Saturday, March 17, 2012

Post Apocalyptic Vehicles: Technotma. The Dark Times PA novel series

Last time I promised to tell you about some of the Dark Times world machinery and vehicles. So I'll do so in the form of some extracts from the novels themselves, and I'm adding some illustrations to each fragment.

The Punch Truck (extracted from The Wastelands Clans)
The truck was great. A reinforced armored cabin with the windscreen shuttered from above and below with steel plates, the distance between their edges about a foot and a half - just enough so that the driver could see the road. The bodywork was reinforced with steel vaulting the kind they'd used in bygone days in metro tunnels. Of course, Turan had never been in the metro, but Nazar had told him all about it. The mechanic used to buy these vaults from traders whose caravans sometimes passed through the fiefdom of Boris Jai-Khan. And farmers didn't care about their provenance anyway. Quite a few hotheads were out scouring the towns' ruins and ancient catacombs for loot.
art by A. Shitikov
The round hole in the roof was covered with a gun turret which was capped with thick sheet steel and equipped with a gun slit. Lower, between the seats, they'd welded a shelf; if you stepped on it, your head would be just opposite the slit. Next to it, was yet another shelf equipped with steel braces to which a double-barreled carbine of heavy caliber was strapped.
Turan walked alongside the Punch. Great wagon, nothing to say. Gigantic black wheels, solid footplates. The foglights were covered with steel hoops, and the hefty exhaust pipe was sticking up behind the gun turret.

The Sander (extracted from The Barbarians of the Crimea)
I sat at the wheel and set my hands upon it. Suddenly I got the sensation of… dare I say satisfaction? For the first time since I'd woken up in the boat I felt calm and at peace with myself. And for the first time since my escape from the Inkerman Gorge, all thought of Lada Prior had left me. I squeezed the wheel tighter and turned it slightly.
art by A. Shitikov
In the depths of the hangar, hung between two poles on chains, was a vehicle without its hood. The unscrewed wheels lay below. The sander, I remembered: a vehicle for crossing the silt flats of the Bottomland Desert and the sands of the central Wastelands. It was squat with an open cab fashioned out of steel tubing. On the front tubes, almost above the driver's head, were three round headlights, and behind them, a machine gun was mounted.

The armored bus (extracted from Password Eternity)
A vehicle appeared on the street. It really differed from the sanders which I'd seen at the catchers' and monks' places: if those reminded me of buggies, this one made me think of a square minibus. It was completely covered in riveted steel plates, with a flat roof and a protruding rectangular hood. The windows were armored, and instead of the windscreen was a slit between two horizontal shutters.
art by A. Shitikov
Chuck lifted himself in his seat, studying it, and said,
"They are Medvedkovo men, may necrosis eat their livers.
All along the perimeter of the roof, steel rods had been welded, to which the main cage was attached. Behind its bars, people were sheltering. It was bristling with rifles and sawn-off shotguns. In the wheel arches hung oval steel sheets which half-covered the wheels, small for such a behemoth. A kind of DIY armored car. It wasn't apparently meant for any serious off-road experiences, more for conducting assault operations in built-up areas. Or rather, in taken-down areas. The exhaust pipe spewed smoke, the engine roared, its noise resounding far in an empty Moscow.

Military Tricycle (extracted from Password Eternity)
art by A. Shitikov
From the hole in the concrete fence I glanced back. I rearranged the straps of my backpack and checked if the carbide lamp was held tight on the belt. Selga Ines, Amasin, Rost and two of the fighters stood at the foot of the hill watching me. A campfire burned by the HQ tent. Between the vehicles scampered the boys from the fuel clans. One of the vehicles stood out because of its unusual appearance: like a motorbike but far bigger and with two steel barrels welded horizontally onto the sides that looked like jet turbines. Under these barrels were small wheels, like those of a regular sidecar. 

Translated by Neil P. Woodhead

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