This is the fourth issue in Volume 3 of A Long Road to Fortune. It is titled Mouse,

14 years ago...Edit

Joaquin Murrieta, the guided soul, was currently located inside a Estrella de Oro bus. He was on his way back to Tecpan after 6 frustrating and agonizing years of military service. He didn't give a crap about being discharged the way he was. After all, he just wanted to get back to his family. To his caring wife Macy and his cherubic little Anna, both of which he had not seen for 6 whole years. For Anna, that meant never really getting to know her father. The bus took its sweet time getting to Tecpan. When he finally reached the bus station (which was only about 25 meters away to the right from Ashton's taxi spot) he was greeted by no one. No one but an adorable little girl in a silly pink dress with many roses printed on it. Joaquin quickly knew who that girl was, after all, she had his eyes. Joaquin approached the girl and the girl approached him. "Anna. I've missed more than you could ever know". The little girl kept the same normal expression she had on before but after about 2 seconds her cute little eyes opened wide and so did he rosy smile. "Are you my dad? Are you! You are!", she said. Joaquin let out a tear of joy and picked the girl up. "Indeed I am," he said. Anna hugged her father. "Mommy told me your name is Joaquin. It sounds silly!" she said with glee. Joaquin was intrigued "Is that so?", he replied. "Well Anna, if it sounds, you're free to call me something else", he replied. "I want to call you Chet! I heard it on TV and I thought it was cute!" she replied. "Just Chet? It's a little short don't you think?", he replied in a mocking tone. "Mr. Chet! Is that better?", Anna asked, worried that her father might not like it. Joaquin saw her eyes slowly starting to water and her smile slowly start to shake like a tremor. "I think it's perfect", he replied.

Issue 16Edit

The view pans out to a distressed Ashton. He's currently running away from Yuri and Francisco, as well as a third man. Gustavo was not pleased about Ashton's escape and eventually decided he would not be needed alive to take the marketplace. Yuri and Francisco had spotted him a few minutes ago. Ashton knew his hiding spots would be limited and there was no way he wanted to back to the zocalo. His chances of being shot to death there would only escalate. Yuri and Francisco were armed with very potent, long-range rifles. Ashton broke into a motel in a attempt to lure his persecutors in. Once there, he would escape through the window. He had managed to grab some rope while in the storage room and right now he wasn't going to let anything keep him from getting back to the marketplace. The streets were mostly clear, with the majority of the groseros still hanging around the elementary school. Right now, he was waiting. However, a missed shotgun shot surprised him from behind.

Back at the marketplace, Mendoza was rallying up his troops and delegating role. He was serious about winning the gunfight and so were the rest of the marketplace inhabitants. They knew they were outnumbered and outgunned but none of them could afford to give up and kneel to that mad man Gustavo Texta now.

"Okay, does everybody know what they're doing?"

"Yes sir", replied the troops. They were armed with glocks, while Mendoza held their only assault rifle. They had 2 in possession but one of them had gone missing. The troops were hide themselves in the shopping tents outside the south west wall of the marketplace, the one that lead to the zocalo from the backstreet to La Reforma.

"Yeeuup", replied Mario. He was armed with 2 grenades and a long-range pistol. He was to stand tall alongside Mendoza and confront Gustavo head on.

"Guess so", replied Daniel. Daniel was to surprise any troops that came into the marketplace with a homemade zip gun he found in Ashton's sleeping spot and long metal pipe to engage them in physical combat if need be.

"More than ready!" Jose replied with glee. He held their only sniper rifle close to him. He would be the marketplace's sole sniper.

Mr. Chet said nothing but he too would face Gustavo head on with Mario and Mendoza.

"Well then, are the backups ready?"

"Yes we are," replied Jacobo Barrera and Pedro Suares.

"Mendoza where are Valdez and the girl?"

Just then, Valdez came running back to the scene. "I'm here Mendoza. Sorry, I couldn't find Liza." he said.

All of the backups were armed with guns. The mother and children were given a shotgun to protect themselves if they found themselves cornered in their own hiding spots.

"We're all set then. No regrets now." Mendoza said.

Mendoza and his men were already on the move. "Remember the plan people. Once we get there, you do it without hesitation. Understood?" Gustavo asked with penance.

"Yes sir" they replied. Gustavo had about 20 people with him, not including Yuri, Francisco and the third man. Only 7 of them appeared to be women while the rest were men and boys of all shapes and sizes.

Gustavo's group reached the zocalo. They were beginning to get dangerously close to the action. Gustavo could feel his blood boiling. The sound of a new and improved fortress nearly gave him an erection. Gustavo kept on leading his troops until he spotted a man taking cover behind a bench in the U, a roofed area with a concrete structure people could sit on. Francisco had his rifle rested on the concrete seat and ready to aim and kill. Gustavo noticed this. He told his troops to halt while he went on to speak to Francisco.

"What do you think you're doing, pendejo?" Gustavo asked. "You think the kid is the only thing you should be worrying about?"

"I don't follow sir", Francisco replied, respectfully. He was legitimately confused by his superior's sudden attitude.

"Do you even know the first thing about sniping someone? I mean, that IS what you're trying to right?"

"Well, yes". Francisco could see the earful he was going to receive coming a mile away.

"You're supposed to snipe from a safe, elevated or secluded area. Not from a motherfucking open-ass town square. Fucking pendejo. Anything and anyone could sneak up behind you here. Not to mention this isn't even a proper rifle to use to snipe a fucker."

"But sir", Francisco tried to interlude but this only made Gustavo angrier.

"How long has your ass been out here in this exact fucking place anyway?"

Francisco honestly replied "I'd say 40 minutes sir"

"And has the kid come near the place in those 40 minutes?"

"No sir"

"Then it's because he's fucking expecting you. You just wasted 40 good minutes you had on bullshit. Get up and find him now!" Gustavo fiercely ordered.

Francisco sighed and got up, running to a nearby alley with his rifle tightly held.

Ashton had managed to dodge Bristol's shots.

"Come on little punk-ass, Bristol's hungry" he said, with a cool, smooth yet maniacal tone.

Ashton peeked out a window and noticed a somewhat large herd of groseros approach the motel, obviously attracted by the sounds of the shots. The door to the motel had been left closed but Ashton's plan wasn't going to work the same way now. This meant he could only take out Bristol. The large yet short, bald, black-skinned man searched for Ashton who kept sneaking out. Most of the rooms in the second floor were open but Ashton knew those rooms were deathtraps. The second he hid in one of them, the second Bristol would destroy it entirely with that massive shotgun. He spotted Bristol after dropping to the first floor and the small indoor parking lot. He decided to call to him, to lure him directly to the groseros without him knowing.

"Hey! Over here!" He yells. Bristol spots down below. Ash was carrying an inferior glock and Bristol had one of Gustavo's best bulletproof vests on. Plus, looking down at the parking lot, which was null of cars, it was clear to Bristol that Ashton could not hide.

"What's wrong? That weapon too short-range?" Ashton taunted.

"The power more than makes up for it", Bristol replied. He noticed Ashton wasn't too far away from a large flower vase which had to be about 5 and a half feet tall. Bristol couldn't hit Ashton from his current location, but he could hit the vase and hopefully scatter the dirt. Ashton could tell Bristol was thinking of something but momentarily ignored him when more groseros began to pound on the main door. Bristol was too busy aiming to take notice of them and Ashton was too busy pushing the door back to notice Bristol.

"Saaaayy cheese savvy", Bristol exclaimed as he leveled the vase and spread a large dirt cloud over to Ashton who was caught off guard by it. Ash was momentarily blinded by the dirt and covered his eyes. He knew he had to get back to the second floor soon before the door collapsed. Bristol, however, was simply too overjoyed to take notice. He approached the now thin dirt cloud and shot at Ashton. Ashton ran left for it before he got shot, and Bristol instead hit the door, causing a multitude of groseros to pour in. Bristo's mood changed from a cool, confident one to a terrified and prudently insignificant one.

"Ah, no way!" Bristol screamed. "You planned this!"

"That I did." Said Ashton, who had managed to clear his eyes and get back upstairs.

Bristol was clearly overwhelmed by the herd and missed a few of his shots. He was well aware of his impending demise. It was now smooth sailing for Ashton,who just needed to escape out the window with the rope like he planned. Ashton turned around and was about to run but Bristol's grunts made him stop, he couldn't let a man die. "Crud", he said to himself. He began to run back but Bristol, now backed up to the stairs,fired a warning shot that nearly took his head off. Instead of focusing on the groseros, Bristol remained focused on Ashton, shooting twice more at him. "

I'm not done with you!" Bristol yelled. Seeing as how his sense of morals nearly got him killed, Ashton decided to back to the large window and leave Bristol to fend for himself. He quickly tied the rope to a pike and threw it the window, extending itself out to the ground. Ashton got out the window and began to climb down the rope. The street below him was clear of groseros but nothing could be too perfect. The rope wasn't far enough and with it Ashton still had to land safely from a 5 meter drop. He took one quick breath and dropped, managing to stick the landing. He let out a sigh of relief but it was short-lived, as he saw Yuri approaching him with her rifle from across the street.

"Crap", he said, before running away. Yuri noticed him. "Wait, no! Come back!", she said.

Mendoza, Mario, and Mr. Chet could see Gustavo and his troop approaching down the street. Mendoza signaled Mario to let Jose know.

"It's not right", Mr. Chet said. "That's the vast majority of them. They're taking us head on. This isn't like Gustavo at all,".

Mendoza was slightly worried by Mr. Chet's comment. "He's desperate".

Down the street, Gustavo quickly approached. Once him and his troops reached the marketplace, they lowered their guns.

"Please, take us in". Gustavo said.

Mendoza, Mr. Chet, the soldiers, Mario, and Jose were shocked to say the least.

Yuri followed Ashton all the way to La Reforma. Ashton ran to the alley next to the pharmacy in hopes of climbing the fence fast enough to escape to the other part of town. The groseros were something he'd rather deal with in comparison to Yuri and the furious Francisco.

But he was too late.

Yuri aimed her rifle at Ashton who was only halfway up the fence. "Drop down", she ordered. Ashton did so and turned to face Yuri. Once she had Ashton at gunpoint, where only one bullet directly to the heart could literally shoot it out of him thanks to her hollow bullets. She lowered her gun and turned around, much to Ashton's surprise. "You are going to come with me an-" Yuri was cut off by a shot to her shoulder, which caused her to fall in pain.

The shooter was Liza, who had gone off in search of Ashton. Liza shot Yuri with her glock but then put it away. She then decided the rifle she took from the marketplace would finish her off fancier. She approached the mortally wounded Yuri but before she could shoot her dead, Ashton stopped her.

"Liza, wait stop!". He said. "She wasn't going to shoot me! She had the chance and didn't!"

"Wait, what?!", she responded.

Ashton ran all the way to Yuri and grabbed a first aid kit from out his backpack. He opened it and took out a rag, some alcohol and some tongs. "Hang in there. I'll save you!"

Liza suddenly felt regret. She let her blind rage and love for Ashton nearly let her kill someone. However, these feelings did not last, as soon she heard a voice calling out to Yuri from behind.

"Yuri! Yuri! NOOOO!" Francisco screamed. Before he got too close, Liza drew on him.

"One more step, and your head comes off", she said. "Toss me that rifle, unless you feel like making my day", she coldly remarked. Francisco tossed his gun and dropped to his knees. He looked broken. He let down tears upon seeing his fallen teammate. Liza soon realized that this man, loved that woman.

A Long Road to Fortune Volume 3
Previous Volume - Issue 13 - Issue 14 - Issue 15 - Issue 16 - Issue 17 - Issue 18 - Next Volume
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