At the end of last session, we took care of some loose ends. Here is the first of the two - the bank in Muskegeon.
We'd tried to crack the vault when we first found it, with no luck. Later, Caveman and Hillbilly schemed up a way to get the Army of the Bear to crack the vault for us.
They accepted our offer, and tasked their metal-shaping officer, Washagami, to come and do it for us. Washimgami found the weakness in the vault and then it was just a matter of time to get the door removed.
We expected safety deposit boxes and domars.
What we got was something much less and yet much more valuable.
The vault itself was made out of Permium, a very long lasting metal that's not quite up to the level of duralloy, but still good.
Inside stood a defunct Security 'Bot (like the one at the Power Station). It was red and white. On its chest was a logo - a chevron in a circle surrounded by alternating inward and outward pointing arrows. It stood in a room decorated with propaganda posters for a group called the Autonomists and lined with shelves. It wasn't a bank vault, or hadn't been in a while - it was a "time capsule" of some kind.
On the shelves were dozens of holo bibles - but personalized ones, with people's names, images, family genealogy, etc. for the owners. Many were of relatives to each other.
Reading through those - they were sort of like diaries - we found that 20-30 years before the 3-day war was referred to at the time as the "Shadow Years." There was a United Earth Government, which by dint of strict policies and top-down control had united the earth and basically ended poverty, starvation, poor education, etc. But they'd done so in a heavy-handed manner. The Autonomists opposed them, mostly peacefully at first. But they clashed with a group called the League of Free Men, who supported the UEG.
They started with peaceful debate and ended with terrorist attacks against each other with WMDs, killing thousands.
Such explained why the Princess, for example, was a cruise ship with a death bot on it. And why we've got utopian powers but very strict rules, very well armed police, warbots with domestic patrol areas, etc. It was a utopia on the edge.
In short, it was the extremely chilling intro to 1st edition Gamma World.
This place we'd found was time capsule to the Autonomists. We also found some heirlooms, like class rings, watches, commemorative coin sets of domars encased in lucite (800 domars worth, if we need to cut them out with Hoopslayer), a desk globe hologram with chevron markers showing areas of importance to the Autonomists (including a massive project on Grand Island, which is very close to us and now on our list of "to do" places!), and some stock certificates (valueless, maybe - Hillbilly wants to barter them to the Restorationists.)
Interestingly, there was a publicity still of the guy Barbie has been dreaming about, modified to be a shooting target. Clearly, that was a League of Free Men or UEG guy. And Barbie jumped forward in time. Was the UEG or League of Free Men looking to develop time travel, either forward or backward? We debated putting the image on a board and having it pop up to surprise Barbie. He'd just shoot it to pieces, though, and spoil all of the fun.
This was extremely valuable. First, it means my meta-knowledge (like how I've nearly memorized the intro to GW 1st edition) is now in-game knowledge. Second, it tells us a lot about the past in a way that points to things to do in the future. Third, we have some information which may allow us to predict what we'll find elsewhere - Grand Island and other places - and be less surprised by the odd mix of "peaceful utopia" and "security hell" that we've encountered. Maybe that's not so odd - flawed utopia is a whole theme - but it's not exactly what we expected and didn't have a reason why it should be so.
Now we know.