It was a lonely stretch of highway that ran north from Cache Creek through a stunningly beautiful countryside of semi-desert and towering mountain peaks. For the second time in a month, Calvin and Neil were outside of the relative safety of their isolated wilderness hideout. The two young men drove the Ford Explorer along the quiet highway. Both were aware they were taking a significant risk just by doing so. Calvin knew of a gas station that was in the area. He just wasn’t exactly sure where it was.
“Did you really mean what you said the other day?” Calvin asked his close friend.
“You mean about my disdain at the Canadian government for short-changing First Nations people in this country? You bet I did. I also realize that this fight isn’t for any particular country but for our own personal freedom.”
Over the horizon, Calvin spotted the towering sign for Gavin’s Gas Bar and Convenience Store. As they drove closer, it was apparent that the property around the store was deserted and probably had been for quite some time. Despite being a rather shoddy, slightly rundown establishment, Gavin’s did sell a surprisingly good selection of hunting supplies and fishing gear.
“We’re going to have to park in back,” Calvin stated as he pulled into the parking lot. Guaranteed they patrol this stretch of highway regularly.”
Calvin drove the Ford Explorer behind the garage and switched off the ignition. The boys got out of the truck. Neil checked the back door of the garage. Locked! Calvin opened up the back of the SUV and produced a pry bar.
“It isn’t like the fuzz are going to swoop in and arrest us for breaking and entering,” Calvin said with a laugh as he busted open the door.
“No, they’ll just put bullets between our eyes,” Neil countered.
The two slowly went inside. Calvin gripped the double-barrelled shotgun. Neil kept the 10/22 at the ready. A dead silence pervaded the building.
“Wonder what happened?” Neil stated.
“I have no idea.”
Inside the store were aisles of shelves stocked with chocolate bars, bread, canned goods and even fresh fruit such as apples and peaches.
“We definitely hit pay dirt here my friend,” Calvin exclaimed exuberantly. “Start boxing up as much of this stuff as you can. I’m going to see what else the old man has in here.”
While Neil placed food in cardboard boxes, Calvin picked out some tools and threaded water pipe from a workshop in the back of the garage. He walked out front where four propane cylinders were locked in a rack. Calvin was ready to bust the rack open when he heard the approaching sound of a vehicle. He rushed inside just as an NAP armored personnel carrier pulled into the parking lot.
“Quick, we gotta hide!” Calvin yelled.
The two rebels hightailed it for the boiler room. Eight NAP troopers got out of the APC. All were armed with carbines.
A trooper wearing the four chevrons of a staff sergeant came inside. Two troopers followed behind. Calvin and Neil held their breath as the three NAP troopers entered. One of them picked up a grocery bag which he then proceeded to fill with chocolate bars. Then they left. The eight troopers got back inside of the APC and pulled out onto the highway.
A huge sigh of relief came across Calvin and Neil’s faces as they emerged from their hiding place.
“Man, that was close,” Neil said. “If they’d have caught…, well, I don’t want to think about it.”
“Anyway, let’s get this stuff and split.”
Wasting no time, Calvin grabbed two propane cylinders. They were heavy, but he only had to carry them a short distance. Neil filled four boxes full of food. After loading up the SUV, they got in and drove away.