The rain falls upon the earth. It has been a long time since the young man has seen rain. It surprised him as well as the people around him who live in The Desert. The young man wasn’t there as long as the others, but seeing the rain brought joy to him. It has been nothing, but dry days for months on end even the nights were dry despite the cold. The young man looked upon the sky with all its grandeur. After looking for quite some time, the man went into his tent. It was very confined. The tent was filled with boxes with only a small corner for him to sleep. There was a certain smell that came from his tent. It was a strong smell. The people around him didn’t mind this smell. In fact they enjoyed it for it was something they all desired as well. It was a luxury to them that they have not seen in awhile. It was small, black and the size of a raisin. It was coffee beans. The young man was a merchant that went around The Desert selling his coffee beans to settlements and anyone who wanted them. He was a well known merchant and people liked him for his policies. He never cheated people and always gave them the exact amount they wanted. No one wanted to be the one to mess with him. Not because he had a good name to himself, but because he would dispatch them easily if they tried anything. Occasionally if a fool would ever think about robbing him, the young man would give them a chance to rethink their actions. He wasn’t into ending lives, but did it out of a necessity.
The rain stopped and a week had passed. The young man packed up his equipment and supplies into the truck and waved goodbye to the folks he has been around for the past month. He got into his truck and road off into the desert. His next destination was a small little settlement close to the initial blast zone. It didn’t surprise him that people lived so close to the blast zone. As hours go by, the young man could finally see the settlement. He stopped his truck, and put on his radiation suit and gas mask. The area ahead was all uneven ground so he took whatever supplies he needed and continued on foot. Upon approaching the settlement, he noticed something wrong. There was a billowing smoke stack coming from the settlement. When he finally reached the walls, he noticed that there was a hole in the wall. Around it were scattered bodies. As he entered the settlement he saw dismembered bodies everywhere. There was nothing left of the settlement. It appears the settlement was raided not too long ago. The young man was alerted to the sight of a door opening. A man and a woman walked out. They were covered in blood and laughing as they spoke of what they just did to the people inside the building. The two were unable to see the young man because he was seeing them from the side. The young man didn’t need to get into anymore trouble and began to walk away. As he walked back, he could hear the woman yell at him asking for him to stop. The young man turned around and stood there staring at them. Upon closer inspection he saw that the man and the woman were from a large raider group. The woman had called out to him not because they wanted to kill him, but because she recognized him. The young man smiled, asked how they were doing. They told of their latest exploits on how defenseless the settlement was and how they didn’t stand a chance. After their conversation, they took out a box of shotgun shells and gave it to the young man. In return he gave them the coffee beans he was planning on trading with this now ruined settlement. They waved goodbye and departed from the young man. The young man stood there again. He took in his surroundings. In the corner of his eye something caught his attention. It was a little girl. She was alive. The young man recognized this girl. He had given her some supplies and had spoken to her the times he had traveled. Somehow the girl had ended up here in this place. The girl was trapped under a corpse. The man recognized the body. It was her mother. It seems she protected her from the bullets that were flying around. The young man rolled the girl’s mother off her and picked her up. She wasn’t crying, but she didn’t say anything either. The man put her on her feet and they both stared at the sight before them. He had been doing this sort of thing for years. Seeing this sort of sight was nothing new to him, but like back then it affected him slowly. This time he couldn’t just shrug it off. He felt something burning inside him. The two spent some time burying the bodies and making crosses for them. After they finished burying everyone, the young man put the girl in his truck and rode off to Springs. Springs was a good city. The crime rate was low and people respected the law and each other. He knew a lot of people there. Upon arriving to the city, he entered a bar. He walked up to the bartender who was also the owner. He spoke with her for a few moments then handed the girl over to him. He then went outside and unloaded a majority of his supply of coffee. He gave them to the bartender. She stared at him, sighed and then went to the back of the bar. She came back carrying a few boxes of ammunition. The bartender didn’t bother trying to talk him out of what he was able to do because she knew how devoted he was to whatever he had his sights on. He smiled back at her and then to the girl. The young man waved goodbye and left Springs.
He knew where their known bases were. After all, he traded with them. Usually people who walk up to their base are killed with no hesitation, but it was different for him. They knew him and they knew what he carried. He opened up his map and stared at it. The closest base was a day’s journey. He drove in the morning, then into the evening and rested at night. There was no true rest for him. His mind was occupied by what he had seen throughout his years in The Desert. He thought he was numb to all the horrors this land had to offer, but he was wrong. By the time he was done thinking of his life it was the next morning. He packed his gear into the truck and made himself coffee. It wasn’t just any coffee. It was the coffee that his parent’s had given him before he started his journey. He kept it as a keepsake even though his parents only intended for it to be used as supplies for his travels. The smell off the coffee reminded him of his life back in the west. He drank his coffee in silence looking at the sun as it rose up. After he finished his coffee he got in his truck and continued driving. By noon he reached the outskirts of his destination. The young man drove right into the raider camp with no trouble. All the people he passed smiled at him or looked up to acknowledge his presence. He smiled back. He stopped his truck and got out. From a distance he could see the camp leader walking towards him to greet him. The young man still had a few crates of coffee left in his truck. He greeted the camp leader. Smiled and gave her a crate of coffee. He asked her if she had heard of a resent settlement raid nearby. She told her that it was on a list of settlements that they were asked to hit and that the main raider base did most of the raiding. He thought this was the end of the information he was going to get from her, but she kept talking. She told him that they weren’t raiding for themselves or of necessity. They were hired by a man. From the description of the man she was describing, the young man recognized him immediately. He was the head of a very well known private military called Ice. The young man thanked the camp leader and left in his truck. While he was driving he was thinking of what Mr. Ice was doing. It didn’t take long for the young man to get what Ice had planned. With the raids on many settlements, other people may be scared to start up their own settlements and the existing ones will be on edge. Ice would come in to act as their savior offering them military protection from these raiders.
The young man’s next destination was the main raider base. Like the raider camp, he had no trouble getting inside. He asked to meet with the base leader and they let him through. The two of them talked. They started with small talk about the events in The Desert and what they did. The base leader then asked the young man what he wanted. The young man asked directly if the leader was involved with Ice and if he knew what was really happening. The leader responded that he knew exactly what was going on and that he didn’t mind it. He only agreed to work with Ice because he and his people would be wiped out easily if they didn’t. He was only adding a more sand to his hour glass. The young man couldn’t blame him. They were in a world where one’s might is a key to one’s survival. The leader asked what the young man was planning to do. He assumed the young man wasn’t just coming to meet him at the main base just for a conversation. The young man laughed, and then asked the leader if he managed to scavenge any good weapons in The Desert recently. The leaders opened a small vault behind his desk and inside were weapons. These weapons weren’t just any kind. They were classics. None of them were created from scrapes. They were in one piece from their original manufacture. The leader looked around the vault, and then grabbed a weapon. He picked up a submachine gun and handed it to the young man along with some ammunition and body armor. He said this was all he could do for him. The young man thanked him and handed him a letter telling him to give it to their parents. They hugged for a moment, and then the young man left in his truck again. His final destination was Ice’s headquarters in the capital city. Getting into the capital wasn’t easy for regular people, but the young man was an established trader. Upon arriving to the outskirts of the city, he reached a checkpoint. The guards were checking incoming travelers into the city. When it got to him, the guards smiled and started to talk with him. They were frequent buyers of his coffee. They did their usual check cracking open a crate to find coffee and then waved him along. What they didn’t know is that he mixed in his weapons and ammunition in the crates of coffee. The young man arrived at a hotel and checked himself in. Inside his room he made calls to his contact that would get him and his weapons inside of Ice. His contact told him that Mr. Ice would be working late in his office this weekend and that there was a small window that the security is low. He met with his contact who handed him a keycard into the building. The contact also handed him a copy of the building layout as well as the locations of automated security, guards, and cameras. The young man waited till nightfall until he made his move. The young man began his climb up the corporate building from the back of the building. He did not need to fire a single bullet on his way to meet Ice. He couldn’t. One mistake and the whole building goes on alert.
Finally he reached the top floor where Ice’s office was located. Inside he could see a silhouette, but it was not alone. There was someone else in the room. The young man ducked behind a desk as he saw the silhouette get larger heading towards the door from Ice’s office. The doors opened and a woman came out. The young man peeked out and saw her. She appeared upset. She went into the elevator and went down. The young man jammed the controls to both the door and the elevator behind him to stall the guards if they were summoned. He entered the office and standing with his back to the young man was Ice who was watching over the city. The young man waited for Ice to turn his back, but he never did. It was like Ice was frozen. Ice fell to the ground. This startled the young man. Ice’s face was all blue. On the ground he had the same pose as he did standing up. The young man saw a needle mark on his arm. It looks like he was poisoned with something. At that moment, the alarm was sounded. The young man knew who that perpetrator was. It was the woman he saw earlier. Outside the office he can hear guards at the door talking as they tried to break it down. It appears the woman knew that the young man was coming. She told the guards a strange man had walked into his office and had killed him and that she quickly went down to get help. It appears that the young man’s contact was in on this. The young man smiled. He was already waist deep in this and there was no way out. The head of Ice was now dead and he is to blame. Over at the mini bar he could see a coffee maker. He still had the coffee that his parents had given to him. He quickly made himself coffee and looked out the window. The guards had stopped banging on the door and he now heard the sound of a plasma sword as it began to cut through the door. As he looked down, he saw a car. Outside the car was the woman who killed Mr. Ice. The young man thought it over. Ice wasn’t the head, all he was was a face to the public. He had nothing to lose now. With that in mind he pushed the desk in his room to the window and pushed it out. With a loud crash it landed on the woman. It was like those cartoons he saw on television when he was younger. He sipped his coffee and let out a deep sigh. He looked again at the window. It had been untouched with the desk still in its place. The guards were almost done cutting through the door. The young man finished his coffee and took out his weapons. He laid them on the ground and stared at the door. The young man had realized too late that Ice was just a puppet. He was blinded by his own emotions and didn’t think it through. The young man started laugh at this ridiculous situation he was in. The doors finally opened and the guards rushed in and surrounded him. They all yelled at him telling him to get on the ground. Then the last person walked in. It appears he was in charge of these guards because when he raised his hand, they all silenced. He ordered his men to take all of the young man’s weapons and that everyone else, but they remain inside. After everyone left, guard sighed and stared at the young man. They knew each other. The young man had saved his life a few times throughout The Desert on his travels. This guard got to know the young man quite well. The guard questioned the young man and the young man told him everything. After listening to what had just happened, he called for his men back. The guard insured the young man that the news of this happening would never get out and that all footage was to be erased. The young man asked why he could trust all his men to stay quiet. He responded telling him that all the men in this room are loyal to him and only him. The young man smiled at the guards and laughed. He offered them some coffee that he had brewed earlier. They all drank it. Outside, the sound of sirens were getting louder. At the very same time, rain started to pour and the smell of coffee filled the air.