Preface:

I started writing this almost two years ago so you'll notice the first few chapters lacking the same polish than the later ones which were written more recently. I'll probably re-write the first few since I do like this particular story, but I figure I might as well complete it before going back to make drastic changes. Drop me a line and tell me what you think.

Chapter 1: The End of The World

Two hundred years had passed since the world came to an end. Those who had been fortunate enough to survive created small communities in which they could find some kind of order. It was like any other day for the inhabitants of a small town called Oakridge. The blazing sun cooked everything it shined on and the noise of thunder echoed throughout the wastes. But there was one thing that was special about this specific day. Oakridge witnessed the return of The Wild Cats, a thirty man gang that had terrorized the civilians of the usually peaceful little town, after nearly a six month absence. It was bad news for everyone. The Wild Cats were a violent bunch that had taken control of Oakridge using force. Pillaging, rape and murder; all frequent occurrences while they were in power. Any time the men tried to revolt, the women found themselves as widows. But as luck would have it, The Wild Cats had now come back with a new slave in their possession.

"Axel!" One of the more bloodthirsty members shouted. "Get me another beer you sack o' shit!"
"Sure thing boss." A man in his mid-thirties answered him with the slightest of hesitance.
The gang had decided to station up at the local bar and get completely drunk since they arrived in town; that was nearly two days ago. The noise and shouting clearly weren't good for business, neither was the fact that all the alcohol the Cats were drinking was on the house. The man known as Axel carefully brought over the beer to the table and set it down but just then, a man nearly seven feet tall wrapped his arms around his waist.
"Too slow!" He German suplexed the man over his head and through a table, rendering the defenseless slave unconscious, which caused a hail of laughter from all the gang members. A few seconds later, the man stood up out of the debris while holding his head; a small about of blood leaking from his face.
He faked a chuckle. "You guys got me real good." He continued chuckling while bringing the men even more booze to chug down.
"How you doing kid?" The old bartender asked the beaten down man.
The younger fellow smiled. "Don't worry. I'm used to getting my ass kicked. Besides, if they beat me up, they won't bother with anyone else."
The old man scratched his head at the slave's logic.

At the same time, a stranger had made his way into town. He was a short man; around five foot six, who wore a camouflaged jacket. A long rifle rested on his back as he quietly strode into town.
"Evening," A nasty looking man greeted him. "My name is Cadmus. I'm the leader of The Wild Cats so it's my job to inform you that this town is under my control and that we're not allowing vagrants in just yet."
The leader was much taller than the soldier. His long dirty brown hair going in all directions. He held a carbine in one hand while a dozen of his men kept their fingers on the triggers. The drifter almost seemed to ignore them as he walked into the bar.
When the leader threatened to blow him away, he simply replied. "Let me get a drink. I'm thinking of joining your group."
It was as if the man had no fear at all. He walked over to the tables at which The Wild Cats were drinking to the point of passing out and began collecting and drinking the bears in front of them. When it finally seemed that one of the members had had enough he pulled out a knife but was just as quickly held back.
"No," Cadmus stopped him. "He's got balls and I kinda like him." He grinned an evil grin while watching him drink. "You can kill him if he pushes his luck."
When he finished his drinks, the woozy man stumbled out of the bar. It was around the time that night began to approach that Cadmus finally realized that his valuable slave had disappeared.

The alcohol had passed through the shot man's system several hours ago and now he just sat on the desert floor; looking at nothing but the barren sands.
"Smoke?" A cigarette slid down in front of the soldier who gladly took it. "Saw you in the bar. That took some balls to do."
"Not balls," The tired looking drifter answered him. "I just don't care."
he looked up to see the slave from earlier. He wore a pair of black pants with a tattered brown shirt. His face was surprisingly clean of dirt and he had no facial hair at all. His hair was black, short and well groomed. His eyes a hazel brown. He was far taller than the drifter; measuring around six feet tall.
"You're not from around here are you?" The slave asked. "What's you story?"
The man shrugged, knowing it didn't matter but felt like talking a little. "My name is Jim and I'm from another dimension. I used to be a U.S soldier until last year when I fell through a wormhole and ended up here."
"That sucks." The slave replied unenthusiastically as he kept smoking.
"You actually believe me?" Jim asked the man.
"Yeah, I've heard crazier shit." There was a pause before the man put out his cigarette and stood up. "My name is Axel Reins. You said you were interested in joining The Wild Cats?"
"That was a bullshit excuse to get a drink man." Jim sighed as he explained.
Axel scratched his neck as if hesitant to ask his next question. "Well, would you be interested in joining a gang that I'm putting together?"
This was followed by laughter from the soldier for the next several minutes. "You're creating a gang?" He chuckled again as he forced the words. "And you want me to join you? You! A slave! You can't even get free from those jackoffs. What makes you think you can lead a gang?"
"I could escape any time I want to..." He sighed. "If those assholes didn't keep all my stuff stashed away in a footlocker that they keep in the truck."
"You piece of shit!" A kick caught axel square in the face. One of the Wilds Cats had tracked him down and proceeded to drag him back to the rest of the group. "You gave us a lot of trouble."
Still dazed from the kick, Axel managed to mumble a few words before leaving Jim's sight. "Remember my offer M'kay?"
"Dumbass." The soldier puffed his cigarette nonchalantly as he watched the man get dragged away.

The next day was the same thing. The Wild Cats spent the entire day in the bar getting drunk off their asses while a few stayed sober to make sure the townsfolk didn't try anything.
"Come on baby," One of the members hollered at one of the ladies that was forced to sit with them. "Why don't you tell me how much you love me?"
Axel watched in irritation but decided to keep out of it; instead he handed out drinks as he did the day before.
"Tell how bad you wanna be near me!" The man commanded of the woman while admiring her face.
The woman obviously feeling uncomfortable tried to slide away but the man brought him closer as the rest of the boys laughed themselves silly. "Tell me how bad you wanna be fucked by me!"
"I wouldn't have sex with you if begged me you ugly fuck!"
The whole room went dead silent as the woman covered her mouth, realizing too late what she had said.
"You're dead you fucking bitch." The man pulled out a knife and motioned to stab her when sucker-punch caught him by surprise and knocked him out.
"She's right." Axel brushed his knuckles against the air. "You are an ugly fuck."
He tried to sound cool but knew that he was in a world of hurt. He was surrounded by fifteen angry gang members who were ready to break his face. The tallest of the men, the seven foot tall giant they called Armstrong stepped forward while cracking his knuckles.
"Oh good." Axel grinned. "I've been meaning to pay you back for all those German suplexes you planted on me."

The giant threw a punch that the smaller man was easily able to avoid. Reins gripped his arms forced him over his shoulder, delivering a huge judo toss that sent him crashing through one of the tables. When the man began to stand up, he went around him and wrapped him arms around his waist.
"You see, when you did the suplex you weren't following through. It doesn't hurt that much if you don't follow through." He sent Armstrong flying overhead before crashing him yet again, only this time it was through the wooden floor of the tavern.
The doors of the bar crashed open as Cadmus entered with assault rifle in hand; he clearly meant business. Everyone else followed suit and pulled out pistols and knives. Just when it all seemed to be over. A huge footlocker came crashing through one of the windows and crushed two of the members.
"There," Jim crossed his arms and watched from outside. "No more complaints. Now show me!"
The interruption caused Cadmus and his men to lose focus of Axel for a moment, giving him a chance to jump behind the bar before they could start shooting. Everyone took cover as bullets rained down on the helpless man. But because of all the panic, they failed to watch their ammo, leaving them all with empty chambers. Axel took the chance and made a run for the footlocker, kicking one of the members in the process. He lifted the lid and pulled out a sawed off pump-action shotgun while simultaneously, the members with guns reloaded.
There was a pause in the action as Cadmus grinned. "You've only got four shots and there are fifteen of us... What're you gonna do?"
A moment of complete silence encompassed the entire bar while Jim watched the action with a small smirk on his face from outside. A sudden exchange of fire blew away piece of the walls and part of the counter, causing smoke to fill the room. When it finally cleared, Axel was standing while the only four people with guns were on the ground with stubs where their hands used to be.
Cadmus grinned as he lifted his carbine. "Now your empty. Kill him!" But Axel pulled out a strange looking pistol. "A flare gun?" The leader began to guffaw. "What do you think you're going to do with that?"
Axel pointed the gun at the support beam that was in the middle of the tavern and fired. A blast sent everyone to the floor before causing the roof of the building to crash on top of them. When Cadmus crawled back to his feet, the butt of the shotgun caught his face.
"That wasn't a flare gun asshole." He slung the gun over his shoulder and onto his back. "It's a grenade launcher."
The old bartender had managed to hide under the counter and shield himself from the debris. As he stood up he saw that Axel was rummaging through his belongings.
"Don't worry about your tavern old man." Reins smirked. "These guys are worth enough to cover the expenses."
He removed his shirt exposing a ripped physique with small scars all over his body.
"Impressive." Jim waved a hand as he smiled.
"So you're gonna team up with me?" Axel asked him.
Jim grinned. "I don't think so..."
Axel reached into the locker and pulled out a red snakeskin vest which he proceeded to put on, along with a pair of black shades and another cigarette. It was then that the bartender's eye's grew wide.
"Wait a minute. They called you Axel..."
"He's Axel Reins," Jim helped him along. "Leader of The Vultures."
"Former leader of The Vultures." Axel tried to look while smoking away as if he were the most carefree person in the world. He didn't waste any time tying up the Wilds Cats before saying his goodbyes and jumping into one of the trucks only to be greeted by his passenger. "I thought you weren't coming with me?"
"I said I wouldn't join." Jim shrugged. "But I'll stick around and see if I can have some fun." As they drove off into the sun, he couldn't help but ask. "So what are you going to call the gang?"
"I don't know." Axel replied. "I'm trying to think of something cool but nothing comes to mind."
"How about 'The Exiles'?" Jim suggested.
"Yeah, that sounds good."