I’m dreadfully sorry for my tardiness Mr and Mrs Rags; there was a road traffic accident along the southern desert road which naturally has had a knock-on effect throughout the area… Did I get anything? Oh yes! After the Enforcers chased off the Carrion Legion – it was they who’d laid the trap; family all dead by the way, killed post-crash – I managed to fight through the scavengers and took a shoe off the father and a hub cap from one of the wheels… No, it was plastic but with a bit of a clean it might look metallish. Someone might want it. You? No? Okay then.
Anyway, have you viewed any other places since we last spoke? No? So much the better for me then, ha ha! No, but seriously, there’s not a lot out there right now so it’s not surprising… Did I happen to catch where the family was from and if their dwelling is now vacant? You know, I didn’t. But look, when I get back to the office I’ll see if I can put some feelers out among the gangs and I can get back to you on that. I mean, unless we find something perfect for you today, of course!Okay, so the place I want to take you to first today is just behind this burnt-out car… You thought it might be the car? Oh, no. No, that’s not on the market to the best of my knowledge although I can always make enquiries on your behalf if you’d like… Yes, it might be out of your budget range. If something smaller with less of an intact chassis comes up though I will definitely be in touch. Where were we? Yes, here we are.
Right, this is what I wanted to show you first; this is an old sewer outlet that was already out of use before The Fall of Mankind in the Time of Pain and Fire so it’s got a lot of history in it and – as you can see – it’s solidly-built. You probably only need to do a little aesthetic work on the inside and, of course, I’d recommend some form of defensive reinforcement across the entrance here… Yes, the previous occupant was a little, er, lacking in common sense in that area… An old lady, I believe, but I don’t know her name… Taken to compete in the arena… I am assured that she won’t be returning to stake a claim on the property, yes. So why don’t you take a look around? Mind your head.
Rats? Yes, there will be some so no need to bring your own in… Damp? No, no issues there at all. The trickle you can see along the lower curve of the property there is a little run-off from one of the sewer openings further up the pipe network. As clean as it comes. You’ll have seen the grate back in the rear area – I thought that would probably be ideal for the main bedroom but it’s up to you – and you can feel free to try to remove that and give yourself a little more space if you want but I don’t think any previous inhabitants have managed it… No, I can’t guarantee that there’s nothing dangerous up there Mrs Rags. If only I could. That is why this particular place is so cheap. There’s a risk in every purchase after all… That’s right, it’s a balancing act.
Now, if you’ve seen all you want here perhaps we should move on; I don’t think any of us want to be in open ground once the shattered moon starts to rise, do we? Ha ha!
Okay, now I know you were looking for something close to the dried-up river in case by some miracle the waters should rise again – very wise, totally understandable – but if you’ll permit me to show you something a little farther out then I think you might be quite surprised with how far your barter supplies can get you in the housing market… The Plague-Ridden Flatlands? Well, yes – ha ha! – and no. The thing is that natural immunity is protecting more and more people so there’s less to worry about but, besides, where we’re going is technically just outside, on the edge of the flatlands anyway… Risk again, yes, that’s right Mr Rags. Oh! Oh, I saw that face, ha ha! You might need to do a bit more persuading to the lovely Mrs Rags I think, ha!Right, so what we’re looking at here is a grouping of nine fair-sized boulders providing a number of areas to shelter from the wind no matter where it springs up from. Obviously, you’ll have to crouch or crawl to get the most benefit there. The boulders also provide a number of nooks and crannies into which you can store any belongings with an element of security… Yes, Mrs Rags, being near the Plague-Ridden Flatlands probably helps too, ha ha! Now, the killer part of this deal is that it also comes with land; this stretch between the boulders and that grouping of leafless bushes down in the hollow over there is all yours… Because nobody in their right mind would come up here? Ha ha, Mrs Rags! I don’t think you’re a fan, are you? As you can see there are tufts of grass growing here and there so the ground can clearly support some form of vegetation if you’re willing to… I think I’m not going to convince you, am I Mrs Rags? No, okay, well let’s not waste any more time here then.
A little bit of a walk now to the final place I want to show you… Have you been up near the ruins of the warehouses recently? I mean in the last couple of years? No? Well, I can tell you you’re in for a bit of a surprise then. It’s quite interesting just how many of my clients won’t come up here on account of the memories of the biker gangs and the Blood Games… Yes, that’s right, there was talk of mutants too. I don’t think anyone ever really believed that though… Oh, really? Ah well, if that was the case then it’s cleared up too… Ha ha! Well, I would, Mrs Rags, but I’m not sure you’d accept an estate agent’s guarantee anyway now, would you?
Now, I’m not going to pretend that the biker gang problem is gone completely but if you take a look once we get around this next series of craters and… there! You see? What you’re looking at is a new community that has grouped together for protection. You can see that they’ve torn down parts of the old warehouse complex and formed barricades along the old road. Inside you can expect to find shelters for everyone made from corrugated iron and they are even starting to bring in and store wood for burning when the ice storms sweep in over the coming months. This is a lovely group of people, I assure you. Can you see over the top of the spiked barrier there? Yes, that’s artwork! I bet you never thought you’d see that in your lifetime… What is it? Oh, I think it’s supposed to represent the Horned Chieftain of the Carrion Legion impaled on a spear of justice… No, me neither, ha ha!
What’s the catch? Oh, there’s no pulling the wool over your eyes Mrs Rags! Ha ha! Well, they’re an independent community, not adhering strictly to the rule of the Enforcers or aligning themselves with the various gangs and, as such, they are prone to being attacked from all sides. Not to put too fine a point on it but, well, women of breeding age are keenly sought-after and menfolk who can fight and scavenge are equally in demand. There is also talk of migrating west in search of better land if the community can salvage enough fuel and transportation for the job; no easy job there too.
So, in a nutshell: lovely community trying to make a better life for itself but you’ll be expected to fight and make dangerous excursions into the wildlands Mr Rags while your wife may be called upon to sleep with a number of men in order to boost the chance of diversifying the gene pool for the sake of the future of humanity. Add to that a potential move at some point so that may mean saying goodbye to any friends and family…
Mrs Rags, I do declare you’re smiling!