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CHAPTER 4

 

 

In Portland things were already starting to get out of control. The morning commute had turned into a nightmare. The radio was reporting LA and San Francisco had been nuked, and everyone was trying to get off the freeways. Some were trying to get last minute things, and the news was telling everyone to go to their homes and wait for further instructions. This threw the people into a panic. Road rage was out of control, just making more traffic jams. The city was coming to a stand still. The radio was reporting that when LA and San Francisco were nuked that it took the West Coast power grid down, and no traffic lights were working. Bonneville informed that power would be back up in about an hour.

 Jim was thinking, does my wife know what is going on? Did she get out the radio and hear what is happening? What is she doing? I got to get back home. I knew something was not right when I heard that we were bombing Iran. While leaving for work, but told myself we have done this many times before. Why would this be any different? Damn this is bad with the lights not working, he thought, as he waited in stop and go traffic.

 

Looking through the passenger window, I could see a dump truck bellowing out black smoke. Then looking past the truck as it pulled forward, I saw that people were carrying stuff out of the 7-11 on the corner. It took me a minute to realize that they were just taking the stuff. Everyone there was robbing the store blind. Looking over to the other corner, at the Gas Station, I could see it was full of cars, not for gas, but trying to get around the non-working traffic light. Just then, I heard a loud crashing and scraping sound. Quickly I turned my head to see what it was. I saw the dump truck had drove through a fence, and was driving across the 7-11 parking lot on to Stark St. This is getting really bad, I thought to myself.  Let me think, nothing is going to be working. No ATM’s, Gas Stations, or Stores can stay open with no power. Damn I can’t imagine what it will be like when the power comes back on. I got to get home before that happens. I’m glad I didn’t make it on to the freeway before this happened. That must be like a parking lot. The last couple of blocks seemed to take forever. Then I pulled into the driveway.

 

Tonya came running out of the house yelling, “You must have heard.”

 

Jim yelled out the truck window,” Yeah, quick open the garage door so I can pull the truck in.”

 

Tonya ran back through the house, and into the garage. She pushed the button for the door opener. Then, happy that nobody else had seen such a stupid mistake walked over, pulled the release for the door, and threw it up manually. Jim pulled the truck in, and Tonya shut the door.

 

Tonya asked, “What was it like out there?”

 

“It is crazy out there,” Jim informed. “It's too dangerous to try to do anything, but staying here will most likely get us killed.”

 

He told Tonya about all he saw. Then told her to throw some clothes in a bag for each of them, and start carrying all the food out here. I’ll get things ready out here in the garage.

 

Jim started making a list in his head, gas, camping gear, and tools. This is a good start, he thought, so Jim started stacking all the camping gear beside the truck. Just as he was adding the camp stove to the pile Tonya came out with a duffel bag of clothes. Jim asked, “How much gas is in the car?”

 

“A little over ¾ of a tank,” Tonya replied.

 

Jim started thinking ok 18-gallon tank with a little reserve. Maybe 15 gallons if we are lucky. Jim went and got two 5-gallon gas cans from the back of the garage, and set them by the car. Then he went into the kitchen to get a knife. In the kitchen, Tonya was packing the food out of the cupboard into a box.

 

Seeing Jim she informed, “I will need some more boxes.”

 

Jim was digging through the silverware drawer. He pulled out a knife and said, “Ok I will see what I can do.”

 

“What is the knife for?” Tonya asked.

 

“To cut a piece of hose, so I can siphon gas out of the car.”

 

 Jim went out to the back yard, cut about six feet off the hose, and went back to the garage. Once in the garage he laid the hose on the gas cans. Went over and pulled a box of Christmas stuff off the shelve, and dumped it on the floor. Then took it into the kitchen to Tonya. “There is a couple more out there. Maybe you could get the Rubbermaid tubs from the back bedroom,” said Jim.

 

Tonya stopped looked at Jim with a strange look on her face, and asked. “Have you thought were we are going?”

 

Jim stopped dead in his tracks. He knew where he was going. He could not stop thinking about it all the way home. His wacko brother had been preparing for this kind of thing for years. When he was up to see him about three months ago, he still had about 5 or 6 years of food stocked up.

 

Jim looked straight at Tonya and said. “I love you. I would do any thing for you. I was thinking of my wacko brother. Do you have another idea?”

 

“No I was thinking the same thing. Just worried about how we would get up there. I heard on the radio while you were in the garage, that they are closing I 84 to all traffic except trucks hauling goods.”

 

“We will have to find a back way,” Jim said, as he stepped close to Tonya and gave her a big hug. She grabbed on tight to him. She could feel his muscular arms holding tight to her. All her fear passed away for the moment, and she felt secure in his arms. The passion was taking over all control of her thoughts. Then the radio snapped her out of it with a report of all of the mayhem that was going on. She whispered in Jim’s ear, “I don’t want to let go, but we have to get all this packing done.”

 

“I know,” Jim whispered as he slowly let go of her, “But I really needed that right now.”

 

Just then, the power came back on.

 

Jim announced, “Good lets hope the power stays on. Maybe it will calm people down, and make things a little safer out there. Why don’t you see if the phone works, well I go siphon the gas out of the car. If it works try to call my brother.” He hollered as he went through the garage door. He went over picked up the hose and started trying to push it into the gas tank. Thud! Darn it is hitting something. Picking up the end of the hose and giving it a twist as he pushed and pulled on it. After a little fighting with it, he got it down into the gas tank. Then he bent down and started sucking on the end of the hose. With a whoosh, he got a mouth full of gas. Spitting out the gas on the floor and putting his thumb over the hose. Jim thought to himself, I forgot how bad that tasted. He shoved the hose into the first 5-gallon can, and headed to the kitchen to get something to wash the taste out of his mouth.

 

In the kitchen Tonya informed, “The phone has dial tone, but I can’t get through all the lines are jammed up or something. Would you carry that box out for me when you go back out?”

 

“Sure,” Jim responded, as he pulled the milk out of the refrigerator. Poured some in a glass then grabbed the box, and headed for the garage leaving the milk jug on the counter. After putting the box beside the truck, he checked the gas can, and it was about half full. He heard Tonya holler, “Could you bring me in another box!”

 

“Ok” Jim replied, as he walked over and took another box off the shelve. He dumped it on the pile with the Christmas stuff., and checked the gas can. It was about full, so he watched it for a few minutes until it was full. Then he swapped the hose to the other can, and he picked up the box and took it to the kitchen.
Once in the kitchen he inquired, “I was thinking about taking the car down and trying to get some more gas. What do you think?”

 

“When? Right now,” Tonya questioned.

 

“No,” Jim replied, “In a little while when traffic lets up. After we are all ready to go.”

 

Jim went back out to the garage and waited for the other can to finish filling up. After it was full, he pulled out the hose and held it up to stop the flow. Then he went back into the kitchen and announced, “I’m going to go and look up and down the street to see if I can see anything.”

 

“Ok.” Tonya said, and went back to packing.

 

Jim went out the front door, and walked out to the street. His neighbor was standing on his front porch. He was an older man in his sixties. Jim waved. He waved back and started to walk over to where Jim was standing. Living in a residential neighborhood, it was pretty quiet almost as though nothing was happening.

 

“Hi Jim,” Bill said, “What do you think about this war thing?”

 

“I don’t know,” Jim informed, “Took me ten minutes to get to the freeway this morning. Heard about the nukes going off just before I got on the freeway, and it took me 45 minutes to get back home.”

 

“Yeah,” Bill affirmed, “My wife was at the store when the power went out. They were asking everyone to leave the store. When some guy started screaming, “LA and San Francisco got nuked.” By the time she made it to the front of the store they had the doors locked, and were letting people out one at a time. She could see cars swarming into the parking lot, and people were trying to get into the store. She was telling me how crazy they were acting. It took her about twenty minutes to get home, and over ten minutes of that was just to get out of the parking lot.”

 

“Wow!” Jim said, “How is she doing?”

 

“She is pretty upset,” Bill said, “That is why I’m out here taking a break from the news and her. I just wish they would tell us what is going on. They’re telling what is happening, not who is doing it, and how it happened. Don’t know if it was terrorist with suitcase nukes or ICBM’s. Did we launch any nukes? They just aren’t saying anything about that.”

 

“I know what you mean. I have been thinking about the same thing,” Jim complained.

 

Bill went on, “Well I better get back in the house, and see if they have something besides garbage on the radio or TV. You never know they might know who is doing this,”

 

“See you later Bill,” Jim announced, as he walked away. Jim went back in the house, and saw Tonya had the TV on.

 

“Jim,” Tonya cried. “I just heard that New York and Chicago got nuked at the same time as LA and San Francisco. There’re no pictures of what happened, because few news choppers covering the morning commute crashed from the shock wave of the blast. It seems that they can’t get anyone to get in close, because of the fear of radiation.”

 

Jim just stood there looking at Tonya while it sunk in. Then he admitted, “This is getting really bad.”

 

“That is not all,” Tonya advised, “They just announced that the government has closed all banks, and that debit and credit cards are not working. They will announce when the banks will open back up tomorrow.”

 

Just then, they heard that sound. They both stared at the TV it was the EAS tone. Then with sound, but no picture just the EAS symbol. They heard, “By order of the President of the United States of America all the borders are being closed. There are putting up checkpoints at state lines. All state police and National Guard are being sent to the borders. Only trucks carrying goods and residents of each State can cross borders. Everyone is to go home and wait for further instructions. The president will address the nation at 6:00 PM.”

 

It was quiet, not a word was said. They just stood there looking at each other for what seemed forever. Then without saying a word Jim reached down and picked up the remote, and started changing to other channels. It was the same on all of them, just the EAS tone. He hit the mute button, and looked over at Tonya. She was just standing there staring at the screen. “Are you all right?” Jim questioned.

 

It snapped her out of her thought. “Yes,” she informed, “It’s just all happening so fast it makes it hard to take it all in.”

 

Jim answered, “I know what you mean. I think that is why the government pulled all the news, so people will have time to deal with what is happening. I thank everyone is on the edge of losing it, or has lost it. I saw a lot of that happening on the way home this morning.”

 

Tonya insisted, “I need to keeping working, and stay focused or I’ll lose it. The fear of not knowing what is going on, or what might happen is hard to deal with.”

 

“Ok,” Jim asked, “Where are we at on packing?”

 

“I got all the food out of the cupboards packed in boxes and carried out, and put by the truck. Then I got that bag of rice, beans and canned good’s your brother made you buy out there. In the bedroom on the bed are the sleeping bags and blankets. That’s where I am at now.”

 

“Wow sounds like you have been working your ass off. I have to find something to put more gas in. I filled both of the 5-gallon gas cans, and there is still more gas in the car. I will bring in the coolers for the stuff out of the refrigerator and freezer. Then I’m going down around the corner to the apartments, and look in the garbage dumpster for some milk jugs to put gas in.”

 

Then Jim went and got the coolers and headed off down the street. As he walked down the street, everything looked normal. A few more cars then normal going up and down the side streets, but what was normal he thought. I’m at work at this time of the day during the week. Walking into the apartment parking lot everything was quiet with nothing going on. The only thing he could see was two little boys playing with some toy cars on one porch. Jim thought, the mother must not want to scare them with the news. He could see the boy’s mother watching them through the window from a chair, as he dug through the dumpster. After digging through all the garbage, he came up with four milk jugs. Gathering up his prize find, he headed home. He got to the door, and started to set down the milk jugs to get his keys. The door swung open, and there stood Tonya.

 

“Everything go ok?” she asked. “I was starting to worry.”

 

“Everything went just fine,” I replied. “Would you wash out one of those two liter pop bottles for me? Then put the milk in it.”

 

“I all ready put the milk in the cooler,” she informed.

 

“That is ok, but I still need the jug. Would you bring it out to the garage when you are done?” Jim asked.

 

“You want me to wash it out?” she inquired.

 

“No we will just use it like it is,” Jim insisted, and went out to the garage. He set down the milk jugs by the car, and picked up one of the 5-gallon gas cans. He took it over to the truck, and Tonya came through the door with the milk jug.

 

“What are you doing?” Tonya asked.

 

“Putting gas in the truck” Jim said, as he pour it into the truck.

 

“I thought you just filled it last night,” she inquired.

 

“I did, but I want to make sure I have enough room to hold the rest of the gas out of the car.”

 

 He poured in a little over a gallon and it was full. Then he took the can back over to the car, and picked up the hose. He thought about the mouth full of gas he got last time. Then ask Tonya to go get him the deep roasting pan from the kitchen. When she got back with the pan he started sucking on the hose. When the gas started to come, he put the hose down in the pan until it was going. He put his thumb over it, and stuck it in the gas can to finish filling it back up. “Hey, no gas in my mouth that time,” he bragged with excitement. Tonya just looked at him like what are you talking about, and left with out saying a word. Jim swapped the hose to the first milk jug. He was changing the hose to the second milk jug when Tonya came out with one of the coolers. She set it down by the truck, and went back in the house. Jim swapped the hose over to third milk jug. When it was about half full, the gas stopped flowing. He thought for a moment, and went over to toolbox he set by the truck. Then he got out a hammer and screwdriver, as Tonya was coming out with the other cooler. Looking at Tonya he asked, “Honey would you bring me out a cake pan or something like that.”

 

“A round or square one?” Tonya asked.

 

“A square one would be nice. It would be easier to pour out the corner of the pan,” Jim replied. He went over and slid the roasting pan under the back of the car. Then he slid under the back of the car with the hammer and screwdriver in his hand. Tonya was standing at his feet when she asked, “What do you want me to do with this pan.”

 

“Slide it under here.” Jim replied, as he started pounding the screwdriver in the gas tank.

 

“What are you doing down there?” Tonya questioned.

 

“Putting a hole in the gas tank to get out the rest of the gas,” Jim informed.

 

“Isn’t that dangerous?” Tonya asked.

 

“Only if it makes a spark,” Jim explained.

 

“Is there anything I can do to help,” asked Tonya.

 

“Yeah get the funnel off the wall. We will need it in a few,” Jim said, as he hit the screwdriver with the hammer.

 

Not having much room to swing the hammer was making it hard to get enough force to drive the screwdriver into the tank. Jim’s arm was starting to get tired, but he was driven by pure determination to do it. He knew that his life might depend on getting it done. With a final effort of all he had, he whacked the screwdriver one last time driving it up into the tank. Gas was coming out and running down his arm. With a sigh of relief he pulled out the screwdriver, and slid out from under the car. He grabbed a rag off the workbench and wiped the gas off of his arm, as the gas drain into the roasting pan. Tonya was complaining on how bad the gas smell was, and asking if it was safe to be in garage with the fumes.

 

“Maybe not,” Jim informed, as he walked over and opened the garage door a few inches. “There that should let in a little fresh air.”

 

 Jim went back to check the roasting pan. It was about half full, so he pulled it out as he slid the cake pan over to catch the gas. Having Tonya hold the funnel in one of the milk jugs, Jim poured in the gas. After doing this, about six times the flow of gas was down to a drip. and Jim was getting light headed from the gas fumes. Grabbing Tonya’s arm he insisted, “Lets go in the house and let it air out in here.”

 

When they got back in the house there was another announcement on the radio. They stopped and listened to every detail. “This is the 10:00 AM update next update will be at 12:00 PM. Humanitarian aid to the people are going be provided by voluntarily NATO troops.

 

F.E.M.A. (Federal Emergency Management Agency) by order signed by the President of the United States of America. Authorized F.E.M.A. to build 43 primary camps (having a capacity of 35,000 to 45,000 people each) and also authorized the uses of secondary facilities.

 

Under F.E.M.A., the Executive Orders, which are already written, and is the current law of the land. Calls for the complete suspension of the United States Constitution, and all rights and liberties, as they are currently known. When F.E.M.A. was implemented, the following executive orders were to be immediately enforced. Then it droned on and on giving the official executive orders.”

 

As they stood there, their fear filled the room. John grabbed Tonya’s hand, and gave it a squeeze. Then the message went on to say that, “FEMA was imposing the following orders.”

 

“E.O. 10999 - provides for the seizure of all means of transportation, including personal, cars, trucks or vehicles of any kind and total control over all highways, seaports, and waterways.

 

E.O. 11000 - provides for the seizure of all-American people for work forces under federal supervision, including splitting of families if the government has to.

 

E.O. 11003 - provides for the government to take over all airports and aircraft, commercial, public and private.

 

E.O. 11005 - provides for the government to take over railroads, inland waterways, and public storage facilities.”

 

Then it went back to the EAS tone.

 

They must have been just standing there listening for about 15 minutes. Jim went over and sat on the couch not saying a word. Tonya just stood there looking at him. After what seemed like hours Tonya asked, “What does this mean?”

 

Jim just sat there not saying a word. He was in shock from what he heard, and thinking this must be what it is like to live in a communist country.

 

“Jim Snap out of it!” Tonya yelled.

 

Jim looked at Tonya. “Ok,” he muttered. “They have not declared Marshall Law yet.”

 

“Look Jim,” Tonya announced. “They’re showing pictures on the TV.”

 

Jim grabbed the remote off the coffee table, and hit the mute button. “This is one of the warehouses that the government has commandeered.” The reporter said, “They will use it to house displaced victims from San Francisco blast area. Here in Red Bluff about 250 miles north of San Francisco. The government is setting up one of five camps in northern California. We have been told that this sight was picked, because it has an airport and is on Interstate 5. They feel this is far enough north to be safe from the fall out. The local Police and National Guard are commandeering trucks as we speak. They will be taken to the airport to haul goods and supplies. We are expecting planes to be arriving in about two hours with supplies. The Government and Red Cross have already set up staging areas. The first priority will be to start dispensing potassium iodide. They tell us it should be on the first plane coming in. The State Police and National Guard are diverting traffic about ten miles south of town. They have commandeered buses to bring the people here and to local schools. We expect the first busses to be arriving soon. I talked with the mayor earlier today. He said that the whole town was volunteering to help.”

 

Then the report went on, “In other parts of the country we have been receiving reports of civil unrest. The government has ordered that only designated stations broadcast news. All other stations are to go back to normal programming, with one channel in each area to broadcast only cartoons. For radio, only clear radio stations can broadcast news. All others were to go back to normal broadcast. They're hoping this will bring back some kind of normal atmosphere to the country.”

 

Just then, the radio started playing music. They hadn’t even noticed the EAS hum while watching the TV.

 

Jim advised, “That makes me feel a little better. Now we know that they’re are getting something done, and know why they incited all those executive orders. How do you feel?” Jim asked as he got up and walked over to her.

 

Grabbing him, she gave him a hug, and held on tight. Softly Tonya whispered, “This is getting to be too much for me to handle. My emotions are being jerked back and forth so fast I can’t keep up with them. I think I might be losing it.”

 

Thoughts were rushing through Jim’s head. He was trying to get a grip on things himself. He knew at that moment that the he had to be strong for her. He had to hide all his fear and uncertainties. Take charge, and make her feel safe.

 

Jim assured her with a soft tone in his voice, “Its ok. We have a plan, and that is more than most people have right now. Let’s turn off the TV, so we can stay focussed. We will just get everything loaded in the truck, and get out of town. Then if things get better we can come back, if not. Then we will be in a safer place, and can decide from there.” Squeezing her tight, he insisted, “Let's get back to work.”

 

She was feeling better in his arms. She knew he would do what ever it took to keep her safe, but she needed him right now. She didn’t want to let go. When Jim loosened up to step away, she grabbed on as tight as she could, and held on to him for all she was worth.

 

Jim whispered in her ear, “I love you, but I need you to be strong for me right now. I can’t do this alone. It will take both of us. Without you, I would have nothing to keep me going. I’m doing all of this out of my love for you.”

 

Tonya eased up and let him slowly slip out of her arms. Knowing she had to give all the strength she had to get them through this. She was thinking how glad she was that Jim was home with her. It would take both of them Jim was right. She bent down, picked up the remote, and shut off the TV. Looking at Jim Tonya informed, “Ok I have everything stacked out by the truck. What is next?”

 

Jim was feeling better with her support. He knew they had to just keep getting ready, and stay focused. They had to keep their thoughts off what was happening or it would eat him up, and they would be no better off than everyone else. He hoped their quick action would work, and save them. He was thinking about all the wacko’s like his brother. They would have already been gone. They would have had everything all setup to get out at a moment’s notice. He was way behind.

 

Jim concluded, “I think we have just about everything except my hunting stuff. I will get the rifles and spotting scope out of the gun safe. You can get the binoculars and maps by my nightstand.”

 

Tonya followed Jim into the bedroom, as Jim was opening the safe Tonya heard Jim say, “Damn.”

 

“What is the mater?” Tonya asked as she put the binoculars around her neck.

 

“I forgot about water,” Jim complained. “My brother must have tried to pound that is to my head a thousand times. How important water is. Should have been the first thing I thought about.”

 

Tonya laughed and informed, “I all ready put four two-leader bottles in the big cooler, and a water filter that your brother gave me. He dropped it off one day when he lived in town before that Y2K thing.”

 

“Ok you got me,” Jim said. “I think all we have to do is pack the truck and we can go.”

 

 In the garage, Jim laid the rifles on the seat of the truck. Then he went over and pushed the garage door back down, and latched it. Looking at the truck Jim declared, “We have to do something about the side windows on the canopy. We don’t want people to see all the stuff in there.”

 

“How about some wax paper would that work?” Tonya asked.

 

“Good idea,” Jim acknowledged. “Would you get it? I’ll get the duck tape.”

 

After Jim taped the wax paper over the windows, they loaded the truck, saving the coolers and gas to load last. After everything was loaded, Jim put the rifles behind the seat so no one would see them. Tonya went into give the phone one last try before leaving. Jim opened the garage door and backed out the truck. Then went back in, and closed the garage door. He went into the house, and saw Tonya hanging up the phone.

 

“The phone is still not working,” Tonya explained. Then the lights flickered and the power went out.

 

“Great,” Jim whined. “The traffic lights won’t be working.” Remembering what it was like in the morning with no power.

 

Tonya asked, “Are we ready to go? It is almost noon, and they will be expecting everyone to be getting home by now.”

 

“Yes if were going to do it we better do it now.” Jim insisted.

 

They went out and got in the truck. As they pulled off Jim could see Bill watching him through the window.

 

“Which way are you going to go?” Tonya asked.

 

Jim informed, “I’m going to go down to Foster, and take it out to Boring. Then cut over to HWY 224, and out through Estacada. Then about ten miles down the highway is a logging road.”

 

As they pulled out on to 190th the traffic was light. Not very many cars at all, it was like early on a Sunday morning. At the first light they only had to wait for about three cars to get through the light. They were looking for things that might show how bad it was, but they didn’t see anything out of place.

 

Tonya confessed, “After hearing sirens all morning long, and what you told me about the 7-11. I thought it would look like a war zone out here, but everything looks normal.”

 

“Does it?” Jim asked. “Look nothing is open, every store, gas station, and business we have past is closed. Not even a car in the parking lot of any of them, and it is noon on a weekday. What do you think it will be like when the stores open back up? If no debt cards or credit cards work, and the banks are closed. The only money people will have is what is in their pockets. This would mean that the only people going to buy something would have cash. Then what about those that have just a little food in their house, and all their money is in the bank.”

 

“Well Jim you have a point,” Tonya said, “Did you know that sounds like what your wacko brother would say.”

 

As they drove the houses starting getting farther and farther apart. They were passing from the city into the country. It was like a giant weight had been lifted off of them, as they got to Foster road. Damn Jim thought, We should have left a little earlier there isn’t a car on the road, as he turned on to Foster road. Jim didn’t want to say anything to Tonya that would upset or worry her, but he was thinking about what could happen. What if they run into the police and they’re were checking people? Their ID has an address in town. What would we tell them? What would they do to us? When they look in the back of the truck, they will know what we were doing. He started to get worried about what might happen. He looked over at Tonya. She was looking out the window watching the countryside go by.

 

Jim thought some more, How am I going to be more careful without upsetting or scaring her? She seems to be taking this so well. I wonder what she is thinking about? Does she think were home free, and made it out. Jim needed to know and asked, “What are you thinking.”

 

“I was just thinking how peaceful it is out here.” Tonya replied. Then she asked, “What do you think about the little town’s we have to go through? Do you think there will be police checking the cars? I was thinking that it is not like Portland. The police don’t have much to deal with out here.”

 

That was the one question Jim didn’t want to hear. He didn’t have an answer for her, and had been trying to answer that same question himself. Reaching over and gently placing his hand on her thigh. He gave her a gentle squeeze. She felt a warm feeling, as passion start to fill her thoughts. Then Jim softly wispered, “I have been thinking of that myself. I was thinking of what they said in the news. They asked us to go to our homes and wait, but they didn’t say we had to. I never heard them declare martial law, and I think all of the FEMA stuff was intended for the blast areas, but I think you might be right. When we get to the top of that hill, just before we drop down into Damascus. I’ll stop and walk up and look around the corner, and see what it looks like down in the town.”

 

“I like it. That sounds like a good plan to me.” Tonya said. Looking in the mirror, she could see a truck coming up behind them. “Jim!” Tonya shouted.

 

“I see it,” Jim said, as the big brown 4x4 flew past him. He could see a tarp flapping over stuff in the back of the truck, as the tarp flapped up and down Jim could see a chainsaw and other stuff. He was trying to see if it was the kind of stuff someone would take, if they were getting out of town, but the truck was going so fast he couldn’t tell.

 

“Wow!” Tonya said. “He was going so fast, it was like we were parked when he went by.”

 

“Could you see what he had under the tarp?” Jim asked.

 

“No. He was going way to fast,” Tonya informed.

 

All Jim could see was his brake lights as he disappeared around a corner way up the road, and he was gone. Jim knew it was just around that corner and up the hill where he had to stop. Then check things out in Damascus. Jim suggested, “If they do have the road blocked I don’t think that guy is stopping.”

 

“You might be right,” Tonya agreed.

 

Jim was going up the hill, and he was looking at everything trying to assess what he was going to do. Slowing down he pulled off to the side of the road and stopped. Then he took the binoculars, and looked through the windshield to the top of the hill. He scanned through the brush and trees along side the road. Nothing, everything looked clear. “Wait here,” he said to Tonya, as he got out and walked up the last 200 yards of the hill to the corner. Once there he looked down the hill into the town. He could see the traffic light at the bottom of the hill. He knew it was the only light in town, and was the main intersection in the little town. He looked east and west on HWY 212 the best he could do from where he was. Then he saw a car going east on HWY 212 it stopped at the non-working traffic light then kept going. Jim watched it until it was out of sight. Then he went back to the truck. When he got in, he laid the binoculars on the seat, and informed, “It looks all clear.”

 

“What did you see?” Tonya asked.

 

Jim told Tonya about the traffic light and the car as he started the truck. Then told her that he thought the power was sill out because the traffic light was not working. He drove up the hill and down into the little town. They stopped at the light, and looked around. There was nothing to see, and everything looked abandoned. It was like early in the morning and no one was up yet. Jim made a left turn on to HWY 212 it went up a little hill and then back down into a dip. As he got almost to the top of the next little hill he could see lights flashing on the trees. He slammed on the brakes so hard. That it threw all the stuff off the seat and onto the floor of the truck. His heart started to pound with fear. He thought, Is this a road block, or is it just the police getting the guy in the truck.

 

“What do you think is happening up over the hill?” Tonya asked.

 

“I don’t know,” Jim blurted, “But I’m not sticking around to find out.”

 

He made a U-turn went down the hill looking in the mirror the whole time. Then he took the first left on to SE Regner St. Then took it to the end and took a left on to SE Sehorn St., and stopped next to a tall stand of fir trees. He asked Tonya to get the Clackamas county map out of the glove box. Looking at the map, Jim gave a big sigh of relief as he turned and looked in the mirror. Seeing that everything looked normal, he went back to the map.

 

“There is a way out of here and it looks good,” Jim announced. “We just stay on this road until we get to Naomi and take a left. Follow it tell we get to Ondo Rivera then right. That will take us out on to 232nd. Then it’s just go south on HWY 224 to Estacada.”

 

“What do you think was happing back on the highway?” Tonya asked.

 

“I don’t know,” Jim said, “But I’m not going to take any chances. It could be the guy in the truck that passed us, or the car that I saw go through the light. It might even be a roadblock. I just don’t know, but we can’t take that chance. Everything has changed now. We have to be real careful from here on.”

 

“How can we be more careful than we are now?” Tonya asked.

 

Jim informed, “I will have to stop back a safe distance from every intersection, and check it out first.”

 

“Good lord,” Tonya declared, “Do we have to be that careful? What if where just being over cautious. That could have just been someone getting a ticket. Like that crazy guy we saw in the truck.”

 

“Are you having second thoughts about this?” Jim asked.

 

“Well no,” Tonya insisted, “I just don’t know how much more of this worrying about everything I can handle. It is just about 3:00 PM why don’t we turn on the radio, and see if we can hear a update of what is going on.”

 

Jim turned on the radio. There was a reporter talking about what actions the government was taking. The reporter said that in areas of civil unrest they were declaring Marshall Law. That there is going to be a curfew, and the times will be announced in a later broadcast. Then they went back to coverage of what was happing in the blast areas. Jim turned the radio off, and looked at Tonya, “I don’t know if they’re declaring Marshall Law in Portland. After what I saw on the way home, and heard from the neighbor. I think they might.”

 

Jim stopped back form every road crossing. Went up and check it out before driving through. This was taking a lot of time, but he knew it must be done. Jim paused to wipe the sweat from his brow, as he peered down the slope of a small hill. He couldn't believe it. He had thought it would have taken about 1-maybe 2 hours to get to the woods. Here it was 8 hours later and they were still on the road. “8 hours!” He cursed himself for not taking into account that he would always be stopping back from every intersection that they came to, In order to have a look before trying to cross.

 

Now he found what he had feared. He knew when he saw the roadblock, that martial law had started. They wouldn't have the manpower to guard every town and cow path. But right up there, not two hundred yards away was a armored personnel carrier with a man sitting behind a heavy machinegun watching both East and West on highway 224. True he was coming from the west, but he still had to make it through that intersection. There was no way around it. The river was on the south side of the road. To the north would go back into the out skirts of the big city.

 

Suddenly he heard a shot followed a second later by the boom of a shotgun. The machinegun swung around and opened up, cutting brush down as he sprayed the area. Then there was a big boom, and two 4x4 trucks came flying out of the brush and drove through the roadblock. As Jim ran back to the truck, he saw Tonya going down the hill ahead of him. She must have been coming up to see what was going on, he thought. He jumped in the truck.

 

“Damn did you see that?” Tonya asked.

 

Just then, Jim floored the truck and headed for the roadblock.

 

“What the hell are you doing?” Tonya yelled, “Didn’t you see what just happened.

 

“What the hell do you think, of course I saw it.” Jim scolded. “We have to get past this roadblock to get to the woods. When they don’t report for the next radio check, this place will be swarming with government types. Then we would never make it. We just have to make it another ten miles to the first logging road then we can take it easy from there.”

 

Tonya was quiet as they sped past the roadblock looking at the dead men lying on the ground. Jim is really freaked out, she thought to herself, knowing she was totally freaked out herself.

 

About ten minutes later, they were turning onto the logging road. Jim just kept going as it wound up the mountain. Then taking a big breath Jim said, “I am going to pull over up here, get the maps and flashlight out of the glove box.”

 

Jim stopped the truck and got out. Then went back and starting digging in the bed of the truck.

 

“What are you doing?” Tonya asked.

 

“I’m looking for the duck tape,” Jim informed.

 

She got out and walked back with the flashlight. “What do you need duck tape for?” Tonya asked.

 

“Here shine the light down here,” Jim requested, “I need to tape off the lights so we can see where we are going, and not look like a neon sign going up the side of the mountain.” Jim taped off the tell lights and walked to the front of the truck. Taping off the headlights and leaving a little slit on each one for light to shine through. “Good,” Jim announced, “Now lets see how that works.” Reaching through the window, he pulled on the lights. “Looks good,” Jim said.

 

“Hey look at that.” Tonya announced, pointing to some lights going up a logging road off in the distance.

 

Jim answered saying. “See that’s what I mean. They must be ten miles away, and look how good you can see them. I think it might be those guys that ran the roadblock in front of us. That is why I am doing this. People like that won’t think twice about shooting us, and taking our stuff. I’m ready to go.”

 

Jim took the rifles out from behind the seat, put them on the gun rack over the back window, and got in. Heading up the road at 5 miles an hour Jim admitted, “It will probably take all night to get to a place to camp. This is taking longer than I thought. You can put the maps back in the glove box. We will figure out witch way to get to HWY 97 tomorrow.”

 

After about a mile Jim started to get the hang of driving with just a little light. He was going a little faster about 15 or 20 miles an hour. As he concentrated to stay on the road, he was hitting potholes. It was hard to see them, and see to stay on the road.

 

Tonya asked, “Are you hitting them on purpose?”

 

Jim laughed and said, “Do you want to drive? I’m doing the best I can.”

 

“No,” Tonya said, “You are doing fine.”

 

After driving most of the night Jim requested, “Why don’t you turn on the radio and see if you can find a station. Maybe we can get an update on what is going on.”

 

Jokingly Tonya said, “What you can’t drive and do the radio at the same time.”

 

Knowing it was taking all he had just to stay on the road with what little light they had. After a little bit of searching, she found a station. The reporter was saying that the President has assumed control of all transportation; including all commercial vehicles, all US, Interstate and most state highways, all airports and aircraft, all railroads, all waterways and all commercial vessels. There is a curfew from 8 PM to 8 AM. and private Citizens are prohibited from carrying firearms in public. The emergency message droned on and on. Jim could not believe this was happening right before his eyes. He remembered 9/11 and felt some fear that day but not like this. This was different and was right in his face. Not clear across the country. Then they heard that the next broadcast will be at 5:00 am then all they heard was the emergency broadcast signal on the radio.

 

“Damn it, them bastard’s,” Jim complained. “Don’t they know people want to know what is going on. See if you can find another station.”

 

Tuning the radio all she could find was static and a couple of EAS tones. “That’s it,” Tonya informed, and turned off the radio.

 

Jim announced, “There is a place just a few miles up the road. That’s where my brother and I camped last year during hunting season. It is back off the road and would be a good place to camp. We can get some sleep and figure out where to go from there. Just around the corner from there, you can see Portland and the Willamette River. The first time we saw it we didn’t know what it was. We had to get out the spotting scope and take a look. Then we could see that there was Hi-rise buildings and could tell it was Portland.”

 

The Pentagon Washington D.C.

 

In the command center an alarm went off and a voice called out, “We have a launch.” A General steps behind the young Marine and asked, “What do you have there son?”

 

“Oh shit another one! Damn two more! Looks like Russia and China are both launching.” The Marine shouted.

 

The General shouts, “Get me the President! Do we have a trajectory on them yet?”

 

“Yes sir!” A voice yelled, “But it is screwy there going nowhere. Best I can tell the three that China launched are going into the Atlantic Ocean, and the three Russia launched are coming down in the Pacific Ocean.”

 

“Fuck!” The General yelled, “Shut down all the satellites! Now! In gage all shielding just like we were having a solar flare! Damn! Get with it men! We need to save those satellites.”

 

“The President is on the line sir,” a Marine informed, as he handed the General a phone.

 

“Mr. President.” The General announced.

 

“What do we have? Do we know where they are going?” The President questioned.

 

“I know exactly where they’re going. The bastards are taking out all of our satellites. They’re leveling the playing field so to say.” The General replied.

 

“Damn I got the Muslims taking credit for the attacks on us, and now Russia and China taking out our satellites. Damn it Chris we’re in the middle of world war III. What are our options?”

 

“We have about three minutes to stop our silos from launching, if we don’t stop them it is all over. Twenty minutes from now there will be no world left, as we know it.”

 

A thousand feet down in a silo in Kansas, a Marine pulled the key from a safe. He pushed the key into the slot on the control panel. Then turned and looked at the Marine across the room, and announced, “On three. One, two, three.” They both turned their keys at the same time. Their Nuclear Missiles were armed, and the timer automatically set to three minutes. The timer was counting down as they all turned and looked at each other.

 

Then a red light came on, and a code came up on the screen. A Marine pulled an envelope from the safe, and tore it open. Then pulled out the card and read the code. “T23F5G1”

 

One of the Marines at the control panel typed in the code. As another Marine read off each letter and number. Then he said, “On three. One, two, three. They both turned their keys at the same time. Their Nuclear Missiles were disarmed. They all took a deep breath then one of them muttered, “Damn that was close.”

 

Jim started to slow down and mumbled, “I think this is it, just around this corner.”

 

Tonya declared, “You have said that for the last three corners. Do you even know where we are?”

 

“Yes, it’s just a little hard to tell in the dark with almost no headlights.

 

Here it is,” Jim announced, as he turned off onto a dirt path.

 

It was rough and slow going. Then they came out into a little clearing. There was a big ¾ ton truck with a camper on the back of it parked right in front of them. Just then, this old guy came out with a rifle and pointed it right at them.

 

“What the hell do you want?” He shouted.

 

Damn, Jim thought, after all this with two rifles on the rack right behind my head. Some guy is going to kill us, and take our stuff. Damn I should have walked back in here, and checked it out first.

 

Jim whispered to Tonya, “How could I be so stupid to let this happen to us.”

 

Tonya pointed out, “It is ok we are both exhausted, and you don’t think right when this kind of shit happens. I’m going to get out and go talk to him.”

 

Before Jim could say a word, she flung the door open and got out. “Hey my name is Tonya, and this is my husband Jim, we where packing to come up hunting when this crap happened. Took us all day and night to get this far.”

 

Jim was just setting there looking at him with the rifle pointed right at his head.

 

When he ordered, “Tell your husband to get out and stand in front of the truck.”

 

“Jim!” Tonya yelled.

 

“I heard him! I’m getting out now.” Thinking, oh shit, he is going to kill us both. Damn, I should have loaded the rifles in the back window. Then I could grab one as I got out. Well it’s to late for that now, so he got out and walked to the front of the truck.

 

“Take some of that tape off the headlight, so I can see you,” He barked.

 

Jim reached down and pulled off a strip of tape. Then the back of the camper lit up and the area where they were standing.

 

“That is what I thought!” He anounced, as he let down the rifle. “I remember you from last year. You are the asshole that took my camping space for the first three days of hunting season. Thought that was the truck. Well I’m Pete, you might as well turn off the truck and lights and come in. I just made a fresh pot of coffee, and I haven’t been able to sleep since I got the news on the radio. Sorry to scare you like that, but every-crazy guy in the city will be coming up here. Maybe you can tell me what it is like down there. The radio ain’t giving nothing for news. Just government shit.”

 

Once they were in the camper, Jim told him about all that was happening in the city, and the roadblocks. He was glad to hear about that, because it would keep down on people coming up into the woods.

 

Tonya was extremely tired and started to nod off.

 

Pete looked at her and insisted, “Tonya why don’t you climb up into the cab-over bed, and get some sleep.”

 

“Thank you,” Tonya replied, and climbed into the bed. She was so tired that she fell asleep almost before her head hit the pillow.

 

It was almost 5:00 am so we turned on the radio to hear what they had to say. It was more of the same thing. Then there was more. They were saying that Seattle had been attacked from a sub off the coast, and that they hit the Navel Base in Brenton, Fort Lewis, and the air base. Then the planes that were bringing in relief supplies from Russia turned out to be bombers, and lead a full-scale attack on Seattle. They were getting reports of ground movement in the area with gunfire and explosions all over the city. Then they announced that the next broadcast would be at 6:00 am then all they heard was the EAS tone on the radio.

 

Jim declared, “Damn the West Coast is gone,”

 

Pete just stared at him for a minute and said. “I wished we could get enough information to know what was making this all happen. The way I see it is that Russia gave the terrorist some nukes to use as a cover for an attack on us. The damn bastards want to take out the super-power of the world. I kind of thought something like this would happen someday, but I always thought it would be China. They were the ones with all the threats against us.”

 

“Yes, Pete I think your right. My brother told me about this kind of thing, and said that he thought it might even be a joint effort with Russia and China. He kept telling me how Russia was getting real friendly with China. If I had listened to him I might not even be here now.”

 

Jim went on to tell Pete all about his brother, and that was where he was trying to go. Pete told Jim that his brother was not as much of a wacko as he might think. A lot of people live like that up there. It is a way of life. It cost too much to buy everything up there. So you go to the big city every six months or so and do your shopping.

 

Jim asked, “How he knew about what it was like where his brother lived?”

 

“Well,” Pete confessed, “From what you told me I think your brother lives about two miles from me. I even think that he is the guy that my friend Bill sold a piece of land to, and if your brother’s wife’s name is Evelyn I know them. We’re neighbors for around there.”

 

Jim just stared at him in disbelief, and thought to himself, What are the odds of something like this happening. What is he doing over here hunting if he is from Washington?

 

“Pete why are you over here hunting?” Jim asked.

 

“It started when I was young,” Pete informed, “My dad used to bring me here to hunt, so I just kept coming here. It brings back good memories from when I was young, and I get to hunt two times this way. I come over here and hunt. Then go back home and hunt again. When Oregon’s deer season is over, that is when Washington’s starts. I’ve been doing this ever since I moved up there over thirty years ago.  As a matter of fact, I was just giving your brother bad time, about camping here last year just before I left. That is how I knew it was ok to let you in my camp. You see, I was pretty sure of who you were.”

 

Before they knew it, another hour went by, so they turned on the radio to get an update. The report was already going they were talking about the west-coast power grid being down. Just before noon, a series of hi-Tec EMP bombs went off up and down the Columbia River. They took out all of the generators at every dam. At this time, there will be no power until who knows when. We have reports of a full-scale attack up and down the West Coast. Then the radio went to Static.

 

“That was the only clear station we can get in this area.” Pete declared. “I will try to find something.” Pete picked up the radio and tried to find a station. As he went through the dial, all he got was static.

 

“That’s enough of this crap.” Pete insisted, “Let’s go get in the cab. I have a Ham Radio and CB, maybe we can get something on it. I tried it a few times after all this started happening, but there were so many people trying to get the word out. That they were all talking over each other. It was just too jammed-up, and you couldn’t tell what they were saying. You could just make out little blurbs here and there.”

 

As Pete opened the door, a blast of cold air hit Jim in the face. “It is kind of cold out there,” Jim confessed.

 

“Yeah I’ll start the truck and get the heater going. Why don’t you tell Tonya what is going on, so she don’t wake-up with no one here and freak out.”

 

 Jim stepped back as Pete went out the door. He gave Tonya a little shake, and said, “Tonya sweetie we are going to start the truck and sit in the cab.”

 

She asked in a half-dazed sleep without even opening her eyes, “Why?”

 

“To listen to the radio in the cab,” He replied.

 

“Ok” she moaned, and went back to sleep. As Jim opened the door to get out, he heard Pete start the truck. He went around and got in the cab. Pete was turning some knobs on a radio under the dash. It had a lot of knobs, two digital readouts, and a couple of needle gages on one side. Jim thought, I would never figure out something like that without help.

 

“I’ll check out the two-meter band first. That is where most of the locals will be,” Pete informed. After a few turns of the knob “This is KC6DCM in Timber” blared out of the radio. Pete turned down the radio a little, and picked up the mike. “This is KC6ERM up in the Cascades calling Timber.”

 

“This is Timber Cascades do you have a report. Over.”

 

“No Timber,” Pete informed, “Looking for a report just got up and going. Over.”

 

“Are you near Cascade Locks. Over.”

 

“No south in the mountains. Over.”

 

“OK Cascades report is as follows. Yesterday so much chatter couldn’t get anything. If you turned up the squelch, you could only get local. No new news, at about 2200 hours everyone started to have battery problems. Airwaves started to clear. Some are saving their battery power to keep updated. We have six stations up around the clock. We have set up a network throughout the night. Station 1 is in Morton Wa. Station 2 is in Timber Or. that’s me. Station 3 is in Sweet Home Or. Station 4 is in Bend Or. Station 5 is out side of Goldendale Wa. Station 6 Moses Lake Wa. We are all running on two-meter band from 50.0 to 54.0 MHz. The only full time stations are Timber Oregon and Goldendale Washington. 200 hours got a report from Cascade Locks the station operator said that an EMP bomb took out everything, nothing was working not even cars. He got out an old tube radio and a hand-crank permanent-magnet generator. I guess the old tube stuff isn’t effected by EMP. Portland is under full attack. They have taken over the Airport, and been landing planes all night. There are reports of gunfire, and explosions everywhere. I did watch some fighting in the air list night, lots of planes exploding in the air. I think our boys have backed off though, because we are still under full take over. There seems to be no resistance from the air at this time. I picked up some reports over a repeater that Idaho and Wyoming were under the same type of attack. End of report KC6DCM in Timber.”

 

“Do you know who they are? Over.”

 

“Been getting mixed reports. Some say Russian and other say Chinese. I think it might be a joint effort. Over.”

 

Pete knew right away where the station outside of Goldendale Washington was. He knew that if he could get a message to that station. His wife would know he was ok and coming home.

 

“Could you give a message to Station 5 when they check in. Tell them that the old hunter is bringing in Wacko’s brother and the pretty lady. Over.”

 

“Sounds like a coded message to me will do. KC6DCM in Timber out.”

 

“KC6ERM up in the Cascades out.”

 

“Pete, why don’t you just give the message to Station 5 yourself?”

 

“Not a chance, I don’t have enough power to get over the mountains. This little radio only has about 100 watts of out-put. The station we were talking to probably has over a 1000 watts of power, and is lined up with some repeaters. This way I know that they will get the message right away. It is starting to get light do you want to go take a look down on the city.”

 

“You know about the place just down the road,” Jim questioned.

 

“Yes as a mater fact I do, but we don’t have to go there. Just across the meadow to that little knoll” Pete informed, pointing out the window of the truck to a spot across the meadow. “We can look at Portland from there and still keep an eye on our stuff back here.”

 

“I’ll get my spotting scope, and binoculars out of my truck,” Jim said.

 

Pete instructed, “You better get your rifle to.”

 

“I need to load it,” Jim replied.

 

“Damn, you mean you came all this way and never loaded you guns?”

 

Jim’s face turned red, “I just haven’t been thinking right since all this started happening. I’m not like my brother, and run all the possible things that can happen through my head first. I just deal with things as they happen.”

 

Pete started thinking about all John had told him about his brother. John told Pete that one day not being prepared was going to bite his brother in the ass. Pete thought, boy he got bit hard. Pete knew after getting the report on the ham radio that it was getting bad. I have to keep Jim calm, and not let him know how bad I think it is.

 

Pete went on, “Well we are going to change that. Go ahead and get your stuff, and I’ll get us a cup of coffee.”

 

 

Washington D.C.

 

In a conference room deep down in a bunker high-ranking officials were meeting. A General was speaking about the state of the country, “We have already activated all the National Guard troops and the reserves. With the new war in Iran, we are overextended. We still have two hundred thousand troops in Iraq. The rest are in the beginning stages of the Iran project. We could pull troops out of other countries, but where ever we pull the troops from, it will take weeks even months to get them home. What I’m saying here is we are seriously overextended, and only have about ten percent of our troops in the country. We can’t fight a war here with what we have. We need options now! Not weeks from now!”

 

A young man in the back of the room spoke up, “We have another army right here in our country and they’re everywhere.”

 

Just then, he had twenty high-ranking officials and politicians looking at him.

 

The General looked right at him and asked “Who are you with son?”

 

A large lump swelled up in his throat, and in a broken voice he said, “The CIA sir.”

 

“What do you do for the CIA?” The General asked.

 

“Document tracking sir,” he replied.

 

“If I need a document I’ll ask for it,” The General barked. Then addressing the group he said, “What we need is a hundred thousand troops on the other side of the Rocky Mountains.”

 

One of the politicians stood up and said, “Hold it right there Chris, I want to hear what this clerk has to say.” Then turning to the document clerk he asked, “What is this secret army your talking about?”

 

He could feel the lump in his throat getting tight as he continued, “Their there behind the enemy lines. You call them survivalist and militias, and we know were they are. We even have CIA agents in most of the groups, and one in ten of the survivalists are ex-military. We have large stashes of weapons and communication gear all over. We stashed them in bunkers we built before Y2K. It went with a plan incase we had a total collapse on the rollover, or incase someone tried to invade us.”

 

The General asked, “Do any of you really think we can trust a bunch of those kind of people? They’re looking for a way to overthrow the government already.”

 

The head of the CIA spoke up and argued, “Yes I do! They might hate the government, but that is only because they think their freedom is being taking away. I think deep down their true Americans, and most of them will fight for us. I think they will fight for their freedom, even if it is only because they hate these commie bastards. Anyone have a better idea?”

 

It was quite for few then the General asked the head of the CIA, “Do you still have contact with your agents in the west?”

 

“I can assure you my network is still intact. This is the kind of thing my agents have trained for all their life.”

 

The General looked at the clerk and ordered, “I want a list of every survivalist and militia group out west, and a list of every gun, bullet, and slingshot in every hiding place you have them. You have twenty minutes.” Then he turned to the head of the CIA and asked, “How long will it take you to get a message to your agents without satellites?”

 

“About as long as it takes to turn on a computer and key a mike on a radio.”

 

“Then do it Chuck! We will meet back here in twenty minutes,” the General ordered.

 

Twenty minutes later

 

The General walked into the half-filled room. He looked at Chuck, (the head of the CIA), and asked, “Did you get in touch with your agents?”

 

“I sent a message to all of them telling them to stand by for orders.”

 

“Good,” the General replied. Then he turned to the speaker of the house and demanded, “I need a bill passed today. We need the power to draft anyone we want regardless of age. I don’t care if they’re sixty years old, If they can shoot a gun or talk on a radio I want them. I just got back from talking to the President, and he said he would sign it into law, and whatever else we need.” Then he looking around the room he asked, “Where’s that document clerk? I told him twenty minutes!”

 

Just as the General made this comment in came the document clerk. He was carrying a large stack of papers, and he dropped them on the table with a thud.

 

Chris (the General) looked back to the speaker of the house (Dave), and ordered. “Damn it Dave don’t just sit there go get that bill passed. We’re trying to save our country. We need to have this plan in place before the sun goes down.”

 

Dave got up and left the room. Chris turned to the document clerk and asked, “What is your name son?”

 

“Gary Thomson sir”

 

“Is that everything we have there in that stack son?” the General asked.

 

“No sir this is just Oregon and Washington, the rest should be here any minute,” Gary replied.

 

“Well don’t just stand there bring that stack up here and give me a briefing on what is in there.”

 

Gary took the stack of documents up and set them by the General. The General asked Gary how much he knew about what was in the stack and Gary answered. Telling the General, he had read just about every one of them over the past ten years. He turned back about three pages and pulled out a map of Washington State. Then he pointed to a place half way between Seattle and Spokane. This is the largest bunker in Washington. Then he pulled about twenty pages off the stack. He told him this is an inventory of what is there. We have over thirty agents stationed there now. They’re twenty-two there now the rest are in militias working under cover.

 

The General looked at the list. Forty machineguns and one hundred cases of ammo, thirty Mortars and one thousand shells, one hundred sniper rifles and one hundred cases of ammo, eight hundred M-16 rifles and eight hundred cases of ammo. The list went on for pages. The General scanned through the pages and muttered, “Damn we have enough stuff in this bunker to supply a battalion.”

 

This bunker is under an old farmhouse Gary told him.  It looks like a grass seed-growing farm, but the field is an airport and the barn is a hanger.

 

Just then, two guys came in carrying two large stacks of documents. Set then over here Gary told them. When they set them on the table the General knew there was over ten thousand pages. He turned to the Colonel next to him and ordered, “I want this broke up into states, and a three man team for each state. One of which is a military strategist. I want a plan on how to deliver these goods by the time the sun goes down.” Then he turned to Gary and informed, “You just got drafted and you are in the army now. Your rank is Major and you work under the Colonel. You will make this happen! You understand?”

 

“Yes sir,” Gary replied.

 

 “Well don’t just stand their get with it! I want to be delivering weapons before dawn.”

 

A voice blared out of the radio. “Wacko, are you there. I got a message from old hunter.”

 

Evelyn looked at John and asked, “Are you going to get that?”

 

John walked over and picked up the mike. “Yeah I’m here. How did you get a message from hunter,” he asked.

 

“It came from a station out of Timber Oregon. I’ve been up all-night and got some news for you. Just got the report that Old hunter is coming home, and he is bringing Wacko’s brother, and pretty lady with him.”

 

Jim heard Evelyn behind him say, “Tonya is coming!”

 

Hidden one went on, “Here comes the part you didn’t want to hear. There is no supplies coming into town. The store will be empty in a few days. If you have ever seen pictures of a store in Florida just before a hurricane, you’ll know what I mean. They empty the store in a day. I think it would be best to stay away from town. You need to come see me, and we need to make some plans.”

 

John pushed the button on the mike, and informed. “I have to help Bill move his cows up close to the feed barn. It will take to much gas to haul feed out to them everyday. Then we are going to do the same with Pete’s cows”

 

“That sounds like a good plan to me,” Hidden One replied. “Then you can come see me tonight after you are done. Oh by the way, now you know what another part of the dream is about.”

 

Somehow, the dream did not seem so scary anymore. The reality of what was happing put John into a survival mode. Besides there was so much to do he had not had time to panic.

 

Evelyn asked, “Who is going to go tell Suzy that Pete is on his way home?”

 

“Maybe you could drive over and tell her,” John said.

 

Looking through the window, he saw Bill pull in the driveway. Evelyn and John went out to meet him, and they saw that Barbara was with him.

 

Bill hollered out of the truck window, “Are you ready to go?”

 

Barbara got out of the truck, and walked over to Evelyn. “Thought I would stay here with you while John and Bill moved the cows, if that ok with you?” Barbara asked.

 

“Sure,” Evelyn said, “But I have to go over and tell Suzy that we got a message from Pete, and he is on his way home.”

 

“Oh thank God he’s ok. Suzy must be at her wits end in worry over Pete. You don’t mind if I ride over there with you?” Barbara asked.

 

“No. That would be great. I could use the support. This is real hard for me to,” Evelyn replied.

 

John jumped up into Bill’s truck. “Don’t we need the cattle trailer,” he asked.

 

Bill looked over at John and informed. “No were going to do it the old way, were going to drive them over to the other field.”

 

“I don’t know anything about driving cattle”

 

“You can walk can’t you?”

 

“Yeah,”

 

“Well that is all you have to do,” Bill insisted.

 

They pulled up to the fence just like any other day, and all the cows started heading for the fence. Some were waiting for us to throw the feed over the fence. He waited until all the cows were up by the fence. Then Bill told John, “I’m going to drive down to the gate, and when we get there you get out and open the gate. I’ll start driving down the road, and the cows will follow me. When the last cow goes through the gate close it, and follow the cows. Then all you have to do is keep any stragglers from getting left behind.”

 

Bill stopped just past the gate, and John got out. He opened the gate, and Bill started driving down the road. Just like Bill said all the cows followed the truck. It was a little over a mile to the field by the feed barn. Bill drove the truck through the gate, and out into the field. Then he stopped, got out, and started pulling off bales of alfalfa. All the cows moved faster when they saw him throwing out the feed. The last cow went through the gate, and John pulled it shut. Then he went over to the truck. Climbed up in the back, and started throwing off feed.

 

Bill said, “Now you know how to drive cows from one field to another.”

 

“You know Bill its not as hard as I thought it would be. I was thinking that it would take half a day, and it’s only been about an hour. Are we going to do Pete’s cows the same way?” he asked.

 

“See no need to do it any other way” Bill replied.

 

They got back in the truck, and headed over to Pete’s. When they past John’s house they saw that Evelyn and Barbara were back. They decided to stop, and see how everything was going. Once they were in the house they could tell things weren’t good, Suzy was sitting at the table crying. Not wanting to deal with the situation, John told Evelyn they were going to move Pete’s cows, and stepped back out the door. Evelyn followed John out the door. Outside Evelyn told him that Suzy was really upset, and was going to stay at their house until Pete got back. She is real worried about how Pete is going to get back across the river. She said she heard about some people getting killed trying to cross the river. John asked how did she hear that, and Evelyn told him that she heard it on Pete’s CB.

 

John didn’t have a CB, so he was not getting the news that she was. He told Evelyn to try to find something for Suzy to do. Maybe it will help her keep her mind off worrying about Pete. She said she would talk to Barbara about it. Then Bill came out the door, and walked over to where Evelyn and John where standing.

 

In a low voce, Bill informed. “I was talking to Barbara about the freezers. We all have freezers full of meat and other stuff, and I don’t think it will last much more than one more day without power. She wanted to talk to Evelyn about canning the meat to save it.”

 

“Oh that’s a great idea.” Evelyn said. “John and I were just talking about doing something like that to help keep Suzy’s mind off Pete a little.”

 

Evelyn gave John a kiss, and told him she loved him. Then she went back into the house. Bill and John went over to move Pete’s cows.

 

When they got to Pete’s Bill backed the truck up to the barn. John got out and opened the door, and guided Bill in. They were almost done loading the truck, and they saw John’s Jimmy coming down the driveway. John went out to see what was going on, and he saw they all had come over. He went over and asked Evelyn what was going on. She told him that they came to pick up all of Suzy’s stuff out of her freezer, and her canning jars. Where going to can her stuff first. John saw Bill walking over. “Is everything ok?” he asked.

 

“Yes.” Evelyn replied. “We just came to get some of Suzy’s stuff.”

 

Bill and John got back in the truck and headed out to get Pete’s cows. John looked at Bill and confessed, “You know I’m worried about Pete and my brother. I don’t have to tell you how unprepared my brother is, and he has no survival skills at all.”

 

“I wouldn’t worry about it,” Bill informed. “Pete was a commander in Vietnam. He lead a squad of guys that did special ops behind enemy lines, and came home alive. That must say something.”