Running on Empty

For the last decade I’ve been blessed to be friends with a wonderful guy named Jamie Lindemann. Mr. Lindemann is an extremely talented, ‘jack of all trades’ sort of individual. We met in college through a shared passion for tabletop gaming, and ended up rooming together our senior year. During the tenure of our friendship I’ve seen Jamie design countless board games and card games, but the thing that most impressed me with Jamie’s creative endeavors were the worlds that he built.

It’s my pleasure to announce that I’ll be writing several upcoming short stories for a setting he’s created called ‘Running on Empty’. It’s a wonderful ‘what if’ setting that mixes up a good dose of ‘Mad Max‘, with a dash of ‘Pitch Black‘, and a spoonful of ‘Supernatural‘. The first short story, “Preacher and Ghost: Tape #1” should be available sometime during the month of May. It will be a stand-alone story , roughly 50-60 pages in length, with a fully developed beginning, middle and end. Not a serial, like ‘Breakdown’.

I’ve taken a snippet of the actual tabletop rulebook and copied it below.

My granddad used to tell me, when I was a kid, about a time when we didn’t have the sunlights. When we actually had a real sun shining on us, and a million stars, and other planets in the sky. The air was a clear blue, and everybody walked around in the warm season with it just streaming down on them. And that they hated it. How hot it was, how bright it was… Careful what you wish for, I guess.

We join the story almost eighty years after the Great Eclipse, when generations of survivors have grown up without the sun, with their days being a dusky murk over their long, cold nights. Generations before, the nation’s scientists were set with an unavoidable dilemma: We were on a collision course with a Doomsday-level celestial object. A direct impact on this scale would end life as we know it, plunging us into a nuclear winter thousands of years long, plenty long enough to snuff out life on Earth. As the event loomed closer, two camps emerged: One who argued that the event would miss us by fractions, on a celestial scale, others who continued to dispute the calculations and point out that death was only a few years away. Both were wrong.

It has been said that the impact did more than shatter the earth, but in fact opened a hole through the world, figuratively speaking. No one has been recorded as going and seeing what things are like in Asia, but whispers abound that a great rift was opened in the world and all manner of evil came out. A lot of that talk is endtime-flavored crazy, but the world has never been the same since the sun went out. Since then, some Citadels have declared sovereignty over the surrounding regions, usually no more than thirty miles out due to the limits of radio technology and the absence of satellites. Some communities put themselves in indentury to maintain the double-wide banks of sunlamps which keep our crops growing around the calendar, eight hours at a time. Others waited, trembling fearfully with no news from the darkness, until their power plants gave out and in one moment were plunged into a Stygian nightmare they could never wake up from. This is a recipe for disaster. This is the story’s beginning. This is home. Welcome to the Long Night.

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