In our first chapter, the heroes of the wasteland are living a happy life in a methane production facility attached to a giant landfill. Unfortunately, though the compound has survived many attacks from mundanely armed human raiders, the compound is attacked by a small army of cobra mutants who are driving motorized unicycles with monster truck wheels in solar-panel topped canopies, the settlement’s defenses are outmatched. The cobroids are shooting plasma weapons and are led by a huge robot or cyborg that hovers behind them.
Sister Killbeard, the leader/mayor and founder of the settlement, orders the settlers to abandon the compound just as the walls are breached and she is killed. First out the escape door in the back is a souped-up hearse containing amont others the cyborg Forsythe Willowby armed with a dirty bomb with a dead man’s trigger, standing up out of the sunroof. With two more vehicles behind him he yells at everyone in the hearse to get out as he attracts the attention of the three cobroids waiting for them in the barbed wire out back. The cobroids shoot off his arm and open his belly with their weapons and Willowby falls unconscious, triggering the bomb. The cobroids and all the heroes within a 50′ radius are horribly killed except for a mutated pangolin, mutated boar, and another cyborg Calamity Chang, who are just horribly burned with broken bones.
The survivors of the bomb are picked up by the heroes in the short bus behind them. In that bus was Killbeard’s right hand woman, Octavia. Once the caravan gets out of sight of the compound they stop and compare notes. Octavia says Killbeard wants them to go back to Citytown via the railroad tracks up north. They take stock and continue driving through the wasteland. into the night.
That night there is a terrific radiation sandstorm and the two vehicles pull up alongside one another and prepare for the storm. Something starts to affect the pangolin who decides she wants to get out of the bus. She opens the door but is pulled back by the others who subdue her. They also hear that the other vehicle starts up and drives off into the storm. Unable to follow the short bus passengers wait it out. Skagg the mutant boar finally succumbs to his injuries from the bomb and from the radiation storm and perishes in the night.
At dawn, the survivors enjoy some radiation-rich pork and fix the bus so that it’s mobile again. They run out of gas before noon but they see a motel on the horizon. Boonton, the super-strong cyborg, pushes the bus towards the motel as the pangolin steers, but our mutated tick Skitters and another cyborg Sterling walk ahead to the motel. They see it’s dangerously dilapidated, but that doesn’t stop the tick from crawling all around it and injuring himself. Meanwhile Sterling investigates an odd mannequin-bot that’s simply rocking itself back and forth in a rocking chair on the front porch. From a window on the second floor, the tick sees a stampede of some kind heading fast towards the motel. Sterling runs back to the bus as the herd of panicked sealopedes – long seals with dozens of flippers – take up a noisy residence on the porch, knocking over the mannequin bot and breaking its rocking chair.
The tick falls through the roof of the motel making a big cloud of dust and a cacophony, which spooks the sealopedes who jump off the porch and flail over one another on the sand. It’s then that Sterling sees what they were running from, as a huge eyeless great white shark breaches the sand and kills one of the sealopedes, dragging it under. Another shark vibrates through the sand beneath Boonton but just clips him. He tries to grab it but only succeeds in flailing on top of the tail before it sinks back into the sand.
Sterling and the pangolin decide it’s safer at the motel than in the short bus so they begin to run across the sand towards the sealopedes. They too are attacked by sand sharks but amazingly the shark’s aim seems to be consistently off. The pangolin manages to sever some vertebrae in one of the sharks as it jumps by her. The sealopedes head off into the wasteland in a cohesive group and the shark attacks subside.