Grease and Guile - Chapter 2: Sleep

  • What is that I smell?”

    It was early. And I awoke begrudgingly with my usual mix of stupor and hunger. Something nostalgic and wonderful wafted into my nose and stirred my soul.

    I made your favorite!” Came my wife’s reply.

    Aww, honey! You take such good care…”

    The unmistakable sound of roving Rust Devils and their mechanical mules jarred me from sleep and spared me the pain found in a life I’ll never live. I instinctively check the spikes in “Salvation Express,” my modified railway rifle. Locked, loaded, and safety on just like they taught me in basic training.

    I had hunkered down for a nap on an old mattress I’d found stashed in the scaffolding of a long since expired billboard. High above the passing patrol, it was still dark and I was safe. As long as one of the biometric scanners on their robots didn’t sound off, I’d ride this one out. I peered through my night-scope to watch them pass. Trigger finger ready and safety switched off, they faded out of sight.

    The previous day I had returned from the western edge with a haul of scrap in tow. I was on a mission to track down some more parts from the abandoned Sunshine Tidings Co-Op. The campground was an easy enough clear, but fairly void of the robotics parts I was craving to finish off my latest project. What should have been an easy enough walk went quickly awry when a pack of dogs picked up my tracks. After dealing with them I stopped by the Drumlin Diner to trade with Trudy, offloading the loot I couldn’t repurpose for a few caps.

    The original plan was to get back north to my workshop at the newly remodeled Red Rocket. But after the dogfight, fatigue completely consumed me so I took refuge on the billboard, hoping for a few hours of sleep until sunrise. Scaling a nearby tree to the dirty mattress, I crashed. But sleep in the wasteland is always the same – regularly, irregular.

    In fact, some poor schmuck left a stash of ammo and meds up here by the mattress. Based on the century’s old remains, I’d say his sleep ended much worse than mine. With sunrise still a few hours away, I flipped the safety back on “Salvation” and tried to get comfortable on the old mattress.

    Another chance to try to find the wasteland’s most illusive of all resources.