Imperium: Volume 3

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Chapter 8.

We've been on the road now for a total of 7 days. Our first stop happened to show us what we were truly getting into, and the last few days we had been fortunate enough to not come across that scene again. Gunner was now driving and Oaken was in the passenger. I took to the back to lay out more of our route on the map. The next place in my sights was actually a city. One that Sarah and Rowen may have been to already, but it wouldn't hurt taking a look again. It was the location of the base June hit. Jaxynville.

We would have to play this one smart. I made sure that we all had the correct documentation to pass through the borders. Luckily Gunner had his I.D on him to help the process run smoother when making our entry. It was around 4 in the afternoon, and we were coming up to a small village where we would stop to get a bite to eat. There was no snow on the ground, yet it was still chilly enough to dress the part and it was pouring rain. Gunner could barely see a foot in front of him, and the sound of the rain hitting the top of the car sounded like thunder. He had the wipers going top speed before Oaken spoke up.

"Pull over Gunner, I can take over." She said.

He pulled over, and she climbed on his lap, and he scooted over to the other side. I was interested to see what she saw.

"What's it look like to you?" I asked. She looked at me through the rear view and her eyes were of a different colour. They were a milky white and her pupil was a tiny black dot. It was so cool to see the ever changing eyes that she pocessed.

"Right now I see everything as different shades of pink. Almost like the pink you see in a sunset, and the rain is barely visible to me." She replied.

"That's cool as hell! about under murky water?" I asked.

"What does it typically look like? I've only ever swam in clear water." She said.

"You probably look like a fish......" Gunner said out of the blue.

"Bahahahahahah." Oaken and I both bursted out laughing. Just the thought of her having fish eyes, was funny. I was starting to imagine her mouth puckering up like a fish and growing gills.

"Oh man, that was good. Thanks for that Gunner." I said.

He looked confused. "It wasn't supposed to be funny. Dont you realise your eyes almost turn animalistic depending on the situation?"

"Ahahah, no." She replied.

"Oh hey! look the sign up ahead will indicate how much further the village is." I pointed out. The rain was starting to settle down a bit, and it allowed me to see the sign more clearer. Upon passing it, our laughter quickly became short lived when we saw the symbol painted on the front.

We suddenly fell silent, as we were now approaching. I was replaying the images in my head when Oaken slowed down the car and came to a stop.

"We don't have to stop here. Jaxyn is only a few hours from now, so we can hold off if you want." She asked to the both of us. Gunner looked at me and nodded.

"Okay, lets keep going." I said, and we took back to the road that would lead us to the city.

By 5:30 it was sun down so there would still be plenty of time to grab a bite to eat and find a place to sleep. Just a few more hours, and we woud reach Junes first target.

Oaken's P.O.V

We reached the border of Jaxynville around 7ish, and were currently in one of the many lines at The Dominion's check point. Security looked real tight, and most likely doubled since the military base was blown up. Bowdie suggested that I sit in the back with her, and my sunglasses on, while Gunner took the wheel. To avoid them seeing my eyes, I was going to try and pass for a blind woman. It seemed pretty far fetched to say the least, but it was worth the try.

We were next in line and Bowdie passed our fake I.D's to Gunner who then presented them at the booth.

"Please state your purpose?" The soldier asked.

"Just passing through. We are looking for a place to sleep for the night." Gunner said.

The soldier took his flashlight and beamed it to our faces. I stared straight ahead, and Bowdie squinted her eyes from the brightness.

"It's a little dark for sunglasses, don't you think?" The soldier asked.

"She has a disability sir, she's blind." Gunner said.

"Does her disability stop her from answering my fuckin question?" He said.

"No it doesn't." I answered.

I watched as he stared down Gunner before handing back our I.D's, and opening the gate to let us through. We kept quite till we got down the interstate.

"What a fucking asshole!" Gunner blurted out. "He nearly made me shit my pants. I'm going to tell you the truth ladies, I didn't think that was going to work."

"Have a little faith Gunner." Bowdie said as she squeezed his shoulders as if to relax him. "We're through, so that's one checkpoint down, and probably a ton more to go." She said with a smile.

Great! I thought.

We drove for another 20 minutes before we could see the lights in the distance. The place was so well lit from the street lights and buildings, I would no longer need the sunglasses. Luckily there was only one more checkpoint before fully entering, and they seemed less inclined to question us. I'm assuming since the previous checkpoint let us through. Little did they know.......they just let in 3 resistance fighters and 2 Imperiums.

We followed the heavy traffic down to the main streets that held all the store fronts, and was home to their city square. My eyes had to dim down the lighting because the neon lights and streets lights were so blinding. It was nothing I had ever seen before, it was practically exotic. The streets were lined up with lights that stretched across the streets from building to building. And posters were plastered in every store front. It was a picture of the The Dominion emblam, which was no surprise. This place was run by their government.

We were then passing the city square, where it was absolutely packed with pedestrians, and had major billboards that projected more of The Dominion's code of conduct. I rolled down the window so I could hear the hustle and bustle of the people, when I suddenly turned my gaze to another screen that got my attention. It was a video instructing the city people what to do if they came in contact with an Imperium, and towards the end of the clip it displayed a phone number to Dominion Dispatch. I rolled up the window, and placed my sunglasses back on. Suddenly I wasn't so interested in the lights.

"K. This one looks as good as any." Gunner said as he pulled into an underground parking garage to the hotel.

We got out and made our way to the lobby, so we could check in. The place was busy as all hell with other guests, and if bad luck was on our side, it presented itself in the worst way. Dom soldiers everywhere. I had my sunglasses on, and held onto Bowdie's arm as I let her guide me to the front desk.

"Hi there!" Greeted the front desk clerk. "Are you checking in?"

"Do you have any rooms available?" Asked Bowdie.

I stood there and listened to the two banter back and forth, however my attention was focused elsewhere. Behind the clerk was a t.v. with their evening news. It was muted, but the subtitles were on full display. I read..

Since the attack on our military base here in Jaxynville, General Elias has tripled his military presence in the off chance of an on going attack. These radical malitia that fight for an Imperium army continue to attack other parts of the country, against our kind, and have relentlessey targeted our major cities. We warn everyone, that if they spot an Imperium or believe someone is working for the resistance, we ask that you call the number at the bottom of your screen, and take cover in the safety of your homes. Thank you for watching Jaxyn, and that's the news.

I called out the numbers in my head, making sure I memorised every single digit. Every citizen here was armed with a device that could input those numbers at any given time, so we had to tread carefully. Bowdie wrapped up the conversation with the clerk and grabbed a hold of my hand and we left towards the elevator. She started whispering to me.

"Did you hear what she said?" She asked.

"No, head was elsewhere." I replied.

"Oh okay. Well I'll fill you in." She said as we entered the lift. "It seems we couldn't pick a most opportune time to stay here. Apparently there is going to be military parade, to amp up the efforts in recruitment. That's why there are so many Dom's here. According to the lady, General Elias will be giving a speech."

I quickly snapped my head towards her. Are you serious? She nodded. When is it?

"In two days time." She replied.

We reached our floor, and the doors opened to some soldiers waiting to enter. I continued to play the disabled woman and let Bowdie guide me out. I purposly bumpe into one of the men and apologised.

"Oh sorry mam." He said.

I quickly glanced to the insignia embroidered on his arm. A red star. Shit, so they were here to. We reached the room and made our way in where I was able to finally take off the glasses. I went straight for the t.v. and turned on the local news. It was non stop broadcasting about the upcoming parade, and they kept repeatedly saying that General Elias would be present.

"Something doesn't seem right." I stated.

"Ya, the fact that we are even here perhaps." Said Gunner.

"Why would they be putting on full blast the where abouts of General Elias? For years he's been in doesnt make sense why they would do this now. Especially when June has been hitting them where it hurts, and not to mention the fact that we tried blowing him up several months ago. Unless........."

I looked at Bowdie and Gunner. They were already thinking what I was thinking,

"Unless, they want us to know." I started pacing back and forth in the room. "You don't think June would fall for such a thing would you? No....I don't think she would, she couldn't be that senseless."

"What should we do?" Asked Oaken.

I sat at the edge of the bed to think of a plan. "Oh god. In the off chance, this thing is really happening, and General Elias is really going to be here, I think we should stay. Perhaps we can spread out and see if June is present, and get her out of here before shit hits the fan."

"Do you think she would really come here Oaken?" Bowdie asked.

I looked at her with uncertainty. "I hope not, but if she is, we need to be here for her. We will go to the parade and blend in with the crowd. Scope out everything, and maybe by chance we can see this General Elias for ourselves."

"And if she isn't here to finish him off, are we just going to let that scumb bag walk away?" Gunner asked sternly.

I just looked at him. "Do you think you can get close enough? He will probably have protection detail up the ass, if he really is here. He won't leave it up to chance. If he is expecting June to show up, he's definatley got something up his sleeve."

Suddenly our attention was brought to the door, as a loud knock echoed throughout the room. We all looked at eachother surprised before I slipped on the sunglasses and Bowdie answered the door. I didn't see or hear anything until Bowdie walked back into the room followed by Sarah and Rowen. And one thing was for sure...

They looked pissed!

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