[F.U.C.K. is an e-zine that I started on January 24, 1993 and ended on January 24, 2000. One concept is that articles should be timeless if possible, so they were not released with dates. As such, the date on this blog is not exact but I will try to use a date as close as possible.]
Every building within five miles had either been fortified or destroyed. The current state of anarchy had lead to the downfall of the entire city. Over 50% of the original occupants of the city had been killed in guerilla warfare, assassination, or outright murder. There were no police to enforce laws, no judges to convict criminals, and no jails in operation to hold lawbreakers. What was left of the government buildings had been taken over because of the strength of the building material.
Very few people remember the incidents that caused it to be this way, and very few cared to remember. All that mattered any more was day to day survival. You had to belong to a gang to survive. That was one of the first rules you learned living in a state of anarchy. Survival in numbers was more than obvious when you had to leave your haven.
It had been a long week for Jase, not that he knew the days that constituted a week. It had just been seven days of poor weather on top of more skirmishes near his haven. He was part of a gang called the KTOs. The name derived from their motto: “Keep To your Own”. Rather than venture out into the city and attempt haven takeover, expansion, or material assessment, the KTOs stuck to what they had, and worried about survival. As such, they were attacked very little in the grand scheme of things.
It was his turn to make the rounds near the haven to ensure properly set up warning defenses as well as the traps that encircled the building. Each of the members knew everything about the traps, so they could walk quite easily through them without alerting onlookers to their presence.
Jase had made it halfway around the building to the North East corner before he looked out very slowly at everything around him. Things appeared as normal as they ever were. In the distance he could hear sporadic gunfire but it was too far off to be a concern. ‘Let them kill each other’ he thought. Jase continued around to the next corner of the building and stopped at the corner of Steele St. and 18th Ave. He looked down the streets hoping to catch something.
Two blocks down Steele St. a pickup truck lie overturned. The driver of the truck hung out the front window with glass spread out around him. The pool of blood underneath the man told Jase he had been dead for some time, and that most of the blood had drained out. Several crates were strewn about the back of the truck, some half open spilling various rifles and guns onto the street.
Jase counted four good boxes of firearms from where he was standing but looked around before he appraised the goods. No one on the streets, no one on the building tops nearby. Didn’t look like a trap since most of the boxes had been looted. Odds were the attackers couldn’t carry everything back, and figured on the guns being gone by the time they returned. That would explain it.
Jase slung his shotgun on his back and pulled out his Glock before proceeding. He worked his way across the street, and down half a block before stopping to check around him. He knew this area pretty well since it was so close to home, but there was no way of telling if anyone had entered the other buildings nearby. His soft jungle boots made no noise as he slowly walked down the street.
He stopped at the corner of 19th Ave. and knelt down looking around. He was still a block away, but he didn’t want to walk into a trap. Guerilla warfare tactics were often misleading, and applied to urban combat, traps were set all the time. Jase remained kneeling at the corner for a good hour before he crept down the next block. Halfway to the overturned truck he stopped once again, leaning in a doorway to stay hidden from any snipers. Everything seemed fine. The gunfire several blocks away was still going and didn’t promise to let up.
Fifteen minutes passed before he kept moving down the street. This kind of cache would make the rest happy since they were always in need of more weapons. If nothing else, more rifles sticking out of windows, the more it looked like your gang had. More rifles usually meant less attacks. He inched down the street staying near the old bank building keeping an eye to the roof across the street each way. He had taken about 10 steps away from the door he stopped in when he heard the click. Everyone knew what that sound was. Everyone feared it equally. Jase didn’t know what to do exactly, so he stood up straight and held his gun out to the side.
“What kinda piece you carrying?”
The voice behind him was deep, and sounded as if the person had been around for a while. Most people in the city didn’t live past 25 years because of all the fighting.
“Its a Glock 20” Jase replied.
“Fed gun eh? I think I will use it. In good condition?”
“Perfect condition. Any chance of me keeping my life in trade for the gun?”
“Course not dumbass. If I let you live, then I have one more person to worry about tomorrow.”
“I’m a KTO if that means anything. I don’t jack with others.”
“Sorry, in this day and age it doesn’t matter. My bullets can’t tell the difference. Put the Glock down slowly, and set it at your feet. Stand back up and put your hands behind your head.”
Jase knew not to try anything. It was a kid’s myth that you had enough time to turn and shoot. In every case to date, the people that tried that ended up taking a bullet to the back of the head. Jase was quite mad at himself for venturing out. He should have called back to base and asked for at least a sniper to cover him if not a small party to venture out. Either way, it was most likely over, but he played the game anyway. Jase slowly stooped down and put the Glock on the ground before putting his hands locked behind his head.
“Is the shotgun loaded?”
“Put your left arm straight up, and remove the shotgun with your right. Set it down next to the Glock and take three steps forward.”
Jase did exactly as he was told. Maybe something would happen that would at least let him get away if not kill his opponent. After he set the shotgun down, he took three big steps forward and locked his hands behind his head. His eyes darted around looking for something that might help him.
“Ok. Nothing personal man, but you know how it is these days. Its a dog-eat-dog world, and today isn’t your day.”
No matter what Jase did, it wouldn’t help. The guy had the gun aiming straight at his back with at least 6 feet in between the two. If he went for the gun he would have to turn and lunge. If he went another direction, that gave more than enough time to empty the clip into his back. Jase stood there. Three shots rang out and Jase clinched every muscle in his body. No pain, no falling to the ground, nothing. He stood there perfectly fine.
Jase snapped his head around to see his assailant lying on the ground with two bullets holes in the back, and one in the head. Twelve feet away was another man wearing a black beret and flak jacket. He couldn’t have been more than 18 years old, but had a cocky smile on his face.
“Well well well, what do we have here. One of you KTO motherfuckers it looks like. And lets see, some unidentified poor fool with brains sunning themselves that did the work for me.”
“Ok, lie on the ground, put your hands on your head, and bark like a dog motherfucker. And I mean bark loud. I want to hear your ass ruffing like my old dog.”
Jase got to the ground, lay on his stomach, and put his hands above his head. If he was going to die, it wouldn’t be barking like a dog. He looked up at his new assailant.
“You know, you can still give up. Give me your gun, let me get my Glock back, and I will let you go.” Jase replied.
“Ha, like you are in any position to bargain motherfucker, now bark like a dog and I kill you quick.”
Jase smiled, and nodded. His assailant looked down in time to see his chest explode outward onto the sidewalk, and back up in time to feel the second bullet streak through his head. He slumped to the ground with gun in hand. Jase got up and retrieved his two weapons before searching the two bodies near him. Jase gave a quick wave to his friend on the top of his haven with the sniper rifle.
Jase removed all the clips and guns from the bodies, loaded his own pockets down with everything else he could find. Retreating quickly, he kept checking over his shoulders to make sure no one else was nearby, happy to be out of that situation alive. He made it back to the first intersection where he watched for an hour and crossed the road quickly. Jumping onto the sidewalk in a half run, he made it two more steps before the explosion assaulted him from the front. Jase stopped quickly and watched as the explosion ripped through the entire first level of his haven shot outwards in all directions.
It was obvious an expert planted the bomb as the other five stories of the building crashed down on top of the first. Jase couldn’t believe it. His home for two years was crashing down, his best friend on top. He could only see the long barrel of the sniper rifle for a quick second before it was lost in the rubble and dust cloud. Good sense kicked in as the rest of the building tumbled, and Jase ran into the old phone building he stood near. It was only three stories, but would give him shelter and allow him to watch the rest of the building fall.
He sprinted up the three flights of stairs and burst out onto the roof. The sound of the explosion and falling building had subsided, but the dust cloud was visible to all within a mile of them. Jase holstered his Glock and walked slowly to the edge of the building. As he approached he could see the enemy standing near the fallen building already. There were at least eight of them, standing in a semi-circle. He thought about his shotgun but he was out of range. He would be lucky to hit any of them with the spread.
He yanked out his Glock ready to start going after the killers of his family. As he kneeled down, he felt the first bullet rip through his right shoulder causing him to drop his handgun. The next shot hit him square in the back causing a deep and intense pain. The third and fourth killed him.
From the other side of the roof came another figure. He walked up cautiously to the man he had just shot. His victim lay slumped over the the side of the building blood flowing out. His boss was right, another KTO had been outside the compound when they blew it. Oh well, that entire gang no longer existed. As he headed back to meet with his friends, he could hear gunfire less than a block away… getting closer.
ps: anarchy anyone?