The story begins…
For the eighth time, Kelly checked the maps. Those would be essential. If nothing else, Kelly was sure of that.
The message last night had been vague. "I miss you. Are you coming back?" It had taken Kelly a sleepless night of tossing and turning to come up with the answer.
"Yes," Kelly thought. "Yes, I'm going back. Hang on."
The old green backpack couldn't hold much more and still be manageable. It even included some water and a little food. And Kelly had the maps, of course.
"Will we even recognize each other when I get there?" thought Kelly. "It's been three years."
"Pep-talk time," Kelly whispered. "You can do this. You're ready." Kelly frowned, not believing the whisper for an instant.
Leaving a quick note next to the oven – "I can't say where I've gone and I don't know when I'll be back" – Kelly headed to the door and paused. There was one more thing. Doctor Van Holt. Kelly could make a quick visit, just to get it over with, or skip it.
"Which is scarier, I wonder," thought Kelly. "Hearing what Doctor Van Holt has to say, or worrying that I'll find out later?"
When she knocked on the door, it swung open, exposing Van Holt, sitting on the floor playing with toy army vehicles. He looked a bit surprised, pushed his toys to the side and greeted Kelly, "yes, yes, I'm glad you could keep your appointment, Kelly. Sorry about the toys, I sometimes play army to relieve stress."
Meanwhile, Perry adjusted the video camera to look at the visitor. He was curious as it was the first time he had seen anyone in Dr. Van Holt's office, other than Van Holt himself.
"As I was telling you earlier, Perry wanted to meet you before his travels. I can see he is watching us now as the video camera light is on. Knowing you are his travel agent, he wants to ask you about his journey. I think he is a bit nervous as it will be the first time he has ever left the building. Do you think you could answer a few questions for him?"
"That's fine, Perry," said Kelly. "What do you want to know?"
Perry's first question was blunt. "Why me?"
Kelly shrugged. "I have no idea. Davin asked for you by name."
"He knows I'm crazy, right?" asked Perry. Perry looked at Dr. Van Holt. "I am crazy, right, Doc?"
Van Holt straightened his tie. "Well, that is the diagnosis, Perry. We've been over that lots of times. Now if you still think there is something wrong with..."
Kelly interrupted the doctor without even a glance. "Perry," she continued. "This is going to be hard. For both of us. But I'm certain Davin knows the diagnosis. And I'm certain he thinks your fighting skill are going to be key to the revolution."
Van Holt asked "Perry, you were a soldier?"
"Well," said Perry. "Let's just say I was something between a full-fledged soldier and a guy who plays with army trucks on the floor of his office."
"What do I need to do to get Perry out of here and take him with me?" asked Kelly.
"As his ... uh ... travel agent?" asked the doctor.
Kelly smiled sweetly. "As whatever it is that will get him out of here and onto the road with me."
"You don't have to do anything," said Van Holt. "Perry can leave any time he wants."
Perry thought for a few seconds. "Then that time is now."
It was mere minutes before Perry and Kelly were in the sunlight.
"Are you ready for this?" asked Kelly.
Perry just looked at her.
"Yeah. Me neither," said Kelly.
"Kelly," Perry said. "Am I supposed to go ... you know ... armed?"
Kelly paused. "I'm not sure."
"It might come in handy. Once we get there. And on the road. It's a kilometer to a storage unit I still rent. We can get supplied there.