Chapter 2: The plan
The four of us decided it would be more appropriate to adjourn our meeting here at the bar to prevent others from overhearing our discussion. We could meet again on Saturday night to create the plan. We decided to meet at our house. Rhonda and Josh could bring the pizza we would supply the drinks. We adjourned our Friday night out and left the bar to make our way home.
The next evening we continued our conversation after we ate, the planning began. As far as our jobs went, we decided that each of us would try to get a month off, as a leave of absence. If this whole thing turned out to be a hoax, at least we would have our jobs intact.
It was agreed upon that we would leave one week from next Monday. That would give us time to accomplish all the things we had to do to prepare for such a drastic move.
Next we decided that we needed to buy two new vehicles. These would be four by four vans with diesel engines. They would give us lots of room to store and carry supplies, both food, and water. The four by four vehicles would help us if the driving got rough. We could also sleep in the vans if necessary. Solar panels and batteries had to be purchased just in case the hydro gave out. Camping supplies would be bought, like stoves and lanterns, as well as propane heaters. We had a week to accomplish these tasks and at the same time go to work. Trudy and I would need to call our parents and give them the heads up as to what was happening. They would be unaware of the pending catastrophe if and when it happens.
The girls were scared especially Rhonda, because of the baby. Josh and I assured her she and the baby would be fine. Trudy added that Rhonda should see her Obstetrician to get some advice and prescriptions. She was just going to tell the doctor they were going on a long trip up north, that’s all.
We all agreed that we were afraid of the future. If the Chinese did invade the USA, we would have even more to be fearful of. Josh and I were both of an age that exempted us from active duty in the armed forces, but if they needed us at a later date, we would consider coming back to fight.
Monday morning Josh and I went back to work. We followed all our usual routines, making mental notes as we went. It didn’t take long before things got strange again.
John, from work, got in the elevator, like usual. He had lost more weight. His hair had turned grey from dark brown as well. Josh and I looked at each other but said nothing. You could have cut the tension in the air with a knife. Once off the elevator it was like walking into another building. The whole office seemed to have changed. How could they not notice that they have all lost weight? How could they not see that they were becoming zombie-like with pale complexions?
That night, on the Monday night evening news, there was a “breaking news” report that they aired. It went as follows:
“The Pentagon announced today that the Chinese have been infiltrating the USA. Top Military officials announced in a press briefing that China has been “seeding” our food supply with an unknown chemical agent. It was a form of poison that was tasteless and very slow to affect those who ingested it. At this time it was unknown what the long-lasting effect of the toxin could be.
It was also unknown at this time how the agent was getting into our societies food chain. Experts are working as we speak to identify and neutralize the chemical. We will keep you informed as information is confirmed. There is no need to be overly concerned at this point. This station will interrupt regular broadcasting with new information as it becomes available.”
Trudy and I looked at each other in shock.
“Then it’s true, honey, we are under attack.” I blurted out with concern
“Oh, my god!” exclaimed Trudy.
“Tomorrow I’m not going to work; I’ll go hunting for the vans we need to get out of here, ok?” I said
“What do I need to do?” said Trudy
“From here on in I think we should team up with the Hamiltons,” I said
“I agree, I’m calling Ronda right now,” Trudy said
The next day Josh and I met. We both had the idea not to go to work and spend the day securing two vans with diesel engines. The girls had the responsibility of warning our respective parents about the news. They also agreed to go to the bank and draw out as much money as they could in Canadian cash.
The general public had not started to panic yet, so conditions on the street remained calm. With any luck, the four of us could make good our escape before the “shit hit the fan.”
I made a call to Henry, our new friend from Homeland security. He was hard to get on the phone at first, but finally, he answered. I identified myself with him, and he instantly remembered me. He told me that they had found out that the chemical had been added to our food somehow. The water supply was safe.
I told Henry of our plans to evacuate. He agreed to our program and said the sooner we did it the better off we were going to be. Henry told me that he and his wife Irene had made similar plans. It was his opinion that a full-blown war was about to break out. Boston would be a prime target. Like Josh, Henry had a piece of land with a house. His property was in Alberta Canada and would be safe from the effects of the war.
Josh and I spent all day trying to find two new or nearly new vans. It wasn’t until late in the afternoon that we found a dealer with just what the right vehicles. He had in stock two extra large four by four, vans. They were brand new and ready to go. We abandoned Josh’s B.M.W. on the street in front of the dealer and drove away in the two new vans.
Josh was going to go back home. He and Rhonda would load their van with as much clothing and supplies as they could. They would meet Trudy and me at our condo. We could plan our next move over a glass of wine.
The four of us worked hard all evening packing vans. Tomorrow Josh and I would go to a camping center to buy more supplies. That night we sat in front of the TV set to listen to the news.
As soon as we turned on the news, there was another ”breaking news” alert. It went as follows:
“This just in, the President of the United States has announced that diplomatic relations were severed with China. The state department made a demand to Chinese authorities for China to cease the introduction of chemicals into the food supply of the USA. They must also declare where the chemicals were seeded into the food supply, by noon tomorrow. Failure to do so would be considered an act of chemical warfare against the USA, and would, therefore, lead to a state of war between our two countries”.
“That’s it, we’re outta here!” exclaimed Josh.
“I agree, we should leave first thing in the morning. Josh and I will go to the camping center tonight, are we all comfortable with that?” I asked
Everyone nodded his or her head. The plan could now be implemented.
Before the sun had risen in the eastern sky, we were in our respective vans and ready to leave. Josh and I had bought our camping supplies along with a couple of short wave radios as well. These we could use to have communication between the vans while on the road.
We decided that the best route for us to take was to travel up highway number eighty-nine. Josh’s farm was in the province of Quebec, Canada. It was about an eight or nine-hour drive if you drove straight through. We can take our time though unless something happens.
The trip will take us north from Boston to Montreal. Then north again to a little town called Maniwaki in northern Quebec. The route is almost seven hundred miles. We are lucky because it’s only May. The weather should be good for the whole trip.
We had gone about two hundred miles. The traffic was light; there was no sign of any panic or desperation in the way people were driving. We stopped to do grocery shopping and get other supplies. Among them were two bottles of good scotch whiskey and a case of red wine.
While on the highway, Trudy and I tried to monitor what radio stations we could pick up on the van radio. From what we could learn, China had disavowed any knowledge of a chemical introduced into the American food supply.
The USA announced that they had confirmed the existence of the chemical. Through testing, they had determined that the compound could poison the persons who ingested it. It would result in alterations of hair and skin color. It was suggested, but not proven, that the chemical could impair the development of unborn babies. Only mothers who were subjected to the compound while in the gestation period would be affected. Government officials believed that the poison would eventually be fatal. An antidote was being worked on to counteract the effects of the poison, but this would take months to accomplish, in the mean time there would be deaths.
People who had ingested the poison the longest were doomed to expire. The public was warned not to buy or use food products originating in the Republic of China. Food producers in America were urged not to add anything to their products that originated from China. All trade with China had ceased which should put an end to the poisoning.
We reached the USA – CANADA border late in the afternoon. The border official we talked with said there was an increase in the traffic coming from the states into Canada. I guess a lot of people were taking the safe way out just like us. The four of us decided to have a quick bite to eat. Then press forward and put on as many miles as we could. According to the map, we had another four or five hours of driving ahead of us, not including any stops.
“Them god damn Chinamen!” I said half-jokingly.
“Why are they attacking us like this, we have never meant them any harm?” Trudy said with emotion.
“What about Rhonda’s baby!” I exclaimed.
“Oh no, I hadn’t thought of that, I hope the baby is alright,” Trudy said.
We were north of Montreal and had stopped for a break for the ladies. While the girls were in the gas station washroom, Josh and I had a chance to talk. I asked him if they had been listening to the radio in the van. He told me they had not, to prevent Rhonda from getting upset. I informed him what Trudy and I had heard on the radio. I suggested we try and keep it from Rhonda as long as we could. Or at least, until there was confirmation. Josh agreed with me.
When the girls returned, I took Trudy aside and asked her if she had said anything to Rhonda about the baby. She told me she hadn’t because she didn’t want to upset her. I told her of the agreement Josh, and I made, which she also agreed to.
We could tell as soon as we left Montreal that we were in a different country. Canada was more rugged, more scenic, and seemed to be less populated. We witnessed the most beautiful sunset we had seen in some time. In fact, I radioed Josh to pull over so we could enjoy it.
It was seven in the evening. We had another three or four-hour drive ahead of us. That would put us in Maniwaki around ten or eleven tonight. The girls had asked before we left Boston, where we were going to spend the night. We decided it would be easier to spend the night in the vans. We had blow up mattresses. We had bought for the vans. They were very comfortable. If we had to, we could sleep on them for an extended period. That would do us until we saw the condition of the farmhouse.
Josh had told us that he and Rhonda hadn’t been up to the farm for about a year. They had a local couple looking in on it. Josh would get a call from him once a month to keep him up to date on the condition of the house.
When Trudy and I got back in the van, there was pandemonium on the radio. The USA had declared war on China. I radioed Josh to tell him knowing they weren’t listening to the news.
China responded to the declaration of war by sending a hundred missiles armed with nuclear warheads at the USA.
The USA retaliated by sending three hundred nuclear missiles to China.
“THE WAR WAS ON.”
One of the cities bombed was Boston. We had avoided certain death!