Its me again, yes. You think the zone is just going to take me like some boogy man? No, Its just another place and not intelligent at all. A bit like you - trying to sneak past like that. If you had just walked up, we'd take a few canned goods as a toll, and let you be on your way. Running like that, well that seems to imply you have something worth guarding, so of course we're going to take a bit more interest.
And really - what has that got you? A bit of a beating, yes, but you go off, and you tell others we're reasonable like this, and its better all around. Yes, I'm sure you're thinking of the rumors about that settlement where every last woman and child was killed. You're not the only one.
I certainly didn't give the orders to do something like that. Not our style to liquidate potential sources of tribute. The message is sent far better by just torturing or crucifying a few, or leaving their dead hanging from a bridge. Shooting everyone is a waste of bullets when they're not fighting back. And what is the point of leaving no witnesses?
Something is amiss, yes. Its not my Tower Reversed though. All the casings on the ground were the same caliber - few to no raider groups can manage that sort of supply. There was also a half-track present, another fairly odd occurrence for a small group.
So, I will make you an offer. Why don't you look into this, and report back to one of my checkpoints? There will be compensation of course, and bounty and salvage to be had once this errant group is found and dealt with.
Odd you say? Well, perhaps I should get an investigator that has a bit more foresight then? It should be pretty obvious that people will be pretty guarded when one of my men strides into town and starts asking questions people are going to be a bit guarded. Someone who is just looking for a bit of money and forgiveness is not going to raise eyebrows like an Inquisition sent on behalf of Dr. Kurtz.
You still haven't paid the toll mind you, so yes, I'd say forgiveness or penance is the right word. Unless you're volunteering to help set an example of the proper way to send a message in the zone. I didn't think so.