well here you go
WARNING explict material in this chapter
Chapter 2: Law and Order
At the foot of the dimly lit stairs Alex saw light coming from the room ahead of her. The church basement seemed to serve as a meeting place for town officials back when the previous occupants of the village were still alive. Alex walked into the room and nervously looked around her. The underground chamber was made of stone and mortar and had a musty smell to it. A long table stretched horizontally in front of her. Behind it a half dozen people sat chatting amongst themselves. Upon seeing her they immediately ceased talking and turned to face their guest. They smiled but Alex knew that it was only out of etiquette. They did not trust her yet.
“Hello and welcome,” a young woman sitting at the center of the table spoke. She was clad in camouflage pants and a grey T-shirt. The men and women sitting to the woman’s left and right were dressed in similar attire. Alex was surprised; she had expected to meet business-minded leaders, not a rag-tag group of guerrillas.
“Please, take a seat there,” the woman pointed at a single chair in front of the table. Alex walked forward cautiously and sat down, placing her hands on her lap. She didn’t know what to expect from these strangers.
“Welcome to Kayenta, our home and sanctuary from the outside world. My name is Carla and I am one of the leaders of this village along with Kevin here and Phil.”
Two men to her left and right nodded and forced a smile at Alex.
“Along with 27 other brave souls we cleansed this village of all infection and made it a place for survivors of the virus to live in. We turned this town into a haven for any and all who wish to come. So what’s your name miss?”
“Alex. Alex Schaffer.”
“Well Alex, we’re very pleased to meet you. How long do you plan on staying?”
Alex thought to herself for a bit.
“I- uh, I’m not too sure yet. But if I can I’d like to stay for a while. If that’s ok with you.”
“No problem at all,” answered the man to her left. “Just follow the rules and be nice to your neighbors and you’ll be fine here.”
Carla continued from there.
“We generally allow everyone to do as they please so long as it doesn’t bother anyone else. But the same rules that existed in old society exist here as well.”
The woman’s voice dropped and her gaze stiffened.
“However our punishments are far more dire.”
Alex paused for a second before asking.
“What are your policies on weapons?”
“About 90% of the people who arrived in this town came with some type of weapon or another.” She nodded to the people around her. “We did as well. That’s how we protected ourselves and managed to secure this town. You’re allowed to carry whatever weapons you have on you wherever you choose except in this church. Just be careful. Any other questions?”
“Are there any of those…things around here?”
The man named Phil sitting to Carla’s right looked back at Alex and smiled.
“No, we killed all of them in this town. There are a few stragglers here and there that manage to get in from Phoenix or Tucson. Sometimes we even get a few from as far off as Cali. Everyone in the community takes guard duty sometime during the month as part of their requirements to stay here. So far the system has worked. You’ve already met Greg Miller and his grandson. Today was Greg’s day for duty but little Johnny wanted to be a fighter like his grand dad one day.”
“There are a lot of us here that you’ll meet soon enough. Smitty’s our resident gunsmith, you’ll find him down by the corner off of the highway. Doc Johnson is, as you’ve probably already guessed, our doctor. You’ll find him off of Comb Ridge Road. Everyone else, well you’ll make friends with them one way or another. Any more questions?”
Alex shook her head and stood up.
“None, thank you for your time.”
“Anytime at all Alex,” replied Carla. “You’ll fit in just fine. Stay indoors tonight, it looks like the duststorm’s getting worse.”
Alex turned around and saw that Kyle had been standing behind her the entire time, pistol in hand. He opened the door for her.
“After you, ma’am.”
Alex walked through the door warily and Kyle followed her out to the front church steps. The heavy wooden doors closed behind her as she walked back to her car. The small buildings around the center of the town seemed to block most of the sand from blowing into her face as she stepped into the backseat of the Wrangler and shut the door. She reached into the trunk and pulled out an old, dirty t shirt and stuffed it into the hole in the window. It blocked most of the sand out but not the howling wind. Alex grabbed the wrinkled blue blanket that lay underneath her and threw it over herself, tossing and turning to get comfortable. In the distance she heard the occasional crack of a rifle from the outskirts of town. Must be a few stray ones like they said, she thought to herself. Soon enough the wind quieted and Alex’s eyelids got heavier. She drifted off to sleep with her pistol held firmly in her hands.
The bright, summer sun seemed to cook Alex alive as she woke up in a heavy sweat in her unventilated car. She opened her eyes and looked around. The interior of the car was coated in a fine layer of dust that had settled from the night before. She rubbed the fine particles from her eyes and uttered a silent curse. However despite the minor setback she could only smile to herself. She had slept uninterrupted for the first time in what felt like years. Thinking back, she realized she was right. Years really had passed by.
She opened the back door of the car and pushed out as much of the sand that had collected all over the seats. After a few minutes she stepped out of the vehicle and looked around. It was too hot for anyone to be inside their stuffy cars. Over in the street in front of the church Alex saw a dozen or so kids playing soccer with a beat up old ball. Right in the middle of the game was the boy Alex saw at the gate yesterday. The children were laughing and cheering amongst themselves. She sat by the road and watched happily by herself. It was just like the old days.
After about half an hour Alex realized that she was quite hungry. She hadn’t eaten in two days and it was starting to take its toll on her. She stood up and dusted the sand off of her white Houston Rockets t-shirt and tight jeans. People sat idly in the cool shade, fanning themselves and talking to their friends and neighbors. Alex wanted to walk up to them and ask where she could eat but she didn’t want to be rude. Then her eyes caught something off in the distance. Just down the street from the church a small tavern sat surrounded by shops. From her angle she could see people walking in and out every few seconds. She strolled down the street and into the tavern.
The wooden door jingled as she closed it behind her. Conversation buzzed quietly around Alex as she grabbed a stool by the bar. She sat a few spaces away from a raggedy looking man sipping his whiskey. The man had a long beard and wild brown hair that gave him the appearance of an animal. He was clad in a brown, tattered duster that reached all the way to the floor. He didn’t appear to notice Alex and continued pouring himself another drink. Alex turned to face the barkeep standing behind the counter. She cleared her throat loudly and he turned away from the glass he was drying and looked at her.
“What’ll it be?” he asked.
“What do you have?”
“Spam, corn and peas, Campbell’s soup and just about anything else that comes in a can.”
He shot her an odd look.
“You new here?”
“Well howdy, I’m Pete. The only food we got here is from the canned aisle from the supermarket down the street.”
“I can cook it up for ya if you want. I make a mean chili from the can.”
Alex eased up a bit and spoke.
“I’ll take a-”
Suddenly gunshots erupted from outside the building. Everyone spun to face the noise, drawing their guns and whatever else they carried for protection. Alex clutched her SIG and looked out the wide window next to the door.
Four men in military uniform were chasing a young girl, probably only fifteen or sixteen years old. They carried pistols and shot them into the air wildly, whooping loudly. The girl screamed as she ran away from them. The men caught up to her and managed to grab her, throwing her viciously into the ground. One of the men got on top of her and unzipped his fly. The girl swung her leg up and kicked him in the groin, causing him to keel over onto the sandy pavement in pain. The other three proceeded to beat her. Her cries pierced through the air. Alex looked around the bar. No one moved. Slowly, everyone put away their guns and turned back to their food in silence. Alex looked up at them in shock. She began to stand up and head for the door when suddenly Pete put his hand on her shoulder.
“Don’t. It’ll only bring worse things to come. Besides, they’re packing serious heat. You’ll die and not change a damned thing. Sit down and give me your order.”
Alex gave an appalled look at the barkeep. She wanted to do something. Outside the young girl continued screaming. She was being raped.
“Oh for God’s sake.”
A voice growled to Alex’s right and she turned her head to find where it came from. Her gaze came to rest on the raggedy looking man who sat three seats away from her at the bar. He sat in the corner by himself, staring at the half filled glass of whiskey in his hand. He turned to look outside.
“I can’t even have a drink in peace.”
The screams suddenly became louder. Outside, Alex could see they were beating the girl even more fiercely. Her naked body was now covered in black and blue. Alex looked back at the raggedy man. She wanted to say something to him but she was honestly afraid to. The raggedy man slammed his glass onto the table loudly.
“Jesus Christ, will someone SHUT HER UP?”
The man roared and all eyes in the room were upon him for a single second. Then, just as quickly, Alex saw that everyone turned their heads down and avoided the man’s gaze. He muttered to himself. A whole minute passed. Then the man stood up out of his seat. He wiped the dust from his bloodstained cargo pants and straightened out his dirty, torn suede jacket. He headed out the door muttering to himself. Alex could do nothing but stare.
Outside, the soldiers continued kicking and raping the young girl on the street. She wailed deafeningly, screaming for help. They cheered on louder as they beat her. The shabby man stepped onto the street across from the soldiers.
The soldiers instantly went silent and looked up from the girl, who was whimpering softly to herself through her broken teeth. They stared at the raggedy man with a look of confusion on their faces.
“Shut the hell up! I’m trying to have a drink!”
The soldiers looked at each other incredulously. Then one of them spoke back in an arrogant tone.
“Who the f-ck are you? Do you know we are?”
“I couldn’t care less. But if you don’t shut that bitch up in a few seconds and keep your own damn traps closed I might get into a killing mood.”
A light wind blew traces of sand past the street. For a moment no one spoke.
Alex couldn’t believe her eyes. He’s insane, she thought to herself. Absolutely insane. The lead soldier spoke.
“You c-cksucker, I oughta-“
The soldier just barely moved his hand towards his holster when a crack filled the air and echoed around the empty streets. A few seconds passed and he fell to his knees, clutching the hole in his gut.
*BANG BANG BANG*
The three soldiers who stood around the battered, whimpering girl crumpled simultaneously on the pavement. They didn’t move. Alex closed her wide open jaw and looked back at the shabby man. He held a smoking 1911 in his hand. He walked across the street slowly, each footstep resonating through the windy, quiet air. From behind every window dozens of eyes were fixed on the scene on the road. The raggedy man stopped in front of the soldier. He looked down at the bleeding and gasping man. Crimson seeped through the soldier’s uniform. The raggedy man knelt down and picked up the soldier by the collar with his left hand. He pressed the barrel of his pistol against the quivering soldier’s heart.
“Wrong guy to f-ck with.”
The raggedy man entered the tavern once again, the door closing with a jingle behind him. He walked back to corner of the bar and sat back into his stool, pouring a drink. The room was silent. He sipped from the glass slowly, staring off into space. Alex could see the man’s steely eyes under his long, messy brown hair. They were empty. Pete slowly walked over to him, replacing the man’s empty bottle of J.D. with a full one. The barkeep spoke tremblingly.
“Will that be all David?”
The raggedy man looked up from his drink. He stared at Pete for a second and spoke emotionlessly.
“Yeah. That’ll be all for now.”
Pete nodded. He walked back to the kitchen and conversation slowly started in the bar once again. Alex couldn’t stop staring at the man who sat beside her. After a few minutes she gulped back her fear and spoke the question that had completely occupied her mind.
“Who are you?”
David slowly looked up from his whiskey and at Alex. He replied dispassionately.
“I’m dead just like you.”
zilabus wrote:Maskan, you never make mistakes. Ever.
cd wrote: Steamer of Cleveland wrote:
Durandal wrote:I've done it at least ten ti- is that Machieavdelalellsielsiamnism? fapfapfapfapfap