Friday, October 12, 2012

Skewed Slightly to the Left - After the bomb

[Originally posted at Slacktivist (page 3)]
[A giant pile of reminders and the like: Cameron hasn't heard from Chloe yet because he's been busy doing his job, which left him on the run because his job involved telling the truth about Nicolae.  Second, I misremembered a while back, and as a result Cameron has a sister instead of a brother.  And for those who have forgotten, Verna, Alice and Cameron are at New Hope following the decision to try to use the underground network of churches and shelters as a way to get the word out about the attacks.  And Chloe is trying to get a blackmarket contact, who had the misfortune of being caught in the middle of World War III, to safety.  Also I seem to be hung up on J names, Jack, Jane, Jason who knows what else.]

Cameron gave the video camera to Verna, "I got video of the bomb dropping, probably not good video, but..."
"Thanks," the sincerity of the word helped pull Cameron up a bit.  He felt somewhat less useless, and that made a lot of difference. "It looks like we can still reach the internet, so I'll see if I can get this out there."
"How are things going?" Cameron asked.
"Good, considering, we've managed to hook up a lot of our staff with Loretta's safe-houses and use her communications network to get the word out.  All ten cities got warning."  Verna sighed, "It probably wasn't enough warning but..."
Now it was Cameron's turn to try to help Verna.  He gently placed a hand on each of her shoulders and looked her in the eyes, "Hey, we do what we can.  No one can expect more and... and focus on the people who wouldn't have made it without your work not... not the rest."
"Thanks, Cam."  They separated.  "I've got more work to do."
Cameron didn't.  He wasn't sure what to do.  He knew what he wanted to do, which was find Chloe.  He knew what he should do, which was find a way to do his job so the burden didn't fall on Verna, Loretta, and the rest.  And between those two things he wasn't sure where to go.
Then Jane ran up to him, "I've been looking all over for you; you've got a call from your dad."
She handed Cameron his cellphone.
As soon as he had it he asked, "How are you holding up?"
"I'm fine.  The war's not here.  How are you?  I've been trying to call you for hours, your apartment,  your office, your cellphone.  I didn't know about this number until your sister got your voicemail."
"Sorry about that, it's technically a work phone.  What about sis, is she ok?"
"She's fine.  How are you?  We heard the news about New York."
"I'm in Chicago."
"We heard the news about Chicago."
"I'm in a bomb shelter in Chicago.  I'm as safe as I can be considering the circumstances."
"What about your wife?  We haven't even met her yet."
"I don't know."  Cameron wanted to cry, and to scream.  "I'm about to try to find out so I have to let you go, but before I do... I'm kind of an enemy of the state at this point and I hope that doesn't have any fallout for you, but if it does... You and sis be careful, ok?  Keep safe."
"You too.  I love you Cam."
"I love you, and tell sis I love her too."
"I will do."
"Got to go, goodbye."
Jane was still around, so Cameron asked her, "How do I contact one of the other shelters?"  As she was getting him to New Hope's communications equipment Cameron remembered why Jane had had his cellphone in the first place, "Is Jake ok?"
"Yeah, he's fine.  He wasn't that far from the nearest shelter."
Cameron was able to reach Chloe's shelter but when he asked for her he was passed off to Chloe's assistant Jason who said, "I don't know where she is, sir."
"What the hell do you mean-" Cameron stopped himself from shouting.  "Sorry.  And it's Cameron, not 'sir'."
"She went out to meet a contact and hasn't come back."
"Do you know where?"
"I think so, she left her phone here and-"
"Thanks Jason, just tell me where."
"Chloe's outside.  I'm going to look for her."
Loretta and Verna were both speechless for a moment.  Then Loretta said, "We're getting ready to send out search and rescue teams, let me send one with you."
"They'd have a different goal, I'd just slow them down.  I feel bad about taking one person away from the work here, I'd not going to compromise a whole team."
Loretta handed Cameron something and explained, "Geiger counter."
Verna said, "Good luck."


[Skewed Slightly to the Left Index]


  1. Good thing you're not an RTC. These books are dangerous enough when populated by flesh-clad Scofield-Bible-powered automata. Put actual human beings in them, and who knows what might happen?

  2. Now this is a phone call that is both relevant and reads like something a real person would do.
    You have redeemed the phone call. :)