Sam promptly returned with the first aid kit. Scott undid his makeshift bandage and cleaned the wound. Finally, he rebound it with sterile bandages from the kit. Unfortunately, that was all he could do.
Sam sniffed. "Mary, please don't die," he begged his unconscious sister, "Please!"
Scott gingerly lifted the woman and took her inside the post office. He laid her upon the floor. Her pulse was weak, but her bleeding had now stopped.
"She's lost a lot of blood," Scott said more to himself than to Sam. "If only we could give her a transfusion."
Alas, the lack of proper equipment and knowledge prevented Scott from administering something that was routine in any ambulance or clinic before the Big Bang. The closest hospital was probably in Billings hundreds of miles away.
Scott did everything he could to make Mary comfortable. His leather black jacket covered her torso. The old worn denim jacket was now serving as a pillow. Sam kneeled by her side and kept a tearful vigil.
Fearing that a patrol may be on their trail Scott pulled the buggy into the post office and parked it next to his Charger. As he waited for any sign of improvement in Mary, Scott removed the .30 machinegun from the buggy and stored it in the black muscle car.
Scott no sooner returned to Sam's side next to Mary than the woman gave out a loud gasp. Her eyes fluttered opened and she hastily searched around the room with her head. "Sam. Sam," she said hoarsely.
"I'm here," Sam replied as he squeezed Mary's hand. Mary looked over at Sam.
"I can barely see you Sam," Mary said weakly.
"Mary, it'll be all right. You'll see," the boy offered in a tear-choked voice.
"Thank you, for rescuing me," Mary whispered. "I could never have survived there."
"You just rest and get better," Sam choked out tearfully.
"Sam? Sam, are you there?" Mary asked.
"Yes Mary," sobbed the boy.
"Sam, I see Ma and Pa. They look well," and with that Mary expelled her last breath.
"NO!!!" Sam screamed. The young boy threw himself prostrate over his sister's form and let grief overcome him. Scott wept as he watched the boy shake as deep sobs racked his small frame.
The scout allowed the boy an hour of grief before he tore the listless boy from Mary's body. Sam offered no resistance as Scott led him to the Charger and then lifted him inside. Scott recovered his leather jacket and used the denim jacket to cover Mary's dead form.
The Charger roared to life as Scott started the vehicle. The engine's rumbling purr shook the walls of the post office. The scout drove the black car outside and parked it across the street. Scott then climbed out and ducked back into the post office.
Not paying much attention to the outside world Sam half watched the scout disappear into the building. As Scott returned, black smoke started to emanate from the structure.
Scott slowly drove the Charger back towards the highway. Within three minutes, flames engulfed the post office. The telltale black smoke rose into the horizon as Scott drove north back towards North Dakota.
Sam grieved in silence as the muscle car once again sped down the worn road. Given all they had endured in the last twenty-four hours Scott was relieved to be back in his scout vehicle. The thick hide surrounding them would have stopped the bullet that killed Mary.
Scott pushed the thought from his mind and drove along the highway in silence.
The roar of the Charger's engine was its own music and Scott never tired of hearing it. With any luck before nightfall, the two would be within the safe confines of the United States.
Scott could only hope that the Anarchists would see the trail of smoke and investigate. That would leave his route open to the borders of Montana. An uneventful passage was all Scott prayed for now.
Unfortunately, the rapid pinging off the back of the Charger let Scott know that God was not answering his prayers today. A quick glance at his monitor brought a score of buggies and bikers approaching from his rear.
Scott stepped onto the accelerator. The Charger lurched forward in unrestrained power. The rear tires spat out dirt and small stones as they dug into the crumbling concrete.
As the black vehicle flew down the road, the buggies and bikes matched its speed. The small arms of the motorcycles did not bother Scott. However, the medium arms of the buggies could do some serious damage if they found the right spot.
The muscle car weaved back and forth, as bullets whizzed by or impacted into the rear armor. The Montana border seemed to creep closer ever so slowly. Scott reached for his long-range radio if the atmospherics were right and there was someone close enough he could radio for help.
"Mayday! Mayday! This is a United States Scout vehicle asking for any assistance," Scott screamed as more bullets pounded into the back of the Charger.
The chase led them through the small hills and steep cliffs of the badlands. Scott kept repeating his message. The bikers and buggies also kept up their fire.
"Okay, Scout stop your vehicle now!" a voice crackled over the radio. Suddenly five Abrams M1 tanks crested the hills in front of Scott and above two Cobra AH-1s flew. Scott slammed on the brakes and the Charger reluctantly slid to a stop.
"Damn," the scout cursed. It appeared Van Dyke and company finally had them.Posted by deg at December 12, 2007 1:43 PM