Book reading challenge 2020

My challenge has begun to read at least 20+ books until the end of this year, and the extra challenge of reading all of my Warhammer Army books.

This post will be updated when I’ve finished reading books, which I’ll add a small roundup on my thoughts on how it went.

Warhammer Army Books:

Warhammer Fantasy Army Book: Bretonnia (finished 6/1/20)

This was quite an enjoyable read for an army book that’s about twenty years and more old! Whilst it does use elements from existing fiction and tales, it does have a lot of interesting stories and structure for how Bretonnia is organised and function in the Warhammer world. If you put aside the glaringly obvious knightly tropes, the book actually has some interesting stuff like the False Grail, when Duke Maldred betrayed the Chivalry code and ended up being killed by the red pox.

There are pages in the book that explore the lore behind Mousillon as this once splendid and mighty land that was just as magnificently as the capital of Bretonnia. Comparing it to now as an abandoned place that’s overrun with undead and Skaven, a miserable ruin that is still rumoured to be haunted by the laughing ghosts of Maldred’s Court.

I’m not sure wether Mousillon is covered in the next ed of Bretonnia, but it would’ve made a great setting for a Warhammer Quest!

The short stories were enjoyable to read with some insights into the Bretonnia setting, where common men may need to arise to the challenge as a Knights Errant to slay an Ork Warboss, or to do a deed to earn his right as a Knight of the Realm. These aren’t silly stories that are just written up to fill in spaces, these stories really help the reader to understand the ideology of Bretonnia as a Chivalry coded society.

I like this book a lot, it’s got great imagery, lore and wealth of useful inspiration. Nigel Stillman, the writer of the book along with artists including Wayne England, John Blanche, David Gallagher, Des Hanley, Paul Smith, Mark Gibbons, Toby Hynes and John Wigley have done an amazing job at putting together this army book. I’d rate it on my top ten list of must have army books for any collector.

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Warhammer: End Times Thanqoul rules book (finished 7/1/20)

Not much to say on the book, but the info on the new Skaven units was pretty cool.

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Warhammer AoS: Malign Portents (finished 5/2/20)

This expansion was a prologue to AoS 2.0 marking the supernatural and paranormal events leading towards the Necroquake. The book features rules for the Harbingers, four seers of each grand alliance who can scry the portents and discern their meaning for the future. Along with these new characters are the Malign portents rules, where a Harbinger can use points to spend an ability each turn.

It also features rules for playing in Shyish, as well as expanded rules for Skirmish, narrative play and match play.

This book was the start of AoS becoming a much more appealing franchise, twisting the hopeful and colourful setting into a grim and morbid phase in the narrative. With a new AoS logo to represent the changes, Malign portents was the stepping stone for what would lead on to future instalments that retained the hopeful aspect and moving it with the darker side of the Mortal Realms.

I liked the background material, as it explained the setting from the Age of Myth to Age of Sigmar, as well as the events leading towards the Time of Tribulations. You get all sides of the event from prospectives of Sigmar, the Chaos Gods, Nagash and even the Grots.

Rule wise I can’t say much as I haven’t played them yet, I’ve been meaning to get some games played using the expansion book. My only criticism would be that the Harbinger Keyword should be available to selected hero models for factions like Wizards or priest. For example a Ogor Mawtribe Butcher can be a Harbinger as they are wizards, they’re like seers for the Mawtribe with their magics in cooking. I think having this rule apply to all factions would’ve been a really interesting addition to the game. But having it only got the new models tied to the expansion at the time was the selling point.

Overall, nice book. I wish later expansions had the same price tag, it was accessible due to the cost of it only being £15. I thought that was a sweet deal!

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Warhammer Age of Sigmar Chaos Battletome: Clans Pestilence (finished 7/2/20)

My first AoS Battletome during 1.0, a decent book to read with some interesting concepts. I liked the idea of Clans Pestilence searching for all thirteen Great Plagues to sway the Horned Rat into the aspect of the Pestilence.

However, because it was a standalone faction book away from the rest of the Skaven, it felt odd in a way that the faction was split up. Although back then AoS was more like a Skirmish game of small factions.

Comparing his to the Skaventide army book there are a lot of thematic differences in the way the book is presented. In terms of art, imagery, writing and style of presentation. Clans Pestilence was themed as a plague ridden faction but in a sort of hopeful presentation of AoS 1.0. With Skaventide, the book takes on a darker turn that harkens back to the Skaven 7th ed and the End Times book 4: Thanquol.

I don’t dislike the book as I at lest like some of the ideas and threads sown into the faction, however, it just wasn’t a Skaven book to me.

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Warhammer Fantasy Battles Army book: Skaven 7th ed, written by Jeremy Vettock (finished 20/5/20)

Ah yes! This army book is by far one of my all time favourite Warhammer Army books produced by GW. Written by Jeremy Vettock, a man who has much wisdom when crafting the villainous side of the Warhammer fantasy world. Especially the Under Empire and its many aspects of the Greater Clans and the backstabbing society, rules by the council of Thirteen.

As a kid I was absorbed by the way the book paints the different places and factions within the Skaven army, the marsh nightmare of Skavenblight, the hellish pit of Hellpit to the fallen Dwarf city of City of Pillars. The artwork was a very influential part of my teenage years being inspired by the imagery in the book, I’d even say it was the golden age of GW art (for Skaven).

The only down side was the lack of information on certain names characters, would’ve been interesting to learn more about the Lords of Decay and their rise (or fall) to power.

This book is a must for Skaven fans, even for AoS Skaven players as it’s the holy Horned Rat bible of all things verminous.

Reading books

Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Soul Wars, by Josh Reynolds (finished 28/1/20)

This is my second read on this book, as I needed to take notes on the lore and information on the Free-city of Glymmsforge. It took me longer than expected to read as I had to take notes for information on Glymmsforge, but it took me less time to read compared to my first read two years ago.

This book is still in my honest opinion the best AoS book to date, its one of the better AoS stories that not only focuses on the Necroquake event and the battle of Glymmsforge, but the setting of the Mortal Realms. AoS at the time had little to no background that really made sense, it was disjointed, very high fantasy that sounded silly.

But when Soul Wars came around, it paved away much of what would make AoS much more gripping, the setting had a lot more weight than just ‘a load of realm’. This book was the one that got me into AoS and see its potential despite my distrust with GW after the End Times.

Reading this book again, it’s actually presented a lot more things that I missed out, including stuff like Grungni using automata machines to mine Mallus, Glymmsforge having 12 saints for all twelve mausoleum gates and a character from one of Josh Reynolds books made a cameo appearance.

Overall, a fantastic book worth reading.

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The Island of Blood, by Darius Hinks (finished 3/2/20)

I liked reading this book as a short but fun story about a classic Warhammer Fantasy Battle pitying the High Elves against the Skaven. As this book will be reaching its tenth anniversary this year, I thought I’d read it again after nearly a decade ago since I last read it.

A lot has changed since this book was released and I’ve learnt much more about the lore, as well as being more attuned to reading. It’s still a fun story with the Skaven taking much of the centre stage as backstabbing mad rats, trying to scheme and weave plots to storm the Island of Blood to claim the Phoenix Stone.

Tied to the 8th ed release of WHFB, this novella story links to the narrative of the boxed game. The studio team even made a gaming board to represent the battlefield of the Island of Blood, a chaotic warped place that defies natural law. I was lucky enough to have seen the gaming board at Warhammer World way back during my early days in the hobby.

There’s not much to say about the book in terms of lore bombshells, but it’s a nice little story that sits in the history of WHFB. It’s a major inspiration to my hobby experience when I was developing my painting skills and collecting models. It’s also my pathway to collecting Skaven!

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Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Realmgate Wars vol 2, Ghal Maraz-War in the Hidden Vale by Josh Reynolds (finished 4/2/20)

This was my first Warhammer AoS book I’ve read way back during 1.0, back when the setting was going through the rough phases of being established. Back then reading this book was confusing at times, I didn’t feel like I knew much about he works of AoS and who the Stormcasts were as individuals, to me hey seemed carbon copies of golems.

But recently I wanted to give this book a second chance and read Josh Reynolds story, since it’s a novella within a book. I didn’t want to read Guy Haley’s novella as I really disliked the pacing of the story. He’s a great writer, I enjoy a lot of his works, even his Primarch book, Konrad The Night Haunter was a good read despite conflicting material. But his story in Ghal Maraz, The Eldritch Fortress, was terrible to read. If it was written as a novel of its own, I’d say it would’ve been significant improved.

However, It’s not his fault as the setting was still expanding from fresh, and this book was a tie in to the second expansion of the Realmgate Wars. So I’d imagine Guy had to follow notes from the book to the letter.

Anyways what did I think to Josh Reynolds story? It was good, not the best of works but a decent story to read. It follows the story of the Hallowed Knights journey to find Alarielle and establish a connection of alliance with her and Sigmar’s armies.

The novella suffers the issue of feeling point a to point b plot, as the story is paced from event to event. Comparing it to Soul Wars, it lacks character that the time needed to establish character and places to fully immerse yourself in the setting.

The book does have a few good points such as Gutrot Spume, a jolly pirate who’s quite charming in his own sick way. The characterisation of Morbidex Twiceborn was quite enjoyable to read as a bloated Nurgling/Plaguebearer who’s a jolly loudmouth.

Whilst this book still feels very loose in my opinion, it does however lead on to expanded instalments by Josh Reynolds, relating to Gardus Steel Soul. Exploring more on his backstory and how his journey has developed. I’ve read only two instalments (one a short story and the other a novella), but I’ve found those to be much more enjoyable to read.

Speaking of which, I think it’s about time I gave Hammerhal a second read after reading it a few years ago. I need a refresh on the story.

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Yorkshire Ghost Stories, published by Bradwell Books (finished 10/2/20)

I got this book last year when I went to Yorkshire for a week, I thought I’d read up on Yorkshire’s supernatural side of things.

I was surprised to find that I really enjoyed this book! Some of the tales aren’t that spooky as it’s just sightings or odd events occurring. Some however……….

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Into the Flux, by Michael Moorcock (finished 12/2/20)

A short story about a descendent of the Von Bek line, as hes tasked by the distant future of Europe to travel in time. Tasked to the future to see how the world would be if the European machine carried as it were on its own decision making. However, as Von Bek tries to return to his time things go horribly wrong as he is casted across the time stream.

It’s not the best of Michael Moorcock’s work as I found the story not being as good as his other works. The way the Grail turns up in the story seemed to be just a reference in relation to the first Von Bek book.

That’s not to say it’s a terrible book, as the introduction to the Europe in the not too distant future has some relations to today’s European Union. Like how big it’s becoming like a colossal machine that’s constantly maintained by society living within it. Those within the background worry about its expansion where they can’t foresee where it may go, what choice is the right one to ensure its survival.

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Creed, by James Herbert (finished 25/2/20)

I didn’t like this book which is a shame as I really like James Herbert’s work. The paparazzi side of the story is the best part as James describes how they think and see in their day to day business.

The horror side of the story felt like a big let down, it just didn’t have that visceral horror like the Fog or The Rats Trilogy. I wanted to enjoy this book, alas the whole supernatural side of things just didn’t work for me.

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The Horus Heresy Primarch series: Magnus The Red, Master of Prospero (finished 11/3/20)

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The Horus Heresy: Betrayer, by Aaron Dembski Bowden (finished 6/4/20)

Also, I’ve read several short stories relating to Angron and Calth, before reading Betrayer. However, I won’t be including short stories for my reading challenge.

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Hamilcar Bear-Eater: Champion of the Gods, by David Guymer (finished 14/5/20)

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Konrad, by David Ferring (finished 24/6/20)

Not a bad book to read, but it’s very dated considering it’s about 30 years old pre Black Library. Whilst I liked certain aspects of the story like the female Dwarf character, Anvila, the mercenary called Wolf and chapter pages describing the encroaching horror of Chaos. However the book seems to go in different directions that ends abruptly.

I can forgive the author though as I did enjoy reading the book despite a few chapters being filler.

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Wolves of Fenris, by Chris Wraight (finished 12/7/20)

Fly on the Wall Post Apocalyptic Saga Fan Fiction part 5: Operation Sun line [season 1 finale]

Location: unknown

Year: 1968

Mission: protect and take [classified] to safe zone base delta

Current progress: ………..

‘Dashing’ Bruce and four other soldiers were suffering heavy losses as the ‘thing’ that ambushed them was lurking in the dark cover of the jungle, hunting them down one by one selectively. He couldn’t say for sure what it was or where it came from. All he knew was that he needed to get the fuck out of here and get to delta base immediately.

He was covered in mud and blood from the fighting from both the Jungle infiltrators of Seye mercenaries, and the newest arrival of unknown origin. Bruce looked like he was caked from a burial hole that he just crawled out from. ‘Shit, don’t think of stuff like that’ he thought to himself as he scrambled through the bushes in the deep dark jungle.

His daughter will be 17 in two weeks time, he promised her he’ll be back in time to see her soon once this was over. But he’s sure now that’ll never happen. She doesn’t even know that her father was enlisted back into the military, for all she was told he was off to a business venture.

As he scrambled he noticed a tug at his left shoe as he was slowly getting no more traction. He thought a Seye had shot him his leg at first until he realised there wasn’t any pain flaring up. As he tried to stand up his leg was getting dragged back! Clawing at the ground frantically like a freighted rabbit, Bruce prayed it wasn’t the ‘thing’ as he tried to escape. Then he noticed a puddle appearing between his fingers, and soon covered his entire lower body. ‘No…..no……

‘No, for god sake no…….don’t do this to me!’ Bruce’s last thoughts as he screamed when the flood pinned him to the ground. It was only then that she came through the underworld of the flood to kill Bruce………his own daughter came to kill him……….

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With a thundering impact that shook the earth like an earthquake, Waz and Krakstrong charged at each other like charging rhinos. The battle of nature vs machine was reaching its climax as both forces vied each other to see who will win. Both equally strong, and either could be killed.

Krakstrong grunted with enormous effort to keep his position with his fists interlocked with Waz’s in a push of might. His muscles tightened by pressure. “Who were you talking to! Answer me weakling or I’ll tear your head off!!!” Said krakstrong as he focused all of his might into overpowering Waz.

Waz, an unemotional vessel of Frankenstein horror gritted his teeth as he pushed back against Krakstrongs reinforced push. He replied back “A friend of mine, a colleague who I met a few years ago, he has the key to help me achieve my goal” as he said this he began to crush Krakstrong’s hands which made the big ape roar in pain. Blood started to weep between Waz’s hand as he crushed flesh and bone. Where did this sudden strength come from? Was Krakstrong becoming slack from easy competition since the defeat of Jackson Creek? Was his pride so high that his nemesis, Gornicus, could see his weaknesses and is waiting for his time to strike back after years of silence?

The ape roared as he was powerless to stop his fate, Waz kept crushing his opponent until he literally ripped all four arms off the beast. Blood gushed out of the arm stumps like fountains of red wine, making krakstrong weep in pain as he dropped to his knees. “Now, Keith, will you listen to me?” Said Waz with no smirk or righteousness in his tone, this wasn’t a personal victory for him as he had other concerns on his mind.

“Nevvveeerrrr!!!!!!” Roared Krakstrong as he tried to stand up slowly with all his strength. The effort was hurting him as he moved his muscles. “My world will be turned to ashes if I let you live and enact your abominable act of slaughter. The greater nature told me this in my mind, that you will kill us all. I cannot let you win!”

“Those voices are false impressions made by the Dark Mind, it needed you to kill me so that I couldn’t achieve my goal of saving mankind. Even you, Keith should know that the voices are lies, other mutants know this to be true” Said Waz as retuned to normal size and went to claim his dark cloak. His hybrid form squelched and churned as flesh, metal and other substances reformed back into barely a humanoid form. If he felt intense pain from his metamorphosis, it didn’t show on his face as he swung his cloak back on.

“The voices aren’t theirs, it isn’t the Dark Mind. It is the voice of nature that despises the corruption of the Dark Mind and all it taints. Their temptations and promises are for the weak like Gornicus. What he hears and prostates himself to are words that echoes of the future, that whisper only the crackle of broken bones and long lost civilisation. The Dark Mind was never meant to be here on earth, and for this we pay the price by bloodshed and genocide by the billions until the world is flooded once again”.

Waz couldn’t be sure if Krakstrong was telling the truth for the brute had become more savage by the years without intellectual thought. Yet at this moment Krakstrong could talk more than he used to, intellect hidden by years of brutish dominance and simplistic ways. Was Keith still there? hidden behind the beasts alter ego acting as the voice of reason? Maybe so, for why didn’t he kill Luke and Glenn when he had the chance? Luke may have been right, Keith was still there after all .

“Keith listen to me, I’m not your enemy, I’m here to stop whatever the Dark Mind is planning. I have a friend who may have the solution to stopping this Final Apocalypse from happening. You must listen to me”.

Krakstrong laughed in a pathetic painful bursts “So I should trust you even though you’ve teared my arms off?”.

“They’ll regrow, your mutation will heal your wounds after today, I meant only to disarm you and bring you to your senses” Said Waz as he came up to Keith like a robed nomad from the deserts. “At least let me explain my story to convince you that I’m doing what’s right for the world?” Said Waz as he knelt in front of Keith a few paces between them. The big ape sighed and nodded with defeat sunk heavily in his chest as though his throne was toppled by a dominant foe. “Go on then, I’ll see if your being truthful or not once I’ve heard your story”.

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“My contact was once a scientist who was part of a military operation that discovered the existence of the Dark Mind. Before the Apocalypse, he was once a soldier in the Australian army, along with several others who were gathered in secret to perform a special task. In 1968 they were given a top secret mission called operation Sun line. The task was to act as body guards to safely take a key informant to an allied military base. On their journey whilst they fended off hired hit men, they were hunted down one by one as a mysterious participant calculated its attacks.

“Later, as the team were nearly at their destination, the Dark Mind, or in official terms, Void Flood stalkers (VFS), killed the informant and tried to kill all of the squad team”.

“Somehow, a solider was able to kill a VFS when so much of the soldiers were slaughtered. Out of twenty highly trained operatives, only three made it out with their lives”.

Waz produces a mini-monitor size of a fist on his left arm and shows it to Krakstrong, the screen formed like shards piercing through skin as the screen formed like it was part of Waz’s skin. The screen glows green and shows a slide show of photos as Waz explained his story. “My contact was a man named Jackson who worked with a scientist code named ‘Dashing’ Bruce. Through the long weeks of bloodshed and tension of operation Sun line, they found an individual Dark Mind and in a attempt to find way to kill that which conventional means had no affect. As the squad was nearly wiped out their leader had accidentally found a way of temporarily weakening the foe”

“This opened a gap for the survivors to kill the thing. After the mission was over the team went its separate ways, some stayed on to research into who or what the Dark Mind is”.

“However, the knowledge of this technology was kept closely secret by the members who knew of the existence of the Dark Mind. Most of the members were killed off years later by ‘accidental’ cases”.

He showed Krakstrong a photo of the team in a group photo involved in operation Sun line, many of the faces were marked to hide the identities of the individuals. But not all were hidden, some were declassified by the military. Reasons for this were never explained. Waz points to a man in the still photo on his screen.

A fairly young man with long hair with big glasses and a short beard, he was in his late thirties by the looks of him. “This is Jackson, he was a scientist and ex military soldier, he was one of the three who survived operation Sun line” Waz said.

Krakstrong looked like he seen a ghost as he’s eyes stared at the picture of the man. He knew him before from his dreams when he was once a child growing up, a repressed memory he had during that terrible night when he was lost. Playing hide and seek with his friends decades ago, he found a hiding spot but accidentally fallen down a deep woodland slope.

It was there that night he met Sammy, the monster that tried to kill him. The man named Jackson was there that night too, as well as a crazy man in a gas mask who both tried to take down Sammy. But wasn’t that just a figment of Keith, Krakstrong’s childhood imagination? Surely it didn’t really happen?

But it did, this photo proved that Jackson was real and Sammy wasn’t a bed time nightmare from his childhood. His heart thudded widely as sweat was dripping down his forehead by his sudden fear of what that picture had unearthed in his mind. “No, it can’t be. It was a dream…….just a dream. No……” whispered krakstrong as his reality turned upside down.

“You knew him?” Said Waz with no emotional care backing his words. How could Krakstrong know about Jackson? Strange. “Tell me what you know Keith”.

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Krakstrong told Waz all he knew. Waz made sure Luke and Glenn were okay after the ordeal of that fight that erupted hours ago, Glenn was unconscious but recovering from his injuries. Luke however was ill looking as his breathing was worsened by his fatal hit, but he would recover eventually. Better keep an eye on Luke thought Waz.

After Krakstrong told his story, Waz processed what he heard and came to a realisation. “Judging by what you’ve told me, I can explain what happened based on your story and my investigation into the Dark Mind. You see Sammy, your imaginary friend wasn’t real, he was the persona that the VFS took on. It sensed an emotional connection that you had to Sammy, the friend you needed when you were alone that night. They take on forms that we perceive them to be based on how we feel, or an aspect of their personality that we see them as. For Luke, he saw James, I’m not sure why Luke had a connection with him, but it seems to be his deepest emotional connection”.

“That night when you met Jackson, that was the night he and that scientist were meant to have been assassinated. Sammy was there to take down the two, but thanks to you, they were able to defeat the entity. Although I’d imagine they would’ve had to burn down the off grid base in case it attracted the wrong sort of attention”. Said waz as he sat down near Keith who was under the petrol stations roof, as the sky was dark and getting cold.

“So your saying I helped Jackson survive to carry on finding a way to kill the dark energy?” Said krakstrong, his arms were regrowing over time looking like thin limbs being grown, they made his body proportions look odd like T-Rex with a big body and small arms. He continued “So what is this solution that Jackson created? Where is he now and why didn’t he kill the Dark Mind before the apocalypse?”

“He and a group of researchers were funded by the military to produce a way of taking on the Dark Mind. Bullets and explosives were useless when dealing with beings that can defy logic, once your in the flood nothing can stop them. A Shotgun could knock it out, but only for a few seconds before it regains it’s composure.

The scientists worked out a way of dealing with the Dark Mind. However we won’t know what that is until we meet Jackson”. Waz carried on “As for what happened to Jackson, he worked for the military for a time until the apocalypse came. He was out of the city to see a colleague when the apocalypse consumed Australia. Luckily for him he was out of the exposure zone, and he and the colleague made it to a secret bunker somwhere in the outback. There they lived on a few rationed supplies and equipment they had on hand. They tried to go back to the lab near Melbourne to recover data and the weapon. But then as he got to the lab he was betrayed…..

“By who?” Said krakstrong as he listened closely to Waz. He still hated Waz as the thing he was and would surely take him on again another time. But he would work with Waz in truce to stop the Dark Mind, even if Waz may be a unwilling agent of theirs.

Waz showed Krakstrong a picture of the person in question. It was a skinny old man who looked skeletal in appearance, aged on the wrong side of 70, war had scarred his skin and his obsession with scientific research. Waz spoke slowly as he revealed who the betrayer was “The betrayer was one of the three survivors of operation Sun line, he was once nicknamed ‘Dashing’ for his good looks and egotistical demeanour. However that changed when he was caught in the flood, and only made it alive thanks to the Colonel. But ‘Dashing’ suffered severe mental health issue due to his mind being trapped by the VFS as the Colonel killed the thing”.

“Dashing then became a scientist and went the opposite direction of being ‘Dashing’, he became a hermit who dissected the dead for his research. His past time became his work time, his tastes were unusual and disturbing as he gradually became thin and twisted. All of his obsession caused by his traumatic experience during that fateful day”.

Krakstrong grunted “I don’t care for this backstory of the traitor, who is he!”

Waz spoke more serious and deeper than usual as though the name would usher some kind of bad omen “That traitor was known as Bruce, the Butcher…………”

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As his daughter walked towards him, Bruce was entranced by the floods influence. He heard voices in his mind like distant echoes from all around but nowhere at the same time. Cries of pain, pleas for help, condemnation of anger and despite filled his mind like a megaton migraine. He saw things from the dark as flickers of billions of lights marched on in the cold vacuum of space. All passing Earth towards the great unknown, one such spec of light went off course and dropped into earths atmosphere.

Another image came to mind, indescribable creatures of nightmares teared into his flesh. Eternally repeating the process until Bruce couldn’t feel the pain anymore. His daughter appeared, holding what appears to be a beating heart that looked like a hybrid creation. Part flesh, part metal, part nature, part hollow.

Then, she slammed her empty hand into his chest, his screams contorted into thousands of echoes as his daughter plucked his gore red soaked heart out, and replaced it with the hybrid organ. Voices boomed all around him in many languages and tones, like cracked bones and voices of long lost civilisations.

“Welcome Bruce. Your vessel shall be our property. Your identity will be ours to control and change. Your life is now in service to great work. Let the flood flow, into your mind, into your veins and into your soul. The Final Apocalypse is your only ambition, your only passion and your final duty to fulfil. The dead shall guide you………” the voices stopped as all went to darkness. Finally after time uncounted I’m the darkness Bruce awoke to see a face, at first it was blurry and sounded muffled. He soon realised who it was.

“Bruce it’s me, Bruce listen to me, Bruce! For god sake listen Bruce can you hear me! Don’t die on me now. Think of your daughter, Bruce!”

Bruce spoke softly back to the Colonel “Butch…..”. The colonel smiled and wiped the blood off his face as he griped Bruce tightly in his bloody grasp. “Thank god your alive, I thought it had you there! Jackson and I are all that’s left of the team. We managed to kill the thing, we managed to kill it……” his mind drifted off as he remembered the lives lost to the monster that took his men. Fellow soldiers, friends too. He treated them like brothers who he looked after as his own. All dead now, a family lost by senseless violence.

Bruce spoke again more clearly this time as he finally spoke from his readjustment. “Butcher” he said as his mind saw the countless dead piling up in vast cathedral spires. He imagined himself being there walking among the dead in a butchers apron covered in blood, his face now a permanent gas mask contorted into a ghastly monster and his hands welded to two big blades of heavy iron. He saw the dead call out to him as the sky burned and the fires heralding the end of the world flare. But none of the dead were affected, cold and still as a forgotten Crypt from centuries past. He mumbled to himself as he saw so many dead that needed his attention. So many dead……….

End of part 5 and season 1

Fan fiction Fly on the Wall Podcast Post Apocalyptic Saga link post

I’ve decided to make a post to link all of my Post Apocalyptic saga fan fiction posts, based on The Fly on the Wall Podcast series hosted by Luke and Waz, into an all in one link post. This will be updated with each new fan fiction post published on the blog, links below are in chronological order.

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Update (5/4/20): I’m currently editing part 5 to make sure it reads and visually appeals without being too fan fiction-y and too silly. As a halfway point for the entire fan fiction story, I want to make sure it ties plot threads that I’ve been plotting through the series.

Mainly, I want to set the halfway point where there’s a clear goal and destination, not that the characters, background and story up to this point has been established. It’s all to easy to get too sidetracked with ideas and creative overloads, dragging the story for too long and too overly ambitious for the plot I originally had in mind.

So once part 5 is out, everyone will be on track and happy to know that the filler and exposition parts are done.

Oh, and part 5 will be dropping some big stuff about the post apocalypse. Stay tuned!

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Posts below are art posts relating to the fan fiction.

I’ve got some suggestions for listening to music whilst reading these stories, as it’s immersive to the story that’ll make the experience much more enjoyable. These are my personal favourites when I’m writing these fan fiction stories, I hope you’ll enjoy them too!

  • Mitch Murder, Hardwired album
  • Fallout 1 and 2 and 3 OST
  • Wasteland 2 by Mark Morgan
  • Sanctum, Metatron Omega
  • Impact Winter, Mitch Murder
  • Death Stranding, Ludvig Forssell

Lastly I’m grateful to Luke and Waz for letting me do this fan fiction project, despite how much I keep posting about my work I’m very thankful for the guys positive feedback and enjoyment of my work.

You can find the Fly on the Wall Podcast on your preferred podcast app (might not be on all podcast apps), Twitter and Instagram.

Here’s a link to their Twitter site and give their podcast a listen!

https://mobile.twitter.com/flyonthewallpo1

If the link doesn’t work, just type in FlyOnTheWallPo1 on Twitter.

Thanks for reading this post and I hope you’ll enjoy the fan fiction stories (or not).

-Bjorn

Fly on the Wall Post Apocalyptic Saga Fan fiction part 4: The Nomad and the Beast

Before the story begins, this is kinda a return of the fan series. For those of you who are new, this was Inspired by The Fly on the Wall Podcast (hosted by Luke and Waz) post apocalyptic saga audio series. My story splinters off from a certain point from the podcast and goes in its own direction. This series is not canonical to the podcast, and is treated as a fan fiction story.

I took a break from writing the fan fiction after I felt that I was taking it too seriously. Not many people read the fan fiction blog posts, so I decided to give it a break.

But after some ideas came to mind and I felt the need to write it down, I’m ready to release part 4!

If your interested to know where this post apocalyptic saga came from, you can check out my ‘Dark Mind’ overlord, IRO, over on his blog. links below.

https://imperialrebelork.wordpress.com

You can find The Fly on the Wall podcast on most podcast sites and you can follow them on Twitter and Instagram.

With that, enjoy the horror!

_______

Luke opened his eyes as he was awoken by a loud noise coming from the back of the petrol station. At first he thought it was just a bit of scrap that dropped off from years of corrosion, after the apocalypse left the place deserted from maintenance. Man-made structures built by a an era when the world was still running, but dying from its inhabitants own meddling. In a time when only humanity was its own threat, now the game has changed where mutants and limited resources were the biggest threat. Luke took a few seconds to regain his senses after his rude awakening. Was the building unsafe?

But then he realised it wasn’t that, he heard a roar like a lion announcing it wants a challenge a worthy foe, it sounded familiar. Keith! Luke got up and ran outside with his pistol in hand, heart beating faster as he dreaded what he would discover. Glenn followed after Luke as he got his sniper rifle on the ready. Had Krakstrong finally lost his humanity to the beast that took control of his mutated animal form? Did the raiders sneak in and caught sight of the beast and engaged in combat?

It was soon became apparent that it was a lot worse than the fears Luke had dreaded. He saw behind the back of the station that Krakstrong was shoving Waz against the wall with his massive mutated arm. His grip was crunching at the symbiotic form of Waz as metal and flesh became pressured by the brutes grip. “Who were you talking to! Answer me now or I crush you!” Said krakstrong, as he gritted his teeth in disgust at the sight of Waz. It finally happened, the friendship Luke had once had was tearing itself apart. Hatred, betrayal, jealousy, anger, sorrow and fear was all the gang could feel towards each other.

Luke tightened his grip on his pistol and shouted at Krakstrong “Keith!!! Put him down, there’s no need for this violence!”. Krakstrong roared in anger as that name was said again. He hated that name, he never wanted to be human again. “I told you I’m Krakstrong!!!!!” He threw Waz towards Luke and Glenn with a crash of bodies. On the floor, Luke was pinned to the ground by the weight of Waz. His body was aching from the collision and he could feel his legs go cold. Glenn was lucky enough to have dogged the collision and helped Waz on his feet, but as soon as he did so he was smashed in the side by Krakstrongs backhanded swipe.

Glenn was knocked off his feet and landed on the ground with a loud thunk. He was knocked down unconscious.

Waz lifted himself up by self propelled symbiotic arms, springing him high up towards a safe distance from Krakstrong. “Do not interfere the great work” said Waz in a cold unemotional tone towards Krakstrong. The beast pounded the ground and prepared itself to make a full on charge.

Luke tried to get up and help Glenn but he realised his legs wouldn’t move. Were they broken? It would be a serious problem as he wouldn’t be able to reach James at the Water purification power plant facility on time. He’d die from his degrading health and fail his people, his family from the Final Apocalypse…..

He soon realised that his legs weren’t broken as he propped himself up by using his hands as support. As he inspected his legs, his eyesight began to lose its perception, blurring and strobing like a psychedelic nightmare. Luke lost his focus and dropped to the floor in a dizzy sickness. His temporary sickness was getting worse at the wrong time. Time was running out…..

Krakstrong and Waz were fighting each other on the road just a few meters away from the petrol station. The unconscious bodies of Glenn and Luke were trapped and unable to stop the infighting.

________

Krakstrong charged towards Waz like a rhino thundering towards its prey at great speeds. The massive ape form was intimidating with arms as big as logs, four arms of lethal brutality that could shred metal with enough force. He would kill this abomination Waz, it served its use as a guide and now its betrayed its friends like krakstrong knew it would. Why did that pathetic man slave think Waz would be a friend like it used to be? Couldn’t he see the machine is all that remains of this vessel?

The beast knew Waz had a role, a dark role in the complex web that ties the four friends to the inevitable showdown. He heard whispers in his mind that guided his actions, telling him to do what was right in the natural order. It told him to slay Waz now before the irreversible could happen.

Waz, son of the machine, key to the gates of the flood. The Final Apocalypse’ Said the voice in his mind.

_______

Waz threw away his robes and revealed his body of mutated horror as cables, metal, flesh and natural growths mixed constantly to his form. He turned his arms into blades of steel and flesh, his form bulked to match Krakstrongs size. He charged towards his foe like a juggernaut as he pounded the ground with his massive feet.

He was an abomination to everything, even to the mutants he was a stranger. But why should he care? He was the thing that would bring about the salvation of mankind and save the earth from total annihilation. All his life he had a purpose to be something better, to never succumb to the desires and self interest like the mindless selfish, dishonest and corrupted fools who splay themselves to leaders of class and political backstabbing. Never faltering in his goal to help his friends and family, and by extension to his community.

His goals have since grown to involve the whole world as his mission to protect and save, at the cost of sacrificing his connection to his friends and family. Even more so his old identity.

The Final Apocalypse was only the first step towards salvation, the site in which history would be made was only days away now. Another chapter in mankind’s journey towards greater heights. The Dark Mind was only a distraction, the real goal was yet to come.

Waz, no not Waz anymore. The Nomad, son of the machine, the key to the flood. The Final Apocalypse’ a ghost inside Waz’s mind whispered.

_________

James looked at down from the cliff edge where he spectated the fighting. He smiled to himself as he saw the two who were once friends fight to the death. Fate can be cruel but then that’s life is it not? Didn’t fate create the Dark Mind?

A rat came towards James and rested on his lap, chewing on a bloody remains of bone and flesh. Seeing his child enjoy its meal made his smile widen. Rats were seen as nothing more than pests, vermin that were exterminated by the thousands just for breeding and surviving in this world. Why should the humans judge themselves as the rightful rulers of earth, to kill the rats when they themselves are just as simple and verminous to themselves.

“The rats, just like the ones back in London…….” mumbled James as a memory, a memory of the original James come to mind for a brief minute. They sometimes flash before him unexpectedly, fragments of someone’s memory that appear like ghosts from another time. They were becoming more frequent, James knew why, he was too used to this form that he couldn’t separate his true self to this identity.

He’s been outside for too long, it was time to go back home.

“Let’s go, I think brother Giger will want me back soon” Said James as he pats his rat on the head and stood up. He looked below one more time at the fighting at the pet, he’d like to spectate till the end but plans are in place that needed his attention. He turns around and walks along into a puddle of dark water and sinks below its depths. As soon as he was below, the puddle sunk into the ground and left a bare dry land as if the puddle was never there.

_____

End of part 4

Oh Alister, Asylum short story

Drip

Drip, drip

Drip, drip, drip

“SPOOOOGGGEE!!!!”

“For god sake Luke!!! You ruined the tension, the silent atmosphere of the unknown with only the sound of droplets being heard! Why must you ruin the moment, the tension was almost palpable!!!! My show was going so well until you F it up! Go and sod off back to your corner, leave me alone I’m tacking a sh!t now!!!! Alister Huckleberry was once a celebrated entertainer back in his day, a bingo caller from Yorkshire who was in his mid 40’s with charming looks and clothing fashion that could make your nan sink down below. That was until he was officially declared insane by the medical society of bad acting (MSoBA), and was sent to the outback of Australia in a asylum called ‘Ken’s den’. This is where your criminally insane bad entertainers go…….

Alister wanted to ascend to heaven and be done with this hell he was trapped in, spending 11 years for crimes including bad comedy, terrible one liners and fake tan so bad that he looked like he smothered himself in tangy cheese crisps. His last show was so bad that all the OAP’s dropped dead from the boredom with jam sandwiches all over the the room, a sign of a bad actor at work!

Another day at the asylum, another bad actor strikes again. The asylum for bad entertainers and performers carries on its usual routine as patients go on the road to becoming better entertainers, to walk out into society to be a better person. They may go on to become famous, or even legendary talents in the history books. Some however tend to leave the profession for good, the asylum will always be on their mind whenever they see a vacant microphone or a lonely guitar that needs twanging.

But for Luke, he’d spooge everybody’s chance just for his own amusement. He’s been doing this for five years now, ever since he was locked up for crime against the entertainment code. His unnecessary vulgar comedy and social media posts of acquired taste had marked him as a wanted mad man. He and the Spooge crew (his gang of affiliates) were a menace to society and needed to be locked up! The Governor of the asylum sent a bounty out on Luke and his crew worth around £100,000. Mr Fletcher was adamant that these criminals will be found and sent to his asylum to be reformed.

After many weeks of searching and tracing the whereabouts of the Spooge crew, the coppers finally found the gang when they saw their van at a fast food restaurant. A high speed chase was on! Luke was on the wheel, Waz on the guns, Glenn polishing his spear, Keith was drunk, naked man shouted vulgar nonsense at the coppers and the Tons (Dexton, Sexton and Flexton) were shooting out from the sides of the van. The Spooge crew fled to another part of the country as the coppers chased them through main roads and off road lanes. Waz had in total punctured 6 police cars, shot and overturned 5 police cars, caused minor injury wounds by 11 and killed no one. His heavy machine gun was nearly out of juice and he needed more ammunition in order to get rid of the rest. That’s when naked guy suggested a do or die attempt at jumping over a canyon, he was a genius when he was low on psychedelic substances.

The coppers finally caught Luke, Waz, naked man and other criminal scum in an abandoned industrial mining site. Their van got wrecked by a demolition ball that swung into the van as it nearly made the jump over a canyon.

Even though the game was up and each one of the crew were sentenced to ten years in the asylum, like Evel Kenival, Luke would do more and more extreme acts of bravery and insanity, he’d escaped along with his gang three times so far. Their greatest escape was the second attempt when Waz got a jackhammer from the arsehole of a smuggling inmate. How he was able to stuff it in his hole is anyone’s guess, but Waz used this to break free and his friends too who were down the row from him. Did the guards get killed? No, they laughed to death!

They made it all the way up to the Governors office and tried to create an armed siege. They wanted a deal where they go free with a van to get away in. When they had a deal and drove off they were pursued by a dark ominous van, immediately they found out that their petrol was low. So close to freedom, yet so far away when the asylum released its most dangerous and reliable asset to deal with the Spooge crew. Taken out of his cryo frozen state in a frozen isolation chamber, Carry On legend, Sydney was back!

The Spooge crew were weak against this old mans prowess as he danced and singed his ditty tune, he joked and gave his memorable one liners. The crew were laughing to death as their hearts were crushed by the weight of the power of humour, British humour at it’s most destructive state. It was only by sheer luck that Sydney died on the spot as he chocked from years of being on ice, his comeback came too soon. He laid there on the floor smiling from beyond the grave.

It was decided that the Spooge crew needed to be separated into groups of two, lest the madness consume the entire asylum by a gang of crazy pranksters.

Alister has seen and heard all of this in his time behind bars in the asylum. Unlucky for him his roommate was a lunatic who broke him in just 2 hours of being together.

Oh Alister.

_________

It was nighttime and everyone was in their isolation cells, for Alister, his isolation became a shared room. Luke was in the corner rocking back and forth in the shadow, hardly spoke a word in the last few hours. This was odd, Luke would usually be writing some vulgar poem that he’d tell Alister about, or drawing childish pictures in crayons of his adventures. The canyon jump was his favourite story.

Alister heard the canyon jump so many times now that he could recite it in all its childish hallmark. Strangely the story reminded him of something long ago, the canyon had something close to him once, a vague fuzzy memory that he couldn’t catch no matter how hard he tried.

It was 11pm and the inmates were asleep, well not all of them, strange noises echo down the hallway at night like screams and almost demonic shouts and laughter. Men in security gear were escorting clowns on trolleys with jam smeared on their mouths. He could sometimes see doctors walking across his jail door to administer injections to inmates. Supposedly it was to help clear their minds of the painful memories they had. Well Alister’s bad entertainment memories were still intact and the injections didn’t do a thing. But he did get a fuzzy headache when he tried to remember vague things at the back of his mind…..

Luke stopped rocking and froze, Alister looked over to see Luke curling still. He was feeling a slight twinge of worry that the lad was broken by the madness of this wretched place, it finally got to him. He got up and walked just a few paces towards Luke and sighed. “Oi, lad, ya allwit? Ya seem a little off it tonight?”.

No sound came from Luke. Alister got the impression that Luke was being antisocial and wanted to be left alone. Although Alister hated this man for driving him mad from the constant pranks, he could at least spare some understanding for people who just became complete emotional wrecks like him. He broke down once in his life during a time of stress and pressure, on the edge of losing his sanity when everything collapsed on him. Wait, since when did Alister broke down? His head was getting fuzzy again, he swore he just remembered having a memory of breaking down?

________

Alister was asleep dreaming of horrible things that plagued his dreams, he was in debt, his wife was killed whilst gliding over a canyon and he had a mental breakdown at his local bingo show. He felt the gears in his mind break and crunch as reality forced him down towards a complete emotional collapse. The elderly were laughing and scorning him for his mental breakdown, the bad entertainer proved to be a complete failure at his job. They hated him, loathed his existence as a little man who had no success, his wife dead, his finance in ruin and he had news broken to him that he was going to be sacked tomorrow from the bingo hall. It all cascades on him in the end as his mental health finally gave way.

All Alister could do was fall onto the microphone stand and smack his head constantly until blood appeared on his bludgeoned face. Then several minutes later the laughter ceased and a cold silence took over the hall, Alister was all alone covered in the red essence of human blood.

Drip

Drip, drip

Drip, drip, drip

‘………………’

The End

Fan fiction Post Apocalyptic Saga special: Sammy and me

This is a story I’ve planned on writing as part 4 in the fan fiction story, however after much thinking and writing the story I thought it would be a great as a special. It’s set years ago pre Apocalypse that focuses on one of the four protagonist in the Post Apocalyptic Saga.

Enjoy!

___________

1994, Melbourne, in a forest nearby

A dark shape was tumbling down the slope of an overgrown, secluded forest with bushes, sticks, branches and brittle plants tangling in the way of the falling object. Cloaked in dark robes that stuck out like a rolling shadow in contrast to the green and brown forest, it kept rolling and rolling down the slope. Finally the object was stopped as it hit a tree stump in its direction with a loud thump sound.

A yelp of compliant came out of the dark robed person as it tried to recover from its fall. Looking up and blinking back into awareness, Keith had only realised that he had trip from a great slope down the forest. He was alone, the only sound was nature that came from all around him. The sun was coming down as Night was drawing in.

‘I need to find my friends before nighttime’, thought Keith, as the forest started become very quite.

———

Going back up the big slope was a waste of time as getting up it would take too long to attempt. Keith needed to find the end of the slope that would be easy to climb, up towards a road or a house he can visit to call his friends. He walked on through the forest wrapping his cloak around him to keep warm. The night can get very cold as the chill was in the air as the sun became weaker and weaker.

Before Keith’s accident, he was playing with Luke, Waz, Glenn, Dexton, Flexton and Fenton. They were playing Star Wars dressing up in cloths that looked just barely recognisable to the characters in the films. Glenn was Luke Skywalker, Waz was Han Solo, Luke was Chewie, Dexton was Darth Vader, Flexton was a Boba Fett and Fenton was Princess Leila.

They were all playing at the local park pretending it was a space station from one of the films. Sometimes they would play tig, bad guys vs good guys game or hide and seek. Keith was the Emperor, he and the bad guys were hiding from the good guys. It was then that Keith had gone too far from the others and accidentally tripped on his robes and fallen down the slope.

Now he was walking alone in the cold with bruises and cuts on his face and arms, the fall was bad but at least he made it in one piece. From where he came down he would’ve broken an arm or leg, or worse………

Minutes passed in the fading light Keith was getting hungry and cold, the long stretch of the forest seemed to never end. Was he ever going to get home, see his friends or even his family? He heard stories of monsters in the night that took children away never to be seen again. Were the monsters out here now? Were they following him?

He was starting to get scared, imagination flared with ghosts with no heads, ugly monsters with glowing red eyes and big teeth, zombies coming up from the ground to tear him alive. Keith whimpered as he started to run through the woods, he wanted to go back home now. His fears grew as he kept running faster and faster as the monsters tried to grab him, they wanted to eat him alive like all the other children they caught.

Then suddenly Keith tripped over on a tree root that stuck out from the ground, catching his foot and tripping him over onto the ground. He cried out in pain as he twisted his ankle, pain flared like a sharp needle poking his leg. He was crying from fear and pain as he was alone in the dark to die alone, the monsters were close now laughing and wailing in joy and malice. Keith closed his eyes tight waiting for the inevitable end to his short life on this world. But then nothing happened. The monsters were quiet like nothing happened. He slowly opens his eye to peek around to see if anyone was there. Nothing in sight.

He looked down to see his ankle which started to flare in pain, it wasn’t broken but he’d twisted it badly. As he unloosened his foot from the root he looked up to see a barely visible man kneeling right in front of him, smiling as he looked at Keith straight in the eye. He was cloaked by the darkness obscuring his appearance.

The monster was here……

_____

“Don’t be afraid Keith, I’m a friend of yours remember?” Said the oddly jolly man as he held out his hand but Keith didn’t take it for fearing of the unknown. He moved away backwards as he tried to scrabble away from the man, keeping his eyes on the stranger. “Why are you afraid Keith? Don’t you remember me?” He said with a concerned tone with that smile still on his face.

“No! Get away from me you creep, my mom said not to talk to strangers!!!” Keith protested as he did what his mother taught him at a young age. He was sure help would come if he was loud and clear. But no one came, his protest came unheard of. The man saw Keith’s frightened appearance so he put his hands up in a peaceful sign, he sat down and crossed his legs.

“Don’t be frightened Keith, it’s okay I won’t hurt you. I’m just here to talk to you, don’t you remember me?”. Keith wasn’t sure why the man kept asking him if he remembered him, he couldn’t tell because it was too dark to see the mans face in detail. But he recognised him from somewhere before.

Keith said with some effort of confidence “No I don’t know you. Who are you and why were you chasing me?”. The man chuckled as clapped his hands like he was giving Keith a riddle. Then water came up out of nowhere in a thick sludge of dark substance, which grew into a calm river that stretched for miles all around them. Where did this water come from? And why’s the man so happy? Keith tried to move but the flood trapped him like quick sand keeping him still. No amount of effort can free him from its grasp.

Then from under the flood the stranger came out of the water and walked slowly towards Keith as he chuckled. His face was still hidden by the darkness, so he got close to Keith by arms length and got out his lighter from his pocket and flicked it. The flames orange glow sparked into life revealing his face. He said with giggling joy in his breast “it’s me Keith, your imaginary friend Sammy Simple”.

Keith screamed his lungs out in terror as he saw a man with a face that looked like a child’s drawing mould like clay into a garish and horrific form. It’s eyes oddly shaped and pulsing in its moist stare, bright blue and sharp. It’s mouth was a squiggly line that might look like a smile, but when it opened it was a nightmare of raw gums, broken teeth and sharp fangs sinking into its own flesh. It’s head was oddly shaped like a badly drawn circle, it was like a pumpkin with its forehead larger on the right hand side and shrunk on the left. Sammy’s body was a gross proportion of a mutant with one arm bigger than the other, spine twisted at a wrong angle and legs the size of a chair leg.

Sammy came close to Keith as the boy turned pale with utter fear screaming and scrabbling madly to get away.

“Don’t you remember me Keith?” It said smiling with malicious thrill as he grabbed Keith’s tiny head……….all that remained was a skull which was then crushed into a million particles of dust that drifted down into the deep sea of dark water.

____

Keith woke up startled as he awoke from his nightmare. He was scared and sweating from what he saw. Then he realised he was at the same spot where it happened, he wanted to run away from here and get back home. He noticed that his ankle had recovered miraculously as though it was never twisted, he could move it without issue. On the ground in front of him was a lighter left on the ground, the same one that monster used to show it’s hideous face.

He needed to get away now, or the monsters would find him.

_____

As he went further he saw a log cabin, finally he found life out in the forest! He came up to the cabin and decided he’d listen in from the side of the closed wooden window, he needed to be sure these were good people and not the strangers that his mother warned him about. He crept up to the side of the cabin and listened in, he heard two people talking as though they were in a heated debate. He wasn’t sure wether to knock on the door just yet, so her listened in to hear what the commotion was about.

——-

“Bruce don’t f* with me, do you have the results or not? Do you realise how impatient my boss is about delays? Or has your indulgences gone too far for your scientific mind to erode away?”. The man complaining was a smart looking man with tanned skin wearing black boots with a brown suit and trousers with a black tie. He was wearing black rimmed spectacles which made his lean features more defined, his hair was long and curly and was sporting a moustache.

“Oh you’ll get your results when I’ve got what I wanted Jackson, I’m not a charity you know. I’ve got a life to live”. Said Bruce who was very pale and frail with grey hair and sunken features. He was wearing a lab coat that was bloody smeared, his gloves were drenched in thick stains of blood.

“The test results be yours once I have what was promised, or has your boss finally changed the agreement that we agreed on?”. Jackson shook his head in frustration and rubbed his eyelids and took a deep breath “No Bruce, we’ve not changed the agreement. But for god sake just give us the result that we need and we’ll deliver your ‘essential’ indulgences”. Bruce laughed to himself and took off his gloves and put them on his desk.

His cabin was small enough for him to do off the grid work that would help him deal with unique clients. The underworld relied on Bruce to produce certain research and developments that not many people would see as moral standards. He was protected by Jacksons boss as a ghost, an off grid asset who can’t mingle with society anymore. The government has no idea he’s still alive, thanks to the organisation that made it all possible. So long as his research proved to be reliable and successful, he’d recive his side of the deal and assurance that he’ll be able to work on without issue.

His line of work involved testing chemicals in the human body and seeing what effects it may have on a person. In his cabin he had a patient on a cart who was quite certainly dead judging by her pale skin and glossy eyes. Her guts were opened a few hours ago for testing a chemical Bruce had introduced to her for her last meal.

He looked at Jackson as he took a seat near his desk. “Do you know what your boss is trying to accomplish? If you do, I think your just as barmy as the rest of them”. Jackson looked less humorous as Bruce “Yes to an extent I know what the goal is or else I wouldn’t be here now out of the trust of my boss. This project means a lot to us for the future of humanity than some utopian dream these politicians are pulling out of their asses. They only see the end goal as a profitable number, to see themselves written in the history books as the ‘greatest minds of our time’ or ‘our finest leader since x and y’. No, we care more about our species than any world leader would if they gave a minute of their time to see those from the ground. Humanity will reach a point in the future where a great catastrophe will occur, when our species will need to improve and adapt to an unstable world that is radically different from today’s climate. Wether by WWIII, climate change, natural disaster or even…….”

“A mid life crisis looking ugly and wasted like me? Hahahaha!!” added Bruce who interrupted Jackson’s great speech. He got up from his desk and walked towards Jackson and said “kids like you think the same as those in power who are In the rat race to the top. You believe what your boss says because you believe whatever s* comes out of their mouths so long as you get that promotion or privilege of being the hero. Facts, evidence, history and results? They can be altered or taken out of context just to serve their agenda, all that’s needed is the mindless masses to persuade and enlist towards their cause. Do you think altering everyone into the next form of human evolution will go down well? What if they become mindless, easily manipulated into the perfect army by your boss? You act like your the clear thinker and the future is easy to map out once things go your way. Truth is, you may think your doing the right thing, but in reality your just as much of a threat as the things your fighting against. I’ve lost interest in politics and the people when I realised we were going around in circles endlessly like a revolving cage wheel”.

Bruce lit his cigarette with his lighter and puffed out smoke from his cracked lips. “I go where I please, I’m my own master, my own boss, my life is mine. Moral or immoral I can die knowing I’m not a piece in a complex web of political bs. So long as I get my due from my clients I’m free from the war” he pokes Jackson in the chest to emphasise his statement “Unlike you kid” he laughs as he walks back to his chair whilst coughing from his smoking.

Jackson cursed at Bruce’s statement and pulls out his revolver gun and shoots at Bruce’s direction with a loud bang. Keith jumped from the loud noise and caught his mouth before he could scream from his hiding spot below the closed wooden windows. Bruce looked stone cold pale and the shock made him leak from the sudden shot, his trousers were soaking wet. The shot just nearly caught him from his sitting position on the chair, a smoking hole in the leather seat drifted near his crotch.

“Thing is Bruce your just another cog in the system, your not your own master, your a deluded lonely hedonist who’s life hangs in the balance from my bosses strings. You belong to us, you can only do what you do because we allow you to. The results of the mutagen to evolve mankind is of great important to us. Fail to deliver and we’ll deal with you like you never existed. Oh wait, you don’t exist now do you? You were officially pronounced dead years ago from a freak road collision, a coverup for your work to continue without interruption”.

Bruce spat on the floor in a foul mood like he couldn’t give a damn about this project. But he needed the support for his ongoing science project, and his addictions…….

He gives Jackson his results paper in a brown envelope and walked to the door “I think it’s time you were leaving Jackson”. Striding through the room Jackson reaches up to the door and looks back at the horrifying display of surgery, chemical testing lab full of canisters and silo chambers and his recent patients bloody remains. “I wondered why the boss gave you the nickname the ‘Butcher’. Now I know why”. Jackson leaves the cabin out into the forest.

_____

Keith crept around the cabin and peaked from the side to see the man wall off towards his car. He didn’t know what went on in the cabin, but he was sure that these people were the types his mother warned him about. As he turned away he snapped a twig by accident, his heart skipped a beat as he realised his mistake. Jackson heard the twig snapped and turned towards Keith’s direction. “Bruce, is that you?” He said as he took out his revolver and aimed it whilst walking back.

Keith didn’t know what to do in this situation. Either run back into the dark forest or reveal himself to the man. Surely he wouldn’t shoot him for he was only a teenager. If he ran the chances are he wouldn’t get far as the man could take down Keith. Even if he escapes he’d be back to where he started where the monster was lurking. Sammy Simple or a stranger with a loaded gun, none were any better.

Keith spoke out to assure the man he was a teenager lost in the forest “Hi sir, I’m lost and I needed to get back home”. Jackson kept his aim up “show yourself, then I’ll know if your real”. Keith took the risk and slowly came around the corner with his hands up shaking. His face was covered in scratches with his Emperor makeup all ruined by tear lines and his cloak dirty and ripped by his fall down the slope.

The man kept his gun out and spoke to Keith with an urgent tone “Are you part of ‘them’? They can be disguised as anyone, I can’t risk you revealing our secrets and causing the Final Apocalypse”. Keith started to shake in fear and started crying “I just want to get home, I swear I didn’t know what you were talking about”.

Jackson came up to Keith slowly, making sure he didn’t suddenly cause a flood to appear from where he was standing. Nothing appeared, this kid wasn’t part of ‘them’. Jackson knelt down and put away his gun and took out a wallet and revealed his badge to Keith. “Sorry kid, I had to be sure you weren’t the perpetrator I was looking for, I’m a private investigator. What’s your name?”

“Keith” relived that he wasn’t going to die. “I fell down the big slope back over the distance, I was lost and needed to find someone to take me home. Then this monster tried to find me…..”. Jackson cut through Keith’s explanation “What monster? Did it cause a flood?”. Keith was surprised that the man guessed about the flood “yeah, my imaginary friend found me and……he……..”. Keith started to whimper as he remembered the traumatic moment in his life that’ll scar him for life. Jackson became very agitated and picked Keith up on his feet. “S*, they know Bruce is here! Keith get in my car now!”

It was too late, the flood appeared like an otherworldly phenomenon that grew into an endless sea of darkness. Out came Sammy Simple who crept awkwardly out of the water to seek out Keith.

“There you are!!!!!!” Said Sammy as he opened his mouth with an almighty roar and charged towards Jackson and Keith like an insane berserker on chemicals. He lounged up to strike at them with his mutated claws, but he fell and shrivelled as he sunk back into the flood. Bruce had a shotgun on him as he closed the cabin door.

“There here” said Bruce who was wearing a black gas mask with eye lenses that gleaned bloody crimson. It was true, he was a butcher. No, he was the Butcher. He grabbed Keith by the shoulder and took him to the car “run down the woods from here, don’t look back or else it will trap you in its flood. It’s temporarily lost its influence on you and Jackson” he was silent for a few moments as he observed Keith’s face as if he recognised him. “Your that kids friend, Luke? I knew his pa from the war……”

He got sidetracked and pushed Keith away “Go kid, get away from here whilst we deal with this thing. If not I’ll have a new patient to add to my collection” he laughed with such menacing delight that it made Keith run away towards civilised life.

“You sick b*, why say that to the kid? He’s already traumatised by the whole situation. Also what was you babbling on about a ‘war’?” Jackson got his gun out and prepared himself for the fight of his life. Bruce, the Butcher, just laughed like he couldn’t care who he was talking to “The kid knows someone who’s father I met back during my days in the war, I’m surprised he’s not working with us anymore”.

Sammy woke up, but his form changed into two different identities for both Jackson and Bruce’s perspectives. The Dark Mind.

_____

Keith was found walking down a silent road by his family as they tried searching for him. Shaken and traumatised he was taken home where he tried to recover, he tore all reference to Sammy Simple from drawings to diary notes on his imaginary friend.

The next day he asked his parents to take him back to the cabin he found that night. Reluctantly they took him to the road they’ve found him and walked into the forest for some time until they found the site. All that remained was a burnt down cabin, no remains were found on site as a fire crew were putting out the smoking fire.

The End

Book reading challenge 2020

This year I set myself a challenge of reading books and beating my goal based on the total I read last year. This was my first ever book reading challenge I’ve set myself up for, the goal was to read more than twelve books.

Easy you might say, for me, I tend not to finish reading the whole book as I get distracted or become really unmotivated to read through the whole story. It’s trying to keep names, personality, locations and everything else in mind when reading, or else I become inconsistent. I like to imagine giving characters unique voices to keep things consistent and immersive with that characters identity and background.

How did the challenge go? Well, I thought I wasn’t going to make it, but to my surprise I’ve actually done it! Not only that, but I’ve read up to twenty books!

Here’s what I’ve read for this years challenge.

  • The Rats, by James Herbert
  • Lair, by James Herbert
  • Domain, by James Herbert
  • Chacarodons: The Outer Dark, by Robbie Mcniven
  • The Horus Heresy: Galaxy in Flames, by Ben Counter
  • The Horus Heresy: Crimson Fist, by John French
  • Nagash: The Undying King, by Josh Reynolds
  • Legacy of Dorn, by Mike Lee
  • Elric of Melniboné, by Michael Moorcock
  • A knight and his horse, by Ewart Oakshott
  • Eric, by Terry Pratchett
  • Knight of the Sword, by Micheal Moorcock
  • Queen of the Sword, by Micheal Moorcock
  • King of the Sword, by Micheal Moorcock
  • The Fog, by James Herbert
  • Gaunt’s Ghost: The Saints Omnibus which includes four novels, Honour Guard, Guns of Tanith, Straight Silver and Sabbat Martyr (note I’ve only read three books, the third book was passed on)
  • Sons of Wrath, by Andy Smilie
  • The Land Leviathan, by Micheal Moorcock
  • The Dark Powers of Tolkien, by David Day

What helped me for the challenge?

Music really helped me to read through these books, whilst I did use music last year for reading the first Gaunt’s Ghost Omnibus, it was only 40k OST that I’ve used to read it. For books that weren’t 40k related, it didn’t fit well unless it was a sci-fi book.

I’ve tried to broaden my music genre playlist to fit into the genre of the book I was reading, like the Rats for example, I used Mitch Murders Hardwired Album to immerse myself in its retro noir horror synthwave. This approach in using music as background noise has been a great motivation tool for reading, it adds weight to the stories that can’t be done with just imagination alone.

Top authors I’ve enjoyed reading

James Herbert was my favourite author for this years book reading challenge, after finding a copy of the graphic novel, The City, I was drawn to his fictional literature. In a matter of weeks I had the whole The Rats trilogy and read The Fog. His literature is gritty, realistic, graphic and strangely relatable with the characters he creates.

Micheal Moorcock was another stand out author for his Corum book trilogy. It inspired me so much that I did an art post entirely dedicated to illustrate key moments for the first half of the Knight of the Sword. A underrated fantasy that I’d highly recommend reading for it’s 70’s inspired sword and sorcery epic, with connections to the multiverse that connects a few characters from Moorcock other works.

Another book by Moorcock that really got me hooked was the Land Leviathan, an alternate history views by a multiverse traveling man who sees earth decimated by a catastrophic world war. Led by a ruthless, smart and cunning Warlord, Africa becomes the new super power of earth using technologies left over by the World War.

It’s a fascinating sci-fi story that mixes alternative history, politics and who would rise and fall in this post apocalyptic world.

Two Challenges

In 2020, my goal will be to read over twenty books. But there’s an extra challenge alongside this, as I’ve set myself a goal of reading all of my Warhammer army books from start to finish. That’s right, from 40k to AoS, I’m going to read all of them to catch up on things I’ve missed and might not have read for awhile.

The only exception is The End Times: Thanqoul, as that’s more of a book than an army book, so that will be added to the reading challenge.

My rules as follow for the challenge:

  • Book only counts as completed if read all the way through, no chapter skipping.
  • Can read book from where I left off when I last read it (can be the year before or reading on from the last month of the year) but I have to at least remember the plot of the story. Otherwise, I need to start from the beginning.
  • Army books need to be read from start to finish, rules, photos and small blurbs that’s not part of the lore section can be ignored.
  • The End Times: Thanqoul rule booklet counts as a an army book of sorts as it’s got lore on playable units that tie into the main book.

On January 1st I will be starting my Yearly Book Reading Challenge and The Warhammer Army Book Reading Challenge. I’m looking forward to staring these challenges very soon. Currently I’m reading Lukas The Trickster by Josh Reynolds, so far it’s a cracking read.

Until next time,

-Bjorn

Fly on the Wall post apocalyptic saga fan fiction series part 3: Time and the underworlds embrace

London, East End, est 1950/1960

On the streets in the East end of London, in a pact narrow rows of brick houses in Bethnal Green, a young man was watching outside through his window. Looking down at the street from his house, where people were going about their daily lives on a cool autumn morning. He opened his windows to let the breeze in like a fresh draft, but not the freshest and cleanest of air. Here it was full of smoke from the chimneys from coal fires, clogging the air in a smokey line of heavy black fog. But the man didn’t care as this was his home that he grew up all his life, he wouldn’t change it any other way.

Bethnal Green was a place like no other for it was where The Firm, the gang led by Kray Twins once ruled the streets, and the site of one of Jack the Rippers routes to escape his acts of murder. But life wasn’t all doom and gloom for the Community was strong, neighbours knew one another and would help each other when times were tough. Fathers went to work in the working class world, wives would look after the children and do their daily routines, some even worked in market stalls selling food.

The young man got his music player out which he fondly enjoyed listening to, music inspired him to draw, think and feel the music playing on his old 78. He put his favourite song in the 78 player and started playing the song, the sound was booming out of his windows as the music traveled down the narrow street like an amplified stage show. The drums and beat could be heard straight down the street bouncing around and echoing from the walls.

Somewhere nearby in a disused vegetable pile down the back of a stable house, rats were eating raw vegetables in this graveyard of dead veg. Their ears detected the booming music and hurried back into the shadows. Some skulked around ruins of bombed out houses that still stood after the Second World War. Overgrown, abandoned and deteriorating from years of neglect, these ruins provided the rats a comfortable nest to breed and expand around the East End.

Meanwhile back on the narrow street, people heard the music and saw the young man with his music player as the source of the loud noise. They danced and smiled at the music that was playing. It was a calm but catchy song that had a great drum and piano combination. The song that was playing was called Blueberry Hills.

Blinking his eyes open as if he awoke from a terrible dream, Luke was standing in amongst the crowed looking up at the young man. The man looked down at him with a charming smile as if he knew Luke. Suddenly he stood up on the windows edge, spreading his arms out wide and jumped down. He fell head down towards the cobbles, his sudden act shocked Luke by the sight of this mans death wish. Instead of cracking his neck from a height of 16ft or more high, he dropped into a pool of dark liquid that appeared out of nowhere, exactly where the man would’ve killed himself. It saved his fall as he fell onto the pool that was only a few centimetres high, but he vanished into its thick dark underworld.

The crowd froze with no concern for what just happened to the man, they stood still smiling in an oblivious day dream. They turned towards Luke with that same expression the man had given Luke, that knowing sinister smile that made his back chill by the supernatural.

The street turned dark, the sun became clouded by thick dark clouds that blotted the light. The people around Luke suddenly fell on the cobbled floor as If a great plague had struck them, he gasped stepping back in shock as women, men and children decayed into shrivelled corpses. They all looked at Luke as they decayed into piles of yellow bones, whispering his name even as their life force dissipated. “Luke” they whispered “Times running out, you’ll be with us soon”.

The street was silent and cold as a crypt as the world around Luke the streets became a dark and haunted perversion of what came before. The bricked houses had an eerie appearance like a tight wall blocking the light and outside world. Bethnal Green became a fantasised underworld that it was known for by the legends and villains that walked it’s streets. For Luke, he was walking in the physical underworld of Bethnal Green, it’s underworld.

______

Bubbling and squelching like a boiling pot of hot water, the dark pool grew wide and deep as it flooded the street up to kneecap height. The young man slowly climbed up the flooded water and up towards the surface like a revenant from the dead. Drenched in water and walking slowly, he brought his left hand up in a clenched fist and opened it up in an open palm. He smiled as the rats appeared all around Luke with gleaming red eyes and decaying fangs that gnawed on dead fleshy chunks. From rooftops to swimming in the water, they sniffed the air catching Luke’s scent. The predators have found its victim.

Luke was trapped in a narrow street with no route for escape, trapped like a rat in a corner. The mysterious man still smiled at Luke, chuckling as he came towards him with the rats circling around. He spoke in a soft and intellectual cockney accent like any East End born “It’s nice to meet you at last Luke, your getting closer now, so very close to the Final Apocalypse”.

“What Final Apocalypse? Who are you! Where’s my friends and where are we?” Luke’s anger rose in agitation at the mans amusement. The man replied back “The journey you’re now undertaking has set a chain in motion that cannot be stopped, and you know you can’t change it. Humanity is on the brink of extinction, the mutant army has grown to a mighty force that’ll invade Melbourne very soon. Even yourself time is running out from the virus that flows in your body. How long will you last until your body finally gives up?”

In rage, Luke balled his right fist tight and strikes the man down by impacting his fist to the face. But the man quickly grabs the hurling fist with ease, and flicks it backwards breaking the wrist and joint to the hand. Luke howls in pain as he falls to his knees cradling his limp hand. The chuckling echoed around the street ridiculing the futile attempt.

“This is my world, what strength you have has no meaning to me, I can make you suffer much more than that. But I’m not a violent man, I don’t believe in violence. But I will defend myself if I perceive a threat”

Luke cradles his hand as he clenched his teeth to endure the pain. He looks up with fury burning in his stare “So what’s the goal for this Final Apocalypse? World domination? Replacing humanity with your mutant army? Or sending your alien friends to earth to make a new home using it’s natural resources?” The cockney man shakes his head and says “None of them, I won’t reveal what we’re doing yet. I await for you at the Water purification power plant”.

He walks away from Luke and snaps his fingers to command the rats to engage towards Luke. The army of rats pounced at him, shredding his lungs and eyes in a bloody bloodbath. Luke screamed in pain as the blood gushed out in pools of dark red in the flood, causing Luke to fall and thrash in the flood water. The rats tore out his ears with their yellow diseased teeth, gnawing at the fleshy meat in greedy gulps. They clawed at the joints in Luke’s legs and arms paralysing him whilst he violently spasmed in pain. Gnawing at his flesh, the rats entered Luke’s body’s as the dug into his insides looking for the tasty organs like the liver, heart, intestines, lungs and kidneys.

At this point Luke would’ve died from shock and intense pain, but he was still alive. All he could hear was the chuckle of the young man as he knelt beside Luke’s thrashing carcass body. “I’m not a violent man” the young man said as the rats eat the last of the flesh that were left on the bones of a dead man.

______

Luke was still alive, even though he was just a pile of bones floating in the flooded street. The young man picked Luke’s skull, he positioned Luke’s skull to look straight at him. “You know times running out Luke, I can see it, the day the virus will clog your vital functions to breath, see, smell and move. You’ll need to hurry, find the Dark Mind, find me and I’ll give you the chance to die trying”. Suddenly he crushed Luke’s skull, and all that can be heard was Luke’s agonising screams as his soul was dragged down into the flood by forces unknown.

The underworld.

_______

Luke blinked his eyes open, sweat pouring down his face and body in a heat of panic and anxiety, heart beating so fast that Luke couldn’t breath for several seconds. Still in his hazmat body gear, he ripped off his gas mask and breathed in an out deeply in jagged breaths. He was back in the wasteland, the dry land that stretched either side of a long tarmac road that seemed better days. Trees dead and hollow like thorns appeared in the distance, with little plant life around Luke.

He turned to see the gang as panicked and distressed as he was, Glenn looked like he saw a ghost, Krakstrong angry from a great offence that caused him to roar. Waz was mumbling to himself, saying about “the heart and soul” like it was a riddle that even his vast knowledge couldn’t decipher. As for the flood, the rats and the man, they vanished like they never existed.

After several minutes of waiting for everyone to calm down Luke spoke to the gang, his nerves still shook him from his nightmare. “Did you guys see that? The man, did you see what the F he did?” They all nodded in agreement, they all saw what happened.

“We were all there in the flood right here, then all of a sudden I was alone in the same shed that my wife was in before she was murdered. The Butcher came back from the dead, standing there eating chunks of my dead wife. Then he came up to me and shredded me alive” said Glenn, he was shaken by what he saw but kept his iron will together. Luke shook his head in confusion. Didn’t they all witness what he did? Or did they see something else……

He said to Glenn “Wait, did you see a young man with an army of rats around us before and after?”. Glenn replies back confused as well “No, I saw the Butcher coming out of the flood, he came up to you before everything changed and I was alone, then I saw the shed like I awoke from a nightmare. I didn’t see an army of rats nor this young man either”.

Luke’s spine chilled as the supernatural became more mysterious by Glenn’s vision of what he saw. Is this how the Dark Mind works? By using the fears and nightmares of its victims to control them? Luke needed to hear what Krakstrong and Waz has to say to see their prospective on the situation.

“Waz, Krakstrong, what did you two see in your visions?”. Krakstrong who calmed down from his anger management looked at Luke and replied “I saw flood, I saw that man thing”. Luke smiled “So you did see that young man with curly hair in the suit too?”. But krakstrong shook his head “No, I saw my old self, Keith, he tried to posses my body and turn me back into a human”.

This was another revelation that made things more complicated. Luke looked at Waz and waited for his reply, Waz talked slowly in a dry unemotional tone “I saw the flood, it defies logic for there wasn’t any water source, not this far into land unless there were rain clouds. But there were no rain clouds, the water came from the ground. Then I saw you coming up from the flood, you asked me to take your hand……then ………” he stopped. He didn’t say anything after that.

It’s an illusion more likely, a game that the Dark Mind plays to lure its victims into a false sense of unease and lower their mental defences. But, they all saw something in the flood, but was it a being that could use powers to show different prospectives, or was it more complex than that? Why did Waz see Luke in his prospective, was Luke his greatest fear, regret, loss or jealousy?

Whatever it was, it made no sense, especially when comparing each experience with each other. One was fear, the other in denial. For Luke, his was the strangest one that was someone he never met before in the flesh. He knew the person in books he read, horror stories that would chill your bones and screw your mind by the violent and supernatural horror. The man died many decades ago, this being wasn’t the same man as the one Luke saw. It was a younger version, a mocking disguise of someone’s flesh and identity.

The man he met in the flood was called James. He was now Luke’s nightmare, the living manifestation of Luke’s fear of a slow death by the virus that’s flowing in his body. Once his time was over, the rats will surely find him and they will devour him……..

_______

The gang reached the end of their long walk across the long stretch of road leading towards the Water purification power plant. They see a gas station that was abandoned, this will be their resting point until tomorrow. Glenn and Luke scouted the area to see if there were any hostiles in the area, none were found. They enter the kiosk shop, scanning the shop for supplies and clearing the area for them to rest. Krakstrong will have to sleep outside as there weren’t enough room for him to fit into kiosk space.

As the sun went down and the stars came out, the gang rested from the long days road trip. Gathering their thoughts on what happened that day. It still shook them from the experience of witnessing the supernatural influence of the Dark Mind. But it made them more determined and stronger to stop the Dark Mind.

Waz went outside walking around the building where no one will notice him for a few minutes. He held up his symbiotic arm that withered and morphed constantly, cables, flesh, metal and bone morphed like a constant wave. He morphed a small screen with buttons to tune the signal, a small tv like device that he used to catch the signal that he was following.

He tuned it for a couple of minutes as the static buzzing fuzzed when tuning for a signal. The he got the signal, a barley visible green glow of an unidentifiable person on the screen. The person spoke to Waz through the radio speakers “So, have brought the group to the location that we agreed on? Has Luke collected the package from his father?”

Waz replied back in a dry cold tone “yes, he doesn’t suspect that I know about his package. We’re at an old gas station to rest for the night, by tomorrow we should be on schedule following the river down towards the location for three days”. The person replied back “Good, I’ll be waiting for you by day two, make sure your not delayed or this entire mission will be doomed”. The signal went as the man signed off. Waz was about to go back when suddenly he was pinned to the wall by a great force of impact, breaking his bones. A big purple hand pushed him into the brickwork pinning him to restrain his movement. He turns one of his eyes around to see Krakstrong snarling at him, radiating pure hatred at Waz.

“Who were you taking to! Answer now or I’ll tear you apart!!!!”

End of part 3

12 days of Winter|Fly on the Wall post apocalypse series part 2: Glenn’s confession

“My names Peter Pan and joining me today is Peter O’tool…..Peter Jackson………Peter……” Said Luke as he tried recording his and Waz’s podcast on an old recording device. Unfortunately for Luke, the recorder kept skipping every couple of minutes making the recording jarring to listen back to. But he didn’t care as he was far more concerned about what name could follow Peter Pan. He gave up trying and carried on.

“Well after two days of walking across the long road with no sign of immediate danger to life, I thought I’d record this episode with my good old friend Waz. Because the mutants, raiders and other nasties would see four the us in our van trail of dust like a big red target, it would attract their attention and would result in our destination of being devoured” Luke gestured a noose hang as if in conversation.

“How’s your day been so far buddy Waz?”.

Waz, now a half man half machine who’s not a mutant, or at least in his case a rare mutation, looked at Luke with a stale and unemotional blank stare. His right side of his face constantly changed as organic and bonded metal, wires and lights shifted and reformed like it had a life of it’s own. His human side had become gaunt, pale and sickly as it would slowly over time be completely consumed by the biomechanical mutation.

“Waz?” Said Waz dryly as if it didn’t recognise the name as it’s own, to it that name and personality died years ago after it first began to change. “My name is…..my name is…..” it struggled to remember it’s name as it tried thinking hard to search for it’s name. No use it thought.

The conversation stopped, Luke paused the recording and packed the recorder back in his rucksack. He tried his best to bring the Waz he knew back, the friend he grew up with for many years. Sometimes he thinks that Waz may have truly died and was replaced by a stranger in the flesh.

He could never understand why the mutants regarded Waz as a non mutant when clearly he is changing physically and mentally. What made him different from the rest? Are mutants racist or something? Bigotry perhaps? Whatever it is, Luke would love to trigger a bullet in the mutants head every time he hears that phrase ‘none mutant’.

But even the friendlier mutants in the town they now live in say Waz isn’t like them, something doesn’t add up. Whatever’s changing Waz, Luke’s going to find out who or what caused the virus in that water purification power plant and blow the damn thing sky high!

~~~~

Glenn, a wasteland hero forever damaged by the Apocalypse and the years of hardship in this new world, was checking his sniper rifle scope to see if there were any nearby groups of raiders or mutant hunting packs in the distance. You can never be too sure if your completely alone for sickos like to gang up on traveling merchants and foolish travellers.

He lowered his sniper rifle when he felt just assured enough to know nothing was nearby, yet. He looked to his left to see Krakstrong carrying the supplies on his broad back. Once a friend before the apocalypse, Keith was Glenn’s pal who would watch movies together on a Saturday night. ‘Godfather Glenn and Keith Gordon’ were their nicknames based their favourite movies, even dressing up as them in fancy dress parties. Glenn’s wife usually dressed up as Batman, expertly designed and crafted as a cosplay recreation of Tim Burtons Batman movie. She took the role on seriously despite her soft voice, even so by Glenn’s beating heart did she scare the crap out of him.

But she’s dead now, murdered by the Butcher. He too was now dead by Glenn’s own hands. Soon Glenn might have to kill Keith/ Krakstrong when the time came to put down this monster that was once his friend………

~~~~

Krakstrong was bored, carrying all of the supplies on his back was stressing his muscles after two days of walking. He was getting irritated by his man slave (human ambassador), Luke, with his constant monologuing about vulgar and innuendo subjects like “sp@@9e pancakes” or “Luke’s surprise ”. Krakstrong will give Luke a surprise if he mentions the pancakes one more time!

He saw Waz in front of him, that abomination was living and breathing, it shouldn’t be alive at all. Machines and organics can never truly bond, only replaced or grafted. But to bond to metal as if it were apart of you is a sign of something worse than being an overgrown mutant. Imagine if you could bond to your computer, databases storage facilities, even AI technology. Would the symbiotic relationship be an extension or an evolution to form a greater intelligence?

Krakstrong can understand that mutants are a man made event, but nature had a role to play in developing them to exist in the wasteland for stronger or weaker existents in the food chain. Woz on the other hand was different, nature had no influence in his evolution because nature has no bonding to the machine.

He’ll kill Waz when he has dealt with Luke by keeping him out of his way, a way for him to tear this monster apart before it can cause a greater sin that’ll destroy everyone.

As for Glenn, Krakstrong can’t decide wether to kill him too or leave him alive, barley.

~~~~~

Luke came beside Glenn as the group walked down a long stretch of road, not much traffic goes down these roads after the apocalypse. Some cars were abandoned by their owners due to running low on fuel, or targeted and taken down by crazy scare mongers who would beat people if they saw a car. But in most cases the driver and passengers died from the virus, their bodies left unattended as they’ve rotted inside the transport. No one dare attempts to loot these vehicles for tales of the dead rising up from their Pestilence have been spread around by traveling merchants.

Glenn sees Luke and nods, area clear for now. Luke smiles at Glenn, “I’m surprised there hasn’t been a sighting of any mutant warbands or raiders for days, we’re pretty lucky so far but I have a feeling the Dark Mind wants us to think that. I find it odd to call this entity the ‘Dark Mind’, it sounds like a childish villain created by a conspiracy theorist”.

Glenn agreed, chuckling at the thought that a conspiracy theorist, probably Luke and Woz, would create a name like the ‘Dark Mind’. But his amusement turned to thinking on his toes as he looked around to see anything suspicious. Nothing in sight. Even he was thinking how easy the journey has been so far. It wouldn’t be a trap unless the mutants wanted the gang to follow a specific route, or to spring a surprise shoot off. No, there’s more to this than merely tricks and games. “The Dark Mind is the only thing we’ve not seen so far, yet we hear the mutant army praise this thing like a Great War general or some eldritch entity. Despite the name sounding childish, it’s what the mutant army wanted to call it wether it’s because their intelligence is very low and unimaginative, or that’s what it wants them to call it. Whatever it is, I doubt it would naive enough to not anticipate our mission. I should know, it predicted the downfall of our world and went under the governments radar” said Glenn as he was talking to Luke.

Luke’s smile turned to a serious expression, a thought on his mind now took place. He said “So are you going to tell me what happened to Melbourne after the apocalypse? We haven’t talked much about the wider scale of things since you left years ago”. Glenn was silent for a few seconds to gather his composure, letting much of his mental burden go out. “After I left you and the others years ago, I had to face my vices and rebuild myself. After losing my wife my world was destroyed completely, all that was left was the hate and wanting of deaths embrace”. He coughed as he opened up about his feelings to Luke, something he hadn’t done for a very long time.

“I needed a goal, a redemption for the way that I’ve been acting, so I became a bounty hunter and did some small jobs. Killed a few, lost a few but I became better at my job after awhile thanks to some training by an ex copper. He was like a second father to me, rebuilt me and gave me a chance to make myself useful in this world”.

Glenn continued “It was during one of my hunts that we both came across a group of escapees, all in rags and hungry for food. After we took them back and offered them food and clothes they told us who they were and where they came from. The Melbourne we knew I’d dead, it’s now the A.N.P’s deluded paradise”.

“Who are the A.N.P? Are they some sort of fascist military?” Said Luke, although Glenn’s expression of coldness implied that Luke answered his own question. Glenn continued where he left off “During the apocalypse the government and all political parties were escorted to a safe vault in an undisclosed location. The idea was that all sides of the political compass would be housed in a safe place until the storm passes, then they could go back outside with surviving citizens to rebuild and grow Melbourne. But putting all the parties in one vault was a fools joke”.

“Insiders from the extremes had supplied their members with weapons to take over the mantle of leadership, A.N.P party leader John .E and the People’s Cross party leader Andrew Summer armed their side for an all out firefight. Guess who won that fight? The rest was history, all parties that didn’t side with those two were killed, along with democracy and individual rights. The People’s Cross fled with only two surviving members into the ruins of Melbourne. The A.N.P soon established itself as the only rulers of Melbourne and soon the rest of Australia”.

Absorbing all this information made Luke’s knuckles turn white, his heart beating fast like a racing horse, his face turned into a sneer of anger hearing Glenn’s story. Will life ever return to how it was before the Post Apocalypse, or will this go on forever until everyone is gone in a field of blood, bones and corpses. Luke finally spoke to Glenn, his anger can be detected by the tone of his voice “How long will it be before they reach our settlement? I don’t want them to take a single foot on our land if they dare try to take away the home we’ve built for years now. I won’t stand for anyone who will harm my family and friends, no one”.

“They won’t harm us for now, they’ve got too many issues to deal with before they can expand and enslave us. We’re way too far for them to travel to us, not when the mutant army is on patrol in hunting packs. The A.N.P is currently dealing with a rebellion group created by the People’s Cross who are slowing the A.N.P’s rapid progress to take control of Melbourne. Only time will tell when this rebellion group will be destroyed to the last fighter. That’s when we should consider our choices on what to do” Said Glenn.

He checked his surroundings for any signs of threat. None in sight for now.

“About a year into the job as a bounty hunter I met a women out in the desert. I knew her before the apocalypse at restaurant in Melbourne where she worked as a waitress. Her name was Gwen. She was pretty shook up by the virus attack that killed most of her family. Her father, brother and friend all moved into an abandoned house in the middle of nowhere, they were lucky enough to not be in the city when the outbreak happened. When I met her she was alone, her father was killed by a raider gang called the Sunset Devils, they also took her friend. As for her brother…….”

Glenn coughed again, his body reaction became more fidgety as he kept talking “I killed him thinking he was like the rest, a mutant. I didn’t know he was just scared and wanted to protect his sister. But I thought he was like Keith, a soulless monster out to dominate and kill the humans”. Luke didn’t like what Glenn said about Keith, but he put aside his irritation to let Glenn carry on his story. “I was told she needed a bounty hunter to kill the Sunset Devil gang. So I went out to hunt them down, no one lived to tell what happened in the end except for me. When I came back to lonely woman, she thanked me and rewarded me with pay. I couldn’t leave her alone as I had concerns that she wasn’t safe on her own, so I offered to protect her and take her to a safer place the next day”.

“But it soon became apparent that we had feelings for each other, we clicked together due to our similar situation with losing a loved one. It was only later on that night that Gwen confessed that she had a brother who became a mutant. Her description and photo of him made me realised that I killed an innocent man. I killed someone Luke, not a raider, not a deranged mutant……just a protective brother……”. At this point Glenn was shacking from the memory, his expression of regret and shame showed on his face.

Luke understood how Glenn felt, he knew Glenn did a big mistake by killing an innocent life no matter if it was a mutant. He took Glenn by the shoulder and said “Glenn look at me, Glenn look at me. What you did was bad and I don’t condone what you’ve done. But you did what you had to, you saved that girls life by taking down that raider gang, heck they could’ve got her next if you hadn’t took on her request. Did you tell her that you killed her brother?”.

Glenn broke down in tears as he sunk his head down. “No, I couldn’t, not after we fell in love……how could I? Not now when I’m a father……..”. Luke’s face turned into shock by Glenn’s admission of not telling his sin to his lover and him becoming a father. “Your……a father? The child was hers wasn’t it?” Said Luke who was still shocked by the revelation. Glenn wipes the tears away and took a deep breath before replying back. “Yeah…..who else would it be?” Luke grinned like a mischievous little goblin, this was a sign that he was going to spill his beans on Glenn. “Well, it could be mine and Woz’s, we’d make a good couple. Ain’t that right woz?” He called out to Waz, but as usual Waz was a soulless being of emotionless understanding.

~~~~

Glenn recovered from his breakdown as he brought some composure back, Luke made sure Glenn was okay and brought him back from his grievances. Waz walked alongside Glenn not out of comfort but to stay away from Krakstrong who eyes Woz with venomous hate. Luke was between Krakstrong and Glenn and Waz, acting as a middle ground to prevent a full infighting.

As they walked down the empty road something changed as the weather became misty, ahead of the road a green mist came up to them in a blink of an eye. It’s sickly appearance was like a miasma like disease that grew in its airborne environment. At first the gang thought it might be some sort of airborne virus that they’ve not seen before. Luke and Glenn quickly got dressed in their Hazmat suits to protect themselves from the airborne mist. Luke only just managed to seal himself before the mist reached him, sweat was running down his face by the close call.

The strangest part came next as a puddle reached towards the boots and feet of the gang, it was like sewage water with a dark consistency of sludge. It grew into a lake, then by the time it stopped it reached up towards their kneecaps. Was this a flood? But it just came out of nowhere in a strange way, flood would happen much faster and flow like a stream. This phenomenon was a calm flood with no wave direction.

Glenn couldn’t move his feet as the dark sludgy water trapped his legs. So was Luke and Woz finding it difficult to move, only Krakstrong could barely move in this strange environment. “What is this?” Shouted Krakstrong as he tried to move around the rising water. “Is it the bad energy like Gornicus wields?” Krakstrong May not be the brightest in the group, but when he senses the ‘bad energy’, that’s a sign he knows a threat is incoming. He wasn’t wrong, something was coming.

Small red dots appeared in the heavy dark green mists like small flowers in distance. These red dots moved closer and closer to the gang like laser targeting, there were eight, sixteen, thirty two and more red dots getting close now. It was only until the gang realised that the dots were actually eyes that it was all too late to escape to safety. They were red eyes, eyes of the mutant rats.

Big black creatures from the deep dark underworld that they breed and multiply in, these creatures are monsters of the wasteland that have caused untold destruction to settlements. One day there’s a small thriving village, the next day. A ghost town with dried blood as the only evidence of its previous occupants.

They swam in the sludgy waters like it was an easy flowing lake, their black furry bodies paddled with their tails swishing like worms behind them. Soon the gang were all surrounded by these vermin, trapped in a circle of hungry malicious rats.

Luke’s Heart was beating fast in his chest as he saw the gathering of what looked like a million rats. He unsheathed his gun in preparation for the battle to come, a futile one by his guess. Glenn had the same thought, his sniper rifle would be useless against the horde so he got his close combat weapon ready. Woz was frozen still like nothing was happening, lost in thought in his own world. Krakstrong snarled as he saw the ambushers as they stared at him with keen interest, and not the good kind of interest.

The tension was high, eyes unblinking, muscles ready to move by the merest action, hearts beating fast and sweat glistening by stress. But nothing happened. The rats floated still in their position just staring at the gang. Why were they staying still? They’ve got the chance to get an easy kill with the number of rats surrounding them. Where did this miasma of heavy mist and dark water come from?

The answers were clear as suddenly a song could be heard from all around them, neither at a distance nor in sight, but clearly where they are. Luke thought it was his recorder so he checked it to see if he left it on. It was off. He looked at the others and they couldn’t understand where the music was coming from either. What was odd was that it was directly in front of them by a couple of yards, but nothing could be played as there was no radio in sight, just a big space of the water.

It took him a couple of minutes to realise the song, it was Blueberry Hill, a 1950’s song he heard once in the car on a road journey to work. Just as he remembered the song, the water in front of him by a couple of yards bubbled and popped as something emerged from the depths of the dark river. A head emerged from the water, stepping up as if it was going up an underwater stairs. It wasn’t recognisable at first because of the water dripping down the figure, it was a man in smartly drenched business suit, slightly short, dark hair and a fairly fair face with creases from ageing. He looked at the gang who were looking at him in surprise by his sudden entrance.

The man made a hand signal as if pointing to go ahead, the rats suddenly started to come closer as they were commanded to go for the kill. Luke couldn’t remember where he saw this man, but he knew him from somewhere years ago.

The man looked at Luke for the first time eye to eye.

He smiled as though he read Luke’s thoughts.

Luke looked into his eyes, lost to the gaze of someone he tried to remember but couldn’t find the answers to.

He realised that he was looking into the eyes of a dead man, the name finally came to him as all the pieces slotted into place in his mind.

The rats were near and ready to slaughter and gorge their fangs on soft meaty flesh.

“It can’t be…..I know you, your…” Said Luke, lost for words as his eyes were wide with shock and fear.

“I always knew Luke, the Dark Mind knows……..” said the man, who’s name was…….

End of part 2

12 days of Winter|Fly on the Wall post apocalypse series: part 1

In the distant future of today, life had changed dramatically after the outbreak of the virus, a plague that had struck the modern day society with one fell swoop. The virus was believed to have been similar to the Ebola virus, based on the physical signs that matched medical research into the Ebola virus. Anyone in contact with the virus would surely die slow and painfully, as the virus takes hold of the innocent, the damned and the foolish.

At first it was believed that the virus was Ebola, which somehow infected the world uncontrolled, and free to kill anyone in contact to it’s sickening spread. Those that lived past the first stages of the virus soon realised that it wasn’t Ebola, for the virus wasn’t just a disease, it mutated. The infected started to mutate, growing new limbs, animalistic features and reformed into monstrous proportions, like an accelerated evolutionary change of nature’s doing. Birthing a new variety of races of mutants, these. Creatures would form their own clans, warbands or isolated lives away from the rest of it’s kin.

No longer did the virus kill the weak, for the weak were all dead, and the strong were rewarded with new changes as they became mutants. However, these enhancements came at the cost of their own freedom of individuality and expression, mindless to the whispers of its new master.

But the survivors of Australia had not been easily defeated into misery like other nations, for this is a land of fighters and survivalists. They started to form communities, organised law groups, traders and hunters in this new and disturbing world.

As the wasteland recovered from the apocalypse and started rebuilding itself for over six years, a new threat emerged from the shadow of a vast army of mutant soldiers. They call their master the Dark Mind, the one they followed and enacted it’s will to kill and eradicate the human population to make war for the new earth.

Who is the Dark mind? What are its goals and how did it came to be for it to have outsmarted the government, the military and the world. No one knows for sure, it’s a spoken blessing by the mutants to give praise to this foul leader. Like a hive mind in the shadows it has so far not been seen by human eyes, more than likely to be in a safe place to be able to wove its malicious plans.

It’s army marches on as they raid settlements for fresh meat, Slaves and vessels to absorb. Mankind is now on the brink of extinction.

They proclaim that this act of atrocity will be heralded as the Final apocalypse, and the new mankind will flourish and prosper. Wether populated by the mutant army or something far more disturbing is as of yet up for debate.

Now in the wasteland desert of Australia, four travellers set off to find an old water purification power plant facility in the wastes. There they believe that this is the source of the virus that caused the apocalypse in Australia. Still producing clouds of pollution into the atmosphere and the lake it’s sited on. Pumping the virus into inland Australia where it can mutate or kill those inland that survived the apocalypse.

Soon, our race will die and fade into the desert like a forgotten civilisation of old, our history, linage, hate, war, achievements and prosperity will die along with us.

The Final apocalypse begins………

Part 1: Dark minds

The four of them prepared themselves to leave the comfort of the scarp built town settlement, a place they called home for a year since defeating the mutant army and it’s undercover agent, Jackson Creeker. Built from several trucks, cars, bricks and other materials, this town was like a shanty town made of steel. It wasn’t as grand or appealing to look at the rusting metal and smell of waste, but it was far better than the wasteland.

Decorated in flags of various colours and tied rows of light decorations, the town looked more lively and festive despite the season not being appropriate. Life was simpler, less taxing in daily office jobs and city commitments. Now families had more time to bond to develop stronger ties, fathers and mothers taught their children how to survive. Older brothers and sisters would leave shelter to work on defending the town or went hunting for food. For once in a community that for many decades slowly become disconnected by technology and social and political divide, people started to work together for a common goal wether they agreed or disagreed with each other.

But this didn’t mean life was without its problems, the wasteland had ways of punishing the lucky survivors. The virus is still a major threat as in recent years newborn were mutated from birth, crime was rife now that law enforcement was at its lowest and thinned out, mutants that are not under the influence of the Dark Mind, and surviving humans who share the town with the mutants were on the verge of civil war. But the biggest threat of all is the growing possibility of a another mutant army invasion, which seemed like an inevitable prospect.

But it was the virus that really caused much suffering to the survivors, and as of yet there are no signs of it stopping nor a cure in sight. Soon humanity in the wasteland will either be extinct by the mutant army’s push for total extermination or the phasing out of humans as mutant newborn are on the rise.

Luke, Waz, Keith/ Krakstrong and Glenn say their last goodbye to friends and loved ones.

~~~~

Before he leaves his house, Glenn pats his Pug dog, Keith, knowing that it would be too dangerous for his only friend to venture with him. He knows Luke’s family will look after Keith well, a temporary family that might need to adapt to Keith’s bad breath.

Glenn takes one last look at an old photo of him, his friends and his Wife, taken years ago when life was different. His wife’s dead now, and so was his old self. He leaves his home as he takes his dog out the door.

He arrived at the huge entry gate where he and the group were supposed to be meeting up. It was 6:00am in the morning in when dawn is just starting to rise up. Glenn was very early arriving at the spot as the meet up was supposed to be at 9:00am, which gave Glenn spare time to check his equipment and buy some supplies from early opening merchant stores.

Sometimes Glenn still thinks the Butcher is still alive in his mind, even though he killed the monster years ago. He can still see the way the thing butchered his wife like a butchers Workshop. The shadow is the Butcher as he still lingers in Glenn’s mind, sometimes around him like an invisible shadow that taunts him for his failures.

He sets off to get ready for the long journey ahead.

~~~~

Krakstrong (once named Keith when he was a human) fist bumps his brothers and sisters like a solid rock on impact, they respected Krakstrong as their leader of their species who risked life and limb to protect the clan. The origin of their mutant line came about because of an ass infection by the virus which turned Keith into a massive hairy four armed ape.

Rumour had it that years ago Glenn’s wife preferred the then changing mutant Keith because he bit her and she somehow liked…..it…….(???), which resulted in her having a mutant childlike chimpanzee with silverback fur and big tusks. This was supposedly what drove Glenn to hunt down Krakstrong, not because Keith bit Glenn’s wife, but it’s only rumours………..

As Krakstrong began to leave the converted truck shelter of his clan house, his mother was waiting for him at the exit, a big grey furred wise woman who was a well respected woman by all. Her voice was the sound of strength and dominance second only to Krakstrong. She spoke to him with gazing yellow eyes like sunflower “You going I see, to help your manslave find the bad energy that’s fuelling our enemy, Gornicus. Good, your getting too stuffed, lazy, not cooking your own food and stink like kangaroo $£it for too long now. Now go, ya stinking dirty ape!”

She laughed, heaving her lungs and clapping her hands, slapping Krakstrongs back really hard as he nearly lost his balance. Krakstrong couldn’t contain his amusement as he laughs with her, slapping her back so hard that he pushed her to the floor. “Good one muv’s, very good!!!” He picks his mother up and waves goodbye to his family as he sets off and leaves his kingdom to his mothers hands. He turns one last time to see his family all watching him leave, his mother, farther, brothers, sisters and twenty kids of his own. ‘Time to stop the mutant army, and Gornicus the Face Ripper’ thought Krakstrong as he strode down the streets to meet up with the gang.

~~~~

Waz had been waiting at the meet up point where he was told to meet the others, he saw Glenn buying some supplies to load himself with various self defence equipment. Krakstrong and Luke haven’t arrived yet, just an hour before the deadline to meet up.

Part of Waz wanted to meet his family again after being so isolated for so long in his efforts to expand his knowledge and modifications to his body. He somehow had a strange sense of feeling lost, like an emotion that’s not been felt for a very long time.

But another part of him, the machine bonding, dominating his human emotions and suppressed any attempts to return to his family. The goal is to find the location of the source of the virus and stop it before it got out of control. He may be a cold and logical abomination, but his calculations suggests that the world needs humans and mutants to live together to care for the planet. Preservation must continue or else the Dark Minds victory may well be the end of the story.

Waz stands under a shelter waiting in the shadows as his body morphs constantly, parts change and form into new and strange shapes. The Woz he was was long gone under the constant changes of organic, metallic and manmade parts that change his body. Unrecognisable now, his identity as well as his personality is slipping away from his grasp.

He waits under his waiting spot as he sees Glenn in the distance carrying crates of supplies back to the meeting point. Then he sees Krakstrong coming up to meet Glenn as he lets Glenn tie a rack on the big apes back to carry the supplies. Krakstrong sees Waz and glares at him with hatred and anger, he hates Waz just as much as Gornicus. It will only be a matter of time until Woz is murdered by this brute.

~~~~

Luke says goodbye to his family as he leaves home to join up with the gang. He got Glenn’s dog earlier in the morning for his family to look after, it stinks bad but a nice dog to look after. Luke couldn’t quite understand why Glenn called his dog Keith, was it out of grief, loss or replacement of Keith/Krakstrong?

As he walked down the stairs of his mayor office house that was made from an old log built house with scrap welded on, he hears a voice behind him calling his name. He turns to see his father out through the scrap built greenhouse on the left side of the house. Luke walks over to see his dad as he was tending some mutated plants, these ones were called wrinkly sack eggs. I don’t need to tell why they’re called that…….

“Son we need to talk” said his dad, he looked distracted and anxious by something on his mind. Luke in his not so serious attitude knew what his dad was worried about, but tried to lighten up his father. He said to his dad “look, I know what your worried about pops, I don’t know how long it will be for us to find this water purification power plant location Waz had found out. I don’t want to leave you and the family, I’d rather see everything else die out and save my friends and family. There again, I can’t stand by when innocent people are turning into mindless monsters controlled out of their own free will”.

“But I promise I’ll stop what’s causing this virus that’s changing everyone. I’ll save you too……”. He looks at his dads hands, they looked different due to the purple veins running down his hands from his fingertips. It was making the rest of his skin go pale, an encroaching change that will likely turn for the worse if the Dark Mind can control his dad.

His dad was changing into a mutant, and he couldn’t stop that for no cure currently exists that can reverse or stop the virus.

“Son it’s not about me, it’s about you. Unlike me your going to die soon and I want be able to see you for the last time”. His dad wipes the sweat from his forehead and breathes out in frustration. A few years ago during a massive mutant attack at the old safe camp, Luke was caught in an ambush by the Butcher, who instead of tearing Luke apart injected his arm with a special virus. Over the years rather than mutating, he was ageing rapidly with side effects of losing sight, control of his body and balance for a temporary time. But his failing health had only deteriorated much more as the virus destroys his body. So far certain medication has delayed the virus and offered him some freedom to be active and capable of defending his friends and family (just not his appearance, not even that can be reversed unless the fountain of youth existed down under). But he knew soon enough his only source of support will go eventually.

Luke puts his finger to his lips to hush his dad, “ssshhh, I don’t want the family to know that, nor the settlers either. They’ll never let me go and you know they’ll try locking me up in a basement to keep me from fighting”.

Luke’s dad went silent out of sadness and regret for what he was about to do. He turns to collect a box he took with him to the greenhouse in the morning, then locked up his greenhouse with his keys. Then turns back to Luke with a wooden box in his hands, about 3 to 4 ft in height that was aged by decades judging by the quality of the wood. He gives Luke the box and looks at him straight in the eye with an expression of a calm storm.

“This was passed down in the family for many generations kept safe by the code of the linage. Inside you’ll find everything you need to know, it’ll come in handy on the long journey”. Luke looks at his dad for a few seconds as he saw a side to his pops that he didn’t like. He looked inside the box which gave him a stone cold stare at what he saw, he knew what this meant.

Luke slurred his words until he finally could form a coherent sentences to his dad “Why give me this?”. His dad didn’t replied back, he just nodded to Luke as is to say “you’ll know when the time comes”.

His dad finally spoke after several minutes of silence. “I’ll take over your role as deputy Mayor with the help of Kei… I mean Krakstrong’s mother. Don’t worry, we’ll keep things orderly whilst you and your friends stop this madness that’s infecting our country”.

Luke nods to his dad and puts the box down, embraces his dad for one last time before taking the box with him to the meet up point. Luke tried not to cry as he walked down the stairs of the abyss to the dark underworld of his grave.

~~~~

Meanwhile somewhere in the desert…

Deep below the ground, far from the bright light of the suns blazing incandescent light, where tunnels run with wires, tube pumps and steel wall shafts lead to utter darkness. The tapping of damp water was the only sound that can be heard, a calm before the storm that was about to take place…..

A.N.P special squad were sent to investigate the virus that they believed was located at this old water purification power plant, their task was classified and only shared with themselves, the inner circle of the A.N.P supreme military HQ and their president.

Melbourne wasn’t the sunny city that it once was before the apocalypse, now, your more likely to be shot dead if you weren’t praising the government for taxing your livelihood and taking your freedom of expression away.

The special team were heavily armoured monsters who had the firepower to shred you into chunks of meat. They were trained to serve and to kill. Democracy always came last.

They entered the power plant very easily, too easily.

What they found was unlike anything they had witnessed in the war torn city of Melbourne, even the horrors of the wasteland couldn’t compare to what they’ve seen here. They would also die with what they witnessed, as giant mutated rats attacked them one by one with malicious intent. These men and women were the elite that survived many battles against the revolutionary traitors, those that would destroy the core values of the A.N.P’s mission to unite Australia into a single mega power. These elites had personally shown their utter devotion to the cause of the A.N.P, they were hand picked to do this mission and successfully take control of the facility into the presidents cause.

But, the Dark Mind wouldn’t allow it, it knew all along what these fools were trying to achieve by coming here. Toying them into its underbelly

As the last man stood alone in the dark with his gun swinging erratically left and right, sweat running all over his body and his eyes wide with fear. His heart was beating so fast that his chest was in pain, stress levels reaching an all time high. He can hear the chitter of teeth all around him in the deep darkness of the tunnels.

His mind started to lose it’s composure, logic and conformity to the ideology that was drilled in his head since childhood, he slowly broke down as his reality was smashed like a cheap vase. What was the point in fighting? Why serve a president who broke his nation into pieces after the apocalypse already destroyed society? Why should people suffer from the A.N.P because they aren’t worthy to the dictatorship future of Australia?

He could feel something taking over his mind as he slowly lowered his weapon. He tried to resist but the eldritch invasion was stronger, it made him drop the gun to the floor. He could hear a song near him, an echo of a song called Blueberry Hill. It played on and on repeating for what seemed like hours. How long was he standing there for?

Then from the shadows he could hear footsteps and from the shadows he could barely make out a form of a man. His features were hidden in the shadows but his form could be seen from the A.N.P troopers shoulder mounted torch. The man made a gesture like ‘engage’ or ‘move forward’ with his left hand to someone or something the trooper couldn’t see. “I’m not a violent man, believe me” Said the stranger who sounded genuinely pacifist for what he was about to do. It was the last thing the A.N.P special Squad trooper, Andrew, heard before thousands of gleaming red eyes with yellow corrosive fangs lashed out and ate him alive. His screams were so loud that it echoed down the tunnels, but no one ever heard his pleas for help………….

End of part 1