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Friday, September 28, 2012

Here's chapter Nine of 'Beyond Tomorrow' Have a good weekend!!

There's just something about the water...
 











Chapter Nine:

 

“Get a move on!” The first man turned and jabbed Wyatt in the chest. Lily gasped. Had the man hit his wound?

“Why don’t you stop being cruel? You know he’s been shot, he’s doing the best he can.” She raised her chin a level, hoping it would help.

“Why don’t you shut-up, skirt?”

The man was mean. She fumed, but snapped her mouth shut. Running it at this point wasn’t going to help matters.

Would Nanny know they’d been taken, and by who?  She hoped so. Maybe she could enlist some help for them. She needed to distract the man from picking on Wyatt. “Could I have some water?”

“We just got started, so no, you can’t have any water. Quit being a baby.” Dr. Wilkes returned from the back of the line.

“Why are you doing this?”

“This country isn’t what it used to be. The majority of the adult population either spends its days watching television, or playing video games. While they’ve been deceived into thinking it’s okay to remain children, the government has taken over. What makes it so bad is nobody cares. Everyone is too busy worried about what they want. We’re a nation that caters to every whim of its people. If someone happens to disagree, we call them haters.” Dr. Wilkes tone was filled with hate.

“So you think you can fix the problem by killing everybody?” Wyatt asked. His breath was coming in ragged gasps.

“It will get everybody’s attention. How many people do you think are playing games today?” He smiled evilly.

Lily had to admit there probably weren’t too many people playing games today. But bombing every major city in the U.S. wasn’t the way to achieve it. These men were mad. The more she learned, the more she realized it. They had to get away!


                                                              ***

Nanny watched as the men guided Lily, Percy and Wyatt out of the camp. What should she do? She didn’t know anyone she could trust. She prayed, “Dear Father, please lead me, guide me and let me know what I should do.”

She followed at a safe distance away. She saw the first guy hit Wyatt in the chest. “Ew that dirty dog; he knows Wyatt was shot.” She looked around to make sure no one heard her. She was almost out of the camp now. It’s no wonder they were able to bomb our cities. There isn’t a soul worried about what I’m doing out here. She straightened from her crouching-walk position and stood upright. No one cared. Apparently even huge bombs going off in all the major cities didn’t warrant being extra careful. She groaned in despair. “What will become of our country?”

“We will be strong again someday.”

The voice scared her and she jumped. She twisted around and was face to face with Lieutenant Colonel Aaron Bates. “Land sakes, sir, you scared me.”

“Where are you going?” He didn’t sound suspicious, just curious.

“Can’t a lady take a walk?” Nanny groaned inwardly. She sounded guilty.

“Of course she can. Would the lady like an escort?” He held out his uniformed arm for her to take.

Nanny could do nothing but take his arm and smile. “Thank you for the offer, kind sir.”

“You’re most welcome. Where is the other young lady?”

Nanny’s step faltered. What should she say? The decision popped-out before she’d realized she’d made it. “They’ve been kidnapped.”

Aaron Bates stopped abruptly, wrenching Nanny’s arm.

“Ow!” She rubbed it lightly.

“What do you mean?”

“It’s a long story, sir. I just need to stay on this path.”

“They? Okay, we’re not going another step until you explain. If it’s a long story, you better get to it.” He pulled her gently toward him.

“We can’t let them get too far away!” She pulled her arm as hard as she could and it jerked from his grasp. She half-tripped, half-ran, down the path.

The lieutenant colonel ran after her, just as anxious now. “Wait, I’ll come with you!”

She stopped, and he ran into her. “Ow!” Would you stop doing that? “If you come with me, you’ll get court-martialed, too.”

“You’re not making sense.” He backed away from her and pulled his jacket down.

“I told you it was a long story!” She huffed, pulled her top down around her ample hips and continued down the path, talking as she walked. “The terrorists want Lily dead. They’ve demanded the government hand her over. We were going to take her out of here but Dr. Wilkes is one of the men who bombed our cities, and he has them now.”

“Who do they have?”

“They’ve got Colonel Wyatt, his son, and Lily.” Nanny picked up her pace and Aaron followed right on her heels.

“How does Dr. Wilkes fit in?”

“I heard him saying something about all the adults in our country playing games, or something. He sounds unhinged. I was trying to decide what to do when you came along. Now, you can either come with me and help, or go back and keep your mouth shut.”

The lieutenant colonel laughed quietly. “I’m going with you. Chances are they won’t even miss us. Everyone is disorganized right now.”

“I hope you’re right. I don’t want to end up in jail.”

“You’re not going to end up in jail. Why do they want your friend?”

“I don’t know. She said she doesn’t know anything. Maybe they just think she does.”

“It’s a tough call. I mean, I don’t want to step on any toes here, but if I was the president I would seriously think about giving her up. I know it sounds callous, but what’s one life versus millions?”

“I know. That’s why we were leaving. It’s easy for the government to make that decision because it’s impersonal. I know and love her.” The frustration she felt came out in her words.

“So what was your plan?”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, you were following terrorists that just blew up every major city in the U.S. I figured you must have a plan.”

“I didn’t. I just didn’t want to lose track of them in case I thought of something.” The enormity of her stupidity rained down on her. What if they’d detected her?

“Let’s devise our plan.” He pulled a pen and notepad from inside his jacket and began to jot some things down as they walked.

“How can you do that?”

“How can I do what?”

“Write while you walk.”

“It takes years of practice. Here, read this and tell me what you think.” He handed her the notepad.

“Interesting…” She tapped a finger against her lip as she read.


                                                             ***


Lily was angry. Her hair prickled from the emotion, and she didn’t like it. She couldn’t think of a single way to get loose from these crazies.

“Can I have some water now?” Her words dripped with sarcasm; it had been thirty minutes now.

Dr. Wilkes walked up to where she was and shoved an army-issue canteen in her hands. “Don’t drink it all.”

She took a long swallow and thrust the water back in his direction. She pulled a filthy long sleeve up to her mouth and swiped across it slowly. She’d just thought of something. “I have to go to the bathroom.”

“Hold it.”

“Are you kidding? I can’t hold it, I have to go.” Hope swelled inside her at the possibility she might get away. She knew she couldn’t take Wyatt and Percy, but she could get help.

Wyatt looked over and gave an almost imperceptible nod. “Let her go. What will you gain by being cruel?”

Dr. Wilkes walked up and shoved him forward with the butt of a rifle he’d hidden from their view. “I’ll gain some amusement, that’s what.”

“I can’t believe you would stoop so low. Why would you bother to save me if you were planning on killing me?”

“It’s more fun to watch you suffer. What we did with those bombs was boring. Most people didn’t know what hit them, they were just obliterated. But think of the irony of this situation; I saved your life so I could take it. It has a certain ring to it.”

“You’re a sadistic monster!” Lily screamed angrily. The frustration and fear had mounted until she was about ready to explode and the doctor’s snide comments were the last straw. “You don’t want him. Let him and Percy go and you can take me.” She lowered her voice to a wheedling tone.

He burst out laughing in maniacal laughter. “You’re kidding, right?”

“I’m not kidding. I’ll tell you whatever it is you want to know, and then you can kill me, but please shut-up.”

The laughter stopped as quickly as it started. “Don’t speak to me like that again unless you want to lose some hair.” His voice was deceptively calm, but she knew she’d angered him.

“Please, just let them go.” Her anger swiftly turned to helplessness. “They didn’t do anything to you.”

“You didn’t either, but all of you still have to die.” The man up front said.

“Why? I don’t know anything.”

“We can’t take the chance, sorry.” He didn’t sound sorry, but pleased.

“How can you live with yourself knowing you helped kill all those people?”

“I lie down, pull the covers up, and snooze.” Dr. Wilkes replied as he walked up next to her. He grinned condescendingly and she wanted to slap it from his face.

“You need to learn to curb your tongue.” The first man said. He had a long scar down the side of his face and it gave Lily the creeps.

“Why? I’m gonna be dead, anyway, right?”

Her question made Dr. Wilkes laugh. “You’re a spitfire. It’s a shame we have to do away with you. I could enjoy that personality for a while.”

“I’d rather die thanks.”

He laughed. “See what I mean?”

Wyatt looked over at her, trying to get her attention. When she finally turned his way he mouthed, ‘now.’

“I really have to go to the bathroom.”

The man up front through his hands up and screeched, “Go then!”

She zipped off into the bushes before he had a chance to change his mind. She stood motionless for a moment, trying to decide what to do. She was torn between leaving them and getting help. She heard a commotion from the path and figured that was her cue. She ran like the devil himself was after her. She didn’t look behind her, afraid she’d lose pace. Her hair whipped about her face as tears of emotion slid down her cheeks. Finally, she saw someone up ahead. It was Nanny. She was afraid to yell, in case she’d evaded the doctor and his man. As she got closer, she saw a man with her friend. It was Lieutenant colonel Aaron Bates. She threw caution to the wind. “Help me!” She stumbled and fell on the path, just as saw the lieutenant colonel pulling out his gun. He wasn’t looking at her, but behind.

“Drop your weapon!” Aaron yelled.

“I can’t do that, sir.” It was the first guy. He aimed as he ran. A bullet whizzed by Lily’s head, and she screamed.

“Stay down, Lily.” Nanny ordered.

She crouched with her hands over her head, not daring to move a muscle.

A crashing noise came from further down the path and Wyatt came rushing through. He had a gun. He lifted, pointed and warned. “Drop the weapon, or I’ll be forced to shoot.”

The first guy swiveled around on the balls of his feet and pulled his gun up toward Wyatt.

“I told you to drop your weapon.” Wyatt pulled back the trigger and pushed it. A loud noise cracked through the air and the first guy fell to the ground.

Dr. Wilkes came rushing down the trail, gun at the ready. Before he could pull the trigger, Wyatt’s gun exploded again and the doctor hit the ground. At Aaron’s look of surprise, he said, “It’s just tranquilizers, don’t worry.”

“Oh, that’s good. Now we won’t have to figure out what to tell the government.”

“Should we hide them and leave?” Percy asked as he came down the path. It was the first thing he’d said since they’d been taken.

“No, we need to go back to camp and get our gear. We’ll leave them there. Tie them up Percy.” He ordered.

“What should I use?”

“Are you wearing socks?”

“Sir?”

“Are you wearing socks?”

“Yes, but…”

“Take them off and use them.”

“Okay…”

“The order wasn’t difficult, private.”

“I know sir; I just wanted to make sure.”

“Now you are. Hurry up and get it done, we have to go.”

“Yes, sir, I’ll get it done right away, sir.”

Lieutenant Colonel Bates laughed. “You have a twisted sense of humor, colonel.”

“Yes, and I use what’s on hand in a pinch.” He grinned.

“Will one pair of socks be enough?” Lily asked as she joined the men.

“If they don’t, I’m sure Aaron will be more than willing to donate his.” He looked at the younger man and raised a brow.

“Of course I will, sir. I guess it’s a good thing I like full socks.”

Lily walked over, laid her head on Nanny’s chest and hugged her. “I was so scared. How did you find us so easily?”

“I followed you. Aaron came out of nowhere and about scared me to death. I was trying to decide whether to tell him or not when I opened my mouth and told him everything. I guess it was God’s answer for me. I’m just glad he found me.”

“I am too. I’m still nervous about what’s going to happen now. Do you think we’ll get away from the terrorists?”

“I hope so, sugar. All our lives depend on it.”

“What’s wrong?” Wyatt asked as he joined them.

“Nothing, we were just discussing what’s going to happen to us now.”

“I’m going to take you to a safe place. I’ll guard you with my life if I have to.”

Lily couldn’t believe the loyalty in his voice. It was so nice to have someone to care. “Thank you.” She smiled, and Wyatt hit the ground. “Wyatt?” She crouched down to shake him gently. “Wyatt, are you okay?”

“He’s out cold, sugar. It looks like we’re going to have to find a way to carry him.”

“Does anyone have any ideas?” Lily looked from Percy to Aaron Bates, neither of which looked strong enough to carry the colonel.

They both shook their heads.

“What are we gonna do now?” Stress tightened its claw-like grip on her heart.

“We’re gonna pray, sugar.”


I'll be back Monday for more of the story!! :)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Here we go again...

                                                             Here's a few pictures...





 
 
 

 
 
 
Chapter Eight~

 
Percy stood at his father’s bedside, the syringe in his hand. He looked down at him, fear making him immobile. “What if he court-martials me?”

“What for, waking him up? Be serious Percy.” Lily grimaced at his reticence.

“I just don’t want to get in trouble.”

“For Pete’s sakes, give it here.” She grabbed it from his hand and pushed the needle into the empty tubing.

Wyatt stirred, opened his eyes, and said groggily, “Why are you standing there staring at me like that?” His heart beat heavy in his chest like a tom-tom.

Lily smiled. Her heart tripped around in her chest and sweat popped out on her brow. “We need you to wake-up, colonel. Something bad might happen if you don’t.”

Wyatt’s eyes popped open wide. “What’s going on?” He cleared his throat, trying to get his voice in working order. His brain was full of cobwebs, and he needed to clear it, too. “I need to go outside.”

“You can’t go outside yet, Colonel Adams. Your son has something he needs to tell you.” Nanny looked over at Percy expectantly.

Wyatt looked at him. “What’s up?”

“You have to promise me you won’t be mad.”

“I don’t have to do any such thing. Besides, when someone tells you that, it usually means you’re going to be mad.” He raised one dark brow. His mind was finally waking up and he had a sneaking suspicion he wasn’t going to like what Percy had to say.

“I stole your laptop.” Percy cringed with the words, waiting for the blow-up.

Wyatt dispelled the urge to bellow and asked quietly, “Why would you do that?”

“I wanted to know what was going on in the rest of the country and you wouldn’t tell us.”

“Did it ever occur to you that it was for good reason?”

“Yeah, it did for a minute.”

Wyatt couldn’t help chuckling a bit. His son was a lot like him. “What about after that minute? What compelled you to steal from me?” His blue eyes fastened to the laptop under Percy’s arm. He hadn’t really stolen the computer, but borrowed it.

“Look, I realize you didn’t want us to know what was going on, but I just don’t think it’s right. We serve this country and we have a right to know what’s going on. It’s a good thing I did take it and look at a news page, too. The terrorists have demanded the government turn Lily over to them or they’re going to bomb all the secondary cities, too.”

“What? They can’t be serious. What response did the president give?” Wyatt’s heart slammed in his chest again, this time for an entirely different reason. What if they decided to turn her over? It was the logical thing to do, even though the U.S. didn’t negotiate with terrorists. They were at an extreme disadvantage, and she was only one person, opposed to millions.

“We haven’t heard a response yet, but you can guess what it’s going to be.” Nanny shoved her bottom lip out in disgust.

“I can guess.” Wyatt shoved the covers off and pushed his legs wearily over the side of the bed. His chest was screaming with white-hot pain but he didn’t have the luxury of time to recuperate. “We have to get her out of here.”

“But where will you take her? Do you want me to go?” Percy was torn between his affection for Lily and his love for his dad. He wanted to be where they were.

“I don’t know, kid. Give me some time to think about it. Now skedaddle on out of here so I can get dressed.”

“Do you need help?” Nanny smiled mischievously.

“I think I can manage.” He returned the smile and shooed them out with a wave of his hand. “Percy, on second thought, I need you to stay.”

“Yes sir.”

As the women went to stand outside the tent Lily said, “Will you go with us?”

“I want to, if he lets me.” She tipped her head toward the tent.

“I don’t want to leave if you aren’t going.” Lily picked Mushi up and hugged him to her tightly. “You’re the only human I have left.”

“I know, sugar. It’s the same here.”


                                                                           ***


“I want you to go. As soon as I heard the news, my first thought was to take Lily and run with her as fast as possible. But if I do that, Nanny will be all alone. You can go and help me. I don’t have any strength right now, so you can be my brawn and I’ll be the brains.”

“That’s awesome dad, thank you.” Percy tried not to let the hurt show on his face. He knew his dad was weak and exhausted, he’d just had surgery.

“Why don’t you go direct the ladies in preparations? I know they don’t have much left but they need to take what they can. Tell Lily to make sure she brings that mutt some food because it sure isn’t getting any of my meals.”

“Does she have dog food?”

“I told them when they went back to get the dog not to forget food, so I assume they brought it. Make sure you remember to grab it before we leave. Son, this has to be done quietly. No one can know we’re leaving.”

“Dr. Wilkes knows already. He’s the one who gave us the stuff to wake you up.”

“That’s interesting. He’ll have to go with us, then. Make sure you tell him. No one else can know so be as quiet about it as possible. Now scoot, I have to get dressed.”

Percy hustled out the tent flap and almost ran into Lily and Nanny, who were leaned up against the canvas, trying to hear what was being said. “What are you two doing?” He grinned at the guilty looks on their faces.

“We were trying to hear, of course.” Lily felt humiliation spread through her at being caught in such a position.

He smiled and said, “I was gonna tell you.

Lily gave him a playful punch in the arm. “See how you are?”

“How am I?” he laughed. “Dad says the doctor has to go with us since he knows we’re planning on leaving. That’ll be good because he needs one, anyway.”

“You said we. Does that mean he’s gonna let me come, too?” Nanny chewed on her lower lip worriedly.

“Yes. He doesn’t want to split you two up.”

“That’s great.” Lily was happy. At least Nanny could come with her. But how long were they gonna hide out, wherever they were gonna hide?

“I think it is. I have to go inform the doctor of his orders. You two need to go gather everything you can carry comfortably to take with you. Dad also said not to forget the dog food because he isn’t feeding that mutt any of his.” Percy finished on a mock-snide tone to let Lily know he was just relaying a message, and not necessarily one he agreed with.

Lily pugged her nose and spat, “What a beast.” She fumed off in the direction of her tent to get ready. No one knew they were leaving yet, so no one paid any attention to her movements. Maybe that meant the president hadn’t made a public declaration about what to do with her yet. She knew in her heart if she were president, she’d make the same call she expected him to make. She couldn’t be mad at him for making the same decision she would if it were up to her. It wasn’t really a matter of rocket science. One versus millions was a no-brainer.

Nanny entered the tent about five minutes behind her younger friend. “Are you okay, sugar?” Concern wrinkled her massive brow.

“Yes, I’m just a little pre-occupied. I’m really sorry, Nanny. I don’t know what they think I know that’s worthy of killing me over.”

“It isn’t your fault, sweetheart.” Nanny walked over and rubbed Lily’s shoulders for a second. “You didn’t ask a bunch of crazies to go blow-up our cities.”

“I know. I just wish I knew what they want from me.”

“I think you already know what they want. That’s why the colonel is getting out of the bed just a few hours after surgery, and why I’m letting him. He’ll lead us where we need to go. I’m glad that doctor’s going, to be honest. I’ll feel a lot better knowing there’s someone coming along to help keep an eye on Wyatt.”

“I know what you mean. Nanny, why do you think the colonel thinks I’m his fiancé? It feels so…deceptive not to tell him.”

“It wouldn’t matter if you did, sugar. In his mind, you are, and that’s what counts.

Lily picked up the pile of clothes she’d stacked up against the tent wall and stuffed them into a backpack. It was disheartening to realize this was all she had left. She was reduced down to a backpack full of possessions, and a hairy dog. She reached down and ruffled his silky fur in apology. It wasn’t his fault she was thinking bad, ungrateful thoughts. “You know I love you, Mushi.”

“Do you love your fiancé?” Wyatt said from behind her. She jumped, turned around and said, “You scared the daylights out of me.”

“I’m sorry, love. I didn’t mean to. Are you almost ready?”

“You couldn’t possibly be ready. You’re weak and tired from having surgery. You couldn’t possibly be moving that quickly.”

“I wouldn’t bet on it, love.”

“Stop calling me that.” Her demand was petulant, and he laughed.

“You know you love it.”

Secretly, she did, but she wasn’t about to tell him. What were they gonna do when he regained his memory? He was going to be totally humiliated, and she didn’t want to be anywhere near when it happened. Different scenarios about how it would go ran through her mind and she couldn’t take it anymore. “I’m not your fiancé, Wyatt. I barely know you.”

He looked at her like she’d taken leave of her senses. “What are you talking about? Of course we are.” Genuine hurt crossed his features and Lily almost cried.

“Why do you think we’re engaged?” Her tone was gentle because she didn’t want to upset him anymore than he already was.

“I proposed to you ten years ago, on the bus.”

A fuzzy memory leapt to her mind, but she couldn’t quite grasp it. “What are you talking about? I didn’t meet you until yesterday.”

“Think, Lily. It was ten years ago. I was on the bus when you got on. I can still remember the outfit you were wearing, and the way you smelled; Like sunshine in a rainy breeze.”

“I think you may need a psych eval.”

“I can’t believe you don’t remember. You boarded the bus carrying some ridiculous camera from the late eighteen-hundreds. You were wearing black jeans, a black turtleneck, and had a big red rose pinned to the lapel of a white linen jacket.”

Memories slammed into her brain all at once. She could almost envision what he was talking about. She could picture the clothes he’d described. It was still one of her favorite…well; it had been one of her favorite outfits. It didn’t exist anymore. But how did he know about that? Had they actually met in the past? She didn’t remember if they had. “I don’t remember.”

It was in October. I was in Salt Lake for a special mission and I rode the bus downtown so I didn’t have to rent a car. When you boarded the bus you smiled at me and sent me for a loop.”

“Even if that were true, why do you think we’re engaged?”

“When you came on the bus, I said, “I think I’m in love. Will you marry me?”

You giggled and said, “I know I’m in love, and yes, I’ll marry you. That means we’re engaged.” He smiled at her and made a heart sign with his hands.

His actions were so incongruous that she stared at him before asking, “Are you serious? Even if it did happen, we aren’t engaged. We don’t even know each other.”

Nanny laughed hilariously behind them and they both started. They’d been so involved in their conversation they’d forgotten she was there. “You two sound like an old married couple already. You might was well do the deed.”

“Don’t encourage him, it’s like feeding the…”

“Bears, I know. I heard that one before. You’re just upset because you know it’s true. You two are like oil and water and that’s a winning relationship if I ever saw one.”

“I think you’re confused.”

“Nope, I’m pretty that’s what it takes.”

“I think you need to be checked by a doctor yourself, Nanny.” She huffed out the door flap in search of Percy. Maybe there had been some kind of nerve agent dropped here and it was affecting their brains.

She found the private in the doctor’s tent, helping him pack a bag. “Hey Lily, we’re almost ready.” He gave her a strange look, which she tried to discern. She didn’t know him well enough to figure that one out, though.

“Could I talk to you outside, privately?” She asked. She gave him a warm smile, letting the doctor see she didn’t pose a threat.

They walked toward the door, and as soon as Percy cleared the flap behind her, he turned around and whispered, “He didn’t argue at all when I told him he had to go with us, even though he knows it’ll mean a court martial for desertion. I don’t trust him. I think he’s up to no good.”

Alarm swept through her. “What do you think it is?”

He shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t know. I just have a bad feeling.”

Lily didn’t have any such feelings about Dr. Wilkes so she discounted the private’s worries and said, “We’ll keep an eye on him. Is he about ready?”

“Yeah he was just putting the last of his stuff in his backpack. I told him to pack lightly, and to make sure he brought supplies to take care of my dad.”

Suddenly, suspicion began to crawl through Lily. “Did he happen to say anything about your father going? I mean, he did just have surgery and the man’s a doctor.”

“He didn’t say a thing. Maybe that’s why I got suspicious. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but that must’ve been it. Do you think we should make him stay here? Or maybe we could get him up on the trail somewhere and incapacitate him somehow.”

Lily giggled. “I think you watch too many movies. We’ll just watch him for now. I’m gonna go.”

“Hold on and let me tell the doctor I’m leaving and I’ll walk back with you.”

Lily examined her fingernails while she waited on Percy to come back. He was a really likable kid. It was a shame his mother had died already. He seemed to still need a mother’s special kind of love. She heard a twig snap and her head jerked upward, to the hill above the camp. She saw movement and quickly ducked back into the doctor’s tent.

Dr. Wilkes stood in the middle of the tent with a gun pointed at Percy. “Good, I don’t have to go collect you now.” He gestured with the gun for her to join the kid. She slowly complied, trying to think of an escape, but there wasn’t one.

“What’s going on?”

“You’re a smart girl, figure it out.” He said snidely.

“You’re one of them, aren’t you?”

“What do we have for her, Johnny?” He asked sarcastically.

Wyatt stepped through the tent just then, his gun out and pointed at the doctor. “Let them go and put the gun down.”

The doctor’s face fell and he began to lower his gun, until someone else entered the tent. It was a man Lily hadn’t seen before, but he was holding a gun, too.

“No, you put down your gun.”

Wyatt stood his ground and the stranger began to pull back on the trigger. “Hold on.” He lowered the gun and dropped it to the tent floor.

Lily wondered where Nanny was and hoped she didn’t come through the door, too.

“Okay, let’s get out of here.” The man standing by the door looked out, and then gestured for them to leave ahead of him. Wyatt, Percy and Lily followed him out, while the doctor took up the rear, holding his gun under a jacket.

They were led through the camp, and no one noticed anything amiss. The last two days had taken their toll on every citizen of the U.S. and they were all tired, thinking the worst had already happened.

A tear of sorrow rolled down Lily’s cheek as she walked in between Percy and Wyatt, her protectors. What would happen to them now?

 
 
 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

It's already been a long week...

                                      Here's some pictures from yesterday, but not much color











Chapter Seven~


“The colonel needs to rest now, so I suggest you find something else to do for a few hours.” Wyatt’s doctor said. He checked the IV line and charted something on his clipboard before giving the two ladies a stern look.

“How long does he have to rest before we can come and check on him?” Nanny smiled as sweetly as she could at him.

“You have to remember, he didn’t really get sleep last night, even though he was knocked-out.”

“Oh, I guess that’s true.” Lily wrinkled her brow.

“Give him at least six hours.”

“I don’t need to be told how long I have to sleep, doctor.” Wyatt arched his body upward tensely to show his disapproval.

“Unfortunately for you, I’m in charge of that.” Doctor Wilkes walked over, pulled the IV bag toward him and brought a syringe out of his pocket. In one deft movement he emptied the contents into the hollow tubing.

“What did you just give me? I’ll…” Wyatt’s head dropped to the pillow.

“Wow, what did you give him?” Lily smiled.

“I gave him some night-night drops.” The doctor smiled, threw the syringe into the garbage and left with another warning; “Find something to do ladies.”

The women walked slowly back to their tent, discussing what they were going to do. “Should we go find Percy and ask him where we should go since I’m being detained?”

“Nah, I’d take this opportunity to prove to the colonel that you can be trusted, sugar. As long as you stay away from the eyes and ears of the media, you should be good.”

“I still don’t believe…”

“Girl, I can’t get my mind around how naïve you are. If you can’t believe it, at least take my advice. Let’s go back to the tent, take a nap, and then find some kind of news.”

“We’ve been in this camp for over twenty-four hours. If they were going to let us hear some news, don’t you think we would’ve heard it by now?” Lily arched one blonde brow to emphasize her skepticism.

“You have a point, sugar. I didn’t see any kind of TV or radio in the colonel’s tent. Come to think of it, I didn’t see a laptop, either. That’s a little odd.”

“I’m terrified it’s a lot worse out there than they’re telling us. We have to find out.”

“Let’s go take that nap, and then we’ll play nice with Percy and find out what’s really going on.”

“Is something wrong, Nanny?” She’d asked to take a nap repeatedly and Lily had never known her to nap.

“I’m not sure. I’ve been so tired. Maybe it’s the stress.” She wrinkled her nose, obviously worried.

Lily was worried now, too. She twisted a lock of long blonde hair around her finger as they walked. “We’ll go take a nap.”


                                                              ***


Wyatt tossed and turned, trying to get away from the wispy arms grabbing at him from both sides of the bed. “Leave me alone.”

“Dad, are you okay?” Percy was sitting at the field table, looking at the laptop he’d taken to his own tent earlier. He knew it was against direct orders, but he had a right to know, and so did everyone else. The big cities had been infected with some kind of nerve agent and millions of people were already affected. Had they used the agent here? Wouldn’t it have presented itself by now if they had? He had all kinds of questions, but no one to answer them. He was tempted to confide in Lily and Nanny. They were both really nice, and just as concerned as he was.

“Lily, where are you?”

Percy went over to the side of his father’s bed, but he was still out. He was having some kind of nightmare. He wondered what it was like to be his dad. He had so much responsibility on his shoulders right now. “I love you, dad.” He returned to his chair, and the laptop. The internet was very glitchy. He was surprised he was getting anything out here at all. They were out in the middle of nowhere.

A box popped-up on the screen. Percy read the message. “Agent contained.”

“Now what does that mean? Is it contained everywhere? Should I respond to the message?” He’d always heard people were crazy if they talked to themselves, so he guessed he must be halfway there. He poised with one finger on the keyboard. He tapped it thoughtfully, and then began to type. “To whom am I speaking?”

“This is General Tackett. To whom am I speaking?”

“I’m Private first class Percy Adams.”

“Are you related to Colonel Adams, by chance?”

Percy resumed tapping his finger on the lit keyboard. Should he tell the general? Did his dad what to keep his existence a secret? He sighed deeply and typed, “Yes I am.”

“I didn’t know he had a son.”

“He didn’t know until a few months ago, either.” He figured the least he could do was be honest. He nervously shook his leg under the table. He was compounding his disobedience by not only talking to the general, but by divulging information his father might want kept a secret. He visibly cringed at the anger he envisioned his dad would direct at him the minute he was able.

“Where is the colonel?”

“He’s recovering from surgery, sir.”

“Why did he have surgery?” The reply was almost instantaneous. The general hadn’t known.

“My father was shot last night while out on patrol.”

“Why wasn’t I informed?”

“I don’t know, maybe because nobody but my dad has access to the internet, or a phone, or anything more powerful than a walkie-talkie.”

“Lol.”

“Sir?”

“You sound just like your dad. I admire that.”

“Thank you, sir. Is there a message you want to relay to my father?” A rush of pride ripped through him at the general’s compliment, but he would put it away and savor it for later.

“Tell him to contact me as soon as he’s able.”

Percy was more tempted than he’d ever been to ask the general about the nerve agent, but he was afraid. He’d been lucky in the Marine’s so far, but he didn’t know all the protocols, and maybe going against his dad’s direct orders would get him a court martial. He tamped down the temptation and replied, “Yes, sir.” He waited to see if the general would respond, but the box stayed empty. He clicked the box away and pulled the news page up. There were horrific scenes of people being carried through the streets while buildings smoldered or burned. Tears pricked his eyes. He had to share this with someone, wrong, or not. He closed the lid, unplugged it and stuffed it under his arm. When he got to the entrance of the tent he peeked out to see if anyone was about. There were a couple men playing cards at a portable table, but not really paying attention to him. He sidled quietly out the door and hurried in the direction of the ladies’ tent.

“Lily, are you in there?” He didn’t knock, but leaned into the canvas and talked low.

“Is that you Percy?” Lily walked over and stuck her head out the flap.

“Can I come in?”

“Yes, is something wrong? We figured we’d see you at the colonel’s tent earlier, but you were nowhere around.” She stood aside and let him enter.

“I’ve got something to tell you.” He walked over to the field table and sat the computer down gingerly. He was already in enough trouble; he couldn’t add breaking his father’s computer to the list of his crimes. “Promise you won’t think less of me.”

“I won’t Percy, spit it out.” She was impatient to hear what he was talking about.

“I took my dad’s laptop.” He stopped, waiting for her reaction.

“Why?”

“He wouldn’t tell us anything and I thought we needed to know.”

She couldn’t really argue with that, she believed the same thing. “And?” There was obviously more, or he wouldn’t have come to her tent acting like double-o-seven.

He looked at her earnestly, “There was a nerve agent released in all the big cities…”

“What? Are you sure? How many are dead? Oh Percy, that’s awful.” Tears sprang to her eyes and she dropped to the chair behind her. Her body trembled and she hugged her arms around her body for comfort. She glanced over at Nanny, who was still sleeping soundly.

He opened the lid on the laptop and swung it around so she could see the main page of a popular news site. She gasped in horror as she read the headline: Mayhem in the U.S. today. Tears streamed down her face. She swiped at them as she continued to read about what was happening in their wonderful country. “But what are they doing about it?”

“I don’t think we’re doing anything about it yet. We’re too worried about the casualties.”

“Why would they do this?” Her mind felt like it was in a daze.

“No one knows yet. They haven’t made any demands, except…” he trailed off, his eyes sliding away from hers.

“What demands?” She was trying to remain calm but her voice raised an octave, anyway.

“I can’t tell you that, Lily. I’ve already broken too many rules.”

Percy Adams, you will tell me right now.” Her demand was given in no uncertain terms.

“I can’t, I…”

“It isn’t that you can’t, it’s that you won’t.” She crossed her arms angrily and huffed in obvious agitation.

“They want you.” He hated that he’d told her, but he couldn’t stand her anger.

“What?” Nanny hopped from the cot like a scalded dog.

Percy and Lily both jumped at her voice. They thought she was asleep.

“They must think she knows something else. They demanded she be delivered to them by eight a.m. Friday or they’ll start on secondary cities.” He pulled another website up that had the demand on their main page.

Lily gasped and pulled her hand up to her mouth. She thought she would be sick. “I don’t know anything. I came here to take pictures.” Fresh drops cascaded over the dry tear-tracks running down her face.

“I’m so sorry, Lily.” Fear for her friend rushed through her. Would they turn her over?” They needed to tell Wyatt, but he was still out. “We need to wake Wyatt up somehow.”

“What can he do? He’s just had surgery and he’s not even in his right mind.” Percy’s tone was doubtful and grumpy because they hadn’t thought to consider he might be able to do something. Of course, he couldn’t, but that wasn’t the point.

“I don’t think you’re giving your father enough credit. He’s the one that saved all those people during that fire.” Nanny looked at the young man, the admiration in her eyes for his father like salt in a fresh wound.

“Okay, okay, I get it. I can’t do anything. How would we wake him up, though?”

“There has to be some way to counteract whatever medication the doctor gave him.” Lily shrugged one delicate shoulder. It sounded logical.

“The doctor is probably the only one that knows what he gave the colonel, and I doubt he’s going to be forthcoming to us about what it was.” Nanny’s voice conveyed the voice of reason, and truth.

Lily slumped against the back of the chair and sighed. “We have to figure it out. Maybe we can find his clipboard and get a glimpse of what he wrote on it.”

“That won’t do any good if he didn’t write it down.” Percy mentally patted himself on the back for that point.

“Don’t be such a sour-puss Percy. We have to try something. What if they want to give her up? Are you willing to be a part of that?” Nanny gave him the eagle-eye; something he hadn’t received from her up until then.

“Of course I don’t want to give her up, but chances are the government will. She’s only one person. Millions of lives are at stake.”

Lily looked at him in disbelief. “Thanks for the loyalty, Percy.”

“I didn’t say I agreed with them.” He looked at her pleadingly. There was something about her that reminded him of his mom. “If she and his dad got together, she could be his new mom.

“He’s right, sugar. That’s my fear, too. We need to get the colonel awake as soon as humanly possible. Let’s go find that doctor.

As quick as that, Nanny was up and ready to go. She didn’t mention her tiredness again, but Lily was pretty sure she was still exhausted. There were deep lines etched around her eyes.

They all filed out of the tent, Mushi hot on their heels. Lily reached down and ruffled his ears. He was a very loyal companion, and she was lucky he didn’t bark at everything that moved like some small dogs did. “Mommy loves you, Mushi.”

Percy tried to cover a sound of disgust but the women heard it. “Don’t you like dogs, sugar?”

“I guess they’re okay, I’m just not really a fan. They bark and shed and go to the bathroom all over the house. I prefer hamsters or rats.”

Lily shuddered. “You’ve got to be kidding me. Who, in their right mind, would like rodents over dogs?”

“I would.” He smiled at her look of disgust.

“I wouldn’t have thought that about you, kid.” Nanny looked at him strangely, as if for the first time.

“That doesn’t make me an ax-murderer.”

“So you say.” She waggled her bushy, black brows at him and smiled eerily.

“You’re playing, right?”

“If that’s what you think.” She strode ahead, leaving him to come to his own conclusion. She was just teasing, trying to put him more at ease.

“Well I think you’re crazy and my like-a-meter just went down a couple pegs.” Lily wrinkled her nose to emphasize the point.

He laughed companionably and said, “I appreciate you guys making me feel like part of the family.”

Nanny turned to smile at him from ahead and Lily from behind. “You’re welcome.” They said at the same time.


                                                          ***


Dr. Wiles rushed back to his tent, trying to remain unseen by the trio headed his way. He hadn’t meant to eavesdrop, but he’d been on his way to check the older lady because she’d been holding herself stiffly while they’d talked.

The three announced their presence at his tent flap and he said, “Come in.”

“We need you to wake the colonel up.” Nanny demanded. She didn’t make any bones about it.

“Why, what’s wrong?”

“We need the colonel to command us. We have a private matter we need to discuss with him as soon as possible.”

“I can’t just wake a patient up with that kind of weak excuse. I’ll need something more solid.” He had to cover all his bases so he didn’t end up in trouble over this. He needed them to do it without his specific go-ahead.

“The terrorists want Lily. If you don’t wake the colonel up, our government might give her up.”

The devastation on the young man’s face tore at the doctor’s heart. “I can’t wake him up.” Three faces fell, and he added, “But you can.”

They jerked their faces to his questioningly.

He walked over to his drug cabinet, unlocked it, filled a syringe and handed it to Percy. “Put this in his IV, and you never saw me.”

“Yes sir.”