Badass Dragons of the Wasteland - Round Three Results!

What a day. At this point I’m not sure if I need to stencil 5 raiders on my side or if I should stencil landmines. Are they my kills? Are they fate’s?

All the same, I think we all might want to think heavily upon the UAW’s recent treatise posted to their, ah, garage door. And keep in mind that some Fleetwood character is going to want to have a chat with the three of those gents. Of course, as far as I’m concerned he’ll have a chat with me beforehand. I’m like the receptionist I suppose…


Riddle me this, Blazer. Just say by some miracle we do this and we pull your giant phallic symbol all the way to Edwards. What then? Who here knows how to launch and navigate a spaceship? Will we have to fuel that trip on our own filth too? Most of us can’t even fucking read - how on Earth will we manage this? And what about Mars? What fresh hell is waiting for us there?

Christ, I’m so sick of this. I’ve been living like a fucking troglodyte for ten years. Drive, fight, crap, sleep, rinse and repeat.

Where’s my goddamn wine gone?


I understand your world-weariness, and all I can do is ask that you keep these points in the forefront of your mind as your toils and griefs of the last decade boil down to these final few days on Cougar’s Last Commute:

One: Our vessel, the final precious Ark that will deliver the remnants of our species to Mars, whether to befoul it as we did our original home or to bloom upon it in a glory that corrects the mistakes of generations past, that ship we now bear with utmost care and dignity to her point of departure… that ship was built by and for two billionaires with virtually unlimited capital, a fetish for black gimp-hoods with pointy ears and shiny red armor, and a complete inability to wind their own watches, else they’d be on Mars already, laughing at us through their interplanetary batscopes. They knew to the second when the EMP would hit, yet couldn’t get it together enough to get out of its way. This ship was built to their specification, and overseen by loyal lieutenants who would sooner throw themselves into a Dumpster full of rusty red-hot razor blades than risk their bosses’ potential embarrassment when faced when an overly-complicated instrument panel. We’ll find a big fat red button labeled clearly “Press Here To Go To MARS” in friendly, non-threatening Comic Sans type. And the rest of the trip will take care of itself. You can hold onto a yoke, if it’ll make you feel more in charge. Wayne and Stark certainly would; their machismo would demand it.

Two: You, on the other hand, are a much better representative of the human spirit, one who actually deserves to survive the death of your homeworld. Consider: after a planetwide famine, a zombie apocalypse, a nuclear war, and ten years of scraping a living from the dregs at the bottom of a gas can, there still exist two dozen humans who have not only demonstrated a willingness to work together, to protect each other, to make sacrifices in the interest of helping each other, but who have also shown a love for the greatnesses the cultures of humanity achieved during its long lifetime.

After all you’ve been through, you still drive one of the most beautiful automobiles ever wrought by human hands, you still speak with utmost civility to your inferiors, and when you ask what has become of your wine, not a hair is out of place. And you’re not the only one I’m referring to here, De’Ath. Micky, Honey, Momo, all of you have been through this hell with your humanity in all its gloriously cracked forms intact.

Someone who has carried the torch of Culture so far without wavering in this shitheap of a world for the last decade… is exactly whom we need to place on Mars.


What a…moving…speech. Three Cheers!


Very well, Blazer. I’ll stick with your merry men and help get the USS MacGuffin to Edwards.

It’s a rainy day and civilization has totally collapsed. What else am I going to do with myself?


[Channing rolls slowly over to see what all the commotion is about]

Woah there! You say this right after we pulled off two heists for unlimited parts and unlimited ammo. You know what this required? Coordination. Team effort. Trust. Sharing just a goddamn bit.

Did you really think I wanted to be in an elevator, getting shocked to death? Figuring out puzzles while not quite sober? I can’t even read!

No. Of course not. But I sucked it up. It was for the good of the group.

What if we just ran off with all those cases of ammo? I’m sure we could have made quite an LP score off of that. Dog-eat-dog…

[Channing spits]

Now, I don’t know what type of wasteland snake oil salesman will show up next, but Bubba (@bizmail_public) I think it would make sense to give the guns to the escorts or scouts and give the rest of the team close to their relative value in LP based on other upgrades or repair costs.

We should also round up a posse to scavenge the remnants of Stretch’s yard. Pretty sure our mechanics didn’t find everything there.


You know, you might be surprised by some of the people you’re travelling with. We’re all survivors man, we’ve all seen some pretty crazy shit in the world. Some of us used to do crazy shit even before things went all haywire.

You ever wonder how I know Cougar? You ever think about what I used to do at Cheyenne Mountain before it became Cheyenne Lake? I’m not saying I can navigate a spaceship, but I’m pretty sure I can get one off the ground. Not all of the cleverness in the world went away with Stark, some of us were doing pretty well for ourselves before he came along.

As for what’s waiting for us there? A stable orbit. An atmosphere that can be lived in with restrictions. A planet not filled with rabid beasts slavering to kill each other off before their own quick end. What’s there is what we’ll bring with us. That can either be the same greedy murderous petty tyrants that got us to this point or a chance to build off previous knowledge and make something better.


Good info. This is what I’m talking about, people. Keep it coming.

Fair enough, a little about Mars. Smaller than Earth, the curvature will be noticed and the gravity will be approximately 33% that of Earth. A fairly thin atmosphere when compared to Earth, and mostly consisting of carbon dioxide the general theory has been to “tent” lower areas and trap a livable atmosphere so humans can live fairly openly for the short term until medium-to-long term plans can come into play based on existing environmental impacts.

I don’t think it needs to be gotten into at this point, but one of the main long-term questions will be if the goal to leave Mars as Mars and live with minimal impact or terraform to create Earth-like conditions. Seed the planet with oxygen-releasing lichens and go as far as to steer ice asteroids into the atmosphere to add more water, oxygen, and hydrogen to the world.

At this point I imagine we’ll need to spend some time living on a craft called The Ark, but there are local conditions that can be improved greatly. I’m not up on all the latest information, especially since losing my reading, but there is enough that I recall that should still be of use.

Interestingly, guns might be fully useless on the surface at this point without enough oxygen to create a spark to ignite gunpowder. Internal combustion engines are going to be useless as well, SHITGO is going to probably be the only GO there for a while. And I’ll probably need to get that hard-top at some point for the radiation alone…


Guns don’t need oxygen in the atmosphere to fire. There’s enough oxygen sealed in with the gunpowder that they’ll still function in an oxygen-deprived atmosphere like that of Mars.

… Just your science fact of the day!


I’m bloody happy about that. What if some nasty beasty goes to Mars on the Ark as well? A Cling-on?


I know a lady who might be able to help with that. Might be a bit busy or frozen at the moment though.


Aha! She looks feisty! Useful in a tight spot, I’d imagine!

Reminds me of an old mate of mine, Dr


** Mars is NOT terrformable **

Sorry, but the phsyics are clear on this one.

There are two reasons Mars can’t sustain an earthlike atmosphere, the more important being that the Mars lacks a magnetic field.

This is geeky rough sledding, but here goes.

The dominant problem for maintaining an atmosphere is the solar wind, charged high speed particles emanating from the sun. When these charged particles strike a planet’s atmosphere, they whack bits of the atmosephere into interplanetary space. Earth has a strong magnetic field that deflects the solar wind before those charged particles get close enough to whack an air molecule into space. Mars has no magnetic field, and thus Martian atmosphere is continually “scoured” (Yes, that is the technical term used by planetary scientists. Back when we had planetary scientists).

The first step to terraforming mars is the creation of planetary sized magnetic field. I have some ideas how to do that, but all run a high risk of turning Mars into the Inner Asteroid Belt. Also, geological processes generally require geological amounts of time. and we don’t have that kind of time.

But even if the “scouring” problem could be solved, Mars would still boil off its atmosphere at a frightening rate because of it’s low gravity relative to earth.

That doesn’t mean Mar’s can’t be made more habitable for short periods of time. The great seer Bruce Sterling gave hints about what this would look like (cf “Sunken Gardens”, “Cicada Queen”) – but notice he grounded the mechanism in DIS-equilibrium physics. That was not casual literary reference, but central message:

We can make Mars briefly habitable if we have access to fusion-level power sources, but only by screwing it up faster then we screwed up the Earth

A bit more knowledge from the past. “Tony Stark” was an alter ego for a guy named Elon Musk. A guy who knew a thing or two about rockets and had a physics degrees. Back when we still had physics degrees. He knew everything I wrote above – and he built that rocket in anyway.

So that rocket does something good – something Elon Musk thought was useful to him. But living on a terraformed Mars couldn’t ever have been the plan, whatever the ancient corporate PR flacks claimed.

Let Cougar fall for the prank – again. Giving us hope, getting all to work together, is reason enough to tolerate the lie.

We need to determine the true purpose of this rocket, and if Cougar or anyone else knows that true purpose.


What about the natives?


I might be able to use that particular one to sweep the dust off Perky.


Y’all are much smarter than some of the bag of nails I’ve met on the road. I’m glad to be a part of such an intelligent gang. I do wonder what the true purpose of this mission is. Most of what you were saying went right over mah head but I did understand that whatever initial plan we thought it might have been, isn’t it.

But folks were very smart way back when. Did you guys ever hear they even made cars for fish?? Well of some manner anyway.

I’m sure those fish don’t need cars to get around anymore since water took over so much land, but stil. How weird is that??
Well if they could think that up, I’m sure they weren’t planning of shooting themselves up into space without a reason.


The fish needed the cars to get away from the flying cats.

Scientists, eh?


Hi everyone,

All of this scientific (and otherwise) information is very useful to me. Anything you can remember, be sure to share. There just might be something in it for you, from me.

Hmm, I’ll probably need a new, broader title for my next edition.

Regarding terraforming and future plans - right before the war, I had earned a scholarship and was going to study geology at university (but Chelsea made sure that never happened). There’s a reason Cougar puts up with my socialist tendencies.


That areology paper you wrote in high school may have had something to do with it. And here you thought it was just my taste for your excellent flapjacks.