Here's a little sneak preview of the setting for Season Three and one of the new characters.
"I am," I replied calmly, "and I don't like people with loaded guns surrounding me. Us."
"Our apologies, but we don't take chances in Kansas City," the man said affibly, though there was an edge of violence. A man who enjoyed his job. "I'm Waylan Rogers, head of Plaza Cartel security. Mr. Gwaine requests the pleasure of an introduction. Gwaine's in charge so that's kind of like an order. You'll need to come with us. Your people are free to go and enjoy themselves in the plaza district. If you need money, stop by the handicapper and drop off some goods, and they'll provide you with chits to spend."
"Chits?" I asked.
"Currency," Waylan said. "You'll find we're relatively civilized here. Tried money but there was too much of it around, so now we use these little poker chips we call chits. You'll find the handicappers near the movie theater in the plaza. Give them whatever supplies you need to and they'll set a value for them and give you currency. Don't worry, they won't rook ya. If they do, they'll eat a bullet. If you need it back, no big deal. You can always buy back anything you need if you're just passing through. If your people need a place to crash try the Marriott. It's decent, and not too expensive and they probably have the best water-filter and genies in town."
"Where are all the..." I hesitated.
"Dead fellas? Most are long gone, at least from the plaza district, and if you have any real trouble theres a check-point every mile into the plaza."
"Doesn't look like you need them, I said." Inside the city there was a large circle where I couldn't feel any dead things at all. It felt like... well... like what I could do. I reached out but felt no one like me. Not for miles and miles.
"Come on, It's really no big deal. Gwaine is serious, but he's a good enough guy."
Alex protested, but I overruled him. If they were planning to kill us, they had plenty of guns to do so. I could take care of myself. Besides, if they wanted to kill me they could have riddled us with machine gun bullets when we arrived. Though I still wonder, would they be enough to kill me now?
No... hubris is terminal. Have to be careful about thinking that way. I may not be able to die but my body can certainly be damaged beyond my ability to repair. Bullets still do serious damage. But what if... no... no more modifications. The muscle I stole from poor Donna's corpse was already too much. Still it's entertaining to wonder what I could be if I didn't have to conform to the standards of the human body.
I was escorted, alone, into a large SUV, and then driven through the burnt-out looted wasteland that was Kansas City. While we drove Waylan pointed things out like the Airport and the Chiefs stadium, but nearly everything was in ruins. Compared to Omaha, Kansas City looked like a war zone.
"Was the loons that did it," Waylan said, chomping the end off a cigar and spitting it out the window. "We had them real bad here until the cartel pulled together and forced a truce. You still find a nest of them too out of their gourds to follow orders, and have to pop them, but all and all we keep things friendly-like."
"Wait, you co-exist with those people?" I asked, speechless.
"People's people and money's money," Waylan said, taking both hands off the wheel for a moment to light his cigar. The SUV swerved dangerously close to the retaining wall before he righted it, steering with his knee until he threw the match out the window. "Hell, the best cat house in town is run by Frank Rose; House Abernathy. Crazier than a shithouse rats but damn if those girls won't do anything you ask em to. It's her or Mallorie's, sort of a town rivalry. Frank and Mother are real smart. Like, business smart, though Mother Mallorie and her girls are smart smart; they'll read you poetry and stuff."
As we drove deeper into the city, the town grew cleaner. People were around, mostly scavengers wearing large backpacks or dragging shopping carts filled with goods, but a few people were just milling about. They seemed to be killing time. Then we turned a corner and I was hit square in the face by civilization.
"Welcome to the Plaza District," Waylan said, smirking at the way my eyes went wide.