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Last time on Apocalypse World: The Circle

They came, buzzing and screaming like a pack of yellow jackets, out of nowhere. Scrambling up the ravine from the east and racing through the desert on motorcycles from the west. Kreuger knew to expect something from the cut-throat bastards out of Circus Town, but this exceeded anything he'd imagined. The malignant Barnum walked across the bridge into the Red Hawk camp with his doctor, as requested, but without the fifteen volunteers Krueger needed to replace some of the losses from the debacle at Junktown. He had known Junktown would be trouble. But, the Dragon wouldn't listen. "We draw the line here," she'd said to the motley assembly of Red Hawk soldiers and Junktown guards.

They hadn't counted on the fire.

Now, Krueger was scrambling again, dashing toward the van through the buzzing rifle fire from across the dry river gulch. He saw Pepper's head pop like bloody pumpkin, and Lumpley spin and fall next to the dust runner. He saw the deserter Hector pop up and then fall back into the gulch with a bullet in his face. Diving in through the van's door, he felt the dull crump of a grenade and the shrapnel shredding the metal side of the truck.

Glass from the windshield above showered down on his back as he struggled to catch his breath. He'd landed funny, on his side, and had had the wind knocked out of him with a blast of pain. Struggling, he used the steering wheel to pull himself across and up to the driver's seat. As he turned the key, he could see through the crazed glass in front of him as the Dragon's lover, the so-called psychic, was hit by one of the chopper gang's bikes. Edwin's body bounced off the thick trunk of a dead tree and landed, twisted, ten feet in front of the truck, twitching. Smashing his foot on the gas pedal, Krueger ended the young man's nightmare and swung the van back around to the west. He hit one swerving motorcycle head-on and another slid under the back wheels. But a minute after the treachery started, Krueger was safe. The Dragon, withered in pain from the terrible burns, moaned loud enough for him to hear. She was alive still. For now.

Bullets smacked into the back of the van as he raced away from the gunmen. Behind him, the last of the Red Hawk militia lay dead and dying. Ahead of him, the Army of the Risen God. Either path led to the same destination, Krueger thought as he drove into the sunset.