After the USSR supported Korean nuclear standoff with the United States, the world is both a smaller and bigger place. Survivors have had to become frontiersmen in an almost unrecognizable environment, trying to pick up the pieces of what has been left behind with very different problems from war and politics.
Unofficially, the only known habitable places are small patches of land on the east coast of North America. Among them, Eden Valley is near what used to be somewhere in Queens, NY.
It's not uncommon for people living in Eden Valley to go missing. The landscape demands an unforgiving life which is often fatal-- especially in the early years. The surrounding “Badlands” were eventually cordoned off with emergency beacons alerting authorities to anyone attempting to leave or any thing trying to enter the perimeter. Recently, the beacons have been malfunctioning due to what appears to be vandalism. With holes in the beacon grid, people of Eden Valley have been reported missing more frequently. The only visible indicator in all cases would be a prolonged period of self instilled isolation of the person before their eventual disappearance. The town is unsure of how to prevent the loss of any more individuals other than having the damaged and malfunctioning beacons repaired as often as possible. Beacon repairs are a difficult and dangerous task, and often assigned to offenders of the law as a form of community service.
A war veteran and skilled inventor/mechanic, Pop spends his time in the shop with his granddaughter Jessie, making hover modifications to the remaining salvageable cars and motorcycles in Eden Valley. He has raised Jessie alone since her mother (his daughter) and father disappeared, abandoning her along with all their possessions. Pop blames Jessie's father for losing his daughter, and is quick to anger when Jessie inquires or seemingly idolizes him.
Jessie struggles between being an adept apprentice mechanic under her grandfather, and a risk-taking hover-bike racer who frequently gets kicked out of bars for picking fights. At the risk of seeming ungrateful to her grandfather who has taken care of her since her parents went missing as a child, Jessie believes there is still more left in the Post-World outside of tiresome Eden Valley. When she is eventually sent out on her correctional service obligations after multiple petty run-ins with the law, she learns there is more going on in and around Eden Valley than anyone knows.
A- Jessie holding a broomhandle Mauser with a wooden holster stock and her bike helmet.
B- Jessie regains consciousness in front of a small fire in the Badlands after lucid nightmares. Stripped of all her gear and realizing she is not alone she sees her hatchet is in reach and conceals it behind her back before coming to her feet.
Contacted through dark manners, men and women from town are summoned into the desert to join a nameless presence claiming to be God. This being's hold on its victim's minds, calls them to blindly navigate and survive the three day trek to join the other devotees within a mystic cult compound deep in the desert badlands. The followers whose minds the being has the strongest connections with become crazed cannibalistic puppets devoid of any past self, their sole purpose is to serve their master at whatever cost.
One of the many mutated species resulting from the nuclear war, a bite from one head of a twin-rattler will result in heavy hallucinations and high fever, regardless of body mass. The results of a victim being bit by both heads are continually increasing hallucinations and fever, which eventually leads to death.
The twin rattler's venom may be extracted to produce a potent hallucinogen which is effective either by injection or smoke inhalation. Rattler venom is farmed at the cult compound.
The Liberty Girls are selected from the most skilled, loyal, and dangerous of the fully possessed cult members. They work as guards as well assist at the ceremonial altar. They are adorned in small items taken from the sacrificed.
This specific Liberty Girl is Jessie Graves in disguise. Upon escaping captivity from the cell where she was being held deep in the compound caves, Jessie dons this guise to delve deeper through the ancient stairways in an attempt to find the source of evil behind this waking nightmare. Jessie is accompanied only by a makeshift flamethrower she cleverly constructed with items she found in a surplus supply room close to her holding cell.
Jessie's Makeshift Flamethrower
Cult Leader (“Skullface”)
With unknown origins, “Skullface” leads the cult's dark ceremonies by his own free will. Such ceremonies include the ritual sacrifices of “chosen” cult followers to the worshipped being existing in one of the compounds many caves. Skullface drugs the cult masses with a censer filled with burning desert brush soaked in farmed twin rattler venom.
hKX-990T custom or “Kix-ninety” Truly one of the first hov-bike conversions, this bike was built by Jessie's father at the start of hover transportation technology and is one of the closest connections Jessie has to her missing parents. Called “a piece of junk and a waste of time” by Pops, this bike has been rebuilt and modified well beyond it's prime, and requires constant tinkering to remain running (let alone win races). Despite it's drawbacks, this Kix-ninety remains Jessie's prized possession, and manages to be the fastest thing in Eden Valley - if whoever's driving can actually control it.