A Pureblood opens her monthly newspaper from the Holy Wood post, reading the first article.
‘News Report: Drive Thru Over! Daily hustle and bustle of Trade Routes within and around El Dorado and Holy Wood now return to normal. Thanks to our vigilant guards, they are set to destroy the last remnants of Zed from the Drive Thru. Defense Leader Saul of House Crowe and his Redrum Mercenary Company ensure that clean up will take no more that a couple of days.’
She scanned the other headlines quickly, to see which gauged his interest the most.
‘New Mercenary to appear in El Dorado.’
‘More caravans denied access into city due to recent spike of attacks in the City. Suspects of Final Knight or Gravemind Cultists activity may be involved.
‘Radiation levels rising near El Dorado local swamp; Are Darwin experiments to blame? Will they end up with another Rad Tree? Is Mothra only the beginning? Is this a possible arms race to take down the Walls of Holy Wood?’’
‘Summer Festival preparations are underway; King’s Court to host this year. Many Entertainers to appear for lineup. Pitt-Jolie House rumored to bring an ancient relic for the festives.’
‘Minister General Ike rumored to meet with prominent Pureblood Houses of Holy Wood. Open Hands of Peace or Closed Fists of War?’
‘New Library established with help from Pagemaster Yemen near Pitt-Jolie Household.’
‘Unknown bandit group attacks small settlements. No danger to Holy Wood or her interests. Holy Wood Hero gathers volunteers to fight back before bandit numbers increase.’
‘Oldest Genjian known as the Infamous Bull Samurai/Shogun joins fatherhood. Sainthood celebrate newborn through Haka ritual dance for Summer Festival.’
‘Weather: High possibility for Heat Wave for the Trade weekend. Plan accordingly. Cinder attacks on the rise. Stay Hydrated. Radiation levels normal around Holy Wood. Danger levels for Purebloods in the El Dorado swamp.’
‘Town of El Dorado elect known Outlaw as mayor. Is this the rise of a town with no laws? Is it really different from what is was before?’
Without hesitation, she flipped the pages to the story in the last heading. Outlaws were so exciting!
The ‘Merican yelled at his comrade in the bar, ”I’m telling you, it’s true! After we got attacked by them zed, one of ‘em darn took my hat and put it on! Had to fight through a horde of ‘em just to get it back. These zed are after hats I tell you. And not just any head covers. They after them sweet ‘Merican hats! It’s an outrage I tell you! An outrage!”
A large group of scientists are working on a large AC unit, boxes littering the area around them. “I think it is done”, says one. The head scientist walks forward and starts to look at the unit examining it thoroughly. “It just needs one more thing” The scientist goes over to a bunch of scrap, pulling out a small box with wires and a switch. He attaches it skillfully to the motor to the unit and turns it on. “Ummmmm Dr. Stienfield i think it is working.”
The two Mericans sat on the porch, fanning themselves in the heat, sipping on the lukewarm hooch. “Did you hear about the new strike force that came up in El dorado?”, said the first. “No Jimmy Bob I didn't”, anwered the other. Jimmy Bob piped up, eager to get the words before he forgot them, “Apparently there are Genjins and Mericans that crash into Raider camps and take their stuff and sell it.” The other Merican sips more hooch, belches, and says, “So they are like Loud Jones?” Jimmy Bob pauses in contemplation, then says “Yea but less quiet.” The other Merican hits Jimmy Bob with the bottle “That is what loud means stupid!”
The Devil’s Weed waved it’s tendrils around the edge of the road. The NBA mercs, fresh from the Sta Ples training center, continued their patrol on the road that wound around the Spire like a snake. Suddenly, they notice how quiet it was. The Spire always hummed with energy. The Devil’s Weed tendrils slowed too, when static and other sounds started coming out from the main passage of the tower. A ragged man, blackened with ash bursts past the deadly flora, gasping. The merc stops and shoulders his gun, the other hand held up as a warning. The other NBA soldier waves his own gun at figure, and barks “Identify yourself!” The man looked confused, and the merc motioned again, calling out, “Who are you?” The man paused, and then said simply, “I don’t know….but I think it’s more important that I know where am I?”
“It’s hot as a Cinder’s rectum out here,” Jefferson grumbles as he sinks his axe into the log. “If we didn’t need the firewood, I’d be inside with the fans.”
“Yeah, I know, Jefferson,” his twin Thomas replies. “This sucks Unborn balls.”
Jefferson chuckles in response, and for a moment the only sounds are the two Natural Ones splitting wood.
“Think we got enough?” Jefferson asks.
“Yeah, I reckon so,” Thomas replies. “Let’s start hauling this shit back. Hopefully if we light a big enough fire, the Combustion Raiders will blow up before they even get to us.”
The G-Man looks down at his map, then up the hill toward the settlement. Hell Dorado. “Finally made it,” he mutters. With a soft sigh, he gazes down at his warrant. No rest for the weary, indeed.
As he starts up the hill, he calls to a Saltwise going the other way. “‘Top of the morning to you, sir,” he greets as he passes. The Saltwise looks up and his eyes widen in apprehension, then fear. He quickens his step and hurries off down the hill.
The G-Man shrugs slightly; this isn’t an altogether uncommon reaction. He adjusts his two pistols and blades, each on either side of his belt with the letters FBI emblazoned on the buckle. And then, he continues his path. All that matters is his warrant. It’s time to find this Korra person and arrest them.
The Postman looks at the waterlogged package, wrinkling his nose. “Fuckin’ gross, those Deep Saltwise,” he grumbles, picking bits of kelp off of the box. “Whatever was in there, it’s probably unreadable now.” He glances at the words carved into the side; a simple “to” and “from.” At least he has this.
“All right,” he murmurs, shaking the box a few times and retching a bit at the stench. “Let’s get this to Dagon’s paramour. I just wish he didn’t make the “O” in his name a heart.”
“Hey, didja hear!?” one Merican says to another as he walks past Main Street. “That Minister-Whatever got herself a tank heart surgery!”
“No shit?” his friend replies. “You reckon that explains some of the weird happenings around here? Zed popping up out of the ground and whatnot?”
The first Merican pauses and thinks. “I reckon that’s accurate,” he replies. “I heard that the tank heart wasn’t what it seemed to be. I heard it had some strange brand of Grave Mind infection in it and nobody bothered to check it beforehand. Fancy that, a Fallow officer being responsible for a bunch of Zed attacks.”
“You gonna warn ‘em?” the second one asks.
“Hell the fuck no!” the first Merican replies. “She fucking scares the shit out of me!”
“Man, I’d hate to be a Bloodmane right about now,” the Diesel Jock says, regarding his Rover companion with a shake of the head. “Or a member of the Risen. Or a knotter in general.” He shifts gears on his caravan, spurring it faster.
“Amen, cousin!” the Rover replies. “That horde of Bloodmanes looks nasty as hell. I’m pretty sure at least half of ‘em turned into Gorehounds, and I’ll be damned if I didn’t see a Goliath in their center.”
The Diesel Jock grunts an agreement. “Yeah, that’s what it was,” he replies. “Why do you think I’m speeding up? Goliaths may be slow, but if those Gorehounds take down this caravan, the Goliath’ll have plenty of time to reach us.”
The Rover turns and looks back at the Gorehounds, Shamblers, and other assorted zed surrounding their massive focal point like a siege engine. “You’re right,” he says. “I’d really hate to be their target.”
“Whadda mean there’s no more hootch?!?! There’s always more hootch!!!”The target of the verbal assault’s hand shot out with lightning speed and the sound was replaced with wheezing gasps.
“Don’t you raise your voice to me ever again, understood? Now, there’s no hootch because we can’t get to Skyland Church and the Hellions keep brewing this flavored water shit that has no kick. Now instead of screaming find me a new supplier.”
The Farmers sat next to each other sipping from their water skins as they stared off into the inky black night. The shorter ‘Merican paused lifting the waterskin to their lips when a cry pierced the night. “Think that was what? A mile out?” Grunting in agreement the Red Star patted the syringes strapped to their leg making sure they were there. “Ay, the coyotes are getting bolder”, he muttered.
“Well they demand food so let’s not supply our livestock”, retorted the ‘Merican. Groaning at the extremely awful joke, he opened he replied, “If you’ll keep making jokes like tha-”
The Red star was suddenly Interrupted by a hand unceremoniously slapping them on the mouth and a hissing shush was issued from the Merican’s lips.
“Ya see that!? That!! It’s gone now but it was just there but then over there a moment ago. Goodness it covered that distance in a flash!”
“I like the way you think, we may have a deal.” The large Pure Blood took a long draw from their cigar and leaned forward blowing smoke in the faces of the two sitting across from them. “I’ll pay you handsomely if you can get me those goods. You two sure talk a big game but let’s see if you can provide.”
A wicked smile crept across one of the pair’s faces, “Oh. We can, and we will. You won’t be sad doing business with us.” The Pure blood chuckled and waved dismissively at the pair and they stood taking their leave.
Once outside the Solestroes turned to his Vegasian counterpart, saying “Where are we gonna that that much Chrome?!”
“We’re not. You get the stuff.”
“Yeah,” Wretch opened the bag and showed the contents to the Vegasian.
“Good. Now let’s make ourselves scarce.”
And with that the two disappeared down the road.