A Failed Escape
Neither spoke. Then Ellen continued, “But then you did the trick with the plank…. when you grabbed my hand and yanked me along, I woke up. I realized that I had to go with you. That you were much more of a rescuer than I suspected.” She seemed genuine with her remorse. Perry decided to believe her. But he wouldn’t let her wriggle free just yet.
“Maybe stop making snap judgments,” he said. “Give a guy a chance.”
“Oh, screw off,” she said with a laugh.
“So what is the significance of the Atlas Fracture?”
“Damn,” she said, her eyes wide, ignoring his question.
Perry looked forward and tensed. A big, four-engine turboprop aircraft was flying toward them. Low to the icy surface, the blast from its engines tossed arcs of snow high into the air. The plane came on fast, growing large in seconds. Ellen drove them toward certain impact. Perry yelled out. “Stop!”
Ellen jammed the brakes and brought the Sno-Cat to an immediate, gear crunching halt. “Who the hell is that?”
The plane kept growing in the windshield. It touched down and bounced in a sudden blizzard of scattered snow. But now it skidded and rolled toward Ellen and Perry, its crunching weight and noise rattling the Sno-Cat’s windows. The plane, its big propellers buzzing and the engines roaring, finally slowed. It stopped only feet from the snow tractor. They were boxed in by its bulk and angry engines. Move the Sno-Cat and a massive propeller would slice through the snow tractor’s cabin. Perry looked through the bird cage windows of the plane’s cockpit and saw the pilot staring back at him. The rear loading door of the plane was open and three men ran out armed with AK-47s. The men spread out around the Sno-Cat, their assault rifles raised and ready to fire.