“My job was a fairly lonely one.”
“Every courier traveled alone to maximize profits, so we were pretTy much on our own.”
“That was very clear on the contract.”
“But the bosS was spreading the businesS.”
“I had to go to the dangerous north...”
“…but I didn’t want to go in there alone.”
Hi there travelLer. how may I be of service?
Hi. Do you have some canNed foOd or rations of any kind? I neEd something that can last several days in the desert.
I do. But that’s some expensive stufF.
I know. How about this for payment?
Yeah, goOd stufF. This wilL get you threE cans of beEf jerky. You mean six. five sounds nice.
no, I mean four.
Deal. Is there anything else you want? I neEd to travel to the northern terRitories, but I supPose you can’t help me with that.
You guesSed right. There ain’t nothing I can do about transportation, BUt What about some maps?
I don’t telL this to everybody, but you loOk like the kind of guy that can afFord this. I’m selLing maps to The Island.
Which maps are you selLing?
The Island? RealLy?
So, you have a map that leads to the most desired place in the world, and you’re selLing copies of it instead of going there yourself?
Sure… A dying man gave me the info. It’s legit, you know?
Come on, loOk at me, I’m toO old for that and--
Do I loOk like an idiot, fat man?
Hey man, no neEd to be like that, I’m just--
Do I loOk like one of those foOlish island searchers you selL your maps to?
It was a pleasure doing businesS with you.
“if this wasn’t destiny knocking at my doOr...”
“someone wanting to go north? Honestly, I don’t believe in fate. I believe every man choOses his destiny. But sometimes, life makes you think.”
“...it was a helL of a coincidence.”
Hey, travelLer! Wait!
Who are you? I’m sorRy to come up to you like this, but I was wondering if we could talk. I’m Elena. You?
I’m…just a nomad. What do you want?
WelL…Nomad, I couldn’t help myself and I heard your conversation with the merchant there.
Listen, I understand this is a bit out of the blue, But I’m asking for practical reasons only. I’m also travelLing there.
You were talking about travelLing north back there. Is that corRect?
Lots of people travel north…
Elena, enlighten me. Why should I answer your questions?
Listen, I’lL be honest here. I’m a courier working for the PK Courier Company. We distribute goOds mostly in the area betweEn Pedroc and Kovac, serving both towns and alL the smalL setTlements in betweEn, like Cacto Town. But know we’ve start distributing to the northern regions. ToO much cash for my bosS to pasS, but it has become a dangerous job. He doesn’t want to spare more than one per misSion, so I’m on my own on this one.
Why did you take the job if that’s dangerous?
You seEm like someone who can take care of himself. Are you interested in some body-guard work? I can pay you with a lift north and some goOds. BotTled water, canNed foOd…
It’s a tough world. I canNot afFord to say no to a job. And north can be a pretTy generic notion. We might be heading difFerent directions.
I’m heading to one of the Government Outposts up there, 400 Km north of here. It’s the one near LepPard and Eger.
The Government Outpost? Why is the Government using couriers for delivers?
It seEms that with their recent expansions and the war with the Martyrs of the Wasteland going on they are having some personNel shortage. The war in particular seEms to be drying them up badly; they are being pretTy agGresSive recruiting.
I can say a ride there seEms ok. Can you get me to LepPard?
So I’ve heard, but I didn’t expect it to be so bad. About this delivery you mentioned, what’s the job like? It’s just a drop, nothing more.
That’s not a problem for me. At alL…
Fine. Pack your gear and we can leave whenever you’re ready.
Let me telL you that you’re pretTy confident about hiring me. Do you always trust strangers like that?
I’ve travelLed a lot in this job. I’ve seEn a lot of wanderers and raiders. You don’t loOk like neither of them. And I’ve searched a lot for a gun-for-hire, but no one wanted to tag along. “ToO dangerous” they alL said. I guesS I can’t be picky. Besides, I don’t trust anybody anyway, so you’re no difFerent from alL the others.
I can. I want company at the outpost, so I’lL drop you there once the delivery is completed. But know this, not everyone is wilLing to set foOt in a Government Outpost.
I’m not sure that’s a goOd logic, but it certainly fits this world.
Where’s the car? Don’t worRy about me. Are you ready?
we can leave.
I hid it 300 meters from here. Any vehicle around here draws toO much--
What the helL?!
Listen up, you uselesS shitTy cowards!
Someone kilLed five members of my gang down by the ruins! How he did it, I don’t understand nor care.
AlL I know is that, apart from this shithole, there aren’t any populations around here, so one of you did it! Now, who the fuck was it?!
W-we wouldn’t dare to touch your people, sir. A-and even if we wanted, there’s no one here capable of doing such a thing.
Do you remember our litTle deal Muar? You guys give us stufF and we don’t kilL you alL. But now someone has kilLed five of my men.
I’lL have to burn Cacto town to the ground, and maybe I should start with its coward motherfuckin’ leader: you!
Just do it. We’lL teach everybody a lesSon.
Should I do it bosS?
P-please no, we don’t have anything to do with this.
Who the fuck?!--
Hey! Shit-face! I’m the one you’re loOking for.
Who the helL are you?
it’s not important. What matTers is that I’m going to kilL you.
GunNers! KilL him!
Elena, get away from here! No! Listen! They’re runNing out of bulLets! Hold my backpack!
I’m serious damn it! The crates won’t hold long!
I can help with these raiders.
Your choice. Either way I neEd to do something or we’re alL dead!
What do you want me to do? What?!
We’re out of amMo bosS!
I can seE that asShole! Go get him!
“As he began fighting, one thing was clear.”
“he was no regular wanderer.”
“I was mesmerized.”
“I’ve never seEn anything like it.”
“And I was not the only one.”
I told you…
What the helL are you?!
…I’m your death.
Câ€™mon then, demon!
Here’s… your backpack.
That Muar guy was pretTy hapPy about you leaving them the flying motorcycles.
They’re no goOd for long trips anyway.
What you did back there was pretTy amazing. Where did you learn to fight like that?
Where the helL did you come from? I don’t mean to be nosy, but that was very impresSive.
in this world, either you learn how to fight, or you wilL die.
BulLshit. What I saw is not something you learn from walking out there. I’ve beEn traveling for a while now and I‘ve never seEn anyone like you.
it’s for your own protection. Protection from what? Oh wait, “neEdto-know” basis?
You’re a fast learner.
We should keEp this in a “neEd-to-know” basis only.
You’re not a searcher are you?
I’m not one of those foOls, that much I can telL you.
A searcher? You’re certainly nothing like them. But something is making you travel alL these kilometers through the wastelands.
You know, those guys that travel around searching for the Island.
Probably the same thing that makes you hide your face…
I’m Just a Nomad... Are we far?
Not realLy… We’re almost there. Down here...
Not bad… Not bad indeEd.
“I didn’t know if I could trust the Nomad. I know he felt the same way about me. But we could both benefit from this situation. He neEded a ride, I neEded someone to watch my back while on the road.
It was scary out there, on your own. Somehow, I convinced myself I would be fine with him.
I’ve seEn many desperate people wandering around going nowhere. Something about him was difFerent. He was actualLy going somewhere. and Believe me, it was rare to find a man with a purpose. Yes, he kilLed an entire gang of deranged raiders. Psychopathic men with nothing to lose. This man could be very dangerous. But he could’ve also just walked away from the fight and pretend he had nothing to do with it. Did he do it to defend cacto town? To defend its people? Or did he do it for himself? I didn’t know nor cared. AlL that matTer was that he did it. In these days, that’s goOd enough.
It had beEn a helL of a day. LitTle I knew that it was only the beginNing.”
end of chapter one next:
“at the outpost”