“Now then,” he said, “everything seems to be in order. Why don’t we…”
“I’m afraid we have to go.” Kat said hastily. Sergio agreed. They would have to baptize Alice another time.
“But you only just got here, and I thought you wanted the safety of your daughter’s soul.”
“We can do that later,” Kat shot back.
“Please stay, I insist!”
“No can do.”
“No, you must stay!”
Sergio turned to look at him. We must stay? Kat was looking at the man as well. “Why are you so eager to keep us here?”
“You’re with Invergence aren’t you!” Sergio couldn’t believe what he was seeing.
“Look, I don’t know anything about them. All I know is they were willing to pay a lot of money if I saw a family matching your description. That’s all I know I swear.”
“So you sold us out!” Kat was furious.
“Please, we don’t get a lot of money here, and the offer was quite generous.”
“Unbelievable.” Kat turned and stormed towards the exit. Sergio followed with Alice. The sound of the drone had grown much louder now. It was probably circling the building. Kat paused and pulled out a pistol they had bought earlier. She had brought that into the church?
Once outside, it didn’t take them long to find the drone. It was hovering just above the church, its dark tendrils hanging beneath it, and its single red eye combing the place. Kat raised her pistol and fired. The bullet sparked as it bounced off the drone’s armored shell. It whirled and faced Kat. She waved Sergio past, towards the car. Sergio didn’t need telling twice. He ran to the car and placed Alice in her seat. Then he ran around to the back of the car to get the machete they had bought earlier that month.
Kat fired again. The bullet also bounced off the drone. Its red eye started to glow, and then a beam of laser-light shot from it. The beam missed Kat by centimeters and set fire to a bush surrounding the church. Kat retreated to the only source of cover she had available: back into the building. She continued firing on the drone, but that did nothing except distract the machine. It lowered to eye-level in order to smash through the doors of the church and follow Kat. It remained focused on her, turning its back to Sergio and Alice.
Sergio then made either the dumbest or bravest decision of his life. He leapt on the back of the drone, carefully avoiding the spinning propellers that kept it aloft. It immediately sank but quickly compensated. Then, sensing what was happening, the drone swam from one side to the other, attempting to knock Sergio off. It nearly worked, but Sergio held on tightly. Then, lifting one arm, he jammed his machete into one of the propellers. A screech of metal and the drone spun on its one good propeller. Sergio flew off the machine. A moment later and it hit the ground, its one good propeller still trying to lift it up.
Dazed, Sergio blinked and found the machete, scuffed and bent slightly, lying next to him. He picked it up and ran to where the drone lay on its side. He found its big red eye and jammed the machete into it. Glass broke and it dug deep into the drone’s inner workings. Sergio twisted the embedded machete, and the drone stood still.
He was breathing deeply. He took a moment to collect himself, then glanced back at Kat. She was staring at him.
“I’ve never wanted you more than this moment,” she said.
Sergio grinned. “It’s going to have to wait.” They could hear the sound of more drones. The first one had almost certainly reported their position.
The priest entered the lobby where the drone lay.
“Oh my goodness!” He made the sign of the cross. “I…how?”
“Just stay out of our way,” Kat said and both she and Sergio ran back outside.
Alice was still babbling in the car, seemingly oblivious to what was happening. Before entering the car, Sergio turned in the direction of the buzzing. Two small shapes were slowly approaching.
Sergio rushed into the car and started it up. A few seconds later and they were driving as fast as they could away from the church.
Sergio didn’t look back, he focused only on driving forward. But it wasn’t long before Kat called to him.
“Sergio!” she yelled.
Sergio adjusted the mirror to look behind them. The two drones had veered away from the church and were now following them from a distance.