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Modified on 2013/05/04 13:26 by Kerrick Categorized as Books, Deathlands
      If I had a formula for bypassing trouble, I would not pass it around. Trouble creates a capacity to handle it. I don't embrace trouble; that's as bad as treating it as an enemy. But I do say meet it as a friend, for you'll see a lot of it and be on better speaking terms with it.

- Oliver Wendell Holmes

   As the story opens, the companions are in Arkansas, in a town called Doylesville. They were contracted by Baron Doyle to retrieve a case of grenades; having done so, they are on their way to receive payment. Doyle, of course, intended to double-cross them all along (i.e., kill them and take the grens), but they're expecting this, so they shoot their way clear and flee the ville.
   Meanwhile, in nearby Menaville, Bass Croom, a bigtime trader, is preparing to close up his shop and set out for the west coast. He has a map he stole years ago that leads to a hidden treasure trove (a redoubt, though he doesn't know this), and he wants to find it.
   Outside of Menaville, the companions are forced to fight their way through a gauntlet of stickies that hide in the trees and drop on unwary travellers. They use up all the grenades in the process, but make it to the ville. They start looking around for work and immediately hear about Croom's convoy. They sign on as guards, after proving their worth.
   As the convoy is about to leave the next day, they get a last-minute passenger - a woman named Olympia, who pays her way.
   The first few days are largely uneventful, aside from having to fight through another stickie attack outside of town. They ride out an acid rain storm in which one man is killed, barely avoid being trampled by a herd of buffalo, and finally reach a trading outpost called Raker's Rest.
   Baron Raker, the leader of the ville, accepts payment for the convoy to stay, then decides he wants it all - he takes everyone prisoner at dinner that night. Olympia, Jak, and Ricky happen to be out on patrol at the time, so they come up with a plan to rescue everyone. Not that it's really needed, since the rest of the companions manage to break out, but they find another herd of buffalo and stampede them through the ville, destroying a large part of it and causing enough chaos for everyone to escape and kill Raker along the way.
   A day later, they run into a group from the Stone Nation, a group of freeriders who wander the plains and eastern Rockies. Croom negotiates passage through their lands, and they all settle down to make camp and swap stories and goods.
   That night, one of the Nation women turns up dead - she's been raped and murdered, but she lived long enough to name her killer first. Speaker, the leader, demands the man be turned over, but Bass refuses and they flee. A long running battle ensues, during which most of the convoy's vehicles are lost and its personnel killed. The remainder are cornered, and Speaker names who did it - Morty, Bass' little brother. Bass hands him over, but Ryan shoots Morty to keep him from being tortured to death. With the blood debt satisfied, Speaker and his people leave.
   Bass and the others continue the rest of the way and finally find the valley. After a silent urging from Olympia, Bass goes out into the field (which is laced with bones) and is killed by mutie ground squirrels.
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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