The Wastes weren’t any place to get lost. A scar from the war, it was a desert valley carved out by Soviet missiles, stretching from Montana to Kansas. Or anyway, where the states used to be. They were trying to take out our missiles before we launched, but all they hit were empty silos. Well, that and everything that happened to be within a few miles of them. Not that everywhere else wasn’t hit just as badly, it’s just that the already desolate Midwest became more so, a new dust bowl, except this time with enough fallout to set even attempts at recovery a few hundred years ahead. Jack scratched his chin, staring at the map. The Wastes were penciled in, the worst spots of radiation marked with crude red stars. He was doing his best to follow what used to be I-70, at least according to the map. The road was still there, scraggly weeds peaking up through the cracks. Unused. Jack sighed, then stopped mid-exhale. He thought he’d heard a sound he hadn’t heard in years. A car. Jack peered up at the horizon.

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