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Chapter Fifty-Four

Current day, 10:00 AM,

Radii Defense Systems, Somewhere in the Ozarks, Arkansas


The forklift operator pressed the accelerator, backing the yellow machine between the rows of crates and pallets unaware of the threat looming around the corner only meters away. He carelessly looked down at his phone to adjust the volume of the music blaring through his headphones as barrels and crated objects streaked by on each side of him.

“Hey watch out!!!” shouted the operator from the seat of another heavy machine as it suddenly darting into the other forklift’s path.


The crates stacked on the second forklift’s pallet launched violently into the air, several slamming into the other objects lying in various locations around the epicenter of the accident, killing many of the canine occupants inside upon impact. One of these airborne, tumbling metallic boxes rolled once and then skidded for several meters over the slick warehouse floor, eventually slamming into a wall.

The pug contained inside yelped. It shook its head and stood, noting the cage door was now partially open. It sniffed at the gap and sneezed. Unexpectedly, Red lights throughout the warehouse began to flash and emergency horns blared frightening the dog even further. It whined and mindlessly pushed through the open cage door, reopening one of its sutured wounds.

“There’s one!” shouted a guard, diving toward the animal.

The dog barely avoided the man’s grabby fingers. It turned to the right upon smelling the outdoor air wafting in from outside and streaked toward this promise of freedom.

“Someone get the warehouse doors closed, dammit! We have runners...”

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