Exploring The Wastelands
In the future, cities will become deserts.
Roads will become battlefields.
And the hope of mankind will appear as a stranger.
The plane coughed twice as it lifted heavily above Bartertown, an oily black cloud of smoke moving across the baleful sun. Circling low above the cliffs, the echoes of its engine taunted the Tomorrow-morrow children out from their hiding places to throw rocks. Thick metal wings turned in slow, cumbersome contrast to their skinny, gesturing arms. It seemed impossible that such a bulky thing could rise and fall on nothing more than shimmering currents of hot air, spooking an occasional sand devil when it dropped too close to land like some drunken bird.
And yet it was the sand devil that captured my attention. As it dissipated, strange beasts moved into view from behind the cliff, striking out across the parched sand. With a flat head atop a long curved neck, a tall lumpy back, and four long legs, this was no creature I’d ever come across in our part of The Wastelands.
In a whisper, I counted as each one emerged… six in a line… towing a vehicle behind them all. At the very top of this rolling heap was a man, his thick hair streaming back as his hands guided the strange animals confidently forward.
He was caught unawares. In the roar of an engine, a glint of sunlight on steel, the plane appeared and struck the man down. His body made a slow motion arc, legs rising up as he fell onto his back in the sand, raising a puff of dust. In fast motion, the plane’s pilot and a smaller human passenger made a hasty landing and an even hastier getaway with everything.
The sun grimaces across a metallic sky… I continue to watch… waiting for a sign of life.
Finally the man sits up and shakes his head. He rolls stiffly onto his hands and knees, then into a crouch, hands spaced apart in the dust. With a deep breath, he pushes his body upright, swaying a bit as he slaps his hands loudly against his thighs. One dusty arm lifts to shade his eyes. Turning to slowly scan the horizon, the ragged leather of his sleeves hangs inert in the heat. His arm drops. He begins walking with the steady rhythm of decision. My Neko senses tingle: his shadow points like a knife blade towards the distant gates of Bartertown.
You wanna get outta here?
He may be the best chance we’ve got.
From Mad Max to The Wastelands
My imaginary story was inspired by the movie Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, and seasoned with a heavy dose of time spent exploring a fascinating place in Second Life known as The Wastelands. It’s an area comprising multiple post-apocalyptic sims with names like The Junkyard, Fort Stygian, Bloodmoss Swamp, and The Great Fissure — all of which feature awesome landscape, buildings, and objects (not to mention avatars) that would look completely at home in any Mad Max movie, not to mention any other post-holocaust / apocalypse story setting.
Whether it’s a virtual world, movie, comic book, or novel, post apocalypse themes foretell of a future in which our world and society have gone sideways, as a result of global catastrophe and/or poor societal choices. Story lines often introduce mysterious heroes who are destined to save humanity — all of which is perfect fodder for roleplay. In fact if you decide to visit The Wastelands or its adjacent sims (and I highly recommend you do), come prepared to engage in an RPG dialogue.
Neko Fashion, Post Apocalypse
Nekos must be ready for any situation, particularly after a holocaust. This outfit’s plethora of dangerous accessories requires that you manually attach your tail to your Left Pec (editing it into proper position) to leave room for all the other goodies.
Note: Tails that feature embedded “action” scripts (i.e., touching the tail brings up a chat action) are typically NOT able to be manually attached. I wore my favorite older (non-scripted) Atomic Neko tail with this outfit.
| Hair | Eat Rice! Kawaii in Auburn (store no longer exists)
| Piercings | Deviant Kitties: Low Bridge and Lip Rings
| Tattoo | Nasty Tatts: Wrapped Dragon full body
| Necklace | Spica Shop: Suicide Necklace
| Top | Bare Rose: Haruka (giveaway set)
| Arm, upper right | PrimtroniCS: barbed wire neko bandage camo
| Arms, lower left | Atomic: Bloody arm band (a old Group gift, no longer available)
| Arm, lower right | PBI / Pushbutton Industries / Sprawl: 45 RPM Gauntlet in black metal (store no longer exists)
| Gloves | Avid: from the “Ellagarto” outfit
| Back | Kitty Scraps: Zombie Bat w/Rope
| Pants | Bare Rose: Haruka (giveaway set)
| Belt | Bukka: Belt Volvic with iPod M in Black (Bukka’s textures ROCK!)
| Stockings | Sheer: Torn Tights Black
| Legwarmers | Kitty Scraps: Zombie (not currently available in the store)
| Shoes | Lazy Places (store closed): WoolyBully boots in black
Left: Back view of cute Eat Rice “Kawaii” hair and Kitty Scraps’ “Zombie” bat; Middle: Atomic’s “Bloody Armwarmer” (free with group membership); Right: Sheer’s “Torn Tights;” Kitty Scraps’ “Zombie” legwarmers; Lazy Places’ “Wooly Bully” boots in black (click photo to enlarge)
Learn More on the Wastelands Wiki:
Visit The Wastelands in Second Life
Visit The Junkyard in Second Life
Visit The Great Fissure in Second Life
Visit Fort Stygian in Second Life
P.S. Mad Max Fans Alert
A fourth Mad Max movie is reportedly in the making: ” Mad Max 4: Fury Road” — co-written with cult British comic book creator Brendan McCarthy, who designed many new characters and vehicles. Previous “Max” director George Miller plans to direct this sequel, which will likely be filmed in Namibia, Africa. Details were confirmed by Miller in November 2006, and again at the 2007 Aurora film maker initiative. In October 2007, production offices re-opened at Fox Studios in Sydney, Australia. The only catch? Miller is considering doing the film using a Hollywood unknown to take the role of Max, as he thought Mel Gibson would not be interested in the film because he is too old. (nooo…!!!)
Awesome photos and photoshop talent by Bobby Yoshikawa <3***
© Stacia Villota / Virtual Neko in Second Life – 2008