Rhodesia’s heart thumped in her chest.
People could probably hear it in the next city.
She forced a breath into aching lungs and kept a hand over her mouth to stifle the sound of an explosive exhalation. Hiding behind a tree was hardly sufficient, even if the trunk was wide enough to cover a two-person hovercraft, but she had to catch her breath.
Were they still on her tail?
Probably. And they wouldn’t be tired.
Maybe she should just give up and submit to the conversion. No place was safe, she had nowhere to run to, and perishing alone in the forest might be worse than turning into one of them.
A beautiful sound drifted down from the branches above her head. One of the indigenous birds sang. Happy, joyful, and defiant.
Through her adolescence teachers talked about the old world and life on a planet called Earth. She never understood why it was important, not until now when her own life was in shambles. Remembering the past might be more valuable than she ever realized.
Birds on Earth were allegedly different than here, but it was hard to believe such a preposterous statement. Flying animals should look the same everywhere.
She remembered a photo of a feathered creature with an extraordinary beak. It hadn’t even been a holograph; the picture was two dimensional, and so old the color had faded. Pelican. It had been called a Pelican.