Chris was so happy to be back on the ground. He was back to his old self. He was joking with his friends while they were waiting on their luggage. Keith reminded him about the return flight, but Chris said he would worry about that later.
Amber and David both were searching through their book about Mt. Shasta while their friends waited for their luggage. They wanted to see the lava tubes and they had to see the spiritual awakening journey on the mountain. There was so much to do on their hike of the mountain they both were worried that they wouldn't have enough time to see everything.
Once they had their suitcases and after standing in the long car rental line, the four friends were on their way. Amber had already checked the weather for the next several days they had good weather except on the last night. The meteorologist gave a warning about a potential storm moving in the area. Amber knew that she would have to keep track of it. The last thing they wanted to do was to be stuck on top of the mountain in a storm. That was too dangerous for her to even think about.
They had been driving for almost an hour Keith started complaining that he was hungry and that he couldn't get a signal for his cellphone. He had been playing with the radio and said that they were no good stations. His trip was already going bad, part of him wishes he was in Florida with the rest of his friends from the team. But he had to study to get his math grades up. He reminded Chris not to forget about their study time. Amber said that she could help him too once they got their camp setup.
The Ford Sable pulls into a diner and they piled out of the car. David goes in and runs right for the bathroom, while the others get a table. There was a Mt. Shasta newspaper on the table that they were reading. It looks like this was going to be a big weekend, with several tour groups and it looks like a couple of families were doing a group hiking weekend. Amber told the boys they wouldn't have to worry about being alone. Chris was worried before they left about nobody actually hiking up the mountain during spring break.
Their waitress came over to the table she looks to be forty-some years old and her name was Flo.
"Are you all from around here."
"No my friends are I are from Michigan."
"All the way from the mid-west, we don't get many people here from there. Are you part of that family that came through here yesterday?"
"No, we are just here on spring break."
"Oh, that's nice. I hope you kids have a good time on the mountain. Just be safe."
"Ms. Flo, that family you were talking about, how big was their group?"
"You know kids I have been in this diner for a long time and most families at least favor one another. This family I would swear that they were all from different lines of the family tree because they did not look like one another at all. Let me start you kids off with some water."
The kids dismiss her comments about the family, each of them knew people from blended families and they felt Flo had just been out in the middle of nowhere so long that she probably doesn't know that its kind of normal now.
On the west side of Mt. Shasta there are still several groups on the lower levels, and the higher you went the fewer people there were. If the tourist were looking down instead of up they would have noticed two people down at the very base of the mountain setting up equipment.
"Samantha, I still don't understand why this is necessary. Our base is not even on this side."
"Ollie you don't need to understand. The only thing you need to do is what you are told. I know this is your first assignment and that you were shocked by what we did to that government agent. But we can't let anyone interfere with the prophecy."
"You guess, I thought you were a true follower, and you even volunteer for this. We had other members that wanted to come here, but you push for it. Now, are you having second thoughts."
"No, I do want to be here and I do believe in the prophecy. I guess I just didn't expect to be so close to watching some die. It was the first time for me."
"It was my first time to Ollie. He was my first kill, but I knew when I took this assignment that I would have blood on my hands. But if more of the lost get in our way we might have to do it again. I need to know that if it comes down to that you will be able to handle it."
"I promise that I can handle it. I swear I will follow through."
"That's good because next week this time the whole world will know about the Tears of the Sea."