Tag Archives: Raiders

How We Survived – Land Of Enchantment (Nano 2016, Chapter 3)

Nothing that was poorly defended was ever worth stealing. The stuff they wanted to stop you from taking, now that had value. They’d lock it up, put it behind bars, surround the bars in plate steel, mount guns on it, and do everything possible to keep it out of your grubby mits. Because they wanted to keep it in their greasy grasp.

The domes were locked up, in a way, but nothing was so heavily fortified in this land as the trains that criss-crossed in the open air. The first hurdle to stealing from a train was its speed. At the first sign of bandits, they’d lean on the levers, crank all their engine cars up as high as they could, and they’d start rocketing across the land. To hear a behemoth like that pass by miles away was one thing. To ride a motorcycle right next to it while the giant steel wheels skipped and sparked under the torque was something else. The engines were the size of houses, propelling miles long trains, carrying towns and cities worth of people. It was the only way to keep the cities alive – filling an iron box with lifeblood and pumping it along steel veins.

Everything a man needed, from beggar to banker, was on those trains. Luxuries like fresh coffee, pure sugar, and clean alcohol was all in steady supply. From great cotton producing domes in the south came good bandages, from the north meltwater was pumped into tankers bigger than city halls, from the east came great loads of grain and livestock. And from the west came people. Each found its place on the train, and as the domes became entrenched as the solution rather than a short term cure, the trains got bigger. When simply adding another engine car and another mile became insufficient, they added another story. They added fifty feet in width. The great steel chains were now so large that news of an attack on the middle of the train might not reach the end for an hour. Size was the second hurdle.