Chapter 40 - Spinney
I was thrown around inside the cage, but with all the glass and metal flying about we were probably safer inside. We finally came to rest on the SUV’s side.
It was dark at first because of all the dust, I think. Or maybe I was knocked out. I was sure I’d have bruises everywhere. There was dirt in my cage through the open cage door. Sunlight streamed in from the broken windows over head and the half bent open tailgate. I peeked out cautiously. No one that I could see. I craned around to see about Apoc. His cage was on top of mine and had been partially crushed so it opened like a pistachio shell. I crawled in and found him at the far corner in a ball.
I nudged him, and whined as quietly as I could, into his ear.
Awwww screw it. I licked him. I didn’t know what else to do. Maybe I should have bit him. But where? I’m guessing that everything hurt. So, I licked his nose. It was bloody. I licked him some more. C’mon Apoc. This is our chance. I licked him again. He started and looked up at me. Then he licked me back, albeit feebly, but he tried. That had to count for something, right?
I nudged him with my head to get up. He groaned.
But he did get up... agonizingly slowly. I peeked out the blown-out back window. I could see the gouges in the dirt where the SUV had rolled leaving behind a trail of broken plastic and glass glittering in the sunlight. I didn’t see anyone up and about. Both cars smoked a little, so I picked a direction and started walking. I could swear I heard the annoying sound of a mosquito somewhere.
I blinked and glanced around but didn’t see anything. Keep walking, I told myself. Get to some cover. I checked on Apoc. He wasn’t looking around, he wasn’t looking at anything but my hindquarters and he kept staggering unsteadily.
We made it to some undisturbed trees and I turned to look back, I didn’t see anyone else. Apoc decided it was time to rest. Then I heard a creak back at the SUV and I saw a fuzz of red hair. I froze where I was. Somehow the very first place she looked was right at me. My heart popped into my throat, and I heard an enormous weed whacker. Then a spidery black drone buzzed into view. It flew carefully over the first SUV and I heard a plinking sound on metal. The red hair disappeared back into the back of the SUV and returned a moment later with a... a miniature bazooka. She lined up on the drone and sudden a little trail of white smoke traced to the drone which exploded in a small fire ball. I dropped to my belly.
Three more drones circled up and they were firing some sort of weapon at the SUV where red hair was hiding. Little pieces of metal were shredding off the roof. Another white streak and another drone disintegrated in a ball of flames. The other drone spun and rammed into the underside of the SUV... the Gas tank caught and exploded with an anti-climatic pop. Then another whoosh of white from the burning wreckage and the third drone spun into a tree continuing to fire it’s silent gun, I heard the slugs hitting trees, shattering the bark with a crackle.
Miz Cross staggered from the wreckage, she was patting out the fire on her clothes with one hand and had a death grip on the rocket launcher with the other. She was coming straight for us. I whined to Apoc. I nudged him with my nose. I couldn’t wake him up. She was going to be to us in a step or two. I was expecting the rocket to hit me any moment.
Miz Cross half collapsed into the tree trunk she was using to keep upright. Some of her red hair had been burned off which smelled so horrible. “I think we are safe for the moment. I was able to stop the threat. Now where is my radio?” She patted for her jacket that was missing. Blood dripped from a cut on her scalp and a little leaked from her nose and ears.
Then I heard it. Miz Cross heard it too, she tried to hold the rocket launcher up, but her strength was fading fast. The sound of a small engine running and a banging sound of something. Miz Cross slid down the rough bark in a seated positing. I was feeling a little tired myself. It slowed down at the first wreckage. Then it pulled up to the SUV. I saw edges of someone looking then in the back. I heard the engine again and this time it came straight at me. It was a green four wheel ATV and small trailer.
I tried to warn Apoc but he just looked at me. Still stunned from the crash. He kept falling asleep. Miz Cross had slipped to the side, head at an uncomfortable angle, the rocket launcher across her hips, her eyes were closed.
I turned. I would at least bite them. I could still do that. Although I felt so weak and spinny I wasn’t sure I’d break their skin.
I readied lunge and attack.
“Hey, you guys in there?”
Alan?!? I peeked out. I ran out, and tried to jump up, but my legs were weak. And it was a good thing because he was covered in blood stained makeshift wrapping.
“Hey girl. I’m guessing he’s in there too.” He turned and patted the trailer behind the ATV. I was able to get my front up, but he had to help shove my backend up so I could get all the way in.
He turned, I know he saw Miz Cross but he said nothing about her and didn’t look at her at all. He went back to the same little thicket and came back dragging Apoc. “Sorry I just can’t lift him. He’s too heavy.” Alan said after unsuccessfully trying.
I jumped down and fell on my face, but got back up. Didn’t even feel the bruise, but I could tell from the ringing in my ears it would hurt later. I whined into Apoc’s ear. And then I started licking his face and nose in earnest. He awoke again. I nodded at the trailer. He looked from me to Alan, and back to me. Then he pulled himself to his feet. And put one foreleg, then another on the back of the trailer. Alan and I pushed him up, and then Alan helped me.
“Let’s get out of here, but first.” Alan grabbed a set of pliers and yanked the dart from Apoc’s shoulder and tossed it back towards the SUV. I heard a distant beep. He fired up the engine and we zipped away.