Chapter XIX

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Cenerea, 3rd planet from the star Letria. Regalius, The Homeland, Central Region,

Regional Highway 12 Between the Capitol City and the Arcturan Estate,

Forty-One and One Third Cenerean Years Ago

"What the hell?" Harold exclaimed as the large black military transport slammed into the rear of his vehicle once again, this time even harder. Glass exploded throughout the cabin and seemingly floated in air as the machine fish-tailed back and forth across the highway until Harold managed to regain control of it.

BOOM!

Another collision, this one forced Harold and his transport off the road. He yanked the controls to the left in an attempt to avoid flying off into a large concrete drainage system that ran parallel to the highway. The transport reacted violently and screamed back onto the asphalt, across two lanes, and into oncoming traffic. Harold forced it back into the correct side of the highway, narrowly avoiding a head-on collision with a massive shipping transport. The sound metal beast's loud accident warning system quickly increased then faded rapidly away as Harold and his vehicle sailed by the machine, continuing down the highway attempting to escape his unknown assailants.

"Fuck!" he shouted as another rear-end impact spun his vehicle around in a circle. Rocks, dirt, and smoke flew from beneath the tires and into the air as the transport careened wildly over the surface of the road, eventually coming to rest on the highway's opposite shoulder.

Harold lifted his aching head from where it rested against the steering control and watched the menacing dark transport slam on its brakes, sliding to the edge of the highway directly in front of him. A cloud of white smoke erupted from beneath the ten large tires as they screeched to a stop. Several masked men in dark Sassy-suits of a very odd design leapt from the off-road transport and rapidly approached him, weapons ready.

"Get the fuck out!" one of them shouted, pointing a Lavidian manufactured rifle in his face. "Now!"

Harold opened the door slowly and stood. He witnessed one of the armed men leap from the ground, over the transport, and land behind him. Harold felt the barrel of the man's weapon press into the back of his head.

"Move, you bastard!"

Harold did as told, and jogged over to the waiting vehicle. The men shoved him inside and for the second time in his life, the former hacktivist found himself with a bag slid over his face.

"Night, night!"

Harold saw lights and then nothing.

...

"Hello, Mr. Bouri," said a scruffy older man lifting the sack from Harold's face. He wore a tattered Confederation uniform field jacket with and Master Sargeant rank on the arm.

Harold shook his head, attempting to clear the fog from his aching mind. He blinked and then glared up at the man looming over him. "What the fuck, dude? You could have just asked me to talk over drinks! I'm easy."

"Yes, but, it wouldn't have had the same impact," the man said with a grin. "Plus, I have really wanted to knock the shit out of you for a very long time."

"Yeah, you and a lot of other people," Harold said angrily. "Who are you, anyways?"

"We're those evil rebels. You know? What you were a long time ago, you traitorous asshole. Maybe you would like it if I called you, Meta?"

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