The Jeep lurches to a stop causing me to tumble off the back seat and onto the floor. I jump to my feet, ready for action, ready to face the legions of SP cars and tanks and helicopters in the manner only a crazed maniac could perform. As my eyes adjust to the dark sky, I find we are still alone, stopped on the side of the silent roadside. Even the Jeep is silent.
“Calm down, soldier,” Eve says coolly. “Just needed to refuel. Forgot to take care of it before you passed out.”
“How long have I been out?”
“A little over an hour. Been running out the reserve tank to try to keep from waking you up. Get back to sleep.”
“Yeah, you’re going to need it.”
I lay my head back down and close my eyes. My brain is exhausted, but my body is unwilling to cooperate. After a brief moment of contemplation, I return to the seated position.
“Eve,” I start, “you should go.”
“What do you mean?”
“Go, get out of here, leave me alone on this crazy plan. I’m the one they’re looking for, why should you have to face the music with me?”
“I’d still be arrested for assisting a known fugitive.”
“I suppose you’re right.”
“I know I’m right.”
“Okay, but then you could turn me in. You know, for the bounty. That’s an even better plan, isn’t it?”
“It doesn’t work like that, Cyrus.”
“Sure it does. Tell them you were planning on bringing me in to Cheyenne all along, just didn’t want to risk losing the bounty to the guard or something.”
“No, I mean, that’s not how the rebellion works. We don’t leave anyone behind.”
“What about Lyman?”
“That’s a low blow, Cyrus.”
“I’m just saying.”
“Okay, fine, I don’t leave anyone behind. Lyman wasn’t my decision. If it were up to me, I’d still be running supplies out there, no matter how much of a detriment it might be to the movement.”
“Then why don’t you? If you collected the bounty on me, I’m sure you’d be able to afford everything you need to build Lyman back up.”
“Forget about Lyman.”
“Fine. So, why me?”
“I don’t know what you mean?”
“Why me? You said you were the one who told the rebels to recruit me for the job. You’ve been more than diligent in trying to keep by my side, even though it could mean your life. Why me?”
“I’m just doing it for the rebellion.”
“I don’t believe that. You guys hired me because you believed I could get the job done. You hired me as a single person, no one to help me –”
“Except The Geek,” Eve interrupts.
“Fine, except The Geek, but–”
“And, if it weren’t for me, I’m pretty sure you would have died out in the desert or any number of places along–”
“But you didn’t know that before it happened. So, why?”
“It’s personal, okay?”
“How can it possibly be personal?”
“It just is, alright!? Can you please just leave it alone?”
“I’m going to get you to tell me sooner or later,” I say with a frown.
“That might be true, but not now.”
“Fine,” I huff.
“Cyrus and E-eve sitting in a tree, K-I-S–”
“Shut up, Geek,” I yell.
“What’s he saying?” Eve asks.
“Nothing. He’s just being a snot.”
“Oh,” Eve says dejectedly. “Well, got us fueled up. Get some more rest; you’re going to need it.” She hops back in the front seat and the Jeep roars to life.”
“Yeah,” I agree, still wishing I had some idea why she wanted me on this run. “You’re probably right.”
Go to Chapter Nineteen