[Originally posted at Slacktivist (page 2).]
[Rayford has just learned Nicolae's ten North American targets. Cities that are to be wiped out, as London was]
Cameron was mostly concentrating on not vomiting as Verna used the
land rover Alice had stolen from an abandoned dealership to plow through
obstacles almost constantly. He knew, intellectually, that the streets
hadn't exactly been cleared and Verna's ability to find ways through
the mess that didn't leave the SUV a steaming wreck was impressive to
the point of near miracle. The problem was that he felt,
gastronomically, that this was a very bad idea.
And then his phone rang.
Rayford's voice was hushed and he was speaking in code, Cameron's
mind wasn't really ready for it, and he had to ask Ray to repeat himself
a few times. Though part of that was probably the shock.
His hand shook as he jotted down the results of the translation, and multiple attempts were needed to make it legible.
Finally he said, "Yeah, Ray, I'll do what I can but I just wish you'd
called earlier.' The obvious response was that Rayford hadn't known
earlier. "I understand, it's just... just..." Cameron found he wasn't
up for putting things into code, "The office was already closed down for the day, I don't know what I can do at this point."
He hung up the phone and the others waited for him to speak, but he couldn't find the words.
"What is it?" Alice asked.
He still couldn't speak so he handed her his notes.
"What the hell is this? Wait. Is this left handed Greg?" she asked, gradually recognizing the shorthand.
"Anniversary," Cameron answered while nodding, voice flat.
Alice started to read.
"Oh my god."
She read more.
"Oh my fucking God."
Verna asked, "What is it?"
Cameron said, "Stop the car."
That, "It's not a car," wasn't said and a playful debate was not held
was a sign the War had taken its toll on everyone's sense of humor.
Before the SUV was fully stopped Cameron was out the door and vomiting on the street. A process he repeated multiple times.
When he returned to the SUV he caught the end of Alice filling Verna
in,"...if they really are 100 megaton bombs then the point is just to be
able to say '100 megaton bombs' it's much easier and more efficient to
use multiple smaller warheads. Use five 20 megatons, less effort, more
destruction, and you still get to say '100 megatons.'
"Nicolae would have had to have these bombs, and their delivery system, whatever it is, custom made."
Alice done speaking, Verna turned to Cameron, "Feel better?"
"Somewhat." After a pause he asked, "You're looking into what assets are still capable of getting the word out?"
"Of course," Verna said.
"You and Alice work on that, I'm going to try a different angle," Cameron said before digging out the phone the president had used to contact him.
"Cameron," Alice said.
"You said you friend's name over the phone last time. You shouldn't do that. Signals can be intercepted."
"Thanks," he said, then stepped outside of the SUV returned the only
call the phone had ever received. When the call was answered he said,
"Please tell me you still have an air force or something."
"Who is this?" Said a voice Cameron didn't recognize. Hopefully a member of Fizhugh's staff, possibly a GC agent.
"That's not important, I couldn't prove it anyway. I have some high
priority information level ... uh ..." it took him a moment to remember,
but when he did Cameron quickly rattled off a sequence of numbers,
letters, and colors that he hoped were correct.
"What do you have?"
"I have the GC's north American hit list. Ten cities that are all slated to become the next London."
Cameron gave the voice on the other end the names of the cites, then
got back in the SUV, and suggested a new destination: New Hope.
"We're almost to the first place you told us to go," Verna said.
"I know, and I wish we could go there," he truly did, it wasn't just
the closest shelter, it was Chloe's shelter. While he was glad to be
with friends, the person he wanted to be with more than anyone was his
wife, "but we might be able to access alternate means of getting the
word out from New Hope."
Bruce had traveled the country, then the world, making contacts and
creating the cells from which new organizations could be built. Loretta
was the one in charge of keeping those contacts in contact and helping
those cells multiply. She doubtless had contacts in the nine other
cities, people who could start getting the word out.
"I vote episode four," Alice said.
"New Hope it is, then," Verna said. She handed Cameron her phone, "These are the numbers I haven't called yet. Call them."
Verna started the SUV up, and the bumpy grinding journey toward New Hope began.
Several people blocked her path. Most were armed, but all wore
civilian clothes. Verna stopped the car. When one approached she
cautiously rolled down her window.
"There are snipers at the next intersection," the person said.
Verna sighed. "Of course there are." After a moment she said,
"Thanks for the information. We may have some of our own. If it isn't
stopped, the next bombing raid is to be nuclear, way beyond anything
we've seen so far."
"Do you have shelter?" Cameron asked.
Cameron gave directions to Chloe's shelter, still the closest and a
painful reminder how much further they had to go to reach New Hope. "It
should be open to everyone, but if there are any problems tell them
Cameron sent you. And if you see Chloe Steele-Williams tell her there's
nothing I want more than to be with her, but there's information I need
to get to Loretta."
[Skewed Slightly to the Left Index]