Baba O'Reily 1
by Maureen

Disclaimer: characters are owned by Disney, idea is mine, money is not being made, please don't sue. I think I've read The Postman by David Brin and seen Six String Samurai a few too many times...

oh, and this will be capped at 7 chapters...now...how long will each chapter be is the question?

This is what is known as 'harcore' science fiction, if you don't like hardcore scifi then I would recomend finding another story to read. you have been warned and this will be your last warning. let the angst begin!

***

Out here in the fields
I fight for my meals
I put my back into living

Jamie and Hank looked around the ruins of what was once a thriving small town in Illinois. Kingsport, Illinois was in smoking rubble around his feet. Although they had not been directly hit like Chicago had been, Kingsport was a mere hour and a half away. The gieger counter in Jamie's hand made the odd clicking noise that said that there was radiation in the air around him, but it was a slow, steady click. Not the incessant clicking that meant 'get the hell out of here you're cooking as we speak'. They headed back down into the radiation bunker.

"It's gone," Jamie said simply, looking around the dimly lit room, surveying the pensive faces of his friends. Yesterday they had been called in to supplement the other emergency medical technitions. While the on-duty teams had gone out to take care of the seemingly never ending calls, the teenage EMTs had prepared the fallout shelter for what people were calling 'armaggedon'.

No one had time to react when the sirens went off. Hank had waited a minute then sealed the door, and themselves inside, in the hopes of saving themselves. Now nearly two weeks had passed and Tyler had thought the half-life of the radioactive isotopes should be to a level where it was safe again.

"Gone?" Brooke repeated, dully. She couldn't believe it was all gone. "What do you mean, gone?"

"I mean, we're probably the only people not dead or dying in Kingsport," Jamie replied harshly.

Brooke began to cry, sniffling and glaring at the young man.

"Shh, don't cry, Brooke, we'll stay down here and figure out what to do," Val, Brooke's older sister comforted, shooting Jamie a 'look' over her sisters shoulder.

"As good as that may sound, we should help any survivors," Tyler said.

"No," Hank, the head of their EMS team, overruled, "There's no one coming to help. And we can't deal with radiation poisoning. If they're poisoned, they're dead. Simple as that. We're alive. And we need to stay that way. We won't stay alive here."

"So then where do we go oh great and wise Beecham?" Tyler asked sacastically.

"Yeah," Brooke spoke up, "We're just kids."

Hank spread his hands, not sure. "I don't know where, but I know we can't stay here. I doubt there's clean water, food, anything. We're too close to Chicago."

"How're you?" Jamie asked Catie, his best friend. She wasn't an EMT but she was a closet survivalist. Too bad all her books and preparation manuals hadn't prepared her emotionally for any of this.

"I'm fine," she whispered, huddling in on herself. "Just takes a minute to adjust, y'know? Your entire world being nuked in an instant is a shock."

Jamie hugged her close, silently agreeing. Two weeks ago they had been Jamie Waite and Catie Roth the 'disaster duo' the goth and rebel that hung out with the 'super squad' of Val Linear, Tyler Connell and Hank Beecham. Now they still had the same names...but everything else had changed.

"So...any ideas guys?" Tyler's voice brought Jamie back to the sad reality.

"Huh?" Jamie asked.

"Where can we go?" Brooke repeated.
Jamie thought about it for a minute, "Well...I have family in Canada. And we've been getting shortwave broadcasts from there saying it's safe. We can try to find them."

"How're we going to get to Canada, Jamie?" Val questioned, certain that it wasn't possible.

"Walk I suppose. Unless we can find a car or something with gas."

"Steal a car?" Brooke exclaimed, not sure she had heard the punk right. "That's illegal!"

"Got any other ideas then hotshot? There is no legal and illegal here. There's alive and dead," Jamie responded, "Besides, Hank's right. We can't stay here or we'll die. I don't think any of the corpses above us will really care if we use their car! We have supplies, clean water. We can go as far as possible and we can walk the rest. If we're going to do it we should do it now, we're healthy and the weather is still good."

"I'm with Jamie," Hank said, for once agreeing with the younger man, "America's a death trap. We have nothing left here." They had been listening to the shortwave reports after their radio had one dead, but had taken pains to protect the girls from the horrors outside. Hank knew intellectually that they could handle it as well as any guy, but he couldn't help but feel responsible for their safety. At first Hank had tried to protect Jamie and Tyler as well, but Jamie it had turned out, knew how to survive. Although he had told Hank that Catie was a survivalist, Jamie had read all her books too, and unlike Catie, he responded well in a crisis.

"So then it's settled," Val said with finality, "We're leaving."

Jamie nodded, pulling Catie to her feet. "Then we have a lot of work to do. Val, check our food supplies and wash anything else we have for cooking; Hank, check our medical supplies; Tyler, you and Brooke are in charge of clothing, make sure we have warm clothing."

"What about you two, man?" Hank asked.

"We're going up to find a car...and some other supplies. No one leave here, we're going to bring a hand-set with us so we can stay in contact. We'll be back before dark."

Hank nodded, pulling Jamie aside. "You sure about this?"

"Yeah," Catie said, speaking up for the first time, "I know what we need. And Jamie's tough. We need a car."

"What other supplies then?"

"I'm going to pull the biggest 'liberation' ever." Jamie smiled slightly at the irony, "I'm taking anything I can get my hands on that's salvagable, including guns, ammo, knives and anything else that can be used for a weapon. We've all seen enough armageddon movies to know that this won't be a safe trip."

Hank nodded, closing his eyes trying not to imagine Brooke with a gun, "I know..."

***

The next morning dawned bright and early for the six teens. Jamie and Catie had managed to 'procure' a SUV and several extra canisters of gas the night before as well as more useless things than Tyler thought was possible.

He surveyed the stuff inside the EMS station, which they had securely locked from the inside to protect themselves from the mobs outside. For the first time, Tyler was glad they had reinforced glass windows that were virtually shatterproof.

On the floor in front of him were yards of flannel plaid material and flannel shirts. Underwear for men and women in unopened packages as well as bras in assorted sizes. Ace bandages were next to toothbrushes and dental floss. Heavy duty rope was coiled around what looked like a bag of jewelry. And he was steadfastly ignoring the pile of weapons they had found.

Sighing he called to Jamie, who was sitting with the weapons, checking and loading each gun. "What is all this mess?"

"Stuff we may need," Jamie replied, never taking his eyes off the rifle. Next he picked up a smaller revolver and began his inspection again.

"Why would we need costume jewelry?" Tyler asked, flabberghasted.

"To barter with," the dark haired young man replied, now checking how sharp the knife blades were.

"And the guns then?" Tyler asked, he was against violence and agreed with Val about guns being outlawed, "Why do we need those?"

"To protect ourselves. To hunt if we run out of food. We are more likely to make it with an unloaded gun than with no gun at all. Shouldn't you be helping Hank with the medical stuff?"

Tyler sighed, not forgetting about the guns and headed back to the store room.

***

Catie looked at the clipboard of supplies she thought they would need before sighing. There was just way too much stuff for six people and one SUV. This must be how the people on the Oregon Trail felt, trying to pack, she thought to herself.

With Jamie in charge and her his second, she felt oddly comfortable. Before the blast, she was the leader, with Jamie helping her schemes and plots. Now their roles were reversed and she could barely understand why it seemed so natural.

Looking back down at her list she wrote down 'sharpening thing for knives and scissors'. Hopefully they would be ready to leave the next day.

"How's the food coming?" Catie asked Val and Brooke, who were trying to determine how much food they would need for the trip.

"It would be better if we knew how far it is to Jamie's family," Val informed her friend, sniffing at the thought that Jamie had family still and all she had was her little sister. No one pointed out that she was the luckiest since she still had her sister.

"Well, how much food do you think we have for now?"

Val looked around the kitchen, at the cans of evaporated milk, vegetables and potted meats. "I think we have at least two weeks worth of food. We had less than this in the bunker and we were able to last."

"Good," Catie said, checking 'food' off the clipboard. Two weeks of canned food for six was plenty and they could always hunt or barter with anyone they met in Canada.

She headed towards the living area where Jamie was sorting through what they would need. She sat down on the floor gingerly next to Jamie. "So...James, I need to know, where does your family live?"

"Whitehorse," he replied, checking the sizes on the flannel shirts and long johns in the pile.

"And where might Whitehorse be?" Catie inquired, mockingly.

Finally Jamie turned around, the dark circles under his eyes suddenly visible in the daylight. "It's in the Yukon, Catie. It's the largest city in the Yukon."

"The Yukon?" she repeated, "Like home of bigfoot and yeti's?"

That earned her a slight smile from her stressed out friend. "Yeah, I'm related to a Yeti. My aunt and uncle are botanists there. But don't worry too much, Whitehorse is about the same size as Kingsport."

"I'm not worried about the mall there! I'm worried about how the hell you think we're going to get across the fscking continent and up into what may as well be the arctic circle in one piece! We can't exatly fly!"

"We drive as much as possible, don't stop if we can help it and get gas and supplies at every stop. If we run out of gas we walk, hitchhike, anything. We'll get there," somehow, Jamie was less than reassuring.

"Riiight, well..." Catie left to check on the boys in the back storage room getting medical supplies together.

***

"I don't know what the fuck he thinks he's doing, but I'm going to rip him a new blowhole!" Tyler ranted, scaring his best friend, Hank.

"Whoa, man, calm down! What are you talking about?"

"Guns! He's loading guns and sharpening knives and god knows what else out there!" Tyler sat on the storeroom floor, his head in his hands.

Hank stopped rummaging through the boxes and sat down next to the blond young man. "What's your problem with guns?"

"I don't like them." Tyler muttered.

"I noticed," Hank said, comforting Tyler, "but I agree with Jamie. He and Catie know what they're doing. They're going to keep us alive and as safe as possible and the only way for them to do that is by using guns and knives and anything else they may be able to convert into a weapon. Now, I already talked to him, okay? He won't let anyone do anything with a gun until they've been trained on basic gun safety."

"I don't want to be trained then."

"No way man, you're an EMT, your job is to protect the patients. Well, Brooke, Val and Catie are our patients, just like we're theirs. Look at me."

Tyler's eyes stayed glued to the floor.

"Look at me," Hank repeated. Slowly Tyler looked up. "Brooke is going to be trained. Val is going to be trained. I am going to be trained. If you want to live, you will be trained. Or we're going to leave you behind. You must be able to protect us if push comes to shove and I am not going to trek out to god knows where if I have to put my trust in someone who can't guarentee that they'd shoot if they needed too. I'm not going to endanger Brooke or anyone else either."

"I don't like guns," Tyler repeated.

"I know. I'm not asking you to like them. I'm asking you to learn to use one to possibly protect the ones you love. I don't want to leave you here, but I have to think of the good of the whole. Think about it."

"Hey guys," Catie said, coming in. She had heard their arguement, but hadn't interrupted. Hank had impressed her beyond what she had thought was possible. Such a drastic turn of events had changed everyone. Val wasn't questioning Jamie, Tyler was afraid of guns and a follower, Hank was still the leader, but knew when to bow aside in favor of someone more knowledgeable...it was strange.

"Hey Catie, what supplies exactly should we be looking for? Most of this stuff is about to expire too."

"I want basic medical kits for everyone, including me and Brooke. Also, we need ace bandages, aspirin, pain killers of all strenths, pads and tampons if we have any here, burn stuff, germ killer...things like that. No IV bags or difibuthingies. If someone has a heart attack then that's it."

Hank nodded, "No problem. That's what we were pulling anyways. What about the expired stuff?"

"Bring it, we'll use it and if not, we can probably trade it or something later. Worst thing that happens is we chuck it for something else."

***

Jamie was half in the SUV he had stolen and half out, trying to figure out how to fit everyone and everything in it. "It's going to be tight," he said to Val, who, along with Brooke, had brought all the canned food into the garage to pack. "Leave the food here for now and let's go shopping in the common room. You both need to find clothes there in your sizes."

"What's wrong with what we're wearing?" Brooke asked, following Jamie and Val. She was pretending that everything was fine and that they were just going on a road trip. It helped her cope.

"Nothing, but it's cold in Canada, even though it's almost summer. And it's going to get colder. So, here we have jeans, flannel shirts and long johns, Catie got several bras, so see if any fit you and work boots. I wish we could've gotten the good kind of work boot, but these will have to do."

Catie and Hank and Tyler showed up then, for the same 'shopping'. "I tried to get everyone's sizes...sorry if something doesn't fit. The shoes were the hardest."

Soon everyone was wearing a mixture of their EMT uniforms, street clothes and the winter things Jamie and Catie had found. "My boots are big," Brooke complained, trying to lace them tighter.

"Tough, it's better they be too big than too small," Catie told her. It was difficult sometimes to remember that she would only thirteen to everyone elses sixteen or older. "We'll try to get you better boots later, but trust me, big boots are better than no boots."

"Well then, let's get started on gun safety!" Jamie said, handing everyone a gun. He had been hunting many times with his uncle and father on family vacations and although he didn't approve of hunting for sport or gun violence, he was an advocate of keeping himself alive. Guns would accomplish this.

***

Two hours later everyone had the basics of using and caring for a gun memorized and they were ready to begin loading everything into the SUV, nicknamed 'Eden' by Val in a bizzare twist.

"Let's do food first, everything else can go on top. I want first aid kits easily accessible and everyone has their gun on them in the car at all times. You don't pee without someone standing watch over you with a loaded gun once we're on the road."

Tyler rolled his eyes. Surprisingly, it was not Jamie or Catie who chastised him.

"Tyler!" Val exclaimed, "Don't roll your eyes! I read this book for class a few years ago called 'Number of the Beast' by Heinlein and they were in a similar situation. Jamie's doing a lot of the things they were doing, he's our Captain! I'd rather have silly bathroom rules than be dead!"

Tyler sighed, everyone was against him. This was going to be the road trip from hell.

TBC...