Chapter 1: Camping

What a life I've lived, what a life I've hated. Same thing everyday day - work on this, fix that. I loved electronics and engineering but, this same place, same thing is getting to me, I need a vacation! I need to get away from everything - especially the news and newspapers. Does anything good ever happen anymore? Everything nowadays is death related - who killed who, who tortured and raped who. Heck, there were over 3,000 murders and 10,000 rapes in California alone last year, who knows how many other offenses. Then there is the war we supposedly just won, well you couldn't tell with all the military around. I think someone would like this war to last forever, someone in charge definitely seems happy about it. Yep that's it! I'm going on vacation, so I arranged my vacation time with my boss and then this weekend I was gone.

I decided to go camping up near Fawnskin Valley outside of Big Bear; I figured it would be nice and quiet. I loaded up my gas hog of an SUV Friday night and loaded my Toy Hauler as well. I figured I might get in a bit of riding time as I had planned to stay for the entire two weeks I had off. I loaded enough supplies for a month; this trailer could hold everything in the house almost. I purchased the dumb thing a little more than a year ago and this is only the second time I have used it, what a waste! But it was home away from home, that was for sure.

I headed out the next morning after loading my Springfield M1A, My Bushmaster and my Glock into the back of the truck; yep, I never leave home without them. I also rounded up my two mutts - I was sure they wanted to go. It was a very nice drive; there was even a little snow in some places.

I made my way through Big Bear stopping for breakfast, and what a breakfast it was! It has been far too long since I have been away; people also seemed much nicer in the smaller towns. After breakfast I headed for the campground and was about half way to the campground when I pulled over for some distressed campers.

"Hi folks, need help?" I said.

"Yes please. We had a blowout on the trailer and it seems my better half didn't notice the jack was missing," she said.

There was a guy and another girl standing back at the trailer, the guy had a frown on his face. I was sure he was not happy with his wife, the other girl didn't seem too happy with either of them.

"Sure I have a jack, I'll get it and see what we can do," I said.

So I grabbed my jack and we raised the trailer, during that time we were all introduced. There was Jack and Melissa Rogers. Then there was Patricia who was a friend of Melissa's. Apparently they all decided to go camping and have some fun, but I could tell Patricia didn't want to be here. We finished up with the trailer and left for the campground. As it turned out they were camping at a campground less than a mile from mine. I arrived at my campsite just after lunch so the first thing I did was pull out my BBQ and start it up. Then I went about setting up camp. They didn't have electricity here but they did have well water, so I set up my battery unit and set up the solar cells on the trailer, which would handle my lighting needs. Then I returned to the grill to make hamburgers, even warmed up a can of chili. I sat down and had my first relaxing meal in a long time, thankful I didn't bother to bring my cell phone.

I did spend the rest of the day reading; luckily I have a good selection of books on my laptop. A good book always seems to help me relax.

That evening I started a campfire and just relaxed on the lounger but when it started to get a bit cold around 11:00 I went in and got some sleep.

The next morning I woke up and whipped up some oatmeal, yeah, I know - but I like it. I added all the toppings and sat down outside to eat. I was just eating and waving to a few early morning hikers, when I decided to go for a walk myself. Surprisingly there were quite a few people on the trail this early, all of us getting an early start I guess. I walked a few miles then turned and headed home.

After cleaning up from breakfast, I sat down to continue to read. It was a few hours later I noticed a girl walking up the path alone, yep it was Patricia.

"Good morning, Patricia" I yelled.

She walked over to me, smiled, then looked around. I jumped up and grabbed a folding chair from inside and set it out for her. I offered her something to drink and she asked for a coke. I sat back down and just looked at her.

"Rough night?" I said smiling.

She scowled at me and said "Let's just say I was not interested".

"Yep I could tell by looking at you yesterday. Why did you come along with them in the first place?" I asked.

"Melissa is my friend or was anyway, I had no idea what they had on their minds. I just wanted some fun time camping, it's been a long time," she said.

"Sorry about your friend, it seemed obvious what they had planned when I ran into you yesterday. I could tell then you weren't too happy. So - on to more interesting things. Tell me about you," I said.

"Well let's see ... I'm a student, currently studying Cybercrime. I'm 23 years old, very single and I love dogs, just like the 2 you have," she said.

"Well I'm sure they love you, all it takes is a little attention, their names are Levi & Butch, and Butch is the white one."

She played with the dogs for a bit and I decided I should start lunch; steak would be nice since I had company.

"I hope you like steak," I yelled to her.

"Oh sure I do but I'm not real hungry,".

"Oh well, I already put one on the grill, you can share with the dogs if you want," I said laughing.

I cooked up the steaks on the grill and some steak fries in the oven. We sat for the better part of an hour just enjoying our meal and chatting. Patricia seemed like a nice gal, she was going to school and taking classes with the sole interest of helping humanity. I had learned that her parents were killed by a drunk driver last year and the driver actually got off with less than a year in jail.

We had great fun that day but eventually the time came and she went back to her so-called friends.

I made dinner late; it was just some leftover steak, because I didn't feel like cooking again.

I jumped in bed and dozed off reading a book.

The next morning I was up with the sun, I decided to take a walk before breakfast. I walked out of the trailer and noticed a sleeping bag on my lounger outside. I walked over and looked, it was Patricia. Oh great, I thought! I wonder what happened when she got home. I decided to go back in and start on breakfast. I cooked up some bacon and eggs and some sausage, and set up the outside table. I brewed up some coffee and took a cup over to Patricia; I waved the cup under nose until she came around.

"You could have knocked, there is an extra bed inside," I said.

"Sorry, I didn't want to bother you and I couldn't stay with them," she replied.

"Don't be sorry. I don't mind the company, you'll always be welcome."

She got up and ran inside to use the bathroom, she came back out and I directed her to the table and her coffee. We started on our breakfast and chatted a bit. Apparently, she had no interest in talking to her friend Melissa again. Oh, she is going to need a place to stay until she can get a ride home, but I knew she wouldn't ask.

"Ok like I said, I have an extra bed it's all yours if you want it, you can stay as long as you like. No arguments, no worries, I don't mind!" I said.

We went for a hike that day and I admit I had more than my share of fun, especially when I picked up a moping Patricia and jumped into the lake. She had some fun after that and lost her sad look. After hiking for what seemed forever we headed back home. I cooked up some mini pizzas for dinner and we slipped off to sleep.

Sped sat in the briefing room listening to the briefing, they had decided without his consent to abandon him on a planet just to observe primitives. How can they do this, it is such a waste of his abilities.

The planetary observation group known as POG was currently sitting in orbit around a planet the inhabitants called earth. They had taken an interest in the planet's population that was slowly destroying itself. It had been decided to place an observation station on the planet to monitor its demise. It had also been decided to leave Sped at the observation station to carry out the rest of his 500 year contract.

"This can't happen I will not allow it!" Sped thought to himself.

The briefing was over and the plans were in motion, Sped was in the observation room checking the area chosen for the observation post. The location seemed fine for the post; it was to be buried deep in the ground of a place called Big Bear. He had detected four life forms in the area above where the planned project site was, but they were in no danger. "They will not even know what is happening below them," he thought to himself. "Unless there was an accident!" he added. He decided just then that if there was an accident they would need to re-think their plan and he might be off the hook. He adjusted the parameters of the construction just slightly. "That should do it," he thought.

It was only a few hours later during the construction that an alarm sounded.

"What happened?" Sped said as he ran into the control room.

"There was a small cave in on the observation post; it came down all the way from the surface."

"Has anyone noticed the activity?" Sped asked.

"The four life forms that were on the surface were caught in the cave in. The computer transported them to the medical bay, they are alive and are being treated by the computer; they are also being kept sedated".

It was not long until all of the staff members were up and at their posts working over information on what had happened. In the end they found it to be a computer error and went on with construction, Sped was not very happy. He needed another idea; he was not going to that planet.

Another briefing session was called and POG discussed the presence of the two humanoid's and the two animals. The genetic repairs that had been done to them by the computer left them only 70% human. They discussed what would happen if the planets population found these two and what they were, how that would affect the planets future. That was not something they could allow, the planet had to progress naturally. The only option would be to take them with them they thought. It was then the idea came to Sped.

"What if we put them in charge of the monitoring outpost and secure it so they cannot leave the facility?" Sped asked.

"Are you serious?" Commander Fezip said.

"Yes certainly, who better to monitor humans than humans? Think about it - the computer can teach them while they are at the facility and they can send us the results of the monitoring," Sped said.

"What makes you think these humans will agree?" Commander Fezip asked.

"I think I can convince them, just give me a chance," he asked.

"Fine you have 2 days to talk to the humans," Commander Fezip replied.

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Story tagged with:
Science Fiction / Post Apocalypse /