The Lonesome Road

The Facility

Project 173 acquired, returning to base.
Expect 1717 to follow with company. 2 known, 2 unknown.
Prepare proper welcome. M.

Dr Rattray raised an eyebrow as she read the message. The small man who had handed it to her looked nervous and pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose.

“It came through about ten minutes ago. They’ve changed their cypher again – probably just to test us, but Amley cracked it in a couple of minutes. I got it up here as fast as possible.”

“A couple of minutes? She’s getting sloppy.”

He laughed nervously, the sound slowly fading away as she didn’t join in. She smiled coldly at him until he became flustered and hurried away.

Dr Rattray stood up from her desk, walking over to the huge curved wall of monitors that encompassed the entire left side of the room. She stared at the feeds with a calculating glare, nails tapping lightly against her arm. A small monitor at the bottom beeped with a green light, recording the tracking devices and employee ID tag movement between buildings. From here she had a view of the entire central facility and a few of the outbuildings as well. There were many images, many rooms and corridors, many people. She could see every experiment, every surgery, every place of work and rest. Nobody escaped her gaze.

Her eyes travelled across them all, eventually settling on a couple of screens in the very middle of the wall. The feeds showed two small white rooms which were conspicuously, tauntingly empty.

It had been over a year since they had lost 173. Officially it was intentional, part of procedure and arrangements that were strictly need-to-know. When 173 hadn’t arrived at the destination, she had moved with lightning speed to suppress any panic and rumour. None of the original staff who had lost it had survived the incident to relay the truth. The site staff had been curious, but eventually accepting. After all, the higher ups knew what they were doing. When it came to doing great works, these things often didn’t make sense until later when you could see the bigger picture. They were all working towards the bigger picture here.

Unofficially, it had been a disaster. To lose a project as valuable as this, their most promising and successful to date and the only remaining survivor from numerous batches… it had been devastating to their research. There had been so much more to be done, so much more to be gathered. Knowledge was the ultimate goal, and in doing so a future for mankind, something more than mankind. But others had also known that it was valuable, motivated by crude human desire for money and power and the illusion of miracles contained in the body of a small docile boy who always did what it was told.

Messiah. They have no idea how apt that word is, and how very wrong.

Of course, she had quickly adapted, found a new way to work this to their advantage. They had released 1717 and used it to track both the projects, and made use of outside sources where necessary. It had been costly, but ultimately worth it. Mathew had come crawling back eventually, when he realised just what he’d done, what they had unleashed. And now they were both returning to the facility, having developed some fascinating new capabilities and bringing back some added material with them. It was almost worth the staggering loss of data and invalidation of the future projects she had been hoping to pursue. Almost worth the time that would have to be devoted to bring the two original investments back into line. She would have to re-evaluate things, gather new materials, accelerate some plans that had been dormant and maybe even start afresh with something better. It could be salvaged.

Still, to know that decades of her life’s work had effectively been thrown away by one man’s reckless greed… It had given her a terrible ulcer at the time and she’d had to up her pill dose for almost two weeks. Even now it made her want to snap her pen in half – she didn’t though, that would have been unnecessary waste. She just stared at the screens. Her face was blank, but a very keen observer would have seen a wistful note in her gaze. She reached out a hand to touch the left monitor.

Fifteen years of my life. The ultimate project, gone in mere moments like smoke between my fingers.

My own employees, turning on me over something as trivial as greed, for money and power.

How very… human.

They’re all coming home now. It isn’t a complete loss. It can still be salvaged.

If Mathew thought he could get away with his actions, he was gravely mistaken. She didn’t give a shit about his plans, or his money at this point. This may have started with outside assistance, but it had become so much more than someone like him could ever imagine. If he thought he could hide behind the boots of a warlord, even one as supposedly great and terrible as the Dragon, he was a fool. After all, the Dragon was but a man.

Here at the facility, they created creatures that were more than men. She was the architect of gods.

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The promise of pain

Lili stared into the flames of the little campfire. The light flickered, casting darting shadows on the rocks around them and utterly destroying any night vision that the others might have made use of in the event that something attacked them. It wasn’t a problem for her. She could always see. It was a family trait.

She could hear Cornelius pacing somewhere in the scrub behind them, ranting and mumbling to the sky. He was a strange man, and he had clearly suffered some sort of head trauma – he didn’t seem to remember her or the facility or what he used to do. She wasn’t sure why Eli had thought she would be able or willing to help the scientist. But then, Eli was good. He thought everyone wanted to help.

The other two were sitting opposite her, staring at her with varying levels of suspicion and pity. She ignored them, rolling a rock between her fingers and then crushing it into powder between her teeth. It tasted foul. It didn’t matter though; she wasn’t eating for enjoyment. She was eating to survive, to find her brother and get revenge. If this Snowy guy wanted to dislike her, he was quite welcome to. She was used to being hated, mistrusted, alone. The only person that mattered was Eli. He was the only good person in this godforsaken wasteland.


She feels him reach out and touch her mind for the first time in over a year.

She had felt his presence and emotions before, in the city where that bitch Lysistrata had finally shown her true colours. But back then it had just been his rage and fear and pain as she was taken away from him. Even through whatever the bitch had done to protect the truck and its occupants from his pain as it wracked the city, she had still felt him. It is a bond not easily broken, not easily understood.

This is different. It is like being offered a drink after dying of thirst, like rest after a thousand days of travel. A whole year of being alone, waking up and knowing that she would have to face another day by herself with no true human contact, nothing as real as this. Now she has found her brother again.

He shows her what has happened, what these people he is with are to him – the three men standing before her and another who she remembers from before. Everything is imparted in a flash, an overwhelming jumble of emotion and information that her brain interprets instantly, recognises in seconds. He is her brother, she is his sister, they always understand. He shows her his year out in the world, his fear and wonder and pain and joy and growth. It makes her want to cry, to see how he has changed – cry with happiness that he was so much more than he had been, cry with sadness that it had happened without her.

She feels him ask her for help, in that way that means she can’t say no. He asks her to be kind, to be strong, to take care of them. To be the Lili he knows she is, even if she doesn’t believe it.

And then they take him away again. He steps willingly onto the vertibird, looking back at them with those huge sad eyes. She can feel what he is feeling, she understands what he’s doing. She understands that he doesn’t think he’ll ever get to come back. This is him saying goodbye to her. Being a goddamn martyr, so she can be alone in this world! How could he think she would want this? Why are they taking him and leaving her? It doesn’t make any fucking sense!

The rage and pain is building up so strongly inside that not even the suit they made for her can contain it, material bubbling and hissing under the strain. The vertibird takes off, taking Mathew and the Dragon and her brother with it.

She screams, and the rage erupts.


She stared into the dying embers. It had only been a few hours travel so far and they did not have enough distance from the remains of the armies for her to be comfortable. This was still enemy territory. But then, everywhere was enemy territory for her.

If he was dead, she would make them pay. She knew she could do it, they knew she could do it – the field littered with corpses at the top of the ridge far behind them attested to that. The vault dwellers could have a fine time scavenging amongst the remains for whatever scraps the Dragon had left.

If he was broken, she would make them pay. Pay more than they could even begin to imagine in their most horrific nightmares. These men she was travelling with, they would help her do it. They might not think it now, think the idea was horrific. But when they saw the facility, when they saw what these people would do to her brother… then they would understand. They would help her tear the place apart.

Fifteen years. She would make them all pay.

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Hope Fades

Eli curled up in the corner of the vertibird. His captors hadn’t bothered to restrain him. Why would they? He had nowhere to run. He’d promised he wouldn’t, even though he knew they probably wouldn’t keep to their part of the bargain. After all, he was just a boy and they had an army at their backs. All he could do was sit alone and sink into a quiet feeling of hopeless despair.

He knew where he was being taken. A year ago it would have made him indescribably happy. Finally he was going back home, to the familiar safety of the little white rooms and the tests and being told he was a good boy whenever he passed. He could go back to the way things were, with the structure and order and all the things he had wanted before the terrifying outside world had exploded into his life and changed everything. Now it filled him with empty dread. He knew they would never let him back outside. He knew he would never see plants or animals or stars, nor feel the wind on his face and the dirt beneath his feet. He would never see his friends, his new family, Lili ever again. He would just go back to his box until they decided he wasn’t a good boy anymore, until he had stopped being useful.

He glanced across the seats, staring with wide eyes at the enormous armoured man on the other side of the aircraft. The Dragon was impossibly huge. If it wasn’t for the imposing aura of barely contained menace and power that the man gave off, he would have looked almost ridiculous in the small chair. The few other crew members were giving him as wide a berth as possible, no mean feat in an aircraft like this. The only one who went anywhere near was the man called Mathew, and even he was clearly on edge. The two men had spoken briefly when the group had first taken to the air. When Mathew had moved away, he had radiated a potent mixture of nervous relief and fear that had made Eli a little dizzy and smelt strongly of sweat. It wasn’t clear if he was glad to be accompanied by the warlord or not.

Eli wasn’t sure why the Dragon was still with them. He understood why the scientists would want him back – they had made him and he belonged to them. He was an investment of time and resources, made for a purpose, so they would want to take him back to the facility to try and recoup some of their losses. He had assumed that they were working with the Dragon and his army to reclaim their lost property. That was partly why he had given himself up: so nobody else would get hurt, so his family would be safe if he was a good boy. But he was starting to wonder if that was actually the truth of the situation.

The Dragon didn’t live at the facility and he hadn’t made Eli. What did he want? Perhaps the man still thought Eli belonged to him. Perhaps Eli did belong to him, even now after the brand had been removed and the others had assured him that wasn’t true. He wasn’t sure what use he would be to a warlord – the Dragon had made it fairly clear that he didn’t think much of Eli. Lili, she made sense to belong to him. She was made to kill, a weapon designed to end things. Warlords liked killing things. But Eli was made to heal and to save. What use could he be? How valuable would he be to this strange man?

He curled up tighter, wrapping his arms around his legs and rocking a little. Tears pricked at his eyes, but he refused to let them fall. He had always known it couldn’t last. Eventually he would have to go back. Now the moment had come.

He shouldn’t have gotten so attached to the people and world outside. He shouldn’t have started to think that he could make his own decisions and not do what he was told. He shouldn’t have dared to think that the Duke was right and Eli belonged to Eli.

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Mother's touch

“Well, aren’t you just darling? Come inside, let’s find you something that’s not sopping wet.”

Eli followed the woman with the tentacles into the little underground dwelling, glancing behind him as the Duke spoke to the man with the yellow skin and… head plates? It was all quite loud and a bit overwhelming. He was being bounced between feelings of relief, of joy, a little bit of exasperation and anger, some confusion and excitement. He wasn’t sure what to feel, not sure if any of it was even his. These people were certainly something.

Apparently these were the Duke’s parents, although the family resemblance wasn’t all that obvious. Still, if you looked past the obvious mutations, there were some visible genetic similarities – the line of the jaw, set of the eyes, that kind of thing. He could feel it in the way they stood and talked to each other as well, an easy familiarity. He supposed that meant these were his grandparents. He wasn’t sure what that meant yet.

She ushered him out of the corridor into a small side room. It was very dark in here, although that wasn’t a problem for Eli. It took him a moment to realise that it was on purpose, that the owner of this room had voluntarily made their room shadowy. The walls were covered in pictures of things and people that he didn’t recognise – some hand drawn, some old prints. It was mostly pictures of men. Some of them weren’t wearing shirts.
There was a young woman sitting on a bed, curled up and writing in something he couldn’t see. She looked up when Eli’s grandma came into the room, her face indignant as she hid what she had been doing.

“Mom! Don’t come in my room!”

“Sorry sweetie, I need to find something for your brother’s little boy to wear. None of his old stuff will fit, but I thought some of yours might. You don’t mind, do you?” It wasn’t really a question as she started going through a chest with her tentacles.

“… Duke’s back? And he brought a kid?” The girl looked at him with a mix of incredulity and suspicion. “He’s way too old to be-“

“Oh yes, isn’t he adorable? Apparently Duke found himself a nice young man and they’ve adopted this little boy. Doesn’t say much though, but I’m sure he’s just shy. Eli, this is Princess. I suppose she’s your auntie.” The girl looked at him in confusion. Eli stared back, equally confused. He wasn’t sure what was going on. Duke’s mother held something up triumphantly. “There! This will do just fine. I’m sure we can tear off those weird patches you put on it.”

“Mooom! Those took ages!”

“They aren’t really appropriate, especially not for a young lad. You can sew them back on later if it really bothers you. I’ll leave them on your desk.”

She handed the thing to Eli. It was a jumpsuit of some sort, completely black and with a few patches with strange writing on them that were hastily torn off. He smiled politely as he looked up at her, shivering in his wet pyjamas and holding the crumpled outfit.

“Well, put it on dear! You’ll freeze in those wet things. Princess, come see your brother. It’s been two years. He can tell you about his adventures and you can tell him about your posters.” She ushered the girl out of the room, smiling happily as she shut the door behind her. “Change and come out when you’re ready. We’ll get some good food in you and warm you up. Oh, you can meet little Earl too, I’m sure he’ll be thrilled to meet you all once he stops biting things!”

She shut the door, leaving Eli alone in the room. He obediently changed out of his wet clothes, putting them over the trunk to dry in case Princess wanted him to replace the outfit that he had been given. It was too long for him and the arms trailed near his knees, but at least it was dry. He could hear loud conversation in the hallway outside as people moved around in the house.

Eli hugged himself. He felt… warm. Not physically, the icy dip in the lake had done no good in that regard. But somewhere inside, in his stomach, he felt warm and happy. This must be what family felt like. He could see why the Duke had wanted to come back, why the people outside had wanted to get in here. This was a good feeling. He hoped he’d get to keep feeling it.

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Blindside

Eli sat next to Snowy, head resting on the older man’s shoulder as they watched the Duke and Mr Echo returning from the Tesla factory at a dead run. His adoptive father’s words kept repeating themselves in his head, a strange feeling of confusion growing in the pit of his stomach as he questioned some things that had always just been true.

You’re blind in one eye? What happened?

He’d never really thought about it before. He had no memory of losing the sight in that eye, no memory of the incident that had caused the partial blindness. Lili had told him about it – she remembered, she always did. There had been an accident, one of the other children that had once been with them had lost control. He’d been very young at the time, as had the other boy been. They had taken the other boy away, and he never came back. None of the others had ever come back.

Why don’t you just heal your eye?

In the facility, they’d told him that he couldn’t heal the damage. He’d never bothered to try, interpreting that as a command rather than a statement. Once it had been said with disappointment, over time with clinical detachment. It was just a part of what he was, a reminder that he could never be perfect because he had been made flawed by outside factors. Besides, he had just adapted to it, learned to use his other natural senses and extra abilities to keep track of the world around him. He didn’t know a life without it, so it was barely a hindrance at all – often he forgot that he couldn’t see out of it, until something little would remind him.

He still didn’t try even now. A part of him thought about it as the men scrambled back into the war-rig and they accelerated away again towards the vault where Duke’s parents were waiting. It surely couldn’t be that difficult. But the command that had been drummed into him for his whole life still held strong.

It can’t heal it. It was probably too underdeveloped when it happened to fix now.

How disappointing. We’ll be more careful with the next iteration. Keep an eye on it and watch for development. Even if nothing changes, the data will still be useful. If it does change, even better.

It isn’t perfect. We could scrap things, start over…

No. Too much has been invested in this. It’s close enough, for now.

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Pursuit

He glared down the binoculars slowly and careful picking out each element of the landscape before him.

“A week. A whole fucking week we’ve been out here.” He growled between his teeth. The barren, cold hillside in front of him relieved nothing, at least, nothing he was looking for. The silence of the region gnawed at the edges of his mind, it was unnatural. The world was not meant to be this quiet. It was meant to be full of the roar of engines and battle. His convoy had ground to a halt while he surveyed the horizon. As much as he hated the silence he needed it. He needed to listen.

“Any sign?” a rough voice spoke to him, breaking the silence and his concentration. Without lowering the binoculars he reached across and grabbed the back of the woman’s head and slammed it into the metal body of the rig with a crunch of crushed bone. The body slumped off the side and hit the ground with a thud as he returned his gaze to the horizon. Slowly he paned across the rocky outcrops, watching, waiting.

A cloud of dust. From behind a rocky outcrop a cloud of dust drifted. He shifted his focus lightening quick back to the outcrop, studying this dust. He listened closely. Downwind, the noise will carry. He held his breath….

There. The distant rumble of an engine. He smiled and gave the signal. Around him the engines of the party rumbled to life and the whoops of excited mercenaries rose with the din. Tires squealed and bullets rang out as the trucks and cars surged forward. From behind the rocks a motorbike burst from cover heading away from the war party, towards the northwest. The bike had two sidecars attached, one on each side and from ease came a hail of heavy machine gun fire raining down one the party.

He crouch down on the roof of his outrider avoiding the worst of the gun fire. A few stray bullets bounced off his heavy armour. To his right one of the bikes tires burst under the volley and it careened under the wheels of a scout rider. The bikes fuel tanks exploded catapulting the car into he rocks. He smiled to himself watching this display of firepower. “And I was afraid I wouldn’t get to kick a little ass today”. He banged on the roof and the driver opened up the full throttle.

“Are you sure this is the right guy!?” The question blared over his walkie-Talkie. A laser streaked from the bike ahead of them and one of the party’s engines exploded into flames as it struck home.

“Does that answer your question! Now shut up and catch him. Remember, we need him alive!”

The rig behind them broke off from the main party and went to circle around and close the snare. The bike was quick but it was not quick enough. They were running out of bullets to, the gunfire had slowed, they were being more carefully with their shot, picking their targets. The distance between them was shrinking. He could now make out the three figures. Two figures hunched in the side cars manning the machine guns. Between them, driving the bike was a figure who occasionally glanced back to rain lasers down on them.

“Cornelius.” He snarled through his teeth.

There was no mistaking him even at this distance. He had an advantage, they couldn’t shoot him in case they killed him but he had free rein to fire to his heart’s content at them. Another Out-Runner took an unlucky shot to the engine and peeled off from the main party, grinding to a halt out of the way. They couldn’t afford to lose many more vehicles. They were running on limited supplies for the mission.

He watched the rig come in from the right ahead of them. If they kept on this path they would drive Cornelius straight into the rig and close the trap. He grinned in anticipation, his sharpened teeth glinting in the sunlight. Everything would work out well in the end.

The harsh light of another laser streaked across the landscape and connected with the wheel of the rig. It melted the metal in an instant and the whole rig rocked onto the bare axel. A sound like screaming steel echoed from rig and the axel snapped. In one motion the rig rolled onto its side at 50 miles an hour and crash into a mound of burning wreckage and screaming bodies. He watched his spectacle in disbelief. The last of his patience burnt up with the ruins of the rig.

“Pass me Roxy.”

A hand extended an RPG through the roof hatch, fully loaded and ready to fire. He took hold of it and braced it against his shoulder taking aim at the motor bike. He was done playing games. Steady and breathing calmly he pulled the trigger. The rocket fly straight and true from the end of the launchers straight towards the bike. At the second the riders pulled to the left narrowly avoiding a direct hit, but not avoiding the blast radius. The bike was thrown through the air and its driver and ridders thrown from it as it clattered into a pile of rocks.

The car ground to a halt next to the wreak. The crumbled body of Cornelius and one of his friends lay near the crash site. He lowered himself to the ground for cover watching out for the third. Machine gun fire thundered from the ledge to his right as he left the hiss of bullets pass by his head. Behind him his driver died behind the wheel. The pulled his own gun and fired one shot at the figure. The shooting stopped.

He rose to his feet and walked over to where Cornelius lay.

“All you had to do was the job we payed you for Cornelius, but no. You had to be the big damn hero.” He stooped down and grabbed Cornelius by the throat. “Where is your god now.”

“GLORK IS ROCK!” Something had hit him from behind on the back of the head and he kneeled forward into the dirt, vision blurred with pain. “Cornelius saved me and Crag. Me and Crag save Cornelius. Glork balances the spreadsheet.” He slipped into unconsciousness

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Only Dreams Now

“You’re important, soldier. Duke and Snowy were sent to kill you, to activate you, it proves that.”

“I don’t want to hear it.”

“We always knew. That’s why I pushed you, pushed you so hard. You and I knew what you could be.”

“I was just another grunt.”

“Pick up the gun, soldier. Pick it up and be who you are.”

“No.”

“Be what you were trained to be.”

“No.”

“Do what I trained you to do.”

“…” He couldn’t think, couldn’t remember, couldn’t say who he was or what he wanted except to grip, hold, thow, twist and break, thrust and kill, spin and kick, block and grab. Every thought was a kill. Even in trying to sleep he throttled the shadows.

He opened his eyes. The kid was looking at him again. Had he spoked out loud?

He shook his head, clearing the vision, the voice, the man.

Damn strange kid.

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I remember me

I remember where I was, when I started down the path that lead me to this moment. A small village, not really different from about a dozen others I have been to, except that the inn in this one had a rather fantastic stew (that I’m quite content with not knowing the exact ingredients of). By coincidence alone was I right there, at that exact moment, to see them.

I remember the deception. An understandable choice on their behalf, since they were secretly hoping he would kill me, and that would have been a much more difficult job to sell. Still, it was disappointing, not least because I now lacked company and a sense of direction for the journey ahead.

I remember the second caravan. By the time I was done there I had met all of the people I now call my companions. They were all so similar, yet so different, from how they are now.

I remember fleeing. I didn’t use to get involved with these kinds of things, I preferred to leave them alone and be left alone by them. But what I saw in that truck, it wasn’t right. I couldn’t abide. I think, looking back now, that this was where I was truly locked on to my path to amnesia, enslavement, and the mess that followed after.
But even though I accomplished nothing, I don’t regret it.

I remember being punched in the face.
…I don’t remember much after that. It was a hell of a punch. Kept me drifting in and out for quite a while – I guess even shadow-lady’s shadow-magic couldn’t overcome that amount of brain trauma. Shouldn’t be surprised I guess – he packs a mean swing.

The rest, as they say, is history. I remember that too, but I always did. Now I remember more. Now I know the full(ish) picture. Now, I remember me.

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The end that could have been

The small boy leaps with everything he has.

He flies up over the rubble in an impossible arc. For the briefest of moments sunlight breaks through the unending grey clouds, catching him in a dazzling beam of light. The world around him slows.

Fire and death rain around him, into the buildings and the sky. Corpses litter the area, mangled grey skinned bodies reaching out or grasped in each other’s arms as they futilely attempt to shield loved ones from the destruction. The machine roars in a crater at the centre of it all, a whirling maelstrom of carnage as it churns out round after round of bright white-hot ammunition into the darkness. Shrapnel rocks his tiny body, ripping into his torso as if it knows what he is about to do and is attempting to stop his flight path.

Why did they do this? How had they come to this point? A single gunshot, an endless feeling of rage as the city turns on them, an endless wave of death from the sky…

He feels Mr Echo’s life force blink out from somewhere behind him, a distant rumble as the building collapses under the constant barrage and crushes the crouching soldier. He sees Snowy and the Duke hunkered below the machine in a desperate embrace as the fires blaze and consume around them, their bodies failing under the endless blows. They have tried to stop it, to undo the terrible choice they have made, but it hasn’t worked. In mere seconds they will be dead too. He cannot save them.

He is falling towards the machine, his fist raised in preparation for the blow that will end this, stop the destruction. His body is already ruined, barely holding together except through sheer force of will. He knows what he has to do to finish it and protect those who have survived this massacre. He knows what it will cost in his final moments. This will kill him, but at least it won’t kill any more.

We judged you kind.

His fist connects with the control panel, the machine shattering under the force of the blow as his entire weight lands behind the punch. In the same moment, a blast of pure white light explodes out of him, a final flash of pure unfettered life that expands out to consume the city in a wave of healing energy. It consumes him as well –he feels it destroying the last remains of his weakened form, his body collapsing into dust under the strain.

The world slows even more, expanding out to show him the entire scene of devastation they have left – every corpse that died in agony, every collapsed building, every screaming child, the hopeless and bloodied faces of his friends with the life gone from their bodies – and then shrinking to a pinprick of white.

This is what will happen if you do not stop him.

Eli blinked and the world returned to him.

The woman with the white eyes looked at the boy; she had stopped pulling apart the side of the war-rig’s hood. It was the woman who had spoken to him after… after…

We judged you kind.

Eli dropped the screws and flung himself up, over the top of the hood and past the startled figure of Mr Echo. He was just in time for the Duke’s bullet to rip into his body and fling him off the car.

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It's been, one week since you looked at me

Day 2:
The group was gathered in the grassy courtyard. Eli, chasing rabbits while Snowy some feet away lazily spun in circles holding a woodcutter’s axe out, toying the momentum. The Duke was resting against the wall, with a thin sheen of sweat on his translucent brow, his latest hallucination clearly having taken its toll on him. Eli upon catching a rabbit runs over to The Duke to show him the find.
“I caught another rabbit” exclaimed Eli shoving the rabbit in The Duke’s general direction
“Rib’bt” corrected Snowy.
“Look, Eli. That’s, uh great, but can’t you put it down somewhere, it’s probably tired and needs to sleep.” mumbled The Duke, clearly projecting his own tiredness onto the rib’bt.
Eli thinks about the rabbit, and where it could sleep for a second, before running off. The Duke now settled down, closing his eyes briefly for a short nap.
“OH SHIT. Whoops. My bad.” Snowy shouted.

Day 3:
Mr Echo silently dropped into the room, only a started rabbit noticing him. Soundlessly he grabbed Snowy’s neck and thrusted a small metal object into his hand.
“I don’t have to explain…” growled Echo, “…but if you see me again today, dose me with this.”
“Big Guy, it’s been DAYS. Where have you been?” coughed out Snowy through the choke-hold which then relaxed a little.
“THAT’S AN ORDER SOLDIER.”
“What is this thing anyway?” said Snowy, now examining what appeared to be a small metal syringe filled with a magenta fluid. “Hey, isn’t this the stuff they gave Duke, when he went crazy for coco…”
Snowy looked up, asking the question to a empty room.
“…pops?”

Day 4:
In the tavern room, the only light being the daylight streaming through the slightly cracked window sat The Duke and Snowy on their own hands staring at each other. Snowy fidgeted and The Duke threw him a scowl. A quiet knock on the door caused them both to suddenly turn their heads to look, scaring a couple of rabbits.
“Don’t get up. I’ll answer it.”
“No way dude. If you get up, you’ll probably see a spaceman and start shooting wildly.”
“I’m not the one that’s tripping, here! You’d be all ‘Oh no, magic rain! I need to set fire to the room!’”
“At least I’m not obsessed with a spaceman, and trying to eat people.” shouted The Duke, getting to his feet.
“No, you just try and date the most evil person in the wasteland’s daughter who it turns out was also incredibly evil. SHOCKER.”
“Well why don’t use just use violence to solve all your problems. I’m sure Eli appreciated it.”
“THAT’S IT. WE’RE DONE HERE.” shouted Snowy as he tackled The Duke.
Snowy and The Duke flew through the slightly cracked window and save for the ruckus outside, the room fell silent once. After another quiet knock, Eli opened the door, placed the rabbit he was carrying in the room and quickly turned and left.

Day 5:
“Cornelius” sighed the Duke, raising his hand to his temple. “What are ‘Pogs’?”
“Pogs! They’re a game, they’re collectable, they’re the currency of the future!”
“Pogs?”
“Pogs! You can’t play Pogs with bottle-caps now, can you?”
A wind picked up in the marketplace, and a half-destroyed plastic bag flew gracefully overhead.
“Okay. You’ve bought Pogs. I can’t change that now. What can WE buy with Pogs?”
“Well, Glork knows how hard it is for a new currency to get off the ground, but we’re in on the ground floor. With this investment…”
“Hey, how much for the telescope?”
“We do not need a telescope Snowy! Now, Cornelius. What. Can. We. Buy. With. Pogs?”
Cornelius shifted uneasily on his feet.
“Mostly, its other pogs.”

Day 6:
“WHY IS THE ROOM FILLED WITH RABBITS?!”

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