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37% A New Beginning in a Mana Apocalypse / Chapter 36: Chapter 36 - Evacuation

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Chapter 36: Chapter 36 - Evacuation

Staring at the map in front of me I was perplexed. I knew of all the things I could do to assist them, helping them to evacuate should be my specialty. Yet there were several hundred soldiers and police in and around the hotel. If I wanted to use my space tunnel I wouldn't be able to go far. Not without abandoning some of them.

"Do you have any ideas?" I asked Derek.

Derek nodded then pointed to a spot on the map. Following his finger I spotted the Air Force Base on the west side of Phoenix. It was only colored in yellow so it wasn't as dangerous as the other places. More importantly it was close enough that I should be able to hold the space tunnel open long enough to evacuate everyone as long as we prepared in advance.

"Why there?" I asked. While it seemed a better location than the hotel, if they couldn't leave the area then it was just exchanging one hiding place for another.

"There are several cargo planes there that we can use to fly out of here." Derek replied.

I nodded, that was a usable plan. "Any idea of the number of twisted or beasts there?" I asked.

Derek shook his head. "The intel on the base was fairly accurate, but we lost contact with them a few hours ago." he replied.

That didn't bode well.

"I suggest we start getting prepared to leave. I can create a space tunnel there but I won't be able to transfer people for long." I told him.

Derek frowned, "Weren't you able to hold the tunnel to the store open with no trouble?" he asked referring to my rescue of Megan and the others in the store.

"Holding it open isn't a problem, but everytime someone travels through the tunnel it wears it down a bit making me reinforce it. That burns my energy along with holding it open. The faster we can move people through the more energy I can save keeping it open." I explained.

Derek nodded though he still looked skeptical. "While we prepare to leave we need to send some scouts over to check the situation and ensure the planes are airworthy." he told me.

"I can go." I volunteered. Despite the change in attitude I still didn't feel that comfortable with Derek in the middle of his own base. I wasn't sure if it was because of the kidnapping earlier, or the fact that he wasn't pleased with my relationship with the twins. EIther way I had no desire to spend a prolonged amount of time with the man.

Derek nodded. "That would help, but you shouldn't go alone." he told me.

I agreed with him reluctantly. Several soldiers I wasn't familiar with were quickly assembled. Marshal and Rosa also volunteered to accompany me.

While I waited for everyone to prepare I sent a mental message to the girls letting them know what was going on so they didn't worry.

Everyone encouraged me to stay safe while the twins asked me to keep Derek safe.

Rebecca was oddly quiet, but that was understandable, technically she was still married to Marshal, and he was the father of her child, despite his relationship with Rosa. The current condition of our bond made it more complicated as she now had the option to give up on our relationship in exchange for trying to keep her family together.

When everyone was prepared I formed the space tunnel to what we hoped would be the location of the cargo planes.

The soldiers went through first followed by Marshal and Rosa, then me.

The space tunnel let out near a large hanger. It was one of the larger buildings on the base so we had hoped that the cargo planes might be inside.

Unfortunately the base was not nearly as abandoned as we had expected. Three cargo planes were close by and open as soldiers rushed to load the planes with supplies and personnel.

While we had brought ten heavily armed soldiers to guard against any eventuality we were quickly outnumbered by the equally armed guards supervising the loading of the cargo planes.

Apparently Derek hadn't lost contact with the base, they had just stopped responding.

Several tense moments followed as the two sets of soldiers aimed at each other. I considered using my black lightning to disable the soldiers but feared that the electricity would cause them to jerk, pull the triggers and set off a bloodbath.

Finally a middle aged officer with short blonde hair and a silver oak leaf insignia appeared and eyed us warily. "Who is in charge here?" the officer asked.

"Me." I replied before any of the soldiers could respond.

"You aren't a soldier. What is your purpose coming here?" the officer asked rudely.

I pondered how much I could say to this man. "I am assisting Brigadier General Forel in evacuating his forces." I replied.

"A path was opened?" the officer asked his eyes widening. "Why didn't I get a report that the general had arrived?" he asked anxiously while looking around.

"He isn't here. We are a scouting group sent to assess the situation when the base stopped responding." I replied.

The officer seemed to calm down a bit. Obviously he didn't want Derek to be here.

The officer had a thoughtful look on his face for a few minutes as he considered our group. "Stand down." he ordered after a few moments of thought.

Immediately the soldiers lowered their weapons while my soldiers followed suite moments later.

I had a bad feeling so I raised a wind barrier around myself and the soldiers. It wouldn't be nearly as effective against bullets as it was against syringes, but it should still significantly reduce the momentum of the bullets decreasing their lethality. As everyone had come with body armor I hoped it would be enough. I continued to maintain my own personal wind armor at its peak. I had no idea if it would stop bullets but I hoped the two defenses acting together would be enough to keep me alive.

As I did all this I updated Derek on the situation in case there was anything he could tell me that would help. I wasn't very hopeful but it didn't hurt to ask.

"Keep them busy we should be ready to move in a few more minutes." Derek replied.

'Wasn't that a little fast?' I wondered, but Derek had probably already prepared to leave should an opportunity present itself.

"As you can see we are already preparing to leave. If the general and his people wish to join us we can make room. When will they be arriving?" the officer asked.

"Shortly." I replied evasively. I really didn't like this guy.

"Will the general be bringing his daughter? Unfortunately we don't have the medical equipment to treat her here." the officer asked.

I frowned. "No, they left a few days ago with some friends." I replied wondering if the news of Jamie's recovery wasn't spread around.

The officer visibly relaxed hearing my reply. "Thank god. We have had several units come in the last day under orders from the general to requisition supplies, and equipment." the officer told me.

That explained a few things.

"Will the general really be here soon?" the man asked his attitude completely changed. He almost seemed eager for Derek to appear.

I had no idea what was wrong with this man and I didn't want to know. He was Derek's problem.

"We're ready. Open the tunnel onto the roof." Derek told me.

I didn't wait and created the tunnel a few feet away. Immediately several soldiers rushed out which freaked the other soldiers out, but Derek emerged a second later and was quickly recognized diffusing the situation.

"General!" the officer shouted happily then saluted Derek.

"Lieutenant Colonel." Derek replied returning the man's salute as he moved out of the way of the space tunnel allowing the others from the hotel to quickly rush through. After a couple minutes as I was starting to feel the strain the last of the refugees came through the space tunnel and signaled to me that everyone was through.

I happily closed the space tunnel then looked around for somewhere to sit down and recover my energy. Almost without thinking I pulled an energy bar and a bottle of water out of my space.

While our initial appearance had been a bit tense, the officer was the current man in charge of the base after the previous Colonel was killed in a surprise attack by deserters claiming to be under Derek's orders. The man was competent but way out of his league and more than happy to transfer command, and the responsibility, back to Derek upon his arrival.

After my snack I updated my girls then waited. Lieutenant Colonel Matthews had already been preparing the cargo planes for departure and little else was needed to be done except making sure there was enough space to accommodate everyone. Given the number of personnel and their families, the three large planes were not enough to carry everyone out. Plus no one had taken into account the potential threat of mutant birds so several fighter jets had to be prepared as escorts for the large planes.

Eventually the internals of the planes were stripped as bare as it could be to make room for everyone. It didn't look like it was going to be a very comfortable ride. I didn't envy them in the least.

"Make sure you get the planes on the ground before the third wave." I reminded Derek. It would suck to have him die in a plane crash after helping him escape the city. I am sure Jessica and Jamie wouldn't blame me but it would be best if he survived.

Derek nodded, he didn't seem as against my warnings as he used to be.

"You take care of my girls." he replied.

I nodded. I had every intention of doing that anyways.

"Daryl?" Marshal called out to me hesitantly.

"Yeah?" I asked looking at the muscular bald man.

"Can we go back with you?" Marshal asked.

I frowned but didn't answer. 'Marshal wants to join us.' I thought to Rebecca.

'Let him.' Rebecca replied quickly. I had the feeling she was expecting it.

Since Rebecca didn't object I nodded to the big man and nearly laughed while looking relieved.

Derek and his people were about ready to board the planes and take off when all of the electronics on hand turned on and vibrated by themselves.

I frowned and pulled out my phone only to see a live broadcast. The President of the United States was standing at a podium facing the camera while several other important figures stood behind him. A few I recognized as leaders of other countries though I had no idea what their names were.

Seeing so many world leaders together in one place made me worried.

Ashra Ashra

Alright everyone, this chapter is to make up for the chapter I missed last week. As promised there will be another chapter released later today.

Thank you all for reading my story!

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