Leonis, 1:1, 2:4 - I Pledge Submission Part II

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Holding a heavy wood board, Parker sneered as he stood over the motionless body of the Officer. He and the others had grown weary of running from these fascist ass-clowns that had been pursuing them since Kansas Citadel. It felt really good to get the better of one of them for once.

Parker sighed. At this point, he only wanted to meet up with the Elders and get back across the Missouri River to the safety of Fort Leavenworth and the Free Republic of Texas...especially with his head still attached to his neck. Wiping his perspiring forehead with the back of a dirty hand, the young man cut his eyes up at the moon peeking from behind some clouds. He and the Horo had already missed two of its cycles due to air assaults on the fort. He supposed it made sense, though, especially since these NWUS bastards were cowards. They used the light of the full moon to make drone attacks on Fort Lev from the safety of the other side of the Missouri River, driving everyone underground for protection.

Parker turned at the sound of a bird call and whistled back. Bending over to pat his victim down, Parker located the man's pistol lying in the grass next to his hand and a spare clip of ammo from a vest pocket. If anyone would have asked him a few months ago what he thought about firearms he would have said he didn't care one way or another. Today, in this Multiverse, it was a matter of life or death.

"Hey! What are you doing?" the Officer said as his eyes fluttered open, the action taking Parker by surprise. "Stop!"

Parker leapt back and shakily pointed the pistol at the man in black riot gear lying on the ground. "Don't move!"

"Over there!" shouted a voice from the dark.

Parker looked up as several flashlights pierced the void and focused their beams on him and the Officer at his feet.

BANG!

A shot rang out, breaking the nighttime silence.

<<*>>

"It's almost light. You've had your two hours. Quit being selfish," Carver whispered outside the door to Jason's temporary bedroom. He knew better than to fling open a closet door with his son sleeping inside, armed to the teeth.

"Shit dad, give me a sec longer..."

" C'mon son, let's go, they're still not here. They might have moved on to Platte because of the Officers lurking around." It was still relatively dark outside and they needed to get some distance between them and that Officer patrol. Carver understood that Parker and his bunch knew where the backup rendezvous point was.

"...damn dad, I was having this dream about this girl," Jason muttered.

"Amazing," Carver thought. "...teenage hormones raging through even the most horrid of conditions." He shook his head, grinning. "If we could just bottle that stuff, we would have already won this stupid war."

Jason froze. "Was that a gunshot, dad?"

"Parker and the rest of the group must've run into the Officers! Shit!"

"Let's go before the Officers find it," Jason said, slinging the AR-15 over his shoulder.

The pair of men flew from the house and darted into the woods toward the location of the gunshot.

"Up there," Carver whispered, spotting the flickering flashlight beams zipping back and forth in the darkness.

Something buzzed over their heads. It blotted out the first rays of the morning sun, just beginning to shimmer through the trees.

"Oh shit! Look out, dad!" Jason shouted, spotting the drone as it zipped through the air like a large insect, circled around, and hovered above them. He pushed his father out of the way, lifting his rifle to fire.

Sputtering flame erupted from the floating device's mounted machine guns and Jason's shoulder jerked backward in response. The young man spun from the impact and hit the ground.

"NO!" Carver yelled. He lifted his hunting rifle to his shoulder and squeezed the trigger just as the dark machine loomed over him and his son.

The drone rocked backwards as it was struck. Carver's expert marksmanship skills put the first bullet in the forward left propeller. The drone corrected itself, turned, and menacingly approached the two men, almost as if it was angry. Carver chambered another round and fired once more, this time there was no recovery for the machine. The blades on its opposing side whined and screeched to a halt. The drone began to spin out of control like an injured duck, losing altitude, and eventually tumbling harmlessly to the ground.

"Are you okay, Jason?" Carver asked, kneeling next to his injured son.

Jason nodded with a wince. "Yeah...hurts like hell, though, dad."

Carver took his son by his uninjured arm and helped him to his feet with a grunt. "We gotta go...get you somewhere safe."

"What about the book?"

"I can't worry about that right now. That drone already reported our location and those Officers out there had to have heard those gunshots. It's not safe to hang around here. Let's head to the safe house and patch you up, then I'll come back later and fetch Parker's group...if he and the rest of them are still alive."

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