Phantom Harvest turns one this month! This week’s birthday feature is a look inside the world of the Mutant Casebook Series.
The Mutant Casebook Series is based on a “What If” scenario. What if atomic testing in the 1950s went wrong and there was an accident that ripped a hole in reality? Humans were pulled into another world. Their molecular structure mutated, giving them extraordinary power and changing their bodies to fit their new environment. How would the mutated humans cope? Would they cling to their old lives, building cities and developing governments? Or would they simply succumb to animal behavior?
Phantom Harvest introduces the dangerous and diverse Mutant World. Created by an atomic test gone horribly wrong, the “Calamity” ripped a hole in reality. Humans torn from their homes were split apart into many versions of themselves. Some theorized that a devious intelligence based the human mutations on the person’s core nature. Many of them became Dark Elves. These beautiful, ruthless beings took control. They established a corrupt governing body and built the city of New Athens. Its economy centers on a priceless mineral containing killing magic protected and controlled by Dark Elves. Other types of mutants made up the dregs of their new society. Some stayed within the protection of the city. Others, criminals and vicious killers, migrated to the savage wilderness known as the Outskirts.
The Dark Elves have a limited work force to mine for their precious mineral. They eventually entered into a treaty with the Human government. Miners are given VISAs and are allowed to travel from the Human World through the conduit to the mining town of Hawthorne. Resting at the opening of a conduit between the Outskirts and Kansas, Hawthorne has become a dangerous place to work. Though the mutants have tried to make their human employees feel at home (convenience stores and pizzerias), it is still a savage frontier town.
Two suns filtered by a constant haze hung like the decorative lights in a cheap bar. They added to the ambiance, but did little to warm the patrons. Their dulled spheres overlapped one another, tied together by the same force that wrought their existence and left their third instance – the original sun – back in the human world.
The new generation of mutant-born in this world had never seen gentle clouds drifting across the brilliant skies of the human world. Their skies were dull yellow fading into a blue-gray fog. Gideon had once heard Hiroshi describe it as dusk against a tornado sky.
This pimple on the ass of the world had been the epicenter of a reality-shattering rip in the veil between two worlds. It wasn’t clear which side had caused the dimensional rift, but “The Calamity” as it came to be known opened a conduit between the human world and this one. Humans were snatched from their own reality and transported to the mutant world. They were altered forever and forced to spend their days as mutants in the Outskirts.
There was no going back through the conduit for any resident of the mutant world. Border Patrol made sure any who tried wound up as pig slop on a farm in the Bible belt. Give a human border patrol agent a big gun loaded with killing magic and watch mercy take a one way ticket to hell.
Gideon pulled the collar of his coat tightly about his neck. He shoved his hands in warm pockets. The Calamity had been several decades before his time, but being this close to the Hawthorne Conduit still gave him the creeps. He looked to the bluffs a short mile from Hawthorne’s city limits. Step into those bluffs and you’d find yourself in the human world…a place called Kansas. Gideon turned away and headed toward the parking lot.
He’d been to the human world. They could keep it.