"Ouch." Tess quickly let go of the dial before the brunt of the electric shock sent to dissuade theives got to the rest of her fingers. She shook her hand and glared at the rusted safe buried in the floorboards of the ruined house. She was standing in a Pre-Apocolypse house, now reduced to two walls and what was left of the floor. The rest was buried by dust. Tess was a Scavenger, a person who searched the vast ash deserts to find things to sell at the nearest post. She had on the common Scavenger garb: a thick jacket, cargo pants with many pockets, and leather fingerless gloves. She wore a scarf that doubled as a face mask for dust storms, and a pair of goggles perched on her head. Her orange hair was cut short, but just long enough for her to have it in a stubby ponytail. Like all people born after the Dust came in, her eyes were a silvery grey color, with just a small bit of blue around the edges of her iris. A ring around the dial flashed red. A monotone voice issued from the safe. "Error. Password incorrect. Zero tries left. Locking down." There was a click, and the dial's glow faded to black. The safe was now lifeless for another five hours before it would let anyone try to open it again, and it already sported several dents in the side from previous attempts. "Damn thing's stubborn. Tough, for something Pre-Apoc. What the hell do you think is in it?" Tess kicked the metal box with a hollow thump, directing the question towards a small lizard-like robot perched on a fallen beam. The lizard examined the safe. His mouth opened and a metallic voice emerged. "Judging by the company, whoever owned it was rich. It probably has valuables or sensitive documents." The robot had red glowing eyes, and was a reflective grey color. It also had delicate dragonfly-like wings that were folded against its back. The salamander was about 9 inches in length from head to tail, with the tail being 4 inches long. It had delicate feet with black pads and small, sharp claws. The lizard was one of the robots left over from a project launched about 12 years ago, as an attempt to monitor the pollution and remaining wildlife. After the disaster, nobody really needed them anymore, so a Scavenger had rounded them up and reprogrammed them for modern use, then started selling the extras. He was so sucsessful that eventually a group was made just for finding the lizards and reselling them. Tess had bought her lizard, Unit R309, from a TechBuilder a while back. He was called R3 for short. "Want me to hack it?" "Nah. I'll do this the old-school way." Tess said, rummaging in one of her numerous pockets. "Aha." She pulled out a large steel flask. "There's one thing that can always crack these things." She uncapped the flask and bent close to the safe, pouring a small amount of clear liquid on to the dial. The liquid hissed, and she quickly recapped the flask, watching as the liquid reduced the dial to a dark puddle, mixing in with the ashes. Soon there was nothing but a hole where the dial used to be. "Nothing works better than brand new Radiacid. Bought this stuff from a merchant back at the post near the radioactive lakes." She waited for a few seconds, then reached into the safe and searched around. She got ahold of something that felt like it was wrapped in plastic. "Now let's see the goodies." She pulled out what might as well be an alien object. "Huh?" It was a soft, spongy looking loaf in a plastic package. The plastic had worn down, but she could make out a few letters. "Twin.....kie. What the hell is a twinkie?" R3's eyes lit up with interest. "Let me see." He got closer for a better look, examining it. "I believe this is some sort of relic, perhaps from 2012 or even earlier." "No way, seriously? We found a fossil! How much do you think it's worth?" Tess smiled. "It probably wont sell for as much as Nic or Alcohol would, but maybe enough to buy the Roamer parts and some more fuel." The Roamer is what Tess called the vehicle she got around in. It was a little bit of everything, as it vaguely looked like a truck, a hummer, and a tank all mixed together. It was where she slept, where she lived, and was tougher than nails. But after a while, the ash and dust can start to break down the mightiest of monstrosities. She pocketed the twinkie and began walking towards the Roamer, which was parked a few yards from the destroyed house. "C'mon, we're going to the nearest Market to sell this baby." R3 ran over to her and climbed onto her shoulder. "I'll give you the location of the nearest one." They climbed into the Roamer. It roared to life, and after rumbling a bit of protest at being woken back up, sped off into the grey deserts of Aftermath.