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Book 44: California Countdown [Freeway Warrior series]

Dateline to Disaster

Rise of global terrorism on an unprecedented scale. Political violence funded by organized crime syndicate called HAVOC—The Hijack, Assassination, and Violent Opposition Consortium.

The governments of many small and impoverished nations fall into the hands of HAVOC. International terrorists receive arms, training, and shelter in these ‘Badlands’.

Raids on oil and gas installations, assassinations, and the kidnapping of prominent world statesmen become commonplace as HAVOC attempts to terrorize the civilized world into submission. Despite public outrage and growing international tension, the major powers steadfastly refuse to give in to HAVOC’s demands.

President of the United States and General Secretary of Supreme Soviet both assassinated at emergency summit meeting. US, USSR, and major European nations create the World Defence League and declare war on HAVOC. The Badlands are invaded, key HAVOC bases destroyed, and thousands of HAVOC agents are captured.

HAVOC leaders imprisoned for life in ‘Deep Pens’—maximum security gaols located deep underground—to prevent their escape or release by HAVOC agents still at large.

New leadership emerges to unify the scattered remnants of HAVOC and plan revenge.

A WDL train transporting seventeen 100-kiloton nuclear warheads, slated to be neutralized and dismantled, is attacked by HAVOC agents. The train is destroyed and its deadly cargo stolen.

2012 New Year’s Day
HAVOC hijacks a WDL news satellite and broadcasts a chilling ultimatum. They have planted the seventeen stolen warheads in major cities throughout the US, USSR, and Europe. They call for the immediate release of all HAVOC agents held in Deep Pens, plus the payment of $2 trillion in gold bullion, or they will trigger the warheads one by one until their demands are met in full. A twenty-four hour deadline is set. WDL leaders declare an emergency and request that the deadline be extended. HAVOC refuses.

2nd January
First warhead detonated at Brie Nuclear Energy Plant, ten miles south of Paris, France. Blast and radioactive fallout claim millions of lives. HAVOC repeats its demand and extends deadline by twenty-four hours.

3rd January ‘The Day’
World Defence League agents discover location of HAVOC command headquarters on an island in the South Pacific Ocean. Immediately orders are given to infiltrate and destroy the HQ and its occupants. The assault is swift and decisive; the complex is quickly overrun and its inhabitants are killed. Yet, ironically, as the news of this victory is being relayed around the world, HAVOC enacts its ultimate revenge. A transmitter hidden on the island, fitted with a time-delay mechanism, clicks on, sending its high-frequency radio signal to a communications satellite orbiting the earth. This signal is amplified and returned to earth where, simultaneously, it triggers the remaining nuclear warheads. The initial explosions set off a disastrous chain reaction that feeds on civil and military nuclear installations all across the northern hemisphere. Hundreds of millions of people are killed within days, and many more perish during the years that follow, falling victim to the lingering radioactivity and the severe climatic changes that affect the earth.

Gale force winds sweep across the world, carrying enormous amounts of dust into the upper atmosphere and preventing much sunlight from reaching the earth’s surface. Temperatures plummet, deterring survivors from remaining above ground. Communications are disrupted by gamma radiation, making all radio, cable, and satellite contact impossible. Small colonies of survivors develop in total isolation from one another during these years of darkness.

Gradually, the dust storms die down and the sun penetrates the atmosphere, thawing the earth’s frozen surface. Radiation has decayed to tolerable levels, and survivors emerge to reclaim what little remains of the world they once knew.

The Story So Far

You are Cal Phoenix, a survivor, born in California on Thanksgiving Day in the year AD 2000. In 2012, whilst on winter vacation at your Uncle Jonas and Aunt Betty-Ann’s ranch in Texas, you were invited to visit a shale-oil mine near Austin, the first of its kind in Texas. As Chief-of-Construction, your uncle was proud to take you on a guided tour of the whole underground complex, which, for security reasons, was totally self-supporting. It was during this tour on 3 January 2012 that the holocaust began.

You remember how the ground shuddered when the shock waves of the first distant explosions reached the mine and how you thought it was the start of an earthquake, such as you had experienced many times at home in California. But as the levels nearest the surface began to collapse and the central elevator shaft filled with rubble, you realized the awful truth. At first there was no way of telling the extent of the surface devastation. Below ground, the safety generators had automatically switched into operation when the main power supply failed, and the tremors had faded quickly, which encouraged your aunt and uncle to believe that the damage above was superficial. Uncle Jonas was confident that the military would mount a rescue operation and that you would be brought out within a few days, a week at the most. Aunt Betty-Ann too was optimistic. After all, there were emergency supplies, enough to feed 200 men for a whole month. Little did she know that the three of you would end up consuming all those supplies, or that the mine would become your home, your shelter, and your prison for the next eight years of your lives.


It was early September in the year 2019 when eventually you broke through to the surface. The landscape surrounding the mine looked like the surface of another planet. Few structures had survived the blizzards and intense cold that had swept around the world in the years following ‘The Day’, and now, after the dust had settled and the sun returned, the once-fertile plains of Austin resembled little more than a desert of parched and broken rock, littered with the artefacts of an absent civilization. During the first few days, when you set out to explore this wilderness, it was easy to believe that you were the only survivors. But on the morning of the fifth day Uncle Jonas made chance radio contact with a family called Ewell, who were living near the ruins of McKinney, thirty miles north of Dallas. They told him that they had been in touch with a handful of other groups, who had managed somehow to survive the holocaust. Most were isolated, unable to move due to lack of fuel, food, or water. They had urged those who could travel to join them in McKinney, to start a new community there, and some were already on their way. When your uncle and aunt accepted their invitation, the Ewells were enthusiastic but they also warned you to be wary—not everyone who had survived wanted to establish a new community. The ruins of some large Texan cities, such as Dallas and Fort Worth, were controlled by gangs of criminals who fought with each other and terrorized anyone seeking to reestablish law and order. They urged you to avoid these gangs at all costs.

It took more than a week to discover a vehicle capable of transporting you to McKinney. It was an old school bus parked in an underground lot where it had survived the years of sub-zero blizzards. With fuel and spares salvaged from the mine, you managed to coax it back to life, whereupon you set off on your journey north. When you arrived at the town, it was easy to find where the Ewells lived, for their ranch was the only place that was still standing. It looked more like an old frontier post than a ranch, with its fortified perimeter wall, lookout posts, and stake-filled moat. However, after being ambushed and shot at by the city gangs of Fort Worth during the final stages of your journey, you could readily understand the need for these defences.

‘Pop’ Ewell, the seventy-year-old grandfather of the Ewell family, was the leader of this small colony of survivors, and it was he who had urged Uncle Jonas to join them when your uncle had first made radio contact. The colony numbered less than a dozen at the time of your arrival, yet as the airwaves became clearer and new contacts were made, the number had soon more than doubled to twenty-five. It was decided that a name was needed to identify the settlement. The name ‘Dallas Colony One’ was adopted—‘DC1’ for short—and from that day on, everyone worked hard to make DC1 a secure haven for those seeking refuge from the hostile wastelands and marauding city gangs.

‘Cutter’ Jacks was one such refugee. Before ‘The Day’ he had been chief mechanic at the International Grand Prix Circuit near Lake Dallas, and his incredible skill and knowledge of engines was soon to prove invaluable to the colony. He taught you how to drive, and from a pile of old wrecks that you helped him salvage from the circuit, he built you a powerful, customized car. You used it to patrol the highways north of the city, keeping a lookout for gangs of city punks who frequently mounted raids to steal or destroy DC1’s supplies. Cutter also taught you to shoot, and it was your natural prowess with a gun, and your skill behind the wheel, that was to earn you the begrudging respect of your enemies, who took to calling you the ‘Freeway Warrior’.

Six months after your arrival at DC1, the colony was faced with a major crisis. A heat wave caused a drought that threatened to destroy the food supply. Crops were failing and the colony’s artesian well—its only source of uncontaminated water—was beginning to dry up. The drought was also provoking more attacks from the city punks who were desperate for food and water. Their common need had united them and now they posed a very real threat to the security of DC1. It was the last day of May 2020, when Pop Ewell made radio contact with another colony, who were based in the city of Big Spring, 300 miles west of McKinney. Their situation was completely the reverse of DC1’s: they had food and water in plentiful supply but they were desperately short of fuel. They told of their contact with survivors in Tucson, Arizona, who also were without fuel. The Tucson colony reported that the territories west of the mountains of the Sierra Nevada had been spared the worst effects of the radioactive blizzards that had devastated the rest of the country and, miraculously, much of southern California was still widely populated: it had survived the last eight years virtually intact. When you heard the news, you could hardly believe your ears. Perhaps your family was still alive; perhaps there was still a chance that one day you would be reunited.


A meeting was held to decide how best to deal with the crisis facing DC1. Everyone agreed that staying at McKinney could lead only to eventual death, either slowly from starvation or suddenly at the hands of the murderous city gangs. The only choice open to DC1 was to try to reach California: only there lay any real hope for the future of the colony. The decision was relayed to the survivors at Big Spring, and a deal was struck to rendezvous with them as soon as possible. DC1 would give them fuel in exchange for food and water, and together they would join up with the Tucson colony for the final stage of the journey to California.

Careful preparations were made for the long trek, and three vehicles were chosen to make up the convoy: the school bus, your customized roadster, and a gasolene tanker laden with 5,000 gallons of petroleum siphoned from underground storage tanks at the Ewell ranch. Supplies of food and water were adequate but the colony lacked sufficient firearms and ammunition with which to defend itself. On the day before the convoy was due to leave, one of the colonists was sent north to search the town of Sherman for weapons. He radioed back to say that he had found a cache of hunting rifles and ammunition, but that his truck had broken down and he was stranded in the town. He had also found a survivor—a beautiful teenage girl—and he requested that you go to Sherman to pick them both up. As soon as you arrived you were ambushed by the scouts of a brutal gang of bikers known as the Detroit Lions and, in the ensuing gun battle, you killed Stinger—the scouts’ leader.

Later you learned that the girl, Kate Norton, was the sole survivor of a Kansas City colony that had been attacked and wiped out by the Detroit Lions. The Lions’ leader, who calls himself Mad Dog Michigan, had taken a liking to her and spared her life. Mad Dog was once a high-ranking HAVOC agent who had escaped from Pontiac Deep Pen near Detroit, and he and his gang, most of whom were also HAVOC escapees, were heading for the Fort Hood Military Reserve near Killeen, Texas, the largest armoury in the whole of the United States. There he hoped to find enough weapons to equip the other HAVOC clans, who were now in control of cities all along the eastern seaboard. Kate had managed to steal a motorcycle and escape from their camp, but Mad Dog was determined to get her back. He sent his brother—Stinger—and a handful of his best scouts to track her down, and they had finally caught up with her at Sherman.

When Mad Dog learned that you had killed his brother, he vowed to get even with you. He abandoned his plans to loot Fort Hood and embarked instead on a relentless pursuit of your colony as it crossed the sun-scorched wastelands of Texas. The journey to Big Spring was fraught with great danger and yet, in spite of the many perils you faced, or perhaps because of them, you felt yourself falling in love with Kate and you sensed that she was becoming increasingly fond of you. Sadly, the convoy was only a few miles from Big Spring when disaster struck. The land surrounding the settlement was controlled by a gang of bikers, a renegade clan called the ‘Mavericks’, who had been the bane of the Big Spring colony for many months. As the convoy drew nearer to its destination, the Mavericks launched an attack, and, in the running battle that ensued, they captured and abducted Kate. The convoy entered the fortified gates of Big Spring to a rapturous welcome from the colonists of that settlement, but for you the celebration was soured by the vivid memory of Kate’s abduction. You vowed to rescue her, and from that moment on, every waking minute of every day at Big Spring was spent thinking about little else.


By chance it transpired that the leader of the Mavericks, a blond-haired murderer called Amex Gold, was a former HAVOC agent, who had served under Mad Dog Michigan before ‘The Day’. He offered to join forces with the Lions and, as a gesture of his loyalty to his former commander, he returned Kate to him. Together the Lions and the Mavericks launched a hasty attack on Big Spring, yet, although they outnumbered the colony by more than three to one, they were unable to breach the settlement’s fortified perimeter wall and were repelled with heavy losses. On the day after the attack, Pop Ewell discovered the radio frequency that the clansmen were using and was able to eavesdrop on their communications. He learned that Mad Dog had ordered another HAVOC clan, the ‘Saints’, who were based in New Orleans, to come to reinforce his command; they were expected to arrive within the week. He also overheard Mad Dog arrange a meeting with Mekong Mike, the leader of the Angelinos, a gang who controlled the city of San Angelo. He wanted him as an ally and was prepared to offer guns and ammunition in return for his help in destroying the Big Spring colony. Two days later, Mad Dog Michigan set off for San Angelo at the head of a motorcycle pack 200 riders strong. Those few clansmen who remained with Amex Gold tried all manner of tricks to convince the colony that the Mavericks and the Lions still surrounded Big Spring in strength, but to no avail. The senior members of the newly-enlarged colony convened a meeting, at which it was decided that, with the clansmen now at their weakest, and with the appearance of the New Orleans gang expected at any time, a breakout had to be attempted without delay. There was only one way for the colony to reach Tucson overland and that was to follow the remains of Interstate Freeway 10 through the arid, mountainous territory of western Texas. Precisely halfway between Big Spring and Tucson lies the city of El Paso. To reach this city in one piece became the convoy’s goal. It lay at the end of a long and tortuous stretch of mountain highway, undoubtedly one of the toughest you would have to face on your journey to California.

Under cover of darkness, the convoy escaped from Big Spring and sped westwards. Now your vow to rescue Kate could at last be realized and, at the first opportunity, you told the colony of your plans. Reluctantly they let you leave the convoy and go to San Angelo, where you intended to infiltrate the meeting between the Lions and the Angelinos in the hope of finding Kate there. Your skill and daring were rewarded, for you were able to locate and rescue Kate from under the very noses of the clan leaders. During your escape from their city, you killed Mekong Mike, the Angelinos’ leader, and stole a map from Mad Dog Michigan. Later you discovered that this map contained vital details of a HAVOC operation to take over the whole of the United States.

As you escaped westwards from San Angelo, you encountered three soldiers, survivors from a world Defence League outpost in southern Texas, who were also heading for El Paso, where the remnants of their command group were stationed. You joined them and together you rendezvoused with the convoy at the entrance to the only passable road through the Apache Mountains. A fierce battle was raging along this pass between the Mavericks and a clan of Mexicans who had crossed the border in search of food and supplies. The convoy was forced to run the gauntlet of their gunfire before finally reaching its goal. Upon entering the city, you received a warm welcome from the WDL command group who were defending the military reserve of Fort Bliss. They celebrated your arrival for several days until the appearance of Mad Dog Michigan and an army of clansmen numbering over 1000 strong brought an abrupt end to the festivities. He had persuaded the Mexicans to join with the Lions, the Mavericks, and the Saints, all of whom were now united to his cause. The situation was desperate. Faced with overwhelming odds, the WDL command tried to negotiate with Mad Dog but he rejected their overtures with disdain. He sent a reply to the command leader, Captain Frankland, in which he reaffirmed his vow to avenge his brother’s death. His aims were brutally simple: he promised that neither you nor any of the colony would ever leave El Paso alive. He set up headquarters in Ciudad Juarez, on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande, where he directed his clan army to encircle and lay siege to the colony.

For two weeks, he launched repeated attacks, calculated to weaken your defences. The colony withstood the assaults, but the constant attrition began to erode your hopes of ever being able to break out of El Paso and reach Tucson in one piece. Then a radio message was intercepted that was to turn this desperate situation into a crisis. A clan convoy of trucks was bound for Mad Dog’s headquarters in Ciudad Juarez. On board were enough high explosives to blow Fort Bliss, and everyone in it, to sightless atoms. Something had to be done to prevent Mad Dog from using these explosives. Out of desperation was born a daring plan. The explosives had to be destroyed as soon as they reached Ciudad Juarez. It was a dangerous and potentially suicidal mission, too difficult for one man alone; therefore Captain Frankland chose to lead the mission himself and he called for three volunteers to accompany him. Two WDL soldiers, Haskell and Knott, readily accepted the challenge and, mindful that the future of the colony was dependent on the success of this mission, you summoned up enough courage to volunteer as the fourth member of his team.


Armed with contact mines, the four of you infiltrated Mad Dog’s base and blew up the explosives shortly after they arrived there. The unexpected destruction of the base threw his clan army into confusion and enabled the colony to break out of Fort Bliss virtually unopposed. As the colony made its escape westwards towards Tucson, your team escaped from Ciudad Juarez in a hijacked truck and made its way along the Mexican border. The plan was for you to rendezvous with the colony the following day, but mechanical breakdowns and skirmishes with Mad Dog’s scouts prevented an early reunion. Enraged by the sheer nerve of your attack and the damage inflicted upon his command, Mad Dog Michigan sent for Helmut Varken, the most ruthless of all his HAVOC assassins. Relentlessly Varken shadowed your team as you traversed the mountainous forests of southern Arizona and, one-by-one, he coldly murdered your comrades until only you remained.

In a fateful showdown in the town of Tombstone, you faced Varken and avenged your dead companions in the yard of the town’s historic courthouse. Using the deceased assassin’s motorcycle, you reached Interstate 10 and followed tyre tracks that were made a day before by the convoy vehicles. They led you to the town of Benson, forty miles southeast of Tucson, where unexpectedly you met up with Kate Norton. When your team had failed to make the rendezvous, the colony had come to the reluctant conclusion that you had all perished at Ciudad Juarez. Only Kate clung to the belief that you were still alive and had persuaded the colony leaders, against their better judgement, to allow her to wait for you here.

Driving your roadster, the two of you set off confidently on the final leg of your journey to Tucson. However, your confidence was soon shattered by the sudden appearance of another roadster, an armed and armoured racing machine driven by none other than your archenemy, Mad Dog Michigan. A vicious road duel ensued as you raced towards the sanctuary of the Tucson stronghold, a battle that culminated in a high-speed collision that sent your enemy careering off the freeway at over 100 miles per hour. The last you saw of the HAVOC leader was when his roadster plummeted into a deep drainage-way called the Pantano Wash.

You and Kate entered the Tucson stronghold to a hero’s welcome. The colony was overjoyed, for they feared that they would never see either of you again. They were saddened to hear of the deaths of your comrades, yet all drew some comfort from the knowledge that the memory of their sacrifice would never fade. Had it not been for their bravery, the convoy would never have reached Tucson intact.

The Game Rules

Before embarking on your adventure, you must first determine your personal characteristics and the weapons and provisions with which you are equipped. An Action Chart has been supplied on which to record and amend these details as the adventure unfolds.

Your personal characteristics comprise two basic attributes: CLOSE COMBAT SKILL and ENDURANCE. To discover your initial CLOSE COMBAT SKILL, take a pencil and, with your eyes closed, point the blunt end of it onto the Random Number Table. If you pick a 0 it counts as zero. Add 10 to the number you have picked and write the total in the CLOSE COMBAT SKILL section of your Action Chart (for example, if your pencil falls on the number 5 in the Random Number Table, you have a CLOSE COMBAT SKILL total of 15). When you fight an enemy in hand-to-hand combat, your CLOSE COMBAT SKILL will be measured against that of your enemy, so a high score in this section is desirable.

To discover your ENDURANCE level, repeat the process, but this time add 20 to the number you have picked from the Random Number Table. Write the total in the ENDURANCE section of your Action Chart (for example, if your pencil falls on the number 8 on the Random Number Table, you have a total ENDURANCE score of 28). If you are wounded in combat, or injured at any other time during your adventure, you will lose ENDURANCE points. If, at any time, your ENDURANCE points total falls to zero or below, you are dead and the adventure is over. You can regain lost ENDURANCE points during the course of the adventure, but your ENDURANCE level can never rise above your initial score.

Survival Skills

Ever since the day you returned to the surface, you have endeavoured to develop your skills and natural instincts fully in order to best defend yourself and your colony.

Listed on your Action Chart are your five basic Survival Skills:


Your ability to control powered vehicles, such as cars, motorcycles, and trucks.


Your familiarity and experience in the use of missile weapons, such as pistols, machine pistols, shotguns, and rifles.

Field craft

Your knowledge and experience of all aspects of outdoor survival.


Your physical fitness, the speed of your reflexes, and your dexterity.


Your intelligence, your ability to evaluate information, your education, and your mental alertness.

Your ability in each of these five individual skills is measured in skill points. You begin with 3 points per skill. Before starting the adventure, you may allocate an additional 4 skill points to your list of five Survival Skills. These 4 extra points can be used to improve one or more of your five skills. During your adventure, all five skills will be severely tested; therefore the higher the individual skill level, the better your chances of survival. You may allocate your 4 additional points entirely how you like.

When you have decided where to allocate your 4 additional skill points, make a note of the totals in the Survival Skills section of your Action Chart.

(If this is your first Freeway Warrior adventure, your total number of skill points should be 19: five skills x 3 points each = 15, plus 4 additional skill points = 19 points.)


Apart from your clothing, a number of useful items form your basic equipment. These comprise a Backpack and a belt on which hang your Ammo Pouch, Medi-kit, Water Canteen, and Hunting Knife. In addition to these items, you possess a Map of Southern Arizona/California, which you carry tucked inside your leather jacket.


Up to ten separate items may be stored and carried in your Backpack at any time. However, if more than three items are carried, your Stealth level will be reduced by 1 point. If more than six items are carried, your Stealth level will be reduced by 2 points; and if you carry a full Backpack (containing ten items), your Stealth level will be reduced by 3 points.

In order to equip yourself for the task ahead, you may choose up to four items from the following list:

List the items you have chosen on your Action Chart. If you have picked four items, adjust your current Stealth level accordingly.

Opportunities may arise during your adventure for you to pick up useful items. These items will appear in the text in bold print and, unless you are instructed otherwise, they can be stored and carried in your Backpack.

You will need to eat regularly. If you do not possess any food when you are instructed to eat a Meal, you will lose 3 ENDURANCE points.

Ammo Pouch

Your Ammo Pouch is where you store any spare ammunition for firearms. It can hold a maximum of the following:

40 rounds of 9mm calibre Pistol/Machine Pistol ammunition
20 rounds of 7.62mm calibre Rifle ammunition
10 rounds of 12-gauge calibre Shotgun ammunition

When carrying mixed calibres of ammunition, use this equation to check how much space you have left in your Ammo Pouch:

4 x 9mm rounds = 2 x 7.62 rounds = 1 x 12-gauge round

Additional ammunition can be carried in your Backpack. Ammunition occupies one space for each quantity that is equal to (or less than) the maximum that can be carried in one Ammo Pouch.


A well-stocked Medi-kit can make all the difference to your chances of survival should you suffer injury in the field or as a result of combat. It contains useful first aid supplies, such as dressings, antiseptics, antibiotics, water purification tablets, sulfonamides, pain killers, potassium iodide tablets (to delay absorption of radioactivity), and sutures.

For convenience, these medical supplies are grouped into units. To find how many units you have in your Medi-kit, pick a number from the Random Number Table (0 equals 10) and add 2. Your total score equals the number of units with which you begin your adventure. To keep a record of them, circle the appropriate number of unit symbols in the Medi-kit section of your Action Chart. The maximum number of units you can carry in your Medi-kit is twelve.

You may use your Medi-kit units to restore lost ENDURANCE points; each unit used in this way restores 3 points. Units cannot be used to restore ENDURANCE points in lieu of a Meal or Water when instructed to eat or drink.

Water Canteen

Water is essential to life, and your life will depend on having a sufficient, uncontaminated supply. You will need to drink regularly during your adventure. One drink is equivalent to half a pint and your canteen holds exactly two pints of water: enough for one day’s needs. When instructed to drink, be sure to tick off one box in the Water section of your Action Chart.

If you do not have any Water when instructed to drink, you must lose 3 ENDURANCE points.


Close Combat Weapons

These weapons aid you in hand-to-hand fighting. You begin your adventure armed with a Hunting Knife which, when used in close combat, adds 2 points to your CLOSE COMBAT SKILL. Note this Hunting Knife in the Close Combat Weapons section of your Action Chart.

If you find a close combat weapon during your adventure, you may pick it up and use it. Close combat weapons appear in the text with a close combat skill number: for example, Machete (3). This number indicates how many points this weapon will add to your CLOSE COMBAT SKILL when used in a hand-to-hand fight.

The maximum number of close combat weapons you may carry is two, though you may only wield one at any time.

Missile Weapons

There are four types of missile weapon:

Unless you are carrying over weapons from a previous Freeway Warrior book, you begin your adventure armed with only one of these weapons. Make your choice and then record the weapon you have chosen, together with its calibre and rate of fire details, in the Missile Weapons section of your Action Chart.

In order to be able to use a missile weapon, you must have sufficient ammunition of the correct calibre. The following list shows the calibre of each weapon, the amount that is used every time the weapon is fired, and the number of rounds that you possess at the start of your adventure:

CalibreRate of FireInitial No. of Rounds
Machine Pistol9mm630

The initial number of rounds should be noted in the Ammo Pouch section of your Action Chart. Missile weapons cannot be used if you run out of ammunition or possess only rounds of the wrong calibre. However, the opportunity may arise for you to replenish your supply of ammunition and/or discover a weapon of the correct calibre.

You may carry a maximum of three missile weapons. However, for every missile weapon that you carry (excluding your initial choice), you must reduce your Stealth level by 1 point.

Rules for Close Combat

There will be occasions when you will have to fight an enemy in hand-to-hand combat. The enemy’s CLOSE COMBAT SKILL and ENDURANCE level will both be given in the text. Your aim in close combat is to kill the enemy by reducing his ENDURANCE points to zero or below while losing as few of your own ENDURANCE points as possible.

At the start of a close combat, enter both your own and your enemy’s ENDURANCE points in the appropriate boxes on the Close Combat Record section of your Action Chart. The sequence for close combat is as follows:

  1. Add any extra points gained through the use of close combat weapons to your current CLOSE COMBAT SKILL total.

  2. Subtract the CLOSE COMBAT SKILL of your enemy from this total. The result is your Combat Ratio. Enter it on the Action Chart.

    Cal Phoenix (CLOSE COMBAT SKILL 17) is attacked by a Renegade Clansman (CLOSE COMBAT SKILL 18). He is not given the opportunity to evade close combat, but must stand and fight his adversary. Cal Phoenix is armed with a Hunting Knife, so he adds 2 points to his CLOSE COMBAT SKILL, giving a total CLOSE COMBAT SKILL of 19.

    He subtracts the Renegade Clansman’s CLOSE COMBAT SKILL from his own, giving a Combat Ratio of +1 (19 − 18 = +1). He notes this +1 on his Action Chart as the Combat Ratio.

  3. After working out your Combat Ratio, pick a number from the Random Number Table.

  4. Turn to the Close Combat Results Table. Along the top of the chart are the Combat Ratio numbers. Find the number that is the same as your Combat Ratio and cross-reference it with the number that you have picked (the random numbers appear down the side of the chart). You now have the ENDURANCE points lost by both Cal Phoenix and his enemy in this round of close combat. (E represents points lost by the enemy; CP represents points lost by Cal Phoenix.)

    The Combat Ratio between Cal Phoenix and the Renegade Clansman has been established as +1. If the number picked from the Random Number Table is a 4, then the result of the first round of close combat is:

    • Cal Phoenix loses 3 ENDURANCE points.
    • Renegade Clansman loses 4 ENDURANCE points.

  5. On the Action Chart, mark the changes in ENDURANCE points to the participants in the close combat.

  6. Unless otherwise instructed, or unless you have an option to evade, start the next round of close combat.

  7. Repeat the sequence from stage 3.

This procedure continues until the ENDURANCE points of either the enemy or Cal Phoenix are reduced to zero or below, at which point that combatant is declared dead. If Cal Phoenix is dead, the adventure is over. If the enemy is dead, Cal Phoenix proceeds but with his ENDURANCE points possibly reduced.

A Summary of the Close Combat Rules appears on the page after the Random Number Table.

Evasion of Combat

During your adventure you may be given the chance to evade close combat. If you have already engaged in a round of close combat and decide to evade, calculate the combat for that round in the usual manner. All ENDURANCE points lost by the enemy as a result of that round are ignored; only Cal Phoenix may lose ENDURANCE points during that round, but that is the risk of running away! You may evade combat only if the text of that particular section allows you to do so.

Begin your adventure