Chapter 2

Scott entered this world feeling like road kill, he was reborn onto a crystal white floor and surrounded by six, dull, navy blue walls. He opened his eyes, and that was the first mistake that he made in the Deathlands. It took him a while to stand up. More to the point it took him a long time to stay standing. Several times the stood erect only to be overcome by nausea and once again reunited with the ground. 

            Something was different he could taste it in the air, and he could feel it deep down inside. When finally he was able to open the door he found no whitecoats waiting to give him more pills, and he saw no master at arms to carry him away. But still there was danger it the air. Leaning heavily against the walls he ventured into the chamber.  What happened he had an idea, but what was going to happen he had no clue.

            Scott was an Intelligence Specialist, a secretary who had top secret and above clearances. Logins passwords and secret mumbo jumbo flowed through his head as he sat down in at the nearest computer.

            Logging on to the secret LAN, was easy he did it before the computer screen had been turned on. But what greeted his eyes was not secret to the world, only to him. Most of the screen was burned and didn’t light up. But the bottom right hand corner was shown plainly enough. It was august 27th 2050 and he was nearly one seventy years old. For a few seconds he was in total disbelief, then the many classified papers that he had read, and the conspiracy theorists he had listened to, erupted through his memory.  There was no doubt it his mind.  The mysterious disappearances, the whispers about the old man Doc Tanner, area 51, Secretes within Secretes, He had seen it all and looked over it with out a second thought.




            The massive bear was a creature of nature, mutated but of nature. When the power came back on the lights began to crackle, breakers began to pop and, it ran for dear life. Halfway to the entrance he dropped the scabbie not caring that it had lost a meal, there were plenty more where that came from. He could always return later on if need be.

            He ran for quite some time finding the cave that he had dug summers ago as a cub, and exited the way he had entered.  The bear had made no effort to slowly exit the hole; in turn nearly a ton of muscle and fir caused it to come down on behind him. Out in the open air he let out a roar of triumph, not quite knowing what he had just won. Off to better hunting grounds he left not waiting to be followed.


            Scott walked toward his room and would have mistaken the scabbie for a long dead body had it not been spilling fresh blood. He didn’t turn the body over, nor did he gasp in horror.  He listened with his ears looked with his eyes and felt with his mind for the killer. But none was close enough to him to find. Slowly he continued.

At his room he found what little he had owned. A leather jacket, blue jeans, a black t-shirt, A pair of sandals, a wallet, his lighter and a Swiss-Army-Knife, some old keys, his sea-bag, sunglasses, what else did he need back then. It took him very little time to change and he threw away the useless medical pants and shirt.

Moving on he went back to the creature lying on the ground.  Hairless it had no nose, large eyes, very few teeth, and a grayish tint to the skin. Most of the skin was a mess of bubbling soars and scabs. His guess was radiation poisoning. But it didn’t matter he wasn’t a doctor. And if there had been any radiation in the redoubt the radstrips which lined specific and well placed warning stations would be glowing bright orange. He had passed at least three of the stations and none of them had shown sign of contamination

Just about to leave he saw the book trapped in one of the ragged pockets draped on the creature. Unconcerned about diseases Grey pulled out the small tablet. Most of the first pages had been ripped out, and many of the other pages were stained with blood. But out of it all a few leaflets were discernable.

“I killd three of them scabbie thngs today but they stll gort my hores and my dog. Theys are runnin wild this days and thes dern fuckin nukeshiteaten barrons anit doing anythins to help us I tooked a right hand from ech of thems and will tradee them in to th post  for two rounds of ammo ech.  Good thng one of them has two right hands.  J

And on the Last page it was written in someone else’s handwriting

“If you are reading this, I am Dead, The clothes on my back and the Items that I owned I have always taken care of. I hope they serve you as well as they served me. A scribbler wrote for me my last words and I hope to be able to write them myself in the future. But to the victor of my battle, I give this advice, keep your blasters loaded, your eyes open, and don’t hesitate to shoot first.  I just hope your not some rad-blasted muty 


            Dewayne Jordan



The redoubt was large, but designed like most military complexes; the secrets were hidden on the bottom floor farthest from the majority of the people. It didn’t really matter what kind of installation it was, weapons, medical, Intelligence, training, they were all similar in most respects. All of the bases had people to run the day-to-day life. Mess cooks, disposal, transportation, engineering, security. By the time you got down to the actual function of the base you were nearly looking at the minority.

Scott had started at the bottom isolated from the rest of the complex, When he got to his room he had reached the outer parameter within the bulk of the redout. What did you need to have in order to keep troops? First of all you had to have food, next would be the living spaces, soon after that essentials banks and other paper shufflers, stores, entertainment. Starting in the center with the galley it spiraled out and in the end reached individual work centers.

A nagging sense of fear kept Scott moving. He headed toward where the weapons would be held, security. Located along the main passageway it still looked like it was in pristine condition, from the outside. Moving to the back room he found the Armory. Or what was left of it. The vaulted door had been blown off its hinges and was imbedded in one of the plaster dividing walls.               

It had been ransacked, but for the most part looked full. Scott quickly loaded the first weapon he found, setting it within reach.  Then he began to take his time.  Picking out the weapons actually didn’t take long. But separating the ammo, which had been thrown about, was tedious and slow.

After he had finished, Scott sat down at the security Officers desk to double check what he had acquired. Sitting before him was a beautiful Stainless 45 cal. Kimber Classic 1911 combat pistol, an unused Colt Defender, a M1 Entry 12 gauge, three strider blades, a riot baton, and four boxes of ammo. He had liberated the pouches and holster from an old security belt hanging on a near by rack for the colt.  The Kimber itself had been some one’s personal toy and in the box where it had been stashed was a nylon and leather shoulder holster that held two extra clips, tucked safely in the two back pockets was a silencer and a detachable scope.

His next step was the food storeroom. Although a little apprehensive about eating 50 year old food, he settled for a self heat and powdered milk which he mixed with cold water found in a working drinking fountain. Loading his arms with self-heats, canned food and his pockets with water purifying tabs Scott moved on to the store where he picked up back pack and a few essential camping items.

Later that evening he found himself in the machine shop creating a few surprises. And it was just before dawn that he finely went back to his room to sleep.



Early Yesterday,

Their group of ten hired guns was quickly decimated. Jordan took a round in the brain, Teeth blew with the bag of grenades, Max ate buckshot, Andy disappeared with three Carnies, Jenny kept her last round to herself, and they left Mark grinning ear to ear.

That left them at four with little ammo and only two blasters between them. Maggy Lee Cooper, Trisha White, Thaddeus John McClinton (TJ or MAC), And Drew Smith, they had been paid to do a job and failed. But they weren’t done yet. First they needed supplies.

All of them had herd of the many stashes of predark weapons, oil, and wags. Rumor had it; somewhere in these hills was an old military complex.  That was not why they were here. After two days of running from the people they were supposed to kill, the mountain full of trees, gullies, rock outcroppings and caves seemed like a good place to hide.

TJ had see the Bear run out, actually it had nearly run over him. But that was not all. Deep inside the cave, was light, artificial light. The problem was the cave had collapsed in places, and digging was more time that was not spent escaping from the Carnival Slavers.

“Drew, it can’t be much farther to the light. The cave wasn’t that long.”

“Dumbass had better be right, I don’t intend to spend any more days as a fucking slave.” Looking at Trish her light skin smudged with almost as much dirt as he had thrown out of the cave. That’s what she got for digging right behind him. But she didn’t really mind all that much, when else did she get to watch his ass wiggle too and fro as he attempted to work.

It was Maggy that got to stay out and watch for the Carnies and the bear, early that morning one of the slavers had gotten a hold of her with a bat. Her badly bruised arm was nearly useless in the confines of the cave.

Using the scope on Drew’s sniper rifle she scanned the surrounding area for signs of movement. Minutes later satisfied that they were in no danger she replaced the scope cover to reduce chances of damage or reflection.

            “Ahhhh,………We’re in” TJ announced louder than necessary


Four hours after Scott finally passed out he was awoken by a slightly odd sensation in his head. Minutes later he herd the slam of doors, coming his way. Roughly two doors down he herd their voices. Standing up he walked quietly over behind the door pulling the Colt Defender as he went.


They had it down to an art after twenty or so rooms. TJ short and stout kicked in the door then spun to his left, which allowed Maggy to sweep the room. But after twenty rooms they were getting board. They picked the wrong place to make a mistake.

“Ready?’ He asked not bothering to whisper

“Go” she motioned with her head.

TJ kicked and spun, Maggy entered.  Instantly she knew that it was a mistake. The room was much cooler than the other ones, which had the air conditioning turned off. The bed was not maid and…

Scott recognized the weapon immediately as a fully accessorized H&K UMP40, a light sub machine gun used by the seals and other elite military groups. When her hand and weapon cleared the edge of the door he grabbed and twisted, kicking the door shut at the same time. She fell on the ground landing hard on her bruised arm and yelping in pain, and the door slammed in TJ’s face knocking him senseless.

As her eyes quickly adjusted to the lack of light she found Scott standing quietly over her, a very large blaster in her face. Oddly he didn’t fire on sight. Not knowing what TJ would do she called out to him. “I’m ok, don’t come in. And don’t shoot through that blasted door.” He was young, maybe in his twenty’s six foot two or three slender but athletic with tan skin, and laborers hands. Moving up to his face she could see his soft hazel eyes and oddly blond colored hair. “Hmm.. Interesting, if he doesn’t kill me”

Shaking his head as if to dislodge a stray thought “Don’t worry, I’m not going to.” He Tossed the UMP onto the bed and stood up hand outstretched. Which she reluctantly but steadily took. Both of them were surprised at the others grip. Hers was stronger than any woman he had met in a long time. His was solid but soft, Michelle had felt the strength as she came in but he didn’t use it this time.

Outside TJ was pacing back and fourth quietly. Not making himself a ready target, angry with himself for not paying attention, and apprehensive about her coming out alive. “She had said she was ok, she had said not to shoot through the door. Did he make her do that or was she really Ok” He raised the weapons.

“Tell him again not to shoot through the door.” He said pulling her up.

“Mac, do not shoot.” She turned and moving toward the crack where the broken hinge was slightly open. “It’s ok, I’m going to open the door.” She looked TJ in the eyes and then turned to Scott double-checking to insure that he was not going to open fire on her friend. Slowly she pulled the door open revealing TJ on one side his two H&K MP5 9mm pointing into the room.  All three of the guns Scott had seen in the armory. Scott himself was standing inside a shadow hands on his pistols.

“How many are in there?”

“Just me.” He answered relaxing the grip on the S&W.

“Mags.” TJ motioned with his head toward the lights.

As Maggy walked past him to turn on the lights he got a better look at her. She was about 5.6”, one hundred and twenty pounds, wearing; Polished boots, black fatigues a white t-shirt shown slightly around the neck, her shoulder length hair stuck out of the back of her dark ball cap, and her emerald green eyes were surrounded by a pair of wire rimmed reading glasses. His mind reeled as he struggled to hold back memories from a passed life.

The lights came on and TJ walked in covering the man with one weapon and sweeping the room with the other. Again Scott was taken back This man could have been one of his hoodlum brothers, Dressed in ragged black jeans, a t-shirt sporting a long lost bear company, and a leather jacket equipped with “Breakaway Chains” that was about two sizes too small for him, and his pockets seemed to stuffed will all manner of small but use full items.

Dropping one of the MP5 he allowed the shoulder sling to catch and put his arm out toward the girl. “Come on, It’s a little too crowned in here.”

A shrill female scream caught all of there attention. Then there was much cursing and at the end a males laughter. “Shut the fuck up Drew, It ain’t funny. And there could be more of them.” 

“It doesn’t matter, your scream already told them where we are.” He laughed again “Fussing over a dead Muty. Probably killed by the bear.”

“Yea, but what scared away the Bear.” Her grip on the weapon tightening; “Dumbass”. Then she continued on, looking to find the other two and inform them that they had found dinner. Self heats, not Stickie.

She turned the last corner spotting TJ halfway in a room. Drew following closely behind didn’t see that his weapons were drawn and just began jabbering away about Trish’s find. Meanwhile Trish who pushed her way past both men nearly shit herself. Standing in front of her was a man she had never seen before a .45 pointed in her direction, and behind her the laser sights on the MP5 drifted over her back to re-center on Scott’s throat.

Trish and Drew grabbed weapons at the same time, he un-slung the PSG1 sniper rifle and she drew her S&W Revolver dropping to a crouched position on the floor. Scott watched this with amazement. Although both were stupid enough to walk into the middle of a stare down the speed in which they reacted was instantaneous. None of them were more than twenty but even then all four of them already had developed combat honed reflexes. What happened to the world he lived in?

The stare down could have lasted weeks but in the end Scott would have lost. He was not ready to admit that. It took Maggy to break it up. “Who are you?” She asked stepping in front of her three companions,

“My name is… Collins, Scott Collins.” Nearly identifying him self in military terms.

“Well Mr. Grey, my name is Maggy Lee Cooper, you have been staring at my friend Thaddeus John McClinton, the Blond behind me Is Trisha White and the one with the cannon behind us all is Drew Smith.” She took another step back and in doing so covered up more of Scott from the people behind her.

“That name!!”

“Get you ass out of the way.” Drew yelled attempting to gain a better view.

“Where are we?” Scott asked. Knowing that it was a stupid question as soon as he let it out it.

“You must be triple stupe. We’re in the middle of a mountain.”

“Where in the Unites States are we?” hopping the specification would help.

“There is no US any more.” Trish answered lowering her blaster. Much to her surprise he didn’t look confused, but he did look a little pissed. She didn’t need him to ask what. It was evident to her that he had been living in this redout way too long. “We’re in the Deathlands, what used to be the USA before the nukes fell. In The Cascades old way back then it was known as Oregon.

A wave of something hit him hard. Too think, in those months of torture, all he had to do was go outside and he would have been home. The four companions watched as he slowly sank to the ground. He landed on the ground hands coming to his face to wipe tears away that could never come.

At first TJ thought he wouldn’t have to shoot this man, he was going to do it himself, hands now trembling and still holding the pistols arose to greet his face.  Before anyone could do anything he dropped them bringing his knees to his chin.

Maggy slowly bent down. Picking up the blasters she moved them out of his reach and sat down. She knew he just needed time.  But there was something about him that concerned her.  He looked so familiar but she knew she had never met him before.

“We found food, do you want to come with us?”  Trish asked in a whisper bending down to her level.

“I’ll be along shortly, or you can bring a pull tab up here for me. I want to make sure he is going to be ok.”

“Dark night, Mags he tried to kill you a few minutes ago. What now you going to feed him also?” Drew scorned.

“Shut the fuck up.” Trish growled hitting him with her beret, and then she pushed him out only to begin tugging him in the direction of food.

“You going to be Ok in here?” TJ asked. Lowering his mp5s. At her nod he turned. “I’ll be just down the hall.” He never went farther than two doors away.

  A few seconds after TJ left he stood up. Shaky at first he rubbed his face and smoothed the wrinkles in his clothes.  Maggy went to pick up her UMP, when she turned back around he was gone. She walked up to the bathroom doorway just as the water turn on.

“You going to be alright.”

“Yea’ I’ve just had a very bad couple of months.” He wanted to say a bad century.

“You want to tell me about it.” She prompted

“Not really, I need some air.”

Something else had been nagging her. “Do I know you from somewhere?”

“Depends. Who was your Grandmother? What was her name?”

“It’s Michelle”

“Michelle Rishara Cooper… I knew her.” “I loved her” With that he turned and walked out picking up his blasters and pack as he went.

“But how, that wa, that was over one fifty years ago.” Following “Where are you going?

“I need to see my mountains again.” He walked out the door finding TJ standing guard only feet away. Turning the other way he headed toward the exit.

“Look, there is a faster way out. Over this way.” Nearly running to keep up with his long strides. She stopped and a few passes farther so did he. “This way.” She directed with a nod.

            “Where are you going?” TJ asked feeling left out.

            “He needs some air.” She stated. “Have to go this way. The main doors are locked.”

            “I have a key.” He stated shoving his pistols back in their respective holsters and then sliding the M1 into a newly sewn gun case on the side of his pack.


            Maggy reached the outer cave entrance and stepped out into the fresh morning dew. Cool and breezy she could see for miles. Scott stepped out behind her. What he saw took his breath away. He could tell that he was in the Cascades but which mountain was the problem. The landscape had changed drastically since his last visit. The climate was the same. But the land had changed. Miles in the distance he could see a massive impact crater. One of the three sisters had been leveled off, black butte it seemed had erupted and where his hometown was he saw the scars from a lava flow.

            “My god.”

            “How long has it been since you were here?” She asked quietly.

            “March second… 2000” he whispered

            “But how?” She asked looking confused. Still somehow she knew he was not lying. He had known her Great grandmother. And many years ago she had seen the pictures. Pictures of him: in a uniform, of him drinking, and having fun with friends. Playing with Michelle and the one that had been her favorite, him at the 2000 New Years Eve party.

            Her thoughts were broken up by the sounds of gunfire. Bullets impacted only feet from where she stood. Moving with the speed of a cat she dove into the cave, once again feeling the pain as she landed on her arm. Scott was hot on her heals grabbing Maggy as he ran.

            On the other side of the cave TJ knew what was happening and pulled the pin on one of his few grens. As soon as the two were clear he lobbed it in. “fire in the hole.” Maggy and TJ ducked immediately covering their ears and opening mouths. Scott aware of his surroundings followed suit.  The boom was deafening and the cave collapsed during the explosion.

            “Oops.” TJ said walking off.

            Lifting himself off the floor Scott new they were not done yet. He could feel it. Maggy who was about to walk away saw Scott stand up against the wall. “What are you?”

“Shhhhh.” He motioned

            Looking at him with interest she began to hear noises in the remnants within the small opening. Snapping his fingers Scott swung his arm as if to swat a mosquito, a blur of motion flowed from his wrist and struck something just within the shadow. Scott spun entering the lip of the cave and hauled out a carnie slaver. His ears were bleeding from the explosion, face was bleeding from a concussion, and around his neck was a thin steel cable attached to Scott’s Right arm.

            After Scott released the dead Carney he reached his left hand into the jacket and began to pull. Two one-inch ball bearings threaded on a steel cable were drawn up sewn in guides of the sleeve. One of the surprises he had cooked up last night.

            “Caves blown. We’ll have to find another way out.” Mac stated checking his body for wounds. “Lets go eat.”

            Scott had seen many things in his life. His mother had worked in an emergency room for quite some time, and she would come home telling jokes about an injured person. That was what she called Md. Humor. But TJ had just killed, and almost been killed.  Was this world so bad that death was no longer a part of survival but now of living.


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