Dick’s Journal, March 26th, 2094
Hello Ana. It seems I managed to stumble into a bigger mess than normal. Our journey to Seattle has diverged into a conflict with the American combine. And I could not be happier for the opportunity. In the years at the beginning of the hell we currently know, I couldn’t get to you. I had no power to fight the monsters in my way then, no gear, just a mean streak and enough brains to hide from everything bigger than me. Maybe I deserve to never see you and our girl for that cowardliness.
Getting ahead of myself, I’m sorry. We left Junkyard early two days back and hit the road. Within a day we had made a lot of progress, even managing to pick up a new passenger on the way. Not much messed with us on the road, for which I am grateful. The trip only got exciting when we were crossing a highway and spotted some fool getting chased down by Black Hats. It took some debate, but my posse decided to help the man.
We set up an ambush in a truck stop on the road and two things happened. One, Richard, AKA “Fucking Squirrel-man,” woke up a desert alligator. And two, we absolutely fucked up the combine patrol. Squirrel man opened on the combine with a grenade from this monstrosity of a gun. Anyone who walked away from the explosion got finished off by Cassidy and her rifle. Again, damn good shot.
Our new guy, a weird fella named Ben, checked on the man who had been chased. His name was Greer, a Mayor of the nearby town of River springs. Before we could address him, that gator I mentioned came out of the truck stop’s gas station to see what the noise was about. We dealt with it quickly, or I should say Essence dealt with it quickly with that hand cannon of hers. That lady scares me more than most horrors.
Greer was grateful for the assistance and offered us a meal for the night. We gave him a lift to River springs and immediately noticed something was wrong. The townsfolk were nowhere to be seen and Black Hats were wandering everywhere. We regrouped before we moved anywhere near the town and spent the night planning. Of course, we were going to help Greer. None of us could stand to see a town taken over like that, more so when Greer said his kid was down there.
That’s not all Greer told us. Ben and Cass smelled something fishy about why so much combine was here and cajoled him into telling us what they were after. Turns out Greer was a northern alliance soldier and was a bomber pilot at that. The North had planted some back-up ghost rock nukes in a bunker not too far away from town. Greer was the only ones who could get in and the combine were after Greer’s entry card.
So, we made a plan, did some drills and headed back out at nightfall. River Springs was situated at the foot of a mountain, and we planned on repelling down the face of the hill. Words can not describe how much I was scared to do this. Was never feared of heights but try not thinking about falling being 800 yards off the ground. And I somehow managed not to fuck up and made it down. The northern Yankee however tumbled and rolled down the mountain in a spectacular fashion. By some grace of Satan, we didn’t attract any noise.
With a light foot we managed to make it to Greer’s house, where his key was at and where his daughter was supposed to be. I got stuck with making sure he didn’t get spotted by the Black Hats at his house and snuck him in. God, I was wanted to lay into the fuckers. We didn’t get spotted. There was only three of them and with the power I’ve rekindled inside me, I swear I could have taken them. But no, mission first.
Greer and I went over to his former squad mate’s trailer to make sure the traitor hadn’t spilled any more valuable information about the nukes. We made it to his trailer without a hitch, the rest of the posse staying below ground. I was so happy to put a bullet in that snake, felt like a release. We found someone else inside the trailer, some kid who I barely remember. Told us that the militia of the town were still kicking and ready to fight. A golden opportunity to get back at their captors.
The posse reconvened on the trailer just before we could see another example of the brains of the Combine. Some Black Hats were chasing some poor fool in the street, shooting at him and making him dance. You bet your ass we saved him. Essence and Cass put the truck full of Hats down before they knew what hit them. The man we saved was mighty grateful and showed us where the militia was planning their comeback. We hid the car that the bushwhacked BH’s were driving and snuck into the bar the militia was hiding in. Almost got ventilated trying to talk to them, but Greer diffused the situation. We got to planning immediately.
On the way in Cassidy saw a possible sniper in the church in town and was worried about it ever since. I offered to help her take them out and make sure we didn’t make much noise doing it. While we handled the sniper and taking out guards, the rest of our little army would be getting ready to storm the school. The militia told us that all the families were being held in the cafeteria. With Ace, Essence and Ben on the assault team, the militia weren’t going to have much trouble taking out any spotters quickly.
Within an hour, we were committed. Hex took a few militia guys to make some mines on the streets that a cavalry would come through while Cass, Squirrel man and I went for the school. And before you ask, I have no idea why squirrel man was there either. Made it to the church no problem and decided it was time to show off. In the six or so years I worked for Tang the old man had shown me ways to do fantastic things. And I do mean that literally. I’d gotten rusty in the years of neglect, but I tried my hand at doing something I’d see Tang do multiple times.
While Richard and Cass fretted over how to get up to the sniper nest, I prepared my mind to fly. Tang had perfected the power to jump over moving cars and leap between buildings. This wasn’t a big church and where I needed to go wasn’t blocked. Before anyone could ask why I was closing my eyes, I lept up from the ground straight up to the bell tower. Without meaning to I flipped and hopped straight up, making a minimal amount of noise that I’d curse myself for doing later.
The sniper was ready. She must have heard me coming up and got out her pistol of northern make. Luckily for me, Tang taught me other things than jumping. A pop went off and the woman smiled a split second before her bullet got flicked back at her. I must have put a bit more muscle grease into the throw too because when the bullet went into her arm, it exploded in a mess of blood. She fainted and got blood all over my boots. Cass and Richard made it up the ladder to the next with little difficulty, scoring me some grenade they had gotten from a trap.
Cass was charged with taking care of the Black hats on the school’s roof and did so with gusto. Was fun watching her work, especially knowing we were covered. Another group of militia guys were pretending to be the black hat squad we bushwhacked earlier, making a lot of noise. All the scum on that roof were dead at no cost. Ben was leading the charge to the school and I wanted to be there when that guy started fighting. The snipers down, headed down to join them, sprinting their hiding spot.
I could have stayed at the tower waited with the group. But I was curious about our new passenger. The man doesn’t look young, and barks orders like he’s done it before. When we were at the truck stop, he said he’d never been to Junkyard. Not uncommon, but almost everyone who’s survived this long has made it to Junkyard at least once. Either he’s a country bumpkin like the rest of us, barring Hex, or he’s an out of towner. Its not like I have a right to talk, being a convicted murderer and all. I just like scoping out my competition.
From the way he was leading from the back row he might be from the north. He got us to the side of school and everyone stacked up to storm the door. I had the first look into the caff and made a shot for a clueless scumbag. I clipped him, but Essence corrected my fuck-up and blew him away. In fact, Essence blew away a lot of bad guys that night. There were at least six bad guys guarding the hostages. All sex was cleared out without so much as a noise from her hand cannon. Didn’t even make a show of it. Again, words cannot describe how much this woman scares me.
I checked on the hostages and was met with fearful looks. Under the table there was a mound of explosive hooked up to their legs. Before I could call for Hex, someone had walked into the caff, waving around a detonator. Bald, Russian, and fucking ugly. Didn’t care and didn’t get a chance to make demands. Before he could even speak Ben just appeared next to him and chopped off the arm with the detonator on it. The man was fast, very fast. He was also again, showing his lack of common knowledge.
He tried to interrogate the Russian guy. The man was bleeding out and obviously scared. Ben started asking him the usual subjects, trying to find where the rest of the combine force went. And not even two questions in and the Russian guy’s head popped. None of us attempted to inform the guy, so Ben is busy clearing brains and blood off his kit.
God that is weird. Watching a woman destroy a group of men, slicing arms off, heads exploding. I’m not squeamish, not even close. But I still remember spending the day shucking and cutting corn to make army quotas. I remember teaching River how to ride a bike. It all feels like yesterday. You know, the day before I killed that man. Pretty sure I say this every week, course I have no one else to apologize to. I’m sorry. I won’t stop being sorry. We could be going through this hell as a family, or at least dead together. Its fuck all, but I always end up crying a bit inside trying to think of where you and died. Where you’re both dealing with this hell.
We’re getting ready to head to the bunker. Love you baby and the other one too.