Amalek. Bad-ass merciless killer. He had started as a lowly civilian in some militia, sometime during the first space flights off the Great Migration. Over the years his name rang out. Soon he was leading packs of Tartari and organizing them in the Argos.
Last I heard of him was when Lora and I had escaped his Temple and killed his best friend and sha-man, Goorm.
Now he was here and looking for me…and the newly non-existent Cube.
And to top it off, my fever was raging.
Beads of perspiration flew down my neck and back and my stomach was burning me.
I had looked around the domicile, but it was bare. It only had one basin for washing, a barely their kitchenette with a sink. Nothing else. No passage way to the underground caves which I knew were right below us. But how to get in? I went to the basin. Chirp had said some of these domiciles sat on top of entrances for the underground caves. Maybe this was one of them.
I touched the basin. It was brown, rectangular with a regular faucet. I banged my boots on the bottom of the basin, solid as a rock. I scrambled around the domicile, there was nothing else. No passage way- no secret entrance. My best bet was the basin, it was the only thing attached to the underground.
I went to my ruck. I had two sticks of E-dynamite left. I staggered back to the tub. The fever was taking a lot out of me.
I had to ignore it and concentrate. I put the sticks in the drain. 100-wide. The e-sticks were actually made for underground demolition anyway. The shock waves were designed to reverberate through stone and earth.
If there were a tunnel or passage way- the E-stick would find it.
It was still a risk. If the floor plates were weak, the whole domicile would tumble on top of me, or the plates would simply give out and I would plunge into the caverns below, to my doom.
Other worse case-I would alert the Tartari to my presence.
But, I didn’t see much choice.
I could see the gleam from the helmets of the Shark riders- from the reflection of the mushroom cloud-inching ever closer; if they found me here they would do worse then kill me. Time was short.
I walked away from the basin and stepped outside the broken wall of the domicile and crouched. Funny that not too long ago I had done this same maneuver which led to me killing a Turtle-Cat, and to my being here. Who knew what I would be stepping into this time.
The E-stick detonated. The building shook… but kept shaking. The walls seemed to be falling apart as the aftershock vibrated through the Enclaves.
Would the whole area come down? Had I planted to much power?
For nearly a minute the earth, the walls tumbled and shook. I was knocked on my ass. Then, everything went silent. I waited a few minutes, then I walked backed into the domicile. It was a mess.
The floor plates were cracked into millions of splinters and rubble littered the floor. But the basin was split and sundered, as I wanted. Where the drain had been, stood a hole which if I were a little lucky, would lead to a tunnel out of here.
“Fuck yeah, Chirp.”
I looked. The tunnel barreled down into an illuminated passageway. This was it, what I was looking for. Unfortunately, the hole was only as wide as my waist. But I had to make it work. I grabbed my blanket and Repeater Rifle, the Repeater Rifle I strapped around my neck. I took my ruck, tossed it down the hole. I was next, boots first. I squeezed myself in, up to about my chest; I held the blanket over my head and shimmied the rest of the way into the crevasse. It was a shame to lose such a good blanket- but again- it was a matter of choices and I didn’t have any.
I pulled the blanket over the hole above me and left it there as camouflage; and I creeped down deeper into the bosom of the soft underbelly of Hell.