Part 7: Session 006: Olvidad
Session 006: Olvidad
Back on the road, we headed east once more.
Day 6, 0648
Along the road we encountered a derelict village, no doubt a scar left over from the civil war. It was a prime spot for a bandit outpost, and my instincts told me there would likely be trouble nearby. The others sensed it as well, and we got careful.
While traveling in the forbidden zone we're subject to Final Fantasy-style random encounters, which drop us in a randomly-chosen setting with a handful of bandits armed with weapons scaled to what we've found so far. We can either kill off all of the enemies or make it to an exit zone, which we'll explain a little later.
To continue along the road we were going to have to pass right by the village, which meant covering each other carefully. Scotch was on point, with iastudent providing rear security.
Torpedo and I covered the center of the village while Pitch performed a quick overwatch with the ACOG and verified that there were no threats in the windows or at the corners.
Once it looked clear, Pitch moved up to stack up on the wall. I tapped iastudent and had him cross the buildings to join them, taking up his spot as rear security.
With Torpedo still covering the crossing, I got to the wall with everyone else. Scotch moved forward to cover the next movement.
Scotch covered iastudent and Pitch as they went to scout the next avenue of approach.
Pitch settled into some tall grass and took up a good overwatch position on a downhill path with iastudent pulling security for him with his .357.
Now that we have some glass, we can use it to see what's in Pitch's line of sight by clicking the "Scope" button in the UI. The next avenue is an open path leading downhill, so overwatch is important. While we have the scope view up, we can move the cursor around and Pitch will "look" at what we're pointing at.
We can also click the "Field of Fire" button to get a neat overlay showing a two-dimensional plane where Pitch can fire given the current direction he's facing. The overlay even takes cover into account. The "Field of View" button does the exact same thing, but it shows where Pitch can see. Usually the two planes overlap exactly.
Torpedo moved forward to take point at the next corner, carefully watching the windows as he moved.
Once Torpedo was in place, he motioned for us to move up.
Scotch and stacked up behind Torpedo, who moved down to cover the village center again.
Scotch then moved onto the downhill path with Pitch acting as his guardian angel.
Once we were all moved up and had a section of the path secure, Pitch and iastudent left their position to establish a new one.
We had almost disengaged entirely from the village, but then Pitch held up a hand as he checked out where we'd be moving next.
He held up one finger. A single bandit was coming up the path, probably done with his shift at some ambush site. He then settled back into a good firing position, and squeezed off a shot, dropping the bandit with it.
It was actually a pretty difficult shot, as the bandit was behind concealment and pretty far away for a shotgun, even one loaded with slugs. Pitch's sniping skill wins the day.
I just wanted to share this great screenshot we got of the slug right before it slammed into the bandit's stomach.
The noise of the shot destroyed any stealth we may have had going for us, so we picked up the pace and hurried down the path with our weapons still at the ready.
As we passed by the bandit, I noticed that it was actually a woman, not a man. Pitch's slug had hit her in the gut, the shock of it mercifully killing her outright. There was no time to think about it, however, as if she had friends nearby they would almost certainly be on their way. We hurried down the hill and around the bend, leaving the village behind us.
This yellow glowing area is an exit zone. If we want to escape from an encounter or a town while still in combat, we have to reach one of these, and there are usually a few in a given area. While in combat, the normally-green squares on the minimap turn yellow, and the "Leave" button on the UI disappears.
The only way to get the Leave button back is to get everybody to an exit zone. Once inside the exit zone, a red countdown appears over the character's portrait, usually 6 or 7 seconds. When the countdown reaches zero, the character is considered to have "escaped" successfully-unless they leave the exit zone, in which case they have to come back in and wait through the countdown again. We can't leave people behind-the Leave button only appears when everyone left alive has finished their countdown.
There were more bandits in the area than just the one we killed, which is why we're still considered "in combat," but they were somewhere in the area that we didn't go, so fuck 'em.
Day 6, 1020
"Jesus, and I thought Santa Maria was a dump," said Torpedo as he swatted away some flies.
"This place is in open resistance of the president," said Scotch. "That carries with it many economic problems."
iastudent sniffed the air, then spat. "Poor and fetid, where even the ravens go hungry! It would look right at home on the banks of the North Sea... without the palm trees, of course." He put his hands on his hips and laughed a single, hearty "ha!"
Even in a hole like Olvidad, there was a bar and it was doing just fine. We made our way there.
The Olvidad bartender has some inventory-expanding goodies for sale, which is great news because up until now Beacon was the only merc with extra storage. We'll sell off our haul from the rebel battle and buy our people some carryin' power.
This belt provides several small slots for magazines and small grenades. It also has enough room for a pistol.
The game calls this a "cartouche," though that's a hilariously outdated term that only a computer-based translator would use. It's an ammo pouch, plain and simple. To be put to use, it needs to be attached to a belt, and depending on the belt, two can be attached.
This is just a vest with lots of pockets. It provides no protection bonus at all.
The bartender was overjoyed to have a load of paying customers enter, and set about pouring drinks for the lot of them. The only other person in the bar was a woman with sunglasses on, who moved down the bar to make room for my team.
Over his drink, Pitch, manic as ever, lamented the fact that he had killed a woman, while iastudent reassured him that there was no dishonor in killing a woman girt for battle, and indeed, that warrior-women made the best lovers. He turned to look at the woman with a lusty glare, which I suppose is the Viking method of seduction. She rolled her eyes and stepped away from the bar to come and talk to me.
"Those your boys?" she asked.
"For now, they are," I said. "I'm afraid I can't afford a sexual harrassment lawsuit at the moment, however, miss..."
"Deadmeat." I arched an eyebrow and she smiled. "A nickname given to me, I assure you. Ech kor'im lecha?"
"Beacon. Boker tov to you, Deadmeat."
She seemed impressed. "Oh, you know Hebrew?"
I shrugged. "I was on a business trip in Tel Aviv a bunch of years back. Ancient history. I can't speak enough to get by. So why are you here in Algeyra, Deadmeat? Too peaceful for you back home?"
I didn't know how the joke would go over, but then she tried hard to hide a smile and failed. "Just... different place, I guess. Civil war here meant I could make some money."
"I've got some money. What do you do?"
She shrugged. "A little bang-bang, a little kaboom. Whatever the mission requires, really."
"Well, if you want in with my crew, you're in."
She looked at the four standing at the bar, considering the offer.
"Well, I suppose I should show that one Norse oaf just what "warrior-women" really are capable of. You offer is accepted, Beacon."
Deadmeat joins, and with that, we now have a full complement of mercs! Deadmeat has solid shooting skills but is also handy with explosives, so Scotch will be splitting the TNT with her. She was armed only with a Colt 1911, so she'll get the Remington 870 that's been on Pitch's back.
Once the team was refreshed and introductions were made, we walked through the tiny town of Olvidad, and the struggle was apparent in every corner. As though to drive the point home, the largest building there was a gunsmith's shop. He was tight-lipped about what services he offered, though-probably because we were unfamiliar to him.
A band of robbers even had a base of operations in the town, though their leader swore that they only operated against government transports and guarded the town itself, and that anybody we may have fought out in the field were just disorganized rabble with no affiliation with Olvidad.
Olvidad even had a place of worship at the top of a hill, though the doors were barred.
Notice how Santa Maria's square is no longer orange. Law and order is now being enforced in that city, and we've also offset our negative rating there too when we finished the Mangosta hit mission, which means we can visit without being shot at.
Aside from picking up another employee, Olvidad had been rather a waste of time. I decided to go back to Sagrada and speak with the mayor again and see if he would hire me now that I had won favor with Minister Caderas.
Day 7, 0739
He was right where I'd left him a few days ago, and I found myself wondering if the man ever worked.
I stepped up to him, and he seemed to recognize me.
"Mr. Reyes, I'm back to see if you were willing to talk about that job yet."
"Oh yes! You are now the man who solved Santa Maria's little resistance problem, yes. We will do business! It is easy enough, perhaps. That man there-" he pointed at the sour-looking dealer who had also been there a few days ago "-comes to me every day trying to beg off his debts for doing business inside my city. He will not pay, despite how persuasive I have been. Perhaps he will listen to someone with a bit more... clout."
"So... you want me to strongarm him?"
"So blunt, you! I want you to be a tax collector, senor. Convince him to cough up the money and I let you keep some as a service fee. Not bad for a few minutes' work, I think."
"Fine, fine," I said. "How much does he owe?"
"Ten thousand," Reyes told me. "Do not accept a single dollar less!"
I nodded and walked over to the man, who had apparently been anticipating this conversation.
"Sir, please, you must believe me!" he started before I'd even said a word. "I will have the money soon, but business is so slow!"
"Do you have ten thousand?" I asked.
"Yes, but I must eat, sir! And have a place to sleep, shouldn't I? If I gave him that, I would have nothing at all, and my problems would be worse."
I felt some compassion. It is the lower classes who always suffer worst from war. I'd seen it in Palinero, and from Santa Maria to Olvidad I could see it here too.
"If I help you out of this... what could you do for me?"
The man's eyes lit up. "Oh, sir, I think perhaps you are tired of walking everywhere? When I see you, you are always walking, maybe you need help to transport? My brother, he has a vehicle. I could not give it to you, but I could sell it for a price, oh, for such a price that would have other buyers jealous of you! Nowhere could you get this deal!"
"Sixty thousand?" I asked. It was a good deal, but I didn't have that much money on me. "Would you be willing to hold it for me?"
"Of course, of course, I will sell it to nobody but you, sir!"
I nodded. "God help you if you are lying to me."
"No, sir, not to the man who would deliver me from debt!"
"All right, I'll pay this fatcat off for you."
"God has sent you! You are an angel, sir!" For a moment I thought the man was going to hug me, but no, he just stood there, fit to jump out of his skin. I backed away and moved over to the mayor.
"Here is your tax money," I said, pulling ten thousand from my own roll and putting it in his hands. "Is his debt settled now?"
"It is, and I will see to it that he can sell freely in Sagrada now." Reyes counted out five hundred and handed it back to me. "For you, senor."
"How generous." I snorted and walked away, wanting nothing more to do with him.
"Where to now, boss?" asked Scotch.
"South," I said, "on through Campesino and into the forbidden zone again. But first let's get rid of these rebel uniforms before they get us shot."