Not too long after we got into the city, we were standing under the burning wreck of the Lore Keeper’s little love-shack. It was a good hard kick to the crotch after all the trouble we’d all been through to get that damn iPad. The fact that we’d pissed off Crawley, the fact that the Nerd had to kill a man and the fact that now we were in the middle of Ground Zero for the next big war. Everyone and their grandmother was out to kill somebody tonight, so we all needed a place to crash and figure out what the hell we were gonna do next.
That’s when the fella, think his name was Billy, who was leading us to the campus spotted his sister. She was kinda pretty, but definitely not the type that I’d be lucky to get with. For one, she was carrying more machetes than Machete and two, she sure didn’t look too happy about not being burned alive. Personal experience goes to show that this is almost always a bad thing. Billy goes and calls his sis over and tries to introduce her to all of us. I do the gentlemanly thing and stick my hand out; she just hugs her bag to her chest like it’s the only way to stay alive.

“The name’s Peck” I say. Pulling down my scarf so she can see that underneath the grime, I’m a friendly little teddy bear.

“I’m Rachel,” she says “can we please just get away from here?”

Not being the sort of guy who sticks around burning buildings, we hopped back onto Billy’s cart and hit the road. Everybody had their own idea of what we should do next. The Nerd wanted to find out who went and burned down the Lore Keeper’s building, the Doc wanted to keep looking for that iPad, the Drunk wanted to keep looking for booze and for once, I finally had some support in Billy and Rachel; getting out of town as quick as possible before somebody started blasting us away. It was all pretty much pointless as stumbled back across our old friend, Martinez. He’d been kind enough to sell us some gear earlier and with the war breaking out all around us, we figured it might be a good idea to stock up on supplies before we got the hell out of Dodge.

Martinez didn’t look too happy to see us, but I suppose anyone would be a bit preoccupied with the fact that half the city was on fire and the rest was about to go with it. The guy took us out into the woods to a ramshackle shack. It looked like a rough sneeze would be enough to bring the place down around our heads, so I made sure to stick close to the door. Martinez gave us the skinny; he wanted the information on the iPad and was willing to help us get us out of the city if we got it for him. Rachel hugged her bag extra-tight and I knew exactly where this whole mess was gonna go. It was the great big gorilla in the room and even though it took a second, the group put it together pretty quick. The Nerd walked over to Rachel and tried to talk her into letting us copy the info onto Martinez’ doohickey, but she wasn’t having none of it. She snatched up the gizmo and bolted off into the woods. Before anyone could say anything with more than one syllable in it, she unhitched our horse from its reins and was galloping off to Albuquerque.

Martinez blew a gasket. Told us to get his stuff back or we were never going to get out of the city alive if we didn’t get back his gizmo. Of course, he probably had no real way to back this up, but I’m not the sort of guy who lets people get away with stealing. Well, stealing from me.

We all took off after Rachel, Billy included, which is exactly why I didn’t just plug Rachel in the back the second she got out the door. We ran for what was probably an hour before I started to get sick. The Doc came up with an idea to just hunker down for a few hours and let Rachel get comfy hiding somewhere. It sounded smarter than just running around like a chicken with its head cut off.

The sun dipped low, it was getting hard to see, but thankfully our ears were working just as good as ever because we heard a lots of loud, drunk yelling coming from down the way. We all took cover behind some bushes and saw what must’ve been at least five Crawley goons stumbling down the street. They didn’t look like the kind of guy’s who’d be doing anything close to war, but that wouldn’t matter much once they started stomping us to death.

We needed to distract them, get them out of the way, so I grabbed a rock and gave it a good hard toss. I should’ve ate breakfast that morning, because it didn’t get twenty feet away and nailed one of the thugs right between his eyes. The Drunk told us to wait for her to get back and took off yelling. The Crowley guys took off after her. It seemed like forever, but then shots rang out. I took off with the Nerd to find her. We got a good ways down the street when three Crowley guys ran past us, screaming something about gunshots. I wasn’t one to look a gift horse in the mouth, so I ducked behind a mailbox and took a potshot at one of them. It grazed him good across the side, scared the rest and they scattered like cockroaches.

When we finally got to where the first shot, all we could find was a puddle of piss and a dead goon. What’d that Drunk get into tonight?