Flash: Drone

Photo by Allef Vinicius on Unsplash

The drone returned for a second pass, closer to the fields. Fernando glanced back, disciplining his face to control his worry before returning to watch the group in front of him sweating from their labor. Just one more hour and the harvest would be in. Could the gods and prosperity not give them one more damn hour?

Susanna tossed a bag onto the lorry before jogging over. “We need to leave,” she said in Spanish.

Diez minutos.” Fernando stated. “Diez.

No,” she said firmly, “Ahora.

He watched as the other six people present stuffed their bags as quickly as possible, not checking for disease or insects and climbed onto the lorry with the rest of their scavenging. Fernando nodded. They were right. As much as they needed the food, starving was a step above dead.

Ahora,” he agreed.

Climbing into the front, Fernando pressed his finger onto the sensor and pulled away. Behind them, the drone followed, even when they hit the highway. “Susanna,” he nodded toward to her side of the cab. Frowning, she pulled out the EMP launcher and aimed the rifle-like weapon at the drone.

Two strikes brought it down. A tractor trailer on the other side of the divided highway, heading north to corporate lands, smashed it seconds later.

“We don’t have much juice left.” The woman said in her only language as she tucked the launcher back into its hiding spot. “Maybe one more.”

“We got to find a way to recharge it.” Fernando forced his hands to loosen on the steering wheel.

“All our electric from the solar is going to the medical.”

“I know, I know.” He stared ahead. “We must get more, if only to charge the truck.” He glanced down at the fuel gauge promising another third of a charge. Without the bank of cells on the top of the truck, it would have hit zero long ago. Two weeks between raids to charge the ancient battery took too long.

Si,” she agreed, the other half of the leadership team for their little group of refugees, “pero como?”

“The corporate lands have plenty.”

“No, no, no.” Susanna hit his leg. “You will not go there.”

He looked over, giving her a crooked, sad grin. “Of course.”

“I will hate you forever if you die.” She glared at him before turning her head away.

“I will do my best not to die.”

(words 400;  first published 3/4/2023, from a FB visual prompt for a writing group I belong to – aiming for 50 words)