The Big One…………………….Chapter 45

Dave Rippley had time to think on his two hour hike back to the valley farm. The youngster was accompanied by the tremor toad for most of the journey but was left to travel on alone upon reaching the outer rim of the valley.  His face was swollen from the beating he had taken and his ribs still hurt.

Coming from his new found shack Abe Yoder was the first to see him approaching and the Amish lad let out a holler that brought just about everyone out of various places to meet  Dave.  Fred Casper knew ahead of time of coarse and so as Rippley drew closer  Casper went to wake his girlfriend bringing her to the back porch to meet him. Loraine almost collapsed in shock upon seeing Dave surrounded by his many greeters but was held up by the strong arms of Fred.

Dave was already being questioned by the others about what had happened to him and the concern was only made greater by the appearance of his battered looking face. Seeing his girlfriend and Fred standing on the porch he raced into the arms of his beloved Loraine and the two wept as they held one another. Peering over Loraine’s shoulder into the face of Fred,  Dave whispered to the man.

“You and I need to have a good long talk”.

Casper simply gave him an understanding nod accompanied by a dark smile. Dave toke Loraine into the house perplexed by her drawn and gaunt complexion. Turning around Casper came face to face with Bill Langley and Abe Yoder who asked him to borrow the helicopter. Fred was well aware of Langley’s veteran experience as a pilot that far surpassed his own and so he had no problem allowing Bill to fly his aircraft. It would be after they had gone that Fred Casper would learn other things that would make him regret this decision. He turned now to go into the house to deal with more pressing matters like that talk with Mister Rippley.

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The Big One……………………………Chapter 44

Anson Gorbel felt very frustrated by the current situation as the helicopter taking the team to it’s current destination flew through the sky. The craft they were in was flanked by four other larger ones that held hundreds of operatives from all five agency locations. Gorbel had really felt there was a good chance of getting information out of that Rippley fellow but this thing they must tend to now demanded immediate action and so here they were.  Diego was the name of the largest known remaining population in what used to be the United States. It was also all that remained of Calfornia and the city of San Diego and was now a large island containing some eight hundred thousand people. Gorbel knew that gaining control of this population would be important for a number of reasons and had been communicating with  numerous  operatives who had been sent there to spy out the place and take measure of it’s leadership and any possible defences. They had been instructed to map out all centres of importance and then contact him when the time was right with preparations in place.  Three helicopters would land at places run by what seemed to be meeting halls for leadership and the helicopter carrying himself with the other craft would ascend upon the main communications centre . There was still a  nagging thought tugging at his brain stem due to the fact that the Russian and himself were not able to finish their interrogation of that young man. Oh well it would simply have to wait until their return the mountain fortress. Egor Vrolev sat up front joking and laughing with the pilot. He could be so annoying and loud at times especially after a torture session or other acts of violence had taken place. Such things made him so happy and joyous like a little child who had just received a most coveted gift for Christmas.

They were now within an hour of Diego airspace when the radio crackled to life with a message from the mountain fortress for Gorbel. A headset was hurriedly passed back to him from the pilot and the news he received made him very sorry he had not completed that interrogation.