After the Apocalypse
Chapter 14: Beyond Doomsday
by Mark Bollman--> and Steve Donohue
When Ron arrived, he found the discussion already underway. Jeff was chairing the meeting, which included Steve Donohue, Roger, John, Doug, Lou, and Mark Hunt. Ron was a little surprised to see the last two involved, especially since Tim Hunt and Dave Milon weren't there.
"What we have to do first," said Jeff, "is to establish a secure perimeter and make sure we have enough food to survive for awhile."
"Don't you think you're getting a little ahead of yourself?" asked Doug, "After all, all we really know is that the power is out. It is possible that this isn't a nuclear event at all. Even if it is something like that, it seems like we should check out the town before we decide this is the best place to hole up."
"I'd agree with that," interrupted Dave. He wasn't part of the meeting, but he'd come in and begun gathering some of his gear. "Tim and I will take a look around while we're out there."
"Good," agreed Jeff, although his tone left his true meaning somewhat unclear.
"Okay, we'll see you guys in a few hours," said Dave. He headed out to his jeep where Tim was waiting impatiently.
Once the door closed, Lou said what they were all thinking. "Do we really want to trust our safety to Dave and Tim?"
"I don't," said Ron. "Don't get me wrong, I think they're good guys, but I'm not sure they're taking this as seriously as they should. Certainly Tim has more on his mind than worrying about the rest of us. If it were Jeanne out there, that's all I'd be thinking about."
Everyone nodded their heads in agreement.
"Maybe the best thing to do," said Lou, "is for us to send someone else out to see what they can find. I mean, those two are going to head south; maybe someone should head north into Lapeer".
"Good idea," said Roger, "I'll do it. Anyone else want to come?"
"Slow down, big river," intoned Mark Hunt. "I don't think you're the right one either."
Roger looked at him, obviously a little hurt and began to say something just as Ron spoke.
"I agree with Mark," said Ron. "Whoever goes should be single, otherwise they'll be worried about their families and their families will worry about them and things could get pretty weird."
"That's true," said Steve. "How about if Mark and I go?"
"Well, actually, Mark and I were planning to go," said Lou.
A discussion ensued in which it became clear that Steve was adamant about going. Some of the others were less sure, pointing out that Mark and Lou had both had hand-to-hand training through the SCA and were in better shape. Steve and Jeff felt that having Steve along would help since he was more resourceful than the other two. In the end, the three of them drew straws and Steve and Lou drew the long ones, leaving Mark back at camp. They decided to take Lou's Explorer, since it had four-wheel drive and a covered storage area. They also grabbed the cargo net from Steve's truck in case they wound up with enough stuff to make it worthwhile to put things on the roof. Almost as an afterthought, the group pooled their cash and gave it all to Steve. Thanks to the presence of Casino Night on this year's schedule and their "big poker pot" tradition, they had nearly five thousand dollars between them.
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