Chapter 3: The Mines
The entrance to the tunnel was barracked with gas tanks, spikes jetting from structurally placed construction barriers. Tatsuya looked around at the sunlight he would soon miss. Keenan takes the map and places it on the ground.
“Of course the stuff we need is at the bottom of the shaft. There were a few miners camping out there when the outbreak started. I suggest we take a cart if we can to the bottom,” Keenan explains. Tatsuya looks for an opening to even get in the place. He grabs one of the spikes pulling it down. The metal barrier creaks loudly. Tatsuya cringes at the sound.
“Sorry,” he whispers.
“It’s OK, they won’t come into the light. It does something to their eyes. They’ll just stare at it for hours until the sun goes down,” Keenan said giving Tatsuya a boost over the spikes. Keenan climbs over next. They stand at the opening. The place is barren. Keenan gets into a cart. Tatsuya walks over to the cart. Teeth chattering make them both stop. Keenan waits until it stops before they move on.
“They’re definitely in there,” Tatsuya states as Keenan nods.
“We’re upsetting them. They feel threatened,” Keenan notes as more teeth chattering occurs. A low growl comes next. “Tat... get in the cart,” Keenan whispers slowly. Tatsuya is frozen looking at the multiple lime green eyes in the darkness. “Get in the cart!” Keenan shouts. Tatsuya jumps in and they push off. The scavengers chase them along the tracks.
“Marrid! Marrid!” One shouts alerting more. The cart takes a sharp right knocking Keenan into Tatsuya. The tracks shake and creak from years of no use. The cart turns left. Tatsuya topples over. He clutches the sides putting his feet on the side. Keenan grabs his shirt pulling him back in.
“Don’t you fall out on me!” Keenan shouts as Tatsuya laughs clutching his chest. A scavenger falls from a ledge landing into the cart. Tatsuya screams. He grabs the scavenger and shoves him out. “Fuck... outta here!” He hollers. “There’s not enough room for us and your big gorilla self!” Tatsuya continues. He sits down in the cart. It lurches forward. Keenan grabs the brake pulling it forcefully. The cart screeches to a halt sparks flying from it. The cart flips over sending the two into the darkness.
A pile of bodies weaken their fall. Keenan gets up first brushing himself off. Tatsuya clutches his calf. He slowly stands up.
“Come on,” Keenan says grabbing Tatsuya’s arm. They descend the body pile until their feet are on solid wet dirt.
“You think anybody is still around?” Tatsuya questions. Keenan sighs.
“I don’t know, lets call out and see who offers to make us a sandwich,” Keenan snaps. Tatsuya pulls his gun from his pocket. He looks up to the lofted tracks. Multiple pairs of green eyes look down at them. Tatsuya takes a flare gun out and shoots it. The scavengers take off toward the red light.
“Let’s grab the stuff and get out of here,” Tatsuya says. He’s sweating profusely. They come to an elevator shaft. Tatsuya gets on first. “Are you sure this thing is stable?” Tatsuya asks. No sooner does he say it, the elevator lurches downward slightly. “Hell to the no with this,” Tatsuya says. He puts his foot on the ledge to climb out. The elevator wire snaps hitting Keenan in the face. He screams falling backwards. Tatsuya plummets into darkness wailing. Tatsuya jumps up before the elevator crashes into the lowest level. He manages to come land unscathed.
“Tatsuya!?” Keenan shouts from above. “Are you OK?”
“Yeah! Just an extremely upset tummy!” Tatsuya jokes. But the round of vomit he emits is no joke. Tatsuya wipes his mouth with the back of his hand. He holds his pistol and flash light in a tactical formation. A scavenger appears out of nowhere snapping at him. Four metal bars keep him out of the busted elevator. Tatsuya scoots against the back wall. He shoots the scavenger in the face. Another appears but he is wearing heavy combat gear.
“Just hang on! I’m gonna try and find a way down!” Keenan shouts.
“OK! But hurry! I think I found the place!” Tatsuya yells back. He kicks the scavenger back stunning it. Tatsuya grabs her and pulls her into the elevator before shooting her in the head. He removes the gear and looks it over first. He puts the vest on and then a surgical mask before putting the rioter’s helmet on. He lifts the visor up so he can see better before exiting the elevator. Tatsuya moves his light around his hand slightly shaking.
“We’re gonna be just fine. Get the weapons, get out,” Tatsuya whispers to himself. His feet shuffle on the dirt. A hanging light in the distance takes his attention. As Tatsuya approaches it, the teeth chattering gets louder.
He comes to a man holding the light. He is slow to turn around revealing his cyst filled, sweaty, clammy skin. He’s green murky eyes rapidly blink. Tatsuya turns off his flashlight. He cautiously pulls the visor down over his face. The scavenger’s jagged teeth continue to chatter from it’s fear of being threatened by Tatsuya’s presence. Tatsuya’s actions are slow.
He goes to the wall and sits down. The scavenger watches in a general direction his teeth still chattering. Tatsuya feels around and finds a rock. He tosses it. The scavenger turns quickly and rushes toward the sound. Tatsuya stands up and walks to the cart the scavenger was guarding. It’s full of ammunition. He takes off his backpack and starts filling it. Gunfire forces him behind the cart. A ton of teeth chattering answers the shots. Tatsuya analyzes his surroundings. Establishing the gunfire isn’t near him, he returns to stuffing ammo. A flashlight shines in his face. He holds his pistol up.
“Hey! Its me!” Keenan hisses. Tatsuya lets out a reliving sigh.
“Oh thank god,” Tatsuya says. Keenan’s surgical mask is covered in blood. Tatsuya grabs another from his bag handing it to him. “I found ammo,” Tatsuya says showing Keenan the bullets. Keenan shows him the guns.
“Found these on the second floor,” Keenan smiles patting Tatsuya on the back. “Lets get the hell outta here.”
They walk along the tracks to a staircase. On the second floor, the gunfire continues.
“Should we help them?” Tatsuya asks concerned. Keenan simply shakes his head.
“No. There are too many scavengers. Wed be at a major disadvantage,” Keenan warns. Tatsuya cringes at the sound of screaming men and women. They come to a broken end of track. Keenan jumps first. Tatsuya jumps next but falls short. He holds onto the track tightly. Keenan doesn’t make a move for him.
“Help me you idiot!” Tatsuya shouts.
“Toss up the ammo! We cant lose it.” Keenan says reaching for the backpack.
“Are you crazy? Help me!” Tatsuya snaps his feet trying to find leverage. Keenan hesitates before grabbing Tatsuya and pulling him up. Keenan tries to brush him off. Tatsuya slaps his hands away angrily. “Screw off jerk!” Tatsuya snaps adjusting his bag.
They keep walking. A creaking sound above them makes Tatsuya looks up. A cart comes crashing down. Tatsuya pushes Keenan out of the way. After the dust settles, teeth chattering occurs. Keenan stares at a pinned Tatsuya. He struggles to move but the car is on his arm. Keenan looks down at the supports. Dozens of green eyes stare up at him.
“Oh man!” Keenan huffs. He grabs Tatsuya’s bag.
“What are you doing!?” Tatsuya hollers. Keenan pulls his Bowie knife out and cuts the straps off. “No! Don’t leave me here!” Tatsuya wails. He pulls harder trying to free his arm. The scavengers are closer now putting him in a panic. Tatsuya watches Keenan run down the tracks and out of sight. “Keenan!” Tatsuya cries. He grabs his gun and begins shooting his arm. After it goes numb, he cuts it with his knife until he’s freed. Tatsuya ties a wire around it to stop the bleeding. He stumbles down the tracks and out of the mines collapsing just at the spiked entrance.