As the bike disappeared into the distance, leaving behind a fading cloud of dust, the smashed door at the side of the wreck creaked and fell onto the sand. There was a low grunt as a man struggled to push himself out of the crushed vehicle. He fell on the sand and pushed himself up. He breathed heavily as he assessed the wreck; he saw his dead comrades: the one through the windshield and the trouser-less one laying on the sand; he also noticed how badly crushed the truck was; glasses shattered, smoke hissing out from the front, the choking smell of burning rubber, and the wide desert
He turned towards the horizon, where he’d heard the bike go through. The sky was clear, the sun bright and yellow, and the wind harsh. He could still hear the steady hum of the bike, though a mere static, thanks to the amplifier in his mask. It’s broken, he thought, when the device whizzed and crackled. He took a pained step forward, dragging his feet in a slight limp, and then his fingers reached for his mask.
In one deliberate motion, he undid the strap and took off the mask. He growled when the sharp air hit the blood-stained slash on his face, across his whiskers. His spotted fur was soaked with blood, and his ears twitched. He snarled, exposing his sharp teeth, and then took out a black phone from his pocket.
The phone burred as he walked back to the wreck, towards the shattered windows. The line beeped and clicked as it connected. He listened to the sharp voice on the other end, waiting. Then he spoke.
“Negative. Something bad happened; the subject is loose, but I have a possible location,” he said and looked into the distance. He cut the connection and took a look at his reflection, still finding it difficult to get used to his leopard head.
EPISODE THREE: LEOPARD-MAN
The scavenger rode on, aware of the man clutching tightly to the back fender of his bike. He had no idea who this guy was, and he had no intention of finding out. Once they got into the city he’d dump him and seek out a buyer for the precious orb he’d stolen. He smiled as he thought of the orb; dream essence, it would fetch him a few thousand daris, and that would do nice for him to get a better bike. On the other hand, he frowned, those nightmares were getting tougher with each trip he took. He certainly needed a partner—a junior one, of course—and he definitely had to increase the price for each essence. If those bastards in the underworld didn’t like his idea of a price increase, then they should go steal a dream essence by themselves.
But where would he find a partner? The bike wobbled as they went up a dune, the wheels had been modified to travel on the loose desert sand, but he really needed that new bike. He took a sharp turn, raising a cloud of dust, and not at all worried about his passenger. He smiled as they moved onto the scorched, cracked tarred road. The city was just up ahead, the black clouds hovering around the tall buildings were hard to miss.
----
He opened his eyes wide as the tall buildings came into the view. It was obvious that the man who called himself the Scavenger didn’t bother about him; he hadn’t said a word since they left the desert, although a conversation would have been basically impossible with the loud rattling of the bike.
As they drew closer to the city, a huge concrete wall became visible. It was as high as a tower and seemed to span wide, into the horizon—as wide as the city was. The desert road had stopped a mile back and had been replaced by a dark tarred road with small bumps here and there, which the Scavenger occasionally swerved to avoid.
The rattling of the bike reduced as they got closer to the huge wall.
“Whatever happens, do not say anything,” the Scavenger said, speaking for the first time since they’d left the desert. A gate, just as high as the wall, stood at the center, like a buckle holding the two white ends of the concrete wall. Two outposts, made of wood and padded with bags of sand, stood on either side of the gate. A black van was parked by one of the outposts, the two doors opened wide, showing two men in black cradling black guns. The van had the words LEVI printed across it in white; bold letterings that covered both side doors. The officers wore black helmets which also had LEVI stamped on it.
The Scavenger and his passenger sat quietly on the bike and watched as an officer walked up to them. He emitted a strange gurgling noise, like he was choking, and then stretched out his hand.
“No need for that, Jeb,” the Scavenger said, a thin smile on his face. “You know me.”
The officer shifted on his feet and adjusted the gun strapped across his shoulder. “I know you, that’s why I’m asking for your papers.”
The Scavenger frowned and then opened a brown bag from which he produced a paper. “You know me, Jeb,” he said, and shoved the paper into the officer’s hand. The officer glanced at the paper for a second and then turned to the Scavenger’s passenger. “Who is he?” he asked and shifted closer to him, “who are you? You look like a mess, what happened?”
“Ah, so much questions, Jeb. I’m disappointed,” the Scavenger said and rolled the back backwards so that the officer was standing beside him once more. “Yes, he is a mess. You would look that way too if you had an accident and you barely managed to come out alive.”
“An accident?” The officer asked.
“Yes, back in the desert. He needed medical attention and yours truly, being a good Samaritan, decided to help him. Now can we go in.”
The officer hesitated for a moment, and then handed the paper back to the Scavenger. He nodded and waved them off. “I’ll remember this, Jeb,” the scavenger said and started the bike. The black gate slowly opened and they rode inside.
“Welcome to Eden,” the Scavenger said as they rode into a crowded city with buildings packed so close together. The tall buildings were very far from where they rode through; the buildings around were mostly wooden shacks wrapped in rusted zinc sheets.
“I know,” the Scavenger chuckled as he took a narrow road littered with garbage and full of muddy potholes. “This is no eden like the one from the bible. Certainly no paradise. This is the worst part of town, and the only place where you truly experience life.” His passenger looked around him, taking in the loud voices around him: people selling their wares, cursing each other, lifting something heavy, and the loud blaring of trucks and bikes very much like the one he was on.
The Scavenger parked the bike outside a wooden shack which looked slightly better than the others, only in the sense of its fresh wood and not-so-rusty zinc sheets. The shack had the word Bar displayed in colorful lights on a board sitting on the roof. Although, the B was dimmed, leaving only the AR. The Scavenger jumped from the bike and glared at his passenger.
“Who are you, boy, really?”
“I don’t know,” his passenger answered and stepped out of the bike.
The Scavenger grunted. “Well, you need one. You can’t follow me in there,” he pointed at the bar, “if you don’t have a name. I am tempted to leave you here and go on with my business, but you really are one clues bastard and, in Eden, that’s AKA dead man.  So, pick a name.”
His passenger looked around, trying to think of a name, then he felt his left arm burn. He’d felt that before, the searing pain like a blade had been pierced into his skin. He winced and looked at his arm, wiping off the sticky dirt on it.
“You okay, boy?” The scavenger asked, but he wasn’t listening. His eyes were fixed on the dark markings on his arm. Slowly, the markings became clearer. It was a form of tattoo, and it spelt out four letters: A.D.A.M.
“Adam,” he muttered to himself.
“Say what, boy?” the Scavenger asked.
“Adam,” he answered and looked up at the scavenger. “My name is Adam.”
“Adam, huh?” The scavenger said and shrugged his shoulders. “So much biblical references. Well,  Adam, welcome to Eden. I sure hope you find your Eve.” He snorted and laughed, and then disappeared into the bar.
Adam stood still, his hand clutching tightly on his left arm--the one with the tattoo. He had no memory of the tattoo, but then again he had no memory of many things. He was about to walk into the bar when the Scavenger suddenly burst out.
“Hehe,” he laughed, a bottle in his hand. “I forgot to do this,” he said and squatted close to his bike, his drink spilling, and then locked the back wheel with a rusty chain. He got up and stared at Adam, “remember, this may be Eden, but it is no paradise.”
----
Crouching behind a fruit stall, a man in a brown hooded cloak watched the two men enter the shack with the bar sign. He let out a low growl and twitched his whisker. Gun in hand, he made for the shack.
As the bike disappeared into the distance, leaving behind a fading cloud of dust, the smashed door at the side of the wreck creaked and fell onto the sand. There was a low grunt as a man struggled to push himself out of the crushed vehicle. He fell on the sand and pushed himself up. He breathed heavily as he assessed the wreck; he saw his dead comrades: the one through the windshield and the trouser-less one laying on the sand; he also noticed how badly crushed the truck was; glasses shattered, smoke hissing out from the front, the choking smell of burning rubber, and the wide desert
He turned towards the horizon, where he’d heard the bike go through. The sky was clear, the sun bright and yellow, and the wind harsh. He could still hear the steady hum of the bike, though a mere static, thanks to the amplifier in his mask. It’s broken, he thought, when the device whizzed and crackled. He took a pained step forward, dragging his feet in a slight limp, and then his fingers reached for his mask.
In one deliberate motion, he undid the strap and took off the mask. He growled when the sharp air hit the blood-stained slash on his face, across his whiskers. His spotted fur was soaked with blood, and his ears twitched. He snarled, exposing his sharp teeth, and then took out a black phone from his pocket.
The phone burred as he walked back to the wreck, towards the shattered windows. The line beeped and clicked as it connected. He listened to the sharp voice on the other end, waiting. Then he spoke.
“Negative. Something bad happened; the subject is loose, but I have a possible location,” he said and looked into the distance. He cut the connection and took a look at his reflection, still finding it difficult to get used to his leopard head.
EPISODE THREE: LEOPARD-MAN
The scavenger rode on, aware of the man clutching tightly to the back fender of his bike. He had no idea who this guy was, and he had no intention of finding out. Once they got into the city he’d dump him and seek out a buyer for the precious orb he’d stolen. He smiled as he thought of the orb; dream essence, it would fetch him a few thousand daris, and that would do nice for him to get a better bike. On the other hand, he frowned, those nightmares were getting tougher with each trip he took. He certainly needed a partner—a junior one, of course—and he definitely had to increase the price for each essence. If those bastards in the underworld didn’t like his idea of a price increase, then they should go steal a dream essence by themselves.
But where would he find a partner? The bike wobbled as they went up a dune, the wheels had been modified to travel on the loose desert sand, but he really needed that new bike. He took a sharp turn, raising a cloud of dust, and not at all worried about his passenger. He smiled as they moved onto the scorched, cracked tarred road. The city was just up ahead, the black clouds hovering around the tall buildings were hard to miss.
----
He opened his eyes wide as the tall buildings came into the view. It was obvious that the man who called himself the Scavenger didn’t bother about him; he hadn’t said a word since they left the desert, although a conversation would have been basically impossible with the loud rattling of the bike.
As they drew closer to the city, a huge concrete wall became visible. It was as high as a tower and seemed to span wide, into the horizon—as wide as the city was. The desert road had stopped a mile back and had been replaced by a dark tarred road with small bumps here and there, which the Scavenger occasionally swerved to avoid.
The rattling of the bike reduced as they got closer to the huge wall.
“Whatever happens, do not say anything,” the Scavenger said, speaking for the first time since they’d left the desert. A gate, just as high as the wall, stood at the center, like a buckle holding the two white ends of the concrete wall. Two outposts, made of wood and padded with bags of sand, stood on either side of the gate. A black van was parked by one of the outposts, the two doors opened wide, showing two men in black cradling black guns. The van had the words LEVI printed across it in white; bold letterings that covered both side doors. The officers wore black helmets which also had LEVI stamped on it.
The Scavenger and his passenger sat quietly on the bike and watched as an officer walked up to them. He emitted a strange gurgling noise, like he was choking, and then stretched out his hand.
“No need for that, Jeb,” the Scavenger said, a thin smile on his face. “You know me.”
The officer shifted on his feet and adjusted the gun strapped across his shoulder. “I know you, that’s why I’m asking for your papers.”
The Scavenger frowned and then opened a brown bag from which he produced a paper. “You know me, Jeb,” he said, and shoved the paper into the officer’s hand. The officer glanced at the paper for a second and then turned to the Scavenger’s passenger. “Who is he?” he asked and shifted closer to him, “who are you? You look like a mess, what happened?”
“Ah, so much questions, Jeb. I’m disappointed,” the Scavenger said and rolled the back backwards so that the officer was standing beside him once more. “Yes, he is a mess. You would look that way too if you had an accident and you barely managed to come out alive.”
“An accident?” The officer asked.
“Yes, back in the desert. He needed medical attention and yours truly, being a good Samaritan, decided to help him. Now can we go in.”
The officer hesitated for a moment, and then handed the paper back to the Scavenger. He nodded and waved them off. “I’ll remember this, Jeb,” the scavenger said and started the bike. The black gate slowly opened and they rode inside.
“Welcome to Eden,” the Scavenger said as they rode into a crowded city with buildings packed so close together. The tall buildings were very far from where they rode through; the buildings around were mostly wooden shacks wrapped in rusted zinc sheets.
“I know,” the Scavenger chuckled as he took a narrow road littered with garbage and full of muddy potholes. “This is no eden like the one from the bible. Certainly no paradise. This is the worst part of town, and the only place where you truly experience life.” His passenger looked around him, taking in the loud voices around him: people selling their wares, cursing each other, lifting something heavy, and the loud blaring of trucks and bikes very much like the one he was on.
The Scavenger parked the bike outside a wooden shack which looked slightly better than the others, only in the sense of its fresh wood and not-so-rusty zinc sheets. The shack had the word Bar displayed in colorful lights on a board sitting on the roof. Although, the B was dimmed, leaving only the AR. The Scavenger jumped from the bike and glared at his passenger.
“Who are you, boy, really?”
“I don’t know,” his passenger answered and stepped out of the bike.
The Scavenger grunted. “Well, you need one. You can’t follow me in there,” he pointed at the bar, “if you don’t have a name. I am tempted to leave you here and go on with my business, but you really are one clues bastard and, in Eden, that’s AKA dead man.  So, pick a name.”
His passenger looked around, trying to think of a name, then he felt his left arm burn. He’d felt that before, the searing pain like a blade had been pierced into his skin. He winced and looked at his arm, wiping off the sticky dirt on it.
“You okay, boy?” The scavenger asked, but he wasn’t listening. His eyes were fixed on the dark markings on his arm. Slowly, the markings became clearer. It was a form of tattoo, and it spelt out four letters: A.D.A.M.
“Adam,” he muttered to himself.
“Say what, boy?” the Scavenger asked.
“Adam,” he answered and looked up at the scavenger. “My name is Adam.”
“Adam, huh?” The scavenger said and shrugged his shoulders. “So much biblical references. Well, Adam, welcome to Eden. I sure hope you find your Eve.” He snorted and laughed, and then disappeared into the bar.
Adam stood still, his hand clutching tightly on his left arm--the one with the tattoo. He had no memory of the tattoo, but then again he had no memory of many things. He was about to walk into the bar when the Scavenger suddenly burst out.
“Hehe,” he laughed, a bottle in his hand. “I forgot to do this,” he said and squatted close to his bike, his drink spilling, and then locked the back wheel with a rusty chain. He got up and stared at Adam, “remember, this may be Eden, but it is no paradise.”
----
Crouching behind a fruit stall, a man in a brown hooded cloak watched the two men enter the shack with the bar sign. He let out a low growl and twitched his whisker. Gun in hand, he made for the shack.