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Road Wars

Modified on 2012/02/05 15:37 by Kerrick Categorized as Books, Deathlands
   In the end, we'll all finish up in the cold, cold ground. But until then, bloody Hell, babes, don't we have fun!

   from Wine, Theatre, and Friends,
   by Archie Pellaggo, Goldhurst Press, 1992

   As we discovered in the previous book, the companions have just found out that Trader is still alive, and that Abe has found him. Ryan and JB make preparations to head to Seattle, driving the LAV they acquired a few days ago; they leave at first light.
   Not far down the road, they come across a group of fladgies calling themselves the Slaves of Sin. The fladgies demand food and water, whereupon Ryan tells them to get stuffed and drives on. Not long after, they pass through the town of Huston Wells, where the locals are less than friendly. They shoot their way through with barely a pause, leaving many dead behind.
   Meanwhile, Abe and Trader head into a small ville to grab themselves some food and drink. They'd been there before and traded insults with some of the locals, but nothing came of it. This time, the insults lead to Trader killing one of them; a posse of men chase them out of town and into the mountains. Abe falls behind and is captured; that night while the men have him in their camp, Trader sneaks in, kills all the men, and frees Abe.
   Back at the ranch, Doc goes out for a ride on Judas. He's a fair distance from the farm when he spots a cloud of dust - travellers heading for the farm. He hurries back to warn the others.
   The next day, Ryan is out taking a leak when he turns to find himself finding an African lion. Which, fortunately, is tame - it's part of a circus act run by a woman named Ellie Kissoon and her three daughters. After they take each others' measure, Ellie invites the men to join them for dinner.
   As it turns out, they're headed the same way, so they travel together to the next town, where the women put on their show. As a finale, Ellie takes the tiger around for people to pet if they wish. One of the locals, a hunter, stubs out his cigar on the tiger's butt, and it goes crazy and kills the hunter. Several other people and the tiger are killed in the chaos, and Ryan and JB and the women barely get away before the hunter's companions come after them.
   The Slaves of Sin arrive at the farm and demand food and water. Jak is willing to let them have water from his well, but no more, and they have to be gone by noon. The leader, Apostle Simon, gets him to allow them to stay until morning, so the Slaves make camp a mile or so away.
   The next day, Ryan and JB encounter a buffalo stampede; they lock down the LAV and ride it out, then keep heading north. They find an old ghost town that seems utterly normal (being old and abandoned) until they turn the corner and find a street where everything is in perfect shape. There are dozens of people (real, taxidermied corpses) posed in various buildings, along with recordings for atmosphere. They soon run into the creator of this ghoulish town, Malachi Gribble, who treats them to dinner and gives them a room at the inn. He has no intention of letting them leave, of course - he wants to add them to his collection. They catch him in the act, however, when he sneaks into their room in the middle of the night. Ryan ties him to a fence for the rest of the night, then executes him in the morning.
   Late the next day, they arrive in another ville run by an old friend, Baron Tenbos. Tenbos is dying, and his two sons are seeking to take over; he wants Ryan and JB's help, but    they demur, saying it's none of their business. The brothers see the perfect opportunity, however: they can kill their father, blame the outlanders, and take over power. When Ryan and JB go to view the baron's gun collection the next day, they find the baron dead; the brothers try to kill them as well "in revenge", but are killed instead. The pair leave as the sec men choose one of their own to lead.
   That night, Dean and Doc sneak out to see what the fladgies are up to. They're holding a ceremony - one of them is tied to a cross and is sacrificed as the pair watch, and the group is making plans to attack the homestead soon. Before they can head back to warn the others, though, Jak and Mildred try to sneak around the camp and get caught. Dean and Doc hurry back to tell Krysty what's happened.
   Doc moves out to the barn to check on Judas and watch for the incoming fladgies. He's confronted by three of them; with Judas' help, he kills all three. Krysty finishes the last one as he tries to flee.
   Meanwhile, Ryan and JB are running short on gas. Lucky for them, they come to a small ville that has supplies. The locals are willing to part with it, in exchange for the pair cleaning out a small camp of stickies. The complication: the stickies have a virulent form of cholera. As the pair scout the camp, a trio of hunters attack and kill the stickies themselves, then go in and rape one of the women. Ryan and JB head back to town, tell the folks the stickies are dead, and leave; a mile or so outside of town, they run into the hunters, who all have cholera; they point the trio toward the town.
   Dean, Doc, and Krysty come up with a plan - Dean goes into the camp disguised as a young Christ, while Doc plays the voice of God. They get the fladgies into a religious frenzy, them kill them all and rescue Jak and Mildred.
   At the end of the book, Ryan and JB reach the Cascades and spot Abe and Trader.

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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