A Glimpse of the Familiar



Scene Title A Glimpse of the Familiar
Synopsis Running supplies, Cooper finds a familiar face in the crowd and is… well, just read it.
Date August 13, 2012

A Rebel Base, Somewhere in the United States

It won’t seem like it, when looking back later, but Thomas Cooper has an important job in the war. He was in a sense — a smuggler…. A supply runner…. and in the eyes of the government he was on the wrong side. Of course, to them, he had been since Eltingville. He was pretty sure they had Kill-On-Sight order on his head. However, after everything that happened, Cooper felt confident that he was on right side of things.

Currently, he was listening to the crooning voice of his good buddy Raquelle on the radio. A fellow who had been a life saver and his neighbor in those Blocks. Currently, he was working for a pirate radio station…. WRAY 1580 AM, also known as The Ray, which had become a favorite within the ranks of the rebellion, a beacon of hope.

Though as he turned off the road, Cooper reached out and turned the music down to almost nothing. Just the occasional note reached his ear over the rumble of the engine. It was time to pay attention to where he was.

Tires of the old van crunch along a dirt road, that twisted its way through the heavy treeline. He has been down this road many times before, but each time… he can’t help but wonder if it will be rebel or government soldiers waiting for him. A little too Star Wars feeling, really. Most times, he’d have someone playing watch out while he drove; even sharing the time behind the wheel. This time it was only him, which made him a little nervous in areas like this.

Pushing the black hood of his hoodie off his shaggy head of hair, fibers catching on the stubble of his jaw; Thomas leans forward a little in his seat, tension making him unable to relax.

He was waiting for something.

Inching around a bend… There it is. Cooper finds what he was expecting. Ahead of him was a makeshift barrier; cars fried by the EMP, barbed wire, and anything else that could be thrown out there as a roadblock. It sits between him and his goal. However, there is no time to wonder who was occupying it, cause people were stepping out the the trees with weapons raised, all pointed his direction. A glance in his rearview, finds more inching out of the treeline.

He was surrounded.

Instantly, his stomach twists and he slowly raises his hands off the steering wheel, fingers splayed and palms out. Look guys, just a friendly dude here. Not looking for trouble.

One guard moves closer, recognizing Cooper instantly, and breaking out into a grin. That grin is returned with a relieved one from Cooper himself. Rolling down his window with an old fashioned hand crank, Cooper rests an arm on the door, leaning out enough to shout, “Chuck! Man, never been so happy to see you.”

“Coop! Welcome back to our personal corner of hell.” There is an all clear shout, back over his shoulder, and barriers start moving out the way by some unknown force to let him through. He’d never get use to that awesome display of ability.

Still half hanging out the window, Cooper eases up on the brake to let the van roll forward, slowly. Chuck hurries around the side of the van, pops open the passenger side, and hops in looking pretty happy to see the supply guy. “Hey, man, we were not expecting you for a few more days.” He turns to look over his shoulder into the back, to catch a glimpse of the stacks of boxes and supplies ready to be delivered.

“Yeah, well.” Cooper starts blandly, pulling himself back into the cab of the van, still looking out at the road. The vehicle is allowed to pick up speed as they pass the roadblock. “One of my stops is a crater now…. So… here I am.” A knowing glance goes to Chuck, who looks a little shocked at that news.

“Shit man…” Is all the guard can say.

“Could say that again,” Cooper sighs out, trying not to think of the carnage that had awaited him there. Instead, he focuses on how the trees start to thin out and the road widen. Soon it opens up into a large encampment. Not something you would think to see on American soil. He couldn’t help, but wonder how they were keeping the enemy from finding them. Maybe, he shouldn’t dwell on that, eyes going skyward as paranoia grips and his stomach turns. There were days he half expected to see a drone incoming.

The van makes its way down the well-traveled road that splits the camp in half, coming to a stop near a large tent. Chuck hops out of the van, glancing at Cooper, hand on the door. “We got kids for you this time.” The door is shut then, leaving the ex-DHS agent to climb out of the vehicle if he wants to know more.

“Border run, huh?” Cooper asks curiously, as he opens the back of the van and steps aside so people can unload. “So who is going to be the Chewie to my Solo?”

Chuck gives him a look like Thomas had just sprouted a second head, “What?”

Sigh. Really?! Cooper gives a dismissive wave of his hand. “Nevermind.” He sounds so put upon as he clarifies. “Is it just me or do I get someone this time?”

“Oh!” Chuck finally get it! “Some guy name Flint. These kids are going to the LightHouse..”

“Lighthouse?” Cooper hadn’t been there, yet, but it sounded awfully familiar. Probably a comment in passing. “Okay then, let him know I am out of here as soon as you get those kids gathered up.” He was one that liked to get as many hour on the road as he can, especially, with kids. “I also hope he likes driving… “ When it came to the safety of kids, he prefered to get them over the border sooner than later. Often that meant some night driving.

Something beyond Chuck catches Cooper’s eye, brows furrowing a little. It was a flash of rich brown curls, but it was the threads of red glinting in the sunlight that drew his eye. It was familiar in a way, that it nagged at the back of his mind. Then her head turns enough that he catches sight of a familiar profile. Whoa.

“Hey where you going?” is called at him from behind.

Thomas hadn’t realized he was moving. “Uh… yeah… hey, man.” Not letting his eyes leave the retreating form, he makes a staying motion to a supply clerk, who is holding a clipboard and waiting impatiently for a signature. “Gimme a moment.” The sputtering behind him is ignored as the former DHS agent moves to follow this familiar female figure.

When she stops to talk to another woman with fiery red hair, he pauses, trying not to look too obvious, at the edge of a nearby tent. Cooper starts getting an idea of where he knows this woman from. It’s been a few years, but it was her.

He was a little stunned, enough so that he didn’t notice Chuck coming up behind him until his hand lands on Cooper’s shoulder, startling him out of his thoughts. “Coop! Come on, man. ” The guard looks past the other guys shoulder and gives a short bark of laughter. “Oh man… Of course, you’d zero in on her. Dude, she is so far out of your league, my friend.” Cooper allows himself to be pulled away from the tent corner, and angled back towards the van.

He almost looked like a man in shock. Like he had seen something he hadn’t expected.

“She looks familiar….” Cooper finally offers. “Can’t place the name, though.”

“That’s Gillian.” Chuck is all too happy to supply for him. “Should see her in action. Wooo wee.”

“Huh… “ Is all Cooper says to that. “I think I busted her in a Refrain raid.” He glance back over his shoulder to get another look, only to find her gone. Had she always been that stunning? Or did war do something funny to one’s brain. A part of him reasons that he would have noticed…. So what changed?

Chuck laughs, “Her? Doubt it.”

Ahead of them, kids were starting to climb into the van, they looked scared and tired. The orphans of war, it broke his heart to see them. Thomas tucked away the thoughts of a familiar and beautiful woman and turned a smile to the nervous children.

“Hey kids… who here likes balloons?!”

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