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Hell Road Warriors

Modified on 2012/06/24 19:39 by Kerrick Categorized as Books, Deathlands
   The capacity for hope is the most significant fact of life. It provides human beings with a sense of destination and the energy to get started.

   - Norman Cousins

   As the story begins, the companions are rcovering from a jump in a new gateway. They exit the chamber to find they're in someplace that's not a normal redoubt; they quickly discover that they're in Canada. The place is still fairly well stocked, so they stuff themselves on frozen pizza and beer and go check things out.
   In the armory, JB finds a Steyr Scout Tactical, a rifle similar to Ryan's SSG, but better, so Ryan swaps out his old weapon for this one. Up in the garage, they find a working LAV 25, so they decide to load it up with equipment and take a tour of Canada.
   No sooner have they gotten out of the redoubt than they run into a battle about a mile away - a small convoy (including a couple LAVs) is under attack by a gang of bandits. They're content to watch until one of the bandits fires a homemade rocket at them. After the companions destroy several vehicles and motorcycles, the bandits flee.
   The leader of the convoy, Youann Toulalan, comes forward with his second-in-command, Vincent Six and invites them to join them for dinner. Ryan accepts, so they have a grand feast. Afterward, Toulalan asks if they want to join forces for a ride west to check all the other Diefenbunkers, but Ryan wants to think about it overnight.
   The next morning, as everyone's eating breakfast, they're attacked by a horde of huge boars. After all the pigs are dead, Six cuts one open only to find that it's infested with mutie worms that reanimate the corpse and make it attack again. The humans are forced to rely on overwhelming firepower to obliterate the infested boars. The companions agree to join the convoy, so everyone quickly packs up camp and leaves the area.
   The next day, one of their scouts is drawn off and killed by a couple bandit outriders. Ryan and Six    kill the men and find that they're with the same band as before - Mace Henning's men. Six is in favor of turning back, but Toulalan overrides him, so Ryan comes up with a plan. He knows the bandits have to have a fuel source for their bikes, so he plans to go blow it up.
   Meanwhile, the convoy is headed up the peninsula into Lake Huron, toward a trading camp there. They plan to hire a ship to carry their vehicles over the water, to save time and distance. Henning knows this, so he sends some of his men to the camp.
   The next day, the convoy rolls into the trading camp of Tobermory. Toulalan hires a couple guides and a ship called the Queen. The captain has boycotted the Huron since his ship was almost sunk by a band of pirates controlling the locks to the upper part of the Lakes, but Toulalan manages to convince him to come back.
   The convoy gets all their vehicles loaded, and Henning's men also book passage, carrying trade goods of their own for another baron up the lakes.
   The next night, Ryan awakens to shouts and the sounds of battle; outside of his cabin, he's attacked by another passenger who's infected with worms. During the chaos, Toulalan slips in a pool of blood and falls; a worm burrows its way into his hand, but Ryan chops off his arm at the elbow before it can get entrenched. Afterward, they find out that Henning's men had brought some infested meat on board.
   When they get to Manitoulin Island, they meet with the baron there. He agrees to lend some of his men to help clear out the pirates from the Soo Locks, as well as one of his sons and three dogs.
   A couple days later, they come to the Locks. A huge battle ensues, and most of the pirates are wiped out. Henning rides in afterward and makes a deal with Thorpe, the pirate king, to join forces and destroy the allies.
   Four days later, on Lake Superior, the ship is attacked by a mix of pirates and bandits. It's obvious that the enemy knows where they are - someone on the inside is communicating with them, but no one knows who.
   Everyone disembarks at Thunder Bay and continues on overland. Near the town, they're attacked by several thunderbirds, which they manage to drive off by dint of sheer firepower.
   After the battle, they're running short on motorcycles, so they head west to find a baron who controls a vast herd of horses. They trade some rifles for horses and muskets, and make a deal for the baron to tell Henning that they went south instead of west.
   Ryan and some others take the horses and use them to blow up several of Henning's gas tankers, leaving the bandits without fuel. When they get back to camp, they find that Youann has died of his wounds, leaving Six in charge of his people.
   Further into Manitoba, they encounter a forest surrounding Winnipeg, which they have to cut their way through. They finally reach the Diefenbunker nearby and gain access to their prize - four portable nuclear generators. They're delayed slightly as a superstorm blows down through the area, then they leave and head back east.
   Near Winnipeg, they're attacked by some of Henning's men again. One of them, after being tortured, tells Six that the traitor is the mechanic, who's a mutie. Ryan negotiates a deal - he'll take the mechanic and the reactors and head south, while the rest of the convoy continues going east. Henning, therefore, will have to make a choice - the reactors or the convoy.
   Except that Ryan's played them - his truck isn't carrying the reactors; it's carrying the LAV. He knows Henning will go for the reactors. He heads over Lake Winnipeg, which is frozen, and draws the bandits after him. When the bandits are fully committed, he has JB blow several shaped charges previously planted on the truck, breaking through the ice and taking Henning with it.
   After the battle, they retreat to the Manitoba bunker and take shelter while everyone recovers. When it's time to go, the companions bid their friends farewell and climb into the gateway to jump out.

DEATHLANDS, OUTLANDERS, EARTH BLOOD, and JAMES AXLER are all the property of Gold Eagle / Worldwide Library, and are used here strictly under Fair Use guidelines.
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