The Cavern – Part 18

We froze, someone hiccuped, the bang came again and again and then we heard the desperate voices. ‘Is there anybody there? Please, PLEASE?! Help!’

I was the first to move as I jumped over boxes to the door, my lecture was there moments after with a weapon, we opened the door with some difficulty due to the slight buckling of the door from our escape the day before.

I emerged into the gloom, there were… people, about twenty of them, looking scared and frightened, something was odd about some of them and I worried that they were on the brink of change. I scouted the area and realised that we were now all in danger – such a large group would attract the reamimates a lot sooner but I could not ignore such survivors!

But desperate people could be more dangerous than the ever living, it was a tragedy of our spieces. The group was larger than the one I already had and I was charged with trying to save our people from extinction. My domain had just doubled.

‘I am Ginglar, daughter of the council, who has been leading you?’ I snapped at them, I expected an answer and quickly. I tried not to shake.

They shuffled and then a young male like me barely more than a youngling stepped forward. ‘I think I am?’ he was shaking.

‘Get them into that container,’ I was indicating the one next to the one we were in – we could not all fit in one. I called my lecturer and he stepped forward. ‘You will lead a group of these survivors to collect water. We must all get back under cover as soon as possible.’

‘I have no more canisters?’ he spoke softly, I closed my eyes – for some reason I was angry.

‘You will have to find some!’ I didn’t mean to snap but he bowed to me and headed off to organise his new cohorts.

I twisted my ankle on one of the loose tools we had scattered during our escape the previous day. I ordered them tidied up and taken inside, I then went about setting up a watch and people to sort exactly what weapons we needed.

Then I headed over to ‘next door’ they were working away like hoppers in the hive phase but I could tell they were bewildered and scared, how had they survived?

I located the youngling leader, he looked like he was about to cry, his features relaxed with relief when he saw me. I gritted my teeth, I would have happily relinquished my control of the group to someone else. Evidently he felt exactly the same and though his group was larger my councilor parents made me an obvious choice for the power.

‘Reanimate!’ came the cry from the look out and I turned away from him before I had even found out his name. ‘Do you have weapons?’ I cried at them – they fumbled with hand made bodges similar to what we ourselves had created, they were no where near as sturdy looking.

I assessed the situation at the container entrance and breathed a sigh of relief there was maybe three, we could handle this. A tension ran through us all and then several people split off rushing towards the invaders, they were dispatched messily. I zinged with it.

It was over quickly, it had seemed like a life time.

We all felt the extra drive to get everything sorted and into safety. Food was surprisingly plentiful in the containers but I still did not want it wasted – if we lived long enough it could take months maybe years to escape. We would need that food!

I felt the time pressure and transmitted it to those around me, I decided to sort the tools and get things set up so we could at least bash a whole between our metal caves. The thin pale male from my original group sidled over to me to say he’d found a working power unit for the hammer jack. I felt a strange euphoria and was about to set up some sort of external staircase to get to the roof when a sicking scream echoed around us.

I actually slumped with the thought ‘not again’ before I went to see what the issue was exactly. My fears rung around me in the burblings of the others, hair and ears sticking out in tension. There was a tide of reanimates. ‘In the containers!’ I cried.

I was not in my correct one, and as the door clanged shut I realised that I had no idea if the water collectors were back or not. I slumped too my knees in shock. Were they now locked out there with the killing horde?

My lecture was with them, I had potentially sent him to his doom. I wanted to sink into the pain of the moment and let it cut my soul out but instead I assessed what needed to happen with the group around me.

I counted us, 14 less than our group in the other container. How many had I sent to get water? Six?

I ordered everyone to be quiet. We had little light, the thumping and crashing of the creatures outside filled our ears and I had a large female smother the younglings sobs. It settled down relatively quickly and quietly I insisted that each individual went to sleep. There was not quiet enough blankets for everyone and no Stim or water nor cooking equipment – we’d moved that into ‘head quarters’ I cursed my own efficiency. The supplies were separated from us by centimetres but that could be enough to kill us if the reanimants got it into their heads to siege us.

There was also no medic to tranquilize those who needed it.

I took the watch and quietly chatted with most of the group as they slinked over in twos and ones. All concerned, all wanting to know if I still had contact with the council, all convinced that my parentage gave me special powers or that I’d been given the secrets to our escape. I’m not sure how much they believed and how much was just hope, a coping mechanism.

I reassured as much as I could, but I was beginning to be thirsty and tired, my eyes felt hot and gritty and my purples were slightly sore. I combed out my knotted matt of fur, to distracted myself from worry. There was nothing much any of us could do until we were reasonably sure that the reanimates were gone.

Posted: Tuesday, January 28th, 2014 @ 10:30 am
Categories: Series, The Cavern.
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