Went out to pull down that station we set up near the local radio station. We've got a bunch of waypoints set up across the US and everything transmits back to here for when we're cross-country.
It's called Slow Scan for a reason, but it's difficult to decrypt if you're not the one receiving the signal and even more of a bastard to trace back to the source.
And somehow, they still found us.
Normally I'd be fine with this, but normally I wouldn't have to scale a radio tower at 3 AM in the middle of a thunderstorm, and normally my SSTV stations aren't smoldering piles of electronics by the time I reach the scene.
I guess somebody didn't want us rebuilding anytime soon.
Anyways, it was three in the morning and absolutely freezing because of the storm whipping around the rain like tiny shards of glass. About 100 feet up in the air, about the last thing you want is the persistent shaking of your hands as you try and disassemble the tangle of copper wires and half-broken satellite of what used to be your transceiver.
I wasn't sure if I was shaking because of the cold, the height, or oh god was that lightning in the forest oh god oh god this ladder had better be insulated it's not insulated is it oh god oh god please don't strike here Thor, if you can hear me I swear I will take up a sledgehammer and use that to fight in your honor for the rest of my life if you keep your electrostatic discharge away from me and let me get out of here in one piece.
August St. Claire: professional crop circle maker and stalkee of men in suits everywhere. Death by lightning strike for a satellite that didn't even work that well in the first place.
If it's worth anything, I got it back.
But not before our little Arsonist found me on the way back down.
(Harharhar. See what I did thar?)
And now I sound like Spencer.
He was a big guy. 6'5" and build like a fridge on legs. Came lumbering towards me and shouting some cryptic garbage that I didn't really pay attention to, because by the time he was close enough to me that I could make out the lines of his mask.
Now, I don't like to kill people. It's just not in my nature. But when a medium-sized dresser on legs comes up to me and growls like a rabid dog, I know my 5'3" frame isn't going to take him on with favorable results.
Luckily I don't have to worry about being big when I can be fast.
There's hardly time for him to blink. A pivot and a step and I've plunged my knife (a leaf blade; think a roman sword crossed with a bowie knife) into both of his legs and he's down, writhing in pain and screaming bloody murder.
I leave him there, making sure he's watching and still on the ground while I gather up the supplies and burn everything that can't be salvaged.
And what does Spencer tell me when I get back and inform him of what happened to our country-wide communication network?
" ... Wha?"
" ... Wha?"
He's drunk. Again.
It's actually easier to note the times when the boss isn't slurring his vowels and hitting on anything with two legs and the appropriate plumbing between them.
"Nevermind. I'll get it back up in three days."
I really don't have the patience for this. I'm cold and soaked to the bone and just want to go to sleep.
He mutters something about setting out in five days, and goes off to hide in the eastern wing.
Give me some of that bourbon.