Just because I actually had two stored up that I never got around to posting….. Yeah, go back and check the post below this one. Surprise!
Unfortunately, that just means it will probably be a while before the actual action scene.
I know. I'm mean.
The Promised Land: (Part 32) Blindness
Once they reached the bottom of the staircase, Eden realized they were in some sort of subway system. An old subway car sat on its side, halfway into the station, blocking one end of the tunnel. The car on the other side looked as though it had been torn apart in the middle and each side was used to block both ends of the tunnel. As a defensive position, in looked pretty sturdy. Whatever “monster” they were trying to keep out, they made sure it had a hard time getting in.
Caden went to the middle of the platform, where a large map stood, and took a pamphlet from the side. Sitting on the concrete ground, he opened the pamphlet and traced his fingers over a map of the underground tunnel system. “This is where we need to go,” he said while pointing to a blue circle close to the left edge.
“Where are we?” Eden asked. Her voice echoed louder than she expected.
Asher pointed to a red circle close to the middle. Eden followed the red line until it connected with the blue line then followed that until it reached the circle Caden pointed out. There were a lot of other lines crossing the path they needed to take.
“We’ve got a long way to go. Hopefully we don’t get lost.”
Caden nodded to Shiloh’s light, “Once that dies out, don’t use another one. We’ll be in monster territory then. They’re extremely light sensitive. We don’t need to give them a reason to hate us.” He looked over and Asher and muttered, “Try to restrain yourself.”
“Monster?” Eden echoed.
“They’re more like werewolves,” Caden replied in annoyance. “We just don’t have another word for them. We should get going.”
Eden grabbed a couple extra pamphlets in case they got separated while Caden tucked away his map. The twins hopped down onto the track with Eden and Asher right behind.
“So these monsters…” Eden whispered hesitantly, “…werewolves?”
“Not exactly,” Asher replied. “They’re more of a wolf and coyote hybrid, but much bigger. Long, sharp teeth, creepy eyes, fur and skin in patches so they look like the dead brought back to life. They stink too.”
“And how many have you killed?”
“Just a couple dozen.”
“Liar,” Caden interjected.
“Ok, I’ve never killed any. They’re too dangerous to handle by myself. They hunt in packs and they almost always stay underground, unless they need food.”
Eden shivered. “So where’s the good news?”
Asher thought for a moment. “They burn well. So what’s your gift?”
“My… oh, I … uh…”
“She doesn’t have one,” Caden tilted his head back to Asher. “She’s a pure.”
“Ah, makes sense why you don’t have a tag. Do you have a sword or gun on you… or something?”
“Not really,” Eden muttered to her future relative.
Looking confused, Asher turned to Caden. “Shouldn’t she have a shotgun or something? She can’t be wandering these tunnels without a way to defend herself.”
Caden shrugged. “She’s done fine so far. She can’t even shoot.”
“Really? She’ll have to learn quick if we get mauled to death.”
“I don’t trust her aim. Might get one of us killed. Besides, how do you know she won’t get eaten first?”
Eden narrowed her eyes at Caden. “Your words of comfort are exhilarating.” Even though she expressed annoyance, she couldn’t help but be all the more terrified of their situation.
“Here,” Asher reached into his rucksack and pulled out two black sticks. He gave one to Eden and held the other in his hand. The top of the rod was made of metal, though had a rubber handle.
“Watch this.” He swung the baton down to the side of his leg to extend the rod. He pulled up the extended baton and waited for Eden to do the same. She swung the baton until hers extended. Lifting it up to inspect it, Eden noticed that the extended portion had ridges all the way to the tip.
“I wouldn’t touch those,” Asher commented. He pointed to a button on the rod. As he pressed it, the baton instantly came to life with electrical energy. The rod sparked and crackled with a blue glow. “It’s got a safety trigger you hold down,” Asher explained as he let go of the button and handed the rod to Eden.
“You’re just going to give these to me?” she asked in disbelief.
“Just until we teach you to aim,” Asher winked.
“That is super cool. Thank you!” Eden turned on both rods and swung them around a little.
“Ok, you have your glow sticks, can you keep it down?” Caden whispered. His look of annoyance quickly turned to high alert when they heard something skitter across the tracks. “We’re producing too much light.”
Eden turned off and collapsed her batons. Shiloh threw his light source back the way they came. They walked along in silence. Eden’s eyes eventually adjusted to the dark, but she would still bump into someone occasionally. At one point, they climbed on to the platform of a station, went up a set of stairs, and crossed a bridge. It felt like they had been walking for hours when Caden suddenly stopped.
“Wha-” Eden was shushed before she could finish her question. A putrid stench hit her nose.
“Pack,” Blitz barely whispered. “About thirty, at least.”
“Where?” Asher squinted into the darkness, but he couldn’t see any more than he did before.
“Clustered. Center of platform. Dormant. We can go around. Stay quiet.”
He led the way to the edge of the platform and slid off without a sound. Shiloh and Asher followed. Eden held her breath and carefully descended the platform. She couldn’t see the individual monsters, only a large mass on the platform. The smell intensified as they snuck by the pack. They didn’t risk stumbling over the monorail, but continued forward. They were almost in the clear when a sharp CRACK echoed through the tunnel.
Growls, clicks, and soft thumps suddenly arose from the cluster.