Tuesday, October 2, 2012

[Fiction] The Reservation, part 3

Are you behind? Here's the previous episode of the Reservation, all warmed and ready for ya.

It only took John a few minutes to figure out that they weren't going to the Gutman farm at all. He didn't say anything. He was acutely aware of the white demi-leather seat under him and the stain he must be leaving with his overalls. The little hydrogen coupe shot by the turn-off and kept going, rolling at an even hum down the wide highway. Farms blurred by on either side, real ones growing corn and soy beans, not power plants.

Eventually Gutman said, "Sam still making his guns?"

John decided that he was trying to be friendly. Everyone knew that Sam still made and repaired bolt-action rifles and shotguns from before the war. "Yeah," he said with a noncommittal air, hoping that was the end of it.

"Don't know why people insist on 'em," Gutman replied. "Ever seen what a scramjet can do to a person?"

This was starting to get very uncomfortable. Did Mister Gutman have a way of checking his cameras remotely? If they were wired up to his phone, he'd probably already seen everything. John gave him a sidelong glance. "Scramjets?" he asked.

"You know, sabot rounds. Like the Manstopper Carson carries around," Gutman explained. He didn't seem agitated or even suspicious. Just curious.

"Oh, yeah," John muttered. "Only licensed City-folk have those, though, and they're few and far between."

Gutman made a sound that was neither here nor there and gave a little shrug indicating he didn't know how true that was. John risked a glance at him, but Gutman was looking straight out over the highway and didn't seem to have a care in the world. "You weren't going to go to Sheriff Carson about all this," Gutman mused. "Were you?"

"About... this...?" John said, doing his best to act ignorant of the whole situation. He knew the game was up though, and stuffed his hands in his pockets. What would Sam Stalton do? Probably pull out an old revolver and shoot Greg in his fat head.

"You know, all this..." Gutman made a vague gesture. "Livestock and what-not. I could tell it spooked you, that's all. I just wanted to make sure you weren't going to make it into... ya know, trouble."

John swallowed. "Mister Gutman," he confessed, gripping hard on his wireless wrench in his overall pocket. "Carson's up at the farm right now."

"He what?" Gutman gasped. "Oh HELL!" He slammed on the brake and the car squealed to a stop. With a frantic look at the road he spun the coupe around and started heading back. "Damn it, John, why'd ya have to go tell an outsider for?" Gutman's eyes were wild and frantic. John could see the future that Greg Gutman saw: his contacts in the City evaporating, his standing with the Syndic ruined, the farm transferred to someone more reliable, and Greg Gutman out on his ass. Thankfully, Mister Gutman didn't seem too keen on hurting John over it.

When they got to the farm, Sheriff Carson was out between the huge stalks of the windmills. He'd drawn his gun already and John gaped to see Mrs. Gutman all sprawled out on the dewy grass, arms cuffed in big exoplastic Syndic cuffs. The light on the black plastic blinked red.

Greg stomped on the brake again, bringing the coupe to a halt in the gravel driveway. Carson looked up and slowly began to walk towards the car, his M-31 gripped firmly in one hand. He kept the barrel pointed down and away, as though he was afraid of accidentally discharging it.

"Stay here, John," Gutman grumbled. "This'll all work out for the best."

The car door clacked open and Gutman rolled to his feet. He started walking towards Carson, hands in the air.

"Woah, now!" the sheriff called. "Just stop where you're standing, Mister Gutman, if you would."

Greg obliged and came to a halt. His shoes glimmered on the gravel and John leaned forward instinctually to see what was happening.

"Now, just put yer hands behind your back if you'd be so kind," Carson went on. "I've got to call the Adjutant. It's lucky he's already on his way, now, so you can be processed nice and quick and go see the Syndic."

Greg did as he was told, hands folding behind him. As he did, John noticed his lift up the tail of his waistcoat. There, tucked into the seat of his pants, was a big ugly black exoplastic handle coated in fine synthetic leather: a Falstaff M-40, the Justifier.

John made a side-to-side swiping motion in his pocket, the pad of his finger sliding across the wrenches' main screen. Please let it be on universal reception, he prayed. He was rewarded by the sound of the coupe's engine revving. Gutman had wrapped his meaty paw around the Justifier and was waiting as Carson drew ever closer. Clockwise full circle went John's finger and the car leapt forward.

Gutman spun around, the Justifier in his hands and raw naked fear in his eyes. The coupe sped forward and John made a quick up-and-down motion which caused the hood to pop up and block Gutman from his sight. He ducked behind the dashboard as the one and only sabot Greg Gutman had time to fire blew a dollar-sized hole in the chair where he had been sitting a moment before.

The car rocked when it hit the huge bulk of Greg Gutman and then crumpled as it struck the pylon of a wind turbine. John knocked his head on the glove compartment and then everything went black.


  1. What happens next? I just read all three of these in a row, and now I need that sweet, sweet next chapter!

    1. Also, I love that all this drama and mayhem is caused (presumably) by the owning of a chicken.

    2. I never even made the connection between your chickens and this tale, but now it is hilarious to the maxx