New Home – Part 2

Posted: March 26, 2016 in Book 1 TERROR IN TEXAS
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Cassie looked up.  “That makes sense. When people got sick they went to the hospitals and clinics. Those places got overrun pretty quickly. That’s actually a pretty good idea. They use the same equipment more or less.”

“Maybe GPS’s will still work a while longer. I think data comes from satellites.  When the orbits begin to decay though, they’ll become less reliable.”

“We need maps of the area, Texas, New Mexico, maybe even Oklahoma.”  Cassie announced.

“We’ll need other ways to communicate with our people and the outside world.” Daniel commented.

“What about radios and CB and shortwave radio?” Cassie answered.

“I’ll start looking around for options.”

Adding to Daniel’s computer skills was his curiosity about the alternate forms of communications and shortwave radio. He downloaded directions for using CB and shortwave radios and all the list of jargon and codes. He turned to Cassie.

“When the Internet fails, and it will, we’ll need a way to communicate with the outside world.”

Cassie shrugged.  “You think there will be anyone left to talk to?

“Of course.  There will be people like us all over the country.  This will pass…if you believe in God, you know this will pass. The world will rebuild.” Wilma answered from the door. “All things in His time.  Now, come to dinner.”  She led them to the dinning room.

Two days after the attacks, Israel and the US announced Iran was behind the attack and bombed the country into oblivion. It didn’t save anyone but it showed the world what would happen if harm was done if the US was ever truly pissed off.  Israel fell to the dead despite closing their borders. The virus had mutated and became airborne after forty-eight hours, so ultimately, everyone was infected.

A week later social media was blasted with accounts of the infection crossing quarantine lines and into Mexico. It proved Will was right when he told them early on that quarantining the infection would be impossible. Social media became the front row seat to the end of the world as they knew it.

By the end of the second week, all forty-nine states and Canada had cases and the infection was spreading fast. South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East were overrun with reported cases.

At the lodge, Will and Randy agreed they would need a way to communicate with the outside world and other survivors when the Internet was no longer viable. Until then, Daniel would work on the shortwave radio when the computer was tied up downloading files or he had spare time.

While Cassie and Daniel watched the world dissolve into chaos, Will setup one of the men enlarging the garden using a small tractor while three others worked at enlarging a corral for the livestock they anticipated finding.

The women discussed options and in the end, decided what to plant and how much to plant. While Elaina and Wilma concentrated on meals, Maria supervised the work in the garden and breathing new life into the vegetables already growing. They would be planting the Heirloom seeds Will had carefully accumulated.  He had planted only Heirloom seeds since any hybrids and GMO modified seeds would be useless for replanting from harvested seeds.

Maria turned out to be an avid gardener and made suggestions how to utilize the garden space as much as possible and avoid unwanted cross pollination. They planted, corn, squash, beans, tomatoes, cabbage, greens, lettuce and half a dozen other plants to can and preserve.

All of the adults worried no matter how much they planted, they would not have enough food for so many people.  In addition to saving food, they would also need to save seeds for the next year’s planting. Despite all the fruit trees Will had planted when he bought the property, food would be a problem without livestock.

Will, Randy, Miguel, and Pablo decided they needed to scout the area and collect any domesticated animals they found. Miguel and his family shared information about towns, farms and ranches along the way north. Will pulled out a state map and began making note. He was hoping to eventually make contact and establish trade with the other folks, but for now searching for supplies was priority.

“There’s a good chance we can gather a few horses and tack needed to ride them. Add cattle and well, it would improve our chances of survival.” Randy commented. “Sure wish we would have had another year.”

Will turned to him over morning coffee. “I’ve been thinking if we find livestock, we can’t drive them across cattle guard as it is. I’m gonna put a couple men to cutting some expanded metal on a welded hinge to lay over the cattle guard when we need to cross with animals. We can leave the guard down during the day for coming and going, as long as we have a guard on duty. We need to build a guard hut, too. It’s gonna get pretty hot come summer and shade’ll make it a little more bearable.”

“Wilma and Cassie gave me a list of supplies to scavenge.” Randy complained. “I don’t know how we can get everything they think we need even taking two trucks.”

“You probably won’t find most of it. We’ll have to make do.” Will answered. “People and livestock are critical. Medical supplies if you can find them. Everything else we’ll look for after that.” Both Wilma and Cassie opened their mouths to protest, but fell silent when Will raised his hand and continued. “We get what we can, but there will be a point when it gets too dangerous to be out there. If we find strangers we get to know them a little bit before we make an offer of a place to stay. Our families will be coming, but we still have picked up enough folks to build a community to survive.”

Randy stood. “I’m taking Miguel, Pablo and his son, Hugo out, today. We’re taking my truck and Pablo’s because both have trailer hitches so if we find a trailer, we can fill ‘em up.”

“When are you leaving?” Cassie asked.

“Now.” Randy answered then got up from the table and gathered his plate and cutlery to stack in a plastic pan on a cart at the side of the dining room. Three Hispanic men followed suite.

“Be safe.” Wilma called out.

“Vaya con Dios mi amor.” Elaina whispered.

Miguel slammed a hat on his head. “No te preocupes, mujer.”

Randy threw a careless wave at the room and stepped out into the morning sunshine. Ten minutes later motors roared to life and two vehicles headed for the cattle guard half a mile away.

Wilma , Cassie and Elaina stood and gathered her own dishes. Will and the remaining men deposited their plates and left the dining room. The four women spoke briefly with Elaina then followed the men out of the room.

“How is your mother?” Cassie asked Elaina. “I noticed she didn’t come for breakfast.”

Elaina shrugged. “Not good. She has pain, from the cancer.”

Cassie’s jaw clinched. “Do you want me to come and check on her?”

“Sí.” Elaina whispered. “It would be a kindness if you could help.”

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