Chapter 6

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Her arms bound in front of her by rope, Eva drug her shoes on the ground behind her. She told the guards that she had injured her ankle, but that was a load of crap. Her reasoning was that if they were going to treat her like a prisoner and tie her up, then they might as well go the whole nine yards and carry her as well.

"Pick your feet up, bitch!" grumbled the guard to her left. He was big – fat, but strong. Thick arms, broad back. A nose like a boxer's - probably busted a few times. His name was Mitchell. Eva wasn't sure if that was his first name or last. Used to be in the Marines but was dishonorably discharged – or so the story went. A screw-up, someone the military wasn't even able to reign in. But here, he was given a gun and put into a position of authority.

"You might not want to get on his bad side," said Wes, to her right. He was more likeable. A decent looking guy, but by no means handsome. His disposition however, was far more favorable than Mitchell's.

"Too late," groaned Eva.

Mitchell gripped Eva by her left bicep. His whole hand fit around her upper arm. In his left hand he held her rifle. They had taken it from her at gun point. They did everything at gun point. But you couldn't blame them – no one was to be trusted. At least that was Eva's mantra.

"Grant's not going to be happy," said Wes. "Why do you do it? You can't keep going off the grounds."

"You wouldn't understand," replied Eva.

"Ah, a woman thing," joked Wes.

"What-" blurted Mitchell, "you've got to run off the grounds to care for that cesspool between your legs?" He chuckled to himself.

"I didn't mean it that way," whispered Wes.

"And then we have to run after ya," continued Mitchell.

"I never see you run anywhere," snipped Eva. She heard Wes stifle a laugh.

"You think you're so damn smart, don't you, girl. While you're enjoying sitting in that dank little prison cell, think about where you are and how I'm out here on my post, free to do my job."

Eva raised her eyebrows. "Now that's something to aspire to."

"At least I get respect."

"Ever think that you're placed on post for a reason, Mitch?"

"It's Mitchell, slut. And what do you mean by that?"

"Let me spell it out for you: Isaac thinks you're an oaf. He puts you out there each night to give you a purpose...to keep you busy...."

Mitchell scowled.

Eva hammered him some more. "It's like you're babysitting yourself," she laughed.

Wes leaned toward her. "Not a good move. And thanks for the vote of confidence, by the way – I'm placed on post, too."

Mitchell's grip was like a tightening vice and Eva felt pain extending down her arm. "Quite a mouth on you, bitch. He trusts me enough to arm me, doesn't he?" He leaned closer until his reeking breath consumed her. "Just remember that next time you feel like leaving." The corners of chapped lips morphed into a sneer. "I'm a hell of a shot."

Eva coughed and caught her breath as Mitchell eased away. He was right – she was aware of his accuracy with a firearm. He was a dead shot. But then again, so was she.

After securing Eva in the bed of the pickup, Wes rode shotgun as Mitchell drove the truck to the perimeter, where another armed guard was waiting. They passed through and onto the grounds of the old military airbase and came to the hub of Community – a circular group of silo bunkers, spaced two hundred feet apart. A hundred yards away, to the west, were the fields.

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