Chapter One

"Daddy, I'm still hungry". John looked at his 10 year old daughter. She looked so different from a year ago. True she was older, but she weighed far less than she should. Then again, they all did. Her eyes were pleading with him to do something to fill the empty spot in her belly. His heart was breaking knowing that there was nothing he could do to help his daughter. There simply wasn't enough food for the entire family to begin with. Since the troubles started, everything had changed so drastically. California had finally had "The Big One" and the entire coast had been devastated. From the Mexican border, to San Francisco, anything that wasn't under water, was wreak and ruin. The Pacific Ocean had, in places, come hundreds of miles inland. Millions had been killed outright. There was no citrus, no vegetables, no wine, and no food of any kind coming from there anymore. The only real 'industry' was trying to find, identify and bury all of the dead, and do what could be done to try to start to rebuild. But that would take decades, at least. The survivors and refugees had started to pour out of the state. Shelter, food, and a chance to start again had to be given to millions. The states bordering California had borne the brunt of the mass emigration, but the entire country suffered. With the Pacific Coast no longer able to bring in oil or fuel, the cost of everything had gone up. The surviving farming industry had suffered inconceivable setbacks and hardships. Without fuel, it was impossible to get the much needed fertilizers to the farmers. Farmers in cases would have to leave their crops in the field to rot, because there was no way to get them to market. John knew that farmers in the southern part of the country, while truly sorry for the loss of life, and property, out west looked forward to increased profits for their crops, since there were fewer crops going to market to compete with their own. That is they did until "The Storm" hit. Who would have dreamed it? Well at least one person had done so. He remembered some wacky sounding person he had heard about called 'Brother Bob' who had said God had warned him of the storms years before they had happened. He had told the people of not only Florida, but much of the entire Gulf coast to get out while they could. Then, unbelievably, it happened. Three hurricanes in the Atlantic, churned away, until they merged into one huge storm. Then two from the Gulf of Mexico, and even one more that had crossed over Mexico from the Pacific, joined together and had devastated Florida as it raced across the state and then it combined with the storm in the Atlantic into one huge mega storm. It had covered nearly a quarter of the North Atlantic at its height. Then it had slammed into the southeastern part of the country. It seemed everything within one hundred miles of the coast from the Carolinas to the Texas/Mexico border had been beaten unmercifully into the ground. That was less than six months ago. They still didn't have any reports from anything south of Tallahassee Fla. Roads were either under water, or simply

impassible. The winds had reached well over two hundred miles an hour. Not much was left standing within thirty miles of the coast. Certainly any oranges growing down there were being pulled off of the trees and eaten on the spot by any survivors. “Daddy, I'M hungry!” John looked at his little girl again and remembered how happy she had been a week ago when he had managed to buy a single small orange for her birthday. It had cost him nearly twenty dollars, but the look on her face had been worth it. He loved her so much. With the crops across the country being virtually wiped out by the disasters, the government had come out and told the people that they would have to get by on a reduced diet of 1400 calories a day, until further notice. Less than 1400 for those under 16 years of age. They were all hungry, but how do you explain that to a brand new 10 year old? John was hungry too. VERY hungry, since he had been insisting that his wife take more of the food than he did. After all, she was still nursing their newborn son. They both needed the food more than he did, to his way of thinking. Then his mind drifted to the Timmons family across the street. He thought about how he and others had laughed, and made fun of Mike and his wife, Sarah, for having the two years worth of food they had set aside "just in case". It seemed so stupid to have so much food put away. Back then, everyone KNEW that no matter what happened the government would be there to handle the situation. Life would go on, and everything would be fine. Sure there might be some temporary hardships, but they wouldn't stay that way. The government couldn't allow that to happen. They weren't laughing now. Early on, before the mega-storm, John had gone over to them and asked about borrowing some food, just until he could pay it back. After all, the government would be doing everything possible to help the people. Everybody knew that. What John hadn't expected was the answer he got. "John I'm sorry. But if I give you our food, what will we eat? I can't do it.” Mike had said. “Why didn't you prepare when you could? I warned you that we were at risk. I told you that this nation was going to be coming under Gods' judgment. And you even make more money than I do. You could have done something. You should have done something while you had the chance. Anything would be better than this. Really, I'm sorry, but if I give you food, then next it will be the Johnson's down the street. After that, the Smiths from the next block. I just can't do it, I'm sorry". John couldn't believe it when Mike had refused him. Even though in the back of his mind, he knew that Mike was right on both counts. He should have done something back then while he'd had the chance. He just never saw the need. Nobody could have predicted this. Except for that 'Brother Bob' guy and

nobody else would have ever thought of this. He also knew that if Mike and his wife started to hand out food, soon everyone that learned of it would be knocking, and even pounding at their door. But even so, he didn't think that Mike could turn him away. They had known each other for years. Their kids played together. They visited each other’s house, often. And they even celebrated their children’s birthdays together. But they had kept their stockpile of food instead of turning it in for the greater good of the country, when the government had called on citizens to turn over extra food stocks for the duration of the emergency. Now they sat there, well fed and relatively happy. It made him mad. The more he thought of them, the angrier he got. Who were they to think that they were better than anyone else? Okay they had paid good money for the food, but this was an emergency. Everyone was in need these days. Why should they be allowed to keep the food they had bought, when so many were in need? And their kids! Their kids were such smart alacks. Not that they were disrespectful, it was just that they were at least two years ahead of other children their age in their education because Sarah and Mike home-schooled them. Ask those kids any question, and they would answer well beyond their years. How could his children compete with that when they grew up? Home-schooling seemed to work for the Timmons, but he and his wife just couldn't afford to take the time to do it for their daughter, or new born son when he got old enough. There were priorities. A man had to make a living after all. Mike and Sarah should have done like everybody else and sent their children to public school. "DADDY. I'm hungry!” John thought about just going over and taking the food he needed. After all, he NEEDED it for his family. But sometimes Mike was a little different. He stored food when there wasn't any need to do so. He and his son went hunting every year, when there wasn't any need to kill animals for food. The grocery store was just down the street, he could have bought anything he liked. He made a decent enough living. Or at least he could before all of this had happened. John wanted to take the food, he just wasn't sure if Mike had turned in his guns when the government had outlawed them to settle things down when the food started to run out. They said it was necessary to keep the peace. As Johns' stomach growled at him, he knew he was willing to break the peace for the sake of his family as well as his own needs. What to do? What to do? He remembered the commercial he had seen on T.V. before the power had become so unreliable. The mega-storm had done unbelievable damage to the oil industry along the Gulf Coast. With the west coast oil industry already so badly damaged, the shortage had driven oil to well over two hundred and fifty dollars a barrel. Nobody drove anywhere anymore. It was just too expensive, and naturally the cost of fuel had driven up the cost of food. Before, it had been just jump in the car and go to the store. Now when the stores would actually open for a few hours once or twice a week and, people would travel to them in groups in order to save money and

Not to mention there had been reports of gangs of young men attacking individual shoppers to steal whatever they had managed to buy. It just didn't seem wise to him that in this time of need. In times like these. There was even a reward of part of the food and/or fuel confiscated to the tipster. What was he thinking? Their kids played together after school. and try to sleep. He had taken pains to make certain that as things got worse. Mike had built a ten foot tall fence around their back yard. And then there was the matter of the electric companies. It was better for everyone to have some power. than everyone having none at all. so nobody thought a thing about it. while everyone else went hungry. Still. and it wasn't fair to the rest of the people for them to hoard all that wonderful food. his wife Sarah. they had more food than they needed. off to bed with you. was the thought. and conceal the garden that he and Sarah had planted to provide fresh vegetables for the family. blankets had been put over the windows. Many of their neighbors had done the same thing. Meanwhile. he spoke to his little girl. having lights when no one else did would attract such unwanted attention. Mike had built the fence to both protect his family. had been careful over the past few months in avoiding the eyes and ears of other people in their neighborhood. and had bar-b-ques.gas. power companies had been forced to reduce the number of hours they ran each day. Since burglary had become such a problem because of the lack of power. They tried to provide just enough power to keep things close to normal. trying to protect themselves from thieves who seemed to no longer have any concern about being caught. they were almost powerless to do anything about anything that didn't involve people shooting at each other. to show off . Without fuel for the generators. Maybe he should find it. During the summer. and the over worked law enforcement agencies not having the man power to investigate every call that came in. the girl smiled. Mike. He had written it down somewhere. and went to her room. "Don't worry sweetheart. Law enforcement officers were so overwhelmed by the outbreak of crime. But for now. across the street. their oldest child. he remembered. Still. they all went swimming in the Timmons pool. John was godfather to Mike and Sarah's son. They didn't want to let other people know that they had power courtesy of the generator they had running in the garage with extra baffles to keep the noise level down. his family didn't look like they were any different from the families around them. In truth. John shook his head. in the Timmons household." With this promise. there had been a phone number for tips to turn in hoarders. Daddy is going to have lots of food for you in a day or two. "DADDY?" His mind made up.

Do you remember a month ago when I had to pull my shotgun. They had a simple camping lantern which was turned down to give only a minimum of light.” He answered. and I think a short time. “Things are getting out of control. No one can see over it." Sarah looked at her son. No sense in letting people know that the Timmons' family might be up to something at this late date. so I was wondering how someone might have guessed. that they are going to get. to freeze some food stuffs before they had to do what they were now planning to they were in a better position than the others. I noticed two of them pointing at me and talking to each other kind of secretly. "Thank you for telling me that. we lose whatever they can carry away. You're both right. "Well.” Tommy said. to keep someone from breaking in to steal our food?" She nodded silently. I hate the thought that we will be forced to leave. before speaking again. But he knew it wouldn't last. before someone tries again. Tommy.” She bowed her head slightly and shook it. “Just yesterday some of my friends at school were asking why I'm not as thin as they are. including our weapons. But it is only a matter of time. THEN what do we do? If I shoot. "Mike. They were planning on how they were going to split up the reward food they were getting for a tip they turned in. they were making sure that all was in readiness. He was being forced to grow up much too fast. I've been wondering how anyone would know about our back yard garden. are you sure we have to do this?" Sarah asked once again. and the authorities will be coming to visit. Realizing once again how hard things were getting for all of them. things haven't gotten better since then as you know. I think they are going to turn us in for food hoarding. The children like it. Dad's right. talking quietly so as to not wake the 10 and 12 year old son and daughter sleeping in the next room. I've been able to come up with excuses so far. And who knows what will happen to us. And it had worked at first. since the fence is ten feet tall. on two different occasions. You should have heard a couple of guys at work today. I honestly believe the only reason we haven't had a third visit from thieves is because nobody is sure if I turned in our weapons or not when the government said to turn them in. What you said explains how someone figured out to raid our garden. Do we really have to leave?" "I’m afraid so. It's just that this is our home. If I don't shoot. "This is such a nice neighborhood. if any. On top of that. The generator had been used for the last time earlier that day." "Mom. And this night. everyone will know we're armed. they and their 15 year old son were sitting around the kitchen table. “I know. but it is getting harder to do every day. and we have friends here." . And they don't even know how much.

Tommy and I got all of that done while you were at work today. they are professionals. or reason THEY WILL kill you without a second thought. "I know me too. But I'm afraid we no longer have a choice. most everyone will still be asleep. no excuses. but close enough to use if you have to do so. DO NOT give them a chance. you DO NOT fire. It shouldn't take more than an hour and a half to get there. In areas under control of the foreign troops that the government had brought in it was often a case of no exceptions.Mike answered. The children are all quite healthy and show it. You just shoot them. Tommy took it in stride." Mentally Mike did something he hadn't done in years." Her voice trailed off. before sun up. We are just starting to look too different from everyone else. Is everything packed in the 4X4? Gas tanks topped off from our stash?" "Yes. I want you to keep the shotgun out of sight. If anyone tries to get into your mother’s car. "First. you can't control it. and pull out. Given any excuse. and grab a little shuteye myself. Besides. And the younger two still have the same kind of energy that all kids used to have. The only exceptions to that are if we get stopped. If we leave in the early morning. It was also well know that the sentence was often carried out on the spot. Understand me son.. nobody goes out at night any more. We can fake it most of the time. or pull someone out. a few last things that I want the two of you to listen to carefully. and the military guys on patrol and the police won't be at their sharpest. He went back to his Army training. Then they will kill everyone else in the vehicle just to be sure there is no more resistance" To his credit. The headlights they are used to seeing are from their own vehicles. Last thing we need is to have someone call and report we are acting strangely at the last minute. The penalty of death for having a firearm was well known to everyone in the country. It is only 60 miles. unless. Dear. Remember. make sure you keep them quiet. and we should be able to avoid roadblocks. We should be able to sneak through.. I'll wake you in a few hours. you DO NOT give them a warning. "I want you to get some sleep son. DO NOT threaten them. It took half a second for the . Now. Mike said. and no appeal. We don't have to spend any time on major roads. or until I do. I know all the back roads to my hunting cabin." Turning to his son. With the three of us it is different. but with them. Then we get the younger ones. you are riding with your mother. Are you sure we can get out of town without being noticed? What about the guns? If we get caught with them. "I'm as sure as I can be. Sarah. Tommy. God willing.

You don't stop until you get to the cabin. No point in telling anyone that might be listening what we are doing. Let's pray. with the excuse that this was a family outing. The news that they were going to go for a ride was exciting for them. Mike had left the door wide open.statement to sink in. but heartfelt. Mike made one last check of the 4X4 Sarah was driving. They hadn't been for a ride in months." "Sarah. with the headlights off to avoid attention. as Sarah woke the younger children. . "Sweetheart. and his pick-up. "Here Tommy. I see what you mean. before putting it back and arranging the belt into a more comfortable position. Knowing that the garage door would make more noise to possibly alert their neighbors to something unusual going on. Speed is the key. “One last thing before we go. Tommy woke his parents at four A. DO NOT wait for instructions. They didn't want anyone else to suddenly show up and spoil their special trip by asking to come along. as Mike pulled his pistol from its holster. and stuck the radio in his jacket pocket. "Okay. As instructed." Was her only word. the vehicles pulled out onto the street. I'll be trying to lead them away from you.” It was a short range walkie talkie. Turn it on. you understand me. Now. Then they got in the vehicles and pulled out. mother and son went to bed to try to sleep. Quietly. with a last longing look at the home they had known for so many years. Take dirt roads and get under the trees so helicopters won't see you." "Mike? Do you think we have time for that?" Sarah questioned. take this. Sarah quieted them and warned them to not make any noise.M. and get back to you as soon as I can. Don't wait for me. Understand?" "Yes. but use it only in case of emergency. do you really want to try this WITHOUT praying first?" "Ummmm.” Mike said. if Tommy has to shoot. You have to break contact with them. Then they all gathered in the garage. as quietly as possible." Tommy nodded. You hammer the gas and run. "This isn't for chatting. and he answered. checking it one more time. and then get out of sight as quickly as possible. It was going to be a long night." The prayer was brief. "I understand.

Knowing that this very rough dirt road used for maintained was almost totally unused. Finally. the pursuit car didn't have a chance. jerked downward as Sarah laid on the brakes. What do we do now?" . no trouble of any kind. and having his hands also forced off the wheel at the same time." Mike waited as he watched the mirror. and what Mike was counting on. we are being followed. one wheel dropped off the pavement.." "Here they come again.HEY!!! Dad! They just rammed us. When the front of the 4X4 went down. Blinded by the airbag. After passing the third hill after leaving town..U. That is when the radio crackled to life." He looked in the mirror and saw only the 4X4. But even more important. and crashed through its' front grill. Although he couldn't see the pursuit vehicle. Once in the suburbs. he turned onto a service road that followed one of the major power-lines into town. Suddenly the front of the S. Trust me. "How close are they?" "REAL close and getting.To Mike's surprise they made it out of town without attracting anyone’s attention. punching a gaping hole in the radiator. Hot water and steam came boiling out. was at that speed." "Sarah. The sun was just starting to come up. he's in the ditch. the impact caused the airbags in the chase car to deploy. naturally the back end came up. listen to me." "I hear you Mike. The trailer hitch sticking out the back passed above the bumper of the pursuit car. he knew what would happen. Mike turned on the parking lights. and then it swerved the other direction. dug into the soft dirt on the edge of the road. and Mike was starting to relax as the day brightened. Just before they bump you again. No roadblocks. "Dad. slam on the brakes. The car jerked to one side as Sarah hit the gas. At fifty miles per hour. no patrols." "WHAT? Mike that makes no sense. the driver lost control. It then flipped and rolled down into the ditch. What do I do?" "They want to bump you off the road.V. he knew it would likely be unguarded as well.. Just do it. hit the brakes HARD. Next time they start to come at you. A couple of hours later and things had gone well." "Give me your mother. "Mike.

If there was anyone out here. That's why we got out of sight. Mike crossed over it on the bridge. He used it as a shield between him and whoever was coming. As he listened to the oncoming vehicle. and try to stop from trembling. and the air.U. Soon it passed overhead and kept going. Both he and Tommy waited quietly. and then pulled off onto the one lane paved road leading down to one of Tommy's favorite fishing holes. he grabbed a rifle. do you see anything?" The reply was indistinct. at high speed. they are long gone by now. I guess you are right. he wanted to know if his legs had stopped shaking enough for him to walk." Five miles down the road was a small river. He heard two car doors open. he heard the helicopter coming. Glancing over his shoulder. He ran to the pick-up. he pulled under the overpass far enough for Sarah to pull in behind him.' Mike walked to the back of the 4X4. "Dad! I think you should have a look at this. "Well. "That's what I thought. then close above them. Sarah continued to sit behind the wheel. The rear hatch was badly damaged. and moved to the front end of the truck. not far behind. and get out of sight from both the road. Really. That's when he heard it." "Oh. "Do you think they called us in on the radio?" "That would be standard procedure. Suddenly the vehicle above slowed. he saw Tommy doing the same thing at the back of the S." From the back of the 4X4 Tommy called.V. were now bragging about how Mommy had saved them from the bad guys. As Mike came to her. Reaching through the window. He had his doubts about if he would ever be able to open it again. A vehicle of some kind was coming towards them. Sarah and their younger children had gotten out and now crouched behind the car. Yes. fearing any sound could give them away. At the bottom. and then stopped at the edge of the bridge they were hiding under. "Eagle Three. she looked at him and asked. The younger children. all I can tell you is that Charlie said something about a 4X4 hitting . This was followed by a voice. Mike went back to check on his family. Once stopped." The radio was still not quite understandable."Follow me. who had been scared at the time of the attack. Tommy got out of the car to stretch his legs he said.

I’m waiting for the enemies of the state to become nothing more than bad memories. The fact was that as he came into view. It was known that those who got on his bad side had a habit of disappearing. As he was checking it out." More garbled talk from the chopper. and they were meant to help keep order. because as he looked into the Colonels eyes. He and many other foreign officers had been brought into the country at the request of the President. and answered only to the federal government. and he liked to drive fast. it wasn't that he was loud. But the orders they followed seemed to be the ones of their own making. "If you ask me. I'm glad we prayed before we left. After a moment more. in fact it was quite the reverse." Mike listened as two car doors opened. Mike realized his chest was hunting. "Mike. Shortly after that Sarah called to him. the more people became uneasy.” Chapter Two The Police Chief sat at his desk studying the list of names of people to be picked up on the following night. Charlie wasn't the greatest driver. and then he died. I don't think he knew he was dying. then closed. "No. That's when he remembered to breathe. I haven't seen any sign of any thing. The quieter he became. And there was no one to stop them. he heard 'The Colonel' coming. indistinct radio chatter came back. I think he dropped a wheel off the side. Nobody wanted to attract his attention. and he was looking for an excuse for the wreak. and flipped. he saw nothing but pure evil. Lets' call it quits and go home. In his case. How are YOU coming with that?" The Chief held up the list. "Good morning Sir! How are you doing this fine day?" "The same as always. and the vehicle slowly turn around and head back to where it came from. They were completely out of the local law enforcements' jurisdiction.the brakes. Forever! As 'The Colonel' entered the office the Chief rose out of his seat to greet him. everyone fell silent. the engine start." Again. . The Chief hated to do this.

Long before dawn. but anyone foolish enough to try to enter the cities was allowed to proceed. waiting to be picked up. There are a thousand ways to find out. Since most of the people had turned in their firearms during the time the government was trying to regain control of the country. The bad news is that it seems some of those on the list might have already left town. Only military frequencies were still clear. If they get certain types of magazines.” He paused for a moment and slightly frowned. we'll have them by morning. they wouldn't be permitted to leave again. None of the civilians used those channels." With that. It was bloody work. as night fell. Nobody was allowed out. resistance ended with the death of those who fought back. they are all on the list. The operation began in the smaller cities and towns. After a few high explosive shells. possibly as recent as last night. Every known person who has ever spoken out against the government. 'The Colonel' turned on his heel and left the Chief to his task. “There is good news and bad news. if it couldn't be quickly and easily overcome.” Smiling the chief answered. for fear of letting the military know where they were hiding. and had no qualms about doing. the gun owners. good. and called in the tanks.” The Colonel stopped him with a wave of his hand. in most cases. “How can you be so sure about gun owners? I know there are many unregistered weapons in this country. If they are anywhere around here."Here we have it. plus the others. The smaller cities and towns were overwhelmed by foreign troops who moved with speed and ruthlessness that was unknown to the American people. the round-up was complete." "Not to worry Sir. they must have a gun. “That was easy. they knew they would have their pick of any women . the veterans. Get as many of them as you can tonight. Two way radios were jammed to prevent anyone from talking about what was happening. which these men knew well. since all communications such as telephones were taken down before the start. things went very smoothly. Once in the city. If they bought a hunting license. The people in the cities had no idea what was going on in the countryside. Besides." "Make sure you get as many as possible. home schoolers. after it was done. Larger cities were surrounded by the foreign troops. On the few occasions if there was any resistance." "Good. the probably own guns. they just backed off. The good news is that most of these disruptor's are still at home.

The ones that distrusted the homeschoolers." "Yes Chief. the door opened. It was amazing to see how these people would turn on each other so quickly. Besides. most of whom couldn't speak a word of English. . And if one of them fought back. some of those malcontents had started looking up and pointing at him. He was certain that he would soon get his "unimagined" reward that had been promised him. With the home-schoolers out of the way. he saw The Colonel come into his office. Especially when the word got out that by doing so. but later in life as well. the sweeps went so fast it was amazing. And that is why you will be joining them.. "I've done nothing wrong. they would get part of the confiscated food as a reward. until they reach the camps. Resistance was quite limited.. the choice was simple. the Chief looked over the railing to the courtyard below. now their children had a better chance. or just shoot them and find another. and went back into his air conditioned office." A stone cold smile briefly crossed his face.or should I say ex-Chief. then to bind the Chief. "We couldn't have gotten it done so quickly or as easily as you managed to do. and brief. Secondly with the help of the foreign troops. by the honest citizens of the state. He knew that this man would be quite pleased with the results of last night’s raids. follow The Colonel into the room.. almost everyone was happy to turn on those who had actually prepared for such a possibility. when he saw the three large men. The ones that hated guns were only too happy to turn in those who had them. Looking up. In the morning. Once the food started getting short. wanted their children to have a level playing field. in body armor with pistols tucked into their holsters. and the day promised to be a hot one. The smile faded from his face. With all of the help he had gotten. “You see Chief. thinking about who to assign to go after them. since you have captured and turned over to us everyone we asked for. possibly because the home schooled children usually did better not only in school. It was early. Beat them into submission. "What's the meaning of this?" He asked as two of them came forward to first disarm. Nearly all of the people that might cause trouble are now safely locked away. Nearly everyone on the pick-up lists had been rounded up. the honest law-abiding citizens had made his job so easy. I've gone out of my way to help you get these malcontents rounded up. As he sat there going over the list of those few that had managed to escape the dragnet. how can we trust you? How could we trust someone that betrays his own people? How could we be sure you wouldn't do the same to us?” He waved to former Chief to silence before he could say a word. The Chief turned his back on the mass of people below. It made him uncomfortable. Last night had been a good one. Smiling. You have been a great assistance to us. as he thought of what awaited the malcontents there.” He paused and fixed the chief with a cold stare. he stood to welcome his guest.captured. first in the months before this. Yes.

“Oh. Sarah and their children finally pulled up to the hunting cabin. Mike had never expected this previously hour long trip to take as long as it did. Everyone there knew his face. In his mind. Once your eyes get adjusted to one level of light. They weren't happy with him. whenever we went hunting. Save your breath. They will see you. But despite all the improvements that have been made. Dad has been taking all these dirt roads around here for years. After the encounter with the pursuit car. yeah. As she turned the S. All of those prisoners to play with. As the sun rose. He always said that the deer aren't going to stand by the edge of the Hi-way and wait for you to come by. So much delicious meat for the table. the rest went very smoothly. we couldn't believe you. It wasn't long before Mike turned off the road onto a small dusty little one lane dirt road. You have to go find them. Once in the courtyard. And the Master had plans for them."No matter what you say. The only threat left were the followers of the Nazarene.U. They knew what he had done. A couple of attacks with scalar weapons to cause the "natural disasters" and the Americans started to fall apart. This is the best time to make up some distance before its dark enough for the night vision stuff to work properly and when men have a harder time seeing. they had stayed hidden under the bridge until it was almost dark. he explained. “Wouldn't it be better to leave when it gets really dark?” As Mike helped his wife into the car. Take him away". He imagined what it would be like when his master showed up in Jerusalem to take his throne. onto the road behind her husband Sarah asked Tommy if he knew what was going on.V. Mike. Then he would have his reward. He had just been re-elected. dusk and dawn remain the times when a man’s observational powers are at their weakest. I guess he thinks this will . the lighting has already changed. there have been a lot of technological improvements over the years. So anyway. The Colonel sat at the desk of his former ally. the former Chief didn't have to worry about things for very long. and they begged for the foreign troops to come in and "help" them. ”Why are we leaving when there is still a little day light left?” Sarah wanted to know. It had been so easy. “Honey. With equipment they have now it doesn't matter if it's day or night if they think they've spotted you and really look. and set them up for the kill.” Carefully they left their hideout and continued on their way. Let them stew for a little while. And it had been so simple. he knows which ones go where. With the assistance of a few well placed congressmen to disarm the population. The changes in light and shadow are hard to adjust to. You're going to need it.

” Sarah looked at her son with new eyes. looked down and half mumbled. you kick up a lot of dust. We talked about a lot of things. “Girls. The Bible. He said he'd like to have one of those really good sets of night . He would stop as far as possible from an intersection of two dirt roads.” “How is he doing that?” “He's using a night vision scope kind of thing he has. Mike was driving with only his parking lights on. She'd never heard him speak this way before. He wasn't a child any longer. politics. he didn't try and force me to believe anything he believes in. get out of the truck and look through something for several minutes. During hunting season everyone tries to not raise a lot of it as a courtesy to other hunters. which made it much harder to see the road and made him drive very slowly. I think Dad doesn't want to make it easy for someone to find us. She thought for a moment before speaking again. When you go even a little bit too fast down these roads. turn on the parking lights again and move forward. but he also knew that headlights shining off the trees at night could be seen miles away. “But why are we traveling so slowly?” “Dust. he would get back in the truck. Don't get me wrong. He calls it a monocular. “Do you have any idea what your father is doing?” “I think he's checking out the intersections before we get there. Sarah let the 'girls' comment pass without notice. “So. The parking lights wouldn't. But she made a mental note to herself to have a talk with Mike. What he did was mostly answer my questions. everything. Then Mike started doing something that Sarah had never known him to do.” Wisely. All kinds of things. Dad and I had a lot of time to talk while we were out here. turn off his lights.” “So it would seem.” Sarah said as she remembered hitting the brakes earlier. “Mom. Satisfied.keep us out of sight a little better.” Tommy paused briefly. where did you learn about all of these things?” Tommy smiled sheepishly and said. Here and now. That's why I think he doing what I said.” “I guess that makes sense. They continued on through the night at a snail’s pace it seemed. I got to know him pretty well. “ “Questions about what?” “Oh.

And most times she didn't even bother to ask. Tonight she was glad she learned to handle a weapon. But. Most importantly. he wouldn't be noticed. She only wished that she'd paid a little more attention to what he'd been saying and doing. .” Sarah had been looking at her son while he spoken. years before she did. just in case something happened. He just hoped he wouldn't need the weapons tonight. but they are too expensive. she knew she could do something about. She had always known that Mike took his responsibilities as both a husband and a father very seriously. He could make what he hoped was a pretty good guess. Soon there was a sizable stack of ammunition for each weapon. and how long it would take them to reach the area. So. She even understood that some of what he was doing had to have come from his military training. and he didn't. within his ability to provide. Now she again looked out the windshield. But by knowing the town they where they would likely be coming from. The dirt roads he was taking would keep him off the main roads almost all the way to their destination. He's let me look through it at hunt camp. there was no legal requirement to register the weapons. that’s for sure. But by walking out of several stores with just a few boxes. “Lord. He had gotten it off of one of those on line local city classified ad pages. night vision? When did he get that? Where did he get that? She admitted to herself that Mike had never tried to hide anything from her. she trusted Mike. Please watch over us all. There wasn't a trace that he owned a weapon anywhere. a couple of shotguns. He had also figured that walking out of one store with a lot of ammunition was sure to attract attention. That thing works really good.” The prayer made him think of timing his trip down the paved road. Since all sales were local face to face deals. He was the one who had insisted that she be able to at least point a weapon in the right direction before that you wear on your head. You can see a lot more with that at night. Mike indeed had been using the night vision piece to investigate the road ahead. He'd also used it while behind the wheel on a couple of occasions. He had gotten a lot of things that way. She just hadn't realized how far ahead in his thinking he actually was. For his part. He couldn't know exactly when the patrols might be there. Amen. At least that much. I know we've spoken about this before. Yes. Mike looked upward briefly and said. but she never really found the enjoyment in it that he did. than you can with your eye. He had made certain they had many of the things they were going to need when it came time for leaving. He identified the need to put away food. He wanted to pick a time when any patrols wouldn't be covering that part of the road. a pistol and a rifle. But there was one section of paved road they had to take that was about five miles long that they simply would have to travel on. Even if he did it every couple of weeks. It was just another of his many pet projects. what he has is better than nothing. But he didn’t talk a lot about it either. but we really are going to need your protection on that part of the trip tonight.

and I'm learning a lot about you. Like when they had left home. but knew that rushing was a mistake. as it is. He was proud of her.” Sarah smiled at him when he looked at her questioningly. let it. Unlike many people she too could see the signs of what was coming and adjust to the circumstances. we can't stay at the cabin forever. He wanted to go faster. She didn't always agree with him. Sunrise on the next day. She was a good and Godly wife. I think it's time we got back on the road. We should have been able to make it before sun down today.V. His mind drifted to Sarah. If it took extra time. no matter what it was. If they stayed. “At least the younger two are sleeping. It made you get sloppy.” He sighed. We still have a ways to go. He turned his head and watched the road they had come up. “What kind of questions did he ask you about girls?” “You know. “Mike. As the night wore on.” “You're avoiding the question. Then we had that trouble earlier and that took a lot of time from us.” Came the reply. It's nearly two A. What are we going to do?” “Honey. Mike realized that a stop from time to time would be in order to allow everyone a chance to stretch their legs. It was during one of these stops that Mike and Sarah spoke privately. and that would get you caught. The younger children having spent so much time cooped up in the S. his eyes stayed glued to the approach to the cabin. What about Tommy and you? How are the two of you holding up?” “Tommy's' fine. Moving slow like this doesn't help either.U.” She called out to his back.He looked at the dashboard clock and was surprised to learn that they hadn't gotten very far in the time they'd spent on the road. and they finally arrived at the cabin. but she didn't deny the truth. She never said 'I told you so' when those things happened. “You bet I am. Better safe than sorry.M. they'd be caught and punished for having the foresight to know that having extra food was a good idea. No matter how much he rocked. right now I'm more concerned with just getting there. And their son took after her in that way. So he resolved himself to continue to check out potential trouble spots before he got to them. True she needed a little prodding. and sometimes she had been proven right. Now here it was. Tommy simply got out and with shotgun in hand walked over to a rocking chair on the porch and sat down with the laid weapon across his lap. She just helped him carry on and never spoke of the matter again. Began to chase one another around the front of the cabin. With a promise of more play time later Sarah got the youngest two children to .

she eased her way in front of him with a polite. to talk to the American people. This was America. Others were kept out of sight on bases that had been closed down for years.O. They didn't. Unless he chose to allow it. working on one of his problems. in case of something like this. N. as did the American National Guardsmen. But it was. After all. If she had only known what was really on his mind. One that had been on his mind for a long time. had seen the President come on the T. Nothing happened.T. It wasn't long before the members of different gangs in every major city. she wouldn’t have been so quick to comply with the authorities. None of them cared a bit about the Constitution. and could deal with. he had the authority to rule by decree. Chapter Three Kathy couldn't believe this was happening. He grabbed the handle for opening the door and tried it. The members of Congress didn't have a place to meet with martial law in effect. Honey”. laughing at himself. she and her husband Tim. martial law was in effect. He saw that the bottom of the hatch had been curled under and he thought if he could just get the door to open a little he could possibly find a way to get under it to force it open if necessary. Foolishly they had assumed they would be like the cops they were used to. the President had an idea. After all. This was his chance to take full control over the nation. Before the power had become so unreliable. With most of the military engaged in the Middle East. They had expected these troops to follow the law. As he stood there thinking about what to do. Some had been stationed on active military bases. found out that these men weren't what they were expecting. troops as well as others were already in America. He had said that due to the severity of the disasters. Not wanting to disturb him.V. without remorse or hesitation. Sarah came out of the cabin towards him. She saw the look on his face and knew he was somewhere her begin the job of unloading the vehicle. and sporadic. With numerous Presidential Orders. this was America. She stuck the key into the lock. “Excuse me. Mike again walked to the back of it to inspect the damage done by the collision. For a moment. The President knew that was what they were thinking. He would make sure they never did. They had been running things all over the world for far too long. He began to work with the handle. she had doubts about Mike’s sanity as he collapsed onto the ground. lifting it to see what he would have to do to get it off so he could have a chance to attack the lock inside. It was as if they made up their own laws as . they weren't shooting their own people.A. They would do as they were told. and Presidential Decision Directives already in place. and lifted the hatch open. turned it. These Americans needed to be brought down. it couldn't happen here.

almost but not quite. gripped and re-gripped the baseball bat in his hands. The crowd of people scattered. They seemed to go on and on in a fashion. He now regretted that he had allowed his wife to talk him out of it. for protection. They had never been into the outdoors kind of thing. At least in the beginning. and when Kathy had gotten pregnant with their first child. He was such a paranoid person. However. They didn't even try to capture them. drink. All citizens were requested to give every to the foreign troops. but it was all he had.they went along. He lived across the street. as the foreign troops opened fire on them on sight. were taken.K. the police were only a phone call away. but never really paid much attention to what he talked about. but numerous shots. Tim toyed with the idea of getting a gun of some kind. and everyone knew it wasn't wise to keep a loaded weapon around small children. While Kathy huddled with their children in the back bedroom. we are still here. She answered it to hear. They just shot them. That's when her cell phone rang. Taking whatever struck their fancy. Suddenly shots rang out. He knew it wouldn't be much help in the face of the gang bangers. Never to be seen again. All except those who wouldn't ever go anywhere again. Tim. money. and in some cases it was rumored. Many people had welcomed these men who were putting a long awaited end to the gang’s reign of terror. I'm coming for you. are you guys alright?" It was Bob." "O. like a machine gun. I'm in the front yard. "Kathy. "Yes Bob." "Why?" . and were now terrorizing the countryside. Kathy talked him out of it. She knew he was a veteran. and there was nobody to stop them. when he brought up the subject to her. After all. Nobody was assistance the larger a military to leave their home. Not just one or two. But there had been stories about some of the troops starting to behave even worse than the gangs. Get everyone ready to move to my place. Soon the gang bangers were starting to drop like flies. her husband. Kathy and Tim hadn't even seen so much as truck yet. Unfortunately the troops had been sent to cities and towns first. So the surviving gang members had simply moved out of the cities. Food. even women and children.

but you don't seem to be ready for what is going on today.V. and the ice maker could be heard filling with water in the freezer. with boxes and boxes of ammunition. If it weren't for the boarded up windows. T. "That one was faking it. and the pistol that never left Bobs' hip. before it had all started."Maybe I'm mistaken. since he had added additional baffles to the exhaust." “Hold on.V. Alright.R. coffee will be ready in a moment." Kathy and Tim both did what they could to keep the children from witnessing the dead bodies in the yard. and near the front door. She noticed a second one sticking out of one of Bob’s back pockets. and started his generator. I'm in the mood for something a bit more stout. Bob went into the garage." Half jokingly he asked. The food in the fridge was cold. "O. all except for a couple of small slits cut into the wood. and put a suitable tape into the old fashioned V. But if you'll excuse me. Still. She looked at Bob as they started to jog to his house. the term "banana clip" surfaced. He then went into the kitchen and started a pot of coffee. in just a couple of minutes they were in Bobs' home. They moved as quickly as they could. it might be just like any other night.K. which made surprisingly little noise. Wait a minute. It was almost as if nothing had changed in Bobs' home. "Do you want me to leave?" "NO. And let's be quick about getting across the street. The smaller two children were taken into one of the back bed-rooms. Between the cut outs were weapons leaning against the walls. come ahead. Their older two sons sat in the living room while Kathy and Tim sat in the dining area and watched in amazement. He was also wearing what seemed to be a bullet proof vest. he turned on a T. but with young children in tow their speed was somewhat reduced. and began the show to keep them busy while the older folks talked. but there was no way to prevent them from seeing at least some of the carnage." ." Another shot was heard. Returning to the children. They noticed that the over-sized glass doors in his living room were boarded up. Then she heard Bob say. Under these slits were sand bags stacked up to just below the level of the cut out. no. we are coming out. folks. with coffee.C. and told to wait for a few minutes. He was carrying a small rifle with an unbelievably long magazine sticking out of it. Somewhere in the back of her mind.

if those gang bangers were sick enough. He was nothing less than whole-hearted in everything he did. but when he did. it should be. And I don't even want to think about what was going to happen to your wife and daughters. or die trying. At one point. "Bob. for most of the day. I don't think I'm going to have to try too hard to convince you both that you need to have some weapons. How much did you expect to do with that?" The older man shook his head. and agreed to not keep weapons fact. with renewed respect. "Tell me something Tim." . But a long time ago. Maybe even your sons. he was usually liberal with his words of wisdom. he opened a cabinet. Now you want me to disarm myself? It's not going to happen. Both of your vehicles have been trashed. When you came out. you knew he would keep it. After the events of today. does it hurt very much?" "Hurt? I’m not hurt. He worked hard that day. all you were going to do was die. It was true he was sometimes a little rough around the edges. The same is true for the front door of your house. but you always knew where you stood with him. It nearly happened because you have no way to defend yourselves. side by side with Tim. all you had was a baseball bat. He didn't often give his word. As a matter of none of your guns are loaded Bob couldn't believe it. as he spoke. "Son. and poured himself a drink. "Alright. What are you thinking?" Kathy looked at Bob.With that. are truly thankful for what you have done. "You people almost died today. she had brought him a glass of iced tea and suggested that he should leave the rest of the cleanup of the downed trees to Tim and her two oldest sons. and continued. don't get me wrong. pulled out a bottle of Rum. and continued. that death would have been very ugly and painful. And while politically conservative. Do I?" Bob was almost shocked when Tim answered. I think maybe you should make sure that around the kids. There wasn't anything wishy-washy about him. Like the time two years before when he was helping Tim remove a couple of trees that had died and were endangering their home. And I promise you. we Kathy and I talked this over in the house. I think we need to have a talk." He paused long enough to take a drink from his glass. If it's not. What are you talking about?" "Being THAT stupid has got to be physically painful.

I know I was the one that was against having a gun in the house." Bob called out. When veterans talked. "Check the pockets for spare magazines and ammo. and those people were outside. I happen to know that you own at least one shotgun and four or five pistols. breaking in. In fact. Hold on." Bob gratefully accepted the tea. Bob is right. can't we Bob?" "That can be arranged. "Try not to miss anything of value. Tim felt sick. let alone used a gun before. and that is good enough. He just wasn't ready for the reality of just how much of a mess that a bullet could make of a man. I saw them out there on your front lawn. How did he come up with these wise words so easily. I was wrong Tim. are you sure about this? Neither one of us has ever held." "Bob? What are you talking about? We don't own any guns. honor wasn't a word. We aren't going to get through this without them. After all. "Honey. I think we can get some instruction on how to shoot. That one closest to the door was the first one I put down. he'd seen the war movies." Kathy wondered. For Bob. Surprise plain on his face. Just like many Americans." "Sure you do. and went back to work. I wanted to stop those people by whatever means necessary. knives. took a drink. I wanted a gun. “Hold on. Anything we can use to defend ourselves. Nobody had ever mentioned the horrible smell either. But nothing he had seen or heard prepared him for this. he heard the stories. wait a minute. I don't even know how to load one. I think since you now own some weapons." "When we were in the house. it would be a very good idea. It was a way of life. Tim and the boys can finish.” She saw him start to speak and stopped him. then set the glass down. or anything at all. "Kathy. I saw him stick a handgun in his waistband before he started on the . Today proves how wrong I was. and said. the former owners are hardly likely to complain about it. "Tim. Radios." Tim looked at his wife. haven't you ever noticed how 'good enough' usually isn't?" He took another swallow."You've been working hard all day.

Son ." "Tim. And you STILL need to learn how to shoot. We've been lucky so far. With just a few handguns. and other places like your sunroom. They got badly hurt the first time. And they will be in greater numbers. I WANT them to come to that door. or any other means of preparing food." Tim noticed the bullet had hit the dead man in the back of the head. "Even if you could secure that place. Have you noticed how any opening big enough for a man to get through has been either boarded up. Your place is totally indefensible. but what about your front door? It is still wide open. Are you O. no generator to power the stove. There are too many windows. Roll him over and get it. I'll bet you don't even have the first sheet of plywood to cover any of that glass. but they will be back. but I still know a few tricks." "What about you? You're only one man." "Yes. or the opening has been at least partially blocked off?" "Sort of. Thin walls and those glass doors that lead out to the pool. you have no food to speak of. do you?" Tim shook his head. you won't last long when they do come back. I wouldn't recommend that. They are licking their wounds right now. it is. You can't get close to it without being in the open. Truth is." As they again carefully crossed the street. Are we done here?" "Yeah. we're done. Lets' go. now?" "I think so. This time he did get sick. checking both directions to see if they were being observed.K. "I may have gotten out of the service many years ago. Your house has a lot of glass as Aren't you worried about it?" Bob smiled grimly. and a pump shotgun. where it can be broken into. "Tim. After a few moments he heard. That makes them a perfect target. He rolled the body over to retrieve the pistol and made the mistake of looking at what was left of the face. "Bob. how long do you think it will be before we can move back into our home? After that mess is cleaned up I mean. Tim spoke again.

Sammy and Tommy are just BOYS. If this were as little as two months ago. "You know as well as I do that in some places your older boy would already be looking for a wife. I'm channeling them into a shooting gallery." Kathy exploded. we have doubled our chances of surviving." Bob sighed and shook his head." "But that doesn't mean they have to have a gun!" "Well. you tell me. Bob had no illusions of how things were going to go next. How old are they now? 14? 16?" Kathy nodded." "Yes. And he’s done nothing to try to control them. What if something happens. doing whatever they please. that childhood is at an end. After today. she would have just called the police. They aren't ready for anything like this. but have you ever heard of something called 'force multiplication'?" "No. With those two having at least a handgun. "Kathy. and we get separated from one of them? And what if they run into people like those from this morning? Wouldn't you want them to be able to defend themselves? What if something happens to YOU?" Kathy searched for something to say." After what Tim had said earlier about unloading weapons to keep the children safe. They answer only to the President. . or hadn't you noticed? There are foreign troops patrolling the streets. while he is ruling by decree. Both of them would be expected to contribute to the welfare of their tribe or whatever. and even fighting should that tribe be attacked. You two better understand right now. and Home of the Brave' to you? It sure doesn't to me. lets’ get back inside so we can get started on your education. they are young men. "Bob! You can't be serious." "You are still just one man. The world we knew and loved is as dead as a stone. Now there were no police. And the extra two sets of eyes will help keep us safe. by hunting." "We'll discuss it later. Does that sound like the 'Land of the Free. "This WAS America. they WERE boys. Right now. From here on out." "But this is America! We aren't some third world country.that I've arranged for them to come that way. all bets are off. NOTHING will be the same ever again.

"Tim? What about you?" "Nothing yet." Shortly after this. arm. "Everyone grab a weapon. It was Sammy that spoke up first." "Nobody’s on my side. Lives will depend on it. Similar to the kind many truckers had on their rear view mirrors. unload. I think I saw some of those bad guys. and disarm the pistols. They just seem to be looking at the house. They’re right up against the wall." . "Yes! I can make out at least three." He said. "I see two of them out back. I didn't want those bad people to get it. That way a person in one part of the L could use it to see what was coming up on his blind side." Kathy called out. Sammy and Tommy. Bob was about to go into the workings of the pump shotgun when one of the younger children came out of the back room. Wait a minute. "Those two in the back yard are starting to go back where they came from. Mr. Mom. "Oh. Bob." Tommy shouted from the far end of the house. picked up one from the table. and moved to a separate view slit in the boarded up windows to which Bob had assigned them. Soon they were all able to load. Bob? Why is there a car battery in your hallway?" "I had to leave it there for a little while. They aren't trying to get in. Dad." Each person old enough to carry a weapon." "Anything in the mirror?" Bobs' home was L shaped. Remember what I told you. so just try to get the bullet somewhere close enough to scare them. Kathy." "Where did you see them?" "Down by the end of the house. If you can’t hit them. Tim. "Mr." "This is it!" Bob said. just try to keep them from shooting at us. You don't have training to be marksmen. They are sneaking towards the front door. The front door was located at the crook in the L. were gathered around the dining table watching as Bob explained the basics of handguns."Those young men NEED to learn how to shoot. He had placed a small curved mirror above the door.

booby traps. Just like an army in wartime. Now. We have BOMBS for goodness sake. Bits and pieces of broken glass. then the move to the next area. and other things they might need from those who wouldn't need them any longer. nobody that was still breathing. Two more explosions' went off in the back yard. so I don't expect you to see things as I do. They may not look like an army. but always where they see the next biggest threat to them. either pacify it. they move into an area. standard procedure is to . and get out of Dodge. "Time to pack up. The rest of them backed off."Tim. spare ammo. where they hit a strong point. do you remember me saying something about 'force multiplication'?" "Yes. or burn it to the ground. a second group started to rush the back side of the house. Then get down. He said nothing. “We've shown them it's not safe for them to come here." After the bombs had been blown. tell me. She was thinking of the group. but whoever is directing them knows military tactics. Soon there was nobody left outside. buried just an inch under the ground. with the same kind of result. Both Tim and Kathy were surprised to hear Bob say. that is exactly why we have to leave. In a case like this." "When they get within six feet of the door. From the crook in the L. they returned to the house. exploded. NOTHING in that house was worth these kinds of losses. "Kathy. not just her family or herself. As soon as Bob and Tim had gathered all the weapons. Only the ones nearest the end of the line got up to limp away. and were thrown backwards. They don't what to mess with that. you've never served in uniform." Bob smiled to himself as he heard Kathy say 'We'. I don't think they'll come back after this. nails." "NOW!" Bob touched three certain wires of several sticking out of the wall to the car battery. A shouted warning from Tom and Sam was all that was needed. At least. Not always in a straight line. "THAT'S what I was talking about. Several gang members were cut down instantly. It was a good thing." "Why?” Kathy asked. and let it pass. and even small stones fired outward and traveled along the outside walls in both directions. The gang members were lifted off their feet.

SAM. Take your positions." They knew. so far. you know. but Tim and I have work to do. just as in the days of Noah. They will be men with bigger and better weapons. and was a little irked that Bob was ordering her sons around... so shall it be. and his late wife’s S. pointed outwards. "Tom. how do we leave right now?" "We thank God for His provisioning. So. He spoke as he moved through the door. . and I'll set aside the ones we're going to put back in. and in the garage Tim and Kathy could see Bobs' old pickup truck. come help me. Tim. Tim. You pass out the boxes. we 'man the lifeboats'. please. You even invited me to your church after Nancy. "Kathy. this is too much.Well. Understand me? Good. I have to ask. and strangely enough." "Bob! If we have to pack up. Kathy sat down on the step. behind the front seat." As Bob stepped aside. and make a hollow space in the middle. follow me please. for the youngest two.' Well. How could you know about all of this? I refuse to take another step. Both were packed for traveling. I want you to take the position by the view slits at the front door. And they'll never be weaker..V. "Jesus said. Always ready to help others. ask your questions. Either of you see anything at all. We have to be gone before they get here.. over here please. TOM. while noticing that he now addressed her sons in a more adult fashion." Kathy wondered what he was saying." He moved aside as Tim opened the door and got started. until you answer some questions. We MUST go now. and wait for more men to show up. "Bob. I'll answer you. or more disorganized." Bob turned and went to the door leading to the two car garage. Sam you take the slits in the first bed room on the right as you go down the hall. to answer your first question. than now." "Kathy. She held her piece to see what he would say next. Nancy had been a very good neighbor. and had been right about the gangs coming back. Bob had done everything he could for them. sing out loud and clear. But. and I don't have time to build an Ark. I'm not as good of a carpenter.U.back off. We need to take out some of this canned food. but we are running short on time. how did you NOT know?" "Not know? What do you mean?" "I know you two are Christians. Kathy.

then you should know all this. Jesus Christ. Study Daniel and the other prophets. Nothing could be done to revive her. Then. Tim.and do what she could for them. You never read it did you?" She shook her head. if you have studied your bible. What happens just after the tribulation? 'Then shall appear the sign of the son of man appearing in the east." Interrupting himself. She even baked cookies and other treats for her children once in awhile. 4: 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord.' Not to mention how so many preachers will quote Paul when he speaks of us being taken out of here in 1 Thess. and scriptural verses to back him up as well. called 'Through the Fire. Kathy. "Everything that is happening now was prophesied in that book. Not in this much detail. one morning while on the treadmill at the gym. He even had all kinds of books on it. do you remember when we first moved in.' What would make him say something like that? Go back to Matt. Without Burning' about Dimitru Duduman.'" Again he turned and spoke to her husband. but an internal U. Kathy. to show thyself approved unto God. How long after? Do as Jesus said. he said. that we which are alive [and] remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. Tim you grab the duct tape and follow me. 24:29 to 31. "Either Tom. and on birthdays and other holidays. I would be willing to bet he never explained away Matt. The man who gave the prophecies went home to be with The Lord. in the mid nineties.K. You'll have to choose which one. As Paul said to Timothy." "But our pastor told us we'd be taken out before anything bad happened. In those verses. "Anyway. You know." "I'm sure he did. would you turn on the head lights . In the last part of Daniel. Now we need to open the hatch and make a little space back there. but not one of his prophecies has failed. revolution is in there. And yet they completely ignore what is said in the verse just before the one they use. In another place it is 1290 days. 4:16. "O. 'Study. you would be ready for today. or Sam is going to sit back here as a rear guard. Then he says 'Blessed is he that waiteth and cometh unto the one thousand three hundred. he says the anti-Christ will rule for 1260 days. If you had read the book I gave you. about ten years ago? I gave you a book." "Why?" Tim asked as he moved to do as he had been told. 1Thes. five and thirtieth day. Alive and remain? Unto the coming of The Lord? That clearly identifies that time as after the Tribulation. her heart just stopped. himself says he will return AFTER the tribulation. 24. of course.S. "That's good.

He then applied more tape to the lower part of the light until there was only a space about a inch high. If not rice. so I did what I could. Just go slow and stay on my rear. and do it right now. Passing the tape to Tim. On and on it went." He waved his hand at the parked vehicles. I eat next month. "Alright." As they began to repack the S. and up and down until there is only a small slit showing. Kathy. it is infinitely better than sitting around later thinking about what you should have done'. and now I'm here. and then stand. As for all of this. and . You won't be able to see much. both in the front of the truck. you know I'm not a criminal. and three inches long allowing the light out. Then there was another box about a foot square with nothing but bars of soap. How did you find the time and money to do all of this?" "A wise man once said.U. if you do anything.please?" She climbed into the four wheel drive. he said. "Do the same to the other headlight. While Bob and Tim were covering the headlights and tail lights with the duct tape to help hide their movement. and wrapping it well around the side of the truck as well as across the front grill. The point is DO SOMETHING. I buy a big bag of rice this week. 'Do something. "Bob? How in the world did you ever get all this put together? I don't think you've missed anything. With Kathy to guide him he soon stuck the tape over the light. No matter how big or small. a little at a time. As today has proved the first two people at the scene of any violent crime are the criminal and the victim. ALL is a pretty broad term. "It was a little at a time. she looked into the pickup. this little trick is called 'cats' eyes'. A wiser man. Kathy." Bob pulled out a piece of duct tape and held it in front of the headlight. Tell me when the shadow blocks out everything above the hood. then spices. and in the bed." "I think I'll get over it. blocking out much of it. but neither will they. side to side. ammunition. We are going to tape across the headlights. Paul said to do all we can. and the lights came on. I also buy another extra bag of rice as often as I can. Behind the front seat were a number of weapons as well as box after box of ammunition. watch the light from the head lights on the door. Kathy couldn't help but notice the sheer volume of food. Sitting next to them was a water purifier." "This is going to ruin your paint. Use what you can see shining on the door to be your guide. but I refuse to be a victim. I don't think I have to mention that weapons would be a good idea.V. all kinds of things.

The more the population was confused." He paused to pick up a stuffed back pack from the bed of the truck. either went to a charity. It also helps when you spread your purchases out over several stores. but that meant when the troops were done doing their job in the cities. maybe your life. Nobody thinks a thing about someone buying one or two bars of soap." "How did you explain all of this to Nancy?" "Sometimes I had a reasonable answer for her. so she eventually gave up. or were sold in our next garage sale.S. things weren't going quite so well. that . Things were going well. but she had no real reason to complain about it. with no chance for outside help. The things I picked up in garage sales that didn't work out. valleys. Maybe some money. All major cities and towns were. "Like this thing. They don't even remember it. Out in the countryside. and other things. you would be amazed at some of the deals you can get at garage sales. Army issue ruck sack with a waist band. She didn't like it. but I mean where did you find all of this stuff? Didn't anyone ask why you were getting all of this? I can't imagine you walking out of the store with a box of bar soap under your arm. that's where the box of soap you mentioned came from. One other thing. She saw the letters 'U. from the Regional Directors. like the generator. camping equipment. I just had to stick to my guns and refuse. nothing and nobody got in or out. Bob spoke again.DO IT NOW.S. you lose. at least under siege. but you still lose." Chapter Four Reports were coming into the Presidents' office. and flat lands. the less the chance for any kind of organized resistance." "Okay I understand that. Confusion in those places was the order of the day. if not pacified. A brand new U. I countered with five and we settled on seven. the weaker they were. Garage sales allowed me to take advantage of things like that. Being encircled. If you wait. Other times I just bought things and when she insisted I return it to the store. The useless eaters in them were on their own. Food shortages were bound to be next. The unknowing cannon fodder that the gangs really were would have done their job by then. while gaining experience in the fine art of bargaining at the same time. there would be fewer to resist them when they moved out into the surrounding hills. In many places there was resistance to the rabble of invading gangs." "Garage sales? Are you serious?" "Yes I am. Bit by bit. If they actually managed to take over a town or two. It was a bargain at ten. That was good.' stamped on the bag. even if you do it every week to ten days or so. Truth is. You know we had them." "As I said. That helps to keep a low profile. They asked for ten.

Behind him came his number one man. the gangs waited for the doors to close. and to the point. His ears were still ringing with the Presidents' displeasure. He smelled of marijuana and beer. Here and there. of people gathering in churches. Most of the time. All vehicles from out front had simply vanished. and how to carry out orders. Helpers sent by 'the Nazarene'. and they knew how to give. throughout his region the MS-13 members that had been turned loose on the population were taking unacceptable losses. would be found. As he scanned the lists of known resisters' names. Not all. or someone who could. the entire building was empty. He picked up the phone. It could be. there were the reports from some places.just meant the locals would welcome their deliverers with open arms. "Find Jose' and get him in here. Those stupid red-necks out in the countryside were fighting back. Manuel. he couldn't help but notice that many of them were veterans of military service. he was bothered about how things were turning out in the south eastern region. then moved in and began the slaughter. going smoother. but each of them knew who was the head man. who looked very much like Jose'." Director Claire looked up as Jose' entered the room. The conversation with the Southern Regional Director was short. and in certain western areas. but that was already figured into the plan. they already knew how to fight. no-one cared what happened to these vermin anyway. just as they had done in the cities. He hated to admit it. SHOULD be. What could be seen of his arms showed tattoos that were much the same. Director Claire put the phone down. a t-shirt. but they were doing a lot of damage. but the President was right. you can't make omelets without breaking a few eggs. sharp. by the time MS_13 moved in to wipe them out. Should these people get together. There was a knock on the door. True. "Come in. He sat down to look at the reports again. Then. Eliminate resistance. Then he picked it up again. but many of them. Still. Things should be going much better than this. sewn all over it. The problem was he couldn't prove that. Besides. He knew what it meant. and Jose' walking in wearing torn jeans. They could train others. After all. . But there were a few churches. They were an unacceptable threat. there were a few places where things could have gone better. Maybe they weren't organized yet. and walked with a cocky self assurance. like the spider-web. He stood there in his beautiful three piece suit. Now!" was shouted into the phone before it was slammed back down. They were getting help from 'the other side'. What a mismatched pair they were. and a sleeveless jacket with the MS-13 colors and symbols.

" With that. The smaller children ride just behind him. Manuel backed out of the room. Kathy. "Leave it."Hey. he picked up the pistol on his desk. "You were supposed to have your area under control by now!" "Hey man. Like I told you. You know what I want. Kathy. to put him down. and the job still isn't done. How’s' it going?" "You've failed me!" Claire shouted. Director Claire. Claire pushed a button on his desk. "I think it best if we put Tim behind the wheel of the SUV. in the classic style of an assassin. "Two reasons." Kathy asked." Clair quieted and calmed himself. I truly feel that Tim is the better choice for the SUV." "Why can't we all ride together? The kids and us I mean. First. you should have known. You should have known what your enemies could do. either Tom or Sam needs to be in the back. You didn't and you've lost too many men. This is your fault. not mine. and I did promise answers. the noise and light might give us away. and shot Jose' twice. I could use someone riding 'shotgun' with me. and a second to the head to make sure he stayed there. Second. these are your people." Bob said. I'll drive my truck. "This is your country." . Think of this as an extended camping trip. and out of the line of fire. YOU are the head man now. Where we are going. to do that means we have to leave more food behind. you ride with me." "What about the generator?" Tim asked. Those young men will need his guidance. keeping his eyes glued to the pistol. you never told me that these dumb rednecks would shoot back like that. we need to be going.' Bob smiled briefly. Once in the chest. "Besides' you are the one with the most questions. You failed me. the other one will ride next to Tim." "Alright. GET IT DONE!!!" Wisely. "Looks like you just got promoted. until he could make a dive for the door. "Get someone in here to clean up this mess. He then turned the weapon on Manuel.

and art work Nancy had collected over the years. and hoped because of that. He knew it was out of the question. The Persian carpets muffled his footsteps for what he knew was the last time. He was right. Bob re-entered the home. got a pair of bolt cutters. lit more flares. She was only a little surprised when Bob stopped once. the glow of a major fire could be seen. and pulled out a half dozen roadside flares. The fence was the only thing that prevented them from crossing from one to the other. which had been taped over. flooded his mind. Turning to the doorway leading to their sons' room. memories of his life here with Nancy. She had also noticed that the tears. and their son. the children. He wished he could go to his son. reached underneath his seat. from Bob had stopped. Sam. Then he ignited one of the flares. she remained quiet as they slowly made their way completely out of town. He was happy to see that the lights. to a chain link fence that separated it from the development behind theirs. Two hours later. gave just a small amount of light. NOTHING would be left for those who forced him out to use against him. Kathy looked at him. It didn't seem the time to ask questions. and occasional sniff. He wondered for the thousandth time if his son had managed to survive everything so far. Instead of taking the main road. As he climbed back into the truck. he had gone to the backside of their neighborhood. Kathy. it would be unguarded. As he walked down the hallway. She began to ask her questions again. both front and rear. and the tears on Bobs' face told the story. and left them burning on the furniture. He gazed briefly at the photos. Walking back to the bed room he and Nancy had shared. In fact. or to enjoy for themselves. or anyone else. He took one last longing look. he did the same. Soon they were out of town and heading into the night. The young man was too far away. It was just starting to get dark. Tom. and in one of the cities that was under siege. and Bob gathered in the kitchen for a prayer of protection and guidance before moving to the garage and pulling the vehicles out. hit the road out in front. Bob drove across somebody’s back yard. and made his way to a secondary road leading out of town. "I'll be right back. and help him. and set to work on a fence that was blocking their way.Tim." Was all he said. alone. Then she stared through the windshield. Walking back through the house. and how he was doing. Behind them. if the time ever came when he was forced to leave his home. Kathy realized that they were going to be following the service road for the railroad for some time to come. He had decided long ago. After the fence was down. Bob stopped. as he had done so many times before. He knew it was little traveled. . At this point. he stopped only briefly at certain points. and tossed it onto their bed.

I couldn't make out the face. However a friend of mine. and that Nancy's car was right behind me. and what she has lost. I got a dream. I won't be seeing her again. the prophets. and couldn't take my eyes off the road to look. I prayed about it a lot as well. and maybe I should have read that book. 'Be ready to help those I bring to you. the evidence of things not seen. it is just like the Bible says in Amos." "What? Bob now you are scaring me. but I did what I could. "Nancy wasn't a believer." he sighed." At the mention of her name. 'God will do nothing without revealing His secret to His servants. I would be warned in a visitation by an angel. I'm sure you'll see her again. did you get that visitation?" "Yes I did. but even you said that nothing covered all this in fine detail. "So. I'm mourning her. She was a very good woman. 'Now faith is the substance of things hoped for. What do you mean 'the Angels'?" "Just that."Bob. every step of the way. told me that when the time came for me to leave my home and get to a place of His choosing.’ Now I'm no prophet. I knew that I was running for my life. I was told. I didn't mean to bring up bad memories. Like Noah. Kathy asked for more about the angels. "Oh Bob." "No. You know the messengers of God. but she refused to accept Jesus Christ as her Savior. Nancy always thought I was a little off center about it. What I couldn't figure out was who was sitting beside me in the truck. I continued to make ready for whatever and whoever. whom God has used prophetically in the past. So how did you know?" "You really haven't heard from them. Now I think I understand what you were getting at with the Bible verses." Changing the subject. you have been ready for anything that happened." . have you?" "Heard from whom?" "The angels. In the dream I knew I was traveling. angels. But before that. I moved to prepare an 'ark' without any sign that I was doing the right thing. But you know what is written. Bob. As the dream started to fade. I won't. when we get to Heaven.' So even after Nancy was gone." "That is a lot of faith on really thin proof. and I loved her very much. I'm sorry. You see. tears started to well up in his eyes again." "True.' I placed my faith in what I believed to be a word from God.

Kathy knew she could agree. Like the time Tim had his electronic log splitter die while cutting up logs to be split for . which allowed her to see. and to rescue you guys."So when did the angel show up?" "Just before the gang bangers showed up at your place. That's in His hands. Please open her eyes for just a minute. Lord. Look again" Kathy looked out once more. watching the scene go by." "No. a year. she looked out the window of the truck. She had always respected Bob. "Bob! There is someone sitting on the hood!" "I know. and gasped." "That’s probably a good idea. Though she admitted to herself that at times he did seem to be a little different. He's been there since we left. he's been there all along. a day. It is a bit much when you actually see an angel. and there was no one along the dirt road they were traveling. and there was no sign of anyone on the hood. Bob. I'm sure you have much to think about." Kathy looked at him. if we let Him. When we get to a turn. "Show her. I was told to stand for The Lord. A lot of good Christian people have died since this whole thing began. no. he points the way to go. Who am I to say what is best for me in an hour. It was just after the full moon. She looked back out the windshield. or whatever. I mean there is someone on the hood that wasn't there a minute ago. She had much to think about. He relied on things that had to be worked manually. wondering about his mental state. He's an angel. the dust on it was undisturbed." On that." "Was that all?" Bob looked up for a moment and prayed." "Kathy. We all have the same promise that The Father loves us and will do what is best for us. As she sat silently after the angel had disappeared from her sight. and I follow his directions. Just think about this also. While others embraced the latest technology. and aided in the night driving with such little light coming from the headlights. "Ummm. All I can do is to trust and obey. I think I'm going to be quiet for a while. You just haven't been able to see him. Bob seemed to be going the opposite direction.

the fireplace that coming winter. Bob, as always, was helping Tim with the chore. "I guess that's it for today." Tim had said. "I was hoping to get this finished today." "So, let's finish." Bob had said. "How? The splitter is dead." "Just watch." Bob had gone to his garage across the street. He put some things in his pick up and driven back to where Tim stood, wondering what Bob was up to. Bob parked and started to unload his equipment. In just a short time he used metal fence posts and metal plates to assemble a rectangular box like structure. The upper plate had a log splitting wedge welded to it, pointed down. Then he bolted a hydraulic car jack to the lower part. The placed another metal plate on the top of the jack. He reached over and picked up one of the logs and placed it on the jack plate, and began to pump the jack. Slowly the log rose until it came in contact with the wedge, and then was split in two as the jack continued to push it higher. Once the pieces had fallen aside, he lowered the jack and grabbed the next log. Placing it on the jack, he looked at Tim and said, "Your turn." The wood was split and stacked before the end of the day. "Whatever gave you the idea for that?" Kathy had asked when she saw it. "My determination to make sure my family stays warm in the winter. Well, that and the fact that I don't like being totally dependent on high technology. As today shows, sometimes that technology breaks down at exactly the wrong time. So don't depend on it. Depend on God and yourself." After the events of today, she now understood what he had meant much better. Looking out the window as she thought, Kathy suddenly realized she had no idea where they were. "Where are we Bob?" "We’re about twenty-five miles northwest of town." "I don't recognize anything around here. Are you sure?" Before answering, Bob reached into the pocket on the back of Kathy's seat. He pulled out a large well worn book, and handed it to her. "This is a 'back roads' atlas. It shows every jeep trail and cow path known in the state. I've been using it for years. Back roads may not be the

shortest way to get somewhere, but when the traffic is backed up because of an accident or something, on the main roads, they can be a lot faster. I think I've driven every back road in this part of the state over the past few years. And tonight, that knowledge becomes priceless." "Wait a minute. I thought you were following the directions of the angel." Kathy said. "I am. He showed me we need to keep going this direction, and left us a few minutes ago. As long as we follow his directions, I'm not worried." "Bob after everything today, not to mention the angel on the hood, I believe you are hearing from God. Has he told you anything about our future?" Bob sighed. "Kathy, it is like I've always said. If you know the scripture, you know what happens from here on out. Things do nothing but get worse until the return of Jesus." "Worse! Bob we are running for our lives. How can it get worse?" "Remember Job? He lost everything but his wife and his integrity. And she was telling him to curse God and die. I don’t think there is much more to lose than that." "I guess I need to refresh my understanding of The Bible." She fell silent again as she thought about things. She noticed that Bob, who had been traveling slowly, to start with, was slowing even more. "Is there something wrong?" "I’m just making a turn that I've been looking for." "Turn? There aren't any roads around here, are there? I mean there isn't anything but pasture land around here that I can see." "I know, and I mean no offense, but you are looking for the wrong thing. You are thinking of paved roads. Kathy we can't afford such comforts at this time. Ah. Here we are." Kathy looked out the window in time to see a sign go by as Bob turned off the pavement. "BOB! That sign said 'DANGER! GAS UNDER PRESSURE', do you think this is a good idea?" Bob chuckled to himself. "I hardly think we have anything to worry about. I don't think The Lord would bring us here just to get blown up. Besides, this is a good thing."

"What do you mean?" "Your reaction tells the story. You're concerned about something happening to us. Don't you think others feel the same way? That means we are unlikely to find anyone down this service road for the gas line. The same can be said for electric power lines, and railroad tracks. They all have service roads that are rough, but usually passable. They aren't well traveled and allow us to move undetected. Yes, I do believe The Lord knows where He is taking us, and just how to get us there. The only thing left for us is to trust and obey." Kathy fell silent again as the vehicles bounced down the service road. Her mind was a whirl with all kinds of thoughts. After what she had seen so far this day, she had to agree with one thing. All that was left was to trust and obey. Dawn was fast approaching. Kathy was doing her best to try to get some sleep when she and Bob were both startled when her phone rang. She pulled it from her pocket and looked at the screen to see who was calling, and so she wasn't ready when Bob hit the brakes. "What happened?" "Don't answer that." Bob said. "It's alright. It's just Tim." "Kathy, don't answer that and let me have it." Wondering what the excitement was about, she handed him the phone. Bob opened the door with a quick, "Come with me." over his shoulder and headed back to Tim and the S.U.V. She caught up with him just in time to hear him say to her husband, "Give me the phone." "Who are you calling?" He asked as he handed it to Bob. "Nobody. And neither are the two of you." With that, Bob removed the battery from each phone, then turned and threw both of the phones and their batteries as far into the brush as he could. "HEY! Bob, that's an expensive phone. What are you doing?" Tim demanded. "I'm sure it is. Listen to me, both of you. Do you remember the commercials that they used to have where all the different companies claimed to have more bars, in more places than anyone else?" They both nodded yes.

THAT tells the tower where you are. So anyone who has access to the providers system only needs to ask where such and such a number is currently located. And there is something else. Turning the phone off doesn't work. and the place just burned down on its own. Manuel was actually relieved. and you are caught. or who did it. Like this. Bob. "I don't want to hear about problems. And even if you take out the battery. Your C. The same is true of lap tops. It still keeps in contact with the towers even while off. The information is sent by the tower to the main system. as soon as you put it back in." Tim said. Manuel knew. The problem was solved. or did they just burn alive?" "We don't know. the phone contacts a tower and your right back where you started."Have you considered what that really means?" "It shows the signal strength. "I know what you are going to say Tim. The house that had cost them so dearly yesterday was nothing but smoking ruin now. player?" Tom asked from his place in the back of the S. "Hey Manuel. or care how it happened. "That is only half of it. They were supposed to kill all who fought . and that is the problem. does that include my C.U. Nobody admits to starting the fire. or any other device that you communicate with. get rid of it right now. What good is it to hide anywhere and then tell your enemies where you are by a simple phone call?" Bob saw Tim about to speak and waved him to silence. As he arrived at the scene. I think we have a problem.D." "I'm sure glad to hear that." "Mr. Did any of them come out. The way these phones work is by sending out a signal to the nearest cell tower.V. There aren't any cars. It’s like they left. I just what to hear what you've done. If you have anything like that. "That is a good piece of work. He didn't know. that was good enough for him. That way the system knows where to send the incoming calls." one of his men said.D." he said pointing at the burned down home. player is safe." That wasn't good. "No Tom." The adults couldn't help but laugh at the statement.

when the word came. I notice that there are a lot of names missing from the list of the dead. just don't mention this to anyone. First they were taken to the stadium and held until the 'special' train arrived." "I don't care about her. He wasn't worried. Sure. More importantly. pleased him all the more. a share from each take made its' way into his private pile. everyone died in the fire. before Manuel decided he knew what Jose's problem had been. Have you heard any gun shots? There isn't anyone standing against us . and quietly crying. He didn't ask for enough firepower from the start." "What about the cars?" "Say they were stolen by someone else. I gave you a job to do. Manuel was enjoying some of his spoils. He was in complete control. The screams the girl made. drugs. money. As far as you know. When he opened the door to the office Manuel was using as his headquarters. not let them escape. Where they went. "Don't mention that to anyone else. He went back to his amusement. In many places. he saw the girl lying on the floor. Director Claire didn't wait for an escort. Where are they?" "Hey Mr. he didn't care. Take it easy." It wasn't long. slow down. Then they were loaded onto the train. "What is going on here?" "What? You mean her? We were just having a little fun. and even a few cute girls had been taken. that's all. The Director would be coming to see him. There were a lot of fires around here. having a beer and a cigarette. nude from the waist down. and taken away. Food. let alone how many are on your list. Director. We don't even know how many resistors died in them. yeah. Everyone knew who he was. He kicked her to the side and walked up to the desk where Manuel sat. Besides that. and what happened to them. his men were going through each and every house and apartment they could reach. and bigger weapons. ever again! Do you understand me?" "Yeah. There wasn't any more fighting going on. places of resistance began to fold like a house of cards. For them.back. there were a number of resistors taken prisoner. Since he had gotten extra weapons. Even better was the fact that now that there was no longer anyone to stand against them. Valuables of all kinds were being taken. you wanted all resistance in this area to end. and tried to avoid him. it was short and not so sweet. jewelry.

. Claire turned. how was she?" "Not bad. Director Claire realized that there was far more on the line than he thought at the first. First. But he still didn't have them. Chapter Five Within 18 hours. Second. his region was at last pacified. Give me a chance to catch up with what you want. Unbuckling his belt. That would be enough to buy him some time to get his hands on the rest of those who wouldn't accept the reality of the New Order. Claire stopped and looked at her. for the third time that day." Claire shouted." "We'll see. And after all. others were killed when they chose to stand and fight against the gangs and their reenforcements." Claire said. She wasn't as good as he had been lead to believe. as he threw the list across the room at Manuel. "So. there was something he couldn't resist about her helplessness. Meanwhile." Claire stated. He didn't like taking such unpleasant orders from anyone. Still." "You have 24 hours to find out where the people named on this list are at. everyone knew that pacifying the southern region would be a tough nut to crack. Some died in the fires that engulfed their hiding places. He had his doubts about how well Manuel was going to work out in the grand scheme of things. Manuel realized three things. behind him. "A lot has happened in the past day. He knew he could put off any retribution for awhile by pointing out that while it had taken longer than expected. She lay there trying to recover from the abuse Manuel had heaped upon her. Then he reached out and grabbed the girl by the hair. as he entered had crawled to one side.anymore. Mr. What are you complaining about?' "I'm complaining about the names missing from this list. much less The Director. He looked over at the nameless girl cowering in the corner of the room. and started to leave the room. none of those who followed him much liked the idea of searching burned out ruins for certain dead people. The girl he had kicked. but even the President wanted those same answers. and dragged her from the room. un-noticed. Third. many of those whom the Director wanted were indeed dead. It was bad enough that the over-all director wanted answers that he didn't have. Director. he stood and moved towards her.

I think it is a good idea to wait for him to return. and then disappears.000 babies A DAY through abortion." “Bob. completely forgotten. "Would you go into hostile country without a guide?" he asked. "How did you get here? What happened to you? Are you alright?" The questions tumbled out of his mouth almost faster than he could form them." "You mean the angel?" "Yep. pistol in hand. and His chosen people. Our guide is gone. "And what blood could be more innocent than the unborn?" Bob whirled at the sound. "Bob. or turn their backs considering the privacy of the moment. "God hasn't lead me this far." "That's why we stopped. As the vehicles stopped. ready to fire. all I have to do is wait on Him to tell me what to do next. . why did we stop?" Kathy asked. it took only seconds for everyone to get out and stretch their legs. why not start His judgment with us? And as far as that goes. but why? America has done a lot for God and his kingdom. just to leave me now.Bob pulled the truck over into a wooded area. Kathy and Tim were lost on whether they should watch the reunion. Why would He judge us?" "The scriptures say that judgment begins at the house of God. The weapon fell to the ground. I understand that we might be under judgment. He has a reason. Bob pushed his son to arms length. If America is God’s chosen land. And when he says stop. After a long embrace. the scriptures say the He will NOT hold blameless those who shead innocent blood. Bob did something he had never done before in his life. he thought he no longer had." Bob ran with a speed." From the bushes came a voice. for years." "How do you know he'll come back?" Bob smiled. We have been killing over 4. "No. Dad. "ALEX!" "Hi. to embrace his son. I do. As the young man came out of the woods.

That was a very unhealthy thing to do. He had convinced him that it was in the best interest of his people to not fight the Germans. He remembered the Jewish leader in Warsaw during the early years of WW II. "Bring me the list of all the preacher prisoners. Once the vast majority of them were in the ghettos. they accepted his excuses when he was able to provide the names of many of the resistors and proof of their death. But it wasn't his right to question what the master wanted. Their master had been pleased with that sacrifice. She didn't last any time at all. Scalar attacks. everything had come off without a hitch. What was that Jews' name? It didn't matter. they had starved them into a weakened state. It was slaughter. had done a great deal of damage. Up to this time. but what? Slowly an idea came to him. he had his doubts about Manuel. Again. he had to get things back on schedule. Something had to be done to get these people out of hiding. All he had to do was find someone the Christians would trust. to them." Director Claire hung up the phone. this was Manuel's last chance to prove himself. Right now. Now all he had to do was find one of those types among the prisoners. If a nuke had been put to use on the Hoover Dam. he would be replaced just as Jose' had been. He knew it was time to become inventive. take it easy. pure and simple. Well. What was it they said in this country? 'Failure is not an option. He knew it would. and do it all over again. These people. and things were not going his way. His area should have been pacified sooner. Still he knew that he was in trouble. However. The master had been pleased with that one.' he remembered. And get someone in here to clean up this mess. which had created the earthquakes in California. He had also been pleased when the mega-hurricane had hit the eastern part of the country."Hey Dad. It had seemed a waste to him. He had been right so far. do you guys have something to eat? I've been here for three days with almost nothing. they had nowhere to run. Millions had been killed. He stabbed a button on the desk. but first. that was certainly the position he was in. but it would work. or killed. He might even have to appear to this fool as an angel of light. He glanced at the body in the corner. mostly those hated Christians. But to live in the ghettos they had sent up." . in his opinion the damage would have been much greater. Not an idea really. otherwise. but a memory from a little over a half a century or so back. HAD to be either captured. While his superiors weren't entirely pleased with his lack of progress in bringing his area under control. I'll answer you. When they Jews started to fight back.

I still kept on praying for you. just like everyone else. I know you were right. Not surprisingly. I started to doubt you. with thanks. So tell me. Then he disappeared. and there is nothing wrong with it that I can figure out. We've had an angelic guide to get us ." "So. I was sitting in my apartment wondering what was going to happen next. reassembled the weapon. After accepting it. Bob saw Kathy glance over at him with a knowing look. when an angel showed up. I was sitting at home. the angel told me that I had to leave. And the really strange thing is the route he pointed out became kind of 'highlighted' and stayed that way. Now here is the funny part. "Anyway. Let me start back at the beginning. But I still had to warn you." Turning to his father he spoke again. waiting patiently for his son to finish. Then. Just before martial law was declared. well Dad. Bob never left his side. And you have no idea how happy I am to see you again. After awhile." "I think so too. down the stairs. but I'm not totally stupid.Alex was happily eating his third sandwich from the ones Kathy had quickly made just before they had left home. it just won't start. It was Tim who finally remembered the pistol on the ground. after brushing off the dirt. since they didn't happen right away. But all of a sudden it was in his hands. but the rest of you will have to take my word for it. I just quit listening. Now. "That was so good. and then returned it to the holster." Out of the corner of his eye. and into the car before I could do a thing. When I did. He literally forced me out the door. Do you remember the 'back roads atlas' you gave me awhile back? I left it in the trunk. I've still got gas. Bob had quickly taken it apart. before asking anything more. I just followed the map until I got here. three days ago. I had filled my gas tank in case I had to run. "Dad I owe you an apology. the car just died. your town had been surrounded. "I may have been mistaken not listening to you. How did you get here? The last I heard. and what to do about it. I knew you had quit listening to me some time back." "Forget it son. You see. but she said nothing." Alex said. checked it to make certain all the dirt had been removed. and he traced out a route for me to take." Alex smiled. Let me tell you something. I know you will believe me. and I haven't been able to get it started since then. it really shook me up. "Thank you very much. I'm sorry. what do we do now?" "We wait. All those things you told me over the years. and I was really dumb not to listen to you. and had given it back to Bob. I didn't even have time to pack a lunch. I think I know why now. I've got to tell you.

" "Okay. I've listened up to now without saying anything. what COULD they have to say to someone that doesn't believe in such things? You'd just find a reason to dismiss the warning. when you find a rabbit trail you push a stick into the ground on each side of it. after you anchor it to one of the sticks or a big rock or something. I don't intend to do anything until he comes back. There are other kinds. "Oh. how can you be on your feet?" "I know I said that. okay. "Tim. Nothing tripped the others. and He likes what He saw. I'll show you." . He was sitting on the hood of Bob's truck. It's true. Kathy couldn't help but notice he was in fairly good shape for someone who hadn't had any food or water for three days. Second. "Et tu. When the rabbit comes along he gets his head caught in the lasso and the anchor makes sure he is still there when you come back. or you wouldn't be here." "Come on. pointing the way here. he left. "You first tie your shoelaces kind of like a lasso. but if you haven't had any food or water for three days." "Air well? I never heard of it. By the way Dad." As Bob sat next to his son. "Alex. the rabbit snare was the only one that worked. Believe what they are telling you. Then. Don't get me wrong. Then hang the lasso between them. I've seen one of them too. that was easy. Alex should be all but unconscious from dehydration. but it's not quite true. Years ago he taught me how to make different types of snares. and how do you make it?" Sam wanted to know. Point is. I KNOW!" Kathy told her husband. "Most likely. but come on guys. Kathy? How can you believe this? Why haven't they had anything to say to me?" Bob answered. She had heard that a human couldn't last much over three days without water. your own words show you don't believe that such a thing is possible. I made an air well. First. I’ll show you when we get the chance. Just as we stopped. it’s because of two things. You'd be lying dead in whatever may be left of your home. thanks to Dad." "What's a rabbit snare." "What about water?" Kathy asked. Like hallucinations or something. there is something about you two and your children that The Lord has seen. angelic guides? Who do you think you are kidding?" Tim

" "Okay I understand how you might have plastic sheeting around. so he ate it raw. However in a small boat he had no way to cook it. As the moisture condenses on the plastic the drops slide down the plastic and drop into the container. Dolphin raw is a bad fish. There they found a sheet of plastic.Alex led Kathy." Bob stood and stretched. while the rest of us get some sleep. At one point he caught a dolphin. I thought the smoke might give me away in the day time. The rest of the film is how he managed to stay alive until he made it back to shore." Alex began. but where did you get you get the tube?" Kathy asked." "If we are being protected. Bob answered. It was held down by both dirt and rocks." Bob looked at Alex. Hey Dad. or our guide returns. His comment was something like 'Dolphin cooked is a very good fish. that guy in that movie was right about rabbits as well as dolphins. why post a guard? Don't you think that God can take care of us?" Tim asked. The rock depressed the sheet so that it looked like a crater. with a tube leading from the container to the edge of the hole. I'd like to put Alex and Tom on guard together. Then you just sip through the tube. Tim and their children to a nearby clearing. Everyone also knows that the sun heats the ground and makes the moisture evaporate. "This is my air well. Now what you do is put a rock on the plastic right over the container. and trust Him for the rest. On one side was a tube sticking out. and there was a rock in the center of it. whichever comes first. "Couldn't you get the flint and steel to work?" "I was afraid to start a fire. "There was an old movie called 'The Old Man and the Sea'. Seal the edges with dirt and rocks so that no moisture escapes and it will collect on the plastic." "What?" Tim asked." "That was probably wise. It is the story about an old man in a small boat who hooks a huge fish that drags him out to sea.'. I don't intend to start out again until dark. Then cover the hole with a sheet of plastic. "Lets' just say I hope I don't have to use my windshield washers any time soon. But He also expects us to do whatever we can to take care of ourselves. So. "Everyone knows there is moisture in the ground. "It's been a long night for all of us. Do you remember the story of . "Certainly He can. what you do is dig a hole about a foot to a foot and a half deep and put a cup or some kind of container in the middle of the hole. and the light at night.

Maybe we should go back. as a place of refuge. since Kathy. The Lord understands what you have been through. Come back I say. food. Are you tired of running? Come back. Tim." Kathy agreed. There is pure clean water to slake your thirst. Bob. "But Bob. Come back to the places where there is food and water. "You must be joking. and now you must return to the cities. to come back. Tom. Now they sat and listened with unbelieving ears as the preacher spoke. to go out into the highways and byways. water. None of them expected what came out of it. and scour this evil of wicked and sinful men from our land. There is food coming into the cities once again. Are you weak and faint of heart? Come back. and two hundred miles. no. come out. but Nehemiah posted guards anyway. It had been a couple of days. and doesn't want any of you to be caught up in the punishment of those who would do you harm. These wicked men have been driven out of the cities. They are stealing and killing at will. you heard him. I’m speaking of the gangs of murderous thugs that would terrorize entire neighborhoods. "Sounds like things are getting back to normal. And now you are bidden. Come back for God seeks to end this trouble." Bob responded. Sam. This will allow the soldiers that are here to help us. Come out of your hiding places. my brothers and sisters. and Alex had even considered listening to the radio. Let these men who came here to rid our land of this scourge do what they came to do. come back to the places where it is safe and warm." Tim said. Seems like a good plan to me. If you can hear my voice. There is power for the heaters on these cold nights. There's power. where you are hiding.Nehemiah? God had instructed him to get the walls around Jerusalem repaired. and safety. He knows why you have been running." The radio they were listening to crackled to life early one morning as they readied themselves to rest. But I have been visited by an angel. Come back and enjoy the blessings that are offered here. He has told me that this has all been part of the plan. "I think you just may be right." The radio faded. I tell you. Come back. But now they now roam the countryside. The Lord has been purging this land. "Brothers and Sisters. I say commanded. Things are getting better in the cities. Bring your children with you. The gangs are gone. Those whom Satan has sent to destroy us have been driven from the cities. Are you cold and hungry? Come back. God could have protected him. Why shouldn't we go back?" .

onto a broken dirt trail. over to whatever agency says they are going to take care of them? Let me tell you something that I learned in the service. how can you be certain? I mean I haven't seen our guide since that first night. "That is between the two of you and let me ask you. we won't be here IF you manage to make it back. Are you sure you aren't just following you own instincts?" "Kathy. I'll come back and tell you. for a hot meal. Anyplace where you eat. That's good enough for me. Given all you know for a certain fact. I'd trust him more than any preacher on the T. hot food." That caused Tim and Kathy to stop for a moment and think. but still. both of you. clean clothes. as did Tim. "So far. sleep. Why don't I go into one of these towns and check it out? If everything is alright. They were certain that they should keep going along the smooth road they had been following for a couple of hours. are you ready your safety. I have to tell you. It isn't just because he is my father. He hasn't pointed the way towards any city." "I think you should listen to Dad.Kathy asked. they longed for a hot shower. and a soft bed with warm blankets. is the perfect place for an ambush. when you guys wanted to go a different direction?" Kathy remembered. or radio. The temptation was great. but I've been following his lead every step of the way. "Bob." Alex said. "I'll tell you what. the sound of automatic gunfire came from what sounded like a quarter mile further ahead on the paved road. "Listen to me. They knew what Alex said was true. he's been right on the money about everything he's said or done." "And what if you can't come back? Do you really want to leave Kathy and the children out here without you? Tim. Why do you think trappers and fishermen use food as bait? You CAN'T go back there. by some unpleasant people asking questions. in an unpleasant and very painful manner? Is that what you want?" Tim spoke up after a couple of minutes." said Bob. But to trade followed probably tell you what to do. and drove onto the dirt road. every time. They stopped talking. if our guide comes back while you are gone. or get water from. I can't argue with that. As they stood there. You remember what happened yesterday at the turn off. Or . you may not have seen him again. Doesn't that mean anything to you? Are you so ready to run back to the place you barely escaped from with your lives? Are you so ready to turn your children. and these young men. while Bob insisted that they turn off the road. uncomfortable though it may be.V. quietly arguing the matter. We've gotten by so far because of our guide. "I can't God. he's been right.

and they will have some serious questions for you." Bob continued. not all of them were so easily fooled. Dad? Is there something I should know here?" "I'll explain later. They don't trust The Lord. I do believe they will be more than a bit suspicious of you. Do you think that you are special? I don't think so. "You haven't noticed it have you? Ever since we left we've been headed more or less westward. Bob? We can't just wander around the countryside like a bunch of nomads. If they are telling you that this is the beginning of the tribulation. We aren't going to be here when that happens. We know that The Lord told us in His word that He is coming for us before the tribulation begins. we left a lot of bodies behind us. and join the true believers while we wait on The Lord to deliver us from these troubles. water. True. you were missing. don't listen to those who tell you to stay in hiding. I admit. Before you say anything. Come back to the places that have food. "Well. son. If you go into any city. Right now. I want you to remember something. Every type of bait they can lay out is right in front of you. there you have it. and safety." The radio faded once again. We are going to cross the Mississippi. times are difficult right now. We will be with The Lord." "Then what are we going to do." The radio suddenly came back up. They are just afraid. you won't come out again. I can’t speak for your family. don't listen to them. When we left. "Do you really think that anyone is going to listen to you? All they know is that there are dead people on the ground. I was the one who is responsible for those gang bangers deaths. and just after they died. Come back. but this is just the beginning of least Alex and I won’t be. Nobody who has entered them has gotten out again. and they came running. I know that you didn't do anything." Kathy said. at the marriage supper." "Uh. the cities are death traps." Claire was pleased with his pet televangelist. Somehow that 'Nazarene' always managed to keep some small remnant from dying like they . All that was needed to get the Christians to turn themselves in was to have someone say the right words. "Brothers and Sisters. as it is written in The Bible. Remember one other thing.

That made it easy for them to accept what was told them. They were so lazy that they all just found someone to tell them what they wanted to hear. He especially loved how the man had convinced so many it was their duty to obey whatever the government said to do. Chapter Six "Bob. that had always been the problem. Best of all. he had decided that this fool could be saved until nearly the end. How much gas is left in the tank?" ." Tim asked. Yes indeed. He could even afford some time off for recreation. since he was so convincing. but had eons of experience misrepresenting what they actually said. He glanced at the twelve year old boy who sat naked and huddled in the corner of the room. All you had to have was someone to say the right words. Things were starting to go much smoother. many of these stupid Christians were like horses running back into a burning barn. are you sure we should be leaving now? I mean it is still daylight. and his screams were just as pleasing to Claire. and here. We have to find a certain man with a certain boat. look at what is written here. They just believed what they were told because it was easier. these creatures wanted as much pleasure and as little pain as possible. The kid didn't know just how out matched he was. and here. by quoting verses from that hated book. because the Father of the Nazarene loved them. and then they stopped actually reading that book. But just like those Jews from Warsaw. "We need to get to the river before dark. Just convince them that they are so special. He would be useful in maintaining control over the camps. in order to cross. It looked as if this one was going to last longer than the girl had.were supposed to do. Even this was going better. and self defense were amusing to him. you wouldn’t let anything like that happen to your children would you? Besides. One thing that surprised even him was how simple it was to convince them of the false doctrine. The stupid monkey never realized that Claire not only knew that book better than he did. There wasn’t any way he would let His children go through that. What he thought made it even easier to do was that with such short lives. his superiors were much less upset at his earlier problems." "How can you be sure we'll get across?" "Remember who it is that we serve. Plus his futile attempts at both escape. the Bible. After all. Claire was so pleased in fact. Tell me something.

I think we have a problem. stronger. You know what they say about old dogs. Show me Son. Bob was starting to believe that they had left their troubles behind them. stay here with the children. The way I see it. Anyway."The gauge shows full. Alex had gone deep into the brush to relieve himself. you may be younger. What was the title of that song a few years ago? Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth Yeah. I heard something. He can keep our tanks full. and faster than me." As they drew closer to the Mississippi River. Dad. On the other side of the curve is a check point. "Dad. and now came out of the bushes in a hurry." "It's not. Because I believe that title is quite accurate" "I'll vouch for that. you be careful now. The Bible affects everything I do." "Tim. We've traveled at least four hundred miles. I mean. I went in a little deeper and I found out this road makes a hairpin turn. it has a hand in everything I do. He just might have one bite left. I thought it must be broken. you know." "What would that be?" "I went kind of deep into the bushes to. They had pulled all three vehicles to the side of the road for a rest break. just before a curve. Besides. well." "I’m just kidding. um." “Old dogs?" Tim asked. "Never tease an old dog. Tim. until we get where we are going." Together they quietly worked their way to the spot where Alex had seen the ." "Kathy." "How do you do that Bob? Relate everything to what it says in The Bible. but I'm still meaner than you. "Son. if The Lord can fertilize the egg of a virgin." Alex chimed in jokingly. but that can't be right.

but you must keep moving.V. I want you guys to pull up to the checkpoint nice and slow. relayed his fathers’ instructions and not waiting for an argument. climbed into the truck. and a four wheel drive S. Sure enough. Let me think.U. He knew better than to argue when his father spoke in that tone of voice." “How far do we go?” “No less than ten miles. Have Tim drive you mothers car. We've been led here for a reason.U. Why do these cans have fuses sticking out of them?" "I'll explain later." "What move." Alex soon returned with the cans. The S. Son. I’ll catch up with you as soon as I can. listen closely. "Are these what you wanted Dad?" "Yes. You won’t be able to miss it. Grab three of the soda cans in it. "What do we do? We have to go down this road or turn around." Bob looked at the scene. Now here is what I want you to do. I want you to drive my truck. Behind the drivers’ seat of my truck you'll find a small white box. praying about it. Don't worry about me. and what about you?" "Trust me. Soon he had an idea. Three men with body armor. That was their mistake. . These men clearly thought that just by being there with weapons would intimidate any who came down the road. wasn't blocking the entire road." "We can't turn around.checkpoint. hammer down and swing around their 4X4 and don't slow down." "Wait a minute Dad.V. Thank you. When I make my move. it was there. "Alex. started the engine and pulled out in the lead. and bring them to me. Just like nothing is wrong." "Are you planning on bribing them with soda?" "Just get them. automatic weapons. Son.” He got back to the others. I’ve got an idea or two. and Kathy drives your car.

That provided cover for you. Alex tried to look for his father. "Dad?" "It's me. Really they aren't.U. and trying to figure it out. "As you guys got close. Then a third appeared. he saw smoke pour out of the first can. I 'borrowed' their 4X4. "I hope you aren't going to shoot me. Alex. he saw one of the soda cans come flying out of the woods with the fuse burning. "And what were those cans?" Alex chimed in.U." "Where did you get smoke grenades?" Kathy wanted to know. Each can had about the equivalent of four of the store bought grenades. While they were choking on the smoke. Listen. He followed his father’s orders and kept moving around the S. As he tried to watch the brush out of the corner of his eye. They were about ten miles down the road before Alex pulled over. I sliced them open and put the tablets or powder inside them in the empty soda cans. Then I picked up what the local fireworks store called smoke grenades. Tim. All of them began to spew out great clouds of smoke.V. and Kathy all grabbed weapons and prepared to fire. They weren’t expecting to be blindsided like that. They got out. a second can came from the same place. and seal them with duct tape. from the checkpoint pulled up behind them. They don't make large enough amounts of smoke. Makes a lot more smoke that way. it won't be long before they start looking for this car." A familiar voice called out to them. then the second. . and didn't look back.V." "What happened back there Bob?" Tim asked. the S. He hit the gas. Son. The others did the same. I threw the smoke grenades. Before they could even really get started. A thick cloud appeared from nowhere. First I got some of those half sized soda cans. Add the fuse that came with them. talking about what to do. "I made them. It only got thicker as the third can also fumed. As the truck lurched forward. Even before it hit the ground. and I want to be long gone before they find it. without looking like he was looking for him." “Why not just take it with us?" Alex wanted to know.The three vehicles pulled slowly up to the checkpoint.

it’s another vehicle to keep under cover. "Bob. on the river. I depend on The Lord. while I was in basic training." “What’s its name?” “It’s called. As Paul told Timothy. without sticking out their hand. my drill instructor pounded one thing into us day after day. and having done all. and other watercraft. but that was much more expensive. Let’s get on down the road. Tell me something. ferries. there are road blocks on each end of every bridge. and weren't trusted even before everything started to go bad. This had given the river men and women a bit more freedom than those who lived and worked on land. we find the vessel I’ve been told to look for. Secondly. Stand.“First of all. Nobody is going to stick their neck out for us. many small fish camps and boat docks had sprung up over many years. After that. Kathy and Tim had been taking turns riding 'shotgun' with Bob." "Long ago. palm up. trucks were constantly backed up on every road. Here we are. While martial law had virtually ended road traffic. With so many road blocks. 'prior planning prevents piss-poor performance' and in all the years since then. Strangers really stood out. I've planned for everything I could plan for. it was a different story. who didn’t pay all that well. Besides moving things for the government. I've never known that to fail. As with most rivers.” Bob nodded at a sign on the roadside. it might just have some kind of tracking device that doesn’t show. you do everything you can do. That means we need a ferry or something. It should be somewhere around here. It was into one of these places that Bob had turned. How do we get across the river? As far as I've heard. it gave them the chance to make extra cash by taking paying parties across. He slowly made his .” The convoy of vehicles made their way towards the river. Pardon my language. first. We don’t need the trouble. but he said. to the inspection dock on the far side of the river. Now. Why invite them to our camp? Come on. Barges. were pressed into service to help keep moving goods from one side of the river to the other. lets' face it. wait a minute. But. Sometimes they avoided the inspection docks. and it was once again Kathy who sat next to him.'" "So what's the plan now?" "First. even as he made a turn going the opposite direction. These were communities where everyone knew everyone else.

and our stuff. "That's correct. Come on board.. "Sorry Sir. alright. You remind me of someone I saw once. with Tim close behind in the 4X4 and Alex bringing up the rear in his small car. I'd like to get passage across the river for myself." .. and stopped. passengers. But there might be other things you would be willing to accept in exchange for passage. passengers and cargo. As he drew near to the closer man he called out. Sir.000 is the best deal I can offer you." "Thank you. I'll be honest with you. Three vehicles." "Do you have any idea what you're asking?" The man said. "You!" Puzzled Bob said." "Such as?” "Captain. that's all. You can off load at the inspection dock on the other side. I don't think I've ever had the pleasure of making your acquaintance. Sir." "Captain. "You're talking to him. Bob pulled up by a barge-like boat.. "Excuse me. $3." "I've seen you before. I was told. three vehicles. Can you tell me where I might find the captain of this vessel?" Without looking up the nearer man answered. I’m glad to hear it. you said three vehicles?" Still curious Bob answered. Captain. then he looked up at Bob for the first time. "Stay here.way down to the docks." Was all he said as he got out and headed towards it. Are you alright?" "Fine. I’m fine. He could see two men working on the deck." "Hmmmm. and his jaw dropped." "Very good.Wait a minute. are you sure you want to negotiate out here on the dock? Maybe there is some place a little more private where we could go. we don't have a lot of money.

The two men went to the wheelhouse of the boat, and the captain motioned Bob to one of the chairs sitting next to a small table. "So, what exactly is it that you want?" "As I said Sir, passage across the river. However I'd like to avoid any inspections on the far side." "Well, that is the trick isn't it?" "Can you do it, or should I look elsewhere?" "I can get you across alright, but that kind of service comes at a higher price." "Understood, Captain. But you recall I mentioned negotiation. Truthfully, we don't have a lot of money. However there might be something else you would accept as payment." "I hope you aren't going to offer me an hour or so with a woman. I must get that at least six times a day, and my Mrs. doesn't like it." "No, not that. There is only one woman with us, and she is a married mother of four. Not only do I think she wouldn't do it, I know her husband wouldn't agree to it. What I had in mind was something a bit more practical." The captain looked at Bob for a moment, seemingly distracted by something. Then he went to a cabinet and took out a small plate, a box of salt, two glasses, and a bottle of tequila. "I've always found this kind of talk to be pretty dry work." He placed the plate, salt, glasses and unopened tequila between them. Then he poured some of the salt into the plate. He then gently shook the plate until the salt was leveled out. But he didn't pour the drinks. "You mentioned a payment of something besides cash. What did you have in mind?" "How much fuel would it take to get us to the other side?" At this the Captains ears perked up. "It isn't just getting you over there. I have to also bring the 'Molly B.' back to the berth. Say 10 gallons round trip. Then there is the matter of avoiding complications. That has to be worth something as well."

"Captain, we will supply the gas for the trip, both ways. I also happen to know that in that cabinet is a .22 caliber rifle." The captains eyes widened again, but he said nothing. "I also know that you are running a little low on ammo. I'm willing to sweeten the offer with a brick of .22's." "550 rounds of ammo does’ make it a sight sweeter. Tell me what do you think of this?" With that the captain reached out and drew a curved line in the salt. Bob smiled. He knew this little puzzle. He drew another curved line in the salt. Together, they made the symbol of a fish. The captain shook the plate once again, erasing the symbol. Then he poured a drink for each of them and put a pinch of salt on the web of his hand, between the thumb and forefinger. "Call me Jim. Here’s to a safe crossing." He raised his glass. Bob did as his host had done and answered, "And a safe return." The 'Molly B.' left the shoreline just after dark. She was an older vessel, but sturdy and well maintained. With a large flat deck area for cargo, and a cabin which could be used for either living or cargo, and was at times used for both. As well as the area below the main deck. The wheelhouse/bridge set on top of the cabin affording the captain a clear view of the river. Before they pulled out, the Captain told them; "Make sure you all stay out of sight. and they can stop and search anything if we run into one of them, I think I but if I can't, you have to be ready. There are patrol boats on the river, they want, any time they want. Now can talk our way out of inspection, Bob, I'd like you topside with me."

That had happened ten minutes before Bob finally spoke. "Jim, when you first looked at me, you seemed to know me, even though we've never met before this. What was that about?" "You answer my question, and I'll answer yours. You said that you happened to know about my rifle. How did that happen?" "I was told by someone." "Same here. A kind of impressive guy, dressed all in white."

The two men looked at each other, and spoke at the same time. "Michael." "Have you considered what that might mean? I mean we have been getting messages from the Commander of The Lords' Host, His army. Kind of sounds like there might be some unpleasant work ahead for both of us." Bob observed. "Or it could mean that we are in need of just that much help." "True. I hadn't thought of that. Judging by what has happened so far, you could well be right. That brings to mind another question. Now I'm not one to tell a man how to run his business, but with patrol boats on the river, do you think it wise to be out here with the lights on the bow and stern lighted up like Christmas. I mean that has got to attract attention." "Not as much as trying to run the river without them. They have all kinds of devices, and informers all up and down the river. What I'm doing is acting like it is just another run. Avoid attention, by not trying to avoid it. I once read a science fiction book, where the main character gave some very good advice. He said, 'When you get caught doing something wrong, do not try to play innocent. Whoever caught you isn't going to believe you anyway. The best thing to do is to try and make the evidence point to a lesser crime'. These days, that's not so hard to do. Everyone is doing something wrong, even if it is trying to feed your family, or hiding ammunition for barter." Bob smiled at that, until he heard Jim say; "Uh oh. Patrol boat coming. Get down." Bob ducked under the level of the window, and pulled out his pistol, just in case. "Attention cargo vessel! Cut your engines and stand by for inspection." A voice boomed out of the night. Jim pushed a button in front of him, and picked up a microphone. "I'd love to do that, but I'm running short on time. I need to get this load to the other side pretty soon, or I'll be in trouble with the people who commissioned this run." "I said, CUT YOUR ENGINES."

' and sped off into the night. He spoke quickly to his commander. "Molly B. it was on a list they had. the patrol boat turned. . Which bank?" “It’s on the western side of the river. going upstream with its spotlight lighting the way. one of the men in the speed boat used for patrolling the river shown a light on the bow of Jim's' boat. Be careful if you are headed that far.'. don't you? Look. either sign my ticket. So. Where are you headed?" "You mean the Director didn't mention anything about that to you either?" "I just wanted to warn you that there is a new patch of dead-fall in the water about a quarter mile down river.” With that.' before. Are you making another run for Director Claire?" The lieutenant asked in a much quieter voice. as long as you sign my inspection ticket.' have a safe trip. and remarked. They knew that the Director sometimes commissioned late night trips like this. Nobody had seen him after that. Bob sat and waited for what seemed forever. he would have told you. I had problems getting loaded.'." Jim answered curtly. it is the 'Molly B. "I think if he wanted you to know that. so I can turn it in at the end of the trip."Very well lieutenant. They knew he had used the 'Molly B." "Thanks for the information. and now I'm trying to make up for lost time. or let me be on my way. Bob slowly stood. If I'm late. cut around the back of the 'Molly B.” "Molly B. powered up its engine. I want everyone to know it wasn't my fault. He wondered if Jim might have The men on the patrol boat had trouble deciding what to do. They also knew the last man to insist on inspecting one of these late runs for the Director had gotten an even later at night visit from members of the Intelligence Division. over played his hand. "Sir. I will be careful if I go that far." At this. You should be able to see it.

or make the story too long and complicated."Mark Twain had it right. I need to tell you. He was actually almost in a good mood by the time Manuel made it to his office. you're heading out into the country. Maybe it’s a mile up the road. I guess he wouldn't. without actually telling a lie. they will buy it. if he couldn't control himself when he was in a position of power. "So." With that said. One more thing you need to know. I need you guys to get off the 'Molly' as quick as you can. From there it is about fifteen miles to the next town. and remained quiet for the rest of the trip. I've never heard someone skirt the truth as closely as you just did. you could have turned us in when the patrol boat showed up. it would make the next deception that much easier. He was also unsteady on his feet." "It isn't too hard with these guys. it is going to be in a place that used to be a popular fishing spot. Besides. When we make landfall on the shore. don't you want to know about hauling loads for the Director?" "Not really. There is a dirt road that leads to a good road that’s about one hundred yards up. What’s more even if you do know where you’re going. He noticed that Manuel was really not one for success. and there were scratches on his face and arms from some woman. . Once the ramps go down. I don't know which one you'll be taken down. They are scared to death of the Director." "That makes two of us. Well. but my guess would be left." "Same here. he supposed. “Okay. Nobody dares to get on the wrong side of him. And as long as you don't do it too often. Things were almost ready. His eyes glowed red. I'll be looking for you on the other." They continued on in silence for awhile. you are going to be headed right into a town. Chapter Seven Director Claire was becoming more pleased by the day. you didn't. they shook hands. as if he were drunk. I don’t want to know. and leave you alone. If you turn left. before Jim spoke again. If you turn to the right. I know The Lord is watching out for us tonight. I want to know how this all turns out for you. would Michael be talking to someone on the other side of this thing?" "No. The way I see it. but I don't want to try His patience. There HAS been a decline in the art or lying. It’s safer for both of us that way. Thanks for the lift. If we never meet again on this side. Jim.” Jim took a breath and said.

I get you. Once he was gone. turned." "Oh trust me. How clever you are to know what I wanted to say." "Hey Mr. What's wrong man? We ain't had any trouble in a while now. I have to always know where my boys are. Manuel stood. Director. this is a surprise." He arched his eye brows suggestively. This makes things so much easier. they will take care of you like you won't believe. "But I need to know where these people need to dropped off for you and your men. You are absolutely right."Manuel. To do that. These local women have no idea how to take care of a man like me." He smiled at his foresight. "Excellent thinking on your part. by getting those addresses?" Manuel burped before answering. "Sure Mr. I wouldn't want to ruin the surprise. somewhat unsteadily. so I already have a list. no. You see. I'll bring it by in the morning. They’re from the city. Director. Manuel. and VERY talented. There is something we must talk about. I wanted to thank you and your men for all you've done. and then left the room." "Then you'll help me. Manuel. As a matter of fact." "Hey I've known some very special ladies in the city. There hasn't been the first bit of trouble from your sector. You must not tell anyone about it. . sit down. He would show this man he could do things and be useful to him in the future. Now remember. don't ask any more. You understand?" "Young and good looking you say? Yeah. I'll have them for you by tomorrow. I need to know where they are living. if you get what I'm saying. Mr." "No problem. No. good looking." "That's what I wanted to talk with you about. I have a little surprise in mind for all of you. you could say they are specialists." With that. But I need your help to do it. I can see things happening for someone with a head on his shoulders like yours." "Thank you. Director. I hope they are as talented as you say. This sounds good. just managing to avoid falling over. Claire pushed the intercom button." "Okay." "What kind of people?" "Oh they are young. You see I have been putting aside some very special people as a present for you all. if you know what I mean.

and fully automatic weapons. "Men. Whatever you do. Which of these groups is going to this address?" He handed a piece of paper to the Major. and thought about how close everything was to completion. he said. all across the southern sector of the country." The Major in charge of the operation said. The Director is going with you. My men can take care of this. and came upon a group of eight men. and kept the matter to himself. They were lean." "Yes Sir. with body armor. and handed him the address. There is no reason for you to be here."I want the Director of Intelligence in here right now. all the men were loaded into various vehicles. "I know that Major. It wasn’t wise to ask too many questions. and were on the way to their assignments. First the American troops were almost done for. but before that. A few evenings after the crossing. printed out. combat veterans. men were gathering in abandoned schools. Glancing at the address.M." Within half an hour." "Yes Sir. the Lieutenant thought of trying to question Director Claire about the change in plans. In one of the schools. Director Claire joined the men as they made ready for their nights work. No need to risk your life. then thought better of it. All of them dressed in black. and on my desk by 4 A. The night of the long knives was about to happen again. I don't want to take any chances. At first. "I'll take you them. Soon there would be no need for Manuel had his kind. he would have the pleasure of reliving that night long ago that so pleased his master. protect him." He singled out one man." Claire sat down. . at least to one address. But there is one stop I want to join in on. "Lieutenant. heavily armed. make this one your first stop. concert halls." It wasn't long before he arrived." They moved quickly through the crowd. hardened. "Director Claire. It wouldn't be long now. "Manuel has a list of his men in his office. and other such places. I want that list photographed. There’s a slight change in plans.

"Hey. "The door is open. He continued. Mr. The beer and marijuana were really starting to have an effect on him." "Oh Manuel. Claire. Director Claire walked in the door. and the two black suited men charged in. people like you. Now we can't be stopped. It would have been impossible for the New Order to fight the military. and no one else. and took Manuel to the floor. The greedy and stupid. then we got them hooked on money. Manuel was waiting for his 'reward'. rolled him onto his back. This is a surprise. It took decades of careful planning and work to get to this point. The rest. and three of them moved to the backside of the house. do you have any idea just how much of a fool you've been?" Claire was feeling confident. If it wasn’t that. moved to the front of the house. checked him for weapons. and was enjoying himself. By now people are . I didn't think you would personally deliver my reward. You said you were happy with what I've done. and those damned Christians all at the same time. We even had preachers convinced that they would be gone by now. and threw him into the nearest chair.” Claire sneered. Once there. or something. ex-military. “You see. What’s this all about?" "Manuel. The people who provided these things made money. the police. "Come on in.Soon the van they were riding in pulled up a half a block from Manuel's' address. They started to accept anything. to be unconscious even before things even got started. If it doesn’t concern you. I wouldn't have missed this for the world. picked him up again. with the Director. nearly breaking his arms in the process." It took him a moment to realize that instead of the woman he was expecting. they put handcuffs on him. and that’s what they taught. Director. and hoped the wait wouldn't be much longer. "I admit you've done a good job. Inside the house. and two other men walked towards the front door. That's when he heard footsteps approaching the door. Quietly and quickly they got out. You people are so self-centered. to prevent anyone from escaping that way. or sex. All we have to do is find the right bait to set for you. and the people started getting complacent. so there is no harm in telling you. it doesn’t matter. "What are you doing? I've done everything you wanted." He stepped to the side. it started by using people like you. to get many of the American people using drugs. It would be a shame he thought. One man took a position on each of the front corners of the house. You are interested in yourself. In your case it was easy. while the Lieutenant." He hollered.

we unleashed more attacks. And you would have it.” Even Manuel shrank back as far as possible from the evil gleam in Claire’s eye. who threw in with us long ago. we let your kind get out of the cities. at which he was an expert at using. and people started fighting over that like dogs over a bone. but you killed our other enemies at the same time. and the final pieces are coming into place. Claire pulled out a knife. the west coast with earthquakes. Instead of taking personal responsibility for your lives. Manuel. rich against poor. we disarmed any who would stand against us. all of you blame someone else for your problems. and was told of the plan. We got the military involved in endless." "What a fool you are. it was so easy. They are men who don't care for your laws or your people. Just like your kind always do. You have crosses tattooed on your body. That bled the economy badly. Yes. So you could do the dirty work for us out in the countryside as well. Then we started dividing the people. brought in outsiders to keep the peace. then we started on the end game. Quietly and with obvious joy. black against Hispanic. and no one will dare to stand against him. And you think you know it all. You felt you had a right to whatever you wanted. You've never read that cursed book the real Christians love so much. and moved towards him. our master will take his throne. no matter what. your president. Every one of you that got killed made our job just that much easier. Food got short." "Now I know you're crazy. Once the military was out of the country. weather problems all over the place. Now there is nobody left to resist us. But that wasn't nearly enough. On the east coast with hurricanes. Not only did it keep us from having to kill you. There were similar screams coming from the entire southern region. Claire continued. White against black. to satisfy your own lusts. And it even divided the people further. And you fell for it beautifully. senseless wars.beginning to question what they believe. Manuel screamed until the early hours of the morning. Through laws. Without the military here. How could you know things like that?" For just a moment. . Soon. Manuel started to scream. But it didn't matter. “But then. but you haven't been inside a church since you were nine. Claire allowed Manuel to see his true face." "What are you talking about? This sounds crazy.

I mean how have you learned to do everything you've been doing. look at this. It has Morse Code. That means I can send messages that most people will be totally clueless about. They don't even have a chart to tell them how to read it.O. Kathy." Bob grabbed a well worn book from behind the front seat of the truck. that. for example. Kathy. I learned a lot from the Boy Scouts. Another nice thing is that Morse can be sent using lights. It has so many things to teach a person. what is the letter A?" "Um.S. I didn't live a sheltered life. How is that possible?" "Oh.The group had once again stopped to rest. then with three more dots mean?" "Everyone knows that. As a matter of fact." "Isn't that kind of old fashioned?" "You tell me. It seems like no matter what happens." "What about an emergency shelter? Can you make one of those using only things like tree branches and a knife?" . it comes from a foolishly misspent youth. It's S." "Can you make a rope bridge that is safe?" "No. I don't know. Bit by bit. I'm not talking about your stuff. I've got scars I will carry to my grave. Mostly. Now. Can you take balls of twine and make a rope?" "No." "No." "You're not alone. I want to know how you have done all of this. or even written out. I learned a lot of things. noises. During that time." "That's right. no. "Alright Bob. Believe it or not. Most people don't know Morse code." "I told you. What does three dots followed by three dashes. But Morse code isn't all that is in here. like the old telegraph. you have the answer. "This is one of my most important books. A Boy Scout Handbook from the mid sixties. after leaving the 'Molly B.'. Kathy used the chance to quiz Bob.

They had it down to a science. "But whatever made you decide to collect all of this stuff. Stamford. 'I can't do that. and a lot of those things went away.S." "Okay. I understand about getting ready to survive in bad times. I never could stand it when someone would tell me either. many of them would have lived. or even a hammer to make a hole in the roof. And in the end. CT 06902 U. Those smoke grenades for example. When I would hear about such things. They didn't take an ax. but that won't last forever. I'd think.' while I knew it could be done. Later I learned a lot while I was serving in the military. INC. Had they done so. When the water rose and forced them up.' I took that seriously. what about all the other things that have happened? Like . 'Plan for the worst and hope for the best. Take a look. this time into the center compartment between the seats. of course. or state of the art. Maybe they weren't all slick and polished. but they worked. The end of the box said. and pulled out what looked like a deck of playing cards. GAMES SYSTEMS.S. Bob? I know you've got quite a bit in the 4X4. But. I once heard of people that died during Hurricane Katrina in their own attics." "Got that covered as well."No." “Can you make a safe raft for crossing rivers or lakes?” “No. That’s why this is an older manual.' or 'You can't do that. I learned a lot from listening to veterans when I was a boy. Bob. Kathy looked at the box.A. that was what was important. tell me. and handed them to her. besides being nudged by The Lord?" "You know the old saying. I can even see how the Boy Scouts helped you to prepare for what is happening now.” "See what I mean? The Boy Scouts were teaching young men how to survive in the wilderness. But. EDIBLE WILD FOOD CARDS U. they didn't think about getting out. It's amazing what you can do with your own two hands when you have to. The only bad thing was when they were forced to become 'politically correct'." Bob again reached into the truck. long before I was born. 'What would I do?' and then do it." "What about food. The reason why is they didn't plan ahead. okay. The Scouts weren’t my only teacher.

they had handguns and a single shotgun." "But you jumped right into the middle of them and saved us. If I had 'jumped into the middle of them' we would all be dead by now. They weren't professionals. In the mean time. They've taken it all. which made me even a smaller target. and ashes. the booby traps I had waiting for them made them leave a second time. it was in force. Once they realized that they were on the losing end of the deal." "No Kathy. Those people weren't professionals. a target that small. Which in turn. several times'. at that range. But all in all." Bob chuckled before answering. I'm certain that there is nothing of value left in your home. When I opened fire on them I was at least sixty yards away. It takes a professional soldier a lot of practice to be able to even hit a man sized target with a pistol at that range. They hold our property. "But Bob. it's nothing but a pile of scorched concrete. I was using a rifle that will reach out and touch someone at about one hundred yards. Your front door was so close to falling in. I put down three of them before any of them had the first idea where the fire was coming from. we wouldn't be talking now. Now it's true that I scared them off at first. If we had won. You see. burned wood. Oh yes. you won. a handgun is a poor choice of weapons. but none of them came close to me. But when they came back. The only victory we can claim is that God in His mercy allowed us to all get away. is prepared to abandon his luggage. big time. We lost. If they had been." "Meaning. That is all. What I did was to stand off a ways and use a rifle. Then I was able to get you out of there. with heavy losses on both occasions. we didn't win. We lost. it actually did when you guys came out. before your family came to my house both of your cars were useless pieces of junk. But make no mistake about it. For the average person. I guess it comes down to what my favorite science fiction writer once said in a book. No Kathy. Then they were scared off a second time. "Hardly. As it is. And I was standing behind a tree. at that range is impossibility with a pistol.when you rescued us from the gang members. we can't go back?" . We lost. in the course of a long life. they sprayed the area with bullets. we lost. they scattered. True." "That was a matter of Gods' grace. with the rifle I was downing man after man. and we are running for our lives. And my home. As of now. That and the element of surprise are what made the difference. we would be sitting at home right now. gave us the chance to get out. Both are short range weapons. 'A wise man. but they came back later. Even then. and my training as a soldier.

The President paused before continuing." "Okay. . "Our brave young men and women have borne these sacrifices with honor and dignity. As we have helped them in years gone by. and disheartened to launch major attacks against every American outpost in the region. As we are all aware. Continuing to carry on with their noble mission of bringing peace and democracy to the troubled lands of the Middle East." "I think it is falling now. fuel. They had stopped for the day and were waiting for the important announcement from the President that had been spoken of earlier. Things had become just as they had been before. It is with a heavy heart that I come to you tonight. and more of the necessities of waging a successful campaign are needed. ammunition. "My. our brave men and women in the service have had to sacrifice as well. The static cleared as the station powered up for the broadcast. Our infrastructure has been severely undermined. towns. They are attacking in untold numbers." Again the President paused." It had been four days since the crossing of the Mississippi. when does the hammer fall?" Tim asked. Both our west coast and the Gulf States have been changed forever by natural occurrences that could not be foreseen. Food." Bob said. fellow Americans. and we are just now starting to make headway in our efforts at recovery. either in scale or magnitude. these past months have been disastrous for our nation. "I want to express the thanks of our people to these selfless men and women that have left their homes to come here for us." Kathy answered her husband. Now they were in the Rocky mountains. Without a doubt these events have cost many lives since they happened. We are all aware of the sacrifices that have been forced on us all. "Just as we have had to do without here in America. we can't go back. They have had to bare the burden of shortages of all kinds. avoiding cities."Meaning. Traveling at night. "I must now inform you that our enemies have chosen this time when they believe we are weakened. They are all in short supply. Much of that headway is due to the efforts of the foreign troops that have agreed to come here and help us in our time of need. weapons." "With help like that who needs enemies. and people in general.

. when he wants. we can use you to do things that will free up combat ready personnel for duty overseas. He has no plans to allow Congress to resume its' duties. There is no further help for the U. Joe!" Was all Alex said. We'll recover somehow. step forward and serve yet again. We are doomed to the ash heap of history.They have received more fighters from nations that. who have served our nation in the past. had remained out of the fighting. South Korea? They have their hands full with the North. "I am also asking that all veterans." "Come on. I know this is a great sacrifice. The President is ruling by decree. I have ordered the Postmaster General to make available space in every Post Office for you to come in and register for duty. without restraint. They were all as unbelieving as Bob. Japan? They are watching out for China." The radio faded. before this." Kathy said. We expect casualties to be high on both sides in these engagements. but these are desperate times unlike any we have faced before in the history of this great nation. thinking of his high school friend who was currently serving in Iraq. Last time I checked. "Our forces are making valiant efforts to repel these attacks. what can they do? Somebody please tell me I didn't hear what I just heard. "What allies? What is he talking about? None of the Arab states are going to help us. who had dark thoughts of his own. the static cleared.S." Nobody said a word. "Recover? How? Look at the facts." Disgustedly. So. but are hampered by the shortages. Neither are any of the former Soviet states. Bob turned off the radio. or disabled." "Oh no. Israel? They get a lot of their weapons from us. he can do what he wants. Bob. Now he wants the only people who might be able to form a core of resistance to step up and be numbered. "Allies!!!" Bob shouted. Once again. Even if you are older. I can't believe that. That way they already know where to find you. "That does it. except for Alex." There was another pause. they called someone like that a dictator. "I have asked for our allies in the region to send to our fighting men and women everything they can to help in repelling these attacks.

both of you. Michael. They thought they would be safe. "You still haven't accepted it. or teach others how to fight. Now. out of a sense of duty. to walk into the Post Office and agree to serve in whatever capacity they choose. with the local law enforcement not only under Presidential direction. until The Lord returns. We can't just keep wandering through the wilderness. Is that the kind of thing you want?" "Bob. America is out of the equation. and will heal their land. visited me in a dream. Let me tell you something else. What choice did Satan have but to destroy this country? Now. this HAS to end. which are called by my name. Once they are gone. they want anyone else who may have the slightest knowledge of how to resist this New Order. things only get worse. The sad part is that many people will do it. Last night the Arch Angel. We have children to raise. What politician have you ever heard of that willingly gave up that kind of power? Our food production has been cut by at least fifty per cent. without any hope of resupply or reenforcements. Most . Then they shot him. He said that if we pray. shall humble themselves. From here on out." Bob shook his head. almost all resistance ends. What is left of our military is being over-run in foreign countries. and turn from their wicked ways. do you see the people of this nation turning from their ways? Or are they just trying to hold on to what they had. And it was all done in front of the children. The husband watched his wife get raped to death. He will hear us. We would stand with them. in the head. and people are starving. and will forgive their sin. and find an excuse to keep on doing what they have been doing all along? Do you see much humility? I don't. have you? Kathy. and seek my face. and it won't stop. nobody could wipe it out. and pray. The only ones with any kind of firearms are the ones that refused to surrender them. How do we recover from that?" "I think you underestimate what God can do. Tell me. None of the prophecies in The Bible concerning Israel and the end times could happen. or captured very soon. I saw some people who turned themselves in to the authorities. What is left of our ground troops will either be dead. and we are being hunted. They thought that they were doing the right thing.There are foreign troops patrolling our streets. What He said was.' 2Ch 7:14. There won't be anyone left to fight. Think about it. then will I hear from heaven. 'If my people. this IS the beginning of the Gods judgment on America. but also under orders to obey the foreign commanders and the President. As long as America stood with Israel." "Almost right.

of the air bases we have here have either been too badly damaged to be of use, or they have been turned over to the foreign forces. Our Navy is about the only asset we have left, and they won't last long without fuel. We can't pay for fuel, even if someone was willing to sell it to us. On top of that, it has been prophesied that we will go to war with China over Taiwan. What do you think China will do about that? I'll tell you what. They will nuke the Navy while it is still at sea, and out of range of their coasts. After that, Russia will hit us with everything they've got, and we are done for. Israel will have to stand alone. Only God can help them now, just as it was foretold. All of that means, there will be no settling down for us. Oh yes, we will be able to stop moving for brief periods of time, but we’ll probably never put down roots. We do that, and we will die."

Chapter Eight

When the group set out once again, Tim was riding shotgun with Bob, and had his own set of questions. "Bob, do you mind if I ask you about some things?" "Ask away." "I heard some of the things you said to Kathy. They make me wonder. I mean, I know that uniforms are easy to come by, so anyone can look like a 'professional' as you've put it. But how do you tell the difference?" "That is easier to say than it is to understand. It isn't any one thing, it is a combination of things. Mostly it’s attitude and actions. You are right about one thing. A uniform does not make a soldier. But you can tell a soldier from a civilian. For example, take that road block. A professional would have had their car completely block the road. That would make you have to drive around their vehicle. Those guys just had it off to the side. I guess to make it easier to handle traffic, or maybe to make a quick turnaround if someone ran the roadblock. But a real professional will have the vehicle blocking the road and have people BEHIND the car or whatever they are using to block the road. Only one man, or at most two, will come out to check the oncoming vehicle. The rest will stay behind cover. At that roadblock all three of them came around to the side you were on. That’s not a good thing to do. It exposes too many people to a possible hostile fire

situation. So, they weren’t likely to know what to do when things went wrong. They counted on their show of force. They never expected to be hit from another direction. The two things that you need to look for are actions. First, a professional will always have someone watching his back. Take those gang bangers that attacked your house on that first day. Obviously they didn't have any kind of attack plan, besides overwhelming you and killing any who resisted. If they had been real soldiers, they would have either waited you out, or offered you a chance to surrender and then taken what they wanted. They didn't expect to be hit from behind, themselves. Secondly, a professional is very observant. He tries to see everything that is going on around him at all times." "Sounds like being paranoid or something." "No. It’s not that at all. It's not that he expects to be attacked. He simply wants to know what is going on. He’s alert, but without fear." "Alert, but without fear." Tim repeated. "I take it that is what you've been doing all these years." "Something like that. I watched the news, checked outside sources on the Internet, and began to put things aside as best as I could. As scripture says, 1Ti 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. I was doing what I could for my family, like anyone would. The difference was that I believed these days were almost here, and that meant that I took it a little further than most people did.”

Director of the South Eastern Region Claire and the other regional directors were gathered in an underground room, buried deep under the White House. As they waited, they speculated as to why they had been summoned here. It wasn't long before their speculation was answered. The President entered the room, and without fanfare, went to the podium at one end of the room. "Gentlemen, I want to thank you all for getting here on such short notice. As you know, the plan is almost complete. Soon this nation will no longer pose a threat to our master. The armed forces of America are on the verge of being eliminated. Soon the hated land of Israel will be without aid from any quarter. This is certain to please our master, and I intend to

make sure he knows that it would not have been possible without your assistance. I'm expecting a visit from his messenger at any moment, and expect to receive the final orders from him as to how to bring this land under complete subjugation to his will. Within a very short time, all of those who have been captured, especially the Christians, will be at your disposal, for whatever you desire to do with them." A murmur of approval went around the room. This is what they had been promised. This is what they had long waited for. They could almost taste the human flesh, and smell the blood. It was hard to restrain their other evil lusts. Some, like Claire, had already begun to indulge their wanton, inhuman desires on their captives. The freedom to indulge their every whim was almost overpowering. Quietly a side door opened and a small servile man entered. "Mr. President?" He said in nearly a whisper. "What is it?" "Sir, the messenger of the master is here to see you." "Thank you, I'll be right there." He turned back to his audience. "As you've heard, our final instructions have arrived. I have taken the liberty of arranging some 'entertainment' for you. I believe ten years of age is satisfactory." He smiled at the thought. "Gentlemen, I'll look forward to seeing you soon." He then turned and quickly left the room. As one the directors left the room. Each filled with thoughts of what was to come in just moments.

The President entered his private apartment in the underground facility. The thing waiting for him couldn't be considered human except for the fact he had the usual number of arms, legs, and a head. After that all similarity ended. He looked at the President with red glowing eyes, and a smile that was anything but comforting. "Good to see you. The master is pleased with your work so far, but there is still one problem." "Thank you, and thank him for me. I am happy to serve. What problem could there be?"

Then there will no longer be any chance of anyone opposing the masters will." "What can I do? I've reduced it as much as I can without raising suspicion. However. who was lying next to him. who were looking down on it from a nearby ridge. Look around. there wasn't even a child riding his bike in the streets. Once there. At best. and see what we can see." . lets' get back to the others. Even as we speak. no music playing." "The master understands. "My thought is that Alex and I should go in first. and will obey. You will send most of your carrier forces to defend them." "I've got an idea. There were no lights on in the storefronts. tucked away in the Rocky Mountains. Both Bob and Tim. Right now." "I understand. could tell that something was very wrong. the population couldn't have been more than two hundred and fifty to three hundred people. "What could be going on down there?" Bob asked himself more than Tim. there is a message being delivered at the White House. Nestled in a valley. you must not allow them to make a first strike. They wouldn't just leave their doors open." "I guess it could be. It is still too powerful." Keeping low enough below the ridge line that they couldn't be seen from the town. I'm hoping it isn't some kind of quarantine. "Maybe some sort of curfew?" "I don't think so. you will allow them to retake the renegade province. There were doors standing open here and there. and the street was littered with windblown debris. it looked peaceful. they both walked back to the vehicles. But right now. Once the Chinese have taken out the carriers with their nuclear weapons. but what are we going to do? You know we need supplies."Your Navy." It was a small town. telling you that China is about to go to war with Taiwan. they described the scene just over the hill. Your country has a mutual defense treaty with Taiwan in the case of an attack from China.

I don't want to break up a family. thanks Dad. Alex isn't much older than Tom or Sam. well. Understand?" Tim simply nodded. If something should happen. Alex spoke. Anyone who says he isn't scared doing something like this is either a fool or a liar. "Tim. "Tim. Alex and I are going to need to keep it quiet. Bob pulled out two small walkie-talkies. but that doesn't mean I have to like it. I like it even less than you do. If you don't hear from us within an hour." As Alex and Bob got themselves ready to walk down the slope towards the town. would be at least a little scared. I'd like to have someone to carry on the family name." After that. Kathy could lose her husband. "Bob." Kathy said. He showed Tim how to use one." "So am I." Tim asked. it won't be as bad on them. until we figure out what is going on. Lets' face it." ." "Its’ true son. you must assume the worst. But I need to have back up." "If it makes you feel any better. and the father of your children. If Alex and I go. you two be careful down there. and then put the other in his pocket. "Dad."Shouldn't I go with you? After all." "Yeah I do. but don't use it unless you have to do so. I have to tell you. Keep this thing on." "Gee. walking into the center of a bulls-eye is not something anyone wants to do. and his right mind. just in case." "You are?" "Son anyone in this situation. and take the actions you see as fit to protect your family. "Don't worry I'm looking after my two favorite skins. I want you to go back up to where we were. I'm kind of scared. and you know it.

that still doesn't mean I can't be hurt." "You hide it real good. I'm a bit scared." "I'm all ears. then. but what am I doing while you guys are 'leap-frogging?" Tim asked." "This is called a 'bounding over-watch'." "That will put me in front of you. I'm going to move down the right side of this road. you take one side of the street. I cover you. we'll keep moving forward into town. You cover me. and get down there to that depression by that bush. That is where my courage comes from to do something as as this. but don’t drag your feet either. Lets' do it. Don’t run. When we get there." . I'll move out first. I've never seen one verse or passage that says I'll still be standing when the final trump sounds. you watch it and cover both of us. Just keep them ducking so they can't shoot us. Everyone set? Okay. more than once. "It's time you learned something military tactics. we'll beat it back here as fast as we can. If you see anything that looks wrong. Take advantage of whatever cover you can find on the way. You take the left." "Not to interrupt. all the way to the town. Its’ just the most alert walk you’ve ever taken in your life. And like scripture says. fire a shot to warn us. I've read The Bible. God is on my side. Don't worry about hitting anything. cover to cover. The idea is we kind of leap frog our way down there." "How do we do that?" "To start with. The Lord strength. Do you see it?" "Yeah. So yeah." "It's is my risky about like you said. If we are close enough. "From up here you have a better view of the edge of town. and I'll take the other. I'll cover you as you make your way to that boulder. So. Now. Even if I did. Once I do." "Son. If not." "That's right."What are you scared about? I mean God is on your side. What do I do?" "You cover me until I get there." Bob paused a moment.

and every door. A quick peek. "Check every window. and pull back. Once on the outskirts. he called his father over to him. If you see anyone. and pull back. They walked slowly down the slope to the town. DON'T stand there and look." "I wonder if they are still alive. When nothing was seen. After reading it." "Right you are. When Alex reached the general store. while Alex took the other. "Remember. ‘from roving bands of criminals’. "Take a look at this. Son I left my reading glasses back at the truck. there was almost no cover from halfway between the ridge line. so we don't want to take any unnecessary chances." Bob had told his son when they started down the hill. they would move carefully past the window or door. by poking your head around the edge. they separated. and on to the next one. Get a quick glance. They worked their way down the street." . One of them on each side of the road. and pulled back. they are all being taken to another place where they will be put in a 'protective facility' along with people from other small towns." Now they were both doing the same thing. until about half way down the street. do not go near them. That way they can be more easily protected. then he noticed a piece of paper posted in the window. "What is it?" Bob asked as he jogged up to him. it seems to be alright down here. "Tim. Just in and out." "I'm sorry. If there are bodies. and the town. Bob decided that he and Alex would have to brazen it out. he peeked in the window. Bob went down one side of the main street." "Dad? Don't you think that calling Tim would be a good idea? It's been about forty minutes already. wherever you can.As it turned out. call me. We don't know what has happened here. What does it say?" "It says that this town is to be evacuated by the government." "We’re on our way." Bob pulled the walkie-talkie from his pocket. So." "Evacuated? Why?" "It says that the government can't spare troops to protect a small town like this. Bring the vehicles and park them out of sight.

private homes seemed to be a little further out from the main part of the town. started proudly talking about it. before opening the door. Bob quickly surveyed the scene around the house. They were soon out of sight. "Tim. there were more dead dogs lying on the three other sides of the house. They found that the rope refused to raise the bar on the inside. he placed the number at around twenty to twenty-five of the animals. ." "Lets' find out. he called to Tim. I'd like you to come with me. using the wall of whatever building they were next to as cover. and it too had a draw rope. They he hoisted Bob high enough to grab the edge of the wall. Bob was only a little surprised to see Tom driving the small car owned by Alex.When the vehicles arrived. Soon. Do you think you can boost me up on the roof? A lot of these places had a trap door up there. It also had a thick wooden door and a flat roof. this one worked easily. Strangely enough there were decaying bodies of several dogs lying scattered over a large area outside. The older men set out walking down the street. It wasn’t long before Tim and Bob had covered most of the town. onto the roof. But it too was securely fastened. There was no door knob. Then he found what he had hoped for. however." The younger children were disappointed at losing the chance of exploring this ghost town. and Tim cupped his hands for Bob to step into. Just as out in front. climbed up on it. They tried the door. For the most part. and it might be open. At a guess. Unlike the door below. they found a small adobe building with windows that had been locked shut with stout wooden shutters. Before dropping down into the dark interior. but Kathy made sure that they stayed close to her. Everyone else stay near the cars until we make sure it's completely safe. "Mighty curious. The trap door was located to one side of the roof. and he pulled himself up and over. "What do you think?" Tim asked. and everyone started to get out. Alex walked back to his car with Tom and as young men do. There was a sliding panel to allow whoever was inside to open it and see who was outside." Together they pulled a nearby box up next to the wall. only a draw rope high up on it. in alleys between the mostly wooden and adobe buildings.

I had to get water from the well. Three spent shotgun shell casings were on the floor. and don't know how long I will last. and I'm getting a bad feeling about this. that he jumped when Tim's' feet scuffed the floor as he came in. He saw two more dogs on the floor. and on it. and the body of a man sitting in a chair. Bob was so absorbed by the scene. tightly sealed. Cradled in the man’s hands was a clear glass jar. They are good weapons. Once the door opened. I pray that it is a Christian. I leave all my property to whoever finds them. The cross bar was slightly warped. Leaning against the table next to him was a shotgun. Then. but with a little effort. You will find ammunition for these weapons and my pistol in the cabinet next to the stove."I found it. "What happened here?" "Let’s see if he can tell us. Once inside." Bob opened the door. But stay on your toes. he paused for a moment to allow his eyes to adjust to the darkness. he lifted it. and he climbed down. the light that came in was enough to see the entire room. So I write this in hopes that it will help whoever finds me. I'm losing lots of blood. One of the man’s legs was wrapped in a bandage that was dark brown with dried blood. The people had to leave the dogs behind. but not before they got to me. Especially my rifle and shotgun. with a piece of paper inside. Bob pulled the jar from the dead man’s hands. Beware of the dogs. carefully he felt around with his foot." "Will do. and the foul odor of death came up to meet him. The government wouldn’t allow them to take them. and are hunting in packs like wolves. They have gone wild. "I. There's a lot more dead dogs out there. He located the front door. a pistol. Todd Johnson" . I did them in. and moved to open it. Finding a ladder with it. Two got inside with me. and started to read aloud. and thought they had gone. that’s when they came back for me. Todd Johnson. I hid when the town was evacuated. removed the paper. and have killed most of the dogs that have killed me. opened it. do declare this to be my last will and testament. He waited briefly to let the worst of the odor escape. and opened the door." Gently. I had already killed a bunch of them.

and looked in the direction of Tim's' shot. One of the animals in front of Kathy flew sideways as the bullet stuck home. Reaching the intersection they had turned down to get to Todd's' home. shotgun in hand. They moved slowly ahead. "Yes. "I ain't going no place. Tim took one side of the alley. and looked at Tim. followed by two more shots. when they heard the child scream. while Bob took the other. I don't see him. “Watch our rear. I think. Looking out onto the hillside beyond. It's clear. with her back to the door of the general store. checking every place the animal could hide. The kids are in the store. Then he sniffed. trying to get a bead on a dog moving around him on the ground." "Stay where you are and let us check it out before you come down. there was no further sign on him. "Let’s get to the store. and put it in his pocket. and two more moving back and forth waiting for the right moment to attack. sighted and fired. "Kathy. "We'd better get back." . They nearly ran over each other trying to get out of the door. Only to find him doing the same. are all of you alright?" Tim shouted. As they ran down the street. The second dog went down. They looked behind every box. Come on down Alex. until they reached the end of the alley." First.” Bob said as he and Tim entered the alley. Tim pulled up the rifle in his hands. Kathy was standing. The one over here took off when the shooting started up again." Bob called to him. and don't know where he went. The smaller children were nowhere to be seen. at a distance. Bob laid down. wiped a tear from his eye. they heard the boom of a shotgun. The shotgun boomed again. Kathy saw her chance and took it. with one dog down in the street in front of her. Alex was standing on the hood of the SUV with a pistol in hand. into every doorway. Alex? How are you doing?" "Okay. and checked under the 4X4. He barred his teeth and made a fearsome growl. they skidded to a stop and looked around the corner. The second dog stopped. On Bobs' signal." Tim was about to agree.Bob folded the paper. Alex.

After they had gathered in the store." "Bob. Tim. I just didn't want to mention it. Turning. "We got lucky today. and we'll set up shop there. Alright. Bob admired her for that. and still manage to care for four children and her husband was a mystery to Bob. I noticed that this place had a doctor. He had seen the two other dogs coming at her. Kathy was the only one with either shotgun or rifle. Most of them had already been in the store when everything started." "What about bathing?" asked Kathy. do you think we can stay here a day or two? No offense to anyone. I know. How she managed to carry on a practice. we'll stay here. bandages. they seemed like the kind of pets that they were used to seeing around. And . but some of us could. and Alex had been checking windows up and down the street when Kathy shot the first time. Oh and one more thing. At first. "From now on. Their clothes always clean." Bob sniffed and then smiled. Obviously. Kathy you are the one with the most medical training. Next time we might not be so fortunate. and that sort of thing. as long as we can. Tim will guard you and otherwise we'll work it out as we go along. The first shot only wounded it. He didn't know how it happened. speaking of that sort of thing. and had to wait until the running child was out of the line of fire. Any drugs. Everyone has someone to watch their back while we do what needs to be done. stand to have some clean clothes. so she made sure the second finished him. That INCLUDES going to the bathroom. Alex. In panic. but with one leap. and sent it crashing back to the ground. before she could shoot the dog. nobody travels alone." Bob told them. Bob found out why the dogs had gotten so close. and everyone well fed. the dog was right behind him. but her children were all well mannered and polite. the dog had gotten up next to the 4X4 and he couldn't get a shot. "We post guards. She was in fact a dentist. There’s no sense in letting the dogs have another go at us. that the mistake was realized. By the time he remembered the handgun. That reminds me. and picked up a pistol from the front seat of the SUV when he heard another dog growling behind him. he found himself on the hood. he had kicked the dog in the head. From now on. Nobody got hurt. Would you go to his office and see if there is anything that we might need that we can take with us. and I will look around and find the most defensible place. "I noticed the same thing. It wasn't until one of the children got a little too close to one. nobody old enough to carry a weapon goes anywhere without one. instead of shooting." Kathy agreed.

Today I have been given undeniable proof. I'd like to be ready in time for tonight's broadcast. and will honor them. "Especially soap. and return to the peaceful path of negotiation. I want Tom and Sam to stand guard while you and the other children look through this place for anything we might need. . and most of the places that still had power on a regular basis. smiled and said. from the Taiwanese ambassador. everywhere to join me this night in prayer for the fate of not only the Taiwanese people but all those who love freedom. 3. Therefore I have ordered our naval forces to send a four carrier task force to the region. We have mutual defense treaties with the Taiwanese government. in total disregard for the wishes for freedom loving peoples everywhere. Right now. I have authorized the overall task force commander to take whatever actions he deems necessary in order to protect the island nation of Taiwan. It is hoped that the government of the Peoples Republic of China will see that even in our current condition. Once again I come before you with troubling news. that The Peoples Republic of China has begun preparations for a full scale invasion of the island nation of Taiwan. didn't have television stations. they must be made aware that this nation will not stand aside while they conquer their neighbors. "Alright. Therefore. I have advised the Mainland Chinese that America finds these actions to be unacceptable. In the event that they refuse to do so. After all it was good that a man knew his limitations. "Mr. and international law. President. the visit to the doctors’ office can wait for tomorrow. 1. I ask all Americans. Since radio required less power than television. "My fellow Americans." He sniffed again. We hope that they will give up on these plans of conquest. in 4. all medical matters he deferred to her judgment. Let’s get to it." The President sat at his desk looking over the notes for his nightly radio broadcast." the director pointed at the President to let him know he was on live. America will not abandon her partners in democracy. radio was seen as the best way to accomplish his plans. you’re on.

with the nuclear weapons to destroy the task force. but not all. He knew that the Chinese submarine. Bob. it was misdirection. I bought a few that were registered. The only weapons that went on the roles were those bought from dealers. without anyone knowing about it?" "In a word." Once back in his private quarters. "Tell me something. Truth was that in most of the country private sales of weapons weren't required to be registered. You see it was a common misconception that all firearms had to be registered. I know they sent out people to collect the ones that weren't turned in. but how did you keep them. And don't get me wrong. I did turn in my weapons." "Let me guess." "Didn't they check you out to make sure you didn't have any more?" "Yes. there weren't any in the house. didn't they? I mean they were registered and everything. Well. the group gathered in the general store to prepare a meal. It was just waiting for the order to fire.” . I glad you didn't. at least the ones they knew about. while he's pulling the trick with his left. and good night." "That’s not exactly true. When the time came. They never actually came out and said you have to do it. Tim asked Bob about something that he had been wondering about. So I didn't register mine. But by the time they got to me. Like the magician that gets you to watch the right hand. Chapter Nine As night fell after the first full day in this new town." "They must have known about all of them. When the government made it illegal to own guns. Knowing that the time was coming when they would come after the weapons.Thank you. was already on station. I had hidden them nearby. I dutifully went down to the police station and turned them over. they just make you think it’s’ required. In this case. so they fostered that idea. That was what the government wanted everyone to believe. You buried them?" "Some of them. the President smiled to himself. they did.

camping. What is your I. I remember that test. What was your score?" "Oh yes. I've never taken an I." "I know they gave you one when you joined the Army." "Doing what?" "You are playing dumb." "One hundred twenty-seven! Bob. you can take counter measures. I put down far enough that a metal detector wouldn't find them. I know you are more intelligent than that." "I am. is that what that was?" "Bob. Minimum to be allowed into the service was eighty." "Where was that?" "A junkyard. I like hunting.?" "I honestly don't know. The weapons I buried. you could have been an officer. And as they used to teach us in the infantry 'know thy enemy'. fishing. so they could have belonged to anyone." "Bob. If you know what he is likely to do. Even hound dogs named 'Blue'.Q." "And your score was?" "Well I wasn't an officer. When we first met.Q. just a grunt. you are much more than that. I just thought you were a 'good old boy' redneck. The others were hidden in places where there was too much metal for there to be any hope of them being noticed. Everyone takes it. Where they were hidden wasn't on my property. Bob looked down and half mumbled. you're doing it again." A brief smile crossed his face. Highest possible score was one hundred forty. beat-up old pickup trucks and all the rest of it. To be an officer was at least one hundred fifteen." . being so evasive." "So." Kathy looked at Bob. test." "BOB! Stop."Weren't you afraid they'd find them?" "Not really. "One hundred twenty-seven. "You know Bob.

there are. I don't know if I should be mad or happy. The land and the animals are what keep them alive. " "It's perfectly fair. do you have any idea what a redneck really is? A redneck is someone that is close to the earth. that my tracks have been hidden so well. "I've used that prejudice to conceal what I am really all about and what I will do. what is your point?" "Simply this. that even you have fallen for the deception they have put out. Have you ever heard me say anything that could be called racist?" "Well. I'm not what you would call a redneck. but he continued without a break. that's not fair. By your own admission. Who do you think is right?" "Bob. they do kill animals. and they know it. You wouldn't have had to put on this 'dumb redneck' routine either. “They don't just go out and slash and burn the land. They don't just go out and kill anything that has fur and moves. Nobody expected that people like us would have the brains to evade the forces that have been sent against us. Or happy." Bob shook his head. I told you. Not in a tree-hugging sort of way." "But if you were an officer. no. but someone who respects the earth.” Bob noticed Kathy’s eyes widen slightly at this remark. But I've met racists in everything from uniforms to three piece suits." Bob sighed. You've known me for over ten years. you could have retired more than a decade ago. and The God who made it. but only to eat. or in self defense." "Do you think I've got an education that is beyond the fifth grade?" "Obviously you do. I am a redneck. The idea that we are people that are some kind of inbred. Misdirection is a very powerful friend. . "Kathy. Mad. Yes. Bob. I'm challenging your prejudices. racist morons whose' greatest hope is to graduate the fifth grade is absolutely wrong."I know." "What are you talking about?" "Kathy. And you bought into it. and expect to win. I'm not saying that there are no redneck racists. and by mine. You thought one thing. Most people think that rednecks would be the first to charge heavily armed men in full body armor with both air and artillery support with nothing more than shotguns and pickup trucks. Hollywood had promoted the idea that they are all out there in the countryside. barefoot and drunk.

just down the road from Todd's home. From that day to this. Israel regained their land in the six day war in June of '67. limited only by Bobs' insistence that his pants had to be jeans." Tim spoke softly. and shook it. my parents sent me to a school that was run by our church." What was planned for just a couple of days turned into five of them. "Don't you think we should bury Todd?" "I'd like to. and a flat roof. People underestimate you. Like Todd's home it had stout walls. That means they never see the surprise coming. The load was made somewhat easier by the fact that Tom and Sam had found clothing that fitted them in the general store. . That was fine by me. not mine." Was all he had to say on the matter.but when you learn the truth. Unlike Todd's place. which was more than able to handle the load of running the house. "Misdirection is a powerful friend." "I never knew you went to a church school. He said no. but I'm afraid that the freshly turned earth would give us away. More importantly it had a generator. I choose to live simply." Kathy said. Someone asked if he thought he would see the end times. because not all of the prophecies had been fulfilled yet. You never asked anything about my education. Kathy had asked. our pastor was teaching the Bible study. We were in the book of Revelation. How did you?" "When I was a boy. Now you know why." Bob told her. it turns out to be something very different. Such as Israel regaining their land." "Bob. If you mistake that for something else that is your problem. It took two days for Kathy and Tim to get the clothing for their family cleaned. and windows. One day in the fall of 1966. Bob and Alex had similar luck with their clothing. That made an impression on me. A redneck has been feeding your family since we left home. Yet a redneck pulled your family out of your house. "They last longer. so why should I volunteer it? You just accepted me as a well educated redneck. and 'playing dumb' can be a great help at times. A redneck kept you alive when the gang bangers came back. On the first day. "Do you begin to see it? I've used peoples' preconceptions to cover my actions. another adobe house was found. it had locking doors. Bob smiled. You think rednecks were basically stupid and lazy. "You've always said you knew this time was coming. As you know. Does that sound like an inbred moron to you?" Kathy bowed her head. I'm bright enough to do just about anything I want. I've studied Biblical prophecy. That's how I know.

but after five more of them had been killed. going armed. how little they missed them.The argument went back and forth for some time. "Tell me Bob. and coffee. I call them . They also discovered that sitting around playing board games and talking filled them with a sense of togetherness they had never known before. Secondly. Why didn't you say anything?" Kathy asked one evening. the cabinet next to the stove in Todd's home was well stocked with rifle. was never questioned. backgammon. Once. just before we had to leave. However. Tim. True to his word. they found new excitement in checkers. in order to keep everyone from becoming too uptight. and certainly the safest for them all. All of them were surprised at two things. and again. a ceremony was held to honor his memory. or any other reason. and guards at all times. Instead of television. they were amazed at the number of things they no longer had to entertain them. well. it also had something Bob had overlooked in his preps. holidays. First. was the best idea. and everyone now thought of Tom and Sam as such. just how long have you been getting messages from angels? I mean you lived across the street from us for ten years before all of this got started. which had no set number of outcomes as the electronic games did. Cards for three different types of games. the children were easily bored with whatever electronic gadget that they were given for birthdays. Some of those discussions brought new understanding to Kathy. Dogs proved to continue to be a problem for the first two days. The weapons made a welcome addition to the collection that they already had. they no longer came close to the group. they now listened to the few programs they could get on the radio during the evenings. plus a couple of board games were added to their supplies. shotgun. After all the time they had spent on the road. and Alex. and card games. "Michael showed up for the first time. since the outcome was determined by whatever a live opponent did. Now they could listen to broadcasts from around the world. Diversions the games offered turned out to be just as necessary as ammunition. Now that such things were no longer available. shortly after Nancy died. The knowledge base of the youngest children grew by leaps and bounds. The rule of all adults. coffee had become nonexistent. and pistol ammunition. In the end it was decided that leaving Todd where he was. Two other bonuses the store had were spices for the food. They knew the dogs were still around because they would still see one of them from time to time. But I've been getting. The general store offered even more than some food items. The programs they could hear increased in number when a short wave radio was discovered. chess. The adults soon made something of a ceremony of having it with breakfast every morning.

She was the one who went to the doctor when she felt something was wrong. just like the long term storage food we've been eating. it was never wrong. It sat in the box in my garage for over five years. If she had known I also had over a thousand rounds for each weapon I truly believe she would have reported me to the mental health authorities. it was years before I even opened the box.'nudges' for years. The answers you get from The Lord are always the right thing to do. Same is true for my weapons and ammo. Like that generator. was the right thing to do. But it still wasn't wrong. she urged me to get rid of it in a garage sale. You remember what happened four years ago. She was the one who was always going to the gym. two rifles. I was 'nudged' by it to get the generator. After it became obvious that it was old enough that the store wouldn't take it back. So why did she have to die?" Clearly the thought . "Maybe YOU would have called the boys in the white coats. A major storm had gone through the area. but it wasn't wrong. however cause more than one argument between Nancy and myself. and get the money back in that first year. They were without power for over a week. 'Is the generator working?' That generator was a 'nudge'." "You said that 'small still voice' was never wrong. And she couldn't forget how dearly it had almost cost them. I refused. So. I can't explain it better than that I'm afraid. Without Burning' which spoke of a lot of these things. but those 'nudges' were never wrong. until recently. you didn't. They did. even when you don't understand why. As for telling you about the 'nudges'. You know. "It wasn't until things started to really get bad that Michael showed up. and two handguns. how could I talk to you about the rest?" Bob smiled." Kathy and Tim remembered. She remembered the conversations she and Tim had when he first suggested getting a weapon for their own defense. True. collecting dust. after that storm. "Anyway. but whatever you heard. I gave you a copy of 'Through the Fire. That wasn't wrong." Kathy nodded knowingly. but you never read it. "As I said. It had saved a lot of the food that would have spoiled in their freezer. I don't know how many times Nancy told me to return it to the store. Nancy thought I was a little 'excessive' in my collection. that small still voice that you aren't quite really sure you heard at all. Well. How do you know it was from God?" Tim asked. She sure seemed to be in good health. as I've mentioned before. I had a shotgun. But knowing I was a veteran she kind of wrote it off to my past. Nancy had only one question. I told her that if and when the day came we were without power. whenever bad weather was coming our way again. she'd be glad we had it." "What about Mom?" Alex asked. "Why did she have to die? It doesn't make sense. They were grateful that Bob and Nancy had the generator. After that year. I didn't have a need to use it again.

warmth on cold nights. daughters. they did blame him. I don't have a clue as to why she died unsaved. 'America WILL burn. with promises of food. That way they could all be taken care of at once. They were dissatisfied with the response that left their sons. if things got worse. The foreign troops may not have known what to do about ever growing crowds. He was surprised when he heard of something else that actually happened. They knew that that move left their loved ones without a means of getting them all out. Also there is no way she would have been able to put up with what we've been through already. or something else. anything else. When they heard about the loss of the carriers. The American people didn't blame the President for the west coast earthquakes. They opened fire. "I don't know son. Bob?" It was Tim this time. They became angry when the President pulled two carrier groups out of the Middle East. and not just posturing by governments. over Taiwan. brick by brick. but never God. I wish I did. I prayed for her for over twenty years. Not so much for any sense of hope. They continued to fire long after the resistance had stopped. and loved ones of all kinds at even greater risk than they had been. just as they did. They didn't blame him for the mega hurricane that had done so much damage to the entire southeastern coast. and the troops on the ground in the Middle East came under even heavier attacks. to support the Chinese mission. fathers. Many understood that the armed forces had to deal with shortages. All I CAN tell you is that there were many times she saw Gods’ provisions for us. They also became angrier by the hour. housing. but to let them know just how bad things had gotten.was troubling him. that is when Russia would hit us from behind. and I quote. "Dimitru Duduman said he was told that when we go to war with China. I don't believe she would have been able to handle what is coming. The dead were almost beyond counting. they descended on the White House and the Congress building with the seeming intent of taking them apart. He just didn’t inform the . but they knew about quelling riots. mothers. Claire had convinced him that it was in the best interest of the members of the church to come into the cities.'" The Presidential radio addresses had also become something of a regular event. Claire's' televangelist had once again been put on the air pleading for people to come back to the cities. Then when the carrier groups were wiped out by the Chinese nuclear missiles. The crowds around the White House had started to grow to unmanageable size." "What is coming. They were calling it 'The Washington Massacre'. But she always gave credit to luck. and all the rest. Bob sat waiting for the war with China to be announced as a fact.

he won't. just to not allow them to leave again. They spoke quietly to one another." "The master has his plans. Tonight!” "I will obey." "They're gone? I thought they took orders from me. had no idea who belonged there and who didn't.C.televangelist exactly what kind of care he was talking about." Claire and another director were sitting in a plane as they were flying out of the city. it isn't that. "Maybe you are questioning the master himself?" "No.” The President was just starting to speak. "Who cares what those useless eaters think? Who cares what they want? It doesn't make any difference." “It would only be a matter of time before that monkey started to think himself better than the Master. ." "Are you questioning me?" The messenger asked in a deceptively mild voice. But they did have orders to allow anyone trying to get into the city to enter. carry them out. It suits his plans better to take care of this one this way. You have yours. I just don't understand why I have to speak to them. "Are you certain the master wants me to do this?" The President asked. and have left Washington." "He wants power too much. "You are certain of the master’s plan?" "Yes." "We all take our orders from the Master." "Why would he do it? This one has helped us a great deal. The regional directors have already gotten their orders. The foreign troops guarding Washington D. You just do what you are told. Do you really think the master will tolerate any challenge to his authority?" "No.

After all. it dimmed and faded away. Within seconds. Bob agreed.. What if a helicopter comes by? We've been careful not to disturb much of anything. I'm willing to wait on Him. didn't you say that we shouldn't do anything without our guide?" "Alex is right. Americans. "I know. "I'm sure The Lord wouldn't leave us here without a reason." He told them. it seemed as if a new small sun had come to life. suddenly. For a moment. Bob had been itching to leave. He supposed that he should take comfort from that. he knew the longer they stayed where they were. Then. Their supplies had been replaced. and they had even managed to pick up a few needed items. just as suddenly. The Lord hasn't let us down so far.. He thought that they had been in this town to long.. I want to speak to you tonight about the rising level of violence in this land. Bob. he couldn't get used to staying put." Tim spoke up. nobody could figure out what had happened. the radio went dead. I don't like it. and the switched on the radio. You're both right. just in time to hear. But." "Dad." The 'follies' was the name they had given to the radio addresses given by the president. It was that same night he brought up the matter to the rest of the group. the night sky became brighter. The 'Land of the Free. At first. I just don't like sitting here this long. They had done everything that was needed."My fellow. "I don't know what to think. numerous other cities were also wiped off the map of North America. such as Todd's' weapons. We should wait for Michael to lead the way. but I haven't gotten any instructions yet. the greater the chance was that they would be discovered. in the distance off to the southeast.." Kathy said. Then. and the games. and Home of the Brave' ceased to exist at that moment. but still. and then see what we think in the morning. It was time to move on as far as he was concerned. I know. Tell you what. "What was THAT?" Tom asked? . It was just before the Presidential address. What bothered him the most was that Michael hadn't returned yet. anyone who looks carefully can tell someone has been here recently." Unexpectedly. "I really believe that we should be moving on." That was when the first Russian bomb detonated over Washington. ""My fellow Americans. Lets’ listen to tonight's' follies. but after having spent so much time on the run. they had the chance to rest. I want to speak to you tonight about the rising level of violence in this land.

"I think that was Las Vegas. and kill anyone that gets in their way. say Colorado Springs. If they are the second sort." "What about those people who are running from the cities?" Kathy asked. Especially with only six people able to fight. D. Or what they can or can’t do. maybe something will come to me. they will still die either way." "Exactly right. "If I'm right.. There are only six of us that can fight. They are just going to take what they want. and Florida have all been wiped out. "If you were living in a city that hasn't been bombed." "Bob. there are going to be a lot of people trying to do what we've already been doing. We have to get ready. or the toughest people to make it out.C. they won't be in the mood for anyone telling them where they can or can't live. everything that Dimitru prophesied is happening now. "Even if they left right now. they would still take a few days to get here on foot. Let me sleep on it tonight." Bob answered. A lot of them are going to die. Now I know why we have been left sitting here. Not even them. for what?" Asked Kathy." "What about the troops guarding the cities?" Asked Bob. There are too many ways into and out of this place. or from not being prepared for this. We'd never be able to defend them all. We need another plan. Either by troops firing on them. By this time tomorrow." "What do you mean?" Alex asked. what is left of California. "If this is what I think it is." . "Nothing would stop me. The ones that make it this far are going to be either have been led here as we were." "Won't they be driving Dad?" "Those who are close enough to the blast won't be driving anywhere. EMP will stop them. New York. what would you do when you find out what has happened?" "I'd get out of there. How are we supposed to defend this place? More force multiplication?" "No. Vegas." "Ready. That won't work here. We need to be ready for that.

But. Bob was the last one to awaken. you become very calm. is it?" "Yes. I think we should all try to get some sleep. it was clear he was in a much better mood than the night before. it wasn't Michael. Most people will be on foot. Could you get a few of them for me?" "Sure. Nobody wanted to do anything to disturb his sleep. They knew he would sometimes receive dreams or visions. "That obvious. It will kill any unshielded electronic device. Why? Are you having midnight callers?" "Not that kind. I think we have a few days to a week to work something out. But we should be safe enough for tonight. or do we have to drag it out of you?" Kathy said. Are you going to tell us. "If they do. And if they can get outside the affected area. but weren't there some mouse traps over in the store?" "I think so. so that is the best I can explain it. that includes car ignitions. It just might have to last us for a while." Tim called over his shoulder as he started to leave. come with me. with a smile on her face. There are others coming. However. Tim? Could you come here for a minute?" "What do you need?" "Correct me if I'm wrong. alright. I'm not an expert."EMP?” "Electro Magnetic Pulse. When Bob finally did get up. The two of them headed towards the store." "Do you think those who weren't in the affected areas will come this way?" It was Alex. . It’s a blast of electromagnetic energy given off by the bomb. not to mention each other. Son. When Michael comes for a visit. I was shown that we aren't to leave here yet. However it was a long time before they all finally fell into a fitful sleep. we need to do a couple of things before they get here. "Well Bob. The next morning. they will have to fight with the owners of any working cars that are still around. Sam. What did he say this time?" "Actually. they all turned in for the night. and no one wanted to disturb him. It was a dream. and we need to be here when they arrive. how long before they get here?" "I can't say." With that.

and said. he always had something that would do the job. I think the young lady behind you would be VERY unhappy. With a face that was starting to show the usual signs of age. Alex. "Quiet." "Yeah Dad?" "I need to go to the truck." "I wouldn't dream of it." Alex said. "Alex. about his own age." "That's why we came here. "Why did you come here? This place is in the middle of nowhere. We truly mean you no harm."Mouse traps? What do you have in mind. Besides." "You got it. "Old. "We're refugees. trying to hide from the military patrolling the cities. Bob?" Kathy wondered. put the shotgun down. She was handsome. but true." "Sure you don't. As he turned the corner. and saw a woman." "You don't really expect me to fall for that old one. and how did you get here?" She asked angrily. he was brought up short by what looked to him like a sewer pipe pointed right at his nose. “Alex. if you do anything. like her hair. In the back. many of which seemed to make no sense. watch and learn.” He glanced over her shoulder. A lot less likely that anyone is going to be looking for us out here. Look ma'am. But when something was needed. "Watch and learn young lady." ." "Who are you people. do you?" From behind her the woman heard the familiar whack-whack of a shotgun. Would you take the other side of the building I'm next to. if we are trespassing on your property. rather than beautiful." He looked over the barrel of the shotgun. Her eyes were a deep brown. A female voice quietly ordered him." Bob turned and headed off to his truck. I told you. We are in her town. put it down. we will be happy to move to another part of town. he had a hodgepodge of different items. and DON'T move. Obviously this lady lives here. and make sure I don't have any surprises. How can I believe that?" "By this.

"Ma'am. I would. but still held on to it. a half dozen mouse traps in hand. "Yes. She thought much like he did. would you like to eat?" "We could stand to have a meal. You can keep your weapons. And Tim. How many are you?" "There are eight of us in all. he stopped suddenly and said. “Whoa! What's going on?" "Take it easy Tim. . we'll give you a chance. Well. come with me." The shotgun Bob had been staring into lowered. "I found them Bob.” Seeing the woman and her daughter. We still have some things left over from breakfast. Slowly Bob turned. "We can't carry them all.Alex felt the muzzle of a weapon in the small of his back." "Mom?" The girl questioned. and saw the two women behind Bob and Alex." A voice said quietly. We really have no intention of hurting anyone. Tim called to his wife." Alex lowered the weapon. don't make any sudden moves please. Tim and Sam were just returning from the store. Please let us show you our good intentions." "If you say so. She smiled. "Honey. and besides this way everything looks normal." Tim and Sam also turned and started walking to the house. we have company." Bob was starting to like this woman. "You certainly are a polite one. "Okay I get it." Kathy looked out the window. We are going to see about breakfast for our visitors. Bring those. which he did. and called Alex to walk beside him. As they moved towards the adobe house. two aren't yet teenagers. and come along." "Alright. but both of you walk in front of us. As they got near to it." "Then please. there is no reason for this to end badly. It could be hazardous to my health.

They were really nothing more that a pistol like launcher for flares that resembled shotgun shells. and asked. pliers. She could put anyone at ease in record time. Then he took some of the wire and wound it around the bar that would slap down trapping a mouse. Michelle. Bob didn't know if it was her years as a dentist. one of our friends decided to remain behind. or just natural charm. will act like a firing pin. He was one tough old bird. Taking one of the traps. and a knife. at least part of it. He pulled back the bar. carrying distress flares from the back of his truck." Tim said and held up the package of traps. or trail to the trap and set it. Or. Run a trip wire across the road." He left the room. Bob pulled the will from his pocket and gave it to Maria. were sitting down. as if they were old friends. and that sets off the flare. After reading it. "When we left here a month ago. "Ah yes. Wait here. "I would have never believed something like this would happen to him. What we do. and gently lowered it again. "What is that?" asked Kathy. but returned shortly. He also had a small spool of wire. just the right size to hold one of the flare shells. Maria sighed."About time some other women showed up. The piece of wire I wrapped around the bar. with the flare pointing up. is attach this trap to a tree. You haven't seen anything of him have you? His name is Todd. "Bob. I was starting to get a little frustrated not having someone to talk to about you guys. or rock. It's a shame. both eating and chatting with Kathy. Their shotguns having been set aside during the meal." It wasn't long before Maria and her daughter. Tim cleared his throat to break the silence. to kind of keep an eye on things. sets off the trap. he carefully cut a hole in it." Michelle took the paper and read it. Something hits the wire. and said. They were the kind used by boaters. while saying nothing. Soon the subject Bob had been dreading came up. why did you want these things. Mike to her friends. slid the flare under it. She too sighed and handed it back to Bob. "It’s our early warning system. but Kathy had that affect on people." Lacking the words. I was about to do something about that when our friends showed up. letting us know that someone .

"Bob. Speaking quietly he told him. shall we say." Maria smiled. "Why not just ask Maria?" Tim asked.." Bob picked up the trap. and headed for the door. I want to apologize for pointing a gun at you yesterday." ." "How so? We haven't said much to each other since. If we have to leave. Get an idea of what's up that way. Drive out for one hour. She doesn't entirely trust us yet. Best we check it for ourselves. It happened while they were enjoying their morning coffee. Besides. Let’s go ahead and set this one on the main road into town.. "Son. And I don't entirely trust her either. As you know." Chapter Ten Between setting up their alarm system. "No. there aren't enough of us to defend this coming. What if there is something out there that she doesn't want us to see? She could send us in the completely wrong direction. We'll need as much time as possible. and from which direction. I want to use the road that offers the most cover. and then do the same with the dirt road that leaves the other side of town. I would have done the same thing myself." "What happens if we make the holes in these traps too big?" "A little of that white paste kids use in school should hold them in place. I thought it a good idea to separate them for a while. but the next one out. I didn't know who you were. and left to find Tom. rest a while. the better chance we have to decide if we should stand. and waiting on Alex and Tom to return from their scouting. but if we can find out what they look like before they get close to us. But I would like to ask you not to do it again. I won't. and then come back. in that position. or bug out. trust is earned. I know you better now. Not on this close ridge. don't you?" "Certainly. since we met. I had to protect us. When you get back. it was the next morning before Maria was able to speak with Bob again. I want you and Tom to take the 4X4 and check the dirt road that leads up into the hills around here. Once they were outside Bob waved Alex over to him. never given. "She has just joined us. with the way Alex was looking at Michelle. with Tim following close behind. You do understand. As we all know. or what you might do to Mike and myself. Understand?" Alex nodded.

There won't be an army there to fight them off. No resistance that amounts to anything at all. minerals. like I said before. but there are still a lot of cattle out there in the fields somewhere. will you think about what you are saying. That's also true about all farm animals. We still have oil in the ground." "Bob. "Kathy. But yeah. Is it true that you have had conversations with angels?" "Well. Do you think that anyone would bomb us. for an extended period of time. Yes things were getting short. Maybe we’ll see a small unit or two. "What do we do?" "We wait until The Lord tells us what to do. In the mean time. I was told that there are others like Maria and Michelle. That is also true of natural resources." "Well. Things were in short supply. You were part of it. but nothing too large. the Arch Angel Michael does show up sometimes to tell me things. I've lost count of what I've said to whom."Kathy and I had a long talk yesterday." Kathy paled at the thought." "That's not quite true. and NOT follow up with an invasion?" "I suppose you're right. They won't be able to come ashore there. we can't fight off an army. I've said so much to so many people. it is just that simple. I think they won't have much of a problem at all. but why would they invade? I mean there's nothing left. They want what we have. we do what we can to prepare for that day. They won't send an army this far out." "What makes you think that?" "The West and Gulf coasts are all torn up. such as horses and pigs. They have most likely landed and established a sizable beach head already. But think about it this way. at least they'll have a hard time getting into the country. coming this way." "Has he said anything about what to do about the invasion?" "INVASION? What are you talking about?" Kathy demanded. "I'm sorry Kathy. but there were still available. Besides. Bob looked at her. Same goes for crops of every kind. These soldiers are trained to land in areas that have undergone a bombardment by naval and air forces." Bob shook his head. Lets' . mostly I listen." "We don't have to. and other things.

An early and heavy snowfall was slowing them up along the Canadian border. Calling in his secretary. And without the gangs to do the footwork that meant getting the invading forces to do the job. before he could do anything else with them. He knew that this would mean they would spread warnings about what really happened in the camps." Director Claire was both pleased. He actually liked how the man spoke. or they would be shot on sight for not helping in the regional defense. Claire had to . but it WAS large.just wait and see what The Lord brings our way. and advised his counterpart in the northern mid-west to put him on the air. Of course. What military forces were left in the former United States weren't going to do anything. He sent it out for immediate publication and posting throughout the region. They were too busy trying to do something about the invasion. The Russians were having the hardest time. His region in the southeast had offered almost no resistance. That meant he would have to wait for them to heal. Either way. he dictated an order. ten percent of them had escaped. even if he had survived the missile attack. the invasion by the Russians. and will be shot. the problem was solved. or law enforcement personnel. Any persons not reporting for duty. What to do? He knew the televangelist wouldn't be of any help. the director of the north central region wanted help in getting his area under control. there weren't many left to resist. but they were making progress. after the head count was taken. At least half of them had been killed outright. the Director hereby orders all able bodied persons to report to the nearest military. It wasn't nuclear. will be considered to be aiding the enemy. in order to help him bring his region under control. and they were still a long way from even being close enough to help. By Order of Regional Director Claire. Nobody was going to believe him anymore. Another twenty-five percent had been badly injured. Director Claire listened to his new televangelist. in which case they would be recaptured. so their recapture was now high on his list of things to do. and Cubans was going well. Either the Christians reported for duty. Worst of all. for service in defense of this region. The same was true for the local law enforcement. Chinese. On the one hand. But now. What had displeased him was when one of the camps full of Christians had been hit by an off course missile. Then an idea came to him. and displeased by the current state of affairs. Due to the current situation. He smiled as he thought of it.

idolaters. UNBELIEVING. The ego led him so far astray so quickly. murderers. Many of you have heard another dear brother on this broadcast. This new televangelist was much better than the last one. Now. WILL YOU BE COWARDS? Will you lose your ETERNAL REWARD by being cowards? I SAY NO! We are not cowards. this one commanded. And he was just as easy to delude as the last one. For it is written. When we were down. They have been killing men. abominable. women. children. and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone. . who can stand against us? I know there are those who would tell you that we should hide from these troubles. We have a duty to our church and our faith to protect them. we NEED someone to direct our fighting men and women. or sex. I know many of you are frightened by this task. "My beloved people. He found the change very welcome. Does that not include defending ourselves. He started slowly. Rev 21:8 But the COWARDLY. even our older generation. In the past few days. He will aid in the direction of our people in the fight. 1Ti 5:8 But if any provide not for his own. Now we face the greatest challenge we have ever faced. For if The Lord be for us. They want you to JOIN them in that lake of fire. ALL lairs have their place in the lake of fire. Claire now listened to him speak. As we all know. Even he wasn't safe from these invaders. we know that we have been blessed in this country. We were invaded by a ruthless enemy. Fear not. sexually immoral. Pray for them weep for them. this fellow breathed fire and brimstone. and we will stand in the breach. I call you tonight to prayer and fasting. because he was ‘Gods’ man’. against foreign invaders? Now our friend and benefactor Director Claire has volunteered to help us with this righteous and justified act. fast for their souls. enemy forces have invaded and begun killing our people without regard to age. While the last guy had whined and pleaded. Where the last one wanted everyone to faun over him for keeping them safe. which is the second death. but where the last man had begged. Those who tell you to hide are the cowards. and specially for those of his own house. Let me remind you of something. And now someone seeks to steal our inheritance. He has called for ALL true believers to bare this burden. For he HAS military experience. and is worse than an infidel.admit it. sorcerers. we have suffered the loss of many of our brothers and sisters. this one simply told others what to do and forced those who were less strong to serve him. And what will you tell your children and grand children? Will you tell them that you fought for this land when in truth you hid? Remember what I just read to you. others sought to destroy us. as the men of old did. he hath denied the faith. Without a government.

He's the club." "Well. "Did you ever get a chance to hear this preacher they used to have on?" "No. Either food and water. Turn them in to the authorities. or whatever you needed and wanted that you could reasonably hope to get these days. standing where it ought not. (let him that readeth understand. if they don't stand with us. Did you notice how he said that if you don't sign right up to fight. And where is it that Michael has led us to? The mountains! And not only that. can you men? You WILL BE doing the work of OUR GOD by turning them in. or death factories as I think of them. Isn't that what this guy is saying? Turn us in. Well. they've brought out a club. if you know one of these persons? Know this my children. The preacher they had on before the invasion. to get you back to where they could get their hands on you. They ARE NOT true believers. But that wasn't enough to get all of us.What do you do. Because they wouldn't want those who KNOW what is going on to be left guarding their families. You can't have creatures like that at home with your wives and daughters. it's like this. and they are anathema." Bob snapped off the radio. Talk about a carrot and a stick. SHUN them. this fellow isn't the anti-christ. We were still out in the mountains. CAST THEM OUT from among you.) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains. you are not only a coward. He offered everything you could want these days. but I don't think there is any doubt we are in the end times. and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. they STAND AGAINST US. What do you mean by carrot and stick?" Maria said. He was holding it out to you as bait. Now they trot out this guy. but an unbeliever as well? It seems our 'brother' out there has forgotten the very words of Jesus Christ. so the words of Jesus still apply. but I just can't take any more of this idiot. "I don't know about the rest of you. Himself." "I have my own reasons for not liking what this man had to say Bob. but I'd like to hear yours. Mar 13:14 But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation. he was the carrot. . while you do your duty. remember what he said to the twelve. I'm sure a lot of people fell for it as well. or a warm bed on cold nights. Now I admit. spoken of by Daniel the prophet. He pleaded with people to come back to the cities. Mat 24:9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted.

You have to admit one thing though. and have you noticed how Alex and Mike are looking at each other?" Bob chuckled to himself. That way. and meant what He said. And in the past couple of years. "In the case of Alex. when he to know I would like to ask you a favor. instead of straight to the camps. but if it is going to take him anywhere near Michelle. Sign up. "It's been the same with her. he can't wait to get started. "That was quite a speech." . as long as she is still nearby. and you'll be probably shot on sight. as soon as they check your name on the list. There would be quite a few that would do as this new preacher told them to do. If you aren't shot as soon as you come in. and surrender themselves. You're a good man Bob." "Oh? And what might they be?" "You know what they say. their families would be taken care of by whoever stayed behind. looking at the clear night sky. I just get so tired of these so called men of God. You see. If he is around." "Not at all. I'm not attracted to male but I'm not ignorant of it either. out here. It makes me happy for two reasons. Sorry if I offended you. I think Michelle needs that. He sat on the edge of the front porch. I agree with everything you said in there. it's been kind of hard to miss. They would walk in. and now. hoping to go to fight. that just don't understand that He said what He meant. he can really turn on the charm." He sighed in disgust. she has been able to really make that opinion stick with the young men that used to be around here." "Maria. he didn't hear Maria as she walked up behind him. wondering how many Christians would be taken in this latest trick. "Pardon me." "I have to ask a favor in return." Now it was Maria's' turn to laugh. "Please. Mike has always had a strong sense of self worth. Alex is a handsome young man." With that Bob stepped out into the night. Being so deeply wrapped up in his own thoughts. Then there would be those that would have had enough by now. Don't sign up. take a seat. We die no matter which way we turn. It is a clever trap. and chooses to. Mind if I join you?" She said. they hoped. but I need some air. 'the fruit never falls very far from the tree'. and they've got you. He's always been there to shoulder his part of the load. she wants the job that puts her close to him. you get sent to the front. And he's always the last to leave. he knew. beauty.

and walked to the door before Bob remembered something." When Bob announced a hunting trip to be made with only bows. What about your wife?" "Heart attack. about six months ago." "I'm sorry. "Maria? You said there were two reasons. I'll make sure Alex knows about it." "I'm sorry for you. It was five hundred feet to the bottom. I mean." Maria grinned at him." "Like you. Nothing could be done." She stood. "John was a trucker. Good night. He was taking a load of relief supplies to California. One minute she's working out on the treadmill at the gym. I know it's hard. "It's getting chilly. He was . the next she was just gone. isn't it. What was the other one?" She smiled at Bob and said. “Funny how it works. Alex began to get suspicious. I think I'll head back in." Maria rubbed her arms and said. "You'll figure it out. They told me an aftershock took out the bridge he was driving over." "I see. not as hard as it used to be. But I do still miss her. "I hope you'll forgive me. but said nothing.” He paused for a moment. here we are looking the tribulation in the face. but I do remember they said she never knew what hit her. I don't remember everything they told me. Not to worry. They both fell silent for a short time before Bob spoke again."Oh? What happened two years ago?" "She earned her second degree black belt in karate. and we're worried about our kids. arrows and pistols. It was a semi 'survival camp'. It was when Bob said that they would be out overnight that Alex felt like he knew what was going on." "That's all right. I don't suppose I'll ever quit missing him. His father was taking it easy on the rest of them. but at least I don't cry half the night about it anymore. but where is Michelle's' father?" Maria looked as if she wanted to cry.

and then Bob started marching them out of town. refreshing themselves. I'm concerned about this hunting trip. Michelle was interested. It’s as if we’re having a trial run before we have to do it for real. how much you know. So now they gathered around and they all found places to sit near Bob." "Mother!" "Don't you 'Mother!' me. are you guys in a race? Slow it down." They answered together. "Mike. After waiting for a few moments for everyone to get settled he continued. "Well." To the surprise of everyone but Alex. I can handle myself in most situations. that's why I'm going. and we can talk about Alex later. and Maria agreed to let it if she wanted to give it a go. Bob agreed to get the camps fire started. It's obvious to everyone how you two feel. believe it or not. She had no idea had already spoken to Maria about his plan. everyone would be responsible for making their own shelter and bed. but I've never done anything like this. Do you have any idea how much noise you're making?" "No. Maria spoke to her quickly and earnestly. Get a sip of water and get comfortable. They were all given only an hour to get the things they thought they would need. The two younger members of the group had to be told repeatedly to take it easy." Bob had placed them in more or less a straight line. everybody take a break. but only because the others had things more important than that to learn." "I'm sure we'll be fine. and even arranged for a few gallons of water be placed at a preselected camp site. From the that Bob Mike try ready to moment she heard about it. Now as Michelle hurriedly got leave. While you are gone I want you to pay more attention to the father than the son. I want to explain some things. For that matter. ." Hearing the seriousness in Maria's voice she paused long enough to look her mother in the eye.allowing a small amount of food for each person. and how much you need to learn. "Mom. I think it makes sense." "Mike. Bob is taking all of you out to find out just how much you remember. Bob set a very easy pace going out cross country. However. there isn't much time so just listen to me. Sam. "Tom. you are.

That way you won't step on something or kick it. three or four steps." He pointed at Tom and Sam. and no more. folks. before it sees you. and he gave them a chance to prove it by putting one of them in front of him on a rotating basis. but it isn't that hard. But there is also hearing. Which is what you have been doing. you'll need to look down again for your next few steps. up close. you are looking to see if anything has changed since the last time you looked. You want to see them first. As they worked under Bob and Alex's instruction in building a simple lean-to type shelter. You two fellows. That is why they always seemed nervous on the old T. . and as quietly as possible. we need to make a couple of things clear.V. After a very short time you'll learn to ignore the sounds of things that are of no interest. Now you have to understand. That is why you move slowly. While you slowly take the next couple of steps. because movement attracts the eye. not entire objects. insects. not just let it hit the ground.K. until they reached the camp site." "If we do that. You have to look ahead of you and see where your next two or three footsteps are going to go. You see. By the time you've done that. then to one side and then the other. birds. Understand what I mean?" They all said they did. You have to do the same. or run from it. The whole point of this is to see your prey. When you move through the brush. You look for the next two. The Lord made these creatures to survive in an environment that can kill them if they don't pay attention. Each time you look up and around. Try to take in everything you can. the wind in the trees and brush and you will be tuning in to the sounds that are unusual. "If you don't do it.speaking softly. I can't tell you of the number of deer and other animals I've seen. If they see movement. shows. simply by hearing them coming towards me and freezing in place. "O. they freeze until they can identify it. Then they either ignore it. we might not see anything. you have to do it quietly. you won't see anything. The highlight of the trip being when both Michelle and Bob missed a couple of quick snap shots at a deer with the bows. you look up. they all talked about how they had seen so much more wildlife doing it Bobs' way. "You can't keep just walking along like you were on a street. You freeze. After that you just repeat it over and over as you move." "How do we do that if we're looking down?" "You look in all directions." Tom said. You need to set your foot down. First you look down to see where you are going. and they depend on detecting movement. They are always on the lookout for something that might attack. It takes a little practice. You need to try to identify every sound you hear. most animals are color blind.

That was why he used to get upset with his Dad. We are going to see just how good you can detect things at night. The hand then slowly pulled back. You have to shine it in just one place. Once he had built it up a little. it works like this. He can't answer questions. He wondered if he had been so excited about this game. but burned brightly that night. Then sneak back out without getting caught. He folded it and put it in his pocket. I announce myself and walk in. and if he played it this badly when he first tried it. He was so good at this game. If it is me." With that. or tell you if he sees something. I have to sneak in here and put that paper I showed you someplace that can be clearly seen from the fire. and the fire was small. when you turn your light off you have to close your eyes and count out loud for five seconds. "O. His father had always called it 'sneak attack' or 'Indian attack'. Bob announced that he would be leaving the camp. Tom. If you think you have. "Have you guys figured out that you should just give up yet?" Michelle looked at him and said. In the mean time. Alex enjoyed watching mainly the younger men run around the fire. It lighted up the front of the three shelters that had been quickly built with instruction from both Bob and Alex. and place the paper with his name on it against the log Alex was sitting on. you shine the light on me and call my name. and see if you can spot me. Alex smiled rather smugly to himself as he tended the fire. He didn't envy Tim. but were basically the same. For his part. Sweeping an area with the light is not allowed.. Even Tim and Mike had done it once each. suddenly stabbing into the night with their lights and calling out Bob's name. or Mike. Quickly glancing down he saw his father’s hand slowly reach between his feet.K. right between his feet. As he sat watching the fire. You stay inside that ring." Bob started. at one time. "Your limit is the circle of light made by the fire. He showed them a piece of paper with his name written on both sides. Only to turn the flashlights off moments later and loudly count to five. he probably did. I have to give up. Soon he decided that at first. After that. They were in for a real workout. so his job is going to only be tending the fire. After dark fell. Sam. he turned and went back to the log he had been sitting on. and the fire had been built. "Have patience. Now since Alex has played this game a few times. Ready? Good. He remembered this game from his youth. and Alex never heard his father leave. That is your job. Alex waited for a good twenty minutes before he spoke. Bob turned and walked out into the darkness. The rules were modified for the circumstances. he first felt something moving around his ankles. I get five minutes.It was later that evening. Your Dad hasn't done . If not. Then he gave flashlights to everyone but Alex.

“Look out here and tell me what you see. but let me show you something. "Bob. Once you get away from the fire and your eyes adjust." "I think Mike is right. he called out. As Alex turned and walked back to his seat.anything.” He raised an arm and pointed into the night." Was all Alex said as he picked up another piece of wood and put it in the fire. Dad. everyone looking for Bob had drifted towards the shelters. "Well. like the deer we shot at. I haven't seen any movement in the brush. I'm sure. I would have spotted him. but I guess it's time I came in. The trick is to not look at anything too bright." Before Bob could answer. "Alright. By this time." As he expected. Are you going to tell them where you are. It wasn't until Sam loudly demanded an answer that he said anything. really?" Alex asked. I could stand up and walk around as I pleased. "Hey.Where did you come from?' and other such comments." Tim said. I didn't look at the fire. "And I was really listening for you. and I haven't heard anything moving out there. you can see a great deal more. "Mike and I decided to each concentrate on one of those." "Oh. how did you get that paper there? I didn't see a thing out there." ." "Okay. I watched you. They were startled when Bob answered from behind Alex. Michelle." "Let me start at the beginning. "What makes you so sure?" "I have pretty good night vision." Michelle wanted to know. or should I?" Everyone looked past the shelters following the direction of his gaze.. "Right here. What were you looking for?" "Mostly for some kind of movement. I never heard a footstep. Where's your paper? I don't see it.. From about fifty yards out. Alex said. I was having fun just listening to them." bent down and picked it up to show them. you said you didn't see anything. Bob was greeted with a chorus of 'What the. If he had come anywhere near here. on the other side of the fire from next to a bush he had been squatting behind." "That's good. I think he's waiting for us to relax our guard and then make his move.

You have to adjust for that. You didn't see the trees. "When he put it there about twenty minutes ago. except you didn't see one thing you believe you saw.. there are animals out there right now. but everything changes after the sun goes down.Michelle looked in the direction he pointed and said." "You see. can you? I circled the camp in those shadows. until I noticed the shadow of the log Alex is sitting on is low to the ground. The reason you didn’t hear a footstep is because I crawled the last thirty yards into camp." "Very good. Blame me." "Alex when did you see the paper?" Mike wanted to know. Alex knew to look for a different kind of sign of me. "I spotted Dad about five minutes before I asked him to come in. he noticed a change in the shadows before anything else. and I can even see that deer trail over to the left. You see the shadows made by the trees you saw earlier today." "Now suppose there hadn't been a breezy night. Chances are if you ask him. Now.. so you don’t see them. but I mean." "But why didn't we see at least some movement?" "First of all it is hard to see into the dark. but it extends almost to those bushes. I only moved when the wind would cover my movements and sound. Believe it or not. as I've said. "Alex? How did you spot me?" "I saw your silhouette in the shadow of the bush you were next to. That means. you were looking for me. If it were day light. the reason you didn’t see anything is because I was always in the dark. But they remain away from the light. Do you see anything? What is at the base of that tree? You can't see that. you'd be looking for part of my shirt or something. I stayed in the shadows the whole way." "And you didn't say anything? I mean I know you weren't supposed to. "I can see the trees. while you were partially blinded by the fire light. moving around and making the bushes move. Secondly.Oh never-mind. and call them trees. Looking and listening are fine. I made the rules. do you feel that breeze? When I started to get close." "How do you adjust for what you can't see?" Tim asked." Michelle looked at him and he nodded. I would have done the same . that open area. Back to the subject. But look into the shadow." "Don't blame Alex.

but I know it's there. even though you knew it was there. One other thing you should know. First. but it still looks the same. your perception of it has changed. Bob stood and spoke. Bob turned to Tim. Like the shadows I was talking to Michelle about. That meant you would be less likely to spot something different. so you don't trip on anything on your blind side. But we decide which is right. because everything is different. but because of the change in the amount of light. one at a time. sure. rocks are rocks. Tim. It goes like this. Then we wait for five minutes." "What do you mean different." After several minutes of chatting. white. but it is your perception of them has changed. Come on. "Okay Tim. Removes the colors from our sight. I'll help you. Since that is also the general direction of our shelters. It's darker." Bob pointed into the night. Here is a little thing I want everyone to do. You are our doubting Thomas. I'm going to take you out of camp. and so on. Trees are still trees. to give you a better idea of what I'm talking about. I've always found that to be true. so I guess I'll start with you. It's in the shadows. Tim and I will be back shortly and then it will be somebody else's turn. Just because at night you are missing all the usual landmarks and such. "Do you see it with your uncovered eye?" . and which is an illusion. I'm sure nobody has moved it. Once they had gotten far enough away from the light of the fire. After that. it would possibly sink you. I can't. "The rock I spoke about is right over there. You might have noticed there was a good sized boulder over there.thing. "That much is true. "Uh no. close or cover one of your eyes. Cold hearted orb. so you can see what I mean. Can you show it to me now?" Tim looked in the direction of the tree line. If you were a ship at night." Together the men walked a short way from the camp." "Oh. I'm sure you remember getting the branches for your shelter. it broke up what you are used to seeing. just done it a little slower." Tim said. that rules the night. I remember part of a poem I heard a long time ago. Everyone keep that eye covered. Red is grey and yellow.

so your sense of hearing tries to compensate for it. switch back. Michelle was next. If you truly understand that. it sounds louder. I guess I'm getting adjusted to it. on the count of three. and was surprised to find that he could indeed. I'd never noticed it before. Look with the covered eye. and commented. change eyes. you adapt the way you move in order to make less noise. So why couldn't I hear you?" "First of all." "Let me show you something else. Look at them now. with the exception of Alex. Tim couldn't believe how much noise it made when it hit." Tim switched eyes. "Alright. "Thank you for showing me this Bob. It's just like you said. not only see the stone." "Alright. obviously it made the same amount of noise right now. your shirt was a light grey. However at night. Like when I crawled into camp to put my piece of paper down. "Now. three. Listen. Ready? One." "But do you see how much your perceptions have changed without the light?" "I do see. but he saw it with much more detail than he expected. "When we left camp." Tim did. Things even sound differently in the dark." Bob had a variety of conversations as he brought each member of the group. "I am starting to see it with the other eye. Thank you. and cover the one you've been using. You were talking about listening. It is all shadow. That means you hear more. I guess sometimes you have to see some things for yourself. Mine was blue. as it would have in the day."No. "Can you see the rock now?" Tim looked. but it's just the outline." Bob picked up a rock and threw it." Michelle looked down and was startled to see that in the dark. into the night. You remember how the poem spoke of how colors change without the light?" She nodded without speaking. two. there are fewer distractions and you see less. her shirt was ." "Here's one more thing.

I've never been that scared before." . Bob." "What if things had ended differently? What if you became their prisoner. you've been teaching us an awful lot that can be used for more than hunting and some things like this can't be used for hunting at all. Tom. wars. "Mr." "Have you thought about what that really means for you and your family as Christians?" "I guess it means that Satan wants to kill us all." "So why are you teaching us about all of this?" "You remember when those gang members were breaking into your house?" "Sure. I mean storms. and decided to speak to the young man straight from the shoulder. do you believe we are in the end times?" "I haven't seen the antichrist yet. would you?" "No Sam." It was Sam's turn next. famine. "I get the feeling you don't miss much. earthquakes." She paused for a moment and spoke again. just about all of it is happening. "I guess the change in lighting does more than I knew. you wouldn't. You wouldn't use something like this to hunt for deer. This takes some explaining. Haven't you?" "Yes I have Tom. or escape from the people that are after us. Bob." Tom proved to be a little more thoughtful than others of the group. I never thought of it that way." He was quiet for a moment and spoke again. "Sit down for a minute. Bob." It wasn't a question Bob noticed. but it sure seems like it to me. Glancing at Bobs' shirt it looked almost black. and managed to escape? Wouldn't you like to have a better chance to disappear into the night?" "Oh. cool. do you?" "I try not to miss anything. "Mr.almost white. "That's kinda neat Mr." "You think we might have to use this stuff to protect ourselves.

" "My pleasure. or will become your enemy."That's right. it doesn't matter what list you are on. What did we have to worry about? You know what I mean?" "Yes I do. You and The Lord will always outnumber any number of enemies. There only two lists that really matter. or what the enemy sends against you. But now you can see that it did matter. red and green? Since they are the first ones killed I mean. But it also means that anyone that isn't a Christian either is. is worth it. If He wants us to live. and He is always looking for more people to join it. Most people reacted the same way." "No. Then . But what we will win." On the day before when they had arrived at the camp site. everyone else." "I never thought of it like that. We are serving God. But." "It kind of sounds like we’re done for. If He wants us to die. First he checked the fire to make sure there was enough heat. Thanks Mr. The first is the one found in The Lambs' Book of Life. after this life. Some of guys in my school talked about them. because Satan wants you dead. You see." Early the next morning. I never listened too much. Alex found his father fixing fresh fish for breakfast. I mean Dad wasn't in the military." "What's that?" "I'm sure that you have heard that these lists were different colors. Did you ever hear anyone talk about different colored 'pick up' lists?" "Sort of. "Good morning. Looks like your mini trot-line worked. we will die. However." "No. I wonder if you see something else. there are things people have lost sight of. The only question left is if he gets his hands on you. God knows who is on His list. will they kill you when they see you. Bob. or kill you later? But make no mistake about it. if your name is found in 'The Lambs Book of Life' you ARE on a pick up list. those gang members wouldn't ever have gotten so far. If people had been allowed to have guns. We didn't own any guns. and second. Bob had taken a small spool of fishing line and slipped four hooks onto the end of it. Satan will kill us all if he can. Tom. Do you know that there are really only two lists that matter?" "Which ones are those. It didn't seem like it would affect me. and then he turned to his father.

the land of Moab. Who knew what the reward might have been. he was happy he hadn't gotten the post. But now.S. and more. and had acted before their Arab neighbors could. down and out.S. "Tell you the truth Son. Every director had them. he pulled out yet a little more line cut it and tied it to a small tree near the water’s edge. all gone. I like everybody. He had really wanted to serve the master in Damascus. it isn't one of the more flashy gifts. They showed the progress of the invading forces in their quest to completely eliminate the rest of the United States from the map. After that.” Bob said without looking up. “And as for everyone else? Well. He was so disappointed when he was told he would be working on bringing down the U. but don't you get tired of carrying them like this?" "Son. Damascus. I caught two. He was glad he didn't have to answer for this problem. The Russian troops that had landed on the eastern seaboard had made good . so who am I to complain?" Chapter Eleven Claire couldn't believe his good fortune. He threw the anchor into the water and waited to see if any fish would bite the hooked insects. The thought of what could have happened made him even more determined to make certain it wouldn't happen to him. Then he attached a cork to the line between the anchor and the first hook. Mine has always been to help. before he made a loop and tied the first hook in place. They had seen that with the U. But that is what a father is supposed to do. And if he could keep Damascus from being blown up. Especially since the United States was now out of the picture and no longer a problem. Babylon.he tied an anchor onto the end and pulled a couple of feet of line out. I'm surprised we did as well as we have. I didn't think a lake as small as the one we've camped next to would have that many fish. they were alone." "So everyone gets fresh fish for breakfast. like prophecy or tongues. Don't get me wrong Dad. Doing the same. I carried you for a lot of years. and you had four on your line. but every man of God in scripture had those who helped him. we all have our calling. But they had. He was certain that he could stop the prophecy of 'that book' from happening. Palestina. I know. once and for all. He then turned his attention to the war maps on his desk. then the master would have been very pleased with him. Nobody had really expected the Israelis' to strike first. and they were updated on a regular basis. he soon had all four hooks tied in place. I guess that puts me in good company. It didn't take long after that before he had caught insects to bait the hooks with.

Clearly someone with military experience was showing them how to mount a defense using the mountains. but on the first couple of times they were used. Later. as far as that went. or at the same height. the winds carried the gas down the slopes and onto the Russian troops waiting to go up into the hills. it was the problem of another regional director. After that. but when a savage northwesterly front had caught them by surprise. He had considered using chemical weapons in the mountains. Once there. it seemed like there was always another one nearby that was either higher. to re-enacting Civil War battles. it was a different story. he thought. What Claire didn't understand or realize. which provided the Americans with good to excellent firing positions. it was extreme. He needed to talk to his counterparts in the north. things weren't much better. even for the heaviest of tanks. He had an idea. and thick brush. They never knew that this skill could someday become necessary to their survival. things had started going downhill. Bob had a bow and arrow set that was suited for younger people. They had to be ready for what he had in mind. The Cuban landings had come off without too much trouble. was these people had a history of using the mountains for everything from running moonshine. and west. not him. It was proving almost impossible to dislodge them. They weren't going to give up. problems like this had been foreseen. and he was expected to overcome them. and re-armed the very people he was trying to eliminate. the locals held the high ground. until they came up against the Appalachian Mountains. Bob had been making a game of teaching survival skills to everyone. Soon it became a game of who could find the most plants in the shortest period of time. While roads remained passable. Vehicles and troops moved easily on the roads. In the southern gulf region. Nobody was happy with the results of those days. . And by calling on every able bodied person to defend their lands. as a game. but it seemed necessary. Still for the time being. Even when they could take a hill top. The problem there was all the swamp land. Alex was the first one to realize what his father had been doing. The Russian forces that came down from Canada had easy going at first. and their homes he had actually reenforced. Ever since they had left their home town. He taught them the art of archery.progress. the Russians got bogged down in the snow and ice. Starting with the children. Well. he wasn't in trouble with the master. which made them sitting ducks for the Americans that rose up to fight them there. but once they left them for the swamps. and thick southern forests. the result was much the same as the mountain campaign. he showed them the set of cards he had. that showed wild editable plants.

Suddenly the arrow was quivering in the center of the cactus. he might scream. and he would never know you were here. Every winter. and pay the price for that mistake. or make some other noise. It takes a long time. One day Kathy had asked him. sighted and released an arrow all in one smooth motion. There is also the matter of while a bow isn't as silent as the movies used to make them seem. he and Alex started in on teaching the adults archery. we have rifles. Also. It wasn't long before everyone was trying to get a smaller grouping of arrows than anyone else. "Bob.After the younger children were well on their way to gaining these necessary skills. so why the Indian routine?" "Firearms can break. and have finally gathered enough people to attack it and win. Kathy. But a gunshot lets everybody know what is going on. and he is just as ignorant of you. or whatever. However what you do know is that tonight's supper. but what use is it? I mean. But they would make a mistake somewhere along the way. before we saw him. what do you do then? Go hungry? Not me. Some people never do get the hang of it. we will fire the last round of ammo. my father would take the family camping. after we were old enough. don't get me wrong. summer. just came out of the brush twenty yards in front of you. and shotguns. I'm sure you remember how it was before all this. while arrows can bend or break. I've picked up some here . Some of this I learned in the service. and/or fall. and a lot of practice to become skilled at living in the out of doors. Now he won't call out a warning. Sooner or later." "So how did you learn all of these things?" "I never said I'd lead a sheltered life. Suppose someone who is looking for us is on the other side of the ridge. we can always make more of them. That could be caused by anything. with plenty of ammunition. at longer and longer distances. a turned ankle. And they weren't always new comers to what they were doing. It's true. they are very quiet. Lets' say that the enemy has set up a storage depot on the other side of this ridge. When I was young. You could possibly down that deer. He wasn't a miser or anything like that we just didn't have a lot of money. this bow and arrow stuff is fun. "That was a sentry they posted on this side of the ridge. "Then let me add something else. My brothers and I. What I'm trying to do is give everyone the best chance I can to survive should something happen. Later I learned he did that because it was a cheap vacation. "One other thing. you'd hear on the news about someone getting hurt or killed out in the wilderness somewhere. before our people can get into position to attack the depot. Understand now?" Kathy nodded. A snake bite. You don't know he is there. You see that cactus just below the ridge?" Bob drew the bow. or any one of a hundred other things." He paused before continuing. he took hunting every year. He didn't see us. We have found out about it. spring.

but I find out the hard way it isn't. I can make a bow and arrows. even in wet or snowy conditions. That included a basket looking thing. and how to find the kindling. and I'm grateful for it. but this one was up in the air. if you keep your wits about you. homes. "That's why I always carry two of them. I now know why The Lord led me down that bumpy road. He taught them how to make a fire. The ice on the river looks solid. and sometimes could be quite painful. there was another flash just like it. I'll take the rest of your shift. Quietly. my knife tied to a pole with a boot lace. It was one such night. He taught them how to sharpen a knife. Now I have my knife. you improve your chances of living through whatever happens. and the importance of keeping it that way. He had also worked out a schedule for somebody to be on the tallest roof in town. everyone was back in their new." "Thank you. What do I do? First. which he would place in a fast moving river. "Lets' suppose I'm hunting in the winter. but the lessons stuck with me. Bob always made sure that on Saturday night. or creek. way off to the east about three minutes ago. if I can find the right materials." Was all he said. and you go get some sleep. By the time I get out of the water. all through my life. Given our current situation.and some there. makes a spear. if borrowed. It isn't going to be the best spear. but it is better than nothing. The point is that it doesn't matter how bad things get. Bob set out with his next self-appointed task." . and carry just a few basic items. He began to teach everyone how to make different types of snares. But without fail. Bob got up and went outside with him. "What is it?" "It was really strange. and get out of my wet clothes. off to the west. at all times." Once everyone had learned to at least scare the target with the bow. It wasn't always easy. Tell you what. Tom. I make a fire. and the other in my pocket. If I can't. "Something strange is going on. to catch fish. It was sort of like the time they blew up Las Vegas. When I started to come get you. to watch for flares. There was a flash of light." "What if you lose the knife in the river at the same time you lose your gun?" Sam wanted to know. my rifle is at the bottom." The lessons became more detailed as they learned. when he was awakened by Tom. With that. One is on my belt.

Bob sat in the chair placed up there for whoever was on guard. before anyone could ask any questions." . If the Russians and the Chinese HAD set off bombs in the atmosphere to generate an Electro Magnetic Pulse. Their stuff is hardened against such measures. I think there is something wrong with the radio. is dead. I want everyone who is wearing a watch to check the time. You go get some rest. And they aren't doing as well as they had hoped.P. After he spoke. "Bob. He was pretty sure of what had happened. and you give the invaders the advantage. and after the blessing was said. Everyone had gathered for breakfast. and sends out the pulse. with a problem. Chinese. I couldn't get it to come on this morning. Why don't you start?" Tom quickly explained to the assembled group what he had seen in the night. "Now. As long as everyone is here. "What's going on Bob? They blow up bombs in the atmosphere." "I'm not surprised.? Well that is how it is done. So. Bob spoke again. within range. began to eat. there still wasn't a need to wake everyone just yet. we aren't going to just roll over and die because we have to do without them. knock out any remaining electronics." All of them did so. It tells me there is some kind of fight going on for the remainder of the nation. Tom. and now our watches don't work? That sounds a little weird to me. Civilian stuff isn't. After that." As he left Bob on the roof." "Yes sir.M. A specially designed bomb goes off in the upper atmosphere. any unshielded electronic device." "THAT can't be good. That is when Kathy approached Bob. I guess we'd better talk about what has happened. and anyone else involved in the invasion have found out that while Americans love their pleasures."What do you think it was?" "I'm not sure right now." "Do you remember me talking about an E. But why would someone do that?" "My guess is that the Russians. I have to wait for daylight to find out. But there wasn't anything he could do about it now. The news could wait for morning. What is left of America has just been sent backwards in time to the 1800s' at best.

He turned back to Kathy. But I could see where it was going. that makes sense." "With this. so that they could all hear the occasional beep that indicated radiation had been detected. Lets' see if it worked. We can tolerate that. Hold on Kathy. but it still irked him that he had left just then. "Dear lady. He had taught Alex about the detector years before. He set it to audio. and was rewarded when a small red light flashed on. to let him know it was working. "There is always some small degree of radiation in the air.” he pointed to the controls located under the meter. And that's fine. it will be up to you to take care of it. This was one of those things. . "Sorry about leaving in the middle of that Dad. Bob switched on the detector. Bob explained how the detector worked. "It also means we have to start checking for radiation." Bob looked around for Alex. It should have protected everything inside." With that." Bob frowned. “Anything between zero and twenty-five 'beeps' per minute is safe. and we are in trouble. horseback. you are our medical expert. only to find that sometime during the demonstration. Mostly it comes from the sun. so I went and found this in the truck." Kathy said. "With this. or time and materials to build one. In his hand was a box. He looked at his father. It is also on a concrete slab." Alex called as he re-entered the room. Bob reached into his pocket and pulled out a radiation detector. I can see the questions forming in your mind. Remember I said unshielded electronics. At first he saw concern washing over Kathy's' face. the kind without all the electronics in them."Okay. "What do the beeps mean?" Tom asked. and so he told her. More than that. he had left. That shed where I parked the truck and 4X4 is metal." "Found what?" asked Tim. Should this thing get to high of a radiation count." "How do we do that?" asked Sam. At this setting. and grounded. like a lightening rod. or be driving an older vehicle. "But what will it mean for us?" "It makes sure that almost everyone that might come here will be on foot." "How do I do that? We don't have a bomb shelter.

I heard them talking about it. and causes all kinds of problems. it didn't matter. Anywhere else was better than being near him. And had a lot in common. the resistance would collapse like a house of cards. and they were doing it with a vengeance. One of the effects of a nuclear blast is that it puts radioactive iodine in the air. "Potassium Iodine. and who wasn't. They were both vets. The chance came for them to take a stand. frozen. so that's up to you. in most cases." Said Maria. "These have to be administered according to a combination of age and weight. They even had a preacher on the radio to tell them to stand and fight. . If it is breathed in." Bob answered. cleaned. it lodges in the thyroid."Let me guess." Bob leaned closer to Kathy. It had been a little over a week since the Director had gotten the Russians and Chinese to set off the nuclear bombs to cause the E. I taped the information about that on some of the bottles. Kathy. They had business to take care of. They were concerned about the possible need for it. That is your job. What it does is fill the thyroid with 'good' iodine. Kathy. but for the moment. unregistered firearms that had been long hidden were brought out. He was wrong. how did you guess?" "John and Todd. They had been nearly starved. and dominated by troops that didn't even speak their language. or be somewhere else. He had expected that once those who were resisting them were without power. this isn't going to do you much good. When that happened." Kathy reached out and took the box from Alex with a quiet "Thank you." Everyone in Director Claire’s office was doing their best to either become invisible. oiled.P. The bad news is that after age forty." "Shouldn't we figure out who gets how much of this?" "Now. and loaded. attacked by roving gangs.M. "Maria. You know a gentleman never asks a lady her age." "Right on the first try. But for the younger members of our group. "Isn't that for protection against radiation?" "Sort of. Those who he was trying to break so that the final destruction of America could take place had been toughened by having to do without anything they had been used to before it all started. should it become necessary. You’re the doctor." to both Bob and Alex. They were still divided on the issue of who were real Christians. So if you are over forty. And they had had enough. the thyroid shuts down. it is very important.

He knew. "Progress is being made. The combined force of Cuban and Mexican men had been able to make it nearly one hundred miles upriver. They showed nothing of the kind. The failure of your counterpart in the north central region has already led to his being replaced. The Russians were continuing to fail in breaching the Appalachian Mountains. so they could accurately direct artillery fire. and once we have joined with the Russian forces coming down from the north. So far today. or forced to work for the director. And you know what that means. bombs. and crush the remainder of them between our forces and the ones coming in from the west. And if this replacement doesn't do any better. They had learned how to hide the heat signatures from even their own bodies. You were expected to have made much further gains by this time. The bad news was they hadn't been able to exploit the extended beach head more than five to eight miles inland on either side of the river.P. the damned Americans STILL fought on. YOU may be . He had thought that they would show the Russian forces where the Americans were gathering. It had been two weeks since Claire had gotten the Russians and Chinese to detonate the E. Even after the pulse. And Claire was furious. Things were starting to get REALLY bad. The thought of the consequences of failing the master were terrifying even to him. he had killed three men that had brought him more bad news." An involuntary shiver went up Claire's' spine. we'll have the country cut in two. Satellite photos were no help either. nothing can stop us. We'll have a back door into the eastern mountains. It was like trying to fight a shadow. and many people who worked for Claire wondered how they could explain how they had been either tricked. once they figured a way to quietly disappear. Yet STILL there had been only a slight improvement in the situation for the invading forces. The defenders had learned that things like 'space blankets' would defeat most high tech surveillance devices. I just need a little more time to join with the northern armies. when the same messenger that had visited the late president came to see him.Claire couldn't for the life of him figure out how they were doing it. After that.M. All that was needed was to camouflage the blankets after they were in place." "The northern armies?" The messenger scoffed. Help from the north will be long in coming. You must improve on this situation. "The master is not pleased with your lack of progress. It was that limited progress that had saved him. The only progress that had been made in the south was along the Mississippi River. The movement you've been able to make along the river is all that has kept him from replacing you. "Haven't you been listening? They haven't made ANY real progress that is why Dupree was replaced. and air strikes. You better have another plan for securing your sector.

Nobody knew for certain what happened to the preacher. Bob was in the metal shed. when you couldn't even use the name of the Nazarene? You belong to OUR master. WHAT made you believe you would serve our purpose by having that preacher call the followers of the Nazarene to battle? DON'T bother answering. "Yes. I. "What ARE you doing?" "Making colloidal silver. Permanently. the master isn't convinced you've been doing a lot of that lately." he shouted. to land at Claire's' feet. Do you think the one you call on will help you now. "Director Claire. There is no excuse you could give that would be believed." "It might be. He is in the outer office right now. and then right off the floor. although it looked like most of his blood was. "FOOL." that was as far as he got before being backhanded across the room." Claire signaled his secretary to allow the preacher to enter. when Maria came in. What makes you think you can bind us? YOU HAVE SERVED US." His voice failed as he saw the messenger." "Perhaps you would like that honor. Speaking of thinking. Have you thought about that?" "I didn't think it would be necessary..required to help him." "Ka-who?" . "What in the name of God. so think about it. They simply knew he had entered Claire’s office. Claire pulled the man to his feet." He easily tossed the man back across the room. I would. You should have had him appeal to the pacifist side of those people. He was coming to see me just before you arrived. The messenger caught him before he hit the floor.. There was some shouting. and when the director called for the cleanup crew. The master wants you to deal with him... he wasn't there anymore." What passed across the messengers face could only be considered a smile by the number of pointed teeth he showed. making a glass of colloidal silver with a small 'silver generator' that he had. "In the name of God I bind you.

Nancy would drag him down to the clinic for the two of them to get their flu shots. After a couple of minutes she spoke again. Anyway. of course." He saw the questioning look on her face. there hasn't been time to even think about it. That is when I made a startling discovery. and cocktail parties. I enjoyed hunting. you tell me." "Fair enough. camping. Think of it as alternative medicine. I mean . They say that most viruses and bacteria can't survive in the same environment with pure silver. and I never got sick. “Can I show you something?" "Sure. She liked going to Macy's Department store. About one year in three. I've never been able to figure out what a woman's motives or intentions are.999 fine silver. Until one day I decided that she wouldn't want me to spend the rest of my life alone. Then. After all that time. "I can't see it very well from here." "Interesting. Since then.” Maria paused for a moment. and continued. She was a Democrat. She believed that being good was good enough. Have you ever thought about finding someone else?" Bob was quiet for a while. She. "Do you mind if I ask you a personal question?" "You can ask. there was the matter of faith. and every year."Colloidal silver. on the other hand was basically an agnostic." She pulled a locket from out of her shirt. What is it?" "This. all of that kind of thing. And to be totally truthful. I was a Republican. the bottom started to fall out. one or both of them would get sick. and our family. up until the time he left home for college. I'm a Bible believing Christian. fishing. and Maria was starting to regret the question when he answered. but that doesn't mean I'll answer. We were very much in love from day one. I was so far out of touch with the dating scene." "Does it work?" "Well. We were also the most mismatched couple you'd ever be likely to meet. as I was sitting at home thinking about all of this. I didn't even know what the rules are anymore. What is it?" . Totally dedicated to each other. So. I've been taking it ever since." was all Maria said." "I see. after she died. "I first heard of this back when Alex was about six. Alex is twenty-one now. Nancy and I were married for twentyfive years. I never got the shots. I mourned her for months. You see. I thought I'd give it a try. where it hung by a chain from around her neck. "That's kind of complicated.

" Alex fell in beside his father on the way to the near ridge." He continued. I'd say that was pretty clear. take a look." "So. If they are. and saw Maria pick up her shotgun. and besides they might be locals returning home. he said. grabbed him by the neck." "Yes Sir. "Where do you think you're going?" "With you." Bob moved to where Maria was sitting. Alex?" Maria chuckled as he turned away and then stood behind him as he and Alex spoke. no. After they had gotten ahead of the others. And don't give me any of that macho stuff about it being 'man's work'. Tim is on the roof." . I'd know them. and firmly kissed him." Bob reached over and picked up his rifle. "Does THAT leave any doubts about my motives and intentions?" "Uh. reached up with both hands. I can shoot as well as you do. Tim now having joined the group." Unable to argue with the logic. "The flare on the main road into town just went off." "I'm on my way. "Can I ask you what was going on in there?" "NO. He says he can see about four or five people moving out there. "Alright. and bent down to look at the locket. Maria dropped it. Just be careful out there. from the corner of his eye. you can't. looked him in the eye and said. After a few moments she let him go. and you wouldn't. what do you think?" "I think. he asked his father."Come closer." The door to the shed banged open. followed by a very loud call of "DAD!!" "I'm going to beat my son senseless. "What is it.

" "What do you mean older?" Maria asked as she elbowed him in the ribs. kill them if you must." As Bob moved further out front towards the ridgeline. Maria. Alex grinned at his father’s back. Alex. "If they are the ones headed down there. and take just your pistol. but I can't be sure. Tim. after me. and what seemed to be a teenage boy. take cover. An older couple is going to be less threatening than a young man. "No. Shortly after they had left." Bob and Maria started down the ridge. "Feel like a walk?" "Wait a minute. "Ready?" Maria nodded. and Tim were on their stomachs into the valley on the other side. Soon. middle-aged then. it was hard to tell.K. Scare them away. If they make any sudden moves. Tim spoke up. "And these people are going to be wondering what the flare was all about." Turning to Bob. "Okay. they were wearing. and then he turned to her. if possible. I'll do the same. leave the shotgun. Bob saw but with the jackets binoculars he was . headed towards the new comers. We're going to just walk straight down to them. Forget I asked."Oookay. for a few minutes. Looking through his two men. They will be less likely to panic and start shooting. Tim and Alex watched them go. "O. "I don’t know. I think I've seen at least one of them before. Why you? Why don't I go?" "Because." He looked at Maria." He gave Alex his rifle. Dad. Point is we're less of a threat. "How do you want to handle it?" He thought about it for a moment. Alex." "Did you see any guns?" Tim wanted to know. Bob passed the using to Maria. Maria. you're the best with this. "Recognize anyone?" Maria peered through them. why am I so scared?" peeking over the ridge binoculars. Bob. you two do what you have to. she asked. but that doesn't mean they don't have any. Lets' do it. a woman. if we duck.

Maria spoke again. I made a mistake."Think you're scared? I'm even more scared. I think we need to do something. One of them is a man with long hair. "What makes you think that?" "Two things." "George?" "He used to ride with John. I think we have three men and a girl out there. Did you notice the men all have side arms?" . You go left." "How’s that?" "That's not George." "What's that?" "A couple of told me some of the worst concentrated and wipe out years ago. One thing he told me was that one things you could do was to have all of your firepower in one place. As they drew closer to the strangers. It was too easy for the enemy to hit that place. they had their own conversation. as a relief driver. that is MY Dad going down there. I think we need to spread out a little." They fell silent as they continued forward. The smaller one does seem to be a girl." "Good thing to know." "My thoughts." "That makes sense." Alex responded. as Bob and Maria moved down the hill. Dad of the things he went through." "Yeah.” Alex thought for a moment and spoke again. I'll go right. I thought he was a woman. That is not him. Try not to kick up too much dust and let them know we're here. “Tim. "Bob. everybody. Meanwhile. exactly. "Bob. but second. I was thinking of signing up in the military. first I've never shot at someone before." "That makes two of us." "I agree. and I'm the one covering him." Tim and Alex moved carefully until they were about twenty-five yards apart.

What do you think about the girl?" "She just looks scared. "Howdy friends. they will be slightly above us. He was getting a very bad feeling about the situation." "I see. Bob noticed that the girl had a bruise on her left cheek. I saw them. Besides. and affected a western drawl in his speech. It lets us know when someone is coming." "Can you do fat. at least they aren't gunfighters. Yeah. I don't recognize you . These guys don't strike me as the kind who has spent much time on the firing range."You mean the bulges under their jackets? Yeah." "Oh. We don't have to worry about her. Glad to see you. I'm Bill. we're here. Finally the long haired man replied. this is Jack. Mary. "Hi. Still he smiled broadly as they got close to the group." "Agreed. I'm Charlie. Are you responsible for the fireworks we saw?" Bob noticed he didn't even mention the girl. and he's Johnnie. I don't want to get in between them and our people. We weren't here when it happened." "Well. I can do that. the town was evacuated a while back." They waited for an uncomfortable period of time before anyone spoke. So we've been waiting to see if anyone comes back. follow my lead." "Well. and this is my sister. and happy?" "What?" "Act that way to lull them off guard." "Good. Nice to meet you. ding dong." "How do you know?" "Later. I want to stop about fifteen yards short of them. but kept up the friendly face. "That is our 'doorbell'. Is there anyone else around?" "Oh. The extra distance might just make the difference. dumb." They both stopped at the agreed distance. Most people aren't very good with handguns.

" Bob spoke again. You ever miss having a man around. before he heard the shot. No point in anyone getting upset here. Jack and Johnnie were still trying to draw their weapons from under their jackets.fellas' you from around these parts?" Bob noticed as they spoke. as Charlie aimed at Bob for another shot." "Wouldn't you like to have a man of your own? Say someone like me?" "Not really. But it seems a shame for a lady like Mary ain't got a man of her own. and knocked him backwards. that's a mighty good looking sister you have there. . with weapons now drawn. and thrown backwards. Seemed like the smart thing to do. He didn't know which way to turn his attention. That is when the bullet from Tim's' rifle hit him. But I'm not talking about brotherly love here. looked in the direction of the rifle shot." "Sure he is. And in case you didn't notice." "Maybe you shouldn't. and looked at the three men. Bob heard a loud smack sound and Charlie was lifted off his feet. The bullet hit him dead center. sticking out of the ground." Charlie laughed. followed by Jack and Johnnie. You know Bill. "No we got out of the city when they started bombing them. "Maybe you fellas’ should just move on. Jack and Johnnie had slowly moved to either side of Charlie. "DOWN!!" Bob hollered. Johnnie didn't know what to do. He felt a blow to his back that spun him around. He continued to roll. Shots coming from two directions had confused him. Suddenly. "Oh we ain't upset." "I'm sure you weren't. Bob had also pulled his pistol and fired once at Jack. Bob noticed they seemed to take their cue from whatever Charlie said or did. The other two men. The resounding BOOM of Bobs' rifle reached them as he hit the ground. Bill is a man. and at the same time pushed Maria down behind a large rock. Mary?" "I'm fine. as he hit the ground. Maybe we ought to stay awhile." "Think the two of you can stop us? I don't" Charlie reached for the pistol on his hip. He was on his back. He joined his comrades on the ground. until he rolled into a small depression in the earth. I like men who know what soap is for.

Gently she pulled her to her feet. However. with an unspoken question in her eyes. "Yeah." "Lie still. Take the girl back to town for Kathy to look at. the girl shrank back from her. and touched it." "Make sure you do that. while speaking softly to the girl.K. He heard footsteps coming closer. My back sure hurts though." Bob answered.“Bob! Are you alright?" Maria called. and held out both hands." Bob really had no plans to do much. Bob had expected that these men had actually told the truth about one thing. and revealed that a gold cross was on the chain as well. Looking up. and if you see him send Alex down here on your way. his back felt like it was on fire. Mother. Wondering what the problem was. The girl suddenly clung to Maria as if her life depended on it. Maria realized that her pistol was in her hand." "Yes. who had taken shelter behind another large rock. I'll wait here. I think so." Soon. Don't you go moving around and making things worse. We're Christians. the girl reached out. "Hey. They fled the city after the bombings. she was able to reach out and put her hand on the girls arm. Then when he started to sit up. She moved closer to the girl. "That's right. he saw Tim jogging to . "It's O. as Maria and the girl moved away he decided it couldn't hurt to check the dead men for whatever he could learn. Sweetie. please. Their drivers’ licenses showed they were from Reno. and their clothing was certainly not meant for living in the country. I'm not. Maria said. Are you alright?" She moved slowly. "Bob? Are you okay?" "I think they just winged me. "No. Look after the girl. Let me have a look at you. pain raced through the right side of his back. looking at Maria. As Maria got closer." Maria said. As she leaned towards her. We aren't going to hurt you. the locket she had showed to Bob earlier came out of her shirt. and continued to speak to the girl gently. It's alright. Come on out. Seeing the cross. and started to sob." Maria did as Bob said. She holstered it.

" "Indisposed?" "After the shooting ended.him. Let me up to help you." Bob did so. Then once that was done. There is a gully over there. "I don't think it went in. He was pale. I'm fine. SIT DOWN!!!" "What?" "Bob. you lived across the street from me for ten years. so I KNOW there isn't a big 'S' anywhere on your chest. I'll take care of it. you were just grazed. I don't think he is going to be eating anything for awhile. lets' get these bodies out of sight. he let Tim help him up. indisposed at the moment. Are you badly hurt?" "I'll live. and after gently lifting the shirt." "BOB. right across the shoulder blade. Now sit down." "Can you get that jacket off? I'll check you. and bury them later." Surprised at Tim's' forcefulness. but was standing on his feet unaided. he agreed." "I see." "Bob. Tim and Bob came across Alex as they made their way back to town. I saw you working in the yard countless times. we can put them in there. He cranked the magnification on your scope up to the maximum." "Nonsense. or I'm going to knock you down and sit on you until you show some sense. you're still bleeding. You sit here. . You might still go into shock. and they headed back to town." "Where's Alex?" "He's. found a deep furrow carved in his back. He got a real good look at what he did to the first one. Well. and Tim was surprised at the amount of blood on Bobs' back. and still a bit shaky. uh. and let Tim conceal the bodies. "Bob. he wanted to make sure those three were down.

Are you hurt badly?" "I'll live Son. Once cutting the hem on the bottom. Kathy realized she had too much company. go somewhere else. With a couple of snips. I'd be more concerned if you weren't upset by this. and Maria said. and opened it to get a look at the wound. Sam came running up to them. "I know. She's there. Alex." and with that the youngster turned and ran back the way he came." After taking off his jacket earlier. lets' go see Kathy." The two of them left. and Kathy walked over to him with a pair of scissors. Kathy called out from the back of the building. I remember. Lay down. At this point." "Let me take off the shirt." When there reached the edge of town. "Don't argue with your doctor. Come on. that flare needs to be replaced. do as she says. but thanks for asking. she slid the razor sharp scissors up through the shirt. "Tim." "Hey! Wait a minute." "Thanks Sam. "Tim." "Yes Sir. in the last exam room on the right."Dad." Bob finished for him. Come on Alex. "Dad! Mom says to take Mr." "Alex. Face down. Bob to the doctor’s office." "Yeah. Tim told me." "Indisposed. she was through all of that as well. "Bring him in here. Don't worry about it. As they entered the office.." Bob hissed through the pain. Run ahead and tell her we are on our way. I was. "Lie down on the exam table. slicing it cleanly until she reached the shoulders and the collar." Bob did so. Bob had simply hung it around his shoulders on the way back to town. Kathy removed it and carelessly tossed it to the side. And I'd appreciate it if you could check the pockets on those three. .." "I'm sorry I couldn't come to you. that's my Dad." Bob said.

" "Yes. but our jackets have snaps. just try to keep his mind off of what I'm doing.9 mm. Talk to Bob." . I'm going to give you another shot." "What do I say?" "Anything." Kathy looked at Bobs' back for a moment. I reach in my pocket." "." "So did we. That takes longer. you undid the bottom two snaps. Besides." Maria moved around to where she could see Bobs' face." "Speaking of weapons. They had to either pull up the jacket. if either runs dry. or unzip them. I need you here. and asked him. She was happy to see that the round hadn't done more damage than it had. They had their guns under the jackets. Theirs had zippers. You and I undid those snaps." "No."I guess I'd better go as well. Bob.Oh. and then told him. and feed whatever comes out to either weapon. I see. and I'll be fine. with rifle and sidearm chambered the same. Just put a bandage on it. Kathy had worked quickly to clean and disinfect the wound.44. he protested. "How did you know they weren't gunfighters?" "By they’re jackets." "Exactly. I can't do much with stitches in my back. "Roll onto your left side. I'm giving you a shot to help ease the pain. "Kathy. a lot of people like the . But I prefer the penetration of a .. It’s hard to do a quick draw that way." "Why? I'm not in pain anymore. I noticed that when we went down there.44 Magnum. When she told Bob what she was going to do. but she knew that it would require stitches to close it. Why?" "John always told me that if I needed to get to it in a hurry. I know." As they had been speaking. what is that cannon you're carrying? I almost went deaf when you fired it. so we could reach our weapons in a hurry.. I know. It’s the same as my rifle.

Her chest was covered with what seemed to be cigarette burns. but if you are going to be stupid about this. When she turned back again. disinfectant. your wound has mostly stopped bleeding on its' own. Then we'll apply the bandages." Kathy led the girl across the hall into another exam room and patted the exam table. "What happened to her?" "Cigarette burns. So intent was she on treating the girl. she spoke to Maria. "I have to take care of something. As gently as possible she began the task of gently cleaning the burns and treating the injuries. She inhaled sharply at what she saw. "Bob. I want to give you some antibiotics to fight infection. Will you please make sure he doesn't go anywhere for thirty minutes?" "Of course. Why?" . Maria. with more orders. Once Kathy had. Closing the girls blouse gently. She couldn't have been more than sixteen. and Kathy gave him the shot. After finishing the girls’ front. only to find more of the burns. Turning her back to Bob and Maria. she signed for Kathy to stand in front of her. A cold hatred began to burn in her while she did what she could for the girl. and opened the front of her blouse slightly for Kathy to look. are you sure those three are dead?" "Yes. probably younger. She wondered silently what kind of animal could do such a thing. Turning. and take off your shirt please." Bob did as he was told. the girl looked shyly down. Some of them have to be a week old. the girl was nude to the waist. but crooked her finger and moved away from the others."Maybe not. and water for the job ahead. Kathy walked around behind her. "Sit here. Clearly the child had been through hell." "Okay." Kathy felt a tug on her sleeve. I want you to stay here for at least thirty minutes. and give the blood a chance to clot a little more. The girl didn't speak. she didn't hear Maria until she had opened the door and entered the room. She gasped at the sight. she saw the girl who had been brought in by Maria." She did so as Kathy got gauze bandages. telling her.

but this time he was forced to admit it. So does that mean you're interested?" Maria told her about the meeting between them in the shed earlier. especially if he thinks nobody is looking. but you could do far worse than a man like him. Oh there's always been plenty of adult males. You're my sort of woman. Stick band aides on it and let him go. I've known him for a long time. He'll be out for a couple of hours or more. No doubt he was already thinking ahead about something. He said the same thing. Director Claire hated to admit that someone might have had a better idea than he did. Every time. "Maria. Kathy continued. I gave him something to put him out. What is it about him?" "Maria. law enforcement officers would swoop in and arrest everyone they could put their hands on. That wasn't antibiotics. The western regional director hadn't gone after the Christians as he had."I wanted to get my hands on them. I don't know how you feel on the subject." The women smiled at one another as they finished treating their second patient together.' I just wonder if he'll remember it when he wakes up. but far too few men. he'd be a lot worse within a week. ‘You know. I like you." After a moment. "You heard him. He needs a good woman. Bob seems to have fallen asleep. Kathy nodded approvingly. would yield more names of resistors . Everybody else's needs come before his own. and you strike me as just the sort he needs. "A shortage of men." "That's always been the problem. "I wondered why you gave up so easily. What did you want?" "Oh. hasn't it?" Kathy looked questioningly at her. He's always been this way. Each arrest. as we were talking he told me. Just before he passed out. he had relied on infiltrators to gain access to the scattered groups of believers." "I know what you mean. Instead." Maria smiled. Bob is a good man. "I'm glad to hear it. Is he going to be alright?" Kathy smiled. Then when they would gather some place for whatever reason. If I did that. so I could sew him up." "That's funny." "If he doesn't. I'LL remind him. after enough 'questioning'. and I don't know if you've noticed how he looks at you.

The death of America. Now all they had to do was figure out how to keep him from being too active while his wound healed." He paused. others weren't. or just part of a group out looking for us." Tim said. An unpleasant feeling started to come over her. and chatting after having gotten the stitches finally in place in Bobs' back. I'm just wondering if those guys were alone. Now Claire would implement it here in the southern region. "And what did you find?" "One of them had a list of names. It had proved to be quite successful. and if they might have been working for someone else." She continued to read. Your name. why?" "We went back up there and checked them for anything that might give us an idea of what they were up to. "I recognize some of these names. "How long is Bob going to be out?" . and their likely hiding places. Some of them were crossed off. sipping coffee." Chapter Twelve "WHAT? Let me see that. and bring an end to resistance to the new order once and for all. "Maria?" "Yes." Maria shouted. Then the process would begin again. Tim entered the doctor’s office. "There are a lot of them I don't know. and Michelle's' were next on the list. and turned pale. the decreased number of fighters would enable the Russian. She then scanned the names that were crossed off. When that was done. Do you think they are coming after the Christians?" "They've done just about everything else to get us. They were members of a prayer group we used to belong to a couple of years ago. Tim?" "Are you sure you didn't know any of those guys from this morning?" "Quite sure. Maria looked at the first names not crossed off. and found Kathy and Maria sitting at a table. Tim handed over the list of names.and Christians to be picked up. They were indeed the names of both Michelle and herself. and Mexican troop to finally finish their task. Cuban.

and take a look. And since it is so small it gets really good gas mileage. it doesn't go fast." Alex said from the doorway where he was standing. Tim. "Show us. Its’ got just a roll cage." . Someone else and I could ride out there away." Said Maria. I think he got it from an old science fiction show." "It's kind of loud Alex. made out of some sheets of some kind of bullet-proof plastic. "The second step in the resolution of any problem is the acquisition of data. that was where he used to make his explosives for prospecting. "He does?" "Yes. You could get shot. just in case something happened. Maybe we can get a piece or two from that. Tim and Alex spoke together. "I'm not sure. It could be hours. what is the problem?" "We need to know if anyone is coming after the three we killed. did you know that?" Tim and Alex shook their heads. and make a shield for the go-cart. and if so how many. "Did you know he has an underground room at his place?" Tim and Alex looked at each other." "What about Dads' go-cart?" "What?" "I know. So. It also is very open. and both said." Again. He used it as a shield. Everyone turned to look at him. "Todd was a prospector. What else did you Dad say?" Said." "The first step in the resolution of any problem is to define the problem. "Dad always says that when I have a problem." "It's still a good idea."I gave him a pretty good shot. What do you think we should do?" Kathy answered. We can't put the flares out any further. So how do we find out if anymore are on the way? That's the question. but it goes faster than a man can run. we'd never see them go off." "I think I have an answer for part of that. One of the things he has down there was a kind of wall.

" Tim turned on his flash light to illuminate the darkened room. instead of boom." Tim and Alex took a look at them. it was dogeared with slips of paper sticking out. Now.S. and papers. Now. and over an . Then he got sober and changed his mind. once upon a time. Just something Bob said to me. containing various liquids and powders.D. all clearly labeled. were numerous books. they are the guys that are called when a bomb goes thud. Army manual. On a shelf on the far side of the room were bottles. A foot wide. The one thing he learned from those experiences was that if you didn't know what you were doing." Tim murmured under his breath. the only decent thing to do was to finally lay Todd to rest. After all. If that’s so. it could be unstable. "What was that?" "Nothing. whatever that means. I don't know if he was working on anything when he died. knowing Todd wouldn't be showing up with his usual cheery 'Hello' and broad smile." "Earned but never given.After Maria and her daughter had joined the group. it seemed strange to Maria to return here. Trust is something that is kind of hard to give sometimes. by four feet high. The title was 'Improvised Munitions Handbook'. On the shelf below. while he was in the service. why didn't you tell us about this before?" "At first I wasn't sure about you guys. "Dad said he thought about doing that.O. here and there. to find that it was a U. Maria warned the men. He picked up one book. and I never really trusted them. You know how it is. He put the book down. since Bob took a bullet to save me. Where are those sheets of plastic?" "Over by the wall. She missed him." "Maria. Todd's' explosives were homemade." Alex answered. It wasn't long before the three of them were entering the hidden lower room in Todd's' house. "How did Todd learn about this stuff?" "John said he was in E. it was decided that since they would be staying in town for awhile. I don't see how I could do anything else. He was happy that Bob had extra batteries in the shed with the truck and 4X4. Tim had seen explosives used a few times before. Todd always put them out of the way when he didn't need them. "Be careful down here. Tim. without looking in it. to mark certain passages. it was a good way to make yourself dead in a hurry. They still had a charge." "Explosive Ordnance Disposal.

He knew that Claire would make a mess of things." Tim thought for a moment. Ives on the other hand knew the value of the ones that were easily led . or kill those who resisted. be sure I'll tell you. "Much better. Since those who he had already sent out to infiltrate the remaining Christian resistors were either already known for what they were. what about these?" Maria pointed to a box just under the shelves. All of them. they seemed to be just the thing."Something this heavy might weigh down the cart too much. he learned that they also got hot in a hurry. Tim opened it. It was a good idea though. Then they picked up one. When he was asked. until you got the results you wanted. many would escape. carrying the word of the hated Nazarene. while attacking the first churches in Jerusalem. gather information on its' members. "I don't know. "Maria. and when Alex stepped outside. He always tried for the big play. and 'coal scuttle' type helmet's. Director of the Western Region Ives was amused. and start churches elsewhere. and then quietly pick them up. but once they took individual vests out. every time. They were both amazed at how heavy the box was. but if I remember anything. It was heavier than it seemed. Everytime he did. or such poor liars. Even so. he always advised the same heavy handed methods to the master’s servants in China. Inside were several vests of body armor. and South Africa. and grab or kill everyone. in the end. But. He hadn't learned anything from his mistakes of the past. It never occurred to him to infiltrate the churches. right up through modern times. as these people called it. If anything happens to the cart. And they would spread like a disease. Now here he was trying to adopt Ives' methods. He'd made that same mistake ever since the first century. Instead of using the tried and true method of slowly increasing the pressure." Tim said. they will still have some protection." "Well. they decided they were less uncomfortable than getting shot. they were easily found out. is there anything else you might want to tell us?" "Not off the top of my head. whenever they tried to stamp out the followers of the Nazarene." Tim and Alex lugged the heavy box back to the store. they realized that separately they weren't that heavy. Claire was the one that had insisted on swooping down on every church he could find. where they went about figuring out how they were worn. they were still uncomfortable to wear. and was really clumsy at it.inch thick.

A fact which had been aided by the lack of firearms in private hands. After a long time. thousands had become followers. The destruction was beyond anything that anyone had ever seen or even heard of before. Sure he got the Nazarene. . He turned to the radio. Director Claire was pacing. And now look how far things had progressed.astray. things were going to get much worse for him. Then it came to him. Because of their closeness to the rivers shoreline. Everyone was gone. He had no way to warn the invading forces of what was coming. Ives was amused at Claire's troubles. Something was bothering him. it had to be the New Madrid fault. cursing and blaming the one he called the Nazarene for what had happened. the resulting earthquake had caused the Great Lakes to start to drain into the Mississippi River. His infiltration plan wasn't working. After all. Even with two armies at his command. They weren't built to take this kind of shaking. Most of them were gone. Nothing there either. Then people died. than ever. He tried the cell phone. When the fault slipped. He went into the outer office. but his followers had scattered that night. washed out down the river. having fled the building in case of a collapse. but there was nothing but static. Yes. He was growing angrier by the moment. vast numbers were washed away to the Gulf of Mexico. No trace of them was found. Then a real hard jolt hit. the earth stopped moving. wasn't it he that had convinced that character Judas to talk to the priests in Jerusalem? Then Claire had almost ruined everything by trying for the big play. An earthquake he knew. Claire stopped to look out the window. People he sent out all seemed to simply vanish. There were more of them now. and the Chinese troops were well advanced into the foothills of the mountains to his west. The building started to tremble. and when that happened. As he watched. he was still struggling to pacify the southern region. but this region hadn't had one of this size in a very long time. Claire picked up the phone. Millions lay dead in the streets and countryside. The invading Cuban and Mexican forces had been caught flat footed. By the time they had all gathered in one place again. Even the one he was in began to crack. buildings outside his window began to crumble and fall. almost knocking him off his feet. or drowned. That is when he felt it. his already short temper got shorter. and debris fall from its' exterior. Ives already had the entire west coast under his control. or what was left of it. But if that were true. It was dead. He smiled as he thought of what the master would do to Claire if only one more thing went wrong. Those lucky enough to avoid being swept away didn’t last long when the Americans that had been forced onto higher ground came to check on what happened. Claire sat in his office. His staff knew this was never a good sign.

as she tried to silently show her concern for him. I'm pregnant. "Hello there. they do return to normal after awhile. "Come on in. "Bob is still out. on purpose. it's open. and sitting next to Nancy. I think she is traumatized by whatever those animals did to her." Bob was starting to come out of it.While Maria agreed the time for secrets was over. So. who was stroking his hair? Bob opened his eyes to see the girl sitting next to him." Kathy smiled. She glanced down and saw him looking at her. "Enough of that. Others never fully recover. the time of caution wasn't. There was no point in leaving it open and chance one of the children getting into it. For some people. He wasn't sure he wanted to wake up. She smiled. and told him the most wonderful thing he'd ever heard. He was much younger. She gently knocked at the door. sit down and keep me company for awhile. I think he will be just fine. But I'm concerned about the girl. and was rewarded by Kathy calling out. "Honey. He was having such a wonderful dream. she felt it wise to lock it up again after Tim and Alex had removed the vests and helmets." He couldn't wait to tell his co-workers in the next room." "Think she'll recover?" "It's hard to say. Now that everyone knew about it. but the wound isn't bleeding. she returned to the doctor’s office to check on Bob and the girl. and she jumped at the noise. "Still not speaking? What's your name?" . She was stroking his hair.". He was at work when Nancy called him to give him the news. But wait a minute. I know she can hear. and we can keep him from over doing it for awhile. I dropped a pan behind her. "How are our patients?" Kathy's face took on a serious expression. How are you doing?" She shrugged." "You still don't know her name?" "She hasn't said a word. If we keep it covered with antibacterial cream. As the men took their box to the store. Todd had given her and John keys to his underground room.

Kathy and Maria were sitting with their backs to the door." A timid smile returned. Don't let anyone push you into it." She still looked upset. and started to get up." "You'd be back here in a week or less with a major infection. For a moment. and started to stand. He also found that the girl was stronger than she looked. Why did you do it? I told you to just put a bandage on me. and I'd be. "Well. wasn't completely done with him yet. He found out two important things. "It's alright sweetheart. "Wait a minute. "Are you afraid those men might come back? They won't you know.. Maria had already gotten a chair ready.. Want to help me. let her help you sit down before you fall down." "Thanks. she was the only thing that kept him on his feet. and with the girls help. most likely." Kathy noticed her for the first time. "Kathy." Bob rolled over. Don't worry about it. he sat down. It's just whatever the doctor gave me. You'll talk when you're good and ready. Sometimes you just have to understand you can't do it all. just what did you give me?" "BOB! What are you doing up? Let me help you. swung his feet around. but I already have a helper. Kathy. "Don't worry honey. Darling?" He said to the girl.She looked upset now. is at?" She nodded. "Okay. Whatever Kathy had used. "Do you know where Kathy. so they didn't see them until Bob spoke. I want to talk to her." . Together they made their way down the hall to the reception room." He smiled at her. the doctor. I could actually see the shoulder blade. Bob." "That sounds reasonable. He saw the look of concern come back to her face.

"Maria. but would you stay with Bob for awhile and keep him company? Otherwise. They know what they are up to better than I do. They helped him back down the hallway to the exam table he had been on before. I hate to impose. resting for a little while longer sounded like a good idea. and you know it. you do know I'm here. ." It didn't take Kathy long to convince Bob he needed to lay down for a little longer to allow the sedative a chance to wear off. For one thing. you can do."I already know that." Maria smiled. "You're right Kathy. But for now. I can't dance. I want you at least sitting down for the next forty-five minutes. "Sure. I'd hate to have to drag him back inside after he falls flat on his face. he is going to start walking around seeing what trouble he can get into." "That's not what I meant. Just what are the doctor’s orders?" "Lots of rest to start with. at least. So how long was I out?" "About three hours. You need time for get over the shot. but for the next couple of weeks. I promise. Yes Ma'am. I have absolutely no sense of rhythm. I expect you to follow my medical orders. you check in with me so I can see how you are doing. Okay. how am I supposed to do anything for you or anyone else?" Bob looked thoughtful for a moment." "Rest and checkups. don't you?" Bob asked." "Ladies. I'll be good. Between barely being able to stand and with his back now only partially numb." "Can I ask for someone to send for Alex?" "That. I'M the medical expert here. You said it yourself. after Kathy had quickly changed the sheet. I'll do just as you say. and then told her. Kathy wasn't satisfied knowing Bob as she did." "Anything new and interesting happen during that time?" "I think I'll let Alex and Tim tell you about that." "What?" "It's true. If you don't. You can talk about what needs to be done. Still. you let other people do what needs to be done. AND for the next few days.

Sit down. lets' talk awhile. Like the rifle and pistol. revolver. it can't hurt to have someone keep an eye on you until you are yourself again." "I don't mind. She knew the type well. With little else to do. This is quite some cannon you have here. You go ahead and nap. The rifle was semi-auto. the round was small. John had carried a ." Kathy answered. a little shut eye sounds good right about now. What we want you to know is that we know you. Both the pistol he always carried. While the cylinder would hold six rounds. or kept it in his truck while on the road. I need to see what I can do for our young friend. and the rifle he had spoken of earlier were old. but seemed to be heavier than it should. "Hi there. under these conditions I out rank you. then you can take counter measures. "The truth is it all comes back to what I've said for years. when at home. How did you hold on to them when they started picking up all the guns?" "It was a close thing. Know Thy Enemy. "Don't drop that. “I mean that in a good way." "I was trying. "I'm sorry to put you out like this Maria. I reload them." Bob admitted. Or maybe I should say cannons. Besides. along with the ammo for them. She knew the power of the weapons. I hid the rest. and sometimes you take on too much for yourself. I knew that they knew I had weapons. so it is a little hot. It was short. we know. I just can't quite seem to do it. The pistol was a big heavy . I was sure you did. In this case. but both weapons were in perfect working order. She was just amazed that anyone would voluntarily carry the heavy pair. and didn't answer. Now. To tell the truth. Maybe it's the company.” Smiling Bob said. She looked at a round of ammo she had pulled out of the pocket of Bob's blood soaked and now useless jacket. "You stay out of trouble for an hour or so Bob. which told her the rifle would reach further that it appeared to." With that Kathy nodded to both of them and left the room. so it didn't surprise her. If you know what he can and is likely to do under a given circumstance. So I turned in the ones they knew about." .357 Mag." Maria turned at Bob's voice. Bob took the usual safety precaution of having the chamber under the hammer empty." "Thank you. John. but had a powerful scope mounted on top. Pretend I'm not here. I thought you were going to catch a few winks. Her late husband. had taught her quite a bit about firearms and she now put that knowledge to the test. You really don't have to stay. she started looking over Bobs' weapons.44 Mag." Bob was already starting to doze off."Yes.

Now we narrow the focus a bit. anyone that had ever had a hunting license. Magazine subscriptions were another good indicator of a firearms owner. Then there were also those who the government would identify at gun shows. Any weapon I bought was advertised in the local 'Bargain Traders' type magazine.44 Magnum. Otherwise they wouldn't really have control. you must have bought one or more of those unregistered weapons. He wants to set up the throne of the antichrist in Jerusalem. I learned as a young man just how far some people would go to get guns out of the hands of Joe and Jane Average. How do they identify gun owners? Of course there were the registration lists. Ultimately our enemy is Satan. but agents from our own government would sit in the parking lot at those shows taking pictures of people and car tags as the people would arrive or leave." . It was Admiral Yamamoto who said that if Japan invaded America. Even during WW II the Japanese knew better than to try to invade America because of the number of privately owned firearms. In their minds. If the American people had to be disarmed. The antichrist will be no different in that respect. They came from private owners. but yes it's true. was able to come to the aid of Israel. So. and what made you believe that the government was going to take them?" "Know Thy Enemy.S. Then. I knew then if I wanted to own a firearm. Yet it qualified as a 'Special' under the provisions of that bill. It weighs over six pounds when empty and has a seven and a half inch long barrel. Firearms represent power. it had to be unregistered. But those weren't the only ways to find out. why do you have subscriptions for hunting magazines?" "So how did you avoid all of that?" "First of all. a description of what qualified as a 'Saturday Night Special' as they called them was part of it. naturally he had to take America out of the picture. He cannot tolerate any threat to his power. If you don't like guns. if you were at a gun show."Stop right there. That was the only way to be sure I could keep them. If you turned in the weapons they knew about. and every dictator in history has always disarmed the people they controlled. That pistol you were looking at is a . so there was no obligation to register them. or the local newspaper. While the U. they would find someone with a gun behind every blade of grass. how could they do that? How can they identify a gun owner? And what can I do to prevent them from taking my weapons? Let’s start with the second question. Credit card purchases were traced. back in the sixties. They got visits first. In one bill that was proposed to control cheap easily concealed handguns. I don't know how long it was going on." "What do you mean by that?" "I guess living out here you might not have heard of it. he couldn't do that. why did you hide the rest. I paid cash for everything that was even slightly related to firearms.

One day. How do you defeat that? There are ways to do it. A junk yard." "And so that's what you did." "'Hide in plain sight'? How do you do that?" Gently. I don’t mean putting them in the culverts. it won't be too deep. what do you do? By turning in what I had. and the people searching for my weapons were under a time limit. and answered. so . It is too hard to get to them that way. any metal pipeline. Another option would be to camouflage them. The same is true of culverts they put under a driveway. Why? Because their uncle had put the donuts on a curtain rod and hung it back in place. Know Thy Enemy. "Again. instead of making the weapon invisible by burying it. If they bury them. So I had to think like they do. They never did find them. right?" "Only partially. the boys came home and could smell the donuts. Since that pipe is going to be very long. gear. they disappear. why dig it up? That is what the detector operator is thinking. A rifle has a long piece of metal in the barrel. The boys never saw them. while he was out. I believe I was blessed. How would I find a hidden cache of weapons? Most people aren't going to put their weapons too far out of reach. For example. so a metal detector won’t be able to pick it up. "I didn't go to them. and it is no longer visible. I'm a great fan of the 'hide in plain sight' philosophy. a rail road line. if you know you are at risk of losing your weapons. Knowing that the boys would make short work of them. and lots of other places have huge amounts of metal. I read a comic book one time that had a fellow being a foster father to his nephews. I knew they would come looking for more. So a metal detector would find them. Someone could find them just by looking. and the pipe very deeply underground. At any rate. While they did pull out the drawer under the oven and look inside. Now consider. Sure enough. Bob rolled onto his uninjured side. They tore the place apart looking for them. If you put that rifle in a couple of plastic bags. he brought home some donuts. clearly it is too long to be a rifle. That detector can't tell the difference between the barrel of a rifle. the oven itself is too heavy to be easily moved. Now I admit I was lucky according to some people. I did something similar with some of my weapons. a handgun duct taped to the internal portions of a stove can't be detected by a metal detector. And I didn’t believe they would let the average guy use one of those in the field. Most people never learn to expect the unexpected."Didn't they get your picture at the gun shows?" Maria asked. Tuck a weapon away there. he hid them. I mean bury them right next to the culvert. and bury it right underneath any metal water or sewage pipes underground. unless it is some of the much higher tech. But that bought me some time. They had other places to check. put it in a place where there is so much metal the detector is useless. When I was still quite young.

they didn't check places that were harder to reach. It's also why when they came looking for them. they didn't know what to look for. ammunition. Ives had been doing with his subtle lies and deceits." Director Ives chuckled as he thought about how Claire must be doing at that very moment. They weren’t going to remove the back plate on that stove and check inside. "Just what I said. I think The Lord designed it that way to get us to work together." "So would I if there wasn't a reason for it. That's why I never joined any groups that lobbied for gun owners in Washington. They never knew the number or types of weapons I had or didn't have. You mentioned credit cards. as the Great Lakes poured down the Mississippi River valley. the hated Christians that Claire had let slip through his fingers rejoiced and praised the Nazarene for their deliverance. And everyone was always happy to accept it." "Bob you almost sound like you are a very suspicious person. in his failure. Cash has the advantage of always being the right size. Nobody ever takes it from you and cuts it in half. That includes things like cleaning kits. They were making fewer . A simple search program for words like those will bring up the name and address of the person who bought those items and put them on their card. And he had very unpleasant ways of dealing with those who failed him. If you don't know what to look for. Except for a very few places. targets. The Bible tells us that we are each given certain gifts. and could be wiped out at a moment’s notice. instead of each one for themselves. When I saw the first signs that gun registration was coming. What Claire had failed to do with his heavy handed tactics. even by making false arrests in some cases. They were the ones that knew what was happening. Ives was getting a little concerned about the raids. I knew confiscation wouldn't be far behind. Ives knew that after the southern invasion forces had been virtually wiped out. everything. What did you mean about that?" Maria asked. No one ever had to wait for it to clear the bank like a check. So I used cash only. it was accepted everywhere.” “Let's get back to being identified as a gun owner. Most of them were so deceived that they posed no threat. Two of my gifts are observation and discernment. shape. I'd have my doubts about you. It was the small churches and home prayer groups that Ives had concentrated on. And that could not be tolerated. he had increased their faith. it makes it hard to know where to look. and color. If it weren't for what has happened to this country. While Claire had reduced the numbers of that religion. The master was very unhappy about that. He left the large churches alone for the most part. and nobody ever asked a question. Credit card companies keep records of all purchases. Whereas Claire would try to destroy them.

We have been saved by The Lord for this time. It's even more miraculous when you look at the entire picture. Is it possible to have genetic material from three so widely diverse species to combine naturally?" Kathy got a serious look on her face. luck had nothing to do with it. and men. and sometimes when they went in. For example. That's an improvement. And I think we all need to make that young lady the subject of our prayers from now on. our survival so far has been miraculous. "I'm a dentist. Still. but they didn't say much. Tell me something as a doctor. there wasn't anyone there. And you're right. and didn't try to go against Kathy's medical Maria was happy about this." "But that's the point. you're a doctor.of them all the time. no. But for now." "I know what you mean. Kathy had re-entered the room. how could it happen?" Kathy's look got even darker. but if I remember my training correctly. even though they had seen people enter the building. She was shaking her she came in. if that can't happen naturally." "Well." "The virus was constructed using genetic material from pigs. Bob was advice. birds. It makes me realize just how lucky we've all been since this all started. better. "At least this time she smiled at me when I came into the room. We've been blessed. Did you get the advisories sent out by the Dept. Kathy. when you think about everything that has happened to this country. "How's our new friend?" Bob asked. ." "Did they mention what kind of makeup was involved with the virus?" "I'm afraid I don't remember. because it gave her a chance to know him As they talked. Their best advice was to avoid contact with infected people and to wear masks and gloves while in public. "I can only guess what that poor child has been through judging by her injuries. I said 'constructed' for a reason. It's not. head as true to his word. it was going well. of Homeland Security or the CDC about the swine flu a while back?" "Yes." "Kathy. instead of looking like she wanted to jump and run." She shook her head again. I guess.

Not to mention how porous the boarder already was."Bob. Sad thing is that many of them already were infected unknowingly. even more men were needed to try to seal it." "You use surrogates to weaken your enemy before you actually attack them. I am. In this case." "But it started in Mexico. but once you are bleeding from enough of them. YOU are the expert in those kind of things." . I once was told that if I did a search on line for ‘Genetically Engineered Swine Influenza Virus and Uses Thereof’ I would find an application for the creation of the swine flu virus. And the bleeding heart type of people in government kept insisting we had a responsibility to take care of the illegal immigrants. It all comes down to what is known as 'death by a thousand cuts'. Also. I believe that the Mexican population was used to attack us in a way that wouldn't raise anybodies suspicions. of course. but you weren't strong enough to do it by yourself. Medical facilities were over-whelmed. O. That drained the coffers of the government even further. I found it. You yourself. once the people still in Mexico became scared enough. many things.K. Which would spread the infection like wild fire. knowing that as soon as they cross the border they were going to scatter to the four winds. are you saying that it was deliberate?" "Yes. Lack of money prevented that. It wasn't natural. Manpower used to try to round up the infected people before they could spread the disease was stretched to the breaking point. So I checked it myself. a military has to be strong and well supplied to do its' job. That leaves only one option. death is certain. If you had an enemy that had to be defeated. Like the military for example. That. how could you get it done?" "I have no idea. Small injuries might go untreated and even ignored. it works like this. But what I tell you now is the absolute truth. The plan was simple enough. That means it had to be constructed in a lab somewhere. Infect people that are headed north. Who would want to attack them?" "Have you ever heard of asymmetrical warfare?" "I can't say that I ever have. As you know. they rushed the boarder in order to escape from being infected or to seek medical help in some cases. That is what happened to us. I didn’t believe it. That in turn made it difficult to buy everything we needed for many. All of that served to weaken this country in a few different ways. admit that wasn't possible in the natural world. made it almost impossible to take care of our own people." "That is a disturbing thought. with your medical training. I know that is really reaching in some people’s opinion.

As a dentist. The ones who had already sold out to Satan. Not many thought to even question why those trails were appearing. Sometimes debris from those trails would make it to the ground. or I could possibly inflict on them myself. I'm quite sure. Samples were analyzed and found to contain a witch’s brew of differing substances. so you can do those things to other people. I'm certain that a lot of high ranking government officials knew about it. that's terrible. Those dissipate within a short period of time. "I'm not really. Someone had to write those so-called informational releases. did you see a rise in the number of respiratory ailments?” “Now that you mention it. So why burn up energy on something I . they would spread out enough to cover a miles wide area going in both directions as far as the eye could see. First. But they kept that little piece of information from the general public. the flu and other things like that. as I was. because they put their faith in the master deceiver instead of the Son of God.” "Then we were betrayed!" "Yes we were. and the rest of them. for their own personal gain knew. They are already paying a much higher price in Hell than they ever thought they would have to pay. But when you are a soldier. Someone or ones knew that you don't find three or more different types of genetic material in the same virus. It's not good bedtime reading for sure. Mainly." "You seem awfully calm about it. Chem-trails would go from horizon to horizon and instead of dissipating. It's too late to worry about them.” “Actually I mean chem-trails. "Did you? Most people never make a study of how to kill large numbers of people in a short period of time. You see a contrail is made by condensation when the heat from the engine hits the cold air. Many of them harmful to people. Why do you ask?” “Did you ever notice what some people called ‘chem-trails’ in the sky?” “Oh. And I'm sure there were a number of people in places like the CDC and Homeland Security as well. I'll never know who they were or are. Those who did were usually ridiculed into silence or simply dismissed as kooks. Tell me something Kathy. And they were capable of inflicting a number of different types of respiratory problems. and secondly. you mean con-trails. But almost nobody stopped to look up. the past several years. at the same time keeping it from happening to you. Those trails left by planes as they fly over. there was a real upswing in colds. but many of those people were in Washington when it was nuked. Didn't anyone realize what was going on?" Bob smiled grimly and asked Kathy."Bob." Maria said. Well. it is your job to understand these things.

But that isn't going to happen. everyone always talks about how Satan will rule in Hell. "Sam. But he can't do anything to God. Maybe I'm wrong. and it has been ever since He fell. I hardly think The Father would place Him in charge. He knows His time is very limited and knows what waits for Him after this. is going to be unable to defend himself when everyone that He has tricked into going to Hell with Him comes to see Him there. Satan said that he wanted to be God. I would personally send them to their just reward. I have to say that I don't agree with that. as The Bible says." "Me too. That's us. But don't worry. I think. “I thought that with the dreams. Hell was created as a place of punishment for Satan and His angels. what happened when we went down into the valley?” Maria wanted to know. I can't imagine what their punishment will be. I think mostly for two reasons. First of all we know Satan hates God. Secondly. then He wants to destroy the image of God. I actually feel a little bit sorry for them. Why does the devil hate us so much?" Turning his head to look at Sam. And for that reason. Bob. and you can bet that Satan was pulling the strings all along. His punishment. "Mr." "Bob. That has to be eating Him alive. that ego can't stand the thought that everything He once had. He wants every Christian dead. we will inherit when we get to Heaven. God would have protected you. but I sure don't want to be there to find out. But they didn't act alone. I don't recall the exact verse." Unnoticed by anyone. If he can't hurt God. And Satan still can't defeat Him. and according to The Book of Revelation. if you ask me.can do nothing about? Believe me. We still have God on our side. and visitations you've been getting. Kathy. he answered. He is even angrier than we are. but scripture does teach that He knows how to preserve the wicked until the Day of Judgment. Now that shows a whole lot of ego." Bob smiled briefly and said. "You know. I must content myself with the knowledge that The Lord knows what He is doing. Sam had come into the office and had been listening. If I were to have each and every person responsible for this in front of me. That is why he hates us this much. but it makes me angry to know that all of this was done to us by our own people. So he attacks us because we are created in Gods' image. but I do know it is going to last for a very long time. I believe that once He gets there." . of course. He will have no power at all. Since Satan believes himself to be as good or even better than God." "You're right.

the expression on Bob's face grew ever more grave. they came back asking Joshua what happened. they told Bob about the underground room Todd had. Dad. just like everyone else. Then they came upon the town of AI. The Children of Israel had just come off of their victory at Jericho. "Hey. I got blessed twice. you got shot. Alex returned to the office. using the go-cart. First. and left Me out entirely. and did as God told them to do. As he listened. . those whom God loves. go back and do the job the right way. They also told him of their plan to patrol further out from town. What's been going on while I've been out?" "Um. How can you call that a blessing?" "Do you remember the Battle of AI in Exodus?" "Not really. and was counting on us to handle it. I got pumped up when those guys showed up. I admit. he chastises. they could be taken care of with just a small force. I'm fine. the list of names. I think I'll wait for Tim to get here. The spies told Joshua that there was no need to send the entire army up to this place. and was basically told. as the scriptures say. and the fact that Maria and Michelle were both on it." "That's all very interesting." As they had been talking. Now. but otherwise. I left God out of it. Looks like I'm on bed rest for a while. Twice. And so. How are you doing?" Alex called as he entered the doctor’s office. This time they won. He blessed me. but it is going to serve as a reminder for a very long time. Joshua asked The Lord. not to do ANYTHING without The Lord. They repented of the sin of pride."He did better than protect me. I got hit. Joshua said okay and off they went. I'm still breathing. So. Second." "This was just after Moses had died. I forgot to pray." No sooner had Alex said that than Tim came through the door as well. Between them. That was my mistake." "Oh? That much?" "Sort of. So. and Joshua was put in charge. "Hey Son." "Bob. "Why didn't you ask Me for help and protection? You sent these men off to do the job. WITH Me’. and were feeling pretty sure of themselves. Yeah. they got their butts kicked. To be blunt. But when we went down to meet them. but what does it have to do with you?" "I was guilty of the same sin of pride.

I didn't see anything like that." Bob thought for a moment and spoke again. and changed what he was going to say. Tim. or whatever. shifter. They had no food. Let Tim drive. "No. "The patrolling idea is a good one. did you find any car keys when you searched them?" Tim thought for a moment and said." "How does a rabbit survive?" Alex asked. seventy miles or so from here?" He looked at Maria. or a gully. DO NOT take anything you find inside from the vehicle. The nearest town is what. Those clothes may have been fashionable."I don't like this at all. do you remember what I told you about the rabbit?" "Sure. "YOU will find some kind of vehicle within two miles of here. This is very bad. but they weren't meant for wandering around in the countryside. no canteens. You'll be looking for tire tracks leading off the road into some brush. Tim might miss it. You understand?" "Yes Sir. Alex. Why?" "You saw the way they were dressed. wipe any fingerprints you've left off of the wheel. You know how to look for sign." "Wait a minute Bob. Run the gas tank dry if you have to do it. Alex." "Before I answer that Tim." "Why not me?" "Son you've been hunting with me for a long time." "Ask Tim. how do you figure anyone is going to be looking for them? Seems to me that they were the sort nobody would miss. I'm willing to bet that we will…" He could feel Kathy's stare at the back of his neck. Chances are that the keys are still in the ignition. "Considering that the creature has no real 'weapons' for attacking other animals. When you get out. How does he stay alive?" . Once you find it. but it will have to wait for a bit. I want you and Tim to take your mothers' 4X4 and find that car. I want you to concentrate on that and that only. "Obviously they didn't walk that far. "Seventy-three miles. you have to answer something." She answered. I want you to take that thing at least two hundred miles from here. how does the individual rabbit stay alive?" "I hadn't thought about it. I don't know. and hide it again. nothing but the girl. and it's only defenses are speed and camouflage. and their guns. I don't want to give anyone any clues about what happened to those three.

So what we have to do is become a rabbit. other than moving their car. "It stands for Radio Frequency IDentification. "When you park the car. with no food or water. even money. Clothing. Michelle. passports. those tags have been put in just about everything. I must say. he crossed out the names of Maria.D." . or they came and left again. just be aware of changes. Now to answer your question. while others could be read by a satellite in orbit. Hopefully whoever finds it will believe that Maria and Michelle have already been dealt with and not come back here looking for them. THAT in turn." "R. I approve of it. I get it. Does anyone have a number two pencil?" Kathy handed one to him. and made a few practice scribbles. To throw people off the scent. What I'm more concerned about right now is if those guys were tagged with RFID. and a few of the others. Speaking of noticing things. You see Tim that is what I'm talking about. after ‘taking care’ of Maria and Michelle. leave this inside. to arrive in such good condition. For the past few years. trying to duplicate the ones on the list. those guys must have driven here.?" Tom asked. Some of them could only be read at close range. Right. We have to find a way to make sure that nobody ever uses those tags to track down our friends out there. means they were sent here." "Okay. Bob looked at it and almost absentmindedly he said." "Well. good. Have you ever tried to sneak up one? You can't do it. tires. Dad?" "Just so. "Good. Satisfied. Their names are next on the list from what you tell me."He notices every change in his environment. We have to make it look like they either never got here. Then Bob picked up another piece of paper. by being constantly alert. or whatever?" "To start with. You don't have to worry about everything. But how do we do that. The rabbit knows that the first time he misses one of those details he becomes a hot meal for something else. That information could only come from someone in the camps. Alex since when have you started wearing body armor?" "Didn't you know? This is this year’s new fashion statement. And why would they drive all the way out here? The answer is obviously Maria and Michelle.I. then handed it back to Tim.F. do you have the list?" Tim nodded and handed it to Bob. That means that someone gave them their names and location.

"How do we do that?" Questioned Maria. "As far as I know, there are only two ways to do it. First is to microwave the tag, although that might be a little difficult in this situation. I saw an article one time that showed the eye of President Jefferson on a twenty dollar bill would explode and burn when you did that. The only other way I know of is to use a hammer on it. The problem there is you have to know the exact location of the tag. There are ways to mask them. Wrapping them in some kind of metal foil works. But I don't think anyone here wants to either strip the clothing off of dead men, for microwaving, or wrap them in tinfoil. So what do we do?" "You need metal?" Michelle asked. "Yes. The thing is you need enough mass to prevent any signal from reaching the tag." Michelle looked at her mother. "What about that wagon at 'Dead Man’s' Curve'? Do you think that would work?" "That's a good idea." "Wagon? Dead Man’s Curve?" Bob asked. Maria smiled, "I guess about half of the towns in the country have, or at least had, a 'Dead Man’s Curve'. It is always a dangerous curve that street racers couldn't resist trying to take at high speed. Often with tragic results. In this case the name is literal. Just north of here is a curve that if you lose it, the choice is slamming into the mountain, or going over the cliff. It’s three hundred feet to the bottom. About five years ago, a family in a station wagon went over the edge by accident. It was very sad, nobody lived. Anyway the wagon came to rest on its' side. If we were to put those three next to it, then roll the car over them, that should be enough to block any signal, shouldn't it?" "I do believe so. Alright, it is kind of late today, so we have our plan for tomorrow. Alex and Tim ditch the car far away from here. While they do that, Sam, Tom, Maria and I will take my truck and dispose of those three, once and for all." "You can't use the truck. There are a couple of places it won't fit in the canyon at the bottom of the curve. But I think the go cart would fit." "Can't say I care for that. It's a two-seater. The idea of taking them one at a time into the canyon isn't very good." "Bob, why does your go cart have a trailer hitch?"

"I had a little trailer I used to remove yard debris back home." "Well, I have a trailer that I think would do for this job. John and I used it for the same purpose. We can put those guys on it and take them out to their final resting spot. You’ll probably have to make a couple of trips for everyone and everything, but it beats the one at a time thing." "Works for me." "What about me?" Michelle asked. "What am I doing while all of this is going on? I'm just as good as any of you men." "You are going to stay here, and help Kathy keep an eye on the kids, and our new friend." "Don't you think I can handle it?" "I'm sure you can, but someone has to be here with Kathy, and you might be able to get our friend to say a few words. You're closer to her age than any other woman here. Stands to reason she'll be more comfortable with you than anyone else. Maybe you can get her to at least tell you her name." "Barbara. Barbara." As one, they all turned and looked at the girl. "And I want to thank you for rescuing me.” Alex had finally gotten his father to allow him to help getting Bob ready for bed the night after he had been hit. His mind was spinning with a combination of questions and instructions from Kathy on what he should and shouldn't do, as well as things he shouldn't allow his father to do. Once Bob and he had gotten the now slightly blood stained shirt off, he visually checked the bandage without removing it. He had been warned to expect some blood, but large amounts of it were to be reported to Kathy at once. He was happy to see that while there was some blood, it wasn't much. He decided not to bother her with the news. "Are you sure you're O.K. Dad?" "It hurts some, but I'm alright. Thanks for the help, Son." "Do you want to go to bed, or are you going to sit up for a while?" "I hadn't decided yet. Why? Is there something you want to talk about?" "A couple of things. But if you want to rest, I can wait." "It's okay. I'm going to be awake for a bit anyway. At least until the

throbbing eases off. What's on your mind?" "With what happened today, I remembered you talking with Tim and Kathy on that day when we met in the woods. You were talking about 'bodies on the ground' and all that. What happened back home after I left to go back to school after Mom died?" Bob looked at his son for several moments before answering. A flood of memories seemed to pass through his mind in a fraction of a second. "Alex, if this was as early as this morning, I wouldn't have answered that question. But there is no doubt about it. You saved my bacon this morning. I was looking down the barrel of his pistol when your bullet hit him. You've earned the right to the unvarnished truth. But to tell it, I want to go back to just after the time you left to go back to school after we buried your mother. As you know, shortly after you left, we had the earthquakes that destroyed most of the west coast. Then the hurricanes wiped out the southeastern part of the country. Food production was drastically cut, and our ability to refine oil was reduced by about half. The shortages of food and fuel led first to protests, and then riots. Martial law was declared, and the government said in order to keep us safe, everyone had to turn in their weapons. Well, with most of the military and National Guard overseas involved in wars, the law enforcement agencies where simply over-loaded and outnumbered. That is why, at first, martial law was only in the larger population centers. However the crooks and gang bangers had a virtually free reign. Even in small towns like ours, gunshots throughout the night became almost commonplace. In our hometown, the police started patrolling in groups of no less than three at a time. More than that, after a dozen or so times when the police were called out about gunshots in the dark, only to find themselves the targets of sniper fire, they quit responding to any calls at night that were less than a pitched battle. The crooks had a field day. Without weapons in private hands, there was nothing to stop them. One night, I'd say about six weeks or so after you left, I was sitting in the living room. I heard someone breaking into the bedroom your mother and I shared. First thing I did was to turn off the lights around me. That put me in the dark, but the night light in the hallway was still on. When he came out of the bedroom I warned him I was armed and told him if he left then, I'd let him live. Son, he stood there and laughed at me. He must have been watching me before that night because he said; "Let me show you my gun old man." He started to aim into the living room, I guess to try to either hit me or at least scare me into submission. So I shot him."

" "Exactly. but it did. So write a report. What Tim. I stayed inside. I'm not proud of it. nobody ever said anything. I said I'd heard a shot close by. it was about eleven. I wish it hadn't happened. and as far as the police were concerned it was one less bad guy to worry about. but I would go to jail for illegal possession of a firearm." "No more than the chance you gave that guy this morning. It came looking for me. I don't think they even cared. I could only do what I did if I wanted to live. Lets' face it people don't just wake up one morning and decide to invade a home where they know someone is there. What about him?" "He didn't call them either. I feel the same way. but since it was after curfew. But those three were bound and determined to give us some. Do you feel justified in what you did?" "Well. so what's one more? By the time I got home again."What did the police say about that?" "Nothing. he'd still be dead. I cleaned up the blood. Now let me continue. We didn't want trouble. Just like this morning. By that time we were hearing shots every night. file it and forget it. I didn't go looking for trouble. everything looked normal. Son I was defending myself." "They didn't suspect you at all?" "Son. I knew if I did." "Didn't anyone notice anything?" "If they did. and patched the bullet hole in the wall with masking tape and painted over it." "They didn't say anything because I didn't call them. but they didn't give me a choice." "DAD! I mean. I'm sure he had a criminal record." "Oh." "What? Why didn't they? I mean owning a weapon was illegal by then. They all shared the same fate." "But it sounds like you didn't even give them a chance. what did you do about the body?" "Remember that mini industrial park near our house? I stuffed him into a couple giant sized garbage bags and dumped him over there. But he was only the first of four invaders that tried it. Kathy . By the time the police showed up after the body was found the next day asking if I'd heard or seen anything.

Later they came back. What I do remember is pretty blurry around the edges. as he would start to doze off. they terrorized everyone." "I think both of us getting some rest is a good idea. but we didn't start it.and I were talking about was a group of gang bangers that had left the larger cities and towns came to our town." Bob turned down the oil lamp and laid down to try to find a comfortable position. No matter how he tried to find a good position. I don't remember much of the first couple of years after I got out of the service. On the last day we spent there. but when they started to break down their front door. I can only credit The Lord that they didn't come for our house first. I was drunk. He knew the pain was going to keep him awake. But that doesn't work for me. Sometimes things can be hard to take. and they were sent away with reduced numbers again. he would move and the pain in his back would bring him back from the edge. I put down several of them and they ran. After what seemed hours. Still. It is wrong. but I'd be lying. he laid on his side and tried to rest. Some people just try to bury it and pretend it never happened. Others will do whatever it takes to keep it off their mind. Alex rolled onto his side and asked. It just seems so wrong. Alex." . "Dad. I see it all over again." "You?" "That's right. they attacked Tim and Kathy's' place while they were still inside. That has it's own problems. People find different ways. Others will use something like drugs or alcohol to numb the pain. And you're correct. "You still awake Dad?" "Afraid so Son. I'm only a man." "I wish I could say to do this or that and it would go away." "I need to think about all of this some more." "So how did you handle it the first time it happened to you?" "I handled it pretty poorly. Matter of fact. if I was conscious. how do you live with it? Every time I close my eyes. That's what we were talking about. Some good. How are you doing?" The oil lamp was turned back up. For a couple of years. Then we ran for it. Try to get some sleep. those who try doing that often wind up with mental problems from not dealing with it. And only God will be able to finish it. some not so good. he heard Alex call to him softly. I intervened with a rifle.

If He changed it. they are the very first part of the law. Then it hit me like a brick one day. it was The Lord who changed me." . then why did he always place importance on the Ten Commandments? After all. and I didn't remember them that way. Yet He seemed to think they did. it doesn't. so those people who think He did are just flat out wrong. I didn't do anything that wasn't allowed and even mandated by the law given by The Father. even though I hated them. That would mean the God given right to self defense was still valid. Does that make me happy about the things I did? No. if The Lord changed the law. What changed?" "I did. Thanks Dad. Pray about it. But I know I am forgiven."I never knew that. Does that help you?" "I don't know. It was Jesus Himself who said that He didn't come to change the law. because Jesus changed all of that." "Just do one more thing Son. because I knew the scriptures pretty well. or Jesus is a hypocritical liar. I can't believe that. Let God show you what He wants you to know. Then one day He made me realize some things. then the Commandments no longer apply. And I know that even though I didn't want to do those things. You see I had drifted quite aways from him during my time in the service. So either the law was fulfilled and wasn't changed. Then further away as I tried to escape from myself in a bottle. You see." "I will. I've heard some people try to condemn me by telling me that I should be ashamed. It's a lot to take in all at one time. It got my attention. The Bible teaches in the Old Testament that God gave us the right to use deadly force to protect ourselves and our families. To be honest. I have to think about it. Even more the people who said that He changed things didn't realize what they were saying. but to fulfill it.

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