We're still not in Carbondale. We decided to tackle it fresh, after a good night's sleep, and it turns out that we were very lucky to make that choice. Treesong was able to get in touch with us via this blog, and has made the situation in this area clear. Warring camps, roving bands of armed men, and a group that seems frighteningly similar to the one back home that I was calling "looters" wreaking havoc. In light of this information, we have planned a few changes.
I have no desire to put children in any more danger than I can help. Jackie and her family will be staying at an undisclosed location we have found while the rest of us make the trip into town to try and get Treesong out. At this point I am inclined to get him and run, because most of the people he has holed up with have made the choice to abandon their location completely, due to its close proximity to some very violent and horrific scenes.
It's pretty much a worst case scenario. Tree is deep inside the city, in fact in the one spot I was really, really hoping he would not be. We have to somehow get to the SIU campus without being blown up or shot to death, get him out, and make it back to Jackie without being followed. The silver lining here is that Tree is pretty sure that none of the groups around here go too far outside the city, and probably won't follow us out.
It's tense right now, the stress we all normally live under ratcheted up tenfold. Jess is handing out some armored vests we got from the armory after it was cleared out. These things are rated for rifle fire. I hope we don't have to test it.
Dave is doing some more frightening things with explosives in preparation for this drive. We found a gas station that had some full tanks of propane, as well as a working fuel pump. We're topped off now, and he's strapping more pipe bombs to the tanks as I type this. This is in addition to a few other nasty surprises he thought up. It's so funny to me--while Dave has always been a creative person, this new world has really given him new license to combine his intelligence, practicality, and creativity in a lot of new ways. He's another one who has this crazy set of skills that serve to help us all.
It's time. Hopefully I will be posting to you again, but this is a far more dangerous place we're going to than any before. I just pray that Tree is ready to go when we get there.