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Chapter 6 – Part 3

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If you take a glass tube and fill it with mercury, then turn this vial over and let the mercury exit into a small bowl, and this is the tricky part, while holding it so that the mercury in the bowl keeps the mercury in the vial from completely flowing out, you will have created a mercury vacuum. This tiny pocket of empty space at the top of the vial is just that, empty. Really empty, apart from a couple errant mercury atoms, not much else is in there. Perfect, clean, vacuum.

Nature abhors a vacuum. The entire weight of the atmosphere will try to crush that tiny empty space out of existence. The same weight we all suffer under every day without noticing. It’s not until that entire atmosphere gets moving around real fast that you perk your ears up and notice. Funny how the things you learn in science class come back to you in the strangest of times. Ophelia didn’t just abhor a vacuum; she didn’t reserve her rage for something so mundane. Oh no, she was far less picky, she wanted to destroy everything.

At a certain point your ears just give up. The sound is so loud, so deep, so all encompassing that your brain simply refuses to register input from the nerves in your ear. Or maybe the sudden pressure drop caused all of us to go temporarily deaf. Not to worry though our other senses were still dutifully recording the horror. The sudden appearance of the sky was accompanied by a wave of dirty cold water. A shower of filth rained down from above burning our eyes, making us cough with the sudden cold shock of it.

Almost as soon as it appeared, the water stopped falling on our heads. The ladder we had been going down became an anchor holding us from going up. An immense moving wall of air and water was attempting to suck us out of our little hidey hole and feast on our bones. I held on the best I could with my one good arm, even going so far as to thread the bad one around a wrung in the hope that I could wrestle some last bit of strength from it.

Looking up I could see Jake, Marla, and Rain holding on for dear life, above them the entire world spun in a purple maelstrom. The soldier farthest up the ladder didn’t scream as he was ripped from the ladder and sucked into the storm above. The deep “dong” of his head hitting the iron utility cover managed to plow into my deafened ears.

I could do little but cower, holding on for dear life. After what seemed like an eternity I felt my legs being pulled from below. Green Eyes was pulling me down further into the safe depths of the earth. Slowly, one foot hold at a time we moved further down. The entire line began to slowly pull ourselves downward towards salvation.

Ophelia had lifted the heavy iron utility cover out of the ground sucking it into the sky, the same several hundred pound utility cover that was anchored to the ladder we were climbing down. The ladder moved upwards half a foot in a jerking motion that almost sent us hurtling to our deaths at the bottom of the tunnel. It was now held in place only by the relatively weak bolts on the side of the tunnel. The flash of lightning illuminated the tunnel in a nauseating strobe light flicker.

None of us even thought about escaping upwards, when a blender the size of Texas is above you, no one has to point a gun at you to make you go down. Some underused part of my brain thought we might even get deep enough to out run the horror above, until the next soldier was taken. He was not as stoic as his co-soldier. Nor was he as lucky.

The soldiers left arm was torn out of his socket. As soon as he lost his grip on the ladder, he was sucked screaming up the tunnel. If he had hit his head on the edge of the tunnel he could have expected a swift merciful death…but like I said he wasn’t as lucky.

The jagged edge of the end of the ladder had bent into two giant hooks. The soldier raced towards the sky his upward accent halted immediately as the two ragged steal fangs pierced him between his ribs. In seconds the helmet and night vision gear were stripped from his head, a blast of lighting illuminated the look of surprise on his face. The lightning flashes showed him flailing like a stop motion puppet. The next showed him slumped dead. The lighting continued to flash showing his head being sand blasted off, then a ragged headless torso, and finally only a ragged stump of flesh wearing the front of a bullet proof vest.

Ophelia was hunting us down one at a time and Rain was next.

Posted in Future Crash Novel.

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