Fearful adrenaline surged through Jake’s veins. It took a moment for the full gravity of the situation to kick in. In his mind, he would love to shoot dead every one of those goons who had just kidnapped the love of his life. In reality, that wasn’t going to happen. His mind raced in a dozen different directions. Accustomed to thinking on his feet, still he had no idea what to do. Jake peered out his living room window. NAP troopers were forcing his neighbors out of their homes at gunpoint. He tried desperately to control his breathing.
Jake opened up his bedroom closet. A square metal box sat on the floor. It could only be opened by a biometric code. Inside the metal box was a little parting gift he received after retiring from the air force; a Beretta M9. Despite the total ban on private firearm ownership, Jake had managed to keep the Beretta hidden. Next to the metal box was a canvas bag filled with waterproof matches, a sleeping bag, dried food, fishing line, hooks and sinkers and survival candles. Jake had made the ‘bug-out’ bag himself. He scooped up the keys to the Dodge Ram sitting in the driveway and quickly went outside.
Two NAP armored personnel carriers parked themselves in the middle of Benton Street. Machine gunners posted in the turrets watched all activity happening around them. Jake discreetly opened up the Ram’s doors. All of a sudden a severe voice came out of nowhere.
“You there. Stop!”
Two troopers, their faces partially obscured by the visors on their helmets, approached the driveway. His heart pounding, Jake reached for the handle of the Beretta tucked inside of his jacket.
Jake swiftly ducked behind the Ram, pulled out the Beretta and fired. One trooper, struck in the knee, crumpled to the ground. The other, struck in the abdomen area, fell to the street bleeding profusely. Jake got into the truck, started it up and drove like a madman down Benton Street. The street ended with a barricade of clay hills where suburban homes would one day be built.
Jake revved the Dodge Ram at one-hundred-and-forty kilometers an hour. He practically flew over the rugged terrain of hilly grassland, sagebrush and tumbleweeds that marked the beginning of the 15,712-hectare protected Provincial Park. Jake held on as the $30,000 truck stumbled and lurched over the bumpy terrain interspersed with sections of dry ponderosa pine trees. Since moving to Kamloops, Jake had become quite familiar with the vast Thompson-Nicola region, hunting, fishing and camping every chance he got. Unfortunately, he’d just been taken out of retirement and pressed right back into active duty. Only this time he would be going to war against the very government he once pledged to defend at all costs.
Jake was getting close to a more forested section of the park that would afford better cover. Suddenly, his nerves braced at the sound of an encroaching helicopter. High above, an NAP pilot flew a Eurocopter EC120 Colibri. An observer was watching the fleeing Dodge Ram through a pair of binoculars. Ground units were being mobilized to hunt down and destroy the malcontent. Jake prayed that he would be able to get away before his pursuers sent him into the afterlife.