Chapter 3 - Entry 2
I refused to wear the uniform they’d provided the next day when we were escorted down to the small generator house behind the main building. A heavyset bald man in his sixties was already there, reading a manual on the diesel generator while sipping from a water bottle. Our armed escort, one of the deputies, sat down at a patio set nearby and watched us through the doorway like a hawk.
Hank Rogers, the bald guy, was a resident of Green Acres, a former mechanic, and far too chatty for my taste. He seemed pleased as punch with the authority figures ruling over the place, content to do his part while being protected and well fed. A good little sheeple.
Mary was sullen and quiet while I flat out refused to even speak to the man. I was just beginning to look over the generator out of sheer boredom when FEMA bitch, Sheriff Brown, four Guardsmen and a short man in a gray suit started heading our way.
“Miss Jaeger, please lie on the ground and place both hands behind your head.” The Sheriff had a grim expression as he spoke, a sharp contrast to FEMA bitch’s smug grin.
Guns were out and pointed my way. Thumbs flicked off safeties. I laid down with a sigh.
“What’s going on?” Mary asked, nervousness causing her voice to take on a higher pitch.
The short man spoke after I’d been surrounded and roughly handcuffed by the deputies. “This woman is an escaped prisoner convicted of multiple counts of murder. She is too dangerous to be allowed to roam free.”
I chuckled and looked up at the man, winking as he caught my eye. “You call this free? We’re already enslaved by you assholes. What are you going to do? Lock me in a room and put me on work details? Oh wait. You already did.”
No one thought that was very funny, especially the deputy who kicked my ribs and dragged me to my feet by my hair.
“Tough crowd.” I grumbled, then spat on FEMA bitch’s clipboard.
The sheriff stepped in and stopped another round of abuse before it could get started, gripping my arm and guiding me back to the main building.
“Guess you guys don’t like electricity,” I commented as we all walked back.
Mr. Suit demanded to know what I meant.
“It was my job in the Navy to wire buildings and set up generators. You’ve got a retired mechanic trying to keep that thing working. Apparently his last pair of glasses broke this morning too.” I shrugged and blew hair out of my face. “It won’t run forever and I’m pretty sure you’re not getting any electric out of those solar panels.” I paused and offered a wicked grin. “How many residents you got on medical equipment here?”
Mr. Suit pulled FEMA bitch to the side for a hushed and angry conversation. I grinned at the amount of head shaking she was doing.
“Lock her up until we can figure out what to do.” The short man ordered.
I chuckled as Sheriff Brown led me back up to my room.
Mary didn’t come back so I assumed they’d assigned her another room. I could smell the men standing guard outside through my locked door. No one had brought me lunch by two so I decided to take a long, hot bath. I left the hot water running for an hour just to drain the water heater. It made me smile to think about FEMA bitch and Mr. Suit taking cold showers.
Sheriff Brown and his two deputies came in with a plate of food around six. They handcuffed one of my wrists to its opposite ankle, then left me alone with the sheriff and my meal. I watched the older man as I ate. He looked tired and haggard, leaning back in a chair and smoking while watching me eat. After a few minutes of silence, he rubbed his face and spoke in a weary tone.
“Miss Stone, the FEMA representative, and my two deputies want to execute you.” A hand lifted, asking for my silence as he continued. “The Senator’s mother is diabetic and needs her medicine refrigerated so he’s insisting you be kept locked up and forced to keep the genny running.”
He nodded. “The short gentleman you head the pleasure of meeting earlier. He was here visiting his mother when things turned ugly. Hence the National Guard presence.”
Ah. Well that made sense.
I nodded and finished off my cold mashed potatoes, then asked for a cigarette. “What was your opinion? About the execution?”
“To let you and Mary go free. I called it banishment since they think this is now the safest place in Connecticut.” He shrugged. “I doubt they’ll do that though.”
“Thanks. I didn’t think you were an asshole.” I winked and blew a smoke ring. “How’d you guys figure out who I was?”
“One of the Guardsmen recognized your name and face from a newspaper article about the treatments you were getting at UCONN. We found a copy.”
“Ah. Well shit.”
He chuckled and I hobbled over to the bed.
“Any contact with the outside world?”
“It’s been sporadic. The Governor is holed up in Hartford at the Armory there. She hasn’t had any word from the Federal government in three days. Mostly relaying information with HAM radios and CBs. There’s also a good sized group of Navy personnel setting up shop on Martha’s Vineyard. Two submarines were moved there and one is providing power with its reactor to the island.”
“Is this mess just in the US or global?”
“Last we heard it was global. Whatever’s causing this is in the falling ashes. Winds carried it around the world. Guess it got into water supplies and food too. As if the zombies weren't bad enough, the latest predictions have this ash cover blocking sunlight for three to five years. Volcanic Winter, they're calling it.” He shrugged and chuckled darkly. “We’re fucked on a global scale and I have to deal with a couple of nit wit desk jockeys playing God. What I’d give for....”
Gunshots cut off the sheriff’s words and he gave me a confused look. I shrugged and had a sense of de ja vous as he drew his handgun.
“Stay put,” he ordered, then tossed me the handcuff keys.
“Be careful,” I offered, and actually meant it, as he cautiously stepped outside.
More gunshots followed and I heard a body hit the ground just beyond my door. The scent of blood washed over me, making my mouth water. I’d unlocked the handcuffs and started looking for something to use as a weapon when the door opened and one of the deputies stepped inside, aiming his gun at my head.
“What the fuck is going on?”
The other deputy walked in and hit me with a taser. He grinned wickedly and squatted down beside my twitching body.
“There’s a new sheriff in town.”
I didn’t see the gun’s butt as it connected with my temple.
I regained consciousness while being carried by two National Guardsmen with both wrists cuffed behind my back. One had a bandage on his arm and the smell of blood and sweat was thick in the air as I was brought outside. A dozen bodies were piled up in neat lines on the cobblestone courtyard. Most were elderly, though a few Guardsmen uniforms could be seen. I searched their faces and felt relief when neither Mary nor Nathan’s came into view.
My escorts moved past them to a pair of Humvee idling in the parking lot. They shoved me roughly in the back of one, pushing my body on top of a pissed off sheriff and one terrified Senator. FEMA bitch and a deputy piled into the front seat while a Guardsman stood on the rear bumper.
It was a short, bumpy ride though the cool, early evening darkness as the Humvees went offroad into a field just outside Green Acre’s walls. FEMA bitch and the deputy-turned-sheriff were already waiting outside as the Senator, Sheriff Brown and I were dragged into the grass and forced to our knees. She still had her fucking clipboard.
“The three of you have no place in our new world. As such, by the power granted me under authorization of the Federal Government Emergency Powers Act, I hereby sentence you to death.”
It happened quickly after that. A guardsman held each of us from behind while the deputy stepped forward with a knife. Apparently they didn’t want to waste bullets. I smelled piss as the Senator’s bladder let go.
Sheriff Brown was whispering a soft prayer, which ended as his throat was cut nearly from ear to ear. His handcuffs were removed while his body flopped and twitched, then finally lay still.
It was my turn next and I looked up into the Deputy’s face as the blade touched my skin. “See you soon.”
He didn’t find it amusing. The blade left a burning line across my throat as it cut. I felt the metal scrape against bone and my lungs caught fire as blood filled them. Then my body shut down the pain until blackness washed over me.
My last thought was to wonder if my system could heal from a wound this bad.