After the Apocalypse
Chapter 83: Preliminary Report

by Mark Bollman--> and Steve Donohue

While Steve trudged out to the Trout Lake dam to reset the sensor, everyone else in camp was buzzing with excitement. Dave and Joe had returned and they'd brought not only other survivors, but a lot of supplies with them! Dinner was, needless to say, interrupted as everyone joined in the process of unloading the two trucks into the Beaver Creek building. A few of the more militaristic items were instead sent down to Clearwater. Even so, it took almost ten minutes for the group to unload the truck amidst a lot of talk and speculation.

For their part, none of the five who had just come from town were talking about the pursuit or any of the other details. Thus far, it appeared only that Dave and Joe had found Emily and her grandkids living somewhere in Lapeer and had offered them better accomodations. It was a lie of course, but it was a convenient lie and one they'd agreed to. Joe wasn't sure how well Timmy would be able to keep the secret, but he hoped he'd at least hold up for a few days until they'd managed to sort out what had happened.

"What about Steve," asked one of the women. "Did you see him?"

"Sure, he stopped us on the road coming in."

"He did?!"

"Wrong Steve," interrupted John. "Do you have a few minutes for me to bring you and Woods up to date on a few things?"

"Sure," said Joe, ignoring the woman's (what was her name again? Lyla, Lydia, Lynda!) frustrated look.

Luckily for them, most of the hubbub had moved inside with Emily and the kids and the supplies, so the three of them were able to head down to Clearwater without too much commotion.

"What's this about Steve?" asked Joe. "Which Steve did she mean?"

"Daha." replied John. "He disappeared right after you two did. We were hoping you'd have seen him. Dave, Lou and Mark are also missing."

"They should be back soon," said Joe. "They showed up in Lapeer just in time to save our butts. They were making a stop somewhere."

"Hey! I didn't see these before!" said Woods, as he slowly rolled a grenade back and forth in his palm.

"No you didn't," said Joe, who had been careful to hide them from Woods when he brought them out to the truck. "Now put that down."

Woods looked a little hurt, but he complied.

"Saved your butts..." asked John.

"Yeah. Things aren't all rosy down in Lapeer. There's some weird stuff going on; we probably need to talk."

"Agreed," said John. "but can it wait until morning? I think we need to do a little celebrating - five out of six of our prodigal sons are returning."

"I think so," said Joe and Woods nodded in agreement.

"Good," said John. "Let's go see if they've found anything good to eat in that stuff you guys brought back."

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