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   Chapter 33 No.33

Black Sunrise By Christina Engela Characters: 5136

Updated: 2018-06-30 12:02

Jenny wasn't soldier or a cop – or a murderer. She had no friends or family in the city, no cause for revenge. She had enough problems of her own with the mine people trying to force her family off the land in a tussle over mineral rights. The mine bosses knew there was something under her acres of dry cattle country, she didn't know what – but the mine people did. Whatever it was, it must have been something valuable enough to spend years trying to force her family off their land.

She couldn't prove it, but she was certain the deaths of her family were connected. She would dearly love to sell and move away with Danny, but it was past all that now. The mines didn't want to buy the land at a fair price (and knowing the trouble her family had suffered, nobody else wanted to buy it either) so they were stuck with it. Nor did she want them to get away with it. What a fine piece of luck it would be if the mine office had taken a direct hit from one of those bombs! Even better if the big kahuna's were in it at the time!

She spotted something – a shiny SUV stood parked across the dirt road a short way ahead. She slowed down, pulling the shotgun close across the seat. It was a narrow part of the road, passing between two narrow outcrops of subsurface rock which formed a pair of natural gates in a fairly solid row of old trees. No going round it without a hover-bike – or a notable detour of at least a kilometer both ways. Dad was always pleased with himself about that. Poor Dad, Jenny pondered, wondering if he ever con

er about ten minutes of slow tense driving, they reached the farmhouse and she pulled up at the porch steps as instructed.

* * *

Not terribly far away, Marsh'k was sitting on his haunches in the shade of a cherebub bush on a little hill, moistening his lips with a little water and tending his many small wounds. His thoughts drifted momentarily from survival to the career he had just lost. 'Up in smoke' was not a saying he was familiar with, but if there was an equivalent in fork-tongue, he probably applied it. Even were he to find rescue, by some extremely random act of bad fortune on the part of the gods, he would probably be executed by the first Ruminarii officer he encountered. Defeated commanders deserved no worse, by Ruminarii standards. For that reason, he reckoned, he either had to find a place to hide where survival was a possibility – or a way off this planet into some kind of solitary exile. Seeing as he was not likely to get very far off this world, a place to hide was his current priority.

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