The small band of survivors started this episode in the early evening hours of 1 July 2000. Minka wasted no time in starting to break down the camp, with help from Zofie, gathering up their supplies and packing them into the back of the Humvee. Gunnery Sergeant Mason took his rifle and told everyone he was going to go hunting. Pavlov and Axel decided it was dark enough that maybe it was safe to go scrounging around the farm. Their search paid off as they found an abandoned hunting bow, but no arrows, hidden under a pile of cut brush. Blanco kept watch over the two scroungers and the camp. Blanco noted a flash of car headlights to the southwest, but as they did not approach the camp, he only noted their presence and maintained his vigilance.
As night closed in around the group, they waited for Mason’s return but the soldier did not appear. After waiting for an hour after the sun had set, Minka and Axel set out into the moonless, overcast night to see if they could find Mason. Zofie and Pavlov settled into the Humvee for some much needed rest and Blanco, the ever watchful presence, just on the edge of the shadows maintained his watch. Minka and Axel, after some stumbling around in the dark woods, found fresh blood along a patch near the main road as well as Mason’s dog tags, hanging from a tree branch. Following the vehicle trail, they tracked the muddy prints to a paved road, heading south, where the trail was quickly lost. They returned to camp and roused Pavlov and Zofie to tell them about what they found.
The group decided to take the chance of driving at night to see if they could find Mason. As they drove, Axel spent time scanning the radio, and heard pleas for help by those purporting to be a family farm about an hour south of Minka’s farm, frantic pleas to assist against marauders, they said. The tire tracks leading from Mason’s last known location also heading south, the group felt there was enough of a possibility that the two were connected. They took it slow, driving out of their hiding place and down the dark road with only the blackout light engaged. After a little while, they came upon a hastily erected barbed wire fence along the road. When they stopped, they could hear the sound of sheep and saw the animals moving about within the containment area. The group decided they would see if Mason had come or been brought this way and, if Pavlov would get his way, a free sheep.
Minka and Axel moved forward, cutting a small hole in the fence. They only got a short distance from the Humvee before a voice called out warning them to turn back or be shot. Minka did not recognize the voice, but, as they opted not to shoot first, Minka took a chance. Motioning Axel to stay back, Minka identified herself hoping that these people knew her family name, even if they did not know her personally. She moved forward into the light, arms raised, and a woman came out of the darkness with a rifle, she stated that this was their land and that they thought the group might be from a group called “the college”. She explained that this group had been raiding local farms and towns of late and that the group was mostly made up of Americans. She stated that in fact they had just captured an American soldier that had killed one of their sheep that had gotten out of the pen.
After some tense negotiations, Minka was able to convince them to let Mason go. He was brought out, only in his undershirt, under ware, and boots. The group also returned his clothing and rifle, but not his magazine of ammunition. The group took an angry and embarrassed Mason back to the Humvee to let him get dressed and decide what to do next. With only a few hours of darkness left, and morning fast approaching, the group finds itself running from the Russians and into the territory of the College and their leader, the Dean.
Minka Negotiates Mason's Release at the Sheep Farm - Scene from Roll20 VTT
Assisting - We had some trouble finding the rules for assisting others. After some research it is in the beta rules on Page 44 and it basically states that you get a +1 step up for someone helping you and you can have up to three people assisting you on any given task.
We talked about driving at night using blackout drive. Here is a link that shows the Humvee blackout drive lights. These are primarily for driving with night vision goggles on but you can use them to light your way, just very dimly. The drive from the hiding spot and to the farm with the sheep would have been slow and treacherous on a new moon. Hmmwv H1 m998 blackout lights - Bing video
Day 1 After Evening and Night shifts:
Group Supplies: Miserable Beast 1/2 tank of fuel. 1x SAW mounted on Miserable Beast with 1 belt of ammo( 100 shots)
Supplies Gained: +4 Wild Food Rations, +2 Cooked Rations, 1 Shotgun, 1 Hunting Rifle