Over the foothills of the Tasana Mountains lay a thick, heavy, wet blanket of snow. The moon hung low and full on the horizon, scattering its eerie blue-white ambient radiance to give a measure of light to see. In the distance the hillside was dotted with houses lit up in blue, red, and green, colors that offset the blue-white moonlight that reflected off the snow. Echoes of gunshots radiated in all directions, so many, and so often that it was impossible to ascertain their source. When the falling snow landed in Jim's eyes it blurred the mixture of lights, yet he continued to push forward. Behind him and tethered by a rope no more than four feet walked Jennifer, tired and three months pregnant. Within seconds of lifting their feet out of the snow, their tracks vanished, buried once again, leaving no trail behind them. They walked at night and rested during the day, there was less chance of being spotted either by drones or overhead satellites. Jim knew the trek would be difficult, but now he was starting to question if they would make it to their cabin. And if they did make it, would the cabin be usable after sixty six years of abandonment? He worried for his wife and unborn child, but staying in Fuller City was not an option and they both understood and accepted that, an acceptance that may cost them their lives. He looked at the houses along the horizon, many still lit up with strings of lights, blue, green, and a few reds mixed in. He could not understand why people continued to celebrate the different holidays that were based on religious concepts; the United World Nations had banned religion and all religious activity during The Transition Period. Yet people held on to the traditional customs, perhaps they never really celebrated the religious aspect before the ban. He longed for the safety and warmth of those homes, but he knew it would be a temporary safety.
His wife’s voice startled him and he abruptly stopped and turned to her.
“I have to rest, I’m so cold.”
He could hear the intense shiver in her voice, and see her body involuntary shaking in an attempt to keep warm. His instincts wanted to encourage her to push on, to push through the discomfort, but his love for his wife spoke otherwise.
“Fifteen minutes. We’ll use the warmers for ten minutes and then turn them off to conserve power. There may be enough light tomorrow to recharge them.”
Jim scanned the surrounding area looking for a snow free place where they could rest, twenty feet to his right he saw what he needed. He pointed in the direction he intended to turn and Jennifer turned to follow. They approached a long rock sticking out from the snow. It appeared to continue on under the white blanket for several more feet, but the exposed part would serve the intended purpose. Jim stepped over and spread out a small four foot by two foot waterproof pad and then helped Jennifer to step over so she could sit down. Once she was as comfortable as she could be Jim pulled an attachment from his pack and plugged in Jennifer’s warmer, than he sat down next to her.
“You’re not plugging in?”
“We need to conserve power. Two of us using it will drain it faster. I’ll be all right.”
Jennifer laid her head on his shoulder and he reached his arm behind her back and held her close.
“Did we do the right thing?” Jennifer asked.
“Feel that life within you and you have the answer.”
“But Jimmy; suppose we die out here?”
“Here, with the freedom to choose, or back there?”
They snuggled closer and she closed her eyes to rest, wishing for sleep and a nice warm fire. She reflected back to the night at Bo’s cabin, and the comical way that Jim filled the room with smoke, a smile etched across her face. She had formed some happy memories in this new world. She fluttered her eyes and thought she saw a light in the far distance, just another house and someone turning on their lights. She fluttered them again and the light was still there but closer and getting closer still.
“Jim!” The urgency in her hushed voice carried across the snow.
Jim snapped awake and stood fully alert; he quickly turned in every direction and then noticed Jennifer pointing toward the oncoming lights.
“Jimmy, this is a road!”
It was too late to scurry, no trees close enough to hide them and no time to run.
“Jimmy?” Jennifer urged.
“We wait, we’ve nowhere to hide, nowhere to run. We wait.”
Jim pulled Jennifer in close to him and the two waited for what Jim knew was capture.
The lights grew ever closer, and with them the roar of what could only be a combustible engine. As the lights grew larger Jim’s heart beat faster, but why would the New World Committee use a vehicle with a combustible engine to search for them. Maybe capture, but searching did not make sense. Yet he still feared the approaching unknown. The closer it approached the more detail he could make out, the lights were coming from in front of and on top of whatever was approaching, and the light in front appeared stretched and scattered. Then the realization of what was approaching had come too late to Jim's awareness, they would both be knocked backward and covered in several feet of snow as the plow passed them by. Jim and Jennifer sat back down and he pulled her tightly to him, knowing it was useless to try and hold her. They watched as the lights and sound grew closer, the falling and plowed snow scattering and warping the light in all directions. Jennifer closed her eyes, not wanting to see when the impact hit them. Jim wrapped her tight in both arms and waited, the waiting continued and then it seemed delayed, until another realization occurred to Jim. The plow truck was slowing and slowly came to a complete stop ten feet from where they were sitting. Jennifer opened her eyes when the expected impact never came and the sound subsided to a low idle. They could discern movement in the cab of the truck, but were unable to see clearly if the person or persons were attempting to exit. Jim stood and put himself between his wife and whatever approached from the truck. He took a deep breath and pulled his shoulders back and stuck out his chest. Useless posturing, but it helped to draw inner strength. After a few minutes another light was added to the vast array that covered the truck, but this one was smaller, dimmer, the overhead dome light from the opening of the door. It was soon extinguished and followed by a heavy thud. The lights in front of the truck dimmed and flickered. Then before the two of them stood what could only be described as a bear of a man. He was six feet ten inches tall and broad across the shoulders; Jim could not make out any facial features. The man folded his hands across his chest and tossed his head back and started laughing.
“What's so blasted funny?” Jim used a deep gruff voice so as to appear meaner than the rich city boy he was.
“You Jim. You’re funny. I was told you might be coming up this way, but I doubted. See I thought anyone running from the World Medical Committee would surely avoid the roads.”
“You have me at a serious disadvantage. Who are you and how do you know me and that I'm running from the World Medical Committee?”
“Yeah I know everything; I have you right where you should not be. If I were anyone else you would be hauled back to Fuller City and handed over to Toby. Now get in the cab and warm up. Got fresh coffee in there waiting for the both of you.”
“No; I don’t think so, not until you tell me who you are and how you know me.”
“You would rather die out here in the cold? You’re not too far from it you know.”
“Yeah, we would.”
“I was told you would say that. Come on, it’s safe; I promise to fill you in back at my cabin. I was asked to see if I could find you once you made it this far. Been scouting every night, and low and behold you’re on the road, right where he said you would be.”
“In our defense, we didn’t know it was a road, it’s covered with snow.”
The bear-man turned and walked back to the truck. Jim helped Jennifer up and then packed up the pad in the backpack and stuffed the heating cable back in its pouch. They walked to the passenger side of the truck and Jim climbed in first then reached down and helped Jennifer up. The warmth of the truck quickly engulfed Jim and Jennifer; they removed their gloves and turned their hands over and over in front of the air vents. Bear-man handed them a travel mug full of hot coffee. In the full light of the cab Jim could see the drivers face clearly. It was aged and haggard, a beard covered most of it, what was left was windblown, dark complicated and wrinkled.
“It’s black, the coffee. Never thought to ask how you took it. Not the face you expected to see? Is it?”
“Black is fine and no to your face.” Jim said.
“In due time you’ll understand everything. Just be assured of this. You’re safe now, and you're among friends.”
“What’s your name?” Jim asked.
“My friend’s call me Bear, my given name is in the before time, before The Transition. I suggest you two get some sleep. It’s about a two hour drive to my cabin. Once there you can get cleaned up, rest up and then I’ll see you to the rest of your journey.”
“You know where we’re going?”
“It’s got to be that dilapidated cabin about to fall down on the east face of Chief Ole’ Ridge.”
Jim cut Bear off, “About to fall down?”
“No worries. Had a crew up there nearly every day for the past two weeks, got it dried in now. But you’re gonna’ have to put some blood into the place as well.”
Jim failed to understand much of what Bear had explained, but he nodded his head in agreement. “What’s the date?”
“Just wondering how long we’ve been walking.”
“When did you leave Fuller City?”
“Last week of November.”
“It’s December twenty seventh, been walking almost five weeks. You would have died you know?” Bear said.
“I know that now.”
“Your wife’s asleep, you need some as well.”
“Suit yourself. Nothing to see outside except blinding snow.”
Jim locked his gaze forward, out toward the heavy falling snowfall. Even though Bear had the headlights on dim, much of the outer light was still being reflected back toward the truck. The whiteness outside, the hum of the truck and the vibrations were too much on Jim’s exhausted body; he lost his battle to stay awake.
“Jimmy! Jimmy! Wake up.” Jennifer was pushing against Jim’s shoulder attempting to bring him to consciousness.
“What?” His voice was muted and full of cobwebs. Reaching up he pressed the palms of his hands into his eye sockets in an attempt to rub the sleep from them. “We’re here?”
“Where ever here is. I thought we were going to our old cabin?” Jennifer said.
“Suppose’ to – where’s Bear?”
“Don’t know, he was gone when I woke up. Do you know where this place is?”
Jim rubbed his hands together in front of the heater vent. Where ever Bear had gone he had left the truck running and the heat on. “No I don’t recall passing this place when we came up here last.”
“So what now?” Jennifer asked.
“Sit tight. He must intend to return since he left the truck running.” Jim had yet to complete his thought when a large figure of a man cut a path through the still falling snow.
When Bear opened the truck door a blast of bitter cold air removed what remained of the sleep in Jim.
“You two finally awake. Listen, you’ll bunk down for the rest of the night at my place, first light I’ll run you up to your old cabin on the snowmobile. Jennifer you’ll stay in the cabin tomorrow with my wife while I run Jim up there to check the place out. Gather your stuff and let’s get in. Keep the noise level down the kids are asleep. Hate for the six of those terrors to be awake this late, well early. I’ll never get them back down.”
Bear turned off the truck and climbed back out allowing Jim to slide out of the driver’s side and then he walked around to help Jennifer down. He grabbed their packs heaving one on each shoulder. With Bear in the lead, Jim took up the rear of their short hike to the cabin.
“This your place?” Jim asked as they entered. He kept his voice soft so as to avoid waking anyone.
“Sure thing. Me and the wife came up here as soon as we realized what would happen if we started having kids. In the beginning of The Transition it was difficult to keep a tight lid on all the information, many insiders got out quickly as they discovered what was happening. My wife and I had already taken our first few doses, so we are in great health even to this day and passed on some good genes to the kids. But I was not about to let those genetic mutants called the World Medical Committee take any kids I wanted to have.”
“So you’ve been hiding out ever since?” Jim said. He took a seat at the table next to Jennifer and across from Bear. A steaming hot cup of coffee was placed before him filling his nose with a warm fruity smell. Jim took a cautious sip and allowed the taste sooth him. “How did you manage to get French Roast coffee?”
“Call it connections. You’ll be included in time. During the beginning of The Transition the New World Government had a challenge before them. On one hand they were attempting to gain control of all world governments and genetically alter people, and at the same time obtain information on everyone and on those with no records to create a record. Problem was, they had too much going on at once, and it was easy for people to drop off the grid. There’s a whole sub-culture throughout the world, it’s a world within a world. A secret nation if you will.”
“I don’t understand.” Jim said.
“A bit at a time Jim. Just as the World Medical Committee needed to control its information so do we. Not that we don’t trust you, but we still need to ensure your safety. If I tell you what you want about The Grid now and you get captured – well you can just give that some thought. Soon, very soon you will know all there is about The Grid.” Bear said.
“That is what we have chosen to call our alternate form of world government, The Grid. You’ll learn, it’ll make sense.”
Bear rose from his chair and walked across the room to a table that sat in a corner and picked up a small black hand-held device. He turned it over thoughtfully in his hand as he looked back at Jim and Jennifer. He brought the device to his mouth and pressed a small button and started speaking.
“This is Bear; I’m back in the cave. Got me two rabbits while out hunting, one is fat and plump. How about that cabin on Chief Ole’ Ridge, is it coming along?” Bear released the button and lowered the device away from his mouth and turned his attention to the fire that danced and flickered, he had the look of a man that was impatiently waiting. He reached over to a chrome and wooden box, from which extended a curled black wire that ran to the hand held device he had spoken into. He turned some dials and a burst of static filled the room, he quickly readjusted the dial, and again he waited.
A low burst of static filled the air and was followed by a voice from a second black box sitting next to the chrome and wooden one.
“Cabin all dried out, got one solar panel working. Will have a fire going before you arrive. Excellent on the rabbit hunt. What about any cougars, see any out lurking in the night?”
Bear turned back to face Jim and Jennifer again, as he did so he brought the hand-held device up to his mouth, depressed the button and spoke into it.
“No, no cougars, just two very wet and worn out rabbits. All right, thanks on the cabin report. See ya in a few hours. TK. Out.” Bear lowered the device and waited.
Again a burst of static, followed by a voice. “TK, out.”
Bear hooked the device to a small clamp on the side of the box and returned to the table. He brought his cup to his lips and took a small sip of coffee and peered over the edge of the cup at Jim and Jennifer. He darted his eyes back and forth between them both, waiting for one of them to ask. But the two remained silent, with expressions of wonderment on their faces.
“It’s a modified CB radio. It allows me to talk to people all over the world, undetected by the watchful eye of the World Medical Committee.” Bear raised his eyebrows as he completed his explanation.
“How!” Jim and Jennifer said in unison.
Bear gingerly set his coffee cup on the table and allowed his wife to refill it. She rested her hand on his broad shoulder and then leaned over and kissed the upper hair-cleared area of his cheek. They both knew that Jim and Jennifer had to know, but – if one of both of them were ever captured and forced to talk, the entire Grid would collapse. Bear reached across with his right hand and rested it on his wife’s and gave her a trusted smile; she pulled a chair clear of the table and sat next to her husband.
After taking another sip of coffee Bear started to explain. At the beginning of The Transition a small group of people formed the foundation of what would become The Grid. They discarded their cell phones, computers, tablets and any others means of communication that could be monitored. But doing so left them without a means of communication, or so it appeared to the WMC. In twenty sixteen the Tennessee Valley Electric installed meters that self-reported electric consumption. These newly installed meters used wireless to transmit the electric usage back to the electric company. Wireless transmission is microwave based and each meter acted as a repeater allowing the signal to hop from one device to another. Technicians with The Grid were able to build encryption/decryption devices that attached to either an older CB or shortwave radio. The E/D device then converted the audio wave into small microwave packets that piggybacked on the electric meter signal. Since each meter acted as a repeater it allowed The Gird a form of worldwide communications system that was untraceable or detectable.
Some of the technicians that developed the self-reporting technology also joined The Grid, with them they brought their skill and knowledge of how to use not only the electric meter frequencies to communicate long distances but also tapped into existing water meters and other self-reporting devices, a technology still in use, but a long forgotten means of hacking. Bear explained that he managed the station on The Chief Ole’ Ridge, while other members of The Grid managed another stations throughout the world, including one in the Black Hills of North Dakota. By creating a network and continuous hops the people of The Grid could communicate worldwide without the knowledge of the World Medical Committee. However because it was a relay system there was at times a long lag before information could be passed along.
“It was due to that lag effect that it took me awhile to start looking for you. It took about two weeks to get word out that you were heading this way. But that word had to be relayed from a station from Eldorado Kansas, then passed on to Arkansas, western Tennessee and it finally reached me about seven days ago. Been looking for you ever since.” Bear brought his cup to his lips and took a long drink of coffee, ignoring the heat it gave off.
“With that kind of lag in your communication system – a hack could occur before word got out.” Jim said.
“We considered that, there is no way to hack the system. When we transmit, our packets are randomly inserted within the existing packets of information that normally use the self-reporting devices. So our packets appear to be a part of the conformation packet check system. Each transmitter and receiver must have an E/D attached to reassemble the packets.” Bear said
“If the old system taught us anything, everything is hackable.” Jennifer said.
“Normally I would agree with you. But keep in mind the old system was built on pure binary computer code, something that could be read and rewritten, hacked. This is really old school technology. More or less forgotten technology that we have merged with technology from before The Transition that many still use but is not considered important.” Bear said.
“The Enigma was hacked! The Nazi's un-hackable communication device. ”
“Yes I know Jim. But it was hacked because one had been captured and a room full of people studied the transmissions. Their goal, look for commons in the transmission. Our radios don’t need to be captured; they still exist, albeit in museums or storerooms. It’s not the radio in this case or even commons. It’s the random packets of information. If the World Medical Committee obtained a radio and an E/D and then managed to tune in the correct frequency all they would hear is static, nothing else. We use a second machine to reassemble the packets, so in total 3 devices are needed to understand the transmissions. That machine is also old, from the nineteen fifties I believe, nothing that gives off a signal that can be picked up, no wireless. It’s all old school. The World Medical Committee has yet to think backward, they have over thought their power. They believe all older technology is no longer useful.”
“At Nancy’s we used older technology. I’m sure that Nick has discovered that by now.” Jennifer said.
“And I don’t doubt that he has; but will he make any connection to us from what he learns there? The Grid knew nothing of Nancy so it’s unlikely they’ll tie her to any faction or rebellion toward the World Medical Committee.” Bear said.
Outside, in the distance, beyond the ridge, a faint light started to fill the sky. The moon had long ago rested below the horizon and left a snow filled ambient sky in its wake. But now through the lightly falling snow the outline of Chief Ole’ Ridge could be seen. In the east the sun was starting to make its presence felt once again. Jim stood and walked to the large window that fronted the cabin. He rested his left arm on a small shelf intended to hold cooling pies and dropped his chin to his forearm. He let his gaze fix toward the east and out into some distant past, before The Transition, letting his mind drift as he continued to listen to Bear tell the history of the world after he and Jennifer had been put to sleep.
With the skeleton of the Grid Network up and running it gave local areas the ability to check for ones wanting to break away from the beginning of the New World. As the New World Government began to take hold on the freedoms around the world more people gravitated to The Grid. However it was not until the end of the nuclear war that tens of thousands defected from what they had hoped would bring peace to humankind. E/D radio bases started coming online in Russia, Israel, China, North Korea, Iraq, Iran, Cuba, Mexico, the UK and the United States. A sub-world was starting to unite with a common goal, to remain free from the New World Government.
“It’s ionic you know? Most of those nations were at war with each other back in twenty fourteen.” Jennifer said.
“Yeah, ironic. Some were dictators, communists or worse. But when the citizens of those countries were faced with a greater enemy, it united those who were left. In some parts of the world people of The Grid have had to live among ones of the New World, they walked a dangerous path.” Silent One, Bear’s wife said.
With her words Jim lifted his head and looked across the room to the kitchen where Bear’s wife now stood. “How so? How is it they are walking a dangerous path?” Jim asked.
Silent One placed the percolator back on the wood cook stove, wiped her hands on the towel that hung from the sink and looked thoughtfully at Jim and Jennifer. “Walked, past tense. We have people in every part of the world and in almost every city. We live, work and play with ones who are injected with the serum. Those who choose to live amongst the others had to do so for a very limited time.”
“The ones of The Grid, they don’t take the serum, do they?” Jennifer abruptly interrupted Silent One.
She slowly nodded her head back and forth, no. A tear slid down the side of her cheek, and then another. Silent One buried her face in the hand towel to muffle her sobs.
“Her mother and father chose to live among them. They did good for about twelve years. But, her dad took ill. He stayed in their apartment, keeping from the watchful eye of the World Medical Committee.”
A deafening silence filled the room, broken only by the muffled cries of Silent One. The silence continued unchallenged for more than ten minutes, it was Jim who broke it with the scraping of his chair as he pulled it from under the table. He sat down and allowed Silent One to refill his coffee.
“What happened to your mom and dad?” Jim asked.
“Nick.” Was all that she was able to answer.
Jim and Jennifer turned and looked at Bear.
“Nick and Daniel to be exact. If you fail to show for work after three days – Jim we had no idea that the World Medical Committee had the ability to monitor inside a person’s apartment or home. Her parents were taken to an Incentive Center. We never heard from them again.” Bear said.
Jim reflected back to his own apartment, and how Toby was able to know everything he said and did and even researched. He now realized just how tight of a hold the Committee had on people that had come to depend on the serum to live.
“We put the word out on the ED as soon as we put it together. Most of our people faded out of the cities and into the country side. They took to living in the woods or small towns. The World Medical Committee could track them if they wanted, but they took to living a slow boring life they were of no interest to the Committee. Others however were captured and taken to Incentive Centers. We lost tens of thousands of people.” Bear said.
Jim stood and returned to his place at the window and once again locked his gaze out and across the distant horizon. In the sky small areas of black-blue were making an appearance, the storm was moving out and the clouds were giving way to the sky above them. Flicks of sun rays were clipping through the small openings and finding their way through to give some light to a new day.
“So what happened? You survived as did others?” Jim asked.
“As I said we abandoned the cities and moved. Me and Silent One were already here, others came. Some went west to the Black Hills, Rockies, and deep in the desert, what is considered useless land by the World Medical Committee. They want people kept together in cities. It’s easier to control people if they are huddled together.”
“But when you do have to interact, with random serum testing, how do you get around it?” Jim asked.
“We have medical experts that have developed a harmless virus that alters our blood. If a Fuller Center anywhere takes a sample it resembles the Fuller Life Serum. So far it has worked, but we know if it’s analyzed in detail we’re exposed.” Bear said.
Jim let his mind drift to those that made the sacrifice to expose the World Medical Committee’s ability to monitor within their homes. The lives lost and lives still being taken to ensure that the World Medical Committee keeps control of the world. He wondered…
“How many are left worldwide; of The Grid?” Jim asked.
“We do attempt to keep count. Last census gave us a total of about 24,670.” Bear said.
“And before the exposure?”
“We topped out at over two hundred thousand.”
Again silence filled the room and this time hung for more than fifteen minutes. The house creaked and shifted with the rising of the sun and the warming air. Outside small forest animals scurried around and birds started to stir from their nightly rest. The number was haunting; more than one hundred and seventy five thousand had been killed or taken to an Incentive Center. Jim felt the weight of guilt as it slammed down on him. Guilt for wanting his Jennifer to live, guilt for creating this world, guilt for killing billions of human lives. In the park, their park was a statue, forever to his praise, forever to his guilt. If he had not been so selfish, so entitled to have her, if he could have let her die and then had taken his own life, this world would never have been born. One man, one choice, billions dead, it had been Jim’s choice.
“It was not your fault Jimmy.” Jennifer broke through his thinking.
“She’s right Jim. You had no way to know. Toby was supposed to have been your friend. You never expect your friends to betray you, not the way Toby did.”
“That’s not enough to overthrow the New World Committee?” Jim said.
A look of confusion struck across Bear’s face, and then he realized what Jim was suggesting.
“Jim you misunderstand. It’s not our intent to overthrow anything. You have seen the inside of a Fuller Center, you have seen the inner workings of the New World Committee, you know over turning anything they have done is impossible. Dogs Jim; even though eighty percent of people hate this world, they don’t want to get some dreaded disease and die. No one wants to fight HIV again or to have a child with Downs, and no one wants to watch a loved one die of cancer again. Most hate this present world, but many would die to keep it.” Bear explained.
“Then what? Why go through all the trouble to form The Grid and create the E/D Network? That’s a lot of effort if you don’t intend to overthrow that, that committee.” Jim slammed his open hand hard against the pie shelf, the slap sound reverberating through the open kitchen and turning his hand deep red.
“Jim; look around you. This is my cabin, my home. My kids are mine; they are in the other room sleeping in their own beds. I have a baby just nine months old that has his own blood pumping through his veins, his blood Jim.” Bear locked his gaze on Jim. “My blood, Silent One’s blood, my kids blood is clean. We will die, but we will die with our own clean blood. Don’t you think living with your own blood and your own DNA is worth what we have done? Even if what we have done must remain hidden and we have to live in the shadows?”
Jim turned the palm of his hand toward his face and studied the redness as it faded back to the natural tone of his skin. He knew inside that Bear was right, but this world was created upon his name, his company, his technology, his money. He turned back to face Bear.
“No Jim; you did not build this world. Toby, Nick, Daniel and the others did, using you, a person in a comatose state, to build it on. Why do you think they did that?”
Jim gave Bear a puzzled look.
“Why do you think your friends used your company, your technology, your money and your name after they had put you to sleep? Why not transfer the trust in name as well as in power?”
“I don’t follow you on this Bear.” Jennifer said.
It was then that the logical development played out in Jim’s mind. If the New World Committee had failed, if the project had failed, if the attempt to take control of the world’s governments had failed, their names, the names of the committee members would be clean. But Jim’s would be covered in blood. All the blood the Committee had spilled. Bear saw the look of recognition that came across Jim’s face.
“You understand; don’t you?” Bear said nodding to Jim.
Jim only nodded his head yes.
“Jim was the scape goat; if the committee failed Jim would be awakened and he alone would take the fall for the committee’s failure.” Silent One said.
Jennifer gasp she was unaware she had been holding her breath.. “What else? Jimmy what else have they done and covered up?”
The thought was new to Jim, but it was a thought that was now based on fact. It was a thought that sent waves of fear through his mind. He looked at his wife, at Jennifer, at her swollen abdomen. Their unborn child, their baby, what else did Toby know and what else was the committee hiding.
“I wish I knew if Bo and Nancy made it.” Jim said, hoping to change the subject.
“They did; it's Bo that's been keeping me in the loop about you two.”