Rating: 5 stars “There is always a way out for those clever enough to find it.” The Titan’s Curse, book three of The Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan, begins with Percy, Annabeth and Thalia reuniting with Grover at Westover Hall to find and recruit demigods for Camp Half-Blood before Luke can recruit them to […]
I got tricked again thinking I would get a cool job. Instead we started home school and “job training”. We just got here and already they are putting us to work and school. At least give me a few days off for the end of the world. I didn’t even get to sleep in it was be up at dawn. School today was just an first aid refresher. At least it was easy. Then it was on the job training. Mostly it was dig a fire line and replants the crops. It wasn’t all bad. I got to drive this giant tractor and use the backhoe. All this digging did gave me sometime to think. My mind keeps wandering on why the town we used to live by has been destroyed, but the cabin area looks barely touched. Other than the farmland being a total mess the main compound looks normal. Fremont said they were getting the charred here to, but I have yet to see any of them. They didn’t make us work all day which was kind of them. I got to hang out with Beth some more today. I might have a slight crush on her. I hope no one in my family has notice my crush. Now that I am the only brother/son the level of embarrassments would hit radioactive levels if they found out. I left my journal in the living room while we ate dinner and I am pretty sure one of my sisters read it. I hope it was Lily, but if it was Courtney I am doomed for sure.
We made it to the cabin today. It was a peaceful last leg of the trip. The winding road into the valley made me a little car sick. At least no monster spiders attacked us along the way. Which is a win in my book. Our cabin is near the Robinsons and I finally got to meet Will and Beth. I did not think Will would be so tall and Beth so pretty. Everyone came by to help us unpack and settle in. Tonight we are all going have dinner together at the mess hall. I guess I should tell you about the compound layout. A few years ago it used to be part of a summer camp. Then camp fall on hard times and had to close. That is when Fremont bought the whole land and renovated it. Mom used to come up her to treat his animals back in her veterinarian day’s. Dad helped rebuild the infrastructure to get it up to date. Dad helped install solar panels, wind farms and fixed a old stripper oil well. Fremont liked Mom and Dads work so much he gave us a cabin and invited us to join his prepper community. After that Mom and Dad were both hooked. Now there are five main buildings on the complex. A mess hall, medical station, activity room, maintenance room and command post. Then there is the farm and barn. Everyone is expected to pitch in and help out. Dad runs the maintenance program and Mom tends to the animals part time. After unpacking it was time to eat.
Tonight for dinner it was soup, ribs and fresh corn bread. There are so many kids here my ages to talk to finally. The Robinsons sat at our table along with Will and Beth. It turns out Will is a huge gamer and Beth was into gymnastics. We kept the conversation light. I did not want to say something that could cause a problem. You know like oh I see it is just the two of you, or were you always orphans. After dinner the adults talked and us “kids” gotta play some board games. Then it was time for bed. It will be nice to sleep on a bed and not the floor of a RV for once. My room was the smallest, but without David here seems so much bigger now. Tomorrow I get to find out what my job will be here. Dad was letting on I might get to follow him around which would the best. Now time for some sleep.
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It has been a long exhausting day. Dad finally got the beast running again near dusk. It was not the prettiest fix, but should get us to the cabin. Mom radioed Fremont to tell him we are close. They have been busy defending the area from the charred and something else. Fremont said they have been attack by giant bugs.. Great now add spiders monsters to the mix. Just what I wanted to see in my dreams. Since the beast didn’t get fixed till late we will be staying the night here. There is too much risk to travel tonight. Car headlights are beacons that will attract all sorts of baddies. We also set up guard rotations. I got second shift with Olivia. Courtney was not happy about that. Makes sense though why they didn’t get to be on guard duty together. Those two would have geeked out all night and would have gotten us all eaten. One last thing to note the sky is no longer that crimson color. Those purple streaks seem to have taken over the whole sky. I wonder what caused it?
The beast has broken down! We hit something that was covered by all this ash on the road. Mom and Dad have been working on fixing the problem, but it will take some time before we are on the move again. The cabin is so close, but it is still too risky to go on foot. Though we might have to after last night. Staying in one place too long has seemed to attract the charred ones that attacked the Mill’s. Bad luck seems to follow them around. It was late last night when the attack happened. They charged the RV almost flipping it over. One of the attackers managed to punch a softball size hole into the cabin wall. Its cracked and charred hand reaching for whatever it could grab as it tried to free itself. While the other two attackers focused on trying to roll us over. I wish I could tell you what happened more, but I slept thru the whole ordeal. You see earlier that night I had a bad headache, so mom gave me some medicine to help me sleep and well I guess it worked too well. I only found out about the attack later. Lily filled me about it. Everyone thought I was knocked out, because they found me buried under some fallen boxes of canned food. They all got a good laugh after I told them I might have been just sleeping. I think this one will follow me for the rest of my life….great.
We made it to the Mills today! They did not look so good getting out of their shelter. All their clothes were ragged and you can see they haven’t slept well. I wonder what happened to them? Courtney almost ran out the RV to greet Oliva. She was excited that one of her best friends made it. The ashen rain was still falling here, so you still need a mask to go outside. Which she quickly put on. The plan for tonight was to stay at the Mills shelter and maybe get a shower. It is starting to get a little gamey in the beast. Unfortunately that didn’t pan out. There was a water leak and then a fire that wiped out most of the Mills place. What bad luck seeing how their transport was also damaged, but at least they are still alive. The Mill’s only had their bug out packs to load into the beast. There was nothing left for them here so we head out.
We found another spot to part for the Night. Mom actually cooked dinner! which was so much better than another night of MREs . While everyone was eating the adults planned in the front part of the RV and the kids talked in the back. Olivia was giving us the rundown on what she has been up to in between sips of her soup. She told us more about the fire and that they tried to leave for the cabin on foot, but they were attacked. Then headed back to their burnout shelter to wait for someone to pick them up. Even though most of it was destroyed they still had two rooms. It gave them some protection and limited radio communication. The last few night those monsters tried to get into the shelter, but gave up each time. Olivia started tearing up after that last part. Once she started crying courtney start to. Then I might have joined in with them. I had been holding a lot in and my emotions got the better of me. After all this time seeing someone else alive was just too much to hold in. The rest of the night we watched movies and played board games. Soon we should be around a lot more people once we get to the cabin. Just have to make it there first.
It is taking a lot longer than expected to get to the Mills. The road is either blocked by cars or rubble. Mom, Courtney and I are on road clearing duty. Dad and Lily are still recovering, so they got out of it. We each take turns clearing a path for the beast. The ashen rain falls all the time from fires around us, so we have to stay suited up. The ash is making it hard to see far which is a blessing and a curse. Though for once we got the jump on two of those charred monsters. Courtney spotted them first. It looked like they were fighting over some dead thing to eat. I took care of them with the M95. The first shot was a clean to the head. Then once the first charred monster went down the second started to eat what they were fighting over. It didn’t even look up to see what happened just went straight to eating. My second shot hit center mass for monster number 2. It staggered up from its meal then slumped over dead. Where do these things keep coming from? These ones were a little different from the ones back home. They both had one long hooked spike coming from their left arm. It seems like we run into different types of these things everywhere we go. At least two will not hunt us like the others. After we finished clearing the road we started to find a place to park for the night.
The sun was low in the sky when we stopped. Dad parked us in a old salvage yard. At least that is what it looked like. There was enough overturned cars to fuel up the beasts tank and its reserves. Courtney found more bodies as we looked around. It has been over 60 days since whatever happen killed these people. Some the bodies looked like statues from the ash covering them. Like all those people you see from Mt Vesuvius. It was scary knowing we are spending the night in what has turned into a graveyard. After we settled down Mom radioed the Mills. Having them meet us halfway is out of the question. The air is too bad and travel is dangerous with all those monsters roaming without some forum of shelter. We should be meeting them in the next couple of days. Now it is time to finish this beanie I have been working on for Lily. It should help her hide her ear better than just covering it with her hair. I still feel guilty on what happened to her.
The sky was still that same crimson color as the last times we went outside. There was something new in the sky this time. Purple streaks that stretched from horizon to horizon. Another thing we have to be worried about. Today we leave the shelter and for once good news we didn’t get attacked by monsters this time. It did get a little intense when Dad and I opened the barn doors. The one antler deer jumped out at us. I guess it needed to see us off one last time. Dad got the beast warmed up and we drove it to the shelter door. Brooke was loaded up first and then we started moving supplies. Once everyone was loaded up Mom started the final steps to lull the shelter to sleep. It will have enough power to keep the supplies good for a long time in case we needed to come back. All that is left is to pick which route we are going to take. I pray that it is not the long way.
Tomorrow is the day we leave the shelter and head to the cabin. We had to eat MREs, and I’m not talking about the good ones either. I am going to have to get used to eating whatever though can’t be picky. This is going to be my last night sleeping in a real bed until we reach the cabin. Dad checked in with Fremont and told him the three possible routes we could be taking and when to expect us. The trip to the cabin should not take more than a few days. Before it was a one day drive, but the road conditions are likely not that great. Depending on what route we take will determine where we pick up the Mills. They are on the direct path to the cabin which would be great if all goes well. The second route takes us the long way around which is never fun. I have been known to get car sick on that detour. Dad and I will be leaving the shelter tomorrow to make a dash to the beast. We will drive it to the shelter then everyone will load up and we will head out. If it all works out I will update you from the road.
Lily has gotten a lot better. Though the scars she carries now will last a lifetime. I broke down and told Courtney it was all my fault for what happened to Lily and Dad. Courtney told mom about it which got around to the rest of the family quickly. It is a hard to hide anything when you are in a cramped space underground. Both Dad and Lily tried to convince me I did a good job outside. That some people would have just ran away and hid instead of attacking something head on like I did. Lily gave me a big hug and told me she though she did not like being beat up by some giant bug beast, but she was glad it was her instead of me. I wish I could be brave like that. I still watch Lily try to hide her scars and sometime tear up.
We started packing up the shelter. It might be a long time before we are back here. Our home has been destroyed, David is gone and monsters are roaming outside. I wish I could just go back to complaining about homework again. My parents did the best they could to prepare us for the worst, but never asked if we wanted to live through it. How much easier would it have been just for us to stay in bed? When whatever happened outside, happened and we slipped away in our sleep. Most of my friends are probably gone. I also think about Brooke growing up in all this. She may never know what a world without monsters was like. I know I am sounding dark, but writing this helps me cope. Maybe the trip to the cabin will not be so bad. I mean it can’t be the end of the world twice right?