Mason woke up before dawn. He heard Jimmy and went to see how he was doing. "Hey, old man, what's up?"
"I was dreaming. I keep seeing Carrie drowning, but I actually never saw her go."
Mason said nothing. Then, he asked, "Who shot you?"
"I don't know. Some one in an abandoned house on the road after we left the tree just shot at us. I never saw the person."
"Chaos, anarchy and fear, said Jimmy" Mason again said nothing. "Let me make you some coffee and breakfast. we have food here. And, then, I want to try the radio again."
The two women were still sleeping when Jimmy and Mason tried the shortwave. They heard a woman's voice, and Mason knew it was the same one he had heard for a second the day before. He thought of Tokyo Rose.
"Radio Free America is proud to announce a treaty made yesterday with the Pan-American countries. Now, all of Canada, the United States and Mexico and the three remaining Central American States not destroyed by the tidal wave, Maximus, will be under one government temporarily. We are also proud to announce that the son of President Taylor-O Melaghlin,will be temporarily taking the oath of office as an interim president. Patrick Michael O Melaghlin, son of the lately deceased Thomas Sean Taylor O Melaghlin, will be sworn in tomorrow on Capital Hill, in the rubble of the United States Congress."
The feed ended abruptly. Mason stared at the radio, and Jimmy said "Wow" in a loud voice.
Patrick Michael O Melaghlin, the only son of the late president, was a known genius. He graduated from Princeton at the age of ten and then graduated in three years with a doctorate in International Relations from Harvard. He was now thirteen years old,
"Blast,"grumbled Jimmy. "Blessed Anti-Christ." Mason looked at the floor.
"I knew his mother, Karen O Melaghlin." Jimmy stared at Mason. "What?"
"When I was in the army, Mrs. O Melaghlin was entitled to military escort. I was a regular. You remember what happened to her?"
"She was killed by one of her bodyguards."
"Yes, and then he was shot by one of our escort sergeants. I resigned almost immediately. It was all planned, you know. She knew too much. I went back to university and became a scientist. I wanted to work with hard data, not false orders. Somehow, they let me go."
Jimmy mumbled something about the obvious. But why let a teenager be president? Yes, he was ultra-intelligent, knew various languages and was obviously, when he grew up, going to be a handsome man. "I just don't get it. I don't get this move, " Jimmy said.
"Patrick is not Karen's son," Mason added. Just then, Janet work up out of her deep sleep. She almost fell off the sofa.
"He is the Pied Pieper," Mason said quietly. Mason got up off the floor and went to wake up Brandy. As he walked to the bedroom, Mason wondered if they could get to the reservation in a day. "Not with Jimmy like this..." he thought.
He know wished he had made more contingency plans. And, where was Adam?
to be continued...