Rebel Heart (Chapter Two, page 2 of 14)


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"No worries, Tim. You know I always support you. And I appreciate the info you're sending us," Brady said. "There's a lot of shit going on over here. We wouldn't know the half of it without your intel."

"There's a lot more going on than we expected. I'll do what I can to get you more frequent updates, but I can't guarantee anything. You try asking Angel?"

"Doubt some poor girl would know anything," Brady replied. "Should she?"

"She might have some insight. She's uniquely positioned. Have you talked to her recently?"

"Yes," Brady said. "She's fine."

"Good." Tim seemed genuinely pleased.

Brady wondered, not for the first time, what Tim's relationship was to the girl. The politician hadn't ordered any of his companions or his thirteen sons protected, and she was important enough that Tim asked about her every time they spoke. Whatever their connection, it was none of his business. He was charged with protecting her. And apparently, everyone else this side of the Mississippi as well.

"Your base camp isn't on the feds' radar yet," Tim said. "I think they're too busy with everything else right now. Even so, you want to be wary of the spread of radiation in the aquifers."

"I'm not ten, Tim," Brady said with a small smile. "We carry our own water and testing equipment."

"Your family and mine would kill me if I let anything happen to you," Tim said, returning the smile.

"We've been balancing both our demanding masters the past few weeks," Brady said, referring to his PMF militia duties and his official regular military duties. "The regular army's got us running around between fed strongholds to assess damage to fed facilities and PMF HQ wants us helping refugees. It's a mess, Tim."

"How bad is it?"

"Irreparable," Dan supplied. "We're surviving because of our position with the PMF and no other reason. No other regular army unit has a chance out here. We lost comms with the few who came from Ft. Bragg. Something weird is going on."

Tim frowned. "Define weird."

"Check your micro," Brady said. He looked down and sent images to Tim.

Tim looked down. "What the hell?" he muttered.

"Something going on you want to tell us about? Like part two of the East-West War? These men aren't wearing Western uniforms for their health."

"The government has been divided since the war, but it didn't seem possible that this could happen."

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