I woke when the bus came to a stop. When I sat up I realized that Renee was still asleep behind me. I tried to move without waking her, but with the first shift of my body she instantly woke up. She looked at me and gave me a tired, but bright smile. I told her that I was sorry about waking her, that I was going to see why we had come to a stop. After a big yawn, Renee told me that it was all right, and then worked herself over until she was sitting on at the edge of the bench.
I stepped away from Renee and walked over to my son, who was still sitting in the driver’s seat. As I came up to him, he was shoving the gearshift into park. I asked Michael what was happening and why we had stopped. He explained that the rain was coming down too hard, and with no windshield wipers it had became impossible to see more than ten feet in front of him. He had turned off a side road and parked by a building. When I looked out the window I could see a complex through the storm and noticed a sign that read: Lehman Caves Visitor Center.
Michael and I stepped out of the school bus and the heavy rain soaked us to the bone in mere moments. We walked up some stairs at the front building that lead to a pair of glass doors. I wiped dirt from the window to see inside. When I leaned near to look through I was surprised to find how clean and well intact everything appeared to be inside.
Michael shook the doors to confirm that they were locked. I told him to step away, then I pulled out my handgun. Mike told me not to fire because it would cause the glass to shatter into a million pieces. I told my son not to worry, that the center was a government building which always had bullet proof glass.
I aimed carefully at the locks, so not to waste my only bullet and gently squeezed the trigger. The next few moments seemed to run in slow motion. The bullet shot out only traveling a short distance before it struck the lock on the door head on.
I walked over to the door and gave it a hard jerk, then heard the lock snap and fall to the ground once it was pulled opened. We walked inside the dark interior. The lights flickered on above and I turned to Michael who was standing next to a light switch. I asked him how he knew that there were working lights in the building. He explained that because it was a government building, it was most likely used as a command base during the later years of the sickness. That would have required them to install some sort of generator. And he said that he thought he saw solar panels on the roof when we were pulling up.
I noticed the counter that Michael stood by had several older military maps on it. The one on the top was a map of Nevada. I gave it a quick look to see where we were and learned that we were a few hours away from Salt Lake City. We were almost out of the state and with any luck we’d arrive in Haven in two, perhaps two and a half days.
I walked away from the counter and checked the walls as well as the ceiling to make sure there was no serious damage. Everything appeared to be in great condition. I turned to Michael and told him to have the others come in. We would stay in the complex for the night.
After the others were inside Michael came to me and voiced his concerns about Richard. He said that shortly after leaving Ely, Rose brought to his attention how ill Rich had gotten so suddenly. I asked my son where Richard was and he explained that my brother refused to leave the bus.
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