March 21, 2016

The Trader's Road - Original Flash Fiction (RMB)

Prodigy Corps Log 42-6-15    08:00 hrs


LC#21954447  Katt Farthing Reporting   Day 12, Tour 2  


#TACTICAL NOTES


Back on the road after a brief stop for repairs. Took light heat on the overpass along Containment Zone 4. This is the third such incident this tour. No serious damage, but Lt. Joyce wouldn’t risk pushing further without inspection. Stopped at an abandoned gas station on the north side of Sheridan Woods. All solar reserves  unharmed in the skirmish. But, grill and engine were shredded to layer 2. Thanks to the skilled patchwork by synth units Alpha and Zeta, the roach looks good as new.


Survey of cargo indicated negative damage to manuscripts and volumes.  All materials are accounted for, resealed, and on track for rendezvous at Camp 12 by tomorrow night, as planned. Survey drone deployed above, synths on deck for last leg of trip. ETA 16:00 hours. Please advise Camp 12.      


#PERSONAL NOTES


Can’t say I wasn’t grateful for the break. Found a working sink with clean-ish water to wash with, while Joyce and synths completed their checks. After scouting the abandoned store, located some unexpired chips and candy bars. I know it’s not recommended to consume food near the containment zones, but the medkit has more than enough provisions to reverse damage from a simple snack or two. God, I haven’t tasted a Cheeto in so long. It was divinity from a lost time. Of course, Joyce would have none of it. Can’t say I blame him, they weren’t exactly factory fresh.   


This tour has been harder than the last.  The terrain has been harder to navigate due to the floods soaking Traders Road. Yet, all deliveries have been successful. The people really are grateful for the books. Every page is scoured and held as the precious survivors they are.  Though, to see the hollow eyes and gaunt children, Prodigy Corps truly needs to increase provisions or the camps won’t be here for long. Things are getting tight. Hence, the uptick in fire. What can I do? I’m just a Corps Librarian.


Joyce seems unphased by the uptick in skirmishes, says nothing much at all, as usual. He’s a terrible emissary for the written word, if you ask me. But I suppose that’s my job. A stiff shot of silence and grit, he just may be the best escort for security. Yet, he’s the worst companion bearing the name Joyce - not one ounce of likeness to his verbose literary ancestor.


It’s not like I haven’t tried making polite conversation. Nothing. Not one word outside of operational speak or sustenance. The synths are better company with their preloaded media and chatter apps. He wants me to think he’s every inch badassery. All guns, no bullshit. But, I’ve seen his face looking at those kids. There’s a soft side, somewhere in there...and a story of his own buried even deeper.


Received another comm from my son, Will. He’s in Prodigy’s Youth Hatch. Doing well, by his account, as well as by the reports I receive weekly.  Maybe it wasn’t so bad I was pressed in service by Debt Corps. It’s not like we were going to make it much longer on our own. Maybe he’ll have a chance, at least more than those out here. God bless the indentured. Wish I didn’t have to be gone so….  


TRANSMISSION INTERRUPTED


TRANSMISSION RESUMED


(SHIT!)  We are…. under fire….again...4 leagues in Sheridan Wood!  
Will... if you get this….I love you. Hold...hold the light for me.


(KATT! KATT! I’VE GOT YOU!)


Joyce….I…


(KATT!)


TRANSMISSION ENDED
   

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