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"The Ending Begins" -> (29 skipped) -> "The Ending Begins: Chapter 31" -> "The Ending Begins: Chapter 32"

The Ending Begins: Chapter 33  by OriginalSim
 One day, Phil came running into the engineering shack out of breath.
  “Craig is being transferred here next week! He's part of about 75 guys they're bringing in. Apparently, all these guys have had serious injuries..”
  “..and are going to work on the plug-killer sorter team,” I smiled. I had finished the design of the sorter, specifically so that it would be easy to run for any disabled people. Since I now knew they would otherwise be killed, I felt I had to try to save some lives. I had proposed to our captors that we use these incapacitated persons: I justified it in grand style: too many dead, maimed people being discovered by 'outsiders', able-bodied men were better used for harder tasks. I played it up well enough, apparently, for the monsters who ruled us to take up the idea. I knew there was an extremely slim chance that Craig might be one of them. I was extremely happy that he was.
  I also had started to plan an escape for everybody – the ones at MA12, anyway. I hoped that if enough of us got out, we could get the entire operation shut down. Plus, I had to get to Jilly, now that I knew where she was headed.
  I dreamed of our house in Goshen – fantasized about her happily planting roses and petunias – her favorites. I held that image through all the months of planning and all the setbacks.
  Craig and the others were brought in early one morning. Even though they had a cramped, rough trip by horse-drawn wagons, they were put to work that same day, sorting the crushed plugs for precious metals. While Craig had recovered from his initial paralysis somewhat, his left leg was still dead to him. It was a couple of days before we finally met, and I peppered him with questions about Jilly. Sounded like she maybe lost some weight and gained some muscle. No doubt, she had been through some rough times. I was so proud of her determination and strength. Craig, though, seemed somewhat aloof; as though he didn't really want to talk to me.
  “I'm sorry to bother you with so many questions, but, well you can imagine, she's my fiancee and I am rather happy to hear that she's still alive.”
  “Yeah, I bet,” Craig said flatly. “You're a lucky man, you know? She's one in a million.”
  “Yes. She is. Were you together long?” I asked, thinking it a simple question.
  “What do you mean 'together'? We were friends, that's all. Close friends. Okay?”
  “Yeah, Craig. I just meant, well, you must have trusted her to let her take your daughter with her...”
  “Yes. I knew she could take care of her.”
  “So, I mean, you didn't just run into a stranger and hand her your kid. You and Jilly had time to get to know each other. I mean.” I was almost embarassed at my rising jealousy, “ I mean, you described her as 'a friend' to Phil and yet your description also included that tiny mole she has on her neck. Her hair is long enough to hide it most of the time.....”
  “Look, I respect and admire Jilly. Yes, if you want to hear it, I have a loving attitude towards her. However, if she strolled into this camp right now, I'd hug her, maybe a kiss on the cheek. Then I'd bring her right to you. She loves you. Not me. And while I have a special place in my heart for her, it's not like the love you have.”
  “Okay. Sorry. I'm not real good with people things. I just wanted to know where we stood.”
  I walked up right next to him and whispered, “Not that it would change my plans. Listen. Phil and I are going to get out of here and go back to New York. We want you with us.”
  Craig's face contorted as he tried not to cry. “As much as I want to be with my daughter, you seem to have forgotten something. I'm still partially paralysed. What're you gonna do - drag me?” he spat.
  “If that's what it takes.”
  Phil and Craig and I worked for about 2 months making sure we had everything we needed. Of the 300 or so slaves, only about 15 of us were in on the plan. We figured once the ball started rolling that the others would catch on real quick.
  D-Day came. The tension was almost unbearable. I was in the most danger, because I couldn't ask anyone else to risk their lives. I started my daily rounds. Instead of checking out the equipment, though, I planted my home-made sabotage devices: cans that would drip out anti-freeze. After the two hour stint, all was ready for Phase one. Phil started being 'horribly ill' and was allowed to stay in bed. Craig and his team of sorters had their stuff ready, and started their normal duties.
  Two hours later, the boiler to Steam Engine #1 stopped. It was closest to the river and powered all the water pumps for the other three steam engines. Steam engines are really simple. You boil water into steam which then drives a piston or turbine. No steam, no go. Our engines used a biofuel burner system which could heat the water to 120 degrees C. They were inefficient closed loop systems, which means they had a feed water tank and a condenser tank. After the steam did its work, it was shoved into the condenser, which allowed it to turn into water again. This recycled water then dripped back into the feed tank. After a few days, we had to add water to the condenser, in order to compensate for escaped steam.
  Antifreeze can also be called anitboil, because, while it lowers the freezing point of water, it also raises its boiling point. Our steam engines were not designed to get any hotter than 130 degrees C. That meant all I had to do was add antifreeze to the condenser tanks, raising the boiling point above 150 degrees C and the whole shebang was useless until both tanks were cleaned and fresh water put in. We had access to more than enough antifreeze. I knew it would take the other engineer 2 seconds to figure it out, so I made sure he was at the opposite end of the camp.
  As I expected, the guards started yelling for a mechanic to come see why the engine quit That was Craig's cue. He screamed louder than anyone I've ever heard before. His cronies immediately got up to “help” him. They started screaming to the guards to help because his “hand was jammed in the machine”. We even had fake blood which they splashed all over. One of the guards actually threw up, it looked so gory.
  Phil, no longer “sick”, was busy chopping down the horse pen. The guards often used horse and wagon to pick up supplies, as well as transport men. They didn't want to draw attention with semi trucks driving into the 'wilderness'. With the distractions elsewhere, he was able to get all but three of the horses to run in panic. Those three horses were for him, Craig and I. He jumped on one horse and headed to Craig with one in tow. I ran to the pen to get my horse. They were to wait until I could dispatch the log wall and gate that blocked everyone's escape.
  I had worked up a way to gell the biodiesel fuel we used for the boiler heaters. In essence, it was like a crude napalm. I rode up to the gate and faced the guards.
  “You can kill me now, or run like hell. In about two minutes there are going to be 250 men running this way. You can't shoot us all.”
  They opened the gates and hell couldn't have kept up with them. With the main gates wide open, I didn't really need the napalm. I used it anyway, just to make sure they worked. Plus, the smoke was the signal for Phil and Craig to yell to the slaves that the gates were open. A few shots were fired, but the guards with guns generally were at the gate and the boilers. Too far to stop anyone.
  A few braver guards with swords or spears started to try to corral people, but found out quickly that five barehanded men can take out one man with a sword. About half the guards started running for the gate – apparently to escape with us. That was probably a good move. If they had stayed, they probably would have been shot for not stopping us. Craig and Phil made it to the gate and we all took off together.
  We were free and we wanted to keep it that way.
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  'The Ending Begins: Chapter 33' statistics: (click to read)
Date created: March 15, 2008
Date published: March 15, 2008
Comments: 4
Word Count: 1691
Times Read: 655
Story Length: 4
Children Rank: 4.0/5.0 (5 votes)
Descendant Rank: 0.0/5.0 (13 votes)