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Joe and Sanjay were in the middle of a post-apocalyptic world overrun with robots, when Joe came up with a plan to wipe out Earth's robotic overlords using a virus. But first they had to survive the journey. After managing to elude the drones in the streets, they continued on foot, collecting weapons to help them fight their way to the end. Just as things seemed to be going their way, Sanjay stumbled in the middle of the road - leaving them both vulnerable to the approaching robots.



When It Rains, It Pours

by Joe Gillis




Sanjay was down on the ground, grabbing his ankle. I could see he was in a lot of pain and needed some help, so I hurried back to assist him.

“Uh, I think I twisted my ankle,” he told me as I lifted him up. “How much time do we have?”

“I lost count. We’re going to have to wing it now. I bet you’re wishing you drove that car now, aren’t ya?”

“Ah, umm... shut up. Just help me get to the van.” He cringed in pain.

We made it behind the van, but I wasn’t sure how long we should wait. So I did the 3 count and we headed in with Sanjay limping and me helping.

“Go, one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand, three-one-thousand…” we rushed into the alcove, I tried the door, and sure enough, it opened. “Look at that, Lady Luck is on our side.” I smiled.

“Hurry, up or Lady Luck is going to get us killed.”

We shut the door right when the walking Tin Can patrol stepped into our view—both of us dropped out of its view as fast as we could.

“That was close,” I whispered.

“Next time, less talking.” Sanjay nodded.

“Okay, said the guy who tripped and nearly got us killed.”

“Dude, my skills have gotten us this far, so I’ll still go with the less talking.” He smirked.

“John ain’t going to get made with that attitude.” I smiled.

He laughed, and then realized it might get us killed, so he quickly covered his mouth. “Come on, dude, you’re going to get us killed,” he said in a low voice as he tried to stifle his laugh.

“Psst, fine. How about you find something to wrap your ankle, and I’ll start gathering up some weapons?”

“Sounds good.”

Man, this store had everything we needed. The only plus to this whole end of the world scenario was that it came out of left field, so no one had time to clean out places like this.

I found a couple of duffle bags and began to fill them up with weapons and ammo. You know, I enjoyed firing guns and actually owned a few, but most of my knowledge of weapons came from playing video games. I grabbed anything that would take down something with the most hit points possible, including all the grenades they had and the best possible thing a man could ever want...

“Check this out,” I said in an excited whisper as I held it up to show Sanjay. “A freakin’ missile launcher!”

“Duuude, for sure grab that.”

“Heck yeah! I can’t wait to use this puppy!”

Sanjay finished wrapping his ankle and hobbled his way over to the counter. “Do they have another one?”

“Check it out, matching missile launchers! We’re totally going to be twinsies as we take down those flying Tin Cans and tanks!”

“Those are nice!”

“Only the best for you,” I smiled.

“See, you’re coming around,” he said.

“That, and I realized you were super clumsy on the way in. I figured this would save us both since I’ve seen tons of photos of guys firing these things while sitting on the ground, so next time you trip and fall, you’ll already be in position to fire this thing.”

“I want to be mad at you right now, but this thing is too amazing to hold a grudge.”

“Besides these beauties, I think we have plenty of fire power. I say we throw on a double shoulder holster, a couple of belt holsters, load up with hand guns, and then make our way back to the car.”

“I like your thinking.”

Once we did that, I spotted one more weapon I knew I needed to have—a sawed-off shotgun.

“Look what I found,” I lifted it up to show Sanjay.

“I don’t know how a shotgun is going to help us.”

“Well, first Max had one just like this in the post-apocalypse, and second, it worked pretty great for Reese against the Terminator—which is very much like the situation we’re in right now,” I reasoned.

“It sounds like you should hand it over to me then.” Sanjay suggested.

“I think I’m better suited for it. If I’m going to venture into a post-apocalyptic world, there’s no other weapon I’d rather have. I mean, look at me!” I said as I gestured to my post-apocalyptic wardrobe.

You know, it felt like Sanjay was finally looking at me for the first time. “Oh, I see it now. Hey Joe, Mad Max called and said he wants his wardrobe back.”

“Ha, ha. You know he only went by Max, right? Not Mad Max,” I said as I put the shotgun in the duffle bag, along with some boxes of ammo. “Hey, just so you know, I read a stat that Michael Biehn has over a 44% chance of dying in his films.”

“Well, good thing I’m not Biehn.”

“Reese has a 100% chance of dying, so your odds are better as Biehn,” I reminded him.

“True, but Reese has a 100% chance of getting it on with Sarah, so you should think about your odds.”

“Man, I have,” I took a deep breath before uttering, “Yep…” and blowing it back out in defeat. “I most certainly have. The odds are in your favor there.”

“You keep thinking about it. Until then, you ready to make your way back to the car?” He was very aware that the Tin Cans outside the store might start checking the buildings soon.

“I am.”

“Well, grab a bag and let’s go,” he said, pointing at some duffle bags.

The duffle bags were the tactical sling style that could be worn on the back. I threw mine on and picked up the missile launcher in my right hand and another duffle with extra missiles in the left hand. Sanjay did the same, but not without complaining.

“Dude, these things are heavy.”

“I know. We just have to make it to the car and we’ll be good. You ready?” I gestured my head toward the door.

“Come on, let’s go save the world.”

We waited for the humanoid Tin Can patrol to pass and then counted out to the point where we needed to go again.

“Go,” I said as I opened the door for Sanjay, and then I followed him out. “One-one-thousand, two-one-thousand, three-one-thousand, four-one-thousand, five-one-thousand, six-one-thousand…”

We made it to the back of the van that was parked near the gun store. Sanjay was still counting for the next point, and I began to do the math in my head. It took us a few seconds longer than we had planned to reach the van. Sanjay’s injured leg and the extra weight were slowing us down too much. We weren’t going to be able to make it to the next vehicle without being spotted. We only had a few more seconds to work with than before to get from the van to the next spot, and it took us twice as long to get from the door to the back of the van. I knew a few more seconds wasn’t enough to get us to our next spot.

“Hurry up, shove the bags under the van,” I whispered.

“Huh? Why?”

“We can’t make it,” I said as I shoved mine under. “Just do it; we don’t have time to argue about it.”

I crawled under the van while Sanjay pushed his bags under. I helped pull them in and then signaled for him. He barely made it under before the drone flew by.

“Uh, what are we going to do?” He asked in an even quieter tone than we had been talking in.

“We’re going to wait for the humanoid one to pass again, and then we’re going to restart our countdown. This time you’re not going to carry anything. You can’t make it with your ankle. We’re going to have to make an extra trip or two to make it to the next spot in time.”

“Maybe I could carry one bag?”

“We can’t chance it. No bags for you. I need you to focus on the counting. I’ll grab what I can and follow you. It will take us longer, but it’s our best chance of making it.”


We waited for the humanoid Tin Can to pass and began our countdown again. Once we hit the point in the countdown to leaving the store, we both scooted our way out from under the van, and I pulled out my duffle bags. I slung the one on my back and picked up the other while grasping the missile launcher with my free hand.

“And… go,” Sanjay said as he made his way to the bright yellow clunker that would shield us from view.

It’s funny because that thing would have made a horrible hiding place if we were hiding from humans, but I think the Tin Cans were more set on noticing motion than bright colors the way we do.

Sanjay was doing better than I was this time. It was taking everything I had to keep up with him, and I was beginning to think I wasn’t going to make it.

He was out far enough out of earshot that I wasn’t sure how much time was left. When he finally reached the back of the parked car, he turned around and I could tell by his face that there wasn’t a whole lot of time left.

His hand flew up to gesture me in faster. I’m not sure why people always do this in the movies, because it wasn’t helping me at all right now.

Once I reached the back of the car, I turned my back to it and dropped to the ground, trying to catch my breath.

Sanjay stared at me like I shouldn’t be alive.

“Wh… wh…” I tried to ask what was wrong, but I was still struggling for air. I finally got enough out for him to understand. “What?”

“My count must have been off because by all accounts you should be dead.”

“Maybe I made it back just in the nick of time.”

“Yeah, maybe.”

After I felt like I was good to go again, I turned to Sanjay with a new plan. “So, I think you should go get the Camaro, while I grab the rest of the gear.”

“I don’t think we should split up.”

“Think about it. Splitting up should increase our odds of success,” I reasoned.

“I’m not sure about that one. I really think I should stay with you.”

“Okay,” I conceded with a caveat. “But you stay here, and I’ll go back to get the rest of the bags.”

“Got it.”

I waited for the cycle to hit the point to head to the van. I made it back there and crawled under the van with time to spare. I held out for the next starting point. Then I rolled out and threw on the duffle bag with the guns, picked up the missile launcher and duffle bag with the missiles, and started to run back to the car, but this time I was the one who tripped.

“You have got to be kidding me,” I said as I scrambled to get back up to my feet. It was much harder than I expected, because the weapons on my back was throwing me off. I began to realize that I wasn’t going to make it, and I needed to get the bag off my back so I could get to the missile launcher. I was still struggling to pull it off when I saw the drone, and I’m pretty sure it spotted me.

“Duck down!” I heard Sanjay yell from behind me.

I did. Then I heard what sounded like a quick release of air, and I saw a missile fly over me as it shot off at the drone.

“Let’s go!” He yelled as he tossed his missile launcher onto the ground and took off running—well, it was actually more of a run-slash-limp.

My adrenaline must have kicked in because I was able to stand up with the duffle bag still on my back and grab everything else. I watched the missile nail the drone as I was running back to the car. The explosion was going to give us away, so I rushed to catch up with Sanjay.

Once we reached the edge of the cornfield, I gave him my missile launcher and the bag with the missiles. “Take these. You go get the car, and I’ll grab the rest of the bags.”


He headed into the cornfield, and I ran back to the way-too-bright-yellow-of-a-car-after-you-blew-up-a-drone vehicle where I had dropped off the other bags. I knew I was running out of time because I could hear a tank headed my way. Time was running out, and I was already moving as fast as I could while lugging a massive bag on my back. Luckily, I reached the car that now felt like a big flashing sign, snatched both the duffles off the ground, and headed back to the cornfield before the tank reached the end of the street.

It was much harder to run with both bags loaded with guns, and it was slowing me down—big time. The tank was growing louder and louder with every rotation of the sprockets that propelled the track. I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to make it. I glanced over toward where the sound was originating, and I could see the tank turning its turret to fire at me.

“Keep running!” Sanjay shouted.

I heard the same sound of the missile launching, but I didn’t stop to see what was happening. The explosion was much louder this time, and the pressure from the blast knocked me to the ground.

My ears were ringing, yet I could still hear, but then Sanjay said something that made me wish that I couldn’t.

“That’s two… no wait, that's three times I saved your life. Now hurry up so I don’t need to do it a fourth time.” Freakin’ A. He’s never gonna let me live this one down. I struggled to get back to my feet before picking up the bags again.

“I think you need to re-evaluate your counting,” I said as I stumbled towards the cornfield. “Two of those were because I was helping you.”

“Yeah? You keep telling yourself that. Come on, we better get to the car before any more of those things try to kill you again.” He looked up and noticed a swarm of drones headed our way.

“I guess it's too late for that,” he said as he pointed them out.

“That’s a lot of drones.” I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. It was like a swarm of bees headed our way.

“Yeah, it most definitely is.”

But that wasn’t the worst of it. We could hear tanks rolling towards us from both sides of the street.

“And more freakin’ tanks,” I mumbled as I grabbed a missile and inserted it into the missile launcher. I kneeled down on the ground and set sights on the tank to my left. “You know, our odds would be a whole lot better if we had that other missile launcher.”

“Are you saying that our odds would be better if you were dead?” He joked.

“Psst, I should have let you die earlier,” I joked back with him before locking on my target and firing.

The missile shot on out like it was supposed to, but instead of hitting the tank, it just veered up into the sky.

“What the?!” I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. There was no way I could have missed a target like that. “Quick, load me up again.” Within a few seconds I was ready to go again. I pulled the trigger, and sure enough, it happened again. I turned to Sanjay. “That’s a pretty big bug.”

“Well, it was fun while it lasted,” he said as the tank I was trying to destroy finally fired on us. “See you on the flip side.”


©2023 Joe Gillis, All Rights Reserved.




Well, that didn’t play out as planned. What do you think is going to happen next? How will Joe and Sanjay get out of their current mess?

I don’t know about you, but I really do love me some Mad Max. In fact, the Birth of Post-Apocalyptic Joe... or at least his outfit, was born from a costume I made for the Kinetic Grand Championship in 2018. The team I joined, which consisted of my pals I made from filming the Beyond Geek episode about the race, had a Mad Max meets plants AKA something akin to Little Shop of Horrors’ man-eating plant Audrey II inspired theme. So, I created an awesome persona around that aspect. I found all the elements I wanted on my leather jacket and enlisted Odin Abbott to attach them while we drove to Humboldt. He gave me the awesome goggles, lent me his fake shotgun—which you can see how that was built on his YouTube channel, Odin Makes—I added some shin guards, and Post-Apocalyptic Joe was born.

You can see me in action as Post-Apocalyptic Joe in the video I made for Beyond Geek about my experience down below or here.

See you on the flip side!


P.S. I joined Odin Makes for a livestream to weather a pair of new goggles, creating a vintage look. Check it out: Odin Makes














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