I lay on my bed roll dragging the stone across the bell shaped blade of my weapon. The soft light that flickered across the metallic surface came from the candle next to me, the gust of air from the door opening nearly sputtered it out. I looked up at the man standing there in the doorway of the apartment I was in. He was not my friend, but regretfully he is the only one I know from my hometown that was still alive.
“What’s the haul?” I asked Timothy Jackson.
“Twenty three cans, fourteen packets of ramen, and five bottles of water.” Tim said.
“That won’t last long, how many apartments did you check?” I asked.
“Three floors of six and another two on the next floor, I couldn't check the rest of them because I was made.” Tim said.
“How many and on what floors?” I asked as I stood up from my bed roll.
“Ten, eight, seven, four, and… two.” He said hesitating on the last floor.
“God damn, Timothy! I told you time and time again. Never to scavenge from the second floor down to the ground floor. It is just too dangerous, do you want to get killed?” I half yelled, half whispered at him.
“I’m sorry Jack, I just had a feeling that there was something good on that floor.” Tim said apologetically.
I closed my eyes and took a breath, “Hhhh, I will let it slide this one and only time. Did you find anything, anything that triggered your hunch?” I asked.
“No, but on one of the doors there was a clasp with a big fat padlock on it.” Tim said with a grin.
“All right, pack up and get ready to leave.” I said as I started going through my mental list.
“Yes, yes. I know the procedure.” Tim said, annoyed.
I rolled my eyes as he said that. Knowing that he could properly break camp, I focused on my list. Primary weapon, secondary weapon, backup, five day food supply, flare and flare gun, first aid kit, charged mp3 player with speaker, and cadaverine. All supplies I need for a recon and recover mission or a R.R.M.
“Bring the belt with you, there are quite a few of nár(Corpses) down there.” Tim said as he held out the belt.
“The belt” is an ammunition strap that is slung across your shoulder. Attached to the strap were household butter knives that have been sharpened to a point. If I were to be trapped in a confined space by a large number of nár I could use the sharpened knives to pike the nár and leave the weapon behind. Easy to replace, easy to use.
I took the strap from Tim’s outstretched hand, He took my hand and looked at me, “Be careful… People need you, the world needs you… I need you.” Tim said before letting go of my hand.
I scoffed and looked away, “Fine.” I said softly. I slung the belt over my shoulder, picked up my primary weapon and left the apartment.