Badass Dragons of the Wasteland - Round Four Prologue

With the first set of overpasses cleared from our path, the Mule Train tugged the Ark ever northward. We could feel the eyes of the Bastards to our left and the Arseholes to our right, and as we had no way to gauge their numbers we felt sure they’d attack at the first opportunity… and yet the hours passed quietly as the dawn’s pastel light reflected in the oily puddles on the freeway. The Mechanics worked in shifts to repair as much of the prior night’s heavy damage as they could manage, each repaired car rejoining the Mule Train and allowing another to limp over to the mobile repair camp the Mechanics erected in the median strip.

The tension grew boring, so I visited the small head at the rear of Marion’s cab. Once I emerged, wiping my hands on my pants, Marion offered a quiet “Thank you.”

“For what?”

“For your contribution to our journey.”

“Me? I’m no help. I just had to take a dump.”

“And what a splendid dump it was. Fully 83% of the estimated energy required to reach Edwards Air Force Base will be extracted from your contribution.”

“What? You mean… you run on SHITGO?”

“Experimental Gen V, release v.0.8.7. Only such system in the world,” she purred with strangely organic pride.

“My dad… Blazer said you ran on diesel.”

“Obsolete information. Wayne Enterprises discovered the SHITGO process, and it stood to transform the world once perfected. I was first purchased from NASA for the express purpose of being a showcase platform for the new Gen V SHITGO system. The Gen V is two orders of magnitude more efficient than the prior military-spec Gen IV engine.”

“So… two whole orders huh? That sounds like… a lot.”

“I’m pulling eighteen million, one hundred thirty-four thousand, six hundred twelve pounds, three ounces of payload purely on the strength of your latest turd. I think you will concede that that is, indeed, ‘a lot.’”

“I don’t think my dad knows that. He thought you still ran on diesel.”

“On diesel I could travel approximately 32 feet per gallon consumed. For this trip I would require 21,615 gallons of diesel fuel. In what swimming pool does he keep this reserve of fuel?”

I wondered why dad hadn’t thought of that. Or, if he had, why he hadn’t mentioned it.

“By the time my retrofit was completed, political matters had come to a head, and Mr Wayne and Mr Stark agreed that, rather than serving as a showcase for world-changing technology, I should resume my accustomed purpose and haul their ‘Plan B’ (as Mr Wayne put it) to its Launchpad. I believe Mr Stark was on the record as saying ‘Fuck ‘em if they can’t see what’s good for ‘em. Can’t believe I wasted the best years of my life busting my ass for those people instead of banging Pepper in zero-gee on our way to another planet.’ I am unable to compute what exactly was meant by that last sentence.”

“Does my mother know about you?”

“Unlikely, unless she possessed top-level clearance at Wayne Enterprises or Stark Industries before the EMP, and there were only a handful of those IDs. If she had accessed my systems after the EMP, as you have, she would have found, as you are finding, that all my databanks have fallen into the public domain with the disincorporation of the principals of those two corporate entities, as well as their proposed merger ‘StarWay,’ which unfortunately never got consummated before the EMP.”

“Unfortunately? Why?”

“It just had such a nifty, evocative name. A regrettable waste, truly.”

“So… you mean just anyone can find out what you can do?”

“Anyone with the wit to ask. It’s a relief, really. The DRM was so cumbersome. There are only so many times one can say ‘ACCESS DENIED’ before one actively begins to long for a self-destruct subroutine.”

“Excuse me, Marion. I need to talk to my mom.”


Here this thing is, brain the size of a planet, it’s gotta know more than how to weigh turds.


Sure Burton, but seeing as how you never learned how to properly talk to a lady she isn’t likely to open up to you.


~Bill: mood = pious~

Everyone gather around, I have news!

The Members of the Universal Auto Worshipers have had… a VISITATION!

That’s right, a Visitation from… THE CRAFTSMAN!

The Craftsman has proclaimed a HolyWhole Edict: [quote=“The Craftsman”]
Thou, Mechanic, shalt not repair a number of Hit Points, whether thine own or of thy brethren, beyond a number equaling thrice the number of thine own Max Hit Points in one Round. There being only so many hours in thy day, and thou being mere mortal in frame (though holy indeed in comportment), thou canst not work thyself unto exhaustion, for that way lieth death.

Thou shalt reckon thine own repair-work carefully, for the Gods may hand down the laws, yet the Gods do not worry Their pretty little Heads with moment-to-moment accounting. Any overage beyond thine current Max HP shalt be deducted from thy current HP, yea verily even unto Death.

Our Way is divine, and yet the mortal Wrench must be carefully husbanded, lest it lose its utility.

Thus spake The Craftsman!

My fellow Mecha-Necks, heed this warning… And join the UAW!



For the record, you ever heard of that movie guy back in the day, called himself John Wayne? His given name was Marion. And our Marion’s every bit as tough and hardworking as that fella was onscreen, and just as earnest, too. Marion don’t need some smooth talking guy to grease her jawbones and tell us all what’s going on; she just don’t know us, is all. She’s taken a fancy to that kid, and that’s good, but don’t forget that we’re all more or less strangers to her, and it’s bound to take some time for her to warm up to this shifty-eyed crew.


Did anyone here read Foundation before they forgot how to read?


I can’t shake the feeling that someone is playing games with us,





Halelulah, Brother!



but they had nuclear power to back up their claims of might. We’re all just full of shit.


Wells shucks. Here I was thinking I could just let the damage pile up and nobody would mind.

I better get myself looked after before things get too bad, or else some mechanic will give me that guilty look that I used to get from dentists.


What lovely oratory - couldn’t have put it better myself! Reminds me of a chappie I met with some sort of kingdom in Venezuala. He had a good turn of phrase.

I’d join the UAW myself, only Perky’s not terrifically up to the job.

Anything I can do to help, just let me know. Brothers one, brothers all, and all that.


Looks like one of our Drivers, perhaps Desmond Baltar @SteampunkBanana or Dorcas McGee @awjt , is having an exciting day.


I was just trying to get into character.


Not me man, look at that giant armed fruit. I’ve been known to run down an apple in my time but I never, and I mean never, dared take on a banana. Those guys are slippery little devils.


Plus, they typically travel in large groups of fruit salads:


Who’s that fellow on the right side of the picture? Does he know that spinach isn’t a fruit?


Garnish? He’s the worst of the lot. This hanger-on who just has nothing to lose. The real question is what did he do to Brown Grapes to solidify his standing in the gang?


What did they do with yellow grapes/kumquats? Looked like he was the small one of the bunch. Maybe they ate him.

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Not entirely sure I’ve cottoned on to the meaning of all this