[Previously: The war begins, at the GCW office, quiet moments for Cameron and Chloe during the previous, at New Hope, Chloe goes out to meet a contact, Cameron's group finds out about the bombs, heads for New Hope, they make it there and the bomb drops. Cameron gets a chance to talk to family, Loretta and Verna coordinate their networks, and Cameron finds out Chloe is unaccounted for. Jane joins (leads) Cameron on the search for Chloe (which takes place via motorcycle), they run into emergency personnel and reach the spot where Chloe met the contact, which Chloe has since left.]
"Insurgents just took control of printing presses," Loretta said.
"What kind of presses?" Verna asked.
Verna turned her attention from Loretta to who she had been talking to over Loretta's system, "We just got a paper, no idea how long we'll hold it for. I want every asset in every warzone to write up an article now and have it submitted here.
"Got it?" Pause. "Good."
Verna turned to Loretta, "May I use your people?"
Verna burst onto the main floor of New Hope, "I need everyone with any experience in print, I don't care if it was books, magazines or your high school newspaper. Anyone who just wanted to write a scathing article about how Nicolae is the Antichrist... I'm not checking credentials.
"We have a paper and we're in a hurry."
"Alice?" Loretta asked.
"Working," she said, her attention focused on Bruce's laptop. "The encryption is heavy, the encryption is good. He wasn't using this for the Sunday school schedule."
"We got a paper."
"Yay us," Alice said. Her voice was fairly flat, she was too caught up in what she was doing to show emotion, but Loretta could tell she was happy.
"Good luck with the computer."
"Good luck with the paper."
"Do you think the street would have become impassible before or after she passed this way?" Jane asked.
"I don't know," Cameron said, his voice defeated. The fact that Chloe could very well be dead had finally hit him. They hadn't seen much in the way of survivors, just deserted streets and their own voices echoing back when they called, "Chloe!" again and again.
"Cameron," Jane said loudly, hoping to break him out of his down state, "this matters.
"If the street was passable when she made it here she would have taken it, meaning we have to try to get back to this street, if it wasn't she'd have been forced to take an entirely different route. If we can't figure this out we'll be looking in the wrong place."
"I know," Cameron said.
Jane started looking through the debris, and said, "Tell me about her."
"You've met her."
"But I'm not her husband. Tell me about her through your eyes."
"What are you doing?" Cameron asked as Jane fiddled with a dead arm.
"Looking for a broken watch. If we can find a broken watch-"
"We can assume the watch broke at about the same time the street became impassible."
"Exactly. Now tell me about her."
Cameron joined Jane in searching, "She's stubborn as a mule, assuming mules are as stubborn as people say. She likes retellings of Homer that aren't retellings so much as obvious homage, Joyce's Ulysses, Walcott's Omeros." Cameron's voice lifted slightly as he spoke, "Whenever she meets someone with glasses she insists on trading glasses with them briefly to compare their vision. When she stops laughing there's always one last laugh that doesn't seem to fit but comes out anyway..."