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Shifting Alliances

Shifting Alliances

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Shifting Alliances

Length:
76 pages
56 minutes
Released:
Sep 23, 2014
ISBN:
9781771275941
Format:
Book

Description

The U.S. has been invaded by an unknown enemy, and Lance is struggling to survive after losing his parents in the initial fallout. Traveling on foot and having to endure the harsh winter conditions, he searches the open lands of Montana for food, water, and shelter. About to give up, Lance eventually crosses paths with two others. However, are they friend or foe, and can he truly trust them with his life?

Released:
Sep 23, 2014
ISBN:
9781771275941
Format:
Book

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Shifting Alliances - Kevin Hopson

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Science Fiction by Kevin Hopson

The U.S. has been invaded by an unknown enemy, and Lance is struggling to survive after losing his parents in the initial fallout. Traveling on foot and having to endure the harsh winter conditions, he searches the open lands of Montana for food, water, and shelter. About to give up, Lance eventually crosses paths with two others. However, are they friend or foe, and can he truly trust them with his life?

SHIFTING ALLIANCES

KEVIN HOPSON

MuseItUp Publishing

www.museituppublishing.com

Chapter One

Is it human or animal? Yakha couldn’t see from where she was positioned. Gayr had a knee to the snowy ground, his back turned to Yakha, obstructing her view.

Human, Gayr answered.

Yakha took a few steps forward, looking over Gayr’s shoulder. The print was clear and easy to make out. Tread lines ran parallel across the width of the boot mark, only part of it remaining white in color due to the wet and shallow snow. Frozen grass could be seen along the outer edge of the engraving, particularly the heel where most of the weight had been applied.

We haven’t seen anyone in weeks.

Not since the attack. He stood and turned to Yakha. What do you want to do?

Yakha stared into his dark chocolate eyes, the same ones that attracted her when they met in flight school years ago.

I say we follow them.

With hands rested on his waist, Gayr took a deep breath.

We’ve already abandoned the only family we know, and now you want to go after a complete stranger?

Isn’t that why we left?

We left because we could no longer justify our actions.

Precisely, Yakha said. Perhaps he needs our help.

He?

I figure it’s a male based on the size of the footprint.

Gayr shook his head. I’m more concerned about you right now.

Yakha towered over Gayr by several inches. She looked down at him, placing a hand on his face.

And I love you for that.

Bending over, she gently pressed her lips against his, the stubble from Gayr’s pointed chin tickling her. The two of them slowly separated.

We didn’t exactly plan this out, Gayr said. We just got up and left with no thought of the consequences.

That isn’t true. We knew the repercussions. Our guilt simply outweighed them.

Fair enough, Gayr said, but it doesn’t mean we made the right choice.

You’re second-guessing our decision now? Because that’s what it was…our decision.

We’re battling a harsh environment with limited supplies. How are we expected to survive out here?

Any way we can. Whatever we face out here is better than living a fabricated life back there.

Gayr scratched the side of his face and pondered, eventually shaking his head.

We’ll track him as long as it’s safe to do so.

He gazed up at the cold gray sky, which was turning darker by the minute.

We’ll need to find shelter for the night. There isn’t much daylight left.

* * * *

Their temporary refuge wasn’t a cave as much as it was a carved-out section of the cliff, but the overhang provided the necessary protection they needed. In contrast to the valley below, snow fell fast and furiously at their elevation. Though they weren’t accustomed to freezing temperatures and blizzard-like conditions, Gayr insisted they stay out of harm’s way, and the best way to do this was to stay clear of open spaces like the basin. Trees were peppered throughout the mountainside, which added some much-needed cover. Plus, the prints led them in this direction.

Gayr ate from a pre-packaged food pouch, while Yakha curled up in the fetal position next to the fire under a shiny, silver-colored blanket. Thin and lightweight, they were used primarily in space but became handy in other situations as well.

You know, Gayr said, those prints will be snowed over by morning if they haven’t been already.

Probably.

Yakha propped herself up. With her body temperature rising, Yakha felt comfortable enough to put an elbow to the ground. She rested her head in the palm of her hand, staring at the flames as she spoke.

Maybe it wasn’t meant to be, but we’ll know tomorrow.

These rations aren’t going to last much longer, Gayr pointed out. I figure we’ve got about five days of food left, and we’re still a week’s walk from the supply depot. It might take even longer if the weather doesn’t improve.

"I know where you’re going with this, so let me

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