The Big One……………………Chapter 56

Abe Yoder was heart sick at the death of his dear friend Bill Langley and busied himself with Dave Rippley preparing a casket for the talented pilot. During their recent trip to Diego island Bill and Abe had grown closer as pals and talked about life and the recent disaster that had wiped out over ninety five percent of the worlds population.  Abe would likely never been able to have his dear girlfriend and soon to be wife Anna Colbenze if it had not been for Bills skilled help. Following the construction of the casket they set up a nice floral arrangement for the funeral near graveside as the others washed and placed Langley in the casket. Abe never slept that night and Anna broke with traditional rules of amish dating to sleep next to him.

The funeral service was very touching but beautiful that following afternoon under a now  slightly overcast late summer sky. The group stood in a circle around the grave as Rem Josephus spoke from the book of second Samuel regarding the struggles of David King of Israel. It was very befitting given the circumstances of the past couple of months both on this valley farm and around the world in general. Following the sermon a few people spoke of Bill and what he had meant to them. Kevin Cross had met Bill with a bang so to speak when Langley had nearly landed his plane on the youngsters head. Dave Rippley on the other hand had first encountered those two when they had crashed their plane into a tree on the valley farm upon running out of fuel. Abe Yoder had come later with little Emily on horse back. Young Yoder could only manage a few words before break into tears. As if on cue Rem then started a most beautiful song about life and struggle tempered by faith and as his voice lifted out over the valley and mountains the circle joined hands and with bowed heads they wept as one. They wept not only for their lost friend but for Tabetha and countless other friends and family who had been lost in the quake. For in this blessed outlet of tears and grief there sprang healing and thus hope and strength to go on for years to come.

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The Big One………………………..Chapter 55

Dave Rippley was now wondering if there would be any end to the dark surprises he had been receiving lately. Following his spirited conversation with Fred Casper regarding the deadly technology he had at his disposal, Dave had headed outside to hear of a freak mass of butterflies that seemed out of this world. It was well past dark when he headed to bed with his beloved Loraine Michaud and sleep found them very quickly. They both sat straight up in bed not long after first light at the screams of Donna Case to find that their good friend Bill Langley had departed this earth at some point during the night. This very sad event brought everyone together including the reclusive Fred Casper who sprang from his basement hide away to see what was wrong.  The men set about preparing Bills remains for burial as the women did their best to help the unconsolable  Donna. A blanket of sadness seemed to cover the valley farm as Rem Josephus agreed to both conduct the funeral service and sing a special number the following day. Dave and Abe constructed a pine casket from boards they found in the barn while Kevin and Fred dug a grave in the meadow near rivers edge right next to the grave of Tabetha Long who had been killed aboard Casper’s research ship during the quake. This all seemed like an unguarded moment in which an enemy could strike. This enemy however would be sadly mistaken due to the very preemptive thinking of Fred Casper, for he had set up a very strange yet adequate defence against any such action.

The Big One…………………….Chapter 54

Anson Gorbel felt deflated to say the least and had never had such a feeling in his entire life. Oh there had been times of frustration when as third in command of the CIA he had been told that the special new signal directive technology was for first and second in command only and that he would be informed strictly on a need to know basis. The past week had seen his own head quarters compromised with the loss of a number of agents. There was then that sickening mess out towards Diego island where they had taken the loss of helicopters full of agents except for one who had survived. Egor Vrolev as annoying as he was had been very valuable to Gorbel and Anson had just been informed about a half hour earlier that the big boisterous Russian would pull through. Given the compromised situation inside the mountain fortress Gorbel had felt it better to transport him to the hospital inside the facility in what used to be the southern USA. Sitting now in his darkened office where he did his best thinking Gorbel turned over in his mind the next move for his fighting force. Diego island was now firmly under the control of his agents and now for this upstart farming bunch in the next valley. If it had not been for this special new signal directive used by that maggot Fred Casper it would have all been over for them long ago. But despite all that, no one was invincible thought Anson with a dark smile that brought a feeling of reassuring ease for a moment. This all vanished in the next second with a blast of annoyance as his office door burst open and his nephew Tyler Gorbel bounced in with out knocking a big grin on his face.

” Hey Uncs, hows it hangin”?

The Big One…………………………Chapter 53

Fred Casper felt very satisfied this past week following the great performance of his technology inside the mountain fortress and of course the other situation out towards Diego Island . The latter mission had insured the safe return of Abe and Bill but had also allowed the valley to welcome a new resident and life partner for young Yoder, Anna Colbenze. Casper often felt a battle ragging inside him between good and evil when this technology as he called it did terrible things to keep the valley residents safe. He knew however now that young Dave Rippley was aware of the existence of such things, everyone would eventually know bringing much debate and even confrontation. The threat of the evil Anson Gorbel and his army of agents was still a very present danger and Fred knew that they would never simply go away. As long as folks like Gorbel remained upon the earth they would always look for ways to conquer and control others through wicked means. These were some of the last thoughts through Casper’s mind as he lay back upon his bed drifting into sleep. He had locked the basement door from the inside following the conversation with young Dave. The night settled in quietly on the valley and went past with tranquil ease until first light when he bolted straight up in bed at the sound of screams from the barn area.

The Big One……………………..Chapter 52

Following his episode from when he saw the wall of butterflies fly past, Kevin Cross now rested in the bedroom with his one and only Amber Gershwin. Kevin could not seem to erase from memory that terrible day when the world seemingly broke apart killing everyone he had known at the time, leaving the small fraction of this worlds remaining population stunned and heart broken. He felt so blessed to be with this lovely woman and was sure that life would not be the same without her. She had such a calming effect on this young man in such a way that words could not describe. It was night time now and a knock came to the door as they welcomed their new friend and valley musician Rem Josephus to the room. Producing an amazing hand made mandolin he began to play the most soothing bedtime song the two had ever heard and before you knew it both were fast asleep. Rem simply went back to the barn when he was done and calm was heavy as night fell but in it depths there was great deception. For not long after first light a frantic scream of terror came from the barn that sounded like Donna Case and they all went running.