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Distant memories

 
Malteserlord's picture
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Karl now well rested and with light beginning to appear over a nearby hill cascading down onto the small camp he currently resided, it wasn't much but it was a respite from the wasteland. The small camp consisted of a small fireplace flanked from all angles with varying sizes of rocks a simple creation and yet so esential to life. Just beyond the fireplace laid an unfurled bedroll tattered with a collection of belongings including a rifle, the ammo for said rifle, a few pictures facing down onto to the ground and finally a small bag that contained a couple of cans of food and some water. The owner of the camp sat nearby looking down to the dying crackle of his fire pondering to himself as the licks of flame began their decline...Soon there would be nothing left but ash and with that thought Karl moved his right boot forwards from his sittting position and with firm step exstinguished the dying flame.

One boot went infront of the other as Karl trundled southwards with his rifle slung over his left shoulder and a bag over the right. He could feel the heat seemingly getting hotter on his back however he knew soon enough that he would get to some shade from the sun that bore down on the plains. Thoughts flittered across the front of his mind as he wandered and soon Karl found himself focusing on this thought and saw a scene growing before him in his mind...

Karl, a "younger" less experienced Karl found himself walking along a road flanked by a multitude of houses and instantly recognised the large house at the end of the road, he was home... Sunshine corners. One step and then another as he strolled down the open road, a union member patroling about the roads behind him but that didn't bother him for he had only one thing on his mind, nervousness was almost oozing out of him as he stepped up to the door and the place he'd been told to go though ofcourse back then, Karl would not know how important this town would become later in his life. He reached forwards extending his left arm knocking on the door with a *thud thud...Thud thud...Thud*  and leant back adjusting his brown duster and hat while maintaining his gaze at the door. A few moments passed before their was the sound of boots hitting the wooden floor slowly getting louder before finally stopping just before the door. Karl steeled himself looking back the way he came one final time before the door opened and the man that would become a type of mentor to Karl peered outside beofre fully opening the door and beckoning Karl inside.

Karl's trance was broken by a distant echoing of gunshots dragging his concentration back to his surroundings, the heat still gathering on his back and a light breeze picking up dust and other light debris drifted by along the open plains. Karl was unsure just how long he had been wandering when he finally saw a concrete building... A few tents seemingly deserted rested outside but the building looked in decent shape and this was enough for Karl. The building seemed to be an old abandoned restraurtant back in its hayday but now...It served no customers and no happy faces would be found at the tables that lined all along the walls facing outwards except the most southern wall which had a counter and two doors leading into more rooms beyond that. The wind whistled slightly as he came through the broken windows as Karl shuffled inside giving the main room a once over, everything seemed clear and with that Karl moved fully into the building hoping for some food though he knew deep inside it was unlikely. Rummaging through the counter Karl found nothing usful with a resigned sigh stood back up now shifting to one of the doors pushing it open... An array of cubicles lined one wall while on the other side was two sinks with smashed mirrors above them both, Karl recognising this as most likely a womans restroom moved himself to the other door pushing it open and did indeed find a mens restroom with a chuckle Karl let the door swing to a close reminding him of the bars he used to so frequently visit...

A muffled sound of chatter came from outside but neither Karl or Blake were really paying attention. They was upstairs in the Shadow Ravens house in Sunshine...The bar to be precise. Small talk ensued before the chatter gradually got louder and then bang, the door flew open from a powerfull kick. A smallish woman ran in with a hammer far too big on her back hurridly placed a teddy bear on the snooker table before running back out giggling. Karl and Blake shared a glance to eachother before both diving in entirely different directions seeking cover and screaming all the while with words flying about such "Tell my wife and kids i loved them!"... This hysteria lasted far too long and suffice to say... Nothing went boom

"Hey, John lets check this place... Might have some goodies left over" said a distance voice bring Karl back from yet another daydream and gave him enough warning to crouch down just behind the counter that used to serve the restaurant. The voices gradually got louder and Karl now noted that from the sound the voices were coming from the doorway as they became crystal clear to listein to. Karl assumed the one called John snorted and retorted with "Yeah... Looks packed full of stuff to me" his voice dripping with sarcasm, Karl could not help but smirk at the comment...A man after his own heart. Three pairs of footsteps resounded clearly throughout the restaurant as they all spread out into the restaurant. Karl remained still wondering the best course of action as he would soon be spotted hiding behind the counter in the center of the damn room. Looking over himself he reached down to his waist and pulled the pistol that hung there from its holster silently pulling the magazine out of it and checking its contents...Nothing. "Brilliant" Karl muttered to himself before pushing the mag back up into the pistol "Well here goes nothing.." Karl abruptly stood up leveling his pistol to the one he assumed was called John... Never was a fan of Johns...Don't ask why. The man instantly brandished a knife and raised it threateningly and Karl could hear the other two's footsteps turn to face him. "Alright... Surprise and all that but im gonna assume we all want to get out of this mess alive and well...Right, so i suggest you back off and leave." The man facing Karl with the knife simply grinned in response before backing away motioning to the doorway while casually glancing at his two friends. Karl recognised the ruse for what it was and smirked finding himself moving to the door despite every nerve in his body telling him otherwise and then everything exploded into movement. First their was a loud skuff sound as one of the men out of Karl's view assumeingly was charging quickly followed by his friend meanwhile the one with the knife hesitated with the pistol still leveled at him. Karl recognising the telltale sounds coming behind him growled as he quickly dropped his pistol as the guy with the knife began his charge what happened next seemed to happen in seconds. Karl had crouched down slightly as he was dropping his pistol and the footsteps from behind were effectivly right behind him and with Karl looking down to the pistol he assumed the worst however he first heard a loud grunt from above him as the chap behind Karl had swung a bat only for it to connect to the side of his buddies face. Karl not one to miss a moment quickly pushed the dazed target infront of him away and ran to the side narrowly dodging a second swing of the bat only to feel a heavy impact on the right side of his head forcing Karl to the floor from the heavy momentum. Dazed and groaning Karl looked up to the see the third chap as of yet unseen but heard standing above him with another bat befo the ground seemingly swallowed his vision and blackness enveloped it.

Karl woke up with wide eyes as he quickly looked only to find himself in the arms of a man wearing a green jacket...Jack Kents. He was being carried up some steps and towards a house...Once again in Sunshine. Their was the obvious sounds of a struggle further down the steps but Karl was still recovering...All he could see was Jack and a woman he knew from his past...Obsessed with explosions and often came up with plans to sabotage her friends though a name escaped Karl. He next felt the fell of a wooden floor against his back and found himself wondering why he'd even tried to sell drugs to these two. A few more moments passed and the sound of conflict did not disapate though Karl did notice that Jack was laying back against the wall further away from him...Possibly blood staining his jacket... Karl however had more pressing matters as he stumbled up to his feet grabbing the rifle that had been left beside him and leveling it towards the fight on the grass. Ben and Violet were in a grapple and Voilet was clearly winning...Ben called for help as Karl raised his rifle leveling it towards Violet and then...Pulling the trigger.

Vision returned to him and once again, he found himself being carried...By the two men who had used the bats to fairly good efficency in the restaurant. The one with a knife strolled along at the front...A purpleish bruise clearly developing on the side of his face which brought a smirk to Karl's face as he remebered the events before darkness once again claimed him.

This time Karl found himself walking in a house...Going up some steps then right and right again, down a hallway and then left...Pushing open a door to a room with bunkbeds... Ah, Karl and Vulcan's old room. Karl now found Vulcan laid about on the top bunk which was often a hot topic between the two as to who would sleep in the top bunk, they talked and laughed for awhile before shuffling out onto the balcony leaving the room...And Vulcan's head collection behind looking across the town of Sunshine Corners... They was still apart of the Asylum Seekers of CATacysm at the time andSunshine was bustling with activity which brought a smile to their faces as they both shared a glance "Lets go cause some trouble" before hoping down from the balcony resulting in two loud yelps of pain as they landed with two thuds...

Karl awakend once more just in time to be thrown onto the ground. With a grumble he shifted slightly however he found his hands bound tight... Darkness was rising before a large orange light came sparking to life...A campfire. Karl was blinded for a few moments before he let his eyes adjust to the flames still the three men stood around the campfire talking to each other with a variety of small talk before they noticed Karl twitching awake. John strolled on over kneeling infront of Karl with the fire to his back allowing the light to go around him putting Karl back into the darkness. John held up a rifle infront of Karl's view before placing it down by his feet chuckling "This...This is mine now...Infact everything you own is mine...Plus we probably need it more then your sorry ass will." and with that statement John stood back up and strolled back to the fire warming his hands in a cupped position leaving the rifle a few inches away from Karl... Karl had noticed they had not removed his mask that was wrapped around his neck and assumed they didn't realise he was clone as he drifted back into unconciousness.

Karl lifted his head up to the beat of music...Ah, that bunker bar music he knows and loves. He glanced around the bar noting Kaylee, Trent and a woman was there... This woman was from all looks and purporses a lizard lady... Karl casually reached forwards for his drink before the lizard lady abruptly stopped him and offered some of her venom...Karl the crazy guy that he is accepted and proceeded to drink down the mixture much to the horror of those present. His vision faded for a moment as he grumbled to himself. Not knowing the side effects Karl continued however before slouching against the bar briefly and quickly shuffling out of the bar door and up back into civilization.

Karl lifted his head up from the ground looking around...Night had now fully decended and two of the three people were alseep...John was strangly absent. Now was Karl's chance as he began to wriggle his hands loose of poorly tied bonds that held him. That done Karl reached down to his boot feeling the small knife he kept there and drew it...Karl thought that clearly these people were not professional bandits if they didn't bother to search his boots...I mean...Come on... Karl slowly rose up to his feet wary of John's location however time was short so Karl crept over to the first sleeping target before quickly leaping down placing his palm over the man's mouth and bringing the knife he held in his left hand across the man's jugular trying to ignore the spray of blood as he maintained his hold on the man. The squirming stopped after awhile and his friend had not even awoken from the struggle. Must have been a low perception roll or something... Karl repeated his earlier actions before shuffling back grabbing his rifle, bags and one of the cans of food. However Karl was not content...He was in a mood where ranger overuled humanity and so instead of leaving into the night...He stayed standing beside the fire rifle in hand... Soon the shuffle of footsteps marked his prey out in the night and then the shout that followed "Shit! No,no... Your gonna fucking die for this!" John came barreling towards the light however Karl calmly held his ground and used the butt of his rifle to squarely hit John in the face causing them both to stumble however Karl regained his ground faster quickly spinning rifle in hand towards John...John looked angry but terrified aswell as he shouted "You killed them! You killed them all damnit!" Karl gave him a moment to let it all out before simply pulling the trigger lodging a regular bullet into John's leg resulting in a scream of pain from the target... Karl was beyond caring as he then raised his rifle to John's upper chest and fired yet another bullet on the prone target silencing the screams. Karl looked around at the bloodly work he had commited and to satisfy himself he told himself that it was them or him.... However when Karl began to search the downed "bandits" he found some scrumpled up paper on John's body... Slowly opening them it revealed two child like drawings with an array of colours... A childs drawing. Karl now looked down at John noting the ring that laid on his wedding finger... His eyes softend as he considered what he had just done... Killing three males, one with a wife and assumedly kids... Everything is not as black and white as it seems but... It was him or them...Right?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

Joe Spivey's picture

The story is intriguing and I'm enjoying the leisurely pace. At a little over two thousand words, though, it would perhaps have been an easier read as two seperate posts. People seem to balk at opening a post and seeing a wall of text. Like me, they may immediately close it again with the intention of coming back to it at a later time. Unlike me, however, some may forget and all that work goes unread, which would be a shame. The current trend seems to be short, punchy posts of between five hundred and a thousand words taht is easily read with your morning coffee ;).

Stick with me kid and you'll be farting through silk.

Malteserlord's picture

Aye, Usually my posts are shorter and this was most likely a one off when regarding just how much is written.

-Also known as Karl (Karlaug) among the wastes inhabitants.

-Founder Of The Prospectors.



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