Destruction Aftermath, Book 1
Chapter 16

Copyright© 2010 by radio_guy

Two more guys got out of one SUV. We now had seen six men, twice what we were told. Neither of the last two were the driver and we couldn't see him or her.

One of them called out. "Shirley?"

Shirley answered, "I'm Shirley and this is my husband, Jack. Who are you and where are the rest of you?"

"We are all right here. We wanted to be sure we had the right people before the ladies came out. Ladies, it's okay. You can come out now."

Three women came out of one of the other SUV's but not from the driver's seat of it. They looked bedraggled and maybe a bit bruised. This was looking worse by the moment.

Shirley said, "You are one short and there's three drivers. I don't think you've been honest with us about your numbers or the status of some of your group. We don't allow women to be mistreated in our community." More quietly, she said, "Jack, let's go. I hate to leave those women but there are too many and this isn't the OK corral."

"I agree on all counts."

Shirley called out, "I'm sorry but I don't think we compatible in how we treat people or in telling the truth. We will leave now. Don't follow us." She moved to get in the truck as did I but I watched the men as I moved.

It's good that I did because both of them went for guns inside the SUV's. Guns also appeared from the driver's window of each SUV. I was glad the engine was running as I jumped in. I dropped the truck into gear and floored the accelerator as I spun the wheel to the left to head South away from the SUV's. I could hear shots and hollered, "Down! Shots fired! Shots fired!" That was for the benefit of our listening audience. "Hold positions! Talk to me, Robert. Over." I unhooked the mike from the keyed down position.

"The guys up the hill aren't moving yet though they will be soon. They're going to their SUV's now. Over."

"Roger, come on down and get in your truck. They don't know you're around so stay out of sight as you do. Clear." I tossed the mike to Shirley. "Tell Michael and Ted to get moving toward us ready to shoot and be shot at." Looking in the rear view mirror, I saw they had left the women standing there. "Tell Michael to try to help those women. Tell Ted to shoot some tires!"

She did and, as she was speaking, I saw the Mustang heading toward us at speed. Ted had his rifle and was shooting at front windows as they came. Windshields are a pretty big target but that Mustang was flying. He did manage to hit two windshields and a grill leaving the bad guys with only one SUV that had not been hit. Shirley shot at it as she had drawn her pistol and turned around in the seat. They shot a bit but were not good shots. I was worried that sheer volume could get us. Shirley took aim and shot the windshield of the one good SUV and put her shot into the area of the driver. It immediately swerved and went off the road crashing into a barrier hard. Michael and Ted had continued on to the three women. They jumped in the back as he slammed on brakes and then took off. Ted was aiming now and the shots were easier as the distance was closing. Michael came to about fifty feet behind one SUV and Ted shot the driver. The last one had been catching up on us and Shirley shattered the windshield with two more aimed shots. It kept coming until Ted shot its driver also.

She got on the radio, "Everyone okay?"

Ted said, "All okay."

Robert said, "Those last two SUV's are coming fast. Charlie's driving and we're going to come in behind them. We'll try to take them out. I'm a pretty good shot."

"Okay, but be careful. We will keep going until after they are stopped or stop themselves." Shirley said.

I concentrated on my driving as I was going over eighty miles an hour. Michael was catching me rapidly. That mustang could really move. The only issue we had was the two remaining SUV's and they were behind but not far enough. "They're too far for Sharpeye Shirl." I said. Shirley turned to me and grinned. Then she looked back.

"Robert and Ted have pulled on behind them. They have seen them and don't like the odds any more. They have taken the exit ramp!"

I took the mike. "Slow down, they've given up the chase. Let's get well out of sight and pull over. We need information. Shirley will report back to home."

"This is Janice. Are you okay, Momma Shirley. Over."

I know you've been listening on the repeater. First, everyone is okay. Second, we have three women that were, we think, being held captive. Third, we have escaped from the bad guys. There were more of them than they told us. We're headed for a safe spot. When we stop, we will talk to the women and figure out what to do then. Any questions? Over."

Cindy's voice came over the speaker, "No questions, Shirley. Please keep us updated. We are concerned. You might want to have a sentry. They might try something."

Shirley chuckled, "I agree. Once bitten, twice shy. We will pick a safe place out of sight but where we can see the approaches. Shirley clear for now."

"Janice is standing by."

We exited to Lenox Road at a more reasonable speed and found a parking garage that would give us a clear view before we could be surprised. We pulled in out of sight poised to take off again if needed. The engines were cut off and Shirley said, "Let's go talk to our guests."

Everyone was getting out. The women that Michael had picked up had a little fearful look to them. Shirley came up to them and said, "Hi. My name's Shirley Mathews and this is Jack, my husband. Would you tell me who you are and what was happening back there?"

One of the women gave herself a little shake and said, "My name is Linda Arnold, she is Betty Fambrough, and she is Julia Mason. Our husbands from before the Day are dead, mine and Julia's from the virus but Betty's was killed. The four of us were trying to get along with the new situation but no one was alive around us. We gradually expanded our scavenging and were captured by the group you met. They call themselves the Blasters. I don't know why. The four of us had lived in Alpharetta and still did until we were captured when we went into Roswell to look around. Betty's husband resisted and they shot him. We were captured about a week ago. They don't find many people simply because there aren't many left. Th-they share their women and we were forceably shared as soon as they got us back to their place. It was not pleasant though there were a few who were gentle. I think they were doing what they had to do to stay alive. We did, too. They brought us with them to use for show. They expected to have an easy time because no one had ever been ready for them like you were. We don't want to go back!" The others nodded their heads. Shirley's face hardened when she heard about the "sharing."

Linda continued, saying, "We had decided that we would run even if it meant dying rather than go back. Thanks for saving us. We heard the message. Are you really Shirley? You do look like her."

"I'm the Shirley in the message and it's true we have a community though it's not where I said it was and it's bigger, too. We don't like violence, there are too few people already my husband says. I agree but none of us are going to be a victim.

"There won't be any problem with you joining our community. How likely is it that the Blasters will pursue us?"

Linda looked at the other two who sort of shook their heads. "I don't think they will. This was the first time anyone was able to defend themselves much less successfully. They have about ten SUV's and you wiped out three of them as well as wounding or killing some of them. They will be mad but I don't think they are crazy. They might try something later if they can find you. They are more raiders than true fighters."

"Okay. Tell us about yourselves, please."

"Some of what you were told was true. I was a middle school teacher as was Betty. Julia was a nurse. Betty's husband was a high school baseball coach."

Shirley looked at me and said, "Now, what?"

I winced. I said, "Well, I think we need to go back home. We'll need to pick up the trailers, head home and get some clothes for our new friends." They were wearing cut-offs and torn blouses with very little underneath from what I could see.

"Okay," said Shirley, "I'll take the Mustang and Ted and do a little quick shopping with the ladies. We'll meet you where the trailers are parked."

"Okay, that works for me. Be careful though." I gave her a kiss.

The five of them walked over to the Mustang and I heard Ted say, "You want me to drive?"

"Not a chance," responded Shirley, "I want to try this bad boy." They loaded up and left.

"Michael, you're with me. Let's go." We mounted the trucks and headed back to where we had left the trailers. We found nothing disturbed when we got there. We hooked up the trailers and were ready to go. We could hear the Mustang as it drove around a corner.

Shirley pulled up with a small skid. "That was a fun ride!" She tossed the keys to Michael and said, "Does someone want to ride with Jack and me? We're ready to go." Linda volunteered. We all left with Michael leading the way and me bringing up the rear.

As we rode, Shirley reported to the house that all was okay and we were headed back. She said that they should give us an hour and a half and that we had three ladies as guests and new members as well as a new car.

We pulled in to our drive an hour and a half later to relief of everyone. Linda, Betty and Julia were warmly greeted by everyone. Cindy hugged Michael tightly and said, "You have to be careful. I don't have a replacement for you and don't want one."

Michael had been married a while and knew what to say and said, "Yes, Dear."

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