This is the fourth issue in Volume 1 of A Long Road to Fortune. This issue shares the same title as the story.
Liza and Ashton finally ended their hug.
"There is so much we need to talk about!" said Liza. "Don't smother him" replied Valdez. "Let him relax."
"So, I see you've turned the marketplace into a nice little fortress." said Ashton.
"You bet. There are barricades on almost every window and door. The dead won't be getting in anytime soon." said Valdez.
"So is this everyone that's left?" asked Ashton. "Just about. Unless there any more people hiding out there that we don't know about. You were a hell of a surprise." answered Valdez. "Come on, I know you already know the marketplace like the back of your hand but it's still worth it to show you around." said Liza, who was clearly happy.
"And don't do anything you'll regret" said Daniel, who was glaring at Ashton. "He won't." replied Liza, who was now glaring back at Daniel.
"Tch. Just go tell Mendoza I'm back." said Mr. Chet, to Daniel.
Valdez was now leading Ashton and Liza on a tour around the marketplace.
"Our supplies, food, weapons, and medicine and kept over at the old vault. There's not much, so Mr. Chet and I go on supply runs every few days. It's been working out for now, but we don't know what we're going to do when we run out of places to scavenge around town. And the bridge out to Tenexpa, Nuxco, and La Sierra broke down, so we don't know anything about the people over there." said Valdez. "Mendoza tells us not to worry because the rest of the infantry will be coming to take us somewhere safe any day now."
"And you believe that?" asked Ashton, "What other choice do we have?" replied Liza. "We don't think it's likely but no one here is about to lose hope."
"We can catch up later, I still have to finish giving you the tour" said Valdez.
The trio kept walking around the marketplace. "These are the showers. They get their water from the river so they're still usable, but we don't know how long for. Only 2 of them still work. Mendoza's law is, everybody gets 3 minutes, max."
"Wow. I guess that why you guys don't smell awful." Ashton said.
"And finally, over here we have the lookout window and the water tank. As you can see, we're almost out of water." said Valdez.
"What do you to, you know, keep attention away?" Ashton asks.
"At night, we kill the candles and shut up. It's been working out so far. Thank god the windows and doors are covered. It's good fortune." Valdez said.
"Fortune. Huh." Ashton said.
"We're also very fortunate because you're here, alive and well. I can't say the same about the rest of our friends." Liza said.
"Are they dead?" Ashton asked.
"I don't know." Liza said. "I haven't seen them since the first day of school. Before all of this happened."
"Now that you mention it, I got word from my compadres over at the high school that they were barricaded in a classroom, before the phone lines went dead." said Valdez.
"Why hasn't anyone gone to look for them?" Ashton asked.
"It's suicide." Valdez replied.
"But they may still be alive!" Ashton said. "What kind of people would we be if didn't at least try!"
A man, who had overheard the conversation, came up to Ashton.
"Listen you two bit punk, like Valdez here said, it's suicide. Now, your reputation is very tainted. The last person we wanted safe was a juvenile delinquent. We had enough with Valdez, but now his little partner in crime has turned up too. At least he helps us by risking his life getting us supplies. If you're going to stay here, you will do the same." said none other than Sergeant Mendoza. "If you want to go off and "rescue" them yourself, be my guest. I will not have these people's blood on my hands. Besides, when my collegues come, they'll pick em' up too."
Another man dressed in military clothing showed up. He was shorter than Ashton, but was much more muscular.
"Sir, Murrieta brought more weapons along with him." the man said to Mendoza.
"Jaime! So good ol' Chet started bringing weapons along. Must be really pushing for that expansion." Mendoza said.
"An expasion would be an improvement." Ashton said. "If you all just stay holled up in here, you'll be easy food for the groseros." Ashton replied.
"THERE IS NOT GOING TO BE AN EXPANSION!" Mendoza yelled. "People will die if we attempt an expansion and I don't want their blood on my hands. We're just going to wait and that's final."
"You are a stubborn man, Mendoza. There is not going to be a rescue team and like Ashton said, we are easy food here. If we expand our territory, we can start taking the town back from the dead. What will it take for you to realize that? The only reason I haven't gone looking for my daughter is because of you and your so called leadership! Get it through your think skull Mendoza, we are never going to be rescued! The only people that can help us are us." The noise came from Mr. Chet, who overheard Mendoza.
"Joaquin, I have known you for a very long time. We always saw eye to eye my friend but now we don't. There will be a rescue team and there will be a safe place for them to take us to too. Our own troops would never fail us!" Mendoza said.
"Well, while you wait for your friends, the more at risk we are, and the more people will die." Mr. Chet said. "I'm done. Ok? Done."
Mr. Chet climbed up one of the old tents and started talking to everyone in the marketplace. "You all say you want better lives and that you will all get them thanks to the will of god. Well guess what, fortune does not come without work or pain or sweat. This country just lives in entitlement. Everybody is too greedy or too lazy to make a change. You would think that it would have changed now that god has made the dead come back to life, but no. You people refuse to change. Wasn't losing your families or your jobs or everything else you had enough to make you realize that? Valdez and I risk our lives just to keep you selfish and lazy slobs alive for the next day. And what do you to show it? Nothing. Life is hard, yes, but it's a hell of a lot harder now. So why don't you people start to realize it? Start acting, because if you don't, you will die. I'm not being harsh and I don't want to crush your spirits but we need to start getting our shit together. Because now, the road to fortune is even longer and more rugged than it was before. To all the families in here, fight for yourselves. This is not just a warning, this is a philosophy, my philosophy. No one can help us now, no one but ourselves." Mr. Chet said, in a loud and angry voice.
"You of all people Mendoza, you should be leading everyone to change. The time for conformism is gone." Mr. Chet said. After getting down from the tent, Mr. Chet went into one of the old storage rooms. There, he looked himself in the mirror and held out a photo of his daughter.
"I'm coming for you." Mr. Chet said.
- The title of the issue refers to the speech given by Mr. Chet, in which he sets the theme for the search of fortune in the story, which varies in meaning for each character.
- In Mr. Chet's case, finding his daughter.
- This is the first issue to not feature any zombies in it.
|A Long Road to Fortune: Volume 1|
|Issue 1 - Issue 2 - Issue 3 - Issue 4 - Issue 5 - Issue 6|