worse than I thought."

"They're done, except for one exit: the Banning Pass. All the way east, past even San Bernardino."

"Don't you realize what they're going to do? How much do you guys know of what's going on in Northern California? The People's Councils, the emergency meetings, inviting the east?"

You have no idea what she's talking about. "Uh, I think the news say Virus cases went up. But nothing specific I think."

"Uh Miss Valentine," John Doe interjects. "Is it true? Are they going to nuke the city?!"

She's speechless and looks back at him absolutely dumbfounded. "Nuke the city? What, no! Why would anyone nuke an American city? That's insane on a million different levels! No, it's the PLA. The PLA are coming!"

"PLA?" you ask. "The hell does PLA stand for: Phat Latina Asses?"

"Is this a joke? PLA: People's Liberation Army!"

This rings a bell. "Oh, People's Liberation Army. I think I know them from the radio; you mean the Communists!"

"Yes?"

"Yep Mister Porfirio, I heard from, err, on the radio, they're in the San Bernardino area. Or was it San Dimas? They say the Proletariat are rising up for the Revolution!"

"Yea, Juan, something like that."

"No, not the Communists!" Valentine calls out in frustration. "Well, I mean, technically, yes the Communists, but not those- you know what? Just drive Ramirez, just drive! I'll explain this later..."

[1/2]
>>
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>>5239634

[2/2]

By this point, you've gotten off of the side roads of the zoo and are at the I-5 on ramp. As expected, the area is clear and you manage to merge onto the highway.

The I-5 here is a wreck. From the overpass into the edge of the Los Feliz area, you can see numerous fires in the direction of the Basin. The popping of gunshots is constant and getting louder. You round the bend in the river and are met with a veritable warzone. From the overpass, you can see police forces advancing from the south while others from the north also advance holding strange flags with some kind of weird, vaguely threatening wheel symbol on them. Strewn about seem to be random un-uniformed civilians. They're all converging on the highway, pouring in from the on-ramps and making it a scene of absolute mayhem. You're right in the crossfire and in too deep to turn back.

"Keep your eyes on the road; I'll take care of any hostiles," Valentine says as she readies her submachine gun. You're glad for it, since it's not only will every faction in the area surely try to shoot you, but the road is filled with debris and abandoned cars. Maneuvering this lemon across the highway without having it crap out on you is a tall enough order as is.

>Roll 2d100 for [DRIVE]
>Roll 2d100 for [COMBAT]
>Roll an EXTRA 2d100 for another [COMBAT] due to the especially intense battlefield you just got into
>And roll 1d10 for complications, because your chances of survival aren't low enough as is

>>5239526
Thank you for the tie breaker.

>>5237866
I tried to describe in the post how they're trade-offs. The 134 is guarded and will involve a fight, but is a "devil you know," if that makes sense. The I-5 is described to be the fastest route, but it's also probably dangerous like most highways are. It being right on the edge of the LA basin (i.e. the denser, more urban part of LA that's outside of the game zone) doesn't help with that. Crossing the bridge and going through the surface streets is probably the slowest, but you have the most room to maneuver and have the best chance of [DRIVE]ing out of combat.

It's assumed that the characters in universe would know the general geography of the region since they're all locals (as far as Porfirio Ramirez is aware), so it'd be known that it's the most direct route, at least. The road network is public info you can find on a map, so the main thing the characters would have to worry about is what's going on with factions and other threats. And in this case, you just happened to get into a battlefield. Don't worry, I'm sure everything will be fine!

Anyway, I'll count this as a vote for the I-5, which is in theory the fastest. At the least, it's the most direct route to Whittier and east. I'm legitimating the vote!!
>>
Rolled 88, 22 = 110 (2d100)

>>5239635
DRIVE
>>
Rolled 67, 31, 36, 85 = 219 (4d100)

>>5239635
Drive, drive, drive, drive!
>>
Rolled 9 (1d10)

>>5239635
Very average rolls...
>>
Rolled 94, 11, 2, 32 = 139 (4d100)

>>5239635
"Don't turn around, just DRIVE."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHqfb7mJ5qM
>>
Rolled 59, 98 = 157 (2d100)

>>5239635
To be fair, I probably would’ve just chosen the same route on the premise that it’s the fastest, what threw me for the loop was the ‘devil-you-know’ option, because if there was no material or time incentive to intentionally getting our shitmobile shot to hell, then I fail to see why it was a choice, let alone any reason to choose it.
>>
Seems the QM didn’t escape from LA. May he find peace with God- or as a martyr of the proletariat! Fuck if I know what his pseudo-religious beliefs really are!