Prophet (pt.4)

Ah, it appears a plot has shown up. So what does Kalí do? Shoots it. Fun girl.

Someone on Gab pointed out that I didn’t make it clear early on where is was taking place. I’ve since corrected that. That is one of the reasons I do “test drives” of these stories; y’all make me better.

Enjoy my content? Buy me a beer! 

While Logan and Pedro took the jeep to pick up the sensors they laid yesterday afternoon, which seems like another life now, Kalí, in her usual kit, walked out of the tent while he began to tear it down.  Coming outside, Tell seemed to have seized up.  From her rags, goggles, more rags, boots, and rifle, she just stared at him.

“I can get why you thought her a boy,” he admitted very softly.  “But I don’t get all this, Dave.  Still, I do wish the best for y’all.”

The equipment was loaded in the back of the SUV, all of the rear seats had been removed for space.  With Logan and Pedro in the jeep, David or Tell drove the other, switching the passenger seat as needed.  But now with a fifth…

“You’re up front,” he told Kalí.  “I’ll hunker down here in the back.”

“No.  This is your job.  I’ll make do back there,” she refuted him and refused to be budged from her decision.  With Tell sighing and Logan honking his horn, he gave up and closed the rear door behind her.

The two-lane road had not seen maintenance since the Breakup so was more of a one-lane with many holes and piles of asphalt to dodge.  Every time he looked back to make sure she was okay, she was staring at him, with her goggles pushed up.  Their drive took nearly two hours.  There was a low ridge, no more than twenty feet high just to the north.  As flat as the rest of the desert was they stopped to hike up and take a look around.  Kalí reseated her goggles and slung her rifle onto her back as she got out.

“Now this is more like it,” Tell said, looking out at hundreds of abandoned pumps and tanks through his binoculars.  “If the research we did was correct, this was still barely in operation at the Breakup.  Getting water in will be expensive but I bet there’s millions of barrels down there still.”

“You are counting your chickens,” Kalí said, her voice muffled by her face coverings.

“What’s that?” Tell asked.

“There,” she pointed with her left to about ten o’clock, “is another group.  About two miles in that direction.  If they file their paperwork first, it will be their concession.”

David and Pedro with their field glasses and the other two with more powerful binoculars stared and stared.

“Good news and bad news, fellahs’,” Logan said, still looking.  “They’re not surveyors.  See that small tanker?  They’re stealing whatever is left in these old tanks.”

“I’m guessing that’s the good news?” David asked.

“There are two pickup trucks with what I guess are a thirty caliber machine gun in the back of each,” Logan said, unhappy.  “I think those used to be called technicals.”

“It gets worse,” Kalí spoke again.  The men lowered their eyepieces to look at her.  “They have seen us silhouetted up here.  They mean to do us much harm.”

They instantly looked back at the other crew.  Sure enough, their SUV and both trucks were now in motion toward them, kicking up dust and sand as they did.

“I think,” David, their nominal leader began, “we should be leaving.”

“Not yet.  Their ranged weapons are a threat,” the girl said.  She’s getting a little too good at contradicting me.  Kalí took a moment to raise her arms, palms up, to either side before swinging her rifle around with her left and pushing up her goggles with her right.  She knelt then lay down, taking aim.

“Missy,” Tell said, “they are two miles away…”

“I am a spear of the Change,” she intoned, ignoring him, too.  Hey, now.  I’ve heard that before…

The rifle’s fire was amazingly loud.  Looking up and out, the man in the back of the left pickup suddenly pitched backward onto the desert floor.  That truck slowed.  She cycled her bolt with the empty casing landing at David’s feet.  I’m used to hunting with my 308 Winchester.  This looks like a piece of artillery.

“Ah, a bother,” she said as they began to take some evasive maneuvers but still came on.  “I am God’s agent.”

A second shot and the second gunner dropped.  She rose to a squat and duckwalked down the hill until under sufficient cover.  “You guys coming?” she shouted over her shoulder.

The men ran past her back to their vehicles.  She walked.

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