The world is a wasteland. Viles — humans warped into mindless monsters driven by rage — roam the tortured and nuked land.
Alex is a sheltered ‘bunker babe’, born and raised safely beneath the surface of the earth. Her people are dying, and despite the horrors of the world above, she has no options but to trade, barter, and kick ass to save her friends and family from their fate.
The clock is ticking, and though she’s determined, her search for survival leads her right into the den of the Viles…. and a despicable force that puts even the Viles to shame.
It was too late to turn back, not that she wanted to. The ‘wastes’ of the valley spread out before her as she crested the ridge. It was a strange assortment of grey, green and reddish brown all nestled into a large u-shaped valley with a blue snake of a river that wound its way through. Alexandra couldn’t see it all from her position, but what she could see was far more than her world had encompassed for the past decade.
The heavy pack upon her back was a burden of more than just its weight. The technical equipment inside it represented the best bargaining tool her people in the bunker had for food and supplies.
A last desperate act to get what they needed to survive.
It wasn’t even a full twenty four hours since she set out, according to the device imbedded into her forearm. It lit up her skin to tell her the time of day, tracking her body signs and serving as a control for disease, illness and pregnancy.
Even after the day of excitement and travel, she could see the look upon Marim’s face in her mind before she set out.
Before Dawn Earlier That Day
As handsome as ever, even with his smooth, fair complexion creased with worry, Marim turned from the door to the medical office after shutting it. “I wish it didn’t have to be like this,” he said, the concern for her plain on his face.
The two of them were the same height, which fit, for they’d been friends for as long as either could remember, nearly inseparable. But whereas she had little use for lessons and learning, he’d committed himself rather fully to becoming a nurse and hopefully someday a doctor.
He made up for any other shortcomings he had with enthusiasm and dedication, as he did in all things. Just as his unimpressive stature as a man was made up for by gorgeous good looks, and his thick, long mane of hair. Though he tied the golden mess back in a ponytail, he tended to leave some flowing about his shoulders. While those emerald eyes of his, so wide and pretty, seemed to almost glitter with suppressed tears at her having to leave.
“If only one of the last two search parties would’ve reported back in by now,” he stammered, rubbing an arm. The nurses outfit he wore consisted of a high collared, short sleeved white tunic, and plain black pants that fit him rather snugly down to his boots. All in all he made what was otherwise a dull ensemble look good.
“You hafta take that equipment to the old colony site,” he explained again for the fifth time. “With any luck you can trade for some supplies to bring back and seeds to start up the old greenhouse, and… and maybe we’ll become self-sufficient again.” It was a long shot, they both knew it, but with most of the occupants of the bunker sick or dead due to the contaminated food they thought would see them through another couple years, and every search party they sent out for supplies failing to return or bring back anything, it fell to her. Even Marim couldn’t accompany her, because he was the only standing medical officer, despite being but nineteen.
Her own blonde hair was pulled back from her face, yet she’d resisted the tears that glistened in his eyes, and stood straight, her lips curved into a forced smile. “Look, you just need to get over this. I’ll be back, I’ll be fine. You know this, I know this, and when I return with my arms full of food and presents and whatever else they’re going to throw my way, I’m going to make you pay for making me worry about leaving YOU here all by yourself.”
Her jeans and t-shirt would have been so simple and plain on someone else, but she filled them out just right, her curvy body tightening and stretching the material so snugly across her chest and ass. “Just make sure no one else dies ‘til I get back,” she teased, though there was a pleading there. She didn’t blame him for the deaths, of course, but with each one, things grew worse for the ones still living.
Marim’s handsome face somehow managed a smile, as he always did for her, but he was definitely worried for her, and she could see beneath the veneer to that. “Be real careful,” he warned, “and before you try tradin’ the good stuff, hide it somewhere. You don’t know if the colonists still up there are like us still. They might’ve been on hard times, and turned to desperate measures.”
Stepping to her without delay, he put his arms about her, pulling her into an embrace. “Just get back, no matter what happens. We’ll figure somethin’ out,” he said, though it was weak. Without some deal or scavenged goods to bring back, nobody would make it.
She kissed his cheek before brushing past him. She’d never been big on sappy goodbyes, or long drawn out and emotional scenes, so it was comforting in a way to feel her shoulders square under the heavy load of goods as she set out.
A secret smile came to her lips as real excitement shone through.
Before Dusk Later That Day
Alexandra had made a good pace that day despite the burden on her back. Her enthusiasm for the first bit of freedom from the underground prison that was the bunker fuelled her motions. However, as the sun crept towards the horizon and the shadows grew long over the valley, she knew her time was nearly up. She’d have to hide out somewhere that evening to rest.
On the bright side she saw two things: in the distance along the opposing edge of the valley were the large, circular white structures of what must be the old colony. It lay past the river and the grey and black ruins of the old pre-cataclysm city that her mother might have known the name of, but it was within sight, and that counted for a lot. It was a couple days journey away, by her rough reckoning.
Secondly, she could make out some building at the edge of the next ridge before coming into the valley proper itself. A long structure, it was at the end of a broken grey road, and she could make out no signs of life around it, and wouldn’t even take her half an hour. She’d have noticed it sooner, but from her point higher up it was masked before now.
Alexandra had energy to spare, especially on such a big day, and as she set her sights on her evening destination, her red lips parted into a wide grin. She didn’t let the fear of the unfamiliar edge into her consciousness, or the fact that so many disappeared into the unknowns. Instead she simply set out to rest for the night, her legs working to carry her over the last stretch.
She was so full of excitement for the journey ahead, and the entire world she’d never been able to explore that she never noticed the sounds ahead.
Approaching the long, rectangular building’s side door, she was taken by surprise when it abruptly burst open. The metal frame struck her and sent her toppling away onto her side. She had little time to make sense of what happened next, stunned as she was, but three bodies came rushing out.
It was as those six hands grabbed at her that it started to come into view amidst the rough jostling. They were men, but they weren’t like any men she’d known in all her days in the safety of the bunker.
Their faces were deathly pale, their features contorted into looks of pure rage. They wore little but shredded and damaged vestments of the past that covered their chests and loins, terrifying body paint about the rest. They screamed at her in violent rage as her senses snapped back.