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The brains of pregnant women release chemicals to help erase the painful memory of giving birth. Evolutionary biologists speculate that this is nature’s way of tricking women into giving birth more than once. This natural amnesia protects them from the trauma, leaving behind only happy memories of the experience. Nature has yet to evolve such a system when it comes to memories of giant hurricanes.
Gray walls…steel door…toilet. I hadn’t seen much else for days…weeks? At random intervals a hand would open a small door and slide bland food into my cell. Not a person, just a hand. I marked the passage of time by the slow healing of the large hole in my arm. The gash had slowly closed into a small bubbly scar that looked like a pair of pink lips. No one talked to me, no one asked me any questions, and I hadn’t seen Rain, or Marla since we were taken.
With no windows I could only guess what time it was. The steady hum of institutional fluorescent lighting never turned off, the gentle flicker meant that they were using the old fashion magnetic ballasts, wasting energy. I had forgotten how many times I had cried myself to sleep only to be awakened by horrible dreams of our final moments in New York. If only I could find some way to forget that as well…
The soldiers moved with an efficiency honed over years of training. Even in the wind and rain they were on top of us in seconds. The cold steel barrels of their rifles made it clear that if I were to run I wouldn’t make it far. Massive rain drops pounded a tattoo drum beat into my skull. The wind tore at my clothing.
“You try to get away, you die. Move!”
It was the only thing he ever said to us. His face was covered in some sort of electronic mask, it gave him the menacing appearance of a demon from a Japanese play. The night vision made his eyes glow an unearthly green. It is those green eyes that still stare back at me in my nightmares.
Behind me erupted muffled screams of pain. They had subdued Rain. One black clad soldier was holding his groin where she had demonstrated how strong bikers legs could be. The other three seemed to have a good grip on her. Strong hands ushered us towards a utility cover under the bridge were we had stashed our bikes.
Green Eyes opened a large metal door that led down into the ground, pointed at us, and then pointed downward. Look to where he pointed revealed a ladder embedded into the wall. I began climbing down; my final glimpse of New York was of tall buildings trying in vain to hold back an unending wall of swirling black. Each building touched by the void was embraced and folded into the behemoth, more ammunition for Ophelia’s destruction.
The sound of steel and glass howling in agony as it was rent and thrown about by the raw face of nature’s fury is etched into my mind. Nothing will make it go away. Time cant heal the feeling of sheer terror as the very ground beneath you starts to pull up into the sky. If not even the solid earth below is safe from such a thing, what hope do we small fleshy things have?
We climbed down; a task made harder by the fact that one of my arms had recently been the victim of a rather large metal spike. Two soldiers strapped our bicycles to their backs, and two others took our bags, they seemed determined to make sure to bring everything. We descended, closing the heavy steel door above us, plunging us into darkness.
The steel ladder ran down the wall of a large diameter tunnel that pierced deep into the earth. Below us was only blackness, the wall before us faintly illuminated by the green demon glow of their night vision glasses.
“Q, what the hell is going on?”
Rain was above me but her voice bounced down the masonry walls. Before I had time to explain what I had seen above my ears suddenly stopped working. It was like flying, I tried swallowing to clear the cotton feeling from them, but it simply wouldn’t go away. Suddenly we were blinded by a dirty grey light overhead. Ophelia had ground the bridge above our tunnels entrance to powder, and had then ripped open the lid to our small sanctuary. She wasn’t going to let us get away that easily.