Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Chapter 12


Doc moved the trailer slowly along the mining road in the canyon northwest of the compound. The road was pitted and rocky, with pine trees crowding in from both sides. He wasn't averse to using the truck to shoulder obstructions out of his way. Still, he had to stop twice to clear fallen trees from the path. The road took one final switchback and curled around the hillside. At the end of the road, he came to rest in a small saddle between two hills in an area that had been clear-cut for a power easement. He walked cautiously east until he could see the compound nestled between two hills below him.

As he looked down from above the compound, he could see the main lodge. It was built from native logs. Surrounding the lodge was a log wall, hip high, with dirt filling the space between the walls. Where windows might have been, there were narrow vertical spaces with thick shutters alongside. They would not provide much of a view, but would be perfect protection if one were repelling a siege.

Between the main lodge and where Doc stood, he could see the top of a dirt-covered bunker. Razor wire ran around the perimeter of the compound, running down the side of both hills, and ending at the fence along the main road. Off to his left, across a tailing dump was the open shaft of an old mine. It looked like it hadn't been mined for a hundred years or so. Probably a silver or gold mine that had run dry, or had never produced.

He walked back to the trailer, and began to set up his gear. His next job would be to tap into the power lines, and setup his speakers and parabolic dishes along the hillsides. As he worked, he occasionally saw guards walking the perimeter below. He was careful not to make too much noise. As evening rolled around, things were still peaceful. They either didn't know he was there, or they didn't care. He decided that a cold meal in the back of the truck would be the best idea, followed by a little ease dropping, and zeroing in his equipment.

Enrico stopped by just before sundown and dropped of two plastic gas cans full of sorrow. Doc placed them safely downwind after the Mercedes idled away down the track. The less he had to do with that stuff, the better he felt.

Being in the forest at night can be the most relaxing thing on earth, or it can be nerve racking. For Doc, it had always been a peaceful experience. He stretched a hammock across the back of the trailer and lay back, listening to the night sounds of the forest. He was just on the edge of a dream when his eyes bulged out.

A hand had come from nowhere to settle snuggly across his mouth. The natural reaction was to shout or scream. He may have tried both, but neither one got past the hand.

"Don't make noise. I'm Will D. You Doc?"

"Shit man! You like to give me a heart attack! Don't do that!"

"Sorry Doc. It's what I'm here to do. Do you think you might live?"

"Not if you keep sneaking up on me."

"Not to worry. M said you would have something from the Medicine Man for me to work with. Did he make it?"

"Ya. That shit's over by the trees in front of the truck. The one with the duct tape is for their well. The other one is full of the sticky stuff."

"Ok. It's ten thirty now, there's no rush. I'll take a look around, but I'm not going into the compound until about one in the morning. I should be back by three or four. No moon tonight, that's good."

"When you get back, I need you to help me with that bomb over there. I want to set it right in front of the main lodge. Think we can get it down there and in place without being seen?"

"Damn. I don't know. How much does it weigh?"

"Don't worry about that, it's almost hollow. The whole thing probably doesn't weigh more than a hundred pounds."

"No sweat. I'll wake you up in plenty of time." As he slipped quietly into the trees, Doc turned to watch him go. There was nothing to see not even a shadow. Doc made a mental note to wake up early. He didn't want his blood pressure skyrocketing again.