Early morning found a truck headed to Memphis. Sam, Brooke, Bobby Joe and three Vietnam vets: Doc, Sparky and Big Mac along with their new friends; Ron and Jim were in it. Doc had been a field Medic, Sparky loved his dynamite and Big Mac was a huge mountain of a man who liked flowers and the ballet; and no one would kid him about it.
They made a stop in Payneway where Ron and Jim said their goodbyes and let the group know that they could use some help with the farms if anyone honest was willing to help out. ‘Thank you’s’ and ‘we’ll stop by on our way home to check on things’ were passed between the new friends.
It wasn't even 6am when they parked the truck in the grove of trees and disabled it. They all had backpacks with plenty of jerky and water and they each had a first aid kit. Doc carried a bit more first aid with him. Of course they carried their weapons and plenty of ammo too. Brooke had on her an extra assortment of weapons and no one could see where any of them were; but, they had some fun betting on how many she had on her. Big Mac won with a guess of 32.
The group crossed the bridge with no bother and headed to St. Jude first. This was their meeting point. St. Jude was deserted and totally trashed. They found many dead. Interestingly, it looked like the kids and all the personal had been taken out before whatever kind of fighting went on.
"Hey, look at this!" said Sparky; pointing at a board behind one of the nurses stations that somehow didn't get destroyed, "this says that everyone was relocated to the Med."
"Isn't that in the Middle of Town?" asked Big Mac.
"No, it's less than a mile away" said Doc.
"Well, I guess we should figure out exactly who is going where and what time we should all meet back here" suggested Sam. "And I really want to tell each of you how much I appreciate your help."
Brooke said "its 7am, let's all be back here at 4pm. If anyone has any trouble, use these." And she pulled three flare guns out of her pack and gave one to Sam and Doc, one to Bobby Joe and Big Mac and kept one for herself and Sparky. She also gave each group four flares.
"Wow! Brooke, these will be almost as good as walkie talkie's." said Sparky. "As long as we shoot them straight up in the air, they should clear most of the buildings."
"And they make a nice loud noise” replied Sam. “Let’s use one for emergencies and two if we find Sandra, agreed?” Everyone agreed.
"Sam, where are some places that you think Sandra might go for you to find her?" asked Doc.
"She would have most likely went to the Med; but, she could have gone to the zoo or down to the welcome center on Mud Island." said Sam, "those are the only places she would be if she was free to do so."
With that, they went out their separate ways; Sam and Doc headed southeast towards the Med; Brooke and Sparky headed to the zoo and Bobby Joe and Big Mac headed to Mud Island.