We're not very far from our destination, but we've called a halt for a while. We would be getting there several hours early, but we have to stop yet again to pull one of our convoy from a ditch and to look for some fuel. With the insanely cold winds, we're having to run our heaters at full blast to keep from freezing inside our cars. It eats fuel, and the cold hurts our fuel efficiency as well.
I've been trying my best to keep in touch with people every chance I get, to make sure everyone who's outside the compound and headed in the same direction we are is OK during their travels. Patrick is still missing in action along with the kids he picked up in Florida, no word from him in a long while. I keep sending him text messages letting him know what's going on with us, so hopefully he'll get them at some point and meet us at our destination.
Aaron and his kids are still out of contact as well. It worries me, but I know they will get in touch when they can...
Courtney and the big group with her is still trucking along, but now they're done with their relief efforts and heading toward us. It's been a long and fruitful trip for them, and they will be bringing with them much in the way of supplies and food. More on that in a minute. First, some news.
Dodger and Jamie Packard have been trying to gather up as many refugees from the compound as possible. Both of their groups were helping, and now they're done. Except for those named above and my group, every other refugee from the compound is now with them. They, too, are heading to the rendezvous point we discussed, and with any luck sometime in the very near future every refugee will be together. The email I got from Dodger detailing his and Jamie's efforts to gather and transport everyone was interesting, I might pass it along tomorrow, or at least summarize for you.
If you're looking for a complete list of the people who got out, sorry for you. I don't know most of them by name, and those that I do know have asked me not to use their names. The folks that don't mind have already been named--Me, Jess, Patrick, Courtney and her bunch, Evans, Gabby and her family, Phil and his, Dodger, Jamie...maybe a few others. I wish that I could add more names to that list. Rachel is still, as far as I know, at the compound. Al and Elizabeth are there, and a few others that I haven't mentioned in a while. Too many left behind in the panic to avoid conflict. Too many away from home because of Will Price's speed in selling us out.
I haven't talked about him in a while. I've tried to stay clear of talking too negatively about the Richmond soldiers in general, so as not to antagonize them. But from the communications I've been able to glean from inside the compound, how I or anyone else feels about them is of least concern. Right now the soldiers are doing everything they can to quiet a fractious and unruly subjugated populace without killing anyone and inciting a riot.
I don't know what the hell they expected. I mean. you don't show up in overwhelming force and think that the natives will welcome you with open arms. You certainly don't expect a group of survivors, hardened killers all, to meekly allow you to have your way with their personal freedoms. It just doesn't make sense.
Will swore that the reason he gave us up to the Richmond soldiers was to keep us alive. I don't believe it for a second, and for one simple reason: if that was his only intent, he would have tried to drag out his conversation with the soldiers' leader for as long as possible. We would have started the evacuation if he had just told us he was going to delay them with talk. Another twenty minutes might have given us another fifty people out of the compound.
He didn't. And as a result, there are now somewhere around 250 people still living there, compound citizens who stayed behind. I've been slowly feeling them out for information, trying to figure out from what they've been able to tell me what the soldiers would do in reaction to a variety of things...
So, tomorrow I'll tell you where we're going. After we've gotten there. I'll let the reaction of the fuckers who took my home from me be the guiding factor behind where we go from there, and what steps we take. If this sounds annoyingly vague, I apologize. I still have to get there first, and talk to the others still on their way. Just the IDEA of our destination is enough to make me worry what might happen to the people back at the compound, but the consensus back home is to stick it to the bastards, make them get worried.
So I will. Tomorrow.
We'll let them sweat a bit over it first.