n the previous part of Torchman's Story of galactic adventure, he and the other residents of Torchland had weathered the storm of several attacks by The Murderous Party. Spring had ended, and everyone was hoping for the best in the upcoming jungle summer.
The summer starts right off on a sour note; Amna gets an infection from wounds suffered in the previous days' battles, and Wes comes down with a case of sleeping sickness. On the brighter side, Pixie has been working hard on the crops, and harvests potatoes and cotton. Now Amna will actually be able to get some clothing! Torch gets to work right away on the tailoring bench. Once that's completed, he starts construction on an infirmary to handle the sickness and combat injuries.
A few days into the season everyone is surprised as a wanderer walks into Torchland wearing nothing but a cowboy hat and an armored vest. With a tip of the brim, he introduces himself as Andy Dixon. Andy is quite skilled with construction, which will help greatly with Wes being mostly out of commission. Despite his sleeping sickness, Wes really seems to like what he sees and decides to hook up with Andy before the day is even over. They couldn't even wait for the walls to their room to be built before hopping in the sack together!
Some much needed rest after getting busy.
Even with Wes down, the group is pretty productive up until the mid-point of summer. Torchman builds a recreation area with a pool table. Manhunter rats attack and are swiftly killed, providing some food for the store. Amna's infection is cured. Andy finishes up the infirmary, making a nice clean location for future medical needs. The timing is good, because Pixie gets a bad case of the flu. On the research end of things, the group figures out machining and the ability to make firearms. The next thing to work on is drug production, because Torch's supply of medicines that he arrived with is running out fast.
The hot summer begins heating up even more in the infirmary; in her sickened state, Pixie decides it is the best time to declare her love for Wes, who refuses. Wes sure is sexy when he has sleeping sickness! First he hooks up with Andy, now Pixie wants him, despite literally trying to kill him two seasons ago. Pixie does not take it well, and has a mental breakdown, and wanders about the jungle in a dazed state for the following two days. Everyone else is starting to get tired of Wes being a drain on the medicine supply and being unable to build (while still able to bang, apparently).
Torchman starts making some clothing, so that Andy's junk isn't hanging out all the time while wandering about the settlement. He doesn't get around to finishing anything though. He begins rambling about how ugly everything looks in the settlement, and runs off to hide in his room. Andy decides to propose to Wes, but is turned down. Who would have thought that a couple days isn't enough time to decide that you want to marry someone? Maybe Andy should have at least waited to be wearing more than a cowboy hat before proposing marriage.
The last major event of the summer is a "visit" from four tribals of the White Stream Nation. They immediately begin to attack from the north. Pixie grabs some grenades, while Andy and Wes pick up some melee weapons. The first enemy to reach the settlement begins throwing spears at the defenders, before a grenade lobbed by Pixie shreds his torso and kidneys. Wes and Andy beat and stab another to death before the tribals decide the attack was a poor decision. The last two flee as Amna joins in the defense and kills one by shooting him in the back.
The new season begins with an eclipse, which doesn't change much for everyone. Their power is generated almost wholly by geothermal, so there is fortunately no lapse in electricity for lights and air conditioning. Two days later, a heat wave occurs, and with it, a short in the power line causes a massive fire in the jungle. Everyone rushes to contain the blaze, in hopes of keeping it from reaching the geothermal generator. During this time, an escape pod crashes nearby. Wes rescues the survivor while everyone else battles the fire.
Not a great time to start a fight.
After several hours of fighting a losing battle against the spreading fire in the already hot climate, Andy loses it and goes berserk. He lunges at Pixie, stabbing her nine times before Torchman and Amna Ummen beat the hell out of him until he's subdued, and sent to the infirmary. Thankfully a downpour arrives after sixteen straight hours of trying to contain the raging fire. This still does little to alleviate the 53 degree Celsius temperature. Torch is sent out to repair the power line so that air conditioning and comfort can be restored, but he also snaps and goes berserk. At least in his case he's alone in the jungle, raging about until he passes out from exhaustion.
The absolutely miserable bunch gets no respite. Three pirates of The Murderous Party arrive the following day, looking to loot anything they can get a hold of, and damage the infrastructure in the process. Wes and Torchman manage to knock two of the pirates to the ground (Amna gets a pretty serious cut on her arm in the process), while Pixie makes a rush at the third, who begins tossing molotov cocktails about. One is badly thrown and flies into the infirmary, lighting the place up with the unconscious Andy inside! Pixie wounds the pirate, who starts to flee. She decides to try to save Andy instead of pursuing, but Andy succumbs to the smoke and fire before she can drag him to safety. She becomes the latest to have a mental break and becomes totally enraged. She turns back to the molotov armed pirate and runs him down, stabbing him to death. One of the two that had been knocked down by Wes and Torch earlier got up and tried to run for it, only to encounter the murderous Pixie, who guts him.
When pirates attack!
Pixie's attention turns to Tarragon, the faithful dog. Tarragon isn't having any of this, and gets several bites in before Pixie wanders off. In the meantime, Wes begins chasing the last remaining pirate, and goes crazy in the jungle from the heat and a lack of food. He attacks the nearest thing in sight, a cassowary, and promptly gets his ass kicked.
At this point the power is still out. Torch wanted to quickly rush out and restore it, but he had been hiding from Pixie. He makes a run for Wes, to try to at least get him back to safety. Just when it seems like things can't get any worse, insane boomalopes begin attacking the colony. Tarragon leaps to the settlement's defense, and his attacks cause the boomalope to explode, blowing the dog's leg off. At the same time, Torch gets back from the jungle, carrying Wes. Pixie lays into him, cracking his jaw and bruising his shoulder, but shortly passes out from heatstroke. Torchman drops Wes off in the infirmary, drags Tarragon in there as well, and then attempts to rescue Pixie before being chased off by another boomalope. He figures this is the time to at least get the power line repaired, which he does, and then passes out in the jungle. Wes died from his heat stroke right before the power came back on.
Amna's bleeding and infection continue to get worse, and at most has about 12 hours to live. She passes out on Andy's corpse in the first infirmary bed. To make matters even worse, more tribals from The White Stream Nation. Torchman wakes up to find he is being dragged off along with Pixie. The settlement is rocked as a boomalope explodes next to the batteries, causing a chain reaction of fire and explosions. A VR designer on the run from The Murderous Party shows up at this point, picking the worst time ever to be looking for shelter. Amna dies from infection, and Tarragon is dead from blood loss. The newcomer grabs some grenades, and fights the pirates. She takes 11 gunshot wounds, but blasts the pirates to pieces in the process. She tries to tend to the crash survivor that has been in bed this entire time, but he dies soon from starvation and extreme heat stroke. Knowing that the end is near, she has a last meal, and also lies down on the bed that Andy and Amna are dead in, and bleeds out.
Torchman was looking for some excitement in the "real" world, and he certainly found it.