The Cavern – Part 16

My dreams were weird and chaotic, a hunger burned within me and shadows of memory stirred within but I could not catch.

My dreams were not good, I stabbed my father with a chisel and buried all the small bodies who writhed and cried and called out to me. I was drenched in ice and then in fire and my bones pulsed with the pain of metamorphosis, it was as if all the Suma were there within my body, consuming my mind with their needs. I must have called out as I was shaken awake by my lecturer he looked concerned.

I smiled weakly at his concern but knew that my purples would be pinched and pale, it was dark and the air heavy, I stretched and considered our next move. We sat drinking stim and thought on checking out the world beyond our metal box.

‘We are of course basically trapped in here,’ he said gently. I nodded and stood motioning him to silence whilst I listened to the world outside. I could here nothing but the dripping of water and the gentle snoring of the sleeping bodies.

‘I want the mission for today, if we can manage to stay alive, to be building a look out hatch,’ I was startled at how clear and authoritative I sounded, of course we would need to start digging our way out too but I was starting to formulate a plan on that one too. People were beginning to awaken at my words.

The medic made sure everyone ate and then it was time to try our luck in the dark cavern beyond. I was going to go first but my lecturer stepped in and insisted that I stand back, ‘you are our leader – with you an attack is a set back even if I am lost but if you go first and are lost this lot will fall to pieces.’ I wanted to argue but he was right.

I felt sick with the tension as I awaited for the moans and scream, but we were lucky and the Cavern was clear, there was little chance it would remain like that for long. We shot out to the other containers removing tools and metal and I sent my lecturer off once more to fetch the water we needed.

We had only split into two groups though knowing that we needed to maintain a guard at all times – a lesson learnt form the mine and Anchor’s accident with the crate of tins the day before. My nerves were on fire as I piled equipment into the container. I was wondering how, by the everliving, we were going to cut through the metal roof of the container when My lecture returned from fetching the days water. Once again he was splashed with the yellow ooze and I found it hard to meet his eyes knowing they had had to dispatch yet another reanimate.

I have a suspicion that it was our light and warmth that were attracting the things, in which case we really didn’t have a lot of time before they would once again be upon us. On the other hand we now had the whole group back together making hunting the supplies easier. The chances of finding a working arc welder were remote and I was at a loss to how we would puncture a look out point on the container roof. The danger that would put the group in every ‘morning’ was not something we could sustain. Also I had specific plans on how we were to escape and it meant having someone working around the clock and for that we needed roof access.

We were steadily busting open all of the containers, a lot of stuff had been ruined but no where near the amount I had feared. If we could get roof access from within then we were in a strong position.

I walked along the busted opened metal rectangles and examined the hammer blows and how they had buckeled the sturdy stuff, then the scratches and dents cased by the various crow bars and chisels we had used.

‘Is there any of the hammer jacks about’ I asked trying to contain the bubble of hope within myself.

A clatter of tools bouncing on the calcified cavern floor interrupted my grand plans, I turned chisel spear in hand to see, not just one or two but… well I couldn’t count them. I didn’t have to shout, we were all heading back to the container as fast as we could, if we couldn’t close it before they reached us, if they had any intelligence left.. we were dead.

I threw myself through the door and did a quick count, we were all in, the door slide into place and we braced it. Something hard and heavy hit the door, but it only bowed very slightly. We were trapped, would they go away? Would they forget what they couldn’t see?

More importantly were they capable of using the tools, we had scattered, to break in. I was breathing fast and shallow, I couldn’t stop looking at the door, wondering how long we had. I jumped at a clang, so rich and vibrant I thought they had broken through, instead one of the women had hit her head into the wall. ‘We’re going to die!!!” she cackled and did it again, a responding thump shock us from the out side, thwack she went a third time.

‘Stop her!’ I cried, ‘it’s reminding them we are in here!’

Two of the others had to physically restrain her, but she was shouting and screaming and laughing manically.

‘Now what?’ the medic asked.

‘Sudate her!’ I hissed.

She raised her ear flaps in startlement, ‘but if they get in..’

‘Just do it, I doubt she would fight anyway.’ the medics ears drooped but she nodded and moved off to the hysterical woman.

I closed my eyes to rest my brain from the reality for a moment, the mantra, ‘what am I going to do…’ bubbled around and around my head until I remembered the calming leadership training my father had insisted I have.

I looked at the huddle of survivors, there were faint scrapings and thumps on the exposed walls of our little cell but it seemed to be holding – we just had to hope they would forget us.

Posted: Monday, January 20th, 2014 @ 9:59 am
Categories: Series, The Cavern.
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