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Trucker disappeared a few hours later. Bilge didn't look worried. He assured Amanda that Trucker often took off like that. Teodor and Amanda spent most of the day cleaning the bar. Bilge worked just as hard. Customers started to come in, slowly. Teodor noticed most of the people coming in were young. It was a welcome change from all the aging hippies that hung out at Chasers.
Teodor liked the work. He didn't mind hard work. His family never understood why he did. But then his family had bullied and frightened the local populace so badly, that if his mother ordered a woman to kill her baby; she would have.
There was a knock on the back door, Bilge went to answer it. When he came back, he tapped Teodor on the shoulder. “Go help the band move their stuff in.”
A set of double door had been propped open with beer cases. A blue van pulled up to the open doors. From the back stepped down a young man with shaggy brown hair, wearing a plain black t-shirt and jeans. He turned around and lifted up his sunglasses.
“Hey, you here to help?” He asked.
“Yeah, name's Teodor, by the way.” Teodor said, holding out his hand.
“Great, I'm Jim.” Jim said taking Teodor's hand. He shook it firmly. “Well, grab a case and start lugging.”
Teodor helped the band unload. They let him run a few of the wires, but for the most part the band took care of their own instruments. Teodor would sneak glances over and catch Amanda's eye. She seemed to be taking to the bar quick enough.
Bilge came over to Teodor early in the evening. “I got some Chinese, you want some?” he asked.
Teodor nodded, grateful for the break.
Behind the bar, Bilge laid out the take out. Teodor nibbled on the boneless ribs. Bilge leaned against the wall, shoveling vegetables and noodles into his mouth, sucking the noddles up between bites. Amanda pushed the mushrooms to the side of her foam container and ate the pieces of chicken.
Teodor noticed a photograph of five men, sitting around a table. One was Bilge. On the table in front of the men, were piles of radio and television equipment.
“So tell me,” Bilge said, after slurping. “What do you think of this hole?”
Teodor turned away from the photo and looked over the crowd. “Kinda of a young crowd.”
“I have alienated the people from my generation,” Bilge said. “I never cared for that peace and love crap.”
“How'd you get this place?” Amanda asked.
“It was my dad's, he died right after I got out of the navy. The only thing he left me.” Bilge looked at his watch. “Get ready, the crowd will be picking up any time now.”
They hadn't even got all the empty boxes into the garbage when the crowd started to come in. At eight, Bilge jumped up on the small stage and announced the band.
The band played. Teodor could not believe the noise that was coming from the stage. He glanced at Amanda, she had a wide smile on her face. The crowd did not act like any crowd Teodor had seen at a show before. They were pounding their feet, some started to shove the other people around them. Teodor watched amazed. This was wild. This was awesome.
After the concert, they cleaned up. Amanda and Teodor stayed until Bilge told them they were done. He called them over to the register and gave them their pay.
“Come back around six, tomorrow, if you want another job,” he said.
“Thanks,” Teodor said, pocketing the money.
They left the bar, Bilge locking up behind them. The temperature had dropped considerably. Even if they let their fur grow, it would still be cold. Teodor put his arm around Amanda.
“Back to Greenwoods?” he asked.
Amanda's lip trembled. “I don't think I could make it. I will try the base.”
Teodor pulled her closer. One of the hidden entrances to the base was near by. When the base had been occupied the entrance had looked like a small factory. Now it was an empty shell. Standing in the empty building felt warmer than the outide.
Teodor checked out the back door, that lead to the entrance. He walked back to Amanda, who was rubbing her arms.
“Do you think he will mind?” She asked.
Teodor shook his head. “I think the big guy is lonely, to tell you the truth.”
They went inside. Amanda grabbed on to Teodor's hand and clenched it so hard his fingers began to lose feeling. As they walked she loosens her grip. The place laid empty. Teodor heard Amanda sigh.
“See it's not to bad.” Teodor reassure her.
Amanda nodded, but her face had lost it's color. They continued down a long hallway, until they heard the moving of large pieces of metal. Teodor picked up his pace. A few years ago, this had been a gym for the people stationed on the base. Steopa pushed a large slab of metal, into the center of the room.
“Steopa!” Teodor shouted.
Steopa paused, he looked over his shoulder. “Good, you came,” he said. “Hello, Amanda.”
Amanda nodded. She let go of Teodor's hand.
“What are you going to do with all of this junk?” Teodor asked.
Steopa shrugged. “I plan to fill up the lower levels. I think that would be for the best.”
“Have you seen anything?” Amanda asked.
Steopa shook his head. “No, Everything is gone.”
“Well, we need a place to stay tonight,” Teodor said.
Steopa nodded. “Follow me.”
They followed Steopa to the other side of the base.
“Why are we heading towards the quarantine area?” Amanda asked.
“Because that is where I stay” Steopa said, ducking under a couple of air ducts. “It is the safest place.”
Steopa came to a large metal door, with a round wheel in the middle of it. He turned the wheel. The door lock slowly opened. He opened the door and stood aside to let them pass.