Author : Kate Runnels

Tayna skidded on the crumbled mortar, concrete and residual dust, coming to a stop in a hidey hole. She then lay as still as she could within the concealing rubble of the old city. Dust coated the inside of her mouth as she fought to slow her breathing from great heaves to a controlled breath that wouldn’t disturb a feather if it had been on her upper lip.

The SD drone hummed into view if she dared to peek out of her hole and glance into the sky at the matte black drone intent to kill whatever it found. It stood out in this surprisingly sunny spring day. If it had been overcast or night, it would be much harder to spot.

Tayna stilled even more as thrum of the blades slicing through the air as it propelled the drone in it’s programed search pattern.

I’m just rubble. I’m just part of the endless rubble of this once great city.

Destroyed nearly fifty years ago in the greatest war, the survivors had trickled slowly back in looking for safety. What safety there could be anymore.

The humming grew softer but she dare not look up. Even in pale faces the eyes were a giveaway, and more so for her. In spite of herself her leg twitched and a pebble clicked against what once had been a wall. The search drone was back, quick as a wasp – ten times as loud and imminently more dangerous.

-Now- she cursed at them. -Do it now!- Even if it crashed on top of her it would be worth it as it was hovering still and an easy target. There should be a sniper around, one of the fighters of the Portland Coalition. The crack of a rifle sounded even through the concret of her hidey hole, followed by the unmistakeable crash of metal.

Tayna popped up out of the hidey hole with a smile on her face as the drone sparked and gave off a dying buzz from the ground. She headed over to strip it of anything useful. Soon the Supreme Government of the U.S. – what was left of the U.S. anyway- would learn that Portland was a no fly zone.

This was Portland Coalitions city, not the supposed new government out of Philadelphia. A supposed government that was trying to cling to a remnant that didn’t work then and doesn’t work now.

She stood over the drone now and smiled into the camera that trained it’s working lens on her. Let them see her face, confident, proud, she didn’t care.