“Jake Scribner. Age forty. Address, 58 Benton Street, Kamloops. Retired from U.S. Air Force.”
Toombs simmered as the name of the individual who had just murdered one of his troopers was announced over the radio system. The former U.S. Army Ranger was quite concerned that such bold displays of rebelliousness could spark an all-out chain reaction. Toombs and Allister Mullen watched as a group of NAP operators communicated with the helicopter unit that was following the Dodge Ram as well as the ground units that were gearing up to hunt Jake down. Toombs wasn’t the only one that had grave concerns. Mullen had heard more than his share of horror stories from both his father and grandfather about the bloody violence in Northern Ireland. It was simply astounding how a relatively small number of Provisional Irish Republican Army fighters had inflicted an incredible amount of pain and suffering on British forces. Canada, with its vast, treacherous terrain, would be prime ground for an effective insurgency to form.
One of the operators, an attractive young woman who had her hair held back in a bun, spoke with the pilot.
“Air Three, where is the enemy combatant headed?” she had a soft voice.
“Northwest. Further into the park,” the pilot replied. “We’ve lost sight of him though.”
The operator turned around and spoke to Toombs.
“Major, even if Scribner manages to elude us, he won’t be able to get away. We’ve been tracking him the entire time through his cellular phone.”
“Good work corporal,” Toombs replied gleefully. He turned to Mullen. “Putting this scumbag out of commission ought to be a relatively straightforward operation.”
The underbody of the two-month-old grey Dodge Ram was hanging on by a thread. Jake drove the beat-up four-wheel-drive truck into a hill. He’d reached the end of the line. Before him was a thickly-forested area. He was a stone’s throw away from the Mara Hill section of Lac Du Bois Park. Jake grabbed the bug-out bag from the Ram and scooted into a rocky crevice sandwiched between magnificent rugged hoodoos. The incessant buzzing of the NAP surveillance helicopter was within earshot. Jake moved slowly through the crevice. The pilot skimmed the rocky, pine-dotted terrain but was unable to spot his quarry. Jake continued moving until he was into more densely-forested higher elevations of pine and evergreen trees. Soon he would see the peaks of some tall mountains.
A former Canadian Army Bearcat, slightly modified for service in the North American Police, pulled off of the main road that wound through Lac Du Bois. Eight troopers under the command of Staff-Sergeant Ron Huxton exited the back of the vehicle. Among them was Corporal Mike Stephenson, a native of Peoria, Illinois, who’d honed his skills as a dog handler with the Illinois State Police K9 unit.
Short sleeves had replaced heavier clothing in the warm late-April sun, exposing the troopers’ chiselled arms. A few troopers had sadistic grins on their faces, as if they took a perverse pleasure in harming innocent people.
Huxton slung an M4 over his shoulder.
“Alright boys,” Huxton said. “We’re on a seek-and-destroy mission here. We take no prisoners.”
The ice-cold water of the bubbling creek was numbing as Jake rushed through it. He immerged himself in as much water as possible in a desperate attempt to wash off his scent so that it would not be detected by pursuing dogs. His uber-fit body was sore but he still had plenty of ‘gas in the tank’. Horrific visions of things happening to Nicole and Arielle clouded his thoughts. Then a truly frightening thought popped into his head. He hastily reached into his jeans pocket. His Android Smartphone! The buggers had been tracking him the entire time!
A low, bone-chilling growl! The kind of sound that could paralyze even the toughest woodsman with fear. Slowly, Jake turned around. Standing no more than twenty feet away was the biggest, more ferocious grizzly bear he’d ever laid eyes upon. The beast weighed over a tonne and was clearly hungry. He had two unappealing options: be shot to pieces or become a wild animal’s dinner.
‘Come on Jake. You gotta think of something here,’ he said to himself.
The grizzly let out a deafening roar. Jake suddenly had an idea. He quickly opened the bag and took out a carton of crackers. He placed the Android inside of the box of crackers.
“Here you are big guy,” Jake said as he flung the carton at the grizzly.
The bear ravenously gulped down the entire carton of crackers - along with the smartphone. Satisfied that he had bought himself enough time, Jake fled deeper into the wilderness.