Thursday, July 27, 2023

Microstory 1939: Follow Travelers

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Reese: How’s everyone doin’? We all have enough water?
Myka: You don’t have to keep checking in with us.
Reese: I do, actually. You’re my responsibility. It’s in the Fugitive Service handbook, in the section for deputized and conscripted civilians, and informants.
Myka: Wait, this kind of situation is in the handbook?
Reese: Absolutely. I had a partner, but a lot of us work alone, and in unfamiliar territory, so we’re encouraged to seek help from anyone available. The Office of Special Investigations has no such policy, which is why we’re keeping you both a secret, but my old boss would have had no problem with this arrangement.
Myka: Oh.
Reese: So the water?
Myka: I’m fine.
Leonard: I’m fine too. I’m starting to get a weird feeling, though.
Reese: Is it a sneaking suspicion that someone has been following us?
Leonard: Yep.
Reese: I’ve been feeling that for a while now. I thought maybe it was just me, but if you’re picking up something too...
Myka: I’m not sensing anyone.
Leonard: There’s no one behind us.
Reese: Not that we can see, at least.
Leonard: There’s nowhere to hide. I can see for miles.
Reese: Yeah, this is a particularly infertile patch of land. I imagine, if we really are following the Ochivari, that’s why they picked this spot, for its remoteness.
Myka: Why would one of them have shown up in Kansas City then?
Leonard: Maybe it was an accident. We have no idea how they navigate.
Reese: *stopping* I really think there’s someone behind us. Ya know, there’s a survival advantage to being able to sense threats, which is why evolution let humans keep that trait. The problem is translating the data into real evidence. *scanning the horizon* Someone is out there, I just can’t prove it.
Myka: Okay, I admit it. I told other members of the bond where we were going.
Leonard: You did what? Why?
Myka: They’ve been watching over us. I didn’t know what we were walking into. I didn’t tell ‘em about the aliens, though, I promise. All I said is that we were looking for more fugitives, like before. I’m sorry, Reese.
Reese: *shaking his head, still watching the horizon* No, it’s not them. They’re over there, by those foothills.
Myka: You knew?
Leonard: I clocked them by the time we got out of Missouri. They’re not particularly sneaky. They built a fire, probably to cook, last night a quarter mile away from us.
Myka: Okay. Now I’m really worried. If you’re sensing someone else...can we set a trap?
Reese: I don’t know how we would. Like we said, it’s so flat. We can’t hide either.
Leonard: But they can. They’ve been following us in secret. Myka. Call your friends.

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