In the late 21th first century a nuclear war had made the entire world a barren and lifeless wasteland. There were pockets of survivors here and there and as the centuries passed they formed their own tribes to survive in this new world. The terrain of American was an ugly dark brown with dried up rivers and lakes everywhere. There were some ponds and lakes that carried water, which was utterly contaminated with germs and radiation.
Rabbits, rats, squirrels and other small creatures could still be found if one looked hard enough. Although many people did not want to eat such highly mutated and sickly animals. So, they had turned to cannibalism. Marauding bands of these cannibals roamed the land and since they ravaged everything, everyone referred to them as Ravagers. Patrick and Claire had had the misfortune of being born into this terrible world.
Like all who existed in this dreaded time, they had some minor form of mutation. Claire had silver colored hair while Patrick had an extra toe on each of his feet and both of them had white colored irises. Besides that they looked normal. Although Patrick’s blond hair was so dirty most people thought it was black. The two of them had grown up in Red Rabbit village one of the few pieces of land left that was good for farming. Potatoes were the main crop they farmed, since potatoes were one of the few things that still grew in the radiated soil.
Red Rabbit village consisted of a dozen huts, six out houses and two shacks and one well. Patrick had been busy fixing up one of the shacks. He was 14 years old and wore very old baggy pants and a brown leather vest. His arms were pretty strong from all the physical work he did and there wasn’t any fat on his chest or anywhere on his body. Like all in the village Patrick ate well enough to ensure he would never be thin, but he was getting pretty tired of potatoes.
Claire was helping Patrick fix up the shack. She was 16 years old and wore a dirty brown short sleeve shirt that had once been white and a pair of black pants that were full of holes. Claire also wore sneakers, while Patrick’s shoes were being repaired so his feet were bare.
Patrick and Claire were orphans who had been born outside of the village and had ended up there. Patrick had had been dropped off as a toddler while Claire had stumbled into Red Rabbit village when she was eight.
No family had taken them to rise as their own, instead they had been brought up by the whole village. Although they were treated very well neither could shake the feeling that the people there still thought of them as outsiders.
Patrick was on the shack’s roof, he laid some planks down on the roof and nailed them on. Claire was working on the wall and Patrick noticed that for some reason she looked very beautiful today.
Patrick and Claire had been best friends in all the years they had known each other. Although with the onset of puberty Patrick had notice his feelings for her change. Recently they had started “practicing” kissing together.
Patrick noticed smoke far off in the distance. The few remaining plants and trees caught fire easily, so he thought nothing of it. Claire finished patching up the wall and wiped some sweat from her brow. “Okay that’s done with. What did Edward want us to do next?”
“I think he wants us to make a new rope for the well.”
“Can’t the old toad do that himself?” Claire grumbled.
Edward was the village chief as well as the oldest man in the village even though he was only 55. He had a huge hump on his back and he had been born with only three fingers on his left hand.
Edward was the kind of person who didn’t tolerate any degree of laziness and expected everyone in the village to do as much work as he saw fit. Patrick saw Edward lumbering towards them. Claire noticed that he seemed to be out of breath. She asked him. “Are you alright Eddy?”
Edward normally got very annoyed when people called him that. This time though he didn’t notice instead he put his hands-on Claire’s shoulders and shouted. “The Ravagers are attacking us in numbers greater than ever before, we have to evacuate the village.”
“And go where?” Claire replied.
Before Edward could respond a Ravager threw a crude spear that went straight through his skull. Edward hit the ground with a thud as blood gushed out of his head. The Ravagers appeared. They wore armor made out of black leather, crude rusty metal and the bones of dead animals and men. They carried axes, spears, sabers, and swords. A small few of them had guns, but they barely worked.
Patrick and Claire ran to one of the huts that had a stash of weapons. Clair got herself a knife while Patrick got a machete. They then jumped into the fray with a couple dozen other villagers. A Ravager with half his face painted red with blood and the other half covered in scars, attacked Claire. He carried an ax and Claire ducked to the ground as he swung it over her head.
Claire avoided his attack and slashed her knife across the Ravager’s neck; however, he thrust his head back, so she only nicked him. He then kicked Claire’s left leg knocking her to the ground.
Before the Ravager could land the final blow, Patrick stabbed him through his gut. The Ravager fell on his knees and Patrick sliced off the upper half of the Ravager’s forehead splattering blood and brain matter everywhere. It took everything Patrick had not to puke from the horrible feeling of taking a life.
Claire spun around, only a few Red Rabbit villagers were still fighting the rest had been killed or captured. Patrick stood still as a statue as blood dripped from his blade. Claire put her hands on his shoulders and shouted. “Patrick our village lost! We gotta to get out of here or we’re going to die!”
“But our friends and everybody else, we have to help them!”
“They’re gone Patrick!” yelled Claire.
Patrick turned around and saw that the Ravagers had already burned everything down. He wiped away the tears that were starting to flow out of his eyes. “Let’s go then.”
Patrick and Claire ran as fast as their feet could carry them. Eventually they found themselves in a rocky canyon that had plenty of huge rocks they could hide behind. Claire and Patrick took shelter behind a large red rock and tried to catch their breath. They had nothing but their weapons and the clothes on their backs. Neither of them had any sort of appetite after all the fighting and running. But they were extremely dehydrated.
Claire wondered if she should climb on top of the rock and see if she could spot any plants.
She knew that if she could find some plants there would be a source of water to. Patrick leaned on his machete, which was now covered in dry blood.”I never thought when I woke up today that I would lose everything and kill someone.”
Claire put her hands-on Patrick’s shoulders and kissed his forehead. “You saved my life and made sure that guy could never take another.”
Patrick nodded, and Claire climbed up the rock. She didn’t spot plants or any sign of life. But in the distance, she saw a dozen Ravagers headed their way. Claire got down from the rock and shouted. “There’s twelve Ravagers coming right towards us!”
“Damn, what do we do?” Patrick responded.
Claire replied. “We got to find somewhere to hide. Also, I need you to promise me something Patrick.”
Claire took a deep breath and then coldly said. “You know what they’ll do if they capture us. They’ll torture and eat us alive. I don’t want us to die like that. So, if it looks like their going to find us. You’ll kill me, and I’ll kill you alright?”
Patrick held Claire’s hand. His heart raged in his chest and a shiver ran down his spine as he replied. “I promise if that’s what’s has to be done I’ll do it. But I swear to you that I’m going to do everything I can to avoid that.”
Claire gave Patrick a quick peck on the lips and then the two of them searched for a place to hide. They eventually found a small cave that was behind a huge boulder. Patrick and Claire huddled shoulder to shoulder tightly grasping their weapons as they waited for the Ravagers to pass. The sound of Ravagers passing by made Patrick and Claire’s hearts pound in their chests.
Eventually the sounds of the Ravagers walking and chatting amongst themselves faded into the distance. As soon as Patrick and Claire were certain that the Ravagers were gone they left their little cave.
The two of them slowly resumed their journey to nowhere. They made sure to walk in the opposite direction that the Ravagers had been going. Patrick heard snickering behind a gigantic purple boulder. He singled to Claire for them to back away, but it was too late. Twelve Ravagers emerged from behind the boulder and surrounded them. Patrick and Claire raised their weapons and stood back to back.
These Ravagers were ugly beyond belief. Their skin was puffy like a blowfish and was a blueish blackish color. They had filed their teeth into fangs and had bone deep self-inflicted scars all over their arms and faces. Many had extra fingers or toes, half of them had had a third eye in the middle of their forehead. All of them were armed with clubs and bladed weapons. Except for their leader who had a blue mohawk and was wielding a shotgun, that he was aiming at Patrick’s heart.
The Ravager with a mohawk shouted. “You’re the mother fuckers who killed Stab!”
Patrick screamed. “Well you murders shouldn’t have attacked our village!”
“We’re the top dogs so we can do whatever the fuck we please.” The shotgun wielding Ravager replied. “Now we’re going to fuck you up so good that you’ll be begging for death!”
“We’ll kill ourselves before you touch us!” Claire shouted.
One of the Ravagers laughed and gave the Ravager with a blue mohawk a pat on the back. “This bitch thinks she’s a badass Sid. Why don’t you enlighten her?”
Sid grinned and cocked his shotgun. Patrick fixed his eyes on it. “I bet that damn thing doesn’t even work.”
Sid shook his head and sneered. “Your dead wrong about that kid.”
Sid tilted his shotgun and fired. Patrick’s left shoulder exploded. Bits of bone and blood splattered everywhere. Patrick’s machete flew out of his hands as he fell on the ground. Claire screamed and attacked Sid with her knife. Sid slammed the butt of his shotgun against Claire’s face breaking her nose and knocking her onto her knees. Sid kicked Claire’s knife out of her hands. With their weapons gone Patrick and Claire had no way to fight back or take their own lives.
Claire didn’t even bother covering her bleeding nose as utter terror filled her heart. Patrick moaned in pain as Claire grasped his hand and cried. “I’m sorry Patrick, I’m so sorry.”
Sid licked his lips. “Which one do you want to rape first boys?”
One of the Ravagers shouted. “Let’s rape them both!”
The Ravagers cheered and some of them started loosening their pants. Then an odd beeping sound rang throughout the air. A robot hovered over to them. The robot was sphere shaped, it had a green screen in its center and two four fingered arms. Its entire body was made of shiny chrome steel.
Sid reloaded his shotgun and aimed it at the robot while saying. “What the fuck are you?”
The robot gave some beeps and responded. “Cease all hostel actions and leave this area now please.”
Sid cocked his shotgun. “Screw you man!”
Before Sid could fire, a red laser shot out of the robot’s hand and went through his skull. Sid hit the ground with a big bloody hole through his head. The other Ravagers all screamed and attacked the robot. One by one it took them out before anyone of them got near it.
Claire squeezed Patrick’s hand as the robot stared at them. Now that it had slaughtered the Ravagers there was no reason for Patrick and Claire to assume that they weren’t next. A single tear ran down Claire face as she said. “I love you Patrick.”
Patrick fought through his pain and replied. “I love you to.”
The two of them closed their eyes and waited for the robot to finish them off. It hovered closer and closer right when it was hovering next to them it spoke. “Would you like me to attend to your injuries?”
Patrick and Claire opened their eyes as they both said. “What?”
The robot responded. “Would you like me to heal your wounds?”
Patrick held back a hiss of pain and nodded. The robot shined a blue light on Patrick destroyed shoulder. The bone grew back, and the skin fused back together, even the fibers of his vest mended themselves. The robot fixed Claire’s nose and was even considerate enough to clean the blood off them. Once that was done the robot asked. “Do the two of you find the conditions in this environment intolerable?”
“Intolerable is putting it lightly.” Claire replied.
The robot responded. “I can take the two of you to Shelter 9 if you wish.”
“Shelter 9, where is that?” Patrick asked.
“If you follow me I can get you there in three hours.” The robot replied.
“What do you want to do Claire?”
“Well Patrick we can’t stay here.”
Patrick went to retrieve his machete while Claire picked up her knife. The robot noticed this. “You will not need your weapons where were going. Leave them.”
Patrick and Claire shrugged their shoulders and dropped their weapons. Knowing that the robot would defend them from any dangers they might come across and that if it did become hostile to them there was nothing their weapons could do against it. The robot lead them through several narrow maze-like canyons and two caves. They arrived at the side of a mountain.
Claire and Patrick found themselves greeted by the sight of a humongous metal gate built into the mountain’s side. It had a vault like appearance and Patrick quickly noticed that there didn’t seem to be anyway to open it from the outside. Claire noticed this to, she crossed her arms and said. “So, are you going to let us in?”
“There are certain qualifications to be allowed entrance into Shelter 9. I need to perform an alteration on Patrick.”
A cold chill ran down Patrick’s spine. “What sort of alteration?”
The robot responded. “Your extra toes must be removed.”
Claire stood between Patrick and the robot. She held out her hands. “Patrick’s fine the way he is!”
Patrick put his hand on Claire’s shoulder. “It’s alright Claire I always felt weird having twelve toes when everyone else has ten. Besides this can’t hurt worse than getting shot.”
Claire replied. “Well if your okay with this I guess I am to.”
The robot removed Patrick’s excess toes and patched things up so well it was like they were never there to being with. Then the entrance to Shelter 9 slowly opened. Patrick and Claire stepped inside. The robot zipped along its merry way and the gate closed behind them. There was another gate before them and six water fountains attached to the right wall. Patrick and Clair rushed over to them and quenched their thirst. For the first time in their lives they drank pure and clean water, it was great.
Once they were done Patrick asked. “Do you think we’ll be able to leave this place whenever we want or are we stuck here?”
Claire replied. “I am sure we can find a way to break out if we have to. But I don’t see why we would leave, there’s nothing for us outside of here anymore.”
Patrick nodded. “Yeah your right. So, I guess were boyfriend and girlfriend now.”
Claire smiled and held Patrick’s hand. “We’ve been that way for a while. I think it’s just today that we finally realize it. Anyway, when is this other gate going to open?”
Just then the inner gate opened, and they walked inside another room that had shower heads all over the ceiling and the walls. The entire room was made of metal and was painted white. There was another gate inside this room and Patrick and Claire both hoped it was the last one. A floor panel slid open revealing a large incinerator.
A synthetic voice echoed throughout the room. “Please place all of your contaminated clothes here so they can be incinerated.”
A faint blush appeared on Claire’s cheeks as she shouted. “Are you saying we have to get naked if we want to go inside?”
“You have to be free of all contamination.” The voice replied.
Claire groaned and ran her hand over her face while Patrick twiddled his thumbs. “I guess we don’t really have a choice.”
“We don’t. Would you mind undressing first?”