[Ten years after the hellish storm that fell upon Arkansas]
I was sitting in my chair drinking some filtered water with my guys before we start on our scouting mission to Arkansas. "so it comes down to this eh? Why the hell didn't they requested any other bastard to go do it?" One of my men blurted out in disgust. "Because Jim the routs to Arkansas from here in Texas are blocked off from the large ash hills that is blocking our main rout and we got word that there was a possible entrance we can get through by going through Oklahoma and rest at one of the outposts there". Still he does make a good point, why the hell would they call out for us to make our way through Oklahoma just to get to Arkansas? It doesn't make any sense but neither the stories I heard about that place makes sense either. "it's probably because the guys in Oklahoma are too damn lazy to even check their to do list let alone wipe their own ass" John speaks out with a small grin on his bearded face. We laughed about it for a moment until one of the guy's from the H.Q. goes through and asks if me and my scouting guys are ready. "yeah me and the guys are packed up and ready is the jeep good to go?" We managed to salvage some run down jeeps some years ago but we only use them if were going to be making long distance travels such as going to Oklahoma for instance. "it's fueled up and ready to go but be sure to keep an eye out for any raiders on the highway, also your going to want to stop by the outpost that our guy's up there had set up right next to the found entrance to Arkansas". So right then and there me and other two guys packed up our gear and made our way out to the open gray air to our jeep. My other two guys where waiting at the jeep when we got there. "hey man, you ready for the long ride?". I looked at him and nodded my head and told him "you ready as well?". "yeah but I ain't sure about this Arkansas scouting mission man, this shit doesn't feel right at all". I placed my hand on his shoulder before mounting in the passenger side and slinging my gear on the dashboard "Well it's not easy for me but we have to go through there and scout out for any survivors and see if we can establish a control point there and possibly open up some traffic routes so that way we can get supplies through Arkansas as a shortcut" still though. It has been ten years since any state beside Arkansas has stepped foot in there and there hasn't been anyone that came out from there except for those that where out from there before Yellowstone volcano erupted. The rest of the guys got in the jeep and we checked the gas jugs we brought with us if they where full, which they where of course before we headed out. Let's hope that whatever is in arkansas is still alive for us when we get there however......I don't think it will be what we are looking for which concerns me. The trip was silent and long since we were focused mainly on the road since we had a few run ins with raiders every now and then on these riads but it became less frequent after ten years but we still kept our eyes open. After a long drive we got to one of the TEF outpost in the near end of the Oklahoma borders right next to the Arkansas borders. We pulled up and shown them our papers at the first guard at the checkpoint before pulling in ome of the parking area "wow looks like I'm staring right into the fallout itself" Jim says with a bit of a surprise tone considering what is right infront of us. It was only a mile or so away but you can cleary see the gray ash that's been piled up bidway along the Rocky mountains and the tone of the fields there was very thick. "so your the scouting team that H.Q. Sent here huh? Well be sure to rest here for a day before you go diving into the deadlands". I heard about the deadlands before, apparently a while back there was rumors that the TEF went there from the eastern side of Arkansas and there was twelve of them. Only one or two guys made it back alive claiming the "deadlands" was much more hostile than the inner ashlands was and the no more was heard about it since then, of course this was five years ago so hopefully we won't be making the same mistakes that the TEF did back then. "so your the head guy around this outpost?" I asked with a calm tone in my voice.. "yeah for now, so your guys had any grubs yet? We got some small meals inside the barracks over there for you guys to grab a bite and rest on up before you go excavating that deadlands there hahahaha" to be honest my guy's where on empty stomachs and so was I. "hey what's the word around that place in Arkansas anyway?" John spoken up before getting off the jeep, I can tell on his face he was much more curious than Jim was about the Arkansas "deadlands". "well we got some words from some okies around here claiming that they seen some strange figures moving on out from there but they where too thin to be relatively be considered human but hey that's what some guys around here been saying but there was something strange I did heard". He looked around a bit before briefly informing us that there was rumors that there was a secret military base in Arkansas years ago before that where conducting experiments on some weapons but after the Yellowstone incident something horrible happened and these "weapons" where accidentally set loose in Arkansas. Safe to say this did made me realize that there was more into this scouting mission then what i was informed back in Texas but i tried to push it out from my mind when me and the guys went to get some food. "man I don't feel comfortable after what that guy said about some military base conducting some shit man, sounds to me there ain't gonna be any humans but something else in those deadlands" Jack said before tsking a bite from the mash potatoes since those are the only meals they had at the time but still it was better than what we had to eat back in that place we where at in Texas. "yeah like seriously man shouldn't they be sending someone with more knowledge on that place before sending us scouts there? Like fuck man go get that Texas ranger and let him do the show from there!" Jim says trying to lighten the mood at the end from a television show long time ago. We were quite for the meal and quite then for the night rest knowing that we have to go into Arkansas tomorrow. However the rumor about a secret military base and something escaping won't be easy for me to sleep tonight later on. My sleep wasn't good at all considering what I was informed earlier ago about the whole secret military base, weapons being set lose, the badlands and many more concerning thoughts. The next morning we got up early and where checking our gear and weapons to make sure that everything is ready and that my guys where ready and prepared. We didn't say any word before getting back to the open air and we made our radio call down to our H.Q. Through one of the working radios they had up here before we set foot out to Arkansas. "this is bullshit man!" Jim shouts out in frustration "why the fuck do we have to leave the jeep back there why couldn't we just used the jeep to make this painful walk easier!?". "Because if we did that we would be risking kicking up large amounts of dust and ash especially we would run the risk of running out of fuel, besides what if there are survivors there that are hostile and would take the jeep and use it to their own advantage?" Jack says out to Jim in aggrevation. "guys! Keep your mouths shut I know this is not the best way of covering grounds but he's right Jim, the jeep is too much of a risk to take and the sound of the jeep can give out our location to whatever that is out there in the deadlands" briefly informing them before speaking up again "look were just here to scout out the situation the area is in right now, look for any survivors if there is any, set up a clear pathway for the TEF back at the outpost to roll in here and hopefully provide help to Arkansas and gain control here besides it will provide us an advantage of expanding our patrol here". They where unconvinced about the whole scouting mission but the idea of getting this shit over with as fast as possible was enough to keep them from making any more complaints. After a while of walking we finally came up to the first sign that notified where we are at.
"WELCOME TO ARKANSAS"
The faded words spelled out on the sign as it was bending to the left, it was an eerie feeling seeing that sign and looking up what layed ahead of us. "Welcome to the deadlands" would have been a proper sign at this point considering the strong feeling of something in the air almost as it. Were being watched by someone........or something. These thoughts went away but the feeling didn't and Jim and Jack where showing the obvious concerned looks on their faces while John was more focused on the distant lands that layed ahead of us. We pressed on as the day was still bright above us but as more we walked on the grayer the air has gotten and the stronger the unnerving feeling became. We made it to one of more open view of the hills as we travel along the highway road that was now becoming more crouded with abandoned ash covered vehicles. "woah, uhm sir your gonna want to see this" John spoken out for me to see what he was looking at. "what is it Joh- what the fuck!?" Apparently Jim noticed it too before I had the chance to see what they where looking at. What I saw was disturbing enough for me then what I had first imagine. There was a car infront of us that showed scratch marks all over it and the doors where...ripped apart and there was what appears to be old dried up rotten corpse that almost decayed completely and when we got a closer look the body and the inside of the car there was alot of dried up blood stains inside the vehicle. That is when I finally knew there was indeed more to this state then what meets the naked eye itself.