The pain shoots through what is left of Kane’s arm as Michael attaches his new mechanical arm. The apprentice doctor told him it’d be like this. The brain will have to adjust to the new limb. That’s why Michael’s leg was stiff back at the church.

There we go.” Michael states.

Thanks doc.” Kane replies.

You don’t owe me any thanks Kane.”

Whatever you say doc.”

Well, you better get some rest. I left some clothes for you to get dressed.”

Michael leaves the room as Kane rests his head back down on the pillow. He knows he will have to spend some time in Noname before his arm is fully functional. Time he’ll spend getting information on Caleb or John. He explores the streets of Noname before seeing the local Saloon. There’s about ten vehicles around, so Kane figures their aught to be a crowd waiting for him. He walks by a black pick up on the far end of the car park before heading for the front door.

Inside he sees the crowd he had predicted. The building had certainly seen better days, but after The Collapse, a roof and cheap beer on tap was considered fancy. Kane looks around the crowd to see an older man sitting a table, waving at him. The man wears a camouflage jacket, and has long grey hair and beard. Kane sits down so the man says “You must be the burned man?”

What’s it to you?”

The man finishes off his beer before saying “Don’t you know? You’re the talk of the town boy, savin’ all those people.”

Right.”

Name’s Eric.”

Kane.” The two shake hands.

So, what do you do?”

I’m a gun for hire.”

Thought so.” Eric states with a chuckle.

You need one?”

Wouldn’t ask if I didn’t, and I assume you need money.”

I need information.”

Well like money, information is certainly a valuable commodity.”

You know anything about men known as Caleb or John?”

I know plenty that goes by those names, but I have a feeling I know the two men you are looking for.”

Really?”

Well, let’s say I need something done. I can tell you what I know about those two.”

I’m not working for the possibility you know something.”

I can tell you they were here.”

What did they look like?”

One was bald man, with a goatee and a scar on his cheek. The other had a brown short hair.”

That’s them.” Kane says, knowing that the former description fits John, although the later is too vague to confirm it was Caleb.

So how about it?”

My arm’s not fully functional yet. Just so you know.”

It’s a bit of a drive. You’ll have time.”

So what kind of job is it?”

Just a little scouting. Shouldn’t get loud.”

Right.” Kane says. It was obvious that this would be dangerous work. That never bothered Kane before. Dangerous work pays the best.

So you up for it?”

Of course.”

Alright, that’s what I like to hear. How about I order you a steak and we’ll hit the road?”

Sounds like a plan.”

Eric waves to a waitress who comes over and asks “What can I get ya?”

This man could do with a steak.”

How would you like it done sir?”

Rare.” Kane says.

No problem. Anything else?”

No but tell the cook to cook the best steak of his life. This guy’s a hard worker.”

I’ll be sure to tell him that dear.” The waitress leaves so Kane asks “So you often organize jobs around here?”

Yeah, that’s kind of my thing.”

You former military?”

It’s the jacket, ain’t it?” Eric brags with a shit eating smirk.

Yeah.”

I was a SEAL before The Collapse. Did four tours of Venezuela.”

Special ops huh?”

Yeah.”

You must run a tight crew?”

Well I’m always on the look out for talent.”

And I’m talent?”

You went into a church full of armed wackos with only a nine millimeter and walked out without a scratch. That’s something Kid Lighting would have pulled off.”

Who?”

You’ve never heard of Big Thunder and Kid Lighting?”

Not at all.”

Local legends, or villains depending who you ask. Gunfighters. Big Thunder died years ago in a gunfight, but Kid Lighting, well he’s either still out there, or dead.”

What do you think the truth is?”

That Kid Lighting’s a myth. No one ever found a body, or has any prove he exists. Still, people have a lot of superstition over him. Anyway, enough of that story, what’s yours?”

I’m still writing it.”

That’s it?”

I kill people for money. What more do I need to say?”

Surely you have some sort of plan?”

Why does who I matter to you so much?”

I like to know who I’m hiring. Hell, maybe you’re Kid Lighting.”

You know what I can do and that I’ll work for you, what else is there to know?”

The waitress arrives with Kane’s meal. He digs in as Eric tells him he has to make a few calls. What kind of calls he didn’t know, but the whole thing seemed off. He conveniently stumbles into a former special forces badass who conveniently has a job for him and knows about both Caleb and John.

Kane eats the last bit of his steak as Eric sits down. He says “Was it good?”

It was. Thanks.”

Alright I’ll pay up. Meet me at the car on the far right.”

You mean the pick up?”

Yeah, yeah.”

What color was it again?” Kane asks as he grips his pistol.

What’s it to you?”

I don’t think it’s your car. In fact I think you’ve been feeding me tall tales all night.” Kane stands up. In reply Eric pulls out a .38 snub nose from his coat pocket. Kane rushes to the right and draws his pistol as Eric wildly fires away. After Eric wastes his five shots, Kane aims his 1911 and fires. He proves to be much more accurate than Eric, putting a bullet between his eyes.

Kane approaches Eric’s dead body, and then checks his pockets, finding his phone which he takes. Whoever the hell this idiot was he certainly wasn’t a former SEAL. Not with the way he shot. Now Kane has to think through his next move. Did Eric call in back up? Are they about to come in guns blazing?

He turns his attention to the door to the left, holding his pistol at low ready. Sure enough a masked man holding a sawed-off shotgun charges through the doorway. Kane levels his pistol at his chest and fires twice. The assailant falls over as he’s followed by another armed man who Kane double taps.

The second gunman retreats back through the doorway as Kane feels buckshot rip through his knees. He hits the ground to see the man he had shot first reloading his weapon. Somehow the .45 hollowpoints that ripped into his chest had failed to end the threat he posed. Kane’s pistol had fallen out of his hands, so he reaches for it. Once it’s in hand he levels it at the man with the shotgun who inserts two new shells into his weapon. Kane fires thrice, striking his attacker in the chest, before aiming the pistol at the man’s head. The click informs him of his empty magazine.

Kane rolls over to his back and tries to grab the magazine with his new hand. He manages to grasp it between his fingers and thumb despite the limited agility. Next he presses the magazine release before inserting the new magazine. After chambering a round he rolls over onto his side, seeing the man he’d shot croaking and coughing up blood. Despite the man’s dire condition, Kane still executes him to the shot to the head.

Then he turns his attention to the doorway. He can’t see the other gunman he’d shot. Kane hopes the son of a bitch is bleeding all over the carpark, but keeps his aim trained on the doorway all the same. That’s when someone shouts “You okay?”

Does it look like I’m okay?” Kane growls. Now coming down from his adrenaline high, he feels the pain shooting from his legs. Whoever sent these cock smokers may have intended to kill Kane, and if the profuse bleeding takes effect, they might just get their wish.

Whilst his vision becomes blurred he hears the distant bark of gunfire. A third party had gotten involved. That third party happens to be Sheriff Crowe who enters the saloon with his pistol in hand.

So who here’s disturbed my drinking hour?” He states, scanning the room for any more trouble makers. Kane lets out a croak in reply, but blacks out before he can give his story.

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2 thoughts on “Carrion Part Three: Stories

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