Chapter 16: Purple
Bass and Aaron had a long way to go but their journey was going smooth so far. That had yet to come across any patriots, and no one else tried to attack them for their resources. When it was nighttime they slept in shifts so that they weren't vulnerable. If they had to split up it wouldn't be for long and it wasn't far.
Tonight was Aaron's night to go gather wood for the fire. Aaron was not exactly the best at camping when he was younger. He didn't exactly know if he had to find small twigs or a branch off of a tree. It being pitch black outside didn't really help the situation. It wasn't like he could just pull out a flashlight.
"Do I grab a few branches off of this tree or do I grab a bunch of small sticks and some leaves." Aaron sighed as he grabbed what he though would be good to keep the fire going. He figured the bigger branches mean more wood to burn, and grabbed a little bit more than what he was comfortable carrying.
Bass was sitting at their temporary camp wondering where in the hell Aaron was at and what was taking him so long. He decided to wait for a little bit longer before he would leave to go look for Aaron. Bass was getting impatient and the fire was starting to go out so he decided to go look for Aaron and to get some more wood to keep their fire going.
Aaron was walking towards what he thought was their camp when he heard movement. Aaron was very smart when it came to the sciences, but when it came to the outdoors and being in the wilderness he was clueless.
"Is anyone out there?" He called out as he ran towards where the movement was coming from. At this point he knew it was a person because he could hear footsteps. He decided to charge at the person that was coming towards him not knowing if they were good or bad. He just remembered Bass telling him to do now and ask questions later.
"It's me, you idiot!" Bass yelled and defended himself hoping Aaron would stop beating him with the firewood that he had gathered. Aaron stopped hitting Bass immediately and apologized. "I must say, not bad Brainiac." Bass praised him as he sat up. Aaron stretched out his hand to help him up.
"I was taking your advice when I charged at you actually. You said something about just do it and ask questions later." Aaron proved to Bass that he was taking his advice and he was not useless when it came to survival in the wilderness.
"I must say we make a great team." Bass admitted as he grabbed some of the firewood off of the ground. Aaron picked up the rest of the wood and they made their way back to where they had set up camp.
They decided it was best that they sleep in shifts and one person would keep a look out. If their supplies were stolen then they might not make it. Bass asked Aaron if he wanted to sleep first. Aaron gladly took him up on that offer. After Aaron had slept for a good four hours it was Bass's turn to get some sleep.
"You look awful." Aaron stated as Bass was waking up in the early morning.
"Good morning would have worked you know." Bass yawned as he realized what Aaron was talking about. "You don't look that great yourself." He laughed as he got up and began packing up their stuff so they could get moving. Both men were black, blue and purple in some spots from their brawl in the woods the previous night. "I must say you throw a really good hook." Aaron laughed at the other man's comment. He didn't mean knock Bass over and punch him, but it was dark and he couldn't see who was coming towards him.
Aaron finished putting the rest of their supplies in one of the backpacks before putting it on his back. Bass was checking their water and food supply as he was putting away an empty water jug into one of the backpacks. They were trying to make as few detours as possible but some things could not be avoided and refilling their water supply was one of them.
"Food or water?" Aaron asked knowing what Bass was about to say after zipping his last backpack and putting it on his back.
"Water." Aaron sighed in relief. Out of the two, water was easier to come by than food, unless they were very far away from any source of water, then both were hard to come by. The food that their friends had prepared for them was still there, but it would not last them their entire journey. It might get them to where they were going, but it would not last them the trip back as well.
"I hope the Matheson's have plenty of non perishable food items in that house." Aaron stated as he caught up to Bass. The other man nodded in agreement as he looked into his bag at the diminishing food supply.
"Me too." Bass agreed as he pulled out some bread that Rachel had baked for them to take on their trip. He broke the piece of bread in half and offered Aaron the other piece. Aaron gladly accepted the bread. Both of them ate slowly enjoying the food. Neither of them thought that they would ever get so much enjoyment from a simple piece of bread.
"I didn't think I would ever have to say this, but this is the best food that I have had in a while." Bass admitted. Baked anything was hard to come by these days, but they were fortunate enough to get traded goods from other areas. This was all thanks to Miles's deal with Frank Blanchard. All of the other areas are trying to eliminate the patriots. Rachel had been baking like crazy once they had built a brick oven with the supplies that they had.
"I may be all bruised up now, but I'm learning a useful skill set." Aaron added as he took a small bite of his piece of bread. "I now appreciate the appliances we had before the blackout." He added as he continued enjoying his piece of bread. As much as they were enjoying their bread they were eating it sparingly so they would have enough for their trip. Both men really appreciated all of the hard work that went into the food. They contributed too that too. Miles, Bass, Aaron and Gene built the brick oven that was in Miles and Rachel's home.
After they finished their quick morning meal they set off to find a source of water. Fortunately there was a source of water that wasn't too far from where they had set up came the previous night. When they reached their destination they sat down for a bit. Aaron offered to refill the water jugs, but Bass shook his head.
"I'll get this." Aaron looked at the other man in confusion. "You did more than enough gathering plenty of wood for our fire last night." He added as he got up to go refill all of the water jugs that they had emptied.
"I kept some of the branches so we can make a fire." Bass looked at the other man confused as to why they needed to make a fire. "If we don't want to get sick we need to boil the water." Aaron explained as he held out a pot that he had pack to take on the journey. He gave Bass the pot and instructed him to put the water in this rather than the water jugs that they were drinking out of.
"So that's what that pot is for." Bass noted that Aaron wasn't that bad of a partner to have on a long mission like this. "Thanks for saving us from getting dysentery." Aaron nodded as he started building the fire as Bass took the pot and filled it with water.
"We may be black, blue, and purple covered with bruises, but we will succeed in getting to that house and getting the parts for that pendant." Aaron stated as he held a water jug out for bass to pour after the water had cooled off some. Bass agreed they would get those parts and stop the second war that not too many others were aware of yet before it became one massive one.