The fellow had a broken leg, that much was obvious. It was also obvious that he was suffering from minor frostbite, but major hypothermia. He was cold to the touch, but had gone well past the point of shivering. He had hoped his acquisition (he did not have a name yet) would have had the sense to get some shelter. Apparently not. Oh well, it couldn't be helped. Kai knelt down, and hooked his arms under the fellow's armpits and heaved the corpse-like dead weight as smoothly as possible. The hypothermia probably worked in his favour at this point, as the pain of being jostled was less likely to send the fellow into shock.
Grimly, Kai pulled open the back door of the truck and manoeuvered so he could back himself into the vehicle, locking his arms around the fellow’s chest. He groaned with the effort. It figured. He had decided to become a man of action in the period of his life where he had spent the least amount of time in a gym. He managed to hoist the man up, and into the vehicle, unfortunately atop him. If Litpol showed up, he’d be doubly screwed. Illegal materials in the back, and some apparent male on male action in the backseat. That was one thing that had always struck him as funny, even in his non-rebellious days. Robin Williams had joked about it as well. His jokes had applied to the law in the southern US, but now could be applied across the board, anywhere they tried to criminalize such things (and Litpol did...indeed they criminalized talking about it, writing about it, drawings of it...you get the idea.) The joke was that where they put you on a charge of sodomy was prison, which just happened to be the place you were most likely to be sodomized. It was funnier when it was true. But the advent of the furnace had made the joke untrue. If you were caught in flagrante delicto of any such offense, there was no prison time, save the days spent awaiting your turn in the searing heat of the blast furnace. So now, if you were flamin’, you were flaming.
Yeesh...even he had to admit that was bad. While Kai had no fear or dislike for homosexuals, having spent the past four years in an atmosphere of fear, where the new political correctness had nothing to do with politeness and everything to do with politics, he was intensely aware of how innocent situations could become tainted in the public eye, and bring Litpol down on them. But at the same time, this close proximity to his fellow protagonizer was probably best for him now. Body heat had always been a recommended method of warming a person in such condition. So Kai turned off the lights and turned the music way down, and pulled the fellow farther into the vehicle and shut the doors. He had a long look about him, to see if anyone was about, but saw nothing. He reached behind the left rear seat and pulled out blankets and a winter jacket, covering the both of them. He didn’t dare spare more than twenty minutes on this warming effort, but he was damned if he was going to let the fellow die for fear of litpol. He’d travelled a thousand miles to save the fellow.
Twenty minutes later, he was on the road, heater in the truck at full blast, and the fugitive covered with every conceivable scrap of clothing in the truck, other than what Kai was wearing. He continued to play his music, louder now as he was on the move, occasionally singing along to a rather eclectic list of tunes. The fellow buried in the back seat would have no worries that he’d been captured by Litpol, not with a list of tunes as diverse as Louie Armstrong’s Kiss to Build a Dream On, Iron Maiden’s Number of the Beast, Cranberries’ Linger, Thornley’s Make Believe, Tom Petty’s Running Down a Dream, and Prince’s Raspberry Beret. Unless he thought one of Litpol’s crueller tortures was to make one listen to bad karaoke versions.
Kai drove over the bridge and onto the reserve in Kamloops. The native population fared better than most Canadians, in that once having given them a certain level of self-government, they had found it harder than hell to take it away again without armed conflict. Because of this, another way of obtaining illegal materials was to funnel it through friends on reserve. And Kai had a few of those, though his ties were strained by distance, and by not being one of them. But even if he wasn’t blood, he was family to some of them, an in-law. And his children’s uncles and grandmother would take him in, no matter the trouble. Unfortunately, he could not call ahead, and he hoped desperately that his mother-in-law did not keep her hunting rifle loaded.
He stopped the truck in her driveway, and banged on her door. Bleary-eyed, she opened the door.
“What the H E double hockey sticks is yer problem!?” She yelled, before seeing who it was. “Kai? What the...where’s Jenell? The kids?”
“Safe. In Sweden. I’d have called, but it was a sudden sort of thing, and I don’t think your cell had any minutes.”
“Well, come in then, I suppose.” She grunted. “Don’t let that cold air in.”
“Actually, I need your help. I have an injured fellow in back, and he needs medical attention. And neither of us can go to the hospital.”
She swore profusely at him, glaring at him accusingly. “You were supposed to be more level-headed than that, and keepin’ my family safe.”
“I know. That’s why I sent them off. Would have sent them to you, but they’re still technically in Litpol’s reach here. Out of country, they won’t know anything’s wrong, it’s just a vacation.” Kai said. It was partly true. Only his eldest was able to fully understand. “Can you get someone? Even a nurse? Hypothermia and a broken leg.”
“Yeah. I’ll go next door, then call Jonathan. Cell’s dead. His foreman was a paramedic once. Should know enough to get him splinted, then you two on the road. They’ll check here eventually. Treaty or no.” His mother in law was a bit eccentric, and hated telemarketers. A land-line led them right to your door, in her opinion, regardless of block-lists and such precautions.
“Say hello to Aunt Becky. I brought pictures too, Mom. They’re buried in the truck, but you’ll get them before I go. I’m sorry I couldn’t bring them to see you before they left.”
Her eyes welled up. “Now look what you gone and done. I was fine till then. Why can’t you be the complete bastard you’re supposed to be, and spare me some tears.” She moved in and hugged him. She was frailer than he had remembered, and it saddened him to realize it. His mother and father too, were getting older by the day it seemed, and these reminders that someday he’d have to let them all go were all the more poignant because he had not spent the time he should have with them in recent years. “You’re a good boy, Kai. My girl knows how to pick ‘em.” She whispered in his ear, almost bringing tears to his eyes too.
“We’ll both see them again, Mom. In happier times. I’ll make sure of it. I’m going to try and bring our country back.”
“Hah...you can barely change your socks, let alone the world.” She said, smiling teasingly.
“Yah, but after a day or two, my socks can change the world.”
“Don’t remind me.” She said, and headed out the door. “Carry him in. My back ain’t what it used to be. I’ll be right back.
He nodded and headed out to the truck, and proceeded to unbury his newfound confederate. The fellow stirred, muttering something absently, as Kai, aka Kaiser123, pulled him from the truck.
“I didn’t shoot the Sheriff....or the deputy....” he muttered. “No....Stop saying that!...I’m sorry...NO!”
He awoke with a start, and looked into Kai’s eyes.
“ Who the hell are you, and where am I?” he said, struggling to stand. Big mistake. A cry of strangled pain escaped him, and he flopped to the gravel of the walkway, despite Kai’s best attempt to hold him up.
“You called me, friend. Not specifically, but still, I want to know who I drove nine hours for.”
“I know it’s dark. It’s 3 in the morning. “
“No....Dark. I’m Darkliquid...”
“Kaiser123. Nice to finally meet you. In person that is.”
“I thought you left us.”
“I did. I’m back now.”
“Oh...Can I pass out now?”
“Only if you promise not to shoot any Sheriffs.”
“Oh...” The until recently unnamed conspirator passed out, and Kai/ Kaiser123 brought him into the house, and laid him in bed. He would have given anything to have had more time to talk to the fellow. He still knew so little about the Protagonists as they were now. He’d sent his call, he’d made his choice, but a frustrating inability to plan the next few moves was driving his timid side absolutely batty.