“A small group of survivors living in post-apocalyptic America have been able to activate a time link to our era.”
Lefty is hurt pretty bad. Nasty gash on his arm. P. S. is stitching it up with some old fishing line. The Professor gave him an old leather belt to bite down on for the pain. It’s deep, and already an ugly red around the edges.
We only got back a few minutes ago, Me, Dahlia, and Lefty.
We found a battery, but it’s in rough shape. There are probably more where we found that one.
We were able to pull the alternator from an old truck, and the battery, but that’s about the time the three Scrags showed up.
Bastards came out of nowhere and were on us before we knew it. Two of them went straight for Lefty, the other headed for Dahlia.
Shit happens fast when you’re fighting for your life.
Lefty got his big-ass arm around one of them, pinning one of its long limbs, but it got him good. I saw the claw slice him wide along the back of his arm, across the elbow and over the top of his thick forearm.
God, you should have heard his scream.
The second Scrag was heading in for his face, that mouth full of teeth open wide. I swear it was fully intent on eating Lefty’s face.
React. That’s all I could do. React.
I heaved the battery that was still in my hands and caught it just at the knee. I heard the snap, followed by the damned thing’s enraged wail. My ears still hurt.
It was injured, slowed, but barely.
I could see Dahlia out of the corner of my eye, as I was reaching for the crossbow. She was tumbling, rolling, up and bouncing on her feet again as the other Scrag swiped at the air where her neck had been a second ago.
Dahlia almost lost her head to the damn thing, I’m sure of it.
I had the crossbow up and, firing it off in a hurry. Luck is a lie we tell ourselves, but damned if it wasn’t luck that I hit the toothy bastard full in the face, just to the left of its right eye. The bolt went in with a wet snap and the Scrag hit me with a full-on body check.
I went down, he landed on top of me and we both kept rolling.
Lefty was bellowing loud enough to crack the sky.
I thought I heard Dahlia laugh.
I pushed away and jumped up, the Scrag stayed down, writhing, grasping at the thick bolt sticking up from its face. It snapped it off.
I don’t have many of them and that pissed me off even more, so I stomped its face, trying to drive what was left of the bolt deeper.
It must have worked, because its clawed hand dropped, and it just lay there twitching.
When I turned around Dahlia was slashing the shit out of her Scrag with both of her wicked curved blades. I was sure that she would have the damn thing deboned within a few minutes.
Lefty was still hugging his Scrag close, drawing tighter, holding his head back to escape the snapping maw full of teeth. I moved around to help, could see his arm flexing. Bones began to snap and the Scrag tilted its head back, a screech of unmitigated pain blasting from its mouth, the sound shredding as if the teeth themselves were turning it ragged and bloody.
Its arm was still flailing, but weaker, shallow scratches appeared on Lefty’s face and shoulder. There were two loud, final snaps, like exclamation points, and the creature’s trapped arm and back broke.
Lefty screamed a deep scream into the dead thing’s face and dropped it as he stumbled sideways and crashed against the side of the old truck we’d been scavenging from.
Dahlia finished her Scrag with a spin and flourish, a ballet as beautiful as it was brutal. The thing’s head tipped sideways and stopped against its shoulder, attached only by a few thick strands of skin and muscle.
Dahlia looked at me with this huge grin splitting her face, like she’d just been dancing instead of killing something that was trying to kill her.
I’m telling you, that woman scares the shit outta me sometimes. Bat. Shit. Crazy.
We tied up Lefty’s arm as best we could, loaded his gigantic ass onto our little two-wheeled cart with the pilfered battery and alternator and began what became a two-day trek back to the camp.
That S. O. B. is friggin’ heavy!
We’re here now, though. We’ll have to go back out soon, even if we don’t want to.
I’m glad everyone is still receiving and transmitting. It’s nice to know we aren’t alone out here, whether you’re half-a-world away or decades behind.
Past-people, RJH-397, robot or not, is right on the paradox thing. We have to be damn careful. Collapsing the space-time continuum because we’re fuckin’ lonely would be a bad idea.
Wait. That brings up a question. Are you guys seeing each other’s messages, or just mine? Does the Time-Link connect you all as well?
Perimeter traps are a good idea, something we may work on soon.
Dahlia reads, and Space Ninja 9 likes to read over her shoulder, but I don’t think she actually knows the words. Sometimes we find a book or old magazine. Flashbang draws up ideas for making things blow up, Andrew. And Lefty, well, I’m not gonna say what he likes to do when things are quiet and he’s by himself. Professor Scrap tinkers, constantly. I’m working on plans to fortify this place, if we can get the materials.
ST, I hope you guys are safe.
Uh, Lefty looks like he’s about to bite through the old leather belt and P. S. wants some help. I need to go.
Keep the messages coming, both from you fellow survivors and from the past-people.
SB Poe! Recovery Team Alpha? That sounds amazing, I want to talk to you more. Of course we trust you, you’re survivors like us. We’re all fighting to stay alive, in this together.
Food would be wonderful. Pickin’s are getting a bit slim around here.
This is where you can find us – 37.271137, -101,792948
Okay, I’ve got to go. Lefty’s screaming through the leather and the Professor looks scared.
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