The Day the Earth Went Dark Episode 20: Connection Made

Drake had set the radio transmitter to search for all frequencies. With Frances Peak being a military facility, Drake could run multiple radio transmitters at once. Most of the day, they heard static.

“It’s almost soothing, you know?” Drake said.

“Of course you would find this soothing,” Charley said. “And if I turned on my ocean and forest background noises, you’d lose your shit.”

Drake smiled.

“I won’t say you’re wrong,” Drake said.

Charley laughed, and Drake noticed her eyes roll. Drake felt closer to her. No grand miracle brought them back together, and for once, Drake was okay knowing why. Part of him worried if they defined the change, it would disappear. A burst of static pulled Drake from his revelry.

“… received mess… Transmit 18… Secure…”

The voice disappeared into the static that birthed the noise. It came from the first radio and then another radio stopped its scan. Drake ran to the radio and wrote the frequency on a notepad.

“Xal rec… we will trans… hundred use… line…”

Charley opened her mouth, but Drake held up a hand. Drake didn’t want to miss the rest of the message. I think I heard enough to piece it together. When static continued for over thirty seconds, Drake dropped his hand.

“You heard them say Xal, right?” Charley asked.

“Yes,” Drake said.

Drake smiled and then felt a salty drop against his top lip. When brushed it away, he realized it had been a tear and not sweat. Charley and Drake waited in silence until 1800 arrived. No words feel right. I can’t believe he got the message. 

“Blueberry, this is Overwatch,” a man said.

The transmission was clearer that time.

“Overwatch, this is Blueberry,” Drake said. “Is Xal okay? Is he alive?”

“Xal is alive, but I can’t say more. We have little time,” the man said. “Your son trusts me enough to tell me about your message. We need to crash the ship. Is there anywhere near you I could complete a controlled crash landing?”

Drake tried to think, but they were high in the mountains above Eos. There were no open fields unless they way to the south. It put too many unknown factors into the mix.

“Drake, what about Buffalo Pointe Lake?” Charley asked. “I don’t know if the salt water would make any difference.”

“Shit, great idea!” Drake said. “Get that map into the sunlight.”

Drake turned the radio back to Transmit.

“Crash site will be a large body of water,” Drake said. “Transmitting coordinates in one mike.”

Drake referenced the maps and then sent the coordinates. 

“You realize that’s a little far for us to travel?” Charley said.

“It’s their best option,” Drake said. “It may be Xal’s only option. We need something to get us down the mountain quicker.

Drake didn’t have time to end the transmission before the static started.

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