POLAR VORTEX: A Novella: NINE

Reads: 316  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 0

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
Thor, a colossal swirling Polar Vortex whiteout, provides cover for a terrorist convoy of armed personnel carriers and white-clad troops crossing the frozen St. Lawrence River into Canada. By chance, some young men spot the enemy through the shifting curtains of snow. They, along with a bizarre collection of unlikely adventurers, pursue the invaders through the roaring blizzard. The target of the enemy becomes definite; and then it changes; and changes again. Then there is the question of how to dispose of their enemies if they find them. And what is the real target of the enemy?
Time is running out.

Submitted: January 17, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: January 17, 2017

A A A

A A A


POLAR VORTEX

 A Novella

Nicholas Cochran

Chapter Nine

 

Without hesitation, Wade replied. “I’d definitely go to Ms. ___”

“Adele’s” said Adele.

“Adele’s house and gather all the stuff we could find; five minute time limit for looking and gathering ; then back on the snowmobiles, cross the highway, and go up the other side where the outskirts of Ottawa spread quite a bit south. In fact, those guys may use a similar route to save time and get them in the City limits ASAP.”
Another silence ensued. This one was a combination of awe, surprise, disbelief, and appreciation. All three men took at least a minute to think if they were anywhere near as smart as young Mr. Stanwell.

Harold jumped in. “I vote for Adele’s.”

Both the other men instantly agreed while they began to think of the appropriate word for complimenting Wade on his intelligence and his knowledge of the Ottawa area, to say nothing of his spunk.

“Well said, Wade,” chuckled Bill, “are all your buddies as resourceful as you are?”

“Yes, sir,” said Wade with solemn sincerity, “they all have a good head and come up with all kinds of ideas. We make a game of it. It’s one our most fun things to do.”

“That’s wonderful, Wade,” gushed Adele, “maybe we should have brought them along as well.”

“Yes, ma’am. They would have some really good ideas too. Maybe we can get a phone working around here. They may not have blocked the towers this far off their route. It would cause a lot of suspicion, I think. Should we try?”

“Well Wade, great idea,” said Bill with respect, “but the phones didn’t work at the Police Station; so why would they work now. I mean we can call—maybe, but can they receive?”

“Yes; well, maybe, sir. If I were the leader of that column of APCs I’d do everything I could to keep people from getting suspicious. I’d let the cell towers operate once I was well past them, where no harm could come to me from such a distance, in a storm. But it would make people stop thinking that something terrible was happening.

“Those guys are using Thor for their own purposes but our people are bound to lay off all the blame for outages on the storm. That way, anybody who was suspicious or afraid; or wanted to tell the police or the army, would see their lights come back on and their phones—at least the cell phones—working and think that the repair crews were the very best. I think they cut the landlines. But our friends will blame the phone company.”

This last flow of reasoned thinking by Wade Stanwell was a positive shock to the other men and Adele. It wasn’t that Wade was a genius; or some prodigy. He was simply too young to allow too much complication to inhabit his mind. At his age, there were direct routes for doing certain things. Texture and sophistication would come when he was going out of his teens.

The snowmobiles had followed Harold along what Adele now confessed was the direct route to her mansion. Before any comment about the clear track to Adele’s, a shimmering shape loomed in Thor’s whirling white; a glow that Adele quickly told everyone was her museum. At the same, time Wade tried his cell phone. It rang.

*

As soon as Finlay Camden arrived home in a snow buggy, courtesy of the Brookvale Police, his parents as well as his two older sisters, pounced upon him with tear-stained kisses. Finlay was suitably annoyed with all this unnecessary spectacle but he held his tongue.

At his first opportunity, he tried to reach Wade on his cell phone but no service was available. The next thing Finlay did was to enter a protracted entreaty to his parents to allow him to return to the Police Station where he could be on the frontlines of incoming information about Wade and the adults chasing the armored column. Although father Justin was hesitant, mother Mildred was not.

“Good God, son,” cringed Mildred, “you almost froze to death once today. You think the rest of the day will be any better? And what would you do there? Drink sodas or coffee—maybe some sherry while everyone waited for the lines to be lit up?”

“The cell towers. Ma; they could have them up really soon. There aren’t that many of them.”

Karen and Myra, eighteen and twenty sighed or drew in annoying deep breaths while they searched for the correct words to demean their idiot younger brother; in their eyes: a fool for all seasons.

“Jeez Finney,” harped Karen, “you could have died out there; you still could.”

“Not if I was at the Police Station. Things would be different there and ___”

“And how the heck are you going to get there? “grimaced Myra, “they just brought you back for God’s sake. Isn’t that proof they don’t want you around?”

“No,” with great emphasis, “they brought me home only because the phones were out and you guys might be worried about me.”

“Worried?” squeaked mother, “we thought you were dead, Finney; dead.” She allowed herself a slight sob. “The storm is getting worse, too. You’d be cut off again if you were there.”

Finlay was out of ideas for persuading anyone in the family to let him go. He thought Dad was a little more likely to agree, but Mom was definitely going to have the last word. He instantly thought of trying to call the other guys. He did. Again, there was no service.

Finlay lapsed into a mood after declining into a large dark-green fabric chair in front of the crackling fire where he accepted glasses of milk along with an assortment of ‘comfort’ cookies.

*

Danny Lawson met a more subdued reception from his family than did Finlay. Father, Judge Lawson, appeared to be totally unmoved upon the delivery of his youngest son in a snowmobile from the local constabulary.

“Hello there, Danny, what’s up?” Brookvale considered Judge Lawson to be the all around best man, father, and husband. He possessed an uncanny knack for communicating with younger people on their level without ever losing the gravitas of an older and more experienced human being. He hastened to tell his youngest son and Danny’s pals, that he did not consider himself any wiser; only older and more experienced.

“Gee, Dad, it was really a thrill. We saw these APCs and everything. And guys walking along with automatic weapons, with those Cree flashlights, and all dressed in white. Really spooky. Wade went along with the adults: lucky bugger.”

“Language, Danny,” smiled the Judge. Danny smiled back.

When Danny finished telling his tale of adventures to his mother, Alice, as well as to his older sister, Carrie and older brother Paul, he sighed and announced that he was very hungry and could he go back out to chase the guys in white.

Alice, Carrie, and Paul answered with high decibel refusals. However, the Judge was intrigued. He instantly picked up on the nefarious ambitions of the column, especially when Danny told him that the police thought the bad guys were heading for Ottawa.

No other members of the Lawson family noticed that the Judge remained silent while Danny was making his case for returning to the Police Station. Before the Judge could make a suggestion, Danny’s cell phone rang. It was Wade.

Hey, man, where are you?” Gasped Danny.

Wade told him his location and what the plan was. “Well Danny, the phones work now. We figure these guys are trying to ease the annoyance so that people don’t get spooked out and begin to think about bad things and call the cops or the army. Well, I just wanted to let you know I’m—we’re okay. We’re at Adele’s” house; you know; that funky mansion with the museum in it. What a character she is, eh?

"We’re getting hand grenades and dynamite, man, a whole bloody arsenal and we’re going after those guys. I wish you and the gang were here. But, maybe you can be in a way. Using the phone. Give me any ideas you have for stopping these guys, okay?”

“Yeah; for sure Wade. Hey, I think my Dad is interested. Wait a sec; I’ll get him.”

 Wade Stanwell was Judge Lawson’s favorite friend of his son. He saw a lot of himself in Wade at that age and enjoyed observing how Wade handled certain situations; the choices he made.

“Hello Wade. Judge Lawson. Where are you?”

Wade repeated everything he had told Danny.

“So, you’re going to engage them, are you? Is that the idea?”

“I’m not positive, Judge Lawson; in fact I think we have a bit of a stall here about what to do next. What do you think, sir?”

“I would be very careful, Wade. The men you’re chasing—and it sounds like there are a lot of them—are certainly well trained and extremely dangerous. My thought would be to get to the Ottawa region as quickly as you can ahead of them, tell the authorities, and leave the fireworks to the army and the police. I think your plan of not showing yourselves is a very good one. These characters could spin on a dime and head for Montreal and . . .” The Judge let his thought hang there. It was not quite formed, but he began to work on it that instant.

“Look, Wade, keep a low profile; beat them to the city and call me as soon as you have done that. Although,” as an afterthought, “by that time they may have taken out the cell towers around the capital.” The Judge paused again, “I may join you; maybe; with Danny and Paul. As you know, we have a couple of snowmobiles around here somewhere. I’ll think about that. Don’t tell the others; they’ll just fret and waste time and a lot of energy trying to figure out why we would do such a risky thing. But I have another idea. So, be very careful, Wade. Son. And listen to the experience of the others. Here, I’ll give you back to Danny.”

Without another word, he handed the phone his son before going into the study to think while he poured himself a double Johnny Walker & Sons Odyssey.

End of Chapter Nine


© Copyright 2019 Nicholas Cochran. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:

More Young Adult Short Stories