She sprinted through the trees, too afraid to stop and hide, too afriad to change direction and head back to the Disctrict, and act like nothing had ever happened. All she knew was she had to keep running. Her only comfort in the beautifully lit nightmare, was that the six-wheel truck barelling along behind her, had to weave, and dodge between the trees, sometimes going 100m out to either side of her, giving her a chance to slightly divert on her current track, but just when she thought they had lost her, there they were again. Was there any end to this madness? She carried on running, before she realised that the trees were thinning, and as they got closer to the clearing were she left Carver only five minutes before, the transport behind her sped up drastically, plowing right through beech yearlings, obviously not caring what damage they did to the woods. She figured that Carver would still be in the area, and, hearing the engine from a mile off, would be heading straight for her. "Run!" she yelled. "Into the Cave!" She hoped that he could hear her, and know that they were both in danger. She hurdled over several logs, before she emerged into the clearing. She saw Carver run into the woods on the other side of the grove and hoped that he would get into the cave unseen. She took a deep breath, which was rather hard to do while sprinting, and dived right into the pool in the middle of the clearing, just as the Peacekeeper vehicle broke through the trees. She struggled through the weeds, trying to reach the tunnel on the other side of the pool before the Peacekeepers came after her. She heard the squealing of the brakes, and thrashed around harder, her arms outstretched and looking for the defining rock, that would lead her, and hopefully Carver to safety. She found the rock, after several alarming splashes from behind her, and wriggled underneath, desprate for air now. She swam to the top of the tunnel, where there was a two inch gap of air, where she took two seconds to breathe, and submerged once more. She swam along until she came to a fork. She heard sound of a large power drill behind her, and so, to confuse them, pushed her jacket partway into the right fork,and hurriedly swam down the left. She took several more twists and turns, stopping occaisionally for breath, but determined to reach safety. She emerged into a small cavern, rather cramped, and only one metre high. She crawled through several more tunnels, hidden behind rocks and weeds. She found on particular tunnel, which seemed rather unstable, so she hurried through as quickly as possible. As soon as she reached the other side, it caved in. 'Good' she thought. 'At least the Peacekeepers can't follow me that way!' She wriggled through several more nooks and crannys, before she reached a large room, hollowed out of the stone. There was a small pool, fed by a small underground stream, tucked away in a far corner, with a large crate full of iodine, canned soups, dehydrated meals, and bags of rice, pasta and other dried goods. Crouched next to that box was Carver, bow drawn, pointed at her chest. She was in shadow, so it was likely he didn't know it was her. "It's just me Carver, I-" She was cut short by the crazed look in his eyes, the lump, the size of a plum on his hand. Tracker jackers. He must have been caught unawares, and run right into a nest of them. He had some sort of tic, that caused his neck to convulse in odd ways. His body reacting to the poison, no doubt. So he was already hallucinating then. She took, small, controlled steps forward, hands outstreched. He tensed, and aimed the bow at her head. "Don't move, alien" He growled. She resisted the urge to giggle. Alien? What was he on about? "I'm just coming to hug you, okay?" She smiled, in a friendly way, and reached out to him. He shrugged, and lowered his bow. She stalked forward, and hugged his stiff body. Her hands rummaged around behind him, and pulled a frying pan out from behind him. He looked at it warily. "What are you doing?"
"I'm cooking!" she said brightly. She turned round, and pretended to pull things out of her pockets. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw him slump against the wall, and put and arrow tip to his chest, and slowly start to push. She clenched the pan, whipped around, and slapped him around the head with it. He slumped against the wall, out cold. She chucked the frying pan away in disgust. "Sorry Carver. You might have hurt us." She pulled a strip of cloth from her pocket, sat down next to him, wiped away the small trickle of blood emanating from his head, and settled down for a long night.