Unlucky Charm

I don’t feel so good.

I couldn’t believe it. I went through hell and back to get my measly jug of water, but somehow that bearded bushman had beat me to it. So there I was, looking like an idiot in front of the old soldier and his entire army. To top it all off, my arm was still in excruciating pain after being broken in three places.

It would have been nice if Gray had just let me walk away, but he had to go the extra mile to “help” me. The Australian pulled a chrome tube out of an old leather bag and waved it over my water jug. Surrounding soldiers started chuckling as the tube produced a violent ticking sound.

The bushman raised an eyebrow. “I sure hope you didn’t drink any of this.”

“W-why not?” I stuttered. I honestly had no idea what Gray was talking about.

“It’s contaminated. Radioactive. I’m surprised that jug ain’t glowing.”

Unfortunately, I had already drank about two liters before leaving Urmit’s cave. I was literally dying of thirst, after all. When I told Gray, he and the old man just stared at each other for a few seconds. The old soldier called for one of his men to escort me to the fortress hospital.

Half an hour later, I was placed in a bed and put under observation. I didn’t understand. I felt fine, except for my aching arm. Maybe I was immune to radiation or something; that would be a pretty cool superpower. The doctor told me to wait, said radiation sickness gives you a false sense of security or something.

Turns out he was right. A few hours later, I was puking my guts out. I couldn’t even move. Doctor said he had some anti-radiation medicine, but it was going to cost me a few hundred dog-tags. I tried to explain that all of my money had been stolen by a tribe of spider women.

The doctor shrugged his shoulders and said, “Such is life in the wasteland.”

I just hope this doesn’t get any worse.

-Joe Junkman

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Rivalry

You’ve got to be kidding me…

I was escorted through the tunnels by Gray and that spider woman. On our way out, I spotted a clearing full of supplies, tables, and sleeping bags. A tribe of mean looking women were gathered around a soft electric lamp, enjoying some canned food. At first I didn’t think anything of it. Then I realized that my backpack (and everything in it) had been stolen during the attack. I had nothing but the clothes on my back.

Once we returned to the surface, the spider woman (who Gray called Tarantulanna) quietly slipped back into her hideout. Gray started removing the spider web residue from my body. At first I thought he was helping me, but then he packaged it into a puck shaped tin. I pleaded with the Australian that I needed my gear back. Gray pulled on his hat and pointed me back toward Abundance. I slapped my forehead. I didn’t have anything to trade with; even my dog-tags had been stolen.

The bushman just blinked at me and said, “Such is life in the wasteland.”

I can’t believe this guy. He has so many tags that he clinks and jingles with every step, but he won’t even give me a handful out of charity. He said it was my fault for trespassing, but how was I supposed to know? The mine looked abandoned from the outside!

Worst of all, before leaving, Gray mentioned that he couldn’t help me because he had to find a water source for Abundance and some General. I told him that I had traveled into the wasteland for the same reason and asked if we could team up. He shook his head and started toward the mountains without another word.

I’ll show him.

-Joe Junkman