“Edward, come in, this is Jody.”
The road to Arawak Base was a dangerous one, however, he had to rescue Edward. He was already out of the city and was in the agricultural part of Visalia. He traveled by the crops, wary of any oncoming hostile Indians or Temria. The terrible smell of cows snuck into his nose. He cringed, coughing, not used to the stench. He looked to his left, seeing the animal stuck in its cage. Some of them were dead. He was amazed they were able to survive this long without any caretaker. He felt kind of bad, thinking about letting them free after. The crops were good from the decent amount of rain, maybe the cows could be able to feed off of that rather than dirt.
Shaking his head, he carried on. Another five minutes or so passed with his travels. His mind was clogged with both saving Edward and Amelia. She hadn’t brought her communicator with her, and that was a problem. Towards the end of Ivanhoe Dr. was Cutler Park. The battleground was here, but deep inside the forest. He saw a few bullet holes in the trees, pulling out his gun and readying himself.
Once more, he took out his communicator and said, “Edward, come in. Can you hear me?”
Again, no response.
Traveling into Cutler Park, Jody hid behind trees, peeking out when necessary. The bodies were starting to appear, most of them from the Temria. This had to be a well planned out ambush for it to have this many casualties. There was a body near him, holding a different pistol than his. He slipped his gun back into his holster, and grabbed the dead man’s gun. A few clips were obtained from the man. Jody appreciated the ammunitions.
At the end of the forest toward the north was a building. It was decorated with blood splatter and bits of flesh, but nobody was alive. The gunfire was on the other side, east. The invasion at this spot was done. Though he checked for Edward inside the building. He found more corpses, in a total of eight around the building. If he added in the trails of bodies that led him here, it would come up to twelve. All of these bodies were from the Temria, not a single Indian killed. Jody was shocked at the results.
Exiting, he inspected the back, and nothing. Despite knowing of the outcome, he said through the walkie-talkie, “Edward, come in, do you hear me?”
“Jody?” said Edward, but it wasn’t through the communicator.
“Edward?” he called out.
Out of all the places he didn’t check was the bottom. It was slightly risen and big enough for Edward to hide. The front of the building was covered with planks, but the back had been broken. Inside was too dark for the human eye to see anything. Edward rolled out from under the building, covered in grime and mud. He sighed, and spoke, “It’s nice to see you, Jody.”
“Why did you come here?”
“It’s a newly established base. I thought I could sneak in and get some supplies.”
Jody sighed. “Come on, let’s go.”
“Wait, we need to get the supplies.”
“I checked, there isn’t anything inside.”
He rushed inside the building, coming out with a backpack that Jody didn’t see before. “I got some before they attacked, it’s a good thing they didn’t find it.”
They started running out of the park, still in hiding in case somebody saw them. Edward questioned, “Why are we rushing?”
“We gotta get out of here.” He pointed out the obvious first, and then added, “Amelia’s in trouble.”
He explained the situation as much as he could without running out of breath. They were running after all.
“And you left her?”
“She told me to get you first.”
They were out of Cutler Park in about a minute, and now they were back on the road. Sticking to the crops, Jody told his friend that he didn’t exactly know where Amelia might be. She had forgotten her communicator. After hearing the story, however, Edward reassured him that Amelia would be fine. “They’re just a bunch of high school kids, right? What are they going to do to her?”
“You don’t know what kids are capable of.”
“Eh. She’s been in situations worse than this.”
“I know that, but it’s hard knowing that I can’t help her.”
Their paces had slowed to a saunter when they were out of sight of Cutler Park. Jody saw the farms again, realizing his promised action. He told Edward to come, and walked to the fences. Edward wondered what he was doing, but shrugged, and followed. “Help me take down these fences,” Jody said.
He nodded, grabbing the other side of the wood, and pulled on Jody’s command. The fence was old and couldn’t handle much more resistant, so it broke easily. They did it for about three more. Jody sighed, entering the premise, and leading the cows outside to the crops.
“Phew,” he muttered.
Edward smiled. “You always gotta do a good deed every day, don’t you?”
“It keeps me focused.”
With that over, they continued on. Though there was a figure in their way. It was a girl, walking toward them, just right out of the city. She saw them, and waved. Edward grinned, pointing and nudging his friend. “I told you.”
She stopped in her tracks, and waited for the boys to come to her position. When they did, Jody had to ask, “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine.” She shrugged it off.
He frowned at her words, noticing the bloodstain on the edge of her skirt. She stared at him, repeating, “I’m fine, Jody.”
He gave up for the moment, just wanting to get back home and discuss on what happened. He also wanted to see what was in Edward’s bag. Today was life threatening, but he was glad that it didn’t go beyond that.
In the city, the raiders were finished. People in hiding were revealing themselves, trying to pick up the pieces of shards and trash that was made. They watched the civilians returning to their normal life. They were doing the same thing too. Keeping out of the people’s way, they ambled back to their hideout. Jody watched them, feeling sympathetic. He wanted to help them out, though they rathered be independent.
The children still had the spirit, playing with whatever they could find. Jody remembered the days after March 31st, there were cries that wouldn’t stop. Most of them were from children who had lost their parents. They either roamed around town attempting to find their parents or stayed in their house and waited. Many tears were shed, but as time moved on, so did they. Adults and teenagers who remained after the incident took the children in. Thinking about it, Jody realized that most of the people who had disappeared were over the age of fifty. This boggled him on why it targeted the elderly.
There were no televisions in the new world, though the radio worked. The city would often be flooded by the music from the radios. Jody and his friends had been here for months, and yet they hadn’t met with the locals here. They didn’t have much time to greet them due to the occurring raids. It had ended for today. Some of the shops were up, heavily guarded, selling food and other items for survival.
When they got out of the core of the city, they neared a market. Amelia looked at it, and said, “Jody, do you think we’ll be needing more food?”
“Not at the moment, I think we have enough.”
Even with the attacks from the Temria, Amelia had most likely pillaged this city of food. They were currently overloaded with food, and Jody felt bad about it. However, they would need it for their next move. It wasn’t a good idea to stay here anymore. He was thinking about going east, perhaps getting out of California and into Nevada.