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Book The Code: Part 2: The Retribution

Discussion in 'Literature' started by SoullessAngel_, Jun 14, 2019.

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  1. SoullessAngel_

    SoullessAngel_ Ex-Mod | Writer | WildWest

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    2: The Retribution

    Mav shielded his eyes as he rode into Amarillo for the second time in two days. The bodies he, Moore, and Peréz had left in the street had since been removed, but there was one major, burning change that nobody was going to ignore.

    The saloon was burning.

    The flames were roaring, which meant that the fire had been started not too long ago. There was a pile of bottles in front of the burning building, which meant that the fire had been set using alcohol, probably taken from the bar inside.

    But what really drew Mav’s eyes was the body laying in front of the pile of bottles.

    It was the waitress he had tipped.

    She had been shot repeatedly and brutally at close range, the look of shock on her face frozen. Mav did not pause the horse’s trot to look down at her again as he rode past.

    He headed to the backup meeting place.

    ————————————————————

    “So what you’re saying is that these scumbags burned the saloon and killed the staff in order to get back at us?” Moore said quietly and slowly.

    They were inside a shed with crates of ammunition and weapons stacked against the walls. The owner of the arms store had agreed to do business with them, and allow them to use his property for a decent price.

    “That’s right.” Mav muttered, cleaning his fingernails with his Bowie.

    “Damn.” Peréz said. “Looks like we made quite an impression, boss.”

    Peréz was an immigrant indebted to Moore. Moore had come to the West looking for gold, then work, and after some nasty run-ins with bandits, decided to get involved with the drug trade. Mason Hayde was from Delaware, and had come to the West to escape prison and a death sentence.

    Mav never talked about where he came from or what he did. As far as anyone other than Moore knew, he was just another guy looking to score big. Not to mention that he could shoot very, very well.

    “So we find where they keep shop and blow it to hell.” Hayde said. “Kill every last one of them.”

    Moore shrugged. “It’s not my preferred option but it’s definitely on the table.”

    None of the four of them spoke with the slurs or drawls that the Western folks did, which is mostly what set them apart. Moore knew all three of them. Mav only knew Moore. Hayde and Peréz didn’t know Mav, which made them suspicious of him.

    “Already know where they hide out.” Mav said without looking up. “Got a place on the West side of town. Several windows, big enough to house twenty people comfortably. Not to mention a cellar.”

    Moore snapped his fingers. “We blow the place to pieces. Literally. Then, we clean up what’s left by hand. Send a message. Then burn it.”

    “We got enough stuff to make a big bang?” Peréz asked Hayde, who nodded. “Plenty of TNT, plus I can make some Molotovs if we’re careful.”

    Moore nodded. “Hop to, people.”

    ————————————————————

    Night had fallen.

    Hayde and Peréz had gone ahead to lay the dynamite in such a way that maximum damage would be inflicted on the two story building. From inside there were sounds of laughter and gambling, as well as drinking. The streets were deserted due to the fact that there were heavily armed men who generally didn’t take no for an answer moving explosives around.

    All the while, the men inside the building were oblivious to what was about to unfold.

    “That’s the last of it.” hissed Hayde to Peréz, who nodded. They each had a pistol in hand. Peréz ran back to where Moore and Mav were hidden, trailing fuse behind him.

    Mav was feeding rounds into his lever action rifle. Once the tube was full, he racked a round into the chamber and put one more into the tube. That gave him seven shots of 30-30. He slung the rifle across his back and checked that he had live rounds in his revolvers on his thighs. Once they were set, he checked his Mauser was loaded, and that his two extra stripper clips were in the correct pouch. He had fourteen spare rounds for the rifle. Normally he carried seven for the rifle and six for the shotgun, not including what was already in the guns, but anything close in for Mav would be done with pistols.

    Moore had his mini-shotgun with three rounds ready. He loaded three into the tube, twirled it in a circle with a flourish, cycling the action as he did so, and loaded one more into the tube. He also checked that his Smith and Wesson revolver had six rounds ready to go, as well as a double bladed knife he could wield as effectively as he could throw it. He had a full sized lever action shotgun leaning up against a shop making one side of the alley the group was using as cover.

    Peréz had a double barrel shotgun with a third barrel underneath the twin tubes that took rifle rounds. He had a revolver as a backup. Hayde had a bolt action rifle with target sights chambered for 30-06, which was a big honking man-killer. He as well had a revolver, but it was in .44.

    Peréz cut the fuse and struck a match. “Whenever you’re ready boss.”

    “Light it.” Moore ordered.

    Peréz held the match to the fuse and it started hissing and burning.

    Hayde prepared a Molotov. Peréz struck another match, and held it to the cloth at the top of the bottle.

    The fuse had about halfway burned up when Hayde chucked the lit Molotov through an open window. There were cries of alarm and profanity yelled, and a crash as a chair was broken. One of the buildings occupants threw himself out a window, crashing to a heap on the dusty ground.

    When he stood up, he froze, staring down the gun barrel of Mav’s lever action, which he had unlimbered. He collapsed backward after catching the bullet square in the chest.

    Smoke began to bellow from the windows of the building. A man ran out, and got shot by Moore with his cut-down shotgun. More people followed, and Peréz and Hayde began firing.

    One man ran to the window with a shotgun and Mav put a bullet through him. Then a whole group charged out the door in all directions. There had to be at least ten.

    Hayde chucked another cocktail towards the door, and the men scattered, avoiding the flames. Mav emptied his rifle, taking two. He dropped it and pulled out his C96, and slid behind a wagon parked outside the building. Two bullets punched through the canvas cover, narrowly missing him.

    The house was up in smoke. Then, suddenly, there was a flash, and a large explosion.

    Mav kept his head down. Dirt and debris rained down, landing on the cover of the wagon. He heard horses raising hell a ways away.

    “Mav! You good?” He heard Moore yell past the ringing in his ears.

    “Yup!” He shouted back. Moore stepped around the wagon as not to surprise him, his mini-shotgun hanging in his left hand.

    Mav checked the Mauser. He packed a couple more rounds in and reholstered it, pushing himself up to his feet.

    “Hayde got hit, but everyone else is fine.” Moore said. “Time to clean up, sheriff and his deputies will be here soon.”

    Mav nodded and drew one of his revolvers, stepping out from behind the wagon to survey the carnage.

    The house was leveled. All that was left was some of the foundation. Everything else was burning. Nothing could be recovered. And there were bodies. Everywhere.

    “Forget the cleanup.” Mav muttered to Moore. Hayde and Peréz were walking over, weapons in hand. Hayde was holding his shoulder, where a circle of blood was spreading. “There’s nothing left here.”

    ————————————————————

    The wreckage of the house was still smoldering when the sheriff’s deputies arrived.

    Deputy Jones dismounted his brown horse and drew his Colt revolver, holding it loosely in his left hand. Hawes got off his own horse, a mottled white and black, and slid his double barrel shotgun out of his horses’ sheath.

    There were bodies all over the place. Several had been visibly launched like rag dolls away from the building. But there were a couple untouched. Except for bullet holes.

    Hawes crouched and picked up something off the ground. “Rifle casing. 30-30.” He said. Jones looked closely at the ground. There were several mixed casings, as well as a few shotgun shells.

    “Only pistol casings here are rifle, shotgun, and small-caliber pistol. Automatic, it’s 9mm.”

    “Someone with a German piece?” Hawes said.

    “Hard to tell for sure.” Jones replied. “Those are incredibly hard to get, so they’re either lucky, have a lot of money, or from out of town. Either way, we have no way of knowing ‘cause there’s no firm witnesses.”

    “Shocking. There’s a shootout in town, but everyone’s keeping their mouths shut.” Muttered Hawes.

    “It’s definitely gang related. Otherwise people would be talking their mouths off.”

    “I may be able to help with that.”

    The two deputies turned to see the local deputy, Shane Larson, walking up the street. Word had it that Larson had been paid off by the local gang, and that he diverted a lot of attention away from their business. The two foreign deputies could hardly hide their disgust. Although rumors ran wild, there was no actual proof of Larson’s dealings.

    “Two days ago new guy rides into town. Shoots four men with a revolver, then shot all four again execution style with a Mauser pistol, which will probably match the casings there. Soon after that, he hooks up with three other guys, and they shoot another three in the local saloon. Yesterday morning, said saloon gets shot up and torched. Then, last night, this place gets turned into a campfire.”

    “Seems like you have your connections, Larson.” Hawes said darkly.

    “I know a few people.” He replied simply. “I figured I’d come relay that to you, but if y’all need me I’ll be down at my station.” He tipped his hat. “Have a good one, gentlemen.”

    He walked back down the street to a waiting horse, mounted it, and left.

    Jones muttered several impolite names. “Things seem a bit too tidy for me, after hearing Larson. He didn’t mention any reason why both places got torn up.”

    “Beats me.” Hawes said. “Place is a hellhole anyways. Best get the sheriff down here and notify the mayor too. Probably going to be here a while.”

    ————————————————————

    Mav sat in the storeroom of the arms store. His Mauser sat on a crate next to him, loaded. He had both of his revolvers sitting in front of him, and he was wiping them down with an oiled rag.

    The owner of the arms shop knocked on the door carefully, in a specific pattern. “You’re good.” Mav said, and he came in.

    He set down a bottle of whiskey and a glass. “Figured you might be wanting these.” He said. “A thank you from the saloon’s owners, for doing justice.”

    Mav unstoppered the bottle and poured himself half a glass. He didn’t drink very much, but he knew his tolerance and tastes. He took a sip. The whiskey burned nicely in the back of his throat, and warmed his stomach. He nodded his thanks to the owner, and offered him the bottle. “Help yourself.”

    The dealer chuckled, and produced a second glass. “Thought you’d never offer. That’s fine stuff.” He took his own sip and sighed satisfactorily. “Got a couple more things for you.”

    He left the room momentarily and came back holding a crate. Mav set the glass down and stood to receive it. He unlatched it and opened it.

    “Took a bit of arm twisting to find, but I know a few people. Definitely had to go through a lot of trouble, given that it’s hard to find anything German anywhere.” The dealer said proudly.

    In the box on top of a bed of straw sat a Gewher M-95 rifle with a scope. The M-95 was modified for a straight pull bolt, which meant faster operation of the rifle. The Germans also made very fine rifle scopes. He shouldered it and smiled, staring down the crosshairs. “Got any ammunition for it?”

    “I can make something up.” The dealer said sarcastically. “Exotic round, but if I can get nine millimeter for that Mauser of yours, I can whip up some good ammo for that.” He started. “Oh, and I almost forgot this.”

    He produced a letter and handed it to Mav. “It’s addressed to the shop, but I’ve read it, and I think it more pertains to you and your boys.”

    Mav gave him a look. “They ain’t my boys and I ain’t in their business. “I’m just replaying a man a debt I owe him.”

    The dealer shrugged. “None of my business. Enjoy the whiskey.” He said, and left, closing the door carefully behind him.

    Mav read the letter.

    “Noon, west street. Come alone, whoever you may be. I’d like to talk business, since our boys have ever only spoken with gunpowder. Any trickery, or fail to appear, and you’ll be butcher’s meat before nightfall.

    No weapons.”

    The letter was unsigned.

    ————————————————————
     
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