Imperium: Volume 3

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Chapter 14.

Oaken's P.O.V.

My attention got taken off of Anja as I heard another moan come from Bowdie. She couldn't help but kick her feet as Rowen was examining her side, and she tried her best to stop the screams from leaving her mouth.

"I know Bowdie, I'm trying to work as fast as I can. It looks like you cracked a couple ribs, but I can't tell for sure without seeing it." Rowen said.

It wasn't helping that we were speeding down the road trying to get as far away from the crash as possible. I looked back to Anja. She sat there with her eyes to the ground and hid herself in the darkness of the van.

~What the hell is she doing here Sarah?~ I asked.

~ I understand your pissed right now, but we need to focus on getting out of here. Especially with Bowdie~ She said.

I could feel my brows furrowed and the anger build up inside. I didn't know Anja personally but what she did could have costed the lives of those staying at Home base. One thing I was sure of, was when I had the chance I was going to kill her. Thanks to her I lost another mentor. Once June had left for Lingham, my training fell under her father Richard, and I took to him as if he were my own father. I chose my family carefully and she stripped that away from me. I also blamed her for June's absense as well. Not that she ever fucking new it.

I looked to Gunner as I saw his stare through my peripheral. He was trying to get a read on me. I wasn't fully sure if he was aware of who the passenger that lingered in the back of the van was. Suddenly my gaze turned to the back of the van where I heard a ping.

"What was that?" I asked.

All of a sudden I was almost thrown back as Sarah pressed her foot down on the accelorator.

"We got company!" She yelled.

I got up, only to be thrown down again when the van was hit from behind followed by more pings along the side of it.

"Get down!" Rowen yelled.

I watched as he threw himself over Bowdie and pulled Anja under him aswell. I looked up to the side of the van and could see the street lights peeking through the bullet holes that laced the side. I turned back to Sarah who was looking for a quick exit and Gunner had pulled his side arm and was shooting out the passenger window. He fired till I heard the clip empty.

"Fuck! I'm out." Gunner yelled.

Again, they fired upon us and we layed as low to the floor as possible.

"Sarah!" Yelled Gunner.

I quickly looked up and saw that she was shot in the arm. Fuck! This isn't good.

"I'm fine! Just hang on to something!" She took a sharp left turn down a narrow alley way, and whoever was behind us was forced to follow behind.

"Who the fuck are these guys? Their car is unmarked!" Gunner yelled.

"It's the mercinaries." Anja said.

I looked at her. Did she have a run in with these guys? Again bullets could be heard pinging the back of the van.

"Right turn! Hang on!" Sarah yelled.

I tried my best to hang on, but I got thrown to the front seat on top of Gunner, smashing my nose off the console.

"Jesus, are you okay?" Gunner yelled. I didn't have enough time to answer. "I'm getting real tired of getting shot at! Sarah can you get a little distance between us and them?" He asked.

I looked over to Sarah who quickly glanced to him and nodded. They were communicating with eachother but I wasn't sure what he was planning. I felt the van pick up in speed and Gunner eyed the blacked out car behind us in the side mirror. Then he looked to Sarah and nodded. I felt my body sink to the seat he once sat in. He phased himself out of the van and I quickly looked to the mirror and saw him standing in the middle of the road. His body now facing the mercinaries head on.

"Sarah!" I yelled.

"Just wait Oaken!" She yelled back.

I looked back to the mirror and saw their vehicle heading straight for Gunner. Just before impact Gunner dissappeared and within seconds their vehicle crashed into a parked car and took to the air. I watched as it landed and rolled down the bare street about 3 or 4 times before it came to stop on side. Sarah quickly stomped on the breaks and we came to a screaching halt. I ran out, and looked at the chaotic scene before me. Pieces of their vehicle were strewn across the street accompanied by shards of glass. I scanned the sight and almost took off towards it. Suddenly a figure emerged from behind the warped vehicle. It was Gunner, who was walking nonchalantly with his hands in his pockets. A sigh of relief came over me as he got closer. Once he reached me I punched him in the arm.

"Don't do that again!" I said.

"Aww, were you worried?" He said sarcastically.

"Please, we can't afford to lose you. Your much to valuable." I said as we sprinted back to the van. I looked at the exterior before I hopped in and realised how lucky we got. I made my way in.

Anja was helping Rowen with Bowdie and trying to get her wrapped up as fast as possble while we were stopped. I shut the door and Sarah took off. I was looking at her arm and inspecting it.

"How does it look?" Rowen asked me. I inspected each side of her arm and she had two holes.

"It's a through and through." I told him. He seemed to relax a little bit knowing that. He handed me a bandage and told me to wrap it, to stop the bleeding.

It was quick first aid at this point until we were able to find a replacement vehicle, and somehow I think Sarah knew exactly where she was heading to find one.

It was about an hour, after we found our replacement. She managed to find us a camper, that was stationed in a parking lot. It looked pretty old, and hadn't looked like it had been used in while judging by the dust that covered all the surfaces. Bowdie was currently layed out on a bed in the back with Gunner by her side. Rowen had done his best in taking care of her, but assessing her injuries she would be out for the count for several weeks. He was now tending to Sarah's arm while she was driving and Anja was sitting in the passenger seat, taking to the side mirror. I think she was ensuring that we weren't being followed.

I sat myself at a small kitchen table that connected to a tiny kitchenette. I just watched and observed. Rowen was gentle with Sarah and as he finished up wrapping her arm, he laid a small kiss on her shoulder and came towards the table. I looked back to Bowdie who was now passed out from exhaustion, and Gunner was sitting next to her. I almost missed it, but I watched as he brushed a lock of hair out of her face, and pulled up the blanket ever so gently across her body.

Hmm. How did I miss that? My attention came to Rowen as he set his medical bag down and took a seat opposite of me.

"How you holding up kid?" He asked.

"I mean, we could be better." I said with a grin. "Still......I'm not to sure about the stray you picked up along the way." I said as I looked towards Anja.

He turned to her, then back to me. "Perhaps it's time that I fill you in on the details."

"Perhaps." I replied.
Gunner's P.O.V.

My body jolted up from a deep sleep as I felt the camper hit something on the road. I quickly scanned my surroundings and saw that Bowdie was still asleep. It was pretty quite in here, so I figured it was still pretty late at night, or early in the morning. I wasn't sure what time it was as we lost track of it during our escapades. I leaned back in my chair and felt a sudden pain in my back. I looked down and realised I was still wearing the vest from their tactical wear. I got up and made my way towards the small closet called a bathroom. I took off the vest as quietly as possible and set it down before I took to a stretch. Oaken and Sarah were sleeping at the small dining table and Rowen was now in the driver's seat with Anja passed out beside him.

I had to squeeze my 6'2 frame in the small bathroom just to get in, and I took my shirt off so I could freshen up a bit. Unlike Bowdie, my body didn't have one scratch on me. Everything phased through me and left me unscathed. The only thing I did noticed was some spatter of blood on the side of my neck from when Sarah got shot. There wasn't anything to wash with, so I ended up using my shirt. At the bottom of the sink was a small foot pump that allowed a small trickle of water to seep out the tap. Luckily for us, this camper's water reserve was half full when we proclaimed it. As I wiped away the blood and wiped my face I heard a small thud come from the bed. I quickly made my way out and saw Bowdie was now in a sitting position, trying to get up.

"Bowdie." I whispered. "Your supposed to be laying down, what are you doing?"

She just looked at me. I have to pee. She whispered.

"Oh.......okay let me help you." I went to her and helped stand her up by lifting her up from under the arms into a standing position. Her breathing hitched, which told me she was hurting. She hung onto my waist and had her head was now resting on my chest. I tried to look down to her.

"You okay?" I asked.

Just a second sorry. She whispered. She looked up to me with a grin. Okay. She said as she then placed a hand along the wall to steady herself. Her one arm was in a sling, and her gaze had me clenching my jaw. Her one eye was completely blood shot and bruised from the top of her forehead to her cheek bone.

"Gunner?" She asked.

"Ya." I answered.

"Where's your shirt?" She asked with a raised brow.

" it's in the bathroom. I was trying to wash up." She just nodded. She slowly made her way in. It was alot easier for her as she was about 5 feet tall. I waited outside as she shut the hard plastic curtain that barely hooked in place. It was silent and after a minute or so she came back out. She had a look of almost embarrassement.

"Everything okay?" I asked.

"I.....I can't get my pants undone." She said. "Do you think you.....could help me?" She asked.

I stood up and looked to Oaken and Sarah who were still sleeping. "Do you want me to ask one of them to help you?" I asked.

"No, please just let them sleep. I just need help with the button." She held the door fully open so I could make my way in.

Fuck, why was my heart beating out of my chest? She stood there and looked at me hesitate. Then I walked up to her. Her arm fell on my shoulder as my hands didn't move. She looked away to avoid my gaze and I did the same. I put my hands on her waist so the band of her pants guided me towards the button, and I unclasped it. I didn't know I was holding my breath until I made my way out. I shut the curtain and stepped back leaning up against the wall and crossed my arms.

Then my head turned to someone clearing their throat. It was Oaken, who was sporting a grin. Fuck, she knows. I watched as her eyes furrowed in confusion.

"Where's your shirt?" She mouthed.

I rolled my eyes and pointed to the bathroom. She nodded and we heard the flush of the toilet. She got up and headed towards Bowdie. "I can take it from here." She said.

"Thank you." I said. She just padded me on the shoulder and gave a small grin.

I made my way to Rowen, and asked if he had another shirt I could borrow. Unfortunatley Sarah lost my bag when she was caught in the panic and I had nothing on me but the uniform shirt. Fortunatley Rowen and I were roughly the same size. He let me grab one from his bag and I chose a loose fitted t shirt. It was a little tight on the shoulders and arms, but all in all it was nothing comparible to the scratchy material that uniform gave off. I watched as Oaken helped Bowdie back to bed, and she took to the bed aswell beside her.

She was a good friend, almost sisterly I'd say. I'm glad Bowdie has someone like her, and she managed to take down 2 soldier's and save Bowdie. The past week has certainly shed a new light for me in the sense that these two woman, were bad ass and deserved the acknowledgment. I sat opposite of Sarah who looked contorted but comfortable. It was a little tight for comfort but I laid my head in my arms and I drifted off to the sound of the transmission.

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