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Written By:James Axler - 1999

  • Encounter - James Axler cover


Before the odyssey began... there was the Trader


Stories of the Trader and his convoy of war wagons endure in the badlands of post-holocaust America. A dealer in Deathlands' most precious commodities—weapons and fuel—Trader takes note of a young Ryan Cawdor. Surrounded in myth and rumor, Trader sets into motion the beginnings of legend at a place called Virtue Lake...


At Spearpoint, the ultimate redoubt housing a valuable cache of predark technology, two opposing wills clash. Levi Shabazz intends to carve his own empire out of the vast wastelands, but the Trader intends to thwart him and end his bloody siege of power. It all comes to a head at Virtue Lake—a hard lesson fro Trader and a grim rite of passage for Ryan Cawdor.

Plus! For the first time ever—a feature on the birth of the Deathlands series!


Whatever the poison was, it wasn't quick

As Trader slipped helpessly down the wall to the floor, his heart felt squashed in his chest, crushed into a space so small it could hardly beat against the surrounding pressure. He labored against the pain and the terror for an eternity, then both seemed to miraculously lift.

Trader realized he was looking down on his own body from a vantage point along the ceiling. He watched his own legs jerk and kick, and his head bang the floor, leaving a broad smear of blood.

It didn't matter; the pain was no longer part of him.

It belonged to the body, the dying physical form to which he felt not the slightest kinship.




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