My grandma liked her leisure time as much as the next person (unless the next person was as lazyass, which they probably were by the standards of my grandma) but she was goal oriented.  She would often time tell me that if I wasn’t doing something to make progress towards my goals I was just wasting time.  She sometimes phrased it with a more masturbatory leaning but I’ll spare you her colloquialisms at this time.   

So, what are my goals?  Killing Duke Eagle the Vain and thereby saving the entire world from tyranny and wickedness and becoming the most important person in history by allowing freedom and liberty and goodness to flourish in the world.  How do we do that?  Start a war.  How do we win the war?  Find his secret source of “high-tech” weapons and vehicles.  How do we find that?  Well, the plan was to get a lead in Antolpe.  Which didn’t work out on account of the city is encircled by the very enemy we’re trying to defeat.   

So where do we go from here?  Go back to the plane and try to fix it?  Head back west overland and see what the heck is going on there?  Try and unite the Tartar Mongol Native American Star Wars Sand People steppe tribes (are we in steppes?  What even are steppes?) to launch a daring surprise attack against the attackers at Antolpe? Forget about all that and head south for what I assume is the NORAD bunker where they have hot showers and lemon cake and ice cold rum and cokes?  Rums and cokes?  Whichever.  Or should we do something else altogether?   

The path of a singer, actress, multimedia sensation and the object of adoration by millions around the world was a tough one to travel down, but it was a clear path, I just had to do it.  You may not be able to make it all the way to the end, but you know the steps in front of you.  Turns out that defeating a post-apocalyptic warlord and his horde of mutant warriors isn’t as easy to figure out.  Maybe we should go back to bomb city and steal their god-bomb and use that on the bad guys.  Nothing wrong with weapons of mass destruction if the good guys are the one’s using them right?  

The sort of good news is that it doesn’t matter what we want to do right now.  For the first time in a while we’re having fuel issues.  We’ve had good luck beg, borrow, stealing, trading, looting, fuel up until this point but right now we’re between the moon and New York City.  Our original plan of hopscotching from one Invincible patrol to next stealing their fuel after we whipped their butts ran into an issue when there were a whole bunch of them and we had to flee like we never fled before or die.   

The only other option that’s presented itself is one of the plainspeople mentioned that if we continued east we’d hit a river (the Missouri?  I have no idea where we are at this point) and there is supposed to be some manner of trade and commerce along it, trade that could include fuel.  You’re probably thinking “that sounds pretty thin Ela and you are looking lovely today” and you’re right, but there doesn’t seem to be much else that we can do.   

The really frustrating thing is we’d probably be at the river (if there really is one) already if we didn’t have to wait for the slow-poke wagon.  J-Lo Two is a fast machine who keeps her motor clean, but the plainspeople buggy is the same piece of crap as everyone else has around here.  Martialla and I could speed away from the Invincible no problem on our own, but because of that slowmobile we’ve almost died several times.  Is it too much to ask for an impervious super car that also has ample seating and storage space?  I guess it is.   

“You know what I’ve noticed?” I asked Martialla as we rambled along at roughly the top speed of a good High School sprinter  

“No, why would I know what you noticed?” 

I sighed with derision, exhausted by her constant buffoonery “That’s just a way to start a conversation Martialla, it’s not meant to be taken literally.” 

She snorted at me all porcine like “You know what I’ve noticed?  You have a terrible habit of starting conversations with something like ‘Let me say this’ or ‘I tell you this” or ‘I’ll say this about that’ just fucking say what you want to say, you’re not Kennedy, you don’t have to proceed every statement you make by a grand proclamation.” 

“Remember that charity dinner when JFK Junior threw a shrimp fork at you? 

She nodded “Yeah, I deserved that.” 

“Anyway, what I’ve noticed, is that everyone here in the future hates the muties and the scavvies but it doesn’t make a lick of sense because they’re all mutants here anyway besides us.  Remember that guy with the bee-head?   How is he not a mutant?  Why is Bee-head fine but the people at the Sump and those CHUD-Sleestak-moloid mothers fuckers that live underground are gross?  Everyone we meet is half groundhog or has their skin reversed or has crab claws or something, what’s the difference?” 

She shook her head “I don’t know, but if this was a sci-fi show that’s the childishly heavy-handed way we’d be making a point about contemporary racial issues.” 

“What kind of show would this be?” 

“Hmm, I don’t, know, what kind of show goes on for way too long with no plot and a main character that’s utterly unlikable?” 


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