After the Apocalypse
Chapter 29: Invasion Force?

by Mark Bollman--> and Steve Donohue

On January 5, the topic of discussion within the Future Society was the continuing uncertainty associated with food supply. Mark presented a report on the current state of supplies, indicating that there was still adequate food for at least two weeks at the current level of rationing.

"Depending on how the scaveng-the food procurement folks are able to locate new supplies, we shouldn't be facing any serious trouble in the food department. And Jeff came up with an idea to augment the supplies without any questionable ethical moves."

"There's been a source of food we've been overlooking this past week," said Jeff. "Beaver Lake. And Trout and Lockwood Lakes as well. There's fish in abundance down there-mostly bluegills, of course, but that's good eating, and we all know there's lots of 'em. I think we ought to establish regular fishing patrols. It would also help keep people occupied during the days."

"As long as no fish wind up in my bed," said Steve. The most senior Winter Camp veterans laughed at his comment; others didn't see what was so funny. Steve filled them in.

"Winter Camp IV, I think it was. That's the only time we've ever had anyone fish at camp. Chris Terry caught some bluegills and left them in the freezer. Not cleaned, not wrapped-just lying there. After a couple of days, someone got fed up with them and he woke up with the fish in his bed. We never found out who, but I don't think anyone objected."

"Gave new meaning to 'he sleeps wid' da fishes', didn't it?" said Doug.

As Jeff detailed the intricacies of his plan, he was interrupted by Roger Horn, who entered the building with a curious bundle hanging from his hand. It was difficult to see in the dim light, but everyone soon realized that he was bearing a large dead raccoon.

"Fresh meat, folks!" he announced as several people recoiled in horror.

The laughter, renewed, was suddenly interrupted by the sound of gunfire. Three shots were heard in the distance, although their direction wasn't completely clear.

"What the-" said Ron, before he was cut off by a chorus of shouting. He tried to silence the group, but the hubbub continued until Mark took a lifeguard whistle from his pocket and blew it loudly.

The crowd fell quiet. "Was that our guys?" asked Steve. "What could they possibly be shooting at?"

"I think our looters may have arrived," said Jeff.

"We gotta get out and defend our land!" cried Lou. He and several of the others leapt to their feet and raced to the Clearwater kitchen where the rifles were stored.

"Hold it!" shouted Steve, but his command fell on deaf ears. Resignedly, he got up to join them as they rushed headlong up the road to Highland. This wasn't exactly the textbook response to danger he was hoping for, but it would have to do.

When they arrived, they found several of the girls along with Dave Woods and Joe Hall practicing their shooting.

Dave looked somewhat surprised as they all rushed up the hill towards him, then the spark of realization hit him.

"Oh, sorry guys, I was just explaining the Vietnam-era three bullet rule to the ladies."

"Great, just great," said Lou. "Did it ever dawn on you that three shots like that is a distress signal?"

"Oh yeah," said Dave, not bothering to tell Lou the truth about what had happened. He and Joe had actually been standing guard when some of the girls had joined them. Renee had asked to see his rifle and had fired three shots at a passing chipmunk before he could stop her. Rather than have her get screamed at by the rest of the group, he'd decided to take the fall for her.

As Renee's panties slid to his "bedroom" floor at 1:30 A.M., he was sure that he'd made the right decision.

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