Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!
How can I be lost, if I've got nowhere to go?
Chloe stood in front of her office nook. No one paid much attention to what she did in here; everyone assumed that she was working on her Prophecy studies. She had been spending hours at her computer and at the library researching things, all right, but not prophecy. She ran a finger over the stack of books on her desk. Her reading tastes had certainly changed over the past week. U.S Army Field Survival Manual. Primitive Skills and Crafts. Deep Survival. Constructing a Solar Still. Solar Energy. The only things that had anything to do with End Times were her Bible and her notebook open to the Checklist.
"Oh Chloe. What are you going to do?" she whispered to herself. Grief washed over her. She missed her mom terribly, but it seemed like there was no place for sorrow here at the End of All Things.
There was a soft ping. The mail icon had come up on her computer. Phone service was spotty at best, but still the spam found a way to get through. Still, she opened up her email looking for any excuse to put off what she had to do..
The subject line was "RE: your assignment," but it was the sender's address that caught his eye. Nicky_mountains@msn.com. Who in bloody blazes...?
I expect my package to be delivered in a week. You know the consequences for failure. I am watching.
Her heart leaped into her throat. She had to go through with it. There was no other choice. The visions he had been sending to her, usually in her dreams but sometimes when she was awake. Visions of Carpathia, taking control of her, and forcing her to cut her father's throat. In her mind, she saw herself holding a pair of metal shears, snipping off each one of Buck's fingers, laughing at him for thinking that she could ever love such an idiot. All lies and perhaps they would know it, but then again they might not. They were all so confident in their supernatural protection; if she didn't have it, then they might conclude that she hadn't been Really Truly Saved.
Perhaps they would be right. Carpathia was able to control her with impunity, because God had deemed her unworthy. She was on her own.
She pulled on her shoulder holster, then put her jacket on over it. She felt top heavy, as if she was about to fall over sideways. Luckily, the weather had cooled down enough so that she wouldn't look too out of place. Resiting the urge the whistle the theme from "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly," she practice her draw. She slider her hand under her amprit and pulled out the Baretta 9 mil. and clicked off the safety in one fluid motion. As her gun teacher had predicted, Global Community had cracked down on personal firearms, so firing ranges were harder and harder to find. To her surprise, she had not been that bad of a marksman.
She picked up the bundle of clothes she had thrown together and the case containing her Mossberg shotgun. The used Surburban she had purchased on Carpathia's dime was already crammed full with everything she could think of that she might need. After today's work, she would have to disappear. She always liked camping. Perhaps Utah or Colorado.
She stifled a laugh. She suspected that Colorado Springs would be just about deserted now. She shut down the computer and packed it up along with everything else on her desk. Electricity would be hard to come by, but she'd gotten a generator. Light and mobile, that was the key to survival.
Do you really want to survive? There's an easier way, you know.
Yeah. She'd thought about it. But she wanted to put off death as long as possible. Death wasn't a release. From what she'd learned in recent weeks "going to be with the Lord." wasn't all it was cracked up to be.
One last thing. She picked up a pen and tore a sheet out of her notebook. and wrote.
You won't understand. I don't understand it myself. I really wish I could have what you have, but for whatever reason, I'm not good enough for Jesus.
I love you all
She got in the truck and drove. A calm settled over her. She had a purpose, a goal. During the ten minute drive, she caught herself humming softly to herself. She arrived at the park, and pulled in, scanning the people.
There she was. Alone, walking along the bike trail. No one else in sight. Perfect.
She got out of the truck, and put one hand underneath her jacket.