a letter to the north

Attention, please evacuate immediately. This is not a test. Avoid populated areas. Attention.
The same message had played over the radio as long as Cobalt could remember; a warning decades old, broken only by static.
This is why we fill the air with other noise, he thinks, hands resting on his cane, cramped in the back of the north-bound truck, but of course none of those signals reach this far north.
He listens, with his mind on other things, until the truck reaches the gates of the fort and grinds to a halt. The back door opens; he stands tall and sore among the cargo. The driver helps him down.
A small group of people stand at the other end of the gate, led by a woman with her hair back and short. Cobalt recognizes her. He knows her very well.
“Lorimar,” he says, and walks over. When there is no recognition in her eyes he pauses, disappointed, then reverts to business and takes the letter from his coat.
“Cobalt!” She’s surprised; she takes the letter and his hand.
Behind them, the truck pulls away.

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