A Tale from Desolation by Frank Carentz

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SUMMARY: A WIP Short story for my original setting Desolation. At this point it is almost like two different story's however I assure you they will eventually tie together.

In the distance, the sun was just breaking over the ridge. Jon Brackham crunched his way across the ground, pulling on his hole filled gloves. Overhead the clouds churned and boiled as they always did on Desolation, unnatural, but beautiful none the less. The bomb seemed to have had that effect on most of the world.

He slowly approached his outbuilding. Its walls were beaten and battered. Time had definitely taken its toll on the old structure, just as it had on him. He reminisced of when it was a younger, sturdier building. Back when it seemed they would both last forever. But time has a way of corroding things, especially on Desolation. Enduring the radiation storms, earthquakes and the various abominations the bomb had created definitely had taken its toll on everything.

"Time to work" He thought to himself, pulling the Bola of his hat tighter around his neck.

Stepping inside, the smell of metal and oil assaulted his nostrils. He breathed it all in and reached for the light switch. A quick flicker and sparking sound from the overhead lights could be heard as they illuminated the belly of the building. He slowly made his way over to the mechanical monster that lived within the stomach of this time torn structure. The A3 Reaper, a miracle of modern farming ingenuity. Its reinforced body stood twice as tall as Jon. Nestled atop three massive lift vents, the cab was large enough to house two operators needed to control it. Protruding from its sides were two hydraulic arms that each housed the reaper blades, a system of three long curved blades, laser sharpened for clean quick harvesting, while another two arms held the catching baskets and scoops.

Jon ran his hand over the back of one of the blades as he heard the sound of footsteps behind him.

"'bout time you got your bones out here!" he said without turning around to see who it was.

"Sorry Pop. I had to give Mom a hand with cleanin' up the dishes."

Jon slowly turned raising an eyebrow at his only son. He was turning out to be a fine young man, a strong able-bodied youth. It hardly seemed that it had been nineteen years since he was born. How small he was then, innocent and pure, just like the sky used to be. He looked so much like his mother; she was in almost every aspect him. Except his eyes, those were his.

"Well... no harm no foul I s'pose. Now lets get to work, we got a long day ahead of us."

His son vaulted up onto the Reaper, strapping himself quickly into his operating seat, while Jon slowly followed.

"You really think it will be that long? I mean we only got a quarter of a harvest left. We should have that done by mid-afternoon shouldn't we Pop?"

Jon turned once again and looked at his son.

"I don't think so Coop. If we hit it hard and fast like the other days then yea, you'd be right. But bein' so near to bein' done, there's no need to rush. We'll just take our time and enjoy it. Besides, I think you need to slow down some and take in the quiet. There's plenty'a noise in the world today, it don't need any help from us."

Jon's hand fell to the ignition panel.

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