Dead... and Back is a survival horror Role Playing Game. The Anarchy Zones is its official setting - aliens, reanimates, and the ruins of 2055 America.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Freighter Captain

I was at sea when the aliens arrived. Scary as S--. Reanimates, you can do something, hide at least, or shoot them. But all the bombs mankind has ever made don't mean a thing to the Atlantic. All the satellites go down when you're in the Northern waters? Its like war - if you've never been - no mere words quite do it justice.

You might have guessed that I wasn't one of the many that died on the waves. Sure there are aliens wandering about, but lets be reasonable here!

Reanimates don't swim too well, least not to my knowledge. If you're a few miles from shore its pretty safe. Catch is, you do need to eat. Not many places you can call a real port of call. Who operates the cranes and tugs - provided the machines haven't fallen to rust and ruin? Ports tended to attract large populations of business, factories, workers, immigrants - and wherever there were lots of people, now there are lots of reanimates. 

You can send out a jetty, or wait for people to come out to the ship themselves. Neither is a good option - one puts a small number of your people at the mercy of others far from help, and the other allows strangers on your ship. Too small boats meeting sometimes works, buts its hard to transfer much cargo of any type when you have two pitching dhingys. 

There are basically four types of captains these days. 

If you ran an old burner - coal, CNG, oil - your tanks are dry or spoiled, and few places have a few hundred tons of fuel to sell. So in that case, you're just an off-shore island, offering sanctuary or ahem, "social services" (People still got that itch you know, and we are going to have to rebuild the population some how...)

Next we have the two types of Windjammers, both of which are better off. To some extent, at least they can still move. A few brave ones still face the oceans and trade winds, taking month long journeys to keep the world connected. The balance though, just flit up and down the coasts carrying local goods and passengers. Its lucrative, but you meet a lot more people, and some of them just don't have your best interests in mind.

Finally, we have the nuclear cruisers. You can ply the sea-lanes or power an entire city off their atomic piles. A lot less risk when you can make a voyage in weeks rather than months - when whole towns can disappear in a bad winter, being gone for three months means you might never see it again. Port facilities are even harder to find, and finding enough cargo, or the right kind, to by a few hundred kilos of uranium... 

Sometimes my job seems about as bad as a paper dog chasing an asbestos cat through hell. But I'm not at war, and I'm not wondering who is the rightful government - the old law of the land, or the current holders of the territory. I know its just me, god, and the deep blue sea. 

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