Savage Lands: The Raider by Michael Bond

EXTRACT FOR
Savage Lands: The Raider

(Michael Bond)


Hordes of creatures continued to flow forth from the mounds of earth. Their six legs, no wider than a man’s palm, propelled them across the short distance to the awaiting militia. Nate watched as the newly arrived creatures exploded, fragments of their armoured bodies and black insides scattered across the road, adding to the carnage.
Nate had to occasionally brush long brown strands of hair from his face to see through the sight on his rifle and he felt the roughness of his beard as he rested his chin against the weapon. He imagined he looked a lot like one of the band of Scav’s, frail ghost like individuals feeding of the scraps of town’s and things they found left over from the old world. The things that separated him from the Scav’s where his rifle and the hand gun strapped to his waist.
A dull ache had built up in his arms but he ignored it, turning his attention back to the battle below. The creatures where a swarm of scurrying parts which made it almost impossible to distinguish between the wounded, living and dead. He did manage to spot one creature with only two legs remaining and a large part of its rear body segment missing. It crawled forward seemingly unaware of its predicament. Nate shivered, high up on the hill above the town he still felt the sudden urge to search for protruding mounds of earth around him.
Despite the creature’s advantage in numbers, none of them had so far penetrated the twenty yard gap between the ever growing pile of carcasses and the militia line but Nate knew it couldn’t last. Ammo would run low or nerves would shatter and there couldn’t be an endless supply of gun fodder either. One side would have to give and he wasn’t sure which side would cause him the most problems.
As if on cue, the road cracked open in half a dozen more places behind the swarm. Heads twice as wide as a man’s lurched from the newly formed holes. There antennae’s swept over the tarmac before they bolted from their dens, followed by more and more. With the swarm swelled by the new arrivals, the gap between the militia rapidly closed.
The swarm suddenly arrowed forward reaching the militia line, Nate guessed a few of the militia had run out of ammo or one of the larger weapons had jammed, either way it didn’t really matter. The effect was still the same. Four or five militia where set upon by the creature’s there snapping jaws ripped away flesh. Sprays of crimson splattered across the heads of the creatures. Nate saw one unfortunate militia ensnared in his midsection; his intestines spilled out as he was ripped open.
The militia line disintegrated, most of the men were torn to pieces but some had turned tail at the first signs the horde wouldn’t be stopped. A trail of weapons and other discarded items lay on the ground leading to the fleeing men but Nate quickly lost sight of them behind the wave of black bodies. Their legs moved in a blur of motion as they gave pursuit. He was amazed that some of the men had even made it to the entrance to the town.
Large sheets of discarded metal protruded from the ground, twice as high as a man. The barricade was wedged between two buildings that stretched up twice the height of it. The men congregated to a spot in the fencing where Nate had seen the entrance to the town before the attack had begun. He didn’t see if it got opened, as the black wave of creatures crashed over the last of the militia. Some of the creatures stopped to mop up the last of the men. The rest scurried over the wall.
Nate pulled back from the rifle and shook his head. He’d seen the swarms from a far a few times but had only encountered them on two occasions. Once they’d attacked his raiding party, when one of the more youthful raiders had decided to take a passing shot at one of the creatures, unfortunately for the party it had landed home and sent the creature’s into a frenzy. Not many of the party made it home and Nate had picked up a nasty scar across his thigh as a souvenir but at least the foolish raider had gone down in the fight too.
The second encounter happened right at home. Guards on the town wall spotted the mounds one morning as if the creatures had just decided to relocate. Danko had decided to call everyone home. It was the only time Nate had seen everyone in town at the same time. Raiders, hunters and the town guard where all together, nearly 200 men. The most experienced of the raiders and hunters had travelled into the mounds. At the time Nate had felt ashamed to have been left behind with the youngsters and the women. Over a decade later that youthful arrogance had grown into a stubborn veterans understanding of the world. After all no one told tales of a dead raider.
The nest had been purged that day and there was great tales told of Gav’s hunting party who had taken down the largest creature anyone had ever seen. Danko had announced it had to have been the king of the creatures, a large vicious creature so fearsome and enormous it made men piss themselves. Nate wasn’t so convinced, hunter’s always took a prize from there kills, yet they’d come back with only a story. Even so Gav and his surviving men had been moved up to the town watch.
Both times he’d fought with the creatures they’d been provoked, retaliating to protect themselves or their nest but this swarm was different. They seemed to be moving with purpose, pushed on to some goal. He knew that was crazy but he couldn’t help but feel something was up and he’d learned long ago to go with his instinct. No matter what the reason was for the creature’s behaviour he had his own goal.
He imagined the women would be locked up in some part of the town, tucked away in a building or at least put someplace they couldn’t escape. Nate hoped they were locked up now, otherwise Shan was dead and he couldn’t let that happen. The militia had been his first big problem, they were gone now. The creatures where his second, he wasn’t sure which was worse. He had to wait for the chaos to calm down and hopefully the creatures would just move on.
Now the creatures had stripped away the armed men in the town, it might have just become that much easier for him to get into the town. He just had to wait the creatures out and then he could get her out alive. It sounded too easy and that bothered Nate. In his experience nothing that sounded easy, ever turned out that way.
Soon the day turned into the evening and Nate could no longer make out as much but he could still see the scuttling forms of the creatures, it was clear they weren’t going to move on, at least not soon. He slid back from the ledge and brought out a cover from the rucksack that sat to his side. He used his canteen to dampen the thick cloth and then rubbed one side across the ground. When he was done he positioned his rucksack under his head and slid the rifle to his side, then he pulled the thick cloth right over him.
He then removed the hand gun from its holster and placed it under him, a nasty little surprise if anything stumbled across him in the night. Nate drifted into an away-from-home-sleep. It was barely away from the world but helped to refresh his mind and body. The morning heat brought him from his slumber and he threw the cloth off him, rolling over onto his back. The hand gun scanned back and forth, nothing. It was always better to be careful, especially when you were at your most vulnerable.
The town was quiet and only the odd wounded creature moved in the aftermath of the dead. Past the metal wall, Nate searched for signs of the creatures but he saw only more pieces of men or woman, he couldn’t tell which. Nothing alive in the town was moving, at least not where he could see. There were large sections behind the buildings, he couldn’t see. He just hoped Shan was tucked away somewhere safe.
Nate gathered up his things but decided it was best to leave his rucksack here. He took a long pull on his canteen before pouring the rest into a little hole he’d dug. Some large rocks lay nearby and Nate stuffed his canteen back inside his rucksack and then placed it in between the rocks, with the thick cloth wrapped tightly around, you had to really focus before you could tell the rucksack apart.
The water had already mixed into the dirt and Nate rubbed the sloppy mixture onto his face. Just another Scav picking from the dead. As an afterthought he slid the mixture through his hair, brushing it up and out of his face. He slung his rifle over his shoulder and withdrew his handgun. Nate then moved down the slope of the hill, giving the creature carcasses and mounds a wide berth, as he ran to one of the buildings near the entrance.

Savage Lands: The Raider by Michael Bond

EXTRACT FOR
Savage Lands: The Raider

(Michael Bond)


Hordes of creatures continued to flow forth from the mounds of earth. Their six legs, no wider than a man’s palm, propelled them across the short distance to the awaiting militia. Nate watched as the newly arrived creatures exploded, fragments of their armoured bodies and black insides scattered across the road, adding to the carnage.
Nate had to occasionally brush long brown strands of hair from his face to see through the sight on his rifle and he felt the roughness of his beard as he rested his chin against the weapon. He imagined he looked a lot like one of the band of Scav’s, frail ghost like individuals feeding of the scraps of town’s and things they found left over from the old world. The things that separated him from the Scav’s where his rifle and the hand gun strapped to his waist.
A dull ache had built up in his arms but he ignored it, turning his attention back to the battle below. The creatures where a swarm of scurrying parts which made it almost impossible to distinguish between the wounded, living and dead. He did manage to spot one creature with only two legs remaining and a large part of its rear body segment missing. It crawled forward seemingly unaware of its predicament. Nate shivered, high up on the hill above the town he still felt the sudden urge to search for protruding mounds of earth around him.
Despite the creature’s advantage in numbers, none of them had so far penetrated the twenty yard gap between the ever growing pile of carcasses and the militia line but Nate knew it couldn’t last. Ammo would run low or nerves would shatter and there couldn’t be an endless supply of gun fodder either. One side would have to give and he wasn’t sure which side would cause him the most problems.
As if on cue, the road cracked open in half a dozen more places behind the swarm. Heads twice as wide as a man’s lurched from the newly formed holes. There antennae’s swept over the tarmac before they bolted from their dens, followed by more and more. With the swarm swelled by the new arrivals, the gap between the militia rapidly closed.
The swarm suddenly arrowed forward reaching the militia line, Nate guessed a few of the militia had run out of ammo or one of the larger weapons had jammed, either way it didn’t really matter. The effect was still the same. Four or five militia where set upon by the creature’s there snapping jaws ripped away flesh. Sprays of crimson splattered across the heads of the creatures. Nate saw one unfortunate militia ensnared in his midsection; his intestines spilled out as he was ripped open.
The militia line disintegrated, most of the men were torn to pieces but some had turned tail at the first signs the horde wouldn’t be stopped. A trail of weapons and other discarded items lay on the ground leading to the fleeing men but Nate quickly lost sight of them behind the wave of black bodies. Their legs moved in a blur of motion as they gave pursuit. He was amazed that some of the men had even made it to the entrance to the town.
Large sheets of discarded metal protruded from the ground, twice as high as a man. The barricade was wedged between two buildings that stretched up twice the height of it. The men congregated to a spot in the fencing where Nate had seen the entrance to the town before the attack had begun. He didn’t see if it got opened, as the black wave of creatures crashed over the last of the militia. Some of the creatures stopped to mop up the last of the men. The rest scurried over the wall.
Nate pulled back from the rifle and shook his head. He’d seen the swarms from a far a few times but had only encountered them on two occasions. Once they’d attacked his raiding party, when one of the more youthful raiders had decided to take a passing shot at one of the creatures, unfortunately for the party it had landed home and sent the creature’s into a frenzy. Not many of the party made it home and Nate had picked up a nasty scar across his thigh as a souvenir but at least the foolish raider had gone down in the fight too.
The second encounter happened right at home. Guards on the town wall spotted the mounds one morning as if the creatures had just decided to relocate. Danko had decided to call everyone home. It was the only time Nate had seen everyone in town at the same time. Raiders, hunters and the town guard where all together, nearly 200 men. The most experienced of the raiders and hunters had travelled into the mounds. At the time Nate had felt ashamed to have been left behind with the youngsters and the women. Over a decade later that youthful arrogance had grown into a stubborn veterans understanding of the world. After all no one told tales of a dead raider.
The nest had been purged that day and there was great tales told of Gav’s hunting party who had taken down the largest creature anyone had ever seen. Danko had announced it had to have been the king of the creatures, a large vicious creature so fearsome and enormous it made men piss themselves. Nate wasn’t so convinced, hunter’s always took a prize from there kills, yet they’d come back with only a story. Even so Gav and his surviving men had been moved up to the town watch.
Both times he’d fought with the creatures they’d been provoked, retaliating to protect themselves or their nest but this swarm was different. They seemed to be moving with purpose, pushed on to some goal. He knew that was crazy but he couldn’t help but feel something was up and he’d learned long ago to go with his instinct. No matter what the reason was for the creature’s behaviour he had his own goal.
He imagined the women would be locked up in some part of the town, tucked away in a building or at least put someplace they couldn’t escape. Nate hoped they were locked up now, otherwise Shan was dead and he couldn’t let that happen. The militia had been his first big problem, they were gone now. The creatures where his second, he wasn’t sure which was worse. He had to wait for the chaos to calm down and hopefully the creatures would just move on.
Now the creatures had stripped away the armed men in the town, it might have just become that much easier for him to get into the town. He just had to wait the creatures out and then he could get her out alive. It sounded too easy and that bothered Nate. In his experience nothing that sounded easy, ever turned out that way.
Soon the day turned into the evening and Nate could no longer make out as much but he could still see the scuttling forms of the creatures, it was clear they weren’t going to move on, at least not soon. He slid back from the ledge and brought out a cover from the rucksack that sat to his side. He used his canteen to dampen the thick cloth and then rubbed one side across the ground. When he was done he positioned his rucksack under his head and slid the rifle to his side, then he pulled the thick cloth right over him.
He then removed the hand gun from its holster and placed it under him, a nasty little surprise if anything stumbled across him in the night. Nate drifted into an away-from-home-sleep. It was barely away from the world but helped to refresh his mind and body. The morning heat brought him from his slumber and he threw the cloth off him, rolling over onto his back. The hand gun scanned back and forth, nothing. It was always better to be careful, especially when you were at your most vulnerable.
The town was quiet and only the odd wounded creature moved in the aftermath of the dead. Past the metal wall, Nate searched for signs of the creatures but he saw only more pieces of men or woman, he couldn’t tell which. Nothing alive in the town was moving, at least not where he could see. There were large sections behind the buildings, he couldn’t see. He just hoped Shan was tucked away somewhere safe.
Nate gathered up his things but decided it was best to leave his rucksack here. He took a long pull on his canteen before pouring the rest into a little hole he’d dug. Some large rocks lay nearby and Nate stuffed his canteen back inside his rucksack and then placed it in between the rocks, with the thick cloth wrapped tightly around, you had to really focus before you could tell the rucksack apart.
The water had already mixed into the dirt and Nate rubbed the sloppy mixture onto his face. Just another Scav picking from the dead. As an afterthought he slid the mixture through his hair, brushing it up and out of his face. He slung his rifle over his shoulder and withdrew his handgun. Nate then moved down the slope of the hill, giving the creature carcasses and mounds a wide berth, as he ran to one of the buildings near the entrance.

EXTRACT FOR
Savage Lands: The Raider

(Michael Bond)


Hordes of creatures continued to flow forth from the mounds of earth. Their six legs, no wider than a man’s palm, propelled them across the short distance to the awaiting militia. Nate watched as the newly arrived creatures exploded, fragments of their armoured bodies and black insides scattered across the road, adding to the carnage.
Nate had to occasionally brush long brown strands of hair from his face to see through the sight on his rifle and he felt the roughness of his beard as he rested his chin against the weapon. He imagined he looked a lot like one of the band of Scav’s, frail ghost like individuals feeding of the scraps of town’s and things they found left over from the old world. The things that separated him from the Scav’s where his rifle and the hand gun strapped to his waist.
A dull ache had built up in his arms but he ignored it, turning his attention back to the battle below. The creatures where a swarm of scurrying parts which made it almost impossible to distinguish between the wounded, living and dead. He did manage to spot one creature with only two legs remaining and a large part of its rear body segment missing. It crawled forward seemingly unaware of its predicament. Nate shivered, high up on the hill above the town he still felt the sudden urge to search for protruding mounds of earth around him.
Despite the creature’s advantage in numbers, none of them had so far penetrated the twenty yard gap between the ever growing pile of carcasses and the militia line but Nate knew it couldn’t last. Ammo would run low or nerves would shatter and there couldn’t be an endless supply of gun fodder either. One side would have to give and he wasn’t sure which side would cause him the most problems.
As if on cue, the road cracked open in half a dozen more places behind the swarm. Heads twice as wide as a man’s lurched from the newly formed holes. There antennae’s swept over the tarmac before they bolted from their dens, followed by more and more. With the swarm swelled by the new arrivals, the gap between the militia rapidly closed.
The swarm suddenly arrowed forward reaching the militia line, Nate guessed a few of the militia had run out of ammo or one of the larger weapons had jammed, either way it didn’t really matter. The effect was still the same. Four or five militia where set upon by the creature’s there snapping jaws ripped away flesh. Sprays of crimson splattered across the heads of the creatures. Nate saw one unfortunate militia ensnared in his midsection; his intestines spilled out as he was ripped open.
The militia line disintegrated, most of the men were torn to pieces but some had turned tail at the first signs the horde wouldn’t be stopped. A trail of weapons and other discarded items lay on the ground leading to the fleeing men but Nate quickly lost sight of them behind the wave of black bodies. Their legs moved in a blur of motion as they gave pursuit. He was amazed that some of the men had even made it to the entrance to the town.
Large sheets of discarded metal protruded from the ground, twice as high as a man. The barricade was wedged between two buildings that stretched up twice the height of it. The men congregated to a spot in the fencing where Nate had seen the entrance to the town before the attack had begun. He didn’t see if it got opened, as the black wave of creatures crashed over the last of the militia. Some of the creatures stopped to mop up the last of the men. The rest scurried over the wall.
Nate pulled back from the rifle and shook his head. He’d seen the swarms from a far a few times but had only encountered them on two occasions. Once they’d attacked his raiding party, when one of the more youthful raiders had decided to take a passing shot at one of the creatures, unfortunately for the party it had landed home and sent the creature’s into a frenzy. Not many of the party made it home and Nate had picked up a nasty scar across his thigh as a souvenir but at least the foolish raider had gone down in the fight too.
The second encounter happened right at home. Guards on the town wall spotted the mounds one morning as if the creatures had just decided to relocate. Danko had decided to call everyone home. It was the only time Nate had seen everyone in town at the same time. Raiders, hunters and the town guard where all together, nearly 200 men. The most experienced of the raiders and hunters had travelled into the mounds. At the time Nate had felt ashamed to have been left behind with the youngsters and the women. Over a decade later that youthful arrogance had grown into a stubborn veterans understanding of the world. After all no one told tales of a dead raider.
The nest had been purged that day and there was great tales told of Gav’s hunting party who had taken down the largest creature anyone had ever seen. Danko had announced it had to have been the king of the creatures, a large vicious creature so fearsome and enormous it made men piss themselves. Nate wasn’t so convinced, hunter’s always took a prize from there kills, yet they’d come back with only a story. Even so Gav and his surviving men had been moved up to the town watch.
Both times he’d fought with the creatures they’d been provoked, retaliating to protect themselves or their nest but this swarm was different. They seemed to be moving with purpose, pushed on to some goal. He knew that was crazy but he couldn’t help but feel something was up and he’d learned long ago to go with his instinct. No matter what the reason was for the creature’s behaviour he had his own goal.
He imagined the women would be locked up in some part of the town, tucked away in a building or at least put someplace they couldn’t escape. Nate hoped they were locked up now, otherwise Shan was dead and he couldn’t let that happen. The militia had been his first big problem, they were gone now. The creatures where his second, he wasn’t sure which was worse. He had to wait for the chaos to calm down and hopefully the creatures would just move on.
Now the creatures had stripped away the armed men in the town, it might have just become that much easier for him to get into the town. He just had to wait the creatures out and then he could get her out alive. It sounded too easy and that bothered Nate. In his experience nothing that sounded easy, ever turned out that way.
Soon the day turned into the evening and Nate could no longer make out as much but he could still see the scuttling forms of the creatures, it was clear they weren’t going to move on, at least not soon. He slid back from the ledge and brought out a cover from the rucksack that sat to his side. He used his canteen to dampen the thick cloth and then rubbed one side across the ground. When he was done he positioned his rucksack under his head and slid the rifle to his side, then he pulled the thick cloth right over him.
He then removed the hand gun from its holster and placed it under him, a nasty little surprise if anything stumbled across him in the night. Nate drifted into an away-from-home-sleep. It was barely away from the world but helped to refresh his mind and body. The morning heat brought him from his slumber and he threw the cloth off him, rolling over onto his back. The hand gun scanned back and forth, nothing. It was always better to be careful, especially when you were at your most vulnerable.
The town was quiet and only the odd wounded creature moved in the aftermath of the dead. Past the metal wall, Nate searched for signs of the creatures but he saw only more pieces of men or woman, he couldn’t tell which. Nothing alive in the town was moving, at least not where he could see. There were large sections behind the buildings, he couldn’t see. He just hoped Shan was tucked away somewhere safe.
Nate gathered up his things but decided it was best to leave his rucksack here. He took a long pull on his canteen before pouring the rest into a little hole he’d dug. Some large rocks lay nearby and Nate stuffed his canteen back inside his rucksack and then placed it in between the rocks, with the thick cloth wrapped tightly around, you had to really focus before you could tell the rucksack apart.
The water had already mixed into the dirt and Nate rubbed the sloppy mixture onto his face. Just another Scav picking from the dead. As an afterthought he slid the mixture through his hair, brushing it up and out of his face. He slung his rifle over his shoulder and withdrew his handgun. Nate then moved down the slope of the hill, giving the creature carcasses and mounds a wide berth, as he ran to one of the buildings near the entrance.