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datatime: 2022-10-04 21:34:23 Author:lEIGsPXV

"It wasn't like that when I was here two weeks ago," Danik gasped. "There was no hole in the roof."

Eagerly he played the light across its contents. "Direction readings," Rock yelled exhultantly. "Run Dutil took bearings and direction readings with a sextant. And there are some notes describing the places they stopped."

"It wasn't like that when I was here two weeks ago," Danik gasped. "There was no hole in the roof."

"No," Rock replied, "The weight of the snow finally got to the roof. Nothing lasts forever, not even the Hall of Presidents. Where is Run Dutil's body?"

Danik took the lead, and they passed a lifelike statue of Teddy Roosevelt riding a horse in the Battle of Bull Run, and then a replica of President Bush signing the Martial Law decree in the Oval Office. They finally came to the Rotunda Room. Light spilled in from above through a hole in the ceiling. The snow flurries drifted in on the figure of John F. Kennedy sitting in his rocking chair. He was staring forever at the three astronauts in spacesuits that had returned from the moon and were coming in to receive his accolades. A tattered and mouse-eaten American flag hung disintegrating on a pole nearby. JFK was up to his knees in snow.

Rockson needed every bit of his famed "mutant's luck" if they were to reach the obscure site. The bearing was vague, as Dutil had measured direction with a sextant that was little more than a toy.

They quickly made for the boulderfield Danik had indicated. Rockson hoped that any roving scavengers attracted by the body of Run Dutil would not have eaten his notebook as well - some species of high-plains bobcat ate even metal cans

Eagerly he played the light across its contents. "Direction readings," Rock yelled exhultantly. "Run Dutil took bearings and direction readings with a sextant. And there are some notes describing the places they stopped."

"Well. I'll be a monkey's uncle. Lincoln - Abraham Lincoln - a plastic figure."

The dogs were howling and yapping, apparently happy to be on the trail again. They didn't like the President's museum much, it seemed.

"I remember this place," Danik said, "the President's Museum is about a mile away from here - just beyond those boulders shaped like a pile of kid's blocks."

Rockson shone the beam of his light over in the direction Danik indicated. The body was there, stiff and frozen, its eyes wide and mouth gaping, the lips blue. Run Dutil looked a lot like Danik. The body appeared to be untouched; the cold had kept it from rotting. Perhaps the animals had tried to taste the plastic statues over the centuries and found them unpalatable. And so they had desisted from tasting this real human. Rockson fumbled through the dead man's clothing until he found the small steno pad with pencil notes inside an inner pocket of his frost-covered tunic.

Rockson wondered how they would spade the ground outside, seeing that it was frozen solid. Then he said. "We can roll some boulders over him - better that way - the animals can't get at him."

The dogs were howling and yapping, apparently happy to be on the trail again. They didn't like the President's museum much, it seemed.

"I remember this place," Danik said, "the President's Museum is about a mile away from here - just beyond those boulders shaped like a pile of kid's blocks."

"Do you think someone's been here?" McCaughlin said.

"It wasn't like that when I was here two weeks ago," Danik gasped. "There was no hole in the roof."

"Well. I'll be a monkey's uncle. Lincoln - Abraham Lincoln - a plastic figure."

"Good work, Detroit," Rockson said. "We can try to reach Eden now"

Detroit rummaged around and found the toy sextant Run Dutil had used for compiling his meager notes in JFK's plastic hands. It would be useful, for if the navigation device had some error in it, they could take that into account in plotting their trek south.

They quickly made for the boulderfield Danik had indicated. Rockson hoped that any roving scavengers attracted by the body of Run Dutil would not have eaten his notebook as well - some species of high-plains bobcat ate even metal cans

The dogs were howling and yapping, apparently happy to be on the trail again. They didn't like the President's museum much, it seemed.

"No," Rock replied, "The weight of the snow finally got to the roof. Nothing lasts forever, not even the Hall of Presidents. Where is Run Dutil's body?"

They came upon an area 235 miles south of Colorado Springs Plain that Rockson himself had crossed years earlier. It was the area around a small hunter-trapper community called Moosehead. Moosehead Township was a set of ten or twelve wooden shacks and a tanning shed for hides. The Soviets usually ignored these primitive American communities, which served their purposes because their commanding officers did a brisk trade with the mountainmen who did fur trapping. Hides and furs were exchanged for rubles. The rubles bought the trapper families some precious supplies like salt in the small free markets in the shadows of the great Soviet forts further east.

Danik took the lead, and they passed a lifelike statue of Teddy Roosevelt riding a horse in the Battle of Bull Run, and then a replica of President Bush signing the Martial Law decree in the Oval Office. They finally came to the Rotunda Room. Light spilled in from above through a hole in the ceiling. The snow flurries drifted in on the figure of John F. Kennedy sitting in his rocking chair. He was staring forever at the three astronauts in spacesuits that had returned from the moon and were coming in to receive his accolades. A tattered and mouse-eaten American flag hung disintegrating on a pole nearby. JFK was up to his knees in snow.

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