THE DIRE DOCKS

RobStrachan

Gang Hero
Tribe Council
Nov 4, 2013
730
1,684
148
Tokyo
Deep in the Underhive, a tremor was felt.

It started small, but over the cycle it grew in intensity until with an ear-splitting shriek it stopped. It wasn’t long before dome runners brought news of gaping holes leading down into the darkness, into a dome that had been sealed off for centuries, maybe longer.

Teams of archeotech hunters and settlers moved into the dome, looking for their fortunes. They found the sea instead. It stretched as far as a man could see, a filth encrusted expanse of chemical and refuse dripping down from above. They called it the Big Green, Unfaithful, the Emerald Queen. Trade in and out of the sea went through a hastily built-up way station known as Dire Docks. As settlers increased, further facilities to process the fortunes harvested from the sea were constructed and so the Dire Docks flourished.

But where fortune can be found so do the houses and their gangs follow. Will they claim Dire Docks for themselves, or will they drown under a wave of violence?

My gaming group is starting a Dominion Campaign this month.

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I’ve also got a website up and running which will have lots more info on it soon.

https://thediredocks.wordpress.com/
 
When Willie came too, he could hear those dumb meatheads laughing about their victory. He checked himself... his back was sore, but his pride was injured more. He climbed up out of the filth and crept away form the blue clad morons. He could see Hannon lying in the far corner, and The King and Butch slumped over towards the door that had suddenly exposed them.

He had to get them out! The Lords of Krumptown were gathered around a moaning groaning hulk they called Anthrax, calling him names abd laughing at his mashed up leg.

Willie krept towards Butch... he looked back at Hannon but he had vanished. Willie hoped he’d come to and could get away.

Butch was alive and not bleeding. But out cold.
The King was hurt bad. Back wound.
“How’s my hair?” He winced through clenched teeth.
“Your cool King. Real Cool... can you walk?”
The champ grimaced and shook his head.
“Don’t worry, I’ll get you home big brother” Willie grinned as he hoisted The King up on his shoulder.
“We can’t leave Butch!” King nodded towards the unconscious ganger.
“We won’t. I’ll get you out of sight. And come back for him. It’ll take a while but I’ll leapfrog you back to Garageland”.

Willie tried to sound confident but he knew those big blue Freaks would tire of mocking that Goliath Hasil had chewed with his heavy bolter eventually.

“No need for that Willie Manchester” came a voice from above.
Willie froze and looked up. “Feth! They caught us” was the first thought that raced through his mind. Holding on to King he raised his autogun at the voice only to see Hannons feet drop down from a hole in the tunnel roof.
“Lower your gun daddyo!” He mumbled as he dropped down. The side of his face was swollen, and he had blood stains down his shirt.
“Dorns teeth! Thought you were dead Willie”
He continued... “Is that Butch?”
“It is. Get him up and let’s rock out of here matey.. and quietly too. If we are seen, we are done. Butch is just out cold, but King is hurt bad. He’s gonna need a doc”.
Hannon nodded. He’d taken a grenade to the head, while down he’d been shot twice before being shot a third time by the big fellow Hasil gunned down. It was a miracle he was still standing.

They krept slowly. King was heavy and Butch was dead weight. The Goliaths had started looking for them, they heard the cat calling and poor attempts at insults being shouted at shadows and doorways. The occasional pop and boom as a garbage was fired into hiding places.
King shook his head. “How did we loose to such idiots” he muttered through clenched teeth.
“Those guys were tough. I but three bullets in one at least. Guy barely flinched” Willie said... “ugly though. You see that one Hasil slotted. Face like a bag of wrenches”.
Hannon nodded.
“When you think about it, at the end of the day they may have the Toll Road, but they are STILL Goliaths... so who are the real winners?”
They all grinned. The Lords can have the Toll Roads. For now. The cats were going to be ok...
 
Cochran was fuming.
“That was OUR road!, It cuts right through Garangeland. How did they get that FETHING door to open! How do they get two fething nade launchers!!. He threw his liquor can at the wall.

The Atom Cats sat stone faced in the Atom Cat clubhouse, which sat above the Garageland. Willie Manchester and Hannon we’re leaning against the bar. They had only been back an hour after spending 6 hours carrying their injured brothers back to Garageland.

Butch would be ok. He’d be on his bunk for a few days letting the bruises die down.
The King would be ready to fight again soon too, but the Doc had said that he’d not be as strong as he was before...

Cochran sighed.
“Well. The roads still open. Let the Lords of Bum Town have the Toll Road... there’s this gambling den out east. Run by some scummy independents. We’ll move on that next, before anyone else gets any funny ideas.
 
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Ma Dice frowned. The noise of the patrons gambling in the Three Coin Club was mild, it always was... she didn’t tolerate too much rowdiness. She would have them gamble in silence if she could... but that would be bad for business.

She frowned. Something wasn’t right. It wasn’t the crowd, mostly regulars and a few passing traders and scrap hunters... but something felt uneasy. She could have sworn she’d heard a pop, followed by some crackles and yells. Had it come through the vents? No one else had paid any mind to it. Jumm Ganno had just lost 500 credits though on a bad roll so everyone had been preoccupied in laughing and mocking the unlucky tech hunter.

The moments passed, a few more customers lost their ill gotten or hard earned creds. When... CRASH!
Suddenly a deafening sound punched through the air causing the games to stop.
Time slowed as a rectangular metal door sailed through the air.
“That’s the cellar door” was the first thought that came to Ma Dice.
Time snapped back to its regular motion as the second thought began to form...
“Who the fff...”

Hasil Adkins was the first to come up the cellar steps. The meanest grim faced member of the Atom Cats.
“No one move!” He cried as he came up the steps. He was holding a heavy bolter and no one challenged him.
Hannon swaggered in next, with Willie Manchester behind him. They fanned out either side. Helvis the Juve came in grinning wildly... “nice” he smiled at Ma Dice.
Last came in two men still picking thick cobweb like strands off their jackets.
Cochran and the ganger Macready.

“Who runs this joint?” Cochran called out.
Ma Dice, didn’t move. She felt under the bar for the handle of her energancy shotgun. She might get the jump on one, but that’s all the time she’d need, Rollo would grab the shotty under the bar, Dizz always had her pistols under her skirts. The customers should be unarmed. Searched at the door. She could count on at least give them to have smuggled in some weapon though. They’d help. Then they’d get barred.

There was the bolt cold press of metal against the back of her neck. A stub pistol. She froze. An arm reached around and a knife blade pressed against her throat.
“Easy Duchess”
Helvis the Juve whispered in her ear, before calling out “here Boss! Meet Ma Dice, proprietor and owner of the 3 Coin Club”
Ma Dice smiled meekly.
Cochran strode over to her table.

“Ma Dice, I’m Cochran, Leader of the Atom Cats, and now the 3 Coin Club is under our protection. You and I are going to get along swell”
He leant in.
“Between you and me, we’ve already done you a favour. Caught some stinking, ugly Delaques skulking in the tunnels under your cellar... ran them off though. I know, Your welcome, saved us from the raspy slap heads. But you see, one of them scared poor Willie Manchester over there, do you see Willie?, Willie give Ma Dice a nod!”
Ma Dice nodded as a dark skinned Orlock with a dyed white flatop raised his autogun.
“Shot at him with a plasma pistol! And me and old Macready here got covered in smoke and this web crap...
so we were thinking you kind of owe us”

Ma Dice had been in the underhive her whole life. Born in Cheapside, raised in Badzone 44, ran the tables in Blue Knife Pit, Godless, Misery City and she knew the score. This was not going to go any other way. But it wasn’t the end of the world. If Orlocks and Delaques were scrapping around here. Then Dorn knows what other gangs might be. Orlocks were fair, and usually civilized to work with.

“Sure thing boys. We here at the 3 Coin Club are mighty grateful... how about you boys have some Special Brews on the house and enjoy the tables”
Cochran leaned back in his chair
“Ma” he smiled “welcome to the Atom Cat family”
 
The sounds of laughter, anger, joy and frustration rumbled softly underneath the 2nd floor lounge of the Three Coin Club.
Ma Dice was down stairs supervising the floor and her small crew.

Upstairs most of the Atom Cats were gathered. Cochran their leader sipped a glass of Wild Snake, Hasil Adkins sat next time him, stone faced and arms folded, The King, old friend to Cochran and back on his feet after that Goliath tried to smash his spine sat beside him.

Hannon and Willie Manchester two of the Atom Cats better soldiers sat at the table to. Macready was in the room, but having no more chairs he leaned against the doorway.

Butch was outside watching the tunnels with Jesco, a new Cat sent down from Red Rocket Repairs in Hive City. Helvis the juve was down stairs helping watch the floor.

Cochran winced as he swallowed another shot of Wild Snake.
“Always burns. On to business. Time to make a move on the Dire Docks. The whole thing. The settlement and the Docks itself. Those sea dogs make some creds and can kick up to us, the town can provide us with protection and maybe even a recruit or two”
“Some Delaques have been skulking about... not those nervous ones we saw the other day either”
Hasil nodded. “Sure thing boss, we’ll run them out like we did that other mob”.

“Guys” Willy Manchester spoke up.
“I got contacts. All over the place... got a gal in Krumptown now, big lass.. word there is the “Lords” are gonna make a play for the Dire Docks themselves”
Instinctively all heads turned to look at The King.

The King smiled. A wicked smile at that.
“Payback”
Was all he said.
“Payback!” The Atom Cats cheered....
 
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Cochran stood up, MaCready had finally breathed his last.
The Unagi Moray had come out of nowhere. The Atom Cats had been pushing them back.
Even after Macready fell and Hellvis was knocked down they’d been on top of them.

Cochran had taken one out. Hasil accounted for two.
But then the lights went out...
Willie got hit in the back.
Jesco, the new kid was hit and Cochran was hit by something poisonous.

Butch couldn’t get the lights on and Unagi Moray were pouring out of every side ally and wharehouse...

He’d ordered the guys out.
Macready was shot full of holes.
King had been captured... they’d had to negotiate his release for a bolter.

Now the Atom Cats were broke, skint and a laughing stock.

Hannon was pissed.
Hasil was blaming King.
Butch was more quiet than usual.

Willy’s girl from Krumptown had come down to help him heal... so had a few other girls from other settlements. The Krumptown girl had mentioned the Krumptown Lords were beelining for Dire Docks.

The Cats would have no time to recover..
 
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It was quiet in the 3 Coin Club. Ma Dice spat on a rag and tried to wipe of a green stain from a shot glass.
Upstairs in the office the Atom Cats were having a meeting. It wasn’t going well...

“What the FETH was that Cochran!” Hasil fumed and swept his arm across the table knocking several glasses over.
“You has that guy dead to rights Boss..” Hannon chipped.
“You can shut your Drekkin gob Hannon. You bolted too... they were right on top of us. They were gunning down civvies. You saw what they did to that Docker... they would have killed more of em, I want the Docks with people in them..”
“Aye. Don’t we all. But Butch copped it for nothing. The Krumptown Lords think we are a joke” King said, calmly but with an edge to his voice... “the boys are starting to complain. Saying you can’t cut it. 3 losses out of 4 fights”.

“if anyone thinks I can’t cut it. They are to say it to my face” Cochran growled. “I’m pissed off and upset too. Dorn knows I’d been with Butch and MacReedy since I juved for the Route 59 Atom Cats... you think this is bad? I seen it get worse. We got two new guys already. Cochise is an underhiver born and bread, Cassidy is an old mate of Butch’s. Wants revenge real bad”.
Hasil sighed.
“Look, You're the boss. And I’ll follow you to hell and back. But we need a break. This gambling den won’t provide for us long enough. We got to branch out before these other guys get too big, Willie’s got this girl works out on arefuse dump... she says some Cawdor guys moved in and took over her patch. And some of the Dockers were telling us of some tooled up Van Saars out there!”

Cochran glared across the table.
“We are Atom Cats. We are Orlocks. We ain’t quitting!”
 
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Today’s results.

Atom Cats rout Shadow company and welcome Dr Akula the Rogue Doc shop to the fold.

Unagi Moray also gave the Shadow Company some bad gas and took the Narco Den

Unagi Moray and Atom Cats had another violent encounter with many casualties, both gangs claimed some spook but the Atom Cats fell back the most bloodied and Unagi Moray claimed the Spore Mould.
 
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Cochran winced.
His leg was healing, but still sent daggers of pain uo his thigh when he moved it.

It had been a painful few days, they’d chased some Van Saars away from Dr Akulas, sneaky devils had sprung an ambush crawling out of tunnels behind them, some quick firing had put them down while Helvis, Willie and Cassidy rushed to the Van Saar hero leading them and given him a beating. The rest of them fled quickly after that.

Few days later word had gotten out about a Stinger Mould patch out east, and he’d led the whole gang out to harvest it. Took a new girl them, Elvira, solid girl with a boltgun and another dab hand at making money.

They’d ran into the Unagis again.... Jesco grabbed some spook, but they’d brought a heavy stubber this time and it had taken Cochran out.. riddled his leg with rounds. Hasil made the guy pay for it though once his Heavy Bolter was working again, some crazy bald headed Juve had run about screaming punching his own guys and screaming he was the emperor... inhaled too much spook... Cassidy clipped him.
But Cochise took a shotgun to the arm and was also out for the time being, Elvira, Willie and Jesco had all been hit too... if it hadn’t been for Dr Akula, Cochran would have been dead meat. But not the Cats were broke... they’d claimed a small peace of the Dire Docks but were dangerously vulnerable.
Unagi Moray were out there with a green light on Hasil.
The Lords of Krumptown and some mystery Cawdor boys were claiming most of the turf.
Shadow Company were still tooled up and angry.
And the shadowy Delaque gang they’d tangled with outside the 3 Coin Club were still out there somewhere.

But morale was higher. They’d won another victory, and managed to buy some gear. They had replaced Butch and Macready and would be ready to go when things went hot again soon.
 

RobStrachan

Gang Hero
Tribe Council
Nov 4, 2013
730
1,684
148
Tokyo
It’s the halfway point and all the terrain has been claimed. Now to enter the downtime and start the plotting!

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Dr Acula sat facing Cochran over a table in the 3 Coin Club, expressionless and somber he gave most of the Atom Cats the creeps, but he’d saved Cochran’s life and had been keeping the cats healthy these past few weeks, Cochise was back on his feet, Elvira shoulder was as good as new, Helvis had bounced back from a side of Sump Fever in just a few day and even Willie Manchester’s “personal problem” had cleared up.

That said he remained .... difficult... to deal with. He’d taken Cochran by surprise turning up unannounced to the 3 Coin Club. He’d thought maybe he was human and fancied a drink, a gamble and a tumble with a willing partner like everyone else... but he’d not touched his drink, spoken to no-one but Hannon at the door and Cochran when Hannon sent word to him that the Dr wanted to see him, and he’d went no where near the dice or card tables, choosing instead to sit in the worst lit corner seat he could find.

Cochran had found him and sat down. Akula fixed him with his unblinking eye, and with his deep and grave voice spoke first.
“Mr Cochran. How is the leg?”
“It’s alright doc, still stiff as a Van Saar’s smile, but it doesn’t hurt”
“Good, and Mr Manchester’s.... personal issue.... has it cleared up?”
Cochran frowned.
“Yes. Well. I think so, what exactly was th..”
“You will understand Mr Cochran that I will not elaborate on Mr Manchester’s.... problem”
He intoned while cutting off Cochran. He continued..
“Suffice to say that while Mr Manchester might feel better and the ..... afflicted area... might seem repaired, lingering traces of the ... condition... might still exist. He must continue to apply the balm I gave him for two more weeks and refrain from.... engaging in his previous excesses... until then”

Cochran nodded and suppressed a smirk.
“Will do... so... What’s up doc?”
There had to more to this visit than to talk about Willie Manchester’s .... temporary inconvenience.
“My work here is very important” he said steepling his fingers together and leaning forward on the table.
“Your gang leaves me in peace, and in exchange I can work on my project undisturbed. In exchange for my medical expertize.
It is not ideal. The Atom Cats do not ask questions. They do not ask what’s in the back room. They don’t preach to me about ... religion... this suits me”
For a second chochran saw a brief flicker of emotion on the face of the Dr. The first he’d ever seen ... hatred or contempt. Only a flash when he had forced the word religion out of his mouth.
“It suits us too, we are getting a pasting out there. I’ve lost two good guys already. You can do what you like while you keep patching my crew up.... short of chopping up kids or heresy” Cochran added.
Akula raised a single eyebrow.
“Indeed. So then, it would not be in my interests to change allegiance. Van Saars always looking to steal things, Goliaths smash what they don’t comprehend, Eschers are bigots, Delaques can’t be trusted to keep their noses out of my business but most of all house Cawdor... those self righteous zealots, twice already I have been forced to move so that the work can be completed, twice progress lost or slowed thanks to their twisted fanaticism Mr Cochran. The work must not be disrupted”

Cochran sipped his whisky.
“I see, you want us to hit someone? Ambush? What’s the worry?”
“I have recieved some worrying intelligence that the Lords of the Hidden Flame are planning to move on my .... surgery and claim it as theirs. I’d appreciate it if you could stop them....”
 
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The Cats sat around the table in the upstairs office. Chevy, Cochran’s new Cyber mastiff slumped over his feet.

“So that’s the score, our plan to push those Krumptown Meatbags out of Dire Docks is still on the table... we owe Macready and that poor mom they killed for standing next to him, that much. But we’re going to be fighting on two fronts, as the Brotherhood are making a play for Doc Akulas”

“The Hidden Flame Brotherhood” Willie Manchester sucked his teeth.... “there are no clown outfit boss. Fire everywhere, Grenades... I got this girl, a serf, works in their Prometheum Forge.. She says they’ve got this giant gorilla man that they’ve strapped a ratling sniper on his back with twin plasma guns... could be real messy”

“Aye, Do we know if they are working with the Whores of Krummytown?” Asked Elvira.

“Doubtful” Cochran shook his head “those two have been at it since the dome opened, can’t see em working together”

“They think we are weak” Hasil growled, then looking at his leader, “maybe they heard about that shambles against the Krumptown Roidheads and think we are easy pickings”

Cochran leaned down and gave Chevy the mastiff a gruff stroke on the neck. “Maybe Hasil. Maybe. so let’s make sure they learn a painful lesson like ones we taught those Van Saars or the Unagi Moray..