“What you doing?”, whispered Chessly Rash.
She stood there, clinching $200 in dirty, sweaty, twenties. She just got done providing Colby Jack with his “special stuff”. Transaction complete. Money in hand.
The twenties were new-FED notes, post collapse, contained a durable platinum/gold alloy that represented $20 in value, and could be converted to gold/platinum using a simple chemical procedure. Most people had pocket scanners to check for this weave – if the weave’s not there? – then the money is junk. Also, because of the Treaty of Montreal, 2027, anyone could print money, as long as the precious metal weave, of appropriate value, is in the note. This was one way business was transacted – most preferred gold/silver coins and cryptos … but the FED notes existed because there were still gangs that believed in the old system.
Chessly was an ex-prostitute with a 3D printer, and decent enough skills as a chemist and back alley engineer. She designed/printed advanced 12 gauge rounds for Colby, kicker stuff, good bang … the kinda kill that throws a bum across the room and incinerates his insides at the same time …
Chessly also designed the “pepper gun”, or “pepper jack” as Colby called it …
The “pepper gun” was a 12 gauge revolver, 5 shot, fast loading, recoil piston between the handle and the main assembly … the damn thing was so well balanced, it barely kicked more than a 9 mm … but even being made of titanium-alloy, it was still heavy …
A Taurus “Judge”? – weighs about 2.5 pounds … loaded …
The “pepper gun”? – fuck … weighs about 6 pounds, loaded … and this can vary based upon the rounds being used. The pepper was designed to take just about any 12 gauge ammo … shorts, longs, slugs, buckshot, bird shot, and some of Chessly’s really fancy stuff … explosive … dragon’s breath … tannerite surprise … lil’molotovs … lil’molotovs? – damn, these rounds contained napalm in a binary form, and on impact converted to napalm, explosively.
Yes – Colby Jack carried a gun that was hard to hide … but what’s that?
“Colby Jack was never trying to hide …”, he thought.
“Baby, just take my money and go”, Colby muttered.
“I worry about you Colby …”
Colby smiled, as he loaded the new rounds into his 12 gauge revolver.
“Honey, nobody needs to worry about Colby Jack.”
“You’ze always say that … but then I see your cuts and bruises and puncture wounds … it’s not normal …”
“Come on Chess, you make guns and ammo?”
“I doos … I do … but I do it so people can protect themselves.”
“I’m careful baby …”
“No you aren’t … you dangerous”, Chessly walked towards the door, the door of a crummy hotel room in the worst part of Little Saigon, Seattle. A room that costs about $40 a day, and $50 an hour … the kind of place that screams “END OF THE LINE!”
Chessly gets to the door, and turns around …
“Colby, Jitler is back …”
This was something that Colby didn’t want to hear.
Jitler had been the heavy, the collector, the crusher, an enforcer working out of Joe’s Bar down by the train station.
Jitler killed 36 people, in two weeks, in July of 2015. He was eventually caught and imprisoned, convicted … but on appeal his case was thrown out … lack of evidence … witnesses mysteriously died.
There was a rumor that Jitler had moved to Spokane, and then nothing for almost 20 years … no news, nothing.
“I heard he was in Spokane”, said a slightly perturbed Colby Jack.
“I heard lots of things …”, Chessly moves towards Colby, gets on her knees, and places her head on his lap.
“Colby … I love you … I need you … can’t you just go away with me … to Ohio?”
Colby and Chessly had joked about “going to Ohio” … it was code language … a secret between them … it meant “breaking out of this diseased city and starting over” … that was going to Ohio, that was finally being free.
“There ain’t no Ohio no more.”
“Oh Colby …”, Chessly trembled.
“Now, tell me everything you know about Jitler’s return.”
Colby and Chessly talked, Chessly made her way onto that old ratty bed, dirty mattress, with torn covers and stains … she took of her shirt, revealing her ample breasts. Colby put down his revolver, and unleashed his gun.
They made love through the night …
Forgetting about the diseased city.
Forgetting, for now, the second coming of Jitler.