Will to Survive

Will to Survive by Eric Walters Read Free Book Online Page B

Book: Will to Survive by Eric Walters Read Free Book Online
Authors: Eric Walters
your ultralight for the foreseeable future, but not forever,” Herb finally answered. “As well as gas, that refinery is also a storage facility for propane. We can use propane.”
    â€œIt would be nice to have a barbecue,” Todd said.
    â€œI was thinking more about the propane heaters that could be used to heat the greenhouses and prolong the growing season,” Herb said.
    â€œI hadn’t thought of that,” I said.
    â€œNeither had I,” Herb replied. “That’s the thinking of Mr. Nicholas and the other engineers. That’s why we have the away teams searching for abandoned tanks.”
    â€œI wouldn’t think they’ve had much luck,” Quinn said.
    â€œNot a lot. It’s not just Todd looking for a way to cook,” Herb answered.
    â€œMaybe we could work out a deal with the people here at the refinery, you know, trading gas for things they might want, like food,” I suggested.
    â€œDo we have enough food to trade?” Todd asked.
    â€œUltimately, we might not have any choice,” Herb said.
    â€œYou might even be able to trade them for those go-carts you’ve been making or medical treatment if they don’t have a doctor,” Quinn suggested. “There might be lots of things.”
    â€œWe probably can think of something to trade to get fuel from them,” Herb said. “And then we could trade that fuel with other communities for other things we need. It would basically be free trade at work.”
    â€œWe could even partner with them the way we partnered with the Olde Burnham neighborhood,” I said.
    â€œWe saw how that worked out,” Todd said sarcastically.
    Of course it hadn’t worked out. They’d all been slaughtered, their valuables taken, women and children kidnapped and used as slaves—and we’d been powerless to do anything except see the aftereffects. We had been useless as their partners when it came down to the crunch. We’d avenged their deaths—but did that make it any better? Did it make them any less dead? I knew the answers to my questions, but still there was something right about what we’d done in the end.
    â€œI think we will try to make contact with the refinery at some point,” Herb said. “Better to have new friends than new enemies. I’ve seen enough. Let’s head off before they decide we’re a threat and take a shot at us.”
    I had been so interested looking down that I hadn’t realized just how close and low we’d gotten. We were certainly within rifle range. I pulled back the stick to gain elevation and at the same time banked away from the refinery. I goosed the throttle to feed more fuel into the engine and compensate for the climb and bank.
    Leveling off and coming out of the bank, I did some dead reckoning and aimed for a spot where the towers of the city were just poking above the horizon, dwarfed by the distance. I thought that line would take us pretty close to the compound.
    As we flew I was more aware of the little communities that appeared beneath us. Repeatedly I altered our course to get a closer look at a patch of green—cultivated land—and the fences that surrounded it. Most often the fences seemed like they wouldn’t so much stop invaders as let them know that perhaps there was something inside worth taking. It made me realize just how solid our defenses were, how much bigger and better prepared we were than most people—no, better prepared than anybody else.
    I was able to use the roadways below to correct our flight path to take us toward the compound. It wasn’t long until I could see it in the distance.
    â€œHow close do you want me to get?” I asked Herb.
    â€œClose enough for them to definitely see us, but far enough away to avoid them taking potshots at us,” he said.
    I adjusted our course. If I was going to err, it would be on the side of safety. I pulled us into a slow bank

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