Author’s Note: Congratulations to eckman49, who won the Twitter Oasis giveaway, even though I only counted one of his entries. If you want to be sure to be able to enter next time, follow me on twitter. (see the link on the sidebar)
For those of you who haven’t read any of the Journey Of St. Laurent before: You are now reading an online serial pulp novel. If you didn’t start at the beginning, you may want to do so. Chapter 1:Â Down By The Bay. This serial is the sequel to my first novel, Oasis.
If you catch any typos, I’m always grateful when you point them out. In fact, I’d like to say thanks to all of you who leave any kind of comments. I always enjoy hearing from you.
*edit* Oh, and for anyone that cares, I’ve decided to stick with write monkey.
Chapter 13 â€“ First Strike
If she heard me, she didn’t let it show. She just kept on, face down and crying.
I put my hand on the back of her shoulder.
“London, do you, uh, want to talk about something?”
More crying, but somewhere in the tears, I was pretty sure she grunted a “no.”
I was pretty sure that I wouldn’t be able to go back to sleep with her crying like that. I also don’t give up so easy.
“Well, sit up and talk to me for a minute anyway.”
Muffled grumble. “Go away!” Muffled grumble.
I rubbed her back a little bit around her shoulder. I wasn’t sure if she’d get the wrong idea, but she didn’t squirm under my touch, so I figured it was safe.
“Look, I’m not going to tell you that everything is going to be okay. What I will tell you is that you is that you’re going to make it through this. We’ll get you and your brother home.”
“You’re not even coming all the way. How can you guarantee anything?”
A response. That’s progress, right?
“I don’t know how it’s all going to go down. But I’ll do whatever I can.”
She pushed her head up from the pillow and turned toward me.
I pulled my hand off her back.
Her eyes were wet and puffy. She bit her delicate lip. “What’s going to happen?”
“Who knows? The whole country’s probably going to go nuts.”
She pushed the rest of the way to sitting, folded her arms, and looked down.
“What’s going to happen to me? I shot a man.”
“To be fair, I’m not sure he was much of a man.”
London glared at me out of the corner of her eye. “It’s not a joke.”
I sat next to her on the bed. “I know.”
Her bottom lip quivered and her breath was shaky. “I shot somebody. What if I killed him?”
“Well, legally, and morally too, I guess, it was self defense. You wereâ€¦ uh, well you were justified.”
“It makes me sick inside. I was just so mad and scared and-” the flow of tears kept her from finishing the thought.
I put an arm around her. “It’s okay. It’s okay. It’s okay. You saved my life. You also saved your own, and probably your brother’s too. And you’re not supposed to feel good when you shoot someone. It’s okay to feelâ€¦ the whole mess. It’s okay. You did what you had to do. Would you condemn someone else for doing what you did?”
She gave a little shake.
We sat in silence for what had to be the next ten minutes.
Eventually she looked up and brushed the hair away from her eyes. Her eyes were still puffy and tired, but she didn’t look like she was going to break down anymore.
“I need to sleep.”
I went back to my chair and sat.
I can’t believe Michael slept through all of that. Must be good to be a kid.
Morning just sneaks right up on you when you’re tired. I closed my eyes and two seconds later the sun was up and shining through the window.
I unchained the door and stepped outside for a moment. The air had a sort of pregnant quiet to it, like the city was just waiting for the other shoe to drop. I went back in, and found my jogging suit was dry enough, so I put it on and washed out my other clothes.
By the time I was done, Michael was up and the TV was back on.
I hope that kid doesn’t normally watch TV like this. His brain will be mush by the time he’s twelve.
I gathered up our meager supplies and set them by the door. I was not about to stay any longer than I needed to. In fact, I should wake up London and tell her to sleep in the car.
A breaking news flash interrupted the commentator on the television.
It caught my attention, so I sat on the foot of the bed next to Michael and watched.
The news girl gave the camera one of those “I’m trying to be serious” looks. She pursed her lips and began to speak. “This just in. Local emergency crews in northern Idaho are responding to a major fire that has broken out at the compound of a well-known white supremacist group. We have no word on casualties or the extent of damage just yet, but as you can see from the helicopter view you’re seeing now, the entire property seems to be on fire. There is also no official word yet on any possible cause, but many are speculating that it was an extra terrestrial attack. If that is the case, considering their target, it remains to be seen whether or not they are enemies to our nation.”
The picture on the screen showed thick billows of black smoke coming from the rubble of several buildings. It didn’t look like they just collapsed with fire, it was like someone had smashed them with a giant hammer.
I tried to think of another explanation. Could it have been a radical civil rights group? Could it have been infighting? A missile hit fromâ€¦ Canada? The images of destruction on the screen just didn’t really seem to match up with any of that. There was no crater in the center of it all. No building had been blown apart – just crushed down.
My stomach dropped. It had to have been the aliens. Sure, the guys inside had been scum, but still. They were murdered. And if they can do it in northern Idaho, they can do itâ€¦
The image cut from the scene of the compound back to the news lady. Her face was now ashen.
“I can’t believe this. We have just received reports from our affiliate in Los Angeles. Minutes ago, an extra terrestrial strike on an inner city blockâ€¦ We’re getting video of the destruction now.”
The video switched to a street-level view of panic in the street near the new strike zone. The cameraman was obviously struggling against the flow of frightened people to get a better look.
When he finally did break through, my stomach dropped even further.
The damage looked exactly like the buildings in the compound. Smashed flat and burning. How do you stop that?
“We’re switching now to a live view in the south of Phoenix.”
The TV screen flipped to an image of a UFO hovering a couple thousand feet above what looked to me like a residential area. The view looked just like the one I had seen on the freeway, silvery and with the shape of an upside down triangular bowl. The bottom had many angry-looking lights. The video must have been shot from a nearby hilltop or a skyscraper or something.
“A UFO is hovering over this neighborhood in the south of Phoenix.”
The view switched to closer shot of the crowd below. It was mostly men, and they were mostly armed and firing at the UFO.
“The crowd seems to be shooting at the UFO. They probably don’t know about what happened in- oh, no.”
The view switched back to the wide shot.
What seemed to be a mass of light was gathering underneath the ship.
I hope that doesn’t-
But it did.
The light coalesced in to a shimmering wave that flashed through the air. The wave smashed into the street below, crushing buildings, cars and people. Everything flammable on the ground immediately burst into flames. There was no way anybody close to it could have survived.
The news girl screamed.
Michael pointed. “Did you see that?”
I shot to my feet and just stared at the screen.
Before I knew it, London was awake, on her feet and next to me. “Heaven help us.”
The footage switched back and forth between the L.A. attack and the Phoenix attack. Every one of the newscasters that spoke was on the edge of hysteria, and with good cause.
I’ve got to get on the right road now. Time is up. If I don’t get to Samir soon, I’ll never get a chance.
Keep reading! Chapter 14 is here.