viernes, 19 de noviembre de 2010


Before the Fires, I never really liked Nogales. It's not that it wasn't nice (although, in my opinion, most of the most noticeable areas are awful), but it was too clumped together, too much disorder), but nothing would prepare me from how Nogales seemed right now.

The road itself was blocked by piles and piles of scrap and concrete barriers, all covered with rusted, pointed protrusions, large enough to penetrate the engine of a fast-movin car. There were military cars, black from the smoke of previous fires, and all of them devoid of diesel or gas. There were skeletons, some were picked cleanly of their meat, possible by vultures, others showed signs of fire. The silence was thick enough to cut it with a knife, and the landscape looked horribly torn apart.

I was running out of diesel, and I certainly knew that I was gonna be fresh meat from the moment someone saw the jeep. It pained me to do it, but I ditched the jeep with the generator. I removed the radio as best I could. I took some water and rations, as well as my two remaining guns (my beretta and my Xiuhcoatl rifle), I donned the modified armor and started advancing.

My dogs were silent, but they were sniffing around, and listening. I swear the place was as quiet as a tomb, but all of a sudden I could hear a few dozen gunshots being fired not far from where we were. I hid quickly and my dogs followed suit, and we could hear the rumbling of a car and a few people yelling as they shot back at others who were chasing them. I waited for a while and kept on walking...

miércoles, 10 de noviembre de 2010


"The story of Sonora is as old and as long as the Sonora River".

At least that's how the first few lines of some history books start.

After the last incident, I tried to stand away from the highways. The jeep can take it, I knew that. The state is not exactly flat, but it was pleasant enough to avoid some natural hazards as well. I had to check on the tires at least a few times, though. The past owners were not exactly kind to the car, and the tires showed signs of heavy use.

The dry desert stretched on for hours as I was driving along, and I could a few cars that have been abandoned in the highway. Not as many as in Hermosillo, but there were plenty.
During the travel, I stopped through several of the smaller towns, making quick runs for fuel and food, but I had to leave quickly and going around the cities, instead of rushing through. I wasn't gonna take my chances on finding anyone there.

However, the nearby villages alongside the Sonora River were of great use. These smaller towns, mostly run by farmers and ranchers, were far less dependent on technology, and better prepared to fend for themselves. There was, however, a lot of people in them. Most of them refugees that came from the nearby cities, many of them were young, and did not know how to work the fields or to take care of the cattle. Most of them tried to work a living in whatever they could do: Menial work, some of them were doctors, but even with their knowledge, they had to learn about herbs and actual pharmaceutical work, mixing reactives and so. And then there were the thieves and whores. People with no actual skill, and many of them from formerly wealthy families that thought that, with their names, they might have stuff.

Tough fucking luck. Many of them began to learn that, with isolation, came with its own set of laws and rules. It's not to say that they're savages, but most of the farmers and ranchers were not going to tolerate some snot-nosed kid or wise-ass bastard to be stealing, so the law of the land was the law of the gun or the noose. They learned slowly, but they learned.

I traded some of the stuff I brought with me: The extra guns, a book or two (a couple of novels and a field guide to wilderness survival I just read and remember by heart), some meds they'd need; all for some water, food (I missed red meat quite a lot), and some eggs. The I trated with, and old man named Fabian, told me that some of the towns had been taken over either by the military, or the drug cartels, and that they were having all sorts of skirmishes, and that they survived because of the isolation and the roughness of the terrain (I can't say where this town is, for their safety).

I thanked Fabian, and asked him if he knew anything about Nogales. He told me it was a bad place to go, and that if I was thinking of hoping the border, it was a lost cause.

Maybe it was, but it's better than nothing, I can only try, at this rate

miércoles, 3 de noviembre de 2010


I never thought that a simple thing as rain would be so liberating.

I stood far from the highway, when I stopped for rest. I did lots of fuel runs to keep the jeep with enough gas to go to Tempe. It was night, but there were no starts, the clouds were covering them.

The jeep had a small cop radio attached to it, so I was able to pick up radio signals if possible, but at the moment it was silent.

My dogs were sleeping together when the rain started to fall. It was strong and full of thunder, it was that calm and cold November rain, the kind that chills your bones the next day. The raindrops fell constantly, but they were small, and the sound put me to sleep.

I dreamed of our time in the museum, of Lisa's cute voice and singing, her love for the animals, and her hope to find a place where we could call home; I dreamed of Karen, her sweet words, her joyous laughter; of us, exploring each other's bodies in the night, her smell, her tears in her eyes when she told me we were going to be parents. I wanted to cry, I really wanted to, but the moment the first sniff was done, the sound of the door opening up woke me Two people in front of me, and maybe a third was in the back. The two people were armed with revolvers. They ordered me out of the car.

I did, and then I whipped out my Beretta and pointed it at one of them in the head, at point blank. The three men ordered me to throw away the gun, while I yelled them to leave me lone, they continued to shot and I responded with the same intensity, buying myself enough time to they wouldn't expect me to shoot both men in the head. The third guy shaked, threw his gun (a hunting rifle), and started running into the night, panicked.

I took the rifle and shot at his direction, hearing a thumping sound in the ground. I walked, and saw him crawling on the ground, begging me to let him live. He wasn't gonna last much in the desert, so I did the sensible thing to do.

I walked towards the jeep, rain still falling. It felt as if all the bad deeds, all the regrets, all the pain, was washed away with the water. I got inside, changed my clothes into some dry ones, and slept again, praying that I would dream of Karen again.