Bits and Scraps (11-15-09)

A door in the dark...

A door in the dark...

Returning from another of my reclusive trips into the hazy edges of our land, I’ve briefly wandered the Wastelands, searching for signs of change in the sand and swamp, the ruin and wreckage.

MISSING MASHEENS
No one has seen the Tin Man, Gill, or Brominites in many days since that nasty turn of events reported here earlier.  Shortly thereafter, it seems even more of the salvage masheens went missing.  Everyone believes the brominites stole them after the events at the Trade Post but opinions and speculation on the “why” and “what for” still vary from person to person.

Currently, there only TWO salvage masheens remaining for the Wastelanders:  one within the Wastelands bunker and one in the northern shack of Bloodmoss Swamp.

HOLES IN THE GROUND
Reviewing Patrice’s earlier story about the strange plants, one detail caught my attention.  Her mention of dark and chilly tunnels below the Junkyard compelled me to go digging around the junk and wreckage gathered under the looming overpass.  Raze Repine and Lunesta Matova, two of the few humans I know who make this place their home, confirmed the existence of the tunnels.  Even the gruff Black Market ghoul known as Graves acknowledged this during one tense encounter in the dark night.  For the moment, I only had time to sift around through the junk and ruins above to see what holes I might find…

The first hole I found was in an old rail yard sitting between the main tracks and the overpass where steel spines of rusted rails snake across the broken concrete.  Pushing aside a round and heavy steel plate, I uncovered a dark hole, big enough for someone to drop inside.  I covered it up and moved on…

A hole into the underground...

A hole into the underground...

Near the main tracks, I descended a set of strange mechanical stairs into a dark smokey chamber.  A large metal carriage box with wheels set on rails was tucked into a long pit on one side of the room.  This pit was a tunnel once upon a time but both ends were sealed off.  Nonetheless, feeling my way through the darkness, I found a door at one end.  It slowly opened and a cold damp breeze flowed out from the dark within.  Taking note, I slowly shut it back and made my way back to the surface…

South of the main tracks, I passed by the walls of an impenetrable compound.  Home to another Black Market ghoul, VoidTraveler Seetan, and probably another entrance to what lay under my feet.  Next door, I walked over a long empty stretch of rock and junk.  Its only resident was a small solitary vehicle that Raze calls a “forklift”.  On the other side, sat a barren fuel station, stripped bare of nearly anything worthwhile by its current inhabitant, Neener Keats.  I couldn’t find anything leading below but I still suspected there was something below me.

Further on, I found two more intriguing spots.  Dropping down through the broken concrete floor of a large wasted house, I suspected I found another entrance but it was closed off by a large sheet of metal.  Still, I could feel the cough of a chill damp air seeping out from around its edges.  Nearby, tucked into the back corner of an old apartment building, I found a flight of suspicious stairs descending into the earth.

Stairs from below...

Stairs from below...

My last stop as night faded with the rising light was the Bad Lands.  Graves has long made this his home in a series of pipes and tanks buried under the junk of his land.  It wouldn’t surprise me if they’re connected somehow to this system of tunnels, but my notes on this were done for now.  The whispering sand spirits brought more bits of news to my attention…

((Editor’s Note:  I haven’t supplied SLURL’s for the entrances nor have i noted all of them so folks can explore the Junkyard and find them on their own.  Nonetheless, an additional in-depth report will follow about this ongoing joint-effort taken on by the Junkyard community and other Wastelanders, all of whom will be mentioned.  Cheers to the Black Market for initiating this venture and to Paytrok Ghost for building and texturing it! – S.K.))

RAZED BY RAIDERS

For a time, a very dense and intricate maze of shacks and huts leaned against each other in a slight bowl on the north side of the Great Fissure.  Most of the huts were thread-bare but some showed signs of life and a scavenger could easily get turned around as they squeezed between the tightly packed structures.  The Old Fart, Wankerstein Clapsaddle, maintained this little village for scavengers to rest their tired feet.

I wasn’t initially surprised to find it gone as I ran by, now nothing more than an empty grotto of rock and sand.  The demon winds of the desert often tear down the things we try to build here but I soon heard rumor from various sources that this was not the cause.  From what little I’ve learned so far, an unknown band of raiders swept into the village in the dark of night and burned it to the ground with a fierce fire.  I went back and surveyed the empty grotto again and found a pile of rotten severed limbs, torsos, and heads spread out over a sheet of metal.  Were these trophies from someone’s collection?  Was it a message left by the raiders?  Hard to say or even tell what the body parts came from.  Some of them were once definitely human but the state of decay on others left their species of origin unknown.

A fire tears through Ole Wanks village (Photo by Wankerstein Clapsaddle)

A fire tears through Ole Wank's village (Photo by Wankerstein Clapsaddle)

Looking about this empty grotto, I wondered if Ole Wank has abandoned it since the attack or if he’ll stubbornly rebuild his little village.  It’s definitely a nice piece of land that some might find irresistible.  Certainly, the raiders, whoever they were, singled out his place as a target for their rampage.

Despite this, I sense a slight calm in the settlement.  The tension raising everyone’s guard over the Brominites and the Tin Man has seemingly relaxed since neither potential threat has resurfaced.  Maybe this is just the calm before another sandstorm erupts from the horizon…