Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Survivalista- Book 1: Indiana- Chapter 3- Part 2

Chapter 3- Part 2
They rolled to a stop in front of the old metal gate. She glanced over at Susie. “Wanna get that?”
“Get what?” Susan put on her dumb blond look. She glanced toward the rusted metal. “That?”
Rolling her eyes, Indie groaned and threw the Jeep into park. “Never mind.” She yanked off her seat belt. She climbed out, unhooked the gate, got back in, drove through and then got out again to re-lock it.
As she climbed back in, Susie asked, “Are we going to hike in?”
“No. Too much stuff to haul, too cold, the snow’s too deep and god forbid you break a nail.”
“So how do...?”
“Hang on. It's going to be a bumpy ride.” Indie grinned, putting the Jeep into four-wheel drive.
Susie grinned back. “How long have you wanted to say that?”
“Since I got this baby.” Indie eased the Jeep onto the maintenance road designed for ATV's. Bare trees and bushes slapped the sides of the vehicle. Indie winced as twigs scrapped against the side creating a hideous screech. She was just glad her dad had used the ATV to plow and the snow filled in the worst of the ruts.
“There goes your paint job.”
Indie spared her a glare, instead focusing on easing the Jeep along. After what felt like an hour and a million scratches later, the path opened into a clearing. Pulling off to the side, Indie threw the Jeep into park and killed the engine.
“Okay. Now we walk.”
“Wait! What?” Susie stared at her, wide eyed. “I thought you said it was too far.”
Unbuckling her belt, Indie shoved her door open. “There's less than a mile left and it's only accessible on a four wheeler or by foot. I'll leave the MREs, guns and ammo. We can come back for them.”
Susan scrambled out in pursuit. “Indiana...”
“Susan, you knew what this was when you signed up,” Indie snapped, falling into trainer mode. If Susie didn't drop the attitude she was going to have a real hard time dealing. Granted, she wasn't going to have it as hard as a trainee, but living off grid wasn't a picnic. And who knew how long they'd be out here. “Get your bag and let's go.”
“Fine.” Susie grumbled, grabbing her pack. “You know, you're turning into a bossy bitch.”
Indie kicked her door shut, taking in the scratches and deep gouges. Shaking her head she looked at Susan. “I have to be out here or no one takes me seriously.” Hefting the three bags, Indie headed for the path, with Susie following.
By the time they'd reach the compound the sun was starting to set. Indie was surprised that Susie had kept up the pace she'd set. As they pushed through the last bushes, Susan stopped.
“Oh my God! This is not what I expected.”
Indiana nodded. “That's how most people react the first time here.”
The school sat smack dab on the edge of a small lake, with deep forest surrounding it on the other three sides. There were several buildings, a bunk house, storage and a large cabin which sat looking over the lake. A large wall of solar panels faced the sky, supplying power to the buildings. Huge barrels gathered rain. The place looked more like a farm than a survival school. Even covered in snow it was impressive. Neat paths had been shoveled between the buildings. It was the very picture of order and calm.
As they walked toward the cabin Susie voiced her surprise. “I imagined sleeping in tents and rubbing sticks together.”
“We do that too. It depends on what you want to learn. We offer minimalist survival classes. That means you bring a pack with only certain things or weight limit and you have to live off that for a few days to a week.”
“Why would you do something like that?”
“To challenge yourself.” Indie glanced at Susie. “To learn what you're capable of, what you can take and where your limit is.”
Susan bit her lip, looking around. “I never thought about it like that.”
Pushing open the cabin door, Indie dropped the bags next to some boots and called, “Mom, you here?”
Tera jumped up from the couch. “Indie, I was so worried.” She rushed toward them and caught Indiana in a hug.
“Mom you're crushing me.”
Tera stepped back. “Sorry.” She looked as though she just realized Susie was there. “You brought Susan?”
“Yeah.”
“Things are that bad?”
Indie and Susan exchanged a glance. “They're freaky, Mom.”
Tera's brows pinched together. “All right then. I'll get Susie settled in the guest room and you can go explain things to your dad. He's in the office.”
“Okay. Be back in a bit.” Stepping back outside, Indie tugged her jacket closer. The temperature had dropped with the sun. Jogging over to the bunk house, she let herself into the rectangular shaped building. Walking between the rows of beds, she made her way to the back, to the small room her dad used as an office while up here. He sat at his desk talking with Mr. Anderson and Ryan, who looked up as she entered.
He smiled. “I knew you'd make it. We were just going over what these two know so far. You said there were some new developments.”
Indie nodded, leaning against the wall. “The people who the doctors thought were dead are coming back to life.”
The guys exchanged a glance. “What?”
“The doctors are saying that the virus is putting people in death-like comas. When the people wake up, they are in this thing called an animated catatonic state. It's creepy. The victims are all vacant, and...” Indie shook her head. “They look like zombies.” Realizing what she said, she tried to backpedal. “I'm not saying they're dead...”
Closing her eyes, she leaned her head against the wall.
“I think you need some sleep, hon.” Dan said, standing.
Indie nodded, “In the morning, someone needs to go unload my Jeep. It's at the ATV lot.”

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