Book V: A Tale of Two Vessels - Chapter XI: Winter Wasteland
12.20: The dog soldier wakes rudely and almost chokes out the handmaiden who was seeing to him. That night, Ransom, Horkos, and Fenris depart Nemesis Station aboard the UMC Rock Dog, a freighter bound for Terra.
12.24: On Christmas Eve, the Rock Dog puts into Halo Station where Ransom, Horkos, and Fenris are met by Dancer who has arranged transport to Black Rock Outpost in the North American Enforcement Zone. Piloted by Sarah Quinn, her flitter has them on the ground in under 20 minutes. A crew of wastelanders hired by the Agency bounty hunter, Talon, ambushes them in the street as they make for the hotel through a storm of snow and ash. The reckoner murders three of the wasters in the street as the dog soldier lays down fire. After accidentally dropping a suppression grenade at his own feet, Talon tries to burn Ransom with his inferno gauntlet as he approaches using his rocket belt. Drawn by the flame, the dog soldier rips the bounty hunter with laser fire and then Ransom takes him down with his grav bola. As a few survivors stumble into the storm, Ransom hacks the bounty hunter’s slate and learns there is an Agency warrant for the Fenris. Bound by a promise to do them no harm, Talon is set free and they make their way to the hotel to meet a caravan master, McKenzie Barrows.
12.25: Before dawn on Christmas Day, Barrow’s Caravan, led by an armed personnel carrier driven by the reckoner, makes its way along old 80 towards the Salt and Fort Lake. After dark, as they cross the Salt, wasters attack the caravan in force. After destroying the bikes and trucks that attacked the head of the column, the reckoner brings the personnel carrier around in a mad sweeping arc to defend the Barrow’s semi-tractor trailer at the center. Wreaking more havoc, the wasters are driven back into the dark and the caravan reaches Fort Lake.
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