The man stared quietly out into the crisp morning air. He removed a pack of cigarettes from his dark leather jacket and turned away from the wind as he lit it up. He took a long drag and watched the smoke rise in the distance. The thin trail of smoke from his hand seemed to join the black column in front of him. Without looking down, he pulled on his long broken in cowboy boots while he was sitting on the open tailgate of the truck. Then he reached behind him, lifting up a beaten up old cowboy hat, he pulled out a pair of dark sunglasses. He put both on while inhaling another lungful of the warm smoke.
The man in the black leather jacket slowly rose from his seat, calmly looking around. He reached into the truck again and withdrew a rifle. After checking that it was loaded, he slung it over his shoulder. Then he reached back into the truck and withdrew a long combat knife in a black sheath and attached it to his belt. He stood there in silence and took another long drag from his cigarette. A moment later, he dropped it to the ground and crushed it under his boot.
I watched silently from above as the entire camp stirred to life. The people were moving around in a rush to prepare for something. They were carrying supplies and weapons to the trucks and tanks in the front line. There was an obvious sense of urgency as they packed everything up. Most of them armed themselves, many with automatic rifles. The majority of them were in full military fatigues, but there were many in civilian clothes. They carried hunting rifles and shotguns, some of them only carried blades. There were others who just had hammers, clubs, and other simple tools.
They packed everything into the vehicles, leaving only room for the drivers. The others just stood next to them and prepared themselves for what was to come. The tents were quickly taken down while the more permanent structures were left as evidence that someone had been there. These people obviously weren’t expecting to come back.
A little ways back from the front line, stood two armored four wheel drive vehicles. There were men dressed all in black standing around them. Then more came out of one of the nearby buildings. They loaded a huge black case into each truck. After the cases were secure, the man in the dress uniform from last night came out and climbed into a smaller vehicle waiting behind the other two.
Then at once, the trucks, tanks, and other vehicles on the front line roared to life. The people stood between them and prepared themselves for the long walk. Slowly one of the tanks began to roll forward across the ruined city. The others followed suit and the entire camp was shortly moving towards downtown. The soldiers kept close formation and marched forward. The civilians were close behind. Every one of them was armed and ready for a fight.
“What are you doing? Wake up we’ve gotta go.”
Jeff was looking down at me with a confused look on his face. I was laying on the cold bathroom floor.
“I don’t know I must have passed out. Let’s go.”
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