Adam woke up in an abandoned rectory near the now empty and looted St. Peter's, once a gem of churches in New York City. Father Gibson had moved on to another parish, and the two had agreed to meet if and when they could at the reservation.
Adam had a dream two days before that Mason and Brandy were standing at the door of the large community center in the reservation. He took that as a good sign. After Mass the day before, Father Gibson was met at the door by a man Adam did not know and the two left. Father Gibson only took his Mass kit with him and one change of clothes. Adam admired that Father Gibson could travel so light.
Now, the young man had to figure out how to travel the six hour journey up north without a car. He sat down and looked at a map as to the possiblity of walking the entire distance. It would take at least five days to seven days walking the distance, at a good pace.
Adam knew he was fit enough. He was concerned more about safety. Then, a small miracle occurred. The same man who had accompanied Father Gibson to his destination appeared at the door of the rectory.
"Father Gibson sent me back. I have a small car, a Mini and enough gas to get at least half-way. Then, we can walk the rest of the way. I am going to take the backroads. We can get to Albany in three and a half hours, and continue on foot for three days. I feel better about that, what do you think?"
The man spoke with a strong, fast Manhattan accent and Adam had to listen very carefully. He agreed to go with Chuck, the name of his new guide. And they got into the Mini and drove down the deserted streets out to the highway.
"Dare I ask where you got this car? Is it yours?"
Chuck answered, "No, of course it is not mine, Silly question. I got it out of a dealership and scrounged around for gas. No problem, With all the people gone, and the looters mostly dead, one can find stuff."
Adam asked the next question rather carefully, "And, where is everyone and all the police?"
"People are in the camps, Looters killed with drones, Police, many of the main east to west highways, and many killed by vigilantes, or better, joined the vigilantes. That is what I am."
Adam decided to wait and he wanted to think about all this news, being shot out like bullets at him.
Sure enough, in three and one-half hours exactly, Chuck pulled into a side road which skirted Albany and parked the Mini in front of an old Shaker House. "We are going to walk the rest of the way. The army has some positions up here and we can still get where we want to go in a few days. Take the two packed knapsacks, your knapsack and let's go now."
Adam grabbed the three packs and followed Chuck into the abandoned center. Adam stumbled through an overgrown herb garden and followed Chuck into one of the buildings.
There were two men there, sleeping. Chuck whispered. "Two ex-of-New-York's Finest.
And he not-so-gently woke the men up. "Mike, Sean, get up...!"
to be continued...