Race Against Time: Part I: Survival

Geezhik Wingstar quickly covered  his newly built fire with snow & ash,  before hiding himself under the bough of pine trees.   The smoke continued to permeate for several minutes until to his relief, it finally died.  He lay hidden and silent for several hours listening for the sound of an approaching enemy.  Nightfall came rapidly, incessant wind blew the pines to cracking point,  but his fearless dog lay still in the brush beside him.  Their combined body heat kept them alive through the night but approaching dawn was imminent and Geezhik must not let his fear get the better of him.

For many weeks Geezhik and Thunder had been hiding out in the bush – ever since that fateful day of terror and civil disobedience.  He knew the forest well and was adept at survival in harsh conditions but, the loneliness and despair were forever encroaching on his mental state.  He wished that his Dad had been able to survive – the storm troopers had come out of nowhere and taken over their small farm.  Now, it was surrounded by fence and large scary barking dogs.  He had managed to narrowly escape the fierce thugs;   because of his experience with threatening situations,  and his knowledge of the wilderness he had been able to duck, hide and run.   His Dad had taught him well and he knew the wooded paths for hundreds of miles – now his mission was to survive.

 

IMG_0156Winter can be harsh but, he had managed to snare hares and knew how to bait his line for Freshwater Cod across the lake bottom – sometimes catching a Walleye or Lake Trout.  He knew how to clean fish and was also very capable of making a small fire that would not attract too much attention.  He was in no danger of starving but, he also had to make certain that his shelter was adequate and warm – fortunately his Dad had set up a “base camp” in a large cave as soon as the trouble had started.  He had prepared the cave with many essentials of life and although it wasn’t ideal, it was very sheltered and had fresh running water nearby.  Geezhik and Dad had also prepared blankets and food supplies – enough canned goods, dried meat and fruit to last at least 12 months.   Geezhik also guarded his emergency pack which held a sharp knife, medical supplies a gun and a rifle.   His Dad had insisted that they have emergency packs sitting in wait for a time when the storm troopers might come pounding on their door – and sure enough this had been necessary.

If he had waited even one more minute, his escape from certain death would not have been possible.  He had heard the barking of dogs and engines in the far distance and knew how important it was to not lay down a scent nor allow them to follow his tracks.  For this reason,  he had made 50 km. of trails all around his property – each going in a very different direction.  All Fall and Winter he had marked and walked the trails with snowshoes, skis and trekking boots – all with a different scent to confuse the dogs.  The trails were a maze of networks that not even the seasoned day tripper would be able to make heads or tails of.  By the time the storm troopers finally arrived,  he was 10 km. into trails that were dense with cedars and perilous with rocks.  His Dad was supposed to be behind him but, for some reason he became lost in the path.  The Snow Moon (Algonquin name for Moon)  had been hidden under dark cloud cover and Geezhik feared that his Dad had lost his way.

Today, Geezhik could sense the first mutterings of Spring –  a wide variety of birdsong, small flocks of Tree Swallows, and the honk of the Canada Goose.  Although Spring meant warmth, it might also mean anxiety and desperation, if he didn’t make a plan to move farther north.  He knew that spring would make catching him that much easier and he worried about the swarms of deer fly and mosquitoes that would rapidly make his life very miserable.  He had to come up with a better plan.  He had once venture a little closer to town to see what was going on but,  to his dismay the streets were barren and there was very little sign of life.  He was too afraid to venture any closer so he hurriedly went back to his cave.  Certainly somebody must have survived the thugs that had shown up on that fateful day.

The Thugs had been randomly outfitted in a variety of outfits – some resembling the storm troopers of World War I, others dressed like the Storm Troopers in Star Wars – they were unidentifiable under their helmets and masks.  Where had they come from?  Why were they here?  There had been murmurings that disenfranchised youth were revolting against the status quo,  but nobody had believed the severity of the gossip.  When the large groups of angry young men finally caught wind, it was too late.  They had been organized, well armed, motivated and angry.  They had started their evil deeds on the outskirts of cities, slowly immobilizing vehicles in smaller towns and cottage areas, robbing them of their contents or setting up base stations.  Nobody was the wiser, they had been quietly planning and conniving the perfect time to take control – in the dead of winter.  Camera monitors were easily rejigged to make it look like nothing was askew and the few people who were still living in their remote homes were easily sedated.

 

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