Chapter 46

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"How are we going to handle that much shit?"

Back in Freehold Will, Terra, and Jay gazed down at the detailed site layout of the town evacuation site, just recently approved by the Library Board.  Solid lines denoted the existing water distribution building and the road to it.  Faint lines showed topographical elevations based on the survey Will completed earlier.  Dotted lines indicated preliminary sites for the backup hospital, supply warehouses, temporary living shelters, and other facilities.  They had not yet considered sanitation and waste management.

Will pointed to an area on the diagram.  "Maybe there, the flat area down-slope.  We could put in a holding pond to handle the waste outflow from the hospital and a bathhouse.  For the living area about the best we can do is put in some pit latrines, there is not enough time or money to put in a septic field."

Jay replied.  "That may work.  I'll run some calcs on the pond size.  Although, someone needs to go back out there to check soil permeability and layout a sewer line route."

Terra made a suggestion.  "Let's all go out tomorrow.  There is no school, so Moya could come too.  The weather should be good, we could bring a picnic lunch."

Jay remarked, "Exceptional idea!"  He nudged Will.  "You really should marry this woman."

The next morning the four squeezed into Jay's truck with the picnic lunch and the equipment the men would need stashed in the bed.  The weather was sunny and warm as expected, and they were all looking forward to both a productive and relaxing day.  Along the way, the women talked excitedly and at length about Terra's pregnancy.  Will could only smile at the nervous look on Jay's face.

The truck stopped in front of the water distribution building and the four gathered in front of the truck.  Will began unloading some of the equipment while Jay walked toward the building to check on the pumps and piping within, Moya took his hand and went with him.


Inside Neige made three hand signals to the men.  Two fingers up meant two people were approaching, his hand flat with palm down to hold positions, and his hand up with palm out to hold their fire.

He also spoke over their communication network, but was not sure how well that would work in the noisy environment.  "Two non-targets approaching.  Do not fire.  Restrain, but do not harm.  We may need them."

A man, who came along with the one Niege presumed was the Hooded Man, swung open the door for the woman with him and followed her inside.  He led her around a set of pipe expansion loops toward a row of three pumps, each set on concrete pedestals. The woman cupped her hands over her ears to shield them from the noise.  Her jaw dropped and her eyes opened wide as one of the Dynasty guards came up from behind and put a knife blade to her throat.   The man moved to intervene but stopped when Haze appeared before him with his rifle leveled. Haze made a motion with his head and the man raised his hands. 

The woman's wide eyes showed fear but the man seemed calm and steadfast.  The man nodded, likely signaling compliance with Haze's instructions.  Haze backed off behind the pumps, his rifle still shouldered, while the Dynasty guard remained with his knife pressed against the woman's throat. Niege hoped they would not come to be harmed.


Outside, Terra held her extended belly.  "Oww!"

Will came to her side and put his arm around her.  "What is it?"

"It's your daughter.  She kicked me hard."  She bent over slightly.  "Oww!"

Will smiled and put his hand on her belly.  "Easy, little one.  That's your mother you are kicking."

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