I haven’t had the will to write much since the Russians came last year and the fighting cut the power off in Fairbanks. Hell there hasn’t been much of a point since the President gave that God damned address which basically told us “get used to being an occupied country”. I came up to Fox and have been living at my folks old place since Dan, the kid who used to work as a bagger over at food king tipped me off that they were rounding up journalists. We haven’t seen much of those bastards up here since they pushed the Army out of the area around Eielson Air Force Base, other than the trucks that come by to take whatever food they can find or the occasional patrol.
But last week something happened that I just can’t get out of my head. Ben was up at the crossroads with old highway 2 keeping watch when he yelled over the radio that the US Army was coming. We thought he was hallucinating of course, but no shit, there it was, a military truck coming down the road with a genuine US flag on the hood. The guys inside actually claim to be US troops fighting their way back to their base in Washington. They wanted to know if they could barter for some gas for their truck. They had a doctor and a guy who could fix engines with them. Pete Stannis asked them why they weren’t sticking around to fight but the Captain in charge of them just said they had their orders. I got the feeling he didn’t like the answer any more than we did and from the looks on his men’s faces, neither did they.
Well, after the guys from the town talked a bit, we decided that if these guys could fix the broken generator over in the gas station we might be able to get the pumps running again and we’d be able to spare a couple of those cans of gas we’ve been saving for winter down in the cellar below Weaver’s barn. The Captain said that if it could be fixed that his men would do it. They left two guys with the truck to watch it. The first was probably the fittest guy I’ve seen since the war came. He pulled their truck off the road and set to hiding it. Within 5 minutes id’ve been hard pressed to tell you it was there even though I’d just seen it myself. He was joking around with some other guy who was almost green when he got out of the truck trying to get him to throw up. That guy was dressed in camouflage too but he had a casual way of looking around as he helped with hiding the truck like he was taking everything in like a camera.
I’ll tell you what though, that guy who worked on the genny didn’t look like any soldier ive ever seen. He was rail thin and had tattoos all up and down his arms and neck. He was a nice enough to talk to all right, asking how people were holding up and cursing the Russians a mean streak but when he looked at you with those ice blue eyes, you could tell there was something going on in there. It’s like he was deciding whether to keep helping or to attack like a rabid dog. Sure could handle a wrench though… he took one look at that generator and just dove right in. Had the whole thing torn to pieces in an hour and back together in three running like it was new.
When I came down to the general store to see what their captain had in the way of news I found a group of men talking to one of the visitors outside the old general store. Ends up I was right about my suspicion, he wasn’t a soldier at all, he was a college professor who was up living on an iceberg or something when the invasion came. He looked like more of a lumberjack than any professor I’ve ever seen. Maybe he was part bear Apparently he’s been studying the weather and he says that this winter is going to be worse that the last two. He hit it off with the farmers who all wanted to know what he thought they could do to save grain and seed through the winter.
While the men talked with the Professor, the women uncovered the big surprise, a real trained doctor! The mothers all brought their children to be seen right away of course and within minutes he had a line of folks eager to hear his advice. At first, a few people thought he was a Russian on account of his accent but he says he’s from Norway and he seemed like a good enough guy. He did what he could with the little supplies we’ve managed to scrounge up and he told all the kids to eat their vegetables but I gotta say, the more he helped, the more sad and distant he looked.
We invited them to stay down in town with us, but as soon as they fueled up, they got back in their truck and left. The Captain said they might come back again before they headed south if it was safe. I hope they do. Everyone feels a little better knowing there are soldiers still out there fighting.