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Dunes of Thought is an unused location in Wasteland 3.

Background[]

Points of interest[]

Behind the scenes[]

[From the letters of Doctor Ellen Buchanan, dated 2022 - twenty-five years after the bombs fell. Housed in the Patriarch’s personal archive, Colorado Springs.]

I’m writing this from the passenger seat of an old, prewar pickup, not far from the ruins of Fort Garland. It’s April, I think… almost two years since we embarked upon this project to survey what’s become of our world.

My driver is a silent, pale-skinned man, his bald head mottled with scars and radiation burns. His coveralls have been mended so many times that I’ve taken to calling him Patch. He never speaks, so I don’t know if he minds the name, but I hope he doesn’t. Ever since the death of Dr. Herrera, he’s been my sole companion and friend.

A few days ago, Patch and I reached the edge of a barren expanse. Sand piled in vast, sweeping dunes at the edge of the mountains. This was once a national park that had been turned over to a group of scientists – not university professors like I once was, but a private foundation. They’d fenced off the whole area, and no one was allowed inside.

Of course, my curiosity immediately got the better of me. I told Patch to stay with the truck, and I set off alone.

At the edge of the dunes, I found toppled fences and guard towers, probably abandoned when the bombs fell. As I climbed over the ruins, I saw flickers of blue light from the sands beyond.

Sitting amongst the dunes were dozens of massive globes, like giant crystal balls strewn around a beach. Each of them was about twenty feet in diameter, though some were larger than others. They were filled with intricate networks of transparent fibers, so complex that the human eye couldn’t follow all their connections. Tiny blue-white sparks moved along the fibers at an incredible speed. Every so often, an arc of electricity jumped from one of the globes to another, setting off a chain reaction that sliced through the air and unleashed a burst of thunder.

I watched, mesmerized, for who knows how long, trying to understand what I was seeing.

“The Storm-in-Chains,” said a voice beside me. “Preserved minds from before the war.”

I leaped in surprise. A hairy little man stood close by, nearly naked, with metal rods strapped to his back. Startled by his sudden appearance, I asked who he was.

“Sparksinger,” he said. “First of my name. The Storm called me hence.”

Instinctively I edged away from him, but he grabbed my arm, pulling me toward the lightning globes with a wiry strength. He put his mouth close to my ear. “Hear me, Dr. Buchanan - you are an echo, nothing more. All those you studied are dead. All those you taught are dead.”

How he knew me, I cannot guess. I was so shocked by his words that I didn’t resist, and he dragged me closer to the orbs. Before it even occurred to me to shout for help, Patch was running toward us, mouth set in an angry line. The little man looked at him with horror.“

I know what’s under your skin, dissembler. Get you back!”

For a moment, the Sparksinger let go of my arm. Patch and I broke away and raced for our truck…

[Beyond this point, the letter is torn, and no further record of the story has been found.]

~ Vignette from WL3's Fig campaign

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