With Avery now lost somewhere in Indonesia, not Malaysia as Elise had thought, the situation seems desperate. There's no way she is going to just sit at home waiting uselessly for news. Using every method available to her Elise is determined that she in Gwen will have to find him themselves, despite the devastation...
She wasn’t kidding, the roads through the mountains were treacherous and we couldn’t travel nearly as fast as I wanted to. In light of the disaster, there was a lot of traffic to contend with and we had to take many detours to avoid roadblocks. There were several times I thought Umi would never get her big truck through the narrow roads that weren’t much better than paths, but she always managed, until we reached Sibolga and a few hours past the small city, we could go no further by vehicle. The entire area was flooded for miles and there was no other choice but to continue on foot.
“How many days to Padang from here?” I asked as we divvied up the supplies among our various packs.
“In good condition, three days.” Umi shrugged. “Could take much longer.”
“We’ll be fine,” Gwen insisted.
“I can’t help but think it’s a dumb idea for three women to go trekking across the mountains on their own.”
I turned to find them both scowling at me.
“Not that we can’t take care of ourselves,” I amended quickly, “it just may invite unwanted trouble.”
“Shotgun make good deterrent,” Umi said, slinging the gun over her shoulder, handing Gwen a set of handguns.
“She won’t shoot self?”
“I usually find it best not to underestimate her,” Gwen muttered.
“I’ll take the big ass knife,” I insisted, sheathing it at my waist.
The first night we slept on the cold damp ground, I wondered if I’d bitten off more than I could chew. I was so occupied with getting to Padang, I still hadn’t thought about what I’d do once I got there. I stared up at the stars and made my plans while the others slept. I finally fell asleep as the sky began to lighten and I woke feeling sore and exhausted, but eager to get one day closer to Avery.
“Let me check for messages and we’ll go,” I said as Gwen and Umi barked orders at each other. I couldn’t quite tell if they hated each other or were genuinely fond of each other but I chose to stay out of the line of fire.
I never got to check my messages because the ground started to shake. Umi quickly had us all huddled up against the mountainside as rock and boulder crashed around us.
“Ahh!” I heard Gwen cry as the earthquake began to subside.
“I’m fine, just got smacked in the head.”
Blood oozed from a small gash and I tended it as best as I could.
“Just little quake, we go,” Umi insisted.
“Little quake?” I shuddered. We spent the afternoon climbing over rocks and trees that covered the road. We were moving even slower now and I feared we’d never get there.
“What kind of damage did that ‘small quake’ cause in Padang?” Gwen murmured softly.
“My fear exactly...”