Saturday, October 16, 2010

Soda Machines and Car Jacking: Lockpicking for Intermediates

The Wasteland Chronicles
Raping Cola and Riding Hondas
Lockpicking Part 2: An intermediate guide.

We last left you in your recently fortified home, you've set up some traps for defense, and you have made a small arsenal of make-shift weapons and combat tools. Save for a one armed leather jacket, or a weather beaten duster, you're more or less a wasteland warrior fit for anything. But warriors need to eat, and new age warriors need caffeine. Taking count of your gear, you pack up a couple of grenades, your knife, and sling the rifle over your shoulder. Only 3 rounds, but they'll have to do. Checking the batteries on your flashlight, you hook it to your belt next to your water flask. You know by now how important it is to be prepared, and have made it a point to check your gear before leaving your stronghold. Before you go, the voice of Janus Kane reminds you to wear clean socks. You decide it would be best to put fresh socks on, and tie your boots tight. It's time to go out into the harsh world outside.

  The local gas station has already been looted, the smashed shards of glass scattered around the window, glinting in the dim moonlight. You've chosen night time for your food run, and you're keeping your light sources off, and cigarettes out. A red cherry can be seen from a mile away on the cigarette. Padding on soft footfalls you investigate the gas station further, creeping your way through an open window. The shelves have been stripped, save for some chemicals. You snag some extra bleach and ammonia, which you know will make Chlorine Gas when mixed equally. When twice the amount of ammonia is used, it'll make explosive rocket fuel, or Hydrazine. And when three the amount of bleach is used, you get Nitrogen Trichloride. To clarify, the latter will explode and the chemical itself is highly toxic. The second will probably xplode around heat, or friction. And the first is a nerve gas. Not that you should ever use this, but apocalypse happens.

    It seems like your going to go home without any Jolt Cola until out of the corner of your eye, you see a mangled, crowbarred to shit soda machine tipped over. Luckily, there's also a mangled corpse gripping a crowbar. It would seem the coffin of cola is safe from this particular marauder. There's opportunity everywhere in the wasteland! Brush off that carcass, and get to work! Daddy Kane has your back. First step... Make sure the electricity is cut, or the plug removed, or a nuke wiped the electronics out. You wouldn't want those pesky anti-theft devices blocking your attempts, or making noise in the wasteland night. Next, depending on the cost of the lock, you'll need some tools. For most cheap locks, you need a soda machine key, or tubular key. You can also get them at lockpick/smith stores, janitor closets(try kmart or walmart closets), or most soda trucks. File that thing down, if it doesn't work, so just the single pin on the outside sticking up from outside of the key is left. This is so you can insert, and twist it. Locking it into the lock. Now, tie something to the key, and then to a bar of some kind. Take this bar, and yank hard. You see, it's fatal flaw is that its usually held in by a single screw and metal fastener. It'll either pop off or bend enough that the soda machine opens right up.

In the case that this doesnt work, its likely a tougher lock with a nut and case assembly beneath. Making it mostly pull-proof. But fear not, your comrade in the apocalypse has just the answer. Unfortunately, you'll need a drill. The nut and case lock has a weakness of it's own, it's heavy metal look is just a coating, and the inside is nickel... Which drills like butter. Shouldn't take longer than 5 minutes with a hammer drill. If it still won't work, you might be dealing with an American-type lock. This ornery fucker is the equivalent of wolverine and the she-hulk's prodigy. Don't expect to drill or pick it with any real chance of timely success. You might have to resort... To more drastic measures.

But fuck it, right? I mean, you killed three men for their guns a few days ago... Morals get so hazy without a peer group. Another solid reason to get yourself a group in your new stronghold. But groups need sodas and snacks, so let's get this armored food chest cracked. Where the door meets the doorjam, there is a steel bar running the height of the machine. Locking it up top, bottom, and at the door jam. Unplug it, please. Get ontop of the thing, and take your trusty crowbar. Stick it into the top directly in a line above the lock, hammer it down if you have to, and lever it open with a few solid yanks. Holding it open, you can look down the wedge you made to see where the bar connect next along the doorjam. Pry that open, and repeat lower down. When all the bars are out, itll be open. The weakness here, is despite the thick iron bar, the locking connectors are only a quarter inch thick. Pop goes the weasel.

Snagging up a few bags of cola, snacks, and now useless denomination, you scurry back to your skyloft fortress. You have weapons, armor, sodas, and salty snacks. Now if only you had some friends...

See you in the Wasteland, mates. Hit up that poll.


  1. All my hard work has clearly paid off. ;)


  2. I swear man, you should write a fucking book. It would top all those other wasteland/survival 101 manuals.

  3. Awesome. I actually have one of those keys. Not saying that I'll try it. Just good to know that I have one...

  4. Nitrogen Trichloride: Apocalypse Happens

    Hey I have one of those keys, just never knew what it was for! I guess that will help me save a grenade. Nah, I would still want to blow up one of those damn machines.

  5. I agree with the guy with the gun. You have precious knowledge, Kane. It deserves to be in hardback form, safe from electronic corruption.

    For your next post, I'd love to hear your take on philosophy. After all, in the wasteland especially, there is no place with more quiet and more freedom that a man can retreat than into his own mind, and if one's principles are brief and fundamental they can serve with each retreat to cleanse the soul completely...or so Marcus Aurelius told me. Keep up the good work, comrade.

  6. Very well written, really enjoyed it.

  7. I second (or third) the notion of an actual book on survival, but written in your narrative style. Not just a survival book, but a survival sotry that happens to have real knowledge in it.

    Plus you could illustrate it yourself!

  8. I found one of those keys a few years back. I remember trying it out on everything that had a circular lock.

  9. Hey Janus long time no talk, been pretty busy this weekend, but its definitely refreshing to read some of your very unique and compelling posts.

    If theres a nuclear outbreak and zombies are outside my door, i'll try and come find you... In the meantime I think i'm going to start learning some self defence, CQC, maybe get a gun license.

    Also check out my principles of power blog, I updated it recently, and i'm glad you like the content I write on that blog!


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