The first beam of sunlight glistened through the tattered cloth curtains
in the window, gently falling on the eyes of a young man asleep on a lazy summer
morning. The sudden change from the pitch-blackness of sleep to the light cast
through his eyelids wakes him. He gazes at his surroundings. the familiar tin
walls and dirt floor of his bedroom, his few pieces of clothing resting on a
handmade wooden chair beside his cot, and the smell of smoke in the distance he
had grown used to since birth. He looks at his watch. It reads 7:21 a.m. 6/28/2175.
Then, He puts on a simple outfit and bounds out the door and down the destroyed
road into the morning air.
The young man reaches his destination several minutes later, and joins
two more similarly unkempt youths. The first a thin girl of 18 with auburn hair
and pail, dirty skin, but with a smile that could leave the most world-weary man
speechless. The next a blonde male of about 16, equally as skinny as the others,
but awkwardly tall around 6'3". "Hey Matt!" They greet him. "Hey guys, whats up?"
replies Matthew Rain. They proceed to inform him of their plans to explore for
the day, then the trio walks down the street into the ruin of the New United States.
Matthew gazes out into the landscape of the world he was born into. There
isn't a single living thing to see for miles. Only old, rotting, and rusting
dilapidated structures on the horizon. skeletons of metal stand tribute to what
once was. This is the world after the invention of Dex, the most addictive drug
since heroin. Wars and riots became almost normal, until the world came so close to
devouring itself that all that remains now are a few rogue villages and towns. The
trio of friends continues down the shattered and dusty high-way leading into the
waste-lands of the New United States chatting casually, smoking cigarettes, and
picking through random piles of junk along the way. About two hours of this passes
until they reach their destination, a factory that seems oddly not as damaged as
the rest of the world.
The group makes their way into the building easily seeing as how like many
other of the structures in the N.U.S. it has no remaining windows or doors. "I
saw this place when I was on a scavenging run last week with my parents" says the
girl. "Nice find Becca" replies Matt. "Looks dangerous to me." says the tall
blonde boy. "Everything looks dangerous to you Tim." Responds Becca. Then, one by
one they climb into a broken window and turn on flashlights. Roaches scatter
across the metal floor as the beams of their lights cut through the darkness. they
take a minute to figure out their surroundings then continue deeper into the old
factory. Most of the surrounding area is normal enough, large dirty machines sit
idle like fossils, cobwebs cover every opening, and everything has a layer of grime
many years thick.
As they continue into the factory the contents subtly begin to change.
Giant machines give way to vats of chemicals and long expanses of tables of
glassware. The group is struck with wonder as they have seen nothing like this in
the village or the small trade caravans necessary to supply the villagers. A few
minutes go by and as the Trio goes deeper and deeper, the true nature of the factory
shows. Matthew notices a new genre of smells emitting from one of the rooms. upon
inspection, several half-armored skeletons hundreds of years old huddle around a
massive pile of vials and intravenous needles. this was unmistakably a Dex foundry.
"Wow" says Matt. "Wow is right.". replies Becca. "I wonder how long this has been
here." says Tim. "At least since the Great Scourge." Replies Matt. "I remember
hearing about that in Mr. Dave's history class." says Becca. "Yeah, it's when
everybody was hooked on the stuff that these antiques were stuffing their veins full
of." replies Matt. They shudder, then continue to search the bodies as taught in the
village at birth. they find some now meaningless dollar bills, some MRE's from the
war, three military surplus backpacks, a few useful blades, a 10mm. handgun and a
few rounds. They take their very gladly acquired pile, and play rock paper scissors to decide who keeps the gun. As usual, Becca wins. Then the trio finds their way back
outside and toward the village.