Hope you all have been having a great weekend! We’ve had insanely strong winds all weekend, so much so I dreamed I was been chased by a T.Rex last night. The dinosaur loving part of my brain thought it was AWESOME, but the sane part was getting fairly concerned … Still, crazy dreams inspire awesome writing *lol* Here is Chapter Fifteen 🙂 Please remember this is a rough draft, and as the author I own FULL copyright to it. This work may not be copied/shared in any manner other than a link to this blog. Thanks and enjoy!
‘What the hell is wrong with the lights? And the door? Eoin, what’s happening?!’ Ally stared into the darkened space with a look of shock.
‘Holi realised what I was doing, shut the lab down,’ Eoin said while peering into the emergency box to see if any other switches were in there. Groping inside, he felt another button and pressed it. A sharp ting rang out as a few lights flickered to life; emergency lighting, just enough to get around by. Motioning Ally away from the door, Eoin used the button to close it and ushered her down the stairs. ‘Tell me what you saw.’
‘Four separate vehicles, decent ones, each with six to eight men. Several with,’ Ally made a moue of distaste, ‘adaptions.’
Eoin made a similar expression, upper lip wrinkling. ‘Severe?’
Ally nodded grimly. ‘Three arms, a set of legs. Possibly something to the neck.’
He made a hiss of concern at that. Raiders with such extreme adaptions required almost constant access to Promethian blood to prevent infection and rejection. ‘The neck,’ he said to Ally. ‘Why would you do that?’
She shrugged then pushed past, jolting down the stairs at speed and headed for the living quarters. ‘An hour max, we need to grab supplies and go!’
‘Ally, I can’t!’ Eoin hurried down the stairs after her. ‘I have to get the virus complete! I need,’ he paused mind scrambling. ‘I need two hours!’
‘Eoin!’ Ally pivoted on her heel, her face inches from his a second later. ‘Are you insane!’
‘Without this we’ll never be safe!’
‘I can’t keep you safe against them, we HAVE to run!’ Ally’s voice didn’t raise but her eyes flashed. ‘I am not taking you home in a box dammit! You know what they’ll do!’
‘Please Ally,’ Eoin begged, backing away from her, moving backwards into the lab space, edging for his desk. ‘Please I can do this, I know it! I know I had it right!’
‘I swore I’d bring you home alive, Eoin we HAVE to leave!’
‘This could change everything!’
‘Or you could DIE! Nothing will change!’
He could see and hear the warning sounds of her building up to simply removing him. And he knew, at full capabilities, he couldn’t beat her. Switching tactics, he tried again, ‘An hour, you’re sorting out a plan? Let me have a shot at this, we leave when you’re ready for us to.’
Ally flicked a hand up in frustration. ‘Get moving! And get me those screens on, I need to see!’
Propelled into action Eoin raced past her, into the living quarters and scrabbled through the large cabinet beneath the seating/sleeping area. Behind him he could hear Ally going through the tall shelving unit in the cupboard outside the living area, grabbing things.
‘Eoin!’ she yelled at him just as he found what he wanted. ‘Come look!’
Shoving to his feet Eoin took a couple of long strides and landed beside where she crouched, peering beneath the bottom shelf in the cupboard.
Bending down, head sideways and pressed against the cold smooth floor, he saw switches. A lit display proclaimed REBOOT SYSTEM.
‘Yes! Yes Ally! Clever girl.’ Reaching in he flicked the main switch off, throwing them into darkness again. Counting to three, following the instructions he’d swiftly scanned in the manual that had been beneath their bed, he flipped the switch back on. A tinkering sound rang out as far more than just the emergency lights flicked back on, the lab flooded with light again. Pulling back out of the compact space, Eoin flicked back to the page he’d sought and re-reading he reached in, flipping several other switches.
‘What’s working?’ Ally demanded as he pulled back out.
‘Lights, screens, monitoring- oh! Hang on.’ A button titled ‘Security’ sat beneath the main switches. A brief glance at the manual didn’t go into detail. Mentally crossing his fingers, Eoin pushed it.
A heavy hum juddered the walls. Pushing out of the small space he exchanged a concerned glance with Ally then hurried into the lab, pressing the bottom for the monitors. The screens on the walls flicked on around them and Ally gave a gasp.
‘Look! Look! Oh, that’s awesome!’
Eyes flashing to where she pointed, Eoin stared in astonishment. At the end of the tunnel they resided in, just before you stepped out into the open area they’d fallen down, a massive spiral door had wound shut stopping any access to the tunnel.
‘Oh Eoin!’ Ally almost danced, bouncing on the balls of her feet. ‘You have your hour! Maybe even two! Get moving!’
They dashed past each other, him towards the bench where the equipment was now accessible, and her toward the cupboard she was pilfering. Thumbing the controls he ordered the microscope, and most importantly, the machine that would create the actual virus. As he leaned forward to adjust the microscope the beacon around his neck swung forward, touching the instrument with a metallic ting.
The microscope vibrated.
Blinking in surprise, Eoin made a sound of disbelief.
The beacon still contained entire new formula.
Holi hadn’t been able to remotely access it, he realised with surge of delight. Turning to the other machine, a biological printer, and pressed the beacon to it.
Alarms shrieked, lights flashing by the monitors.
‘SHIT!’ Ally’s voice bellowed out alarmingly close. Eoin looked up to see her staring at the screens in horror and he craned his neck, looking at the huge images on the walls beside him. Framed in flashing red with the word BREACH across the centre, an image of an opening he’d never seen before showed. The spiral door was attempting to close, but couldn’t, jammed against dirt and debris.
‘That’ll make noise!’ Ally yelped, dropping the bags she’d filled with supplies. She dove back into the cupboard, emerging with a small tool kit which she pointed at him. ‘Get to work! We may not have an hour. I’m going to see if I can fix it!’
About to protest he bit back the words, watching her vanish up the stairs and out the door. Taking a breath, Eoin sat back down.
‘Focus,’ he muttered to himself and flicked on the microscope menu, beginning to calibrate the tool to his requirements.
Rushing down the tunnel, heart steady though her mind felt to be going at a million miles a second, Ally ran through all the training she’d had at home for fighting humans. Hopefully it wouldn’t come to that. Ideally they’d escape and then simply outrun them. But with an unknown vehicle, that might not be an option.
‘Hands first, always hands first!’ Her teacher’s favourite line. ‘You can knock out a human with the lightest blow, and if you can get your hand on their head or neck, kill them. Always hands first!’
Training for all Promethian’s was mandatory in their village. Some of the humans who lived with them joined in, but they couldn’t learn much of what was taught. Still, a little self-defence was better than none. Being a hunter Promethian, Ally had been required to train daily. Hunters nano-virus enhanced strength, speed, agility, and the ability to swiftly think and execute plans. Her father and mother were both hunters, and normally Promethian’s only mated like with like. It kept the numbers of each type strong. Another reason her parents were less than impressed with Eoin.
‘What if you can’t conceive!?’ her mother had demanded, father nodding when she’d told them of her choice. The memory brought a mirthless smile to her lips. ‘Will be a hell of a lot harder to test if I don’t get him back alive. And can’t have that, gotta see who wins the gene race!’
When she’d made the straight faced suggestion that Eoin’s genes, as a Scientist, might overpower the Hunter genes, her father hit the fury max of his nano-virus so fast he’d passed out in seconds. It had been a momentary thrill to get back at him for his comments.
Rounding the corner, footsteps echoing lightly off the tunnel walls, Ally saw the daylight streaming through as the winding door opened fully again before attempting to spin shut. The metallic groans and screeches caused a flinch across Ally’s shoulders as she gritted her teeth. That sound!
Reaching the door, she dropped to her knees beside a flashing panel in the rounded wall next to the door. Beneath the clear covering she could see the manual controls for the door.
‘How’d I not see you last time?’ she whispered, running her fingers over the smooth covering, trying to detect a way to open it. Unable to find purchase she sat back and grabbed the tool kit by her knees, flipping it open. Seizing a scalpel tipped tool, she tried again around the edges of the panel. As she made her way around the corner her elbow stuck out while she attempted to jam the sharp point into it. A light and vibration made her jerk back. Hovering, activated by the close presence of her body, an access remote flashed red, highlighting the hand image on it.
‘Ha!’ Ally cried and held her hand out. An instant later the clear covering over the controls slid away. Reaching in, she punched the OPEN button and exhaled in absolute relief at the sudden stop of mechanical sound.
The sterile, unnatural silence of the jungle snatched the relief away in a blink.
Mind switching to readiness for a fight, everything slowed down as Ally’s nano-virus opened cranial pathways never usually accessed.
Silently Ally moved to the door and crept out.