The Cavern – Part 13

I cracked the seals again, this time I had a climbing knife in my hand, just in case, what I had seen going past our little bubble, did not fill me with confidence. I did not mentioned it to the others. We were all awake now and huddled in a sorry little group, we had enough food for one meal, I reasoned we should consume our supplies and sleep (if we could) and then it would be time to brave the damp cavern beyond. I didn’t know if we would find anything still edible out there but nor did I know if we would live to see another meal time.

Even so it really wasn’t much of a feast and all of us were hungry enough that sleep was hard to come by but finally the cold was a chill in the back of my mind as I sank down deep into a dream of swirling bodies and fire. I stirred but felt comforting arms around me and slipped into a deeper, dreamless void. I was slow to awake.

My eyes felt gritty and my fur grimy, I wanted a bath, I wanted water more. I got a small half cup of stim and wondered weather the water it was made with wouldn’t have been the better option. I kept the thought to myself and thanked the woman who handed it to me. I sipped it savouring the warmth and thought of meals with my parents before my grandmother became truly sick. Sighing I got to my feet and stretched – we had been in the bubble long enough for me to feel cramped and soggy.

It took a good 2 hours to get everyone sorted. We each had two large weapons approaching clubs and spears – the best we could make with the resources we had, then we had a selection of knives and jabby things like eating utensils which being so close range would be a last resort. No one looked happy, no ones purples were purple and everyones ears were low. Two of our number had also developed patchy fur – they had the sickness and now knowing what I did about the reannimates it took on a rather sinister meaning. How long before they turned?

I ignored the implications and turned to the sorrowful little group, ‘friends it is not going to be easy, it is not going to be a walk in the park, we don’t really know what we will find out there, we have all lost.. everything. I can’t bring your families back nor guarantee that we will live to see another day but why we live the Suma people live, whilst we live there is a chance for vengeance and more there is a chance of performing the rite for those who lay beyond this vale.’

To me the words felt, hollow and empty, my conviction from before was gone and I was a scared youngling but my parents had drilled me on public speaking and my voice carried full of apparent strength.

I saw the fright replaced by zeal and the power to do this thing scared me more, it was almost as if I was controlling them, I mentally shook myself and turned to the outside world, knowing that they would follow me.

The tunnels were dark now, the lighting that had been put into place had been smashed or washed away, our torches cast pale discs of colour in a monochrome world. It was oppressive. I forced my feet onwards. The floor was slick with water and the moister levels in the tunnel made my fur sodden and breathing as laboured as it had been in the bubble.

We found a little corpse, a sad little bundle, it had not reanimated and the medic set about performing the rite and tidying the little thing. I struggled not to loose the small contence of my stomach, I felt ill at ease with myself as if my main emotion was frustration. From what the medic had said children did not tend to reannimate – it was unheard of and the illness only struck down those past the youngling stage of development. We were wasting time – but how could I not let them attend the rite for the child?

I couldn’t feel it’s death, there was too much all around me, in my ears and eyes and soul. Remnants of everyday items scattered the floor in front of us. We moved onwards towards the main cavern, I’d reasoned that that was were all the supplies had been and was also the place that would have been swept clear of bodies.

There was a stench beginning, the water still puddled upone the cavern floor showed rainbow scums telling me that they were polluted with decomposing organics, the cave was not going to be a healthy place to even breath soon.

A clunk made me jump, a figure was heading towards us, our light gleamed off of it’s body, ‘kill it!’ I screamed. We where all parallelised by the sight of it, it’s head lulled to the side.

‘The armour is incomplete!’ cried the medic, ‘aim for the neck!’

My lecture saw the group hesitate and rushed forward, a low ‘nooo’ escaped my lips but his chisel on a stick struck the creature in the neck but he had misjudged how much force to use and the chisel was embedded in the things neck, it scrabbled still, trying to reach us with an erry determination.

Others joined in the attack, following example and soon the creature was laying in bloodied yellow tatters at our feet. I made us examine it, ‘see the armour, some will have more complete scales, so the eyes may be the only chance of a kill.’ I sounded so cool and calm but all I wanted was to be hugged by my Father and told it was all going to be alright.

The medic performed the rite, I choked on the acrid flames, she herself was unsure if the creatures could come back from second killings. They didn’t really die the first time but they were pretty hard to kill so the incineration had always been the way.

I muttered the litany of passing souls with the others – I kept and eye on our surroundings though and felt a strange scorn for those who still dropped their heads in pray, they were leaving themselves so vulnerable to attack.

I didn’t even know where I had learnt such thoughts. It was time to move on.

Posted: Sunday, January 12th, 2014 @ 9:05 am
Categories: Series, The Cavern.
Subscribe to the comments feed if you like. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply