I have been OTR for long enough to know how things work so I was kind of surprised to have the owner call me directly rather than receive orders from the dispatcher. He gave me very specific directions for the pick-up, gave explicit instructions regarding the route, told me to proceed without any stops and not to log anything. That "don't log anything" kinda made me pause until he told me that he would pay my return mileage and a hefty CASH bonus if I got the load delivered on time. Now, I am generally a rule follower but this was too easy for the cash so, I'm in!
I arrived at some nondescript building by the docks and there was a tarped drop-deck there with some men waiting to hook me up. These dudes did not look like your run-of-the-mill Lumper. As per my instructions, I did not exit my rig, I did not speak to anyone.
I could tell right away that I was grossed-out. Whatever I was hauling was some heavy shit. I don't want to know, I ain't gonna look, I ain't gonna ask.
The run was a long one, and as I had recently discovered The Casual Preppers podcast, I started listening. At first I thought of it as just entertainment but I eventually started taking it seriously. I even started my own go-bag that I stuffed with all kinds of assorted shit that I picked up at the truck stops. I also had my trusty Marlin Model 60 with me.
When I say that the drop off location was in the middle of nowhere, I mean it was in the middle of nowhere. I drove through miles and miles of nothing...then a warehouse. WTF?
I pulled up to the warehouse and waited as I was instructed. Ok. I have been out of the service for a while but I know JSLIST when I see it and every son-of-a-bitch coming out of the warehouse has it on and is toting an M4. Double WTF!
All of a sudden, I see a flash reflected from the visor of one of their protective masks and I instinctively turn around and see the mushroom cloud rising. I am easily 100 miles away from the nearest city but I know this ain't gonna turn out OK. I am brand new to this SHTF stuff so please, TELL ME WHAT TO DO!