A car pulls up in front of Silas’ house. He wonders who it is. Maybe a patient. Maybe someone from his past life. He approaches the vehicle with his M1 Garand in hand. Whoever is inside, eight rounds of .30-06 should deal with it should they be a threat.

The driver lays slumped over. Silas slings the rifle and opens the door. Judging by all the blood, he’s nothing more than carrion now but Silas still feels the obligation to check for a non-existent pulse. Next he decides to check the back of the vehicle, where he finds a man laying in the back.

The man is missing an arm, and has burns on his face. On his chest is a note which Silas grabs. It reads ‘This man is unconscious. I have sealed his arm with a Mechanical Limb Interface. He’s also suffered burns and a concussion. Please feel free to take anything from the car as payment. – Vincent’

There were no hospitals for miles around here, especially after The Collapse. Hopefully the poor bastard doesn’t need one. Probably couldn’t afford it. Most folks can’t, and there’s no government to provide health care.

Silas draws his pocket knife, to cut open the man’s shirt, revealing a few minor burns but thankfully nothing that is cause for concern. The head injury however is. Nothing he can do about it except give it time. He decides to leave the man in the car, but removes his M1911A1 from his holster. It had been customized with bone grips, XS Big Dot sights, a bobbed hammed and an ambidextrous safety. Best to unload the weapon and leave it, just in case the man isn’t so receptive to his assistance.

Next Silas checks the back, finding an armour plate carrier, which had bared the brunt of some sort of grenade, judging by the fragments stuck in it. Silas throws it away and checks the rifle. One of those AR-15s with all the fancy lasers and scopes the kids think they need to kill a man. Silas knows all too well that all you need is a gun, a steady pair of hands and the will to follow through. Still, it’s worth plenty to those who desire a weapon so he takes it.

The thought that maybe these mystery men are trouble crosses his mind. You don’t end up dying in a car with broken armour and a rifle without making a few enemies. He could just shoot the unconscious man and be none the wiser. That was the old Silas. The new Silas is trying to lead a better life.

He decides to pat down the dead man. He’d been shot in the stomach, multiple times, giving him about five, maybe ten minutes before he bled to death. If he has pursuers still after him, they are close by. Rifling his pockets, Silas finds a flask which he tastes. Cheap whiskey that’ll still get a man drunk. He also finds the man’s sidearm, and a pocket knife. The only clues he has about the two men is that they had suffered in a violent encounter, and may have dished out what they had received.

Nothing left to do but watch his patient, with the occasional sip of whiskey. It’s not long before the patient wakes up. He lifts his head causing Silas to say “Slow down partner.”

What happened?” The patient pathetically croaks.

You were hurt.” Silas approaches his patient.

Hurt?”

Very badly. You need a new arm.”

And some rest?” He says as he begins to analyses Silas. He’s tall and older than he is. Maybe old enough to be his father. Bald on the top but a messy and greying beard on the bottom. Silas takes another sip of the cheap whiskey before saying “I recommend a day’s rest. You can stay here. I’ll have to take everything in the car for compensation. I’ll let you keep your pistol and the vehicle, if you wish.”

Thank you.”

You’re arm has a Mechanical Limb Interface. You’ll be able to replace what you lost.”

That’s good to hear.”

So what’s your name son?”

Kane.”

I’m Silas.”

Right. Thank you Silas. So what about the others?”

The driver? He’s dead. There weren’t any others.”

There should be two more.”

Well the dead man has a scar on his chin.”

Vincent. Bastards got Vincent.”

Sorry for your lose son.”

Nothing you can do about it.”

So what happened?”

I don’t know. I must have blacked out before any of it went down.” Great, he has no idea thought Silas.

Right. Well, not much I can do for you right now. I’ll get you a new shirt.”

What about a pillow?”

Sure, I can provide that.”

Silas heads back to his cabin. He still has his doubts about the mystery men. You don’t end up near death and bloodied in the back of someone’s SUV without pissing a few people off. Then again who is he to judge? He’s just a doctor now. 

Having retrieved a pillow and a shirt, he arrives back at his patient. Kane thanks him for assistance before Silas asks “So what were you doing?”

Get rich quick scheme.” Silas glares at Kane. He’s familiar with the get rich quick scheme that involves blood and bodies. Tried a few too many back in the day. He says “You oughta quit whilst you’re ahead then. I’ve seen men lose more than an arm over a get rich quick scheme.”

What do you know about all that?”

Too much son. If you keep this up the only thing you’ll become is dead or a survivor. Find something else to do with your life.”

So what about my friend?”

I can bury him here, if you like?”

That’d be fine. Thank you.”

Alright, you just get some rest now.”

Time to bury the body. Silas doubts the kid understands. At his age he wouldn’t have listened either. The ignorance of youth can be a dangerous thing. Maybe Kane is about to prove it, or maybe he’ll prove Silas wrong.

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