Fiction: Afterlife Volume 2 (Chapter 41)

by Mike Monroe on December 27, 2016

in FICTION

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Afterlife is a sci fi/western action serial published every other week. Join us in a post-apocalyptic journey through a future where life has become little more than a struggle for survival. However, where there’s life, there’s always hope.


Read the previous chapter here:

Afterlife, Volume 2, Chapter 40

Where:

Bobby is unable to find any support against Warrick Baines.
Mavery meets the Evileye Alphacore.
Warrick Baines kills Bobby Brooklyn.

Find the Volume 2 Table of Contents page here.

View the Volume 2 Character Profiles here.

View the Map here.

Check out Afterlife on Goodreads and don’t forget to rate it.

 

Afterlife, Volume 2, Chapter 41

Jim Brantley hated the dingy cellar Nat Bigum had been using as a sheriff’s office.  He was glad that he and Warrick were going to be leaving soon.  He wanted to spend some time in a room that actually had windows.  It seemed he’d been spending most of his time recently in caves and cellars and he yearned to see the light of day for more than just a few hours each day.  For now, though, he was standing guard behind Warrick, who was sitting in a metal chair with his feet up on a plastic table.  “Stan,” Warrick said, getting the attention of a bearded man with long, scraggly black hair who was standing near the stairs.  “Go find me some pain killers somewhere in town.  This headache’s getting so bad I can barely think.  Find some bandages for my cheek, also.”  The bearded man nodded and went up the stairs, leaving Warrick alone with Jim and the one other guard.

“Warrick!” one of the outside guards shouted down into the cellar.

“What is it?” Warrick asked.

“A woman here to see you,” the guard said.  “Anna Ballin.”

Jim watched as Warrick paused for a long time before answering.  It was hard to read emotions on the cyborg’s metallic, skull-like face. There were strings and patches of skin splotched over the metal and bone, but his grinning expression never changed.  There was even less skin on his bloody right cheek now after the deputy’s laser grazed Warrick in their duel less than an hour ago.  Warrick wasted no time in blasting a hole in the kid’s belly, though.  Then he walked over and blew the stupid kid’s head off.  Jim remembered seeing the blood, skin and brains exploding in the sand.  “She didn’t waste any time,” Warrick muttered.  “Send her down.”  His voice lacked the commanding power it usually projected.

There were footsteps, and a woman emerged at the bottom of the stairs.  She was in her late thirties, with tight jeans and a white blouse that showed off her near-perfect figure.  She was pale, with shoulder-length brown hair and pretty blue eyes, but she looked scared, especially when her eyes turned to Warrick.  “Hi, Warrick,” she said shyly.

Warrick nodded.  “Anna.  I knew you’d be here.  I’m leaving soon.  You came just in time.”

“That’s not the first time I’ve heard you say that,” she said with a nervous smile.

Warrick wasn’t amused.  “Here to collect your money, I’m sure.”

“I also wanted to see you.”  Even Jim could tell she was lying.

Warrick threw a bag on the table in front of him.  “Thirty thousand dollars.  As promised.”

She inched towards it.  “Thanks Warrick.  You know I really needed this money.”  She stopped a few feet away.  “Is Nat here?  Do you have him in one of the cells?  Can I talk to him?”

“He’s not here,” Warrick said.  Jim wondered if Warrick had told her they were just going to capture Nat.  That must have made her feel better about betraying him.

Anna nodded and walked over to the table where the bag of money was.  “It really is good to see you, Warrick,” she said as she reached for the bag.  A blade shot out from beneath Warrick’s sleeve as he stood and swiftly sliced Anna’s hand off.  She stumbled backwards, looking at him with tears in her eyes as she held the bleeding stump where her hand had been.  The detached appendage was permanently frozen on the table, still reaching out for the money.

“You left me for Nat,” Warrick said.  “And then you didn’t even have the decency to stay with him, whore.”  She opened her mouth to speak but no words came out.  “What’s wrong?” Warrick asked.  “That’s blood money.  Now I’m going to make you bleed for it.”  He stabbed her through the stomach and she collapsed against the stone wall, looking up at Warrick with horror in her eyes.

“Please,” she said, talking through her pain as blood spread across her blouse.  “I did love you, Warrick.  I’ve always loved you.  You were…  You were just so…”

“So what?” Warrick asked as he stood over her.

“You always scared me,” she whispered, looking up at his skull-like face with fear.  Jim watched as Warrick twitched and some smoke came out of his head.  The cyborg sliced through Anna’s neck and her head rolled onto the floor.

Warrick turned and walked back to his chair, where he sat down between Jim and the other guard.  “I’ll have Stan clean that up when he gets back.”  Warrick picked the bag of money off the table, and threw it to Jim, who caught it.  “That’s for you,” he said.  “Make sure you give half to Jethro, though.”  He nodded to the other guard and Jim nodded.

“Thanks, sir,” Jethro said.

“Don’t mention it,” Warrick said as more footsteps came down the stairs.  A little old lady who must have been at least eighty appeared in the cellar and walked towards Warrick.  She took note of the headless body and the detached hand.  It didn’t seem to faze her in the slightest.  She was dressed in a black dress and she had bitter green eyes that made Jim uncomfortable when she glanced at him.  “Bessie Moore, I presume,” Warrick said as she stopped about five feet away from him.

“You presume right,” she said in a haggard voice.  “And I don’t need to presume who you are.  It’s clear as the darkness outside.”

“You and your family have been very helpful,” Warrick said.  “I always remember those who are helpful.”

“So you’re going to keep your word and give this town and all of the Dayton gold mines to us, then.”

Warrick nodded.  “I’m a man of my word.”

“From the looks of you,” Bessie said, “you aren’t much of a man.”  Jim was taken aback by her fearlessness.

Warrick laughed.  “I like you.  You say what you think.  There’s no guesswork with you, Bessie Moore.”

“I’m too old to waste time on useless words,” Bessie said.  “And I’m not scared of death.  It’s coming for me soon no matter what I do.  I just want to make sure my family, or what’s left of it, is well taken care of.”

“They will be,” Warrick said.  “All I ask is that you let me keep some of my men here as sheriff and deputies, and give them ten percent of everything you earn as tribute so they can give it to the IAO.”

“Sounds fair,” Bessie said, “all things considered.”

“They’ll leave control of the town to you,” Warrick said, “as long as things remain amicable.  But they have full power to step in and intervene if they deem it necessary.”

“They won’t,” Bessie said.

“Then it’s a deal,” Warrick said.

Bessie walked over to him and shook his gloved hand.  “We’re a match made in heaven.”

“Or hell,” Warrick said, “if you prefer.  I hope this can be the beginning of a fruitful relationship.”

“Well I’m and old lady,” Bessie said.  “And you’re a skeleton.  But I’m game if you are.”

Warrick laughed.  “I really do like you.”

“Well,” Bessie said.  “I’d say I’ll see you soon, but hopefully that’s not the case.”  She turned and walked back towards the steps, slowly making her way out of the cellar.

Warrick was holding his head.  “I hope Stan comes back with those pain killers and bandages soon.  This constant headache is becoming too much to deal with.”

“Is there anything we can do?” Jethro asked.

Warrick shook his head.  “Stan can take care of it.  Send our men around to what’s left of this town and the surrounding areas.  Kill anyone who gives you trouble.  And kill anyone named Dayton.  Kill the women and the children, too, and hang their bodies around town, along with the ones we already have.  I want this place to look like Halloween in hell.”

Jethro smiled and nodded.  “Sure thing.”

“You’re the sheriff now, Jethro,” Warrick said.  “Take care of this town after I leave.”

“When are you leaving?” Jethro asked.

“Now,” Warrick said.  “I’m taking Jim and a handful of men with me and we’re going to track down Michelle Hemingway.  And once we’re done with her, we’re going to find Abigail Song.  It’s going to be a long night.”

Jethro nodded.  “Sure is.”

<>

The stars filled the desert night sky as Eileen Traymont stood next to a hover truck on the main road that led through Shady Hill.  It was a small town like so many others, with a combination of tents and shacks made from whatever mismatched building materials were available, mostly sheets of metal and plastic.  There were a few sandstone structures in the center of town, and this was where the armored hover car was parked, along with the three hover trucks Eileen and her men had been traveling in and the two hover trucks the enforcers guarding the armored car had been traveling in.  The air converter wasn’t visible, but there must have been one just over the horizon somewhere because the air was breathable even thought they were far from any larger settlements.  There was also a body pit just outside of town, too close for Eileen’s liking.  Every so often she thought she caught a slight whiff of burning flesh.  To her disgust, it almost smelled like burnt pork.  “Are you sure this is where Abigail Song’s heading?” Stanley asked.  He was standing next to her, surveying the town as the other enforcers unloaded the truck.

She shrugged.  “It’s my best guess.  This armored car is the biggest score our computers have been able to detect.  If they know about it, they’ll come here.  And if not, we leave for Black Rock early in the morning.”

Stanley nodded.  “All right then.  How many men do you think we have here total.”

“There’s the thirty men who’ve been following them, ten Remingtons and twenty enforcers.  We have twenty.  And there were twenty with the armored car.  They’ll be dealing with seventy men if they come here.  And what are there, four or five of them at most?  Maybe even less now.  They don’t stand a chance.”

“My men have checked their arms like you requested,” Stanley said.  “We have five RLR’s, five sniper laser rifles, fifteen laser rifles, and thirty laser pistols.  More than enough to go around.  Everyone’s charged their weapons, too.”

“Very good,” Eileen said.

“So what should I do, now, ma’am?”

“Wait,” Eileen said.  “All we can do is wait.  And keep a vigilant watch.  Station your men at every feasible way into town.  Even the unfeasible ones.”

“There’s no way they’ll slip in without us seeing them.”

“I’m sure they realize that,” Eileen said.  “Keep an eye out for anything out of the ordinary and tell the rest of the men to do the same.  I want to be alerted immediately if so much as a fly buzzes into town.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

<>

Foxtrot looked through the flap of his officer’s tent to see fighting on the dunes.  He wondered if it was a sneak attack by General Schmidt’s army.  The resistance army and Rennock’s army had fought to a draw at Vulture’s Pass forcing General Rodriguez to retreat for the first time ever to avoid heavy losses, but this new threat was something unknown and unexpected.  Foxtrot looked closer to see what appeared to be resistance troops fighting one another amongst the tents.  There was no rhyme or reason to the fighting.  Several tents went up in flames.  Foxtrot noticed his guard standing outside his tent.  Before he could say anything, the guard raised his weapon and fired and Foxtrot fell back into the tent, fumbling for his sidearm.  The laser had just missed him, but it scorched the front of the tent, which caught fire.  Foxtrot drew his laser pistol and fired several shots through the front of his tent.  There was no movement for a while.

Foxtrot emerged through the flames to see the guard on the ground with laser blasts in his chest.  Foxtrot ran across the dune, hearing lasers firing all around him.  He ran towards General Rodriguez’ command tent, which was on the other end of the same dune, as the fighting continued all around him.  He noticed that General Rodriguez’ generator had been shut off as he ran towards the large green tent.  He saw two soldiers fall through the front flap with laser blasts in their chests.  Another fell through with his face blown off.  Then, Javy immerged, stark naked and hairy as he stood over the bodies.  He was soaking wet and he was firing two laser pistols at a nearby dune.  “General Rodriguez!” Foxtrot shouted as he ran towards him.  Javy fired two laser blasts in Foxtrot’s direction as he ran, and Foxtrot glanced behind him to see two resistance soldiers tumbling down the side of the dune.  A laser blast came within inches of Javy’s head.  He didn’t flinch.  He aimed and fired, killing a man on a nearby dune.  “We need to get to a hover car or some sand bikes!” Foxtrot shouted.

Javy continued firing his laser pistols as he stood on the dune naked for all to see, in all his hairy obese glory.  “You think you can take me?” he shouted, firing several more shots.  “I’ll kill every one of you bastards!”  He noticed Foxtrot standing nearby.  “My guards attacked me while I was taking a goddamned bath.  They killed all three of the women who were with me, the heartless bastards.  I wasn’t so easy.”

“We need to get to the vehicles,” Foxtrot repeated.

“That’s probably the first thing they took out.”  Javy fired several more shots.

“We have to try,” Foxtrot said, and he grabbed General Rodriguez’ arm.  The two of them ran across the dune and into a valley as lasers hit the sand all around them.  More fires went up as they made their way towards the dunes where all of the vehicles were parked.  Foxtrot noticed the remaining aerial assault vehicles burning in the distance, kicking orange flames up into the night sky.

“This is the IAO,” Javy said as the two men made their way up the side of a dune where some intact sand bikes were parked.

“How do you know?” Foxtrot asked.

“They have our own men attacking us in our sleep,” Javy said.  “If it had been Rennock, we’d have seen him coming from a mile away.  The IAO are cowards, fighting like women.  Stabbing us in the back in the dark.”

They reached the top of the dune and several sand bikes exploded, knocking both men to the ground.  When they got up, Foxtrot noticed one sand bike still intact.  The other dozen or so on the dune were either burning or destroyed.  The two men ran to the sand bike and Foxtrot jumped on, followed by General Rodriguez, who was sitting behind him.  “We’ll have to find you some clothes,” Foxtrot said as he started the engine.

“More important matters first,” the general said, “like getting out of here alive.”

Foxtrot sped away to the east, towards the mountains and General Schmidt’s army.  He wasn’t sure where he’d go from there, but for now, he needed to get General Rodriguez as far away from the attack as possible.  Hopefully some other men would also find a way to escape.  Foxtrot had no idea how they’d reunite, but that was a problem for another time.  He rode away from the fires and the shooting.  The dark silhouettes of mountains loomed far in the distance.

<>

Karl Bergson noticed more men in black suits walking into the Chestnut Club, the ritziest after hours club in Las Colinas.  His paranoia told him they may have been Panthers like the six other men wearing black suits seated at a table near him, but they had no reason to suspect anything.  Wealthy businessmen discussed deals at the Chestnut Club at all hours of the day.  It was late, and he’d been going over details with Juan Romero Gonzalez, the wealthy owner of Romero Chemicals who was buying the Warner Company from Karl.  They had been finalizing the deal for hours, and Karl’s CFO, William Warner, and his chief steward, Albert Crane, were also at the table, as was Luis Caesar, Juan’s CFO.  There were also three lawyers at the table, one for each company and a third who was neutral.  The total cost of the suits the men were wearing made Karl sick to his stomach so he tried not to think about it.  Men of their stature were expected to present themselves a certain way, and anything less may have seemed suspicious to probing eyes.  Along with the businessmen and the lawyers, Sergeant Mark Gonzalez had a seat at the table, posing as chief of Karl’s security.  Karl wanted someone he could trust working as his personal bodyguard in case something unforeseen happened.  Ayman Ali was also there posing as a security agent, so Karl and Mark could keep a close eye on him.  Finally, John Bernard and Juanita Ricardo were standing near the dance floor posing as a couple on a date, but they were also keeping a close eye on the table as well as the exits.

Juan was going to be buying the business and the mansion for 152.2 billion dollars, but they were making sure they weren’t forgetting any of the property holdings and deciding how to work the employees into the deal.  Karl insisted on working something into the deal that either kept his employees or gave them impressive severance packages.  “So this is what we’re agreeing on, then?” Karl asked, pointing to the writing on the computer tablet on the table between them.

Juan looked at his lawyer.  “I guess everything looks right.  It’s a deal, then.”  He reached across the table and shook Karl’s hand.

“When will the money be arriving?” Karl asked.

“Are you sure you want to insist on bank notes?” Juan asked.  He looked at Karl with squinting brown eyes.  He was a small, elderly Hispanic man, and his eyes were generally jovial, but now they were dead serious.

“I’m certain,” Karl said.  “There’s a lot of uncertainty in the world today.  I wanted something concrete.”

“Then the money will arrive in approximately a half hour.  My aide is waiting at the bank for my orders.”

Karl nodded.  “Very well, then.  Maybe we can enjoy the finer pleasures of this establishment while we wait, then.”  The Chestnut Club got its name from the lavish wooden tables, floor, and walls of the establishment, estimated to be worth one hundred million dollars in total.  The soft lighting added to the elegant feel, as did the ten piece orchestra which often played there and was currently playing, serenading the dancers on the expansive dance floor.  Even at night the views were amazing, with the many large windows allowing patrons to look out on the city lights, and the well-lighted gardens, including the nearby Ramirez Gardens.  The expensive menu was legendary, including such hard to find delicacies as rock lobster, aged filet minion, and foie gras.  Menu items were often drenched in sauces made from maple syrup and apples, also rare delicacies.  The bar was equally prestigious, tended by world famous bartenders serving up the finest spirits and the rarest vintage wines.  Karl had spared no expense in his pitch to Juan Romero Gonzalez, and the hefty tab they’d been racking up the past several hours showed this.

Karl’s attention was drawn to seven new arrivals and his heart sank.  The six men in blue suits were definitely Rennock’s enforcers, confirming Karl’s suspicion: the Chestnut Club was packed with Rennock’s men.  The seventh man, Devin Hellier was immediately recognizable, a thin, cleanly shaven man of average height, but with a severe look that one never forgot.  Karl thought the Nazis of the old world probably had a similar appearance.  Hellier was dressed in a black suit with a black tie, like the many Panthers now in the club.  He was infamous for leading the mass murders carried out in Primrose, along with other countless horrors.  Along with Warrick Baines, he was one of the most infamous of Rennock’s enforcers.  Karl was unnerved even more when Devin smiled at him and approached his table.  The six men who had entered with him stood nearby as Devin smiled at Karl.  “Karl Bergson,” he said, pulling a chair to the table across from Karl and Mark, next to Juan.  “I’ve heard so much about you.  I hope you don’t mind if I join you.  Your sudden appearance in town has raised some questions I’d like to ask you.”

Karl smiled, trying his best to hide his annoyance and nervousness.  “Of course, Mister Hellier.  Your reputation precedes you.  I’m a staunch supporter of Herman Rennock so I’d love to share my table with you as long as my present company is agreeable.”  Karl noticed the way Mark was glaring at Devin.

“I suppose another guest would be welcome,” Juan said.

“Great!” Devin said.  He grabbed the menu that had been in front of Mark and started browsing it.  “Roast Duck with Apple Glaze sounds great.  When the waiter gets here, I’ll be ordering that.”  He placed the menu on the table in front of him and grinned at Mark.

Karl cleared his throat.  “You do realize that’s a two thousand dollar dish.”

Devin nodded.  “Of course.”

“And I’m afraid my tab has already ballooned past my expectations,” Karl said, “so I’m afraid you’ll have to pay for it yourself.”

“Of course,” Devin said.  “What, you don’t think I have money?  I may not be as wealthy as some at this table, but Herman Rennock pays his employees very well.”  He smiled at Karl.  “Will you introduce me to your other guests?”

“Employees,” Karl said, “of myself and Mister Gonzalez.”

“Very well,” Devin said.  “So you have to admit, it is strange that you’ve appeared here after such a long absence.  Where have you been all these years?”

“I’ve been running my company from behind the scenes,” Karl said.  “I’ve never been a man who enjoys the spotlight.  I let Mister Warner take the brunt of the attention and the notoriety.”

Bill Warner smiled at Devin.  “It’s my pleasure.  I’ve always enjoyed dealing with the public.”

Devin nodded.  “Where have you been physically?” he asked Karl.

“Here and there,” Karl said.

Devin chuckled.  “I suppose a man of your means gets around.  Though there haven’t been any sightings for nearly two decades.  That’s strange, wouldn’t you say?”

“A man of my means has ways of not being seen,” Karl said with a smile.

“Of course,” Devin said.  Karl realized Devin had noticed him glancing in John’s and Juanita’s direction.  “Are they also employees of yours?” Devin asked.  “Maybe they came into town with you?  And two other men?”

Karl swallowed.  “I don’t know what you’re talking about.  I’ve never met them in my life.  Is there something wrong with a wealthy bachelor checking out a beautiful woman?”

Devin shook his head.  “Nothing at all.  As a matter of fact, I think while I wait for my food, I may seek out a dancing companion.  Do you mind?”

“Of course not,” Karl said.  Devin nodded, stood, and walked towards the dance floor.

<>

Juanita frowned with disgust as she noticed Devin Hellier walking towards her and John.  “Don’t look too disgusted,” John whispered.

“He’s most likely the man responsible for the murders of our families,” Juanita reminded him.  The six enforcers in the club only added to the tension, and Juanita was sure the men in black suits were Panthers.

“Don’t make us his next victims,” John whispered.

The first notes of “Por Una Cabeza” sounded from the orchestra as Devin Hellier stopped in front of Juanita and reached out with his hand.  “May I have this dance?”

Juanita glanced at John, who nodded.  She looked at Devin and shrugged.  “I guess so.”

He led her out to the dance floor.  “Of course I also had to ask Karl Bergson’s permission, your being an employee of his and all.  I’d hate to waste the time of a company employee on the clock.”

“It’s fine,” Juanita said as Devin led her into a tango.  She felt sick to her stomach as Devin’s arm held her and his other hand clasped hers.  They walked down the dance floor to the music, their bodies much too close for Juanita’s comfort.  She wanted to draw her laser pistol out of her purse and blow the bastard’s brains out right then and there.

“How long have you worked for Karl?” Devin asked as they danced.

Juanita wasn’t sure what Alex had told him, so she tried to give as little information as possible.  “Several years.  I have a bad memory when it comes to things like that.”

Devin nodded as he made a turn with Juanita in his arm.  “You’re a beautiful young woman.  Perhaps we could go out some time.  Make this more than just one dance, if you know what I mean.”

Juanita frowned.  She regretted wearing the sexy black dress Alex had given her.  “I’m taken.”  She would have said it even if she weren’t.  A thousand deaths would have been better than spending another second with a murderer like Devin Hellier.

“You are a fine dancer,” Devin said as the dance ended.  “Whoever has taken you is a lucky man.”

“Thanks for the dance,” she said as she turned her back on him and walked back to John.  Devin made his way back to the table where Alex and the others were seated.  “I’m thinking about shooting myself,” Juanita said to John.

“Save it,” John said.  “Be patient and maybe one day you’ll shoot him instead.”

<>

Devin took his seat once more, and the orchestra went on to another number.  “Did you enjoy the dance?” Karl asked.

“I did,” Devin said.  “She’s a charming young woman, and a beautiful one.  Only, I’m wondering why you found the need to lie to me.”

“About what?” Karl asked.

“Your employee,” Devin said.  “She said she’s worked for you for several years.  Though it was hard for me to concentrate while fearing for my life.  She was looking at me like she wanted to rip my heart out the entire time.”

Karl nodded.  “Well, I don’t know all of the people my chief of security employs.”

“She’s one of mine,” Mark growled.

Devin smiled at him.  “Your employees don’t have the best manners, Mister Bergson.”

“They’re my bodyguards,” Karl said.  “I don’t need them to have good manners.  I’d rather have them have no manners, if it means they’ll keep me alive.  A man of my stature has lots of enemies.”

“I’m sure,” Devin said.

Karl noticed Juan’s aide approaching the table with a briefcase handcuffed to his right hand.  The money had arrived.  The man whispered something in Juan’s ear.  “Well,” Juan said, “the deal is finalized and the money is here.  May I be excused?  I have lots of work to attend to.”

“You may not be excused,” Devin said.  “I’m conducting an investigation in Herman Rennock’s name.”

Ayman stood.  “May I be excused temporarily?  I need to use the restroom.”

Devin glanced at him.  “Go ahead.”  Ayman nodded and walked towards the hallway that led to the restrooms.  “All of the exits are being watched closely,” Devin said.  “No one else may get up, though.  I have reason to believe that the man seated here, calling himself Karl Bergson, is actually a rebel operative who goes by the alias Alexander Harris.  He’s a wanted criminal, and one of the masterminds behind the terrorist group who calls themselves the Southwest Resistance.”  Karl could feel Mark Gonzalez’ blood boiling as Devin spoke.

“That’s preposterous,” Juan said as the aide with the money stood behind him.

“Preposterous or not,” Devin said, “it’s the truth.  And I’m about to arrest him and all of his associates.”  Mark Gonzalez drew his laser pistol and quickly fired, hitting Devin directly in the face between his eyes.  Devin stared with his mouth open for a second and collapsed out of his chair.  Several of the enforcers and black suited Panthers who were nearby fired at Mark, hitting him several times in the chest and head.  Lasers blasted Karl’s table to pieces.  One hit Juan Romero Gonzalez in the back of the head, several hit his aide, and more hit William Warner and Albert Crane in their chests and faces.  Luis Caesar, Juan’s CFO, was on the floor, his head bleeding out.  The three lawyers were also sprawled on the floor, riddled with laser blasts and Karl felt a laser blast his belly open.  Another hit his back and he fell to out of his chair, cringing in pain.

Patrons were screaming and running for the exits.  Juanita and John were backed against the chestnut wall, firing shots left and right.  Karl noticed that Juanita’s shots were blasting through the enforcers and Panthers methodically.  He tried to get up, but he couldn’t move or feel his legs, so he pulled himself through his blood towards where Juan’s aide had fallen with the briefcase of bank notes.  Juanita continued cutting through Panthers, but several lasers came her way.  One hit her stomach, but she continued firing.  A laser blasted her left leg off below the knee but she braced herself against the wall and continued firing through her pain.  All of the other patrons were either gone or killed by stray laser fire at this point.  The only people remaining were Juanita, John, Karl, and about a half dozen or so remaining Panthers.

John knocked over a table for cover and continued firing at the Panthers as a laser blasted through his left arm.  Juanita was still propped against the wall, firing as many shots as she could.  A laser blasted through her face and another blasted through the back of her head, splatting brains, skull, and blood across the wall.  John shouted in anger and fired shots ripping through the remaining Panthers as they fired back, hitting him several times in the chest and face.  John’s bloody glasses flew several feet away.  Once he fell, it seemed like everyone was dead except Karl, who was himself barely alive.  He tried to pull himself through his pain towards the briefcase, when he noticed a large, bald enforcer lying nearby slowly raise a laser pistol.  The enforcer was wounded badly, with laser blasts in his chest and one on the side of his head, but he had a determined look on his face.  He aimed his laser pistol at Karl’s head and fired just before his eyes closed permanently.  Karl felt the laser burn painfully through his face and he was gone.

 

 


Continue on to the next chapter:

Afterlife, Volume 2, Chapter 42
Where:
Ayman Ali emerges from the restroom to find a shocking scene.
Shelly heads for Dead Man’s Bluff.
Abby, Della, and Ace attempt to rob an armored car.

Find the Volume 2 Table of Contents page here.

View the Volume 2 Character Profiles here.

View the Map here.

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Check out Michael Monroe’s page on Amazon to find other stuff he’s written.
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Mike Monroe

Michael Monroe was born in Baltimore, MD and has lived there most of his life. He’s a poet and fiction writer whose preferred genres are Science Fiction and Fantasy, and he’s always had a thing for Allen Ginsberg and the Beats. His poetry has been published in Gargoyle Magazine, nthposition, the Lyric, Scribble, the Loch Raven Review, Foliate Oak, Primalzine, and various other publications.