Previously, all of the plans couldn't have anticipated the late entry into the battle of mother nature. The stealth bombers, the surprise appearance by Canadian submaines and even the surprising civilian turn against the enemy turned out to be no match for mother earth and her ability to shake the earth and fling fire from the sky. The causualties were heavy. We continue the story with Johnny's fate, seemingly dire, about to be revealed.
If this was death, it wasn't so bad. They seemed at peace. I assumed they were dying too. I smiled at them. It looked as if we were going to the same place. Goodbye Christine. Until we meet…
"Johnny! Johnny!" I opened my eyes to see an anxious Linda suddenly break into an angelic smile. "You jackass! Don't ever pull that crap again. If it wasn't for the dolphins you would have been fish food."
"Dolphins?" I admitted to being a little confused.
"Dolphins. I don't know what they saw in you. Maybe they didn't want you in their water. They pushed you all the way to shore. I think one of them said, "Did you lose this thing? We found it floating in our backyard?" Well, that was how I took it, anyway."
That is what had come up under me and lifted me up. A dolphin. They must have come seeking refuge as much of the other wildlife had done. It was not just me though. I remember now. Many took the same journey to the beach that I did. I remember thinking that we were all going to heaven together. It actually felt wonderful. I wonder if my actual death will be so pleasant. Dolphins... I realized Linda waited for a response to see if I truly was okay.
"Dolphins, I'll be damned. Flipper came through. I always knew they were superior. Help me up." I pulled my hand back and sprung to my feet. "That'll be the day."
I had read in the data that the entire mind communication program was based on dolphin research. Perhaps the dolphins knew what was happening. Maybe they wanted to help. Or, maybe, as Linda said, they didn't want "this thing" floating in their backyard. Saving the high quality human, that's what I'm going with. Thank you.
Ricky and Tom looked to be relieved and agitated at the same time. I began to get a sense of their discomfort. There was a discernable disturbance in the air. It pelted my mind. It had a confused feel to it. Minds trying to focus but unable to do so. A desperate feeling. I'm guessing that they were also pleased to see me alive as well.
Ricky spoke with urgency. "We had to drag several of the soldiers that remained hooked up to the transmitting equipment even after the fighting ceased. They were chained to it, Johnny. Chained! The command wouldn't give up either. We had to take them out. They fought to the bitter end. I didn't have it in me to take action against those poor souls doing the transmitting. They were obviously doing so against their will."
Tom jumped in, "there were hundreds of them. It looked like a damn Spielberg movie. Rows and rows of them, all wired into that machinery like zombies. We took out the equipment, but their brains are fried. God only knows how long they've been hooked up like that. Christine already knows about it. She thinks we can help them. I don't know. We have them under guard now for their own safety. I hope we can help them. I can't imagine being without my mind."
"So, all of the military leaders are gone? There are none to question?"
Ricky looked down as he answered. "We tried, they preferred death. Their own men shot the ones we had subdued. We have seven or eight being tended to by medics. I don't know their ranks or what they know. I don't think they're high ranking though."
I looked at the scene all around me. Utter chaos. Chaos, devastation, death and absolutely no answers. No answers. Dammit! None. What the hell was the point of all of it? Who was the enemy? I wanted someone that I could sit down, talk to, and ask, why? Why, you ignorant son of a bitch, did all of this happen? What is it that you wanted so bad. Well, whatever it was, it's gone now. It's destroyed. Hell, whom was I kidding? There was nothing left now but survivors. It didn't matter what anyone used to be. It only mattered that we were all the same thing now.
My mind just started running in circles. Saved by dolphins…mother nature's revenge…mind controlled hostages…suicidal dictators…Christine. That is what really dominated my thoughts, Christine. I needed to see her. I could sense she knew I was okay. I knew she was busy and she knew I was too. Screw all of this. I needed to put her in a bear hug for a few days. I grew weary of leading and being wonderful. Well, hugs and kisses would have to wait.
I smiled at Jen. What kind of world could we provide for her child? "What is happening now? What's the status?"
Jen spoke up, "A lot of lives lost. I don't know how many…thousands I think. A lot of lives saved. Thousands and thousands. They're all over the place. We are heading back towards the bunker. Looks like it's time for another plan."
Linda looked thoughtful. "Most of the vessels sank. By the time the storm ended and the earthquake was over, ninety percent of the vessels were at the bottom of the ocean. The aircraft, all lost. Many of the pilots were rescued though. Carlos is missing and Lacci too. Some others that we know. Christine, Nikolai, the people at the bunker are all safe. The compound sustained heavy damage, but the bunker is still functional. Half-Dome is split in half but, none of Ma's people were there."
I thought about some of the missing. Carlos had been my friend for years. Hell, he'd been my boss and actually took a chance on me long ago. I never was one to tone down my personality to suit a situation. It had cost me too, many times. I let my mouth or viewpoints cost me lucrative situations more than once. But, to his credit, Carlos knew that I would take care of the clients and that is what mattered to him.
Lacci seemed like a child when I first met her. I don't mean because of her youth. I refer to her mindset. I've known many an old twenty something. She just seemed incredibly uninterested in anything meaningful. She had grown in these few months into someone I cared about deeply.
I still sensed her. Not to the extent I sensed Christine or even Ma. Most of those that received the signals strongly had a strong sense of each other. We could also sense a slight presence of others we knew closely if we concentrated on them. I couldn't sense Carlos; I could sense Lacci.
"Linda, Jen. I saw a couple of the people that were transmitting from the bunker. See if you can find them and bring them to me. Also, the survivors from the armada, see if there are any of them that receive the transmissions strongly. I need them here."
Linda said simply, while Jen nodded, "we're on it".
"Ricky. Let me borrow that. Well, hook me up with Nikolai."
"No problem". He pushed some buttons and handed me the headset.
"Nikolai, here Ricky. We're almost on site. People are pouring in to the bunker and compound. It's chaos, but going well. We're on our way to help with the rescue efforts."
"Okay. Perfect. It's Johnny, though. Is Christine with you?"
"Johnny. You scared me for a minute there. I never knew you did a Sea World act."
Funny. I didn't have time for funny. "Concentrate on Lacci, she's missing, but I still sense her. Do you?"
"Yes, yes. Faintly, very faintly. I think she is in trouble…trapped maybe. We're almost there. Gather everyone together. We have to try to find her. Not much time. Start now, don't wait for us. Some of the others are with us. I know what to do."
Jen arrived with a few people I recognized and many more that I didn't. "Linda is still looking for more. There are some translators here too. Tell them what you want."
"There are people trapped somewhere. I think if we concentrate together, we might be able to find them. I need everyone to clear their minds, concentrate on my thoughts, and try to help me look. You too, Jen, everybody."
I started to get a hazy picture in my mind. A part of a boat underwater…people trapped underneath…a tree across it…oxygen running out. "Follow me!"