Dalton's theatrical arrival was met with disbelieving looks - not because anyone believed his fanciful claims of fighting off scavvies, but rather that he had the gall to even show up on the scene in the first place.
"Behold, the vasehead actually ran towards the fight rather than away from it. Got lost in the excitement?" Gesilde spat derisively at the potter. She was not in the mood for his antics and turned back to Bella and Sev. "So - what happened?"
Wiping her blood-slick blade with a rag torn from the clothing of the nearest scavenger corpse, Bella matter-of-factly stated: "Scavvy ambush. We got most of them, but two got away. I expect they know the terrain better than us, so no point in giving chase."
"Oh hell" Gesilde scowled. "We'd better get back to the others."
Bella nodded and the group began making their way back to the camp.
The group found the campsite packed up and ready to go. Cairistiana and Brucke were standing guard atop a nearby trashpile. Cairistiana had procured a small snub-nosed stub gun from her longcoat's breast pocket.
The guilder greeted them with an anxious holler. "What the hell went down there?" She then noticed the caked blood still covering Bella's attire and visibly paled a little.
"Scavengers ambushed Sevro. He and Bella took care of it, but a couple got away." Came the answer from Gesilde.
"... Oh shit." Cairistiana took a moment to evaluate the situation. "Well... good thing we already packed, because we've got to move. Rest shift's cancelled for now. We're not going to risk it."
She let out a little tired sigh and hoisted her pack on her shoulders.
Some hours later, a few klicks away...
Two raggedy, panting figures were closing on a makeshift shelter constructed on a dried-out sump crater. If Wastelake looked slummy, the rickety construct was downright squalid in comparison. The surviving scavvies hurried inside.
They stumbled to a sizable, dimly-lit room with a low roof and some makeshift attempts at furniture. They immediately felt a dozen pairs of eyes focus on them. A gravelly voice originating from a scrap metal throne on the far side of the room greeted them.
The figure sitting on the throne was exceptionally tall and lanky, but years spent in the wastes had hunched his back. His long face was dotted with warts and he had a lazy left eye, bad enough to be completely useless. His sparse, greyed hair was barely clinging to his scalp and his left ear looked like something had taken a bite out of it. A vague shape of a hulking mutant could be seen standing vigil behind his throne. He took a moment to assess the survivors before speaking again.
"Where're the others?"
One of the hapless scavvies tried to babble out an answer. "Umm, boss, Festus... see, there was this, uh, a- a complication, and-"
"Where's Smiley?" He squinted menacingly as he focused his good eye on his underlings. "Where's my boy?"
What little colour remained on the scavenger's face drained with the mention of Smiley. "H-he's... dead, boss. He's dead, he's dead, but see, t'wasn't our fault-
The dilapidated hall fell silent. The scavvy leader was shaking with fury and the luckless survivors with fearful unease. Slowly, the old outlander seemed to calm down, letting out a heavy sigh followed by a fit of disconsolate sobbing. The others remained silent, none willing to interrupt their leader's grieving.
"My boy... my boy." The scavvy king once again directed his attention on the messengers. "Tell me who's responsible... tell me everything."