Monthly Archives: July 2012

The World of “Deadeye”

The novel “Deadeye” is set in a region of the world called the Known Lands, which is a chunk of desert wasteland about the size of Texas. 75 years ago this bit of land wasn’t a whole different from the world of today, but then war came, nuclear war, leaving very little behind. Those who survived the war banded together into rough settlements that have slowly become the seven cities of the Known Lands: Tula, Grant City, Southbend, Maersk, Autumn, New Paulson, and Devlin, each headed up by a governor. No central government exists and the military rarely interferes with the operation of the seven cities, preferring to stay behind the stout walls of Fort Jostin and Fort Aspen.

The Known Lands are bordered on the north-east by the Red Forest, a once-great forest exposed to a high degree of radiation that’s said to have turned all the trees a dark shade of red and left the local wildlife horribly mutated. To the south is a patch of land controlled by bands of nomadic raiders, who often venture into the Known Lands in search of merchant caravans and outposts to attack. To the south-west is the Irradiated Zone, a region that’s still too dangerous too traverse because of high concentrations of radiation. To the east is a range of mountains that no one has crossed since the end of the war, no one knows what lies beyond them.

After the war, most of the technology of the modern world was lost. A few weapons, pistols and rifles, remain, along with some other technological relics, but much of the present world has reverted back to the mid-19th century: farming with hand tools, riding on horses and in wagons, and digging deep wells to find water. Houses are a mixture of what wood could be salvaged and mud bricks, forming a hodgepodges in the cities and outposts of varying building styles.

With the passage of time, few can recall the world as it once was and the devastation had destroyed any physical evidence. The people of the wasteland have had to build a new world, constructed with only a very limited knowledge of how things used to be.

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Deadeye – Excerpt #2

~Ambush~

 Grace, who was bent over the corpse of a guard, suddenly straightened. “Get behind something!” she yelled.

A bullet screeched through the air, bounced off the ground, and grazed Reilly’s leg. He let out a yelp of pain as blood spattered the dirt behind him. Everyone scattered. Elias grabbed Reilly and pulled him down behind the wreckage of one of the wagons. Another shot pecked the wood behind them. The crack of the first shot finally reached them.

Elias carefully looked around the side of the wreckage. A bullet bounced off the ground a few inches from his face, throwing up dirt into his eyes. He quickly brushed the dirt away with the back of his hand and then glanced around for the others. Grace had made it back to the wagon and was squatting behind one of the wheels with her rifle. Lina was using a small mirror to look around the edge of the wreckage she was hiding behind. Killeen and Ulman were hiding down in a ditch on the western side of the road.

“How bad is he hurt?” Killeen asked, his voice low.

“Just grazed, Marshal,” Reilly said between gritted teeth. He held onto the wound with one hand, but blood oozed between his fingers. He’d need a doctor soon.

“Grace, can you see where he’s at?” Elias asked.

“Sorry, Marshal,” Grace said, “the sun’s at his back. I can’t see anything.”

“Lina, can you take him out?”

“It’d take me a few seconds to get setup for a shot,” she replied. “He’d get me before then.”

Elias breathed deep and then exhaled. He could feel his heart beating far faster than it ought to at his age.

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Deadeye: Cover

Another self-made cover. Deadeye should be ready for release late next week or the week after, barring any unforeseen delays.

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Deadeye: Character Overview

With Deadeye quickly approaching its release [I would say within the next two weeks], I’d like to do a few posts about the characters, world, and story. This first post will look at the characters who make their home in this dry, dusty land.

Elias Watkins – One of the marshals in the New Paulson area, Elias is in his 60’s and thinking of retirement. He grew up along the fringes of human civilization and has seen just about everything that the world can throw at a man, but the events that set the plot in motion are something that even he has never encountered before. Quick on the draw and always dependable, Elias is the kind lawman you want at your side.

Grace Hiam – Elias’ trusted deputy and one of the few synthetic humans left over from the old world. Although her ability to understand and express emotions is limited, she strives to grow beyond her original programming and finally experience true life. Though many are wary of her artificial nature, Elias trusts her totally.

Niles Erland – Head of forensics at the New Paulson police department, Niles is one of the few people in the Known Lands with an extensive knowledge of science and old world investigative techniques. Despite being a member of the police department for many years, his skill with a gun is very limited. Niles has a tendency to use sarcasm quite often, even when it bothers those around him.

Richard – One of the deputies in New Paulson, Richard is trained in the use of explosives. He is a quiet man, sometimes leading others to think him a bit simple. However, he is the kind of man who can be depended upon when things get tough, due in part to the years he spent out in the wasteland living with a group of raiders.

Lina Immelmen – Though still relatively young, Lina lived the life of bounty-hunter for several years before finding her way to New Paulson. While there, she has gained a reputation as a crack-shot and one of the most skilled snipers in the Known Lands.

Lilia Hartman – A wanderer, Lilia has not had a permanent home in a very long time. From a young age, she has traveled the wasteland, going from one city to another while looking for whatever work she can find. Though she has grown into a hard woman during her travels, she still has a sensitive side and a strong sense of justice, preferring to stop the suffering of innocents rather than try to ignore it.

Allie – A young girl saved by Lilia after the people of the girl’s village decided that she responsible for the village’s many ills. Though still very young, she looks up to Lilia and wants to become more like her.

The Stranger – An enigma. The Stranger possesses a level of skill with a sniper rifle that is completely unmatched in the Known Lands, even beyond the considerable skills of Lina Immelman. It’s unknown what he wants or why he has decided to suddenly attack outposts and caravans. Nothing is ever stolen and the killings are all random. He even leaves behind evidence of his crimes, as if taunting the marshals of the Known Lands.

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Deadeye: Excerpt #1

~Tales from the Campfire~

“It was…maybe seven years ago,” Lina said as the group sat around the campfire, “back when I was working as a freelance bounty hunter. I was chasing a mark near New Paulson. I thought he’d try to hide in the city somewhere, but he just kept going north, all the way into the Red Forest. I’d heard stories about the place, about strange creatures and mysterious incidents and whatnot. Didn’t really put much stock in them back then, though. So, I followed him. Until you actually see the Red Forest with your own eyes, you really can’t appreciate it.

“There’s trees are far as you can see, millions of them. Only they aren’t green like in the old pictures, they’re red. As red as fire. When the wind blows through the forest, you can hear all those red leaves rustle and the trunks groan as they bend. There’s nothing I can think of to describe the feeling I got just being in that place for a few hours. I ended up following him for two days, probably didn’t sleep a bit during that time. Couldn’t even bear to close my eyes. Finally, I came upon his camp. And him.” Her voice got quiet, then, just a whisper. They all leaned in close to hear her.

“He’d been torn to shreds. It was so bad that I was only able to recognize him by the remains of his clothes. Something got to him. Something big and something mean and he was still warm so it hadn’t been gone for more than an hour. I listened, for a long time I just listened, but all I ever heard was the rustling of those leaves in the wind.”

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