Serum (Part 5)

“It’s been a long three months.”

Looking around the interior of the building, I had to agree. There’s a smell and a feeling you notice where they haven’t had running water for a while.

“Anything interesting in town?”

“We stay pretty quiet. Keep our heads low. Doesn’t help that the mosquitos carry it.”

“That been much of a problem?”

“We had a scare. We used to be set up in an old warehouse. But someone got bit and then we couldn’t trust the air.”

Gray set the serum down on the table and the bearded man’s eyes lit up. “Careful, it’s not a miracle. It’ll keep you from turning, but you’ll still get sick.”

The others perked up. There were maybe a dozen of them. Hard to tell when they’ve got kids moving around and you never know if you’ve accounted for them all. The little ones must’ve been going stir crazy.

Gray walked them through the injection process. The autoinjector is a fairly simple thing, but you can’t afford to make a mistake. Once you know you’ve got the serum in your veins, then you can breathe easy.

Not before. Hell, I’m an immune and I got my serum. You can’t leave stuff like that to chance, right?

Anyway, we passed out the serum and got them all going. They offered to let us stay the night. Of course we did. It was almost dawn, and we wanted to avoid whoever we’d gotten into a shooting war with.

I couldn’t stop thinking about what Gray had done to the man on the beach. It wasn’t right. We’re supposed to be the protectors of what’s left. Not just of the States. We’re all just people now. I took an oath to defend the Constitution, to carry the flag.

But Washington’s a long way away. Sure, there’s still a President, still a Congress, living down in a bunker or touring what remains of D.C.

It’s just that it doesn’t matter to us anymore. We’re out here, on the other side of the country, and we may as well be on the moon.

Let’s be honest. Nobody’s making fuel. It’s already started to go bad. The military’s stabilized gas will last a couple years, especially since there aren’t enough of us left to use it up.

Then we’ll be without power and without vehicles. It’ll be back to horses, but they don’t like the crawlies very much.

What will we have then?

I’d never had problems sleeping before the crawlies. Now? It’s all dread. I had to fight my own thoughts to get to sleep.

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