With preparations at the ranch almost complete, George and Ernie contemplate the next steps.
CHAPTER 8 - ...Like Fort Wagner
By the end of the days-long battle, the Union Army had lost over 1500 soldiers while the Fort Wagner had lost only 36. While the fort was eventually abandoned by the South after a prolonged siege, it was never taken in battle, and this was the most important thing to George.
CHAPTER 9 - "Could It Be Any Easier?"
The entire project had been coming together for George so easily that he ceased being surprised at his good fortune. From finding Ernie to buying the cement depo to investing in the company that made their wind turbines, everything had seemed like it was destined to be.
CHAPTER 12 - "What About The Children?"
“What’s going to happen to the kids?” Peter asked.
“The kids?” George was no longer smiling.
“Yeah. You’ve painted a really grim picture that totally makes sense. But with all of these people dying and marauders running rampant, what happens to little children? Kids?”
George stood up, scratching his head. “Good question.” He looked right into Peter’s eyes. “What do YOU think will happen to the kids?”
“I don’t know. I guess they’ll all die alongside their parents?”
CHAPTER 14 - "Where Would You Go If..."
All he needed to do was plant the idea that the children could be safe there, should the worst happen. While Twin Pines was a relatively small community of about 10,000, it wasn’t a particularly close-knit community. But still, people talked with one another and increasingly, people found themselves, embarrassingly, talking about worst-case scenarios. George was almost always mentioned. And even while dismissing the crazy idea that something terrible was going to happen, in the back of their minds, they all wondered what George had built out at his ranch. It was all George could have hoped for.
CHAPTER 15 - Countdown
Things were pretty much the same for most of Jake’s first year at college. Izzy made the rounds, cared for her horses and continued to amaze both George and Ernie. George obsessively amassed supplies and provisions at auctions, closeout sales and through his contacts. And Ernie oversaw the operations at the ranch. George counted the days, reviewed his research and waited. They all waited. Meanwhile, outside the walls of the ranch, life went on.