New to the story? Start reading here: Prologue
July 17th, 2012 1400
Well, we’ve heard their stories and to say they’d make a great Sunday night movie would be an understatement.
Susan was an aide at the CDC. Once Rising figured out who she was they took her to help them keep from getting sick, she said. She has a companion hiding in Huntington named Suzanne, whom she worked for. I’ve sent Susan, Michelle and an FAV into town to find Suzanne and bring her back if she would like to join us.
Before the war, Karen was a school teacher in town. She says she taught 8th grade, but Melanie was giving me some funny looks while Karen was talking. I’ll need to sit down with her and figure what was going on.
Lt. James Bryson is an interesting character. I was right, he is was a Navy SEAL. I’ve been around those guys and they are something. Very laid back until it is time to get serious. He was actually home on leave when the balloon went up and couldn’t make it back to base. He was trying to drive back when Rising’s men captured him. Choosing the wise thing, he surrendered to them instead of dying needlessly. Evidently, Rising was trying to get information out of him about equipment stored on bases around the Mid-West. I shared what we knew about the nation and what was happening. This information didn’t surprise him but it did sadden him. His final words on the subject were that he is now a civilian and will do as he chooses but he still believes in the ideals the US was founded on.
He and I walked around the camp for quite awhile and he checked out some of our vehicles along with my stash in the back of Meagan’s HMMV. He was rather impressed with the gear we had and offered a couple suggestions about how to stage the vehicles in a convoy and actually suggested we find a school bus for transporting the kids. Since we did the armor job on the one gun truck, he felt we should be able to armor up a bus with no issue. He was very impressed with what we’ve been able to accomplish in such a short amount of time. Since he was without orders, he decided to throw in with our crew and see where it will take him.
The thing that really made me laugh was when he asked about Michelle. The whole thing started out as professional curiosity but he somehow managed to find out she was single and Kristin was her daughter. After our walk, I went back and told Meagan and Melanie about it. They cackled with laughter while Tyler just sat there with a confused look on his face.
July 17th, 2012 1800
There is nothing better than steak cooked over an open fire. I’ve warned everyone to enjoy it while they can because one day we won’t have this luxury.
We now have an armored school bus. The techie guys must have overheard Bryson and I talking about doing that. Guys are silly. That thing has more armor than an M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank. After dinner Tyler, Michelle, Bryson, James, Meagan, Melanie, and myself are going to sit down and discuss what we need to do. I think I’m going to break out some of the booze I have stashed away. This should be very interesting.
July 17th, 2012 2300
We sat around this evening and had some long talks amongst our group of leaders. It’s tough being in this group. Trying to decide what to do and really controlling the fate of those who have thrown in with us. We have decided that we are going to have to get on the move very soon. We’ve been here way to long and we probably need to make ourselves scarce. Time to head west on back roads, staying out of the way of major cities and hopefully groups that aren’t so nice.
Michelle and Bryson are going to lead the FAV group and range out ahead of us, feeding us information about what lies in our path. Tyler and I will run the convoy seeing to it’s function and direction as we head out. Tyler and I are the only ones that have an idea where we are heading. He and I found an old road atlas and found somewhere that should work quite well for us. The trick is going to be getting there.
We’ll need to start loading the vehicles tomorrow. Bryson, Tyler, and I will be going out after a fuel tanker so that we will have enough for the vehicles as we go down the roads. Ron and his wife, Beth, were big rig drivers and they have volunteered to drive the fuel truck. We just need to find one and get some fuel in it before we can leave here. Everyone is starting to get itchy
The other thing we need to do is go and check the armory. Bryson says he has some ideas about grabbing a few extra items that will help us out. He said something about having a big surprise for us. We might also check out the surplus store where we found Michelle and Kristin.
Minimum of three days until we are out of here and back on the road.
Time to go…