Session 1: Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas
Elrond "Pop" Vasilier - a Russian ex-soldier and sleeper agent who entered the vault when the cannibal riots broke out in the midst of his mission, he is the only remaining member of the original vault dwellers and ostensibly the leader. He's a good shot and a rugged survivor but at age 72, he's not as spry as he used to be.
Joel Rodrick - a pudgy bearded 21-year-old manchild who was born in the vault and is secretly in love with Wren. His parents were both dead by the time he hit his teens. He was molested by Elrond at a young age, and has suppressed the memory. Both he and George call Elrond "Pop".
George Elima - a strapping, bearded young man, 25 years old and born in the vault, he has always been like a big brother to Joel. His dad died just a few years ago. He considers Wren weird, her fascination with dead things is twisted and macabre. He knows Elrond is softer than he seems, and wishes to look after the old man. In preparation for the outside world, he has sharpened a broken piece of the vault wall into a shank, which he carries as a weapon.
Wren Lorraine - a 27-year-old vault dweller, her parents were middle-aged when they entered the vault and died when she was young. She has taught herself taxidermy, skinning and stuffing the small animals that increasingly make their way through the crumbling walls and airducts of the vault. She thinks Elrond is a noble leader, and she can't stand being around Joel any longer. She also thinks George is weak-willed and needs her protection.
The cracks in the vault walls have been growing for some time, and last week one room was flooded in two inches of water following a heavy rain. The water smelled slightly like gasoline, and ruined several pallets of dried foods. The three younger inhabitants, realizing that all of them wanted to brave the outside world, and further realizing that they constituted a majority in the vault, threw the question to a democratic vote and of course, won.
In the vault they have a handy variety of supplies. They pack up a bunch of hunting gear and navigation/surveying equipment and prepare to head out.
Dez (Angel) - She has her infirmary set up in the remains of McCarran Airport's Terminal 1, which she rarely leaves. She keeps a dropbox outside where people can leave notes to request medical attention, and barters her services for food and supplies.
Zeke (Faceless) - With his face hideously mangled by the blades of a cultist group that waylaid him on the road into Vegas and left him for dead, Zeke somehow found his way to Dez. She patched him up as well as possible under the circumstances and gave him a job working security. He has helped her heal many people, and has a strong bond with her. He also knows Madame Tulu, but that's a secret only they share; they have some past affiliation in the South.
Dodge (Driver) - Another vault dweller, but from a different vault (one that had its hermetic seals damaged beyond repair several years ago, forcing its inhabitants out into the world), Dodge was named after a car and quickly took to them when he first saw a real one at the age of 17. Now he runs errands and supply runs to keep Dez' infirmary stocked with food and medical supplies. He drives Dip around on scavenging missions, and takes Zeke as backup on the more dangerous barter runs. Zeke has saved his ass on more than one occasion.
Serendipity aka "Dip" (Ruin Runner) - A 13-year-old orphan from the streets of Las Vegas, Dip's parents died when she was just eight. She lived on her own as a packrat for several years, scavenging amid the ruins and developing a keen eye for detail. When she met Dodge he recognized her talents and convinced her to come to the McCarran Infirmary, which she now calls home base. Dip's resourceful eye and frequent excursions are the source of most of the random barter used by Dez to obtain her stock.
Madame Tulu (Brainer) - A mysterious wanderer who only recently arrived in Vegas, Madame Tulu is originally from the deep South. She has no problems traveling alone, thanks to her violation glove and painwave projector, and her ability to create in-brain puppet strings. She has struck up a loose acquaintance with Squaids, and sneaks into his tent at night to watch him sleep on occasion. She has also been keeping a close eye on the airport infirmary for a couple weeks now, but hasn't approached anyone from there yet.
Lord Squaids (Hocus) - A fucking wacknut with a drugged-out cult who travels with him throughout the southwest, Squaids has perfected a method of distilling a hallucinogenic neuroexciter from certain wild mushrooms. This drug is the source of the quasi-religious power he holds over his followers, who are dedicated and hard-working, but constantly filthy and on the verge of starving. It was Squaid's people who slashed up Zeke's face several years ago.
WELCOME TO FABULOUS LAS VEGAS
WE START with the vault dwellers unsealing the great door and stepping out to view the ruined city for the first time. They emerge from a rocky hill on the west side of town and look eastward, facing the Strip. The sun is in their eyes. They take in the sight of grand casino hotels, windows smashed, garish walls covered with faded, peeling paint and strewn with graffiti; the overgrown foliage growing up and onto the crumbling roads and collapsing freeways; the overturned cars and piles of rusted metal scattered around the landscape like some giant had tossed them aside. The sounds of birds and insects fill the early morning air. That's something Elrond doesn't remember ever hearing here, even in the days before the water stopped running.
They see movement on the Strip. Wren grabs the binoculars and Elrond peers through his rifle's scope. There are a couple people down there, but they quickly disappear out of sight. The party continues scanning the ruins, looking for any more signs of life. It doesn't take them long to find one.
CUT TO DODGE driving his muscle coupe southbound on the I-15, he's just a little south of the airport when his eye catches a glint of something on a hill about a mile off. Swerving through the broken center dividers to avoid that overturned trailer rig that blocks four lanes, he slows down and squints westward. Sure enough, it's people. Looks like four of them. And they're all wearing matching brown jumpsuits. Dodge has never seen jumpsuits like that before, but the fact that they're all wearing matching clothes strikes him as freaky. He turns the car around and gets off the freeway, finding a spot behind a building where he can watch these strangers without being seen.
BACK TO THE VAULT DWELLERS. They see the car as it approaches, then turns around and gets off the freeway. They lose sight of it again. They decide to start walking toward the nearest casino hotel. Wren takes point, scouting a few hundred paces ahead.
CUT TO THE MCCARRAN INFIRMARY. Everybody's waking up. Zeke does his security rounds while Dez checks the dropbox. There's a note in there, someone's handwriting she doesn't recognize. The note says "We need you in northtown there's a virus? We can offer training. Talk to the captain." It's signed "Bobbert". Dez doesn't know any Captain, or anyone named Bobbert. She asks Zeke. Turns out Zeke *has* heard of a guy who called himself "The Captain". But that was years ago, and the guy was in Needles, California. He was a military hothead who ran some kind of guerilla training camp.
Dez is interrupted by the cries of a patient in one of the sickbeds. Jak, a teenager from one of the dozen or so relatively peaceable groups scattered around the city, has ripped his leg open on a piece of sheet metal while scavenging. His sutures are still healing. Problem is, he wants to leave. Now. Says his father needs him. Dez tries to convince him to remain in bed but fails: He pushes her to the floor and quickly limps out the door to the main room, tearing his sutures open again and bleeding all over the floor. Hearing the ruckus, Zeke is already headed this way. He grabs the boy casually, lifting him a foot off the ground, and tells him in no uncertain terms to GET BACK IN BED. Jak, terrified by this monstrosity of a man, goes completely limp and starts sobbing in fear. Zeke carries him back to the bed and gently lays him down, as Dez prepares to sew his leg up again.
CUT TO DIP, who has been rummaging around through the gift shop in the old airport terminal. She decides to make this place her room, because of its brightly painted walls and sparkly ceiling. She goes through the cabinets and drawers behind the cashier's counter. Spying something glimmery that appears to be a candy wrapper, she reaches far back into a deep drawer and - SNAP! - a mousetrap clamps shut on her fingers. But she gets the candy. It's a dry old chocolate bar, gone white with age. She sits cross-legged on the counter and happily eats it.
CUT TO MADAM TULU, who awakens beneath the freeway overpass that served as last night's home. She finds a comfortable spot to sit and performs her morning meditations, opening her brain to the psychic maelstrom. She sees sparks of light shooting across the dark land like magical ley lines. Everything is spinning. She seems to be floating, weightless. The most striking thing about the maelstrom is the sound, waves and waves of sound: voices, snippets of old radio and television broadcasts, automobile collisions, explosions, laughter, cries and screams, and meaningless snippets of random conversation swirl around in her head. The land below becomes recognizable: she is floating above the city of Las Vegas. She feels the dark, heavy energies of the people in the city: here's one group, there's another one, there's another... They look like little black circles, and they all share a heavy darkness that fills them up. She then notices four more circles to the west. These circles are empty, and they're coming this way. Just before the vision fades she notices one last thing: up in the north part of town there's a large fuzzy area that glows with a dim, red light. Inside the light she sees a number of people who seem to be watching a movie. The red light has the feeling of bad news.
CUT TO SQUAIDS, who is waking up under the trees in a forested area once known as Heritage Park. He dons his tattered robes and heads toward the campsite, where his followers have already started a fire for the morning meal. His second in command, a mannish-looking woman named Cookie, beckons him over. She is concerned because the group's supplies are nearly depleted. "I can feed these people for one or two more days," she says, "but we're gonna have to find more food and water right away." Squaids considers his options.
CUT TO THE PARKING LOT OF THE SILVERTON HOTEL. The vault dwellers have been walking for about half an hour, and have seen no one. Wren is way out in front. She enters the parking lot and heads toward the big glass door when a shot rings out and strikes the asphalt just in front of her. "You better stay right there!" shouts an old female voice. Wren pauses for a moment, then rolls behind the nearest car for cover. She eyes the building through the car's windows. She figures the voice is coming from the upper floor, over or near the main doors. What she misses is the person creeping up on her from the other side. There's a CLICK as a gun is cocked, just a few feet behind her. Wren spins around and throws a scalpel into the would-be assailant's chest before even noticing that he's a shirtless young man, no more than eighteen. His eyes go wide and he hits the ground. He's not getting up again. "JONNY! AAAIIIEEEEEE" shouts the old woman's voice, and then she shouts some other things. Wren's not sure who she's shouting to, but it sounds like she's not alone in there.
As soon as the shot rings out, George starts running toward it, getting there a bit ahead of Elrond and Joel. He sees Wren crouching near a shirtless corpse, a gun on the ground beside it. He runs to join her as more shots whiz past him.
Elrond and Joel reach the parking lot. Elrond tries shooting back at the shooter but fails to hit her, when a bullet strikes him in the shoulder and knocks him to the ground. George runs to the building to open the big glass door, but a second young man yanks the door shut from inside and points his gun at George's head through the glass. George quickly ducks back around the corner, avoiding the shot. It is now apparent that there are four opponents: three young men with handguns, and an old woman with a shotgun. There seems to be a family resemblance. Joel remembers the fallen gun. He grabs it, takes aim, and pulls the trigger ... only to hear the CLICK of an empty chamber. There's no ammo in this gun!
CUT TO DODGE, who has been watching this entire scene from the comfort of his car, a few hundred feet away. He has a clear view of everything, and he knows who lives in that hotel. It's a crazy bitch called Mutha Hubbard and her four sons; they're kidnappers and slave traders who most people around here know to steer clear of. And these four jumpsuited fools just walked straight into her parking lot like they had no clue at all. He starts his engine, gunning it up over the curb and straight into the lot, screeching to a halt right between the hotel and the jumpsuited female. He leans over and throws open the passenger door. "Get in!" he shouts. A bullet pings off the coupe, putting a deep dimple in the left front panel. Dodge whines, "Aw SHIT, now I'm gonna have to fix that..."
Wren is staying down, trying to decide whether or not to get into this guy's car. She's never even seen a car. Joel hurls the empty gun at the glass door, which smashes into shards. Elrond rolls to one side to get a good view, raises the muzzle and picks off son number two. George steps back around the corner and into the foyer, slashing viciously at the two remaining Hubbard sons with his improvised shank. The sharp edge of the makeshift weapon slices open the belly of one son, and the point plunges deep into the other one. Screaming in berserk rage, Mutha Hubbard gets off another shot, hitting no one. Dodge pulls out his magnum, sticks it out the driver's window and puts a hole in the old lady's head. Her body drops to the ground. "That's for the car" he says.
AFTER GRABBING ALL THE WEAPONS (and giving the shotgun to Dodge), the four vault dwellers rifle through the pockets and loot the bodies. The cold dead Hubbards yield 2 barter worth of shiny jewelry and ammunition. The slave trade is lucrative, it seems. Dodge approaches Elrond, who is still bleeding. "I know a place they can fix up your arm," he says. "Get in and I'll take you there."
They get in.
# # #
END OF SESSION ONE.
Apocalypse Vegas sessions:
Campaign Home Page
History of the Apocalypse (Mar 20 2014)
Session 1: "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" (Apr 3 2014)
Session 2: "When It Rains, It Burns" (Apr 17 2014)
Session 3: "SNAP, CRACKLE, POP" (May 1 2014)
Session 4: "The Gang's All Here" (May 22 2014)
Session 5: "A Meeting of Minds" (Jun 5 2014)