|Image Source: http://funkylounge.deviantart.com/art/Paradise-648160280|
This is inspired by a recent decision to do a one-shot of After the Bomb RPG on my birthday coming up. It was favorite of mine years ago, and I hope it stands up to a trip down nostalgia lane.
Nobody rightly recalls how it all happened. How it started. Some say it was a war for resources that escalated. Some that it was all an accident with an advanced defense system. Others say it was a disease that made mankind mad, and in its madness it lashed out, flailing at itself with weapons of mass destruction. However it began the world was bombarded in nuclear fire and the old world was destroyed. The world died, humanity was reduced from billions to tens of thousands.
Maybe it was the radiation. Or a chemical. Or some kind of disease that changed. Regardless, as humankind fell the animals rose. Mutations rapidly changed the wild and domesticated animals of the world. Intelligence. Sentience. Sapience. Hands. Even psychic abilities. As humanity gasped against their death, the animals took their first breaths as the world's new dominant "species." The remaining humans have either embraced the new citizens of the world or banded together against them. In the ruins of the old world both parties eek out survival.
The wind swayed the trees and brought a new scent to my nose. I sniffed and then wrinkled my nose at the odor, some kind of synthetic volatile. Motor oil perhaps, or something else. I crept forward and peered out from the hedgerow. A mechanized soldier, one of the Empire's robot suited thugs. I sat back and un-slung my rifle from my back.
Not for the first time I cursed my underdeveloped legs. Walking on two legs was beyond me for more than a few steps, unlike some of my friends who were more human in that regard. Still, I shouldn't complain too much, my hands were well developed and I'd retained the superior sense of smell of my forebears. I lifted the rifle, then thought better of it. Instead I grabbed the battered walkie talkie. It's case was held together with old silver tape and the batteries were being held in by a rubber band, but it worked. I clicked it on and quietly called for help from my comrades.
I took up my weapon and waited, peering through the simple tube scope on the rifle and waiting for my allies. I didn't have to wait long. A bellowing roar preceded the arrival of Moose. Antlers down he charged the armored soldier, slamming into it with the force of a car. Hot on Moose's heels were Shifty and Fred. Shifty held a submachinegun that was comically large in the mouse's hands but the cleverly assembled recoil brace did its job and he laid down and impressive amount of suppressing fire. Fred was another dog, but his mastiff roots made him huge and he rushed out swinging a crude maul built from an old metal pole with a chuck of concrete still fused to the end.
Two other soldiers joined the first but I managed a lucky shot and got one just below the face shield of his helmet, sending the man down in a gurgling tumble. The stream of bullets from Shifty kept the other pinned down long enough for Moose and Fred to beat the first into submission. The third ran, his robotically augmented legs carrying him away quicker than any of us could, or cared to, follow.
"They're getting brazen," Shifty said as he reloaded an extra long magazine for his weapon. "This is way closer to home than they usually patrol. Things are getting bad."
Fred nodded, "War is coming."