My name is Ken Griffin. I am a 36 year-old man who has a 8.1 CAP score.
I started out in Billings, Montana, the day the Sa'arm attacked it. I had been supervising several women's shelters for the state of Montana in the city of Billings. It was a good job for a retired Marine captain. I was not disabled, but my tour in Iraq, and the damage I had, made enlisting or being conscripted into the EDF impossible. Walking a few hundred yards I could do comfortably. Walking ten miles though was out of the question.
In July of the fourteenth year of the Swarm era, the Sa'arm had landed in Manitoba and were headed south. What possessed them to land there is anybody's guess. They are not cold weather creatures and, even in July, Manitoba is cold.
I was working in the office in early August, when the air raid sirens sounded. We tuned the TV to the Civil Defense Channel for information. We were ordered to evacuate immediately to Cheyenne. The office staff either left or immediately called their rides. I decided to wait for all my employees to depart before departing myself. I was the boss and I felt it my responsibility to see to it all my employees were safe. We were down to four female office staff an hour later, still waiting. The ladies, Denise, Jo Anne, Elaine and Janice called their rides again, but there was no answer. We waited.
The office I worked in was in a convenient location between the five shelters I ran. We had planned ahead and the shelters themselves each had a winterized bus that would take anyone in the shelters to their assigned evacuation camp. The driver was a staff member I trusted to get the job done. The security people at the shelters were instructed to make sure all residents of the shelter boarded the bus with their children and stayed on the bus. The security people were chosen to travel with the women and their families and protect them so I was not worried about those people.
My remaining staff members though were a completely different issue. They were single, no children, and were counting on their boyfriends to evacuate them. Having met all of them, and discussed the situation with them, covertly, I knew that there was a good chance that some of them would not make it. I was pleasantly surprised by the number of rides that actually arrived.
After waiting two more hours for the ladies' rides to come, I decided they were not coming. I had not realized how bad it really was. We would later surmise that the rides were caught in the looting and rioting in the center of the city. Why there was rioting I will never understand but a large number of people were already running from the Sa'arm and I had the feeling many were less than sane at this point. My guess was their rides were dead or on evacuation buses. I ordered the four ladies into my 4x4 and told them I was not taking no for an answer.
I fully intended to knock them out and carry them to the 4x4 if I had to. I don't believe in hurting people unless I have to. This was a case where either they came with me or they died. Fortunately they were already scared enough and I did not have to make the threat. They seemed grateful that I took them.
It immediately became apparent that getting to the camp I was ordered to was going to be next to impossible. Soon the local main arteries were packed with disabled cars. Most had just ran out of gas. I could get around almost any obstruction with my 4x4 but it was slow going. The Army took to driving bulldozers down the main arteries to kept the roads clear. Where live people were encountered they were packed into buses and sent down the road. Most people had not planned well and were dead before the EDF buses got to them.
The truck I had was designed to travel eight hundred highway miles without refueling. I had it modified to double the fuel capacity by adding additional fuel tanks. It was set up to work in forty degrees below zero weather. I wanted to make sure if I had to flee to Canada to avoid the Sa'arm I could. The truck had the capacity for eight passengers. I had stockpiled food for eight people for seven days in one of the compartments. Water was not a problem in Montana most of the year. You could find it by melting snow or lakes and rivers if you needed to.
Going to Cheyenne meant heading east on I90, then south on I25.
Yes, I know, how convenient for me that there were four females stuck in the office that day. It was a coincidence but no one ever believes it. Trust me, if you had been with me the first four hundred miles, you would have wondered if I had lost my mind. The first hour, all they could talk about were the abandoned cars in the streets. Personally I hoped that the people had been picked up by the buses that occasionally were seen doing so, but I had my doubts. My ladies wanted to go back. They wanted to look for their people. "No" was a response that they figured that they would wear me down on.
That was until we ran into an Earth Defense Force (EDF) guard unit blocking the road that led to Interstate 90. They told us to go to another highway entrance two miles away. The road was clear to there. There were looters and rioters in the streets the way we were headed. "Sir, if you go that way you will end up dead. The ladies if they are lucky they will end up gang raped and dead."
The EDF made sure I knew what I was doing with my vehicle and that it could handle the driving conditions. They were impressed. They recommended that I get behind one of the evacuation buses and to follow it at least until we cleared the evacuation area.
The arguments ceased and were replaced by whimpers and sobs ... for ... the ... next ... three ... hours...
The radio networks were broadcasting doom and gloom as the Sa'arm advanced. There were reports from news crews monitoring the Sa'arm advance as they approached Billings. Occasionally you would hear explosions and screams and the report would be cut off. As the Sa'arm advanced into suburbs there were news reports of massive slaughter of men, women and children.
When the Sa'arm entering Billings was reported, I had to stop the truck before Janice jumped out disregarding how fast we were traveling. She wanted to go back to help her family. Fortunately she was wearing high heels and could not outrun me. She fought me and I ended up knocking her out. I carried her back to the truck and secured her to the seat using a couple of ace bandages from the first aid kit. It was already too late if they were still there.
When she came to she demanded to be released. I said, "Not until you promise not to try anything that stupid again. It is too late to help your family if they are still in Billings. All you would do is end up eaten, if you were lucky. Of course you might end up being picked up by some of the locals and have to play hide the wiener for a couple of days, before they killed you."
I was a little surprised that none of the other ladies tried to stop me from tying her up. No one said anything.
It took about an hour but soon it was obvious that Janice was rethinking what she had tried and with the other ladies help, came to realize I was right.
Janice said, "Mr Griffin, please untie me. I'll behave. I will not try to run again. You are right."
I replied, "You had better not. The next time I catch you I'll spank your bare ass crimson before I secure you to the chair again.
"Ladies release her." They did.
Janice said, "Thank you for stopping me. What a stupid thing to try! You should spank me anyway, I deserve it!"
The road was remarkably clear once we left Billings. Gas was provided by the EDF guard, as long as you were on the evacuation route and kept moving. I kept the tanks topped off. The ladies and I traded off driving as we continued south. I90 actually turns south for a while before it runs into I25. Eventually we took I25 south towards Cheyenne and Denver. The camp we had been ordered to was on the south side of Cheyenne.
We arrived at the camp and were assigned a place to park and a tent. I took the distributor cap with me when we went to find a place to eat. I did not want someone stealing the truck. The camp was a disorganized mess but it was obvious everyone was trying to do their best. It was about 50 degrees. None of the tents were set up. Their were a few men and several women at one tent trying to set it up. As we ate the tent collapsed three times. They had no idea what they were doing wrong or why it was not working. Obviously there were no directions.
After we were done eating, I said to the ladies, "Come on, let's help."
I walked over to them and said, "It looks like you could use a hand."
"Damn straight!", one guy said with an English accent. I demonstrated how to set up the tent. It was easy if you knew what went where. These were military size tents and slept up to ten people, not the small pup tents kids or boy scouts sleep in. Once they had the stakes and in the right places, and the poles in the right holes, everything worked easy.
The people we helped then helped us with our tent. Soon we were done, so I started helping others. There were several different size tents. My ladies were going ahead to the next tent to get everything set up so that when I arrived with the other men who were helping we just had to do the grunt work. There were an incredible number of women involved, many helped with the grunt work. There were at least twenty-five tents in the immediate vicinity that had no men. Eventually most of the tents in my immediate area where set up.
.... There is more of this story ...