The state of TIAH
December 30th, 2006
Alternate Historian's Note: This is very cool – I was looking at the Amazon sidebar, and saw that somebody had made this. This designer makes a lot of different things of this general type, so I don't know if it's an automated process or something, but it's still pretty neat. I also think it's more likely that the TIAH referred to is 'aunt' in Spanish. (Although misspelled.) Anyway, back to our exciting NaNoWriMo novel...
Janice messaged back to her friends that they were going to assemble in Bryan. "The problem, of course, is that they can't travel at night." She looked at Jake. "Unless we go get them."
"No, that's the best way."
Kevin spoke up. "Why can't we just go to New Mexico? Cut out the middle men?"
"They won't tell me who to contact." She shrugged. "They're pretty paranoid."
"What a shock." Jake sighed. "OK, where do they live?"
They were soon shooting down the deserted highway in the jeep, flashing past the occasional other Guard vehicle as it went about other official business. Much to everyone's surprise, they weren't stopped, and made it all the way to South Austin and the small shack that Janice said was the home of Mike and Eli. After making sure that no one was watching them, Jake let Janice out and accompanied her to the door. "Now, these guys don't really have a lot of social skills," she told Jake as she rang the door bell. "Try not to be offended."
"Who the hell is it?" The gruff voice from the other side of the door registered surprise as it said, "Government stooge. You'll have to blow down the door, pig, and you still ain't getting me alive!"
Janice quickly put herself in front of the peephole in the door and said, "Eli, it's me. Let us in."
"Does he have a gun on you, Jan?"
A look of great exasperation dropped over Janice's face. "Every damn time... no, Eli, he's the guy I was telling you about on the computer. You're wasting time and causing a scene that is going to make sure that people see us out here, where they will be able to identify us later. Open-the-door!"
The door opened a crack, enough for Eli to stick his face out and glare at the two of them. He had wild, long dark hair, and eyes that were straight from a psychiatrist's nightmare. After a few seconds of examination, he opened the door widely and let the two of them in, slamming the door shut quickly behind them. He looked Jake up and down, fingering the pistol in his hands nervously. Jake felt compelled to ask, "Could you put the safety on that?"
Eli smiled, revealing a mouth of surprisingly bright teeth. "You'd like that, wouldn't you, Sergeant?"
Jake nodded. "Yes, I would. I'd prefer that to me beating your sorry, narrow butt down and taking it from you." Jake's expressionless face obviously spooked Eli, because he did flip the safety on. "Now, are you ready to go?"
"Almost," Eli said, heading towards a door on the other side of the small room. He opened it up, and started descending a set of stairs that it hid. "Mike's telling our contacts how to get hold of us once we decamp."
Jake and Janice followed him down the stairs into a dingy little basement filled with computer equipment, weaponry, ammunition, and some strange unidentifiable detritus that they didn't want to think about. Mike, a large man with a buzz cut, sat in front of a monitor, tapping instructions as they came up behind him.
"I told you it was Janice," Mike said to Eli.
"They could have hacked into the door cam with a false image," Eli said, defensively.
Mike finished whatever he was typing and turned to the others. A long scar cut across his right cheek, but otherwise, he had a pleasant face. He put up a hand in a faux-cool high-five gesture and said to Jake, "My brutha." When Jake simply stared at him icily, he dropped his hand and said to Janice, "So, we're set. We head to Bryan to throw the man off the trail, then we head off to join the resistance in Roswell."
Jake chuckled. "Roswell?"
Janice nodded. "We could use a little alien intervention right now."
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