Red Sails in the Fallout: A D&D Gamma World Novel (Dungeons & Dragons; Gamma World)
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In the fall of 2012, scientists at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland, embarked on a series of high-energy experiments. No one knows exactly what went wrong, but in the blink of an eye, thousands of possible universes all condensed into a single reality . . . .
Between a desert and a dried up sea lies the town of Watering Hole, the only oasis for miles and the home of our intrepid heroes Shaani and Xoota. After some rather harrowing adventures in the desert, they are followed home by a swarm of empathic earwigs. As if a psychic bug infestation weren't enough, the town's water supply has suddenly died up. Where there was once fresh water to spare, there is only a trickle of brackish sludge.
Theorizing that the water came from a source beyond the desert, Shaani proposes an expedition to re-establish the town's water supply. Xoota, of course, is voted to go with her. Crossing the desert has never been done--and with water in short supply, the task seems impossible. But the ever-helpful Shanni appeals to the town patron Benek, and his love of cryogenically frozen brides, to back the project. What follows is the adventure of a thousand lifetimes.
view. The Sand Shark performed beautifully, rumbling softly out over the desert. The wind sighed through the rigging, making a wonderful, restful sound. With the wind off the stern quarter, the ship had only the slightest lean. The wheels were spaced widely enough to keep her stable, and springs let her ride smoothly. The ship crested a sandstone rise, steering wide around a stand of quill bushes. The wind over the hill came in at a new angle. The booms turned and slammed into place, all
ratchets clanking as she hauled the leaf springs back. Benek glared at the starboard hills. “More of them?” “That’s the main body. The attack from the bushes was supposed to drive us right into them.” Loading the catapult was no mean feat. The ship had crossed another few hundred meters before the springs were finally cocked. Off to port, a dozen mounted razorbacks were racing in pursuit. Wig-wig gave a little cry of alarm. Sailing into the air from the starboard came a giant spear launched by
over the rails. Shaani stood, staring, wondering if her eyes were playing tricks on her. There was one simple way to tell. The rat put her hand on the copper wire that ran along the railings, gathered up her energy, and let an electric shock sear into the rails. Down on the deck, figures were frozen halfway through climbing across the rails. Some screamed, some snarled. Two fell crashing to the sands. One of the figures up on the deck stood and roared, waving a cleaver as it charged toward the
hat. Her rat face was wreathed in smiles. “Greetings.” The disk kept right on carefully watering the plants from a little hose. It seemed rather preoccupied. Shaani cleared her throat again. “Hello there. Yes, do you mind awfully if we just disturb you for a bit? We are travelers, come seeking a lost friend. Have you seen a rather polite horde of earwigs hereabout?” The disk delicately plucked a weed from the flowerbeds, backed away to contemplate its work, then swiveled around and drifted away
of sand. The adventurers stood and simply stared. It was like nothing they had ever seen. “Darwin’s beard,” said Xoota. Her voice was reverent, utterly hushed. She stared at the sight before her with stars in her eyes. Shaani’s voice was almost a whisper. “An ocean. This has to be an ocean.” They had heard of it. Tales had been told of it. The salt plains back home had supposedly once been an ocean. But that was not the same as seeing it, beholding the thing for the first time in their lives.