After the Apocalypse
Chapter 106: Assume the Position

by Mark Bollman--> and Steve Donohue

Jeff was a little nervous although he didn't show it to the group he was now leading. There were armed men in camp and no one knew what their intentions were. Based on Harig's report that they were moving up under cover, it seemed likely they knew there were people in camp and didn't want to be seen by them. That was not a positive development.

He headed up towards Rawhide with his small group of men. They'd take the trail back there to the edge of Lockwood Lake, then they'd head cross country to come out near Oak Ridge cabin. With any luck their quarry would be on the other side of the hill and they'd be able to move up on the road. If they weren't they could use the back road behind Oak Ridge to come out near the shooting sports area. It wasn't the most secretive way to get where they were going, but the road would be much more quiet than the woods and that might make the difference.

When he reached Rawhide, he made the decision to swap Lou for Dave and Tim. He thought Lou would do a good job watching Miller and he expected the edginess of the other two would work to their advantage. They were also a little lighter and Milon was a little stealthier than Lou. He reminded Lou to stay on guard no matter what the provocation and then led his group of now six onto the trail. Since they were out of sight and the trail was fairly clear, he set out at a brisk jog, relying on the others to keep pace with him.

They made it to Lockwood Lake in less than a minute despite the snow, then headed off on the marginal trail which went around the lake. When Jeff judged they had reached the general area of Oak Ridge he called for silence. The radio hadn't barked in a while and he was wondering where the intruders were even as he pondered his next move. The others looked at him expectantly.

He spoke softly into the radio, "Harig, what's their twenty?"

"They've stopped at the shower house near Hilltop. What is it with these guys and bathrooms?"

"Watch the chatter," came Howey's voice over the radio. "Jeff, are you in position?"

"Not quite, we're about three hundred feet east of Oak Ridge. Moving up now."

"Roger. Steve, let us know when they move out."


Jeff and his crew moved up to the road which ran next to Oak Ridge and connected the field sports area with Ranch Road.

"Dave, you take Tim and Jerry and go down to the dam, cross the road and come up at Lakeview, then stay on that side and catch up with them. There's a trail behind the latrine that leads to Hilltop, from there you might have to go cross-country a little, I'm not sure, but I don't think there's a trail. We're going to go down to field sports and see what we can do."

"What about a radio, how will we know...", began Dave, stopping when Woods handed him a radio he'd brought along. "Thanks."

"Everyone be careful." said Jeff, "We don't want to tip our hand and we don't want to shoot them unless we have to. Is that clear?"

Everyone nodded then the two teams broke and headed in separate directions.

From the window of Chippewa Cabin, Jenny could barely see the crew that arrived at Rawhide then left. She was pretty sure there was one more leaving than had come in the first place, that meant there was just one guard over there now. Maybe she'd be able to get close enough to talk to Reggie and see what he was doing. She could at least make sure he was being treated well; she felt she owed him that.

Of course, deep in her heart she knew the truth. He was being treated just fine, the guys had been nothing but kind to her and her family since they arrived, they'd already brought in a number of extra people and treated them well too. She had to admit that imagining herself a captive and Miller as the handsome prince come to rescue here was more fantasy than reality. Still, the whole situation was a bit surreal, so maybe there was a chance…

Taking a deep breath and crossing her fingers for luck, she donned her parka and headed out the door and across the road to Rawhide.

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