“And what you said about stories. I really get that now. You’d said they weren’t about filling time, entertainment. Not that that’s wrong, a story can be both meaningful and entertaining, you’d said, should be both for it to resonate. You told me that stories connected us, made us understand ourselves and each tear a little better. That stories made the world a better place because they are empathy engines.
I like that. Empathy engine. Vroom vroom.
It's a noble cause, storytelling, you’d said. Noble work.
So, here I go being noble.”
“I was born on August 5th, 1894, at St, Vincent’s Hospital to Thomas and Helen Moore.
My father was an officer for the Los Angeles Police Department. In 1904, he became one of two officers to work for the city of Hollywood.
My earliest memory is the feeling of stubble on his face and touching his shiny badge.
The last time I saw him, I was 15 years old…”
Nowhere, Kansas. Even the name sounds innocuous. A place you drive through without slowing and never think about again. The biggest problem is an occasional squabble at the local bar, and long-time resident and Sheriff Peter Holbrook likes it that way. In fact, the only thing that truly bothers him is his fear of the gray: the mysterious storms that plague Nowhere every year, blanketing the town in rain and fog.
"Tristan pulled Cade up, ending their break. 'Let’s go, little brother,' he said. 'We’re almost there.' Cade looked at his brother and felt the need to say something. Something important. Soon, things would never be the same for them again. Tristan was about to be vaulted into a new life, and Cade would continue to be just Cade. It was as if Cade were standing on a hand platform, watching his brother board a ship that would take him somewhere he could never go. The idea filled Cade with a sense of loss, to mourning. But before Tristan departed, Cade wanted to somehow capture this moment and hold it so he could think back, fondly, on the last time there were a pair. Just like they had always been.” -Chapter 2
“Yeah, I really do enjoy this crazy bulls--t. I've been doing it in one form or another my entire life. Main difference is the stakes. Getting suspended from school, having an account or two banned, worse, maybe doing jail time. And for what? A few pranks and some stolen premium sports feeds? This time, it's for a bigger reason. Rescuing a teammate and trying to keep the world safe from twisted people with way too much power.
I turn the rig down a side street, managing not to take the corner off a building, and park. We're still doing this, no matter what these people know about their boss. It's the rush, gotta be. The stakes, I'm less sure about. Maybe that's how all the supposed heroes feel.”
In his previous book, Stay Younger Longer, author Ryan Hyatt conjured up a world not so far from our own, where eco-politics carried more weight than they should, the search for the next party was everyone’s greatest quest, and California set the standard of living for the nation.
Bobbie’s expression was grave. “The Faceless Ones are a new race, or to be precise, a very old race that has been in hiding for a long time.” Bobbie looked uncomfortable even talking about them. “They have begun building their strange machines and terrible devices across the world. No one knows to which gods, if any, they pray, but the ywield knowledge as to make the University look like a tribe of cavemen.”
“Eventually, we started coming across ruins. Ancient, dilapidated structures once inhabited by Pre-Rising humanity. They were an inescapable part of any Wasteland Journey. Most Recon and Extermination rangers cut their teeth on these particular ruins, looking for mutant stragglers or bandits hoping to intercept Remnant convoys. These structures, which included everything from gas stations to schools, were a missed sight. Most were half-collapsed at best. Others were eerily perfect, as if their owners had just stepped out for the night. Driving past them was always a sobering experience, however. Everywhere were reminders of the days when humanity had been great and powerful.”
“Step up into my greenhouse and speak your names.”
“I see Flames and blood.”
“I hear screams and dying… Your past is your past. You know why you are here, as do I… Once you cross my threshold and enter my home, there are only three things I require of you. There shall be no violence, no lying, and no lateness. Break one of these and you forfeit your right to remain here…Welcome to my home.”