It's already time for another installment. Once again, I'm providing links to the previous chapters, as well as to the page I dedicated to this story. That way we're sure no one's missing anything.
Memoirs From the End of the World
Don’t let the patrol get a good look at you, RC thought desperately as she fled. If they see who you are, they might send someone back to look for Ollie too. Then we’re all screwed. The image of Alyx on his knees, surrounded by loaded weapons tugged at her mind, demanding attention she couldn’t afford to give. She feared the distraction would be her undoing.
Yet, if anything, that image urged her to run faster.
RC vaulted a chain link fence, the chill of the metal stunning her hands. Yet she kept moving, flying past the skeletal structure of an overgrown swing set. In the moonlight, it looked quite foreboding. The dead leaves and tall dry grass of late autumn crunched under her feet as she flew. Every time she made a sound, she feared some unknown force closing in on her would detect it.
Of course, that was an utterly irrational thing to fear. As long as she held on to the tracker, it wouldn’t matter what she did. They’d catch up to her. She could move with the stealth of a ninja, and the end result would be the same as it would if she knocked over every trash can and broke every window in her path.
Then she was jumping over the backside of the fence, her feet landing square in the middle of an alley. She took off through the yard straight across the way and through a row of evergreens. Just as she disappeared through the tree line, she caught sight of a light beam from the corner of her eye. She adjusted her heading accordingly. Having witnessed the actions of the patrols since going on the run, she could visualize their formation in her mind. They were undoubtedly fanning out in all directions, and they may have even called in reinforcements to cut off her forward advance.
One fact was inescapable. She had to get rid of the tracker soon, but had she given Alyx and Ollie enough time? There was no way to know. Either way, only one method of escape seemed reachable at this point, and she intended to take it.
The moonlight guided her around abandoned lawn chairs and grills as she adjusted her course once more. The river ran through this neighborhood, and Kleiner Trestle Bridge would only be a few blocks away. If only she could get there, she might have a chance to accomplish both her goals.
After what seemed like ages, RC caught sight of the abandoned railroad. The outline of the trestle barely stood out against the night sky, though it shone brightly in her mind as a beacon of hope. Unfortunately, it was still a hundred yards away, and the rest of the sprint would have to be done on open ground, right alongside the tracks. Nothing more to hide behind.
Still, with no time for hesitation, she bolted onto the tracks. Voices rang out from all sides now, chilling her blood, proving that she truly had nothing left. This was her one and only chance.
By the time she set foot on the bridge, which hadn’t seen a train since the overlords staked their claim, several beams of light were bouncing toward her from all sides.
Grabbing on to the vertical support beam, she realized the metal was covered in condensation. Damn! This is going to be tricky, she thought ruefully as she stepped past it and onto the small ledge. It was so narrow it scarcely accommodated her heels.
“Stop!” a voice shouted, amplified by a handheld speaker the patrols always carried. They liked to sound closer than they really were. Another form of intimidation. “Stay where you are!”
There was no way any of them had gotten a good look at her yet. For the time being, she was only a vague silhouette to them. If they got any closer, though, they’d be able to scan her. She had to move quickly.
Yanking the tracker out of her pocket, she clasped it tight in her palm as she stooped down and grabbed onto the ledge with her free hand.
“That water is freezing!” the voice called again. “You’ll never survive! Come with us, and we promise you’ll live.”
Fat chance of that, RC thought bitterly. A flash of rage swept through her. The men who made up the patrols were humans who rounded up their own kind in return for a comfortable lifestyle. They made her sick, and she’d rather die than have her capture bring them any kind of reward.
She pushed her feet out, and a sharp pain ran through her arm as she caught herself with it. Her fingers immediately flared with fire as she held on for her life. Suspended above the dark ribbon of rushing water, she unclenched her other hand and let the tracker fall. It was at least a twenty foot drop, and she didn’t doubt the lethality the patrolman warned about. In fact, she was counting on it.
Finally using both hands, RC located a steel support running under the deck. Slowly but surely, she crept along it, silently praising the elaborate understructure. With her arms growing weaker by the second, she worked her way to a sloped support. The incline was gentle, so she wrapped her arms and legs around it. The wind was cold, and the moisture nearly unbearable, but at least she could hold on while the patrol searched the area.
Assured that no one from the deck would be able to see her, she hoped the patrol members would presume her dead and move on to more important things. She listened to the voices that now came from above, though she couldn’t distinguish any exact words.
Please move on, she thought frantically. Please go away.
All alone against a large group, RC could only wait to see what would happen next.
Go to Entry #8
Go to Entry #8