Image Prompt 070 – Silent Snowscape

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I chose the image of the snowy scene in Dundee Scotland for my twenty-minute sprint.  I’m also still having fun with the idea I started two image prompts ago and continued last month.  So this is a continuation of those two scenes.

Silent Snowscape:

Valerie shivered as she stepped out of the tent the next morning.  There was a dusting of snow over everything, giving the world a hushed feeling and a brightness that didn’t seem to belong in their world anymore.

She made her way to the latrine and then the washing tent to prepare for the day.  By the time she was back Dr. Harrison had left the tent, so she went through their packs and put everything they would need into the smallest two.  They had one last device to install today.  She closed the second pack and sat down on her bunk beside it.  This was the last one.  The last step.  She didn’t know what they’d be doing after today.

Valerie shook her head and got to her feet.  She wasn’t going to get maudlin.  Besides, Dr. Harrison had admitted that he requested her as his partner.  She would likely get to continue working with him if he wanted.

She found Dr. Harrison in the mess tent and joined him for a quick breakfast before they returned for their packs.

“As efficient as always,” Dr. Harrison said, laughing as he picked up both packs to gauge their weight.  He always took the heavier pack.  She tried to load them fairly equally when she could, but she couldn’t argue with him over it.  She was a slender 1.6 meters and he was a solidly muscled 1.9 meters.  She wasn’t out of shape but he was definitely equipped to carry more weight than she was.

They gave their names and codes at the gate and let them know they were returning as soon as the device was installed and headed out on foot.  The camp was tucked between buildings in what was once the city center.  They made their way back across the eerily quiet snow-dusted emptiness in silence.

Valerie remembered Dundee as a bustling city.  Normally there would have been plenty of people out, even on a cold snowy day like this one.  But now the city was a shell of what it once was.  The buildings on one side of the central square had been leveled and the rest heavily damaged.  By some miracle the dragon statue in the middle of the square had survived.

It didn’t take them long to make their way across the empty city to the shores of the Tay.  They took a right past a cherry tree that seemed frozen in time.  It was dusted in snow now, but every time Valerie had passed it in the pasted six months, it looked exactly the same.  The pink flowers just starting to bloom like it was early spring, even though it was late January at the moment.

In the lee of the building behind the mysteriously static cherry tree was what looked like a pile of debris.  Valerie took off her pack and handed it to Dr. Harrison before crouching down and making her way under the first board until she could reach the boat that was hidden there.  She pulled the small row boat completely out onto the snow before accepting her pack again.

They made their way down to the water with the boat carried between them.  Valerie climbed in firt and and Dr. Harrison pushed off as he stepped in.  Dr. Harrison did the rowing and Valerie using a third oar to help steer.  They made for the piles of the old Tay Bridge.  It was going to be a tricky installation, but the location was too good not to use.  The devices were meant to both gather data about electromagnetic activity within their range and work as rudimentary communication towers.

The hope was to determine what was interfering with radio communications and hopefully allow a limited number of cellular devices to communicate.  It would solve one of their largest problems, and allow them to better coordinate and share information.  They still didn’t know what actually happened ten months ago aside from the physical devastation it left behind.  They didn’t even know where the attacks came from.

When they reached the pile they wanted, Valerie shifted to kneel in the center of the boat.  She wanted as much stability as possible while they tried to find a way to anchor the boat to the pile.  If the thing had been big enough they’d have brought along a third person to help them.  One who knew more about boats.

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