|Into Thin Air
Author: bigblackhorse4 PM
Kate's past after the bank robbery in Santa Fe that ultimately leads her to Australia and the doomed Oceanic Flight 815. Kate is rescued by a teenage girl, Aly, and her horse, Chase when running from the police. But Chase isn't just any horse...Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure - Kate - Chapters: 10 - Words: 31,223 - Reviews: 19 - Follows: 4 - Updated: 06-28-12 - Published: 09-16-07 - id: 3788391
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Into Thin Air
Chapter 1 The Chase: Part 1
Kate froze in place, controlling her ragged breathing until all she could hear was the eery silence of the woods around her. She strained her ears listening for the footfalls that would tell her she was still being chased. She heard nothing, not even the quiet sounds that normally inhabited a forest. They were still tailing her then; they just had finally realized that it might be better to sacrifice speed for silence.
Now that her heart rate was down at normal rhythm, she began walking cautiously, striving to make the least amount of noise as possible. The visibility in the forest wasn't very good, and if someone was really quiet, she'd never hear them come up on her until it was far too late to react. Damn, I wish I had a gun she thought to herself. Not having one made her feel so uneasy especially since she could barely see 10 feet to each side of her with all the bushes and downed trees littering the forest floor. The fact that she was being followed by scores of police officers, whose locations were currently unknown to her, wasn't helping to ease that anxiety.
The sound of a twig snapping sent Kate whirling around in the direction of the sound. She ceased all movement when she saw the barrel of a high-calibre rifle pointing directly at her head.
"Now, don't you try to run there lil' miss. Orders are we're supposed to take ya' alive, so don't force me to break them orders," the police officer said in very much out of place southern drawl. Very out of place since she was running through part of a national forest in central Colorado.
She didn't even so much as twitch a muscle, but her mind was working in overdrive, trying to find an opening, a weakness in this younger, clearly inexperienced officer. Chances are, she thought, this is his first real chase. Means he's going to be cocky. Maybe I can make a run for it if he gets distracted?...She instantly snapped back to reality when she heard shouts, presumably from other police officers, in the distance.
The officer turned slightly and hollered, "Yeah! I got 'er. Told ya' there was nothin' to it! Just show a girl a gun and she'll surrender cuz she don't want any bullets to mess up her purty lil' face!" Kate didn't need anymore of an opening than that. She bolted and dodged through the seemingly never-ending trees, and further increased her speed when she noticed the trees were beginning to thin. There she could see a grade in the land rising up of the forest. Kate was hoping beyond hope for rocks on the hill, because then even dogs would have a difficult time tracking her. She would leave no tracks, no scent on rocks, which might be her only chance for getting out of this mess.
As luck would have it, there were rocks on the hill. The hill could've been more or less described as a very large pile of rocks. It was an astonishing landmark, the mass of boulders towering over many of the tall pines that surrounded it. She scrambled across the rocks at the lower part of the hill, and then quickly began climbing up them as the grade of the hill steepened. Kate was in her element here; there had never been anything she couldn't climb, ever since she was a little kid. This talent had saved her countless times, from her childhood up until this moment where she was running like hell to evade capture and ultimately arrest.
She reached the crest of the hill, and quickly scanned the surrounding area. She heard more shouts off in the distance, and then some much closer. Much too close; a bullet whizzed by her head as dove down in between two large boulders. Idiot! she thought, mentally chastising herself. That had to be one of the stupidest things she'd done! Things like that were going to get her killed or worse! She waited listening to see if the cops were going to try to climb across the rocks and up the hill after her. All she could hear from her current position wedged between the two slabs of rock were voices, that were apparently debating over a very similar topic.
"Where the hell did she go?! I know you did not make that shot so she can't be injured or dead," she heard one man say. "When's the last time you even hit near the bull's eye out at the shooting range? And anyways we're not supposed to aim to kill her!"
The other man sputtered, "I didn't try to shoot her in the head! I was aiming for her...leg..."
The first man that had spoken said, "I rest my fcking case!" and then muttered something about incompetence and idiots that spent more time at the nearest doughnut shop than actually doing something useful, like staying in shape or practicing at the shooting range.
Kate grinned despite her predicament and slowly began climbing down the far side of the hill, taking care to make sure she was hidden from view. She was about halfway to the base when she heard shots in the distance. What the hell are they shooting at? she wondered as the gunshots began to get closer, automatically quickening her pace in response to hearing the gunshots.
Soon she was at the bottom of the hill, which was surrounded by a semi-circle of rocks that fanned out around the base. That's good, she thought, more area for the dogs to lose my scent on. She half-ran, half-leaped across the rocks, making sure to keep her feet from sliding in between the rocks. She could not afford a broken or sprained ankle right now.
She was nearing the edge of the rocks when she heard footfalls gaining on her. Wait she thought, not footfalls, they were hoofbeats. Sht! her mind screamed. They had mounted police after her! Kate put on an extra burst of pure adrenaline-powered speed, but she knew it was pointless; there was no way in hell she could out run a horse.
Kate was sprinting as fast as she could even though it still wouldn't be fast enough. She just couldn't concede defeat that easily. She didn't dare to look back, but she knew the horse wasn't too far behind. That was when it happened; her foot slid in between two rocks and jerked. She fell forward, managing to break her fall with her hands, and then scrambled to her feet, but she could feel her ankle swelling to gigantic proportions inside her well-worn hiking boots. Despair and panic flowed freely through Kate's body; she wouldn't be able to run any further.
"Hurry! Swing up!" Kate's head shot up to see a teenage girl astride a huge black horse kick her foot free of the stirrup on the saddle to leave it dangling 6 inches from Kate's stunned face.
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Captain William O'Dell of the Darbiton, Colorado Police Department leveled a glare that could have withered a plant on the spot at his newest recruit. The young officer gulped accordingly, and shuffled his feet in the dirt of the forest floor.
The Captain could still hear shouts and gunshots in the distance, but he wasn't much of a help there. He was beginning to slow down as he grew older and his joints grew stiffer. Yes, he thought, the chases were for the younger, and apparently the more foolhardy. And here was the prime example. He drew in his breath and asked very calmly (or so he thought), "Can you please tell me how you managed to catch our criminal, and then just LET HER GO?!?!?!"
The young officer flinched but quickly responded, "I chased 'er down, and I had 'er, but then she was gone! Twas' like she disappeared inta thin air!"
The Captain sighed and rubbed his tired eyes, and thought for the hundredth time that day, that he should really consider retiring soon.