The posse headed out out Red Stick and moved silently through the waters of the Mississippi towards the previously reported location of the raiders’ boat. A couple of hours later, they found it where anticipated – underneath a bridge, listing slightly to the side.
The posse decided to split up. Deuce Haust and Red would climb up onto the bridge and be the posse’s eye in the sky, while Kreg, Nova, and Lee would attempt to sneak aboard the boat. The recycler from town, Joe, and Alt would stick with the boat in case of the need for a quick getaway.
The posse had just dropped Deuce and Red off on the bridge and were headed towards the boat when shots rang out from the boat – but they weren’t directed at the posse. Instead, there seemed to be some sort of fight breaking out on the boat, and several of the raiders’ boats detached from the main river boat and began to flee. By the time the posse’s boat moved alongside, most of the fighting had gone quiet.
Kreg, Nova and Lee snuck aboard and began to look about. They found discarded weapons and blood, but at first no sign of the raiders. The entered the main cabin of the riverboat, to find it contained slaves who had been chained up to use the oars that had been retrofitted to the steamer. Several of them were dead, and the others were clearly terrified. They begged to be let out, while cautioning the posse about whatever had killed most of the pirates…and several of the slaves.
The posse got to work on freeing the slaves, but were interrupted by some incoherent shouting and a shotgun blast from back further on the boat. Leaving Lee with the slaves, Kreg and Nova went towards the sound of the blast…finding a locked door, they pulled Lee up momentarily to open it before sending it back. Kreg then began to inch the door forward…
…and saw the muzzle of a shotgun pointed his direction. He narrowly escaped having his head blown off by the monstrously huge and obviously mutated river pirate on the other end of it. Nova and Kreg darted in to engage, dodging around a hideously bloated corpse lying on the floor in front of the pirate. At first things seemed to be going pretty good for Nova(who was once again tranced out and fighting with knives) and Kreg, but the big man was faster and more skilled than they had perhaps realized. The tide started to turn when Lee came into the room gun blazing, but not for the posse – he managed to peg Nova in the back. With Nova thus distracted, the big pirate slammed his hatched into her skull and she fell to the ground. Hearing the trouble, Alt raced up to lend his assistance, and between him, Kreg and Lee, they managed to put the big man down.
Alt carried Nova off to the boat, running at full power to try and get her to the doc before she bled out. On the big pirate, they had found a set of keys, and so unlocked the remaining slaves, and put them on the one remaining boat of the pirates’ and told them to get out. After, Lee and Kreg continued their exploration of the boat alone. Their explorations stopped on the boiler deck of the boat, as they opened the door to the cabin and found a pair of bloated corpses wrestling with the pirates. Lee and Kreg were immediately spotted, and the bloat started to pursue them. Needless to say, the valiant pair ran and hid. Thankfully, the bloat lost interest before being able to get at them, and they were able to scramble onto their craft when Alt returned for them and got the hell out of there.
Once they were back at Red Stick, Deuce finished stitching up Nova(who would live, although she was in pretty rough shape). The others filled in Sheriff Evelyn Reynard on what had happened. Reynard agreed the pirates weren’t likely to be a threat anymore, but that the zombies likely would be…especially when Lee remembered that something had been around the toe of the one bloat they saw…possibly a toe tag? The posse got some rest, or something close to it.
In the morning, everyone but Nova decided to scout out the riverboat to see what had happened. When they got there, they saw a small crew of pirates were already at the boat, probably trying to scavenge what they could before abandoning ship permanently. The posse decided they’d try to take out the pirates and grab the loot for themselves, and to that end tried to maneuver their ship around to the cover of the bridge to attack from above. They were spotted before they were fully in the shadow of the bridge, and the pirates managed to get a couple of shots with the cannon off…
The first show missed by almost 30 feet, but the second one came within a few feet of the boat. now gunning it full steam, Alt was at the helm and lost control of the boat, tossing everyone out as the boat went spinning… Gasping in the muddy waters of the Mississippi, the posse wasn’t far from the bridge…but how many of them could swim?