Suddenly he heard a muffled scream and a thump. He turned to see that a woman was lying in a small heap on a patch of grass over on the other side of the field. Perhaps she had fallen from the turnpike overpass. Yes. Already he could see three Security zipper cars turning onto the overpass.

Marshall quickly rose and threw his gear onto his back; he could see that the woman was already trying to drag herself to be under the cover of the overpass. Marshall rushed across the field, smoothly snatched the woman underneath the arms and dragged her to the shelter of the turnpike pilings – where he then stopped to set her down. He held his fore-arm under her head as he gently lay her down on a little patch of sand. She was bleeding from several bad scratches. He could see that her leg bone was broken. It was the tibia. The woman was panting, trying to catch her breath. She looked up at Marshall, who crouched beside her on the ground. He looked at her eyes as he pulled and straightened her leg. He rapidly placed a piece of hard plastic under it and then lashed some twine around her shin to fashion a make-shift splint. She winced and bit her lip, and several tears rolled down from her eyes.

She whispered hurriedly, “They’ll be coming. You must run.”

“Right.”

He stood and quickly grabbed her again underneath the arms. He dragged her further toward the center of the highway overpass. He remembered that there was an old maintenance facility underneath this section of the turnpike interchange. He opened the door to an empty storage room and placed her as gently as he could on the ground. They were inside a dark cement structure from the 20th century. Marshall looked out before he closed the door. No one was in sight. They had not been discovered.

They sat in darkness for a long time without moving. Water was dripping from the crumbling ceiling. John Marshall had learned to sit perfectly quiet for hours at a time. It seemed the woman had acquired that skill too. Most all the connected people did not know how to remain quiet for very long. Their agitation was one of the consequences of their connectedness. But this woman was quiet and still despite her pain. She did not move or make a sound. Marshall thought she had passed out. But no, she was awake, and nodded silently to him when the securities ran past noisily on the walkway right outside the door to their little hiding place. For the moment they were safe.

Click here to go to Story of the P’s #10

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