Wasteland Morning

Landscapes and Dreams: Part 1

Last Updated on by Michael Brockbank

Everything that has a beginning, has an end. Whether it’s the life-cycle of some distant star or the short existence of a fly, everything eventually leads to ruin. After the war in 2077, human kind almost surrendered to this inevitable fate. As the bombs fell, most of the population of the planet did as well. Nuclear weapons launched from super power spanning across the globe made sure of that. Now, Earth is only a shadow of it’s former self. No cars are hastily cruising the freeways. No planes are seen powering through the skies loaded with celebrities. No boats travel across the oceans filled with consumer goods.

The planet had fell silent.

As devastating as the great war was, humankind continued. Brought close to the verge of extinction, men and women now lead much different lives than in the past. Instead of being driven by owning the nicest of possessions, the population now focuses almost purely on survival. Many of these lost souls group together to form communities across the waste for mutual benefit. Some will collect into gangs in order to live out life how they see fit. Unfortunately, greed and power will always be common elements regardless of past events. There will always be those who believe they know what’s right for humanity and long to govern over it. Remember, even the most honorable intentions can lead a man to ruin.

The sun slowly ascended in the distance. An explosion of light began to spread across the landscape illuminating a wasteland of rubble, boulders and seemingly undead buildings that appeared to transcend time. John Parker sat on one of those boulders looking across the remnants of a past society. This was one of his most favorite times of the day. As the sunlight attempted to renew the land, he liked to imagine what life would have been like all those years ago. What kind of people lived in these buildings. Did they have to fight off raiders and wasteland creatures just for a bottle of Nuka Cola? Did Cram taste like burnt paper back in the day? These were questions that may never be answered. However, it’s still nice to dream of a better life.

John picked himself up off of the boulder he was sitting on and dusted off his pants. Today was a big day for him. He was closing in on his target, and nothing was going to stop him from dealing his form of justice. In the wasteland, law was greatly open to interpretation. Although there were a few areas of civilization that had some resemblance of law and order, most areas fell back on a sense of honor and human compassion. Unfortunately, too many people fall short of respecting life in the chaotic aftermath of a desolate world. John would show the same compassion for the gang as they did for his wife and daughter.

They say that revenge is no way to lead your life. But you’d be surprised by how well it works in terms of motivation. Although John may not have any idea what to do with himself after finding the men who butchered his family, it’s this revenge that will keep him going for now. His justification throughout this quest is that he will stop the gang from harming anyone else in the wasteland. That’s what he tells himself. That’s what he tells everyone else he comes across. That’s not entirely what he believes. He knows he’ll feel some satisfaction when he pulls the trigger while aiming the barrel of the .357 that rests at his hip at the men who took away his livelihood.

He made his way down the slight slope from the boulder and began walking towards the collection of ruins from yesteryear. tall boulders obscured his approach as he crossed the land. John had to start walking with care if he was to believe the drunk in the last town he visited. This area is where slavers hide out after taking prisoners. He had no intention of becoming a slave and would die by his own hands first, but then he wouldn’t get his revenge. His heart quickened with each step he took towards the outcropping of dilapidated buildings. He began to pick up the smell of cooking meat in the distance. It was faint, but unmistakable. John’s stomach started to growl as the smell hit his nose. It’s been quite some time since he’s eaten anything.

John reached the end of the boulders he had been using for cover from the city buildings. Across the landscape, he could see the first of the houses that consisted mostly of frame work and a few pieces of roofing. It was the larger, brick building in the center he wanted to make it to. Out of this entire graveyard of structures, it was the one with the least amount of damage. If the gang wasn’t held up in there, it would make for a great vantage point to see most of the city.

He carefully scanned the scene with his eyes. If anyone saw him, this whole trip would be for nothing. He had to be careful. Slowly pulling the pistol from its holster, he took a couple of deep breaths. As quietly as he could, he swept across the land with haste. He had to make it to the first buildings for cover before anyone saw him. John assumed that the tall brick building was occupied, and he didn’t want scouts to see him coming. Pistol in hand, each footfall seemed to be cloaked from sound as he found footing on several large stones and avoided the gravel.

After a few moments, he made it to the first house. It had a half-wall on the back side, which made it perfect to hide behind. He stopped to catch his breath and lent his ear to sense for incoming footsteps. Apparently, he had made it to the first crop of buildings without being seen. From this moment on, the difficult for sneaking up on his prey would become significantly more difficult. John made one last check of his gun to make sure that he had six rounds ready to go. He was out-manned, out-gunned and completely out of his element. But he was driven by the one thing that many men are in today’s world: revenge.

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Michael Brockbank
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