Left just after first light. Coulda snuck out when it dark. Ev'rybody feel safer then. But that jus' an illusion. Chinese goomers got eye goggles lets 'em see through all kinds a shit... even walls. And kit-kats love the dark. They sees like cats sees. Lot a rich folks had somethin' similar done to they eyes too. Had to, 'cause a not havin' no real moon or nothin'.
Bart picked the time. Actually, Little Davey did. Old man was talkin' over supper. Sayin' how he wanted a push off while it still dark. Davey din't like that. You gotta remember he only like five or six year old. He put on a good show. But wit' his daddy off in the city and his Uncle Alec freshly planted, don't take much a hinky-dink him all up. And them other two, Alec's kids, is even worse.
So they had one last breakfast round the big granite island. Cowboy wives made hotcakes. Still had some strawberry preserves and butter, so that was all right. Miss Sissie fried up a mess a salami in a pan. Ain't got no bacon or sausage left, so you want protein, you eat salami. Tasted good actually. Made the kids feel better.
Two cowboys (plus they wives) goin' wit' 'em. Tall one Zeke. Little one (though he not real little) named Buster. I not sure a them wives' names. Call one Miz Zeke. Call the other Miz Buster. Other ranch hands gonna take off on they own. Few wanna stay. House gonna be all locked down. Know them roombas you got in your time? Well, we got good roombas now. They does more that suck up dust. Them what we got shoots folks too. Shoots 'em up real good. I think they clean up too. But they does that part after. So it not like these quarters gonna be particularly hospitable to unannounced guests, or nothin'. Everythin' sealed shut. All kinds a 'larms turned on. Dogs runnin' loose. I not talkin' 'bout the house dogs. They gone be in 'spended animation. Mister Bart went down to dose 'em up real good 'fore they left. Dogs down in little room off the sub-basement now. Bottle say it good for 'bout eighteen months (Earth months), so they ought a be all right...... I hope....... 'Less some hungry, enemy soldier cook 'em up for dinner or somethin'.
Tank (which is more like what you all used to call a big, ole Hummer) hold ten people. We got eleven. So one a them kids gonna have to sit on a lap. Not like there gonna be lot a traffic. I hear all them 'stores' over at Walgreen Village been smashed in and looted already. Few other ranchers pullin' out now too. Know how they told each other? Old time 'crystal' radio set. Trooper families still got 'em from the old days. They mostly heirlooms now. Folks keeps 'em to remember and to show off how 'historical' they is. Government gave 'em out 'case all the good stuff go 'gook.' And what wit' the war and all it did.
So doan 'spect no caravan or nothin', jus' like one tank ev'ry couple miles or so. I'd say each one got a couple fire arms. Most can pop off a few 'red hots', but some got a little more power. Bart got two lead spitters. They old guns...real old. Brought 'em up all the way from Earth. Go back to West Texas. Oklahoma too, I 'spects. He keep 'em up real nice. That a family tradition. Ev'ry so often he take 'em out, polish 'em up, check to see they in workin' order. Fellah over in Rodenberry used to make the bullets. Stilll got a few boxes. Miss Sissie doan like when he shoot 'em off. They real loud. Modern guns doan make no racket. Them what shot just go 'gook.' Even a cake don't fall.
Got bottles a water on board too. Some freeze-dried hot dogs. Few bags a Cheetos. Yeah, we still likes Cheetos. What? You got a problem wit' that? Miss Sissie got a jewelry box, case we runs into the kind a soldier what likes bein' bribed..... They not all gonna be cold blooded killers..... We hope.
It only 'bout ninety miles into town....if the roads is all right. I do not know how long it will take if we have to go over land. And I do not know how far out from town our own soldiers are progressin'.
Folks is tryin' a get 'em a send up help from 'Merica. But they got they own problems wit' the Second Brazilian Empire and a whole bunch a shit. Who knows? Maybe they will. But I doan know.
Ev'rybody in the tank singin' now. Men folk up front. Lady folk and little ones in a back. Like that few feet gonna make whole lot a difference we run into some goomers from Peking or Taipei, or some place like that. And they do got hopped-up, wild Tuva-Tuvas runnin' 'round too, you know.
Zeke just seed big chupicabra zip 'cross that road. But he doan wanna say nothin'. No use scarin' ev'rybody else. Zeke the driver. Mister Bart ridin' shot gun. And with what he totin' that 'sactly what he is.
So they singin' that 'national song' a theirs. Sings it all the time. Makes 'em feel strong. Makes 'em feel special. Makes 'em feel like somebody.....
Around her neck she wore a yellow ribbon..... She wore it for her sweetheart who was in the cavalry.....
Sun comin' up real purdy now. Look how red them hills look.......
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