Monday, November 10, 2014

Chapter 10


“Wake up Sunshine!  C’mon!  Breathe … there you go.  Let me see those amber colored marbles you have rolling around in your head.” 

I came all the way awake when I took a flying leap at the window and nearly knocked myself out.  “Argh!” 

“That’s twice you did that.  Damn … let me see if you broke something.” 

“Get off me!” 

“I’ll sit on you if you don’t settle down and let me look at that arm,” he replied calmly while he grabbed for the lantern and turned it up.  He didn’t stop until he pulled a splinter out of my wrist and used an alcohol wipe to clean the scratches I had given myself.  “Damn, that’s gonna bruise for sure.” 

“Shut up,” I growled. 

“Well you’re in a mood.”  And instead of backing off like ninety-nine point nine percent of the human race would he got closer and basically pinned me into the corner of the room completely disrupting my personal space.  But I was too busy shaking and trying not to hurl to notice. 

 
“Wanna talk about it?” he asked me after I finally wound down. 

“Not particularly.” 

“OK.  On one condition.” 

“And that is?” I asked almost afraid to know.

“When I get the sweats and wake up trying to do something along the lines of what you just did you won’t make me drag it out and look at it either.” 

I looked at him and he was serious so I told him, “Looks like I’m not the only one that has a few screws loose.” 

“Nope,” he told me like I had no business being surprised by that fact.  He did want to know, “Does it happen often?” 

“No,” I told him honestly.  “This is the first time in like weeks and weeks.  I thought I was all done with it.” 

“Hits me that way too sometimes.  It’s been almost two years since I lost the eye but sometimes it feels like yesterday.  Especially if I’m feeling particularly pissy about something coming at me on my blind side.  It was probably my story that set you off.  Shoulda kept my mouth shut.” 

“No.  It actually made me feel like less of a freak.  What time is it anyway?  The air feels …funny.  And … and what’s that noise?” 

 
“It’s 0-300.  Funny is the last thing it is.  And that noise is helicopters … CH-54’s to be precise.  And I’m pretty sure what they’re unloading is going to be a royal bitch to deal with.” 

“What’s a CH45 and what does it carry?” 

“Ch-54 and it carries anything it wants to Sunshine.  Their nickname is the Sky Crane.  Usually they carry things like tanks and other large equipment, sometimes even mobile hospitals.  These are carrying shipping containers.  The doors are closed when they set the boxes down but when they lift off they’re open and empty.” 

“So there’s something in the boxes.”

“Yep.” 

“Do we want to know what is in the boxes?” 

“Need to know?  Yes.  Likely to be happy with what we find out?  I doubt it.  You ok now?” 

“Yeah.  Heebies over and under control.  Does this mean we aren’t going to do any salvaging today like you wanted to?” 

“I have a feeling …”  He petered off and started off at like he was seeing something I couldn’t.  

He was silent so long I had to prompt him.  “What do you feel?” 

He shook his head.  “Might not be doing anymore salvaging Sunshine.  At least not too far afield.” 

“Why?  You think there are supplies in those containers?” 

“No … no I don’t.  I …”  He got a little out of my space, turned the lantern down, and leaned against the wall of the room I was using as my bedroom.  “What if they missed inspecting all the people that came out of the quarantine zone … and what if in the process they missed some evacuees that were already infected?” 

“But I heard everyone was going to have to go into a temporary camp … to prevent something like that from happening.” 

“Well, I heard the same thing but verification would be nice.  For the sake of argument let’s just run with mistakes happening accidentally or – with the right color money – accidentally on purpose.  What if they found some infecteds on the wrong side of the concertina wire and suddenly people are scared?  What if they’ve started finding free-roaming cases of infection outside of the quarantine zone?”

“But that would be in the news.  There hasn’t been anything about that at all on the radio.” 

“Sunshine, it wouldn’t be that difficult to build a cover up.  The news is all bought and paid for anyway.  And all you would need to do is disappear people and then when or if someone notices say they’ve been taken in for questioning regarding possible contact with people in the quarantine zone.  The way it sounds they’ve got people believing that there aren’t any sane people over here left.” 

“Yeah, come to think of it they don’t even talk about immunes or carriers anymore … only about people far gone into the infection.” 

“I’d noticed that too.  It’s recent but noticeable.  Which makes me think that things are getting serious on the outside.” 

“You … you don’t think there’s like elite commandos in those shipping containers and they’re going to go all Rambo on us do you?” 



“Man, what have you been reading in those books?!” he laughed glancing over at the stack of secondhand books I’ve been collecting.  “First off, there aren’t really all that many ‘elite commandos’ these days.  Thank your government for starting to get scared of the people they train.  Second, there’s been way too many drops for that and … there goes another one,” he said as we heard an audible bang as a shipping container was set down less than gently.  “No one is going to set troops down like that.  Too much chance of injury.  But they wouldn’t be so careful if the container was full of Infecteds.”

I forgot to breathe long enough that when I started back up I could feel it in my head.  “That’s …”
 
“You gonna panic on me?” 

“No,” I told him with attitude.  Then I calmed back down and said, “But … that’s … that’s bad.  There’s already enough Infecteds around here.  If … if they get desperate and hungry what will they turn into?  And what about the rest of us?” 

“No clue Winx but plan for the worst and hope for the best and you can’t go wrong.  Which is why we are going to stick here for at least today and try and get some facts to measure my hypothesis by.  So, you up for getting some coffee going while I get some gear together and get set to start watching from the tower room?” 

“You gonna express yourself up there?” 

“Huh?” 

“When people used to try and tell Aunt Trudy that she shouldn’t allow me to express myself the way I was she’d tell them that she’d rather me express myself by dressing in black and wearing garish makeup than with a rifle up in a church tower.” 

Mack snorted but only said, “Cute.  But the last thing I want to have to do is ‘express myself’ and give our position away so make sure you don’t do anything to draw attention either.  And speaking of, we need to start securing our water sources and camouflaging a few things against aerial observation.  It’s not enough just to put the four-by and trailer in that shed.  Should have thought of this stuff first thing but … I was …” 

“Mack, I’m a lot better off than before you came along but you can’t think of everything … and shouldn’t have had to.  You just do your soldier – planning – logistic stuff or whatever you want to call it.  You’re good at that.  I’ll handle kitchen junk and check to make sure all the downstairs exits are still secure.  I can take that as my job to be good at.  I know it was a pain to run that ramp to the second floor and then haul the supplies down two flights of stairs but it’s better than taking all of that wood off the exterior doors.  Lucky for me we got everything in and put in storage containers last night so while the coffee is brewing I’ll bring in all the water and then use the dolly to move the emptied water barrels upstairs and then … do something with the ramp, I’m not sure what.” 

“Ok,” Mack said with a nod after thinking it over.  “But if you hear anything unusual or out of place you get under cover a-sap.  We may have some aerial reconnaissance by drone during the day.  As quiet as the new urban battlefield drones are, as maneuverable as they’ve become … Just be careful.  And I think before I go up to the tower I’ll walk the fence line and make sure all those places we reinforced it don’t need something more.”

3 comments:

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  2. Another great story. Moar is required though. LOL I lost track of you for awhile but now I'm catching up on all your stories. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. another good one! decided the laundry could wait and I would reread another of Kathy's great stories.

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