From Chaos Earth New Mexico to Rifts New Mexico (John Fell unused material).
This is more story material about John Fell & was the original and unused Epilogue to Rifts® Chaos Earth® First Responders of New Mexico material in the Rifter #69.
I submitted a “Part Two” about New Mexico, in the time of Rifts Earth, but don’t know if it will be used. Honestly it was not that good….it was so-so.
This small “story” below (roughly 2000 words) was cut from the R#69 submission and tells how John Fell ended up traveling from CE to Rifts in preparation for the part two material.
By Daniel Frederick.
What was and what will be, from Chaos Earth New Mexico to Rifts New Mexico.
Circa 109 PA, Rifts Earth, New Mexico
He fell through the Rift. Landing on his knees in the hot dirt and blinded by the sun he closed his good eye as tears ran down his face. His left eye hurt. Blood ran from the ruined eye mixing with his tears. His face was a mess and he raised his hands to his face to block the sun. Snow quickly melted off his tattered long coat and John Fell, fell over into his right side, into the hot sand.
A yelp of surprise next to him as he heard Ashley land on the ground next to him. He knew it was her. She had been behind him. Running towards the Rift with him and he recognized her voice a moment later. They hadn’t cared where the portal went to. Anywhere was better than where they had been.
“What the hell”? Ashley Danella said as she crouched down next to John. Placing her hand on his shoulder she said, “Oh damn we’re screwed John”.
John could hear something moving closer to them but he couldn’t bring himself to open his eye to see what it was. His head was screaming as he tried to say, “What is it Ash” although if she heard his mumbling it would surprise him. John tried wiping blood away from his good eye. Careful to not touch the ruined left eye.
They had been the last ones in Santa Fe when it was attacked by the horde of Brodkil led by their demon Lord Rekk. The plan had been simple. Leave behind a token force to show a resistance and utilize as many combat drones as they could get up and running. Hide the fact that the humans in Santa Fe had already fled.
Almost 800 Brodkil with at least another hundred more creatures had assaulted the human Free City of Santa Fe. They had tried before but this time it was in mass and the main front reinforced doors had been blow to pieces by some kind of massive demonic worm which had tunneled beneath the city and destroyed the front doors from within inside of the walls.
Johns long time friend, JJ Deacon, had seen the attack in a vision and convinced both John and Robert Waters that while the demons attacked Santa Fe, their own demon city would be almost completely unprotected. JJ also said that in his vision he saw the city of Santa Fe fall before the attacking demons. Robert had suggested that it was time to change fortifications. Robert had pointed out that the demon city in Socorro was a better fortification and if they could take it from the demons they would control a safer and stronger position than the demons would have in Santa Fe. John had originally wanted Socorro as the main base for the Road Runners. Now fifteen years later it looked like they might get it.
John hoped it would work. Everyone had been secreted out of Santa Fe and almost the entire human force had moved into position to attack Socorro. John, Ashley and twenty eight volunteers along with a mostly operational force of 66 combat drones held Santa Fe for as long as they could. Even now John thought, Robert and the Road Runners should be attacking and taking over Socorro. If all went well humanity would control Socorro. If things went bad humanity would find themselves in real trouble and on the run with no home base. Worst case scenario called for humanity to flee to El Paso to regroup and hopefully return to take Santa Fe back. The air forces in Clovis were supposed to run a bombing mission over the land around Santa Fe and hopefully they could add to the confusion and cull the demons to some extent that were attacking Santa Fe. John had heard the jets but not seen any. He assumed they were hitting the demons from the rear and would hopefully work their way in closer to the fortified portion of Santa Fe.
The only real issue the air forces would have to contend with was one black skinned dragon. The air forces of Clovis had been hard to convince but in the end after the Road Runners had turned over all the jet fuel they had been saving and promising to double Road Runner patrols near Clovis the isolationist humans in Clovis had promised their support.
John, Ashley and twenty eight others along with their combat drones had not been able to last very long. Santa Fe was under demon control in about fifteen minutes. As John and Ashley were sprinting away from the demons who flooded into the city they had been cut off from the other human volunteers by the giant demon worm. Running for cover, Rekk had dropped down from above, and as his bionic wings folded down he strode straight towards John slashing his axe through the air. John was shooting over his own shoulder at the worm and had not seen Rekk. When Ashley had yelled to him to watch out, John turned around to see the axe coming down and across his face. He tried to move out of the path of that massive axe, and instead of loosing his head he had lost his left eye. Stumbling blindly John ran towards an over turned hover fire truck which was on fire. As he stumbled past it he saw the portal. A small epicenter or Rift stood open with a strangely dressed old man standing next to it. Snow flakes dropped lazily down and standing by a mount of snow stood the old wizardly looking fellow who had pointed at the Rift and then disappeared. John barely had time to think about how he had last seen the old man about fifteen years ago near Albuquerque when the township of Lake of the Pines had disappeared.
John flung himself across the muddy, ash and snow covered ground, sliding on his hands and knees he rolled through the Rift.
Laying on his side he lifted his face up off the ground and used his hands to wipe dirt, blood and tears out of his right eye. Slowly opening his eye pain stabbed into his eye from the bright sun.
What had been an mildly snowy day was now a hot bright day. Ashley stood up and blocked his sight of what had been approaching them. John heard the sound of footsteps across the hot sand come to a stop. Ashley slowly leaned down and pulled a Vibro blade out of her right boot and she held it in a ready position. John tried to stand up, or move into a better position in order to see what was the new threat. As he staggered he slipped and blacked out.
When he opened his eyes this time the pain in his left eye and side of his face was dull but still there. Blinking at the bright light of the light fixture hanging above him he groaned and turned his face to the right to blink away tears and slowly focus on the table next to the bed he was laying in.
“John”? It was Ashley’s voice. John groaned again and squinting he turned his head to the left towards her voice.
“John. It’s ok. You are ok. We are ok. Just relax. No. Don’t try to sit up”. John heard her say and felt her warm fingers on his left arm.
It took a moment for him to realize just how crazy things were. In all his years knowing Ashley he had only seen her wear heavy warm clothes and whatever armor she could piece together. Clothing for protection from the elements and combat armor was all that she’d ever worn. Yet here she stood, her hair combed and falling down her back in clean waves of dark black with just a hint of grey. Her hard smile was still there but of all the insane things she was wearing a sun dress and combat boots. The only weapon she appeared to have on her was a Vibro knife in her boot. She was so clean. So beautiful. She had always been pretty to him but this was surreal.
“Shut your mouth stupid”, she said with that smile of hers that he had fallen in love with, “What are you gaping at”!
They had married each other a year ago. It had weighed on his mind heavily, he was married before the chaos came but it had been fourteen years since his wife and son had disappeared from the face of the Earth with the entire community of Lake of the Pines. A year ago he realized that he had fallen in love with Ashley and after struggling with his emotions he finally asked her for her hand. In the fifteen years of chaos he had only been happy the last year. Letting go of his former life as a State Patrol Officer and of being a husband and father he had started over with her.
Looking around the medical facility he was in he noticed some strange things. For one it appeared to be a new. Not a relic of a pre chaos facility. New. Some how alien in nature. He was still puzzling it out when his attention was brought back to his wife Ashley.
“John. It’s incredible. You won’t believe what happened. I barely do. More over you won’t believe when we are”, she reached out to hold his left hand in her left hand. With her right hand she lovingly brushed his long brown and grey hair out of his face. At fifty eight years old John still looked like he was in his early forty’s thanks to genetic treatments he had received when he enlisted three plus decades ago.
“I’ve been trying to figure out how best to explain it”’ she started but was interrupted by the door opening and a red skinned ten foot tall demon walked into the room. In the back of his mind John realized that was one thing that felt so alien about the place, the ten foot tall demon hadn’t had to duck under the doorway, this place was built to accommodate larger beings.
“Hello John Fell and Ashley Danella, oh I mean Ashley Fell”, Rekk stood there with that horrible smile of his on that demonic face. John felt his heart sink. They had been fighting Rekk and his attacking horde of demons. They were captured!
Rekk stood at the end of the bed that John was laying in.
Rekk continued to speak as Ashley’s hand held onto his arm firmly.
“Welcome back John Fell. It’s been about 300 years since we last talked. A lot has changed. Your timing is wonderful. I need your help. I need you to help me bring all the factions here together. Just like we did when we crushed that Zombie issue back in the old days. We have suspended our war on humanity. Something worse has arrived. Literal Demons from Hell have been constructing a Hell Pit here in New Mexico. They think that we here in the demon city of Santa Fe are going to help them. Submit to their rule. But I’ll be damned if I am giving control of my horde to these Death Demons and their insane leader. Your human city in Socorro and the returned town of Lake of the Pines need to join us in a war against this new threat”, Rekk was obviously upset and John tried to follow what he was saying but he was stuck in the thought of, Lake of the Pines. Returned.
His wife Sheila, his son Severin, his brother Zan, returned. Zan’s access codes to the hidden underground Lockheed Martin facility, and the super powerful experimental weapons and armor there.
His wife Sheila, returned. John stated at Ashley. Oh my god he thought as Rekk continued talking, John was only barely listening, and he just stared at Ashley.
Oh my god he thought.