PART 4- Kabel's death
The only sound to be heard was the gentle hum of the engine and the occasional eruption from the volcanic grounds around us.
The silence was broken by a faint signal on the radio and the blip on a radar. “I'm sorry about going off the air, we had to close down. We got your signal but didn't want to give ourselves away.”
The relief showing in her voice, Kabel replied “That's understandable.” Though she was proven wrong to doubt James, she was so relieved.
The tall grimy figure of a man standing next to her said “We saw the flames of the eruptions and hoped you made it through. You took a great risk doing that, many things could have gone wrong!”
“It was a calculated risk, borne from the risk of capture. I had to take the chance.”
“We're a small band, far from you. We are just able to see Fire point from here. The equipment we have is worn out. This may be our last hope of rescue. Our land is ravaged with wars and turmoil, the Game haven't got a firm hold yet but the day isn't far off.”
“Our group is only about fifty strong.” Kabel commented. “We have technicians, mechanics and trackers, if we can help. Please ask at any time.”
“That's kind, my name is Jericho Mobley. I used to be a radio operator before the war started.”
“My name is Kabel, I have heard many stories of you, Jericho. You were one of the men who set up the linked beacons we are using.”
“Yes. I know how to track the Game, I am well ahead of them picking us up. But you have to keep ahead of them, never think you are winning. All it needs is one rogue signal to get through or a tracker to think of something off the wall and we can be compromised. We almost lost a cadre' about tow months ago, they were sending out a signal on an unused wavelength and somebody heard their ping."
"Fortunately, it was another group of us and we were saved but it shows how easy it can be done."
"You said you are distant from here!"
"Yes. If you look at the hills in the distance, you can just see our beacons. We've become isolated out there, the Game daren't come to us."
Looking to his home, Jericho said " There is nowhere for their trucks to go. The land is so fragile, we can only use bike patrols on the narrow roads. If they try an air landing our gunners will shoot the planes out of the skies before they can get close enough to drop the troops to take our base."
“Maybe we can work together. It's getting light and we have to get back to base now. We don't want to be out in the open when the dawn patrols go out. How can we contact you later?”
“You can't. I will contact you on another frequency. Just tell James two things for me!”
“Okay, what are they?”
“Codeword is Franklin and he stills owes me, those three bottles of Squadron beer, he bet me four years ago. Over and out.”
Then all was quiet as Kable thought of this new contact.
The skimmer pulled away and I saw a glint of light catch a barrel, before I had time to say a word Kabel's head span round spraying the back of the vehicle with her brain matter.
Freddy yelled “Sand demons, floor it Padraig!” as the skimmer shot out of range of the gunfire, we sat and looked at our blood soaked clothes.
Padraig said “Okay, take what you want from her and throw the body out.”
Shocked Alanov said “Isn't that callous!”
Freddy replied “Kabel's rule. A dead body is going to take fuel to carry back and the last thing we need is to get stranded here after dark.”
“Why?” asked Alanov.
“Let's just say, even the Game wont leave town after dark, no matter what they are after.” Padriag said as he ended the conversation.