After the Apocalypse
Chapter 108: Entry #7

by Mark Bollman--> and Steve Donohue

Mark settled in behind the radio at Beaver Creek, but his mind wasn't on the airwaves. Based on the information he'd gotten from Emily, he didn't expect either group of invaders to be on the air-the Flock seemed to be opposed to technology of any form, and the Razers' obsession with radio silence undoubtedly carried over to their own operations. As his left hand twisted the tuner up and down the radio spectrum, his right hand found pencil and paper.

28 January 2002 (Day 30)

Hard to believe that it's only been a month-but now we face our biggest challenge, one that may decide whether or not we get to see another month here, or at all.

As I write this, there are invaders making their way through camp, and an armed resistance moving from our territory to greet them. In addition, we have a "captive" who may or may not be dangerous-it's hard to tell right now-but who just wandered in. There's considerable uncertainty in our little universe right now, and while I'm scanning the radio to see if there's any activity, it's hard to shut out what's probably about to happen outside.

I feel a need to write-to preserve a record of what's going on here-but at the same time, I'm not sure what to think. On the one hand, there's some clear evidence that there's trouble coming, and no one can doubt that it needs to be investigated-but then what? The rational thought that has carried us this far is certain to be tested in the next few hours. Will we pass the test? And what happens afterward-pass or fail?

On a more practical level: Are we equipped to withstand a firefight against a group with a militia orientation? If we happen to succeed at that, are we prepared to deal with either the fallout from combat-and here I mean psychological fallout as much as any medical emergencies-or the presence of a hostile prisoner population? (I think there's a sense among some of our crew that capturing the invaders might be a good way to go-but then what? We've got one "captive" right now-how many can we handle? On a variety of levels, of course.)

(Still nothing on the radio.)

And if it goes badly for us? It's almost too much to imagine. With Steve still out of camp, and several others of our essential leadership team on recon right now, the potential exists for serious damage to our little enterprise here. Yet…Doug's on internal security and trying to explain everything to the crowd at BC-he's told them that he doubts that we're in serious danger.

Based on what?, one might ask.

Taking a look at this from as detached a perspective as is possible right now: I don't think that whoever's coming in is looking to kill women and children. If they're with Miller, they're probably just looking around or looking for him. Miller didn't take anyone out when he had a chance, after all. If they're not, then my guess is that they're looking for revenge against either Steve or Joe and Dave. In any event, they're looking for men.

Looking for us, that means.

In the words of Captain Robert Falcon Scott: "For God's sake, look after our people."

Mark paused. "Way too melodramatic," he thought. "After all, we're not dead-or even doomed-yet." He thought about erasing his last line, but decided to leave the record intact as he'd originally written it. If all went well, he'd be around later to write the next chapter. If not…it wasn't a bad way to go out.

Putting the pencil down, he returned to monitoring the airwaves.

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