Enjoy this custom Last Stand Chronicle short story by D.I. Telbat featuring Lester!
Jungle Phone Run
A Last Stand Chronicle – Custom Fiction Short Story by D.I. Telbat
Lester never saw the ledge against the background of jungle green. His Honda CRF 450x dirt bike seemed to float away from him. Releasing his handlebars, he mentally braced for the impact.
This wasn’t Lester’s first motorcycle wreck. He had raced and wrecked during his youth in and around Camarillo, California – and his hide bore the scars to prove it. Nor was this his first wreck in the Andes Mountains northeast of Bogotá, Colombia.
The impact was softer than Lester expected, but it still hurt. His feet hit leafy vines first, shoving his knees into his chest. He bounced and twisted through the air, his wind gone, vaguely realizing his customized motorcycle was smashing through a balsam tree farther down the hillside.
Lester stopped tumbling and settled into a thicket of jewelweed, their yellowish flowers obscuring the blue sky above as he lay on his backpack.
His bones ached and he felt blood trickling from his neck, but he was more concerned about the bike. As soon as he caught his wind, he crawled twenty yards and inspected the Honda.
The auxiliary fuel tank mounted on the back was intact, but the aluminum gallon tank welded above the front fender was punctured. Its valued liquid had already seeped out. With effort, he righted the three-hundred pound machine and calculated the fuel loss.
He had known he couldn’t carry enough fuel to reach the jungle village then return all the way to Tunja. Not in that terrain. That fact was further confirmed by this loss. As long as he reached the target village first, he’d worry about his return later.
Lester tapped the GPS screen mounted on the handlebars, then groaned as he realized it had taken a blow from the balsam tree. A splinter of the soft wood had split the screen in two.
Shrugging off his backpack, Lester unzipped the front pouch to find his map. He growled at himself, wishing he had brought a backup GPS. No matter. This little bump wasn’t going to stop him; he’d dreamed of this mission for years. With a glance at the mountain peaks, he triangulated his position by dead reckoning.
Spending precious fuel, Lester gunned the bike up the steep hillside to reach the trail. Racing along the path was dangerous, and he risked another wreck, but he couldn’t afford to be caught by FARC guerrillas.
Lester ignored his pains from the wreck and sped down the twisting trail. His bark-buster hand guards slashed through low branches and plants that had grown up since the last machete had cleared the trail. Weeds whacked at his glasses and whipped at his cheeks, leaving lines the width of paper cuts.
The Honda backfired three times in rapid succession. No, that was gunfire! Lester ducked his head and twisted the throttle. He felt the rear wheel take a slug, but the tires had been installed with foam inserts, since he’d expected conflict.
In seconds, Lester was beyond the range of the gunmen. Which faction of communist rebels were they? It didn’t matter. Any of them would kill him the instant they checked his pack. Outsiders and nonconformists were not tolerated. Apparently, neither were motorcyclists.
A mile later, Lester stopped to check his bike. The rear tire had indeed taken a round, but the rest of the bike was unscathed. Rooting through his pack, he found the ten satellite phones also untouched. God was looking out for him. This was His mission.
It was not the first time God had watched his back, Lester reflected as he moved on. For years in prison, Lester had stepped carefully, served his sentence, and sought out his true calling.
He had anticipated his release, but not so he could return to his old life of motorcycle racing and self-glory. Rather, Lester had set his mind on using his skills for a higher purpose. Though no longer a young man, he could still wrestle the 450x over logs and through streams when he needed to.
About twenty miles to go, Lester guessed. Once he handed off the satellite phones to the Christian bush evangelists, he hoped the villagers could restock him with enough food for his return trip – much of the trip surely by foot.
Lester didn’t mind abandoning the motorcycle in the bush of Colombia. It was just a material object, which was another lesson learned in prison. This bike certainly wasn’t the last he would leave to rust in a jungle valley or on a mountain ridge.
As long as the treetop fliers were grounded by FARC anti-aircraft fire, Lester would make himself available. The Word of God, even by satellite phone, would not be stopped.
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