After deciding to follow Nate’s suggestion to hold a hog roast for the neighborhood with the meat acquired from Ghoul Town, we set out to meet and invite the neighbors.
In the building next to ours, we ran across a group of survivors. They immediately started shooting at us, though we had done nothing aggressive. We attempted to cease the fighting, but things spiraled out of control rapidly. We eventually subdued them all, but as it turned out, most of them were dead. Even the ones I brought down with stunbolts had died. Upon further investigation, they were already severely wounded from earlier incidents, apparently with the bugs. They had horrendous injuries, and appeared to be suffering from the effects of venomous stings or bites.
We managed to bring two survivors back to LLS so Taryn could ply them with her tender mercies. One died on the table. The last survivor died several days later of his injuries without regaining consciousness. I was able to read his mind before he expired. Apparently they were a team of “shadowrunners,” criminals for hire. They’d decided to sneak INTO the Zone in an effort to profit from salvage. One was injured on the way in, and then they were beset upon by beetles, and later, wasps. I want to feel bad for them, but I am unable to conjure sympathy for people who sneaked into this hellhole, and attempted to profit from the disaster. I regret their deaths, but I do not feel responsible for them.
After the hogroast, which was relatively well attended and enjoyed by all, we visited the Field Museum, at the request of the shaman there. We were greeted warmly, and Danny and I were able to reconnect with our sisters. We exchanged information, and were invited to stay. We declined, but did transfer the children and the priest to their care, along with some weapons and ammunition. They have a stout ward there, one that I could not hope to match. We intend to remain an independent outpost, though how long that will last I do not know. How long will the bugs remain in their torpid state, and what will they be like when they emerge from it? But for now, I rest somewhat more comfortably knowing the children and our sisters are safer there than here.