Vote for your favourite wasteland wanderers.
The winner gets to choose and moderate the next SW&D challenge.
I enabled multiple choice voting since I noticed total votes are much lower on single vote polls. The poll expires on: 4/29/2016 GMT midnight. I will PM the winner after the poll closes so hopefully the next challenge can get up and running ASAP.
Really impressed everyone managed to take their photos outside and with great backgrounds as well. The narratives were even more fun to read. We got to see a lot of creativity, humour and a variety of takes on how one would handle the end of the world. Thanks to everyone who participated.
It was time to move on. I’d picked up a couple of distant radio broadcasts from a village somewhere in France, broadcast on a valve set that had last seen service under the resistance during the occupation. With no means to communicate back and only rudimentary French I could only fill in some of the gaps, and the panicked voices soon gave way to the wall of static. Maybe they were still alive, but I had no way of telling. There certainly weren’t many of us left, with the cities and large towns falling within hours of their ‘unveiling’. It had been days since I’d heard a human voice and that was a distant scream.
It was clear that avoiding urban areas was the only hope of survival. They’d made their home in the cities as they infiltrated and shaped society. Their concrete jungle was their home, powerbase and now slaughterhouse.
Crossing countryside in the day would be safer than travelling at night. They weren’t going to shrivel up in the sunlight, but they were definitely more comfortable in the dark. Their towers of glass fitted with reflective glass that kept the light low as well as providing anonymity beyond their grey suits and immaculately knotted ties. Cries of ‘leeches’ at the lawyers had been closer to the truth than we’d guessed, and those bankers truly were parasitic as it turned out.
I needed to travel light to maximise the distance I could put between myself and what remained of ‘civilisation’. A couple of lighters to make a fire and a knife would have to do. I couldn’t afford to carry anything that wouldn’t stow in a pocket. The rip-stop trousers would hold up well enough if I needed to take cover in undergrowth and provide a degree of camouflage. A flannel shirt should wick away the sweat whilst keeping me reasonably warm, and if I couldn’t find shelter the oversized coat would provide some protection from the elements. Acid and Alkali resistant, the boots claimed. Whether they’d cope with what passed for blood in the inhuman veins of the predators remained to be seen. Hopefully I wouldn’t need to find out.
I was heading for the coast, looking out for abandoned farms enroute. Hopefully I could find a potato patch or some other crop I could gather. Carbohydrates were my priority – protein would wait, it was energy I needed, and once I reached the coast I could gather limpets or mussels. Wasting time hunting wasn’t in my plans. Keep moving forward. That had to be my priority,
No GPS to direct me. Fortunately my phone had died and in my haphazard approach to life I’d not got round to replacing it. That was how they controlled us; an ear-splitting series of pulses through our constant companions and we were rendered unconscious and ready for collection. I say we, I’m still part of the human race and surely can’t be the only survivor? Oddly, I don’t feel despair. I could put that down to being a long time West Bromwich supporter – see I still have a sense of humour. I’ll head towards the coast. Hopefully I can find a small boat that I can manage to get started. Heading away from the mainland and trying to find an island must be my best chance of survival. John Wyndham’s heroes fled to the Isle of Wight to escape his triffids, but it was surely too heavily populated to have escaped being attacked from within.
How had we confused them with human beings? How had we let them take over? Looking back there were clues enough. That ruthless disregard for others and their strange obsessive nature, should have acted as warning signs. We’d not even noticed them openly talking about wanting to appear more natural, obsessed with ‘natural’ shoulders on their grey suits that had to be millimetre perfect. We were oblivious to their true nature.
Nature, my only chance of survival. I would have to try and live off the land, scavenging food where I could like an ancient hunter gatherer. An island should provide enough for one man to survive on. I could gather eggs from seabirds, cook shellfish with seaweed and gather mushrooms. Would it be enough to survive on? I knew I could cope with hardship and deprivation. How many people had lived in Mid-Wales when Sunday’s were still dry and there wasn’t a pub open for 24 hours? John Christopher’s anti-heroes had relied on potatoes when the grass died and humanity faced starvation. Could I find some to take with me and plant? I could try and dig up wild carrots and other roots, but carbohydrates were going to be a problem. I could forage for berries later in the year, but the end of Winter and the start of Spring is a hard time for food. Chewing the newly unfurled hawthorn leaves might sate my hunger pains but wouldn’t sustain me for long.
It would be getting dark soon. I needed to find food and shelter for the night, I needed to keep moving away from the town, putting as much distance as I could between me and that urban nightmare. The world as I knew it had ended, but I was going to survive...
Ring-coat - Kapital
Shirt - EG
Trousers - Orslow
Boots - Doc's
After the outfit was carefully picked, he stepped out the door and thought, "Should have woken up earlier today, and left when it was still rainy and cloudy. It's now too sunny for this styleforum apocalyptic cosplay challenge. "
The anorak jacket was chosen because the gigantic pocket in the front should be able to hold a bunch of sandwiches. A baseball bat was the weapon of choice to fight off the zombies that have taken over, and the aggressive bums who frequent the spot of this photo-shoot.
No evil doers will dare fuck with this man, for he stay strapped.
Craig Green workwear anorak ss2016
Nom de Guerre paratrooper pants aw2010
Mugler creeper boots aw2011
Out in the elements, they say cotton kills. But so does a .357. And it's a lot more certain.
It's been three days since whatever happened happened. I wasn't ready for this. I'm no prepper. I didn't have a BOB or a BOL. I wasn't thinking about TEOTWAWKI. But as soon as the sirens started, and even more so when they stopped, I knew something big was happening.
The birds had stopped singing. Except for the crows. They cawed and cawed louder than I thought possible, like the war drums of an approaching horde. And it was dark. Darker than Los Angeles has been since the Tongva roamed these lands. The only thing I could see was the lights of a ghetto bird circling nearby with its spotlight shining down through the darkness. One eye illuminating a tiny slice of a massive tragedy. Then -- I felt it more than I heard it -- a deep, penetrating bass note, a disturbing hiccup squeezing the air. Quietly, gracefully, the helicopter fell out of the sky in a perfect Newtonian arc. For a second everything went silent, like all the white noise of the world was canceled. It was a beautiful moment, timeless for that brief period, until physics again intervened and the chopper met the earth. It burst into flames. After that the crows started up louder than ever, the only sound in the universe. That's when I knew I had to go.
I didn't stop to think about what I should be wearing. I just put on a fresh change of underwear, hurried into a pair of baggy chinos and a favorite t-shirt, and pulled on a beat-up pair of boots. The world was ending. At that moment, I just wanted to be comfortable. Wouldn't you?
I wasn't totally stupid. I grabbed a bunch of clothes more suitable to roughing it and tossed it all in the truck with camping stuff, some guns, ammo, water, toilet paper. Don't forget toilet paper. And then I drove.
I've only seen one other person since I left. It was at an abandoned strip mall near the Mexican border. He was a fat guy dressed in tacti-cool black and camo. Fancy looking milspec vest that his belly poked out of. I saw his tricked-out off-road rig in the parking lot, all dark and menacing with big tires and a big lift and bunches of stuff strapped everywhere. He looked like he had spent his life collecting gear, getting ready for this moment. He must have felt like his life finally had meaning. He saw me coming and made for his truck. Hoping to be a hero or live out his fantasy, I guess. We didn't exchange a word. I hadn't been planning to get in his way. I would have told him so. Too bad he was so out of shape that he was was almost hyperventilating when he got to the truck and reached for his AR. Really too bad he couldn't shoot for shit.
So far the weather has been pleasant. At some point I'll need to put on the wool and the technical gear. And figure out wtf is going on. But for now, I'm comfortable.
Salvaging is actually a lot of fun.
Sure, I haven’t seen real sunlight in months and, sure, I need a buddy to keep watch at all times so I don’t get my skull caved in by some territorial squatter. But when I step back and compare life as James the salvager to life as James the State Farm desk drone? I feel alive now more than ever, and it’s all thanks to The End Of The World.
Just remember – when it comes to hauling off your hard-fought salvage, it’s ballistic nylon or bust.
Nike TF sweats
This is an awesome challenge. Thanks @Rais for posting over on the CM side, this is my first post in SW&D. My job makes me stay in CM territory but I like work wear a lot...so I wrote up a story to justify posting about it. Kinda long, but it's what came out when I started writing.
Really enjoyed others' posts so far.
It always starts with the fucking money. Anyone who was running any kind of high speed trading tech picked it up a month before shots were actually fired. Things that couldn't be explained by prior data, Markov models blowing up because nobody had bothered to program out such unlikely scenarios. Serious Black Swan shit. Some guys lost a lot of money then but it was mostly small time operators --- clearly, they were testing out how the markets react to shocks. But they were careful to not draw the attention of regulators or management of the exchanges.
That all changed at 3:30 pm on Monday, May 2, 2016. Everything dropped, all at once. Equities, commodities, even bonds, which made no sense. Of course all the markets suspended trading after hitting the floors mandated after the first flash crashes. Everyone was spooked but fuck it, it was the end if the day and time to hit the bar and then the train home. Everyone has a bad day, right? Foreign markets suspended before they opened, everyone thought that would staunch the bleeding. When the NYSE and the NASDAQ opened 30% down the next morning, that's when everyone started fucking freaking out. And they had the whole day to freak out until it happened again. And again. By Thursday, when markets had lost 98% of their value, Washington was officially silent on the cause of the crash but most of the US press were accusing China of financial espionage and calling for all out war. The first nuke went up Friday morning. We still don't know whether it was simple confusion or further manipulation from the Shifters that was responsible.
By the time we realized we were being played, it was too late. 50% of the population of the human race had been wiped out and half the rest had radiation poisoning. All the Shifters had to do was pick up the pieces. They hardly even had to fire a shot, or whatever you want to call a blast from their impulse guns.
That was almost the end of it. A few billion ragged people who had destroyed all their formidable power trying to kill each other. Now slaves of an alien race on their own planet. Frankly, the Shifters tech isn't even that good. Sure, it's better than ours --- they figured out space flight, after all. But they could have never taken Earth if we hadn't destroyed ourselves first.
The resistance started two years after the Takeover. The few free survivors started to stumble across one another and group up. Most of these groups were caught and thrown into the camps, or shot if they got out of hand. That started to change when a pair of ex-bankers met up with four union workers outside of the bombed out remains of London. The bankers had escaped the two nukes that hit the City by virtue of a corporate boondoggle up in the Lake District. I'd call them a bunch of ponzie stuffed shirts except they're sitting next to me as I write. And they've turned into a pair of hard-assed killers.
So the stuffed shirts bump into the metal workers and both tell the same story --- Shifters showed up, slaughtered everyone else they were with but spared them. In fact, the Shifters treated them like they didn't exist, never even spoke a word to them in that guttural voice they all have.
A few weeks after the six of them banded up, they walked right into a Shifter squad that was patrolling up and down the Thames. Poor David, that unlucky fucker, was cut down before he even knew what happened. But that moment was what unlocked it all. Turned him into David with a capital D, martyr for the cause. Because David was the only person killed that night. Everyone else in the group walked right through those Shifters without getting as much as glance, let alone an impulse blast.
Poor David. The only motherfucker in the group not wearing blue. Toby walked out untouched, as did the brothers Callum and Casey, all clad in busted up denim. The two stuffed shirts were, in fact, blue spread collar royal oxfords. William and Jack, who were wearing them, were also draped in the tattered remains of navy suits. But David exchanged his blood soaked denim for a red track suit he had found inside of a burned out store front. That no-name, piece of shit track suit got lit up by the Shifters while the rest of the boys in blue walked right by.
That's how we figured it out, or at least that's the story that we all tell now. I'm sure other groups pieced it together too. The Shifters can't see blue. Based on our dissections of the ones we've captured, it looks like the mutation that enabled shape shifting degraded their vision --- tough to see correctly when the cells that create sight can change on a moments notice. We also believe that the presence of enough blue fucks with their heads, confuses them in ways they don't notice. Yet. They're not dumb, though.
We've been preparing for the fight. We've got a few nukes and with more on the way thanks to a handful of physicists who were smart enough to run before the Shifters started eradicating Earth's scientific elites.
The biggest problem has been making blue dye to dye our equipment and our clothes blue. Turns out that shit is really hard to make. Remember those M&M candies, back from when we had chocolate? Took like 25 years to figure out to make blue ones without killing people. The breakthrough happened after we made contact with the free survivors in what used to be called Japan. When they heard about the gap in the Shifters color vision, they started ransacked the old Japanese textile houses looking for denim. The Indigofera clippings they found were the spark the resistance needed, a more powerful weapon than the atom smashing that got us here in the first place. All of us carry a piece of those clippings, now spliced and regrown a thousand times over. Those clippings have dyed our jeans, our shirts, and our minds. They turned us into invisible hunters, hungry for revenge, refusing to give in to the usurpers who think they have won. We will have our planet back.
Nothing special as far as fits are concerned, but couldn't let a great challenge and a surprise snowstorm from last week go to waste.
When I was a kid I loved the snow. I remember watching the flurries from my window and dragging my parents to run and jump through the fine powder. I remember getting hit by my first snowball and curling one into my hands to be thrown right back.
Now the snow threatens to whisk me out of existence. When the snows began 4 years ago, no one expected it to continue past the early days of spring, but it kept falling and falling. Oblivious, we convinced ourselves that it was just an aberration, all the while our crops and animals died around us. We realize our mistake now, but it seems it is too little too late. Nothing has been able to stem the snow fall, neither prayer nor science, and I am alone. The city is dying and people are desperate for food and fuel. Many have left in search of hope somewhere else, while those left behind obstinately cling to their way of life, even sweeping the streets and their cars everyday. As my supplies dwindle down I am left with a choice: stay and slowly wither away or try my luck somewhere else.
I dress warm, no telling when I will find food and shelter again soon. I grab my trusty parka, boots made by those that knew what it was like to live in snow, and follow the trail of footprints ahead of me.
there's no way I would survive an apocalypse, so I would go for the most comfort possible in my last 24hrs. I'd grab a couple yohji things, and for one last burst of joy, I'd head to the beach.
- - -
p.s. Last Man On Earth is a great series to add to the End of the World movie/tv themes.
Left my camera at work so ended up borrowing one, and my comix skills are not up to Auximenes' level, but enough with the excuses:
in colour and details (Click to show)
soloist poncho shirt
hobo x stanley parker ring
Finnish lapp knife
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
As the skies gradually darkened and the seas turned to mud, his work began. He took the materials he knew the best - the sails of the great ships that once navigated the seas. The silted seas would never welcome anything other than thick, scaly worms, but he would make the sails fly again.
He gathered the thick, hempen material and set to work, methodically cutting sheet after sheet. Stitching first fine, silken thread and then rough, coarse strands in the manner of a suture, gradually the garments took shape. Though the sun rays couldn't pierce the clouds, the hat would provide protection against the dust storms that raged through the night. The blouson and pants formed a matching suit of armor, tough enough to withstand the bite of feral dogs that made life in hell even worse.
His initial work completed, he traveled north, where the tradition of natural dyes had persisted past the end of days. The vats of dye reeked. The pungent smell pierced his watering eyes. He steeled his focus and plunged the garments deep into the inky darkness. Once, twice, thirty times, he lost count. Each time he brought them up, gasping for air, they came back a darker, deeper color. After an unknowable amount of time passed, he thrust them into the hazy daylight once more and was finally satisfied.
These would suffice.
Oh yeah, and he had some sick red boots too.
You don't have to include me in the poll [ed:but I will because this was really good], I just wanted to post something since I tend to like apocalyptic writing, and wanted to try my hand at writing my own.
The apocalypse isn't for fashion. I am reminded of this fact as I walk through a deserted downtown core, past a Hermes and Louis Vuitton, both store front windows still intact, goods still present and accounted for. You see, no one loots a Louis Vuitton during an apocalypse. When things turn to shit the last thing you're doing is looting for a new handbag. Not when people are being hanged by lampposts in the city square for stealing a loaf of bread, or breathing their last breath on park benches, as others rummage through their coat pockets in hopes of finding a tiny morsel of food. When once we went to stadiums to see our team beat its most hated rival, we now witness public executions along the 10th yard line. We line up, not for those new Kanye Yeezys, but for our weekly food rations.
And yet, there are still those that walk among us who cling to the old ways.
After an unsatisfying breakfast that consisted of a stale poptart washed down with a sip of flat Coke, I spent the morning making my way out the city. As civilization began to recede, and the sidewalks replaced by dirt paths, I met a man leaning against a tall oak tree, just by the side of the road. The stranger's sudden appearance so startled me (for surely he hadn't been there a second ago. Had he?), that for a brief moment I thought I had been hallucinating. That was until the hallucination spoke to me.
“How goes it, friend?”, the man asked. He was clean shaven and disquietingly healthy. His ruddy face was filled with good cheer. He wore a studded leather jacket that sat comfortably on his shoulders, over a Givenchy rottweiler sweatshirt.
“Hello”, I replied, cautiously. My eyes darted past the man, sensing movement in the tall grass behind him. Two goth ninjas emerged as if out of thin air. Then two became four, then four became eight.
“I suppose you're going to want this?”, I asked the man and his men, and held out my backpack in front of me. As I did this, the men watched. Watched, and waited.
“Nah, you can keep that.”, the man replied. His voice sounded reasonable enough, but if there was one thing I had discovered since setting out onto the road, it was to never trust a reasonable voice. “Probably ain't got anything in there worth taking, anyhow. Cans of dried tuna...a spoon. Maybe a roll of toilet paper. Shoot, what we want with any of that?”
“So what do you want?”, I asked, trying (and hoping) to match the man's reasonable tone. The air became deadly quiet, save for a low thumping sound, which I soon realized was the sound of my own quickening heart beat.
“Well, you see, me and my crew been out on the road a while now”, said the man. “Seen a lot of shit. Done a lot of shit. Killed some people. You know how it is.”
I nodded and tried to remain cool.
“And yet in all that time, I ain't never seen nobody with a coat as nice as the one you got on you right now. Who makes it?”
“Lemaire”, I replied. My Lemaire Kaftan. I took it off a man I once found lying in the middle of the street. Unlucky for him. Lucky for me. “I like how it drapes”.
The man raised his eyebrows, impressed. “You don't say! And that sure is a nice looking coat. But, you see... the bitch of it is... we're gonna have to take it.” And with that, the man and his crew of goth ninjas drew out their swords.
The Kaftan is nice and roomy. It keeps me warm in those harsh winter months, and is comfy. And I do like how it drapes. But not just because of how it fits me. It's drape hides beneath it a fearsome weapon.
I unleashed the katana called Shiva and raised her in front of me.
“That is not going to happen.”
I could bore you with the rest of the details, but it should be quite obvious as to what happened next, should it not? After all, I am alive to tell you this story.
But there is a maxim in my part of the world, one which you may find enlightening: A man wearing a Givenchy rottweiler sweatshirt is still just a dead man.