*Language and Content Warning*
Unlike QE’s normal informational blog, Wasteland Wednesday is potentially full of foul language and post-apocalyptic nonsense. I’m talking f-bombs, thrice-bosomed mutant women, and buckets of gore.
Welcome to the fourth edition of Wasteland Wednesday! I’m glad to see you have managed to survive yet another week. Today you’re going to get a glimpse at one of the many threats that populate the wasteland. Those stuck surviving in middle-America call them inbreeders.
Inbreeders go by many names: bone munchers, cannibals, flesh eaters, and some others. It’s important to note, they are not zombies. Here’s the concept.
When the United States fell to ruin, it did so to the tune of electromagnetic pulses followed by a chorus of nuclear warheads. Some of these warheads detonated above the ground and some of them made landfall.
When a nuclear warhead made landfall it destroyed the area, but it also left behind areas that were lousy with radiation. Areas where bombs detonated prior to making landfall became habitable over time.
These pockets of isolated and lingering radiation have broken the continent into pieces. The impassable areas of radiation are referred to as the Red. The Red has landlocked the area where this story takes place.
Those who survived the initial destruction, but suffered radiation exposure, passed mutated genes on to the next generation. I also incorporated the idea that these people, and their children, would be ostracized by the small pockets (settlements) that sprung up in the aftermath.
Here’s an unedited excerpt from Drake’s journal regarding inbreeders. (This is the journal that Lex encourages Drake to write in hopes of monetizing it someday.)
Bone munchers. Cannibals. Flesh eaters. Inbreeders. If somehow you are unfamiliar with these freaks, it should be noted they are not the zombies the pre-fall world was so obsessed with. They are still human, sort of. Radiation exposure led to pockets of people being pushed away from the remaining settlements. Those rejects who survived, bred, often times with those close to them. Survival is a strong motivator and those poor souls had few options. Inbreeding, in addition to mutated and damaged genes being passed down generationally, led to smorgasbord of bizarre physical and mental deformities. I had heard drunken rumors of some of the knuckle draggers having almost “supernatural” capabilities. I hadn’t seen it, thus, I didn’t believe it. After all, I’d been around the wastes for a while and I’d seen some crazy shit, but not that crazy.
These groups of inbreeders typically only grow large enough for one physically or mentally dominant male (or female) to control them. While some have mentally degraded to the point of being feral, there are varying degrees of intelligence. However, to the normal humans who live in the wasteland, they are all considered scum. (People seem to get butt hurt when they get knocked down a notch in the food chain.)
Due to this animosity, many settlements offer rewards for inbreeder heads. It’s their way of managing the growing population. Needless to say, people who collect those heads don’t really care if you’re feral or not. If you have even the most minor physical deformity, or your eyes glow just the slightest shade of green (a common way of spotting an inbreeder), you’re fair game. This particular story opens with Drake conducting a scouting mission of a small inbreeder camp, which leads to some Drake-style shenanigans.
That’s today’s glimpse into the wasteland. I’m still about three weeks away before I begin my first rewrite. Often, when I’m laying in bed trying to sleep, my mind comes back to the story and ideas for revision spring up. I hastily write them down in a journal. To be honest, it’s taken every ounce of willpower I have to stop myself from starting the rewrites early. But I’m trying to practice what I preach.
As for the corresponding novella, The Wastelander Survival Guide, I have outlined it in it’s entirety and plan on starting the writing process within the next week or two. On top of all of this, I am currently talking to an artist about drafting a graphic novel. This story takes place thirty years after the fall and there is a lot of potential for a Drake backstory. If that goes through, I’ll also have a Drake Origins graphic novel to bring to the table.
I hope you all stop by next Wednesday for more information about Wastelander: The Drake Legacy. In the meantime, I’d love to know what you think about inbreeders. Until then, keep hiding, keep hoarding, and as always – stay alive.