IN THE BIG BURN
Dreamed 1997/7/22 by Chris Wayan
We push into the radioactive zone called the Big Burn. Ahead, in its heart, grows a jungle of mutant life, radiation-resistant. We have medication that protects the two of us, at least for now. She and I are agents, seeking a professor lost here years ago--soon after the Catastrophe, in fact. We're to verify his death--the government fears he may have faked it, defected to the enemy. They also want us to check out the ruins of the lab that developed the bomb technology used in the war, and make sure no one's been digging for weapons secrets.
It's beautiful in the Big Burn! And when we find the labs, the professor is alive and well. He's been hiding all these years from BOTH governments in the weird wilderness he inadvertently created. He refuses to go back. "I won't be a war tool again." He'd rather study the jungle.
My fellow agent tells me she's not going back either. She loves the jungle and planned this all along. Suspected she'd find him here. And other dropouts may be moving into the mutant forest, too, one by one, or two by two.
I'm a bit in love with her, and don't know what to do... It is beautiful. But lonely. And hot! Can drugs really shield us long-term?
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