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The Conductor

You plod along in a daze. You feel that time is ebbing away and you have no idea how much longer you can go on. Off in the distance, you hear a rumbling. At this point, you don't even care if a bunch of marauders run you over. The locomotive noise approaches you and slows to a crawl. A woman steps out and offers you a hand.

What are you doing out here? Hop on before someone catches up! Looks like you need a ride anyway.
— Tye
  You take the woman's hand and climb aboard a rickety, slow-moving train. You have heard of trains and similar vehicles in your travels but never witnessed one first hand. Your legs are throbbing from soreness, so it is a welcome change of pace to let someone else carry you to the next outpost.
                            The woman has a few armed humans working around her and she motions to them that it is time to pick up the pace.
Her personal guard moves beside her and looks at you. "Who is this?"   She signals to gently lower his pistol from your face. "We are about to find out." She turns to you. "We got a long ride until our next stop. I assume you want to go east? Our shipment is set for Old Deecee. You are welcome to ride. What's your name?"   Nice to meet you. They call me Tye. Others call me worse, but Tye is what makes me turn my head. Have any questions for me?   This is a train?
 

Yes this train is supposed to travel throughout the lands, but we are working on building up coal reserves and equipment. We also are working on rebuilding railways at the old hubs.

Humor me. What happened?
 

You wouldn't believe me If I told you.

Fine. You want to start with my story. Close your eyes and imagine this. Our family was working underground when the blasts hit in Russia about a century ago. The tunnels and sewers were all we knew. The surface was bad, they said. So for generations, we eeked out life down there. We had to try to see if we could make it outside. Mutant things were crawling into our tunnels. Then grandpop found a train station.
   


The rhymic vibrations and churning of the locomotive engine were strangely hypnotic. You give in to your fatigue and nod off. A loud clanking and rumbling from underneath jostle you awake. You find that you have been moved to a car with a makeshift bed of old grasses and dried weeds. A moth-eaten blanket covers your legs and torso. The car door slides open and Tye smiles seeing you have opened your eyes. In her hand was a half-eaten butter sandwich. She rips off a piece and hands it to you.
    You frisked me?
Ya, sorry 'bout that. You cannot be too careful. Humans are almost as bad as the Wizards. Good News is you are legit. We will not take your stuff. We need you.
                         

The Offer

Tye sits down and discusses at length the mission of her locomotive. To help humans. As far as she knows, there is no more transit. No reliable means to help those cut off from food, aid, and resources. If the world is to get back on its feet again, this rusty box car and whatever it can carry is the key. In return for fast travel, Tye wants you to assist her in any capacity you can. Her main areas of concern are:

Security

The mutants and Wizards would love to get their grubby hands on her train. She already gives adventurers like Thundarr the Barbarian and Sharra the Barbarian rides because they provide protection against marauders and looters. If you are not afraid of some ugly threats, she welcomes another strong defender or protector.

Mechanics

As you can tell, the train is a rust bucket held together by bolts and scrap metal. If you have proficiencies in repairs, tinkering or technology, she will make sure you never go hungry and never sleep in a shithole again.

Resources

The train needs fuel like coal to run. Outposts need food, supplies, weapons, ammo, etc. You look like you have seen a lot in this savage world. If you have any information where we can help each other. That is the price of admission anytime. Of course, if you are selling me a pack of lies, she will make sure you will not receive any more help and she knows quite a few settlements.
I want to know more about you
Look, you seem nice enough. I have no time to deal with drama. If you think you are gonna score some points with some sugar-coated manure then get ready to shovel your guts on the floor. How 'bout show me what you can do. The ones that try to puff themselves up get rolled - eventually.  

She hands you a lukewarm bitter tea. Her Slavic accent assures you, "Drink this and listen well. Tell others of what we went through." ]
I can fight and bust some heads
Well, then a gunman it is! We will take what we can get. Check out what we have in our arms car. Take what you need, and Boris will let you know what duty shifts are like.
I can keep your train up and running
Hot damn! Nicolai has been begging for another pair of hands. A Barbarians paws are stubby and thick. They break more stuff than they can fix. Those dainty Sorcerors think hard work is beneath them. The magic lasts only for so long, and eventually, we need bolts to be put in, wires tied together and grease applied to the gears. I promise you won't be stuck in the engine room forever.
I can do other things for you
All right. I know you were not born yesterday. What do you know? Can you patch up my help or help me with my cough? Have you come across any resources we can use? How about helping us with information on outposts, enemy movements or help me recruit others. How about it?

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