End of The Fuel Era
by Death's Head Berserker
Published on the Mad Max
FAQ Message Board by Death Head Berserker, January 2001
Reprinted by the Seattle Washington Autoduel Team, September 24, 2003
We enter the picture about two years after The Road Warrior. The fuel supply has dwindled dramatically and the only ones left on the road are the best running cars and bikes. The junkers have mostly broken down or retired due to terrible mileage. There is too little fuel for any large V8 gangs to survive together, so small towns are starting to spring up every few hundred miles or less because no large gangs can attack in cars anymore. They thrive along the rivers and clean lakes or springs.
Only those with more wit than just driving skill can afford to drive because most of the gas must now be traded from villagers and small refineries and outposts that are heavily armed with ex-military and large defense forces of its citizens. They no longer fear mass attack by huge gangs so they can now settle down and start farming sheep, cattle, and grains in areas where water can be easily had.
The Aboriginals are coming out of hiding and starting villages and nomadic tribes again the largest cities are now just shells after about a half dozen nuclear weapons were dropped on the continent. These areas will be to radioactive to visit for another tens years or so and there are many other bad hot areas that cannot be visited for extended periods of time.
The water supply is okay for the majority of areas but some places in the wasteland have dirty puddles and ponds that are not natural flushed out but only come from rainwater and winds. Underground wells and large rivers are okay because they clean themselves out but the smaller water bodies that never move are usually contaminated. Food and water are starting to be the more valuable things now and gas is dropping in concern for most who opt to give it up for a farm instead. They trade their last few gallons or barrels and save the diesel for the larger jobs that require tractors on the farms.
Although some villages still have some running cars, bikes and
they usually only use them when really needed for trade in a far off
There are a few oil pumps left in some towns that make only a barrel or
two of fuel a day which is used in generators for pumps or
tractors and for trading with drifters. The only real marauders left in most areas are just hunters and trappers who are bandits on the side for some extra goods. Trading in a town then robbing the person on the road later. There are no longer any big road battles but small fights between two or three vehicles over food or guns and little amounts of gas.
Basically the only way to get gas now is to trade because there are
not enough cars out there to steal from. And the larger more aggressive
gangs have either been killed off from warring or their surviving
have settled down to protect farms and the precious fuel pumps and
depots. Gone now are the larger oil company refineries and fuel stations, we are only left with small depots with a 1,000 gallons of fuel or less and pumps that only put out enough to make 100 gallons in a day or two. Almost everyone has adjusted to a fuel free lifestyle that involves the same type of activities that were practiced 150 years ago: farming and horse-drawn wagons, with camels and donkeys for riding.
People without cars or fuel are usually cut off from further away villages because they can't carry enough supplies to get there in a small group and are likely to be robbed when they stray far from a protected and armed village. Larger caravans are only sent across the wasteland every few months when a large supply of some type of commodity is needed.
Slavery is widespread in the areas communities where strict guidelines are not enforced. To become ones slave you need only be captured and disarmed and restrained or born into it.
In the more radiation-contaminated areas there are groups of sick, poisoned people who usually due to lack of food, feed off anyone foolish enough to venture into range of their dilapidated fuel-starved vehicles, homemade traps, and ambushes. Usually those who enter these areas never return because of the lack of supplies needed to escape. These areas are usually found nearby nuclear bomb detonation sites, old abandoned nuke plants and areas with for some reason or another large buildups of fallout. These monsters are doomed to death within a few years due to the extent of their poisoning, but their numbers can increase through newborn and travelers gone mad that join before they are eaten. These places are not well known for trading, but only for thieving, murder, and the macabre. Those thinking of entering that are lucky enough to be warned that there is no escape, merely pass it off as folklore or legend, and those who are not told wander into unknown radiation and horror's they will never likely have the chance to retell.
There are still some small bands of the military left although most
have gone bad and run slave camps and farms there are still a few out
with some honor and decent human morality. But those number are caving
in when there is little to eat or drink in their locale, or when a bad
group decides to seize the property of a not so well defended tribe.
there are those out there battling it out on the highways in the name
good and evil as well as those with no name to crusade for. They spend
some of their time working and doing jobs on the highway making runs,
deliveries and pickups of desperately needed supplies and sometimes
driving because they can or need to. These men are the last ones left
live on the road. The gangs have withered off like a dying vine when
fuel, rooted stem is cut. They are the last of The Road
We are now nearing the end of the Fuel-dependant era.