Apocalypse Journal

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Apocalypse Journal

Hail ladies and gentlemen fans of the genre that is post apocaliptia!
My name is Marius Voinescu pr lead of the Ironward team, developer of Red Solstice, but Im not here to praise our game, but Daniel Fedors work, since I am a huge fan of this genre like all of you.
I also worked briefly as a writer for the photon production company that is making the game Forsaken Fortress, but sadly they changed to much of the game for my liking.

I want to share some of the stories I wrote with you guys and get some feedback so I can continue writing some great tales in this kind of universe. And maybe even help Daniel if possible.
As I said any and all criticism is welcome as long as its in line with forums rules of conduct. So Enjoy.

General Marius Ovidiu
Log#106
Date: 27.11.2065

It was a cold damp morning, a few minutes after the sun had risen clouds as black as ink began to shower the land in rain, the weather was as cheerful as the mood in the citadel, I had spoken to my senior officers and we decided to push the ceremony for the evening in hope of better weather and maybe a starry night. Just the kind of night our old friend loved, I was dismayed, after i dismissed my officers, I went out to the grounds.
I was not afraid of getting wet, and I knew there was no nuclear pollution in the area, I walked out the concrete stronghold into the courtyard to see my regular soldiers. To my satisfaction I saw many of my followers busy at there posts, all made them selves busy. Like industrious ants in a colony they left there displeasure aside for the good of the whole. Engineers repairing vehicles, warriors patrolling, sergeants training new recruits, laborers tending crops. They hailed me as I walked passed and I replied, thinking how fortunate I truly was to have them, and still even I could not fully explain how long ago these same hard working, loyal people where once nothing more then a rag tag group of
bandits, refugees and wasteland survivors.
As I reached the large steel gates that separated the fort from the outside world, i looked on the massive bronze plaque riveted to the wall beside it. It was placed there on my order, on it where the names of all those who had given there lives to make his place a sanctuary for all who lived here.
I was lost in the endless maze of my own mind and reality. Greed I thought was the only thing responsible for everything evil that had befallen this world and then i looked back in time to how this disaster began.
On this very land before the events of that "glorious" year 2050 that many thought was a critical turning point in humanity, was nothing more then a collection of farms a small steel works plant, and a few insignificant businesses. It was a critical turning point but not for the better, the evil governments started a new financial recession worse then any yet before it, there partners in the corporations fueled by there hunger for wealth continued to pollute the earth in search of resources escalating the global warming, and natural disasters that came with it. Later that year a world pandemic arose and with a human population double than what the earth could sustain it was even worse. Like out of a bad horror story those stricken became, violent, irrational, murderous cannibals, call them zombies if you like, I called them poor suffering bastards.
Even in that time as I was now I had a fondness for science, and I was a rational person, I would even now spit in the face on any one who would claim the oceans boiled away and fire rained down from the heavens from gods anger. True the oceans where polluted, and forest fires and nuclear disasters made the sky dark and deadly, but in no way could man in a thousand years drain every last drop of water from the seas, and even a wave of nukes could not destroy all the atmosphere.
And yet I was there to see the chain of events that turned this biblical story into stark and frightening truth. Even now I still analyzed the key points in the development of this disaster, like the symptoms of any disease that disturbed the working of this organism that was the earth. Man had his blame in this calamity and he was paying the price.
The very next second my train of though was interrupted by my second in command, she gave me a hard wide look and patted my shoulder.
Morgana: Day dreaming again Marius?
Marius: About the past and what the present would be with less greed.
I looked at Morgana with a affectionate smile, she was not at the head of my followers next to me because of my sentiments for her, or even her witty charm. She was a hard but fair woman with skills to match a good leader, protective, passionate, dependable, morally unbreakable, a true she wolf. Even if half her face was scared her innate beauty remained largely intact, and her eyes where touch your heart, but also turn your to stone if you upset her. She gave the plaque a cold look then turned to me.
Morgana: Why did you not tell someone to erase the name of the no good cousin! He has no right to be remembered for anything brave or selfless as the rest of the people on that memorial!
Marius: I do not care what quarrel you had with him he was still your only family after the "Calamity", firstly, and secondly he played his part and will be remembered for it understood,above all you do your self no favors discrediting him,
She lowered her face, gave a slight sigh and shacked her head, I did not need to reinforce my claim.
Morgana: So the ceremony will be later tonight then if the weather improves?
Marius: I feel it is appropriate, Jessie would have liked it that way, as planed we will send his ashes up on one of his old toys.
Morgana: Very well then, il go see if theres a better meal to be had, would help set our minds straight Il see you later hun.
I gave her a hug, and went back to my mental wanderings, Jesic Adams was our main benefactor after the great calamity. After I a small marauder leader moved my first base, we landed on his lands and he tock pity on us for the sorry state we where in.
He was a crazy but brilliant ex-scientist, with a passion that went to sheer obsession with rockets. He helped me found the Citadel that became a home for so many lost souls searching for a purpose, and escape for the horrors of the new dangerous world. He hatched a plan that only he could think would work, to build a massive shuttle that would take us away and find us a new home among the stars but he didn't live to see it finished.
And I knew that after we had finished mourning our friend we had to find a new plan to give our lives meaning, I had plans and brave men and women to see them throw. But just as I was thinking of a few of them, the small cold shower turned to a thunder storm, and as warning bell to something worse the general alarm sounded in the citadel, a red flag was waved from the main watch tower, the scourge of the wastes was heading our way, so I shouted as high as my lungs could: BATTLE STATIONS!

As soon as the alarm had been heard every fighting man and woman of the Vanguard was preparing for battle, those already on the walls where fighting hard holding back a tide of monsters waiting for the rest of their comrades to reinforce them. Peter Moldridge artillery officer was in charge of defense and was working hard pushing his forces on until the general arrived, mortar shells and bullets where flying from the citadel, shredding into the legions of monsters with violent force. General Marius was in the armory he picked up his weapons as quickly as possible while spuring on every soldier to move just as quickly. He ran out with the last of his soldiers, one of his officers Eric Sanchez head of explosives was following him.
Eric: What do you think Marius this gona be a big one?
Marius: Lets hope not, however I got a radio call from Morgana and she says its already getting intense.
They ran as quickly as they could to man the walls, the aged general moved surprisingly quickly and prepared to take command form Morgana who was already fighting and shouting orders to her squads, the first wave of monsters was already repulsed, but several large groups of monsters where just out of reach of the artillery and snipers.
Marius: What are we looking at here Morgana?
Morgana: Several waste spiders, mutants, jumping lizards, packs of freaks, we beat the first bunch but those ones to the side and further back are just standing there, like they where waiting for something.
Marius: Lets not take chances! EVERY ONE GET READY! He shouted to his soldiers.
Morgana: Fellow officers, Lorena, Eric, Pedro, Peter is every one ready and at there posts. All the officers shouted back to confirm every one was prepared.
Marius: Good good, every one hear me! WE ARE THE WHITE LION'S, WE NEVER YIELD, WE GIVE NO GROUND, WE DEAL ONLY IN DEATH TO THE WICKED AND GLORY TO THE BRAVE! FOR DEATH AND GLORY!
As soon as the general gave the battle cry every man and woman shouted the same words in unison, they where motivated and eager to fight, with there spirits high and faith in there leaders the vanguard was ready. For a few tense moments after the call to arms, nothing happened, the snipers only picked of a few raiders on the sidelines, Lorena shoot a strange man but she was not alarmed in any way. The artillery pieces where primed and loaded, the machine gun nests where laden with ammo, and the wall traps where set.
Suddenly out of no where a explosion was seen just beyond the line of monsters, then as if on a queue the monsters charged all at once. Seeing this the Lion's gripped there weapons ready to lay down death upon the attackers.
Marius: Spare your ammo, do not shoot until they are in range. Do not trigger any wall traps until they are right under you! HERE THEY COME! GET READY...FIRE!
The first to reach the firing line where waves of waste spiders they jumped quickly over rocks, barbed wire, some reached the walls before the first rounds even started firing! Many of the defenders on the walls had to use melee weapons to kill the spiders already on the walls, Morgana and Eric where adept martial artists, and where cutting down spiders with sword and axes. Every soldier was fighting tooth and nail, many of them where born in this fort and would not give it up while they where alive.
All around beyond the walls mortar shells and grenades where exploding blasting scores of enemies, traps and storms of bullets where clearing the rest but still they advanced.
The walls where being cleared of waste spiders, those not fighting with close weapons where trying very hard not to hit allies with there fire, swords, axes, and spears where cutting down the spiders, the sharpest of all of these was none other then the generals, it was a ancient sword of strong steel with the words "Way of the warrior" inscribed on one side and "Death and glory" on the other. As he cut down packs of spiders many rookie soldiers even stopped to watch in awe. Quickly put back into the fight by there commanding superiors. After the first few monsters where slain the general called to his officers.
Marius: STATUS REPORT! Mister Moldridge what is the situation on your side?
Peter: We dealt with the spiders on our side of the wall, and are continuing to fire bomb the foes beyond the walls sir!
Marius: GOOD GOOD! Lady Lorena, Mister Pedro how is the fight going it over there?
Pedro: One of my gunners was bitten by a spider so i sent her right of to infirmary, not to worry I still have reserves where keeping the monsters down as best we can.
Lorena: No fatalities, where giving them as much pepper as we can lay down. I got one more freak in my sight. She fired a shoot right in its face and the monster fell.
Lorena: Got it!
Morgana: Me and Eric are clearing more spiders here, every thing ok for now, but one of the men fell of the wall hes lost now. They cut down a few more spiders and that seamed to be the last of them.
Eric: Grenadiers, aim for those mutant packs, WAIT! What more spiders coming.
Right out of thin air a large pack of nasty spiders came out and jumped right on top of the walls, however a firing line was ready and pushed them of with a hail of bullets.
Morgana: We got those ones Marius, but wait there something big coming this way!
Eric: WHAT THE HELL IS THAT!
With a violent screech a spider the size of which the citadel had never seen before landed on the ramparts, it lunged forward trying to bite down on Morgana, however Eric pulled her away right in time, but another man was not so lucky.
Seeing this Marius grabbed his specially designed harpoon gun and ordered his men to keep firing on the monsters bellow, and took aim for the beast.
Marius: NO ONE FIRE ON THE SPIDER QUEEN! Morgana, Eric get out of the way!Lets get it off the walls! He shouted and fired lodging a rope tied spear into the spiders body, he took a strong grip on the rope jumped off the walls and began pulling the beast into the courtyard away from the defending soldiers, who where still busy firing on the monsters outside the fort.
Marius tugging and pulling: Come to papa baby, come on! Morgana, Eric give me a hand here. The spider was to strong and resisted being pulled forward, the general held fast taking a step back and pulling as hard as he could, then repeating the proces.
Morgana: PETER TAKE CHARGE OF THE WALLS DEFENSE! She shouter at the artillery captain.
Peter: Got it captain, come on boys give em hell! You heard the general, NO ONE FIRE ON THE SPIDER! The artillery crew was working quite harder then many of the other vanguard, they had to pick up, load and fire heavy shells at speed. Peter Moldridge was shouting commands to the rest of the forces, aiming and firing the big gun. He just shoot a shell at a group of monsters and it exploded to the side, still killing a good number of them.
Peter: Lorena there a pack of infected mutants running up to your side, shoot them before they get close!
Lorena: Already on it! She shoot two quick rounds and two brutes slumped to the ground dead. One down, two down, third DOWN!
Pedro: Gunners give them more fire on the right, theres a another wave coming down the line, infantry fire at the big ones don't let them pass that line of wire!
Every one on the walls was shooting like crazy expending ammo at a very quick rate, the ranks of monsters where thinning but many more where getting to close for comfort, Pedro gave the order to release several wall traps, boulders, sharp metal fragments, even acid solutions rained down on the monsters. Meanwhile Marius was desperately trying to pull the spider away from the walls, the arachnid was putting up a fierce struggle,
Eric and Morgana quickly ran of the walls and grabbed rope tied spears and grappling hooks to throw at the spider queen. After a few attempts they each roped a leg and began tugging as hard as they could to keep it restrained, Marius was already tiring and the beast was giving a stiff fight.
Morgana: I got my rope gripped good, ERIC! tie your rope on something and help Marius! Eric pulled him self and the rope near a parked APC, at that moment the spider jumped forward pulling Morgana and Eric of there feet, the spider was now close to Marius, he slashed at one of its legs and then pulled back, resuming to thug on the rope this time in a different direction closer to the APC . Morgana and Eric quickly got up and took hold of there ropes, Eric was now close enough to the APC and tied his rope to the wheel axle, then Jumped to help Marius, who was getting more and more exhausted.
Marius panting with heavy breathing: GOOD, ahh ahh good mister Eric, now ehh argg grab on my rope! Eric took a firm hold of the rope, Marius was letting go of the rope as Eric's grip tightened. Marius took a stronger grip of his sword ready to fight the restrained monster.
Marius: Ok Morgana, Eric hold on hard I'm going try cut its legs of! Then as Marius let go of the rope and got to the spider ready to slash the creature to pieces, two things happened almost at the same time. A large freak managed to dodge the bullet storm and was now pounding on the gates, and then a rookie lost calm and disobeyed the order to not fire on the spider. As she let of rounds on the spider, the shoots landed with a heavy pound on the gate, the shaking cause the rookie to misfire, and accidently hit the general who was in the firing line. Thankfully he was hit in the leg but the spider was now reeling and spun its self around to face Marius. The creatures quick turn caused Morgana and Eric to lose balance. And they couldn't help Marius now, he slashed at the spiders face but only hit its legs, the beast had its chance and it acted. Morgana froze the spider was now on top of Marius and only a slash of his sword saved him from being eaten completely, however the spider bit down on his arm! The General roared worse then a wounded lion, his shout of pain got Morgana and Eric Back on there feed and with every last bit of strength pulled the monster of him. The Spider was now upside down, the two officers mercilesly stabbed the creature repeatedly until they where sure it was dead.
Morgana let go of her rage, and ran to help her beloved general, his wounds where seriously grave, he was bleeding horribly and his armor was covered in venom. She frantically searched her pack for anti venom, and then administered the drug. Marius once again screamed in pain as the needle delivered the medicine. Morgana then shouted to Eric to help her.
Morgana: ERIC,ERIC help me get him to the infirmary NOW! Tiered as they where they quickly carried him away to the medical ward.
Outside there was still a battle going on, there where still lines of monsters to kill and the White Lion's where running low on ammo, as a large wave came close to the gate, Pedro gave the order to release the gate trap, a sergeant pulled a lever, and from the wall mount above the gate, several heavy logs came tumbling and rolling down smashing and pushing the monsters back. Eric's grenadiers ran out of bombs and ammo so they reverted to throwing stones stored in large baskets for such occasions, the machine guns and mortars where all over heating but finally the tide of monsters seamed to die down, and after a few more minutes of fighting everything went quiet. All that could be seen moving outside the walls where flocks of carrion birds come to feast of the carcasses, and the White Lion's rejoiced that the battle seamed to be over. Until a large thud came on the door, some of them tried to see what it was but where unable to do so because of the overhanging parapet, and walls around the gate, after another thud, even bigger then the last, a man fell of the wall as he was looking over. He fell on his back and was still alive and looking at a large mutant, that was until the mutant saw him!
It charged out and killed the the man with one solid punch, but Lorena had seen him and with her last rounds she avenged the fallen warrior. The officers where keeping watch over the walls keeping order in case something else could come up, not to long ago a band of bandits attacked them just as they where recovering for a other attack just like this one.
Peter ordered the wounded to be taken to the medical ward, all those who where able and ready for battle to stay on the walls, Pedro grabbed one of the rookies by the hand as he was helping a wounded soldier.
Pedro: You what is your name private?
Hector: Sir, Hector sir.
Pedro pointing at the wounded woman: I see this woman can walk on her own legs, I have a task for you Hector. Soldier Just keep pressure on your wound and walk your self to the ward, you'll be fine. He said to the woman patting her to walk of.
Hector: Sir what may I do for you?
Pedro: Go to the armory asap and get us some reloads over here asap, grab a nother recruit to help you. If your not here in 5 minutes you will earn time in the box, NOW GO!
Hector: SIR YES SIR!
Just as the wounded soldiers where taken to the infirmary, Peter spotted the very recruit who shoot at the general,she was hiding her face and faking a limp, but he saw her and pulled her aside. He slapped her hard over the back of the head.
Peter: WHAT THE HELL IS IN THAT HEAD OF YOURS!
Rookie: Sir I don't know sir!
Peter: You are dumb aren't you initiate, do you expect me to believe your injured, or is that a moral injury!
Rookie: Sir I don't know what your accusing me of!
Peter: Your the worst liar I've ever seen initiate, you disobeyed a direct order, and shoot your commander, for that I should have you thrown out of this fort with two less limbs.
Rookie: Sir apology sir, it was a accident.
Peter: That I saw, good you didn't say it wont happen again, because guess what it certainly wont, if the general wont recover Il kill you my self, for now you will spend a week in the box! Follow me!

As the remaining officers stood on the wall over the gate to discus the situation, the real drama was unfolding in the medical ward, which was now a hot bed of activity, doctors and nurses worked round the clock to get every one patched up, no where was this more apparent then in the main operation room, the vanguards top doctors where on hand desperately trying to save the generals life.The gun shoot to the leg was easy to treat, however the spider bite was not. His arm was already quite swollen,and he was going in and out of consciousness. After removing the poison from his system they had to race to stop his bleeding, they removed pieces of broken bone, and used ample amounts of sedative. All this time Morgana and Eric where powerless, to them it was like a horror show they could not stop watching, it felt like hours but finally the surgeons closed his wounds, after they had carefully cleaned them, lest infection take hold later. The medical officer told his staff to seal the wounds and dress them, then went to deliver his prognosis to Morgana. Nickolas was a old but very sturdy man, he had a slight hump, but always wore a smile on his face, but now it was not there and his face was very serious. He had been the head doctor for the Vanguard since Marius's squad saved his town from marauding raiders, now he knew he may be unable to bring him back from the brink.
Nickolas: Il be painfuly blunt, its a miracle hes made this far, his entire upper arm is shattered, we may even have to amputate it later, and hes lost almost half the blood in his body.
Morgana: Did the anti venom I gave him help?
Nickolas: I dare say it did or he would be lost for sure, we removed the trace amounts of poison left, and supplemented the lost blood, but we just cant say for sure if he will make it. The next 24 hours will be crucial, Il have him transferred to the main recuperation ward, I will watch him personally until that time is done. I never was a man of God, but could use a prayer.
Eric: I cant believe it could have come to this. He survived being shoot in the chest so many times it looked like he was bullet proof.
Nickolas: We know that's not true, but the fact hes still here now is proof hes made of stronger stuff, my hope is he will make it, and I know you feel the same way. What about you two are you ok?
Morgana wiped the tears from her eyes: Yes where ok.
Eric: physically at least!
Nickolas: I know how you feel.
Morgana: Eric me and Nickolas are going to watch him, see if the other officers need you.
Eric: All right Morgana.
Outside things where still hectic, every available soldier was on high alert for a other possible attack, the technicians and weapon smiths had there work cut out for them, as they where busy repairing so many weapons and equipment around the base. Peter spoke to the other officers about the attack and Eric ran to join them a few moments later.
Lorena: Eric there you are, how is the situation with Marius? I only glanced back to see the what was happening in the courtyard and it looked bad from where I was standing.
Eric: It is, Nickolas doesn't know if he will make it. One thing bothers who was it who shoot at Marius, and disobeyed a direct order!
Peter: I'm ashamed to say it was one of my recruits, i though she could handle the head but clearly I was wrong, I had her punished, a week in the box with no food.
Eric: We would be lucky if the general is back on his feet in a week.
Pedro: What I don't understand is how so many waves came at us all at once, then stopped then came again?
Lorena: I didn't think of it as much but before the battle started I saw some bandits snooping around, I had a few of them shoot, even killed on my self.
Peter: And the larger spiders that came from out of no where, this cant be a coincidence.
Eric: So if this attack was planed why did they not attack us again?
Pedro: Maybe they are testing out defenses?
Peter: We wont be able to know until we get a search party to sweep the field.
Lorena: And when should we do this?
Eric: I think we should act soon, if we keep the search close to the base and have support vehicles with us we should be ready for any surprise assault.
Peter: We should ask Morgana about it first, what should we do with the spiders corpse now that its there.
Eric: Pack it in a crate and bury it on the spot! If Marius wants it as a trophy later he will find it. Do we know...
As they where talking a sergeant ran up and interrupted them.
Julia: My apology, sirs, madame, I just finished surveying the grounds outside the base everything seams clear.
Eric: That's exactly what I wanted to find out sergeant, good job. What is your name?
Julia: Julia sir, Julia White. My pardon again sir Eric, I hear the general was hurt bad, how is lady Morgana taking it.
Eric: Shes horribly distraught obviously.
Peter shaking his fist with frustration: Maybe furious and dismayed to, like the rest of us!
Pedro: And to add the fact we need to write 5 more names on the memorial is worse yet.
Lorena: I'm going to talk to Morgana about what we should do next, Julia you may come with me if you like, I remember she is your commanding officer yes?
Julia: Yes madame Lorena she is.

In the main recovery room to the side of the medical ward, Marius was resting on a bed, Nickolas was in one corner of the room examining his notes, and cheching the general's vital monitors, his heart rate was normal and he was resting peacefully. Morgana was on a chair next to him holding her head down and lost in her thoughts. A light knock came on the door and Lorena and Julia came in.
Lorena: Hello Morgana, hello Nickolas.
Morgana: Lorena, Julia I'm glad your ok, the rest of the guys fine?
Lorena: They are ok, we need to talk tough. Do you have a moment to talk, its important.
Nickolas: I will be here Morgana, and my head assistant is in the other room.
Morgana wiping a tear: Ok thanks Nickolas, she kissed Marius on the forehand and left the room.
Julia: The monsters where beaten, but we don't know what caused the attack. We all saw to many monsters come out of no where, and the explosion that pushed them right to us it does not add up to anything good.
Lorena: We all agreed Morgana, we need to search the area for clues on the attack, there will be time to lick our wounds later.
Morgana: And you think we have enough of a fighting force available to still guard the fort?
Lorena: Well no but repairs still need to be made, and the traps need to be reset. Eric suggested we could put a task force in the field with some attack vehicles for support and still keep the base defended at the same time, and i had the impression every one agreed.
Julia: Right we cant sit around and wait, if we do who ever did attack us will take it as a sign of weakness.
Morgana was lost in and could not keep a clear mind, normally she was decisive and quick to take action, but now she had to trust her officers judgment more then her own. She looked back thru the window into the recovery room, and at Marius. She took in a gasp of air and turned back.
Morgana; Very well have Eric organize the scouting party, the base must be made safe.
The two ladies saluted their captain, and walked of, Morgana went back to her beloved's side.
Morgana: I'm here baby, don't you dare leave us!
Nickolas put his hand on her shoulder to reassure her, but only time would tell just how grave the situation had become.

Far out in the broken desert...

Out in the wasteland the are two constants opportunity, and death. Only the foolhardy and uneducated see this place as baren and lifeless, indeed life it seams adapts, normal humans may find it hard to live in such a place, but life finds ways to change to every condition imaginable, lizards, insects and other animals make their home here, nature reclaimed much of what man had built over the years, in places where the desert ends savage forests rule, but even here life is hard. Water may be relatively easy to find, but drinking it may be a risk all on its own, not just from the hidden contaminants contained in it, but also from the predators that stalk the waterways. One such river in the far north has earned a reputation for being a favored place of death, springing right up from a old mine, dug out using dangerous chemicals, and replenished only with acid rain its waters smell toxic and unwelcoming, yet many searching to end their thirst found true relief from all pain in this river, countless mortal shells dot the banks, here not even carrion birds live since they are well aware of the dangers. To survive one must be clever not just brave, and chance may be kind to those with the right skills, in old building fresh food, warm clothing and other useful items may be found, in underground tunnels where water is filtered through, plant roots thirsty travelers can be sure it is safe to drink, and even in the deserts life is possible. However nature is a harsh mistress it is neither for us or against us, and death as its greatest agent weeds out the strong from the weak, a balance that has been since reestablished when man lost control over the planet. Now more so then ever death strikes without pause or mercy on those who are careless or simply unlucky,and around every corner, under every rocky crevasse and ruined building, the broken remains of what was once alive haunt the living reminding them that they two will suffer the same fate, and that life is a gamble they cant risk to lose.
Far out on the salt flats, a area that even the most sturdy wasteland survivors choose wisely to avoid, where the silence is only broken by the wind, a lone metal monster made a rapid and unrelenting advance, its mouth was wide enough to swallow a man whole and spit him back just as fiercely, its body was covered in spikes and black symbols. Any sane person would run from such a rampaging goliath, and only a few people might even know what its true origin was, but those few knew it to be a very old very powerful tank, the stolen toy and most dangerous weapon of its master, but a weapon is only as dangerous as it owner, and Vlad Morelli was a very dangerous man. The tank kept advancing until out of the horizon came rolling the outline a surprisingly intact group of buildings, out in the middle of this no mans land, a pair of gates opened out side this compound and the metal giant came rolling in.
Its crew came out taking in the desert air, they where certainly a colorful group of individuals, however any onlooker would be smart to be keep a good distance, their armor and clothing was coated in blood, and some even had human bones stiched into their clothing, and the black symbolism was clearly visible. Brandishing weapons of all kinds they lined up in a military fashion next to the tank waiting in anticipation, two last men came out, one walked dragging the other and leaving him in front of the line of armed goons. As they looked at the man bound in ropes, dirty and bleeding for several open wounds they laughed in a very condescending begrudging fashion. The last man razed a hand to call for silence, unlike the rest of the men, he was clean of blood and dirt, he wore desert camouflage pants, a crisp white shirt and a black armored vest over that, his eyes where hidden under a pair of sunglasses and his hair was short and grey, after a brief moments silence one more snickering laugh came through.
Morelli:SHUT UP!!!
All were silent, and any smug look the men may have had quickly vanished.
Morelli: That's better. Turning to the scared bound man in front of him Morelli spoke again.
Morelli: So our little guest, maybe now your ready to talk or shall we leave you in sun a bit more?
Prisoner: What more do you want, I told you everything I know!
Morelli: Still keeping quiet, look over there and maybe you will change your mind. Morelli pointed at a space in the compound lined with row after row of metal and wooden poles where human corpses had been hung and left there.
Prisoner: What do you want me to tell you?
Morelli grabbed the prisoner by the neck.
Morelli: WHERE IS THE WEAPON! You know what I'm talking about, take a another look over there, see those are the same people who defied me, do you really want to end up like them, do you?
The prisoner took one more frightened look at the bodies, some were recently put there, all of them had been submitted to some kind of torture and had metal pieces sticking out of them, broken limbs, and all of them were highly emaciated and burned.
Prisoner stuttering : Ehhh ah I I ordered my people to to hide it in a CAVE ... some some dahh dah days before you you came... and killed them!
Morelli tightening his grip on the prisoners neck and putting a revolver to his forehead: WHERE! WHERE DID THEY HIDE IT!
The prisoner fighting for breath under Morilli's grip: I I I HAD A MAP TATTOOED ON MY BACK.
Morelli laughing maniacally: Haha well aren't you a cleaver one aren't you! Nick get to work get me that map!
Nick Stain: Sure thing boss. The black bodyguard in heavy armor pulled a long sharp, blood stained knife from its holster, he pushed the prisoner face forward onto the ground and cut the clothes of his body revealing a intricate tattoo that looked like a carefully drawn map.
Prisoner:WAIT I CAN TAKE YOU TO IT!
Morelli: Why when I can just follow your map, and then WHY would I need to carry extra baggage!
He gave the guard a approving glance and he began skinning the man alive, as the man screamed in pain Morelli looked on in satisfaction, never flinching a second, after the deed was done he kicked sand oInto the prisoners open wound laughing.
Nick: Here it is boss, looks good to me i recognize these land marks!
Morelli:Excellent!
Morelli razing the piece of flesh over his head:This is it boys, our key to ultimate power!
Once again pointing to the suffering prisoner: Take this pile of shit out my sight!
Two men dragged the still living prisoner, and after tying a chain to his legs winched him to the top of a t shaped pole, and left him there to die in the backing sun. Morelli looked satisfied at his map, he cleaned the back of it and went to make a copy, he ordered his men to follow him inside. Even though Morelli was one of the elite few from the old government he was demoted then sacked of his position, if he was a bitter and cruel man before that made him even more so, worse yet when the ruling elite abandoned earth, he was effectively cut of, he then vowed to get the power he deserved by any means necessary. The desert base was build and furbished by a military faction from the past, it was designed for military weapons tests and as a stockpile. Morelli was aware of it and needed a HQ, but of course he needed to kill the guards and staff and hire his own lackeys to man it, something he worked hard on for nearly a year. He cheated, scammed and murdered his way to what he wanted and was not going to stop till he had what he wanted. His big brake came when he befriended a group of successful raiders, but it was a carefully executed gambit. A man like him only had a friend because he was useful to him, and the raiders had something he wanted, a tank! After a few months earning their trust, gathering his own men, and joining the bandits on several good raids, he hosted a party and poisoned the raiders and thir leader, he left only a his loyal but highly fearful henchman live.
Morelli: What do you think, Nick, ha looks nice its gonna be quite the prize!
Nick: Sure thing boss, I wonder how powerful this “weapon” you keep referring to is.
Morelli: You have no idea, but I saw it work, its like the sky falling down on top of you, a new sun being born right here on earth! We get that, no one will stand in our way, well be able to take over everything.
Nick: Id like to see that Boss, I sure would.
Morelli: You will just follow my lead.
Nick Stain was a more talented raider Morelli decided to spare, he was among the only raiders able to read, he was adept in several fields, and could follow orders without much hesitation, exactly the sort of henchman Morelli needed, and just like Morelli, Nick had ambitions for power. Unlike Morelli however, Nick could be loyal, and respected his tyrannical leader even though he feared he wasn't respected back, he even had a sense of honor , however Morelli would learn how to brake even that, and mold him into a blind obedient servant.