The Sarah Pierce Story
She walked into the little desert gun shop with no idea what it was she was looking for. She had a mission - just no idea how to do what she had in mind.
"Can I help you?"
"I hope so. I need to learn how to shoot. Can you recommend someone?"
"I think so. What are you looking to use? Handgun? Rifle? Long range? Close in?"
"I don't know. I suppose I probably want to keep as much distance as possible between me and my, uh, target. Yeah, I'm not exactly a hunter, you know. I'm not going to be creeping up on anybody, uh, anyTHING."
"Well, then, you'll probably want a rifle. Something light and smaller caliber. High muzzle velocity."
Jake Bertrett was an ex-Marine who had been badly wounded on Guadalcanal. The VA treated every wound they could find. But the wounds inside his head were worse than those on his body. They denied the existence of the wounds they couldn't see; which left Jake Bertrett an angry and bitter man. This little gunshop was all he had in the world. That and the collection of 'special' firearms he kept in the cellar, the arms he and his compatriots would use when the Uprising came, and the State of Nevada exerted its right of Sovereignty and seceded. The Sons Of Nevada would make sure her veterans were well cared for and tended to. The revenue from the casinos that were popping up all over the state would supply the money to take care of the vets. They'd see to that.
"How much is a rifle like that going to cost?"
"I don't know. Depends on the piece. Could be a couple hundred, or more. Of course, the piece will depend on your ... target ... and your hunting ground."
"Okay. What about learning to shoot?"
"I'll teach you to shoot. I was a sniper when I was in the Marines. I've got a small range out back - I can teach you everything you need to know. How much you willin' to pay?"
She stared at him for a long moment, trying to size him up. Average height, very muscular build, head shaved and scarring visible on his arms and hands. But his clear blue eyes said 'pain' - and there was a haunted look there, a look she had seen in other people, other vets, those that had seen, and done, terrible things during the war. She didn't know why, but she knew, instinctively, that this was a man she could trust.
"Look, I have this gun I ... found. Would you want to buy it?"