Dragons Eye II - Sea Change
This is a continuation of the Books about Jon, Kathy and Anthem written a couple of years ago. I will publish new pieces of the story every couple of days...
Copyright Dark Aelf, 2021
With an admission of frailty, my strength faded. Gunadi helped me pack an overnight bag. At some stage, a mechanic arrived and borrowed my keys to get my truck started and change a tire that had been losing air.
Early afternoon, the soldier who had spoken to me yesterday returned from the high ridges. I saw Gunadi snap to attention as she entered the kitchen and relax just as quickly as she waved away formality.
She placed a semi-automatic weapon on the kitchen table within reach. I managed to stand as she extended a firm hand to introduce herself formally as Lieutenant Casey and give an unspoken apology for the weapon. The two soldiers briefly conferred before she turned to me. Her eyes were sharp. She didn't waste any words, "We gave your intruder chase, but, whatever it is, it is resilient, has companions, and they are inclined to fight back. I don't understand, but I am not getting any answers about what we face. The civilian authorities over the other side of the mountain are still in disarray, and I have been told to hold here and ensure the area is clean as civilians return."
She came a bit closer, and I could see traces of exhaustion sitting at the edges of her words, "I know you are unwell, but you need to help me. I think your illness and the retrieval of your boat are bits of the problem we need to solve, and quickly."
She motioned to Gunadi, "With your agreement, Letnan Dua Sijabat will accompany you to the coast. I need every scrap of information you both can provide."
All I could manage was a brief, "How can I help?" and, as the gravity of the situation hit me, "How bad is the situation?"
She relaxed, "Uncertainty is a mind-killer. Bring me back the missing pieces so that I can do my job."
Trying to make amends for our first meeting, I continued, "I appreciate your help and am happy to work with Letnan Dua Sijabat. If it is of any use, feel free to use my property."
The two exchanged a quick smile before she nodded and stepped back.
As she stood to leave the room, the farmhouse vibrated to the sound of a couple of loud explosions. She took a quick call and thought for a moment. "Change of plan. The road over the mountain is not worth the risk. Go South, and go fast."
We traveled southward over empty roads with an escort. The small towns we passed through were deserted. Some of the houses burnt, others damaged. Along the road we passed cars that had been burnt out but were now cold.
We found fuel at a military encampment at Bombala before turning back to cross the Great Dividing Range at Brown Mountain.
I drove on dirt roads, but as the day drew on, Gunadi offered to take the wheel. As we went, he had a hundred questions about the wilderness and farmlands we traveled through. After Bombala, we settled into a quiet companionship. He told me that our first destination would be the doctor at the Port of Eden. He had arranged accommodation there.
We crested the mountains and saw, in the distance, the ocean.
While Gunadi drove carefully down the pass, I took out the wallets I had found the previous days. I searched through mine, finding a faint receipt in a scatter of notes. But, unfortunately, I could not make out the writing.
Then I turned to the second wallet, a stylish leather affair with a gold clasp. I took a deep breath and unclipped the clasp. The wallet opened to a passport photo on one side and a New York driver's license.
A shard of ice passed through my mind, blinding me, and I screamed. I felt Gunadi step on the brake and the truck hit the side of the road, and in pain, your voice:
"In my eye your fire;
Moon rider gifting life hue;
Tear-fall, free you fly"
back to the Index to Dragons Eye II
(image: Bombala, view to the Australian alps)