The bloodied Rover ran into the derelict Tavern, stumbling on his last step and tumbling to the floor. A Genjian, just a moment before flirting with the Solestros sharing his table, ran to the inert form in concern, yelling "I need a doctor, now!" The Rover looked up blearily, blood gushing from his mouth as he tried to talk. “What happened!?”, asked the Genjian, looking up helplessly to see the Solestros had disspeared, leaving the two alone. In the midst of his gaze around to find help, he felt the Rover grasp his hand, putting something hard and cold into his hand, with the strength of a dying man. As he looked down, the Rover's body started to convulse in his death throes. The Rover took one last gasp, squeezing the hand of the Genjian. With his last breathe spat out his last words, blood spraying with each one, “You...must… keep it….safe… keep it hidden…, they are coming for it..….”. The Rover's body stiffened as the very last word. The Genjian slowly put his hand out, closing the Rover's dead, terrified eyes.
The Solestros ran back into the Tavern, breathless from the run. "Help is coming1", she managed to get out. She paused, realizing that the Rover wasn't moving, and walked slowly up the Genjian.
As she looked down at the Rover, she noticed the Genjian had his palm open, looking at something. She leaned down, saying "Did he give you that? What is it?"
“I don’t know", he said. They both stared at the beautiful, golden ring that lay in his palm.
The Pureblood sat on the porch of his estate, drinking his coffee and enjoying the quiet of the morning just outside of Holywood. The the sun's rays broke over the horizon line in the distance, casting gold and red hues over the cluster of buildings and walls he called his own. His deep purple robe had gold accents on the edges, and was cut to drape gracefully over his shoulders and the sleeves. Other layers hung slightly over the edge of the railing he leaned forward against.
Off in the distance loud roars drew closer to the estate. The Pureblood turned his head to see what essentially was a sea of Raiders heading towards the main gate of his estate. The mass was led by the most terrifying looking Raider he had ever seen, thick with scars and fresh wounds. The Pureblood, stunned, dropped his mug of coffee, shattering glass and hot liquid all over the elegant porch. Uncharacteristically, he didn't care about the mess, or anything else in the moment. Half a second later, he robe was trailing off his lanky body as he took off, running as fast as he could from the oncoming threat.
"I hear there's another Settlement doing races. Wish we had one in El Dorado"., said the Remnant to his long toothed friend.
They looked at him, puzzled, and held out large clawed hands, mimicking driving a caravan.
"Well my cousin travelin', and he done told me that there was this Lascarian miner who wandered into New DedStop with a pile of tickets! And then he explained that he had been paid to give “mine shaft rides”, to two strangers who paid to have “Lasckie cart races”.
He friend just looked at him, and then one clawed hand pointed towards his own head, and spun his hand in circles, and pointed back at him.
The Rover loaded her caravan with the heavy crates, heaving and grunting in exertion with each one.. A 'Merican approaches her, and asks, "What in blue blazes are you doin'?The Trade Weekend hasn't even started!"
She paused in her work for only a moment. the sweat glistening off the muscles that made lifting the crates look like child's play. "This year I'm gettin' a head start on the Drive-Through. Last year was too close for comfort", she replied matter-of-factly.
Maybe I'm done with all this running and hiding. Maybe I don't want hooligans to touch my stuff while I'm gone. Maybe I'm gonna draw a line in the sand and not give the Gravemind any ground. Maybe I'll stay!", the 'Merican retorted.
"You're an idiot Ezekiel. I'll find you in the Morgue when we come back." The Rover said as she continued loading her caravan.
"I'm a telling you Tums, there is such a thing!", bellowed the 'Merican. "I heard it myself, some of your clansmen out yonder in Dedstop. Got the whole story".
"Yeah, right Lenni. You've been hitting the hooch again. I got no kin in Dedstop, anyways", they replied.
"No, for honest, it's true! Some Natties up that way reported strange caches of gold standards stashed in tree holes1", he stammered.
"Lenni, go to sleep. You don't know what you are talking about."
"You ever hear of a Settlement that has the same name for their newspapers?", asked the small Saltwise, munching on a slice of pear.
"No, why?", asked her friend.
"Well, I heard that every Merican farm, trading post and small encampment out near Dedstop reported being completely out of hooch in what locals can only refer to as “the Leopard Print incident”.
"Do you think?", her friend began.
"I don't know, that's why I am asking you!", the Saltwise replied in exasperation, cutting her off mid-sentence.