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Aftermath (A tale from the wasteland)

PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2009 11:59 am
by MFP 2020
Disclaimer: I don't do fanfic. I don't read it and I don't write it. And yet...I wrote some. I've always wondered what happens next: "We've killed the monster/alien/serial killer, but what are we going to tell the police?" The climactic explosion isn't necessarily the end of the story.

I originally intended it to be very humorous, but it didn't work out that way. Enjoy.

Curtis G.

Those crafty buggers. It was full of dirt.

You might think that finding out after that great bloody run that the “fat tank of gas” we’d been chasing was full of nothing but red earth—not exactly a scarce commodity around here—would have made upset me just a tick, but it didn’t. I wasn’t really all that angry that the defenders of the compound had used the tanker as a decoy to lead us away while they took off with what guzzolene they had. Was it really a tankerful, or was that just part of their ruse? To tell you the truth, I was actually a little impressed. Well played, o White People of the Wasteland.

It wasn’t as if we didn’t know. The tanker had been bleeding dirt for miles. Somebody had to have wondered why we were still racing after it. Maybe it was just the thrill of the chase, like a dog running after cars: He wouldn’t know what to do with it if he caught one. Or maybe we all knew, and we were going to catch them and make them pay for their deception. I don’t know. I just remember adrenaline and speed and watching the rear end of the tanker as it hauled ass down that ribbon of asphalt through the middle of the wasteland.

The Lord Humungus (“Lord.” That’s a laugh.) and his number-one man, the boss Mohawker, Wez, had died in a fiery head-on collision with the tanker. Or at least that’s what we reckoned, as the last time we’d seen him he was atop the cab swinging a morningstar. The tanker and Humungus’s truck came together in a smashing explosion and the tanker came out on top. We watched the tanker roll off the road and that was that. But once it rolled and we knew we’d been chasing a dream, we didn’t wait around to see who’d survived. The ex-Bronze driver? I doubt it. Hadn’t he already cheated death once earlier that morning, when Wez and some of the Berserkers ran him and his MFP car off the road? Man, that guy didn’t have a lot of luck with the vehicles that day, am I right?

Later we’d take a sort of roll call, see who made it and who didn’t, but at the end of the run the only ones of us left were a couple of Smegmas, the cobra truck crew, another bikie and me. We’d called ourselves Marauders, but that was just out of convenience, I suppose. Didn’t we have to call ourselves—our gang, our tribe—something? When I think about it now, it all seems a bit silly.

A lot of men (and at least one woman) had died, and for what? For us, the gas—or the thought of the gas. For them, each other. They’d given their lives, left their broken bodies scattered on the road, so that others might escape. I suppose that was what I had been looking for when I joined up, but it certainly wasn’t what I got. This motley band I’d found myself with didn’t inspire that kind of selflessness in me, that’s for sure. It was every man for himself.

It’s not as if I’d been born to this, right? I mean, I was a maths teacher. I think one of the Smegmas was an accountant. There were women, and God knows what they’d done. But out here you did what you had to do to survive, and if that meant forming a tenuous coalition with a group like the Humungus’s (itself just a collection of smaller tribes), then that’s what you did. Alliances of convenience, as it were. I don’t think my heart had ever really been in the marauding, but what else was I going to do? The cities were either laid waste or radioactive or both, or so they said. So what then? Wander the wasteland alone, scavenging for gas and food? And how long would the gas last anyway? No, I’d rather take my chances in a group. The problem was, the leader was gone, his hypertrophied corpse—or what was left of it—now sustenance for the carrion animals.

The Last of Us, as I took to thinking of us survivors, turned around and headed back up the road until someone realized we were heading in the wrong direction—away from the compound—so we turned around again. I gave the wrecked tanker a passing glance, but that was all. A little farther up the road, we passed what was left of the gyrocopter, but there was no sign of the pilot. In the dirt near where the Lone Wolf's commandeered vehicle had stopped—it, too, was gone—I saw one of the Humungus’s tridents, its tips brown with dried blood.

In the failing daylight we followed the road back to the compound—stopping at the wrecked and abandoned vehicles left littering the roadway and scavenging what gas we could—but when we arrived at our bivouac there was almost nothing recognizable left. They’d blown it all to hell. Like the guy hanging from the front of the Humungus’s truck had said: “Give them nothing; blow it up!” That they had. It was as if they didn’t want to leave us the tiniest shred. And who could blame them? The wellhead was a great column of fire and thick black smoke spouting into the air, casting a bright orange glow on the surrounding area. I could imagine that the fire itself would serve as a beacon, gathering wanderers to it like moths to a flame—but to what end? Eventually the pressure would slacken or the oil would run out and the fire would die, and that would be the end of that. And fire or no, what good was the oil now? Without the refining equipment, it was all but useless. Later one might find here a veritable lake of the black stuff, a mocking testimony to our foolishness. And one day it, too, would be gone, absorbed back into the earth whence it came. All is vanity and striving after wind.

Some of the gang who’d been knocked out of the run early had collected the injured and brought them back to our bivouac up the road from the compound, where the females we'd left behind were tending to them. Broken bones, road rash, worse—some of them wouldn’t make it through the night. We picked through the leavings, but once that was done, we found ourselves in an awkward little moment. Finally someone said it: “What now?”

What now, indeed. Without the charismatic “leadership” of the Humungus, our little coalition is breaking up, and despite my not wanting to leave the relative safety of our (diminished) numbers, I just can’t bring myself to stay with this lot. Most of them can’t exactly hold up their end of a polite conversation. What’s the worst that could happen? Well, best not to think about that.

I hear there’s a place out east where people are staring to gather. Just a collection of tents and hovels, supposedly, but there are people there. Gathering. Trading. Doing the things that people do when they get together. I think I may head out that way. I’m not really one to go it alone out here, you know? I mean, any longer than I absolutely have to. I’ll need a vehicle with more range than the old bike, but it’s not as if there aren’t several to choose from. Whatever I get, I reckon it will be worth something in trade. From what I hear, the place has already got a name.

They call it Bartertown.

Re: Aftermath (A tale from the wasteland)

PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2009 8:35 pm
by HUMVEE Driver
Damn, that was pretty freaking good. I really liked it. I think you really captured the maruader's hopelessness and despondancy that was only shown for a few brief moments before they turned around and left.

Though there are a couple of things; Max, Gyro, and the Feral Kid rode the busted gyrocoptor back the way they came, until they came across Papagallo's Lone Wolf vehicle. Then they rode the Lone Wolf to the rendevous point, where Gyro and Feral left with the survivors and Max stayed behind with the Lone Wolf as his vehicle. In the last scene, Gyro's the new leader, and Feral is waving goodbye to Max, who is standing next to the Lone Wolf. No way they could have made it "200 miles to the north" by sunset on that broken gyrocoptor; they had to have a faster, more reliable transportation: the Lone Wolf.

Also, the chase probably started off going south, as the survivors were headed north and the tanker was to lead the marauders as far from them as possible. Max does his 180 in the tanker, headed north now. Crash with Humungus, and everyone is still facing north. The marauders turn around and go south again, away from their old camp and the destroyed compound.

:geek: Not trying to be a know-it-all, that's just how I see the way things played out. :geek:


Re: Aftermath (A tale from the wasteland)

PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 2:14 am
by MFP 2020
Thanks for the comments and the tips, Dave. I didn't really think it through all that much, and only referred to the movie to make sure I had the number of survivors correct. And I thought I was a huge Mad Max geek. ;) Now you've got me wondering exactly why Max turned around (I'd hate to think it was merely a plot device to get to the big explosion).

One thing I've noticed as I've been assembling costume pieces is that the biker guys in black seem to be their own (nameless?) tribe. They have shoulder pads but they don't have mohawks, and they all ride motorcycles (apparently street bikes fitted with knobbies). I figure "Marauders" is as good a name as any (unless they have an actual name--and they don't, at least in the script). Like this guy, who happens to be the protagonist of my story:


I've updated the post with the newest iteration of the story. Hope it passes muster. :)

Re: Aftermath (A tale from the wasteland)

PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2009 5:18 am
by HUMVEE Driver
Glad you didn't take my comments the wrong way. 8-)

The re-write doesn't change how the story 'works' one bit. Still very good.

I think Max turned the tanker around because he was swarmed by bad guys, and he had to try something. It was a desperation move, just to buy himself some time.


Re: Aftermath (A tale from the wasteland)

PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 4:21 pm
by MFP1
That was really cool! For someone who dosent write fanfic, I am blown away................ Now I want about 15 more minutes fo the film from the Marauders prospective!!!! Guess I have it in my head now, thanks to you!
Anyway, I am impressed, it been a while since I have seen a good bit of Max wiritng.