The three survivors rest at the garage—mainly because Harry has a concussion—and talk about their escape from the neighborhood.
Lauren tells Zahra that Richard Moss died during the attack. Zahra cries and recounts how he bought her from her homeless mother when she was only fifteen.
The three talk about their plans. Lauren tells Harry he should consider going to Olivar, where the Garfields might take him in. He says he doesn't want to, that living in a company town wouldn't be a good future. Lauren explains that she's headed north toward Canada, where water is cheaper and jobs pay salary. Harry says he wants to head north, too.
The three talk some more, and they all agree to travel north together tomorrow. Zahra was worried they'd leave her because she didn't have any money, but Lauren tells her that her street smarts are useful.
Lauren also reveals that she'll cut her hair and travel as a man. In order to avoid the unpopular appearance of a mixed-race couple, Zahra and the disguised-as-male Lauren will be a Black couple, with Harry as their white friend.
Harry is surprised that Zahra's ability to steal doesn't bother our narrator, since Lauren was a preacher's daughter. She tells him she means to survive, even though she hasn't stolen anything so far.
Zahra offers to cut Lauren's hair, and they leave the next morning.
Monday, August 2, 2027
First, the group goes to Hanning Joss, the biggest secure store complex in Robledo.
The place is heavily guarded, but it's also very safe.
Lauren buys food and supplies, like water purification tablets and tampons. She also buys a notebook and pens, plus ammunition for the gun. She spends all the money from her emergency pack on these goods, but she still has the funds from the backyard. Then she regroups with Harry and Zahra outside.
The three walk down the 118 freeway, planning to take it to the 23, and then the 23 to 101. The 101 will take them up the coast toward Oregon. They'll become part of a broad flow of people traveling north, people of all ethnicities and ages.
Walking the freeway, Lauren observes the other people on the road. Almost everyone is filthy, and people collapse from exhaustion. Some people are predators like Keith, looking for trouble. Lauren is glad for her loaded gun.
Lauren feels Harry and Zahra deserve to know about her sharing for their own safety. She can't quite commit just yet to telling them, but thinks she'll have to do it soon.