"And so the reports continue to come in. More violence, and more Muslim rioting. The Muslim demands for immunity also continue to come in." Such was the news Gomer was able to get on his military multi-band comm radio. The government had taken a wait and see attitude, to see if the Muslims would calm down, and return to peace. Gomer had some cultural studies as part of his overseas military training, and he knew that the Muslim pattern was to increase violence until they controlled all levels of government.
Gomer remembered back to his teenage years. Skipping most of his classes in high school had got him a few trips to see the Principal. Mister Frakmatten, the principal was a short fat man, with balding head, and eye glasses that were far too small for his face. All the kids called him Mrs. Frogbottom. They used to make fun of his wide seat in back. He tried to assure Gomer that history lessons were essential to living in society. Back then, Gomer couldn't see the importance. But, now, they were living in a pivotal era of society. Gomer wished he'd paid more attention.
Sam had the scanner on, a hand held battery scanner. The blinking light stopped at the fire department channel, and a voice he recognized as the county fire dispatcher. Told all units that the interest of air time, they were no longer going to use the tones to activate home radios. To get the word out, the frequency was voice only, until further notice. All radios should be set to receive, full time. The last time that happened, was several years ago at Halloween, when the teenagers had set so many nussiance fires, that the radio was overwhelmed for a couple hours. But, was it teenagers this time, and was it leaf fires? Sam doubted it.
Chris remembered back to his early days, also. The sound of fire sirens and fire trucks was exciting. There was adventure, in saving lives, and extinguishing fire. After years in the fire service, Chris wished that the only fire in the world was for cooking, or heating homes. This was far too evil, burning down the world like this.
At that moment, Gomer's sensitive hearing heard something out behind the house. He signaled that something was wrong, he was going out to investigate. Gomer dashed out the door, pistol in hand. Half a second later, he hollered back into the house "FIRE!" and then fired a couple shots from his pistol. The adults knew that he meant both firearms, and also destructive fire. Chris grabbed the ten pound chemical extinguisher that Sam kept near the stove, and headed out the back door. Good man, Sam The Trucker. Knew how important fire extinguishers are.
As Chris came around the back of the garage, he was greeted by six foot tall flames, leaping up the back of the garage. The smell of gasoline was strong in the air. Chris pulled the pin on the extinguisher, and used his fire department training to put out the fire. Then, reverting to weapons training, looked around to see any other sources of danger. All was well, Gomer had tapped the four Muslims who had been causing trouble.
Gomer motioned to cover him, so Chris drew his revolver from the holster. As Gomer was doing a pat down search of the first Muslim, one of the others rolled slightly, and his hand came out from under his body, holding a pistol. Faster than a debriefing can tell about it later, Chris delivered a security round to the man's forehead. Gomer turned to see what the noise (them high pressure hollow points make some noise) and took in the matter with his eyes. Smiled, and raised his hand to his forehead briefly, in the traditional salute.
The four Muslims yielded five handguns, three daggers, and a very old looking sword. Along with four books written in something other than English. A quick look down the road, found their vehicle, a Mitsubishi four door passenger car. Loaded with books and pamphlets, not in English.
"What to do with these guys?" Chris asked. Gomer said maybe Sam would know. They went inside, and told Sam what happened, and asked for his advice how to handle matters. Sam suggested they take the guys out back of the property, there was a thicket of extra thick bushes back there. The bodies would be safe till then. And pull the car into the garage. We could use another vehicle.
Another vehicle, or at least a tank of gas, was definitely what Faith was needing at that moment. She drove right past the place where Chris and Gomer had parked the two Ford trucks the ambushers had been driving. Didn't see it, because the trucks were well hidden. And Faith wasn't paying much attention, she was determined to get back to her apartment.
Well hidden was a good term for Connie and the kids, in the cellar at Bill's place. She waited till she didn't hear anything for a while, and then guessed at about half an hour after that. Told the kids to sit still, and then she opened the door of the closet a crack, and looked out. It was dark in the room, the electrcity was off, and there were no candles or lanterns in that room. She finally crawled out, and went for a look. She got up the stairs, walking slowly. There was blood under David's shoulders, and she knew some how that he had died. She wasn't sure if Bill knew any first aid, but figured he had to. Cause had had all that first aid stuff. She found the FRS walkie talkie on the table, and pressed the microphone. Called to the look out post. Bill, are you there? David's been shot, and needs help. On the shelf of the look out post, the FRS walkie talkie spoke, using Connie's voice. "Bill, are you there?" Yes, Bill was there, but he wasn't about to answer the FRS walkie talkie that moment. Or, ever again.
Connie looked out the windows. It was totally dark. The one kerosene lamp on the table in the kitchen provided a little light. David was silent. The FRS radio was silent. Losing all conscious thought, Connie curled up in a little ball, on the carpet of the living room. She sobbed silently. Dry sobs, and then more crying.
Sobbing was also happening in the back seat of the mini van. The girls were terrified. They knew that the world was a bad place. Heathers kids had told her that it was very dangerous out there. The girls knew that people were bing killed, and places burned down. They knew it was safe at Gomer's retreat cause they had food and water. And they knew it was safe because Gomer had a gun, to protect them from bad people. Neither of of the girls had fired a gun in there lives, and they didn't think Mom had, either. Mom didn't like guns. So, there they were, driving down he road at about 70 MPH leaving the only safety the girls knew.
Back at Sam's, Chris had a spooky feeling that all was not well with the world. He pulled out his cell phone, and checked for tower service. Entirely to his surprise, they had four out of five bars of cell phone service. He called up the speed dial number for Heather's cell phone. Figured she would know what was going on at the compound. Heather answered after two rings. Chris knew right away that something was totally wrong, he had not heard that tone of voice of Heather's in the past, but it was pretty clear that something was wrong.
Heather told Chris that Faith had been a lazy ass, for the last couple days and she finally asked Faith to help clean up the clothes that her kids had been leaving laying around. That Faith had grabbed her kids, and stomped out the door. This was about 11 PM, and so it wasn't a very good time to be stomping out the door.
Chris handed the phone to Gomer, who listened to about the same thing. Told Heather to keep the gate locked, and Faith is a big kid, she can take care of heself. She'll figure it out some how.
Chris disconnected the call, and decided to call down to Bill's. Bill would be at the outpost now, and wouldn't really want to have his phone ring. But that's OK, they did have big news about shooting the four guys trying to burn down Sam's garage. Bill's phone rang five times, and went to voice mail. Chris left a message. And then just on a hunch dedided to call David's phone. See if David was still up. David was a night person by nature, though he had worked early moring jobs many times in his life. No way to know. David's cell phone rang four times, and went to voice mail. Must be time to get some sleep. Tomorrow would be a big day.
Chris returned to the kitchen table at Sam's house. The adult family conference resumed. Sam was asking the table what to do, now that the breakdown of society was in full swing. The opinions were varied. Brenda suggested not to make it worse by adding more violence. Sammy chipped in, that he hadn't much history lessons at school, and wasn't sure. But it sure sounded a lot like the Muslim crusades of the first century. When the Muslims attacked nearly the entire world all at once. Finally the conversation was going no where. And they decided it was long past bedtime. Sam was still steaming, and offered to take the first watch.
Watch was what Faith ought have been doing. Roaring down route 5 at full speed, she rounded a corner, and plowed into a herd of deer. The mini van spun around. The windshield and passenger side lights exploded into a shower of glass. The one deer remained, dead, on the front of the van. The van slid to a stop in the ditch along side of the road. Faith had been knocked out by the impact. She slumped over the steering wheel, the weight of her shoulder pressing the horn button. The blaring horn was a bit strained, as the horn had been bent by the impact. The noise of the horn blared out, wobbling and whimpering a warning to all who could hear. Warning them to give way, for a van was coming. But the van was still, and no one was near to hear the horn.