The Characters of Carrion

Dear Reader,

Be advised the following will contain spoilers for my Carrion series. A lot of this probably won’t make any sense unless you’ve read the whole thing anyway.

Kane

The man of the hour, Kane is a lone gun for hire out for revenge. He’s in it for himself and no one else.

My main inspiration for Kane was the character Mr. Longbaugh (Benicio Del Toro) from The Way of the Gun. Both are terrible people who exploit and murder anyone in their way, and are also highly skilled in the use of firearms.

I also wanted to explore revenge stories. Movies such as The Revenant and John Wick have always made me think ‘Okay, so what happens after this character gets their revenge?’. In a way Kane is intended as an attack on the relentless pursuit of revenge that is so commonly portrayed in the media.

Kane frequently uses violence to solve his problems, and as the story goes on this becomes less and less justified. To begin with he rescues Mary Beth, then he shoots Eric in self defense, before initiating the gunfight at the caravan park and finally killing the security team for causing a disturbance at Greyson Apartments and threatens Mr. Greyson for information.

I kept Kane’s backstory fairly vague. I presume any family of his is either dead or he hasn’t met them. He’s a vagabond who drifts around for all sorts of jobs. As to where he learned to shoot, I figure he either joined some sort of faction he soon deserted or from some other criminal/s he worked with.

Silas

Silas is the middle aged doctor who initially assists Kane. He seeks a quiet life after one similar to Kane’s.

Silas initially tries to convince Kane to give up on his pursuit of revenge, but after realizing how stubborn he is, he decides to kill him. His initial relationship is inspired by the one Mr. Longbaugh has with Joe Sarno (James Cann) in The Way of the Gun.

He is also the infamous Kid Lighting, a ‘legendary’ gunslinger from before. That ended when he shot his brother Big Thunder during a siege between them and Sheriff Crowe’s men.

Sheriff Lucius Crowe

The crooked sheriff of Noname, Sheriff Crowe attempts to put Kane in his service, but is soon killed in the gunfight at the caravan park. The character was inspired by Lucian Connally from Longmire and Charles Barosky from Sons of Anarchy, both played by Peter Weller.

This is probably the one character I wish I had expanded on more. I think he comes across as more of a straight antagonist rather than a more neutral and complex character. I’ll get into why this didn’t happen in a later post on the admittedly haphazard approach to writing I had with Carrion.

Mary Beth

The farm girl Kane rescues in Part 2, Mary is a strong-willed woman in over her head after being taken prisoner by the Child of Transcendence.

I didn’t want to Mary to be some helpless victim who’s completely useless, but at the same time I didn’t want her to be a Mary Sue character who’s basically unstoppable. I’m pretty happy with the balance I achieved with her.

There was consideration of having her feature later in the story, potentially as a love interest for Kane, but I felt that hurt the flow of the story.

Eric

A lying criminal scumbag, Eric attempts to lure Kane into a trap in Part 3. Although initially impressed by his stories, Kane soon sees through him and kills him.

During initial drafts Kane was going to gamble with Eric and others to win money, wagering his gun. Eventually it warped into him being lured into a job.

Mr. Greyson

Mr. Greyson is the man who hired Kane, Vincent, John and Caleb. He owns the Greyson Apartments in the city of Jackson. Not much more to really say about Mr. Greyson. He’s admittedly more of a plot device than a character.

John And Caleb

The two who left Kane and Vincent for dead. Although initially these two would feature in the story, I felt it displayed how pointless Kane’s pursuit was if he never did find them.  Early on I did have the idea that Kane would attack either Caleb’s or John’s family, leaving their wife dead after being brutalized to show how low Kane would go.

Conclusion

I hope this has given you some insight into the creative process when it came to the characters of Carrion.

Regards

Your Writer

 

 

 

 

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The Guns of Carrion

Dear Reader,

With my Carrion series now finished, I’ve decided to discuss my decision making process. Be advised this will contain spoilers for the series. Also, you might not find this very interesting you don’t take any interest in firearms.

Kane’s Sidearm – The M1911A1

1911The 1911 may come across as an antiquated sidearm compared to more modern handguns that are lighter, hold more rounds per magazine  and are easier to maintain. The higher capacity certainly could have been very helpful during some moments in the story.

That said, I do have a few reasons for picking this hand gun. First of all, the 1911 has a lot of similarities to the Colt Single Action Army, which is the most common revolver used in Western movies. Both handguns were both manufactured by Colt, use .45 caliber ammunition (albeit different cartridges), are single action (the hammer must be cocked before firing) and both were in service with the US Military.

I also felt that having a plastic fantastic such as a Glock would somewhat go against the dystopian/improvised feel I was going for. I wanted to avoid having too many modern firearms in the story.

Finally, one of the inspirations for Kane’s character: Mr. Longbaugh from The Way of the Gun also uses a 1911.

As for the customization Kane had put on his 1911, I was going to have the bones be of the first man/animal Kane had ever killed, but decided against that. The XS sights are known for being optimized for close quarters shooting, which I felt was appropriate for the disregardful way Kane fights, and the bobbed hammer and ambidextrous safety were added to show Kane had invested a fair amount in his pistol.

Silas’ Rifle – The M1 Garand

M1 Garand.jpg

Much like the 1911, the M1 Garand is a rather old rifle. I felt giving Silas a modern rifle would again go against the dystopian/improvised feel. It also shows that Silas doesn’t really have a need for a high capacity weapon anymore.

Another reason I picked the M1 Garand over a more modern weapon is it gave him bit of a handicap. I could see the gunfight in Part Five becoming a lot easier for him if he had thirty or so rounds ready to rock.

Various Snub Nose Revolvers

Taurus snub nose

During the series, Eric, Kane and Silas make use of snub nose revolvers, similar to the Taurus Model 605 pictured above. To me this was the best way to include revolvers in the story, as they are easy to conceal, making them suited to the surprise attacks they are used.

The Cultist Submachine Gun – Uzi

Uzi.jpg

The Uzi is wielded by one of the cultists and then Mary Beth during Part 2. The only automatic portrayed in the series, I decided to go with the Uzi as it’s a widespread and affordable submachine gun. It’s also a rather iconic weapon that is well known, so I didn’t have to spend time describing it as the action went down.

The AR-15 – Kane’s Rifle Of Choice

M4A1-CQBR.jpg

The AR-15 first features in Part One of Carrion, where Silas finds one in Vincent’s car. Later Kane acquires one from Lucius for the gunfight at the caravan park, which has a shorter barrel like the rifle on the bottom.

AR-15 made sense to me as it’s probably the most common 5.56×45 rifle in the USA. Although both rifles had a variety of attachments I do have my reasoning. For the first rifle in the car, I assume Kane lives as a gun for hire, so it’d make sense he either spent a lot of money on his rifle, or acquired one during a job. Obviously someone like Kane didn’t get his skills overnight, and he is an experienced gunfighter. For the rifle Lucius gave him, I assume that it’s either a Pre-Collapse rifle Lucius had or it’s rifle Lucius found and kept for himself.

Mossberg Shotguns

1200px-PEO_Mossberg_590A1.jpg

Shotguns prove to be the most common long guns, having been used in Part 3, Part 5 by Lucius and Part 6 by Greyson’s Security team. Both Lucius and Greyson use Mossberg shotguns which is an American brand. Although Lucius’ shotgun model is not specified, the guards in Greyson use the cheaper Maverick 88 shotgun, although in hindsight, it may have been better to give them a more expensive shotgun to show off Mr. Greyson’s wealth.

I hope this provides insight into part of the creative process for Carrion. I plan on further discussing other aspects of the series soon.

Regards

Your Writer

Carrion Part Eight: Nobody Nowhere Doing Nothing

Kane arrives in the first town to the north, the aptly named Dry Creek. The place is mostly made of houses that surround the general store which he enters. Inside is an old woman standing at the counter. Her entire face sagged, including her wrinkled cheeks, depressed frown and tired eyes. Kane looks to her and asks “You got ammo?”

“Over here.” She groans.

“Where?”

“At the counter.”

“You always this rude?” Kane asks as he approaches the counter.

“Well who else are you gonna go to?” Kane knows she’s right. She asks “What do you need?”

“.45.”

“I’ll see what we got.”

The clerk approaches a locker behind her, which she opens. Kane waits as she checks the boxes. Eventually she comes out with an old box of rounds, which she says “That’s it. You can take ’em.”

“You sure?”

“Yeah. They probably don’t work anyway.”

“Alright. Say did two men come here? One bald with a goatee and scar. The other has brown hair, a square jaw and blue eyes.”

“No.”

“You sure?”

“I don’t see many faces, and remember every one I see.”

“Okay.”

Kane grabs the box and leaves. Outside he sees that self-righteous doctor prick leaning against his car. He growls “You again?”

“Sure is. The car stands out.”

“You come here to preach?”

“I ain’t a preacher boy.”

“Then fuck off.”

“What you running from boy?”

“I ain’t running from anything. I’m running towards those bastards who did this too me.” He growls, pointing at his face.

“You know they only took so much. The rest you gave up. You’re nothing. You’re a nobody who’s gotten nowhere in the pursuit of nothing.”

“What should I do then, become a doctor? Be a patron fucking saint?”

“You’re right, none of those things confirm your ego. You’re the greatest gunfighter that’s ever been. The church, the bar, the caravan park, Jackson. You’re one bad mother fucker aren’t you boy?”

“Yeah, so maybe you should stay out of the way.” Kane snaps.

“Never seen you attack with words before. You wanna add one more notch on your belt?”

“Not today.”

“Not even Kid Lighting?” Silas states. Kane shoots him a puzzled look. Kid Lighting was suppose to be dead, and so was Big Thunder. Silas had told him so. Kane asks “Wait, he’s dead?”

“He died. You brought him back out of necessity. Me and my brother use to run around causing all sorts of chaos just like you. It needed to stop, but he didn’t see it that way. Turns out I was faster.”

“So you shot you’re own brother?”

“Correct.”

“Why?”

“Because gunslingers are only good for the birds they provide carrion for, no one else. You could’ve been so much more. You’re just too stubborn to see it.”

Kane grips his gun, proving his stubbornness. Silas locks eyes with the boy as he reaches into his pocket. Both men draw. Turns out Silas is faster. The round strikes like lighting, ripping through Kane’s belly. Kane gets his gun in hand and squeezes the trigger. The click, declaring the empty chamber is as loud as thunder to him.

He still remains standing, clutching his wound. Silas aims at his knees and shoots both of them. The bullets tear through the metal joints of Kane’s mechanical legs, making them worthless. Both men know he can’t do anything. If his gun had ammo Kane wouldn’t have spent so much time talking. There aren’t any hospitals around here. It’ll be a cruel death, either from bleeding or infection, the only kind of punishment Kane will receive.

Kane rolls over on his back, and looks up to the birds hovering above, waiting for the last meal he’ll ever provide them.

 

 

Carrion Part Seven: Late

“I should’ve known better.” Thought Silas as he looked at the aftermath of the gunfight at the caravan park. “The boy will never step off the path. He only knows one thing: violence.”

Silas saw the grief in the face of those who had lost loved ones. They looked to him like he was a hero of some sort. They’ll never know that he’s part of the reason Kane got here in the first place.

He walked towards Sheriff Lucius’ body. His head was a deformed mess now pouring out a mix of sickening gore. The Sheriff got what he deserved and he was glad he had struck him down.  Unfortunately the boy was still alive.

Silas headed back to his vehicle. The boy only had one option, to go north to Jackson. Not much else out that way for a long while. Silas knew he can’t be late again. He can’t miss again. He can’t make any more mistakes.

The barren road allowed for speedy driving. Silas saw the sheriff’s pickup outside of the city. He was already behind. He headed into town and found the nearest dive bar which he entered. Inside was a lonely young barmaid who’s earning her tips with a skimpy outfit. Silas approached the bar so the woman asked “What can I get ya?”

“Just a water.”

“Sure. That’ll be one dollar.”

“Will an old dollar count?”

“Sure sweetie.” She said with a forced smile. Silas pulled out his wallet and pulled out ten dollars, before saying “Make it ten if you can tell me about a man called Kane.”

“No, just the one.”

“Okay then.”

“Who’s this Kane, you’re boyfriend?” A man at the bar asked.

“No, he’s all yours.” Silas replied.

“What, you wanna fight?”

“No, those days are over.” Silas sighed. There was no point in spending his time trading insults and fists. He decided to get up when the man said “Yeah you better fuck off old man.”

Silas thought back to when men wouldn’t dare say a thing like that to him or his brother. Those days however were long gone. Now he’s just a broken down man chasing a boy on a wild goose chase.

* * * *

The sirens wake Silas from his slumber. There were multiple cruisers. Only the boy could raise hell worthy of this response. Silas has a sinking feeling he’s late again. The cruisers lead him to the Greyson Apartments.

Silas watches old man Greyson being assisted out of the building. He cries “The burned man. He’s going north. He’s going north. Stop him.”

The responding police officers rush to calm him, but Silas had heard enough. He has to go north, and now. He cannot be late again.

 

Carrion Part Six: Greyson

Kane gets on the road as soon as possible. He knows that he won’t last long in the desert without any food or water. He needs to get back to where this all began. The city where he’d met his employer: Jackson.

He hopes Jackson is close. The roads almost seem aimless at times. The desert rarely offers landmarks, if any at all. Just a barren road with barren land. Finally, after a seemingly endless amount of miles, a sign appears. Jackson 39 miles.

The Sheriff’s car finally gives, just as he enters Jackson. Out of all the things that could’ve gone wrong this night a broken down car wasn’t too bad. Acquiring a new vehicle might prove to be problematic but for now Kane has other things on his mind.

He walks down the streets of Jackson, which had managed to stand throughout the Collapse whilst it’s citizens fell into rioting and chaos, the scars of which still remain in the form of the occasional burnt out building and broken window. His destination is the Greyson apartments, where his employer had allowed him to live. The room’s might not be considered fancy by pre-Collapse standards, but it had a bed, a kitchen and a TV so in the post-Collapse world it’s somewhat luxurious. Mr. Greyson had manage to weasel himself into a comfortable position where all he had to do was sit in his penthouse and wait for all the money to come in.

Inside Kane grabs his Undercover .38 snub nose revolver and spare phone he’d left there. Right now he figures it’s best contact his employer, although not at this hour. Mr. Greyson will most likely be angry to find out he’d failed, no need to wake him up to tell him the bad news.

Sleep is not an option. His mind’s not ready for rest. There’s nothing left to do but waste the hours on TV. Everything had gone wrong. The Sheriff’s dead, and even he was taking advantage of Kane, it was still a job and a job meant money, which meant survival. On top of that he’s lost three limbs and almost had his face burned off. There are only so many times a man can get lucky.

The re-runs of old dramas from the pre-Collapse era run their course and Kane eventually gives in to his body’s need for sleep, if only for an hour. Once rested, he realizes the sun has finally come up, so he decides to finally give Mr. Greyson the bad news over the phone. He answers with “Who is this?”

It’s Kane.”

Jeez, I’ve been trying to contact you all week. What the hell happened?”

It went bad. John and Caleb tried to kill me and managed to kill Vincent.”

Shit. So where’s the package?”

Gone.”

Dammit.”

I can track them down. Just give me their information.”

Mr. Greyson sighs before saying “I can’t afford to keep you employed.”

What?”

They’re long gone by now. It’s best we just cut our losses.”

I’m not asking for pay. I’m just want the information.”

Why?”

They took something from me, that I’ll never get back.”

Look, those two are long gone by now. I’ll call you if I have any work, but don’t hold your breath.”

Kane hangs up his phone and throws it against the wall. How could Mr. Greyson just let this slide? That package was apparently worth a small fortune. Kane realizes he’s on his own. If he wishes to find Caleb and John he’ll have to do it himself.

He heads to John’s room first. Maybe he left a clue or some sort. After giving the door a good kick, he’s enters. Inside flips couches and mattresses, throws pictures off the wall and opens every cupboard. Anything to find a shred of evidence, but there was nothing. The room is spotless. He has nothing to go on. Not here anyway. Kane heads to Caleb’s room and repeats the process, but to no avail. The only things they’d left Kane was a disfigured face and a burning desire for revenge he cannot satisfy.

That’s when two men enter the room. Both had shotguns in hand, and shirts that read ‘Security’. They are part of Greyson’s personal security detail. Kane looks at them and growls “What is it?”

You’ve been causing a disturbance, bothering the local residents. Mr. Greyson has asked you to leave.” One of the security guards says.

Kane groans before standing up. Not like he’s going to do much against two men with shotguns in hand. Not immediately any way. One of them approaches him and says “You’ll also have to surrender your weapon. We’ll give it back to you once you are off the premises.”

Sure.” Kane grips the pistol and draws it, before holding it out in an open palm. As one of the guards grabs it, Kane draws the revolver from his left pocket and shoots him twice. He turns to the other guard who stands stunned by the sudden gunfire. Kane doesn’t waste a second, shooting him with the last three rounds in the gun. With both of his targets on the ground, Kane grips his 1911 and executes both men with a shot to the head.

Next Kane grabs a Mossberg Maverick 88 pump action shotgun from one of the dead guards. Next he works the action to ensure a round is in the chamber. He knows that he’ll have to extract the information he wants from Mr. Greyson in person. He knows that Mr. Greyson will have to go down from his penthouse to the lobby to get to the lobby. Surely the gunfire has alerted the rest of the security in the building.

Kane opens the door and waits for his targets to arrive. He keeps the shotgun trained on the elevator. Only an amateur would take the elevator. With the scatter gun it’d be a death trap. To his surprise the elevator doors begin to open, revealing multiple targets inside. Kane begins firing rapidly, unleashing a barrage of buckshot. Once his Mossberg runs empty, Kane draws his 1911 and runs towards the elevator.

As he arrives in front of the elevator he witnesses one of the guards stand up. Kane stops and then aims his 1911 at him before unleashing a furious barrage of gunfire. The man falls down so Kane enters the elevator and presses the button for the ground floor. As the elevator heads down he reloads his gun with his final spare magazine.

The elevator opens to the lobby, where Kane sees the guard from the door. Kane shoots him thrice in the chest, causing him to slumps against the wall, so Kane shoots him in the head to ensure his demise. Next he leaves the elevator and steps in front of the opening penthouse elevator. Kane cuts the bodyguard down with three shots.

Mr. Greyson retreats to a corner of the elevator, causing his glasses to fall off. The elderly business man then shrinks down in the corner realizing he has no escape. The blur that is approaches him so he stammers “You’re…you’re crazy.”

Where are they?” Kane points his pistol at Mr. Greyson who stares down the barrel, waiting for it to breath fire.

How shoul…should I know?”

You hired them goddamnit. Where are they?” Kane roars at the top of his lungs.

All… all I know is they came from up, up north.”

Give me your car keys.”

You’re kidding?”

I’m the one with the gun so give me the fucking keys.”

Okay, okay…okay.” Greyson rifles through his pockets and throws his keys out. Kane picks them up as Greyson asks “You can’t seriously considering chasing these two?”

I’ve got nothing left to lose.”

You’ve only got their direction of travel. All this death is for what? You’re not going to get anything back by lowering yourself to the level of those men.”

Kane was already heading to the exit before Mr. Greyson finished his sentence. Kane only has one thing on his mind. The direction of north might not be enough, but it was better than wasting away in an apartment waiting for a job.

Carrion Part Five: Authority

Lucius polishes Kane’s pistol. Maybe it isn’t the most practical weapon in this day and age, but Lucius is certain it’s been proven more than effective. Hopefully his new deputy will also prove his worth. As he places the gun down on his desk, he hears a deputy call out “Kane’s here sir.”

Already?”

Yes sir.”

Let him in.”

Kane enters walking on his new legs. Lucius’ eyes widen at the surprise of him walking so soon. Then again some people  “Take a seat.”

Lucius reaches into his desk, grabbing a deputy’s badge and a pistol. Kane sits down at the desk as Lucius says “Good to see you walking. Especially so soon.”

Thanks sheriff.”

Here. I got you a badge and your pistol.”

Kane instantly grabs the gun and performs a brass check, finding a .45 hollowpoint in the chamber. Lucius states “I haven’t got any spare pistols, so you’ll have to use your own for now.”

Okay.”

So, you up for a little investigation?”

Right now?”

No time like the present.”

Yeah, I’m down for it.”

Good.” Lucius stands up and heads for the rifle cabinet to his left, before asking “You a scattergun man, or is a two-two-three more your flavor?”

Depends on a job.”

Trailer park.”

Carbine then.”

Suit yourself.” Lucius states as he grabs a short barred AR-15 from the rack and hands it to Kane. The ten and a half inch barrel will prove easy to maneuver and at the short ranges it’s unlikely he’ll miss the lessened velocity of the short barrel. The Trijicon red dot sight will make rapid targeting a breeze and the Surefire flashlight will provide the option of illumination. On the end of the muzzle is a compensator, which will give off brighter muzzle flash in exchange for less recoil.

Next he checks the selector. Safe and semi only. No full auto to go rock and roll with, not that Kane needs it. Finally he checks the chamber, finding a round waiting. Kane looks to Lucius, who holds a Mossberg pump action shotgun. As he hands a satchel holding four magazines to Kane, he says “Alright Kane I’ll fill you in on these cockroaches as we drive out there.”

Understood.”

Kane follows Lucius to his pick up truck. Inside Kane asks “So who we hunting down?”

You know those cocksmokers who tried to punch your ticket? They came from the nearby trailer park.”

I’m assuming we’re not asking questions?”

There’s a few people who’ll know what we want to know. The locals might not be too happy about our presence so the long guns are a precaution.”

So let me guess, the residents are rather sketchy?”

Methheads, alcoholics, whores and thieves. It’s a meeting place for every low-rent scumbag around. Don’t feel bad if you shoot any of them.”

Nobody hires me for my feelings.”

That’s the spirit boy.”

How long’s the drive?”

Fifteen or so minutes.”

Right. Any trouble on the roads?”

Maybe the occasional deer.”

Roadkill for later?”

If we’re lucky.”

After shared laughter, Kane asks “Hey, you ever hear about Kid Lighting?”

That son of a bitch? Nothin’ but a myth.”

What about Big Thunder?”

Big Thunder? Me and my deputies killed him in one hell of a gunfight.”

Was Silas one of your deputies?”

Why do you ask that?”

He claims he killed both of them that day.”

Then he’s a liar. Never took the doc for being a liar.” There are plenty liars about these days. Silas or Lucius could both be lying. The truth tends to get lost as the bullets fly. Anything he hears of Kid Lighting and Big Thunder will be taken with a grain of salt.

Kane notices a car behind him and Lucius on the road. Could just be a coincidence, but it’s always good to have a plan in case he’s trouble. With thirty rounds in his carbine, Kane knows he can put some serious firepower onto anyone who fucks with him tonight.

Eventually Lucius enters the caravan park. The lights were off in every house. Dogs bark at their presence, surely alerting the residence. He’s inside one big target if anyone decides to open fire. Surely enough lights in various houses begin to turn on. Weapons are most likely being readied. Kane clicks his seatbeat, and gets ready to leave the pick up if gunfire breaks out.

Lucius then stops the pick up at the last two trailers and says “It’s this one to the right.”

Alright.” Kane says as he opens the door and leaves the death trap. Next he looks to the trailer on the right. Lights aren’t on. Heavy sleepers about to get one hell of a wake up call. Kane approaches the door and says “Stay outside.” Next he kicks the door enters. He looks to his right where a shadowy figure scuffles up so he shines the light on it and barks “Don’t fucking move.”

The naked man is fully illuminated. He puts his hands up and groans “Who the fuck are you?”

You the one who sent Eric?”

Shit.” The man sighs.

Yeah it’s me asshole.” Kane flicks the safety of his carbine off. One wrong move and Kane’s ready to ventilate the cocksucker in front of him.

What are you doing?” A woman says. Kane glances around behind a man to see a woman lying in the bed.

So a bald man was here, right?” Kane asks as he notices the woman move for something. His carbine barks twice. The violent noise echos in the tiny trailer, dazing the man who Kane proceeds to shoot twice in the chest and once in the head. Finally, he executes the woman with a point blank head shot.

The noise summons some of the locals. Lucius starts firing his shotgun at some of the residents who approach from his left as he moves forward to the trailer in front of him for cover. Kane peaks out of the doorway, and shines the light to the left. He sees a man pop his head out of his cabin, so Kane fires rapidly at him, causing the man to collapse lifeless. Once he falls his partner wails at the top of her lungs.

That’s when he hears a dog barking. Kane looks to see a rottweiler charge down the road, looking to take a chunk out of Lucius. Before it gets any closer Kane unleashes a second barrage as Lucius fires his shotgun. The dog is torn to shreds by the relentless gunfire. That’s when Lucius shouts “I need to start my truck.”

Wait there.” Kane says as he proceeds to reload his rifle. Once his gun is topped off he rushes to Lucius who empties his shotgun into a curious resident. As Kane moves forward a bullet penetrates the trailer in front of him, and flies pass his head. He hits the ground as Lucius does the same before drawing his sidearm. Kane knows staying still is a death sentence, so he shouts “Stay there I’m going to kill these cocksuckers.”

He heads to the far side of the trailer in front of him, shifting the stock to his left shoulder so he exposes less of his body when he looks around the corner. Once Kane moves around the side of the trailer he sees a man exiting his home. The man asks “What the hell’s going on?”

Kane answers by squeezing the trigger. As the man collapses, Kane turns around to see a woman looking out the back window of her mobile home. He sweeps the muzzle of his carbine at her and she ducks back down before Kane decides to shoot her.

There’s a lull in gunfire. Kane looks around for any more targets, before he decides to head back to Lucius. Any residents still alive hopefully understand that as long as he and Lucius where there, that they are the authority. As he comes around the trailer Lucius is hiding behind, he says “You okay?”

Yeah I’m good.”

Alright, you good to move?”

Yeah.”

Kane heads over to Lucius’ position, before saying “Move.”

Moving.”

Silas finally arrives at the other end of the trailer park, out of breath. He use to be much faster back in the day. He sees a dark figure head towards the pick up truck. A light then shines at him, illuminating the sheriff’s pick up truck, and the person getting into the truck. Silas aims his M1 Garand and fires a single shot at Lucius, defying the boy’s perceived authority.

Upon seeing the muzzle flash from Silas’ rifle, Kane unleashes rapid gunfire at Silas, who hits the deck. Kane then proceeds to move to the back of the pick up, firing to keep his attacker under control. Despite all the rounds flying way above him, Silas remains calm and fires twice. One round crashes into Kane’s mechanical arm, whilst the other smashes into his carbine, instantly disabling it.

Kane continues to the pick up as Silas lets off another round that flies right past him. He then leaps into the back of the pick up truck as Silas fires another two shots, one of which smacks into one of Kane’s mechanical legs.

Now in the back of the pick up, Kane shouts “Move.”

Lucius gives no reply, so Kane shouts “You there Sheriff?”

The car’s engine turns on as Lucius groans “Hang on a second.”

Despite having been shot in the shoulder, Lucius gets up and turns the engine on before putting it into drive. Next he turns the lights on before slamming on the gas. With the light, Silas can now see Lucius’ head, so he loops the sling around his arm to stabilize the rifle before taking the shot.

The well aimed shot hits with surgical accuracy, striking Lucius in the back of the head. Kane witnesses the glass and chunks of Lucius’ head spray onto him, so he knows he has to get into the driver’s seat. As Kane hops out of the back of the vehicle, Silas waits for his next shot. He watches as Kane throw the sheriff out of the vehicle. Kane falls as Silas takes the shot, causing him to miss.

The empty clip from Silas’ rifle ejects as Kane gets up. Silas reaches for a spare clip as Kane sprints towards the vehicle before getting inside. With a new clip loaded, Silas sends the bolt home. Next he shoulders the rifle but Kane had taken a wide turn whilst slamming down on the accelerator. Silas knows he’ll be just pointlessly slinging lead if he fires. He’ll have to catch up with Kane. Maybe those fancy rifles have a bit more merit than Silas once thought.

 

Carrion Part Four: Hope

Kane wakes up on a hospital bed. He can’t remember much from last night, but he knows it involved a gunfight that obviously didn’t end well for him. Waiting in the room is a man wearing a duster and cowboy hat. He looks at Kane and says “Well well, you’re awake.”

You’re not a doctor.”

No but I did save your life.” The man looks at Kane with his weary brown eyes. Kane looks back at his aging face, trying to figure out who he is. Something about him was familiar, but he can’t place it.

So who are you?”

Sheriff Lucius Crowe. What is your name?”

Harry Longbaugh.”

Lucius chuckles before saying “Well some might think Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were at the saloon last night, but have a feeling that’s not your real name.”

What’s it matter to you?”

Well I already know you’re a liar. You also shot three men last night.”

It was self defense.”

Yeah but I have a feeling it was no coincidence.”

Probably not.”

Well to be frank, I couldn’t care less why those bastards disturbed my drinkin’ hour. What I do care for is a gun for higher.”

Yeah?”

I dunno if you haven’t noticed that you can’t feel your legs. They had to be removed after you got your knees blown out. Now you must realize getting the expertise, let alone the required prosthetic legs will be rather expensive?”

Of course.”

So, in trade for new legs, how about you become my deputy?”

And why would you do that?”

Most of my deputies are fine at keeping the peace, but when it comes to getting down and dirty they’re just not up to it. You seem like you can handle yourself. Anyway, let’s not pretend you have any other option. It’s this or a wheelchair.”

You haven’t really given me a choice have you?”

I never do.”

Well, I guess I’ll have to accept, won’t I?”

Exactly. I’ll have your new legs installed. I’ll also take that forty-five of yours. They don’t make ’em like that anymore. Don’t worry I’ll give you another gun.”

If that’s how I have to settle my debts.” Kane sighs. As much as he loved his pistol, he knows it’s not worth keeping for the ability to walk.

That’s the spirit.”

Lucius leaves the room to see Silas waiting outside of it. Silas tries to hide his disdain for the sheriff with a poker face, before calmly saying “Sheriff.”

Silas. Didn’t know you were in town?”

Considering all the recent calamity, the hospital has asked a few extra hands.”

Well, it’s good to have yours around.

“I’m always glad to help.”

“Well anyway Silas, we’re both busy men. See you soon.”

Hopefully not here.” Silas replies through a fake smirk. Lucius laughs as Silas thinks Hopefully not ever again. The sheriff walks off so Silas enters Kane’s room, who looks at him and says “You again?”

Another get rich quick scheme?”

Yeah, but I was the target this time.”

Ain’t easy stepping off the path is it?”

Sure isn’t.”

Heard you saved those people at the church?”

Yeah that was me.”

Right.” Silas says nodding. Kane didn’t understand the response. He’d saved lives. Done what a hero is suppose to do and all he had to show for it was a new arm and an attempt assassination. Silas stands in front of him like a statue. There are no answers given by his stoic face, so he asks “So what do you think?”

I wonder, when you heard the princess needed a knight, did you go for the princess or the plunder?”

What difference does it make?”

Maybe it doesn’t make any difference.”

If your looking for the bad guys, you should be looking for those who set me up.”

I think we’ll find out soon enough whether that’s true.”

What do you mean?”

A badge and a gun can be a wicked combination in the wrong hands.”

It seems like your making judgment your job.”

I’m just helping you off the path.”

You don’t even know my path.”

Oh I’m very familiar with your path boy. Took a lot to get off of it, but in the end it was worth every drop of blood.”

Silas heads to exit the room as Kane curses his inability to teach Silas some respect. How dare he come in and act holier-than-thou. That self-righteous prick has no business preaching about a better life. As he opens the door, Silas says “I better leave you to rest.”

Wait. You ever hear of Kid Lighting?”

That man’s been dead for years boy. Died with his brother.”

Big Thunder?”

Yeah.”

How would you know?”

I was there boy. Pulled the trigger on both of them.”

Kane doubts Silas’ statement, but asks “So Kid Lighting was no myth?”

No, but some people have twisted him into a legend. Many even take up the name.”

So why did they call him Kid Lighting?”

Because some thought there was no one faster on the draw.”

Well was there?”

Many that weren’t, I know that much.”

Of course. Well, I guess you’ve got things to do.”

That I do boy.”

Until we meet again.”

Hopefully under better circumstances.” Silas says through the same false smirk he gave to the sheriff. He sees the fire burning in Kane’s eyes. The sheriff’s just made a big mistake, giving that boy a gun and a badge. Then again, he’ll surely provide plenty of carrion for Sheriff Crowe, which might be exactly what he wants.