With a surplus of materials, I took the time to upgrade my workbench, hopefully to good effect. I now had the option of building a garden, traps, and makeshift barricades to place over the giant holes in the house that raiders were using to get in. I placed a trap in the basement to try and capture some small animals and crossed fingers that it'd solve my food problem now that the last of it was eaten up.
At night I took a gamble and sent Arica on her first foray into the city for supplies, setting my sights on a cluster of houses that potentially had tons of food hidden within - but may also contain hostile inhabitants. I hoped her quiet nature would keep Arica in one piece while she looked around. Scouting around, I came across several other civilians, talking in angered whispers about other scavengers they had to drive off - apparently fatally. Not wanting to join them, I kept Arica to the shadows, picking up a few vegetables hidden away on the ground floor. I was tempted to press on further and check out the other house but given that a man with a very imposing shotgun was standing guard over a balcony nearby I figured I'd better call it a night.
But as I tried to guide Arica out quietly, there was the loud "bang!" and she toppled to the ground. Out of the shadows, the man with the shotgun appeared, yelling something at Arica that I didn't quite bother to read as I clicked frantically, trying to get Arica out of harm's way. I managed to get the stunned but not seriously wounded Arica to climb up the side of the house to the roof, and thankfully her pursuer lost track of where she went fairly quickly. Taking a minute to wait until those dark red blips signifying the gunner's footsteps disappeared to the other side of the house, I clicked the exit icon and made Arica dash for the home. I definitely wasn't going to risk coming back here again.
While Arica was out, we ended up getting raided again, but we didn't lose anything to the bandits. However, both our guards, Pavle and Bruno, were seriously wounded in the melee. I didn't have enough bandages for both, so I opted to patch up Bruno, our cook, since he could help make sure what little food we had left would last the longest. I didn't have any resources to build anything, unfortunately, so my crew ended up resting and hanging out by the radio. Half-way through the day, a woman came to the front door, and at first I thought someone else wanted to try and join the shelter. But interestingly enough, this woman actually wanted our help - her husband had gone off to look for food days ago, and she needed someone to help guard her home and her daughter. I don't know for sure what kind of reward could've come out of it other than good karma, so I sent Pavle over to help. Although in rough shape, chances are he'd probably get some food out of it for the day or two he was gone, and that'd help free up the few meals I had in storage for the rest of the crew.
Marko went out again to salvage, this time at another nearby house that was rumored to have plenty of food. Upon arriving, I quickly learned that there was an elderly couple living there, quietly, with the wife sitting in a chair with her husband next to a burning fire. I poked my head in and the husband immediately confronted me, asking me to leave him alone and asking why I was there. I didn't have the ability to respond or the chance to initiate any trade, much to my chagrin, so I walked past the man and looked around to see the layout of the house. The old man followed me and kept asking my intentions, while in the background, the old woman kept asking where her husband was. Things quickly became even more uncomfortable when I poked around their kitchen and found a huge stash of food and goods, and realized it'd be particularly easy to just grab a bunch and leave - the old man probably wouldn't put up a fight.
As I was weighing the options, the old man started begging me not to kill him. At that point I figured what I was doing probably wasn't as mentally healthy an idea as I thought it was. I was pretty desperate for food, but it didn't feel right taking anything from this elderly couple that was just trying to keep to themselves. I guided Marko to the exit, grabbing a few bits of wood from a pile of junk outside their front door.
Despite not robbing the elderly couple blind, my food problems ended up getting solved, if only for a little while. The trap I placed yielded some chunks of raw meat, which I tasked Bruno with cooking while the rest of the crew boarded up the house to ward off looters. I'm running low on building materials, but at least with the trap working I have a way to bring in some food on a daily basis, even if it's only a meal or two for my civilians.
Marko returned to the streets again, this time checking out a "decrepit squat" that was loaded up with tons of building materials but not much else. There was a homeless man living there begging for food, but didn't bother Marko any more than that. I wondered if he had anything he could offer in exchange for a meal, but since you only get to make one trip to scavenge per night, I couldn't double back to my house for food and return later. I make a mental note to try later if I'm lucky enough to spare anything for this guy.