After the Apocalypse
Chapter 58: Water And Electricity Do Mix

by Mark Bollman--> and Steve Donohue

After returning to the Winter Camp grounds, it took Melissa, Mark, and John only a minute to round up Doug and Jeff and report their new finding. While the searchers headed back out to check out the rest of the camp, several campers joined in to assess the latest development.

"I doubt very much that there's line power coming in anywhere, although I suppose it's not completely impossible," said Doug.

"Agreed," said Jeff. "I suspect that Mark's idea about the battery is correct-the question then becomes twofold. One: How can we confirm this? Two: If true, how can we use this discovery?"

"We need to find the well pit," said Mike. "Who knows about that corner of camp?"

"Any number of us have spent time out there over the years, of course," said Jeff, "but it's not as simple as that. With all the snow, it's not like we can just find it by wandering about in the woods."

"Too bad we don't have aerial photographs of that part of camp," said Allison Arlington, who had studied civil engineering at Michigan Tech. "That's really a great tool for this kind of-"

"Wait!" cried Jeff. "We might!" He raced to the Winter Camp library and came back with his Winter Camp photo book. He flipped to the back of the thick album, which contained more generic Scouting photographs, and traced each page with his finger. "There!"

Everyone crowded around to see what he was pointing at. "That's a picture taken from above, over the eastern part of Jack Lord camp. Over Riverside campsite specifically-right there-but I think we can just make out..."

His voice trailed off as he found a concrete well pit cover on the picture, obscured by the trees but still just barely visible. "There it is!"

"That's the one that feeds Indianwood?" asked Mike.

"Indianwood, maybe Forester and Dan Beard as well," said Jeff. "Mark and them said that the pump wasn't dripping at Beard, but that they didn't check Forester. There's no cabin there, so I could understand why they did that."

"So we've got to get out there and take a closer look," said Doug. "At the very least, this is a new source of drinking water. A little inconvenient geographically, but certainly the water will be better tasting than Old Faceful. In a best case-assuming of course, that this is indeed a battery-operated system-then we need to see if we can copy the connection and restart the running water in this building."

"Can we get it done today?" asked Jeff.

"I'd prefer to wait until tomorrow," said Doug. "It's going to be tough going in any event, and we'll need all the daylight we can get. Say, tomorrow morning, we mount an expedition?"

"Right." The quartet of technicians fell to an intense planning session as they laid out their goals and began to compile a list of necessary tools and how they could best be improvised within Winter Camp's resources.

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