We received news that they took off and were on their way. They also told us about the brothers and Gregg. Bobby was one of my first employees and a good friend. His brother Jimmy was a screw-up. His last act was to give his life so they could escape. I hired Gregg because I saw something in him. I knew he could be doing better. He proved to the rest of the team he was one of them. We don’t have time to morn.
I sent Tina to the meeting point with the snow van. It is an extended van with treads instead of tires. Soon even this vehicle won’t be able to go out. A strong storm is moving in. Our guests will just make it in time. We however, are going to be trapped with them for what could be a month or more. I guess I should stop calling them the brothers. Dave and Dan helped me batten down the station for the storm. TCs parent’s employees won’t be here in time. Their plane was diverted to Anchorage. So, their first months of education would be online. All we can do now is prepare and wait.
About five hours later they made it to the camp. Well, most of them made it. At one of the stops along the way Phil got off the plane. He said he had enough of the life and wanted out. We helped the quests out of the van along with the meager possessions they brought with them. Their clothing was bought along the way. Most of them had never seen snow before. Now there where surrounded by it. A security blanket with a temp of fifteen degrees below zero. Tina said there was one other plane on the tarmac. There was no pilot or crew and the plane was just left out for the elements. The troubling part was that the plane had a flight plan that originated in Saudi Arabia.
With the snow moving in we would be safe soon. Whoever that was, it would appear they didn’t plan for the weather or remote locations. Off in the distance I could hear a helicopter. In this weather and at this temperature that is not a good idea. I pulled in my people and did a weapons check. Given the nature of our duties we planned accordingly. Each of my team had a Colt M4 and a Barretta Storm. I had my Browning Automatic Rifle or B.A.R. and my Barretta Storm. One of the ladies watched us prepare. She walked up and said in what was very good English, “are we in trouble?” I answered, “don’t know yet but it’s better to be prepared than not.”
We had snow gear just not deep snow gear. We were supposed to be out of here by now and the new crew coming in would have all the gear they would need. We would have to improvise. Tina said she saw a couple of rattan chairs in the back. with a little imagination and a lot of duct tape she could fashion some snow shoes. The rest was just layers of clothing and goggles. Jimmy had packed about fifteen pairs of goggles in a box marked grenades. I looked at the box and thought about him and all he did. The sky turned from blue to ashen then black within a few minutes. The storm was here.
I stood by a window and watched it snow sideways. I grew up in northeast Ohio. So, snow is nothing new to me. I remember one day when it snowed three feet in five hours. It just snowed that in one hour. This wasn’t just snow, it was end of times snow. Looking at this I can see why people say the suicide rate in Scandinavia is so high. Nothing but icy cold death as far as the eyes can see. Sara joined me at the window. She said, “I couldn’t have ever imagined such a place like this.” Sara was the quest who asked us if we were in trouble. Her husband would beat her if she left the house. She is around 5’ 11” with a dark olive complexion, long jet-black hair and a figure that makes Marylyn Monroe look like Olive Oyl. She wore her hair over one side of her face to cover a scar given to her by her husband. One day he was going at her with a bamboo rod when she picked up a kitchen knife and held it in front of her. He tripped and impaled himself on the knife. Although it was ruled an accident, his family wanted her head. No, literally her head.
What I couldn’t tell her was I wasn’t staring at the snow I was watching an auxiliary building. The lights were on and someone was home. It wasn’t one of us. We had company. The thermal camera wouldn’t work here. Although with it back at our headquarters it definitely won’t work. The box marked camera was filled with ketchup packets. I want to ask who put Jimmy in charge of packing the gear. Oh, that’s right it was me. That boy just loved ketchup. In our inventorying, we found something like three thousand packets of ketchup. They took the place of the camera, extra ammo for the Barrett, Ted’s backup laptop and Tina’s romance novels. As I stared out the window Tina was reading an old dog-eared copy of War and Peace.
These are short stories I wrote. Some are connected to the larger books I am working on others are just for the fun of story telling.
Become a Patron