PART 7, SECTION 9

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I asked Chris, "Where are you hiding the refugees?" I was trying to figure out what to do next.

"With the Underground," he said. "Which means they're all over the place. They're with people who are secretly sympathetic, and willing to resist the Home Guard. They're in basements and attics all over the quarantine zone. But it won't last long. No one's willing to shelter anyone for more than a few days. Everyone's afraid of the Home Guard cracking down. They're starting to search properties. A few of the refugees are with your boss, actually. Your old boss."

"Ed's sheltering refugees?"

This actually didn't surprise me. My boss at the trucking company, Ed Hernandez, lived outside of town on an acre of land at the foothills of the mountains. He definitely wasn't the type to sympathize with the Home Guard's tactics. His place was maybe four or five miles away.

"Ed actually kind of started the whole thing," Chris said.

"His place is good enough for me." I picked up my pace while we made our way from the alleyway to the back of the high school.

"If that's where we're going, we're going the wrong way," Chris stopped. "You know that right?"

But I didn't stop trotting through the empty lot behind the high school baseball field. The sirens had grown even louder. The Home Guard had probably reached the pharmacy by now. I didn't think anyone was following us, but we had to move fast. Chris jogged to catch up. I could see the abandoned carnival rides rising up just beyond the high school.

"Just follow me," I said.



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