After the Apocalypse
Chapter 61: A Minor Mutiny

by Mark Bollman--> and Steve Donohue

"This is stupid," said Dave, "Steve's out there and he's probably going to die and these guys are trying to hold a gong show!?"

"Well, I think they're trying to keep everyone's spirits up," said Lou, trying to calm Milon down before he did anything rash.

"Fine, but my spirits aren't going to improve knowing that three of my friends are out there facing death somewhere while I'm here watching Tom eat fire."

"Look, we all want to do something to help those guys, but what do you think we should do?" asked Lou, realizing he wasn't going to calm Dave down until he'd at least said his piece.

"Well, first off, I think we should check Metamora for signs that Steve was there. If he's not in camp, I think that's where he'll be."

"Why Metamora?" asked Mark, beginning to warm up to the idea.

"Because he's not in camp and it doesn't make sense to just hole up in the woods anyway. From Metamora, he could gather some supplies, maybe even find some survivors or some news or something."

"Why wouldn't he just go to Lapeer? I mean we already know..." asked Mark.

"It might endanger Woods and Hall", interrupted Lou. "I don't think Steve would risk having their presence connected to him. It's possible that whatever survivors there are out there are looking for strangers, they might even have our descriptions. I'm sure Steve wouldn't risk it."

"Okay, that makes some sense," agreed Mark. "Now what?"

"Well, my guess is we can find some evidence to support our ideas here in camp. We just need to figure out where Steve might go in this situation, then look for tracks," said Dave. "I know it's been snowing, but I'm thinking we'll be able to spot anywhere he made camp and then see which way he went when he left."

"Hmm. I don't know about the tracks thing. The wind's been blowing too," said Mark half-heartedly, not wanting to talk himself out of the chance of helping Steve, but not quite sure of Dave's tracking ability.

"Well, we have to do something, besides, he was probably taking some of the more remote trails; that might have cut down on the effects of the wind on his tracks."

"Hmm. Maybe we should give Dave template two a try," agreed Lou.

Mark nodded his head as well, "I think I have an idea where to start," he said, "and that might be something the others didn't have."

"No shit, why would those guys think they know Steve better than us now?" said Dave, his tone clearly betraying a lack of faith in the earlier search parties.

"Okay," agreed Lou, "what do we need to do to get ready?"

"Not much," said Mark. "If I'm right, we'll find some sign of him less than a mile from here. Based on that, I think we'll be able to see which way he might have gone."

"Cool," said Dave. "Let's get dressed, I'm driving."

"No offense Dave, but I think we'd better stick with four-wheel drive for now; with the snow, it might come in handy," said Lou, not wanting to stir the long-standing controversy over the relative merits of his Explorer and Dave's Jeep

"I didn't say I was driving my car," laughed Dave.

"Let's get going," said Lou, "we need to be out of here before they come back from their water mission or they'll try to stop us."

"What are we going to do about the Beast?" asked Mark. "He's almost certain to try and stop us."

"Hmm. I hadn't thought about that. I think the best thing will be for us to distract him. Maybe we can have Howey take him up to High Point for something. I'm sure John can think of something."

"Are you sure he won't try to stop us too," asked Lou.

"I'm sure. It was all I could do to keep him out of this little meeting. He's pretty worried about Steve. On top of everything else, he could be a security risk. As long as he's out there, he could get captured or spotted. I don't know if John would totally agree with us leaving if it weren't for that. It's kind of strange; some of these guys almost seem like they expected Steve to freak out or something."

"Well, he does get a little weird this time of year," said Mark.

"Weird? Yes. Murderous? No. Anyhow, John will take care of the Beast. Let's check out your hunch and then proceed accordingly," said Dave.

"Okay," said Mark. "Meet me at BC and bring your fishing gear; we're going towards the lake and it'll make good cover."

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