Episode 6: Easy Come, Easy Go
The episode started in the late afternoon, as Minka and Pavlov returned to the abandoned garage to inform the players that they had made an agreement with the local leader of Ostrzeszów, Radislov, to trade weapons for equipment and medical supplies. They loaded up the rest of the M-4s and the RPK machine gun into a small hand cart. Pavlov suggested that they be accompanied by Blanco, in case anything went wrong with the deal. Axel suggested that Zofie go as well, to see if she could find any information about her family. Minka agreed and Pavlov reluctantly agreed as well, but kept his distance from the girl. Ever since the incident with the locusts, Pavlov has developed a suspicion that Zofie is a witch or in some way a bad omen.
The four of them returned to the town and conducted their trade with Radislov. Minka even had a chance to speak to the local brew-meister and provided him hand drawings and instructions on how to make a wood burning fuel source that could be used to run their generators. For payment Minka got two jars of their homemade vodka. The group had acquired antibiotics, pain killers, atropine, backpacks, fishing gear, camping supplies, and a light trailer that they could hook up to the back of their Humvee. Happy about the trade and looking forward to celebrating with a drink back at the garage, the group set off, with Minka and Zofie strolling ahead while Pavlov and Blanco pulled the trailer and their gear behind them.
On the way back they were ambushed by a group of the college’s marauders. Their leader, a Russian named Zemelshki, implied that he knew that it was the group that had attacked and killed his men at the farm. Pavlov told him that they had indeed found the weapons and sold them, but that they had not killed his men, but Pavlov was not sure he had completely convinced him. Minka was defiant; the burned farmhouses and frightened farmers a testament to their barbarism. Even with Pavlov trying to keep her quiet, the situation looked grim. In classic Blanco form, the Italian assassin was quiet, waiting for his move if the situation took a turn for the worse.
Zemelshki had one of his men check each of them out with a Geiger counter and then asked them if they had seen a crashed airplane. Everyone told him the truth, that indeed they had not. Pavlov offered to share their vodka with them and in return was given one of the bottles, then the marauders took everything else that they had just bartered for. Instead of killing them, Zemelshki told Pavlov that if they came to the college and spoke his name at the front gate, they would be allowed in. The marauders then left with their goods, attached their trailer to a truck and drove off into the coming night.
Shaken, the group took a moment to regroup then hurried back to the garage. There they were met with a worried Mason and Axel, who had heard gunshots coming from the area in which the players had been ambushed. Minka, Pavlov, and Blanco told the others what had happened. Axel was worried that someone had tried to hurt Zofie and Mason took the news stoically. The group started to throw out ideas about going after them but Mason calmed them down. Instead, Pavlov suggested that they should all have a drink, to celebrate being alive and that maybe tomorrow morning they could worry about what to do next. Forgoing the drink, Minka fumed and sought the quiet of the roof, the walls of the garage feeling too confining.
Night is closing in around the small group of survivors who were dealt a severe blow and were shaken by the meeting with the Dean’s lieutenant. They also learned a powerful lesson. That in the apocalypse, it's easy come, easy go.