Copyright Ken Brady. No reproduction without express permission from the author.
(Originally published in DAILY CABAL, 2008)
Good morning, hero!
Welcome to the Portland Safe Zone surface gate. Before you depart, please read the following briefing.
From the answers on your induction questionnaire, we’ve provided you with a skill-appropriate survival backpack.
In the backpack you’ll find the following items:
– 1 HK USP-C 9mm compact semi-automatic pistol, matte
– 2 magazines, 13 round capacity, empty
– 1 box 9mm Parabellum ammunition, 50 ct.
– 1 combat knife with compass
– 1 baggy jumpsuit, white
– 1 red nose, round
– 1 wig, hot pink
– 1 tube greasepaint
– 1 pair shoes, size 17
– 1 package balloons, 50 ct.
– 1 roll duct tape, silver
– 1 roll bailing wire
– New Oregon currency notes, 100 credits
Your survival profile indicates that you will want to get clear of the city as soon as possible. The city is a very serious place, full of decaying structures, unfriendly vegetation, and oversize rodents. There is nothing for you there.
The outskirts of town will likely provide you with pockets of civilization in need of entertainment and/or protection.
Some dangers that lurk in the suburbs include (but are not limited to):
– Armed raiding parties
– Slave traders
– Mutated Californians
– Traveling vacuum cleaner salesmen
Use your skills and provided items well against these challenges, as the downtrodden people of these settlements will be depending on you for inspiration.
Beyond the suburbs, we really don’t know what sorts of things you’ll find out there. In fact, we think you’re a little bit crazy for wanting to go outside at all. It’s warm in here. And dry. And safe. And well-stocked.
But that’s OK. It’s your life. We understand that some people need more than safety to feel alive. That’s why you’re a hero. We need heroes in these dark times. Even crazy ones. Especially crazy ones.
Just be careful. Don’t take any unnecessary risks in the name of heroism. Or comedy. Come back to us with your skull and sense of humor intact.
Good luck saving the world. Knock ’em dead!