SCOD Fallout: The Pipe Dream Pub

“I probably would have ended up a warrior of the wasteland,”  the man with the white mohawk said raising his leather-clad fist thereby exposing a spiral-tatooed forearm,  “if it wasn’t for the Pipe Dream Pub.”

I was appalled that such an ignorant man had been permitted to keep land and still receive an income after the Restoration of Purity.  I allowed my external gesticulations to express my inner dissatisfaction with his crudely limbic sentiments for so destructive a genre, and so repulsively decadent a life style.

“Don’t let my sentiments scare you,” he responded and I shook my head attempting to cleanse the slate, but he continued; “I am an old man and you are too young to remember the Apocalypse, or Armageddon for that matter.  Times were durro, and the whole world had reached its elastic limit.

“It was a damn good thing that we had started the Pub before Armageddon, otherwise I have a nasty feeling we would have been picked by a band-wagon of bandits, swept away with the rest of ‘humanity’!  HA!!!  Either killed in stagnant homes from our own procrastination and sloth, or murdered on the highway like road-kill.  Many felt that being a part of the destruction was more fun than being picked off like a sitting buddha (pardon the phrase); besides we had grown up watching it on T.V.!”

“Do you feel that an improper upbringing justifies contribution to the destruction of humanity and civilization?”  I asked allowing my Chi to become un-balanced.

“Civilization?  Fuck civilization.”  The old man sensed my irrational tone, and glared at me. Humanity??  Your generation has reinvented that word.  That word is foreign and subjective to me; just as sex, drugs, and rock and roll is to you.  Humanity, or human nature is subjective to a larger force: Nature.  The Nature of all things.  Don’t they teach you that in Zen 101 ?

“Nature needs no justification,…how old are you?”

“13,”  I said  (truthfully of course, because no one lies about their age…what’s the point?)

The old man bit a roll of leaves and lit them on fire in his mouth with smoke pouring out (just another pointless, self-destructive tradition from a gluttonous and soulless society… I suppose).  He blew some smoke in my face and proceeded to speak.

“I thought that your cyber-psychology lessons taught you how to utilize your psychic potential by now.  You kids are supposed to be more human-than-human, but I detect no enhanced empathetic improvements.  Despite your social snobbery, you are typical of any punk kid of my generation.  A gifted program, or honor society gone Nazi.  Aren’t you supposed to be scanning me with your Third Eye, or something?”

He was right.  “I am sorry,”  I said feeling my selfish unbalanced ego slowly replaced by my balanced Neo-cortical ‘Self’ (or Buddha Nature).

“Now you’re using both hemispheres!” he said with a blend of mockery and enthusiasm.

“Your pansy-ass is lucky that people like me sympathized with your pacifistic parents.  There were numerous occasions where some non-violent lamb was shacked up at the Pub, or had been through; and they were followed by some wolves.  And in those cases, the only thing between the sheep and the wolf was Cordite’s fist, or Cordite’s hammer, or Cordite’s shotgun…or my sword for that matter.

“Simake practiced judo (gentle way).  Drogo practiced Ti-jitsu (body magic).  Cordite practiced Weng-chung (how to break bones so they can’t fight anymore because their too busy screaming).

“The Tontine Triangle knew the values of Buddhism, Taoism, and Wicca.  We had to keep it secret.  Knowledge was more valuable than anything.  People would shoot you to take your possessions, but unless they were blind idiots (and Crom knows there were many of them) your life was equal to your knowledge and resourcefulness.  For you can’t get far, one without the other.

“Brighter than any metal, knowledge was blinding to the masses.  What they wanted was entertainment.  We were valuable and worthy of primal respect, because we provided entertainment in a world of bleak survival.  This special knowledge was too complex and convenient for most people to want fuck with us.  But there were some, as evidence by my false jaw, and prosthetic finger.

“Bless Odin that we were never seriously messed with by any of the greater clans.  Mostly our problems were with scraggs, and 3rd degree ‘clanies’.  We were a self-sustained fortress, preserving our ideals, hiding them behind our rough exterior.  Armageddon was the most violence and destruction our planet had ever seen.  Some historians call it World War III, but what ever you call it, it was the largest amount of violence involving the largest population in the shortest amount of time.  The only sanity was to accept the killing of one’s own species in the name of Order.  Order was a laughable ideal to most de-sensitized idiots.  But it was those idiots whose life had no value to them, or anyone else, and whose death was equal to that of a cockroach.  Revenge upon their death was rare, and limited to small circles.  Although the clan of the Pipe Dream was small, our connections were extensive, and it was known that caravan stops like ours were connected (somehow) to the global network of independent communities.  Loyalty is a strong factor, and generally intimidating.

“Nothing was free, least of all respect.  We demanded respect, and we got it.  It had little to do with our good looks and housekeeping rituals.  We had to accept that there was no higher order than our own.  Government was gone and chaos was in effect.

“There was no order to the world, except the order of the food chain, and even that was given to suprises.  Survival of the Fittest. Anything goes… and went.  Black leather and spikes were ochen kruto.  Now, of course, most wear white and shave their heads.

“Role playing games were regulated in the Pub.  One time this geek totally flipped out on us, and we ended up whacking him in the head with a bo-ken, and beating the shit out of him.  Avallock and Drako decided to team up on the same fanatic who had literally back-stabbed another player the night before.  Darlock’s character ‘sort of’ pushed the right buttons in the game to the breaking point, and then Avallock ‘kind of’ cast intense energy bursts.  That is the basic story, but there were more subtleties involved like Game-master Elldinn being in on the little joke also, and darker details like Phaton.

“We had our own windmill to power our lights and computers.  At one time we had operational solar panels, and a water wheel as well.  But that is another story.

“Americans like their beer cold, so every winter Cordite would go down to the River and haul out a big chunk of ice, balance it on his shoulders with a pick in one hand and the rope in the other, climb the hillside and lower it down to the dungeon.  When I asked him why he didn’t use the underground tunnel from the river directly to the dungeon, he would say “The ninja would ascend vertical walls with three stones this size.  It’s not as fun.  Someone following me could easily shut the doors from behind and lock me in.”  As usual Cordite had a point.  Either way, we had cheap and natural refrigeration into the summer.

“On cold days and nights, visitors joined us around the Hearth, while Schwabe the roving philosopher would play his gypsy fiddle, and the wenches would sing and flirt, and serve hot muffins, soup, and cider.  Also there was Avallock with his guitar, and Drako.  In this way we extended our clan.  There was real warmth!  Fire! (and I don’t mean just logs burning) I mean  People!  No we didn’t burn people, but there was compassion, and trust; hard to find.  Comfort, and Relaxation for the family.  Family for children with none.

“Elldinn designed and made candles, weapons, and furniture.  We sold things that we made at the pub, as well as what others would bring as trade.  Elldinn also made whirly-gigs (although there wasn’t much demand).

“There were many duties, chores, and tasks required to maintain the Pipe Dream.  Duties of the Property rotated, but a common scenario was that Drogo, Cordite, and Schwabe usually operated the Pub (since they primarily built and owned it), while Avallock and Drako commanded the border patrols around our many forts. Some of the forts were more hidden than others.  Camouflaged forts were common; in the form of trenches, tree stands, junk heap shacks, and the more elaborate underground forts (burrows and burrow mounds).  One fort was a cave on the edge of a cliff.  The Tower was one the more popular spots.  Elldinn, Avallock, and Sir Jeffy designed the astrology chamber for watching the heavens; reading for a sign of change.

(… to be continued…)

This story has changed its title over the years, during media transfers. As a draft is was simply called “The Pipe Dream”. In the 1990’s it was printed from a Word Processor (typewriter style) and called “The Pipe Dream Pub”.  In 2005 it was retyped as a digital file, and renamed to fit with the film “SCOD Fallout 2020”.  It’s current title here reflects all of the past states, while omitting 2020 due to the specific manifestation of the film without the inclusion of this story as dialogue. Regardless, it remains an important part of the SCOD archives and library.  See http://www.SCODpub.com “The Vault”

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