Friday, January 19, 2018 15:27

Chaos Day plus one. (CD+1)

By Joe Miller

Wild, dark times are rumbling toward us, and the prophet who wishes to write a new apocalypse will have to invent entirely new beasts, and beasts so terrible that the ancient animal symbols of St. John will seem like cooing doves and cupids in comparison.

HEINRICH HEINE, “Lutetia; or, Paris,” Augsberg Gazette, 1842

It was midnight. Rikki had made some sandwiches for everyone and more importantly, coffee. I was in the bridge with Robbie. Eddie and Gareth went below to their cabins to get some rest and would take the 04-08 watch. We were making good turns, we couldn’t go to fast for fear of out running some of the smaller boats. Robbie got on the radio and commandeered the computer on the radio desk. He was making a log of all the boats and who had what supplies. Turns out most needed water. I hooked a hose up to the crane boom and passes water to all who needed it.

One of the boats had a man with a broke leg, his wife Betty came over to Miss Ellie with him. Turns out she is a nurse We also took on a few more wounded, one with a bite. We locked his ass up too, but in the other cell. Anyway Robbie, it turns out is good with computers. He was keeping a decent log of what was going on. I started thinking about what to do. Corpus Sounded nice and we didn’t hear of any problems going on down there. I had Robbie keep an ear on the radio for info. That AM Shore to Shore show had a lot of info on what was going on, but who can trust them?

Around One Rikki came up. we started talking and I let her take the well for a few minutes while I got my pipe out. I offered one to Robbie. She seemed interested in learning how to helm the boat.  I swear that girl was almost flirting with Robbie the whole time.  I pulled the charts out to check the approaches to Freeport. I had never brought Miss Ellie up there, so I wanted to be ready. Robbie started writing something and switched audio to the speaker. One of the boats in our group was radioing that they had one of their injured pass out, had a fever and was bruised. I felt I was as pale as Rikki looked upon hearing that.

I called them and told them that it likely meant that the person was about to become one of them, they they should kill it or throw it over. They refused. I had Robbie get in contact with each boat to find out the status of the wounded.

Turns out we have 15 with bites or fevers. I proposed that we isolate them all in one of the larger boats, but was over ridden by everyone but Robbie because if any of them are not infected we would be condemning them to become infected. As the kid said, “Sucks to be them”.

It turns out it didn’t matter, most of their friends and family wouldn’t leave them. While we were arguing about this and approaching Freeport, we noticed it was burning and we called to get a SITREP. Freeport was being over run. They said to go to Corpus. The National Guard didn’t get there in time so they were pushing the containment line back again, to be able to establish a defensive line.

The smaller boats wouldn’t have enough fuel to get to Corpus. I called a meeting and had everyone but Seth and Roy, the guy with the broken leg, come up to the bridge. While waiting for everyone I called an old friend on the radio. One that Eddie wouldn’t be happy to see. Last time they saw each other she ha stabbed him.  Twice.  I couldn’t see a way around it. Angelina was co-owner of a marina in Palacios, Texas. She would have fuel and more importantly food. We arranged for us to come in. She said things there were bad, but they had a good position and were holding them off but it was only a matter of time. She asked if she could join up with us. I told her sure we had some room aboard.

I heard laughing on the other end.  “Lisa J is in the water and ready to get underway” she said. It was my turn to laugh. To call MV Lisa J a derelict rust bucket would be kind to her and an insult to derelict rust buckets everywhere. However, Angelina said she was seaworthy. If I knew her brothers she would at least be sound mechanically, if not patched up with a lot of imagination and liberated parts. We replotted the course and came about.

The crew came up and as we were starting our meeting the radio, the FM came to life with the emergency alert noise. It was followed by the words “Please stand by for a message from the President of the United States”. We stood by. Rikki got some drinks for us and we waited.

The radio came on and some lady claiming to be president said that there was “…some sort of terrorist attack which appears to be related to the chaos that is transpiring along the Gulf Coast”  President Pelosi said she had officially been duly sworn in by Chief Justice Sotomayor and that she was declaring martial law.  Most areas 200 miles in from the coast would be a quarantined zone.   Safe houses were to be set up for survivors to collect and await the government to come rescue them.  They also told us that they incidents appear to be only along the gulf coast and that they are taking steps to limit the spread.    All citizens were ordered to shelter in place, lock all barricade all doors and windows.

I felt it was all bullshit.  If it was isolated along the coast, why was there a “terrorist incident” in the white house that left the speaker president and what happened to Joe?  Again I got the feeling that this was a pivotal moment in human history. I made up my mind that I wasn’t going to sit and wait for the Government to come to my aid, to rescue me.  I had an idea that was forming, but I needed to look some stuff up.

We talked, all the people in the crowed bridge.   I asked everyone if they wanted to stay with me or get off at Corpus.  If they stayed they would have to accept my authority as captain and that every one would have a primary and secondary job as well as having to learn how to defend themselves.

I called the boats and told them what was going on that we would have to consolidate. We couldn’t keep the smaller boats and the possible infected had to go. I offered to allow other boats stay with us or they could take their chances in Freeport. If they were going to stay with us, they would have to follow our lead. I know it was asking a lot of strangers, but something was seriously wrong here.

Not counting Angelina her boat and the people she was bringing, we had 9 boats and about 100 people decide to join with us to make the trek to Corpus. we spent a few hours transferring people and gear around. During the process we picked up  a few more passengers, Stu Barton (A med student at UTMB), his roommate Evan.  Since we had lost some time we had to make out best speed to meet up at Flores Marina on time.

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