Got woke by a big bright white line of light cuttin' cross the sky outside me bedroom window, trailin' smoke an' dropping wreckage. It was the bang that there woke me, that sound that echoed through the thin walls o'the house when the line fizzled out, just bang like world'd ended, an' there weren't nothing left. But o'course there was. Always was.
The wreckage was shuttle. Weren't no other kind on this shitty world that rained with such frequency. Old NASA shuttles long sent to rust in bays and then pulled out and rigged up by folks desperate to get outta the planet. Nine outta ten the shuttles'd burst apart, and people'd scavenge them parts back, but every now and then you'd hear about folks breaking outta orbit and into freedom. Dumb freedom, where'n the big black ate down yer bones and filled you with cancerous venom, but that there never slowed no one. It was the kinda thing that'd make a fellow contemplate what was happenin' in this here world, an' the shape o'things, if he himself weren't currently picking up his shotgun and going out to scavenge for bits.
I weren't looking for no way off. It ain't much, this planet (actually, it's shit in a bucket with holes the size o'me fists) but least I don't need no modifications to survive it. I also ain't stupid enough to believe I'd land meself on Mars and be given them lovely things of modern living just cause I got free o'the planet and common decency demanded so. But that don't mean I ain't here to let a bit o'cash go to waste with the stupidity o'others now, does it now?
The trick were speed and knowledge. I didn't really 'ave that first one, gotta be honest. The truck was a rusting four wheel thing running off solar, and it had a habit of crapping out when pushed over sixty. But the mountains 'round me little wooden shack were a shit to navigate if you didn't know 'em, and I could usually pick me up four or five choices pieces for them other folks arrived. Occasionally a couple of 'em were a bit fanatic--a bit we gotta get off this planet for our children kinda fanatic, but a couple a'shots above 'em, blowing out a tire, or even a knee cap never went astray in teaching 'em the finer points of mountain scavenging diplomacy.
Mountains up 'ere are mostly brown: trees burnt down into scrubs, the dirt a weak, loose thing, with the rocks breaking it up with a bit o'grey and a slap of green nastiness here and there. You'd look as far as you could see and it was jus' 'bout the same, which is just me sayin' it weren't nothin' special at all. really, nothin' was no more.
yeah, my brain is breaking down into little bits of nothing and refusing to think. it punishes me with this, so i sit and doodle as it closes down, unable to work properly.