The road cleared some as Jack and Jason neared the depot. Instead of large chunks of concreate or a pile of debris, they dodged other vehicles now, each heading into or away from the trading town. Practically every mode of transport was represented. Horse drawn wagons ambled slowly, their drivers alert for trouble while advance tech hovercrafts and anti-grav bikes sped past dangerously. Many people stared as the van rumbled through though Jason couldn’t tell if the attention was out of curiosity or if they were miffed at the noise and dust being kicked up as they passed.
The Depot started out as a small town in the middle of nowhere by an old tech-prospector who used the location as a base. To the west of the depot was one of the ancient cities, now nothing more than a crumbling shell; but at the time a nice source of ancient tech and resources. The city, while gutted long ago is still being cut up by a few companies for building materials, but that was all it was good for these days.
Like many towns, the depot has its own militia to keep the peace and they are aggressive in their pursuit of that goal. Everyone knows that there is no lawlessness tolerated. Sure the occasional rowdy person was ignored – but any factional violence was squashed quickly. This is what made the Depot such prosperous trading town. It was relatively safe, more so than many of the other trading towns that have popped up in the wasteland.
They reached the outer perimeter checkpoint around noon, stopping at the closed swing gate that separated the incoming road from a large paring area outside of the Depots protective walls. A skinny guard dressed in militia colors of Green and blue walked up and asked them what their purpose was.
“Auction Yards and resupply,” Jack said throwing a thumb over his shoulder to indicate they had items to sell and trade.
”Gonna be here long?” the guard asked, scratching something in a little notebook.
“A day or two probably, then we are heading out again.”
The Guard finished with whatever he was writing and away the notebook. He walked around the van and whistled, obviously impressed.
”This is an incredible find.” He said to Jack once he returned to Jacks window.
“Yep, it’s been a life saver.” Jack said, patting a hand on the door affectionately.
“From the looks of things you’ve had to defend it more than once.”
“Well it does stand out,” Jack admitted, “But we can hold our own.”
The guard just nodded his understanding and lifted the swing gate. With a wave he ushered in the van and pointed to an area where other large vehicles were parked.
“No trouble, ya hear?” he shouted as the van moved towards their assigned parking spot.
Jason knew there would be no trouble. Both he and Jack knew better than that. He was no too concerned with others causing problems either, the parking lot was always in sight by a militia member patrolling the walls, as well as some on the grounds. Even if someone had the stupid idea of trying to take the van, it had some of its own security features, so there was no real danger of losing it.
They never unloaded the van the day they arrived at the Depot. Using whatever was left of the day they usually scouted around a bit before finally ending up finding some diversion at a tavern. They avoided the brothels most of the time, Jack just wasn’t much of a ladies man. Jason was actually thankful for that. If ever Jack was in the mood for any serious fun Jason noticed Jack almost never messed around with mutants. As for himself, Jason never really bothered with the ladies either. He liked to take this time down at the auction yards scouring the offerings there for the latest Tech, or if he was lucky, a chance to look over a working vehicle.
As the daylight faded, both Jack and Jason had made their own way back to the Van. It was more comfortable than any sleeping arrangements they would find in town, and certain much cheaper.
In the morning, Jason and Jack loaded the grav-sled with the first round of items and headed for the Auction yards. It was mid-city and took them about thirty minutes to reach the crowed noisy center of town.
The Auction Yards were a collection of open-air markets with vendors shouting out their sales. At the end of each area was the auction stage, where the auction master would sell to the highest bidder much of the higher end items found in the wasteland. While the other vendors scattered about tried to sell other smaller items such as food, tools or ammo.
Here at the yards is where people would find the higher end stuff like ancient weapons and vehicles, or even Tech items – like implants and the occasional androids. Anyone with items to auction would bring them to an auction master who would assess the items and arrange for the bidding, this could take a few minutes to an hour, depending on what was to be auctioned, and how many people were there with items to sell.
As the day progressed, Jason and Jack managed to sell most of their goods dumping what was left at the trash station. When everything was taken care of the pair of them went off to a seeder part of time to find Jacks contact, a mutant named Farsi Belan.
Farsi was a Tech-Lord who liked to frequent the auction yards. He and Jack have had an agreement for years now, where Farsi slips Jack some information about potential scavenging sites, and Jack and Jason would investigate. This has had rewards for both of them.
“You’re looking as spry for an old man” Farsi joked, as he invited Jack into his apartment.
“Thanks – I’m surprised I can even get around considering my age.” Jack said. He feigned a bad back and walked up to Farsi all hunched over.
Both men gave a chuckle. They talked for a good 30mins about recent finds in the area when Farsi got a little more serious.
“Jack – There is trouble on the other side of the range. There is a rumor of a Faction on a crusade to rid the world of Mutants.”
“The other side of the range you say?” Jack said a bit concerned. “We travel there occasionally, but never found any trouble”
“Well, you and the kid have no outward defects that would single you out as mutants. But the word is that mutants are being systematically hunted and killed. They have a very large following and might be trying to extend their territory.
“Thanks Farsi, we’ll keep an eye open,” Jack said as he gave his friend a pat on the shoulder. “I’ll share any information that might come my way.”
“Sure thing Jack.”
They headed back to the van, Farsi’s comments about anti-mutant leader on the other side of the range concerned Jason but in the wasteland – it’s not uncommon for groups to get a bit rowdy one way or another. Still, it was something to be aware of.
The Van had a number of options for fuel. Mostly is was Diesel, with a couple of large tanks built into the van and armor protected. There was also Battery power, though it was speed limiting to run on battery but doing so gave the Van almost unlimited range as the battery could be recharged using solar panels deployed on top as well as the energy from the diesel.
Jack suggested they make another run into the ruins south of the depot. Although mostly picked clean, he thought they might have some luck deeper in, and a few levels underground. It took them most of the day to get to the ruins and find a good place to setup a Base.