Oddly it had started with America dropping bombs on their own, not that Plissken knew it at the time. Like everyone else he bought into the ploys that it was the Russians or a freak accident that had hit the area just south of Austin. Russia and the Middle East had followed suit bombing major cities. Still Plissken went on fighting in the war believing that the bombing was started overseas. The moment he learned otherwise turned bitter so much of his ideals.

That had been five years ago. Two years ago he had learned what really happened. So many still whispered about how good the summit was in Moscow. At least they didn't go nuclear. Snake was really believing that any more it didn't really matter. Invisible radiation or invisible poison, both lead to slow death. The only upside was the gas left buildings standing around empty. Not that they were much good since the gas lingered in them longer than on the streets. It was a mess either way anyone looked at it.

Snake stretched out on the couch watching Taylor tend to his leg. He would've helped but Taylor was having another round of independence. Snake could appreciate and understand it. It was something he would do in a similar situation. Rain started on the roof. Plissken heard it and then the air filtration system kicked in.

"Gas in the rain tonight?" Taylor asked not looking up from his swabbing of the stitches.

"Always is." Snake wasn't sure of that but it was better safe than sorry. Just as he settled in listening to the rain the bang came to the door.

With a hurried glance at Snake, Taylor hobbled onto his crutches and to the door. Plissken didn't dare go because too many were still looking for him. From where he'd taken up position in the kitchen Snake could hear them talking in low voices but the rain storm was drowning out the details. The door closed giving him the courage to ease out and join Taylor in the other room.

"Man I don't believe this." Taylor commented more to himself as he stared wide-eyed at the stack of crisp white papers.

"What?" Snake came over in a hurry from the curiosity now gnawing at him.


"What?!" Snake looked over Taylor's shoulder staring in disbelief at the Department of Revenue logo at the top.

"Living tax? What the hell is that?" Taylor was still stunned.

"I'll tell you what the hell it is." Snake grabbed them away. His eye on the paper stack he lit them with his Zippo. Once they'd burned to his fingers he dropped the remaining pieces and stopped on them. "Fucking garbage."

Snake marched over to the couch and laid back down listening to the thump of crutches as Taylor started to laugh. Of all the insane things, taxes, taxes on being alive. Someone had lost their mind huffing gas down at the capitol. There was no other explanation.