Ch 4

Fare you well, you little winds
That the flying embers chase!
Fare you well, you shuddering day,
With your hands before your face!
E.St.V.Millay, The Blue-flag in the Bog

Just outside Anchee's house, Slidell, LA - 27 August, 0825 Hours

The tall man leading the dripping family looks at you with something midway between disbelief and terror, and edges forward in front of his gasping, sobbing wife, eyes darting quickly around. He yells something, but it is lost in the pouring rain and the insulation of the car windshields.

Steve frowns as he looks around for the remaining dogs, but they seem to have scattered after being broken up. Glancing back at the family he grumbles to himself and quickly arranges to avoid talking with them by saying something about keeping an eye out for the dogs. In fairness, with the rain pouring around them the dogs could reappear suddenly without warning.

Anchee steels herself not to look at the probable damage to her fender as she pulls up her hood and climbs out of the car to talk to the family. A quick, halting conversation ensues, and ends with Anchee digging into her wallet and pressing a few bills into the father's hands. She points south, punctuating her staccato instructions with sharp nods. The father gathers his family, a look of resolve firming his dripping features. Anchee watches them leave, sending up a quick thought for their safety; she returns to the back seat next to Will a few seconds later, slamming the door and shedding water everywhere.

Avery turns from the front passenger seat, having tracked the family around a corner. "What was that about?"
Anchee looks discomfited. "Dogs came out of nowhere as they were starting to load their car to leave. I sent them to the hospital a few blocks away to treat for any injuries and shock. We can't slow down to help them further, I think. Look—" She digs out her Blackberry, which had synched while inside the apartment, and passes it to Avery. "I think we're still on track for extraction. Steve, you should drive to Eden now, yes?"

Steve lets out a sigh, the brief stay in Anchee's apartment not enough to have revitalized his motivation for this disastrous mission. "Yeah… yeah I guess we're back on track if that's what Randall says." Without warning Steve grabs the hand brake and slams the accelerator, spinning the car a full 180 to point it toward Eden Isle, and then lets the car accelerate to a meager 25 mph which is about as fast as reasonable in this rain.

"So what's the plan here? Are we just going to roll up and bust in the front door?"

Huzzah! -P

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