It was another crazy night, that's for sure. It was a night of fun, jokes, and cigar smoke. After she kicked the big man out, we charged to hugged the woman. We chant her name as the drums start. Mox runs after we set her down to break out the pack and throw it into the crowd. I catch it, Naturally. I pull out my lighter to smoke it. It's not that bad, actually. We continue the party basically all night. I dance, drink, and play fight with some of the soldiers. After a long night of booze and relentless singing, I pass out.
I wake up covered in booze. I smell. I feel pretty bad, but that's ok. I had the time of my life. I watched a fight, I had a party. What more can I ask for really? I look around to see the crowd still knocked out or wondering. I stood up and walked the camp, looking for my friends. I saw Kyle with sunken eyes and a mug in his hand. He had his head down on the table he was sitting at. "D...Dopeman..."
I sit next to him. "Kyle. Here I thought you had a stronger will than me."
"I can stand intense torture for more than three months, but I can't stand a night of drinking."
"Wait, you survived torture?"
He burps and downs the water. "Long story."
I laugh as he groans. I soon walk away, looking for more of my friends. It wasn't too far. I see Fisher asleep on the ground. A cigar was still in his mouth. I kick him a bit. He groaned. "W...What...?"
I squat. "Rise and shine. You're asleep on the ground. You probably shouldn't do that."
"It's comfortable. Come on, man. Let me sleep..."
"Come on, handsome." I help the Fisherman up and over to his tent. He kissed me as I set him on the bed. "You're gonna be lazy all day?" I joked.
"Cut me a break. You know I'll still finish what you asked me. Could be anything." He winked.
I laugh and head out of the tent, looking for my champion. I popped a cig in my mouth as I did my grand walk around the camp. Eventually, I found her looking at the afternoon sun. She was laying on top of a table, enjoying the last cigar. "Hey, champ." I got in the same position as her. She looked proud.
"Hey, coach." She tapped my shoulder and laughed.
"Coach? Ha! Good one. But you did really well. I'm proud."
"Thanks. I really appreciate the lesson you taught me."
"It's just something simple, ya know? A block-out technique."
"When did you learn that?"
"The age of loneliness? It's something I learned from my fights in the old world."
"What, you were a prizefighter?"
"Nah. Before I dropped out of school I fought a lot. I was a small kid so I was a target."
She stood up. "Tell me more."
"So there was this one time, I was going to use the bathroom. It was a regular day. Then some punk came in the door with a crowd. He was targeting me for a while. I always was the one fighting back against him. They all had cameras out, ready to record. I was shoved into this position for the first time. I had all those phone lights on me, all those kids screaming. It was sensory overload. To make it worse, the big man was itching to embarrass me. He was punching me all over the bathroom. I couldn't focus. I wanted to have all that noise to just stop, I wanted to be..."
I nod. "At once, everything was just gone. It was just me and him. With a bloody nose and new focus, I punched the fool right in the gut. The fatty coughed violently. I hit him with a right hook. I kept on with that hook till he bleeds. I finish him off by punching him into the mirror. He was out. I was so upset I kicked him in the head."
"Wow. What a story. You must've got a crazy back story."
I chuckle. "Well, That's me. I wonder, what made you so scared of crowds."
Mox hugged her arm. "Eh, I was in a play once. I was playing the leading lady. I was on the stage saying my final monologue when I blew chunks. All over the stage. I was so terrified of all the eyes on me ya know?"
"Oh yeah, I get it. I'm glad I taught you right. Stay safe, ok?" I say while hugging her.
"You too, Dopeman."
It was only a few days later when the helicopters finally came.
We all cheered when the help came. We packed all of our gear and whatever we could carry and got on the helicopter. We flew up in the air. I look over the canyon for the last time. I never thought I would, but I smiled. I hopped the tribe would prosper and spread peace throughout the rest of Arizona. We launch off over Lake Retals. I hope the Shaman meets the new tribe. I also hope he stops giving people to smoke. That's dangerous. We fly over Roach National Park. it was a crappy place overall. Especially with those sacrifices. And finally, We reach over to the factory. Where this madness started. It was a ghost town, with basically nothing left. I looked over to my crew. Kyle and Fisher give me weak smiles. They're tired, just like me. I laugh. "I hate Arizona."
"The canyon was overrated," Fisher commented.
Tann grinned. "I'll take Nevada any day of the week."
I give a thumbs up. "Amen to that."
We landed a few hours in Badlands. I step out to look at the old village. A few months ago, I was just the Foolish Courier. I was delivering packages from Compton. As I walked out of the airfield, I get greeted by an old man. He was a decorated military man. Had tons of metals. He shook my hand. "Dopeman, in the flesh. It's a pleasure to meet you."
I shake his hand and nod. "Thank you. You must be..."
My eyes widen.