The Cavern – Part 14

We came eventually to the Cavern proper, sobs escaped more than half of us as we shone light with acrid flame upon the devastation. Retching was more prevalent. We were all tired and I wanted to set up somewhere safe for us to rest that was not the damn bubble. I found the freezers and containers and paused, could I get into them? The secret of the keys had been very important but the fact that they were still standing apparently undamaged gave me hope that we might find some food and water.

Then my lecture noticed that one of them was busted, my ears dropped until he pointed out that we could get into it and it looked as if the door had been open when the flood occurred. We stood in front of the metal Suma made cave and shone our feeble lights within – I shuddered we would have to go in there to make somewhere safe to sleep but it was more than possible that a body would have been washed within and if it had suffered from the sickness…

Swallowing my own fear I ordered the two nearest in and tried not to hold my breath nor pant through my purples, I did this by ordering the others to fan out and keep and eye on the surroundings, I didn’t want a reanimate to sneak up on us whilst we were preoccupied.

My chest hurt but though there was a crash and bang which made me jump, there was nothing within the container. A sense of relief flooded me but I barked out orders, for us to sort it out and make it secure for the night. We stripped it, pulling out the sodden sack of grains and debris that had washed in.

Somehow we found a broom and made it as dry and tidy as we could. It was big enough that we could set up in there easy and part of me wanted to laugh that the council had not thought to use one for the council chamber – it would have been warmer and easier – then I reflected that perhaps they had not wanted to take up a food store for their own comfort.

There was so much to think about – I was no leader but I was all that was left, snorting, fifteen was not much of a people nor army but that was all that there was now.

We searched the area finding three more little shattered bodies and one larger one, ‘not all will reanimate the same as sometimes the reanimates remember who they are but not normally.’ the medic said, I thought that I really should learn everybody’s names but it somehow seemed a very low priority compared to keeping them alive.

I blanched at the thought of having to perform the rite for our entire population, but more at the thought that at some point were were going to meet others that were not dead, others that were stronger than us and armoured. We’d dispatched the first one easily but then there had been a lot of us and one of it. I shuddered at the thought of what it would be like if the numbers where reversed.

Food and water was a more pressing issue though – especially water and I took the decision to split us into three teams, I didn’t want too, there was something safe in numbers but we needed water, food and bedding and that was three things and we needed them before we dropped, the medics supplies of stim shots was running low and with each we were increasing the chances of dropping dead from cardiovascular failure or so she had informed me.

I also found I didn’t want to be out of site of my Lecture it was as if he represented safety. All animosity seemed to be gone and he’d actively kept me sane enough to do what I had too. But he was the natural choice to lead a group, part of me knew that he was more senior than I was and should really have been running the whole thing, I could pass the leadership onto him – then I could breath easier.

I knew I would not, or was it a could not? I didn’t know nor did I think he would thank me for such a action.

I stayed close to our head quarters and set about busting open the other containers, it was hard work and I had to use the large female as a counter point for the chisel we were using as a lever. The metal groaned and buckled and eventually we were in. Some water had gotten in but not much, however there was no food but a lot of canvas and ropes and other such equipment, we began to sort through it and I sent three of my group back to our container to set it up with the useful bits we extracted.

We moved on to the next container, me and the large female – Ancho, who had been a school teacher. We busted into the next one, it was both easier and harder than the first – we now knew what we were doing but muscle fatigue was setting in.

It was full of tins, water had gotten in and the labels had all fallen off, ‘I hope they are food,’ Ancho said and I nodded and sighed gesturing that we should take a crate back to the other container.

She was very good at carrying and hefting and I thought that she would have been better as a miner with her build than with her chosen job – not that it really mattered anymore. It might even save the woman in the times to come.

We were half way back when I heard a strange shushing sound, I put the crate down and scanned the area. There was a… body walking towards me or rather trying to walk towards me, one leg had been busted up pretty badly and it was being dragged along. Strange tendrils of yellow gunk seemed to stream from it.

Ancho screamed and dropped her crate, I removed my broom handle weapon from where I had strapped it to my back. It seemed rather flimsy.

Posted: Monday, January 13th, 2014 @ 3:07 pm
Categories: Series, The Cavern.
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