The votes of my patrons have been cast and tallied and this month’s next update is a return to Ozymandias. Harper’s Very Bad Day continues, but on the plus side her captor isn’t having the best time either, even if Adrianna is determined to keep her alive, seemingly at any cost to herself, which annoys Harper greatly. Then again, everything about Adrianna that she doesn’t outright despise annoys her.
It’s quite a conundrum. Rely on your worst enemy for mutual survival, or a painful and prolonged death as you’re eaten alive. For the moment, Harper is willing to postpone the latter as long as she can by doing the former, but she hasn’t forgotten where her loyalties truly lie…
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Leblanc grinned, aborting the gesture as it stretched the damaged side of her face, pulling at the skin she’d so hastily stapled back into place. “Let’s go.”
Making the best pace that their damaged bodies could manage, the two women exited the terminal, stepping onto the smooth stone road that led to the towering, squat ziggurat in the center of the cavern. At least, it looked like stone, but it wasn’t. Not completely. Guard rails ran alongside either edge, with intermittently working lights shining from spindly lamps to allow the vehicles and personnel that had once travelled it to do so safely. In a few places rubble from the rock ceiling hundreds of meters above had fallen down, scattering debris ranging from a misting of sand to loosened boulders across the roadway. One had taken a chunk of the railing it with before it had rolled over the edge, falling down into the broiling orange abyss. Additional roadside lamps, triggered by motion sensors, flickered on – or not, depending on if the bulb was still working – as the women approached, the only sign that their approach had been noticed.
A dead city was watching them. Charming.
Or maybe not so dead. Maybe the last remnants of the Baheil people were even now peering in curiousity at these strange upright creatures limping their way to their bastion. If they are out there, I hope they don’t shoot us.
Whatever the truth was within the immense spined pyramid, it immediately took a backseat in Harper’s thoughts as exultant howling echoed out of the tunnel. She looked over her shoulder. “Triarchs save us.”
Leblanc’s comment was shorter, but no less apt. “Fuck.”
There were dozens of glowing lights within the maw of the transport station, the pale whites and off-blues shifting to reds and purples as they caught sight of their prey. Even if every bullet in her gun found its mark, there would still be far too many feeders for them to fight. If they’d tried to make a stand in the bay, they’d already be dead. Hungry, aren’t you?
“Options?” Catros asked, her voice cracking in fear.
Adrianna glanced back at the ziggurat and its sealed gates. If there’s a fire behind you and a cliff in front of you, take the jump. Worry about what comes next on the way down. Not the best strategy she’d ever had, but every extra second of life was a victory. “Run.”
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