He walked around to where I sitting with my window rolled down waiting for him. He didn't come to close.
"Fill it up with the cheapest you got soldier."
He liked the soldier part. He also didn't bother to correct me either.
"Zone ID please."
"On my way to get one."
He made a point of staring at the Brethren graffiti before telling me "Thought so." Then he told me how much a gallon was. I bit back what I wanted to say and instead told him "Fill it up." He waited until I produced the gold coin. I thought about the price while he undid the gas cap and got started. If you wanted to limit peoples mobility then this was one way to do it with out looking like you were an evil fuck.
I leaned out the window and asked him "What if I wanted to check my tires?"
"Do it away from the pumps. You want me to check the oil and wipe them windows down?"
"Naw. I'm good."
We rolled out of there and were about a mile down the road when Zane told me he needed to go the bathroom.
"What! You got to be kidding! We just left a gas station!"
Zane looked at me like I was an idiot and said slowly "The man said not to get out of the car."
"Yeah. He did didn't he. Okay. I'll pull over."
"Now what?" I was getting a bit exasperated.
"I got to poop."
"Okay kid. We're almost at the center. You can check out the bathroom there."
He was good with that. Otherwise he was going to be in the bushes on the side of the road with whatever paper was in the glove compartment.
I put my foot into it a little bit and the truck surged forward. That didn't last long. Traffic was heavy! Especially after I took the turn off for the Center. Cars were waiting to pass through some sort of toll booth into what had been a light industrial park. It was different than any other toll booth I had seen in that it had a M1A1 Abrams tank sitting off to the side. I had never seen one before. I was impressed. It would have been nice to have had a few of them at our tollbooths. It wouldn't have made any difference in the end. We still would have been overrun.
While we sat in line, which alone was a bizarre feeling, I studied the tollbooth and the lager next to it. Yep. Sheriff Smiley wasn't kidding when he said the regular Army was in town. No wonder life seemed so normal around here. When you can roll a M1A1 out to guard a tollbooth odds were you had some serious firepower to drop on people who wouldn't act right heads.
They had tents, a generator on a truck that looked big enough to power a trailer park, another HUMVEE that was being worked on, a couple of bicycles, and three people standing at attention and getting their asses chewed out by a black female NCO who was gifted in her command of the English language. The other surprise was the grass was mowed. Someone wasted gas on mowing! This was definitely FedLand.