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Inception - Wasteland Road Knights Prequel - EBOOK

Inception - Wasteland Road Knights Prequel - EBOOK

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BOOK 0 of WASTELAND ROAD KNIGHTS

Life as a slave is hard. Nyx hates what her master, Rex, makes her do.
But deep in the wasteland, she’s about to discover something new. 

Following the Cataclysm, the last of humanity found itself in a barren wasteland. Endless desert, limited food and water, and a landscape filled with the undead, mutants, gangs, and worse…
Law and order are gone. It’s survival of the fittest in the apocalyptic world.

Nyx has lived with Rex at the Watchtower for as long as she can remember. She’s his slave, and her life couldn’t be much worse.

She has the other slaves for support, but the only relief she gets from being his plaything is when she’s training with her mothers’ sword.

But while returning from a visit to another camp, an encounter in the horror-filled wasteland forces Nyx to fight for her life and make a discovery that could hold the key to a brighter future.

This short story is the prequel to the high-octane Wasteland Road Knights series.

WARNING: This short story contains references to sexual violence, slave girls, and some foul language.
Some might find the situations contained within distasteful or upsetting. Reader discretion is advised.

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Nyx

Rex’s hand hit Nyx on her ass with a resounding slap.
“Off you go, then, babe. Show us what you’ve got. And don’t embarrass me in front of Bishop here,” he said. Nyx glanced down at Rex where he sat on a metal chair beside her. He liked to keep her close so he could touch her whenever he wanted.
The thought of it made her shiver with disgust. She dreamed of walking away, of leaving Rex and his Dogs behind and making her way in the wastes, but she had no idea how to survive out there. Not really.
The one thing she could do was fight. She knew how to use her sword, but surviving in the wastes took more than a modicum of skill with a deadly weapon.
Rex looked up at her from beneath his hood. He was a tall, fit man wearing a ragtag mix of makeshift armour and leathers with a hood and a gas mask. The mask, which had a small skull mounted on it, hung from a strap around his neck.
“Well, go on, then,” he said, waving her off.
Nearby, Lobos stepped forward, holding her sword. She walked up to him, and he passed it to her.
“Concentrate, do as I have taught you, and you’ll be fine,” he said and glanced to his right. Nyx followed his gaze to the large man standing nearby. He was a good six feet tall with rippling muscles and a bald head. He wore some army trousers, boots, some belts, and leather wrapped around his forearms and carried a long machete blade on his right hand, and a shorter dagger in his left.
His name was Beefy, and he was Bishop’s best swordsman apparently, and Rex had been keen to pitch her against him. She’d stood beside Rex as he’d spoken of her prowess with a blade, asking Bishop to bring over his best swordsman to demonstrate how good she was.
“I’ll just imagine it’s Rex I’m hitting,” she muttered.
“I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that,” Lobos answered, just as quietly. He was loyal to Rex, but seemed to understand her frustrations, giving her a pass for some of her offhand comments, as long as they weren’t too blatantly rebellious.
She smiled at him.
“You’ve got this,” Lobos added as he backed off, his expression full of confidence in her.
Nyx gripped her sword, feeling its weight in her hand with a smile. The times when she got to practice with the blade were the best for her. Swinging her blade around, getting lost in the moment, it made her feel alive and vital again. She’d been learning to fight with her sword for a few years now, almost from the time she was old enough to lift it. She was eighteen cycles old according to Madam Privay. She didn’t really know what that meant, but it was a couple of years ago that Rex had started to take more than a passing interest in her. The timing of this corresponding to her development into a woman.
She went from a general helper around the Watchtower camp to being Rex’s favourite slave girl. She wasn’t sure what was worse, to be honest. Living in a room that wasn’t big enough for her to lay down in, serving food, cleaning up, and doing odd jobs while getting spat at, kicked, and verbally abused was bad enough. These days, her sleeping arrangements were better as Rex had given her her own room at the top of the tower, complete with a bed with an actual mattress. She had a little more freedom, and Rex’s Dogs — his guards — treated her with more respect. She was also being trained to use her sword, but Rex expected a certain amount of obedience from her, and she spent a third to half of her nights in Rex’s bed.
She hated him and the way he forced himself on her. She’d been through all kinds of emotions over the last few years. At times, she’d been suicidal, and at others, kind of accepting of it.
She had Madam Privay and her brothel girls and boys to thank for giving her strength to deal with it. They were her support network, and if it weren’t for them, she might have jumped from the top of the tower by now.
Looking over at the man before her, his blades at the ready, she just imagined it was Rex standing there and channelled that rage into making sure she won this fight.
“Don’t you let me down, now,” Bishop called out to Beefy. The huge brute nodded once in reply as Lobos stood between them and raised his hand.
“Ready?” he called out. “Fight!” Lobos dropped his hand and stepped back as her opponent charged forward. Nyx smiled. Beefy was being overly aggressive, clearly wanting to scare her and show his dominance. Maybe he was another misogynist pig? Whatever, she didn’t really care.
She might be angry and picturing Rex as her opponent, but she also knew how to fight and win.
Nyx dodged, her movements almost nonchalant as she stepped out of the way and brought her blade up. She flicked it once and slashed the man’s leg. It wasn’t a big cut. She wasn’t supposed to kill the man, after all; just best him.
Nyx moved around, facing Beefy as he roared and turned to meet her. This time, he approached her more cautiously, his two blades ready as he closed the gap. He fainted once, and then again.
Nyx had her blade up ready to defend, but she could spot the fake moves, and moderated her reaction to them, watching him carefully.
The third time he moved wasn’t a fake out, and he swung his machete in towards her. She dodged back. He swiped again, and she parried the blow, knocking it sideways. The man stepped back and eyed her carefully, and then went for her again.
This time his attack was more sustained, and as her blade hit his, he followed it up with a stab from his dagger. He missed, but he kept coming.
Nyx used her training and experience from sparing with Lobos, the most skilled blades-man she knew, and defended herself. She fought back, slashing at her opponent, but she pulled her swings, not wanting to hurt him too much.
The man flicked his dagger at her, following up another attack, and this time he penetrated her defences and the blade caught her chest, cutting a small hole in her outfit, drawing blood.
The sting of pain annoyed her. She used that pain and pressed the attack back, swiftly getting him on the back foot. With a well-timed swipe, she smashed her sword into his daggers blade and knocked the weapon from his hand.
The man backed off. Nyx did, too, and glanced down at her bust, at the blood that welled up through the small cut.
“That’s it, Beefy, smash her; show her you won’t be beaten,” Bishop called out.
Nyx looked over at Rex, and he returned her gaze with a look of, Well, what are you going to do about him?
She hated Rex, but she also wasn’t going to get beaten by this idiot, either. Nyx took a deep breath and raised her sword, holding it in both hands.
“You can do this, Nyx,” Lobos muttered from close by.
Her opponent fixed her with a confident stare and strode forward. “I don’t need two blades to deal with you,” he said as he approached, and then he went for her, swinging his machete in a deadly arc.
Nyx dodged and went on the offensive. She slashed towards him and missed him by a finger’s length. He backed off as she pressed her attack, her blade smashing against his once and then twice before she knocked it sideways with a little flick and swung her sword down across his torso, cutting him.
It wasn’t too deep, but the man yelled in pain, his defences gone. Stepping in, she kicked him hard in the chest and knocked him to the floor.
All she could see was Rex’s face. She wasn’t cutting and kicking Beefy, a stranger in a strange camp, she was attacking her owner, her master, her abuser.
The man fell to the dusty ground with a grunt. With a swing of her blade, she knocked the machete from his hand with a roar filled with pain and anger, reversed her grip on the sword and moved to stab the man in the face.
She knew it wasn’t Rex, though, and intentionally missed him, burying the point of her blade in the dry mud, barely an inch away from his head.
The man’s eyes were wide with shock and fear. He glanced at the blade next to his head, and then up at Nyx.
“Yield,” she ordered him.
“I yield to you; I yield,” he stammered.
Nyx stared at him for a moment, and then backed off, withdrawing her blade and stepping away from him.
Nearby, Rex clapped, and so did Bishop, although less enthusiastically.
She stood there and eyed Rex as he nodded to her and gave her a mock salute. She could rush him now, swing her blade and kill him. It would be so easy. Just behind him, his leader of the guard, General Pitbull, leader of the Watchtower Dogs, adjusted his grip on his gun.
She didn’t know if it was a purposeful threat, but she knew that while she might well kill Rex in such an attack, she wouldn’t leave here alive.
“Nyx,” Lobos said from beside her. She looked at him. He had his hand up, asking for the sword to be returned to him. He raised his eyebrows, apparently knowing what she was thinking. “Now is not the time, is it?”
She nodded and handed the blade back to him. She didn’t like giving up her sword. The weapon was the one link to her past that she had. The one thing that gave her any history or sense of self. But she was never allowed to carry it near Rex.
“Thank you,” Lobos said. “Well done; you did well today.”
Nyx shrugged. “He still cut me.”
Lobos nodded. “Sure, you got cut. And not for the last time I’d bet. But you won. Go on, Rex will be proud of you; he’ll want you by his side.”
She groaned. “He’ll want me in his bed as well, no doubt.”
Lobos nodded, a guilty expression on his face. He didn’t seem to agree with the way Rex treated her and some of the other girls from the Watchtower, but Lobos also clearly didn’t want to say anything to Rex about it.
Lobos was an odd one. On the one hand, he was loyal to Rex. He did what Rex wanted, followed his orders and more, but he also seemed to have sympathy for Nyx. He allowed her to vent and to voice her frustrations, and he didn’t look too happy with everything Rex did to her.
She guessed he was in a difficult position, too. With Rex in the Watchtower, Lobos had a position, he was important, he had some power. But it was power that could be taken away all to easily.
Nyx sighed and turned back to where Rex and Bishop were sitting, talking between themselves, the fight apparently forgotten. As she walked over, she picked up the threads of their conversation.
“…a mystic?” Rex asked.
“Yeah. You know what they’re like. He lives beyond the sulfur vents out west; he’s called Cryptus, I think. Anyway, we talk to him from time to time. Helps us out, offers predictions, you know. He’s been saying recently that he thinks change is coming. Big change,” Bishop explained.
“Big change?” Rex asked.
“Look, he wasn’t super specific, but that’s what he said. Has your oracle said anything similar?”
Rex shook his head. “Not so much, no… Oh, here she is,” Rex said, looking up at her as she approached. She hated that shit eating grin.
He reached out and grabbed her hand, pulling her in and onto his lap. She didn’t resist. She knew what would happen if she fought him.
“Good job, babe,” he said with a smile, his hands grabbing her thighs.
He made her sick.

***

The evening drew in over the camp. Nyx stood on the wall, looking out west towards the sulfur vents as they spewed toxic gas into the atmosphere. She thought back to the mystic’s prophecy that Bishop had told Rex. She’d already forgotten this mystic’s name.
Change is coming…
She sighed. Not soon enough, she thought.
“You okay?”
Nyx turned to see Vyolet, one of Madam Privay’s girls walking along the wall towards her, looking a little scared to be up here.
“I’m fine,” Nyx said.
“It’s a little high up…” Vyolet commented.
“Change is coming…”
“What?” Vyolet asked.
“What? Oh, sorry. It’s just what some mystic said who lives on the other side of those vents.”
“Change? Like, good change or bad change?”
“Well, it can’t get much worse, can it?” Nyx replied.
Neither of them answered Nyx’s statement. Instead, they both looked out over the blasted landscape before them.
The Wastes.
The remnants of the world following the Cataclysm. Desert, as far as the eye could see. As far as anyone knew, the whole planet was like this. A blasted world with little water, the remnants of the human race clinging onto survival in makeshift camps, hiding from the terrors of the wasteland.
What kind of life was this? Nyx wondered. It was all she’d ever known, but she’d heard the tales about the world before. How it was filled with people and cities, with water in every home. She’d never lived in the time before, but there were those who had, such as Rex.
He didn’t seem to mourn the passing of the old world, though. He had power now, in this new world. Power over those around him. Power to do as he liked. There was no police, no authorities, nothing to keep a check on society… What little there was left of it anyway.
Rex’s power was not wholly his own, though. Much of it was granted to him by the Night Lord he served. The daemon that ruled the wastes south of here.
It was power that could be taken away.
“I think you should come in; it’s getting cold out here, and Rex will want you soon.”
Nyx sighed and closed her eyes. “Yeah, I know, wouldn’t want to disappoint our dear leader…”
She turned away from the vents and followed Vyolet off the wall, resigned to her fate.

***

About the Author

Hi, I'm Andrew Dobell. Welcome to my website.

I'm the creator of the sprawling multi-series urban fantasy Magi Saga Universe, and the action-packed New Prometheus cyberpunk series.

I'm a storyteller at heart and have always loved creating worlds, characters, and thrilling narratives through both art and words. I enjoy spending my free time with my family and have a keen interest in cinema and genre fiction.

I'm also an artist and have worked for many years as a professional illustrator and cover artist for other authors.
I love creating art based on my novels.

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