Brothers and Sisters
The Sisterhood had been scavenging among the crumbling ruins of Mutantchester for weeks now, and although there had been a few good hauls of loot, the pickings had been slim of late. When they had spotted what looked like intact buildings, however, the odds of finding something of value seemed favourable. They advanced cautiously, with Alice and Harley flanking left, Joker taking up an overwatch position in the centre, and Amanita, Nomi, and Kahlan advancing to the right.
Amanita peered round the corner of the large building and hurriedly ducked back out of sight, her heart pounding. What the hell was Joel doing here? The last time she had seen him he’d been a hundred miles south of here, and leading his ‘Brotherhood of Steel’ towards the south coast. He’d tried recruiting her, until she’d realised that he only wanted her as a bed-warmer. It had taken the pointy end of her knife to disabuse him of the notion, and they’d parted ways with angry words and more than a few drops of blood spilled. She’d met up with Nomi a few days later, and the Sisterhood had been born of that meeting.
Quickly assessing the situation, Amanita decided that her original plan was still good. Alice would clear the building on the left, with the newly recruited Harley in support and Joker providing cover. Nomi would search the smaller buildings to the right, whilst she and Kahlan searched the largest building. She felt a tightness in her chest at the idea of sending Nomi off alone, particularly since she was the gang’s medic, but everyone was needed elsewhere. Much as Amanita hated being separated from her lover, Kahlan was too green to be sent off alone, especially since this building was likely to be hotly contested.
Joker was the first to engage the enemy, but despite squeezing off several well-aimed shots at figures advancing on the left, she was unable to bring them down. Amanita herself stormed into the largest building just in time to see an enemy gang member fleeing it and joining two other gang members on the right flank. She began to fear that the Sisterhood had arrived too late, and that they would find the area picked clean. Even worse, she feared that Nomi would find herself isolated and overwhelmed. Her first instinct was to rush to Nomi’s defence, but she knew that she had to secure the ground floor of this building while Kahlan searched the floors above. Nomi would have to take care of herself for now, even though the thought of losing her made Amanita’s stomach clench in fear.
On the left flank, Alice also arrived just in time to see the enemy making off with whatever loot he had found. However, unlike Amanita, she was close enough to run him down. That was where her good fortune ran out, however, as he was able to knock the rapier out of her hand with a lucky blow. Undeterred, she engaged him in unarmed combat, but his greater size and strength enabled him to evade her blows, and before she knew it he had gained enough separation to bring his pistol to bear. His first shot went wide, but the second slammed into her shoulder, knocking her to the ground. Just as things were looking desperate, however, Harley arrived in support, taking down the enemy gang member with a shot from her assault rifle. When another gang member moved up to rescue his comrade, Joker was finally able to land a telling shot, and he crumpled down behind the remnants of a brick wall.
Meanwhile, on the right flank, Nomi had raced into the first building, firing from the cover of the doorway in an attempt to hold off the enemy. Their advance had been relentless, however, and she had been forced to take shelter from their return fire deeper in the building. Alone and in danger of being surrounded, it was essential that she find a defensible position, and when an enemy gang member entered the rear of the building and headed up the stairs, she knew she had to act. If they secured the high ground, she would be as good as dead. Racing to the foot of the stairs, Nomi fired a burst from her SMG, hitting the enemy in the back, and pitching them forwards onto the landing. Running up the stairs, she quickly dispatched the stricken enemy, and took up a defensive position covering the stairs. Although the two surviving gang members gathered just out of sight, neither of them seemed keen to try rushing her.
Amanita had laid down a withering fire on the right flank, and although she hadn’t been able to stop the enemy advance, she had at least bought Nomi a little time. She was forced to turn her attention elsewhere, however, when Joel appeared just a few metres from the building she was in. Although he was taking cover behind a brick wall, her elevated position gave her an almost clear shot. She unleashed three short bursts from her SMG, and had the pleasure of watching him spin around and fall to the ground as the bullets ripped into him. Although she couldn’t see where he had fallen, she was tempted – so very tempted – to go out and finish him off. She had to think of the Sisterhood, though; there were still enemies out there, and she had to look after her people. She took comfort in the thought that at least he would have another set of scars to remember her by.
As night fell, the surviving enemy gang members pulled back, covering their fallen comrades. Realising that there was nothing more to be gained here – at least not without considerable risk – Amanita gave the order for the Sisterhood to withdraw. Thanks to Joel and his ‘Brotherhood’, they had found less in the buildings than they had hoped for, but what they had found would tide them over for a little while. Nomi patched up Alice’s shoulder, and the six women prepared to extend their search deeper into the ruined city.