Destruction Aftermath, Book 3
Chapter 4

Copyright© 2011 by radio_guy

Again, someone keyed the repeater. This time, we heard, "Jen, this is Angela. Watch out." the signal dropped again.

I wasted no time. "Everyone on the Rose. Bennie, douse the fire. George, Ed, prepare to cast off. Joe, come with me to the wagon. Stay low."

Jen looked stricken but she joined the rest as Bennie doused the fire dumping our coffee on it. The area darkened immediately. Joe followed me as I ran to the wagon and pulled our guns and ammo. We headed to the boat as George and Ed loosed the lines, started the engine, and moved away from the shore.

I went to the cockpit and George said, "What about your horses, wagon, and supplies?"

"People, first. When we're safe and have light, we'll see what should be done. Stay low, everyone, and no lights." The boat slowly moved away from the dock. Bennie had grabbed his scoped rifle and gone to the land side. Ed had a rifle and was kneeling behind George. I realized I was most exposed and scrunched lower. I had my binoculars and used them trying to see something, anything, in the dark.

We heard some commotion on shore but couldn't see anyone. We heard some banging around but nothing else. I heard one of our horses whinny I was afraid our horses were going to be gone by the morning. That wasn't good but it was survivable. No one was hurt and I wanted to keep it that way. We couldn't see any one or thing to shoot at and nothing shot at us. George moved us a few miles off shore and around an island. He and Ed anchored us for the night with no lights. We kept someone on watch all night switching off. It stayed quiet.

We heard nothing over the radio after that initial warning, if that was what it was.

The next morning was wet with fog and drizzle. George was concerned because the wind was from the east bringing this change in the weather. He said, "It's too early for hurricanes but I worry when the Atlantic has an incoming storm from the east. We'll watch it. If the wind rises or it gets worse, then it's time to really get concerned. Mike, do you want to go toward shore?"

"Yes, George. We need to find out what happened at the camp last night and determine what can be retrieved. Jen, Janice, Bennie, and I have a lot of personal items there."

We helped move the boat toward shore with Joe and Bennie watching through binoculars for any signs of movement. Bennie did report that our camp looked like it had been gone over and was more junked up than we had left it.

We pulled up at the dock ready to run if something started. Bennie and I took our rifles and jumped onto the dock and scurried around trying to be sure that there was no one around but us. We found signs but no people. We were going to use the radios but with a quickly devised code. We had to assume we would be overheard. I pulled my radio out and pressed transmit. I said, "One." That meant that we were okay and hadn't found anyone.

"Two" came from Jen over the speaker.

"Thirteen twenty" I said. That meant that we were going to search a little further from camp.

"Three" came over the speaker acknowledging my transmission. I turned the radio off and put it in my pocket. Bennie and I started to make our way just off the road looking for signs of travel. We passed over a section of road that was covered in sand and checked for tracks. We hadn't seen our horses. There were their tracks in the sand headed away along with feet going in both directions. We continued on with redoubled caution.

We came to the causeway approaching from each side carefully. George and his brothers ha admitted that they were not comfortable on shore tracking or scouting. Bennie and I worked together well and our past experience gave us a feeling of comparative comfort as we were in this worrisome situation. We stayed low and looked over the area before us. I could see no person or animal as far as I could see.

I looked over at Bennie and made a shrugging motion and he nodded. Staying behind a tree, I stood slowly and looked around some more. I had a medium sized rock in my hand and threw it forward to some bushes. It made a thud sound and the bushes shook. I looked over at Bennie and he shook his head for no. He stood, still keeping to cover, and looked around.

Finally, he looked over at me. He said, "If they're out there, they are more patient than we are."

I continued to look around but still saw nothing. There just wasn't anywhere to hide that was within a hundred yards out of the causeway. I said, "Okay, we have to figure that they went back into town. Do we want to rig a warning?"

"I think we had better," Bennie agreed.

We set up a simple electric eye trip wire system that wouldn't hurt anyone but would send a tone on a simplex frequency. I advised Jen by code and, again by code, told her we would return quickly. I also gave the guarded all safe code. She answered with a four which meant we were going forward.

We returned to the dock and camp site. Jen and Janice were on shore going through our things slowly and methodically. "Hi, Hun," I greeted her. "What do you think they were searching for in this?"

"I think they were after guns and radios. They missed the HF though." That didn't surprise me as it was in a compartment built into the bottom and side of the wagon. There was very little to see to show you what was there in the daylight much less at night when you didn't show lights.

"Did they take the HT we left?"

"Yes, that's why I think they were looking for radios and guns. The old pistol with a bad hammer was taken, also."

"Okay. I'm not sure what it tells us but I don't think they are well equipped. Do we want to track them?"

"I don't know, Mike." Janice said. "Do we really want them? I know they took the horses, too. But we can find more horses and a boat makes for easier travel along a coast."

George said, "We have room on the boat and you are very welcome to join us."

Bennie added his thoughts, "I agree with Janice. We can cover more coast in the Rose even though we miss the land side things. Let's all have lunch and talk about it."

Janice said, "You're always thinking about a meal." Everyone laughed.

Bennie replied, "I have to keep my strength up. That's the only reason I eat."

We all laughed some more. We did go eat though.

Over lunch, we talked about what to do. George and his brothers said there was room on the Rose for four more. He also said that we should consider going north for a bit before turning around and heading further south.

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