“I’m here. Are you okay?” I text and press the send button.

Several minutes pass and Lynn comes to look over my shoulder. The phone vibrates in my hand and the screen comes to life.

The words appear on the screen. “OMG!! You’re alive! I’m so scared. Where are you?”

“Fucking drama queen,” I hear Lynn whisper by my side as she reads the message. Yeah, Lynn’s not particularly fond of Kelly.

“I’m in Tacoma. Where are you?” I text asking. I would call but I don’t know her situation and the sound of her phone ringing could make it worse.

“At my place with Jessica and Brian. Can you come help us?”

“Be there tomorrow afternoon. Keep the lights off and stay quiet. Turn your phone off for now and then back on when it’s light. I’ll call you then.”


I try Mom once again after the texting session but still don’t get a reply. I’m extremely worried about her. I really have a hard time with worrying and it eats at me until I find an answer one way or the other. I also notice an edginess with Lynn. I would normally attribute it to the text but I understand her well enough to know that it goes deeper than that. She keeps biting her lip and that’s one of her signs that she is nervous or anxious about something.

“Everything okay?” I ask noting her nervousness.

“I’m just thinking about Mom and Craig and worried about them,” she answers. I pull her in close and wrap my arms around her.

“Well, I told him five days and that isn’t until tomorrow. Craig probably doesn’t want to fly at night into a strange airfield,” I say whispering into her ear and continuing to hold her close.

We hold each other for a moment longer and then head down into the cargo compartment gathering everyone around as best as the confined space will allow. The thuds against the side of the fuselage continue sporadically as the night runners persist in their attempts to get to us. Their howls are muted by the thin steel walls between them and us. I cannot really say we are becoming accustomed to this, as the bangs still startle us each time, but we are able to focus to an extent.

“I just want to give a rundown on tomorrow. First of all, Bannerman, will you put together a list of our critical supply needs? The overall plan is to gather vehicles, raid the armories, and then caravan down to Cabela’s. For that, we’ll need a few cargo trucks and some bolt cutters. We also need a few Humvees so we can scout the area for any additional survivors. Make sure they are filled with fuel. Siphon if you have to. Once we get the vehicles, head out and cover the area in teams. When we finish here, we’ll head down and make further plans once we see what we are up against. Lynn, will you please see to the assignments?” I ask finishing the quick briefing.

“Will do. Drescoll, take your team along with Alpha and Bravo to secure the vehicles. Horace, take your team and search the open maintenance hangars for bolt cutters. The rest of us will unload the supplies in the meantime,” Lynn says. Everyone nods at their assignments.

“There’s two Humvees parked on the ramp. I’ll be taking one and Drescoll, you can take the other with your team to the front gate where there are two others parked. That should be enough for all of you,” I say adding to Lynn’s instructions.

“What are you doing with the other Humvee?” Robert asks.

“Going to check on Mom. I can’t get her on the phone. I’ll be back by the time the vehicles are secured,” I answer.

“Can I go?” He asks.

“Yeah, that’s fine. Bri, Nic and Michelle, I want you to stay here with the others.”

The sound of boots shuffling and walking on the cargo floor fills the aircraft as everyone finds a place to settle in for the rest of the evening. Our rest is broken by the echoing of the hollow, metallic thuds periodically through the night. The night runners eventually give up close to dawn and we are afforded a small period of rest.

Another dawn breaks over the Cascades to our east, filling the cockpit with its radiance. My head is aching from all of the time spent at altitude with its low humidity. I am dehydrated coupled with a lack of sleep. I feel a little overwhelmed thinking about the busy day and times ahead. There isn’t time or room to ‘take a break’ and deal with the issues another day. Lynn stirs beside me and heads into the back after a good morning kiss. I get up shortly thereafter thankful I don’t have to plop right down into the pilot seat. My rear end could use the rest.

The feeling of being a touch overwhelmed, with all that needs to happen today, almost brings me to a standstill and I’m not sure where to even start. One step at a time, I think heading out into the chill of the morning air. The sun rising above the hills is refreshing and fills my low energy to an extent. It feels a little colder than it should due to our spending the last few days in warmer climates but it is rejuvenating. There is not much talk among our group as most of us are lost in our own thoughts and feel spent from our efforts to get here. It feels like this should have been a destination rather than a beginning. There is a prevalent feeling of wondering if any of us have the energy to embark on this endeavor. However, we also know we don’t have the luxury of doing nothing.

Standing in the light morning breeze, I try calling my mom once again and still get no answer. Drescoll, the rest of Green Team, and Robert stand beside me waiting to head out. I then dial Kelly getting several rings before she picks up.

“Jack, are you coming down to get us?” Kelly asks answering.

“Yeah, we’ll be down but I can’t get there until later this afternoon. I’m not exactly sure when but we’ll be there,” I answer.

“Who is we?” She asks.

“Lynn, Robert, Bri and I.”

“Oh. Okay.”

“You mentioned Brian and Jessica were with you. Where’s Carrie?” I ask with the sun fully rising and casting our shadows long across the dark gray tarmac.

There is a pause before she answers, “She was with her dad and I haven’t heard from her. Can you go see if she’s okay on your way down?”

I feel my stress level increase as I don’t think I will be able to get the things accomplished that need to be done here, check on Mom, see about Carrie, and get down to Kelly. Even though the daylight hours are longer, there is so much that needs to be done and I’m not sure what condition our possible future sanctuary is in. It may take some time to ensure it will provide the safe haven we need. There is someone who needs help and I want to be able to do both. The time constraint makes this impossible.

“We’re under a bit of a time crunch here and I may not be able to do both. If there’s time, I’ll head over there, otherwise I’ll head down and we’ll see about her on the way back,” I respond.

“What do you possibly have to do that you can’t go see if she’s okay?” Kelly asks a little irritated.

“I have a group of people here to see to and we just landed yesterday. We have a lot to do to make sure we’re safe for the evening. I’m sorry but I have to see to them as well. I’ll call you when we’re on our way and I’ll go look for Carrie if there’s time,” I answer.

“Okay, hurry.”

“I’ll go as fast as I can. Talk to you in a little while,” I say.

“Okay, bye,” she says and there is the click of the line disconnecting. I continue to be amazingly surprised the phones still work at all. This would have been a great advertisement for them in times past - ‘Coverage, smoverage, our lines last through an apocalypse.’

“Well, shall we get this party started,” I say to those gathered around me. Drescoll merely nods his reply.

My few interactions with Drescoll leads me to believe he has a strong, silent type of personality; confident yet quiet. Or maybe he just doesn’t know how to interact with me. Although taller, he is a bit younger than I am and, with his being in the military for a number of years, that may equate to me being an authority figure in his mind. With what I have witnessed and how he has conducted himself from the stories Lynn told, he is stable, reliable, and knows what he is doing. I let Lynn know we are off. We gear up and head over to the Humvees parked by the remnants of our earlier outdoor luncheon.

Вы читаете Sanctuary
Добавить отзыв


Вы можете отметить интересные вам фрагменты текста, которые будут доступны по уникальной ссылке в адресной строке браузера.

Отметить Добавить цитату