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Modified on 2011/10/18 11:51 by Kerrick Categorized as Books, Deathlands

The night is far spent, the day is at hand;
let us therefore cast off the works of darkness,
and let us put on our armor of light.

   - Romans 13:12

   When the book starts, the companions are near the ruins of Idaho Falls. Krysty has been hearing a woman screaming in her head for the last couple days - a psychic cry for help. They keep going toward the source of the voice, seeking help for Krysty, and find a group of travelers held at gunpoint by a bunch of bandits calling themselves Slaggers.
   The woman who has been calling out to Krysty is among the group. She communicates telepathically, telling Krysty her name - Phlorin - and that she's a member of the Chosen. She's dying, and her only recourse is to thrust her consciousness into Krysty's body, essentially taking it over.
   Meanwhile, Ryan and Jak are watching the scene below when a ghoulie jumps on Ryan from above. Two more appear as he's fighting the first, and he's forced to shoot them. This draws the attention of the Slaggers, who start shooting at him and Jak. They then release a pack of hounds, forcing the pair to retreat to where their friends are holed up.
   Unfortunately, another group on horseback is approaching from the opposite direction. They bear the look of sec men, and likely belong to Baron Shaker, whom they heard is looking for something. Also, a chem storm is rolling in, complicating matters. The baron's men ride on past the companions' hiding spot, toward the junkyard where the Slaggers make their base.
   Ryan and Jak climb up a rusting fire escape to a rooftop where they left Krysty; only a couple dogs come after them, and they deal with those easily. Krysty is unconscious due to Phlorin's forced merge, but she awakens when Ryan touches her. Krysty (under Phlorin's control) tries to kill Ryan, but Jak knocks her out.
   With the baron's men and the Slaggers fighting each other, the ghoulies infesting the ruins, and a chem storm rolling in, the companions figure the only safe place to be is in the junkyard. They slip through the lines, pick up the travellers (including Phlorin) along the way, and hole up in the Slagger's hardpoint - a concrete building near the entrance to the junkyard.
   While the storm hits, Ryan deals with Phlorin. She refuses to give up her control of Krysty's mind, even after Ryan threatens to kill her - she's dying anyway, and she's pefectly capable of killing Krysty as well. One of the travellers, a man named Elmore, tells them about Phlorin - her abilities and what the Chosen are.
   The fighting stops as the chem storm hits, then the leader of the baron's men comes forward to parley. They're just looking for a man named Ethridge (actually Elmore), who's a member of the Heimdall Foundation - Baron Shaker is looking for a piece of the space station Shostakovich's Anvil that came to earth a few months back. Ryan is fully prepared to give the man up, but Elmore says he knows someone who can get Phlorin out of Krysty's head.
   There doesn't appear to be any way out, though - there's only one entrance, and the men have it covered. Dean hears something crawling around below the floor and starts sticking his knife in the dirt. He finds a trap door and opens it, releasing a pair of hounds. After they're dealt with, the companions find that the trap door leads to a small tunnel - a way for the hounds to get in and out. They crawl out that way, leaving a couple grenades behind for the baron's men, and make their way along the nearby river toward a village.
   There, they hijack a boat and force the captain, Morse, to take them upriver. Eventually Ryan agrees to pay him - Morse has several firearms in the hold that need repairing, and JB can fix them easily.
   A few days later, they reach a trading outpost on the river run by Annie and her son. Baron Shaker himself is staying there, along with more of his men. The companions are welcomed inside as long they behave; Annie has them fully stocked up on ammo, because she knows that something is coming (though she won't say what).
   That night, the outpost is attacked a by another force of men who are opposed to Baron Shaker. The companions fight their way free and get back to the boat, then keep heading upriver.
   Several more days later, they finally find Donovan, their contact. He's aboard a large ship, which has been attacked by river pirates and is badly damaged. The companions drive the pirates off and tow the ship upriver to a harbor, where the Foundation men have built a dam. Donovan tells them he can help, but he needs their help first - the pirates have a piece of the space station, and he wants the companions to help get it back. He also knows the location of a redoubt upriver; he takes Ryan, who finds that it's remained untouched - no one knew how to get in. They find a fully-stocked armory and a mat-trans; they use the armory to arm everyone and attach some .50-caliber guns to the boats, then go pirate hunting.
   They raid the pirates' base, take the ship holding the station piece, and return to the harbor with the pirates in hot pursuit. Once everyone's in the canyon, Ryan has them blow the entrance (sealing them off from most of the pirates), then the dam (sweeping the pirates away).
   Once things have settled, Donovan has his sister take on Phlorin's consciousness, and the companions leave via the gate in the redoubt.

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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