When we last left our brave settler heroes, they were reeling from the sudden and unexpected loss of Jinx. He had not been with the group that long, but had proven to be an important and useful member of the team. Spirits were lower than ever since the crash onto the planet. Late in the morning, everyone was brought back to reality when the settlement was rocked by one of the batteries exploding violently. They had the forethought to surround the batteries with stone walls, so luckily the fire produced by the explosion didn't spread to any of the buildings. Dangus reluctantly got up and got to work building a new replacement battery.
The only other thing to break up the time of mourning was when hlarge looked up and saw the trail of an escape pod hurtling toward the ground, north of the settlement. He ran to investigate, and found a survivor in the wreckage, unconscious and bleeding. He quickly pulled the man out of the burning craft, and dragged him back to the settlement. The sick bay was currently full, dealing with the injuries sustained in the previous raid, so a spare bedroom was turned into a makeshift medical station for the survivor.
No single day for a stretch saw significant excitement, not that anyone complained about it. They had seen their share of what excitement could bring. Snow was falling, and covering more of the settlement. Dangus came up with a plan to enclose more of the settlement indoors in order to minimize everyone's time exposed to the elements and spent the next few days taking care of that. Some cargo pods fell to the surface. Everyone was excited to hopefully find some useful gear, but discovered that the cargo must have been from some drug runners passing by. The pods were filled with cocaine. Rad Party God mentioned that he had previously had addiction problems, so the decision was made to leave the drugs out in the wilderness, away from the settlement so as not to tempt him further.
At one point, hlarge took an offhand comment from Zombz the wrong way, and stormed about Also Cock in a psychotic state. Everyone stayed away from him, and luckily nobody was hurt. He cooled down after a day or two. During this time, a trading caravan stopped by, which was run by the brother of hlarge.*This was a good time to unload all that cocaine, and it was used to buy some extra medicine to keep on hand in times of trouble (which seemed to be all too often these days).
On the 36th day, Rad Party God went out to hunt, finding a large buck that could provide a few meals for everyone. His shot merely glanced the animal, sending it into a rage. Rad Party God panicked as it charged, and was unable to kill it before the crazed animal knocked him to the ground. Fortunately for him, Morpho and Dangus were close enough to run out to help kill the buck before it could do any serious harm to RPG. They did have some positive luck on this day though, because the crash survivor woke up, and decided to join the group. He called himself Gajknight, and turned out to be a pretty decent fighter. Gaj also had desire to learn how to farm, which was fine with everyone else. Zombz was serviceable enough in this role, but it would be nice to have someone more dedicated to this task.
*How are these guys encountering people they know when they were the only known survivors of the ship they were on, in a remote section of space? I guess we'll never know.
Winter had officially arrived, although the group had already been accustomed to it thanks to the massive cold snap in the autumn. The food supply was beginning to dwindle, so the group hatched a plan to take out a massive megasloth that had been wandering about nearby. None of them had encountered such a beast before, so weren't sure what to expect when the bullets started flying. It turned out the megasloth wasn't very capable of fighting back at all, and died quickly in a hail of concentrated gunfire. It provided the group with a considerable amount of meat and leather! Morpho cooked up a great meal of roasted sloth to celebrate the occasion.
The group saw yet another escape pod crash into the planet. The survivor had a cracked spine, which the very talented Morpho was able to somehow deal with during this four day period. Having a doctor around is pretty handy! The new arrival was known as ikiryou, a former navy scientist. He has great shooting skills, and a passion for crafting and research. Ikiryou also had some worthwhile social skills, which was sorely lacking in the rest of the Destructoid crew.
Now that the settlement was pretty established, Dangus decided to come up with some blueprints for a comms console and orbital trade beacon. When these would be completed, they would be able to reach out to surrounding groups, and hopefully set up some trade and get an economy of sorts going! It was an exciting prospect as Dangus explained it.
Love was in the air at the Also Cocks settlement! Morpho and Zombz decided they didn't want to wait any longer, and had their wedding ceremony!
I do! -- A moment of happiness amid all the suffering and hardships
Once the ceremony concluded, Zombz decided to hunt some timber wolf to serve up to his blushing bride. This didn't go quite so well when his initial shots didn't kill it. The wolf lunged forward, biting him in the neck before he finally finished it off with his SMG. Morpho's wedding night consisted of tending to her new husband's bleeding neck. Hopefully our man Zombz at least got a handjob for his trouble.
At this point, everyone thought it might be a good idea to surround the settlement with sturdy stone walls for greater protection from raiders and attacking animals. Rad Party God began work on the project while Dangus wrapped up construction on the comms console and trade beacon. While they were working on their construction projects, a pack of insane ibexes, who began throwing themselves at the wall. They inadvertently helped out with the problem of dwindling food when they were gunned down and butchered for meat.
Thanks for the food?
Rad Party God encountered a lynx in the woods nearby, which he managed to tame. He was feeling like quite a badass, having a ferocious cat now as a companion when out hunting for the group. Dangus finished up the comms station, and everyone clustered around, seeing who they could call. There weren't many good options. The pirate factions of the Sufferingpartners and the Notorious Worms might not be good choices unless fighting was the goal. Ikiryou attempted to call another nearby group, which ended up being a group of hostile tribals. The last groups available was the Youerentilor Trading Alliance, but they required 600 silver before they would even bother showing up. That would have used up most of Destructoid's silver supply, and they didn't yet have all that much else to trade, other than leather which the traders were previously uninterested in. It was decided that they would try to build up a supply of potential trade goods before making a potentially expensive call to the traders.
Research on how to make medicine concluded. It was decided to next work on figuring out how to make defensive turrets. More firepower would most likely be helpful. Everyone was beginning to hate the look of the settlement, so plans were devised to spruce up the place: some more attractive floors would be placed in some of the more used buildings. A sculpting table would be built to allow some of the more artistic members of Destructoid could whip up some pieces that could improve the aesthetics.
The electrical grid was starting to see some strain again, keeping everything lit and warm for the winter. Dangus drew up blueprints for another solar panel and battery. She had just completed the initial preparation, when reports came in of a supervolcano erupting on the planet, plunging the world into a volcanic winter, obscuring the sunlight for an unknown period of time into the future. Dangus scrapped that idea, and quickly got to work on another wind turbine, as well as a wood fueled generator. There was plenty of extra wood, and it would be a little more reliable, especially with solar panels becoming decreasingly effective for the time being. It was good that this was at least happening at the time of year where nothing was being grown anyway.
Apparently nobody had been watching the food supply for the animals, because they were becoming malnourished from starvation. Clearing the snow from their pasture hadn't been an idea anyone had considered previously, so everyone pitched in to quickly clear out the area. The two ibexes that were kept around were slaughtered for meat and to save what grass was left for the alpacas, since they provided valuable wool. At this point, Morpho discovered that the female alpaca had been pregnant, but miscarried due to the malnourishment.
Zombz continued to have misadventures in hunting, and was taken down by a herd of deer while out hunting to fill the food stores. This time he received a cracked clavicle for his trouble, before Gajknight showed up to help, getting mildly injured in the process. They spent the next day or two recovering in the sick bay.
Gun turret researched wrapped up, thanks to the efforts of hlarge. Building these would require quite a bit of steel, which was not in high supply around Also Cocks. Hlarge said that he would eventually be able to figure out how to drill down in order to find minerals, but needed to start researching something called a multi-analyzer first, which would aid in future research projects.
By day 48, hlarge had already figured out how to build the multi-analyzer, which Dangus immediately began work on. It would need to be constructed before any work could begin on the drilling process, so hlarge put his brain toward hydroponics, to deal with the volcanic winter that would last for potentially a very long time. Day 49 dawned as the first of spring!
Dangus finished up the multi-analyzer, allowing hlarge to research drilling procedures. He had already concluded his project on hydroponics, and plans were drawn up for a large growing room and several hydroponics bins, which would contain a sun lamp. This would allow for growing all year round, but would require a very large output of electricity. The path of research to drilling would also eventually lead to knowledge of geothermal power, so this was a good idea all around. They would never have power problems again if they could tap into the planet's reserves! Everyone was feeling so positive that a party was thrown in the rec room.
Some much needed unwinding time
The first few hydroponics bins and sun lamp were complete. The only thing needed yet was some heaters, and work could begin on new food supplies. This whole project completely depleted the steel supply, so Zombz began figuring out where he could mine some more. He was having to travel further and further in search of more. Soon they would have to find a trading partner to have more reliable access to more of it, especially if all of their food growing would end up being done indoors. There might be another possible solution coming, as hlarge concluded his project on deep drilling. The last piece of the puzzle was to figure out a ground penetrating scanner to actually find where steel could be located.
Spring had arrived, and the growing season had begun! Too bad the volcano eruption was making farming unreliable at best. Gajknight would try to get started on planting in the next day or two. Zombz was out, mining for what steel he could find. While he was hard at work on this, the already dim light from the system's star when totally dark. One of the planet's moons had eclipsed the star, plunging the world into complete darkness. Zombz continued mining undeterred, when he was abruptly hit in the back. A cougar had sneaked up on him in the dark and under the cover of the sound of the pick hitting the stone. He was knocked to the ground as Morpho ran to assist, pistol in hand, putting bullet after bullet into the beast. When it finally collapsed, and she pulled its corpse off her husband, she found that the cougar had torn out the throat of poor Zombz. Her wails could be heard all the way back at the settlement as she wept over his body.
Our fallen hero and his grieving widow
A grave was quickly dug in the dark, and Morpho laid her love to rest. To make matters worse, the wind began to completely subside. The already overworked electrical grid gave out. Dangus rushed to make switches that would allow for keeping power to only the most crucial things, like the research area and cooking. Hlarge immediately prioritized geothermal power as his research project. The scanner could wait a little longer.
The night the lights went out in Georgia Also Cocks
Thankfully, the eclipse came to a close at the end of day 54. (Of course, an hour before sundown, giving the solar panels almost no time to charge the batteries) The wind picked up again, giving some life to most of the settlement. The bad news was that the few crops growing in the hydroponics bins had been lost. Gajknight got to work planting the fields with potatoes, hoping that the hardy crop could be successful with the reduced sunlight. Two settlers were in danger of a mental break. One was Zombz, which was completely understandable. She was there as Zombz was killed, with her unable to save him. The other was not so unexpected: Gajknight. He was not only depressed about Zombz's death, but he was attempting to make a move on Morpho, being turned down in the process. He waited a whole two days before trying to get with his friend's wife?
Another cold snap hit on day 55, killing off all the freshly planted crops. The only thing that could be considered good news at this point was the crash landing of cargo pods. They contained crates full of smokeweed joints. Food was almost gone, electricity was unreliable, and one of their closest friends was dead, but at least they could get high.
Morpho and Rad Party God spent most of the day getting stoned as hell. This might not have been the best idea, as some hostile visitors arrived. There were three mechanoids similar to the one that had killed Jinx about a month earlier. With them was some sort of large mechanical beast (called a centipede in game) armed with a large inferno cannon. They began their approach to the small opening in the northern wall of the settlement.
This is probably going to be bad. Really bad.
Every single member of Destructoid armed with a firearm (all but Dangus) formed a group inside the walls, ready to open fire on anything that came walking through the entrance. The first mechanoid walked around the corner of the wall and was lit up, taking an unnerving amount of bullets before going down. Rad Party God sent his lynx off to attack as the second killing machine entered the compound. It too was quickly dispatched, but not before blasting hlarge with sophisticated weaponry, blowing off his left hand and foot. The third required even more firepower to take down, but at least it inflicted no further injuries on the human members of the group. The lynx didn't fare so well and was knocked unconscious. Hlarge limped back toward the sick bay to the best of his ability, while Morpho carried the lynx back to safety.
The centipede was moving far more slowly than the rest of its robotic companions, so Rad Party God, ikiryou, and GajKnight headed out to meet it in battle. This time, sticking together was not a good idea, because the inferno cannon the monstrous robot was armed with burned a large area in each spot it hit. Gajknight was lit on fire from its first attack, and frantically rolled about before taking too much damage. The three split up and attacked it from several angles.
Good thing Also Cocks is surrounded by stone walls
The centipede was taking quite a beating as the three continued to unload on it. Gajknight was directly hit again, and this time he went down unconscious. While the fighting was going on, a voice came on over the comms console. Scavenger Ponce of the Notorious Worms announced that he and four friends had come for his former lover, Dangus. Seriously!?
The centipede hit the dirt as ikiryou was surrounded and overcome by the spreading fires. Morpho and Dangus rushed out to pick up their two fallen friends and carry them back to sick bay. This left the incredibly stoned Rad Party God to fight off five pirate raiders alone until the other two could carry Gajknight and ikiryou back. The four were split up, attacking separate parts of the settlement in their search for Dangus. Rad Party God ran up to the closest one, firing at him, but only scoring a glancing hit as the raider turned and flung a molotov cocktail at the settler. Rad Party God immediately burst into flames, and ran around in a panicked state until dropping to the ground in agony. By this time, Morpho and Dangus, Unrest in tow, arrived to help. The labrador lunged for the raider's arm while Dangus plunged her dagger into his gut. This took him out of the fight, so Dangus and her dog headed off toward the next pirate while Morpho began dragging Rad Party God away. Despite losing his foot and hand, and still freshly bleeding, hlarge decided to join the fight, and was going to reach two of the pirates before Dangus would.
Things go from bad to REALLY FUCKING BAD
The fire from the fight with the first pirate began spreading from the store room to the rec room. Almost all the buildings were made out of wood, so fire was going to be as big of an enemy as the pirates were. To make matters somehow even worse, the raiders had ruptured one of the northern batteries, causing a massive explosion, engulfing even more of the buildings in flame. A pirate was trying to break down the door to the settlers' rooms, only to be surprised when hlarge opened it up and shot him in the face. Before he could bring his gun to bear on the other pirate in the hallway, he dropped to the floor, passed out from blood loss. Dangus and Unrest arrive, and the pair are able to hit the pirate from behind as he tries to loot hlarge's unconscious body. Ponce and his other lackey decide that they've had enough, and flee the settlement. Unrest drags hlarge away toward sick bay while Dangus rushes to fight the conflagration. Morpho abandons her attempts to apply aid to the other fallen settlers and fight the fires. It's a losing battle. For every flame they douse, 3 more take its place.
The burned out husk of Also Cocks
Hlarge dies from his massive blood loss. Gajknight and ikiryou follow him to the afterlife shortly after, due to the horrific wounds they received from the fight with the centipede. The next morning, heavy snows put out the rest of the fires, but by this point almost every single part of the settlement has been burned to the ground. The only buildings left mostly intact are the storeroom and the sick bay. Rad Party God is in bed, but gets an infection from his wounds. Dangus wanders around in a dazed state, and also suffers from an infection. Both are dead before the day is finished.
Morpho goes mad from all the stress and not having slept in almost two days, and passes out in the bed occupied by Rad Party God's corpse. When she awakes, she binges on the supply of wakeup drugs, and overdoses. Raiders from the Sufferingpartners show up, but just leave once they see that there isn't much to loot. Morpho comes to her senses, decides she's not ready to die, and begins making a wood powered generator. She is determined to somehow come back from this! The plan ends fast when a manhunting rhino enters the area. There are no places to hide, and it eventually finds Morpho, who barely scratches it with her pistol. The rhino's horn gashes her face, ripping her nose off in the process.
At this point, a naked random traveler looking for shelter decides she wants to join the settlement, not realizing it had burned down hours earlier. The rhino quickly overtakes her, tearing her right leg off before she is brutally killed. The broken and bleeding Morpho is startled by three pirates from the Notorious Worms as they show up to loot the remaining supplies of Also Cocks. She watches as the rhino murders two of them, causing the third to flee. All Morpho can do is laugh while she bleeds to death, as the last pirate can't get out of the southern gate, when the rhino stomps him into the dirt.
Here ends the failed settlement of Also Cocks. Maybe if Dangus wasn't so damn sexy, Ponce and his pirates wouldn't have made that raid. Destructoid could probably have recovered from the mechanoid attack on its own with enough time, but the two staged attack on the settlement was just too much. I have learned quite a bit about things to try next time around.
This has been a lot of fun playing and writing about my experience with RimWorld. Maybe down the road I'll start a new story. Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed it!