Badass Dragons of the Wasteland - Round 2


#1

We watched them limp into our encampment. Our fingers never strayed far from hilts and triggers; we didn’t expect the new arrivals to be in the most convivial of moods. The first to arrive were the Hollywood gang. Their vehicles were a fearsome sight, caked sunroof to tire-tread with stale zom-blood, bits of bone, and scraps of moldering clothing. Those who had windshields didn’t enjoy a visibility advantage for long before their wipers mired in the congealing ichor or were broken off by the grasping, clawed digits of the Hollywood Dead.

Cougar maneuvered to the head of our small company and waited. Top down, the setting sun alight in her long auburn hair, she regarded those who came. She caught the eye of a familiar face. “Baltar! Good to see you.” For a long moment, nobody breathed. Then Desmond Baltar leaned out over his driver’s door and spat out a tooth. I’m still not entirely convinced it was his. Then he grinned at mom.

““Traffic was a bitch.””

Desmond Baltar plowed that Cobra through over 2,000 former starlets, valets, and waitrons, some still moaning and trying to shove their screenplays through his windscreen even as he ran them down. Morton and Bean, his Mechanic escortees, are in Baltar’s debt as he drew plenty of teeth and bones off their slow and lightly-armored butts, at some cost to his own caboose. But speed and maneuverability helped considerably, preserving just enough HP to get him out of L.A. with dignity and fingers intact. That garish green paint though… it ain’t gonna buff out.


Major Joseph Talleyrand-LaRoche and his Pink Panther fared well… certainly better than the “blighters” and “bounders” who dared to stain the Panther’s skidplate with their gray matter and formerly-vital fluids. The Major purpled when Her Majesty’s Licence Plate suffered the indignity of a splattered eyeball all over one corner, but a few swipes with his pocket-handkerchief and his customary bluff humor (or humour) returned.


Rip Torn Van Winkle’s '55 Porsche Speedster served him better than James Dean’s Spyder did its late driver. Just ask Mr Dean himself; I do believe that’s his rather irate skull hanging from the sideview mirror. And all this time I’d heard he wasn’t buried in Hollywood Forever Cemetery. But those cheekbones… that’s definitely him. Think he can chew me an autograph?


Nervous Mike has made it through, though not without some damage. Matte black turns out to be an especially adhesive surface for viscera, and the Dead Carjackers of La Brea & Sunset can cling like cheap polyester to pantyhose. Turns out the wrong response is to give that zombie clambering through the passenger window the bird. Even worse is to give him a double-bird. Because he’ll eat them both.


Jacky Blacque had a terrifyingly close brush with oblivion on the way out of Hollywood. A writhing heap of broken bodies left behind by the speedier Scouts clogged the Melrose Avenue on-ramp to the southbound 101, and though the Unimog’s granny gear and mountains of SHITGO-fueled torque could scale that wriggling mountain of crackling bones and explosively-bursting vital organs, Jacky has learned a hard-won lesson: the slow and poorly-armored Mechanics shouldn’t venture far into hostile territory without accompaniment. Fortunately, all his wrench-wielding fingers are intact, so if we find a scrapyard nearby for parts, his recovery is assured… for a few License Plates, that is.


The legume known only as Beanbreath took on the second-highest number of bad (smelling) guys. Sure, we just started, but 2,736 zombies squished with no fingers lost would make George Romero blush. Still, a Mechanic self-aware enough to drive something called a Gremlin ought to know not to venture out where it’s dangerous unless you’ve got heavy guns covering your six (and nine and three and twelve, for that matter). Another close shave for the slow and lightly-armored Mechanic class!


Now Morton, he’s a farsighted Mechanic, and not one to make an unconsidered leap. He faced off against 2,400 anklebiters and hair-pullers, but he didn’t go in without help. He might’ve been a goner on his own, but with Baltar riding shotgun and pulling some of the nasties’ attention away from him, ol’ Mort is not, at the Romans would say, mort.


I didn’t hear “Honey” Mallone formally commit to an alliance, which worked out for the best for her anyway. Since that Twister Ford of hers is the fastest ride in the fleet, and she didn’t have to look out for nobody else, she sped down La Cienega, bowling through nearly 1,800 Deadites like they were made of cotton candy and Karo syrup (with a few hundred gallons of Red Dye #5) and only taking 9HP of damage, which I’m sure doesn’t even surpass her insurance deductible. Probably shouldn’t have gotten overconfident and stopped at that Carl’s Jr, though. The chocolate shake was yummy, but probably not worth the two fingers chomped off by the surly zombie at the drive-thru. Your handling takes a -4MV hit!


Dog “Mad Dog” Jackson bears the distinction of facing down the single largest crowd of enemies in the game to date: over 3,000 of the groovy ghouls did their best to scratch his paint, muss his hair, and piss in his punchbowl (to say nothing of sucking the marrow from his bones), but thanks in large part to his protection deal with Baltar, the Dog lives to bite another day! Though he’d better be a Junkyard Dog and sniff up some parts, but quick!

Riverside Results coming up next!


#2

I’m alive! This just in: zombie teeth for sale! Decorate your dash. Spruce up your seats. Perfect for the holidays, and what better way to say “I love you” than with the gift of teeth from a LA starlet?

Glad to see Mad Dog and Morton made it through just fine, sorry about those fingers everyone. If I find more in my travels I’ll pick them up for you.


#3

Half an hour later, either God parted the clouds above with His righteous, world-ending flatulence, or Jack Burton Jr. was laying on his twin airhorns about a block to the east. We weren’t sure for a second or two, then Burton’s familiar Freightliner turned the corner and we could all release the death grip on our nostrils and start breathing again. His air brakes hissed, he opened his door, and there was the familiar brief moment of social awkwardness as he unscrewed his ass from his cockpit-can, pulled up his jeans, and moseyed over to Cougar’s driver-side door with an easy nonchalant swagger that was marred only slightly from the long days he’d spent on the crapper since his last mosey. He tried to tousle my hair on the way over, but thought twice when he remembered my sensitivity about my hair.

‘"Hey, darlin’," he drawled. “Your mule has arrived.”


The long, long experience with Driving and with Weird Things served Jack Burton, Jr… (him!) quite well this trip. Maybe there was some odd kinship with the Dirt People, maybe it was the sheer intimidation of that godawful horn, judiciously applied, maybe it was just the sheer volume of HP he mulishly carried through the 909, but the Rednecks couldn’t drag him down. His route took him expertly down the old 60 highway, right past the den of the somnolent Monster Trucks without rousing them from their murderous slumber… but I had to point out the six Rednecks clinging to the rear door of Junior’s trailer, sniffing curiously at the ocean breeze and gaping in wonder at the overall dirtlessness of Huntington’s Bitch. Quick as a wink one of them produced a siphon hose from his bib overalls and the others pulled empty Mountain Dew bottles from various pockets, and before Junior could get back to his truck and cuss them out more than ten or twelve syllables’ worth, they’d made off with 12 gallons of precious diesel from his starboard tank, hopped over a surprisingly high wall, and vanished. “Sonofa…bitch!


Clankenstein likely wouldn’t have survived this mission, were it not for his alliance with Junior and Channing, an excellent Escort well-suited for escorting. Clank’s discretion served him well, keeping that weird-ass Dodge van with no ground clearance a half-step ahead of the Riverside Mulleted Munchers and avoiding waking any Monster Trucks on the way. Only one “Cling-on” made it all the way out from the 909 to the OC clinging to the Dodge’s driprail, and since he only possessed two hands, he only made off with 2 gallons of gas.


Channing knows her escort service. (Awright, Junior, you keep snickering I’ll dock you another 5 gallons myself!) Well-equipped for this run, she shrugged off the smarter-than-they-look Dirt People with a businesslike smirk, only to swerve too close to the cave of the Monster Trucks just as one was finishing a REM cycle. Knowing her duty, she lured it away from her escortees, and so, since there were no other witnesses, we’ll have to hear from her how she managed to outwit, outrun, outmaneuver, or (better yet) simply blow up her relentless, oversized foe. By the time Junior rolled by, Channing was enjoying a sip of Mountain Dew and the Monster Truck looked like this:

Oh, well. Kudos, Channing. Well hunted. You don’t need those four gallons of gas, anyway.

Jack “Knife” Boyer is another prudent Sawzall who knows which side of his bearings are greased. Being relatively speedy (for a Mechanic), he managed to outrun the poorly-maintained pickups full of Rednecks (ask him about his maintenance specials!), and due to a fresh set of mufflers and properly-adjusted valve tappets, the Monster Trucks never heard him motor on by. Some of the dirtbike and skateboard-equipped Dirties got close enough to cause some damage, and two of those slippery sumbitches made off with a grand total of four gallons of premium 104-octane racing gas Knife had been saving for his daughter’s wedding (if he ever eventually had a daughter), so you might wanna give him time to cool off before you ask about those maintenance specials.

Gentleman Jim Brassers’ ride is distinctive, refined, and rather luxuriant for those attuned to its manifold charms. It is not, however, subtle, and attracted unfortunate attention from every skate-rat, dirt-biker, 4x4er, and Monster Truck in the neighborhood. His speed and firepower carried the day, however, and that antique Stud-Bucket rides on to instill terror and respect (and leak puddles of oil) wherever she goes. Maybe a more aerodynamic design, however, would prevent hangers-on from swiping four gallons of gas, hmm?


Long Haul Raul’s Rust Comet does not lack for presence. That REO is no Speedwagon, but she’ll get there eventually. She won’t do it quietly, however. All manner of Redneckery descended on the Comet, and Raul had little choice but to slug it out. The mounted and foot-soldier Dirt People weren’t too much of a worry, but a REO M35, the pride of Ransom E. Olds’ military-grade line, is built for sheer cussed durability, not speed or maneuverability. A more mulish Mule you’d be hard-pressed to find, so the Monster Truck and the Rust Comet simply hammered upon each other with brute ramming force until one of them didn’t move no more.

That one wasn’t Raul.

San Diego Results coming up next!


#4

Cougar… that is, my mother, grew up in San Diego. Long after the Little War, she’d still dream about America’s Finest City the way it used to be: the balmy breezes when you could still breathe them without retching, Balboa Park before the rising tides immersed it and the whole of downtown beneath the stinking sewage of the harbor, even the San Onofre plant when thousands of people drove past it every hour, mere yards away, without giving a second thought to the lethal horrors it would unleash upon that stretch of coast just a handful of months after being decommissioned. Those diehard surfers who wouldn’t give up their waves, even after the roentgens they absorbed webbed their feet, gave them gills, and instilled in them a ravenous hunger for mammalian flesh and steel-belted rubber. And the unknown Watcher, drifting just off the coast of Oceanside, waiting to pluck unwary travelers from the unnamed formerly-inland beach road that became the only route north once I-5 and Camp Pendleton slipped beneath the angry, rising waves.

I don’t think mom misses most of the World That Was, and she was probably glad to turn her back on it and abandon it forever… but the loss of San Diego hurt her deeply. She did everything in her power to save me. But if she had to choose between saving me, and saving San Diego?

I don’t like my odds.

Sir Gonville De’Ath rolled into Huntington with his customary élan, only the grinding of his left-rear wheel rim spoiling the effect somewhat. De’Ath played in and out of the rogue waves in style, kept careful distance from the ruined reactor, and the Iso Grifo could have been starring in an Italian car commercial as it lightfootedly avoided the flailing tentacles of a pair of sea monsters who had been enjoying the late-afternoon sun before he came along. Finally, the sea monsters threw a couple of wrecked lifeguard-stations at the Iso, denting its boot most distressingly. And when the surfers saw De’Ath coming to the road’s nearest approach to the waves, they struck as one and pounced upon the Iso’s left rear tire, shredding it with their razor teeth. Sir Gonville, no reckless daredevil, elected to mount his spare after arrival.


Dorcas McGee and that… that… shiny-ass prototype of hers had some troubles, as is the case when Mechanics set out alone and forsaken. The waves nearly washed her off the road, the sea monsters left scratches, dents, and an unpleasant smell all over the prototype’s living compartment, and those mother-snugglin’ Gilled Surfers just went ahead an flat-out stole the spare wheel and used it as a barbecue pit for their evening luau. Close as she came to the reactor, it’s just good luck that the prototype’s extra-shiny surface reflected the worst of the radiation back onto the surfer’s BBQ pit, completely overcooking the pig. So there’s that.


Bubba Zanetti hasn’t lived this long through a series of happy accidents. It’s all the result of careful planning, and the willingness to do precisely what it takes to make the planet spin in the desired direction. The waves were unavoidable, the sea monsters turned out indeed to be regrettably non-mythological, and the surfers… well, those surfers will very soon learn what it means to bite the wrong tires. Let’s just say they’re not filled with nitrogen and leave it at that. Cougar’s kid was amazed. He’d never seen anyone “ski” a car for sixty miles before.


It’s the same old story for Micky “Sponge” McKinley: a Mechanic without a friend to swat the flies and mosquitoes away. But it shouldn’t be a surprise: driving a 1982 Monte Carlo is, like wearing a Ring of Power, to be alone. The sea monsters left him alone completely (they have that certain quiet dignity that swatting at Chevies would totally diminish), but the surfers found his tires delish… and the waves just about swamped him to the roofline. Can’t get saltwater out of that smog-era 2-barrel carb completely; a trip to the junkyard is in order.


Take a lesson here, kids: it may not be nice to fool Mother Nature, but Mother Nature knows she’d better not fuck with Momo. The sea monsters saw her coming, made their excuses, and hurriedly slunk beneath the surface. The Gilled Surfers inquired politely after her grandchildren, then offered her their least-burnt slab of luau ham. Some of the more impertinent waves dared to drench her tootsies, but that happens to the best of us. Alas, I fear her prescription needs updating for her spectacles, for she drove right up to the defunct reactor to ask directions. Momo’s new phosphorescent emerald glow is quite fetching, but it remains to be seen what may come of it down the road.


Sven Larsson, the Swedish Chief, isn’t always taken seriously, particularly by Junior. Still, it’s better to be underestimated than overestimated, and Sven’s Volvo P1800 has had over 50 years of misunderestimation. The waves and the sea monsters visited heavy damage upon the plucky Swede, and he lost a tire to boot. But there were uncommonly deep reserves of Nordic fortitude (and HP) hidden deep within, so after a quick trip to the junkyard, he’ll be all hördy dördy again.

Did I say that right?


Bertie Gomez is no stranger to the I-5 corridor, both before and after the Meltdown, and it holds no terrors for him. He’s an old hand at dodging the tentacle strikes of the sea monsters. But the waves were more freakish than usual, huge and unpredictably timed, and loaded with heavy flotsam. Maybe that’s what kept the Gilled Surfers away, but no matter: Bertie’s was the only car to suffer a Complete Wipeout, and it took hours to roll the heavy Wagoneer back over, change the oil, drain the seawater out of the bowls of the carb, flush the SHITGO, and get back on the road. Bertie’s the last one to roll into Huntington’s Bitch, but roll in he does.


Have a cup of crappy coffee or a warm Pepsi and maybe catch some shuteye. Cougar will be holding her War Council in the morning, and let you know what the plan is.

But don’t cross that borderline into the Bitch until we’re ready.


#5

¿Qui’ubo?

Eh, I needed a car wash anyways.

Good to see everyone though…and now about some possible repairs.


#6

“Speedboy, we know you’re king of the wheel.
Yeah, go man go go go!
Go Apollo 69.
Rocket baby, walk the line.
Feed my fire.
Now’s the time.
Fly Apollo 69, yeah yeah.”


#7

~Clank dismounts the ShitGo throne and takes a moment to attach the second most presentable pair of legs before climbing out for a meet&greet and a walk around assessment of the damages.~

@funruly Nice to meetcha, Junior, but I gotta say, I’m just almost disappointed you don’t actually have two heads. ~grins~ You sure hauled your end of the deal though, so I’m gonna do the same. ~clanking around the Freightliner~ Don’t look like any parts need replacin’ here, so I’ll get busy with the dent-puller and the wrench for all those loosened nuts and bolts.

@gwwar Now that was a sweet piece o’ drivin’ there, Channing. Don’t think I’ve seen the like of it, ever. Respect to y’all! ~making the walkaround~ Looks like all three of us made it through without needin’ any parts replaced. It might take a spell, 'cause there’s still a lot of work to be done, but I’ll get you fixed up here as best I can, just like we agreed.

@drman321 Knife, it’s too dang bad we didn’t get a chance to try out our plan with the ‘shine and baggy full o’ blue crystals, but it looks like you got through ok by your ownself. I know ya don’t need no help fixin’ yourself up, but if’n ya need someone to hold a flashlight or somethin’ just gimme a holler.


#8

Well, that was bracing! That dent will polish out.

Delighted that everyone made it in (more or less) one piece.

Now, I hear there’s another Englishman around here somewhere. I wonder if he has a cup of tea to spare? Or some Pimms, perchance?

I had been expecting to mostly be escorting mules on this little adventure, but it sounds as if we have a lot of mechanics to keep alive too. No worries, stick with me, fine fellows, and I’ll keep you alive.

I should mention, I swung (ahahaha) by Torrey Pines on our way and picked up a few clubs. Anyone know of a decent course around here?


#9

Fortunately one bag of Bisquik survived the tsunami. We are mixing it with beer and frying up some griddle cakes with the lightest of mystery oils on the inside of a hubcap over a fire of old shards of rubber tires. The cakes are ready for you guys to come 'n get it. Does anybody have any syrup? I will ring the hanging fender-bell with a wrench in just a sec.


#10

Haha! Hallo Gonville! Nice to meet you! Whatever you like - enough to quench a camel’s thirst over here!

Good job on Pollacking the zoms Desmond @SteampunkBanana, great laugh watching them splatter hither and thither! I think I saw someone twerking horribly on your bonnet for a moment there - hysterical!

That was refreshing. Fine old time - zombies must have arrived for the Oscars, spotted everyone from '17!


#11

Jeeze, it’s all Gray Poop-on in here.


#12

No syrup, I’m afraid. Will foie gras do instead?


#13

Much obliged. That’s a nice ride you have there, Major. Were you at Hereford?


#14

Aha - that might explain this fella I saw careering about:


#15

OOC: Wow, never had seen that ad before. That was really funny.


#16

Jolly isn’t she?! Hereford and Odiham, split my time in the latter years, yes that’s right; a little stint at Aubagne class of '86 before; made a bit of a name for myself - heh no zombies then! Shame, would’ve been a laugh a minute at that age! Fun now, yes, but what a whopping great story eh?!

Went under the radar in '04 after making heaps of mates all around, most of them live and kicking, some just kicking haha!

Any time in the forces, Sir Gonville??


#17

A little time down in Hamworthy, but I don’t like to talk about it much.


#18

Well that might come in very handy if we have to get a birds-eye look at the sea, eh?!


#19

I do love being on two wheels.

But I am surprised more of you don’t “ski.” It’s quite popular with desert dwellers, improves the daily commute , and is a vitally important for mechanics (the fun starts at 1:04). Even Nordic Mules do it.

Since we’ll be working together, I suggest this primer. Might be handy getting through tight spots.


#20

Oh, that warms the cockles of my black, flabby heart!