Wasteland Wednesday #4

*Language and Content Warning*

skull and crossbones.jpgskull and crossbonesUnlike QE’s normal informational blog, Wasteland Wednesday is potentially full of foul language and post-apocalyptic nonsense.  I’m talking f-bombs, thrice-bosomed mutant women, and buckets of gore.

Wasteland Wednesday

Welcome to the fourth edition of Wasteland Wednesday!  I’m glad to see you have managed to survive yet another week.  Today you’re going to get a glimpse at one of the many threats that populate the wasteland.  Those stuck surviving in middle-America call them inbreeders.

Inbreeders go by many names: bone munchers, cannibals, flesh eaters, and some others.  It’s important to note, they are not zombies.  Here’s the concept.

When the United States fell to ruin, it did so to the tune of electromagnetic pulses followed by a chorus of nuclear warheads.  Some of these warheads detonated above the ground and some of them made landfall.

dna_repairWhen a nuclear warhead made landfall it destroyed the area, but it also left behind areas that were lousy with radiation.  Areas where bombs detonated prior to making landfall became habitable over time.

These pockets of isolated and lingering radiation have broken the continent into pieces.  The impassable areas of radiation are referred to as the Red.  The Red has landlocked the area where this story takes place.

Those who survived the initial destruction, but suffered radiation exposure, passed mutated genes on to the next generation.  I also incorporated the idea that these people, and their children, would be ostracized by the small pockets (settlements) that sprung up in the aftermath.

Wastelander Inbreeders

A concept sketch of inbreeders from my book, Wastelander: The Drake Legacy. This image was created by me and is copyrighted.  If you would like to use this image, contact me.

 

Here’s an unedited excerpt from Drake’s journal regarding inbreeders.  (This is the journal that Lex encourages Drake to write in hopes of monetizing it someday.)

Bone munchers. Cannibals. Flesh eaters. Inbreeders.  If somehow you are unfamiliar with these freaks, it should be noted they are not the zombies the pre-fall world was so obsessed with.  They are still human, sort of.  Radiation exposure led to pockets of people being pushed away from the remaining settlements.  Those rejects who survived, bred, often times with those close to them.  Survival is a strong motivator and those poor souls had few options.  Inbreeding, in addition to mutated and damaged genes being passed down generationally, led to smorgasbord of bizarre physical and mental deformities.  I had heard drunken rumors of some of the knuckle draggers having almost “supernatural” capabilities.  I hadn’t seen it, thus, I didn’t believe it.  After all, I’d been around the wastes for a while and I’d seen some crazy shit, but not that crazy.

These groups of inbreeders typically only grow large enough for one physically or mentally dominant male (or female) to control them.  While some have mentally degraded to the point of being feral, there are varying degrees of intelligence.  However, to the normal humans who live in the wasteland, they are all considered scum.  (People seem to get butt hurt when they get knocked down a notch in the food chain.)

Due to this animosity, many settlements offer rewards for inbreeder heads.  It’s their way of managing the growing population.  Needless to say, people who collect those heads don’t really care if you’re feral or not.  If you have even the most minor physical deformity, or your eyes glow just the slightest shade of green (a common way of spotting an inbreeder), you’re fair game.  This particular story opens with Drake conducting a scouting mission of a small inbreeder camp, which leads to some Drake-style shenanigans.

Baseball and Journal.jpg

I mentioned Drake’s journal above.  You can see it here sticking out of his back pocket.

That’s today’s glimpse into the wasteland.  I’m still about three weeks away before I begin my first rewrite.  Often, when I’m laying in bed trying to sleep, my mind comes back to the story and ideas for revision spring up.  I hastily write them down in a journal.  To be honest, it’s taken every ounce of willpower I have to stop myself from starting the rewrites early.  But I’m trying to practice what I preach.

As for the corresponding novella, The Wastelander Survival Guide, I have outlined it in it’s entirety and plan on starting the writing process within the next week or two.  On top of all of this, I am currently talking to an artist about drafting a graphic novel.  This story takes place thirty years after the fall and there is a lot of potential for a Drake backstory.  If that goes through, I’ll also have a Drake Origins graphic novel to bring to the table.

I hope you all stop by next Wednesday for more information about Wastelander: The Drake Legacy.  In the meantime, I’d love to know what you think about inbreeders.  Until then, keep hiding, keep hoarding, and as always – stay alive.

Copyright Info (final)

24 responses

    • Awesome question, Andrew!

      In a micro sense, Drake in his thirty years of wasteland exposure has yet to find the means and technology to move through the Red. He spent the better part of fifteen years trying to find a means to reach New York. Despite reports of it’s complete destruction, he wanted to see it for himself (as his family lived in New York). Also, he and Lex got banished from pretty much every existing settlement along the way.

      With that being said, people have managed to push through the Red, but die shortly afterwards from the exposure. These delirious people are largely the source of anecdotal stories (that grow in the telling) about the surrounding regions.

      It should also be noted, some inbreeders have developed a complete resistance to radiation and can pass through freely.

      In a macro sense (world building) not all pockets of the United States have fallen into complete disrepair. There are even stories of advanced technologies being developed in the west and every now and then a trinket or piece of equipment shows up that is presumably from there. There have also been sightings of aircraft of different kinds.

      The general consensus is that middle-America has been forgotten. Also, given this story is first person, our knowledge is limited in scope to what Drake knows. With that being said, future books will offer more insight into the world outside of this region.

      I don’t think I came close to any spoilers here, but I hope this helps answer your question and paint a bigger picture of the world I’m creating. Thanks for asking it and for reading!

      Liked by 3 people

      • Hah! “And below you’ll see our nuclear experiment.” (I’m just kidding, this is definitely not what is happening in this book.)

        My degree from college is in Homeland Security and we had more than a few courses that examined the nuclear threat. (That degree basically was a study in how many different ways mother nature, and man, could destroy the planet and each other.) I tried to apply some “real science” to the book, but also tossed the rule book into the fire with some aspects. We’ll see how that pans out for me down the road… 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I love this more and more every week! I’m also super happy to see you love it even more! It is something when you write something that truly speaks to your soul! In fact, it is very evident by all your plans for novella’s, graphic novels, novels etc. that you have huge plans for this which would be super awesome and I’m rooting/supporting you in that endeavor.

    Let us know when the date drops for release (I know that is a long ways off but still) I will def be picking up a copy! I look forward to it. Though obviously not the same thing, when you spoke of inbreeders I couldn’t help but think of Psycho’s from Borderlands! Xp

    Sorry, I love that series of games and will be playing a ton of it again after the move. Random aside: I haven’t had coffee yet, BUT I WILL! 😉

    Wasteland Wednesday’s is something I find myself looking forward to every week and it’s nice to get off my long day of work to find another installment here. I get super hyped.

    Oh, and not sure if you ever played it but Wasteland 2 I believe (made by the original fallout people) is what I thought of when you mention The Red. I like it.

    It speaks to many of my loves in gaming form among other media. Likely a sure sign I will love it!

    Looking forward to it regardless!

    CHEERS! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m not sure I’ve actually played Wasteland 2. Which is surprising because I love playing in worlds like that. But Borderlands…man I love Borderlands. I wasn’t a HUGE fan of the prequel, but I absolutely was enthralled with one and two. (Two game’s that consumed large chunks of my life.)

      I guess if we were going to blend game genres inbreeders would be a combination of the Hodunks and psychos from Borderlands. Then add in some ghoul characteristics from the Fallout games. Then jump outside of video games and add an element of, Hills Have Eyes, to them. If you blend all of these things together (and the variations of muties from the Deathlands series) then you get a general taste of my inbreeders. I tried to take elements I enjoyed from many places and combine them into my own unique creation.

      Hopefully it works out for people. I know my couple alpha readers have enjoyed it. We’ll see how it evolves once I tear into rewrites here in a month. Regardless, I’m really glad you are enjoying the concept and stopped by to share your thoughts. It’s an ego booster knowing there are folks out there who are interested 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • No worries on dropping by. I enjoy reading your blog and Wasteland Wednesday is my favorite! My wife and I are obsessed with Borderlands! We have been working through the 1st one, I can already tell the Pre-Sequel won’t be my favorite.

        I originally played through the 2nd one alone when I first played it. I had it on Mac back then. Then we got our 360 and I bought the trilogy pack with all DLC content on the discs etc…it was literally a dream own.

        I used to think I wish they made a 360 version with all 3 games and all the DLC ever on it….then I popped into GameStop one day and it was just sitting there (only copy) and I jumped on it!

        I like the concept behind the Inbreeders. I’m super stoked about the book. Keep up the amazing work!

        Cheers! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • There are just so many fun characters and stories running through the Borderlands games. Plus an astronomical number of stellar little Easter eggs. You can really tell they took the time to create something special. Since my wife and I are on separate shifts right now and never see each other, we are sharing a Battlenet account and playing Diablo III on the computer. I still prefer the console, but when I sit at the computer it reminds me of the 128948 things I need to be doing and I don’t start playing, go into gameland, and emerge seven hours later wondering what happened to my night.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Borderlands is the best! I get lost in it! Loved the DK image on Twitter by the way! Xp I got all my writing out of the way for today so I have 2 bottles of wine that say it’s almost time to start drinking. Xp

        Weekend mode officially activated. At any rate I love Diablo III and I think it’s sweet you play online with your wife. I prefer the console too. I hope your day is treating you well. I am about to start my rounds of reading and commenting where applicable before doing any drinking.

        Cheers! ^_^

        Like

    • I’m glad the post got you excited to wander into the wasteland! There is a certain ghoulish element to inbreeders for sure. I really liked how Fallout had different variations of the ghoul, ranging from feral creepers hanging out in the subway tunnels (scaring the crap out of me) to folks just trying to get by, despite their freakish appearance. I tried to incorporate a lot of different elements into inbreeders (The Hills Have Eyes, Fallout, Borderlands, Deathlands).

      I also wanted to explore how “normal” humans would react to such beings. After all, there are plenty of humans in this region of the world that murder, enslave, rape, and eat other people. Are they really better than radiated beings who were pushed out of a settlements and forced to survive in a way outside of societal norms? While the book doesn’t focus on this psychological aspect specifically, it was something I wanted to examine through the course of the story using action and dialogue.

      Thanks for stopping in and leaving some ego-boosting words. They certainly keep me motivated and tracking on my current projects 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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