Today I’m going to do something a little different from what I normally do on here and give everyone a small taste of my creative writing for a change. I have done this before just not very often and I got bit by the writing bug again last night where I went full on freestyle in what can only be deemed a sort of real world reboot of Mad Max. Today I give you a piece of that opening, call it Chapter 1. This counts entirely as fan fiction I suppose. I hope you like it and I will be giving you more of this tale as time progresses.
The year is 2022 and the world is quite a different place than it used to be. Most of us who are left have banded together in separate groups for the safety in numbers that hiding alone can’t offer…..At least not from the other groups of raiders interested only in taking what others have. A few like who really don’t give a fuck have been wandering the wasteland alone taking in the mess of the whole thing. We never were allowed to get past the social distancing by the time the pandemic of 2020 had ended people had succumbed to a different disease altogether fueled by desperation and anger, the first of the raiders busting into people’s houses. Protests became skirmishes and outright terrorist attacks as the have nots decided that if they couldn’t have electric neither would the haves of the world. The grid went down and the world fell into a shitstorm of chaos that would follow. Even now I place the makeshift grave marker on the grave of the first person I have had a conversation with in almost 2 years…..Poor bastard….Me, not him…That son of a bitch left a steaming pile of thoroughbred horseshit of his own right in my lap before dying. Now…….
2 Days Before.
Found a nice natural gas well traipsing around in these mountains. Green living via necessity while many fought over what refined gasoline was left, the smartest one learned how to adapt engines for alternate and in many cases easier to obtain fuel sources….It’s what kept people like me out of many a deadly fights, that centered around the old crude way of doing things. What had once been gas stations became death traps after the grid went down. Pirates and raiders would keep watch on them for unsuspecting fools, naive enough to think finding a standing fueling station meant God was looking out for them…..Someone certainly was…And it certainly wasn’t God.
In the mountains you’re surrounded by kindling and generally safer in starting an honest to God fire as opposed to eating into your stores of canned heat. In my experience, the mountains housed the better people, not raiders, but survivors and they often allowed loners like me to pass, though it was never without risk, while ruled by better intentions the survivalist tribes were still paranoid as fuck. But today I was alone heating up the spring water for my morning coffee. Alone with my thoughts of life before the world went to shit…..My bad, my company was more dangerous than I thought. For people like me, the still moments can be worse than running into a pack of hungry raiders. I let her image flash through my mind. “Not today Goddamn it.” Stamping out the fire I decide it’s time to get back to the car, back on the move. Just a quick fill up and go, with no destination in mind, but no reason to be late getting there.
A few hours later….
I always found it hard to explain to people what happens between being a part of the civilized world and getting thrust into the natural world. Over time your body becomes wise to the situation and as it does your mind unlocks certain abilities you may never knew you ever had. Concentration at peak level, a sense of hyper awareness to your surroundings as you sleep in the open. And while you don’t necessarily sleep with one eye open you do reach a point when you can be both in a deep sleep, yet mentally aware of every tiny change in the physical world, a sound, a smell can have you up in an instant surveying the situation…..We spent so long trying to teach ourselves that we are something we’re not that when you first experience these things, it feels almost like you’ve gained superpowers when in fact they are just natural gifts that you forgot how to use or never were privileged enough to face anything that made you aware you had them in the first place….. And so it was I KNEW without knowing how I could that something was amiss as I approached the car…..That was when I met him…..Damn him for that by the way. The storm I would learn was coming by the knowledge of that dying bastard put me at a crossroads…..And also in the crosshairs of the type of crazy motherfucker you never want to deal with…One who’s crazier than even me. Not gonna lie I’m a little scared now…..Not gonna lie, I’m a little excited too.
I pointed my hand cannon in the rear window of my car where the sorry bastard knocking on deaths door lay in backseat. “Who the fuck are you and why are you in my car?” I asked. Barely able to raise his head to look me in the eye with his steely gaze he replied with the simplest of requests….”Help me.” He said. Deciding we were still safely tucked away in mountain militia territory I went ahead and set up camp after filling the tank and as I went to work to dress the stranger’s wounds from my stock of medical supplies, he shocked me with his refusal for the aid and told me to save my supplies because he already knew he was dying. Abashed, I could only stand and stare at the stranger. If not for his health, what then had he requested my help for? As night fell and I began to cook insisting that he at least accept a last meal if not medical aid, an old trait passed onto me from family who knew of harder times and would never let even a hated enemy die hungry before putting a bullet in them. He thanked me and told me his name was Madan and asked me mine. I met him with silence for a time before finally saying. “My name is Max.” It isn’t you know, but I had hardly had any contact with anyone, much less someone I knew in almost 2 years and with the world being as it was who was I to give a fuck what I or anyone else called me….We are past such trivial things.
“I’m CIA….or I was before Covid-19 turned the world upside down and everything went to Hell in a handbasket. They still exist you know…The government. They’re the equivalent of a skeleton crew protected by Last Outpost.” I had heard of this fairytale before, but never from someone claiming to be inside. Rumor had it as disease and infighting during Martial Law when the people first rose up took it’s toll on the military they had rounded their survivors up and retreated, content to allow the world to take care of itself, but the knowledge of government that still existed was a twist I hadn’t heard….Apparently their retreat had only been tactical, a way to learn the inner workings of the new world they had been presented with as they plotted to restore order. And so it was that spies had been sent out to infiltrate the various groups and factions of what was left of society. “I never imagined anyone like him could exist.” He said. “It’s like something out of a comic book or bad sci-fi 80’s film. He’s crazy, and he believes this world is better off ending. He even calls himself Lord Nihilist, Lord and Keeper of The Great Empty…He has been cultivating the virus from the dead and tinkering with it. He aims to unleash his new version in order to finish the job. I infiltrated their compound and he has managed to amass his own private army of cult followers determined to see his will done. He is not like the raiders. His mentality is singular and Hell-bent on ending all of humanity.” I struggled to take in what he was telling me. “Well look around, it’s not like we have much else going for us anyway.” I said. “Nor will we ever have the chance to have again if he manages to carry out his plan.” He replied……Did I say damn him? I meant DOUBLE DAMN HIS ASS FOR PLAYING THAT CARD. “What do you need my help with?” I asked. “I infiltrated them and was caught, they’ve been on me ever since I escaped…They finally delivered the death blow when they caught me hiding in a convenience store 6 miles up road. I shook them and stumbled on your car…I meant to steal it, but I can’t….I’m not going to make it. I need YOU. I need YOU to get this information to the Last Outpost. Lord Nihilist, his cult is huge, but not so huge that he doesn’t fear the outpost. They are the only thing that can stand in his way…I need YOU to get what I have learned to them.”
Morning comes and looking out over the horizon I see the dust rise from a caravan…..A hunting party of five vehicles. Something in my gut tells me they are looking for my new found friend. With urgency, I stuff his ass in my passenger seat and fire up the engine. “Which way is this outpost?” I ask. “EAST” He shrieks in agony as I fire up the engine and ride in the direction pointed. It isn’t long before we get spotted and the caravan abruptly changes direction to lock onto us. Dedicated I think to myself. There is no way for them to know I hold the person they are looking for yet on a whim they decide to leave no stone unturned in their search. They are closing. While safer in terms of not relying on standard gas this baby just doesn’t have the ass to outrun those gas-guzzling fuckers…Luckily I equipped this bitch with a few surprises of my own. Never have I been in this situation. Never has the opposing side ever made such a concentrated effort for a single ride and as I gain 5 tails, it dawns on me that I am in the shit now. I pop a release near the visor and suddenly my windshield becomes a bulletproof armored shield as the first of 5 approaches. Slamming hard on my breaks and ducking the hail of bullets that followed, the first of the caravan shoots ahead. Hitting a button on my dash a net of metal spikes fires from under my front bumper and tangles itself in the rear tires of my former pursuer causing their main rear-drive system to lose control as the speed and pressure cause the spikes to rip through their rear tires. I blast right through them as they spin uncontrollably in my path and their vehicle flips….One down.
There was no time to even adjust, the other 4 vehicles were closing in fast. Shots were fired pinging off the armor plating I had installed. Reaching out the window I flipped out a wing plate attached to the driver door as a bullet zinged past my arm. The closest was nearly on my back bumper, the passenger was crawling out it’s window a twisted visage of rugged black makeshift armor and black and white face paint. They were close enough now that even over the roar of the engines I could hear the driver as he half leaned out his own window firing his automatic and belting out an annoying war cry “Li, li, li, li, li, li, li, li, li”
Eyeballing all of this in my side mirror I took a shot with my hand cannon at the extended armor flap. The ricochet shot caught the driver just above his right eyebrow cutting off his war cry as he slumped back into the truck causing it to veer to the right making the passenger who was now on the hood drop to his knees to hang on. The truck had veered too suddenly for the car behind it to change course and clipping the back corner the truck took to the air throwing it’s armor-clad passenger a good 30 feet as it tumbled end over end. It would again get directly in the path of the car that just hit it only this time the car would not be so lucky as it was made to start it’s own flip roll. “HOLY FUCK! I DON’T THINK I COULD DO THAT AGAIN IN A MILLION TRIES!”……No time to celebrate the drivers of the remaining 2 cars deftly swerved around the devastation and was quickly bearing down on me.
“You never answered me back there….Will you do it? Will you get what I have learned to The Last Outpost?” My weak and dying passenger asked. “Now? We’re seriously having this conversation NOW? In case you’re too weak to notice what’s going on here we currently have two of your buddies barking up our asses as we speak. How about you let me focus getting us out of this mess before we cover saving the fucking world okay? These guys are good, their horsepower is better than ours and I’m almost out of fucking tricks here.” I retorted. At that moment both pursuers flanked us, I barely had enough time once I spotted to guns pointed directly at us to duck and again slam on the breaks letting them shoot past us. Sitting up again I saw that one of them was losing control…..apparently shooting while directly across from one another is a poor idea…Who would have thought? I hit the gas aiming to slam the swerving car in the ass to finish the job. While they had the better horsepower mine had the better armor rating and could survive what their fiberglass piece of shit couldn’t. Just as I was about to make contact, the other remaining vehicle took a page from my book and slammed hard on its breaks firing as we passed it. The bullets glanced off the car’s armor and instead of slowing I doubled down and kept the gas floored finally clipping the back corner of the swerving vehicle and upending it. It rode on two tires until it came to the side of the road crashing into the ditch line…..One left.
This could go on forever. I remember high speed chases that would go on for hours back when the world was normal. When there were five it was relatively easy for them to get in their own damn way. I just filled this bitch up, I have no intentions of burning all my fuel on this fucking chase. I had to end this. I had to make this a straight fight somehow. My senses were heightened, above even their new normal and I spotted an easily missed turn off. Banking hard right and knowing full well in the mountain regions this could well be a road better suited for 4 wheel drive which along with a lack of horsepower I did not have, I knew our pursuers didn’t either this could well force all of us to come face to face. In my mirror I watched as they overshot the turn off and I knew that may well give us the needed moments to set the stage. Just up ahead there was a turn around spot by a creek and I quickly pulled in and went to work aiding my passenger out and across the creek to a giant sandstone boulder on the other side. There we waited. Along with my hand cannon I had grabbed my sawed off 12 gauge that I had also replaced the wooden stock with a pistol grip. I called it the point and fuck up, for the damage it was capable of at close quarters. Sure enough for long our pursuers came along the dirt road and spotting the car, came to a stop. Four of them got out, all armed….Bad odds. “BROTHER! WHY DO YOU DEFY US?……YOU MISUNDERSTAND. JUST LOOK AT THE WORLD AND WHAT IT’S BECOME!…..ALL LORD NIHILIST WANTS IS FOR US TO FINALLY FIND PEACE…..AND REST….BY LEADING US INTO THE GREAT EMPTY AND THE FINAL SLEEP WHERE NO PAIN EXISTS! COME! LET US TALK!” As I sat observing this asshole and listening to his words I remembered what the man next to me had said. We will never get the chance to have anything again if this Nihilist was allowed to carry out his plan of restarting the virus anew….And improved upon…..The virus…….It was triggering inside me, I knew it the moment the memory of her face flashed before my minds eye……Let it. Let it because at your age four against one is generally a death sentence save for the ways the RAGE often became the equalizer……My breathing became heavy and audible as the tightness in my chest took hold. I heard in my mind what the doctor said……”She’s not recovering….I’m sorry” he said. “I have to see her.” I had replied in desperation. “Again I’m sorry son, that can’t be allowed, not under quarantine restrictions.” I started seeing red as I made the connection between that past agony and this group’s endgame……FUCK WAITING! I stormed out from behind the boulder, hand cannon raised and shot the furtherest to the left square in the face dropping him…..I was met with a hail of bullets but was beyond all ability to care, whether by shit aim, sheer will power, or divine intervention not a one would find it’s mark and I was close enough now that Point and Fuck Up was in it’s element, raising it I plugged one of the face painted bastards square in the chest, blowing him six feet backwards. They had registered that I was in hand to hand range before I did and the remaining two moved in having no time to reload. It was sheer instinct as I kicked the first approach square in the nuts and busted him in the face with my shot gun. The other had grabbed me but I knocked his arms aside dropping my weapons in the process recklessly and taking his collar delivered four fast headbutts directly to his face before driving my knee into his groin and with a handful of hair slamming his face another eight times into a fair sized rock on the ground. Blood gushed and flowed and I could care less when I was in this state. Turning to the final as he finally staggered to his feet, I again picked up my shotgun, but rather than fire I again swung the heavy metal of it’s frame and connected across his face dropping him…….”She’s not recovering.” That was all I heard even as I was half certain the lone survivor of our attackers was begging to be heard. I didn’t fire a shot, I only swung the shotgun at the man’s face repeatedly in a blind rage until there was nothing left but pulp and my arms were too heavy to raise and red dots danced across my vision until all that was left was the useless pain, the emptiness inside that haunted me, tightness in my chest and breathing as heavy now from exhaustion as what had triggered it…..I was another 15 minutes in this state before I realized how covered in blood I was…….The blood of my enemies.
“I saw what you were willing to do. The world is beyond judgment at this point past what we hold each other accountable for. Go to the lowlands in the south at the location I have written for you…..That is where my wife Ashanti is stationed…..She deserves to know what has become of me, but she can also guide you through the obstacles you will face when approaching the Last Outpost. Tell her I love her and that I gave my all to see us all have one more chance.” We sat by the campfire I had built. I was still reeling from my earlier episode and try as I might in the creek I still was covered in patches of blood that never washed away. I am in this now, against my better judgment, but I could not get her image out of my mind. If what this man was saying was true and after everything I had experienced so far I had no reason to believe otherwise…..I had to accept. Some part of me had to accept and chase what most had deemed only rumors. “I’ll do it.” I said……..Somewhere during the night my newfound companion passed on. I buried him not far from our camp, I felt a need to out of respect.
Now….. I look to the items my now dead companion had on his person and I steel my nerves as I look across a valley in the early morning sun. I had been given but a taste of what was to come on account of my choice…..Something in me simply could not let it go……So be it….It’s not like I have had much to live for, for some time now.