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We conquered paradise, just to burn it to the ground. We bring destruction, we bring war without an end, and then we hope that tomorrow never comes. But of course it always does. Weeks alone in a cell gives you a lot of time to think about things. My hands seem to be particularly fascinating. I look at them and think to myself, “These are adult hands.” I used to look at my fathers hands, the same hands I have now, and think that adults had such huge hands. Such strong and reliable hands, I used to think adults had everything figured out. Now I stare at my hands and realize that appearances can be deceiving. Not even adult hands can’t hold back the horrors of the world.
Rain was on the top of Ophelia’s hit list, and there was nothing I could do. My arm was a worthless piece of meat, the effort of pulling myself down into the ground had re-opened the wound, blood and dirty water trickled down my side. I could taste pennies, and my vision was slowly closing in around the edges. The whole world had gone crazy, and now it wanted to take away the only person who seemed to care about me.
I couldn’t lose her, not now, not after everything we had gone through. The funny thing about nature is that it couldn’t care less what you think. The deep roaring above us was starting to take on a higher pitch. Ophelia was going to kiss New York City before moving back out to sea. The near supersonic wind speeds of the eye wall were approaching. Wind speeds never before experienced by human beings. Wind strong enough to thrust grains of sand through steel, winds strong enough to grind granite into a fine powder. Wind’s more than strong enough to kill the only girl who I had ever loved.
It was true, I loved her, and I don’t know if it had happened slowly, or if being moments from death clears the mind, but I did, and I wasn’t going to lose her. Against the protesting of my arm, and the screaming in my head that this was surly going to get me killed, I began to move upwards. Above me Marla was still making her way down, her black dreads pulled upwards into the vortex. Once I was close enough I could shout into her ears.
“Keep moving down! I am going to get Rain!” Her wet body slid next to mine. She nodded the fear clear in her eyes.
Next was Jake, he seemed to instinctively understand what I was doing. A quick look up and he began moving towards Rain with me. It was much easier to go up than down, Ophelia more than willing to help us up. Rain meanwhile had to battle for every inch, a battle even her strong body would soon lose. Jake was the first to reach her, he grabbed her left foot; I appeared soon after and grabbed her right.
“Rain! We are going to help!” I could barely hear myself, but she seemed to understand.
The three of us began working our way downwards as swiftly as possible. Putting our feet into the rungs below and pulling “up” with our legs, our bicycle strengthened thighs burning with the effort. Above us the tunnel entrance seemed to be getting closer. The primitive base of my brain flooded my nervous system with neurotransmitter based terror. Was this what our tiny mammalian ancestors felt like when some giant lizard pursued them into a burrow?
As fast as we could scuttle down it seemed that Ophelia could dig faster. We were loosing, and we knew it. Above us random bits of refuse were slowly grinding the tunnel the ladder and anything else that got in the way into gristle. Sparks flew from random contacts with the metal bars of the ladder, showering us with shattered glass, broken rock, and wood splinters.
My legs felt like jelly, and my body was giving me signs that it was about to give up, when from above an impact like a great “whump” shook the entire tunnel. The sudden comparative silence shocked us all into a stunned daze. Gravity had returned and we all started moving downward at a much faster rate. Looking up the word “HUMMER” reflected in the pale green glow of the solders masks below. The tangled metal blocked the tunnel, turning off the flashes of lightning.
The sheer insanity of it was overwhelming; a Hummer tangled and compressed from a thousand rolling impacts had landed directly on top of us. The door handle, and door frame still intact. The irony was thick, but we didn’t have time to contemplate our good luck, the poster child for global warming was now saving our lives from it.
Our brief moment of reprieve was spent frantically moving down. Below us Green Eyes had cracked several industrial strength glow sticks bathing the entire tunnel is a pale light. The soldiers with our bikes and gear were already far enough down that they had moved into a side tunnel, salvation was 30 feet below us. Every part of my being screamed “RUN!” We moved downward as fast as we could, until the unmistakable sound of bending metal began to cry above us.
Twenty feet above us the hummer started to move. The whine of the wind had reached a nails on chalkboard pitch. Whatever was above that mangled hunk of metal was far worse than what we had been dealing with before. The winds would suck us out, no matter how hard we held on, our bones would break, and our flesh would rip.
Jake crawled next to Rain, and placed a hand on my shoulder from above. He seemed to appraise the situation observing the exhaustion writ large on Rain’s face, he acted.
“I Love you.” He kissed Rain gently on the forehead and then with a swift kick sent me falling down the tunnel, Rain came flying shortly after pushed by his strong arms. We landed in a heap on top of Green Eyes, his strong arms breaking most of our fall, above us Jake looked down, his hand held up in a wave.
He then began to climb upwards.