miércoles, 22 de septiembre de 2010


It had been hours since we arrived at the shelter. Karen helped me clean my wounds, and I rested for a while. We waited about three days -going out only to find food and water- until we finally moved out of the shelter.

There was no people left near the city center, as we approached. Everything that was prized for looted mas mostly gone, or expired. We found only scraps of medicine and water, not to mention food. We fed on rats and pigeons, but thankfully the sour oranges were still intact. Lisa had a keen eye for searching places, while me and Karen moved the stuff. I found some books and canned goods, while Karen had water and medicine with her.

She asked me where we were going. I smiled and pointed at the Cerro de la Campana, the massive stone hill that was the landmark of the city.

Right besides it lies an old prison, then turned into a museum. The place was solid, with exterior walls of massive stone and several small battlements and only a small part built on brick. The place, despite to keep people in, was strong enough to be used as a massive shelter. I knew well the layout of the place, but what worried me was if it was inhabited. That question would the answered shortly.

Getting near there, I noticed that the flimsy wooden door of the main entrance was still intact. As we got there through the main stairs, we couldn't open the door. It was barred from the inside.

There was, however, a service door that was useful, right besides the main entrance. This was a tall iron fenced gate, as tall as the stone walls (perhaps about 16-20 feet). It took a while, but me and Karen climbed through that fence and opened that door to Lisa. We locked it back and got inside, carefully.

The silence was thick in the prison, with only the sound of pigeons and that of the wind, moving the trees surrounding the building. We opened the service door that led to the lobby and we saw that the previous occupants were long dead, their bodies rotting on the floor. One of them had a gun in their hand, a revolver, and a single shot in the head. We assumed it was suicide, but we kept looking.

The prison was largely intact, except maybe for a few looted food and beverage vending machines in the offices upstairs, but everything else was there, including a very old Spaniard chest plate, along with some gauntlets and vambraces and a helm. I admit on trying on the armor, it took a while, let alone the laugh of both Lisa and Karen when I fell on the weight, but otherwise it fit like a charm.

The place was perfect: Intact, well-defended position, and best of all, wide. We slept in the offices, which have a good view from anyone trying to get it. While Lisa slept, we saw the blackened night view: All the buildings crumbled to ruins, and the odd smoke and fire in the far parts. There was still life in the city, but it was quiet now. The dogs kept a good eye on Lisa, one of them slept beside her (being the social creatures that they are, my dogs love to sleep alongside their 'pack mates'), while the other was sitting and keeping her ears up, as if listening to see if someone was coming.

We walked for a while in the courtyard of the museum, talking about what to do next. We agreed to first get some supplies, and possibly an electric generator. The problem was, of course, fuel. However, there were plenty of wrecked cars, so we might be able to draw a few of them if we get them quick. Also, we needed ammo, or at least stuff to make it, mostly because we were running low on it. It was during this that, while walking in the silent halls, she kissed me.

It has been months since I had sex. It was pleasant, and there she lied on top of me, her warm body over mine. Her slow breathing put me to sleep like a baby.

We woke up early, and prepared to look for supplies.

miércoles, 8 de septiembre de 2010


I was down and out, at least in a figure of speech. I could still hear Karen telling me to keep up, while she was carrying me. I felt hot, and weak. Mostly weak and very tired. I haven't been drinking much water for the last days, and I didn't clean most of the wounds from the previous gunfight with the rogue soldiers when I needed to, so I'm sure there was an infection.

Karen kept pulling me, as far as I knew, and she kept calling my name, keeping me alive. The little girl also helped, I felt her little hands wrapped around my arms, crying softly as they pulled me. It was the only thing that kept me here.

However, I was still not dead. With a last effort, I slouched off, telling them about where the shelter was, I gave two steps and finally collapsed on the ground, feeling the hard pavement pounding my head.

I had a vision: Days before the Fires, I pretty much saw a common day that was for me: Waking up, walking the dogs, running, bathing and going to college, returning home for thesis work, checking Facebook, returning to campus to defend my thesis, and so on. I felt a bit of nostalgia and sadness for the world that was, the world that shall never be again.

But, as some people have pointed out, we needed a clean slate. Our society was too centered on having more, no matter the cost. We killed, we did things, horrible things, for the desire of instant gratification. What happened now, with the looting, the slaving raiders, all this is just all these past sins revealed, the veneer of civility removed. Our own demons had surfaced.

One day, these demons will be conquered, I thought.

I woke up in my shelter, with one of my dogs sleeping right alongside me, the other was looking at me, his little tail waggling with joy, the other dog looked at me and waggled her own, patting my rib with it. Karen was helping the little girl (her name was Elizabeth, but we called her Lisa) sleep in the sleeping bag. She looked at me and smiled. I smiled back and called her name.

She took a cup with water and gave it to me. I tried to get up, but she put her hand on my chest and told me not to. I was too weak, she argued.

I listened and stood there. And we past that day talking, pretty much about the days before the Fires. About our dreams, jokes, friends we had, and also about the future. She suggested we should travel north, to the border, she said that maybe the Americans had figured out how to outlive the Fires. I wasn't so sure. I told her we needed to relocate since the shelter outlived its purpose, and subsist in whatever way we could. But, she insisted on moving. I told her I would think about it.

Still, if we were gonna go with this, we would need supplies and transport. So the next few days would be interesting.


(Author's note: Sorry for the delay, but recently I had too much thesis work that pretty much didn't let me continue. I shall try to make up for the lost time)

lunes, 6 de septiembre de 2010


It's not so hard to believe that, with any semblance of civilization gone, humans have gone to a state of brutal barbarism.

Here I am, in what it used to be one of the most luxurious residential communities, now turned into a fortress. Hell, look at how the city turned out with just one heavy solar activity. Granted, it took out a lot of the things we so selflessly depended on, and Mexico wasn't particularly a peaceful country a few months back before the Fires, but all this turned it for the worst. I thought about the horror stories some of the survivors told me when I was at the hospital: Former friends, colleagues and acquaintances turning on each other, the rampant murder, theft and rape from the unsuspected, the violence. Order was needed.

Justice was needed.

As I walked through la Joya, I saw more and more boarded up homes, but no one was to be seen. Only pikes in some parts of the streets. Some of them had heads. The smell of carrion, shit, and something worse was heavy in the hot summer sun. I gripped heavily on my beretta, when I heard the pickups coming back.

I was lucky enough to hide behind the houses when the cars passed through. They were driving slow, and on the lookout. I knew I should've disposed the bodies. They'll be looking for me; but on the other hand, they don't know it's just me, I could use that for my advantage. I could use diversions to take them out little by little, playing on their fear. I just needed a plan.

I moved slowly, following them down the road, I holstered the beretta, and got only my knife with me.

They finally arrived to an enormous mansion. The black wrought iron fence was immaculate, comparing it to the other houses. The house was white and pretty much intact, save for some impromptu towers made of wood, derelict debris, and some pieces of solid concrete. There were, it seemed for of them, each for every corner of the house. Beautiful cypress tress surrounded the house, but the apparent beauty of the place was removed because of the guards: Most of them were of bulky build, wide-bellied thugs, several of them had faux gold jewelery and well-armed. Sometimes they would go inside the building, and then I heard the screams. I moved slowly to the side of the house, taking care as to avoid the sight of the sentries, and saw that were several people, mostly woman and children, chained to the floor. How they looked, I dare not type even now, but let me write this: I will not suffer anyone to own or be a slave. Not anymore.

Among them, I saw the little girl the old man described. She was scared, and beside her, someone I knew from campus: Karen. Her pretty long dirty blond hair now ripped and ill-treated. She used to smile a lot, and was extremely friendly, now that was gone; instead, she now was battered and broken, a shell of a human, with her big brown eyes looking for an escape that will never be, and her pale skin now bruised and cut.

My wish was to get there, guns blazing, and once again become the knight in shinning armor as I did before, but these were not just a dozen soldiers, these were narcos, several of them, and I was in their turf. I needed to play this just right.

I waited for the night to come. I hid well in the houses and below cars. I moved quietly, I moved in the shadows, I kept my distance. When it was well near midnight, and even a bit after that. I moved. I took advantage that they were under very heavy sleep to get into the slave pens. I woke Karen up, told her to keep quiet. She nearly cried and hugged me, told me what happened: She and her boyfriend, trying to reach a military checkpoint, were ambushed; he fought tooth and nail, and went down fighting, but they still took her. She never let herself get touched by any of them, and she was beaten because of it, lost a couple of teeth as well, a premolar and second molar, both in the right. I told her we needed to move, and we needed to take the little girl with us, she asked me to help the rest, but I told her that, at least today, there was nothing we could do.

The other slaves woke up, and made a racket out of my situation, the guards were awake now. Shit.

We quickly moved as we could, picked the little girl and tried to make a run for it, but with all the people begging us to save them, it was too late, the sentries spotted us. They gunfire began, but this time we were able to make a clear run for our lives. I gave Karen my beretta, and she made good use of it.

We left the mansion like a bat out of hell, but the rest of the thugs were waiting for us outside. They turned spotlight on infront of us, and readied their guns. Behind us, in a balcony of the mansion, a man got outside. Probably the gang leader.

He simply told me I could not escape with his property, and that I surrendered. Me and Karen looked at each other in the eye, and smiled at me.

"Thank you" she said, with tears in her eyes. She pointed the gun and shot him dead.

The shock of the scene gave us enough time to shoot ourselves out of there. Karen got shot in the stomach, and I in the right arm.

Thank God I'm a leftie, motherfuckers.

The adrenaline kept us from falling to the ground, and kep shooting, sometimes we took the guns of the fallen, sometimes we made them shoot at each other thinking we splitted. Morning came, and the three of us were alive.

Treating Karen was difficult, but the books and the supplies were of great aid. I honestly thought she wasn't going to make it, due to the blood loss, but she's made of stubborn stuff. She helped me with the wounds both inthe leg as well as the arm, went out to my shelter. I didn't brought enough cans with me for all three of us, but I was able to do a makeshift sling and hunt some pigeons with it. We ate our fill, mostly of the breast, since that's where the most meat is in those things, but the rest had to be eaten as well, we can't just leave the rest like that. With the cans, some lighter fluid and bit of wood, and a bit of a very small net fence, we made a tiny grill in which to cook the pigeons.

We were close to the shelter, when I collapsed.

sábado, 4 de septiembre de 2010

La Joya

Just as I got in the last house and set up my rifle, the gunshots started.

Obviously, the dogs alerted my presence, and it was hard to look for cover, but there was a chimney that worked quite nicely for that. I tried to see where the shooter were at, but I couldn't see anything, other than that the shots came form La Joya, I nearly got shot in the head trying to peer again, so I knew this place was no longer safe.

I ran for it, and more shots came. One hit my arm as I jumped to another rooftop, so I wasn't able to hold on. I fell, and I grabbed in pretty much anything to avoid killing myself in the fall. I hurt like hell, but I was still alive, and very pissed off.
Finally, I was able to see who was shooting at me. It was a trio of snipers in the hilltop, just above where the gated entrance of the residencial. I pointed my rifle and hoped the bullet flew true.

I was able to shoot down one of them, hitting him in the head. The others, puzzled, tried to look for me, but the fact that I fell behind some bushes and tthat I was prone helped a lot. After a few failed shots, I managed to hit the other in the shoulder. The third ran away. I stood up, my arm hurting like hell, as well as my legs, but the good thing about adrenaline is that it keeps you going. I walked slowly, and did not got in straight through the entrance; instead, I walked through the underbrush that grew alongside it. I could hear cars coming out of the place, and there they were: Three pick up truck, all with men and women armed to the teeth. I was scared, but I wasn't gonna let that fly. I hid and remained silent.

As they passed by, they let a few guards in the gate. Hopefully I would be able to take them down, I thought. I took out my knife, and the gun, leaving my rifle in my back. I moved slowly, and closer. They were talking about how the rogue soldiers were getting closer. I moved slowly, and closer. Their guns were in decrepit conditions. I moved slowly, and shot one in the neck.

The other, slow to react, drew his uzi at me, but I rushed in and slammed him, knocking him to the ground, this is where I pinned him with the knee and stabbed him. The third tried to shoot me, but missed by a few inches. I shot him back, and when he was gurgling blood from his moth, I sliced his neck.

I looked at the residencial, all the houses now boarded up and reinforced. And started to walk on.