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Chapter Four

Andrian kept a steady pace as we plowed through the dense vegetation. It wasn’t
a jungle, per se, but the foliage was pretty thick. That was good for us since it meant
we’d have decent cover from the hunters behind us. Some of the tree trunks we passed
would have easily stopped 7.62 rounds from the Kalashnikovs. The hunters would have
to get close before they unleashed any more fire.

Noise was a concern, though. Picking your way through dense undergrowth is
tough. The leaf litter alone crinkled underfoot like a paper bag and each sound seemed to
travel for miles.

Andrian kept glancing back at me and frowning. But he wasn’t carrying Zero on
his shoulders and I was. Sweat drenched my clothes. I was breathing hard, too. But we
kept plowing on.

After a quarter mile, Andrian paused and waved me up to him.

“Why’d we stop?”

Andrian pointed at Zero. “I’m worried about him.”

“Makes two of us. But stopping isn’t going to help him.”

“Yes but I’m thinking that we not proceed to the village, after all.”

I shook my head. “Why not? You said there’s someone there who can help him.
I say we make for that.”

“And we’ll be leading the men pursuing us right to the village. They won’t
hesitate to kill everyone there. Including us.”

He was right. The guys with big guns didn’t look like they’d be too willing to
only take who they needed. “So, what do you suggest?”

“We penetrate their search line.”

© 2010 by Jon F. Merz All rights re­served

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