The Last Rebel: Survivor

The Last Rebel: Survivor by William W. Johnstone Page A

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Authors: William W. Johnstone
the chance of them having sex was almost one hundred percent. Now he understood that totally.
    They were quiet for a while.
    “I was wondering,” Jim said. “How, ultimately, are the Rejects going to be controlled?”
    “I don’t know,” Bev said. “Since the wars and the plague and all the chaos that’s been released, the American Constitution means nothing because it cannot be backed up with force.”
    “So what is going to happen?”
    “I think until some sort of stable government is created the chaos is going to continue.”
    “What do you mean by stable?”
    “Fair. That’s what’s wrong with the Believer philosophy. It’s unfair, therefore it ultimately won’t work.”
    “I agree with that, “Jim said. “And what you said is exactly what Ben Raines would say.” Jim paused. Then: “The calamities didn’t shake my family’s faith.”
    “Nor mine. So that’s two out of three or four billion. Add it up, Jim.”
    Jim came to a crossroads and slowed the HumVee, then stopped. The land was flat sagebrush country, the powder-blue sky cloudless and immense. Wyoming was either mountains or desert—and the big sky. The only sky that was bigger than Wyoming’s as well as the other states was Montana, which was due north.
    “You want to continue north,” he questioned, “or go east, west?”
    “You’re driving,” Bev said.
    Jim reached over and took one of the maps that Ben Raines had given him and examined it carefully.
    “North, of course, will take us into Yellowstone. We have a couple of roads we can take there that will keep us off 191.”
    “Suits me,” Bev said. “I’ve always wanted to see Old Faithful. Hope it’s still gushing.”
    “I don’t think fanatics are going to stop it,” Jim said.
    “In fact,” Bev said, “Yellowstone Geyser is a miracle that some people look on as proof of God’s existence.”
    “Isn’t there a name for that? I mean people who believe that the wonders of the universe are proof of the existence of God.”
    “Pantheism,” Bev said.
    “We got a lot of stuff around here that would make you believe that. As long as I’ve lived in this country, there are still sights that take my breath away.”
    “Japan is also beautiful,” Bev said, “and when we settled in Salt Lake City, of course, the beauty was incredible. All those weird colored rock formations, like in Arches National Park. You ever been there?”
    “Yep. I went down to see the mountains once, and the salt lake.”
    “Yeah. People think that Utah is all desert, but they have a bunch of mountains that are thirteen thousand feet high.”
    Jim nodded.
    “I just rode through some of it.”
    “The city itself is beautiful,” Bev said. “I used to love to drive up into the mountains. From certain points on the road you could see the entire city, complete with all its lights, laid out. It reminded me of diamonds laid on black velvet.”
    “That’s pretty poetic.”
    “I call ’em as I see ’em.”
    “Listen,” Jim said, “after seeing what you could do in that church and what you’ve been telling me, I’m not going to disagree with you in any way!”
    Bev laughed.
    They continued to drive north. Meanwhile, Bev worked the radio dial, which was on the AM band. She stayed at it a while and got nothing, finally turning off the radio in frustration.
    “What happened to all the network people?” Jim asked. “What happened to the major networks in New York and Los Angeles? The satellites are still up there.” He automatically pointed upward. “And will be for years. Major cities were not destroyed in the Great War, nor did everyone die of the plague. The networks stayed on the air until a few weeks ago. Then they just stopped broadcasting. What happened?”
    “I heard the newspeople got sick and died, they got scared and ran off, the cities exploded in religious violence and they couldn’t get to work, or a combination of these things—take your pick. The Rejects killed them or

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