Bri climbed off her ATV and pulled the large bag of foodstuff off the back off it. She wasnt in a very good mood today, mostly because what was supposed to be a quick raid on a Breed Supply Depot had turned into a long, drawn-out gunfight that had left one of her best friends dead. She removed the keys from the ignition and walked up the steps of what had once been the city and county building for Denver. She walked past a burly orc, who was holding an assault rifle and wore an eye patch. She ignored him as she entered the building. Inside it was ornately decorated with what looked to be cloths and designs of Native American importance. She spotted two orcs talking with one another, one of who had a rocket propelled grenade launcher slung over his shoulder.
He turned and gave her a gruff smile. You get what I wanted? he asked.
Bri said, watching the other orc leave. Wasnt exactly easy like you said it would be.
The guard was away, were they not?
Soon as Chelsee tripped, those ubers were all over us.
Then she needs to be more careful.
The orc looked grim and sighed. Sorry for your loss
Look, unless youre gonna make it worth our while then you can forget our little deal. Ill go right to your boss about this shit.
No need to get Master Gorebag involved.
Well I might just if you keep this up
She sighed and threw him an annoyed look. Just gimme the cash.
The orc took the bag from her and started to sift through an armored vest pocket. He pulled out a few crumpled one dollar bills and several coins. Even though the United States had fallen, the currency was still used by the inhabitants of areas as something for trade. This seemingly small payment could actually be plenty for Bri and her gang to live off of for the next few months. Not comfortably, but a little better than most. She took it and stuffed it into a pocket before leaving.
Damn orcs, she thought to herself, passing a group of people going up the steps. Her eyes met with one who had long white hair and pale skin. She ignored him and returned to complaining about what had happened in her head, mounting her ATV.
It was a short dive back to what had been the capitol building. The once gold dome was now shattered and ruined. Smoke rose from it, indicating there was someone home. Much of the west wing of the building was in ruin as well, but had been partly converted into a garage for the gangs ATVs.
She climbed off the ATV and walked it into a spot by several others. Each one was painted in different colors, but each had a shield drawn on the panel over the right wheel.
Hey! Welcome back! a man shouted as she came in.
Bri didnt respond right away to the tall man. He was sitting by an open doorway, cleaning his M16.
Hey, Devin, she said, passing him.
Heard about Chels
She turned to face him. Nothing we could do about it. Two legionnaires at first then like, twenty of them
Bri nodded. Beta Legion I think.
Whatre legionnaires doing here?
She shrugged. Who knows? Whyd they nuke DC and the rest of the states centuries back?
The man shook his head. Ovinil was alive back then. He was just a kid, but still. He thinks they did it because they wanted to be known.
How is he?
Recovering still. Hes tough for an elf. Four bullets, eight broken bones
The Doc thinks his skull is fractured, but unless we have an X-ray and proper medical equipment theres nothing we can do. He slung his rifle over his shoulder. So, we get paid?
She kept walking into the ruins. What about your group? Any luck? Bri pushed a small strand of hair out of her face.
Theyre doing something in the south, around Red Springs.
That caught her attention. Like
I dont know for sure, but it looks like theyre building something. Its too simple for a military base though.
Maybe temp housing?
No. Lemme talk to Jason and get the pictures developed.
Tell him to hurry. They could be setting up Retribution to fire on the city.
The man stopped. You think that theyre setting up their superweapon down there?
Who knows? Nobody knows what Retribution is anyway. The few reports of it are that it is a pillar of light from the sky. Theres a blinding flash, like a nuke going off and then nothing is left where the light was.
They kept walking, sharing theories on what The Breed Empires superweapon really was. Bri thought it was a group of superpowerful sorcerers using some spell. Her friend was convinced it was a satellite theyd built with a massive energy cannon on it. The two kept talking for a short time before Bri went off to wash up. None of the original plumbing in the capitol building worked anymore, so they had to use an extensive irrigation system that connected to a larger one the Gorebag family had set up. Because her group was employed by the Gorebags, they could use it without worry of charge. She finished with it quickly, because in this part of the world, water was very precious. Especially given the recent drought conditions. The land around Denver was a wasteland. Broken overpasses and the ruins of suburbs surrounded the area, but much of the earth had reclaimed it, and because of the drought, it was a dustbowl.
Bris room had at one time been a conference room in the capitol. Her sleeping bag was in one corner of the room, while numerous bags on the wall held her clothes and belongings. There was a sizeable hole in the middle of the room where she could jump down to an improvised gantry, and from there to the converted garage. She found a pair of tattered jeans and a t-shirt and dressed before finding a seat in what looked like a laz-y-boy with duct-tape upholstery. Bri grabbed a thin piece of graphite and a worn steno-pad notebook, before she started writing in it.
Today we lost Chelsee. she wrote. It was supposed to just be a simple raid on a supply depot, but it didnt go that way. There were legionnaires there! Why the fuck would legionnaires be doing that?! What do I know anyway about Breed? They just exist to kill things that arent Breed. Either way, we got what Gorebag wanted and got paid. Chels was a good girl. She would always make you smile, but... The graphite drew a long line, before she scribbled through the entire thing and threw it away. That couldve easily been her though, now lying dead in a ditch with a bullet through the head. As much as shed have liked to bring the body back, if she had turned to get it, she too would be in the ditch. Chances were too, it wasnt even there any more. The Breed wouldve just burned it. She began to cry for her friend softly, curling into the fetal position in her chair.
A few hours passed and there was a knock on her door. Bri got up and went to it. She opened it with a sigh.
What? she asked.
An elf stood at the door. He was in a stolen PDF Kevlar jacket and cammo pants. It seemed to be the style that people who wanted to survive wore these days. Those pictures are developed, he said, raising them.
Thanks, Jason. She took them from his hand and started looking through them. The black-and-white images showed what Devin and his group had seen. Most of them were just like hed described. Temp housing materials and the like. However, she noticed in one of the pictures high-power reactors. The cylindrical turbines that would generate enormous amounts of power could light up Denver through a combination of magic and renewable energy. Theyre up to something
What could they need such large generators for?
No way. Devin and I had a chat about that earlier. I dont think so. You can, but I dont
She flipped through another two pictures, stopping on one. Wait
Whatre those? She pointed to what looked like a cluster of fluorescent lightbulbs.
She flipped to another picture. These were some sort of grated sattilinte dishes. She didnt recognize it, but her friend did.
Those look like some sort of energy emitter.
I was a physicist before all this, remember?
She shook her head. What would they want with those?
New weapon perhaps?
Eh. She shook her head. Little did she know, it was something far more sinister.