As everyone knows, the Wasteland is full of dangerous critters, the type that can tear your balls off if you don’t know what you are doing. Usually folks go fucking around like true jackasses, without any second thought to what kind of beasts they might go across, and then it’s time for regretting and bleeding. That’s why I have decided to consecrate my life to be a boffin about all this, a respected Official Bugger and Mutardologist from the Scrapbridge Methane and Meat Electro-proteic Guild (in which I am founding member, as well as president, secretary, treasurer and field specialist). I am doctor Sarious, and I will try in this Guide to the animals, critters and mutations of the Wasteland to make a cool study about the animals that populate our world.
We ain’t discovering gunpoweder when sayin’ that, since the World went kabooom, some weird as fuck creatures have been showing up. There are some of them quite cracking and others that would be so if not for their wicked ways, and I have talked about all of them here because they are all fun to watch. But those of you who still think that the Wasteland is not a nasty place that’s because you haven’t been out there. And not only for the fact that anyone you meet out there is capable of wasting you for a dirty bullet. The Wasteland is a place where you can find really horrible creature that seem to have been naturally engineered to kill in the most gruesome ways. But if there is one of them beasts that scares the shit out of anyone just by name and if you find it you better start praying to any god who gives a fuck about you, that’s the shredder.
Shredders are not predators, they are THE predators. Their bodies seem to have evolved just to hunt.
While being huge and bulky creatures (the biggest ones can measure up to 12 feet long on their hind legs, while females are smaller with maybe 9 feet long), they are lightning fast and nimble. On open ground they can run as fast as a Black Blood motorbike and they are capable of climbing on almost any surface thanks to their mighty claws. They are ripped as fuck and can tear down a wall without much trouble. Their bodies are covered in thick fur, longer on the males along the spine, with colors that range from light sand to dark shit. Their skin is really tough and they can resist even gunfire at short range and the attacks of almost any other feral beast of the Wasteland. They also have strong, big and sharp claws, specially the front ones, the biggest ones being longer than a scythe. And their heads are quite small compared to the rest of their bodies, like those those guys ripped in the gym that go all muscular and then their heads look like tiny toys. But the strangest thing of all is that they don’t seem to have eyes, ears or noses, but it’s like they don’t need’em for nothin’. So far nobody has been able to confirm if they use vibrations, or can ‘feel’ their surroundings in a way we can’t yet figure out. They do have mouths, filled with teeth that ain’t that scary, in part because their main weapon are their front claws. A funny thing is that their teeth, claws and, well, all their bones even internal ones, have a metallic hue to them like steel, but they are not really metallic… I guess. A buddy of mine says that he read books from the World of Before and that an animal like this was called a wolverine, glutton or michigander, so it might very well be an offspring of one of those creatures.
Shredders can be found anywhere on the Wasteland, but they tend to avoid big settlements where coordinated groups of people might be able to hunt them down. Apart from humans, no other creatures seem to be a real threat to them.
They live in couples (I think they mate for life) and are extremely territorial always hunting around the same area that can be really large in extension. A shredder will fiercely defend its territory against any other of its species that dares to get into it. I only have information from a witness that actually saw a couple of males fighting over territory, and her description was the wildest thing you can imagine. They were fighting for hours, laying waste to a small mining settlement in the process, where this witness got trapped under the rubble and was able to watch the whole show. While recalling the story, she even pooped a little.
Shredders spend most of their time fooling around, like my cousin Benny. They sleep, play, sleep, patrol their territory, sleep, take a dump, sleep… I suppose that’s the kind of confidence that comes with the knowledge that no other living being on earth will come to break your balls. But when they are hungry and go hunting, you better not be nearby. They usually do so once a week, being the male in charge of the task.
They are much smarter than you would think for a muscular beast with claws like scythes. Yeah, sure, they are not intelligent enough to have a little chat with them or laugh at my brilliant punchlines, but they are really clever animals. They can set hunting plans with their own strategies, avoid their (few) possible threats and determine the most accesible prey. Due to their huge bodies they need to eat a lot when they are hungry, so they prefer to hunt a bunch of big preys rather than a lot of smaller ones. They also seem to rotate their hunting grounds and types of prey, like if they were smart enough to not deplete their food sources.
They also are superb trackers, with a highly developed sense of smell. Despite their bulky bodies, they can be extremely silent when they want to and can stalk their targets without being noticed. Once they are close enough they leap on their prey and use their gruesome claws to shred it to pieces (hey, you thought their name was just marketing?), then play around a bit with the remains and then start eating. No fucking clue why they do that. Sure, if you tear apart your victim’s legs it won’t go anywhere, but that’s also true if you slit its throat. That’s a vicious thing to do playing with your food still alive before eating it.
Most of the people travelling across the Wasteland use buffamels not only as burden beasts, but also because if you cross paths with a shredder it will usually prefer to hunt the biggest target with the most meat rather than them. It’s true that it’s a far shot that you can be able to get far enough from the beast to avoid being tracked and hunted down after it finishes its main course, but at least you get a chance.
Shredders are a source of useful materials… but the hard part is hunting one. Everyone knows that one of the Pit Lords has one stuffed shredder in his crib. It’s really impressive to see its size, but I know for good that, as much as he brags about having hunted it himself, fuck that. A trader found a dead one on the side of the road, apparently due to natural causes because it had no wounds, and the local big honchos set up a private auction to keep it whithout the rest of people knowing.
But there have been successful hunting parties that managed to hunt down some of them, but as far as I remember I can count them with my wanking hand and still have some fingers left. Even so, their effort was brutal and with many casualties.
Their claws are one of the most valued weapons in the Wasteland, as they are harder and sharper than the best steel. As they have different sized claws, you can get your own collection of varied weapons. Their skin also makes great leather for the best armor you can possibly find, as any knife will break trying to get throuh it.
Their meat is quite chewy and doesn’t taste specially good. You can do so just for the pose of saying that you are eating shredder, but even a lizardcock breast is tastier.
And of course, its head hanging on your wall boosts your popularity by one thousand, and all the big fishes go nuts to buy one when they hear a shredder has been taken down.