Another Ten Seconds
Chapter 18: A Familiar Beat

by Jeff Rand

Wilson first knew that something was not right after Mick shot the stranger to death. While fighting great pains, he realized that the world observed through his eyes simply could not now exist. He used great mental strength, but broke away the tubes and machines that held him firmly so that his every thought would be transferred to the Net. Surprised he was quite indeed to find Bob Hartwig made the same escape.

The two found themselves in the large building that was now serving as their own local NVR center. The large drab building sat near Old Lapeer Road. Both had careers and nice homes nearby and were friends before they joined their neighbors that were now just rotting flesh in the center.

This son of Douglas had moved north after he left home, finding a nice large building site that was about ten miles from Lapeer. He built a massive home at the former site of a campsite for Girl Scouts. Lapeer now was the closest large town, as Robert and he were neighbors. That these two Winter Camp men were nearest the Scout Ranch, offered them both the shortest hike to camp.

Alan and his friend Robert hiked the path leading to the small clearing that for so many years held the buried pipes with the treasures of the past Winter Camps. They could only hope to find others here who had broken the bonds that confined them in the buildings where they were engaged with the Net.

Alan and Bob had waited for some long minutes, when a tall figure came to view. Quickly they stood up, before they knew John Howey was the man moving up the trail.

"Welcome to the real Winter Camp, said John, very pleased to see living men.

It was nearly the last hour before the new year. Winter Camp had been reborn. John's plan had success.

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