Sunday, August 10, 2014

Go Team Aubrey

The trio set up in the officer's quarters closest to the commander's quarters for the moment.

I want to set up down in the quartermaster's office,” Travis said. “It's close to the workshops and it's a good place to set up to keep supplies.”

Of course you do,” Ben said. “You are the quartermaster.”

Uh... thank you. But I'll still need to get a good accounting of our supplies, which we'll need to really start bringing in, and figure out rationing, and I can do that best down there, I think.”

There are bathrooms not far from there,” Amanda said. “We can all set up down there. No big.”

Yeah, but there's no bedrooms, so no privacy, just the office and a lot of storage,” Travis said. “And the storage rooms don't have heat right now.”

Until you get your propane death bomb heaters,” Ben said, and Amanda slugged him absentmindedly, just out of habit. He patted her arm back.

I'll figure it out,” Travis said, his brows lowered and jaw squared.

Well, duh,” Amanda said. “You're the brains of this outfit.”

He gave her a quickly suppressed look of surprise. It wasn't a way he thought of himself, sitting here in the officer's quarters with his two college-educated friends.

So I will take Dredd Scott's quarters, right across from you guys. Right? One room with a fireplace for warmth, close enough to the bathrooms beneath the officer's quarters, and you two can set up in the quartermaster's office.”

You could take the guardhouse, and be the constable,” Ben said helpfully. Amanda gave him a curdling look.

You could take the laundress's quarters and wash my socks,” she said.

I'm a ranger,” he said, doing his best to look thoughtful, slightly unwashed, and heroic; at least the unwashed part was easy right now.

Whatever, Drizzt.”


You know what, hot food at Eve's. Hot. Food. That we can eat. I am not arguing with you over which lame fictional bowman you are, Katniss.”

Aragorn is real,” Ben whispered grumpily. They finished laying out their inflatable foam mats and their sleeping bags, and headed over to Hot. Food. with the Aubreys.

They spent some time setting up the radio down at the quartermaster's office, with the solar panel powering it up on the roof. All three bedded down in the officer's quarters for the evening, but parked their bikes and their trailers inside the long storage room next to the quartermaster's office. The next morning they replenished the wood for the Aubreys and moved a barrel of water down to the commissary, where the office was. Other barrels of water were moved to the wood barracks bathroom, which the Aubreys used, and to the bathroom below the officer's quarters.

Eve Aubrey made them breakfast of left over frybread from the night before and powdered eggs from the supplies left behind by Joe Raymond. She had hot coffee and sugar there too, though Katrin and Val chose some Tang, also left behind by Joe Raymond, instead.

Any plans in place already for supplies and fortification?” Travis asked over breakfast, right to the point.

We found some razor wire,” Eve said. “We are planning to set that out in rows around the Fort. I don't think they feel pain, so it won't prevent them from coming through, but it should help tangle them up pretty good.”

I went down to the marina and brought up all our stuff we'd left behind when we first got here,” Will said. “But I haven't gone through the boats for supplies.”

Waste of time for the resources we'd get,” Travis said. “I wouldn't worry about that.”

Mr Joe had a truck, it's by the gun shed,” Katrin said.

Mr Joe die,” Val explained. “I have cheeses.”

Eve patted Val's leg. “There's some gas for the truck in the gun shed,” she said.

There's a Target and a Home Depot not far from here,” Ben said.

And a lot of road between here and there in an unknown state of clear,” Amanda said.

The bikes are good for uncleared road,” Ben said.

And dog bites, and getting caught in storms, and -” Amanda began.

We will take the truck, and watch the sky,” Travis said.

In case they attack by spaceship?” Ben asked, his eyebrows up, and Travis gave him a speaking look.

For the storm. If Will comes with us -” Travis looked to Eve for permission, and she nodded. “There's four of us. We take the truck, we drive carefully, and that leaves three of us to try and clear the roads enough we have a clear and fast path back and forth from here to Home Depot.”

We have enough supplies for right now,” Amanda said, and looked to Travis for agreement. “So the focus needs to be on getting what we need to make the Fort safe.”

I agree,” Travis said. “And I have an idea of how we can quickly raise the total height of the walls where they're low enough to be scaled easily by biters or other people, so we can keep out anything detrimental to the survivors here.”

How are you doing, Eve?” Ben asked, his face kind and concerned.

Better. Tired, but better. Pain's manageable and mostly only when I bump the broken arm. I can work here with Katrin on arranging the supplies you brought and making sure there's room for whatever more we will need to bring in. But we'll need water soon.”

We got that from Coldwater Spring. We have a hand pump,” Will said.

You're a hand pump,” Katrin whispered, and Val high fived her.

Good one!” he chuckled.

Eve gave them a warning glare and the two subsided just enough that she turned her gaze back to the trio and Will.

We're going to end up needing gas, too,” Amanda said, and slugged Ben before he could even comment on her and gas.

I have a siphon kit,” Travis said. “We can take care of that after we get the Fort... ah, fortified.”

Amanda has gas,” Ben said under his breath, determined to get it out.

Good one,” Val whispered to him, and they both fell silent as Eve gave them a stern look.

There's a pharmacy at Target,” Ben said, trying to sound businesslike and adult again. “Is there anything you need from there ASAP?”

I need my walker,” Val said. “I hate it wheelchair.”

If there's time and you see a walker, he needs one,” she said. “We had to leave his behind when we came to the Fort.”

I like it my wheelchair,” Val amended. “But I need my walker back.”

We – Joe Raymond and I – grabbed a lot of medical things and medicine at the VA pharmacy,” Will said somberly. “We put most of it in the hospital building.”

Good,” Travis said, satisfied with that arrangement. “Gary's sending a midwife over as soon as we make sure the Fort is secure, and she and her patients can hole up there. So first, building up the walls and making it harder for biters to reach the walls.”

Kat and I will do some more arranging in the walls,” Eve said. “I don't think I'm much use in a fight yet, or fast enough to get back inside the walls if she sees something from the Round Tower, or I'd start putting out the razor wire.”

We can do that tomorrow while Mandy and Travis fix the walls,” Ben said. “And then Gary will send the midwife, and come over himself if he's got his cat. We just need to get as much done as possible before a big snow. Gary's got a snowmobile, but that's just one, and they're loud – if for some reason the biters aren't frozen when it gets colder, it'll draw them.”

What do you think, Val, when's the storm coming?” Kat asked her brother quietly, and Eve held up her hand to silence the others so she could hear his answer.

Snow a little night time,” he said. “Snow a little tomorrow. Then big storm coming. Lots of wind. Loud.”

Ok,” Eve said. “We should have today and tomorrow to get as much done and as many supplies in as we can before the snow really comes.”

How... how accurate is he?” Travis asked.

His weather powers are creepy level,” Kat said.

He's pretty reliable,” Eve agreed. “He's right more than TV weatherpeople were.”

How weird,” Ben said half under his breath, and Eve stared at him, hard. “There's no more TV weathermen,” he explained.

Awesome,” Amanda said to Val, who was quiet for a second, then gave her a flirty look beneath his long lashes. “A real superhero – Weatherman.”

I call tornado on you,” he said, his twitching lip belying his severe tone.

I will have to be very well behaved, I see,” she said, and he giggled.

Travis's mouth twitched too. Though Amanda could be blunt and even harsh with adults, she was gentle and humorous with children. The change in her demeanor between adult conversation and her open, respectful conversations with children could be disconcerting for those who did not know her as well as Ben and Travis did. He glanced over and saw Ben staring thoughtfully at him and realized Ben had been watching him watch Amanda. Travis dropped his gaze.

All right, team,” Ben said, cheerfully, giving no hint of anything he might have seen in Travis. “Let's get this party rocking.”

Go Team Aubrey!” Kat said and put her small fist up. Her family put their fists up against hers.

Go Team Aubrey!” they said in unison. After a second, the newcomers did the same, putting their fists into the circle too.

It's the sign for 'A' in sign language,” Kat said importantly, holding her fist up to show Amanda. She studiously avoided looking at Ben.

Nice!” Ben said, and Kat blushed, just a little.

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