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Modified on 2011/10/18 10:30 by Kerrick Categorized as Books, Deathlands

   If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?

   - The Merchant of Venice
   William Shakespeare

   The group arrives in a redoubt and quickly find that someone is living there. As they advance upward, they encounter a gigantic mutie sandworm, one of a bunch that burrows through the area and has weakened the lower levels of the redoubt. They drive it back, but all the noise draws the redoubt's other occupants - a group of people who call themselves Hellbenders.
   These people are exiles from two local villes, Charity and Summerfield, led by a man named Correll. The companions, as always, have arrived at an auspicious time - the two villes are planning a large trade meeting (young women and jack for seed crops), and the Hellbenders have plans to ambush them and kill both barons (against whom they have various grudges). The companions decide to help out.
   The next day, Correll sends out a recce party to scout out the convoy moving from Charity - he hasn't been able to get any intel on it. He chooses four of his own people - Mik, Tilly, Lonny, and Danny, who's the youngest of the group and more interested in tinkering with old tech than getting into a firefight. He also picks Dean and Jak to go along, and Doc volunteers to accompany them.
   Along the way, Dean gets talking to Danny, and he finds out that Baron Al Jourgenson, head of Charity, has a collection of working computers and manuals; Danny used to sneak in and fool around with them before his father fled the ville with him.
   Once they get to the ville, Lonnie starts a fight in the first bar they find, and everyone ends up splitting up. Danny takes Dean to the computer storage warehouse, where they run into the baron's daughter, Ayesha, who has a crush on Danny. She's also been interested in the computers for awhile, and she helps the pair get out of town unseen, and they make a deal - the women will take over their vehicle and cause some confusion if the Hellbenders will rescue them. The group hurries back to the redoubt and Ayesha returns to the ville.
   The meeting is due to take place in a huge rock outcrop with only two entrances, located about midway between the villes. The Hellbenders get there early and hide in side passages, using short-range radios to maintain contact. The exchange is about to go down - the seed crop and women are brought out - when the beginnings of a massive dust storm hits the outcrop. The Hellbender scouts signal the attack, and they ride out to ambush everyone. The women run back to their truck for safety, then try to drive away, but Ayesha crashes her truck into Correll's, killing one of the women and disabling both vehicles.
   Meanwhile, JB sees Baron Hutter of Summerfield and turns his truck to intercept, crashing into them. The crash kills Hutter's sec chief and driver, who was also Correll's spy. Hutter gets out and is confronted by Jourgenson. Before he can kill Jourgenson, two of Correll's people kill him, letting Correll have his revenge on Jourgenson, but they're killed in turn. Correll chops Jourgenson into pieces with a sword, but is also shot to death.
   The companions finally manage to meet up in the chaos and escape with Danny and Ayesha, leaving everyone else behind. They return to the redoubt and wait for two days, but no one else returns - they're all obviously dead. They decide to use the gate to leave, but Danny and Ayesha stay behind to study all the old tech. They bid the pair farewell and 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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