Eight - A Secret Hideaway

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Cullen

It was a little over a week that Phoenix and I were gone. In that week, Ike recruited a few more lookouts, a cook, a teacher, and even a pilot. I'm surprised he's done so much with this place in the short time we were gone. He's implemented a system and it seems to be working. I've got to hand it to him, if anyone could pull it off, it would be him.

Phoenix doesn't feel as secure in our new home as we do, and because of this has asked both Ike and I to increase security within the walls. In actuality, it's a smart move, but I can see why Ike might think she is undermining his authority. Because of her insecurities, my role has shifted amongst the group, I now spend the majority of my day combing through every inch of the mansion, memorizing every nook and cranny. I would rather be in the meetings alongside Phoenix and Ike, or even out canvassing the streets and gathering more supplies for our growing group, but I understand why Phoenix thinks this is important. She wants us to know every inch of this place in case anything were to happen, be it the mansion being surrounded or needing a place to hide inside.

I've been paired up with a younger lad, Kole. He has a youthful appearance, combined with his tall and broad body. I asked him his age once, and he said eighteen. I felt for him then, because I knew he had been out there alone since the outbreak; having to fend for himself. That could take a toll on the mind of a young adult. Hell, I'm thirty two, and it's not a piece of cake for me. He's quieter than most, and I'd much rather be paired up with Ike or even Phoenix, but I manage. Ike is in high demand now. He is making strides towards a better tomorrow and I can't fault him for that. Phoenix isn't comfortable enough yet to be by my side, she wants to be able to oversee the vetting process and I am understanding of that.

Although our numbers have been growing rapidly inside the walls, we have been keeping everyone on the third and fourth floor. Ike, Phoenix, Neveah, and I have our own floor apart from everyone else in the president's private quarters. There are only thirty-five bedrooms being occupied on the other floors currently. I know from my research back when I first joined the military, and from what we've discovered living here, that thirty-five rooms is only a third of the overall number of bedrooms in the White House.

Kole and I are downstairs today, walking through every room on the first floor. We have already been in the basement a couple of times, but this time we find a pathway we never knew existed. Figuring it is just another entrance to the basement, we follow it. Much to our surprise, it doesn't lead to the basement we are familiar with. In fact, in leads to another basement altogether—one we are both seeing for the first time.

My eyes widen as I take in the numerous weapons of mass destruction. There are huge missiles accompanied by layouts and designs to destroy the world; the president's original plan. My stomach begins churning. We could have all been dead right now if it weren't for the plane crash. Everything happens for a reason, and I am seeing that firsthand.

I am having trouble comprehending why the president would have left all of these dangerous missiles unattended. Something doesn't add up here. I pick up some blueprints off of the large desk, ones that show every inch of the missiles with descriptions of how they work, along with a disclaimer at the bottom: 1 of 8. My eyes shoot up and toward the large weapons, counting them silently. Six, there are only six. How long have there only been six? Did the president take them with him to Fiji? I never found those on the plane or in the debris. A shiver runs down my back, making my blood run cold.

I know better than trying to move them, each of the missiles weigh more than 100 pounds and I'm not ready to throw out my back today. That doesn't mean I don't feel uneasy knowing that others have had access to these missiles all along, and probably still do.

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