“Quiet back there,” a soldier in full autumn garb barked out. The end of his rifle was slammed into the side of Kit’s knee, Kit doubling over in the backseat of the 4×4 vehicle.
“What did I even do?” Kit whimpered, trying to make it sound more manlike than it was.
“You breathed.” The man chuckled. “It’s annoying.”
He was enjoying this. Kit definitely wasn’t. They cruised along the shore front, towards a fixed destination. Kit tried to be smart, but he was in way over his head. Maybe if he could swipe something from them, find a knife or something, then he could escape and get back to safety. A kindergartner young man among the soldiers sat beside him. He spoke up. “This is the Shoreland, as we call it. The beach is shallow for nearly a kilometer out before it drops off.”
Kit nodded. Tall flax plants grew on the side, while black sand and smooth gray pebbles crunched underneath the tires. Large boulders, sometimes round, sometimes not, dotted the waterline sporadically. “Where are we going?” He whispered to the man beside him.
“The crash site. I’m Taro,” he whispered back. Taro was different. He was kind. Almost as if he had a different agenda entirely than the rest of them. And he had gone out of his way to prove it to Kit. That counted for something. But Kit couldn’t take the risk of trusting him and being wrong. Not yet at least, not in a situation this volatile.
A peninsula jutted out from the water, thin and long, stretching out for a ways into the bay. A large pinnacle of rock leapt up at the end of it, an easy landmark to remember. This was evidently the crash site. Yet what awaited Kit was nothing similar to what he expected. There was no plane, no twisted propellers, no fires. Boats circled about on the water, and blue wreckage was being dragged up to the sand bit by bit. It took a while for Kit to figure out what it used to be, mangled heap that it was in. “An Underwater,” Kit finally pieced together, and his heart sank. The Underwaters were the airbuses of the sea, able to travel to great depths with ease and navigate as easily as a dolphin. Those had been first tested nearly ten years ago, in 2084. Almost before the rise of the Infantry.
Kit strained to get a better view. If there were survivors, they would be in the exact same predicament as he. Then there was yelling. Someone came running around the rocks and pushed a soldier off into the water. A girl. Her hair was wet and plastered to her face. Her arms were cut and scraped. A small gash ran down the front of her left leg, near the shin. She was in the same boat, colloquially speaking. And she was fighting back. His hands, though zip-tied, flew for the door. “Don’t be stupid,” Taro declared, and shoved him back into his seat. The driver gave him another thud on the knee for that one. The girl ran for the mainland, but they were the ones that stood in her way. Kit’s head sank into his knees as they overwhelmed her and restrained her just the same. They put her into another vehicle and all drove off towards the same destination: unknown.
Hours later, Kit found himself in a peach colored room, wooden slats on one side, a cozy shaped window on the other. The black hood worn for the hour ride from the beach hadn’t done much for Kit’s bearings, but he was definitely in another part of the island. That or they drove in circles for an hour. Who knew? “I DON’T KNOW!!” screamed someone, presumably the girl, in pain. Somewhere down the hall from him, this was happening. Then Kit knew.
The chair, the zip ties–he was about to be interrogated, along with all that that meant. “Figures,” he shrugged. He was about to need a brush up on his storytelling abilities.