Anders's Angel:Heroes for Hire, Book 16(8)

By: Dale Mayer

Chapter 2

The next morning Angelica looked out the window. There was absolutely nothing to see, just more white. The blizzard had hit in the middle of the night. They had supplies for three days, which could be stretched to four if need be. There was no phone reception, and none of the electronics worked under these conditions. They were all huddled around a small fire. She’d been up here in weather similar to this but not for a few years. The temperatures were dropping rapidly. They had fuel and firewood for several days, but it had to be conserved.

She got up and put more water in the pot. Staying hydrated and using soup to warm them would help. With the pot of water heating, she listened for sounds of any of the others getting up. But they were all tucked into their bunks and sleeping bags, happy to wait out the storm. She would be too, but her time up here was meant for research. It was frustrating not being able to go out and to get the information she needed. They’d finished drilling for cores but needed more measurements.

The forecast had initially been great. Only after they got up here had it changed rapidly. They were lucky to have reached the cabin when they did last night, but that didn’t make it any easier for her to see the time passing and her work hindered. She had her laptop out, knowing the battery would only last for so long. But she’d rather keep working and get some of the material and data logged in as needed. She had it on Power Saver and had brought several spare batteries with her. But, if the storm lasted for a week, she couldn’t do anything at that point, having expended all the portable power she had with her. Sitting at the table with a lit candle, the light turned low on her laptop, she worked away until she heard someone call out, “Is that coffee?”

“It is,” she called back in a light voice. “We’re not going anywhere today.”

“I was hoping that whiteout wasn’t a blizzard,” Nate said.

“It so is. If we’re lucky, it’ll pass soon.”

“I don’t think we’ll be that lucky. It looks like it’s settling in for a good one.”

“Then we should be grateful we’re inside, warm. And we have fuel and food for the next few days.” She could hear rummaging behind her as Nate got up and dressed.

He approached the fire, holding out his hands. “I guess we’re on limited rations though, aren’t we?”

She looked up with a smile. “Absolutely.”

He groaned and sat down beside her. “As long as we have coffee.”

“I brought lots. How about you?”

“I brought a pound with me.”

“And I bought three,” Angelica said with a chuckle. “I planned on leaving some up here. We had used up more than our own last time we were here. There’s often instant to be found at the cabins too, but I prefer the real stuff.”

“I remember that, but I forgot about a spare to leave behind. You need a refill?” With the shake of her head, he poured himself a cup. “I guess we’re percolating pots of it now. Aren’t we?”

“Absolutely. No power up here, so it’s back to campfire coffee.”

“Well, it’s better than instant.” He held the cup with his hands and blew the top gently.

“We’ll be fine,” she said. “At least for two or three days.”

“I was hoping to get back out on that ice field this morning,” Nate muttered. He stared out the window and shook his head. “Whiteouts up here completely suck.”

“It’s a death sentence to step out there in this,” she said. “The good thing is, we don’t need to.”

He glanced at her and nodded. “And, if we get all the data logged in, it’s less to do when we get back.”

She nodded. “So set up your laptop for Power Saver mode, and we’ll see how far we get.”

He sat and finished his coffee, then got up, went to his bunk, pulled out his laptop and settled across from her at the table.

She glanced at the other two researchers, but they slept solid. She checked the clock. “It’s nine already.”

“I know. Time has no meaning when you’re caught out here,” he said. “The days just blend into each other.”