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Awakenings Chapter 6: Convergence, Page 5

When DeMario poured himself some fresh coffee and sat down at the kitchen table, she paused from rolling out some dough.  “Please be careful.  I would not want to lose you.  I love you very much.  Will you ever retire from all of this?”

DeMario looked at Elena intently, stood up, and tenderly hugged his wife. “Someday.  Unfortunately, right now, my skills are in high demand.  I did turn down that high paying job in Iraq.”

“Yes, I know, and I really do appreciate that.  Please make sure that your eldest son does not get into the same line of work when he graduates from Annapolis.”

“Our children will all make their own destinies.”


Joe did not sleep after the earthquake.  As soon as it was light enough, he was out in the vineyards on his ATV with his dog Porto running behind.  He drove to the edge of the vineyards to the location of his Great Grandfather’s wine tunnel.   Getting off the ATV, he walked up to the original area of collapse.  At first nothing looked different.   Suddenly, a wave a dizziness announced to Joe that an aftershock from the earthquake was in progress. When he shined a high-power light into the collapse, he saw that his fears were confirmed.  The roof of the tunnel in the original collapse area had contained numerous weathered rock and soil blocks held in place only by rotting roots.   Dust from the aftershock partially obscured the area where the tunnel entrance had once been, but  no tunnel entrance was now clearly visible.  At least the earthquake had not occurred while he was inside the tunnel.  He thought about renting a backhoe so that he could dig out the entrance, but not today or tomorrow.  He had to get ready for the Jack London Square Wine Festival.

Going back to the house, he saw that Elise was up and puttering in the kitchen.  Walking into the kitchen he asked, “Anything important broken?”

“The kitchen weathered the shaking pretty well.  If the shaking had been longer, it would be a different story.  Any major water leaks in the irrigation system?”

“Nothing that I can detect.  The tunnel entrance collapsed though.”

Elise did not know whether to be concerned or relieved. “What do you plan to do?”

“Not much until we get back from Oakland.  Then we will be starting the harvest.  It might be a while until I can rent a backhoe to try to fix it.  I suppose that today, we should just concentrate on getting ready for the wine festival.”


Sandra was jolted awake by one of the other agents.  “Director Alvarez is on the line for you.”  She had fallen asleep sitting back in her desk chair.  Her neck was stiff, her hair was stringy, and she felt grimy for not having been able to shower for almost 24 hours. Her suit was rumpled. She sat up quickly in her chair and gathered her notes. “Put him through to my phone.”

“Good morning sir.  How was the reaction?”

Continued ...