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Post by Georgia Wells on Jan 1, 2016 3:16:34 GMT -5
Georgia watched the door, only looking back slightly as George closed the garage door. Great, now they were trapped in here. The door closing castes shadows in what had once been lit. She blinked a few times until her eyes adjusted.
"Alright, so we check the room. Shine your light and see if it draws any more close ones out. If there's any trapped the light may make them make sound too, and we can track them," she said making sure her rifle was secure on her back. She let George search the room first and when he wa scone she motioned for Sam to follow her in a quick search.
She grabbed a screwdriver from a bench, along with an empty tool belt. She opened Sam's bag and tossed it inside. Moving around the room she dug threw baskets, crates, and shelves looking for anything and everything.
"If we need glue or screws there's a bunch back here, but that's about it," she said standing up, "what you find?"
She looked at both Sam and George waiting for an answer. She tripped her knife tighter, handing a monkey wrench to Sam. She pocketed the knife in it's sheath as she grabbed a hammer from one of the tables. It wasn't as sharp but had more force behind it.
Sam quickly ducked to his knees. He reached under the shelves and dug out any item he could. He removed his bag opening it up for Georgia to distribute her items. He kept it open, leaving it in the floor as he searched some more. He looked back slightly. Both he and Georgianhad their backs turned, had this guy wanted trouble he could do so right now and they'd be none the wiser.
Sam dropped his items in his bag, some duck-tape, some welding gloves, welding goggles, and what looked like a small bottle of green paint. He also managed to grab some copper wire from a top shelf, a few batteries, and what looked like an unopened can of oil.
Seeing Georgia and George both at the door he quickly dropped the items in his bag and did it up. He slung it on his back, tightInning the straps. Placing his knife in his belt he accosted the wrench swinging it a few times for good measure.
He then made sure his rifle was good and attached to his bag.
"Why don't you go first George, we'll follow behind." He paused. "What do you thing this room was, like the break room. It looks kinda narrow. Maybe it leads to other rooms, a hallway."
“Me?” Asked George. “I found what I need to keep my weapon clean. Looks like there are a fair few car parts here but only large components. I don’t know engines off the top of my head, though I sure as hell could work one out. But any layman can see these shelves are devoid of small components. Whoever came through here took all the small, fiddly, hard to make internal components. Smart. But look over there.” He gestured to a corner of one of the shelves that was laden with books and papers. “Mechanical manuals and the detailed layout of various different types of vehicle. Those will be valuable. Even if they don’t quite line up with your vehicle, or vehicles.” He still had not given up on the idea of a camp. “You can apply many of the same principles and solutions. Worth their weight in gold. You may want to drain the hydraulic fluid from the car lift if out have any hydraulic components that need maintaining and there is a good fifteen meters of high grade electrical cable running from the lift to the wall. You may want to lift that.” All of this was said based on only a cursory glance around the room. Given more time George may have been able to find more components worth salvaging. But his attention was still firmly into the dimly lit room ahead. What should have been clear to both Georgia and Sam though, was when it came to mechanical salvage George was no slouch.
All his talking however, had attracted the attention of something in the next room. George could hear repeated trunks and thuds as something strained against an obstacle it seemingly could not overcome. Furthermore, if he went quiet, he could just about hear a slow, repetitive wet slap followed by a slow, moist dragging sound. He now knew that there were at least two creatures inside. One struggling for freedom the other dragging itself along the ground.
Casting his eye into the room George shook his head at Sam’s suggestion. “I don’t think so Simon. This rapidly opens up into a wider space and I saw a till. This is the front room for customers. But there is a door off almost immediately to the left. This is a rectangular building and the next room is L shaped. If there is a break room, and a bathroom, they will be through the door to the left. But let’s stop wasting time.”
With that he stepped into the next room, the red beam of his light steadily scanning left and right, up and down. Sam and Georgia would find they could see the shadows better than they might expect. George put a red filter on his light for a reason. True, the thing he was shining it on was not quite as well illuminated as it would have been under white light and colours all became various shades of red. But, it had almost no impact on the human eye’s low light adjustments. A white light blinded you to everything other than what you were shining it on. A red light still let you see in the dark.
Then, around the corner of the counter, at ankle height came a decaying head. It was in better condition than most of the corpses here, fresher but by no means recent. Unwilling to risk a bite to the ankle by stamping but missing George instead stopped slightly and swung down with his axe once more. The creature was just about to get his bony fingers around George’s ankle when he suddenly went still from the impact. The thudding and clattering meanwhile had increased in energy but George could still not see what was causing it. Around the bend in the L perhaps. Stepping around the counter George could see that this creature’s legs were still on the other side of the room, an judging by the lack of entrails strew across the floor most of this man’s chest cavity must have gone as well. “Latest meal.” Said George plainly. “Explains why they were all crammed into this room.” Before adding. “See anything you want?” As he scanned the walls and shelves with his light.
Post by Georgia Wells on Jan 2, 2016 20:06:09 GMT -5
As George mentioned the hydroclic fluid and the electrical cable, Georgia shook her head. She didn't know if they needed it, and it looked to heavy or messy to carry. The manuals would be the same. To much to carry, to scattered all over. They were best to leave them, not something they needed right now.
"We don't have time," she said calmly, "let's just keep moving. I don't want to risk more than we have to. Plus the weight is to much, all those papers would weigh a ton. Simon couldn't handle it."
She heard the growl from the door, thumping, a trapped one. If it kept it up it may cause walkers to follow it. Lead the, to it's cries.
She followed behind George, watching the red light flick over everything. "Feel like I'm in a horror movie," she said calmly, "or a submarine. Why are they always lit up red."
She moved past George as he dealt with the sinner. She wished she had her own light, so,etching she would add to run list when they got back. Lies were needed if they truly wanted to find some useful items.
Georgia looked at the shelves laid out before them. Most were bare. A few had air freshers, which she quickly pocket in her jacket. They helped in burying the dead, or would just make the running cars smell better. Besides that the shelves held pamphlets, a few trophies or an award. There was some car wash deal basket.
She pulled it down, ripping into the plastic wrap. Placing the contents in Sam's bag she nodded. "Should be good to go. There's still that thumping, keep your eyes out. Let's check the next room."
Post by Sam Youlley on Jan 2, 2016 21:32:49 GMT -5
"Probably right. Is ther and upstairs," Sam asked, "don't mechanic shops usually have offices,mfor the boss and all that. I haven't been in much mechanic shops."
He tugged on the rifle again, "but she's right. We should get moving."
He followed the pair, turning around every so often to look behind him. He watched the light, surprised it lit up more than he was expecting. He could see many corners, and it didn't cast as dark of shadows. Maybe they should implement this on the spotlight, wouldn't be as bright.
When George pointed to the shelves Sam took off his pack so Georgia could fill it with what she wished.
"We should check the corner for sure. There may be something there."
“Return trip to your SUV?” Asked George, as something of a proposition to solve Georgia’s weight and space issue. “If the streets aren’t crowded it could be done quite readily.” But unwilling to press the issue he shrugged his shoulders and said. “It’s your loss.”
When she said that she felt like she was in a horror movie, or a submarine film George could not but help but hum a little snippet from the theme to Das Boot, smiling slightly to himself as he did so before answering her question. “In part the same reason I am using red light now, preserves low light vision. Some sections of the ship might have even their emergency lights knocked out and it helps the crew transition from section to section without having to wait to acclimatise. Also, in an old school submarine...” It was at this point, mid-sentence that George rounded the corner of the L shaped room and found the source of the noise. A single rotting fiend trapped behind several tipped over shelves, one arm stretching for George as hard as it could, an eye just peeking out from underneath. Without taking a pause in his sentence George walked over and, drawing out his knife, rammed it home on the eye through a gap too small for his axe. “White light could reflect back up out of the periscope and be seen by ships on the surface like a torch.” Withdrawing his knife once more he wiped it clean on the sleeve of the rotter and put it back in its sheath, still chatting away. “When using the periscope they would go to red light or total black to remain hidden.”
Seeing nothing of interest to him in this room he wandered back over to his companions and said with an apologetic tone. “Sorry for the natter. Haven’t spoken to anyone in a while, must be trying to catch up.” Then casting his light to the one door they had not checked he added. “Simon’s right. There is a small upstairs section, far smaller than the ground floor. Looked like an addition. No stairs on the outside though. So, as well as one small room and likely a washroom any stairs will be through there.”
Unwilling to trust his torch to a stranger in the event everything went south and they all ended up running off in different directions George instead volunteered. “Let me get in the front again, excuse me.” He awkwardly made his way past Georgia and Sam in the cramped confines of the room, his pack making it none the easier. But out of politeness he was bumping into them as little as was possible.
He eventually made it to the door and, opening it, stepped into a small room with an empty water cooler, a few lockers, a coffee machine , a cheap plastic table and chairs that were little more than lawn furniture and a few other odds and ends. To the right was a door marked WC whilst to the left was a steep set of stairs leading into the room above. Casting his torch up the stairs George could see what looked like a sheet of corrugated metal, half resting across the gap. Likely what remained of a barricade but either it had been breached or whoever was up there had gone and not attempted to reassemble it as he left.
But with no walkers in sight George’s eyes kept drifting to the coffee machine. He was hoping against hope there was some powder and unused filters. He could kill for a cup of joe, his mind was even now drifting to thoughts of eager anticipation as he would boil water over a campfire and gently poor it through the coffee grounds into his mug, eking out the precious black liquid drop by drop. But no time for that now. The bathroom and upstairs would have to be secured before their minds could turn to scavenging.
Post by Georgia Wells on Jan 3, 2016 22:40:52 GMT -5
"We don't mind chit chat," Georgia said calmly, "been a while since we came across anyone. Most just try and take things from you. We're usually prime targets. I don't know while, maybe we look weak and like pushovers," she shook her head. "We had to kill one pair. They tried to grab us, had a crazy look in their eyes," she moved back to let George pass. "You ever kill anyone George?"
She looked at the trapped walker as George took care of it. When the silence came upon the room she looked for any noise in the distance. She entered the room behind him, looking at the chairs and tables. There was no walkers, a nice treat for a change. They had seen more here in the place then the farm had on the walls the last couple of days. That meant they were still in the cities and towns. With what Amber had said they ran into, there could be a lot more George and her came across.
She went over to the water cooler, starting to fiddle with it. It was empty, and she moved it up and past her. "Dam we could of refilled our bottles."
Post by Sam Youlley on Jan 3, 2016 23:17:38 GMT -5
"Man you know a lot about subs. We're you military," Sam asked aiming his rifle at the noise around the corner. He wouldn't shoot, didn't want to risk more coming toward him. If anything he would shoot if a whole bunch came at them. But the chances of that happening were slim. "Or you just one of those trivia guys, the ones who would win at bars."
He stepped back as George went around the corner. He watched him deal with the walker and looked into the next room. Once inside he examined the chairs and table. Cards were spread out over it, someone had been playing cards. He looked at the ones. "Hey is this a flush," he asked picking up the top four ones. He did t know if they were, cards were not his strong suit.
Both him and Georgia didn't even notice the coffee. They were used to it, a cup almost every morning. Coffee was one of the things they had. Fort Bragg had big bags of coffee beans so it was a luxury for them, they. He looked at George, "which room first, the upstairs or the bathroom."
Sam walked over to the bathroom and slapped his hand against the door. He pressed his ear against it. "I don't hear anything. Looks empty"
George chuckled slightly at the idea he might be military but he just shook his head. “No no, but the man who taught me to use red light was. Same guy who told me about the subs. I was surprised when he told me. Not that it was true but that I had never thought to use red light myself before. It seems so obvious.” Before adding. “As for the bar quiz scene, never really my cup of dirt.” Continuing with a slight chuckle that showed he was not being entirely serious he finished. “Would not have been fair on the competition.”
George listened to Georgia’s story about having to kill a pair who had let the apocalypse seemingly get to them. Such things were a sad inevitability. But he did not seem phased. That was until Georgia asked him if he had ever killed anyone. He seemed to falter mid way through his step, his whole body language changed. Something in the atmosphere of the room almost instantly shifted. George did his best to ignore it, play it off even. Like an actor who stumbles over his lines on stage you move quickly on and act as though nothing happened. If either Sam or Georgia were looking away at the vital moment they would miss it. But anyone keeping an eye on him could see it. “Yes.” Was his one word reply. Quiet, even, flat and matter of fact. He did not elaborate
Instead he just cast his eyes up, to the room above. He seemingly ignored Sam’s question about the cards. More normally it would have been a query George could readily answer but now his mind was quite elsewhere and idle chit chat was no longer on his mind. Similarly the complaint about a lack of water went unheard, even his coffee was momentarily forgotten.
Only Sam’s question about the bathroom received an answer. “Check it, just to be sure.” But George was not expecting anyone or anything to be there. Toilet roll at best. Only was this was done would he head up the stairs, past the easily shifted sheets of metal. Upstairs was what would once have been a perfectly normal office. A desk, a swivel chair, computer, filing cabinets and shelves. Even a few little sporting trophies from regional competitions, a bowling trophy dated six years ago, third place in the cross country run and a few completion certificates. More recently though someone had been living here. There was a sleeping bag laid out on the floor, covered in a thin layer of dust. A few pots and pans, a portable gas stove, a few pillows, a well-thumbed book on the ground and that sort of thing. But nothing small, nothing light and nothing truly essential.
The curtains were only partially drawn here, light streamed in and the group had a good view of the surrounding streets. Switching off his light George’s attention went to a cracked window, the fractures radiating out from a neat hole. His eye followed the hole into the opposite wall where there was a similar matching hole in the flimsy, low budget construction material. “Whoever was sleeping here took fire, grabbed his panic bag and ran. My guess is that whoever shot at him took the choice salvage from downstairs after they ran the old inhabitant off. No way a fleeing man would bother to take car parts.”
Post by Georgia Wells on Jan 4, 2016 22:58:17 GMT -5
Georgia heard George say he had killed someone. It wasn't that strange now a day, she had killed only five people. She could remember them all. All five were raiders fro. Raleigh, two had even used her. When the farm came to rescue Sarah. In the chaos she strangled one and used his knife to kill three others. She hadn't killed since.
"So was this in self defence, to give mercy to some one," Georgia asked. She wanted to assess him. If he was true to who he was then maybe he had a place on the farm. From what she'd seen so far he seemed level headed, something they needed. But she wouldn't be surprised if he had done it just for kicks. The world had made people fuckes up now, he'll she was a prisoner for the better part of the last two years.
She followed him upstairs and looked at the holes in the wall. Someone had been shooting, there were bullet holes. The stuff was still here, but it hadn't been used in a while. Pose wondered what caused this. Looking out the window she could see the SUV, still intact, untouched.
"Probably right. But then who was that fresh kill down the stairs. Wasn't as rotten as the others. The dust on the sleeping bag says it was a while ago, but the kill looked fresher than that."
Post by Sam Youlley on Jan 4, 2016 23:09:57 GMT -5
"Makes sense. Your friend must have been Navy then," Sam said calmly as he walked, always at the back. "All the army people I know wouldn't have mentioned that. And they use white lights, even on the guns they had. White lights were standard." He nodded. "Where would you get a filter like that? And would it work for a spotlight?"
He followed them Up the stairs. When George said he killed someone Sam turned to look at him. He never had, he couldn't bring himself to do it. He had fired at some, but the bullets didn't even hit. He thought he could if it came down to it, but it would be up for debate. He liked to think he would be able to, but deep down he was afraid. He couldn't harm someone he didn't know. He didn't eve. Think he could give someone mercy.
Sam quickly pulled the door open to the bathroom. Inside was nothing but dust. He spotted one roll in the far corner and quickly added it to his pack. He then stepped back. "Alright let's move on."
Upstairs he waited behind in the cramped room. As the two talked he pocketed the book and began to roll up the sleeping roll. With over thirty people on the farm it would come in handy. Plus winter was coming, it was the first one together, they would need it with no heat source.
He stood up. "Let's Check the shelves, desks, and cabinets."
George nodded at the mention of his old colleague being Navy. “Reserves.” He said by way of clarification. “I think all branches of the military have the option of red light torches. Doesn’t require a lot of effort and it pays to have the choice. White light is just better at certain jobs. I saw the guy use red light to read maps in the dark a lot. But I’m speculating. As for getting the filters came with the torch when I bought it. There is a normal white light bulb in this torch and a little slot just in front of the lens. If you don’t put anything in the slot it is white light. But I have several solid little plastic disks designed to be inserted into the slot, all the major colours. Red, blue, green, orange, what have you. Simply put in the disk you get that colour light. Useful for signals as well I would guess. As for spotlights the exact same principle would hold. But you need a coloured piece of plastic the same size as the light. These ones would be too small for a spotlight.”
When it came to Georgia, George was not going to lie. Partly because there was always the risk of being caught instantly, usually the risk was slim but it was there. A far greater risk was being caught down the road and the longer a deception is maintained the worse the consequences of discovery. He needed allies, he would not risk this for the sake of an unbelievable deception. If he had said he had not killed anyone who would have believed him? But he did not want to tell the whole truth either, or at least the truth as he perceived it. When he was first asked the question, had he killed, only one face played in his mind. But now a great many more were flashing across his conscious. He had done the right thing, at least it always seemed like the right thing. Hindsight sometimes caused him to question that. But he did not want the scale of the dead for which he felt responsible to be revealed just yet. There was a difference between lying and omitting elements of the truth.
Fortunately Georgia offered him a way out. She offered reasons for why he had killed and one word covered it all, depending on interpretation. Without looking up or turning to face Georgia he simply said. “Mercy.” And continued on. He was hoping that short, closed, answers would shut down any further enquiries and that continuing to clear the building might focus attention away from his past. But this was only a hope. It was well within both Georgia’s and Sam’s ability to keep asking questions.
Upstairs George took a moment to look out on the streets below. A few more walkers had been drawn to the building. But not many, two or three on each side. They had been lucky, Sam’s fall had not doomed them all. But it only took one or two walkers in a herd to notice a noise to draw the whole swarm along. What was in the streets now they could handle. But George did not want to face the concentration to the North. It was far from the thousands strong seas of creatures he had seen before. It was less than a hundred, but more than fifty. More than enough to kill all three of them if they made a big enough mistake.
In answer to Georgia’s question about the man ripped in two down below George had no definite answers. “Third party maybe, another scavenger who came this way. Can’t be sure.” More normally he might have tried to say something a little musing at this juncture but he was not in the mood. His entire aura was cooler. Not hostile, not bitter or angry just subdued. Instead he turned to checking the shelves, largely filled with financial papers, legal documents, pay forms, employee records, all the paper work inherent in running a business. Maybe the others would have more luck with the desk and cabinets. Perhaps the survivor who had lived here had stashed things there. Perhaps it had already been looted by whoever drove him off. Perhaps. Idly he commented. “If you have a way of generating electricity you might want the computer. If you don’t or think it is too heavy to move you might consider breaking it open and taking the lighter internal components. Not like we have the ability to make precision electronics right now, parts might come in handy.” He was expecting the answer to be no. But he felt he would not be doing his part if he did not point it out.
Post by Georgia Wells on Jan 5, 2016 18:50:07 GMT -5
Georgia nodded as George spoke. Mercy was common. Raiders did it less than most but still it had to be given. It was no different than suicide. Just ending it. It was better than turning, a noble thing if done with permission. A noble thing anyway you looked at it actually. Offering a dying person peace. But she didn't like how he didn't go into detail. One worded answers were always covering something, he could have at least gave a person on who it was, his wife, a friend, random stranger. It may be tough for him, which would make sense. If she had to guess, it was this navy person he talked about,
It wasn't like the farm didn't accept killer either. From the rumours she heard Max had killed a hundred plus people. He was a killer like any other, scared her actually. This guy, George, he seemed normal compared to the rest. Even Amber had said she killed a few, though she regretted it.
Upstairs Georgia watched George examine the window. "What you looking at," she asked calmly. She walked up to his side, seeing a couple walkers below. "We can handle those. Make a run to the car. Unless you see another building worth looting. Often the normal ones, houses, apartments, have more junk in them to find."
She walked over to the filing cabinet p. Pulling open the first of three drawers she found papers. Tax returns, manuals, records, and other slips they didn't need. She closed it and tried the second. Inside were binders, filled with more papers. Closing the drawer she went to the second. Pulling it open she dug around. There were papers in the front, but a gap sat behind them. She reached her hand in and felt something hard and smooth. Pulling it out she found a glass bottle, label reading a popular scotch brand. "Score, check this out," she said, "wonder if it was stashed here before, or after all this. Think the boss drank on the job?"
She looked at George. As he spoke of a third party he seemed cold. She wondered what had gotten into him. "I wouldn't even know where to begin in the electronics inside, what's good and what's bad. I don't even know how to open it. Plus it looks ancient. Been there a while."
Post by Sam Youlley on Jan 5, 2016 19:05:28 GMT -5
"Neat little light you have there," Sam said with a. Smile, "I can see how you could make a bigger scale, or alter any light to fit that. I'm not that handy, buy you take and see through plastic you could tape it to the end of the light. May have to add that to the flashlights we have." Of course they didn't have it on them, instead they were back at the farm. "What do the blue and green light looks like. I imagine those being to dark to see anything, not even worth it."
Upstairs he was going through the desk. Most had standard office supplies. He grabbed the pens and a pencils, sliding it into the pack. There were stables, paper clips. He grabbed a few papers clips adding it to his pocket. People could pick locks with those right? Max said he could get out of handcuffs with a paper clip.
As he searched more he found more papers and envelopes. Taking one of the envelope he found it to contain money. A little under two hundred dollars. It was funny, this ran the world, now it was worthless. He searched around some more. There was a pack of old gum and a few cigarettes in the far back drawer. He took both adding it to his pack.
Stepping back he looked at the computer as George and Georgia spoke of it. "If it was smaller it may be worthwhile. A laptop even more. It would be to heavy to carry all that way to the car. As for components inside, mother boards, processors, chips and wires. I can't think of a use for them, I don't have anything to build, or mess up building." .
Alcohol? Did people still drink that? Why risk it, why dull your senses? Why make yourself less aware, less coordinated. It was dangerous enough when you were at your best, let alone when you had your edge taken off? Still, maybe some people needed to be dulled to it all. Some people drank to forget their worries before the world went to hell. And now there were a lot more worries. “Who knows?” He said to Georgia’s query. It was more polite than saying who cares.
As far as the computer was concerned he was expecting a negative reply. But he hoped that one day they would need these kinds of electronic parts once again. Civilisation and scientific progress had certainly taken a blow but George hoped it was not a lethal one. He did not want mankind to regress if he could get away with it. But that was not for today.
Looking out over to the café come delicatessen he had spotted earlier he said. “If people were staying here for any amount of time that place will already have been looted. We could look at it on the off chance, but I don’t like off chances.” He sighed and shook his head before continuing. “There are a small number of residential units in all directions, about half of which appeared to have smashed in doors or windows from the tree line. But if you want to look at them only go south or west. Too many rotter’s to the north and the noise of your car in the east will have drawn a few out. But….”
He looked back out over the street once more, his tired, red eyes looking over the shuffling corpses outside. She was right, they could take them. But what came next? That was what bothered him. “We made a loud noise once and drew this. We might not be so lucky next time. I have all the food and water I need, scavenged what I need for my rifle. Ammunition would have been nice but I think we are pushing our luck. If you want to look further I will have your back. But I vote we leave before things turn bad.”
Post by Georgia Wells on Jan 9, 2016 22:57:06 GMT -5
George was cold again and she swished the drink in the bottle. "Maybe you need a sip of this," she said with a smirk as she leaned over the desk. "Loose up a bit. Relax, you're with people. You were fine earlier, when did the stick get shoved up your ass?" Sam sot her a glare as she moved over to the window.
She looked at the cafe across the street and a few of the residential houses farther down. "Yeah cafe is probably picked clean. I doubt it will have anything." She looked North. "How many are there, walkers I mean. There a hoarde?" She didn't want to deal with that. If there was any chance of one she would cut ties right now and leave.
"There's an office to the west, few doors down. We can clear it out, offices usually have more supplies. I don't want to stop, we need a bigger haul today. A roll of toilet paper, and a mystery can isn't enough."
Post by Sam Youlley on Jan 9, 2016 23:17:38 GMT -5
As Georgia went off on George Sam just glared. "Be nice," he mouthed to her. They didn't need to be rude towards anyone. He knew Georgia could be an ass, and got defensive, but she didn't need to act like that. She was better than that, and he knew it. George obviously had something upset him, Sam's guess was it was the mention of the kill. Death upset everyone.
As the two looked out the window he balanced all his gear in the now sighted pack. He listened to them. Georgia was right, they should get going. A bigger haul would have been good to bring back, more food. If it was just the two of them they would be fine, but the whole farm. They would need more supplies. Max had a few distribution warehouses spotted. Sam hoped those had a bigger haul to them. They weren't easy runs though, required six or seven men plus drivers. It wouldn't be easy.
"George is right, we should just get going. Maybe we can find a gas station or another shop out of town. One of those truck stops thing," Sam suggested, though it was a shot I'm the dark. "We have been out here long enough, let's get the supplies back, deal with any sinners near the car. Then we leave. It's the safest route. Office is to dangerous."
It was two against one, looks like they were leaving. Georgia nodded and shoved the bottle in Sam's pack.
"George, want to take point again," Sam asked, reading his weapon.
The incident with the stick up his ass could have gone badly had George not been intensely aware of how much more he needed this duo than they needed him. If they left him to rot tonight they could sleep soundly with someone to watch over them. He could not. As such he supressed any urge to snap back and instead attempted to defuse the situation by saying. “The leading theory amongst some old friends of mine is that it was present from birth, no one put it there.” He hoped a touch of self-deprecating humour would alleviate things even though he did not particularly feel as though he wanted to be funny.
Let’s get the supplies back? George felt like thanking his new friend for confirming the existence of a camp, all be it inadvertently. But George decided not to call attention to it, for now. Instead he simply nodded saying.
"You’re both right. I agree with Simon, we need to leave. But I also agree with your George that the reward has been a bit low. I think Simon’s idea of hitting a roadside stop or two is our best bet.” George’s use of the word our, was intentional. The more he made it sound like they were all on the same team the more likely they were to treat him that way and let him tag along. He did not call attention to it, it was subtle, but it was planned. Looking back out of the window to the SUV George seemed to be thinking on something.
Eventually he said. “If you came in on the east road you are likely going to want to head back that way. If we want to pick up gas or hit gas stations then we are going to have some problems, if you want to avoid towns anyway. I know I do, too much danger, likely already looted. But I think there are a few options.” Reaching into one of his pouches he drew out a serious looking map, then with a mutter about it being the wrong one slid it back in and drew out another equally impressive map. Unfolding it on the office desk he idly stated. “Let’s plan.” Pointing between a few landmarks and the map he stated. “That hill is this hill here, those trees are these trees and we are here.” He was seeming a little bit more authoritative now, not as though he was being bossy and more like he just knew what he was doing.
“I say we head east on the 421, north onto the 221 and then east onto Idlewild. We ride that to a little outside Orbids, then turn south onto the Calloway Gap. From there we drive to the Blue Ridge Parkway and head north back into the south eastern edge of the village.” He was using the blunt end of a pencil on the table to sketch out the route, with a map this detailed a finger was simply too imprecise. What was more he was also going to lengths to avoid accidentally drawing on his precious map. That may as well have been a cardinal sin. He kept explaining his plan. “A little bit of a detour I know but it means we come in from the right end of town to hit two potential gas stations without having to double back. If memory serves there is a hotel there as well. But almost no one lived there. Pure tourist place, beautiful country. If that doesn’t work we can go north up the 163 to Knettlenob. That place looks as though it should have one. Then turn north east onto Frank Dillard road, follow that until we get on the 88 near Orion. We can follow that all the way to the 21. The 88 should have one or two stations on it. All of these places and roads I just mentioned are in the middle of nowhere, little forest backroads, single lane in some places, no towns, barely even villages. Low risk, difficult to get to without a map, a navigator and a bit of local knowledge. Hopefully untapped. If we are still coming up bust we can get on the 21 and ride it south to the edge of Elkin. I have driven that road a fair few times, several stations. But it’s a main road, may already be tapped. If we are well stocked, or more in need of food and water than fuel and other supplies we can turn south at Laurel Springs, head into the woods, I can see to us there.”
He sighed slightly and shook his head. “The problem is heading east, if you are not careful you hit a lot of the big places, Winston-Salem, Greensborough, Durham and good old Raleigh.” He paused for a moment when he said Raleigh but did not dwell on it. For just a moment his mind went to his old comrades at Raleigh, all those citizens he had saved, those he had doomed and the people he worked with. He seemed to fall silent for a few seconds before starting himself and continuing in the same tone as before, as though nothing had happened.
“All the roads want to funnel you that way. The route I just proposed sets us up for hooking to the north of the state and passing eastward above all of them. We will almost be skirting into Virginia. It’s safe but the problem is your ultimate destination. If you want to go to the centre of the state that is sending you a long way out of your way. You won’t be able to hook back until you pass Raleigh, hook down before Rocky Mount. Or if you are brave you could try doing so earlier between Burlington and Hillsborough. Where is it you ultimately want to end up?” He looked at Georgia and Sam a little expectantly, a quizzical look just visible though his ski googles. If they lied or stayed vague they would make life a lot more difficult for themselves. But if they were precise they would be telling George where their camp was before they had even intentionally confirmed its existence.
Last Edit: Jan 10, 2016 18:37:57 GMT -5 by Deleted
Post by Georgia Wells on Jan 11, 2016 10:48:46 GMT -5
Georgia looked at the map and listened to George ramble on about where to go next. It was to much information to fast. It made her head hurt to think about. Plus she didn't care. They couldn't stray to far from the farm, at most one night. She didn't want to get turned around and lost when she knew where it was now. All this east, North, then west made it sound like a goose chase. All these towns, options.
"Uh well I don't want to venture any further than Releigh, or any further than Charolette. More around this general area. She didn't even know if it was close to the farm, but it was in between the two as the farm was. She pointed with her finger, drawing a rough circle of where she wanted to go. It wasn't far from here, the town they were in now within the circle.
"I don't want to get to far in one day. We move in small increments. Blue ridge park way might work, but not if it's to far. How long would it take roughly, say not counting any obstacles." She looked at the map again. It was very confusing, like looking at Google view. "Ultimately we don't have a plan on wher to end up, we just don't want to get to far from those locations."
She looked away, "we are looking for someone, a guy on a bike. He was part of our group and we were separated. We just know he's in roughly those locations. He wouldn't go further than that. So we don't want to either. Just want to find him." It wasn't a lie, so it would be believable. They were looking for Thadd, just not exactly. It was a side goal.
George shook his head when asked if the Parkway was not too far from their search area. He seemed a little disappointed when he was forced to say. “Blue Ridge Park Way is in the far North West. In the corner between Virginia and Tennessee. My kind of place, no people, lots of wildlife. Low rotter density, good hunting and gathering. I have spent a lot of time in Stone Mountain State Park which is up there. I tend to only come into towns for mechanical gear and ammunition these days. But it is a long way from your search area.” Doing some quick estimations and a little bit of mental arithmetic he added. “In terms of time and distance it’s about one hundred and forty miles. So three and a half hours in the SUV with no issues. But there are always issues.”
Casting his eye back to the map he examined the area Georgia had indicated. The country between Charlotte and Raleigh made up the majority of internal North Carolina. Indeed there was a great diamond of open farmland and light woodland bordered by Charlotte and Raleigh to the West and East, with Fort Bragg to the South and Greensborough to the North. Just off of its centre lay the Uwharrie National Forest.
“What was your rally point?” Asked George, assuming they had one. He knew from his planning days of old you always had a rally point in case you got separated or things went wrong. He was also assuming the person they were after wanted to be found. “I am guessing you checked there already, maybe he was forced off. If so he is likely nearby, waiting for you to find him. It may help narrow our search.”
However, sensing there might be slightly more to this than he was being told he presented an alternative scenario. “If however, he wanted to get lost then the Uwharrie National Forest is the place to go. What kind of bike did he have? Some kinds of bike will tie him to the road unless he ditches it. Others allow him to go more or less anywhere. If he went to the forest though he is limited on gas station choices. Might help the search.” Then, as an afterthought he added. ”If he is in there and wants fresh water he has likely moved to the River Haven, big source of fresh water. I don’t know how skilled in the wild your friend is but if he is unfamiliar with the woods and wants water that is where he will go. All the other sources are too small, would easily be missed by a novice but no one could miss the Haven.”
He then sighed heavily and looked down. “Truth be told though, without a hot trail it’s a needle in a haystack unless he wants to be found. What about old haunts? People often go back to what they know in times of stress.”
Last Edit: Jan 11, 2016 18:21:32 GMT -5 by Deleted