Photography: cyberpunk gang member and a Mythos apocalypse – Tattooed survivor with a samurai sword, by Danielle Tunstall

Life or death in the flash of a blade

Photography cyberpunk gang member and a Mythos apocalypse – Tattooed survivor with a samurai sword, by Danielle Tunstall

Tattooed survivor with a samurai sword. Image copyright danielle tunstall – all rights reserved. Click full size

Part of a series of images from the liquid metal, carbo-plastic, hydrogel and permacrete core of visual creators on the Internet.  Images that stir my senses and evoke plots and concepts for what I’d like to see (or fear) in the future.

In the post-apocalyptic world of Yellow Dawn, survivors don’t just have to find food and resources to stay alive – they have to defend themselves from those who would take it from them.  The apocalypse strips away the pretensions of our current age.  Your platinum credit card won’t protect you from the swarms of feral gangs feasting on the remains of your city  – where more than seventy percent of the population died from an aggressive fever and coma within a handful of days.

Holing up in your apartment will only seem like a good idea until the food runs out and the water stops flowing.  Eventually you’ll have to go outside.  And face the random vicissitudes of a life now slotted into a survival track.  Getting out of the city is your only true option but then do you know how to grow or even harvest the things you need to live?

The man with the sword could be your nemesis or merely your own reflection in a grime spattered storefront – long since raided and emptied of anything useful.  There are worse things to fear out there. Depending on how close you live to southern Europe and North Africa, the 2nd pathogen – the Infection is spreading outwards from the original impact crates of the doom-laden deep space merchant cruiser the Callisto.  Shrieking in mindless rage, sprinting on limbs that will never grow weak or tired, or crawling around in shattered bodies that seem unable to die, the Infected come stalking into the urban places to create Dead Cities.  It is eventually here that the brave and the desperate come, to scavenge and explore, to find artefacts from a close yet distant era of human civilisation on a planet still quivering from the aftershock of what has happened.

High above, untouched but grieving, the orbital colonies spin silently and observe the expanding push for a new life into deep space.  Backs turned on mother Earth. Whilst down below, in the abandoned spaces, fresh horrors are being born as non-human things drift down from alien dimensions of space and time to reclaim  a landscape they once ruled as their own.   When it comes to it – it’s you and the sharp-edged blade of the sword. You’re a survivor or you’re a victim.

Yellow Dawn – The Age of Hastur is an RPG and the setting for a collection of novels.  British sci-fi dark fantasy author David J Rodger is currently working on The Social Club, the third novel placed in this post-apocalyptic survival horror world.  It follows  Dog Eat Dog and The Black Lake (which recently received critical review in the Guardian newspaper website UK).  All three novels are separate stories but share the one universe.  Another five novels exist, taking place in this shared universe before Yellow Dawn wrecked such global havoc and devastation. You can view all of these novels here.

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Danielle Tunstall has a vast repository of images she’s created and showcasing on her website, definitely worth a look if you’re into the darker side of Cyberpunk, verging on horror, smeared in blood and infection.

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David J Rodger – DATA

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