July 25

Hard Ridin’ – Part 1

What is this? In short, a Hyena Beastman wishing to build his dream death-machine, and we will follow his journey as he attempts to make his dream a reality.


Searching through the junkyard Grin was starting to lose hope. While living in a wasteland, filled with nothing but ruins and scrap as far as the eye can see with little to no food and water, was already soul crushing, he could not find the one thing he needed most.

The hyena beast-man, wearing some old rugged leather clothing, barely fitting him and roughly-patched up, took out a rolled up piece of paper. Unfurling it, and tilting his welding mask down a bit, to offer his snout some shade from the burning sun, he looked at the crude drawing. This was his dream, a true death machine. Certainly there were larger ones out there, but this one would be his own.

In his clan, in this desert, if you wished to be somebody you needed your own machine. But it wasn’t enough just to make it drive, it had to be combat ready. It had to be the toughest, meanest and fastest machine around. And Grin had plans for one, great plans. But to begin his construction, his great work, he needed the parts.

The problem, naturally, with living in a wasteland, was that most of the good bits were long gone, and possibly burnt out from the countless battles that occur out here. Everything was either rusty, broken, or missing most of its key components. Grin was a mechanic, sure, but even he knew that “spare parts” were a very rare commodity. It was far more common for pack members to quickly cannibalize any machines that were left behind after a battle. If it could be fitted on, or scrapped down for bits, it was a prize worth losing a limb over.

Some took the simplest, if not the easiest path. Taking parts of other machines and roughly putting them together, with rivets, welding or rope. Whatever could hold it together. Grin on the other hand wanted a frame. A frame he could modify and would keep its shape, at least for a while. Something that would be a solid foundation for his machine.

But to find a frame, or even a whole functioning machine, that was not stripped for parts, seemed like a miracle. He spent weeks searching, when out looking for other parts, but the prize seemed to evade him.

And here he was, in another junkyard, in the middle of the day, looking tirelessly. He tucked away the paper and continued his search for other pieces of scrap. Fuses, batteries, copper wiring. Even small ornaments paid well when a larger pack wanted to decorate their machine.

From one junk pile to the next, from one lifeless husk to another. With his crude worn out tools, and a bit of brute strength, Grin collected small bits and pieces that he could carry with himself.

As he was done scavenging the few remaining seat covers from a bus that now looked like a butchered whale in the middle of the desert and left the carcass to further decompose his paws felt something metal and cone-like under them. He knelt down and brushed away the white sand surrounding the object only to find it looked indeed like a small cone. He dug deeper and realise the cone was part of some chimney. And the more of the sand he dug away in the scorching blaze the more he uncovered of the object underneath.

It was an ancient storage container. Still in good condition. It must had been buried under the stand for decades. Grin could only dig up a part of the roof but it was enough. He could cut his way in and see what he would find. With pick in hand he made a hole in the metal surface. Then with a metal saw he slowly began to cut through. Even with his strength the quality of his tools left much to be desired. Hours past and the sun slowly began to set. Eventually, as things were getting too dark to see he made a hatch for himself. He pried the chunk of metal off and with a lamp that he had hooked to an old yet functional battery he peered inside.

It looked like something out of a dream. Whoever was the old owner of this container prepared it for the eventuality of the end of the world. Seems he never made it to his stash as not only was there bottled water and old food cans but also the greatest prize of all. An untouched, if somewhat dusty, machine.

A pickup, these were once called. Room for two in the front, and a sizable bed in the back. Grin saw a few of these in the past, and some clans people tried to copy these old machines. It seemed to be in perfect condition.

Like a baby that just learned of the sweetness of chocolate Grin hopped into the container and continued to examine not only his great prize but also what else could be found.

It all seemed so surreal. Stories of buried treasures were meant for children. Not something anyone would believe, unless he showed it.

Food and Water, the machine. As well as other odds and ends. If he could bring all of this back he would be rich, or as rich as a hyena can be.

But here lay the crux of the problem. There was no way for him to dig the container out, nor could he simply carry or lift all of these treasures, especially the pickup.

There was something he could do. Grin snatched a few of the cans and bottled water. He sealed the container as best he could and then buried it once again. He noted down where the treasure lay and he began his trek home.

There was one person he could go to for help, but he knew it would not be cheap… and hopefully it would not cost him his life.

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Posted July 25, 2017 by ABielski in category "Short Story

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