Fury's Pilgrims: Book Summary
When the companions begin to awaken they discover themselves high above the earth in a orbiting space station. As they leave the gateway, they stumble upon the corpse of a man who is dressed in identical clothing as worn by the men they encountered several months previously. What killed the man was never determined.
They spend some time exploring and eventually come to the command centre. Along the way they pass several dozen corpses. Inside the command centre Ryan picks up a folder which contained data on the gateways. Before they are able to view it's contents a computer generated voice warns them that they have ninety minutes to evacuate as the self destruct has been initialised. They barely make it back to the gateway and jump out, but not before Ryan drops the folder and is unable to retrieve it.
When they awaken they are in another gateway. This time the walls are a deep crimson in colour. Exiting the gateway they find graffiti which indicates that they are located somewhere near the ruins of Chicago. A short time later they find a map of the redoubt and are disappointed to see that all but the garage and the chron jump section have been cleaned out. They make plans to inspect the chron jump section. Dean, bored, wanders off and finds himself in deep trouble.
The boy is set upon by hundreds of albino spiders. His screams of terror bring the others running and they are able to rescue him. They kill dozens of the insects, and manage to set fire to the webbing, killing even more.
While on their way to the chron jump section they find the remains of the last dozen soldiers. They had gotten into a supply of drugs and had eaten a last meal. Under the influence of the drugs, they all committed suicide. That would explain why the base wasn't totally cleaned out the way it should have been.
Finally they reach the chron jump section. They have to enter through a air lock and when they do they find themselves in a room filled with computer controls and three small chambers. There was also a shelf holding tapes of the experiments. They find a video showing Doc and his family and decide to view it. When Doc sees his long lost family he goes berserk. It takes everyone to restrain him and he eventually calms down enough to be rational. While the others bed down for the night, he spends it viewing the video over and over again.
The next day they discover that the time trawling equipment is set to bring forward three people, or Dolphins as the whitecoats described them. After a heated debate, they decide to initiate the experiment and see what happens. The first target is a ruined mess which they use the abort button to dispose of. The second is a serial killer which Ryan executes. The third, Michael Brother, arrives intact and perfectly normal.
The group spends time telling Michael about the world he is now in and that he can never return to the monastery of Nil Vanity. He doesn't believe a word of it. They decide that it is time to leave the redoubt and explore the outside, to see if they really are near what used to be Chicago.
In the redoubt's garage they discover a fully fuelled and ready to run M-900 APC (based on the M-59). They load up and head outside. Michael doesn't want to go and nearly stays behind, but ducks under the closing door with a speed that impresses them all.
It turns out that the redoubt is located on an island, below the Central District Filtration Plant. From where they are standing, they see nothing but charred ruins. This section of Chicago must have been hit by heavy duty incendiary weapons. The damage is nothing like a normal nukes.
Doc Tanner wants to stay behind and continue to explore the redoubt. He is quite insistent upon it and even snaps at his oldest and dearest friends. In the end, he goes with them to explore the ruins.
As they travel J.B. and Abe nearly come to blows over whether Trader is still alive or not. Abe insists that Trader is still alive, while J.B. is positive that his old leader is long dead, mouldering in a lonely grave somewhere. After the argument ends they find themselves under attack. Everyone except Michael dives for cover. Doc Tanner rescues the boy and they are able to kill several of the fur clad attackers. Ryan spends time explaining to him just what life in the Deathlands is like, so that next time he doesn't stand around like a stupe waiting to buy the farm.
About twelve miles away from the redoubt they come across more 'normal' ruins, these having been caused by nuclear weapons. Except for the attack, they haven't spotted any people until now. They see a figure holding a harpoon like weapon but it quickly vanishes among the ruins.
The deeper they travel into the suburbs, the less damage they encounter. As usual, they spot a storm brewing and decide to find a suitable location to take shelter. They finally come across a gothic style mansion which fits the bill to a tee and they lock up the War Wag just outside and take shelter inside.
During Dean and Abe's patrol, they encounter the first of the attacking muties. The firefight is extensive but they are able to fend off the attackers, inflicting heavy losses on them. During the fight, Michael is cornered by four of the mutants. In the blink of an eye he slits the throats of three and buries the blade of one of his knives deep in the eye of the fourth. His prowess with the blades impress everyone. During the battle Abe is wounded by one of the attackers and he chases after it, enraged and hell bent on revenge. They reach a fast moving river just behind the house and the mutant drags Abe into it with him. They are both swept away and everyone assumes that Abe is dead.
The next day they leave the blood soaked mansion and continue to travel into the ruins of Chicago. To their surprise they find Abe, naked and shivering, but otherwise alive and intact. Mildred tends to the wound he suffered and they dress him in camouflage clothing they find in one of the storage lockers on the APC.
It's at this time Ryan decides to head back to the redoubt and jump out as they can't find anything worth while staying in Chicago for. Abe refuses to go with them. He say's that someone pulled him out of the river, saved his life. He is positive that it was Trader who saved him and plans to search for the man until he finds him again. They part ways.
The APC suffers a breakdown and both Ryan and J.B. try to repair it. The others relax and try to catch up on lost sleep. Michael tells Dean that he can hit ten mail boxes out of ten, all in a row. Dean doesn't believe it for a second, so Michael proves it to him, hitting ten out of ten. Once again everyone is highly impressed with his display of skill and accuracy.
A short time later Doc Tanner and Michael slip away from the rest of the group. Doc is intent on returning to the gateway in order to use the chron jump equipment to return to the past, to be reunited with his long dead family. Michael goes with him, hoping that Doc will be able to return him to Nil Vanity and the way of life he has always known.
When they discover that Doc and Michael are gone, Krysty figures out exactly what Doc has planned. She also has a 'seeing' which tells her that if he attempts to return to his own time, he will surely die. They set out after the pair, hoping to stop them from returning to the redoubt.
Only a short time passes when the APC finally dies, the engine block cracked and irreparable. They are forced to travel after Doc and Michael on foot. By nightfall both groups are forced to take shelter as yet another chem storm rolls in over the ruins. Doc and Michael hold up in a relatively intact office building and try to get some sleep. As usual, Ryan and Krysty make love.
Late in the night Krysty feels the call of nature and heads outside. She is almost immediately captured by a group of mutant women and is led away. Not a single sound is made during the encounter. Only a couple of minutes pass before Ryan goes outside to see what happened and he discovers that she is gone.
Nearly at the same time Doc yells out in his sleep, alerting three of the mutant women to his and Michael's presence. They attack and all three are killed quickly and easily by Michael. Knowing that there are more of these mutants around, they decide to forgo any more sleep and continue on their way to the redoubt. Doc is really out of it, slipping in and out of sanity. He is constantly calling Michael Emily. As they walk, Doc manages to fall and twist his ankle. He doesn't break it, but sprains it badly. This slows them down greatly.
Ryan and the others track down the mutants and wait patiently outside the ruins for someone to leave that they can capture and question on the whereabouts of Krysty. Eventually a patrol of four mutant women are spotted. They kill three and find Dean in a gaudy house stand off with the forth. They destroy her elbow with a shot, ending it. Mildred goes to work on her, forced to torture the woman to find out where they took Krysty. Ryan is horrified at what Mildred did to the woman and puts a bullet in her brain, mercifully killing her. They know where Krysty is.
Krysty meets the leader of the mutants. Her name is Billy and the tribe of female mutants are known as the midnites. Billy tells her that she fits the description of a woman who is supposed to lead the tribe out of the ruins. That is why she was captured. She also learns that they hate men and use them only for their seed, and, to make matters worse, are cannibalistic.
Following the directions given to them by the woman they captured, they find the entrance to the midnites lair. A single woman is on sentry duty and Dean goes up to her. Instead of killing him outright, she tries to make him leave, as he reminds her of one of her male children that would have been his age if they were allowed to live. He closes in and stabs her in the stomach, killing her. The others slip into the warren and to find Krysty. Ryan quickly discovers that Dean is no longer with them.
A mutant woman named Robin offers to lick and suck Krysty, but she refuses.
The next morning a woman named Frankie tells Krysty that four of the tribe are dead, as well as the guard who was on duty the night before. She also brings food which Krysty will not eat because she is certain that it is human meat.
The closer Doc and Michael get to the redoubt, the further Doc slips into insanity.
Ryan, J.B. and Mildred are worried about Dean, and are hopelessly lost in the maze of tunnels and sewer systems.
Two women, Laurie and Frankie are guarding Krysty when Dean enters the room. The quickly cold cock him and take him captive. The mutant women take a great deal of pleasure in describing how they will torture the boy to death before they eat him.
Ryan and the other two find a rusted manhole cover. Using the butt of his rifle, they manage to open the cover and slip outside, but not before attracting the attention of the midnites. As one climbs out, Ryan shoots her in the head, killing her.
Doc and Michael have made it to the redoubt and Doc is in the middle of doing the necessary calculations to make the Chron jump back to his own time.
In order to save herself and Dean, Krysty explains to the boy about her ability to call on the earth mother, giving herself incredible strength. She also explains to him how badly it drains her, and that she will need his help to escape the ruins. When she uses her ability, it scares the hell out of Dean. He is quite certain that she plans to kill him, but he learns differently as she breaks the chains. She collapses from exhaustion when finished.
Mildred, Ryan and J.B. finally come to the conclusion that they're only course of action is to head back into the lair, weapons a blazing, and hope that they can find Krysty before they run out of ammo.
Back at the redoubt, Doc tests the jump equipment, only to discover that he made a miscalculation. He has to go back and re do all his work.
Back inside the lair, Ryan and the others get into no less than three separate firefights in their search for Krysty and Dean.
Much to their surprise, Laurie and Frankie discover that Krysty somehow managed to free herself and the boy. Dean slams his fist into the back of Frankie, causing her to drop his browning which he grabs and uses to kill both the mutant women.
Dean and Krysty then run into Billy and a couple of her sisters. The mutant women are about to kill her and Dean when Ryan, J.B. and Mildred come across the scene. Billy is killed by Ryan and the others go down fast. The friends waste no time leaving the lair and return to the redoubt.
They arrive just in time to prevent Doc from using the time trawl equipment, saving his life as it begins to melt down. Michael tries to prevent Ryan from stopping Doc and receives a vicious blow to the balls, but otherwise is left unharmed. Doc breaks down in tears as the machinery self destructs. They use the gateway to jump out of the blasted ruins.
End of Fury's Pilgrims.
A total of 4 days have passed in this novel
Return to Main Page.