Back for another chapter of Gemini! For more details on this, please check out:
By Phil Partington
Stacey’s first thought was not about death, but about the monstrosity whose large, ice-blue eyes she was now looking up into. The beast was near-blind, but its snout-of-a-nose served it better than sight anyway, especially down here in the darkness.
Why the need for a Sniffer for? The thought was fleeting given the circumstances, but the question was on point. What did they need a Sniffer? Anthony had been right: Biters could smell their blood for miles, so what were they really looking for that they needed to bring in the big guns?
When the creature that most resembled a horse-size rat had pushed most of its deformed body through the self-made hole, Stacey broke free of the thought, raising her arms to guard against the mounds of dirt and wood debris that toppled upon them.
“This way, quick!” Anthony cried out, and she turned just in time to see that he had lit a torch and was descending down a long, metal staircase that disappeared around a sharp turn to the left.
She followed, not daring to look back to assess the monster’s progress. Though, as she hit the turn, she could make out the distinct grunts and growls of the Biters—they would be on her like flies on shit if she hesitated. Her heartbeat thrummed like war drums and she nearly tripped when she came upon another set of stairs. Anthony’s torchlight was enough to show the way, but not enough to reveal the path of her steps. That and he was much faster—she was losing ground.
“Wait!” she gasped, clutching at her side to feel warm liquid oozing there; she was bleeding again. “Wait,” she called once more, but this time with less force behind it.
Anthony didn’t stop running, but he did slow enough to let her catch up. When she did, he hooked an arm under hers and braced her by her lower back.
“We’re here,” he said.
With the growls of the Sniffer evolved into a kind of terrifying shriek that echoed through the underground and the grunts of the Biters’ closing in, Anthony slid his torch into a wall mount and pulled at a chain that dangled from a metal box on the low ceiling. This revealed a small pad of numbers on the wall, but Stacey didn’t see him type in any code—didn’t see much of anything from there. She was losing too much blood; the darkness of the tunnel began choking out the torchlight just above her. Faintly aware of being dragged for a short distance, she heard the heavy thud of a door before settling against a cold, stone wall and sinking back against it until she was resting on the floor.
“We’re safe for now,” Anthony said, but his words were watery. Then she heard something that sounded like “panic room” before losing consciousness.
Word Count: 467