Chapter 39 - Driving Miss Cross
I snuck to the door again and pushed... I thought I might be able to get my head through, and maybe with a foot I could leverage the rest of my body out. But now that the driver was going slower I had to be cautious, I didn’t want her overhearing my efforts.
Boom! The SUV hit the brakes hard and swerved to the left. Dirt and rocks landed on the roof and one of the windows cracked.
“Shit! Evasive! Evasive! T-One is down. T-Three cover my six.” The driver was yelling.
She was on her phone again, yelling but weirdly calm. “Sierra Foxtrot Oscar seven two seven - we are under attack. T-One is down. We are taking evasive action.”
Something cracked outside and the SUV swerved again. Again a shower of dirt and rocks bouncing off the roof, and then we hit a ravine. My cage hit the ceiling and then I did and then the cages hit the floor and both cages smacked together hard. The door was bent open now. The moment someone opened the back of the SUV or another bump that turned my cage around and it would be obvious. But we were still going.
The high powered diesel engine powering through the trees. Little course corrections happening all the time with the thwack, thwack, thwack of branches breaking off and bushes being flattened. The tires spun frequently as they were designed for the highway and not off road driving. I could smell the heat of the transmission and the burn of the rubber.
A musical ding. “Sierra Foxtrot Oscar seven two seven - verify clear of blast radius? Predator Confirmed - execute clean slate. Do you have an ETA of air support? Believe T-One is within blast radius will need to cleanup. Package is secure at 60% confidence. T-Three is tailing as support cover.
The driver sounded a little more relaxed, “T-Three? How’s it looking back there? Any sign of pursuit?”
T-Three driver sounded shaken, “Negative, we are clear back here. No signs.”
Just then the ground shook with an earthquake and a flash of light from the direction of the station.
“We’re clear of blast?” T-Three queried.
She now felt confident enough that she wanted the guard in front.
“Send T-Three to lead.”
“Ma’am.” The driver relayed the instructions to the other car. We slowed a little and then resumed a slightly more sedate speed.
The sky darkened a little from the smoke of the blast.
I stood looking out the half open cage door and sent a silent prayer for the soul of Alan who risked his life for my chance at freedom. I hoped he hadn’t felt a thing.
There was space for me to sneak out now but Apoc’s cage had shifted and was now completely sideways. No way to open his door, not enough space on the end. It was going to have to be manhandled to get the cage out. I knew I wouldn’t be able to lift Apoc and his cage with my nose. And couldn’t figure out how to get leverage with my legs. At least not without being completely visible. I entertained thoughts of kicking Miss Cross in the back of the head. Or maybe I could trap her between my thighs, and then squeeze the life out of her. I had an involuntary chill when the reality of what I was contemplating crossed into actual past experience. I never again wanted to feel something alive, die because of me.
“SHIIIIIIIIIIT!” the ever eloquent driver.
Ripping metal and shattered glass, and I remember an erie silence before the SUV stopped moving forward and the back seemed to bounce into the air, smacked me down, and then the world tilted forward and I was thrown onto the roof of my cage. I decided I didn’t like driving in the woods anymore.