They had been running forever. It was all Sandy could think of when they stopped for a break. It may have only been months, but it felt like years. Running and running with fear constantly creeping in the back of your mind, and your heart thudding hard in your chest. Running and running with every moment one of possible capture, and harsh breaths pushed in and out of hurting lungs.
"We have to get moving again." Derrik's harsh voice was throaty and breathless in her ear.
Sandy nodded, and turned to her poor little sister, Landy. The girl was pale, and on the verge of breakdown, Sandy could see. She wasn't getting enough to eat, and the hard labor she had been subjected to before they escaped, and taken a hard toll on her too young body. Her hair was falling out in clumps, and rashes littered her skin. Landy was skin and bones in her stunted frame. She was only twelve, and didn't deserve to be dying already.
"Landy," Sandy whispered to the hollowed eyed creature before her.
Landy's head jerked up, and their eyes connected. "I'm ok. I'm ready."
Sandy paled, and wanted to reject this, but Derrik was already pulling her along. Landy was hauled up by the brute Nantic and moved along. Sandy was forced to look away from her sister to not fall.
They heard the water running a moment later, and then they were all running again. Sandy panted harshly as her long legs carried her closer to the sound of that water. It was the river; it had to be. If they could just get across it then they could get under the thicker forest, and make it to the city. Then they could get the spacecraft that was waiting to carry them away from this horrid planet.
Sandy skidded to a halt as the trees abruptly ended, and the ground fell away into a steep gorge. The river raged at the bottom in a frothing line of rapids. Her knees gave out and she dropped to the rock ground not feeling as they tore through her suit and cut her skin. They were not ready for this. It was too far across, and the river too fast. It was over.
"Get up!" Derrik roared as he jerked Sandy to her feet. She had to lean on him to stay up.
"We can't do this." Sandy felt cold creeping into her aching limbs, and wanted to cry.
The brute Nantic picked up Landy like she was nothing but feathers, and tossed her over his shoulder. Then he was bounding down to the river. Sandy let out a startled shout, and her body moved on its own to follow after her beloved sister.
They were nearly to the river when the rock next to Sandy exploded into a million pieces slicing through her skin. Sandy fell back, and another shot flew past where she had just been. Reflex had Sandy bring her hands up in submission even as her mind screamed that death was better than returning to that place.
Sandy's eyes sought her sister, and saw that she was sprawled by the now dead brute, but she was still alive. Derrik was behind a large boulder cowering unharmed. Sandy cursed him as her eyes went to the two guards hovering on their vehicles. Both had their guns aimed at her.
"Sandy Ferheren, Landy Ferheren, and Derrik Talmnick you are hereby ordered to surrender and return to Jalmin Prison."
"My sister and I don't belong there! We were wrongly convicted." Sandy pleaded for all she was worth. If they went back it would be a slow and painful death.
The woman of the two guards laughed, "Your bullshit won't work on us."
Sandy pushed herself to her knees, "Just release my sister, she is harmless! I will go back willingly, and never try to escape again."
The man, her personal guard Fanrick, sneered at her. "She was convicted too. I hope you had a chance to fuck her one last time because now you two will never see each other again."
Sandy saw that her sister was getting up, and refused to look at her. Derrik was still cowering with his hands in the air. He was useless, but that didn't surprise her. He was weak minded, and easy to manipulate. He had served his purpose to her, but Sandy had hoped that the brute wouldn't die so easily. He was supposed to be the distraction to the guards so that she could grab Landy and get away.
Fanrick was lowering his hover vehicle, making to step off and apprehend her. Just as he was about to step of the thing Landy shot forward, and collided with him. Sandy watched in horror as they both teetered, and then fell into the raging river.
"No!" The cry burst from Sandy, and she didn't even know that it had. She was crawling forward only to be jerked back. A paralyzer was slapped on her neck, and then all she could do is watch the river rush past as she was hauled up on the now empty hover vehicle.
Sandy knew she was going back to prison, but it mattered little to her. She deserved it now. Landy was dead because of her. All the others she had killed had deserved it, but not her dear lovely sister. Now she wanted to rot away until she was no longer useful and they threw her in the pit. She would lay there with the other dying souls, and know that it was as close to retribution for her sister's death as she could get. There was no more running for Sandy.