We didn’t have much time. Our escort, her name was Christy, went and relayed our predicament to the rest of her crew and they came to a consensus. The problem was that the township knew that our train had arrived. Given the planet is dead silent these days, the rumble of a diesel engine, especially one as unhealthy as ours, and the squeak of metal on metal brakes, could be heard for miles. Given the town of Sanctuary was only a day and a half’s hike from here, they had no doubt heard us, the same way they had heard the remains of the Boss’ train when they had arrived in a similar fashion.
The senior members of my group, and a few of Christy’s team gathered in one of the carriages as the rest of the woman and children gave us our privacy and went to the other carriage. We spent a good couple of hours arguing, and at one point, shouting at each other. Neither team wanted to back down. Christy knew her and her crew couldn’t return to Sanctuary without us or they’d be killed for coming back empty handed, and didn’t want to leave the comforts and safety of Sanctuary. At the same time, I definitely had a price on my head, and the woman and children could not be allowed back into the hands of that maniac and his band of vile cretins.
And then it struck me. There was only one way out of this, and the chances were pretty slim that I would survive it, but it was there. It relied on a whole lot of trust on both sides, and a bit of work and last minute preparation, but if there was ever a chance, this was it. Christy frowned when she heard it, and picked holes in the already swiss cheese of an idea, but in the end she shrugged, let out a few expletives, and gave me a look that I’ve seen too many times before that said: ‘You’re completely off your rocker doing that, but at least it’s you and not me’.
We had work to do, and so little time it wasn’t funny. Christy went outside and briefed her crew on the rough outline of a plan. She remained sketchy on the details partially because the details had to be worked out as we went along, but also she didn’t know how many of her crew were completely trustworthy, and who had begun to side with the Boss and his cronies for fear of being killed, or worse. Well, there goes the complete trust element of the plan.
I’ve briefed my lot as best I can. There’s a ton of prep to do, so I’m out of time to write any more. Perhaps one more update as we’re on our way to Sanctuary, then possibly no more entries in this diary. I’ll update it afterwards if things miraculously work out.
Chances are very good though that this is my penultimate entry. If so, may I just say: life is hard and horrible, but unfortunately that nasty, painful, and terrible time that consumes ninety nine percent of your life, has to be endured for that one glimmer of joy, happiness, beauty, and/or love that appears so fleetingly, like the glint of a flake of gold at the bottom of a fast flowing stream. Did you really see it, and can you hold on to that moment forever, or will it be swept from you before you are ready? Take each of those moments, bundle them up into a tight package and hold those close to your heart. They will be the strength and light you can draw upon in the darkest hours of that ninety nine percent.