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"Hey! Look! The gate isn't latched! We could just take off and no one would be any wiser!"
"But what about the sensors? Won't they trip?"
"Nope. The sensors are only on the latch and that circuit is already open. Not our fault if no one's monitoring it."
"We'll have to jump the pressure mat that's outside the gate."
"Yeah, that's no problem. It's really only there to alert the monitoring station when someone's outside the gate wanting to get in. It's pretty small - just a meter square. Considering the length of our legs neither of us will have a problem getting past it."
"OK, let's go!"
"You're sure?"
"Yep."

And, just like that, our trip to freedom was underway. Little did we know it would get a lot more complicated before we got anywhere near being well and truly out from under the collective thumb of our oppressors. Would it have changed anything if we had known how arduous our flight would be? Not bloody likely. The stakes were just too high what with the rest of the human population on the planet being under threat.

We just flat-out ran for most of that first day putting as much distance between us and the prison camp as we could. It didn't dawn on us that we had no supplies until we were both ready to drop from exhaustion. But, luckily, while the area around the prison camp had been cleared of people, the buildings and their contents had been left alone. No measures had been taken to destroy everything useful, no scorched earth principles had been applied.

Once we had put sufficient space and time behind us we stopped at a convenient house to see what we could find.  We went through it pretty thoroughly and found a couple bottles of water, some canned meats, and a can opener. Given the lack of pockets on our prison-issue jumpsuits, the only problem was that we didn't find any kind of backpack that would stay unobtrusive as we traveled. The pink Barbie would've stuck out like a sore thumb. The black jumpsuits, on the other hand, were just about ideal for covert traveling. Made of some kind of alien fabric, they breathed when warm and warmed when cool. I'm still not quite sure how they accomplished that but we weren't about to complain about it while on the run.

The other thing we didn't have was a strategy for our flight. 'Away from the prison camp' was only going to get us so far. After a brief discussion we decided that we'd just keep moving for a couple days just to get more distance behind us. If we saw something that looked like it might be an interesting place to stop we'd have a closer look but we didn't anticipate finding much in the way of human presence in easily-found places.

Thoroughly ransacked houses were common but we managed to find several unmolested houses over the next two days and added several critical items to our kit. We found jack knives, some backpacks, eating utensils, and more food and water. We considered taking booze but decided that the minimal benefit didn't justify the extra weight.

We wondered about the people who had lived in the houses, those who had called the houses home; wondered where they were and if they were, in fact, still alive. So many had died in the early days of the occupation. In those days the occupiers shot anyone who resisted. It took a while for people to figure that out. The occupiers had been ruthless in the application of their policies. No quarter was given to man, woman, or child. We had no real idea how many people existed outside the prison camp but we were hoping to find some.


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