Monday, August 9, 2010

Homecoming Badge

The clouds began covering the moon and the roar of the ocean signaled the rising tide. Beth stood on the beach with the flashlight signaling one of the far off ships. The escort might get here on time, but they'd never make it to the ship before sunrise. Sure, there were more state of the art suits for her condition, but all she had was the old hazmat looking version that she felt embarrassed to wear. Scanning the barely visible lights on the horizon with her binoculars, Beth found the ship flashing a signal where it would send a boat to pick her up. Looking down at her watch she felt hesitant. It was already 4:30 A.M. About an hour and a half till the projected sunrise time. They'd be here in about an hour and ten minutes. If she was lucky and they were not rookies, they could make it in fifty minutes.

Nostalgia started setting in. The sand in her toes felt comforting, and the smell of the salty air pulled at her to stay. Sadly, there were preparations to be made. There was one of the showers to wash all the sand off right in front of the van. The water was terribly cold as she stuck each foot in the streams, trying not to get too wet. She'd never realized how awkward it was to drive barefoot. What she wouldn't do for a towel right now.

Tybee Island isn't a large place, and it doesn't take long at all to get around at this time in the morning. It was the drive back to the dock that would take too much time. Getting pulled over by a cop would get the word to someone she didn't have time to deal with. Someone that would most likely need to be “taken care of” and the boat that was being sent didn't have room for anymore people. So, the speed limit it was.

The docks finally came into view about thirty minutes later. She was cursing the many back roads on Wilmington Island for getting her a bit lost. Picking the little blue box up from the passenger side floorboard, she got out and unlocked the back of the van. She filled each syringe with a little less than normal of a stronger anesthetic. With something already in their system, she didn't want them dead from too much. The usual drug wouldn't be good enough out on the waves.

The boat made it to the dock about fifteen minutes after she arrived. Before they got close enough to tie the boat off they waited for her to give the code. "Manifesto Zebra Triage" A necessary odd set of words that would never be accidentally spewed by anyone. Satisfied, they roped off the boat and threw the large bulky suit to Beth. Two of the three boys and two of the girls climbed out of the boat and followed her back to the van. As she donned the stuffy suit that would allow her to be out in the daylight the others carried to unconscious siblings to the boat. Climbing in the boat would have been an annoying task had it not been for the twin boys that helped her. Blushing for needing the help, she thanked them and turned away.

They were almost to the ship when the sun started to rise. She'd forgotten what it was like. She stared at it in wonder until the ship interrupted the view. The ship was large and looked like a science vessel of some sort. It flew the flag of the Sea Scouts. This is where Beth had been trained in her youth, alongside the boys and other girls that the coed program allowed. They'd be safe here. Though she worried what was going on back at the camp with her friends.

Down in the small infirmary Danni and David were just waking up on the beds. The ship’s Captain came down to greet them with Beth and two of the other specialists. She was glad to be back in a naval uniform, it felt like home. The Captain could have just given her a regular uniform, but he wanted her rank showing. Jennifer, the other female specialist, was glad to supply one of her older uniforms that didn't fit anymore. Her and Bradley were the second mates and siblings, like so many of the Sea Scouts. Beth almost teared up thinking about her brother. He'd drowned in a bad storm three years ago. That was why she decided to go undercover. Someone had to stop the Girl Scouts from coming to power. Now with Danni and David joining them, they would have little more hope.


  1. I was just about to ask if there really are Sea Scouts, then I looked it up. I wish I had know about them in my scouting days! That sounds like a lot more fun that cookies (or tasers).

    This was a nice stopping point. It still leaves a lot of questions but I have hope that the Boy Scouts and the Sea Scouts can band together and win.

  2. I also hope the Boy Scouts and Sea Scouts can win against the Girl Scouts! I love the stopping point here, and while I'd love to see more at some point in the future, this tale ends the series on a hopeful note and makes me happy that Beth was willing to go out on a limb for Danni and David. Great run, Reav, and thanks so much for sticking with it. You turned out a great series of tales and I'm happy to have read them all.