Call from a Desert Phone Booth the Aftermath

The air was thick with heat, a dry heat that made every breath feel like it was sandpaper. Left for dead in an empty old building with a hot concrete floor was Samual Hawthorn. His injuries weren’t that severe but he was emaciated. When he opens his eyes he’ll find himself in a glorified shack with a concrete floor and corrugated metal walls that were rusted through in places. There was no ceiling, just the roof overhead looking like a good gust of wind would rip it right off. There was a breeze but it was brutally hot rather than cooling. In the room there was almost nothing, just a backpack in the corner, a lot of dust, and a few scraps of metal, probably from the roof or walls that were falling apart. Samual’s hands are zip-tied behind his back and his ankles are also zip-tied.

// @Dasfier

Samual opened his eyes and looks around, he takes in his environment, before taking in a deep breath and coughing, “just like the mojave” He says to himself before worming his way to a scrap of metal to attempt to cut the ties on his hands, he would investigate the backpack later.

He’s able to find a bit of metal, it’s difficult to handle and the metal is hot to the touch, though not hot enough to actually do damage, it still hurts a bit to hold it. The first bit of metal falls apart before it cuts all the way through the plastic of the zip ties.

He sighs, then checks his wrists, before grabbing another piece of metal to remove the ties around his ankles. This was going to be a long day.

If he keeps trying he can eventually cut through the zip ties around his wrists, though he cuts himself a few times getting it done. Still, with his wrists free and the ability to see what he’s doing, the zip ties on his ankles come off much quicker. Now, covered in dust and grit with blood on his hands, though it has clotted and is no longer bleeding, he can get to his feet. He’ll find he’s already dehydrated and thus his head would swim a bit as he stood up, well either from the lack of water or the blow to his head. A nasty goose egg on the back of his head makes its presence known.

As he gets to his feet, he can hear some sounds from outside. Sounds like talking.

Sam sighs and slowly raises to his feet, shaking his head and taking a moment to gather himself, before forcing himself to inspect the backpack, for now he would ignore the talking, he knew he wasn’t in a shape for any kind of confrontation at the moment, the strike on the back of his head stung, he did however hold his tongue and fight through the daze as best as he could. He could patch himself up later, after taking care of more immediate problems.

Either the strike on the back of his head or the lack of water or the insane heat … one or all of them would make it difficult to hold back the nausea at first, though after a moment it would get easier. The backpack had some, though not most, of his gear. He would find his Pip-Boy in the backpack along with his survival knife. Looks like the backpack had been partially gone through, a lot of the pockets where he had ammo and firstaid stuff were empty, it was only by chance that the survival knife he kept stashed in an inside pocket was still there, they hadn’t looked there yet.

The voices outside sounded as if someone was on the phone.

He sighs and grabs his gear, it had taken him a long time to gather that equipment, now all he had was his knife… he grabs the pip-boy and slips it on, before grabbing the knife and quietly, at least as quietly as he could roaming to get a look at anyone surrounding the building, so he could plan his next move.

It was easy enough to find a hole to look out of. Two men, one on a cell phone, both armed are standing not too far from the front door. The one on the phone was telling the person on the other end to consider something or other done before hanging the phone up. At this point, he shrugs at the other man and both head for the door to presumably take care of Samual.

Sam hides on the side of the door next to the hinge, knife ready, he only had one shot to get the drop on them, if he did that he might have a fighting chance. He steeled himself, and waited for the door to open.

The door opened inward and the two men quickly noticed Sam wasn’t anywhere to be seen, how handily behind the flimsy door. One of them just says, “SHIT!” and pulls the door back to see behind it. Sam has the advantage for a second.

Sam grabs one, and flips him around, facing his former ally, and using him as a shield and plunges his knife into the man’s chest, putting the man in a sleeper hold with one arm. The man wasn’t sadistic, but there was a slight twist to the knife, ensuring the wound would be critical. the sound of cawing crows and ravens could be heard, ever so slightly, as if the birds were approaching. “I’ve seen a wound like this… you may survive…” He says loud enough for both to hear, “if you get to a hospital fast enough… but first… drop your guns, both of you.” He says, a firm hand on the knife and tone in his voice, the time for playing around was long over.

There was a pause and then both of them drop their guns, well the one with a free hand sets his down and kicks it away while the one Sam is holding just drops his. There is a gurgle from the man Sam is holding it’s clear that yes, it is a critical wound for certain, he tries to speak but end up coughing blood up instead. The other one, who was the man in charge says, “They’ll kill you and us, he’s a goner, there’s not a hospital close enough to drive and if I call 911 a helicopter might get here on time but they would know and we’d be dead before the end of the day so. Might as well kill him now, it’s kinder.”

“well as long as my knife is lodged here… he’ll be mostly fine and not bleed out… besides this gives me at least an ounce of leverage, since you both were likely going to attempt to kill me and all… so… where are my things?” Sam asks, there was a cold, and harsh tone to his voice, and a look in his eye that screamed vengeance, as the ravens circled overhead. “while you’re at it, who’s they?” His eyes narrow, he could just let the man he’s holding bleed out, but right now he needed leverage and answers… if they cooperated… and he was satisfied… maybe he’d patch the man up then leave them both out here… maybe.

What Samual doesn’t know – can’t know – is that his knife had nicked an artery in the right lung, which was filling with blood at an incredible rate. As the lung became less and less able to hold oxygen, the man would start to gasp for breath and struggle against being held put, the man was quickly dying gasping for breath, each time air filling the chest cavity and blood to his lung. Even if the pressure was relieved, the internal bleeding would result in him being dead within minutes. The look on his companion’s face was one of resignation, this was not the first death he’d seen and this was not the first time one of his partners had been killed. He just sighed, “I’ll wait.”

Sam’s eyes narrow for a moment, then pulls the knife out of the man and shoves him away, letting the blood out of the wound, he still held his knife ready while he grabs the gun at his feet. then makes a clean killing shot, Sam then turns his attention to the survivor of the two… it was clear Sam was hardly in the mood to negotiate, and he was on a warpath at this moment. “now I believe you owe me some answers” He says his tone hostile yet also cold, and unforgiving… like Nuclear winter.

“You’re not going to let me live, I don’t owe you anything. You escape and do let me live, they’ll kill me by the end of the day, maybe end of the week if I can go underground fast enough. So, shoot me. It’s easier.” The man seemed like he’d long ago expected this to be the outcome, no matter what he did. Acceptance of his own fate made his face resigned but otherwise placid.

“perhaps… you seem to know a lot about me… the least you could do is answer some questions… such as who you work for… how did we get out here… and… oh I don’t know if you have any supplies laying around, if there’s anyone else out here I should be concerned about?” He says before saying, “this isn’t about what’s easy, and frankly as far as I’m concerned, you’re a minor inconvenience… so you may live… or you may die either way I want those questions answered” He says walking closer, he wasn’t interested in what’s easier… he was interested in information.

The man sighs… “I accepted my fate a long time ago, friend, I don’t feel like answering any of your questions. There’s nothing in it for me, and if they find out, there are still people I care about. You should know what happens to them if a person talks when they aren’t supposed to.”

Sam scoffs a little, “how unfortunate… and I know more than you know… but you should know… you working with them… already sealed the fate of every one of your loved ones. The one person I could possibly care about died to them, so, ya, you’re loved ones are already dead… it doesn’t matter if you’ve accepted your fate, you either can answer my questions and maybe help stop them from harming anyone else… or die here, ‘loyal’ to the end… only knowing that your loyalty wasn’t paid in kind” He says painting a picture for the man, checking for any kinds of binders, he had an idea, it would work if he found rope, handcuffs, or zip-ties. “so I’ll ask again… where are my things? and do you have backup?”