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A Different Blessing

A Different Blessing

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Published by Milton
Edward leads a band of individuals whose disease holds the key to the cure of others in a post apocalyptic America. But his secret threatens them all.
Edward leads a band of individuals whose disease holds the key to the cure of others in a post apocalyptic America. But his secret threatens them all.

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Published by: Milton on Mar 25, 2012
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03/25/2012

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1
 
Davis
 
/Blessing
 
©
 
2012
 
by
 
MVmedia,
 
LLC
 
1
 
 A Different Blessing By Milton Davis The approach was critical. Too close and they would be attacked. Too far and they  would be ignored. In the end it was a subjective decision, one that took not only skill butexperience. Edward was the only one of their group that possessed both. He’d been to Atlantaand was familiar with which highways and roads were passable. It helped that Edwardpossessed the Gift, but that was an advantage that no one knew, not even the terminally illdonors he considered family.“Are you sure we’re close enough?” Ginger asked. She coughed through her face cloth,her eyes tight and tearful.“We’re probably not, but it’s as close as we can get,” Edward answered, distracted by hisconcern for Ginger. She was failing. He doubted if she would last her next donation. They wereso brave, every one of them, giving to save others despite their condition.“I hope this is close enough,” she whispered. “I’m so tired of riding.”Edward maneuvered the truck onto the side of the road, crushing the unkempt wiregrassand coming to a stop just before the gnarled pine tree line. The other trucks pulled over behindhim and the occupants spilled out. They were a ragged bunch of all ages, gender and racesbrought together by ostracism and altruism. The disease that meant a death sentence for each of them provided hope of survival for those not yet infected. So they travelled the roads of New  America, doing their part to heal a broken nation after the disaster known as the SecondRevolution.Nathan hobbled up to Edward as he reached the truck bed.“Need any help?” he asked eagerly.Edward looked at Nathan and shook his head. “Thanks, Nate. I think I can handle it.”
 
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Davis
 
/Blessing
 
©
 
2012
 
by
 
MVmedia,
 
LLC
 
2
 
“Cool, cool,” Nathan nodded. “Just let me know if you need a hand.”Edward smiled. “I’ll do that. Why don’t help Ginger set up the tents?”Nathan nodded eagerly. “I can do that.”Nathan shuffled away. Edward dragged the launch tube case from the truck bed andfastened it to his back. He adjusted his shades as he looked up the hill, the noonday sun causing him to squint despite the dark protection. The rise emerged from the pines, its bare crownperfect for a signal launch. He took a deep breath and plunged into the brush, briar vinesimmediately assaulting his legs as rabbits scattered before him.He was exhausted when he reached the hilltop. Atlanta filled his view, its battered skylinecrowded with sky cranes. The relief funds were finally trickling to the South. The Moderatesstated that the money would be distributed equally but that was far from true. The Northeast, aModerate stronghold, had been the first to receive its share; the South, the Conserves center, thelast. Edward was happy that his folks would finally see a better day. America would never be thesame but at least it would be stable.He set up the launcher then stepped away. The timer whined down then the chargeignited, shooting the flare high overhead. It exploded, releasing the red hue signaling a vaccinecaravan. He waited for the response, taking his canteen from his hip and sipping the stale water within. They would need plenty supplies before moving on. They would also need people. ThePlague was advanced among too many. Some were too weak to donate and others wouldsuccumb before they reached Birmingham. He was sad yet hopeful that Atlanta would providemore to fill the ranks. A blue flare streaked from the city center signaling the city’s response. Soon after ahelicopter rose from the launch site, a rectangular metal object dangling below it. It was atransition trailer, a safe house to facilitate communication between Edward and the MedicalLiaison. So there would be negotiations and most likely a trade. A good thing for his group but abad thing for the people involved.Edward waited atop the hill until the helicopter placed the trailer onto a nearby field. Hetook out his GPS and aimed it at the site. The device synced the coordinates, beeping as itcompleted. Edward scampered down the hill and trotted back to the truck. Nathan and Gingerlabored to set up the main tent, Ginger lagging about while Nathan did most of the work. She was really bad. Edward doubted if she would be able to give this time. She would insist but he would have to tell her no. He didn’t want to see her die in a donor chair.
 
3
 
Davis
 
/Blessing
 
©
 
2012
 
by
 
MVmedia,
 
LLC
 
3
 
“Hey guys,” he called out. They turned to him, eyes inquisitive.“The transition trailer is here. I’m going out to meet with them. I should be back in a few hours.”“Get some chocolate,” Nathan said. “I haven’t had any in ages.”Edward looked at Ginger and managed to smile. “What about you, Ginger? Any specialrequests?”Ginger unfolded a canvas chair and dropped onto it. “No. Just come back soon, okay?”Edward walked to Ginger and kissed her cheek. “I’ll be back as soon as I can.” The drive to the field took longer than he expected. The roads in the area were so badthat in some places he was forced off road. The last mile to the field was completely unpaved. The old Humvee jostled and bumped over weeds, prickly pears and short grass, Edward banging his head on the roof a view times. As he neared the trailer his spotted other vehiclesapproaching from the opposite side. He frowned as his stomach became queasy as herecognized the letters on the hoods and doors. The Moderate military had come to observe, which meant they were suspicious of his group. He would have to be careful.He parked the truck twenty yards from the trailer and donned his sterile suit. The walk tothe trailer was as difficult as the drive; sterile suits were not designed for long term movement.He was breathing hard by the time he reached the entrance, his face mask wet with his breath. The door slid aside and stepped in. Steri-jets hit him immediately with decontaminant followedby a brief but very uncomfortable heat douse. His sunglasses protected his eyes from the UV bath. He stood still as he was scanned and deemed sterilized. A second door slipped open andhe stepped into his side of the meeting room. A solitary stool sat before the clear divider.Edward stopped and removed his suit, thankful to be free of the constraint. He left the heavy garment where he took it off and shuffled to the seat. A brown skinned woman sat oppositehim, her wavy hair pulled back into a tight bun. Her lab coat was spotless, a row of neat ink pensfilling her top pocket. A tight smile ruled her plain face, but her eyes made Edward nervous. Shestared intensely through her bifocal as if searching for something more beyond his appearance.He adjusted his shades before he sat.“Hello, I’m Chief Medical Specialist Yvonne Craig,” she said.

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