I'm nearing release of my Post Apoc book and so it's time for me to put some snippets out to give you a taste of whats to come.
The series title has gone through a slight change. I used to call it Wasteland Magic, but, I think that could be slightly misleading because the mystical elements are quite subtle, so, I have made the choice to change the series title to Wasteland Road Knights.
So, here's snippet 1 for you:
Nero looked out at the world around him, a world of violence and death, ravaged by the inferno of the Cataclysm.
The dry, hard-packed desert earth extended all the way to the horizon, and as far as he knew, covered the whole of the Earth. Nothing but desert, dry tundra, sand dunes, and salt flats dotted with rocky cliffs, mountains, and ridges everywhere. The waters had been burnt away by the Cataclysm, leaving dry, dead ocean beds covered in crumbling, rusted out shipwrecks, oil rigs and, wind farms. The cities of old were crumbling ruins, obliterated by the earthquakes and home to those who clung to life, or sought to destroy it.
He couldn’t remember the last time he’d seen something green that wasn’t trying to kill him.
Nero preferred to wander the wastes, to keep moving wherever his whim took him: from camp to fortress to bunker, helping when he could, and taking whatever he needed in return. It wasn’t what he’d thought life would be, back before it all happened, when he was still a child. He’d had dreams of becoming a cop like his dad, or maybe doing something more practical, like working on cars or something. He’d been young, though, and the world had a way of slapping such foolish notions out of you. Life was tough, but he doubted that man could have predicted the events that had come to pass during his tenth year on this Earth.
He wasn’t sure why he was feeling so introspective. It was probably the view. Looking out on the world and remembering what it had once been. Remembering the rainbows of colour that had been everywhere back when he had lived in what had once been England, close to London.
Of course, the old borders and boundaries had been long since swept away. These days, no one knew where one country ended and another begun. The world had been remade, and humanity had been forced to adapt.
Before him, everything below the horizon was a sandy tan colour of browns and oranges and yellows, while the sky above was currently a light cyan, a bleached out greenish blue that faded to white the closer it got to where the sun still hung in the heavens.
It paid to keep an eye on the sky these days, lest a dust storm catches you unaware.
Nero stood on a rocky outcropping that rose from what had once been the seabed and looked down the slope into the valley below and the makeshift camp that had been set up down there. It was only a small one with a few tents, a campfire, and a handful of vehicles parked around it. There were a few guys down there, sitting around the fire mostly, although a couple of them were on their dirt bikes, racing around the camp, whooping and hollering at the wasteland as they went.
Nero scanned the surrounding terrain. There were some clusters of grey and tan rocks, which could, in theory, be hiding lookout posts or worse, but he couldn’t see anything hidden in there with a sweep of his binoculars over the most likely spots. Watching the group of raiders again, he surmised they didn’t look bright enough to take such precautions.
It paid to check out these things, though, before he went charging in there. He smiled to himself, these guys had no idea what was coming for them. Nero lowered the binoculars and scanned around again, checking to make sure he hadn’t missed anything before he turned and wandered back to his car that he’d left parked a short distance behind him.
He’d been driving this thing for years now, and it really showed. It had once been an American muscle car that you didn’t find many of here in what had once been Europe. But the years had not been kind to it. The bodywork was severely rusted in places, and there were a few corroded spikes on the front and rear wings for anyone who got a bit too close. The engine had been replaced a few times, but always with a noisy V8 or V6 monster that fitted the look of the car. The current engine rose out of a rough hole he’d cut in the bonnet, its air intake rising proudly from the metal beast.
It currently rode on a set of large mismatched tyres, and the whole car had been raised up to make it move through the rough landscape a little better on its wide wheels.
He’d been young when he’d got it. It was badly damaged, but he’d known all about cars by then, and although it took him a little while to fix it up, he had finally managed it a few months later. It had been his home now for twenty years, and it bore the scars to prove it.
Nero walked up and gave the bloodstained battering ram a shove to make sure it was firmly affixed and ready for use before he jumped into the car, put his binoculars away, and started it up.
The engine came to life with a low bass rumble. He refrained from a noisy rev that might alert the raiders below.
Nero dropped it into gear and eased the car forward, cresting the ridge and making sure he was on the route down the slope he’d picked out before pressing down on the accelerator and roaring down to the camp below.
Predictably, the raiders in the camp immediately saw Nero bearing down on them and sprung to life, rushing to pick up their guns and weapons while the bikers adjusted their course to head his way.
Nero gave the car some gas and sped onwards as the bikers charged him, but he was ready for them as the car bumped over the rough terrain.
Getting his 1911 pistol in his hand, he aimed his car to bring the first biker, who sported an impressive Mohawk, down the side of his vehicle. As he watched, the second biker, wearing deep red armour, suddenly hit some rocks, putting him into a wobble that he was finding difficult to get out of. Nero smiled and aimed his car while Mohawk hit a rise in the terrain and jumped into the air towards him. He landed to Nero’s right, just as he’d hoped when an explosion went off close by.
He’d not see it, but he could only guess that Mohawk had thrown an IED at him. He gritted his teeth and aimed the gun before firing off three shots at the biker. He yelled in pain and fell to the floor, his bike kicking up a fantail of dirt as he went down.
Looking forward once more, he adjusted the aim of his car as the red armoured biker finally face planted the dirt after the wobble got the better of him. The last Nero saw of him was his head, looking up in fear a second before he was ripped apart by the battering ram on the front of the car.
The car bumped over the biker and continued on down the slope towards the raiders. They were already raising guns, and moments later, gunfire, loud and unmistakable, sounded from below. Nero ducked down as the bullets peppered his car, ricocheting off the rusted metal armour plating he had installed over the years with metallic clangs. Seconds later, he was roaring into the camp, forcing the raiders to scatter. Jerking the handbrake up, Nero put the car into a skid, throwing out the rear end much to the surprise and misfortune of one of the raiders who had been too focused on shooting at Nero to realise the danger he was in. Three orange and brown spikes of rusted metal impaled him through his torso and neck as he dropped the assault rifle he’d been shooting with.
Three down, three to go, Nero thought as he flung the car door open, grabbed his shotgun, and jumped out in a crouch, looking around for the raiders in the dust cloud his car had kicked up.