Fiction: Afterlife (Chapter 35)

by Mike Monroe on February 9, 2015

in FICTION

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Afterlife is a sci fi/western action serial published every other week. Join us in a post-apocalyptic journey through a future where life has become little more than a struggle for survival. However, where there’s life, there’s always hope.


Read the previous chapter here:

Afterlife, Volume 1, Chapter 34

Where:

General Crenshaw leads an unsuccessful counterattack and is killed.
Bobby, Abby, Mavery, and their companions desperately try to stay alive as Primrose is destroyed.
Warrick Baines and Nat Bigum face off.

Find the Table of Contents page here.

View the Map here.

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Afterlife, Volume 1, Chapter 35

Nat Bigum and Warrick Baines were on their backs about thirty feet from one another.  The desert breeze blew sand across the dune as Primrose burned in the distance.  Neither figure moved as the sands swirled and the sun beamed down.  After a minute or two, Nat stirred.  He moved his left foot.  A few seconds later, his right foot moved.  He moved one hand and then the other.  He slowly sat up and looked across the sand at Warrick, who was still and silent.  Nat felt the top of his head, realizing his hat was gone.  “You metal son of a bitch,” he muttered, glaring at Warrick’s prone body through his sunglasses.  “You lost my favorite hat.”  He slowly got to his feet and looked over himself to see that he was in one piece, with no visible wounds.  It seemed Warrick’s shot had just missed his head, blowing his hat off the top of it.  Nat shrugged and slowly walked towards the prone cyborg.  He stood over Warrick, looking down to see a bullet hole between Warrick’s red eyes.  The red lights had shut off and the eyes looked dead.  “Well ya finally got what was comin’ to ya,” Nat said.  “How’s it feel, Baines.  Looks like you’re the first to see the abyss.”

For good measure, Nat pointed his revolver where Baines’ heart would be.  There were two loud cracks that shook the air as Nat fired two shots through Baines’ chest, leaving smoking bullet holes in his trench coat.  “Well,” Nat said, “if ya weren’t dead yet, you most definitely are now.”  He put his gun back in his holster and fixed his gaze on the next dune over, where vultures were feasting on Pete’s head and his headless body.  Nat pointed his gun and fired with a loud crack.  The vultures flapped their wings in protest and then settled once again to continue eating.  Nat rushed down the side of the dune and up the side of the other, trying his best to shoo off the vultures.  “I don’t want to kill ya,” he said as he waved them away.  “But I will if I have to.”  The three vultures flapped their wings and flew over to Warrick on the next dune over, where they found a new meal.  Nat shook his head and chuckled.  “You won’t find much meat over there, friends.” He lifted Pete’s head and dragged his body down into the valley between the dunes, where he did his best to bury him in the sand.  Nat knew the sands would probably shift and it wasn’t a great burial, but it was better than nothing.

When he was done, he walked through the valley, passing the sandstone house where Warrick and his men had been waiting.  All of the sand bikes which had been parked nearby were gone.  Nat shook his head.  “Looks like your men left you for dead, Warrick.  As well they should have.”  He walked through the valley until he reached the spot where he’d parked his black sand bike with the orange and yellow flames painted on the sides.  He got on the bike, started the engine, and rode off between the dunes, trying to keep himself hidden the best he could as he rode towards Primrose, hoping to somehow find Abby and the others in the chaos.

<>

Bobby heard voices and he quickly dropped to the sandy ground.  There were dead bodies all around him, so he figured playing dead would keep him hidden from any of Rennock’s men.  He could hear the moans of wounded soldiers over the chatter.  “Here’s one,” he heard a voice say.  He watched out of the corner of his eye as a soldier in a black uniform aimed his laser pistol down at a resistance soldier on the ground and fired a blast through his head.

There were about six other black-clad soldiers going through the street, looking down at the bodies.  “If you see any move or seem to be still breathing,” one of the soldiers said, “shoot him through the head.  No survivors.  These people are like a cancer.  They need to be dealt with accordingly.”  Bobby swallowed as the seven soldiers made their way down the street, shooting any wounded soldiers they saw through the head.  Bobby held his breath, but he knew he’d only be able to do it for so long.  He let out a few small breaths.

He noticed one of the soldiers was just a few feet away from him.  He saw a man on the ground near him twitch and the soldier aimed his laser rifle down at the man and shot him through the head, filling the street around him with a puddle of blood.  Another soldier walked up next to the dead man and chuckled.  “He must have been a smart one.  Look at all those brains.”  Bobby noticed the soldier point at him.  “There’s one.  I saw his chest move.  Still breathing.  I’m gonna go take him out.”  The soldier walked over to Bobby and stood over him, pointing his laser rifle down at his head.  Bobby closed his eyes and cringed.  He wasn’t going to plead for his life.  He at least wanted to die with some dignity.

There was a laser blast, followed by six more in rapid succession.  Bobby opened his eyes and saw the two soldiers dead on the ground.  He slowly sat up and turned to see all of the other black-clad soldiers who’d been going down the street dead also.  Standing several feet away was Michelle.  Her red and white dress was torn and her knees, legs, and arms were covered with dirt and scratches.  Her bloody face was also covered with dirt, and Bobby noticed a change in her countenance.  Her usually beautiful face almost seemed menacing with its scars, and even her sidecut had gone from looking sexy and stylish to looking violent and dangerous.  The biggest change was in her eyes, though.  Her eyes looked dead and focused as she held the laser pistol she’d just used to kill seven men.  Bobby swallowed.  “Are you okay?”

Michelle nodded.  “Let’s find Juanita and Sera.”  Her voice was a cold monotone.  As Bobby got up from the ground the best he could with his one usable arm, he found himself hoping that whatever change Michelle was going through wasn’t irreversible.  He hoped the girl he’d been falling in love with would still be in there somewhere when all this was over.

Sera and Juanita rushed around the corner and found Bobby and Michelle standing next to one another.  “Good,” Juanita said with a smile.  “You’re both okay.  We feared the worst.”

“We need to get going, though,” Sera said, “unless we want to end up like them.”  She nodded towards the dead resistance fighters in the street.  “Let’s head to the position where Mark’s supposed to be.”

“Hopefully they’re still there,” Juanita said.

“Hopefully they’re still alive,” Michelle added.

Bobby and Michelle followed Sera and Juanita as they rushed from rubble pile to rubble pile, stepping over bodies as they ran, trying to take cover the best they could in what was left of the city streets as levelers continued pounding Primrose into rubble in the distance.  Bobby ducked behind a broken wall where Sera, Juanita, and Michelle were taking cover.  “Lots of androids,” Sera whispered.  “I saw a squad of about fifteen of them coming this way.”

“What should we do?” Bobby asked.  He could hear the sound of marching feet not far from where they were taking cover.

“I’ll take care of them,” Sera replied.  “I’m going to turn on my EMD belt.  It’ll take out our weapons, too, though.”

Juanita shrugged.  “You’ve got your swords at least.  And I’ve got a knife.  It’s better than getting killed by those robots.”

Sera nodded and pushed a button on her belt.  The blue lights went on and there were sounds of metal hitting metal on the other side of the wall.  When the sounds stopped, Sera stood.  “Coast is clear,” she said.  Bobby stood also and looked over the broken wall to see the shiny silver androids collapsed in a heap in the street about fifteen feet away.  He couldn’t help but laugh.

“Yeah,” Juanita said with a smile, “Sera’s an expert at making enemies look silly.  Let’s get going.”  They continued making their way through the ruined streets of Primrose, trying to find Mark and the others.

<>

Abby tried to stay as quiet as possible as she lay under the rubble.  After some time, it seemed like Rennock’s soldiers were gone from the area, so Abby tried to move again.  She was able to move her feet and her hands, so she pushed herself out from under the rubble and slowly stood.  Apparently it had just been the shock that had temporarily paralyzed her.  “The immediate vicinity seems to be safe,” Einstein said from her wrist.  “I don’t detect any living humans or robots in a fifty foot radius.”  Abby nodded as she looked around at the carnage that surrounded her.  Dead resistance fighters cluttered the street.  There was rubble everywhere, but no signs of standing buildings.  Flames were raging not too far away from where she was standing, and she saw Rennock’s troops, some androids, and a few levelers in the distance.  There was no sign of Pastor Earl or Della anywhere.  Abby realized she was a sitting duck where she was standing, so she searched for a place where she could hide for a while.  She saw steps leading down into a basement underneath piles of rubble which probably used to be a home of some sort, so staying as low as she could, Abby rushed towards the stairs and quickly made her way down.

The basement had reddish sandstone walls and a dusty sandstone floor.  There was a table full of boxes and piles of rubble where parts of the ceiling had collapsed, but Abby figured it looked safe enough for a hiding place.  She had no idea how she’d find everyone else, but at least she could wait out the battle.  “Can you tell me if anyone approaches?” she asked Einstein.

“Of course,” Einstein replied.

Abby dug in her pocket for her communicator.  It was cracked, probably from her impact into the wall after the cannon blast.  She pushed the talk button, but it didn’t work at all, so she threw it onto the ground and sat down on the only metal chair in the room.  “I can’t stay down here forever,” she muttered.  “I need to find any survivors from our group and join up with them again at some point.”

“The likelihood of there being survivors is small,” Einstein said.  “Perhaps it’s time to look for alternative courses of action.”

“I need to try to find my way back to that truck at some point if I can,” Abby said.  “Will you be able to lead me there?”

“Yes,” Einstein replied, “assuming it still exists.”  Abby put her face in her hands and waited.  “There are two figures approaching from the southeast,” Einstein pointed out after some time.

“Is there anyway you can tell who they are?” Abby asked.

“They appear to be human,” Einstein replied.  Abby nodded and drew her repeating laser pistol.

She stood and backed up towards the wall, aiming the weapon at the stairway.  She heard voices and footsteps.  Soon, the footsteps seemed to be coming down the steps.  Abby continued aiming her weapon as black boots appeared.  A man in a black uniform holding a laser rifle was walking down the steps.  He was wearing a helmet with a smooth, black sand shield which covered his face.  “Is there anyone down there?” a voice from above asked.  Abby aimed her weapon and fired.  Blasts flew out of her repeating laser pistol with rapid succession, ripping the soldier to pieces and splattering blood all over the stairway.

Before Abby had time to consider that she’d just killed her first man, another pair of boots appeared as another soldier in Rennock’s army made his way down the steps.  Abby pointed her repeating laser pistol at him and pulled the trigger, but nothing happened.  The weapon had malfunctioned.  The soldier aimed his laser rifle at her head and pulled the trigger.  Abby braced for the impact but no blast shot out.  His weapon seemed to be malfunctioning also.  She put her laser pistol back in her pants and the man dropped his laser rifle, drew a long knife, and started coming towards her.  Abby’s back was to the wall.  She had no idea what to do.  The man was tall and muscular.  “You don’t have to kill me, you know,” she said, not sure what else she could do.  The man ignored her and continued walking towards her with his knife.  Soon, he was only a few feet away.  He thrust out with his knife and Abby kicked him as hard as she could with her left leg.

There was a crack and the man flew into the wall and there was another crack and he grunted and collapsed onto the floor in a cloud of dust.  Abby walked over to him and saw that he wasn’t moving.  She poked him with her foot and he still didn’t move.  He didn’t appear to be breathing, either.  Abby had forgotten that her left leg was cybernetic now.  Apparently the man’s neck had broken when he hit the wall.  Abby looked at the two bodies.  She was glad they were wearing helmets that covered their faces.  It made them seem less human.  She shrugged and walked towards the bloody stairway.  “Is the coast clear?” she asked Einstein.

“There don’t appear to be any humans in the immediate vicinity,” Einstein replied.

Abby nodded and started walking up the steps.  She slipped on the blood and landed on her stomach, sliding down the bloody steps belly first.  Her cowboy hat fell off and rolled across the room.  “Damn it,” Abby said as she picked herself up from the floor.  She was covered in blood now, and she could see there was a drop on her hat, also.  She walked over to it and put it back on her head with a frown.  “I love this hat, too,” she muttered.  Her jacket wouldn’t stain, but the hat would.  It would take some time for the hair on the top of her head to grow back after the laser blast had singed it off.  She’d been happy to see the hair was growing back a little over the past few days, but Abby still had to wear the hat to avoid looking ridiculous.  Covered in blood, Abby tried to go up the steps again, this time much more carefully.

She reached the top of the stairs and was back in the ruins of Primrose, surrounded by rubble, bodies, and flames.  “Which way to the truck?” she asked Einstein.

“Turn left and follow this street for a while,” Einstein said.  “Eventually, you’ll be turning left again.”  Abby nodded and walked left, keeping an eye out for soldiers or androids nearby.  High piles of rubble and husks of buildings rose on both sides of the street Abby was walking down.  She could see levelers towering above buildings in the distance as they blasted away what was left of Primrose.  Abby hoped the civilians hiding in the caves in the canyon were alright.  “Figures approaching from the left,” Einstein said.

Abby looked around for a hiding place.  Before she could find a good one, six resistance fighters appeared in the road, holding laser rifles.  Two of the men seemed to be injured and the others were helping them walk.  All of the soldiers looked battered and were covered with dirt and blood.  One man’s eyes widened when he saw Abby and he smiled.  “Are you Abigail Song?” he asked.  Abby shook her head.  The man looked her over, up and down.  “What the hell happened to you?”

Abby frowned.  “I killed somebody.”

“You annihilated somebody from the looks of you,” one of the wounded soldiers stated, chuckling.

“You should come with us,” another soldier said.  “We’re heading back to the canyon to try to make a last stand so the civilians can get out of here safely.  It’s not safe here.”

Abby shook her head.  “I have some friends I need to meet up with.”

“There’s no one out here,” the soldier said.  “No one alive, anyway, except Rennock’s men.”

“And they’ll kill you on sight,” the wounded soldier added.

Abby shook her head.  “Thanks for the offer, but I’ve got somewhere I need to go.”

“Suit yourself,” the first soldier said, looking her over her one last time.  “You look like something out of a horror movie.”  The soldiers walked past Abby and made their way down an alley which was cluttered with rubble and bodies.

Abby continued walking down the street, hoping she’d see a familiar face soon.  A man limped into the street, helping another man walk.  Abby realized it was Della and Pastor Earl and she rushed over to them.  “Hey!” she shouted and Della turned and smiled at her.  Pastor Earl smiled, too, but he looked weak.  Abby noticed that his stomach was bleeding really badly.  He needed medical attention as soon as possible.

“You’ve seen better days, honey,” Della said.

“I got a drop of blood on my hat,” Abby said with a frown.

Della grinned, looking at the blood covering Abby’s jacket and pants.  “A drop of blood?”

“It sucks,” Abby said.  “I like this hat.  And it’s white, too.  It’ll definitely stain.”

Della shrugged.  “Use cold water, then.  Anyway, we need to get back to that truck.  Rennock’s men have cleared out this area, but they’ll be back.”  Abby nodded and with Einstein’s guidance, she led Della and Pastor Earl down the street towards where the truck had last been.  Eventually, they made another left and Abby could see the truck ahead in the distance.  They quickened their pace until they reached the truck and Abby and Della helped Pastor Earl climb into the back of it.  Then, Della got in and Abby leapt in behind him.

“We’re all here, then,” John Bernard said from the driver’s seat.  He started the engine and the truck started moving through the rubble-scattered streets of Primrose.

Jane Gonzalez knelt in front of Pastor Earl and did her best to clean and bandage his wound with a first aid kit which had been in the truck.  “I have field medic experience,” she said as she worked on it.  “I’ll do what I can, but we need to find you a real doctor soon.”

Earl nodded.  “Well, thanks for helping.”

Abby looked around at the faces of the people in the back of the truck as it moved through the ruined city streets.  She saw Bobby seated across from her and smiled and he smiled back, though his was a tired smile.  “Hey, Bobby,” she said.  “Glad to see you’re okay.”

He nodded.  “Glad to see you, too, Abby.”

Abby smiled at Michelle, who was next to him.  Michelle’s scarred face was blank and covered with dirt and blood.  That’s when Abby realized that Horseman wasn’t there.  Mavery Thomas and Big Ed were there, as was Paul Jacobs.  Mark and Jane Gonzalez were there.  Alex Harris was there.  Sera Knight and Juanita Ricardo were there.  John Bernard was driving.  Everyone was in the truck except Horseman.  Abby felt her heart sink.  “Horseman didn’t make it?” she asked Bobby.  He shook his head.  Abby looked at Michelle’s face and saw the blankness in her eyes.  She looked down at the RLR lying on the floor in front of her and nodded.  Another person she cared about was dead.  She had a feeling he wouldn’t be the last, either.  Abby had to focus on the present, though.  She couldn’t allow herself time to grieve.

“We’re heading to the signal tower where our forces are going to make our last stand,” Mark Gonzalez said to the newcomers.  “Hopefully we can hold off Rennock’s forces long enough to allow the civilians to escape through the underground tunnels that lead out of the canyon.”

Abby shook her head.  “Your orders have been changed.”

Mark frowned.  “What are you talking about?”

“We need to go to my room so I can get some packages,” Abby said.  “They’re extremely important for the survival of the resistance.”  After watching Rennock’s forces pound Primrose and the resistance fighters there, Abby realized that she needed money to compete with him.  The resistance would need better weapons and better equipment.  The four hundred billion dollars worth of diamonds hidden under Abby’s cot would be a huge step in the right direction.  She definitely couldn’t let them slip into enemy hands.  She needed to get Sherry, too.

Mark was shaking his head.  “No way.  What are you talking about?  I have my orders and I’m following them.”

Abby glared at him.  “General Crenshaw’s dead.  Is he the one who gave you the orders?”

Mark was seething.  “Look.  You already went against my orders once.”

Still kneeling in front of Pastor Earl, Jane put her hand on Mark’s knee and frowned at him.  “Calm down, Mark.”

“I’m your boss now,” Abby said.  “You’ll follow my orders now.  We need to go back to my room.”

“Maybe you should tell them,” Pastor Earl said in a strained voice.

“Tell us what?” Mark asked angrily.

“There are over four hundred billion dollars worth of diamonds back in my room,” Abby said.  “I’m going to use them to help found a nation and build an army to oppose Herman Rennock.  I’ll pay each of you five hundred thousand dollars to fight for me.”  She looked around at the faces in the truck.  “That’s to start.  There may be even more.  But I can only do that if we get my diamonds.”

“So what’s this, anarchy?” Mark growled.  “Are my orders nothing now?”

Juanita frowned at him.  “That’s five hundred thousand dollars, sir.  That’ll go a long way.”

“And the diamonds are necessary for the survival of the resistance,” Alex said.  “Abby’s right.  We need to go back.”

Mark shook his head.  “Whatever.  So I guess that makes us mercenaries.”

“Good,” Abby said.  “So I’m in charge now.”

“And we can get the other sand bikes,” Della added.

“Only two,” Mark muttered.  “We have docking stations on the sides of this truck.  I don’t want anyone going off on their own, though.  Everyone stays in the truck for now.  It’s armored and we can make sure we stick together.”  He glared at Abby.  “I’m not budging on this.”

Abby shrugged.  “All right.  That makes sense, I guess.”

Pastor Earl glanced at Della.  “You can dock up your bike, and Bobby can dock up mine.  I won’t be able to ride right now. Not for a while, anyway.”  Della nodded in agreement, as did Bobby.

Abby looked up towards the front of the truck at the driver’s seat.  “Did you hear that, John?  We’re heading back to my room.”

“I heard,” John replied.  He made a sharp left and sped up a little.  Abby looked out the back of the truck as rubble and bodies whizzed past.

“I don’t like this one bit,” Mark muttered, shaking his head and glaring at Abby.

After some time, the truck began descending into the canyon, riding along a ledge.  Abby noticed an attack copter gunning down people running along another ledge below them.  They appeared to be civilians.  Abby noticed Mavery lean forward a little to try to get a good view.  She pushed a button on the side of her glasses.  She appeared to be recording what was happening.  The attack copter finished gunning down its victims and hovered up towards the truck Abby was in.  “You’d better step on it,” Paul said to John.  The attack copter started firing lasers and the truck made a hard left and was zooming through a cavern as the laser blasts hit the canyon wall.  Stone walls zoomed past on both sides until the truck stopped.

“All right,” Mark said.  “Go get your stuff.  Be quick though.”

“I’ll need some help,” Abby said.  “There are about twenty bags which weigh almost forty pounds each.”

“Abby,” Pastor Earl said in a weak voice, “can you get my Bible out of my room?”

Abby nodded.  John, Mark, Alex, Sera, and Paul got out of the truck and followed Abby down the corridor while Juanita helped Bobby and Della dock the two sand bikes to the sides of the truck.  Jane stayed in the truck with Pastor Earl.  Abby reached the metal door to her room and could hear Sherry barking on the other side.  Abby and the others who were with her went into her room, and after two trips, they’d loaded all of the diamonds onto the truck, placing them beneath the benches in the back.  Abby made sure to get Pastor Earl’s Bible from his room on their last trip, along with Sherry who she held in her arms.  She got into the truck and John started the engine once again.  Sherry leapt out of Abby’s arms and onto Michelle’s lap and Shelly started petting her.  “So we should head to the Western Badlands,” Mark said.  “We’ll be safest there.  There are lots of places to hide.  John, head through the tunnel that leads out to the desert outside the walls.”

“Sure thing,” John said, and they started moving.  They moved through the cave and made a hard right.  The truck picked up speed and zoomed through a sandstone tunnel until it shot out into the desert.

Abby watched through the back of the truck as they moved over dunes, moving farther and farther away from the tunnel entrance.  In the distance, she could see civilians exiting other cave entrances in the dunes.  There were men and families, with women and children exiting the tunnels, trying to escape.  Abby also noticed some trucks like the one they were in and some other vehicles carrying fugitives away from the city.  Further back, Primrose was burning with orange flames.  Abby watched in horror as Rennock’s attack copters approached the fugitives who were trying to escape on foot.  “We need to help them,” she said.

“There’s nothing we can do,” Mark muttered.

“If we stop to help them, we’ll be dead, too,” Sera added.  The attack copters started firing and Abby turned her eyes away.  She saw that Mavery was recording what was happening with her glasses once again.

“We’ll be able to help others like them,” Alex Harris said gravely.  “It’s too late for Primrose.”

“Right now,” John said from the front, “our priority is getting ourselves out of this area in one piece.”

Abby continued watching the dunes pass by through the back of the truck.  Several shapes appeared from over a dune behind them.  There were dozens of them.  Abby realized they were the hovering, legless robots with repeating laser blasters where their hands would have been.  Sherry started barking from Michelle’s lap.  “Interceptors,” Juanita said, looking through the scope of her sniper rifle.  “There are thirty or forty of them.  We won’t be able to outrun them.”

Abby looked at the repeating laser rifle on the floor.  “Can we take them out with the RLR?”

Mark shook his head.  “They have a longer range.  They’d blow us to pieces.”

“I’d use my EMD belt,” Sera said with a frown, “but that would shut down the truck and make us sitting ducks.”

Juanita plugged her sniper laser rifle into a power source in the back of the truck.  “It’ll take a second or two for my laser rifle’s power to come back on, but I can try to pick off a few.”

“Still won’t be enough,” Mark grumbled, looking at the pursuing robots.  “You won’t be able to take out all of them.”

“What should we do, then?” Abby asked, watching the flying robots approach.

The lights on Juanita’s sniper rifle came on.  She aimed out the back of the truck and fired, taking out one of the interceptors.  Della aimed his rifle and fired, hitting one in its red light eye, disabling it.  “They’re approaching fast,” Jane said, looking out the back of the truck as Juanita and Della continued picking them off.  “We won’t be able to take them all out before they get to us.”

“Well we need to think of something fast,” Mark said, “or our trip’s over before it began.”

The robots began firing as Juanita and Della continued picking them off.  A laser blast grazed the top of the truck, causing it to slide through the sand a little.  John regained control and started trying to veer left and right.  Abby turned to look at Pastor Earl.  He seemed to be deep in thought, still holding his bleeding stomach which was now bandaged.  She turned and watched the robots as they flew closer.  There were still at least twenty of them, though Juanita and Della had made a dent in their numbers.  A blast flew inside the back of the van and shot through the wall.  Another flew in and hit the passenger seat, which was currently unoccupied.  Everyone leaned back as close to the walls as possible, hoping the blasts didn’t hit them.  John tried his best to swerve back and forth, trying to make them as hard a target as possible, though they were obviously well within range of the interceptors now.  Abby noticed that Mark and Jane were holding hands.  Pastor Earl’s eyes were closed and his lips were moving.  Abby realized he was praying.

Abby turned back around to see the robots still approaching.  There were fifteen of them left.  She began to also say a quick prayer, when she noticed Pastor Earl grab the RLR that had been on the floor and jump out of the back of the van before anyone could react.  He slowly picked himself up from the sand and grabbed the repeating laser rifle off the sand next to him, aiming at the interceptors and firing fifty laser shots a second at them from the top of a dune the truck had just passed over.  “We need to turn around!” Abby shouted as the truck moved further and further away from Pastor Earl and the interceptors.  “We need to get him!”

“If we do that, we all die,” Mark said.

Abby watched through the back as Pastor Earl fired.  The interceptors stopped and began firing back at him as they hovered over the dune.  Pastor Earl took out several of them when laser blasts began hitting him.  Abby grit her teeth in anger.  Soon, there were only five interceptors left.  Pastor Earl continued blasting them with the RLR.  He took out two more when the three that were left fired laser blasts that hit his chest and head.  Abby watched as his head jerked back and he fell into the sand.  Della and Juanita aimed out the back of the truck and fired at the remaining three interceptors, and soon, all of the pursuers were gone.  Abby took a deep breath and looked down at Pastor Earl’s Bible, which was on her lap, as the truck flew over countless dunes, leaving Primrose far in the distance.

 

 


Continue on to the next chapter:

Afterlife, Volume 1, Chapter 36 (the conclusion of Volume 1)
Where:
A distant figure approaches the truck.
Abby and her companions stop to rest after the Battle of Primrose.
Abby and Bobby talk about their next steps.

After Chapter 36, Volume 2 will begin after a hiatus.
Stay tuned for more information.

Find the Table of Contents page here.

View the Map here.

Check out Afterlife on Goodreads and don’t forget to rate it.

Check out Michael Monroe’s page on Amazon to find other stuff he’s written.
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Follow Afterlife on Twitter to get updates on new postings and other news.
Follow Afterlife on Tumblr for access to supplemental material.

Mike Monroe

Michael Monroe was born in Baltimore, MD and has lived there most of his life. He’s a poet and fiction writer whose preferred genres are Science Fiction and Fantasy, and he’s always had a thing for Allen Ginsberg and the Beats. His poetry has been published in Gargoyle Magazine, nthposition, the Lyric, Scribble, the Loch Raven Review, Foliate Oak, Primalzine, and various other publications.

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