"You're going to do what!?" Johnson screamed.
Allan watched the dot on the horizon slowly grow closer. Beyond it, he could see the outline of the structure they were heading for, also growing. All around them, the wastelands sped by at dangerous speeds. Allan pushed the pedal a little harder.
"The plan could work," Lucy admitted reluctantly.
"It will work," Allan replied firmly. "No way he could survive that."
"Okay, let me rectify that statement: we could survive the plan," Lucy said.
"We will. It'll be fine."
"Can you just let me out here?" Johnson asked.
"I'm not slowing down. You could jump, if you wanted," Allan replied.
"God, you're an asshole," Johnson muttered.
They kept driving. After a moment, Lucy spoke up.
"I think something's wrong with the...what did you call him? The killer?" Allan nodded. "Yeah, I think something's wrong."
"Well no fucking shit!" Johnson shrieked.
"No, I mean beyond that. He had to have seen the vehicles on his way in, and he had plenty of time to come take this one. It obviously works, it survived. So why didn't he? There was absolutely no good reason not to and several to take it."
Allan thought about all his encounters with the killer so far. "We know literally nothing about this guy besides the fact that he's now apparently moving in one direction, he likes to kill and, for some reason, he has access to this remarkable technology."
"He does have the ability to operate vehicles," Lucy pointed out.
"Yeah, there is that. Maybe he's cracked? Maybe he's kind of stupid? I mean, it's possible. Maybe he's insane, beyond the whole murdering everyone thing?"
"Yeah, he's insane, all right...oh fuck, we're coming up on him," Johnson said.
They all fell silent. The dark dot was much closer and larger now. Allan half expected to see the killer running, but he was walking with great strides through the hinterlands of baked dirt. Allan was tempted to just hit the bastard, but he knew he'd survive it and the jeep would probably be ruined in the process. So, instead, he just swerved around the hulking figure. The killer looked at them as they passed, and even reached out and tried to grab the jeep, but his armored fingers missed the frame of the jeep by mere inches.
Allan glanced in the rearview. The killer loomed but was rapidly disappearing behind them, his pace never changing.
"Fuck, that guy is creepy," he muttered.
Ahead of them was the power plant.
* * *
Allan braked hard and killed the engine as he came up to the gate surrounding the single, massive structure of the power plant.
"Are you sure you can do this?" he asked, looking at Lucy.
"Believe it or not, yes. I may be a comms specialist but I pulled a year at a power plant after I graduated. I learn quickly," she replied.
"This is fucking insane," Johnson replied.
"And the shelter will protect us?" Allan pressed as he stepped out.
"Yes. They've all been tested. It will protect us," Lucy replied.
"I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you all to leave, this is a restricted area-" the security officer said as he stepped out of the gatehouse behind the perimeter fence. He hesitated when he actually took in the bloodied and battered nature of the three people he was addressing. "Who are you?" he asked after a moment.
YOU ARE READING
The fifth novel in The Shadow Wars. Sergeant Allan Gray has just suffered the worst defeat in his fourteen years as a member of Security-Investigations, a branch of the government that offers protection to both the colonies and isolated outposts of...