GURPS: Red Sky
The In-Between Places
Situated in the middle of nowhere, halfway between here and there, squarely between the urban population centers are stretches of back country that do not seem like they should exist so close to a major metropolitan city. Things here look exactly like they did twenty years ago, or fifty, or even a hundred, with dirt roads and ramshackle homes concealed behind overgrown shrub and uncaring trees. Here, a rural mindset competes with the modern age, resulting in a dangerous dichotomy that can only lead to conflict.
Threat: “Dueling Banjos”
In these dark places, there are monsters, both of the mundane nature and of the supernatural variety, but either will kill you just the same. Fierce beasts from the Nevernever prowl the shadows and tangled brush while violently racist rednecks or militia separatists scheme to commit crimes against those they perceive to be the Other. Sometimes the mundane and supernatural threats war against one another and other times, they cooperate. When one threat is vanquished, another claws its way free to begin threatening the innocent.
The Face: Machete Man
According to law enforcement, there is no “Machete Man.” He is just a local legend dreamed up to scare the tourists, no matter that rumor insists he is always there, lurking in the shadows and waiting to spring out of the darkness to abduct, rape, and murder. The few reports about his appearance inevitably conflict: he might be average height and mass or eight feet tall (or nine!) with muscles on top of his muscles and eyes that burn like smoldering coals. All that can be agreed upon is that when he appears, people die. Official reports always have believable explanations for these deaths – hunting accidents, or tragically bad luck, or a horrible prank gone awry – and his targets always seem to be young and brave to the point of being foolhardy. As there is never any proof that he exists, local law enforcement has never made any real effort to uncover the truth.
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