The Vanguards of Darkwind
The life and times of the Vanguards, a gang struggling to survive in the wastelands of Evan, based on the game Darkwind by Psychic Software

A voice from the grave

It took a lot to surprise Dexter.

Dust storms, mutant rad-frogs, gangs blowing off steam (and each other’s ears) in the compound.

But when Robert Hickey walked to the bar early in the morning, Dexter knew something was up.

The normally ebullient Hickey was pale and drawn. His stare was fixed as he shambled across the wooden floor. Dexter didn’t wait to be asked. He gave a tumbler a quick wipe with a dirty rag and filled it with firewater. Then he waited.

It didn’t take long. Hickey started talking, almost to himself.

“It was a voice from beyond the grave.” He looked up, and Dexter was startled to see the terror behind Hickey’s clear blue eyes.

“I had him lined up. A damned Siren. God I hate Sirens. With that heavy gun and slippery handling. He had no armour left, and it still took me 10 seconds to get a bead on him.”

Hickey downed the firewater. Dexter refilled the glass.

“I had him. A gaping hole in the side armour, two full multi-barrelled bursts. I saw his fricking head explode.” Hickey’s voice faded to a whisper, and he gestured with both hands, extending his fingers. “Poof!”

Another firewater empty. Another refill.

“I turned away to target a Chomper on my right. Concentrating. Trying to survive. And then I heard it, Dex. I heard a dead man speak.”

“‘I bring the alocalypse.'” With astonishing speed, Hickey’s left hand shot out, gripped Dexter’s forearm tight.

“Am I doomed, Dexter? Cursed by the voice of the man I killed.”

Hickey didn’t wait for an answer. He released his hold and stood, shambling into the morning sun.

Dexter gave the firewater glass a wipe, and returned it to its shelf.


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