Mason made the decision as the two women could not make up their minds about leaving the cabin. He left for two days and came back with a truck complete with a tank full of gas and three cans of gas in the back. They decided to leave most of the things for someone else to find. They took their own, private things like rosaries and breviaries. They decided to take only one week of food as the truck would allow them to get at least half-way, unless Mason found more gasoline.
A day was fixed for leaving, and like some sort of homing pigeon, Jimmy showed up at the door, looking very ill and tired.
They brought him in and fed him a hot dinner. Mason found a beer.
They sat at the table with him and waited. They knew he had found Carrie, otherwise he would not have returned.
"She was found fourteen miles downstream from where we were thrown in. In that area, an old doctor just happened to walking his dog on the riverside, as the land belonged to him. I happened to bump into him. He told me how he had found her. Of course, she was dead."
Jimmy stopped for a minute. "The doctor said that she had no signs of struggle and in fact, he suggested that she may have taken off the straps on purpose in order to save me as she had no marks on her body of cords or straps. I felt a huge shadow slip out of my soul. I had not caused her death, he said. Then, he walked away with his dog and I waited until he disappeared.
The next day, I returned to meet him and I never saw him again. But a local woman told me where Carrie had been buried, outside the town, in an old pioneer cemetery. I walked there, and under a small tree found a small marker which read, 'Drowned Woman', I took out a pen and crossed that off and put Carrie's full name on the marker, Carrie Hall and her date of death. I stopped and prayed for a bit." Janet was weeping silently. Brandy held one of her hands.
Mason knew now that Jimmy would be fine. He waited a few minutes and asked, "Do you want to go with us?"
Jimmy looked up, "Yes, yes. I will be well."
By seven the next morning, the truck with all the friends was on the road north. Mason put the two women in the front with him and Jimmy in the back, with the ammunition. The highway was strangely empty. Then, Mason had an idea that he should get off the main road and take back roads the rest of the way. He turned west and followed a B road for miles, He realized that this was to be the only way free of militia. He wondered about the earthquake damage, but saw nothing to indicate this area had been damaged. In fact, the more he travelled on the roads, the more he became bewildered by the lack of any signs of either earthquakes or volcanoes. Then, Janet spoke outloud.
"It is all lies. Nothing happened. Everything on the television was made up, drama. fake. Look, there is nothing here on the outskirts of the major cities to indicate a disaster."
Brandy asked, "But, where are all the people?" Mason did not answer. He was putting together some things he had learned long ago in the army about moving people out of areas quickly in case of disasters. That there were some earthquakes and volcanoes could not be denied, but what could be challenged was the amount of damage, the actual interruption of the grids and the extent of the devastation.
Mason saw a small gas station on the side of the road and pulled in. No one was there. He tried one of the pumps. It was unlocked, Gasoline poured out. He got cans out of the shop next to the station. All the food and drinks were gone, but much of the stuff sold for cars lined the shelves. Mason went into the bathroom, He turned on the water. The taps worked. He flushed the toilet. The plumbing worked.
As he walked back outside, he said to the ladies that this would be a good place to wash. Then, he sat down in the truck and Jimmy came up to him.
"Water running. Go try the electric lights inside, Jimmy."
Jimmy ran into the shop and found the main switches. All the lights went on. He turned them off again.
"I don't get it, Mason."
Mason answered slowly, "Someone wants to bring down America, uses some natural disasters, exaggerates the damage. The media is under their control. People are sent to camps for their own safety and those who wanted to take control just walk right in and take over."
"Are we all so stupid?" Jimmy looked so sad Mason could hardly answer. "Yes, we have been made to be sheeple."
The women came back and said they found three or four large gallon bottles of water. "Get them," said Mason.
Then they all got back in the truck and continued their journey with twenty gallons of gasoline and four gallons of spring water. Mason knew they would make it to the reservation. He wondered what they would find there.
Janet noted that all the houses and shops they passed were empty and looked looted. Mason said he did not want to stop but keep going. He did not want to be on the road at night. But, they would have to do so, if they encountered traffic.
He reckoned that they had six more hours of normal driving. Brandy took over after the first eight hours, while Mason slept next to her.
As they traveled north, they noticed that the weather was extraordinarily cold. In fact, by the time they were about three hours from the Canadian border, and Janet was driving, snow began to fall. Mason took over, as the road was becoming steep as they entered the Adirondacks. Jimmy had found three sleeping bags in the shop and was bundled up in the back. It was now dark, but Mason knew they would not find one car on the road. The entire state had been emptied of people. There seemed to be no army or police about. Mason remembered some old training guidelines for evacuation. How did the army get so efficient? He knew where one fema camp was in the area and purposefully went out of his way to avoid it by miles. This added about an hour to their time.
The trip took much less time as the truck was literally the only vehicle on the road. What should have taken fourteen hours with stops, took only ten, plus the one hour of detour. And, at six o'clock, although it was dark already, the group entered the boundaries of the Akwesasnes, Brandy's people.
They Come From Dust Part Thirteen
Adam and Father Gibson plus eleven members of the Knights of Karl took the last plane from Poland to New York. The new Emergency Air Flight Bill had passed the small Congress in Raleigh the very night the thirteen arrived in Eleanor Roosevelt Airport in New York. Adam had to admit that he would have been happy to stay with his cousins, but that was impossible with the lack of papers for him to stay longer in Poland.
There were up to 1,000 freedom fighters in Poland, under the banner of the Knights of Karl and about 6,000 in Lithuania. Those men all were picked because they had dual citizenship. The leader of one group was a priest from Krakow and Father Gibson had met him,Hope were high that these two countries would stay outside both the Russian territory and not fall into tyrannies. Russia had depleted both weapons and manpower taking back the other old territories of the Soviet Republic, plus fighting the new civil wars which were breaking out all other the area.
The weather across Europe had changed drastically to a long, cold season, an unusual winter. Adam knew that things would worsen for those already hungry and cold. And, as in the times of Henry and Elizabeth I, many Catholics had left Great Britain and Ireland, moving to Poland and Lithuania for mutual Catholic support.
Adam and Father Gibson had to decide where they would go next. Adam wanted to find Mason and company, and Father Gibson had to find his bishop in hiding. Neither were quite sure how to go about these adventures. But, when they got to the safe haven in the middle of NYC, certain people met them with good news. Most of the roads were clear. And another contact would help Father Gibson on his travels. Adam had to wait and just "go with the flow".
to be continued...