A new warrior breed blazes a trail to an uncertain future
AFTER THE DAY OF RECKONING
Survival is an endless battle in the dark age of post-holocaust America, but even amid the ashes of the past, new pockets of civilization emerge, fledgling communities bound by savage rules.
Ryan Cawdor and his band of warrior-survivalisits are transported from one Valley of the Shadow of Death to another, shaken by the mind-bending effects of the mat-trans, emerging at last into a promised land whose inhabitants are healthy and young.
The ville is an oasis in a blighted land, but among the blond, blue-eyed near-children, Ryan and his wayfarers are pariahs destined to find out that the quest for Paradise exacts a steep price.
In the Deathlands, the future looks terminally brief.
Ryan's eye snapped open and stared furiously at the ceiling
His lips peeled back from his teeth, and a roar of shock and horror erupted from his throat. His arms and legs jerked into spasmodic motion, forcing everyone to hold on for grim life.
Mildred withdrew the knife for a moment, turning to look at Dean. Tears coursed down the boy's cheeks. "Hold his head still with all your strength," she demanded.
"Don't move, Dad!" he cried. "We got to save your life."
But it did nothing to calm the anguished man. The next time that the knife touched the yellowed gash, the one-eyed man screamed and kicked out. Doc and Krysty nearly fell off the bed, and J.B. and Michael used every ounce of their strength to keep hold of his arms.
The doctor peered intently at the wound. The core of pus still throbbed, veined with crimson. But the heat of the flensing knife seemed to have cleaned up the area around the edges of the ragged sore.
Ryan, mercifully, had passed out.
"How is he?" Krysty asked.
"Looks cleaner. Don't know if his heart can stand up to my doing it again."
"Do it. Leave a shred of poison and it'll kill him."