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That night at their evening meal, everyone was abuzz with excitement over what the coordinates could mean

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That night at their evening meal, everyone was abuzz with excitement over what the coordinates could mean. Zelda popped a black olive into her mouth and chewed slowly, keeping one ear on the conversations around her.

"When is Oscar going to tell them?" she asked Cooper, who was sitting on her left.

"Soon, I think. He told me he would do it today and put it to a vote."

"Oh?" That surprised her. "Does that mean he is in favor of going?"

"Don't think so, but you know Oscar; he wants to give everyone a say. Speak of the devil." Cooper jerked his chin to where Oscar slipped between the tables on his way to the front of the room. His gray hair frizzed out in a halo around his head, making him look like a mad scientist. He lifted his hand, and the chatter died.

"Alright, everyone. As you know, earlier today Deon and Nevan discovered a construction sign showing geographic coordinates." He nodded to where the pair were sitting on Zelda's right. Deon grinned at the attention. "Then Cooper graciously volunteered to look into the location of the coordinates," Oscar continued. "Cooper, would you like to deliver the news?"

Anticipation ran through the room, and the noise level picked up again. Zelda bit into another olive as she watched Cooper make his way to the front to stand next to Oscar.

When everyone quieted, Cooper spoke. "The location of the coordinates is in Southern Utah," he said, getting straight to the point. "Roughly a thousand miles from us."

Oscar nodded, his hair bouncing with the movement. "In a national park, is that right?"

"Yes, sir. From what I saw on the atlas, there weren't any major cities in the vicinity."

"Thank you." Oscar dismissed him. "Now, given this new information, I would like to take a vote on how we should proceed. First, we will decide if we should pursue these coordinates."

"But how will we determine who goes?" Lana asked.

"If we elect to pursue the coordinates, then we will need to establish whether to go as a group or send scouts. The scouts would be chosen by volunteer only."

A few people nodded.

Lana waved her hand around to draw attention back to her. "And what do you think we would find there?"

Oscar scratched his head. "Hard to say. There is a genuine possibility there will be nothing, which is something to consider carefully given the danger of a long journey. Any other questions?"

The room was silent.

"Alright, those in favor of pursuing the coordinates."

Deon, Nevan, and a sprinkling of others raised their hands. It was nowhere near half of the survivors.

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