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Perception Fault

Modified on 2011/10/18 11:22 by Kerrick Categorized as Books, Deathlands

   Every new stroke of civilization has cost the lives of countless brave men, who have fallen defeated by the "dragon," in their efforts to win the apples of the Hesperides, or the fleece of gold. Fallen in their efforts to overcome the old, half sordid savagery of the lower stages of creation, and win the next stage.

   - D. H. Lawrence

   As the story opens, the companions are on their way north toward the ruins of Denver, having arrived in the area via a redoubt. They've made camp for the night and are cooking dinner when they're ambushed by a well-armed and well-trained group of fighters. The companions win the fight, but they find out that the fighters were only trying to capture them, not kill them. The quality and variety of weapons is alarming and points toward a war; after some debate, the companions decide to keep going north.
   The next morning, they continue north. Since all their attackers were wearing green shirts, each of the companions takes a shirt (for camouflage, if necessary). It's not long before they spot someone running from a humvee, straight toward Ryan. Ryan grabs the person and pulls him down, only to find it's a woman.
   They're attacked by the men in the hummer (who are more greenshirts) and return fire. The companions manage to kill everyone and hijack the humvee, then pile inside and head toward the city of Denver. Unfortunately, there's a huge force of greenshirts between them and the city, but they use their disguises to bluff their way through the lines, getting far enough away to have a decent head start before the chase is back on. They get up to the walls of the city, and the woman (Rachel) shows them a secret entrance.
   Once inside, they become the honored guests of Baron Carrington, Rachel's father. He tells them that the greenshirts are a rival faction led by a man named Tellen, who once lived in the city and wants to take it over.
   At dinner that evening, Carrington makes them an offer: there are rumors of an (inhabited) enclave under the ruins of the Denver airport, and he wants them to investigate. If there is something there, they're to make contact with anyone still living there, or at least bring back any tech they can. In return, the companions get first pick of anything they find.
   They agree to the deal, so they head out the next morning in three trucks, along with some of Carrington's men. About halfway there, they're ambushed by the local Indian tribe; most of Carrington's men are killed, and Ryan is badly wounded. They're rescued by the inhabitants of the enclave (The Bunker), who (surprise!) aren't insane, inbred, or evil - in fact, they use advanced tech to heal Ryan's wounds. Once all the companions (along with Rachel and Sergeant Caddeus, the only other survivors) are cleared as contamination threats, they're given leave to meet with the enclave's ruling council.
   As it turns out, the enclave has been keeping an eye on things outside and waiting for an opportunity to come forth and use their tech to help rebuild civilization. Free Denver is the perfect place to do this, so they ask the companions to act as go-betweens for them, Tellen's army, and the Free City of Denver. The companions agree, so the whitecoats let them go.
   A couple days later, all three groups meet at a location midway between Denver and the enclave. Carrington and Administrator Carr, the enclave's leader, are playing fair, but Tellen has other plans - he attacks both groups and unleashes a horde of stickies to kill everyone. In the chaos that follows, he grabs up Rachel and flees in a truck. Ryan jumps on board, rescues her, and gets her off just before the truck goes over a cliff.
   After the dust clears, Carrington and Carr become fast friends, and the companions are given a load of supplies and two vehicles, which they ride off into the sunset.
   In the epilogue, we find out that Tellen somehow survived going over the cliff and managed to extricate himself from the twisted wreckage of the truck with some broken ribs. By the time he gets back to his headquarters in Boulder, word of his supposed death has spread and his army has dispersed. As he's sitting there, mulling over his future, Magus appears behind him. It turns out that Magus has been supporting and supplying his army with the aim of taking over both Denver and the enclave. They didn't count on the companions showing up to throw a monkey wrench in the works, however, so Magus doesn't kill him. Once he notes that Tellen is badly wounded, Magus instead takes him away to turn him into another abomination like himself.

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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