You decide in which direction the story goes. I will come up with several options for you to decide between, however if you don't like the choices feel free to suggest your own. Votes will be counted from the comments section of each blog post and I will do my best to write installments several times a week. If this is your first time here or you need to be caught up, check out "The Story So Far", to the right of the new posts. Thank you for reading.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
You slowly open the door, revealing a staircase. You inch down the stairs.
There are 2 kids, about 13 years old, and one larger kid, about 15 and wearing a mask. They are surrounding one child in a corner, about 12 years old, and are taking turns lashing him with leather belts.
In between whippings the child screams for the others to stop. "I don't deserve this!" he bellows through a mouthful of blood.
"The King has already decided, you are to be tortured and left to bleed for your crimes against us."
"We need to stop this," whispers Tootie, "the more I hear about the King the more I want to personally break each of his fingers, one by one." You feel the same.
Tootie presents a smoke grenade. You assume he got it while looting the children's corpses earlier in the day. He activates it and lobs it towards the corner.
"FIRE!" yells one of the kids. They begin to flee towards the staircase where you and Tootie await with your weapons drawn. You step over the fresh corpses of the 3 teenagers, grab their prisoner and carry him out of the smoke-engulfed basement.
"He's in bad shape," worries Tootie. "We oughta crack open some of these beans, the kid has probably been starved."
You use your hunting knife to open up two cans of beans and a can of imitation crabmeat. The child is slowly waking up but is hesitant to place his trust with you after all he's been through. You offer him food, he accepts.
"I...I want to thank you guys for what you did back there. This whole place has been fucked lately."
You ask his name.
"My name is Resendiz, but everybody in town calls me Sledge."
"How did this place get like this? Why is the smog so thick?" asks Tootie.
"Well I don't know so much about the history, Dutton has been filled with smog since I was born. Generally everybody does their part for the community here, we hunt for food from shops like these and contribute it to the communal food stash, controlled by the King. That scumbag. He used to be a fair and noble leader, but lately something has come over him. I didn't bow my head when he was about 100 feet away and they took me in for it. I didn't even realize he was there, I was out on a hunt!"
You ask why they call him Sledge.
"Because of this bad boy..." He presents a miniature sledgehammer. "My weapon of choice, it took 8 other kids to take me down when I was taken prisoner for my 'crimes against the state'."
Tootie asks about the absence of adults and girls.
"Well the girls all stay in Dutton's compound, they do all of the thinking work for us, mostly community planning. Only guys go out for supply hunting, we're better built for it. Adults, though, have been banished from Dutton. At age 17 they are exiled from town. At that point they're over the hill, and anyway they always try to infringe on our rights, so we're better off without 'em."
Tootie interrupts, "What about the King? How old is he?"
"Nobody knows how old the King is, but as far as leaders go he was once as great as they come. He founded our town long ago, he's ageless. He's stayed 16 years old since I was born!"
"I think the King probably just has a growth disorder..." mumbles Tootie.
"Well I wouldn't know anything about that, but lately he's changed. It's like something has come over him and everybody else in town is just blindly following his newfound aggression. I may as well just leave right now, I'll be exiled in 5 years anyway."
You invite Sledge to join you and Tootie on your journey. He seems like a capable companion and has a lot of knowledge to offer on this town and its surrounding areas.
"Definitely! Beats the sure death that awaits me once I leave Dutton. Where were you guys heading anyway?"
Suggest finding and taking down the King, fighting for justice and the well-being of the children being mistreated by his regime.
Explore the "urban wilds" surrounding Dutton for a while longer, do some more looting, maybe kill some more children. You can always take the King down later.
Ask about surrounding towns, look to explore the vast wasteland that awaits you.