Preparation, Determination, and Damnation
November 8, 2010
Some things were good, most things where bad. Which makes sense considering we were facing an Apocalypse? Hannah was back and I’d gotten Ellis and Kimberly as reinforcements. These were all Yig sends since Ethan was still too wounded to move much. He and our Darcarre prisoner rode in the back of the black van as we took a space in a grocery store parking lot, like we were normal people just getting back from a ball game.
Personally, I was feeling eight thousand miles from normal and our impending doom hung over our heads and kept us quiet. “You’d think I’d be used to this by now,” I muttered under my breath, but it really wasn’t true. Sure I had fought more than my share of Xemmoni, but I was mostly just trying to stay alive and protect those around me. Never before had the fate of thousands, or who knew if millions, rested in my hands. I wasn’t really sure what the Darcarre were planning to do at Chimney Rock, but whenever folks start talking about darkness claiming the world and tossing around the A word, my nervousness kicks up eighty notches.
“So why are we stopping here?” Ellis asked.
“For one, I haven’t had a decent meal in about two days. I might also try to grab some basic gear. Since we are out to save the world, I … ah figured I should at least eat a sandwich.”
“Cool, I have my laptop with. I’ll start looking up Chimney Rock and see what I can find out.” Ellis was already dragging his sleek laptop from his back as he spoke, then turning, he asked, “You got enough bread?”
“Remember that bank account I opened in Flagstaff?”
“Oh yeah, how much you got in there?”
“About eight million or so.”
“Wow! That must be nice.”
“It would be if I ever had a chance to spend it.”
While we were talking, Hannah was getting ready. I took her by the hand and we headed into the store. I bought all sorts of food, of course ale, flashlights, batteries, rope, duct tape, flares, jerry cans, lighter fluid, matches, and anything else we could think of.
Inside the store, Hannah and I chatted and tried to be like a couple should, but a blackness loomed over us that was hard to disperse. The world was counting on us, but we had no one we could count on. If anything, the authorities were searching for us. No help there. Despite everything, I held her close and gave her a long kiss before we rejoined the others.
Ellis was talking before I had set down the first bag. “It looks like where we need to go is about fifty miles east of here. Chimney Rock is in the middle of a national park. The twin spires are on the top of a mountain that rises nearly four thousand feet out of the desert floor, giving it an overall elevation of roughly eight thousand feet.”
“Did you learn anything that could help us?”
He looked a little hurt. “I found out where it is, didn’t I?” He shifted in his seat. “Hey, there isn’t an Apocalypse button to click or anything. The place is a damn tourist attraction. People go there all the time. There are no signs saying please avoid bringing about the Apocalypse while you are here.”
I chuckled, but Kimberly wasn’t in a laughing mood. “So what is our plan now?”
“I think we need to head out there and check on how entrenched the Darcarre might be. If we beat them out there, all the better.”
“What about pretty boy, here?” Hannah said, jerking her thumb towards the captive Darcarre.
“Let me take care of him.” Ethan groaned. “Right now, I feel like I could use releasing a few of my frustrations.”
“I’ll gladly put you in charge. Okay Ellis, find us a place that is close, but not too close. We need to hole up for a few and prepare. We still have two days. We need to do this right.”
Everyone nodded as the van pulled out onto route 160, but inside we were tense. The world might be counting on us. Five people alone against the upcoming Apocalypse. Being a Stalwart is such fun.
We had traveled about twenty miles before our captive started laughing.
“What’s so damn funny?”
“My brothers have found us, you fools.”
“He’s right, Jack,” Ellis cried out. “There are two large vans like this one following us! What do we do?”
“Take a left up here and get us into the trees. Let’s see how these boys in black do fighting a man of Yig on his home tuff.”