Part 33 ‘Lifeline’ – Connection Concealed Excerpt

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Hi,

I have a feeling some of you are really going to like this excerpt! 😉

Without further ado…

Can’t wait to hear what you think,

Sigrid

Louise’s weight landed on her bad shoulder. She screamed in agony. She managed to hold on to the ferry’s railing despite the pain and started to climb down the ladder.

“Come back, you lunatic!” Hobbs shouted angrily, peering down over the side.

It was hard to hear him over the sound of the ferry and the water. Louise jumped off the ladder and into the lifeboat. It was anything but steady. Once she had regained her balance, she looked up. Hobbs was nowhere in sight.

Louise scrambled to one of the two wires that kept the lifeboat secured to the ferry. She hit the switch to release it. The bow immediately drifted to the side. That’s when everything went dark.

She guessed Hobbs was trying to pull the lifeboat back up. But he had pushed the wrong button and switched off the lights. All she needed was another second or two. She held on tightly while she hurried to the second wire.

Louise made it to the back of the boat just as the lights switched back on. Her hands were shaking and she fumbled with the release mechanism. It wasn’t budging. The engine above her head sprung to life.

Louise pushed down on the mechanism again, with both of her thumbs this time. She heard a loud click but nothing happened. The wire hadn’t disconnected. The back of the boat slowly started to move upward.

Louise grabbed the seat and kicked at the wire. Once. Twice. Half of the boat was out of the water by now, but only a few inches. She kicked one more time, as hard as she could.

The wire finally snapped loose and shot up in the air. Louise ducked and covered her head with her arms so she wouldn’t get hit when it came back down. She thought she could hear Hobbs’ angry screams but wasn’t sure.

After a few moments, she crawled to the boat’s engine and hit the power switch. Luckily, she got it right straight away. Louise looked up. She wanted to give Hobbs one more chance to climb down and escape.

But he was no longer there. She thought she knew why. He was running upstairs to get his gun, she guessed. She quickly grabbed the control lever and maneuvered the boat away from the ferry.

She tightened her grip on the lever and moved it forward. The lifeboat hopped up and down. The guard’s backpack almost toppled overboard. Louise steered the boat further away.

She increased her speed to get as far away from Hobbs as quickly as possible. He could be back outside by now, aiming the gun at her head. She was lucky the sky was filled with clouds or she’d be a sitting duck in the moonlight.

The first bullet whooshed by her ear just seconds later. Louise pulled the lever to the left violently. The second bullet hit the water several yards away. She straightened the boat again, pushing the engine to its limits.

Louise heard a bullet scrape the motor. Hobbs was not giving up yet. She needed a few more seconds before the darkness would give her cover, she estimated. She counted to keep calm. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, …

Louise felt the explosion before she could hear it. A wall of air hit her in the back and propelled her onto the floor. There, she realized her ears were ringing. She covered them with both hands and pulled up her legs.

She lay there on the floor of the lifeboat for several long moments. It was still racing forward. She had no idea how far she had gotten away from the ferry. She was afraid a sea of fire might still catch up with her.

But it didn’t. After a few more seconds, Louise lowered her hands and scrambled up. She grabbed the lever again and made the boat slow down. Then, she turned around and looked back at the ferry.

Her jaw dropped. It had been blown up into two big pieces. Flames shot up as they sunk into the water. Smaller parts of the ferry were floating everywhere, burning too. One large chunk had landed in the water only about 50 yards away.

She had been lucky. And her spidey sense had been right. Louise rubbed her chest. “They blew up the ferry,” she mumbled to herself, stunned. No way Hobbs had survived. She too would have been dead if she hadn’t listened to her gut.

“Fuck,” she yelled. “Holy shit,” she added after a moment.

She ran a shaky hand through her hair. She was too shocked to feel anything. Louise wasn’t sad or shaken that Hobbs was dead, she realized. It was just so hard to believe the rebels would go this far. She was shivering.

Louise sat down and looked around. She needed to get out of here. The rebels had to be watching the ferry, making sure no one had survived. She needed to disappear. Where to, though?

The most logical thing was to try to make it to the border. She would be out of rebel territory. Maybe she could wait there. Someone would show up sooner or later if the base never heard back from Hobbs and Louise.

She reached for her back pocket and pulled out the guard’s badge. She ran her thumb over the cold metal of the Fireblue logo. “Choose courage,” she muttered. Killing people wasn’t courageous, she thought with a frown.

“El would never do this,” she blurted out.

Dread settled in her stomach. The tips of her ears were tingling again. Her spidey sense was still talking to her. There was no way El had been involved in blowing up that ferry, it said.

“Shit, El might be in danger too,” Louise thought.

If Woodward was ruthless enough to stage a coup and blow up two members of the global army, who knew what he had in store for El? El would never see it coming. Woodward had kept his dark side hidden well.

Louise gritted her teeth. She knew where to go.

 

Okay, enough! 😀 I was tempted to keep things short and not reveal too much this week but decided against it in the end. Figured many of you have been waiting for this moment long enough. 😉 See you back here on Saturday for the full episode?

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