Friday, August 2, 2019

The Deathlands


By Bixyl Shuftan

Recently, a friend and I dropped by a rather desolate place in Second Life: The Deathlands. The place describes itself as "an isolated post-apocalyptic island community where a handful of hardy survivors desperately cling to what passes for life after the nuclear winter." Upon entering, a crow greeted us, "Greetings ... welcome to Deathlands! It is many years since the Nukes cleansed the Earth. Among the frail and diseased survivors there are few rules, so feel free to wander Deathlands and sample its many pleasures and perils." Almost as if on cue, the radio stream played the tune "Darkest Dream." Later songs included, "Love is Dead," and "Poison Remains."

The place is owned by Rebel Wolf (HermitBlue), considered the "mutant warlord" here, and Luddita Wolf (luddita) his consort. Seeing us, "We are the survivors," they showed us around. "You are under the care of Baron Wolf," he told us, "It's safe in Deathlands. Well, sorta safe. Probably should not drink the water." Showing us some NPC figures, one was a rather bloody doctor with a paitent who didn't look too good. "Hes the only medical we have," Rebel told us, "so he gets away with a lot."

There were a few places mentioned in the notecard that I'd gotten on entry, such as the Dead Tree where a number of corpses hung, "The Motel From Hell" in which the beds were bloody mattresses and the "bathroom" was a bucket with flies buzzing over it, the hull of an old Russian submarine that had somehow washed ashore and repurposed, and others. There was one not mentioned that Rebel wanted to show us: The Bunker.From the outside, the place was concrete and steel. Inside, there were bunks, machinery, and what looked like some kind of control center with access to satelites, "Some of us survived the nuclear winter in here!" For some reason, there were warheads of small missiles in there.

But not everything here was a grim survival story. There are two social spots. One is "The Music Festival Grounds." Rebel spoke of it, "The survivors built a dancefloor." The dancefloor itself was made of of sections of wood planking piled together with a rustic-looking stage in the back. The place was surrounded on three sides by chair-link fencing, presumably to keep the more drunken partiers from stumbling into the lagoon. But not everything about it looked safe as there was a yellowish-green looking cloud of mist in the middle. When I asked Rebel, he responded, "Oh, I think it's radioactive gas (cough)." As we were talking, a few more people came by, including one with a guitar. Before long, he was playing some music, and an impromtu party started.

After a while, the party moved to what passed for a high class club around here, "The Loser's Club." Advertised as a "notorious dive bar where survivors barter their favours in return for liquor and cigarettes," the peace was kept by a burly-looking NPC acting as a bouncer standing watch just outside the front door. "Dont mind Ivan outside," Rebel told us, "he just looks mean!" Another NPC, a waitress, handed out drinks on request. Those not dancing could sit on an old couch or one of the barstools. One seemed a little woozy from the gas earlier, "I may pass out soon."

There were other places in the distance that I never set foot on, such as a stretch of highway that came to a dead end over the water, a waterfall, and numerous other buildings in various states of repair and disrepair.

The Deadlands is in http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Blue%20Eyes/118/159/22

Addition: on August 18, the Deathlands was moved to a new sim, at http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Paradise%20Kingdom/88/35/22

Bixyl Shuftan

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