Conflict – Ever’s 1st Fight

by cunningstuff

The hunter runs, using all its energy in the culmination of the kill.

Ever channeled her last bits of energy into getting over the mountain pass. Her tough lean body was a good machine, but she was out of fuel, and out of fuel means out of speed. Chased from forest to forest for the past two weeks,  she had no way out it seemed. Five hard men were on her trail, five men who insisted she speak with them, about her ID, her papers, her citizenship. Feds, and feds with nothing to do but chase a fugitive through the mountains.  The one thing the States can not abide by is the idea of someone not cataloged and licensed into the grid.

The air was pulsing with strange pressure waves, the results could only be from a helicopter.  Soon enough the pilot spotted her in the alpine pass, as there was no cover. The whites and blues of lichen covered rock spread out before her, but straight down into the valley there was a stand of trees. She ran down the pass and watched the copter carefully. Lots of wobble there buddy, I don’t think your heli is made for this altitude, so if you land that thing you are not going back up, not quickly at least. Her thoughts started to formulate a ridiculous plan, it would be bad, and she would have to fight, but it should work.

Her last reserve was in her leg pocket of the military pants she wore. She pulled out a warm plastic bottle of apple juice, swigging it while she ran. The tree was 500 yards away now, and the copter was flying slowly, and not the usual fast swoops of small chopper that was stable. There were no other trees for miles, a bare valley, probably logged out just a few years ago. It looked square even, and sure enough, as she got closer it was obviously fenced off . She sent a silent prayer for what ever tree hugger kept this place with old forest, there must have been at least five acres of trees in a square plot.

The chopper pilot could soon see where she was headed, so he moved ahead and landed before her. Perfect! she thought, you could not ask for a better fool. He did exactly like I hoped, worried I would get away, in the one isolated area that had some cover.  Oh wait, did he just get out with a baseball bat in his hand? Well, ask for a better fool and the universe gives you one. She slowed to a jog, letting the fruit juice power her limbs for one last battle. About 50 yards away, the pilot figured out she was not going to run away, but was instead making a straight line for him.

“No wait! Please help me, there are these men after me!” Her voice was filled with fear, and quavered and squeaked. He hesitated just enough that she was able to close the gap quickly. She pulled up short, just out of swinging range of the bat. He seemed like he would use it.

“Why are you running from cops?” He squinted at her, staring her down.

“I didn’t know they were cops!” She baited him with the exclamation and some over exaggerated panting. She opened her eyes wide, and brought her hands up and open to her chest.

He looked her up and down, and then reached behind his back for a set of handcuffs.

He said, “Put your hands above your head. We can straighten this all out at the station.”

She nodded slowly, and started to turn around, but at the last possible moment, she sped it up and slung a booted foot out to where his chin was going to be. The foot snapped out and connected with something soft. She glanced and saw he had blocked her foot with his upper arm, so she spun for yet another half turn and shot a fist right into his nose. The connection gave her the half second of pain shock she needed to drop and continue the spin another half turn and hit his knees with her leg, dropping him to the ground. As he came around to understanding what had happened, she had him with a baseball bat locked around his throat. His struggle was short, and eventually, he passed out. She dropped the bat and thumped his chest, he was breathing fine, even if an ugly welt had started to creep across his throat.

The men were coming over the pass now. They pointed and shouted and started running. She reached into the cockpit and pushed the throttle all the way up. The stability computer kept the chopper from going crazy, and it started to rise straight up. She climbed in and started getting familiar with the instruments. She touched the joystick, and the copter tilted and began slipping sideways. She touched it again the opposite direction and it leveled out.

Well, making computer aided flight was just the thing for escaping, she thought. She pushed it forward a touch, and started moving. Slowly, very slowly, but from the altitude she had gained, she could see a new forest, and no roads in between. Her luck was holding for now, but that would change very soon. Taking the vehicle meant heavy searches now, and lots of people and equipment, and especially thermal satellites.

No roads and no vehicles though, she would make for the huge forest ahead, and think about an escape plan from there. A glance in the helicopter showed her some med kits, a shotgun, and the leftovers from the pilots lunch. Her gamble was tight, and it all had depended on subterfuge. Now they would know she can fight, and they probably can get a mock-up of her face, although the pilot was the only one to see her close up. Once she was 100 miles from anyone, she would ditch the heli and make her way down to the mexican border. The Rocky Mountains had been her home all her life, ever since she was freed from the lab. Time to go join the society, and lose her face in vast billions of the urban jungle.