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Ash Wastes - Angry Andy [Long]

 Post subject: Ash Wastes - Angry Andy [Long]
PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2007 3:54 pm 
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Angry Andy
Andy gave one last pull on the spanner, then removed it and slipped it back into his tool pouch. He re-attached the lead and walked around to hit the starter, firing the engine. It positively purred to life. He walked back and tested the throttle a couple of times, producing a couple of aggressive roars from the engine. Much better, he thought. He closed the hood and climbed into the cockpit. He took off along the track again, the large rubber tyres crunching over the Ash.

His path took him toward a huge cliff face, with a canyon leading through to the other side of the range. He knew this was the most dangerous part of the trek, and the raiding Nomads would surely try to take him through there. He slowed and tried to assess the situation. It was much more dangerous to attempt to go around the range, the terrain was dotted with soft-ash pits, acid pools and rad zones, not to mention the predatory Sand Worms that made their home nestled against the warm rock of the rocky range. Those things grew large enough to swallow a buggy whole.

He slowed his Interceptor down, trying to assess the situation. He stopped and took a look at the cliff through a scope. It was more a question of how many Nomads were waiting, rather than whether or not they were there. He saw a couple of careless glints of metal, they obviously knew he had no choice and weren’t bothered about being seen. He climbed back in and prepared to set off, when he noticed the rising cloud of ash behind him in the mirror he routinely checked. Something was coming up behind him. As he watched he saw the first Nomad buggy crest the dune behind him. He gunned the engine and the Interceptor leapt forward.

The Interceptor was the crowning achievement of a dying genius and had been presented to him as both a condolence and a responsibility. Gears had been working on the Interceptor for over a decade, and it represented the epitome of what the tinkerer was capable of. It was powered by an old, large-bore combustion engine, simple to maintain and it was surrounded by a matt-black armoured shell. Gears had modelled it after stories his Grandfather had told about vehicles on their original home world. It was even able to support its own life support inside the vehicle if need be. The Interceptor was as quick as they came, and Andy had made it his own, with minor modifications and security features.

He raced toward the canyon, still at least a click or more distant. He reached for his scope and took another look. It was an old scope that he had picked up during his days as an Enforcer in the Hive, and featured an archaic light amplification mode. At the mouth of the canyon, hidden in shadow, were about six vehicles, waiting for him. Rock and a hard place, FRAK!

He had to decide quickly. He eased off the accelerator a bit. He had to draw as many of them out after him as possible, if he didn’t, they’d all meet up with him on the other side. He waited as long as possible, then pulled the park brake and turned to the left, locking up the rear wheels and throwing the vehicle into left hand slide, he released the brake and gunned the engine again. Realising the trap had failed, about a half a dozen vehicles appeared from the canyon and chased after him, they merged with the group that had been following him along the track.

In his mirror he saw a couple of vehicles head on straight through the canyon, Andy realised he’d have to deal with those, the smart ones, later. He had more pressing concerns however.

A bike had run up behind him and drawn up close, readying a pistol. He hit the breaks and the front wheel of the bike jammed up under the chassis of the Interceptor, the biker lost control and fell, to be ground under the wheels of his fellows.

A pair of bikes pulled up on either side, the pillions reached out with clubs to smash the Interceptor. Andy jinked the wheel, swiping the bikes; one fell, while the other compensated for the collision. Andy steered toward the cliff. The biker, so intent on the Interceptor, didn’t notice and was smashed between Interceptor and cliff-face.

Next was a buggy, it pulled level just as they crested a dune, which at the bottom ended in an acid pond. Andy would have to get around the buggy to go around the pond. He held the line, tempting the Nomads in a game of chicken. He turned to the left, bumping the buggy, inviting a response, but the driver was smarter than that. Andy gunned the Interceptor and pulled ahead, and to the right, then pulled the park brake and slewed around to the left, gunning the engine again. The buggy saw the opportunity to ram and held its line, but Andy hit the turbo button on the floor just before colliding and escaped the buggy’s line, leaving it to splash into the acid, the wheels blowing out almost immediately and the rest of the vehicle smouldered as the crew flailed around, shedding layers of clothing. The nitro gauge on his dash showed four of five dots.

The rest of the pursuing vehicles gave a wide berth to the acid and gained ground on Andy. It was at least a click around the acid pool, maybe two. Another buggy pulled up on his right, aiming to knock Andy into the Acid. Andy pulled up the hood on his respirator and hit the button to lower the side windshields. He ripped his sawn-off from its holster on the door trim and reached across, took aim, and blew the front wheel off the buggy, leaving it to cartwheel into the air. It came to rest blocking the path of the other pursuers who deviated around it.

Andy looked around, noticing they were moving into softer ash now. He checked the screen to his left, there was a large group of red blips on the bottom, but it was the couple of faint blue blips beginning to appear off to his left that he cared about. He slowed, waiting for the Nomads to catch him up a little. A few surrounded him and began to fire at and club the Interceptor, but Andy concentrated on the screen.

When one of the blue blips went solid and darted towards the red mass that now represented him and the Nomads, he reached over to the gear shift and flipped up the switch cover and flipped the switch underneath. The supercharger on the hood whined to life, and when the Interceptor began to pull ahead Andy stomped on the Turbo button, dumping as much Nitro into the pots as possible. The Interceptor powered ahead of the mass of Nomads just as the first Sand Worm struck.

It appeared as a long mound in the ash arrowing in at the Nomad vehicles. It erupted in a spray of ash, chomping a bike and rider in two. The Nomads now realised the mistake they had made. So intent had they been on Andy they’d forgotten the ever-present dangers of the wastes. Many attempted to battle the emerged Sand Work, and a few continued on after the Interceptor, but the bulk of them scattered out and cut their engines, the Sand Worms hunted by sound and vibration and they were hoping to be invisible. More blue blips were heading toward the melee forming around the first Sand Worm.

Fortunately no blips had appeared in front of him yet, and he could see an access point to the rocky range ahead were it lowered and an ash drift had created a natural ramp. He had switched off the supercharger and the nitro tank was showing one dot, with a second blinking on and off. Not much left. He headed up the ramp onto the range. The ash was thinner here, and several rocky patches showed through, but it was still flat enough to drive over.

He looked back once off the ramp to watch as another Sand Worm struck just before the ramp started. It took out another biker and crashed into a buggy as it fell back, crushing the cockpit. His pursuers now stood at three bikes and a buggy.

The three bikers approached together, a solo rider, another with a pillion and the last one had a sidecar with a crude automatic weapon pintle-mounted, which now began to fire. Andy was quite confident the Interceptor’s armour would hold up, but he never liked to test it. The bikers fanned out, the solo rider behind him. Andy flipped a switch on his dash, and a container at the rear of the Interceptor dropped open, spilling out a dozen four-pointed spike-stars. The solo rider hit one and his front tyre exploded, throwing him off. The buggy drove off the line for a moment, avoiding the booby trap.

The sidecar weapon overheated and jammed, meanwhile the bike with the pillion pulled ahead of Andy. While the rider concentrated on staying in front of Andy, the pillion reached into a bag around his shoulder and pulled out a grenade, primed it, held it for a second and dropped it. Andy swerved as a geyser of Ash went off beside him. He stepped on the Nitro again and gunned forward, the pillion flinched and tapped the rider’s shoulder, but it was too late as the spikes on the front grill of the Interceptor hit the bike. Andy couldn’t see what happened, but the bike lost all power and the two riders leapt clear as the Interceptor drove over the stricken bike.

The sidecar rider cleared his weapon and trained his sights on the Interceptor but the last thing he ever saw was Andy’s sawn-off sighted directly at him, before his head was mashed. His body slumped over the Stubber.

They had been crossing the range directly across, so Andy was hoping they wouldn’t come out too high, but he had no idea how big the drop would be when it came.

Interceptor and pursuers approached a bottleneck tight right hander formed by small ridges on either side. The sidecar squeezed up against the Interceptor, but obviously misjudged his speed, and the sidecar lifted up off the ground and crashed the whole vehicle into a heap leaving only Andy and the pursuing buggy.

Finally the cliff edge appeared, but unfortunately it looked like it would be a drop of several metres. No choice but to grit his teeth and hope for the best. The drop was a good three metres, but Andy managed to hit a bit of a natural landing ramp of ash. The pursuing buggy looked to have some serious suspension, but as Andy watched it hit the landing a little awkwardly and not nearly far enough to hit the ramp, which resulted in the buggy bouncing up over the lip of the dune and rolling, spitting debris as it cart-wheeled.

Andy breathed a sigh of relief. He drove on for a few clicks, making his way along the ridge to where he thought the canyon would come out. He checked his map-slate and radar, judging where it would be and stopped before coming within sight of it. He stepped out and sighted down with the scope. There were two vehicles circling around. They weren’t expecting him to make it.

He went back to the cargo boot. The glass jars had all made it, seated in their foam cradle. He reached in deep and slipped out a long tube. He walked back within sight of the vehicles and slipped his scope into the slot on the tube. He plugged a small lead from the tube into the scope and after a moment the scope changed to a crosshair view. He sighted on the first vehicle and pressed the trigger. A rocket shot from the tube, while Andy maintained his aim on the vehicle. The rocket entered the chassis and was quickly followed by a dull thump and the vehicle bouncing a few feet in the air and coming to stop.

He opened a compartment on the tube and pulled out another rocket. He quickly armed and loaded it. Taking sight once more he noticed the other vehicle speeding back towards the canyon. He zeroed the crosshairs and fired, the rocket streaked towards the truck, and the occupants all leapt clear. This time the rocket must have hit the fuel tank and the truck exploded, with shrapnel flying everywhere, some of it even striking the former occupants. As Andy watched, a single wheel rolled clear of the explosion and trundled past the dazed Nomads.

Andy loaded the Missile Tube back into the Interceptor and headed off. This day was just about done.



Prologue
One cracked shocker, two Krak Rockets, a few Shotgun rounds a dozen spike stars and a tank of Nitro. Not to mention the scratched paintwork and extra bullet dents the shell was now sporting. The ammo was easy, and he made spike stars in his spare time. He was going to have to track down some more Nitro, and find out if this settlement had a decent Tinkerer to take a look at the shocker, but everything else would be cheap enough.

Most importantly, Trix had another shipment of Stingers. She’d pay what she could, and Andy would make up the difference any way he could. Then when the time came, or word got to him, Angry Andy would head back out into the wastes to do what little he could to help those that needed it.

He thought back to when he began this life. Gears had given him the Interceptor and told him to get out there and make a difference. He’d known the good Andy could do if only he could forget, or at least put aside the pain in his heart. He couldn’t forget, but the job let him put it aside. But what kept him going was the hunt for Papa Gallo. Andy knew all about revenge from his days as an Enforcer and how it didn’t solve anything. It was a different rat-nest from the other side though. He didn’t care about anything else. He’d be quite happy to die once he killed Papa Gallo with his own bare hands.




* Note, this story draws a bit of inspiration from s4G's short stories, and a LOT from Mad Max 2. For a look at the Interceptor, go here


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2007 3:57 pm 
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Critiques and proof reads welcome.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 8:15 am 
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I have started and stopped reading several times... but life keeps getting int he way... I promise to get back to you soon...

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 12:16 pm 
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It was a fun read. A little too Mad Max-ish for my personal preference, but a good yarn none-the-less.

Is there, or will there be, more?

I must say that it has inspired me to write some more though... just as soon as work and my personal life quiet down a little bit.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 8:45 am 
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Read it liked it. Good overall.

A few typos here and there.

Please don't take offense at this but i found it a bit hard to read, i had to concentrate to follow it through. Why? Not sure, punctation, writing style or something else? Please bear in mind i am dyslexic so at times reading takes effort, but yours seems to take more effort than it should.

PLEASE don't be offended or disheartened by the critique i liked it and it was a good read.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 9:12 am 
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I liked it, it is clearly very Mad Max inspired, but that's not a bad thing for a setting that borrows so heavily from the films anyway. Although the choice of Andy as the protagonist's name seema little odd...


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2007 11:34 pm 
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I was basically trying to re-imagine Mad Max in this setting.

The name is basically Mad Max but with A's for M's. I should probably change it to Angry Anderson really...

I was thinking about where I could take the character I'll give it some thought.

I'll give it another read through and look for the typos and try to take note of how it reads. I wasn't devoting 100% on it when I wrote it, so it may be structured badly.

Thanks so much for the comments guys.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2007 11:38 pm 
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Roderz, your story was really cool dude! :) Im a Mad Max nut and a Necro-head, so I hope you have more of this story! I know this threads old, but im just getting around to reading it :twisted:

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