The police scanner crackled with reports from all around Moonshine Beach. Hattley had started driving there as soon as she heard “aircraft down.”
Dispatchers from the 911 center spoke with even more urgency once they learned the craft was “in the water.”
Hattley had been a reporter long enough that she knew the lake’s geography, knew where she was headed. She texted her editor that she was pretty damn sure this was no drill and she would tweet out information as soon as she could get eyes on an actual scene.
Tweets were already flying.
“Rescue crews cautious as glowing aircraft bobs in lake near Branson. @rescuebranson first at scene.”
“Gray, tall people apparently floating, not moving. @chiefbranson says “We save lives. If we see someone moving, we’re going in.”
“Crashed aircraft not from USA, experts say.” … “Nothing like it in database, says @exNasaboss”
“FEMA. NTSB. FBI. If the feds have an acronymn, it’s headed to aircraft crash @emergencymgtbranson”
“FORGET SYRIA! REFUGEES in USA! CRAFT CRASHES IN MISSOURI LAKE!!!! @UFOsarereal”
Hattley had done well to avoid texting while driving the interstate south toward Branson. But she needed to check her phone for new information. She screeched to a stop at the end of the exit ramp and looked down anxiously to check tweets. Adjusting her iPhone’s ap that gave her access to the police scanner, she peeled out along the two-lane, snake of a road toward Moonshine Beach.
She never saw the round, brown figure trudging along the side of the road until it lurched and fell toward her car. Without thinking, she jerked her wheel left and slammed on the brakes. She wasn’t sure if she hit the thing or not.
Agnon had listened to his father well. The strong pouch of webbingfronds had inflated as planned, enveloped his family and saved them from the ship’s crash, as well as the cold lake.
But now, after rising through the lake’s waters and getting to the shore, Agnon could only trudge, inside the pouch carrying his family with him. Jadeion hadn’t awoke and Agnon was hurt. He knew the small, noxious vehicle had almost hit him, and he tried to move further up the small hill to his left, but he could not. He saw the slight pale figure exit the vehicle as he lost consciousness. He prayed to all of the Gods of Calshinnyon that the stranger was kind.
…to be continued