Quietly we break off into our teams; each knows what they must do. Fiona and I decide to head off to a group of buildings witch fit the description given by Theodore. As we walk through the streets of the fort it gives off an almost ghostly feel. How many of the people that once lived here died during the rebellion, whose side were they on? Did they fight their friends, their family? I would prefer the bodies, like back in Seattle. At least I know what happened to them, I can’t explain why it bothers me. Fear of the unknown I guess, in a war the vibe this place gives off echoes my own feelings.
“Hey Riley, over here.” Fiona says. I must have drifted off into my thoughts; I didn’t even notice she stopped.
“What is it?” I ask.
“191st Infantry Brigade Headquarters.” Fiona says, “Should we check it out?”
I look at the sign lying on the ground, “Sure, might have something of use.” I say. We enter through a wall which must have been blown down during the nuclear blast. The brick building has however managed to remain mostly intact despite years of neglect and a nuclear blast. Most everything seems to be left in place, as if they just got up and left moments before the blast. Unlike Seattle a good portion of the base seems to have been untouched by the bombs. Still the signs of the blast are present. Nothing grows here anymore and the radioactive dust sits upon the desks. Sand has blown throw the smashed windows for the past few decades. As we go deeper into the building I give my flashlight the required three smacks to make it work. Slowly we search the building making our way from desk to desk searching for anything of use.
“There has to be something here.” She says, “I mean there just hast to be.”
“Don’t worry we will find something.” I say, “Remember we have luck on our side.”
“I sure hope you are right.” She says. Resuming our search I find myself searching the walls. Sitting on one of them is a dust covered case of sorts. As I remove the dust it becomes clear what it is and the only thing I can do is smile.
“Fiona, remember what I said about luck.” I say, “It appears it is still with us.” Fiona moves to stand next to me. Both of us stand in amazement at the map of the fort. Next to it rests the legend detailing every building and who it belongs to. Taking a chair I smash the glass freeing the map from its case. As I spread it out upon a nearby desk I search looking for that one word.
“There, Barracks.” I say, “Building 3412.”
“You don’t think they, do you?” Fiona says heading back out of the building moments later she returns, “They those bastards painted the numbers on the side of the buildings.”
“Well, now all we have to do is follow the map.” I say.
Before long we have walked over to the area on the map that holds some of the barracks, I am amazed at how well everything is going so far. The buildings containing the barracks are basically as Theodore described them. Choosing one at random Fiona and I head in. The building is filled with room after room. Each room containers several beds, all that remains is the metal frame. Moving through the building we find nothing but more of the same, finally we come across a set of stairs. Remembering what I learned from my time in Seattle I they too would most likely have stored everything in the basement. We move down into the darkness of the building.
Unlike the level above there is no light except for the small amount of light that makes its way down the stairwell. There is a musty smell in the air, the floor is damp. It is clear that no one has walked these halls in years. Once again I get the feeling, the feeling of being perhaps the first person to walk these halls since before the bombs. Making away down the fall there is nothing of use. The only thing of notice is a thick metal door which has been opened, the contents of the room removed. The feeling of hopelessness starts to over take me. Where we crazy to think that there would have been weapons left behind.
This is how the day goes; we make our way through various building all with the same outcome. This place has been cleared out. With the sun setting Fiona and I decide to check one last building before we head back to camp. The building is identical to every other building we have been through, except for one difference. Making our way into the basement of this building we notice the same thick metal door, only this was remains closed, it must have been forgotten when the military left the fort. All we can do is hope what we seek lies behind the door. There is one problem; we have no way of opening it.
Heading back to camp we hope that Velvet and Theodore have had more luck. With the day ending and our goal not accomplished I am strangely comforted by the door. The door gives us hope; behind it may very well rest what we came for. Behind that door lies the very future of Heaven. Upon arriving at camp we find we are the first to return, we wait for what seems to be hours. Still there is no sign of the others, “You don’t think something happened to them?” I ask.
“No, Velvet is too stubborn to die.” Fiona says, “Still though maybe we should go look for them.”
“We can’t, if we leave they might return.” I say, “We have to sit here at least until morning. You should try and get some rest; I’ll take the first watch.”
I spend most of my watch waiting and hoping for the others to return. As time slowly passes my hope is starting to fail. As I sit and watch the fort I see two lights heading my way. As they get closer the sound of an engine can be heard, Fiona, get up with have company.”
“Crap, a Brotherhood runner, how did they find us, Dyami?” She says, “You don’t think him, that bastard.”
Quickly I stamp out the fire and take position behind a few rocks, “Can we penetrate the armor.” I ask.
“No out best bet is to remain hiding and hope they exit.” She says.
As the vehicle gets closer my eyes adjust to the night and begin to focus, it is larger than a runner. The back seems to be covered in a plastic sheet. We sit and wait until it comes with a few yards of our current position. As the exit two individuals step out from the vehicle, the light is blinding and makes it impossible to identify them.
“Fiona, Riley, don’t shoot it’s us.” Velvet yells.
Moments Velvet cuts the engine and lights. Slowly my eyes readjust and I can make out the others. Standing next to the vehicle they look rather pleased with themselves. Apparently they found what they needed. Velvet explains how the managed to find the ammo early on. She talks about how it seems they left a stockpile of ammo when the abandoned the fort. Took what they could before the bombs fell and got out. They spent the rest of the day getting the truck running. Well Theodore spent the day getting the truck up, Velvet apparently spent most of the day complaining and not being much help. Once Velvet is done with the recount of their day I tell them about the locked door. Theodore explains it is probably a vault and that we can expect weapons left behind. More than likely they were left on purpose; in case they ever had to come back they would have a supply he goes on to explain they might have left the ammo as well. All for after the bombs fell; they just never figured no one would return for them till now, “Well that is all great, but how do we open the door.” I say.
“We use this.” Theodore says tossing a plastic box. It has a slight curve to it and the letter this way towards enemy inscribed in the case, “Its and explosive, we got about a dozen or so.” We spend the rest of the night getting a lesson about how to use the various explosives they were able to find. He tells us about the grenades and the claymore we are going to use to blow the door. This is however does not compare to the Anti Armor rocks they got their hands on. Three in total, not many but it gives us a fighting chance.
Tomorrow morning we will take the truck down to the area where we found the door. This will make things easier, not to mention the trip back. No gets a lot of sleep tonight. We are all too excited for what tomorrow will bring. For the first time since we decided to fight I feel that we might actually have a chance. As the morning light comes we can’t wait any longer and head into the fort. The sun has barley raised by the time we arrive at the Barracks. Once again we head into the depths of the building. Once again we stand before the metal door, only this time we have a key.
We watch as Theodore sets the claymore up against the door and runs the cable up the stairs to the floor above. For our safety Theodore says we should go outside while he detonates the device. We don’t argue this point. Outside we sit in silence waiting, and then all at once there is a loud explosion that echoes through the air. The building shakes and parts collapse upon themselves. As a cloud of dust billows out of the building we see as Theodore makes his way out.
“Damn, that was a lot louder than I thought.” He yells. His ears are clearly ringing, probably won’t be able to hear right for hours, “Well once the smoke clears we can head back in.”
After about fifteen minutes we head back into the building, the dust that once rested upon the floor and bed now lingers in the air. This is perhaps the first time I have been glad to be wearing my mask. Something tells me radiation or night a person would not want to breathe in this much crap. Making our way back down into the basement we can see the door has been cracked along with the all. Theodore has strategically positioned the explosive to blow apart the locking mechanism. It has worked perfectly; I get the feeling our old friend was more than just a sniper.
The door swings freely now and behind waits our prize from the count we find what Theodore calls small arms, mostly M4 rifles, about three hundred, and five M9 handguns. It is no ware near to enough to arm everyone back in Haven, but it will work. I hate to think of most people fighting against the Brotherhood unarmed, but there will be plenty of weapons lying around once people start dying, “Ok let’s get the weapons loaded up and back to Haven.” I say.
“Roger that sir.” Velvet says and begins to carry weapons out. It takes us no time to move all the weapons and before long we are on our way back to Haven. The trip takes several hours thanks to the truck and we arrive back by nightfall.
It is clear Nevada has been busy the past couple of days. He has spent the time getting everyone organized into squads and companies. All in all we have around nine hundred people who are willing to fight. This does not include who will be coming from Seaton who are apparently still waiting on Dyami to return. The truck is too large to move through the streets, it is a pain to carry the weapons through Haven, but this also means the Brotherhood will also have to move troops through without the aid of ground vehicles. As we approach the mansion Nevada has turned into a base of sorts. Barricades had been placed throughout the yard, made up of what seems to be scraps of medal and dirt. The entrance is now guarded by two individuals. Entering we find that people have been appointed as squad leaders and are spending their time studying the maps of the sectors they have been assigned. If I didn’t know any better I might think we had a real army assembled.
“Your back," Nevada says, “Please tell me you found what you were looking for.”
“Yes, well sort of.” I say, “We don’t have enough to arm everyone. Most people who are going to fight will not have a weapon.”
“Damn, well we are going to have to decide who get weapons and who doesn’t.” Nevada says.
“Ok, here is what we are going to do, have all the squad commanders assemble downstairs in an hour.” I say, “We will divide up the weapons then.” I spend the next hour reviewing the lists Nevada created trying to figure out who needs the weapons most, deciding who has a chance at surviving and who doesn’t. Before the hour is up I come to the conclusion that the squads assigned to the parameter of Haven need the weapons most, our entire defense is based on the holding. Only some in the middle will get weapons. Unfortunately this works out to about sixty weapons to sector two-four and around two dozen or so for sector one. Not great but it will have to do.
As I make my way downstairs a feeling of apprehension comes over me. How are we going to survive this? Do we have any hope, its funny here I am questioning whether or not we have hope, when in the end that is all we have.