Death is an impersonal thing when youíre killing bandits, but when itís in your face and you see the partially devoured corpse of a guy youíre meant to find. It makes you think...I get out of the hallway and up a ladder, Iím high up now and the airís better here. I can see the radio switch, I throw it and then take another zipline down. Bandits really seem to love their ziplines around these parts.
I get back and give the bad news to the woman; she takes it well enough and thanks me. She even parts with an old recipe of hers for making bandages, thatíll come in useful if I need some or I want to make some quick money from the crap I find lying around as Iím searching for answers. Iím starting to feel some sense of direction as I come back down the stairs, Rikter, thatís his name, stops me. Heís pretty happy too, I fixed his problem and I get a shotgun for my troubles. Now thatís more like it, I test the weight and heft and it feels just about right.
I go back up to see if I missed anything, a guy wants me to set off a bunch of fireworks. Itís by the Ghost clan lair, I canít miss it. Well, its money and itís a fairly easy ride from where I am at the moment. I need the cash so I accept and off I go again, putting the Outriggerís settlement into the rear of my tracks. I really need something bigger, something with guns, something I can use to get around faster. For now though, this ATV will have to do.
The territory around the Hagar place and the Outrigger settlement, itís starting to become more familiar. I can instinctively know where Iím going; I donít need that fancy little GPS mini-map on the quadís dashboard. I pull up right outside the Ghost clan lair and hop off, the launcher isnít far from there and itís on a nearby ridge. I load the launcher up and let her rip, the sky pops with flashes and bangs. Job done, nothing goes wrong.
Thatís when I hear them, growling and snarling, hissing and spitting. A mutant pours up out of a crack in the rock, he comes at me. I am more confident now and growing more and more so, my arsenal includes that shotgun and with a single blast our mutie friend flies backwards in a spray of dirty blood. I could get used to this, seriously. I donít have to wait long before a few more show up, I introduce them to the shotgun in the same way...I kick it up for the last one, heís as close as I dare and before I see his hideous eyes burning in the sunlight I aim at his head.
It vanishes in a spray of gore, the body reacts like a headless chicken and he wobbles a little before crashing into the dust to melt into nothing. This is a job that I could seriously get used to, Iíve tasted mutant blood and I need to cleanse them off the Earth. Iím back on the ATV and out of there, roaring through the Wasteland and humming to myself: Born to be Wild. I canít help it, I feel like Iím in a Mad Max movie...I get back to the Outriggers, get the thanks and reward and its back to Dan. I feel kind of bad that I didnít take those bandages back to him sooner, but hey, no more mutants on that ridge!
Dan is happy to see me; heís suggested that I get a buggy up and running. So I go and talk to the guy in the garage, heís got an old one I can have. I stop off to the shop first and stock up on some new things with my cash and then its right down to business. I need to go and see the mechanic in the Outrigger settlement, so Iím off again leaving a dusty trail out of Hagarís gate and across the Wasteland...I know whatís coming, Iím going to have to do more favours for these people, so I can get what I need.
I donít mind now. I have all sorts of images in my mindís eye about how I appear. The lone gunslinger crossing the dusty waste, rough stubble on his chin, a glint in his eye and a souped up death machine as his ride. Iím a mix of Eastwood and Gibson, with a little Morricone music thrown in. Sure enough, the guy tells me that the Wasted clan, those bastards with the Brit accents and the Union Jacks have taken the parts for the buggy I want...well...time to get them back. He hands me some new things for my pistol, fatboy rounds, they pack a punch and come with half the amount.