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  1. #1
    ChainsawAdams's Avatar
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    Survive the Signal Fanfic

    When people hear of my job, they instantly think I'm living the life. Working doing what I love, hanging with rock gods with my hand on a button. Little do they know that button is small and labeled with red tape and a magic marker. -ON THE AIR-

    Being a disc jockey for a small coastal town in Maine is nothing like blasting the airwaves in the metro areas. My home town, Cambden, is a semi-popular port for die-hard fishermen. My primary duties are to relay information from the weather service to the sailors out at sea. Sure I get to play music between each minor crisis but if I play a song offending one of the many 60 to 70 year old fishermen set in their ways, well lets just say it's not hard to find someone else to press this button. So I keep it mild. Hits of the oldies, some smooth jazz while throwing in the rat pack to stir things up. Sometimes I have something clever to say. On other days I just put the whole thing into automation for the whole day just to sleep in. And before you ask yes, I live in the studio. It's much like a lighthouse, I have to be at the ready for when disaster strikes.

    It really isn't half bad. Especially now with the internet. I never took up any hobbies but suddenly I've been collecting the greatest hits of sites you need a credit card to access. I suppose I could go out to go to the market, maybe attend church though I don't know why. But instead I receive my goods meals on wheels style. Not an ideal life but I feel as though I've carved out my own small patch of paradise. The greatest feature of the studio is the view. Ocean on all three fronts. The crashing will lull you to sleep if your not careful. Some say the phantoms of dead sailors may visit from time to time. If so I'll take a request and dedication. I don't discriminate and their isn't much that truly frightens me. This is useful in a town knee deep in superstition.

    Taking in a deep sigh the bare red bulb in the corner lit up. Information was coming in from the weather station. Grunting to myself I sat up and ruffled my hair and put on my panda shaped slippers. "Work, work, work..." I didn't say this exactly negatively. I could work in the comfort of my own home in slippers, boxing shorts and a torn up indie-band T-shirt. A simple life filled with the sounds of the past. I checked the clock and groaned, 3:50 am. It must be breaking news to wake him off hours. Finding the rail from his room in the basement I began to ascend the spiral staircase. I had named each step but wasn't feeling chatty enough to greet them.

    Passing the first level live in area, I reached the second level used for housing the massive broadcast hardware. It hummed with life. A sound I no longer even heard as it has made the same tune since I had first arrived. Over time it just got lost in the waves. In my slippers I could almost glide over the hardwood floor of the production room where I slid to the counter which held the obnoxiously red rotary phone stamped with a large black batman symbol. Taking a moment to think of something to say I then picked up the phone with a smile.

    "Commissioner lets please make this quick. I need to pry a dog out of the grill of the bat-mobile and Robin won't stop polishing his bat-pole!" On the other end their was a sigh.

    "Evan, You finally lost it haven't you? Told you your mind couldn't handle the strain." Evan shot up instantly recognizing the voice.

    "GREAGGER! Where have you been? You sholuld know this phone is for the emergency broadcast network. I know it's silly but they REALLY take their responsibilities seriously over there."

    "Yeah, I'm just discovering. But yeah, I was on assignment in Iran and was just brought back on a return trip with the troops. Didn't have a place to go so headed back to the old city and took up a research gig here until I find something better. But it's great to hear your in good spirits." I started to rifle through the cabinets for food.

    "Yeah, that's great. But to what do I owe this call. Your not the sentimental type. What's the news?" Instantly I could hear stirring on the other end. "Greagger?

    "Listen, some stuff has been going on. Media in the major cities have been giving on and off reports but as part of our jobs is to keep the public informed I figured I'd let you in the look." I had to groan again.

    "Did I mention how early it is?"

    "At first we figured it was just some flash mob. A practical joke for the public until the incidents began occurring in most major cities. We're still getting calls. It started in a way no-one understood. People were walking into the city. But what's the harm in that right?"

    I smirked "Maybe we'll solve our health crisis after all. Power walking!"

    "That's what some people thought. And the thing is you can't call in to the police to report people walking so it got dumped on the medias doorstep. It's now been 10 hours these people have been walking in from outside the city limits and their numbers continue to grow. Some thought that this could be a political action like "Occupy Wallstreet" but some of these people walk in dressed for work, a date, or completely naked. Also, some of them have bare feet and they've been leaving bloody footprints behind the." Evan quickly grabbed a pen and paper.

    "And the Military refuses to get involved?"

    "We're celebrating our victory over terror, we have a new president, it would be political suicide to order the troops on US citizens who have not actually broken any laws except for nudity and jay walking. Local police have been setting up barricades to coral the hordes but once in the city they all went in separate directions making containment near impossible. And that's where we are right now. A silent flood of silent nobodies enter the city and begin to blend into the public." I continued to write furiously as he listened to Greagger.

    "So these people...They didn't say anything? Aren't they responsive?"

    "They're dead to the world. Several have been hit by cars refusing to move or avoid being hurt. When spoken to they don't respond. It's like they're being called to something and nothing can deter them. Greagger tried to think of more to say but he was baffled and while he wanted to say more he had nothing more to add. "Anyways, I don't know if this has hit the coast yet but you should tell your listeners to take precautions until we figure this out.

    "Right." I said nodding finishing his notes. "We get hit by allot of storms so these people know how to hunker down. I hate to cut this short but it's time for me to address the world."

    "Goodluck..." Greagger replied before he heard a click on the other end. Shaking his head he hung up the phone and tried to think of how he would handle this situation. The townsfolk didn't care much for high tech so for those who did have tv might only have 2 channels. It appears that he was about to become very famous, VERY quick.

    Our coastal town is isolated in every sense of the word. Their was only one true paved road leading into town square from the nearest city to the west, Greenwhich. Just as small and though 80 miles away it's our closest neighbor. The land to the north is a breeding ground for some sort of endangered turtles so it is protected by the nature preserve and to the south was a vast swampland. Most of the elders folklore and stories are centered around this mysterious area. Old folks spin tales of witches, cannibalistic demons, and vengeful spirits of all shapes and sizes dwelling within. Truth be told it's to keep them away from the dangerous sink-holes and venomous animals, however six years back a Vice Squad from New York busted a hidden drug lab deep into the sticks. That was a good week for us. Allot of tourism and tired officers seeking a place to sleep. As far as law goes around here that would be 'The General'. His real name is Edgar Franks but he was a well respected General in the war before returning home. The officers and deputies were all members of the Frank's family. It had been their birthright since the first brick had been laid. Putting the pad and pen down I began to dial the sheriff unsure of what to report. Before I could put anything together the signal buzzed a few times and then clicked.

    "In Gods own holy name this better be a VERY attractive woman or I'm going back to bed." I had to smile hearing our fearless leader on the other end.

    "Private Evan Siles sir..." Normal I would tag on a joke or sarcastic comment, but the situation was serious and not hearing my quirky matter he could hear the general give him his attention.

    "Siles? Siles, why are you calling me at such a late hour. The waves are clear and thier's not a cloud in the sky. It isn't Jamousen again is it? His wife says he's been on the wagon since February." I smiled. If Jamousen was on the wagon clearly he had a broken wheel. Remembering the situation he straightened himself out.

    "Sir, we have a potentially serious situation brewing." I stated so briefly it was like a dagger.

    "......uh...well where is it? What's happening?" I could hear him putting on his reading glasses on the other end. Working in radio you tend to get an ear for detail.

    "It's not here....I'ts everywhere. I just got word from the newsroom in the city. It's a bizarre phenomenon that has been going on near a day. But it sounds serious and I don't have time to tell you and then report it on air. I'm calling for a favor. I need you to blast the storm siren." Then came a long silence.

    "Boy, have those radio waves made you finally go mad!? I ain't going to wake the whole town on some prank."

    "This is no prank!" I snapped back as I began searching the channels on the rooms TV. Luckily the tower gave my devices a boost in signal giving me access to the global network. Seeing the images almost made me drop the phone. "It's real. It's on EVERY channle and if we don't act now it could be in YOUR town. Now you know me. I am a law biding citizen who dedicattes his life to keeping our boys at sea safe. And while I'll admit I enjoy using a humor you often don't approve of....you know I take my job and duties to this town seriously." I could hear him working through his statements on the other line.

    "Fine. Give me a moment and I'll blast the horn twice. And if this is some "War of the Worlds", bit. I'll have you run out on a rail. Best be prepared to address allot of angry folks." The phone clicked and I took a deep breath sprinting over to the control station. I flipped on more tv's. I saw images I couldn't understand. Major highways backed up as several dozen individuals walk mindlessly towards major cities. The inner streets of Chicago, Minneapolis, Seattle filled with police roadblocks that caused these mindless walkers to back up, gather, and eventually overcome. Then their were others, close-ups of one or two of these individuals. They looked as though they were sleepwalking. The only difference being their gaping mouths and their eyes that had lost all pigment. I jumped as I heard the first blast of the storm warning system. Then the second. From my perch I could see the houses light up one by one. It was time to address my public in a way I had never done before.

    Taking a seat I cut the record short. It t felt like I was unplugging the reality I had lived in up until now. I then pressed the black and yellow striped button and soon an automated voice was heard.

    "This is an announcement of the emergency broadcast system. I repeat, the following is a message of the emergency broadcast system. Stay tuned for details." The their was a long beep after which my mic went live.

    "Citizens of Cambden. This is Evan Siles with an emergency broadcast. I was recently made aware of a situation that has gripped the entire nation. Given our isolation, up until now it has gone unnoticed to us. It appears that in large metropolitan areas across the US, men and women have been walking into the city as if in a daze. They do not speak, take no effort to avoid personal injury and their eyes have turned white." I rubbed my temple trying to figure out how to continue.

    "Police have tried to stop them or hold these individuals using blockades but as they grow in number it is not strong enough to hold them. Up until now no ineffective citizen has been harmed but so far no one seems to know the reason or cause for this outbreak of what can only be described as mass sleepwalking. From here on in I will be monitoring the situation on satellite news station and personal contacts. Please do not call the station for extra information as I need it open to pass along vital information." I drummed my fingers deciding how I was going to finish this off.

    "Although I have no authority for this situation, and their is no real plan of action for this type of event I suggest everyone to stay inside until we can decide on a plan of action. For now I am asking our sheriff, mayor Stevenson and Dr. Anna Pierce to join me in the studio to observe these reports first hand and make an official announcement for further actions. For now simply sit tight, keep your radio on and try to stay calm. With that said I'm sending you a track from B.B King. Be sure to stay tuned, this is KTAA." Hitting the button on the second record player I sighed. I hope I had handled the announcement properly. The General was sure to be furious until he saw the reports himself. Stevenson could call a meeting of the city council and maybe the doc could pick up on something by seeing the situation for herself.

    Heading to the fridge I grabbed a soda. Non of that diet or 'zero' stuff. I drank the hard stuff. And I figure, even though it's bad for me, I don't drink alcohol so I figure it balances itself out. Plus the caffeine and sugar kept me going like the energizer bunny. Taking a look around I just realized I hadn't had guests in some time. The place was built for function, not fashionable. And I never was the neat and clean type. But I suppose it didn't matter much. The town already had their own opinion of me carved in stone. The mad scientist atop the great mountain living in the solitude of his castle. To be honest I 'm slightly proud of this title.
    Last edited by ChainsawAdams; Jan 9th, 2013 at 08:38 PM.

  2. #2
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    It was only a half hour before the three pillars of the community gathered at the entrance, seeming somewhat reluctant to ring the bell like some frightened children at Halloween visiting the crazy old man who handed out quarters. I was already heading down to the main floor when the blue light flashed. In a radio station you can't have un-expected noise. Phones and buzzers are hooked up to lights. Every TV has the closed caption turned on and the production room was walled with a type of foam to reduce noise vibrations but also had a tendency to make it look like a padded room at the nut house. When I opened up the door I saw the expressions on their faces forgetting how I appeared. Unshaven, hair a mess, wearing a blue kimono, ripped band t-shirt and animal slippers. Knowing I had oficially compromised my credibility I raised my hand in a Vulcan greeting gesture. "Yo." I simply stated.

    "I'm outta here!" Stevenson cursed turning his back to me but the doctor stopped him.

    "Let's hear him out." She mentioned. Dr. Pierce was probably the most level headed and understanding person in town. Other than her and myself, the others had spent their entire lives here other than a handful of young bucks who went overseas. The doc had to treat some of them for PTSD so she was the most likely to understand my eccentricities.

    "Boy, I'm freezing and I'm packing heat. So you either let us in or I'm bringing you out for a late-night swim." I nodded.

    "Right sorry." I opened the door for them as they came inside. The only person who had ever been here was The General. The others looked around like they were in a museum. They found themselves surrounded by bare wires and band memorabilia I had collected over the years. I could hear the Mayor groan in dis-approval. Though insulted, I knew they would soon understand. I led them into the living area passed the leaning tower of unwashed dishes and piled up tv dinner boxes spilling from the trash.

    "I can see our sailors are in good hands." The mayor commented as we begun to clime the stares to what I was now officially calling "The War Room". I stopped at the top of the stairs of the production room and left them to observe the three separate monitors each tuned into news networks. They approached them with caution seeing words like "National Crisis" "Bizarre Outbreak" and "Unexplained Phenomenon". They were speechless for a good two minutes. While it felt good to have proven myself worthy of some respect, the looming disaster still sank deep in my stomach. The doc was the first to speak up.

    "I...I don't know what to make of this..." The mayor then turned to me.

    "And this is on EVERY channel!?" I nodded.

    "So far they're only reporting this in the US, Canada, and a few sections of northern Mexico. Nothing has happened overseas." I then took the remote and changed one of the monitors to Chanel 82. "This is what concerns me." They began reading the caption carefully.

    -Roads are packed for miles as frightened citizens evacuate metropolitan areas for less populated areas that have not yet been targeted. Mass migrations to the coast have brought traffic to a standstill with people hoping to take to the seas after all airports shut-down operations as of 10pm EST.-

    "If that's true, we could possibly be dealing with a flood of frightened, possibly dangerous evacuees." I went over to sit down in my favorite chair. The three stayed glued to the screen.

    "Dangerous? Why Dangerous?" asked the mayor not even turning her head.

    "Frightened people in large numbers tend to lose their senses and reasoning." The General stated. "The human instinct to survive is a powerful and dangerous thing. Believe me I've seen it first hand. In a mob the individual is lost. All you have is raw animal instinct to stay alive at any cost." It was then my turn to chime in.

    "General, you were right to mention "War of the Worlds". When that broadcast hit the air, mass panic hit the nation. And that was a simple radio program." I then pointed to the screen. "Thanks to the advances in modern technology, this information is now everywhere live and uncensored." I then took another sip of soda. "It isn't the effected I'm worried about. We're too small a community to be target. It's those people I'm worried about. If we get discovered, if this continues to get worse they could tear this town apart." With that statement the three stared at me and finally understood.

  3. #3
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    It took a long while to sink in. The uncomfortable silence danced along with the lights of the silent tv monitors telling us tales from another world outside our own. I knew it was up to me to break the silence. "We need to make an official statement. Mr. Stevenson, it should come from either you or The General. As you two pointed out I'm the town crack pot but they'll listen to you two. The doctor was quick to sympathize.

    "No, one thinks your a crack.."

    "Don't discourage him Cindy." The mayor interrupted. "For once the boy is talking sense. Maybe this is just what he needs to snap him back to Earth." The doctor bit down on her thumb somewhat frightened of the statement. The General only stirred as he was on the fence about my standing in the community. My sanity was something he used as a joking point or empty threat. Not a statement of direct truth. At least not in my presence. He saw me as more absent minded. The Doc viewed me as misunderstood. To they mayor I was just a blemish on the perfect piece slice of paradise he was trying to create. Only now he knew he needed me as he looked at all the switches and dials. I was the only one in town who knew how to operate the system and had access to the vital information. He looked at me confused, finally turning it to anger.

    "Well come on you damn fool! What do I do!?" He demanded rather than asking. I had little experience dealing with the man other than a simple few FCC violations. During those moments I would just sing ACDC songs in my head until he quit yelling and his face was no-longer red. To be honest he was one confrontation away from a heart-attack.

    "Well first you need to know what you're going to say." I suggested. "Going on air is different than being behind a podium. You can't feed off the audience and in essence you will be talking to yourself which causes you to second guess everything you say as you will be your own critic." Leaning forward I clasped my fingers. "We need to think of an approach to this problem." The General nodded.

    "We need to protect ourselves. Our way of life. We don't have the resources or the manpower to deal with outsiders." The mayor scowled.

    "Just....just turn this contraption on. I know what the people need to hear. I looked to the other two but then the mayor barked at me. "NOW!" I had to sigh as I didn't like the thought of my station coming under this mans control. Getting up I walked to the console hitting the switch to stop the track that was playing and activate the studio mic. Grabbing it I swung it over on it's mechanical arm right in front of the town distinguished leader. The entire city was based on inheritance. Just as The General was the son of the previous sheriff, so it was with Stevenson. Only with him, the apple fell far from the political tree of the family who came before him.

  4. #4
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    tune into sos radio tonight at 11pm est as we teach you new nifty ways to dispatch the undead! Only on party934.com!!

  5. #5
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    The mayor cleared his throat and looked back at me. This time it was different. Almost a look of understanding now that it was him behind the mic. The moment was gone as soon as it had arrived and the man became a figure before his eyes. A transformation from the judgmental ass to the pillar of the community. Holding the people together. For this I had to respect him. But only for a moment. And as quick as it had come it also passed.

    "My fellow citizens..." He spoke with a clear and toned voice. Almost like singing as a tenor in the church choir. "After reviewing the information personally it seems that the statement you heard earlier is a clear fact. A rash of mass sleepwalking has gripped the nation. These people are traveling in mass into major metropolitan cities. They seem to be dead to the world. Local law enforcement aren't equipped to handle these mobs. As a result, many civilians are fleeing the cities and escaping to the coasts in the fear this is a terrorist attack." The man shuffled in his place, not having notes prepared for this speech. "We must be prepared in the event of incoming refugees. As proper, moral, and god fearing people, we must start taking action to accommodate all who come to us for help and welcome them with open arms." In that instance, both the doctor and the sheriff gasped at the mans quick deception. The sheriff was about to approach him when I blocked his path with my arm stopping him.

    "The man in mad!" The General growled to me. "He has no idea what will happen." I was quick to hush him.

    "Maybe so. But he is live to the entire town. What do you think will happen if they hear the two most important and respected people in the town fighting? They need hope and direction." I then frowned looking back at the mayor. "We'll try and straiten him out but not now. We must wait for the proper time." The doctor than placed a hand on his arm nodding in agreement. Even still she bit her lip with concern as was her habit. Even in this dark offer I found it an appealing site. She had an innocence that could not be found much anymore.

    "We will be holding a city counsel meeting this morning at nine at the community center. I hope all those that are able will be in attendance." The mayor announced. I looked to The General to indicate that it would be the proper time to address our concerns. "School will be canceled into further notice as we will be using the building as a refugee center. Further details will be a topic of discussion at today's meeting. Together we have seen our way through storms and bad times. We must come together once again. As a community we will once again endure the trials and tests the world brings our way." With that he looked at me indicating the end of the speech. Stepping up I cut out the mic and let the music continue.

    "What are you doing!" The General commanded stepping to the mayor doing all he could to flaunt his authority. "You have no idea what we will face if you go through with this plan!" The mayor accepted the challenge raising a finger.

    "NO! You don't understand! Do you know the state of the economy right now!" The mayors reply caught The General off guard. "This cities financial situation has been in the toilet for years now! Fishing has been bad, small businesses are being cast aside and we are losing money faster than what we earn from our exporting resources." This was all news to us. From his past speeches he made it sound we were living in a new golden age. To hear that this was only a pipe dream was a shock. "This crisis is JUST what we need! We'll earn money hand over fist on tourism alone. That's not even factoring in the sales of goods and services."

    "But we won't be able to handle a drastic swell in numbers." The doctor added. "Think of the medical needs. We only have four people in town with PHD's. That would be the optometrist, dentist, vet and myself. We'll be entirely understaffed." The mayor straitened his coat preparing to leave.

    "We will deal with these problems as they arise. Our town has survived natural disasters and attacks on US soil. But if we don't take advantage of this situation....well let's just say their are certain powers interested in buying us out." That statement stopped the three of us cold as he began heading for the stairs. This situation was too much to take in in the few hours since my first announcement. Our mayor had officially became this towns Captain Ahab and we were helplessly along for the ride.

  6. #6
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    The General was quick to give chace down the stairs while Dr. Pierce just stood lifelessly next to me. As I began to feel uncomfortable I decided to move to the machinery to do some completley un-nessisary adjustments. I had no misconceptions knowing I either appeared to be completely neurotic or had basically taken on a parrelel version of the Phantom of the Opera playing on his organ.

    "So...this is really happening." She stated simply perhaps trying to anchor herself. I just had to sigh and nod as I heard the argument start up below at the station entrance. As a person that avoided confrontation at all costs I felt very compromised having this situation in the place that I called home. "So....what do you think of Stevenson's speech?" I thought my intentions were already clear but it was clear she was feeling vulnerable and needed to fill the void.

    "I think he knows a few things that we're un-aware of." I admitted. "But I don't think he realizes those issues shouldn't be his main concern right now. He's a polotician so we can't blame him for acting like one. He was right though. We need to come together. We just need to make sure we don't take on some mob mentality and still be able to think clearly independantly." Suddenly her posture seemed to improve out of the corner of my eye.

    "Sometimes I forget how smart you are." She then looked at my bacholers degree in communication on the wall. She was the one person in my life that knew my detailed past. "You would have been a great teacher. Philosiphy is much harder than people know." Dispite the national crisis her words cut even deeper. The degree was only supposed to be a stepping stone toward a doctorate in phylosiphy. She knew my IQ level and performance evaluations. But in life their are always unexpected complications. The state of the nation was proof enough of that. "I'm....I'm sorry. I'm just trying to....." At that she just kind of trailed off. I then turned to her with a kind of half smile.

    "I have a good life here. It's not ideal, not the American dream but it suits me." I re-assured her. At that I heard the two downstairs exit. "You should probably be going to. Their are going to be alot of frightened people." She tried to smile and nodded as she passed by me for the stairs. Following her down I was starting to feel more releaved as my home was returning to it's less lively state, even if I did enjoy the company of the good doctor. When she opened the door to exit their was a gush of wind that tugged at her jacket. My feet stopped dead at the entryway. She looked back with some concern.

    "You should come with. Your our direct line into what's happening. You should really attend the meeting." As she said this my eyes looked up to the sky. To anyone else they would see a faint shimmer of light causing the night to turn hues of purple and dark red. To me all I saw were swirling vortexes of black and purple. My mind raced with calculations. How is it possible. The world turns and turns at a frightening speed. While the doctor stood just outside the thresh-hold my mind was tricking me that stepping foot outside would cause the spinning Earth to throw me helplessly into space. My gaze still on the sky I began feeling dizzy, then nautious. The doctors concern now became frustration. "You haven't been taking your medication again have you?" Hearing this was embarrasing beyond all measure.

    "They....they make me feel heavy. It's like sleepwalking, and I don't FEEL anything." It was true. The meds the doctor gave me for my Agoraphobia always made me feel like my soul was being numbed up to the state of non-exhistence. It became so bad that I felt nothing. So it made me not feel the terror when leaving my sanctuary. So I could leave my cell physically but my soul was left behind. "I'll start taking them now. I'll have to leave off and on now that this has happened I'm sure. But for now I'll just....monitor the situation." Not pleased with my reply she frowned and turned her back to me silently as she walked down the pass. Angry with myself I rested my head on the doorframe.

  7. #7
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    I shut the door slowly and waited for my head to stop spinning. Once it had I kicked the door cursing to myself. My mind begged me to reflect on a life I could have had but I fought it tooth and nail. However I did long for those days back before I was broken. But seeing your own death. That changes a person. Looking around I know I had to prepare for the worst. This facility had started off as the towns first lighthouse until the day the tides changed and the water level went down. The true light house was on the far south end of the coast. But because of it's previous purpose, the building had been constructed to withstand any and all natural storms. It was build of steel, stone and concrete. The wood interior was just for show. In itself, the studio was practically a bunker. Reaching up for a length of chain I began pulling down. The pully system above did its work as a steel paneled door slid in place covering the wooden one. To prevent the facility from being blown away, every entrance had steel plating that could slide into place until severe weather subsided. I figured at a time like this, one couldn't be too careful. If the town was to lose their only link to the outside world, it could quickly spell out to be bad news. Plus I had no delusions that this facility was the only real bargaining chip I had.


 

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