Home on the Strange
“The World has moved on. Bad times are on horseback.”
Your daddy’s Wild West this ain’t. Everythin’ here is a little darker than expected; the environment is just a little more hostile, the locals just a little less friendly, the tech just a little more deadly. Oh, sure, we’ve got all of the things that made your daddy’s West wild – we’ve got Injuns (well, kinda), we’ve got steam trains, we’ve got religious fanatics, we’ve got hardscrabble townships on the edge of civilisation – but ours are just a little, well… weirder. There ain’t just gold in them there hills – there’s magic too. And technology, older’n anybody left alive, ‘ceptin’ maybe some of them muties out near Mejis way. Big ol’ automatons, too, some of the Expressmen say – giant, rusted beasties, all spindly legs and glowin’ eyes. They’ll kill you if they see you… but if you can kill one right back without it blowin’ up on you, those fuel cells that power ’em can fetch a pretty penny.
Of course, you don’t need to go wanderin’ off into Thunderclap to get yourself killed deader’n that horse that everyone keeps kickin’. Even this side o’ normal, you’ve got mercy-killing Jesus freaks, thieves and villains and sociopathic rail magnates – and that’s discountin’ run-o’-the-mill banditry and being stabbed by your favourite whore. All you gotta do is say the wrong thing to the wrong person, and you might find your life shorter – sometimes by a head.
Now, I ain’t tryin’ to scare you, hombre. But a little fear just might keep you alive…