The morning is hot, which is not good for Solace. The fever that started late last night has gradually climbed, the convulsions are worsening and there is nothing the Patchworths can do. Teller has found a few Herbs that have helped the wound on his pain but it is Allan’s splint that has helped the most. For an hour last night the swelling was gone revealing a grinding noise in Solace’s knee.

“You know, there might still be a doctor over in Kal Pass, that’s the makeshift town the Scatter-heads used to own, Agatha says. “The doctor name is Pilter, he may look like a twenty year old snot and that’s because he is. But from what I heard he is some sort of prodigy.”

“If we leave now, we might make it before noon,” Cas says. He and Marlo, Agatha’s husband, are looking over a map on top of the Chargers hood.

“You ain’t getting there in these things.” Marlo shakes his head at the cars, “if you leave them here with us we can give you something that will get you over the terrain.”

“Why wouldn’t we take the roads?” Jacob asks.

“Mercs camp out in the surrounding bush.” Annie, Agatha’s Daughter, says.

“What do you have?” Allan asks, a bit more curious than he intended.

Marlo chuckles to himself and walks over to a large shed. He ducks inside and after a minute a monstrous roar fills the air and out comes a ‘convertible’ SUV. The smile on Marlo’s face is not mirrored by the others. He parks it next to the still shiny muscle cars, and tosses the keys at Cas. “This’ll get you where you need to be.”

“Where is the roof?” Edgar asks.

“You don’t need a roof, it’s too hot for a roof.”

“What about protection?”

“Trust me when I say there’s more roof on it now than there was then.”

While they argued, Patricia and Teller tried their hardest to keep Solace from passing out. Teller has resorted to force feeding a mash of herbs and roots. Andy, being the closest to the med-hut, pops his head in and rushes over to the rest of the group. “Shut up already, we’ll take it. I can buy new cars I’m loaded.”

Jacob runs to the hut and comes out with his writhing friend. Both Cas and Andy toss their keys at Marlo and head for the SUV. Jacob and Edgar lift Solace into the back seat where both Patricia and Teller take him and continue their regimen of ice packs and medicine mush. Once everyone is in Cas hands the map to Andy and drives off, leaving the Patchworth clan with their new toys.

An hour into the trek, Cas is enormously happy they took the SUV, the thick bush and what looks like vehicle rubble. It gets to the point that Cas has no choice but to find a road. Less than ten minutes on the road, the group is hailed by two poncho wearing wanderers.

“Hello there folks, we are the Black Brothers and we sell Bullets. Are you fine youngsters in need of a clip filling?”

“No we are fine, if you don’t mind we are in a hurry.” Cas calls out, but the two men don’t move.

“Now, now boy, everyone needs a few more bullets.”

“We only shoot when necessary, if you’d like I can show you.” Jacob says, holding up a rifle.

The two men laugh and move their ponchos aside to reveal their own small arsenal. Andy lets out a very annoyed Sigh and stands, holding a massive weapon. It looks like a cross between a rocket launcher and a crossbow. The Black Brothers adjust their ponchos and forced themselves to laugh as though this was all part of their little joke. They move to one side of the road allowing the group to continue.

“Anything for our troubles?” Andy asks.

With a grumble the taller one tosses a bag at Cas, who finds it full of medical supply. Passing it over to Patricia he takes off down the road again. He looks over at Andy and asks, “What the hell is that?”

“I got bored back in the camp, so I started putting things together where they fit and made this. Does the job, doesn’t it?”

Another hour later, they arrive in the town of Kal, the town’s folks take little notice of them as they work their daily chores. It isn’t hard to find the tiny hospital, and the moment they stop a group of men and women are ready to take Solace from them and cart him into the building.

“What happened to your friend?” A young man in a tattered white coat comes out to greet the rest of them.

“He was bitten by a pack of wild dogs.” Jacob answers.

“You mean the pit-gators, I’ve seen that before. I’d love to help but some mercs came in last night and robed us.”

“Well we bring gifts.” Patricia hands him the rucksack filled with medicine.

“Ok then, time to scrub up.


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