The Praedian Records

J.G. Phoenix

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Fleeing Victory Chapter Three Part Two

by | Apr 4, 2022 | FV, Pinned, Short Stories

Casey kept his head down as Alice raced around plumes of dirt and debris shooting up out of the ground. Whether it was a sudden turn or driving right over a mound, they were evading everything the Municans were throwing at them. It was times like this, when they were under fire and running for their lives, that Casey realized just how reckless the woman behind the wheel was.

“Ya didn’t have to jump that, did ya?” Casey pleaded as he bounced helplessly beneath his machinegun mount. If not for his helmet …

“We’re not taking hits, right? Feel free to complain when that happens.”

“Well that’s not fair-” Casey suddenly found his head firmly against the side of the scout car as Alice swerved to the right, narrowly avoiding another shell. Dust and smoke poured into the vehicle from the viewport and left Casey half blind. “That count?”

“No,” Alice called back, only sparing him a quick glance.

Casey tried to keep himself upright as the Municans threw more and more fire at them, but more than once he’d wound up on his back or dazed from smacking his head against something harder than his helmet. Wishing he had a seatbelt–and a proper seat for that matter–he put on his goggles and pulled his scarf up over his mouth before climbing back up to the gunner mount.

There wasn’t much for Casey to see outside at first, only the signs of battle behind them and the endless desert up ahead. Even so, he was relieved to not see any of their own nearby. That at least meant there were no casualties that he or Alice could confirm.

It wasn’t long before Casey noticed the lack of shells coming at them. Since Alice wasn’t driving like she wanted to flip the car anymore, he wasn’t getting thrown around like a ragdoll. The real question was what changed. “Why did they stop shooting us?”

There was no response. Casey smacked the roof with his palm a few times. “Alice, the shooting stopped. Think we broke through.”

Somehow.

“Time to call it in.”

“Wait.” Casey had to know what was happening, first. The Municans weren’t shooting at them anymore, but something was still coming in the distance. Like the first nasty surprise the 203rd received when they arrived, the next attack was coming from the air. He counted at least six drakes.

“I see them,” Alice called up to him. “We need to warn the Lieutenant.”

“Oh we’re gonna do more than just warn’em,” Casey said, grabbing onto his machinegun and doing a quick inspection. “Good, no damage.”

“We’re going to attack them?!”

“Just annoy’em a little. If even one breaks off and goes for us, then that’s one less for Rick to have to deal with.”

“Yes,” Alice half agreed, “but we don’t have a big enough gun to bring down a drake.” If one did decide to attack them, it would be all they could do just to stay alive. If they were doing this, Alice needed to find them some good ground. Her searching quickly went from hasty to desperate as Casey got the gun ready for ‘pester-fire.’

“There’s nothing out here,” she hissed. At least, she thought frantically, there was nothing she could see from such rough terrain. There could be an airport less than a mile from them and the only evidence would be the sounds of planes in the distance, along with the occasional low flier. They had to get higher anyway to get the drakes’ attention, so Alice brought them up onto another mound.

“Nice spot,” Casey called down, “Just be ready to move when one comes this way.”

Alice heard him, but said nothing, instead using their new vantage to search for something, anything that could help them.

“Heeeey!” Casey opened up on the formation of drakes as soon as they were close enough to see the bullets arcing toward them from the ground.

“Come on, come on.” Alice came up short in her search until, in a bit of desperation, she opened the driver side door and looked out behind them. Her eyes went wide by what they had missed on their way here. “Is that a village?” She wanted to take back those words immediately, noticing some of the buildings half collapsed, and others being little more than foundations. It might have been a village at one point. Now, it was a ruin. Even so, that ruin was just the sort of cover they needed, and it wasn’t too far away.

“Casey, there’s a ruin behind us. As soon we get their attention we’re going there.” She wondered if he could even hear her over his own manic shooting. She doubted it; she could barely hear herself.

Suddenly, the shooting stopped. Casey leaned over his gun and tried to gauge the enemy’s response, but the drakes were still flying in formation. When Alice shut the door and leaned forward to get a good look herself, she saw the whole formation enter a wide turn to the southeast. Toward them.

“Casey?”

“All six of them are coming?! What? It’s a 50cal, not a SAAM launcher! Alice get us out of here! The plan worked a little too well!”

“I noticed!” Alice got the car moving as fast as she could, and they nearly crashed driving off the edge of the mound. Six drakes, six armed drakes were coming straight at them with murderous intent. She didn’t like their odds with even one of those shrieking planes. “If we can just get out of the open we might have a chance,” she told herself.

All Casey could do for the moment was hang on as Alice evaded the drakes and tried to reach the ruins, the ruins neither of them could see anymore. There was one more thing he could do, Casey suddenly realized, something he should do while he still had the chance. He reached for the radio.

To be continued

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