Thursday, October 29, 2009

Dead Land Journal February 16th 2028

Yesterday was a repeat of Valentine's Day. Billy, Mike Jewels and I headed out early and in the truck hunting deer and anything else large enough to host a wraith. We ignored anything that ran away from us. The host creatures become aggressive towards anything that could be viewed as competition. Had a scary moment when a friggin' buffalo attacked us. Some of the ranchers in southern Missouri keep buffalo and hybrid buffalo/cattle. This monster was 2400 pounds of mean. It hit the truck hard on the left front fender. Bits of fiberglass and plastic showered the ground in front of the truck. But that was not enough for it. It kept ramming the truck. Each time it was like being hit by a small car. We were trying to lean out the windows and shoot it. But only Jewels and Mike were able to get clear shots at it from the drivers side windows. On the fourth impact Mike dropped his gun out the window. Jewels kept shooting, but that just seemed to piss the buffalo off even more. Billy got fed up with our inability to kill the thing and jumped out with his missile gun. He only uses it for special occasions. The projectiles take a while to build and he has to go into Lebanon to get what he needs to make more. But I guess this warranted him pulling out the big guns. Once I understood what was happening I told the others to keep the buffalo's attention.

It's not like a standard gun you just point and shoot. Billy could not help but show off his invention to me one day while he was toasted. First you have to boot it up. Yes like a computer. It even runs on a modified version of Windows XP. Billy refuses to use anything later than that. There is a helmet that he has rigged up with an HUD display operating off a camera on the muzzle of the gun. It can be used without it with the little built in screen. After the computer boots up and automatically loads the targeting program you have to select the target. This is done by lightly squeezing the trigger. It will focus on the object and highlight it. If that is the correct target you squeeze the trigger again and it loads the image onto the projectile before sending it on its way. Even if you already have the thing booted up it can take up to ten seconds to be actually acquire the target and fire the missile. And the missile itself is relatively slow too. So during this time the weapon operator is somewhat vulnerable.

Billy walked out about a hundred yards from the tow truck and took careful aim. He fired a single well placed shot to the abdomen. The buffalo of course took note of this. It whirled around with more grace than any creature that size has any right to and began to charge. Billy stood his ground supremely confident in his invention. By the time it had covered 75 yards it became obvious that something was wrong. The creature was still charging. Billy realized that he was now in serious trouble. He tried to fire another shot, but it was coming too fast. The thundering hooves were enough to make a bull fighter lose nerve. The second shot buried itself harmlessly in a snow bank where it melted about 4 cubic yards of snow. That was when Billy broke and ran.

The buffalo was close on his heels, and Billy screaming for Jesus to come take home. We thought Billy was a goner when he tripped and fell. But at that moment the buffalo staggered. It shook its huge horned head in confusion and belched. And then with a mighty fart, it fell over, dead. Right on top of poor Billy. It took all of us and the tow truck to get the evil thing off him.

And you know what? It was not infected. It was just naturally mean. But at least we have a few hundred pounds of buffalo meat.

Katherine thinks that this infected migration is a way for the creatures to spread their population without risk to themselves. This means it is very important for us to hunt them down whenever we can. Come Spring we are going to be up to our assholes in these things. Can't wait. whoohoo.

© 2009 R. Keith McBride

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