Alternate Universe "The Tribe"

DISCLAIMER: I don’t own them.
WARNINGS: Post-Apocalypse basis
MAIN CHARACTERS: Chris, Buck and Inez
STATUS: on-going.
THE AU TYPE: The Tribe. (Open AU)


Chris and Buck skirted quickly across the open street and hunkered down in the early morning shadows. They both took several minutes to survey their surroundings. No sign of Tribe markings yet. Chris made a rough calculation in his head. Having traveled yesterday afternoon and camped early he figured they were about 6 miles from New Frontier now. Moving along a parallel street North of the 6th Ave West Freeway the two teens had finally entered a residential area that didn’t look too badly looted.

“Well pard, what now?” Buck asked quietly as he turned back to look at his blond friend. A small smile flashed across Chris’ face at the nickname. He shrugged and gestured out across the quiet street.

“Looks quiet enough. Figure we’ve got the day to scavenge what we can ‘nd head back in the morning.”

“We could cover more ground if we separated,” Buck suggested

“Buck. You know it ain’t safe alone. Even if we have guns,” Chris sighed. They had been having the same debate since they left New Frontier.

“But there’s no Tribe Sign. We haven’t seen any since we left. We’re north of the Psychos and Devil’s Dog; and according to Vin east of the Los Lobos. We’re totally safe.”

“Totally safe?” Chris raised an eyebrow

“Well as safe as if we were back in New Frontier. Come on Chris. They’re counting on us to find food.”

Chris fell silent as he let his gaze travel up and down the street again. He knew Buck was right. The rest of the tribe was counting on them to bring back food that would help them survive until the small garden started producing. Keeping 17 people fed was not easy, especially since over half were teenage boys, all hollow legs and empty stomachs. They had to find as much as they could as quick as they could. With no tribe markings on the building they shouldn’t get into a territorial dispute. But if they did run into anyone it would most likely be a group. It had been over a year since the Virus initially hit and most strays would have joined a tribe by now; voluntarily or not. The two of them had the advantage of carrying guns, but larger numbers would eventually overwhelm them. Debating the pros and cons Chris chewed absent-mindedly on his lower lip. Damn he sure could use a smoke, or a drink. He brought his focus back to his brown haired friend as Buck shifted a bit to get more comfortable.

“We’ll split up. Meet back here at six.”

“Sounds good. I’ll head that a way,” Buck replied, pointing up the street to the west.

“Fine. I’ll go north.”

Buck grinned and clapped a friendly hand on the blonde’s shoulder before heading off. With a sigh and one last glance to check for trouble Chris stood and strode across the street.


Buck moved quietly through the shadows that played across the street, keeping an eye out for potential buildings that looked like the previous looters had skipped them. The street was reasonably clean of trash and even though there were no large trees, like some of the older neighborhoods, many of the lots had decorative hedges or fences. One front lawn even had an ornamental birdbath shaped like a wishing well. He had to resist the urge to whistle. It was a beautifully sunny day and not a hint of trouble as far as he could see. Compromising with himself he began to hum softly.

The sun had passed its zenith when Buck decided to stop for lunch. He was more than satisfied with his accomplishments. He had managed to fill both his large camp pack and the smaller satchel he had been given. He hoped Chris was having as good of luck. Checking the sky Buck figured he could scout out a couple more places before having to start back for his meeting with Chris. Finishing his lunch he stashed his packs under a thick Caragana hedge that was nearby. Exiting the yard he wedged his red bandana into some of the lower branches a couple feet away. Perfect, he thought. Memorizing the gate number he continued cheerfully on his way.

Coming out of the second house Buck had only taken a couple steps when a scream pierced the air. He froze. A chill raced up his spine. What the hell was that! Another cry split the silence. Someone was defiantly in trouble. Without a second thought Buck dashed across the street towards the cries. He couldn’t just leave whoever it was without trying to help.

Cursing the way the empty buildings distorted noises Buck scrambled through another hedge. He could easily hear raised voices now. From the tone no one was very happy, but he couldn’t understand a word they were saying. He hurtled over a low picket fence and cut through a backyard that looked like a tornado had touched down in it. The back gate hung drunkenly on its hinges. Squeezing his broad shoulders through the opening he found himself in the back alley.

Only a few houses away he saw the problem. A female teen, backed up against a dumpster, was surrounded by a group of half a dozen other teens. All guys and each had a silhouette of a howling wolf backed by a full moon on the back of their jackets. Buck stood stock still for a long moment. Even from this distance he could tell she was a beauty. Dark hair and curves. One of the guys snaked out a hand to grab her. She slapped it away, spitting out a rapid string of words. Finally recognizing one of them, Buck realized they were speaking Spanish. Then it clicked. These were Los Lobos.

Buck debated for a couple seconds about pulling his gun, but he didn’t want to hit the girl. Looking around he grabbed a piece of broken fence and charged down the alley. Yelling at the top of his lungs. The other teens looked at him with surprise written across their faces. Even the girl stood frozen. Then Buck was in the midst of them, swinging hard.

He could feel a couple blows land on his back, but he ignored them as he managed to drop a pimple-faced boy, winning his way to the girl’s side. He noticed that a couple of the guys sported deep scratches. He grinned. Looked like the girl was a fighter.

“Come on!” he yelled at her as he smashed his fist into the nearest Lobo’s chest. The winded kid gave them an opening. Buck snagged the girl’s arm, pulling her along. Glancing over his shoulder, Buck realized that the Los Lobos didn’t plan to give up that easily. Pushing the girl ahead of him he drew his gun. Aiming high he let off a couple shots. The four pursuing Los Lobos dropped. Unfortunately so did the girl.

“Get out of here,” Buck said as he helped her to her feet “I’ll keep ‘em busy!”

For a moment Buck thought she was going to protest, but a glance back down the alley had her on the run. Buck saw that the others had started after them again. Anger marred their faces.

“Back off!!” Buck roared as he shot off a couple more rounds into the street at their feet. A couple pause, and for a moment Buck thought he had gotten through. His heart sank as a burly dark haired kid still stalked forward. It looked like he was actually going to have to shoot somebody. Again. Pausing in his backward movement, Buck aimed carefully before pulling the trigger again.

The crack of the bullet was overwhelmed by the scream of the boy as he dropped to the street clutching his leg. Time stopped. Buck could see shock and surprise on the Los Lobos’ faces as they stared at their downed comrade. All except the oldest, who stared right at Buck, his dark eyes filled with rage. At his yell time snapped back into full swing and Buck found the three Los Lobos charging at him.

A cold knot of fear coiled in Buck’s stomach as he stumbled, causing his last shot to go wild. One of the others tackled him to the ground. His breath rushed from his lungs. The sandy haired teen shot a foot out, connecting with Buck’s face. Pain exploded through his head. Then everything slid to black.


Chris paced impatiently, glancing at his watch for the 10th time in nearly as many minutes. Where the hell was Buck!! He was nearly an hour late!! Chris chewed on the end of the cigar he had found as he made the small circuit from the mouth of the alley back to his packs. Again. When Buck hadn’t been there at six, Chris hadn’t been overly worried. Buck was usually a few minutes late, but as time passed Chris’ had gone from being annoyed to angry. Now he was just plain worried. Buck would never intentionally be this late. Oh sure. Before the virus, on the trail of a cute girl, but not now. Now it just meant trouble. He spit out the mangled cigar, wishing he hadn’t promised Buck he’d go dry this run. He needed a bloody drink!

Cursing under his breath Chris took his frustrations out on the small ventilation grate he had found behind one of the dumpsters with his crowbar. He needed to find Buck and there was no way he could move with any sort of speed burdened with 2 heavy packs of canned food. The grate finaly gave way with an ear-piercing screech of protesting metal. Chris instinctively brought his hands up to cover his ears. Which meant letting go of the grate. The tortured piece of metal fell to the ground, adding the ring of metal striking metal to the echoing din. Chris cursed again. Loudly.

Finally, after the ringing in both his ears and the alley stopped, Chris shoved his bags into the open shaft. Ignoring the now mangled grate he simply manhandled the heavy dumpster to cover up the hole. The grate was deposited inside. Making sure he had left as little evidence as possible Chris rechecked his revolver and spare rounds before heading up the street. When he found Buck he was going to give him more than just a piece of his mind.

Chris had checked blocks of houses and backyards and still had seen nothing of his friend. A cold knot sat heavily in his stomach. Where was Buck? He looked up and realized the light was already beginning to fade to dusk. Before long he would be forced to stop looking. He was afraid of missing a sign of Buck’s passing in the dark. An errant breeze caused some light trash to dance up the street ahead of him. A flicker of red movement caught his eye.

Chris froze for a moment, his eyes glued to the spot he had seen the movement. He could see nothing but the green of a hedge. There!! He spotted the flash again as another small breeze drifted by. He sprinted up the sidewalk, nearly tripping over a broken piece of cement in his haste. Dropping to his knees beside a small wooden gate he reached into the hedge. Shoving his hand into the hedge gained him more than a couple scratches; but he managed to retrieve a bright red bandana. It was Buck’s. He’d know it anywhere even without his initials stitched in one corner. Sarah had given those to him for his last birthday. Chris clutched the piece of cloth tightly as grief washed over him. He still missed Sarah so badly. Please, he begged, don’t let Buck be gone too.

In the dying light he searched under the hedge. All he found were Buck’s packs full of food and a few broken branches. He punched the ground in frustration. Damn it! Out of light, he was now out of time. There would be nothing more he could do until morning. Not wanting to leave the only sign of Buck he had found, Chris walked through the gate into the yard. He would stay in this house for the night.


Buck groaned. Or he thought he had. He couldn’t hear much over the ringing in his ears anyway. His whole body hurt, throbbing with pain. He could feel the cool of the street beneath him seeping through his clothes. It helped deaden some of the pain in his front. His head hurt worse than the rest of him. From the spikes of pain that came with every breath he was pretty sure his nose was broken. Maybe his jaw too.

He wondered if the girl escaped. He hoped so. Sure would be a shame to get beat up only to have her get caught. He wanted to open his eyes, but they felt leaden. Buck wasn’t sure how long it was before he was able to marshal the strength to open them. The blackness that had surrounded him when his eyes were closed was barely diminished by having them open. Night had fallen and he could barely make out his own hand that lay beside his face. He knew by now Chris would be missing him. The blond was also going to be pissed.

He thought about trying to sit up, but the spear of pain that lanced through him at the first movement of his arm sent his head spinning and a cry escaped him. The pain from his from his jaw dragged him back into darkness.


Chris tossed fitfully on the bed. In his dreams he was once more watching the Quarantine Center burn. He could hear the screams of those trapped inside. In the light of the dancing flames a body lay sprawled in the snow, partially covered in ash. He tried to race through the snow, but it felt like he was stuck in molasses. His guts clenched in a tight knot as he finally dropped to his knees beside the body. He watched his hand tremble as they reached out to roll the form onto its back. The body wasn’t burned; instead it was broken and bloodied. A scream ripped through the night.

Chris jerked upright, the scream still on his lips. The sweat soaked sheets were tangled around his leg, trapping him for a few moments. Finally able to jerk free the blond stumbled to his feet in the darkened room. Filled with a restless energy he passed the house, unable to shake the images of the dream from his head. Please Buck, please still be alive.

With bleary eyes, Chris stared out of the window as dawn made itself known. With the sun finally able to give him enough light to hunt by he left the house. He’d find Buck if he had to hunt through every house and street in the city.


“Buck!” Chris paused, waiting for any sound before calling out again, “Buck! Where are you?”

The blonde clenched his teeth in frustration. He had been searching for hours and in the silent streets there was no sign of his friend. There was no sign of anyone. Time was slipping away and he couldn’t help but think that Buck was too. He closed his eyes for a moment, running a hand through his short hair. His mouth was set in a grim line as he headed to search the next house. Reaching the end of the block he called out again. The cry faded away into silence, unanswered. The knot in his stomach clenched tighter.


Chris shot a startled look to his right at the whispered call, his gun coming up. It took him only a moment to spot the dark hair Spanish teen hiding behind the corner of the fence at the end of the alley. His eyes narrowed.

“Who are you?”

“I’m Inez. Do you look for a friend?”

“Buck,” Chris nodded, his body tensed in anticipation, “Have you seen him?”

“I have seen a teen not from around here. He was big with brown hair and a mustache.”

“That’s him! Where is he!” Inez gave a started squeak as Chris cut the distance between them.

“I’m not sure exactly where he is. But I can take you to the place I last saw him.”

“Let’s go.” A thought passed through his mind briefly that this could be a trap, but with no other leads he couldn’t afford not to chance it.

Chris followed Inez back down the alley and across to the next street. He was only slightly reassured when she paused to check the street. It seemed she was on the lookout for trouble too. The pair moved at a fast walk down the alley, blocked in on both sides by a variety of painted fences. He didn’t need to hear Inez’s small gasp; he could see the form of his best friend lying motionless, partially hidden behind a dumpster. He broke into a sprint.

Falling to his knees beside Buck he rolled him over on his back as gently as he could. His heart lurched into his throat as he saw the bloody mess of his friend’s face. He swallowed hard; the bitter taste of bile stung the back of his throat. Chris pressed fingers against the side of Buck’s throat. For an agonizing moment he was afraid he had gotten here too late. He let out a gasp of breath when the weak pulse finally reached his finger- tips. His shoulders slumped in relief.

“God, Buck, what happened?”

“He saved my life.”

“What!” Chris jerked his head up to stare at Inez. The teen took a step backwards at the harsh look the blond was giving her.

“He got me away from a group of Los lobos. He told me to run.”

“You left him?!” Chris snarled, surging to his feet.

“I thought he was right behind me. When I realized he wasn’t darkness had fallen. This morning I had to hide from Los Lobos.”

Chris simply stared at her for a long moment. Damned if that didn’t sound just like Buck. Dismissing the dark haired teen he dropped back down beside Buck. The first thing he needed to do was clean him up a bit and see what the damage was. Pulling Buck’s bandana from his pocket and wetting it from his canteen. He was glad, in a way that the bandana was already red. He began to wash Buck’s face as gently as he could. Intent on his task he was started when Inez took the bandana from him.

“I will do this. Check for other injuries.”

Chris bit back a retort. She was right, he had to make sure Buck wasn’t hurt worse somewhere else. He tried to remember the first aid course he took years ago. Patting down his friend’s limbs he checked for broken bones, and was relieved not to find any. Opening his shirt though showed Buck’s torso covered in deep red bruising. Chris desperately wished Nathan had come with them. A groan brought his attention back to his friend. He slid back up to kneel beside Buck’s head.

“ ‘Riss..?”

“Shh Buck. It’s ok. Just lay still.”

“ ‘Irl?”

Chris shook his head in disbelief. Only Buck could get beaten to a pulp and be worried about a girl. “She’s fine Buck. Helped me find you.”

Buck gave a soft grunt before his eyes slid closed once more. Chris found himself hunting once again for a pulse; if only to reassure himself that his oldest friend was still with him. He debated for a moment on stripping Buck down to check for further injuries, but decided against it. The first thing he had to do was get Buck to some shelter. Preferably back to the house where Buck had left his packs. Chris knew a first aid kit was tucked into one.

“We are getting him out of here.” Chris gave Inez a hard look as he got to his feet “Look for something to make a stretcher with.”

Inez said nothing, simply nodding her acceptance, before turning to look through the piles of refuse that had gathered beside one of the dumpsters. Finding nothing useful Chris sent her to look in nearby houses, while he continued in the alley. He didn’t plan on leaving Buck alone, now that he had found him, not if he could help it. Time passed, but finally the two managed for find enough pieces to jury-rig a stretcher.

Spreading a thick blanket beside Buck they rolled him as gently as they could onto his side. The small groan of pain that came clutched at Chris’ heart. His anger at the Los Lobos grew. While there was nothing he could do now, he would make sure the ones that did this would pay. Once Inez had spread the blanket further out they rolled Buck back and began laying out the metal curtain rods. The venetian blind cords work nicely to lash everything together. Inez tucked a soft fleece blanket around Buck as Chris tied off the last of the cords. Standing up, beside Buck’s head, Chris looked over at Inez.

“On three,” he waited until she had gotten a good grip, before crouching down himself “One, Two, Three”

Chris grunted with the effort as he stood up as smoothly as possible. Twisting slightly, until he could see over his shoulder, he made sure Inez was ready. Then they moved back up the alley, their first steps towards a safe haven.


It was late afternoon before they made it back to the house. They had gone slow, watching out for Los Lobos and to rest. They had taken a break whenever Buck regained consciousness, getting him to take a few sips of water before he passed out again. Inez had impressed the blonde. Not once had she said a word of complaint. He could see her rubbing her hands now though, and suspected she had gained a few blisters. When he returned with Buck’s packs he fished out the first aid kit and offered her some of Nathan’s aloe cream and band-aids. She thanked him with a soft smile. Leaving her to her own devices he turned his attention back to Buck. He decided to bandage up the obvious cuts, but since the dark haired teen seemed to be breathing all right, to leave off bandaging his ribs. Once he was done, the two moved Buck onto the couch.

“Hungry?” Chris asked, looking over at Inez, as he rolled his shoulders in an effort to loosen up the muscles.

“Si, a little.”

“If we’re lucky, Buck’s still got some MRE’s left.” Chris gave a small chuckle at the other’s confused expression. “Meals ready to Eat. Most of them aren’t bad, and they’ll be hot.”

Inez’s eyes lit up at the prospect of a hot meal. It had been a long time since she had had one. She watched with anticipation as Chris rummaged in one of the packs. He gave a triumphant noise as he found what he was looking for. He studied the rectangular packages a moment.

“Chicken with noodles or Chili and macaroni?”

“Chicken please.”

“Good choice.” Chris agreed as he passed her the bag and then fished out a bottle of water for each of them.

Inez opened her bag and gingerly looked inside. Seeing everything was sealed in individual packages she spread the contents on the floor to get a better look. Most of it she could recognize like the Snickers bar and crackers with grape jelly packets, and some of it was labeled (the Chicken packet and the noodles). But some were a mystery. Chris crouched down beside her and pointed at different items.

“That’s your Flameless heater. That’s the accessory pack. It’ll have plastic cutlery, gum, matches, napkin, and seasonings. That is the bag you mix your powdered drink in.”

“How does the heater work?”

“It’s a chemical reaction. We just have to add water. Here, I’ll show you.” Chris reached out to pick up the unit. Fifteen minutes later the two were sitting down to eat.

After the remnants of the meal had been cleaned up Chris and Inez sat quietly in the darkening living room, wrapped in blankets, watching Buck sleep. Chris broke the silence.

“You could stay at New Frontier.”

“What?” Inez looked over at him in surprise.

Chris cleared his throat a bit self-consciously. “I, I’m going to need help getting Buck home.” He didn’t feel right about ordering her to help, not since she had helped get Buck this far all ready. Inez simply stared at him, a bit stunned.

“They’re good people.” Chris added quietly

“I … I will see. When we get there.” She amended, letting Chris know she would help get Buck home.

“Good enough.”

Silence wrapped itself around them again. Soon the rigors of the day caught up with them and they both drifted off to sleep


Chris moved away from the window and over to the couch. Crouching down he gave Buck a light shake. The dark haired teen gave a small sigh as he blinked the sleep from his eyes.

“Come on Buck. Time to go home.”

“The food?” Buck begged once more, his voice still coming out in a slur, even though his jaw had reduced itself to a dull throbbing. He couldn’t stand the thought of going back without them. The look in the little kids’ faces when they went hungry was hard to take. “They’re counting on us.”

“To hell with the food!” Chris snapped as he surged to his feet and stalked over to the window. Every time Buck had woken up in the night he had asked the same thing. ‘ Damn it’, Chris snarled to himself. He knew the tribe needed to eat, but why couldn’t Buck get it? They could always scavenge a new can of soup. They couldn’t scavenge a new Buck. His shoulders slumped as he turned to look back at his dejected friend.

“Hell Buck”, Chris sighed “You can’t carry any of it. I can’t carry it and you too.”

“Then leave … ”

“Don’t say it. Don’t you ever say that again.” Chris’ face was twisted in anger. “The food stays!”

“I will carry it”

Chris and Buck both stared at the unexpected female voice interrupting their argument. Inez stood looking at them; hand on hips, daring them to argue.

“But Darlin’…”

“No. You saved me from the Los Lobos. You offer me a place to stay. I will carry it.”

“How do you plan to lift it?” Chris demanded, “ That camp bag is going to weigh more than you do.”

“De nada. I found a bicycle with a wagon attached in the garage.”


“A bike. In the garage.” Inez gestured back towards the rear of the house.

“Go look Chris.”

Chris glanced down at his friend and back to Inez. Damn it they were wasting daylight. With a disgruntled sigh he followed the Spanish teen out to the garage.

“Jeezus…” Chris swore. It was a bike sure, but it looked like it had jumped into a vat of steroids, with METRO A2B emblazed across it. The wagon attached behind looked like a mini covered wagon on two wheels. Hell, he though, Buck could fit in that thing. “But can we pedal it loaded?”

“According to the manual, it’s manual or electric.” Inez replied gestured to the small book she found. “ Before you ask Chico, I have already checked. It’s got over half a charge.”

“How far can it go? How fast?” Chris demanded, turning towards her. Inez rolled her eyes; glad now she had skimmed though the book.

“It can go up to 20 miles at 20mph on a full charge.”

Chris’ eyes narrowed as he ran a rough calculation. They were less than 10 miles from New Frontier, but would be pulling a heavy load with Buck and the food. The street he and Buck had come out on had been fairly free of obstacles. They would be cutting it close, but they had a good chance of making it.

“All right, get the tarp cover off that thing. I want Buck to be able to see what’s goin’ on. You’re driving. I’ll walk point.” Chris paused in the doorway going back into the house. “Inez. Good work.”

Inez stood for a moment in the quiet garage as the blond disappeared back into the house. For a moment she wondered if she was doing the right thing, staying these gringos. Even if Chris was a bit gruff they had been nothing but kind to her in the short time she’d been with them. Besides, she decided, anything was better than staying where Ricardo could get his slimy hands on her. By the time Chris had come back with the first load of packs she had figured out how to undo the straps holding the tarp in place. By the time he had come with the second she had everything stored away in the front of the wagon. She was heaving the large camp bag into place when Chris came back. This time he was supporting Buck.

“Whoo-wheee!” Buck whistled,” Darling that is a pretty sight.”

“Gracias senor. Your chariot awaits.”

“With a driver as pretty as you, I’d never say no.”

“Come on Buck, get in before you exhaust yourself with talkin’.”

It took a bit of time to rearrange the bags and soften the hard cans with a few blankets, but finally Buck was situated. The trio was ready to go. Chris sprung the emergency latch on the automatic garage door system and heaved the door upward. Inez bent low as she put the bike into gear and headed out onto the street. Closing the garage door Chris patted his jacket pocket once more. He felt the hard pieces of metal through the coat liner, bullets for his revolver. With one last look down the street he jogged after the others.


The small group made their way back east. Within the hour they had reached the alley where Chris had hidden his packs. Chris gestured Inez into the alley; he wanted to keep them out of site as much as possible. He couldn’t shake the feeling that they were being watched. He scanned the street as Inez maneuvered to back the cart in beside the dumpster. He was please to see her making ready for a quick getaway. Leaving Inez to watch the mouth of the alley he set about retrieving his packs of food from their hiding place. It took longer than he would have liked, with one of the straps getting stuck on a protruding piece of metal inside the vent. But eventually things were packed in with the rest. Buck groaned half-heartedly about the extra lumps in his “chair”. Chris resisted an urge to thwack him on the back of his head as he moved back up to the front of the alley.

Inez was just climbing back onto the bike when Buck’s cry of dismay focused their attention behind them. The Los Lobos had returned, and they’d brought friends.

“Go Inez!! Get out of the alley!” Chris shouted as he pulled his revolver.

Inez threw the switch and gunned the bike, with its precious cargo, causing it to shoot past Chris and out into the street. With an enraged cry at seeing their prey trying to escape the Los Lobos threw their attempt at stealth to the wind. They charged up the alley swinging improvised weapons, screaming. Chris felt his anger raise as he realized that these teens were probably the ones that had attacked Buck. Like with the Psycho’s attack on New Frontier the kids in front of him were fueled by a mob mentality. They wouldn’t stop until they caught their prey.

Stepping into the middle of the alley Chris planted himself firmly. Narrowing his eyes he stared at the approaching teens. Raising his arm, he held his gun steady as he took a deep breath. Squeezing the trigger Chris let loose a single round. His world narrowed to the simple trajectory of that small spinning piece of lead. He couldn’t hear the soft doughy sound as the bullet slammed into the lead runner. It hit him high in the chest causing him to stagger sideways a bit before hitting the ground. The body caused a pile up as the other kids tried to avoid it. Their momentum slowed.

“Go home!” Chris said, “No one else has to die.” For an instant the mob of kids paused. They were less than 200 feet from him. There was a snarl from in the group and they rush forward once more. In that second Chris realized there was no stopping them now. His mind constricted to nothing more than his next target. He shot five more times. Four more kids lay still on the cold concrete. He had cut their ranks in half.

The remaining kids stumbled to a halt less than thirty feet from him. Chris was mildly surprised to notice that he still held his gun steady. He knew there was no time to reload though. So he glared at them, letting them see the anger he still held in check. Chris saw the younger ones looking nervously back the way they had come.

“Go home.” Chris snarled. The edge on his voice was like an arctic chill.

The younger kids broke first; their running footsteps echoing down the alley. Deprived of their numbers the rest of the Los Lobos followed. Weariness washed over Chris as he looked at the bodies littering the ground. Lowering his gun he emptied and reloaded it in a well-practiced move. The empty shells chimed softly as they hit the cement.


The blond spun around at the sound of his name. Inez stood in the mouth of the alley. What the hell was she still doing here? Anger flared back up as Chris stalked towards the Spanish teen. They were supposed to be half way back to New Frontier by now!

“Please! Senor Chris!” Inez squeaked, raising her hands up as if to ward off a blow

“Damn it Inez!! You were supposed to get Buck out of here!!”

“I tried, but he insisted on staying. He started to get out of the wagon.”

Chris closed his eyes in frustration. That sounded just like Buck. They were going to have to have a long talk about that when they got back to New Frontier.

“Wait with Buck.”



Inez disappeared around the building. Chris mentally slapped himself in the back of the head. He hadn’t meant to scare her, but he didn’t want her to see the bodies. One of them with nightmares was more than enough. Besides he needed time to cool off before he saw Buck. He walked slowly down the alley. He wished Josiah were here. At least the big man could have said a few words over the dead. All he could do was lay them out on their backs. Three guys and two girls. With their coats zipped up and their eyes closed it looked as though they were simply asleep. Chris sighed. What a waste of life.

Straightening his shoulders he turned back to face the mouth of the alley. It was time to go home.

<The End>