Just another person trying to contribute to the brony community. Hopefully one day I can think up a better bio than this
Oh my god, this isn't happening
Gaige kept repeating those words again and again in his head to calm himself down. The sky was on fire, there were tremors, things crashing down from the sky, panicked people running around him, corpses...so many corpses. What was happening? He didn't know and didn't have the time to care, all he knew was he was just walking home from school when things started going to hell. It started with a few tremors, then the sky turned a fiery orange and that's when the rocks started falling. All the clocks stopped at 1:15 and the power went out. Gaige didn't know what was going on, nor did he really have the time to care.
I have to get home and find my parents. I have to get them out of here!
He broke into a sprint and rounded the last street corner to get to his home...only his home wasn't there. All that was left was a smouldering crater with a few bits and pieces scattered around
Gaige fell to his knees in utter defeat. He started shaking uncontrollably as he welled up with sorrow and rage. He began punching what was left of his door vigorously and screaming “NO!” over...and over. As his knuckles began to bleed he curled up into a ball and started to weep. He closed his eyes and waited for it all to end.
Only it never ended.
* * *
“Alright boys get your asses outta bed, it's another beautiful day in the wasteland!”, boomed a man with a heavy Bostonian accent.
Gaige reluctantly opened his eyes “Jesus Seb...can't a guy sleep in for once?” he said between yawns.
“Yeah”, Seb laughed, “Maybe if we ever see the sun again”
Gaige raised himself out of his bed slowly and looked around. He saw the same sights as usual. His two childhood friends Dawson and Patrick, who he's known them since before the event, they were the last thing left of his “normal” life. They both sat by the window sharing a bottle of whiskey and staring out into the desolation that was Haventon. It wasn't much of a town, but it sure as hell was better than living on the road. Gaige silently thanked Seb for saving him...and what was left of his group from bandits. He knew that if he hadn't him, Dawson and Patrick would just be another few corpses on the road. There used to be 15 people in their group...they were lucky to have 3 left. Gaige, Patrick and Dawson never really fit into Haventon. They were the first friendly people they'd ever found out in the wastes and most of the people in Haventon had been there since the Event 5 years ago. They had no idea what was waiting for them out there. It was a nice size town, about 200 strong, had lots of food, water and guns. It was a real oasis in the hellhole that was left of the world and after what Gaige and his group had been through, they were more than happy settle down there. Gaige slowly wandered over to where Dawson and Patrick were sitting.
“So you boys out enjoying the view?”, Gaige asked jokingly
“Yeah corpses, grey skies and dead plants are the first thing I want to see every morning”, Patrick retorted sarcastically. Patrick was average height and fairly muscular, a rare sight in the wasteland and definently not someone you wanted to come up against in one on one combat. He had always been the resident cynic of the group. His comment didn't surprise Gaige.
“Just think...this actually used to be a city...It's really weird to think that anything out in these godforsaken wastes used to be...well...normal. I'd give anything just to see the old world again”, Dawson pondered. Dawson's golden hair flowed in the ash laden breeze, and his darkened eyes stared emptily towards the wastes.
He's been overthinking things too much again.Gaige thought to himself. Over thinking wasn't a good thing in the wasteland, most of the things you do are actions you'd much rather try to forget and for a good reason. Unfortunately your brain has a way of using those actions against you. You remember what you want to forget and you forget what you want to remember.
“Yeah...well the old world went away...and it isn't ever coming back...you remember what we saw out on the road; the cannibalism, marauders, desperation. I figured you would know better than anyone that it's just gonna be survivors out there until death catches up with them...and then it'll be just death wandering the road and he'll say “where'd everybody go?” and that'll be it.”, Patrick stated, completely emotionless. Patrick never really was the same since he lost his father, then again, none of them really were the same after living in the wasteland for five years.
“Hey...at least we won't ever have to hear the word 'swag' again!”, Dawson chirped optimistically. They all let out a tired chuckle.
“Yeah, add that to the list of things I DON'T miss”, Patrick added in,“I don't know how, after all this time, you can still keep up with the jokes,” he inquired.
“I don't know, I guess it helps keeps my mind off the pile of shit that is my life now” Dawson replied sadly.
"Yeah, join the club," Patrick replied, taking a shot of old and dirty whiskey.
“Sorry for intruding on your little chit chat ladies, but we got supply runs to make and daylight is wasting. Hurry your asses up!”, Seb hollered in his gruff booming voice. Gaige, Dawson and Patrick exchanged glances for a few seconds until Gaige broke the silence.
“You heard the man, minds clear let's get on the road,”
Man I hate doing this. Gaige thought to himself
* * *
A lanky man wearing an intricate tribal mask stood tall among the corpses of his former tribe members. “YOU CAN'T KILL ME!”, he bellowed raising a machete, “I'M IMMORTAL, I'M A GOD, I'M-”, his voice was interrupted by the loud crack of a rifle and a bullet tearing through his left eye socket.
“...Just another psychopath”, Patrick concluded, “These guys don't look like they had much, let's grab what we can and move into the city.” Nobody objected they just continued silently sweeping through the desolate camp. This was an accurate representation of what remained of humanity: killers, psychopaths, bandits. No one out in the wastes ever wanted to make friends with you. Kill or be killed was the new rule and you either obeyed or you were just another body on the side of the road. Everyone was a monster, some more than others.
Gaige slowly strafed around the corner of a small house with his rifle raised. “...Jesus christ.”, he said dropping his rifle and nearly emptying his stomach. Before him was a whole family, hung from the lamp posts of a street, left for the mutants to get at. One of the children still had part of a stuffed animal strapped to his back.
“Glad I'm not them”, Patrick remarked, passing Gaige and remaining seemingly unphased, “Come on let's head up to the highway with the rest of the group we think there's a broken down caravan with some ammo”. They both made their way up the highway overpass, there was a sign half hanging off its' posts. Gaige could barely make out the words “Savannah” on the sign.
“Savannah, Georgia,” Gaige said with a bit of nostalgia, “I came here once when I was a kid...used to be a really nice place. I'm not so sure it's so nice anymore though.”, Gaige said as he looked up at more rotting corpses hung from the lamp posts on the highway.
“Really? What could've ever given you that idea?”, Dawson said wryly while lying down on top of a ruined truck, “What took you lazy asses so long I've been waiting here forever,” he added.
“This must be the day pigs fly...I think Dawson just called us lazy,” Gaige grunted, “Now let's see what goods we have waiting for us in these cars.”
“Hey with enough velocity pigs fly JUST FINE mister smart ass!”, Dawson stated, looking noticeably annoyed. The trio joined up with the rest of the small group and took a look at a abandoned caravan of crudely armoured vehicles. There were three vehicles in total; two trucks and what looked like an old armour plated school bus with spikes and plows and the whole package. The vehicles all looked supply laden and they all seemed to be in working condition.
“Alright, this is an amazing find if you haven't noticed already. Gav and I are going to need about 10 people going through all the supplies in the vehicles and I'm also going to need four people checking to see if these vehicles are functional. If they are, then you're looking at our ride back to Haventon. If not then we'll grab what we can and leave the rest for another trip here. Dawson, Gaige and Hansley, I want you three on guard duty, watch out to see if whoever owns these vehicles decides to come back , or any bandits try to sneak up on us. This looks almost too good. Alright move out everyone!”, bellowed Seb. The whole group did as they were told and Dawson, Gaige and Hansley set themselves up on a few wrecked cars.
Gaige noticed Dawson looking back at the bandit camp they just destroyed with visible sadness in his expression. “Hey...you okay man?”, he asked, looking concerned.
“Nobody's really 'ok' anymore, but I'm managing. I just can't stop thinking about those people we just killed...and all the people we've ever killed...I mean how do we justify it?”
“Hey don't stress about it, those people were bandits...killers, they deserved it,” Gaige said reassuringly.
“Then what are we Gaige?,”, he stared defiantly into Gaige's eyes. Gaige could feel his light blue eyes burning holes into his skull, “What do we deserve?”, he hissed showing the rage building up inside of him. For the first time in his life, Gaige was speechless. He kept opening and closing his mouth as if to say something but nothing ever came out. “That's what I thought...”, Dawson added as he turned his attention back to the highway in front of them.
Gaige returned to watching the highway and the ruined city as well, feeling uncomfortable with the newfound silence that came over the highway. It seemed like nothing was making any noise other than the soft rummaging of people going through supplies. Gaige could have sworn he had heard at least a few crows on the road over by a corpse.
Wait...Gaige thought. There used to be a corpse there. He sat staring at the road where a bloody body used to be and then saw a pair of legs being dragged behind a car. Alarmed by this he started looking around. There were bodies everywhere on the road, fresh half torn apart bodies...and they had bite marks on them. Wait bite marks...what would-...Oh no... Gaige started to hear raspy breathing, snarling and the sound of claws scraping against metal. Mutants...Gaige knew he had to get his group off the highway and fast. “Everybody get off the highway MUTANTS INCOMING!”, Gaige shouted. Everyone paused for a second and noticed the bear like horribly mutated creatures barreling down the highway towards them.
“We have the bus running everybody get in NOW!”, Seb shouted frantically “We're not waiting forever let's go”, Gaige and Dawson vaulted over the maze of broken down cars in front of them, desperately trying to outpace the mutants breathing down their necks. Hansley tried getting up on a car and popping a few rounds into a mutant, he didn't last very long. He was swarmed by about three of them and was being torn apart. The mutants pack consisted of a herd of bear like creatures. They were probably shredders. Some horrible Gentek wildlife experiment gone wrong
Dawson aimed his revolver at the three attacking shredders “Come on we have to get them off of him!”, He commanded as he drew a bead on the first shredder.
“No!”, Gaige yelled, “We have to go and besides, he'll distract them for a bit!”, Gaige began forcefully lowering Dawson's arm.
Dawson struggled to keep his weapon up for a few seconds then as tears welled up in his eyes he swore quite loudly and lowered his arms in defeat. Gaige pulled him along towards the bus. “Come on! Come on we have to go NOW!”, Ordered Seb. Gaige and Dawson put in one final effort and sprinted as fast as they could towards the back door of the bus and dove inside. “Alright driver make that gas pedal hit the damn floor we have to get out of here” Seb yelled at the top of his lungs, with a hint of panic in his voice. The driver pushed hard on the gas pedal and the bus lurched forward. Gaige began firing out of the back of the bus wildly at the approaching shredders. I don't have the ammo for this! He thought to himself as he looked at the four bullets left in his revolver. He began looking frantically around the bus for more rounds and that’s when Gaige looked at the cabin of the bus and came to a grim realization, it was caked in blood and bits of viscera.
“It's a nice ride isn't it, once you can get past all the blood everywhere.”, Patrick said with a morbid sense of cheeriness. Everyone on the bus was out of breath and in a cold sweat, the bus was moving fast enough that it could outrun the mutants, but that was only until they ran out of gas. How much gas does this thing even have? Gaige thought to himself.
“Seb you better figure out a plan b soon, we're running on fumes here!”, yelled the driver.
Well that wasn't what I wanted to hear. Gaige looked back out the window. He could make out one of the group members fruitlessly sprinting to catch up with the bus only to run out of energy and turn his gun on himself. Things really weren't looking up.
“Driver...I want you to take the next exit it'll take us straight to Haventon, once we get there we can close the town gates and pick off the shredders!”, Seb said with authority.
“But there's a wreck right in the middle of it”, replied the driver, looking confused.
“We'll go through it.”, Seb stated cooly.
“I'm sorry what the hell did you just say?”, the driver asked frantically.
“I said, we'll drive through it...”, Seb re stated.
“I'm sorry, but are you INSANE? There's no WAY we're ever gonna make it! We're in a bus god dammit not a tank!”, the driver hysterically yelled.
“Either you drive us through that wreck or we die on this highway...your choice”, Seb hissed urgently. Just as the driver began barreling towards the wreckage a shredder jumped through the onto the grated windshield and begin tearing at the bars. “Holy shit!”, Seb yelled, as the driver swerved to the right in an attempt to shake the beast. Only the swerve cause the bus to hit the wreckage and roll repeatedly. The last thing Gaige saw was the everything from the floor of the bus hitting the roof, then it all went black. He tried opening his eyes a few times but all he could make out were blurred figures shooting and shouting incomprehensible things. Darkness once again began eating away at the edges of his vision until it was the only thing he saw. Then after what seemed like ten seconds, his eyes finally fluttered open.
This time a harsh light assaulted his eyes and he had to raise an arm to defend himself from the light. Am I dead? Gaige thought. His vision slowly and painfully began to adjust to hist surroundings and he could barely manage to lift his head, as he looked around he could make out large green rolling hills, a forest, blue skies and clean water. Ok, I'm definitely dead, but hey, this isn't half bad! Gaige tried to get up to enjoy his newfound paradise but was discouraged by a sharp pain throughout his entire body. Okay...scratch that I'm not dead...but then where the hell am I? Gaige pondered, he didn't notice anything familiar and his surroundings seemed to be bright and almost pastel like. Huh, Maybe this is somewhere the Event didn't touch. But something seemed off, everything looked almost too cheery and very alien. It all reminded him of something he knew before the Event, but he couldn't put his finger on it.
Gaige noticed a town off in the distance, it looked very old fashioned with all wooden buildings. A town? Hopefully there's a hospital there, because I think I just may have a case of a broken everything. Gaige slowly inched himself over to a nearby tree and sat himself up leaning on it. It was only then that he noticed the true severity of his wounds. His chest had multiple lacerations and he was losing a fair amount of blood, not to mention that all his limbs were bruised all to hell. Great, He thought, The one time I'm nowhere near a doctor. Then Gaige remembered his pack, it was still on him, it had bandages and some pain pills, that would hold him for a while. Gaige also noticed that he still had his rifle and revolver on him, but not much ammo left. Hopefully I won't need these again, I have enough blood on my hands.
It was then that Gaige looked up and noticed the two technicoloured small horses looking straight at him and talking in a hushed tone. One was a minty green colour with a white stripe down it's mane and the other was an light orange with freckles. Wait...is the orange one wearing a cowboy hat...What in the Sam Hill? Gaige was incredibly confused by this sight and wasn't sure how to react as the two small horses trotted towards him. Okay maybe this is all some sort of weird dream, maybe I'm just really...really...REALLY high. Gaige kept trying to find a reasonable explanation for what was transpiring in front of him until he noticed that the two technicoloured horses were looming over him. Alright Gaige think, first impressions are everything so don't do something stupid. Naturally Gaige immediately raised his revolver at the closest horse and said “Another step and I'll paint this field with your blood!” Great choice Gaige...just fan-fucking-tastic. You've always had a knack for messing up like this. Gaige scolded himself.
* * *
"Look at him. He's injured. He's weak. You promised me the best quality product! What is this nonsense?!?"
"Sir, I can assure you. This one has great potential. You have not even given him a chance. If you knew half of what I did about his history, you would agree that he is the best possible choice for your required services," the man calmly said, smirking and chuckling to himself. He patted the strange lopsided creature's shoulder reassuringly. The creature's lopsided eyes glared at him furiously.
"This placement seems like the wrong one for this man. I have the right mind to end you myself! We had a deal. I thought I was supposed to receive one of your finest products. Instead I got a crippled mess," he hissed. Pushing the man's hand off his shoulder violently. The creature sleuthed back over the window and stared out into the inky darkness of the night. A candle barely illuminating his imperfectly shaped muzzle.
"Well...as an old associate of mine once said. 'The right man in the wrong place can make all the difference in the world'," the man smiled wryly. He joined the creature by the window. Surveying the silhouette that was left of the landscape. "Sir, I'm a respectable capitalist, just like you. It is my personal policy to never disappoint my client. In time, you will see what I have seen. You will see his potential and you shall be able to bend his fate to your will. You will have your hitman," the man said, still staring out the window, "There is a reason that I am the greatest there is in this business," and with that the man pushed himself off the windowsill and strode over to the the door.
"Where are you going so suddenly?" asked the creature, turning slowly to face the door. His question appeared to fall on deaf ears as the man continued his slow walk towards the door. He stood momentarily in the doorway before turning around to face the creature once again.
"I hope you realize that once you put this plan in motion, there will be no return to how things once were. You are sure you would like to go through with our offer. Past this point, I cannot undo what has been done. No one can," the creature nodded. He understood the risks and rewards of his actions. Whether the risks were worth the reward would be up to fate. "Good. I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavours. I shall be monitoring my assets and assuring they follow our desired paths set out for them. I shall contact you when everything is prepared to be set into motion," the man pulled his black hood over his head and turned around towards the exit.
"And what if they do not obey?" the creature inquired. The man paused for a long time, considering his course of action in a scenario such as that one.
"If one of our assets will not aid our cause. I will personally destroy them to ensure they cannot be used against us. These beings can be dangerous...in the wrong hands," the man said without turnining around. He then strode out of the room. Leaving the creature to his own devices and plans. The creature wasted no time in returning to working out the formalities of his plan. He leaned over his oak desk. Rifling through papers and reviewing maps thouroughly. The flickering light of the candle illuminating the room in an faint orange glow. The creature continued working in isolation. Like the dedicated tactician that he had come to be. Revising maneuvers. Armament options and troop placement alike. He eventually came to a list of the names of his human task force. He carefully guided his bony finger down the page until he found the name he was searching for. Gaige Hendrickson, it read.
"Well Gaige," he whispered, "you will either be the key to my greatest triumph or the key to my downfall...I can only pray that fate will be kind to me."