Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Part 89


"Hey, now that we've got all the strange stuff out of the way, mind telling me where we are and how we got here?"

Cochran nearly cackled.  "You are so ... I don't know ... different."

"And that prevents you from answering my question why?"

He snickered and then said, "It doesn't.  I built a snow shelter to keep us from freezing to death.  It's not a great one because I had to do it so fast but it'll last us until daylight and then we'll head back to your cabin."

"My cabin?  Why my cabin?"

"Because that is where I told the Major that I'd rendezvous with him at."

"How did you tell him that?"

"Now who is being stupid?" he asked.  "By radio of course.  Just because I got one of my crazies on and took off doesn't mean I'm completely demented.  I carry a radio and spare batteries everywhere I go just in case.  The Major would have come after he found out you were missing but we had a bunch of guys go AWOL - most of them refugee camp recruits - and he was trying to round them up to keep them from freezing to death."

Trying not to give anything away I said, "Sounds bad."

"Yeah.  The docs started something again.  They were trying to get the men to ... if you were on the water it would be a mutiny ... to revolt against the Major and make them the bosses but it backfired.  The men really can't stand the docs - at least the egghead ones - and all the docs did was make the men think they couldn't trust the major and that they'd be better off trying to return home or go further north, maybe into Canada."

"Mega stupid.  Canada has helicopters patrolling their borders and the word is out that they shoot first and ask questions later."

"You know it.  I know it.  Most people with sense know it.  But a lot of those refugee recruits don't exactly have a lot of sense.  Those that had any have already been promoted into positions of responsibility back where they came from or in the local militias.  The ones that are left are the dregs.  You need to be careful.  Some of those that went AWOL aren't the best kind of people."

"I'll keep that in mind," I told him.

Things got quiet after that and I almost fell asleep again.  "I was coming to check on you."

"Huh?"

"I was coming to check on you.  For some reason I just couldn't get it out of my head.  And then you weren't at the cabin but I found skid marks ... or drag marks of some kind.  I guess you must have been looking for wood or something."

Rather than answer him I shrugged.  It bothered me to lie to Cochran and I wasn't sure why ... still not sure I've done the right thing.

"You came a little far to get wood though.  That wasn't exactly smart."

Then I don't know why but I told him.  "I wasn't hauling wood."  When I was done explaining he was very quiet.  I tried to move away but his arm went over me.

"Don't.  You'll just get cold and so will I."

I asked him, "Did you hear what I said?"

"Yeah.  Two jerks were going to rape you and worse.  You defended yourself.  End of discussion.  No one else has to know about it."

"But these guys weren't puss brains."

Cochran said, "No they weren't which is why this goes no further ... not even to the Major.  I know he's your friend and he'll risk everything to protect you but him knowing ... it'll put him in an awkward spot and it could be used against him.  And no one needs to ... look ... they are already having hissy fits when someone 'murders' an infected.  I imagine they'll do more than throw a fit if they find out about anything like this."

Angry at myself I said, "I shouldn't have told you."

"No, you shouldn't have.  But ... but I'm glad you did.  When daylight comes I'll look and see if the dogs left any ... uh ... evidence and we'll see what we have to work with in case we need to come up with a story."

Confused I said, "Well aren't you all calm, cool, and calculating."

"You want me to have hysterics like a girl or something?"

"I'm a girl and I'm not having hysterics."

"Then why should I?  If they are the guys I think they are ... they needed taking out.  They used to brag about doing some pretty sick crap.  The Major had them up on charges twice but the docs interferred by saying they needed the warm bodies to move the infecteds around.  They fell asleep on guard duty this time and the Major said that was the last straw.  He was going to call a tribunal or something like that and more than likely they would have been put down by a firing squad anyway."

"A ... a firing squad?!  Are you kidding me?!"

"Nope.  Major Watson doesn't fool around about stuff like that.  He's already had two up on charges of rape and they were hung.  That happened last month and you would have figured the men would have learned."

"OMG, that sounds so ... so ... archaic and junk."

"Yeah, but this is that kind of world now and those men don't deserve you to feel sorry for them.  Just be glad there are still men like Major Watson that care enough to put it on the line to try and protect people when he can."

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