John was blinded, but still he closes his eyes and put his head down, surrendering to the
panic and praying for the best.
The truck sped along like an out of control vehicle for the longest drive of his life. They
bounced all over the place, the smaller kids were crying and screaming and everyone
was bumping into each other. John reached out to a young girl nearby him who was
out for help. She moved into his arms and he lay protectively with one arm under
her and one over her to try and cushion her as much as he could. In that moment John
felt the importance of compassion and love for the human condition.
Zig was holding onto his new friend for dear life and on several occasions came off and
flew around the cabin like a biological bullet. He scurried back into position after the last
bump and caught a glimpse out the back of the truck. He uttered a few more swear
words and shouted to John to hold on. The wall of water hit the back of the truck like a
train just as the truck entered into the huge cave the extraction team were operating
out of. The cave was elevated so only a small portion of the water made it up into the
cave, the force was still strong enough to throw it off course and nearly crash into the
wall. The truck came to a stop and there was a brief moment of silence where everyone
took a breath and hoped it was over. It wasn't.
The team leader sprang from the truck and shouted orders to get everyone off the truck
and into the safety area immediately. There were three people waiting for them in the
cave and they all started to grab at the group and get them off the truck. John went with
the flow and resisted nothing. Within a few minutes they were inside a huge padded
container according to Zig. Once everyone was inside the doors clanged shut and
everyone was hushed. The container would keep them safe from the ensuing spate of
quakes, it was well buffered inside and out. It was big enough for all of them to sit or lie
down as needed and there were a few medical beds in the one corner.