Chapter 7: Chase

Several cars sped through the snow filled streets occupied in an intense chase. Ken's car at the very front steered around the rest of the traffic. Chloe looked in the rear view mirror. Their enemies were still hot on their tail. She took the ramp that led to a highway bridge in the hopes of throwing them off their path. They followed after. The machine gunners on the enemy vehicles sprayed a stream of golden bullets, all narrowly avoiding their car. They were warning shots. But the warning was clearly not intimidating enough for Chloe to lose her confidence.

Ken stuck out his pistol from the window and opened fire. He managed to damage one of the car's tires. That enemy car initially waivered, but the driver proved to be skillful enough to bring it back on course. Panic broke out on the roads upon seeing the constant stream of bullets. Ken jolted back and forth as he looked back at Chloe. "Watch for the ice!"

"I know, my bad!"

"Hey guys," Church pixilated as he projected a terrain map. "I think we may have a way out."

"I'm all ears!" Chloe narrowly dodged a car to their left side. He pushed the map towards her and highlighted the recommended route. "If we can get to the lower fifth tunnel, we may have a chance at getting out of this. But the challenge will be to get rid of these assholes before reaching the tunnel."

"That's one hell of a challenge bud," Ken noted as he ducked inside from the barrage of machine gun fire. Chloe took the exit ramp. The sudden turn caused an uncomfortable grunt to echo from Carolina's helmet. Chloe looked back at their comrade with worry prevalent in her voice. "Sorry, how are you holding up back there?"

"She need medical attention fast," Church answered as he studied her fading consciousness. There was a clear sound of irritation from Ken. "Great, so no pressure then. Chloe, step on it!"

He managed to shoot a well placed shot at the gunner of a nearby enemy car. The second shot hit the driver dead in the head. The enemy car went steering to the side against the metal railings. The ATSG jeep merged with the rest of the traffic. The two remaining enemy vehicles kept up their chase. Ken reached back towards Carolina and yanked her rifle. In times like these, one must not be afraid to bring out the bigger guns. He reloaded the rifle with a full clip and took aim. Chloe eyed the GPS directions from the side of her eyes and took the next right turn. Chloe noticed the fast approach of one of the enemy vehicles. Ahead of them were barrels filled with water on the dividing road. "Hang on, I got a plan!"

She lined up their jeep and the enemy followed directly behind. The distance between the barrels and the jeep lessened. Ken began to worry when he saw the intense concentration in Chloe's stare in the direction of the barrels. As the machine gunner opened fire, Ken stuck the rifle out and made several punctures into the gunner's body. Suddenly Chloe turned the wheel moments before impact! The warthog behind them collided with the water barrels and came to an uncomfortable stop.

"Wow, that actually worked," she remarked with an unnerving sense of uncertainty in her voice. Ken looked at her with a lack of confidence and shook his head. "You weren't even sure if that would work?"

"What can I say? Sometimes you just gotta improvise."

"Too much improvisation is bad for you," Church noted backing Ken up. But the three didn't have the time to argue. The third and final enemy warthog chased them very aggressively as they neared the tunnel. Church appeared beside Ken. "You gotta do something about them now!"

Ken took out a few small octagonal chips from the compartment. He clicked one side and a red bright light glowed in the center. Ken looked back at their assailants and threw down the chips on the road. Church noticed that as soon as the warthog was in proximity, the chips exploded causing small explosions. Not enough to destroy the vehicle, but enough to temporarily disorientate the driver. But as long as the gunner remained, their efforts would prove to be useless. A few of the bullets managed to hit the trunk of the ATSG jeep. Ken partially stood up and rested the rifle against the head rest of his seat. He looked through the scope and placed a clean shot through the gunner's head.

The driver of the warthog recovered and slammed the gas paddle. The enemy vehicle pulled up to the ATSG jeep and rammed them to the side! Ken jolted back nearly onto Chloe and let out a loud swear. He took aim and fired upon the driver, managing to paint the driver as well as the seat beside him in crimson red. The warthog lost control. It again rammed into the side of the jeep causing Chloe to struggle. Their jeep was now stuck between the warthog and the side railings. Their turn off was fast approaching. Ken stuck his head out and shot the enemy tires. The warthog quickly lost speed and flipped over from one of the pressure pipes bursting.

Chloe curved the jeep to the right to fit the underpass. The warthog collided with their jeep! The cars went out of control. Chloe struggled with the controls as she swerved from left to right. Both cars crashed onto the side of the tunnel!

…Ken's mind felt heavy as did his body. His vision was blurry as if someone had put a dilating eye liquid in there. He grasped his forehead resting against the front boxed compartment storage. He arched upwards only to feel the sudden sting of a muscle pulling. Ow, swell. Ken's vision slowly started to clear up with the soothing rub of his fingers. He eyed the others in the car. They were all silent. He reached out for Chloe whose head rested against the steering wheel. "Hey Chloe…"

She didn't answer. He spoke a little louder. "Wake up Chloe."

No answer. His eyes widened with worry now. "Chloe, this isn't funny. Don't you dare pull this stunt on me!"

Finally he heard a few moans escape her. He leaned back in thanking the jeep for its protective nature of its occupants. He looked back at Carolina. She showed no response or signs of life. "Talk to me Church, how is she?"

"Knocked out," his image buzzed with static as the holographic module in her suit had taken quite a bit of the impact. "But at least it will make it easier to administer the morphine now."

Ken checked the data disk and breathed out another sigh of relief. "That data is safe to."

In the distance they could hear the cries of sirens fast approaching their direction. He tapped Chloe on the shoulders. "We have to go. We can't let the authorities catch us nor let our faces be seen by them."

She drowsily nodded her head and started up the car again. By some luck the engine still worked. As the sirens neared, the group had managed to make their escape and drive back to the city's edge. She looked back at Church who was worriedly staring at Carolina. "Don't worry, once we get to home base then we will take good care of her."

They pulled up to the base's entrance. Ken rushed to open the door as Chloe helped Carolina down below. Everyone else was anxiously awaiting their return in the main room. Siris' was happy to see their safe return, but concerned for the condition Carolina came back in. He crossed his arms expecting an explanation. Ken took out the data file, handed it to his mentor and patted his shoulder. "Long story, we will go over it some other time."

Chloe handed Carolina off to a few of the medically trained personnel and agreed. "How about letting us catch our breaths first? It was hell out there."

"Alright," Siris looked at the time. "Ken, I want a report on what happened by the end of today. We need to make sure something like this doesn't happen again."

"Yeah I know," Ken waved back as he left the room alongside the rest of the crew. Siris sat down at the computer and inserted the data disk. The decryption program booted up. Siris rested the edge of his nose against his hands and let out a heavy sigh. Here is hoping that this was worth it.

A/N: Not a very long chapter this time around. Recently I had gone into hermit mode for an important exam. The exam is finished, but I suppose my mind is still somewhat in post-examination mode. Meaning updates may not be as frequent as proven by the time frame between this chapter and the previous one. Of course this is just me rambling like a mad man if you are reading this in the future and the story has been completed. :P

Other than that, look forward to more story revelations. Brace yourselves, for there is plot to come in the next few chapters. ;)

Constructive feedback is appreciated!

Thank you for taking the time to read. Your support and readership is appreciated!

~ Monty