Who: Mine crew
Where: Umajo
When: Just after the lights went off, about an hour or so before Jay's 'rescue' attempt

Distant screams echoed out of the darkness
"Stand fast," Katrina warned, her low voice disembodied by the complete absence of any light in the tunnel "Hold your fire; you'll give away our position"
Nervously tightening her grip on her mining laser, Cass shook her head, trying yet again to clear the pain and the awful fug clouding her mind
None of this made sense
The collar had a lot to answer for - it had made her feel numb and clumsy, as if her body wasn't her own; and while she could clearly remember what it was like to think on levels so abstract as to be alien to almost everyone else, her short term memory and reasoning seemed to have been disrupted, and as such, she was struggling to even remember where her cohorts were in the darkness around her
“What the fuck!?” someone shouted in the darkness, Jamie maybe - Or was it someone else further away?
“Easy...” Katrina murmured somewhere nearby
The darkness was cloying, almost suffocating
Cass nervously licked her lips, her heart beating in her throat
“Help me!” a man’s scream suddenly pierced the air, this one couldn't have been more than ten metres away and cut off with a sickening abruptness
“Fuck it!” Katrina's mining laser scythed up into the air above them, bathing their surroundings in a dark blue light as others in the group followed suit
"What the fuck are those?" Cass whispered, her eyes widening as she gazed upwards in the half-light
They were in Shaft 7, a huge twenty metre diameter tunnel that sloped steeply downward to one of the smaller mine faces some kilometres distant, which the Dwarfer’s and around twenty other new recruits had been en route towards, just before the disaster struck. Massive ore trucks loomed around them, silent now the power had gone down
“They’re like weird ...jellyfish” a woman who Cass didn’t know frowned up at the large, pallid creatures outlined in the laser light, that were darting here and there up near the ceiling
“We should move” Katrina murmured, taking a tentative step or two backwards as she dialled her laser down to minimum to provide what small amount of illumination the blue laser was able to offer
“Agreed” Jamie grunted, gazing suspiciously up at the floating creatures as he, in turn, followed suit
More screams echoed down the tunnel, making everyone shift uneasily; Katrina hefting her mining laser and frowning out into the half-light surrounding them
A wind blew up, seemingly out of nowhere, as a man in an orange prison jumpsuit dodged around one of the giant wheels of the nearest ore truck, some ten metres distant, his eyes wide with fear
Move now!” Katrina barked, pushing Jamie away from her and into action as one of the creatures from above them whipped around the ore truck after the man, its gelatinous body billowing wide as it lashed a score of hooked and clawed tentacles out around the man and dragged him, screaming, back up into the darkness above
“Motherfucking shit!” Cass screeched, cowering back in shock while Katrina powered her mining laser up to scythe a beam across the things up near ceiling as the man’s cries increased to a shrill shriek before abruptly silencing
There were even more of the pallid horrors darting up above them now
Transfixed, Cass just gawped upward in mute horror as something pattered down onto the ground around the Dwarfers as they and and everyone else scrambled to evacuate. Something wet hit her upturned face, so she raised a hand to wipe whatever it was away and gaze down at her fingertips
It was blood
She frowned down at it, uncomprehending
“Fucking move!” Katrina screamed, grabbing one of her arms and hauling her away

There was only running and screaming after that
The gelatinous creatures wheeled and darted around them, hunting as a pack and randomly snatching men and women away into darkness as the Dwarfers and the other prisoners sprinted headlong up the tunnel
Katrina, Jamie and the others still equipped with mining lasers, fired the occasional scything blasts up and around the tunnel as they ran, trying to dissuade the creatures as much as they were able, but there were too many of the damn things, and far too few of them to ever have a hope of fighting them off
As she ran, Cass was momentarily tempted to just give up and accept whatever fate there was in store for her; she was so tired and miserable, and he head hurt so much that an end to her torment would be a blessed relief; but she angrily pushed the thought away as soon add it had occurred - She’d be damned if she was just going to roll over and hand Lindstrom a victory.
The fucker was going to die for what he had done
One of the others, a tall lean man in regulation prison orange suddenly darted to the side, having spotted one of the emergency tunnel access doors
“In!” he bellowed, hauling it open and motioning everyone inside
Cass wheeled with Katrina and several of the others to open up with their lasers, strafing megawatt beams back down the tunnel as the remaining survivors sprinted through into the cramped, but comparative safety of the emergency tunnels
Somehow sensing their prey escaping, the creatures swarmed in around the remaining humans in a frenzied attack, their pallid bodies blooming wide to eject their clawed tentacles out from within their maws, only to be scythed in half
“There’s too many!” one of the other prisoners yelled above the crackle of energy and the screeches of the dying creatures “Fall back!”
One by one, the defenders quickly retreated, the Dwarfer’s all luckily making it inside the emergency tunnels before the creatures outside overwhelmed the last of them, two men seemingly hell-bent on a heroic last stand
“Bloody imbeciles!” Katrina had spat in disgust after they hauled the door closed against the creatures outside “They didn’t have to die!”

Keeping to the service tunnels after that, the Dwafer's and the other prisoners limped up to the surface, just making it outside in time for Jay’s ‘rescue’ attempt
The shuttled lowered so that it hovered a few feet from the ground, rotated so that it’s aft hatch was presented to the gathered workers before it’s cargo door opened. Behind it, Mini-Phil and Jay stood, toting guns.
“COME ON!” Jay shouted to the assembled Dwarfers, “NOW! MOVE!!”
Katrina nodded, and taking Cass by the hand led the charge toward the craft. Before she could get close however, an anti-aircraft missile streaked across the sky and ploughed into the side of the shuttle. Jay and Mini-Phil throwing themselves clear just in time as the shuttle spun in the air before crashing into the ground in flames.
Chrysler and the dwarf rolled across the sandy ground landing at the feet of a group of guards, who aimed their weapons at their heads.
Jay and Mini-Phil held their hands up in surrender.
“Worth a shot right?” Jay said…
Maybe it was because she didn’t have the wherewithal to fully appreciate the consequences of her actions, or maybe she just acted on instinct, but whichever it was, Cass didn’t even hesitate. She raised her mining laser and scythed it through the mechanoid’s surrounding Jay and Mini-Phil, neatly cutting six torso’s in half and severing a dozen arms as she carved the beam across them
Following her lead, Katrina and the other prisoners wheeled and open fire on the other guards in the vicinity, quickly neutralising what threat they posed within moments
“We need to move!” Jay was up and on his feet almost before the severed pieces of mechanoid had hit the floor around him “We’ll get another shuttle and... What the fuck are those!?”
He pointed up at the hundreds of pallid, jellyfish-like predators, soaring up out of the ruined mine shafts around them

Any ideas about how to get out of this one?
I guess we should probably get recaptured at some point – We’ve a dinner date with a dead man ;-)
Maybe the Canaries could get bussed in to put down the escape attempt?
If you're not tagged but fancy joining in here (I've no idea where everyone is), feel free to just jump in

< Prev : Chain's Addiction Next > : Plotting