Hybrids: Chapter 10
Hi! We made it through another week at our house.
According to my 8-year-old I continue to be The Worst Teacher Ever (not surprising, I have no training) because I'm not fun or interesting (again, I have no training). However, she is almost caught up to where she would have been for multiplying and dividing if she hadn't had such a rough February. My 5-year-old thinks I'm doing okay as a teacher, except I'm boring. I'm okay with both performance reviews. We have a weekly learning schedule we mostly stick to, they're getting their school work done, and they still like me enough to talk to me at dinner.
I stole a few hours for some editing and then some writing throughout the week. My head space is much better for it. And my goodness is this next story ever coming out to be adorable! I don't plan out anything before writing it, so I'm having a blast finding out what happens next whenever I have the chance to type out a bit more. The story doesn't seem like it should be as long as it's getting, but I guess I'll continue to write and see where it ends up at.
In other news, my husband and his brother have started up a laser cutting and engraving company. They were getting that set up and rolling this week, and as of Wednesday began cutting face shields. Western Engraving Solutions has been born! They're an Edmonton, Alberta, local company and can help with almost all cutting and engraving needs.
Hope the rest of your weekend sees you safe and well!
Now that he could steer with only one hand, Nate used the radio to talk to Ray and directed the retired General to drive beside him and block both lanes of the narrow highway. The base security cars couldn’t drive in the rough scrub beside the road, and the off-road vehicles couldn’t keep up with the carriers driving on smooth asphalt.
“Who back there knows your project information?” Jerry asked Neah while he was waiting for another transfer to connect. She only stared at him blankly. “The codes and clearance identifications proving you exist so the project can get funding and oversight. All the info about base command you’re not supposed to know but I bet at least one of you has memorized,” he explained. She blushed, her jaw clenched closed, and then she disappeared from view. Kaff appeared at the half door a moment later.
“What do you need?” Kaff asked.
Jerry held up a finger to stop Kaff from talking, and then repeated his personal information into the cell for the fifth time. “Not me,” Jerry said as he handed Kaff the phone. “Tell her everything she asks for, even if you only know partial information.”
Kaff stared at the phone for a second and then took it. “Hello?” he said.
Jerry listened to the short, one-sided conversation as Kaff stated and repeated all the codes he was asked for (Jerry grinning to himself that the kid knew everything completely, no partial codes), and then as Kaff provided a quick report of the past week. The teen handed the phone back to Jerry when he was done. Jerry finished his part of the conversation and then disconnected the call. As was protocol for the first call he’d made, he called the second phone number he kept memorized and dropped the cell on the dash once the new call connected.
“What now?” Neah asked. Kaff had gone back to his seat and she’d returned to sit by the half door.
Jerry ignored the question and picked up the radio mic. “How far are we from the nearest air force base as birds fly?” he asked Ray.
“Depending on flight path… maybe twenty minutes?” Ray replied after a slight pause.
Jerry pushed the button to reply and the phone on the dash emitted a loud tone before he could say anything. Neah stared at the phone and Nate only glanced at it, both of them not knowing what the tone meant. Ray’s carrier swerved a bit and Ray mouthed what the fuck?! to Jerry through the windows as he reacted to the sound he was very familiar with.
“I saw an old sign in the tunnel and made a lucky guess about the base defenses,” Jerry said into the radio mic when the tone ended. “Can these carriers go faster?” he asked Nate and Ray.
“We’re already going top speed. You can get out and push if you think it’ll help?” Nate said.
“We’ll get enough push in about a minute,” Jerry answered.
“Don’t you mean in about twenty minutes? I mean, that was an air strike you called in and needed our project info for?” Neah asked.
“No. I called in a hostile military occupation having taken full control of the facility where you guys had been living,” Jerry corrected. “That old sign in the tunnel was for nuclear safety instructions. I guessed that a facility secret enough to make you would have some kind of remotely activated defenses.”
“What does that mean?” Nate asked as he cringed away from the bullets bouncing between the carriers and striking the door and window beside him.
Jerry was interrupted before he could reply by the same tone coming out of the phone. He clicked on the radio mic so that Ray would also hear the countdown. The tone ended and the standard beeping started counting away the seconds.
“Do these carriers have ballistic defense?” Jerry asked.
Nate scanned the dash. “Yes,” he said. “And it looks like the good stuff that can take a direct missile strike.”
“Stop and deploy,” Jerry ordered.
“How?” Ray asked with panic creeping into his voice.
The carriers skidded to a stop and quickly turned around to face back the way they’d come. Jerry kept the radio’s mic keyed for talking and Nate called out detailed instructions of every movement he made to deploy and lock down the protections. They turned off the carriers once all the shielding was in place, sitting in complete darkness behind the covered windows. Jerry’s fingers tapped on the dash between beeps from the phone, filling any silences left around the hail of bullets hitting the armored exteriors.
“Brace!” Jerry yelled over the final loud tone from the phone.
The rain of bullets stopped. Outside the carriers, people raced to their small vehicles and sped away in the direction the carriers had been going: away from the base. In the dark, inside the carriers, Jerry tucked his head between his knees and the voice of his first commander rolled through his thoughts adding: and kiss your ass goodbye.
The silence was perfect for a full second and then the blast hit. The carriers rocked and shuddered, but the ballistic protections held against the shock wave and debris.
“Drive! Now!” Jerry yelled once the worst was over.
Nate fired the engine and yelled every motion into the radio mic for getting the carriers drive-ready while keeping the passenger compartments’ shielding in place. Radar screens, like those of an aircraft, provided a view outside to show the road, surrounding desert for a few hundred meters, and the smaller vehicles which had been tossed like toys. Nate slammed through the few upended vehicles still on the road as the cloud from the base exploding towered higher and bloomed out into a mushroom shape.
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A weekly blog updating on Fridays with quick personal blurbs about me, as in what's going on during my life as an Author and mom, and that doles out my short stories and novellas in bite-sized parts for everyone to read for free!