by David Robbins



Shantytown was an outpost in the uncivilized Outlands, a festering cesspool in a desert of filth. Every degenerate in the country had flocked to Shantytown. Led by Crusher Payne and his army of monster machines, they were preparing for a massive attack on the Federation. Their goal: to annihilate the civilized zones.

Blade was the Federation's best and last hope. A giant of a man skilled in battle, he slipped into Shantytown and singlehandedly tried to penetrate the hub of Crusher's operation. His goal: to wipe Shantytown off the face of the planet.


Maddie had never beheld anyone as adept at dispensing death as the giant stranger called Blade.

The west door was not fully open when he grabbed his pistol-grip shotgun and pivoted, his right hand on the grip, his finger on the trigger, and his left hand on the pump. He worked the slide action so fast his arm blurred, the three booming shots thundering as one.

Rafe took the first shot in the face, a full load of buckshot that exploded in the head in a gory shower of flesh, blood and brains. He literally died before he knew what hit him.

The second blast caught Bo in the throat and nearly decapitated him, his ruptured neck spattering his companions and the floor, his face cemented in a mask of shock as he crumpled.

Only Clem managed to snap off a shot from his revolver, and in his haste he missed. Blade did not. The buckshot tore into Clem's chest, the impact lifting him off his feet and hurling him out the doorway to sprawl on his back on the dirt outside. He wheezed and gurlged and tried to rise onto his elbows, blood spurting from his ravaged torso and mouth, then collapsed and died.

"Son of a bitch!" someone exclaimed.