Day four of the hike
Kim was awake the next morning before Ron, the pain in her right causing her to wake with a yelp, she looked over at Ron, who seemed to not have the best nights sleep,
'/I feel for him,/' she thought, her face pouting slightly, '/not only is he not going to make it up the mountain this year, but now, he's got to worry about me, I feel so helpless, there's nothing I can do for him, but be strong./'
Kim tried to get up, but felt a slight pressure on her stomach, she looked down, to find Ron's hand laying protectively across her abdomen, she took Ron's hand into hers, and traced the veins in his prematurely aged, and weatherbeaten hands.
Ron had grown up into quite a man in Kim's mind, he was no longer the skinny boy of years past, he was now a man, standing at more than six foot six, he was among the tallest of all the other boys at school, and he was also the most well built, the muscles that formed from years of climbing Mt. Middleton had given him a rugged kind of look, he seemed to be at home up here, more so than when he was walking the streets of Middleton, she followed the veins in Ron's hand, touching the back of his hand lightly with her fingernail, she could hear him, mumbling something in his sleep, but it made no sense to her, something about, '/No monkey touch./' As she turned his hand over, and placed her hand to his, she could feel the callouses that had been worked onto them, years of mountain climbing, among other things, had taken a toll on Ron's hands, molding them into the calloused, knotted, and veined claws that she was holding onto,
'/It's not so bad, though,/' she thought to herself, '/I've watched those leathery hands turn to velvet in a touch, if there's one thing about Ron, he knows how to be gentle when it's needed./'
Ron stirred, and awakened with a start,
"Something wrong?" Kim asked, Ron turned to look at her, his eyes wild with some unforseen thing, something they might have overlooked,
"Uh, Kim, does it feel a little . . . cold to you?" Ron asked, looking over at the pretty redhead,
"Yeah, a little, but I'm sure it's nothing." She replied, now looking into Ron's panic-stricken face, and wondering what could cause Ron to wig out so badly,
"What is it?" Kim asked again, but Ron looked at her,
"Did you think about bringing the Kimmunicator?" Ron asked,
"D'oy," Kim said, her expression changing, "it's like an American Express card, I never leave home without it."
"Let me see it." Ron said, extending his hand, as soon as Kim handed it to him, he pushed the call button, the face of a rotund, ten year old African American boy appeared on the screen,
"Hey, Ron, what up?" Wade asked,
"Did we get hit with a snowstorm last night?" Ron asked,
"Understatement of the century, Ron," Wade said, "How about a massive blizzard, dumped about four foot of snow on the tri-city area in about ten hours, everything's been grounded."
"Oh, great, 'cause we got a serious 911 up here, Wade." Ron said,
"What is it?" Wade asked, for an answer, Ron lifted the leg of Kim's snowsuit, followed by the leg of the jeans she was wearing underneath, exposing the stitches that Ron had put in to close the wound,
"And that's not all, Kim's leg is broken, I need to get her off the mountain within the next three days, or Gangrene could set in, then she'll be doing her cheering on a fake leg." Ron said, his voice serious, Kim had obviously not known the danger she was in, her face blanched as Ron mentioned the words 'fake leg,'
"Are you saying, that I could end up losing my leg if I don't get off the mountain in three days?" Kim asked, her face getting whiter and whiter as she spoke, Ron simply nodded, no more words were spoken between the two, but Kim grabbed for the Kimmunicator, and nearly shouted at Wade,
"Get us the hell out of here, Wade!" she screamed,
"Amp down, Kim, the only way down, is via the north face," Wade said, "there's a base camp about five hundred feet down the side of the mountain from your location, they have a medical facility there."
"What about the National Park Service, can't they launch one of their search and rescue choppers here?" Ron asked,
"I told you, Ron," Wade said, "all air traffic is grounded, you're on your own."
"Thanks, Wade," Ron said, now taking the Kimmunicator, "We'll call you when we get to base camp, Ron out."
Ron placed the Kimmunicator into the pocket of his snowsuit that normally housed Rufus, his pet naked mole rat, Rufus had refused to come up the mountain with Ron and Kim, something about being scared of going up the mountain with Ron,
"Well," Ron said, helping Kim to her feet, "let's pack out our trash."
Ron had torn down the campsite in about ten minutes, which was saying something, as they were about ankle deep in snow, being two thousand feet up, they didn't get hit like the valley had, but it was bad enough, everywhere they went, trees had been snapped in two, as if smashed flat by a giant fist, large snow drifts seemed to loom over the horizon, and, as they got closer to them, they realized, they were snow overhangs, one loud noise, and they easily could start an avalanche, that was the last thing they needed.
By mid-afternoon, the pain in Kim's right was almost too much to bear, even for her, so Ron had devised an ingenious way of getting her down the mountain, and to the next base camp, he had made a kind of Native American drag sled, and set Kim in it, when she was comfortable, he tied the sled to his climbing harness, and proceeded to the base camp, which, according to Wade's coordinates, was located about halfway down the mountain on the north face.
At the Possible home, Mrs. Possible was sitting in the kitchen, when the phone rang,
"Hello." She said, the voice on the other end, was Wade,
"Mrs. Possible, I just got word from Kim and Ron," he said, while trying to remain calm himself, "there's been an accident, Kim's got a broken leg, and from the looks of it, Ron tried to patch her up the best he could, but he's still afraid that Gangrene might set in, they're trying for base camp eighteen on the north face of the mountain."
"/GANGRENE?!/" Mrs. Possible screamed, causing Wade to drop the phone on the other end, "But that could only mean."
"Yeah," Wade said, "open fracture."
"How bad?" Mrs. Possible asked,
"Well, it looks like she's not going to be walking on it any time soon." Wade said,
"How's Ron holding out?" Mrs. Possible asked,
"He's a little freaked," Wade replied, "but more about the weather than anything else, he's afraid they won't make it down the mountain in time."
"Yeah, and the weather we had last night might slow them down." Mrs. Possible said,
"Not really, as high up as they were, two thousand feet, you need to take off one degree for every foot past five hundred feet, so it's too cold to produce snow up there." Wade said,
"I only hope you're right Wade." Mrs. Possible said,
"I thought I'd let you know, they said they'd contact me when they made it to the base camp, I'll call you when I get more info, 'bye." Wade said, hanging up the phone,
'/Dear God, please give Ron the strength to get them off the mountain, and back home./' Mrs. Possible thought to herself, settling down in a chair at the kitchen table, where she put her face in her hands, and began to cry,
Across town, a young African American boy was praying to himself,
"Please help them, I want to see them again, please guide them off the mountain, Lord, you're their only hope." Wade said, a tear sliding down his face, silently hitting the keyboard on the desk in front of him.
On the mountain, the wind was picking up, it was howling through the trees, and making eerie noises as Ron walked through the wilderness, the sled he had strapped to his back, was making a distinctive footprint in the snow, but neither he, or Kim knew, at this very moment, they were being followed, two men, wearing hunting gear were on the mountain as well, they were looking for Elk, which wouldn't be in season for another couple of weeks, poachers, and if there is one thing that poachers don't like, it's someone in their turf, spying on them.
Kim and Ron made base camp eighteen by early evening, Mike was in the camp, a certified EMT, Mike was indispensable on this side of the mountain,
"Open fracture, huh?" Mike said, looking at the sewn up wound on Kim's right leg,
"Yeah." Ron replied, noting that Mike had a flair for the obvious,
"Well, the only thing I can do for it, is to clean the wound, give her some penicillin, and some pain killers, other than that, there's not much else I can do, except give some advice, get her off this mountain, as fast as you can." Mike said,
"That's my intention." Ron replied,
"Easy, Ron, why don't you pitch a tent, by the time Mike is done, I'm not going to be in much shape to go anywhere, and call Wade like you promised." Kim said, giving Ron a soft look that made him melt,
"You're right, K.P., I'd better call Wade, he's probably waiting for us right now." Ron said, walking out of the cabin, and into the snow, where he pitched the tent, and pulled the Kimmunicator from his pocket,
"We made it to camp eighteen, Wade." Ron said, as soon as Wade's face appeared on the view screen,
"Great, we were getting worried about you two." Wade said, wiping his brow with the back of his hand,
"Yeah, but I have a feeling that we were being followed." Ron said,
"I'll scan the mountainside for any other human life, in the meantime, I think you should get some rest, you look dead on your feet." Wade suggested,
"Thanks, Wade, I'll take it under advisement." Ron said, a bite of sarcasm in his voice.
It took about two hours for Mike to clean the wound, and restitch it with something other than standard thread, when Kim came out of the first aid cabin, she was walking on a pair of crutches, and had her leg tightly bound in a splint,
"How are you feeling, K.P.?" Ron asked,
"Toasted." Kim said, crawling into the tent, and falling asleep as soon as her head hit the pillow.
Mr. and Mrs. Possible paced the living room of their home, waiting for Wade to call them back, hopefully, with some good news. When the phone rang, Mr. Possible lunged for it, and pushed the button for the speaker phone, Wade's voice filled the room,
"They made it to camp eighteen, but there's a bit of a problem," Wade said, "Poachers, there's a group of six on the mountainside, in the same location that Kim and Ron are in, if they find out that Kim and Ron are anywhere near them-," he didn't finish the sentence, Mr. Possible cut him off,
"They're as good as dead, especially if the poachers are any good with a rifle." he finished,
"Yeah," Wade replied, "I'll keep you posted if anything happens, 'bye." Wade said, leaving the elder Possible's with their very confused thoughts.
A/N: Day four has come to a close, and, to make matters even worse, Kim and Ron got poachers on their tails. Ooh, this is shaping up to be quite interesting. Stick around, and read on, you might learn something before it's all said and done.