≫ TIES THAT BIND: CITY OF ANGELS & TIES THAT BIND: WHAT LIES BENEATH ≪

  • It's official, our next main lore, and its accompanying mini lore have been announced: Ties That Bind: City of Angels and Ties That Bind: What Lies Beneath!

    You can read more about them in our newest newsletter here. Information regarding our mod list and overall plans can be found in our Build 41 FAQ.

    We will open up applications for Ties That Bind: What Lies Beneath once What We Become Part II: What Remains has concluded. Stay tuned for that announcement! If you join our Discord, you'll be notified as soon as it drops.

    Thank you to everyone for your patience! We're excited to share everything we've been working on.

I Can Still Make Cheyenne

Jaded

Active member
Joined
Sep 11, 2019
Messages
60
Points
18


...opy, shots fired at the intersection between West Slaughter Lane and Manchaca Road. Sergeant to acknowledge shots fired and one down at Manchaca.


Copy.


Copy 307, EMS on their way.


310, responding.. West Slaughter and Manchaca, right?


Copy, 310.


Alright, heading over there now.


307, administering CPR.


Copy 307 starting CPR.


Dispatch, suspect is breathing heavily, Code three on EMS.


Copy.


310 on site.


327, ambulances passed me by, they’re on their way.


Copy, 327.


307, suspect is convulsing rapidly, assuming seizure. Doing my best here, where’s EMS?


Ambulances are on their way, 307.


Copy, dispatch, be ni-wh..Shit! Suspect is-uck-wh-grah gerr-aarghh!!


Shit..uh..307.. 307 sus-shots fired, two down, officer and suspect..bit into his shoulder..


Copy 307


310, suspect is down, officer down. Wound doesn’t look too bad…


Copy 310.


357, responding to screams on Monarch Drive.


Copy 357, 2nd Precinct, multiple shots fired on Manchaca Road and West Slaughter Lane.


307, where the hell are those ambulances!


Copy 307, EMS are nearly there. Rescue is on the way I repeat, rescue is on the way.


329, we’re requestin’ response vehicles…


Copy 329, are these for 911 calls or the scene?


Uh...911 Responses, yeah, a lot of calls just comin’ in alla the sudden.


Copy 329…


329, all precincts reporting shootings, squads are busy, checking where I can but thi…


Buda, TX. 5:58 AM. (Trigger Warning, offensive language.)

============================================================================

============================================================================​

Michael rubbed at his eyes, cursing under his breath as the car went over another hole in the road. Damn state couldn’t even keep those in good condition. He lazily eyed the time on his dash. 6:08.


Fuck Bill. Making me come to the store this early, he always does this. Probably can’t reach his M1A again. Gonna be the fucking racoons again, rummaging through his cans. Fucking fudd.


Michael slurped at his coffee, trying to get the last of the grog out of him as he turned into a small shop on the side of the road. Buda Gun Emporium. Emporium was an exaggeration, it was more of a decrepit wayside than anything else. Why he still worked here, Michael didn’t know.


“Should’ve just took Danny’s offer and moved to El Paso..” he muttered to himself as he pulled his keys out and hopped out of his car. The establishment itself was a fairly quaint place, used to be a small general store until the seventies or eighties. Nobody bought the property until the 2000s.


A ‘hole-in-the-wall’ sort of place, it looked like it hadn’t seen service since it was a general store. The store’s name and logo lay emblazoned on the display window, steel bars lying behind that as a sort of deterrent to robbers. At times, Michael mused that they were really there keeping him in.


Store shelves off to the side held an assortment of items: gun cases, reloading supplies, hunting clothing, military surplus items and more. A small rack of assorted chips, granola bars, and more sat opposite, leaning against the wall beside a small fridge filled with sodas and water. These were the usual sellers, alongside ammunition. The firearms themselves didn’t sell quite as quick.


Behind a countertop and inside glass display cases lay rifles, shotguns, and pistols of varying make and calibers. Lever-action Winchesters sat alongside bolt action milsurps whose times of service had long since past. AR15s and AKMs, the bane of the country some made it seem, lay cozily alongside M1As, a G3, multiple SKS rifles, and a few other long guns.


“There y’are ya lazy git! I called ya thirty minutes ago! Tha hell were ya!” In the middle of the hallway stooped a man that looked like he could have fought in Vietnam, gray fuzz popping from the sides of his head, which was covered in a cap with the Gadsden Flag on it. The man held a shotgun in his hand, pointing up above Michael’s head...at least he hoped it was above it.


Bill Young. He was what those in the gun community call a “fudd”, some old piece of shit that fight tooth and nail for their hunting rifles and their 1911s whilst throwing all other gun owners under the curb. Anything for some ivory grips, right.


It’s too early for this kind of shit. Rubbing at his temples, Michael shook his head as he locked the door behind him, lazily glancing back at the “Bill, you called me at five in the morning. Thought you said you’d stop pulling this kind of crap. Fuckin’ woke up Maria and the boy.” he grumbled, taking another long sip from his coffee cup.


Scoffing, the older man finally lowered his shotgun. “This is tha biggun’ ahm tellin’ ya. Know it fer shore now.” he gave Michael a cheeky grin as he cocked his head behind him. “Follow me.” he ordered as he stomped his way past the walls of arms towards the back room.


Sighing in his head, Michael rubbed at his temples. “Bill, nothing is happening, probably just read some dumb shit on facebook ag-”


“Shut the hell up ya dumbfuck! Ah know what ahm talkin’ ‘ere.” he snarled back at him. Behind him, the distant whirr of what sounded like an old TV channel fuzzily entered Michael’s ear. Amazing that this guy was still watching standard stations in this day and age.


“Ah gots this here radio from back when ah was a cop. ‘Fore Miami Dade, back when they trained us boys good an’ proper intah real men. Not ya pansy asses like y’all.”


“Oh yeah, the “good ‘ole days”, revolvers and shooting every Asian man you saw out in the jungle, right?” Michael retorted, realizing the static was coming from a radio, and a police one at that. Oh boy, what has Bill been hearing this time. “What about your dumb radio.”


“It’s silent.” Bill stated gruffly before walking to the machine, turning the thing up nice and loud. Nothing came on the line besides the loud, crackling sounds of static on the wire.


“Yeah? So? We’re in a small town, you rarely hear shi-”


“AUSTIN!” the fudd bellowed, “Austin. My radio listens to Austin PDs. Y’all listen ‘ere, there was a buncha noise at three hunna hours. Not no drunks, not no accidents. Gunfire, whoooole lotta gunfire. Officers dyin’. EMTs dyin’.” he gave Michael that look, that crazy look that only crazy people give when they wholeheartedly believe what they’re saying.


Michael shook his head and chuckled quietly. “Bill...Bill, your radio’s probably fucked up or something like that. M-Maybe there’s a shootout going on, but I doubt it’s as bad as you’re making it sound.”


“Bit an officer’s damn neck open, tha damn spics bit their jugular off, ya dumb idiot!” Bill barked again. Michael rolled his eyes in his head. Firstly cause he doubted anyone would really manage that before the other cop shot them down, and second cause of course Bill made it about race. Crossing his arms, Michael clicked his tongue, looking the other man in the eye.


“Bill, even a guy all hopped up on heroin ain’t gonna manage that. Lets think about this a bit more logically, alright? Your radio is old, right? You said you got it when you were in the Army in what…’83? Is it that illogical to think it’s giving out?” Michael asked, taking another sip of coffee.


“Ah know what ah damn well heard, ya cream an’ sugar sippin’ retard. It’s startin’. The wetbacks or the hajis or whatever. They been a talkin’ about it fer years, an this whole ‘civil war two’ shit is a startin’!” Bill stared at Michael.


Michael stared back at him, before shaking his head once again and putting his coffee down on the table. “Jesus fucking Christ, Bill, what the fuck koolaid are you drinking from.” he yelled back, finally done with all of this. Another false alarm, why does he bother?. “I am in here at six in the morning, six in the god damn morning for no fucking reason other than you making up ghost stories! This is the fourth time! Fourth fucking time you’ve called me down to work at an ungodly hour for some random bullshit!” he slammed his fist down on the table, brow furrowed. His hairs were going to turn gray at this rate.


Silence hung in the air for several moments before Bill rolled his eyes. “If yer done with yer temper tantrum, princess, wes got real problems here.”


Michael’s jaw slackened as he listened to this old, pitiful man, slowly shaking his head. “Bill there is no problem. Except you, you’re the problem here.” He started to turn for the door.


“Ahm the problem? Ahm the problem ‘ere, boy, if y’all heard what ah heard, yous would understand everythin’. Now Ise ain’t gonna stand ‘ere listenin’ to ya rant about this here shit an’ that, we’ve got to prepare. Took th’ liberty o’ puttin’ down the metal sheets.”


“Have fun guarding your store from this “Civil War”, Bill.” Michael responded, chuckling at the absurdity of the idea. As he reached for the doorknob, he jumped back as a loud thud slapped against the wooden door. Fixated on the window, he watched for a moment before gulping. “Store’s closed bud.”


“Let me in! Ya gotta let me in!” a younger voice came from the other side. A thin fuzz of black, dark complexion, and wide eyes darting to and fro appeared in the window. Dressed in a white hoodie and sweatpants, he didn’t look like he could be older than fourteen.


“What did ah tell y’all, the damn hoodlums and gangbangers ‘er here already!” Bill shouted as he reached for his shotgun, pointing his finger at the doorway.


“Hold your goddamn horses for god’s sake! Just a fuckin’ kid.” Michael shouted back before he looked back at the door, holding his grip on the handle.


“Alright kid, I’m sorry, but the store’s closed. Why don’t y’all head on home, ma-”


“Some bad people in mah home, mister, attacked my ma and sister! Told me to run an’ get help, but.. Got on tha street and there was all this shootin’ and-and-and screamin’ all around me and..I.. I saw people attackin’ people, like, like, real bad yo, like..biting and clawin’, like they was some zombie shit, like in Walking Dead or whatever, man. Called tha police but nobody was answerin..jus’..please, man, I jus’ need somewhere to catch muh breath..” he speedily answered, his head moving on a swivel as he glanced back behind him, as if expecting the worst to come at any moment.


Watching the kid ramble, Michael couldn’t help but feel a bit worried that this kid might have done something wrong and was spinning a tale. He checked his watch: 6:23. Glancing back at Bill, Michael clicked his tongue, about to speak. Bill got to the draw first.


“Don’t even think ‘bout it. Das jus’ what he wants y’all teh think. Yous open tha door and a whole buncha spooks gonna just swarm in ‘ere. Kill me, kill you, take alla tha guns and go to town!”


“Ah ain’t gonna do nothin’ like that!” the kid shouted from the other side. Guess the doors were that thin.


“Can you can it Bill?” Michael retorted, his grip on the doorknob firming up. All this coot ever does, all the time. “Can you can it with the racist bullshit? Cause it’s really fucking tiring hearing it all and all again, especially considering my wife’s latina herself, alright? If this kid’s really in trouble, we can let the police deal with it later. But look at him, do you really think he’s going to do something like that?” he asked, stepping aside from the door to let Bill get a clearer look at the kid.


The fudd glowered at Michael, mulling on his words. He held his shotgun in one hand, the other at his waist, the wrinkles on his face almost growing with each second that passed. After nearly twenty seconds, the old man furrowed his brow and lowered the shotgun, pulling out a pack of cigarettes. “Feck it.. But if that boy pulls somethin’, don’t say ah didn’t tell ya so.. Ya hear what he said? The police scanners were right. Bad thing’s happenin’. Civil war, Ise tell ya.” he grumbled as he started to head back to his radio, the soft whine of static growing louder as the old man adjusted the dials.


A wave of exhaustion seemed to overcome Michael as Bill walked off, pinching the bridge of his nose before he slowly opened the door. The black kid scampered inside, putting his back up against one of the pillars in the middle of the room.


“Thanks, man...I don’t..I…” The boy trailed off as he shook his head, looking down at the ground. “S-sorry to bother ya this early.. I just..they was just..” He rubbed his forehead, closing his eyes. “Damn..”


“Don’t worry about it, kid.. The old bag’s more trouble than you are, honest.” Michael told him with a chuckle, slipping his hands into his pockets as he looked over the kid, noting that one of the sleeves was ripped. “Your jacket’s a little torn.” he commented.


“O-oh yeah..don’t, don’t worry about it man, musta caught on something as I was running. Th-the fence or something.. Folks was crazy.. Running and screamin’..” the kid told Michael. Listening to his story, he glanced back where Bill was. Maybe something was going on, though “Civil War” was still completely absurd an idea.


“...What’s your name, kid? I don’t feel it right calling you kid, and I don’t want to seem like a stranger or anything. I’m Michael.” he told the newcomer.


“...Jamie. My..My friends call me Jamie.” he responds, pulling out his phone. “Thanks for letting me in here.. Biked for a while, but, like, saw the lights was on here and all.” he told him as he idly texted on his phone.


Michael nodded as he glanced down at his own phone. “Probably just something local.”


“Y-Yeah..hopefully.. None my friends are really texting me back much though..and-nghrr..!” Jamie immediately clutched at his forearm, where his jacket had been torn.


Taking a couple steps, Michael tilted his head as he tried to get a better look. “Hey, hey, what’s the matter? Did that fence cut you bad? You have a chance to bandage it up?” he asked as he walked over and around the counter.


“Y-yeah..shit, that hurts real bad..I-it just started hurting..didn’t even notice..” the teenager mumbled back, kneeling down as he clamped down on the wound.


“Adrenaline will do that. Fight or flight, you know? Make you forget the pain and focus on the situation at hand.” Michael responded as he returned, a small first aid kit in tow. Taking a knee, he opened up the case. “Let me see it. Dealt with my fair share of cuts and bruises growing up myself.” he tells him as he pulls a packet of gauze out.


Doing as he said, Jamie held his arm, wincing as Michael did his best to delicately roll the sleeve up. “...You said you got scratched?” Michael asked. The wound was very clearly a bite mark. “This ain’t a love bite or something, yeah?” he joked as he firmly pressed the gauze down into the wound.


Jamie slowly shook his head, gulping as he glanced behind him. “S-Someone..some girl, wh-while I was runnin’, she grabbed me and bit me there...I uh..I kicked her off, b-b-but..fuck..d-din’t hurt so bad before..K-kinda cold, too..Got..another one in the leg..” he mumbles, biting his lip.


Michael nodded, continuing to hold the gauze down on the first bite. Lot of blood loss, it seems. “..I’m no doctor, but we’ll get..we’ll make sure you’re okay, alright? A couple of bites, can’t be that bad, you know?” he posed to the teenager. “Let me call 911.”


“Y-Yeah..wh-when I tried it, said the operator was busy and all. I don’t know what that’s all about, never that busy, but..” Jamie trails off before leaning back into the wall. “Crazy, man. I wonder what was up with everyone..why’d that girl attack me, ya know? I mean, I ain’t doing nothin’ bad or anything..” he chuckled quietly, shaking his head “I’m a bit tired from all that biking..I’m..gonna rest up a little.”


“You do that, Jamie, I’ll make sure the old man doesn’t do anything stupid.” Michael reassures him as he slaps a bandage on the first wound, then starts looking over the other. A minor scratch, the blood already coagulated. Keeping that in mind, he applies a small bandage over it before climbing to his feet and walking back towards Bill.


Leaning in the doorway, Michael found the fudd fumbling with his radio. For nearly half a minute Bill keeps going at it, turning dials and tapping the side of the radio before leaning back in his chair and crossing his arms. “Whatcha want?” he asked


Michael shrugged his shoulders as he pulled his phone out and dialed for 911. “Going to see if we can get some ambulance or something like that down here. The kid got bit by a girl apparently?” he told him, holding the phone up to his ear.


“You left him out there with the merchandise!?” the fudd bellowed, climbing up, prepared to storm back out there.


“Relax! Relax, Jesus fucking christ, Bill. He’s out cold, blood loss and tired. Got bit by a girl, like I said, remember? Definitely worrying…” Michael affirmed, taking a sidelong glance into the lobby.


“Bit by a girl...god damn, what kinda girl goin’ to bite a man jus’ like that! ...jus’ like they was talkin’ about in the police radio...” the older man asked as he lightly bobbed back and forth. Michael in the meantime was only met with a beeping tone before his phone hung up .


“The fuck..? Nobody’s picking up.” Michael grumbled as he tried the number again. “Don’t ever remember them not doing that..” he told Bill as he glanced behind him towards where the teen was resting.


Bill huffed and rolled his eyes before turning the seat and glancing towards a poster on his wall. “Ah told ya the police dispatchers were all down fer some reason, but wouldja listen, noooo.”


Receiving the same tone, Michael cursed under his breath before slipping his phone back into his pocket. “Well, according to the kid something’s happening.. Dunno what though.” Michael admitted, before meeting Bill’s eyes. “It’s not the ‘Civil War Two’ though, so don’t get your hopes up.”


“Psht. You think ah want one? Jus’ somethin’ ah know is comin’, doesn’t mean I want it.” he affirmed before climbing to his feet and reaching for his shotgun. “Whatsit poem that my wife always told me…”


“The one that divorced you?” Michael added with a smirk.


“Shut yer trap..that one, yeah. What’s it…’things fall apart’ or sommat along those lines. Something about anarchy…” Bill trailed off, running his hands along the barrel of the long gun as he tried to recall the poem.


“Things fall apart, the center cannot hold, right?” Michael posed before shaking his head. “That poem wasn’t talking about the United States or anything like that, Bill. It’s different, different time, different circumstances.” he explained as he stepped back out into the lobby, looking down at Jamie. He was still napping.


Following along, Bill cradled the shotgun in his arms. “You know what I mean.” he told him as he looked down at the sleeping kid. “Hrmph.. That’ll be the fourth time I clean blood outta this wood.”


“Yeah, we-wait, fourth time?” Michael asked.


“Don’t getcha panties in a twist, ya dumbass, it’s my own blood I had t’clean before. Scrapes and fuckin’ up with tools here an’ there. This’ll be first time ah clean someone else’s.” he retorts before setting his shotgun down on the counter and taking a seat.


“Oh. That makes sense.” Michael affirms his statement as he glances out the window. The sky was slowly shifting from a deep black into a dark, misty blue. A car zoomed by, clearly past the limit. “..Jeez, folks like that should be the one getting arrested. Gonna get someone killed.” he mumbled.


“Do you see why Ise called you down here now, Michael. Somethin’ is happenin’, and I need all the help ah can get defendin’ the shop! Perty soon peoples gonna get here, an’ theys gonna wanna steal and take where they can. Pure chaos.”


“Bill, will you give it up already! Something is happening, sure, but it’s not going to be as bad as you’re saying. And if it is, I shouldn’t be here all holed up, I should be at home, with my wife and kid. I’m going to head out now, you got that? I’ll come in for my shift at twelve, but god damn, stop calling me so early in the morning.”


As Michael made his move towards the door, the black teen convulsed for a second, his head thudding against the floor as his body turned and tussled. Immediately stopping, Michael knelt down besides Jamie, looking him over. “Jamie, Jamie? Jamie, just calm down, calm down, looks like you’re going through a seizure..” he told him as he started to lift his head.


“Just let it play, let it play out..let it play out..” he murmured, glancing back at the door. “Crazy..fucking morning..” was all he could manage as he took a deep breath before looking up to see Bill holding the shotgun up to the boy’s stomach. “B-Bill..What the fu-”


“Get away from the fuck, Michael.” he grunted, keeping the bead aimed at center mass. “Y’all said he was bit, right? Heard it on the radio, police was bit and then all of this shit started happening a few hours later. Can’t be a coincidence.” he grunted, staring down at the teenager with his beady little eyes.


“Bill, have you lost your goddamn mind! This kid just needs help, he got hurt by someone else! Stop making those stupid assumptions for the sake of god!” Michael shouted, staring at the end of the shotgun barrel.


“No! You listen, you don’t know what ah heard. Ah know what ah heard. Ain’t senile, ain’t losin’ mah mind. This here fucker, somethin’s a goin’ to happen, an y’all goin’ to regret holdin’ him like that iffin ya don’t get the hell away from the boy. Now git, ya hear!” he barked, his finger already on the trigger of the shotgun.


“Bill...Bill you stupid piece of shi-”


The man slammed his boot against Michael’s cheek, glaring down at him. “I ain’t gonna say it again! Move yer ass!” he ordered. Michael looked down at Jamie once more before glaring back at Bill. He didn’t want to, but he had a wife, he had a kid.. He knew who was more important.


“...I can’t fucking work here anymore.” he grunted as he slid Jamie’s head back to the ground. His convulsions had lessened, the seizure dying down. “I can’t work with someone like you for any longer, Bill. I’m just going to go home to Maria and Jillian. Alright? I am not involved in this. I’m not related to this.” his voice cracked at the last second as he rose to his feet.


Bill’s expression darkened with each of Michael’s words, his shotgun hanging down, almost poking Jamie’s stomach. With a great sigh, he finally rolled his head around his neck before meeting Michael’s eyes. “Fine. Git, boy. Get the local sheriff in here when pass his office. He’ll know what’s up.” he grunted as he dropped a chair in front of the soda machine and took a seat.


Michael glowered, looking between the young black man and his now former boss, glancing down at his side. It’d be dumb to take a shot at Bill, especially over someone he didn’t know. Bill was an asshole, a racist prick, and so many other things, but Michael knew it wouldn’t be worth it. The police would be there in minutes. His wife and his child would be alone. It’d be simple dumb thing to do.


Nodding his head slowly, he tossed his key to the shop over in front of Bill, watching it clink and clatter against the hardwood floor right at the man’s feet. “Goodbye, Bill.” Michael told him as he stepped outside of the gun shop. A light summer breeze tickled his nose as he made his way for his pickup truck.


As he unlocked his truck, he heard the crashing of something inside the shop, followed by a shout from Bill. ‘Jesus! Motherfuck!’ he thought he had heard before one boom rang out. Then another. Five seconds passed before a third thoom echoed from the gun emporium.


Michael hung there, watching for movement for almost a minute before he finally climbed into his truck and turned the key. He waited for another minute longer, staring hard at his knuckles, the small bumps along his skin. Closing his eyes, he silently removed his phone from his pocket. He called 911 again. Beep. Beep. Silence for another minute or so. Finally, he opened Spotify, randomly picking a song, the soft hum of a fiddle and twang of a country guitar streaming from his cell.


Rubbing at his eyes, he shook his head before he glanced back at the building one last time before shifting into reverse. The crunch of gravel and rock beneath his tires filled the cabin before he turned out onto the road, starting his way back home.

============================================================================

============================================================================
 
Top