Monday, August 8, 2011

2014: The Way the World Ends (Chapter XXVII: The Unscrupulous Man

Written and owned by Greg L. Miller

Chapter XXVII: The Unscrupulous Man

Seth Landru will not shut up but that’s alright with Andrew. Andrew enjoys feeling the pain in his elbow, he finds himself flexing his broken arm with pleasure. Each time a bolt of pain enters his awareness he receives new pleasure which sharpens his thought.

My pain is my happy.

Andrew doesn’t give a damn about anything outside of himself, he just survived an earthquake, he’s going to be the big boy on the block. 

That was fun in there; I wish the National Guard didn’t arrive when they did. There were some nice looking girls that could have been fun to scare.

Seth continues, “I love these shoes, I can’t help but love female shoes.”

“If it works for you then be happy.” The sun beats down, he feels more comfortable at night, what’s up with two suns

He doesn’t understand Seth and his unhealthy love for hurting woman but he doesn’t care. Andrew loves anarchy; he hates order and everyone who acts like mature responsible adults. He hates those who can make a living while he struggles and goes hungry day to day. His life has been nothing but misery from day one. His mother died during child birth, he wishes he didn’t know his dad. He could have lived without molestation and beatings.

Until today he was a petty criminal who never had much luck in life. His most respected job was being a busboy downtown; his worse was cleaning horse stables at the race tracks. All he knows is shit. Everyone hurt him; no one cares about the poor, about him. Andrew wears a sign saying the end of the world is coming because he likes generating fear. Many give him money thinking he’s a retard or for whatever other reason he can’t understand. 

All they do is toss me pocket change while they want to clean shit. They don’t make eye contact because I disgust them, they think they are better. What makes people deserve more than me? They don’t. 

There are two other homeless men with them, they are his sheep. They are a block away from Burger King. Andrew doesn’t worry about repercussions from murdering Rodger. He wasn’t the one who did the killing shot.

I wish I could have hurt Harry, his name is Harry right? What gives him the right to hurt me? All I was doing was eating and surviving.

Andrew wants security, “We need to find weapons. Why are we walking around with sticks when we can have guns? What’s the name of the one armed man who attacked us?” Taking down any rival can only be done with guns.

I want to be the king of the block.

Seth replies, “Harry. I was taking a piss when things went down. Did they seriously attack you for our food? They are greedy Americans who think they deserve everything.” 

Andrew slyly looks at the other two homeless men. One seems hesitant to follow his orders, “Hey, what’s your name mate?” Andrew has lung issues; his voice comes out raspy and shrill.

“Mack. I think I might do my own thing.” Mack steps away from the small group.

Andrew stops, “No.”

An uncomfortable second passes, “What…” Mack looks frightened in his rags. He realizes he joined the wrong side. Seth whistles as he laughs, the destruction happening around him is magnificent. He still carries the metal pipe which drips with blood.

Andrew doesn’t want to lose any of his sheep, “Stay with us, you will get everything you ever wanted.”

Mack stalls as he uneasily looks around, “I don’t know, maybe I should go home and see my parents.” Mack takes a few steps onto the street.

Andrew rasps, “You helped us kill a man. You are one of us now. Things only get better from here. Please stay with us.”
Mack reconsiders, “If I stay what happens?” 

Andrew thinks for a moment but it’s Seth who suggests, “Why don’t we get rich? Anyone ever rob a bank? Look.” A small Wells Fargo sits across the street, no one seems to be around and the shutters are not down. A window stands eerily still, it beckons Andrew to experience what secrets lie inside.

Seth bounces to the bank and takes a swing at the window with Old school wagons and horses sketched in the glass. Glass shatters, he laughs and hits it again. Andrew likes money. He makes his way to the bank. Using his good arm he swings at the window and laughs with Seth. Within moments the other two homeless people join and it doesn’t take long for the window to shatter.

I’ve never felt so free!

Andrew steps into the bank, tinted windows keep the sun from blaring in.

“Freeze and put your hands up!” A security guard and a lone banker are the only ones left and his voice is unsure. The male banker has his pants down.

Andrew and Mack laugh as they drop their weapons. Andrew rasps, “Shouldn’t you guys be renting a hotel room?” He wasn’t expecting to see two gay guys.

Seth whines, “Males? So distasteful, I was hoping for something more.” The security guard is afraid; he doesn’t hold his gun steady. They are in the lobby but the banker is moving deeper inside.

Andrew realizes if he keeps the guards attention Seth might get the upper hand. He rasps, “There is enough money to share. How about we all get rich today?”

The banker blushes as he tries moving deeper into the shadows, he is embarrassed for being caught in his hedonistic act. Seth moves to the left.

The banker tries acting tough as he dashes to his office, “Keep your gun on these pieces of trash!”

Andrew thinks fast, “How about giving us half then? We will leave and not create any problems if you give us half.” It’s not working; the man with the gun points it towards his direction.

The banker yells from another room, “Please get out of here! We weren’t bothering anyone.” Seth is within striking distance.
Andrew smiles, “I changed my mind. I want everything. LOOK!” Andrew acts like he sees something to the guard’s right. Seth lunges from the left. The guard moves his gun a quarter of an inch as he tries seeing what Andrew shouts at.


Seth laughs. The guards trigger finger pulls, the gun fires.  The bullet falls short of its target, it grazes Andrews’s arm. The guard manages a woof as Seth continues to bash him to death. Without missing a beat Andrew rushes towards the banker’s office after picking up the pipe.

The middle aged banker manages a surprised, “What the…” Andrew cuts him off as he hits the banker over the head. He doesn’t have to hit the man twice; he still hears Seth hit the dead guard in the other room. No one is going to stop either of them. Mack and the other man happily yell they are going to be rich.

Seth yells, “I hate you, I hate you, I hate you.” The man must have deep seated issues. Seth smiles as he looks down at the banker who isn’t dead. He can’t help but show his contempt to those who think they are better. He unzips and urinates on the man who reminds him of his father who sexually abused him.

My dad is a banker, I wish he was dead.

Looking around he finds the master keys, Andrew doesn’t think about the safes being mechanically timed. Mack happily cries out, “Shit, you killed him. Oh my lord, let’s get the money and get out of here!” Andrew tosses Mack the keys. Mack hands the gun to Andrew who puts it in his waist band.

Andrew is not ready to leave the room, “Get something to put the money in. I will be with you in a moment.” He walks back into the banker’s office.

Don’t all professionals drink while at work? My dad did.

The desk it locked. The middle aged man barely is conscience as blood masks most of his face, he isn’t dead yet. Andrew shoots the lock on the desk with his newly acquired hand gun.

He yells after Mack, “Thanks Mack, go and collect your retirement.” The man leaves for their treasure. They laugh and tell each other how they will retire. Andrew kneels in front of the banker who is trying to say something. Andrew forcefully cleans the blood out of one of the eyes of the dying man. He sees the banker as his dad.

With much scorn he whispers, “Father, I have something special for you.” He gets up and walks to the desk, all bankers are the same. A fifth of Scotch is half empty. Andrew doesn’t care about drinking; rather he empties the bottle’s contents all over the office. He doesn’t offer any to the banker.

“I know you’re not my dad. His same is Sam.” He makes sure to not let the man lose conscience as he continues, “My dad used to molest me, but I’m not like that. He did it when he was drunk.” Andrew looks around; sure enough there are cigars and butane gold lighter. Andrews’ childhood wasn’t pleasant. He tried his best to connect to people but it never worked. He had to find weak people to get ahead. It’s always been like that. He dropped out high school and never learned to read. He prides himself for being street smart and feels resentful to those who have a better life. He waits ten minutes as he watches the dying man make futile gestures.

This is simply a game and I must win.

Andrew lights the butane. He laughs as the banker screams. Within moments the fire rages and he is forced to leave the room. Pretending he didn’t start the fire he shouts, “There is a fire, we need to get out! Take what money you have and meet me on the street!” Andrew doesn’t give a damn about having money himself, he revels in his new freedom. The bankers final screams is music to his ears. Within moments he is back on the street with Seth and Mack. They carry sacks full of money which make them move more slowly.

Andrew dreamily asks, “What happened to the other guy?” Fire engulfs the little Wells Fargo Bank; he knows the other man is dead. No one replies, “Did anyone know his name?” He laughs.

Seth and Mack, “No.” Seth chirps, I think we easily got a couple hundred of thousands of dollars.”

Mack is smack happy, “So fucking cool. How about we get some drugs and booze?” Andrew smiles as he forgets about the fourth man, they are simply his sheep and sheep are expendable.

Maybe Seth has promise, but Mack? He’s going to need some more breaking in.

A dog barks across the street, it tries to direct them to maybe its owner who needs help. Andrew takes out the handgun, aims and fires. Bang. The bullet misses the dog; the dog doesn’t catch a clue as it barks louder.

Seth urges, “Use both hands and take a deep breath.” Andrew feels his elbow but isolates the pain as he lifts the hand gun with a steady hand. Bang. The dog flops without a whine. Seth pats him on the back, Andrew laughs.

I love guns. I love power.

“How about a pharmacy for drugs, isn’t there a Walgreens or something nearby? We need more guns.”

Seth takes a few steps forward, “There is a pharmacy at 400 Massachusetts Ave NW, near the corner of 4th ST NW.”

Mack doesn’t care where they go as long as it’s a pharmacy. He quickens his pace, “I love oxy cottons. I want a couple of Morphine and Viagra. I know where to find dirty ho’s who will party with us if we bring drugs.” Andrew visualizes mixing Xanax or Valium with rum.

Andrew doesn’t know where much is downtown, “Isn’t that pharmacy in China town?” He really doesn’t give a damn, maybe some prostitutes will be around. They cross K St. NW; he sees 4th Street is in ruins. A man in a purple Michael Jackson jacket directs a few people who are lost. The man in front of them is drunk and misses his front teeth, Andrew recognizes him from the soup kitchen, and it’s not the real Michael Jackson.

Andrew walks up to the man as Seth asks, “Hey, you want to join our group?” Seth is very enthusiastic. The man nods no.
The impersonator answers, “I’m on duty. I need to help direct the traffic.” Andrew looks around. There are only three to four people, no one important.

Andrew lies without hesitation, “Why don’t you join us? I can make you a rock star.” The man flourishes into the Moon shuffle but abruptly stops.

The man in the purple jacket looks doubtful, “How are you going to do that? How did you know my name?” The Michael Jackson impersonator is shy but curious about the proposal.

Andrew continues to lie, “We are going to be many. I need a singer to tell of our amazing deeds as we travel. DC is a wash, join me and I will make you famous. There will be many bars and people who will want to hear you sing. It’s a waste to let your talents die here.”

Mack adds, “Hey man, I will give you $1,000 to come with us.” He’s riding high with the bank robbery. Mack flings a wad of money at the man dressed in the purple jacket. Andrew can’t read the dude behind the big black sun glasses.

“What do you say Mike? Are you in or out?” The Michael Jackson wannabe tosses his empty rum bottle which shatters on the broken street.

Michael responds, “How about you get me some alcohol and I will follow you to hell itself. By the way, you can call me Michael II.” The man in purple falls in line. A few passengers here the exchange and ask if they can have $1,000 and follow their group. 

Andrew thinks it’s a great idea to pay for his sheep. Money wasn’t hard to come by anymore.

Seth tells Andrew, “We need drugs and guns, and then if we can get booze all will be good.” Andrew is happy. He’s never had so many friends.

Err, not friends. Just sheep that will do what I want.

They make it to down a block on 4th Street NW. The buildings are in ruins, the earthquake hit the block hard. They see a group of firemen remove rubble from a small grocery store. They quicken their pace as a few officers leave a building carrying someone. The firemen are not having a good day. They can’t maneuver their vehicles on the street and there water has been used up hours before. One officer goes back inside.

No point in risking myself with these pigs.

They reach Massachusetts Avenue NW while passing acting peaceful. Vehicles are locked in place on the main street but most are abandoned. A dozen or so homeless men and woman scavenge with large backpacks, carts and hand bags.

Andrew shouts, “Friends, gather around, I can solve all of your problems.” No one pays attention. This frustrates Andrew. He takes out his pistol and shoots a round into the sky. Four men and two women pause as they do their best to get expensive radios and merchandise out of two stranded vehicles. The rest continue scavenging without pausing.

Thinking fast he says, “Good. Now listen. I have money and a plan. Whoever follows me will get $1000 the moment they enlist. 

You will have booze, power and drugs within an hour.” Andrew whips out a handful of hundred dollar bills and tosses it to them. Warm wind picks most of it up but the meaning is clear. All the scavengers stop what they are doing. One runs after the crisp Franklins.

An older man in rags asks, “What can you do for us?”

Andrew responds, “I will give you the earth and all its wealth. Follow me and I will make sure we all retire in luxury within the end of the month. Don’t you deserve something better then rags?”

A few murmur approval, Andrew continues, “To long have we been spit at and ignored. Now is our time. Come with me if you want to get fat and live like kings.” More scavengers and beggars show approval.

Andrew feels confidence, “Follow me and I will raise you to the heavens. We have been forsaken, now is our time, who will stop us?” The man and his companions want to be in his group. His numbers swell to over thirty. Seth hands out a thousand to each person.

The unscrupulous man continues, “Our government has failed! It’s time to revolt and make a new world in our image! No more will we be forced to beg while the rich get fat from our labors. No more will we be rejected for our appearance! It’s the old ways fault this happened! The greed of the rich must be stopped! I give you money, drugs and power! Follow me and have whatever you want!” Andrew fidgets with the card board sign around his neck. He tosses it aside as he focuses on the pain in his shoulder which fuels his rage. Seth continues to hand out $1,000 to all who swear their allegiance. Now there are over forty.
Andrew continues, “I will give all of you a $1,000 every Monday. I will feed you and take care of you. All I want in return is for you to follow my orders.” Andrew beams. He tells Mack to go to the pharmacy and take everything he can. He directs three others to accompany him. Many more stop to listen. Many in the masses look lost and want to be directed and protected.

I don’t care about these sheep. They will believe anything I tell them. Just as long as I give them money, booze and drugs. No problem!

The raspy voice can be heard half a block away, “We must take what we want! The people of yesterday have no power over us today! Pick up your guns and bats, now is the time to fight and take what’s rightfully ours.” Someone counters from the back of the crowd.

A frail priest leaves the shadows of a gas station, he shrilly responds, “Stop this nonsense. Look what you’re doing! It’s not right.” A few people agree with the old priest. Andrew feels rage course through his awareness. A few nicer looking people quickly flee down the street.

How dare you tell me what I can or can’t do!

He has a flash back; he sees Juliet ripping the sandwich out of his hands and distinctly remembers Harry breaking his elbow. The pain in his elbow fuels his disdain as he answers, “This is one of the people who takes what’s rightfully ours! It’s his God that caused this destruction! Kill him!” No one does a thing. People look wild eyed at each other but many of them still think help is coming and the natural disaster is isolated.

Seth lurks near the frail priest. Andrew watches as Seth swings his metal pipe. The priest collapses in a heap, the crowd murmurs. Seth fanatically screams, “I am with you!”

Andrew beams; he doesn’t want the masses to think for themselves, “That is what I’m talking about! These are trying times, how about $2,000 every Monday!” A few younger homeless men instantly agree. An older Spanish woman shrieks from 4th Street. 

Others look scared and confused but it’s obvious they are greedy for his guidance.

In Spanish she cries, “Eres un monstruo barbao!” No one knows what she says, she switches to English. Her language is smooth and fast, “You are a barbaric monster! You’re a social path, you just killed a priest and you’re going to go to hell!” 
Andrew can’t believe the people speaking against him are old priests and grannies.

He screams to his new followers, “Whoever gives me her head gets $10,000!” At first no one moves but the older woman doesn’t take any chances. She bolts back down 4th Street. The small congregation of followers mill around in confusion, then one young male gives chase. A flood gate of negative emotions and blackness spill from his sheep. They grow teeth as a dozen more follow, they look like madmen. Andrew smiles and revels in his new status. He feels blood lust rise from deep within. His inner voice demands blood of the innocent. He follows his killer sheep. Screaming he continues his rant of hate, “The firemen work for the old government! We must remove all threats. Kill them all, it’s their fault this happened!” Firemen tiredly drop what they are doing. There are only three. They don’t understand why twenty to thirty homeless people are running to them. 

They do however see the murderous intent in their eyes and they understand the Spanish woman is running away from someone or something. Andrew points his gun and shoots one of the firemen from a distance. The other two flee to the cops in a burning building, the masses take out their frustration and pain out on the good guys as they try to chase them inside. The people around Andrew no longer look sane. The Spanish woman manages to escape but Andrew feels great in striking out at the people who made sure he never had a chance in life. His sheep want more destruction. Two officers start shooting from the building they were in as their bullets meet the masses. Four of his sheep are mowed down. The Earth tremors, the building groans and collapses on the officers and firemen. Andrew blinks, his adrenaline rushes fast. The threat is removed.

Pointing at the service workers in the destroyed building he rasps, “They would have us be poor and starve! Kill them all!” Mass hysteria picks up another notch. Numerous normal people who watched from surrounding buildings all run back inside their buildings on the street. Half the masses split as many people give chase to whoever they see.

Weird, when one starts they all start. Together we can’t be stopped but alone we are nothing.

Gun shots can be heard in the distance. Andrew shrugs it off; he doesn’t care about his sheep, just as long as they have numbers things will be fine. There will be more, many more. He knows how to get people to follow him. He turns around and walks back to Massachusetts Avenue. He doesn’t want to lose Seth or Mack. Getting drugs will make this much easier for him, Seth is at his side. He orders a few men to take as much food as they can carry in a nearby Deli. He tells them to put the food in a few carts and to be prompt. One of the men whines, Andrew shoots him down. The others fall in line.

Andrew asks Seth, “How do we best hold on to our new status and resources?” Sighing he realizes this is going to take a lot of thought and preparation. Nearly ten of his sheep stand near him; no one made a move for the money. “Seth, we need to get organized. Do you have any ideas? You people, your job is to guard the money. You can have $3,000 a week.” They happily agree.

Seth nods in approval, “I do, let’s get a chain of command going. Then we can get armed and make a lot of rules.” Berry and three others come back from the pharmacy. They are loaded with drugs. Mack and another found a few guns.

This is turning out to be a real good day.

Andrew announces, “How about we get some more guns and recruit more sheep?” Seth and Berry laugh at the parody. Seth replies, “Why don’t we take guns from police cruisers and fallen officers? Or maybe we can raid an armory or something.”

Mack excitedly interrupts, “Maybe we can ambush a group of Reserves or National Guard and take their guns?” Andrew doesn’t like that idea yet. He doesn’t want a direct confrontation.

Andrew continues, “How about we wait to we get more people before we take on Big Brother? Let’s make ourselves rich first. 
Everything will come within time.” A dozen people come back to his group; many happily take painkillers from Mack. Andrew continues, “Let’s rob a few more banks shall we? How about we break into groups, I would hate to let others scavenge before us.”

Mack declares as he repeats, “We need alcohol.” Andrew smiles as he leads his group further into China Town. Today is his day.

Looking at Mack he decides, “I want you to take a dozen sheep with you and get the booze and more guns. Meet us at the Verizon Center within twenty minutes. Can you do that?”Mack is having fun; he gets a dozen people and branches off.

Andrew hungrily asks Seth, “Did Mack get some Xanax?” After a moment his dreams come true, a bottle materializes in his hands. He pops three without water or beverage. Andrew is amazed how fast word gets around. Scores of loiters and beggars join their criminal band.

After a moment of letting the drugs settle in his system, Andrew tells Seth, “I want you to take half a dozen armed men and rob a few more banks while we can. We need money to give to our sheep. I have something I need to do in Chinatown. There are a two banks down that street.” He points to his right. They pause as a distant roar can be felt.

Shit, is a tsunami coming? That doesn’t sound like an earthquake.

He quickly adds, “I want you to meet me near the movie theatre on the second floor. I have a feeling we are going to need to be on higher ground.” He doesn’t know what to do if the flood comes.

Seth counters, “How about we go into the People’s Gallery and make it to the roof? I can get the money, but how about we just hit one bank not two?”

Andrew ponders the alternative, “You’re an idea man, and we need masterminds. Let’s do it your way for a time. Don’t forget who is in charge. How would you like to be my general?”

Seth cackles, “Sure. My great grand dad always told me to leave my enemy in the dust. I will be back shortly. Why don’t you get more guns when I’m gone? All good leaders have guns.” Andrew likes Seth. All of his people need to have guns.

Looking around Andrew spies Michael II doing nothing useful, “Mike, where can we get guns without much resistance in this neighborhood?”

Michael II laughs, “This is the murder capital in America. We can get guns anywhere. I decided my stage name should be M2, it sounds new and hip. What kind of guns do you want? We need crack man. I know where to get crack and guns, you already have the money.”

Andrew is doubtful anyone is going to be around, “M2 it is, you weird man. Your people wouldn’t have bailed?”

M2 chirps, “Nah, where would we go? This is all we know.” M2 has a conversation with himself that makes little to no sense. Andrew feels a little uneasy with the new sirens and distant roars, he wants to get this done as fast as possible, perhaps if they get to a high level building he can see what’s happening to the rest of DC. Looking around he sees three robust young men, they drink from fifths and laugh at the destruction. They have an old school hard rock image. Andrew gets their attention, he has everyone’s attention.

He urgently tells the small group of hard rockers “Go with M2 and get the guns! Here is some money.” There are a good thirty to forty sheep, the rest have low attention spans and wander around vehicles for something to scavenge. He knows they will come back; they will more than likely bring friends as the word passes along. Andrew continues giving orders as his vision of himself being in charge takes root.

He directs another group, “I need you three to take a few others and become my eyes. I want you to do in groups of two and situate yourselves at the head and rear of our group. If any cops or solders are around I want you to tell us for we don’t get cornered.” He’s happy as they cheerfully obey his commands. Within minutes he hears them argue how to best coordinate his order. He doesn’t care how they do it just as long as they do it. M2 impatiently beckons the rockers to follow. Andrew now has a small hostile group of scavengers, bums, and beggars to lead. M2 takes advantage of the opportunity by taking on the voice of Willie Nelson. Andrew can’t help but laugh as he hears M2 sing:

On the road again
Like a band of gypsies we go down the highway
We're the best of friends
Insisting that the world keep turning our way and our way

M2’s eyes light up as the masses join the song; the street reverberates as dozens sing the country song again and again. Within minutes M2 is gone. The crew from the Deli comes back with a lot of food. He tells them to go find water and to meet him on the roof of People’s Gallery. He tells them the doors will be open. There are only twenty people left and the front doors are sealed shut. The windows are all sealed; whoever was in charge did a great job in securing the building.

Well isn’t this great.

His sheep look at him; they expect him to pull off a miracle. The roar in the distance gets closer, but the sun blinds him in its heat. He looks up thinking it would be great to have a cold glass of water. The drugs kick in; Andrew feels a calmness engulf his body in its warm fuzziness. His vision takes on tracers, the buildings around him look like caves. He remembers crusaders and the holy war; he always loved castles and knights. Looking across the steps he sees the doors are massive, they remind him of a castle’s gate. Andrew looks back at the street, he wishes Seth was around, the man has good ideas. His sheep are getting restless. 

The earthquake knocked down the phone lines; he sees a large wooden post. He has an idea.

Andrew rasps, “There are enough people to make a battering ram. Pick up that telephone poll and smash this door down!” His sheep don’t argue. It only takes half the scavengers to lift his new ram. The other ten are old people and look weak.

Andrew is happy. He tells them, “Ram with all your might!” They run forward, the first hit sends them flying and swearing. The door doesn’t budge. He orders, “Ram it again.” His sheep pick up the post and set themselves back up.

Andrew screams, “Now!” They run and hit the door. His sheep bounce off and scatter. One of the men crushes his right foot as the wooden post lands on his foot. Andrew screams in rage and fires his hand gun at the door. The bullet ricottas and hits the man who crushed his foot. The man no longer screams in agony as body goes limp. The bullet hit him in the head. Andrew looks at the dead man in confusion; he doesn’t know how to get the door open. 

Relief pours into Andrew as Seth comes back from his latest mission, “Chief, you need my help?” The roar in the distance has subsided, but something still doesn’t sound right. A few military helicopters fly over head, Andrew sighs in relief they fly off into the distance. Andrew sees a few large sacks beaming with money, Seth deposits the money with the money guards. Seth briskly canters to Andrew with a new backpack slung over his shoulder.

Seth has a Midwestern accent, “I found something special.” Andrew looks with amazement. Seth takes out a few canisters which look like explosives. Seth wears a girls pink sweater which is new, “Here boss, I came across a few fallen National Guards, err, they were fallen when I was done with them. These boxes have timers and go boom.” Seth steps over the dead man with a crushed foot and gingerly brushes up with the wooden post. Seth places one of the explosives on the front door and pushes a button. He carries an automatic assault rifle; two of men who accompanied Seth keep to his side. They look sharp and dangerous. One of the men has a real nice looking military grade shot gun.

Jumping backwards Seth tells Andrew, “Perhaps we should take cover?” Andrew shrugs and walks back to the street. He smiles and doesn’t bother to take cover as the doors explode within moments. Seth and the others howl in triumph.

No more doors. Those guys look close to Seth? Were they the same ones who left with him?

The men he sent out for water return, they were victorious in their search. Andrew forgets why the two new men in the group don’t fit with the rest. His numbers are back up to 40. His scouts return, he tells his sheep to make their way to the roof but waits for their status report. He can’t think clearly, he gazes at the broken doors; everyone’s voices become distant and have little meaning as the Xanax takes complete control. The two men speak a European tongue, Andrew decides it’s best to appreciate have new body guards and to not look into to it to deeply.

Are they your body guards or Seth’s? What deal did he strike with them when he was alone?

Andrew mutters, “Seth, take control. I need a breather, your loyal right?”

Seth answers, “Yes chief, I’m your general. These are a few of my brothers; they will be traveling with us.” Seth masterfully coordinates his army’s efforts. Andrew doesn’t see the painting or portraits in the gallery as they enter. His guns never showed up, he briefly wonders what happened to M2. A distant roaring becomes magnificently louder, the building moves abruptly; they make it to the second or third floor. It’s all irrelevant to Andrew. They are in a hallway which is dark, they can’t see outside. The roaring can be felt in the walls; Andrew is reminded of a semi truck passing on a highway. He loses his footing as does the rest of the group. Nothing bad happens to the building outside of a lot of crashing noises and bangs.

Andrew mutters as he closes his eyes, “We wait here. Is that the tsunami?” He sits up and puts his back against the dark wall. He prefers to shut his eyes when on Xanax, it doesn’t matter because all is dark.

Seth answers, “Yes. We might be in here for a few days.” His General proceeds to talk to his two brothers, one is called Henri. They sound French. Andrew loses touch of reality as he listens to the chatter of the others. He decides it’s time to chew some pain killers while briefly wondering where the booze went.


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