After the Apocalypse
Chapter 50: Entry #4
by Mark Bollman--> and Steve Donohue
16 January 2002 (Day 18): Ugga bugga.
This has been a full rich day, in every sense of the word. We started in the morning with the revelation that there are definitely other survivors in Lapeer (which should have come as no surprise-if we managed to make it through, there's no reason why other survivors shouldn't have been expected). Not a major issue in itself, just something to keep in mind from a defensive viewpoint…until Lou broke the news that Steve Donohue killed two of them when they were in town collecting supplies and scouting out the town. That suddenly makes this whole experience that much more dangerous.
Add to that the fact that Steve has gone missing on us, and the situation, while still manageable (I think), becomes a lot more grim. There's fairly wide agreement among the few who know all of the facts on the idea that he might just be trying to get away from this place for awhile and come to terms with what's happened and what he's done. If that's the case, then I suspect he'll come back in good time. On the other hand, looking at this objectively: there's a killer out there somewhere, and while I don't think he's armed or looking to repeat that performance, it would be reassuring if we knew where he was and could get to the bottom of what's passing through his mind. Unfortunately, none of us is trained in that area, which is a problem-we could really use a good psychotherapist right about now. (That presents an interesting dilemma-even when we find Steve, we won't know what to do for him.)
The one really frightening possibility-and, I suppose, the inspiration for even searching given that explanation-is the chance that Steve might be suicidal. An unpleasant prospect, but one which is all too possible right now. Should that be the case, time is of the essence.
At Ron's insistence, we mounted a search party tonight-and I've got to give him credit for how he's getting through all of this. He hand-picked a good crew to venture out-unfortunately, we covered a lot of territory without seeing any sign of anyone else, Steve or otherwise. My theory is that he's taken shelter in a cabin, which makes sense if you accept the "away from it all" explanation-and, with a nod toward letting him get away, we searched no camp buildings. We tracked out to the fire road and made our way up to Old Baldy and through Trout Lake subcamp, then up to The Pines and across the north end of camp-no signs of life other than the horses. (Idea: Next search, we do on horseback.)
Jeff was insisting that we go on and search the old Camporee area and come down through Jack Lord, so we pressed on, although I don't think anyone else saw the point in all that. What with the messy weather we've had over the last 48 hours, there didn't seem to be much chance of Steve venturing that far from safety-and we weren't prepared to encounter any hostile intruders. Fortunately, we seem to remain alone out here. About all that's left to search is the swampland in the southeast corner of camp and, of course, the panhandle, which even Jeff wasn't suggesting we look at tonight-that, I suspect, will get our attention tomorrow.
Continuing in the missing persons department: Dave Woods and Joe Hall have also vanished, although we have something of an explanation for what's up with them. Unfortunately, I don't know if it's good news. According to John, they went back to Lapeer to get more information on the state of any survivors up there. And while I'm quite sure they didn't go unarmed, I wonder about their safety. If the guys who Steve killed had friends, they might be on the lookout for strangers, and we certainly qualify under that label-Lapeer isn't that big a town; people will know we're outsiders. Evidently they went willingly and with some kind of purpose-Steve seems to have sent them out there-so there's not the same sense of urgency we have with Steve. Nonetheless, who knows what they're mixed up in by now?
Our cover story (that they're all on the continuing quest for supplies in Lapeer) can't hold out much longer. Sooner or later people will begin to wonder where everybody's gotten to. And then what?
Seems like we've raised a lot of questions today. Again-we struggle in the quest for answers.
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