We Play a Game of Hide-And-Seek
There, coming down the hall was a dark figure, it’s head brushing the ceiling, (or, what I think was it’s head,) it’s long arms nearly brushing the floor.
“Run!!!!” I shrieked at the top of my lungs, dashing back into the room and hauling Jack to his feet, leaning his still weak body against my shoulder for support. “Come on, HURRY!!!!” I hissed at them through gritted teeth. Together we ran through the halls, stumbling in our haste, Richard at the front, Jack and me bringing up the rear.
Jack still hadn’t recovered from the blast, and couldn’t run properly. Let me rephrase that. He was barely moving at a trot, and his legs wouldn’t seem to listen to him, as they were flailing around like tree branches in a strong wind. His knees were constantly buckling, and he was putting almost all his weight on me. Behind us, the creature started making loud, mournful, bone-chilling shrieks, still headed in our direction.
I stopped, turned around, and told Jack to get on my back.
“WHAT?!?” He bellowed over the cries of the thing.
“There’s no time to argue! Just do it!” I yelled back.
With slight hesitation, he clambered onto my back, and I took off down the hall.
Even though I was carrying Jack’s big, muscle-toned from, I managed to take the lead, charged by pure, frantic adrenaline. We got to an intersection, and I took a sharp left. At the end of that hall, there was another lab type room, and a large window. I dashed into the lab room, waited for the others to get in, and slammed the door tight, hoping that the thing didn’t know how to use a door handle.
Gasping for breath, I slowly eased Jack onto the smooth, white floor.
The others were gathered in the farthest corner from the door. I took a moment to survey our surroundings, and gasped.
All throughout the room, there were whiteboards, and on the whiteboards, there were formulas. And Pictures. Gruesome pictures.
I won’t describe them to you, for fear of giving you nightmares, but let me tell you this. They were terrifying. There was a drawing of a thing that was half monkey, half scorpion. And one that looked like a cross between a human and a spider. There was one, it was tall, hairy, and had very long arms. It was the thing that had chased us down the hall. The thing was also labeled. It was labeled “CODROW”. Nest to it was a picture of a seal/human type thing. It was labeled “NORT”.
There were also tables that had equipment. There were lasers that were pointed at small disks with video cameras and magnifying glasses surrounding the work area. There were several needles in racks, and several large computers that had (obviously) black screens.
I backed away from the middle of the room, and stared in horror at my strange surroundings.
After a few minutes of just standing there, I seemed to snap back to life, kneeling down next to Jack to check if he was ok.
“Harry, you’re the most experienced with medics. Come over here and help.” I said in a monotone voice which hid how shaken up I really was. He knew better than to complain, and walked across the room. He stopped where me and Jack were and crouched down, but not after cautiously eyeing the door that kept the Codrow, which we now knew it was called, out.
“Ok, Jack, can you get up?” Harry inquired with a look of concern gracing his face.
“Of course I can get up! I’m not hurt THAT bad.” He snapped, through when he got into sitting position, he couldn’t seem to be able to haul himself onto his feet. “Fine. Help me up.” He grumbled, finally admitting defeat after a full ten minutes of struggling to stand. I gripped his sweaty hands, and gave a strong tug that jerked him to his feet. For a second he just stood there, then toppled back down, landing on Harry.
“Mhhfff!!” Came Harry’s muffled exclamation.
“Sorry, Harry. I wasn’t intending to fall on top of you.” Jack said sarcastically as I hefted him back on his feet once again, gripping in the area below his upper arms so his legs wouldn’t buckle again.
Harry leaped to his feet and motioned for me and Jack to move over to a table that was mostly clear of equipment. I once again ordered Jack to get on my back, and this time he didn’t protest. With Jack once more on top of me, I walked over to Harry and set Jack down on the table, then stood back and sat in front of the door, listening to the now muffled cries and bangs of the codrow on the other side. I leaned my head on the door, and the noises on the other side slowly fading as I fell asleep.
I woke up about three hours later to Mo shaking me awake.
“The thing went away. We should escape before it comes back. Harry says that Jack hurt his back somehow in the blast, and he needs a brace on his legs to walk. Unfortunately, we don’t have enough supplies in here to do that.” She said.
“Ok.” I mumbled under my breath.
I slowly went through my process of getting up, and after about twenty minutes, I got up and faced the others. Jack was lying on the table, staring up at the ceiling, looking rather miserable. Harry was sitting against another table, looking like he wanted to go to sleep, with his head hanging low and his eyes halfway shut. Rachel and Richard were in a corner, both zoning out for the moment, looking out into space. Mo was standing beside me, ready to go.
I cleared my throat, catching the others attention. Jack sat up so fast, it was as if he had suddenly been dropped on a fire pit. Richard, Rachel, and Harry were jerked out of their trances, and they all looked at me, waiting for me to say something. “Well, as you might or might not have noticed, the Codrow has left, and we should escape now instead of waiting till it’s too late. I saw another long cord out in the hall. It’s our best bet in getting down.” My words rang throughout the room, echoing in the silence.
“No.” came Harry’s abrupt reply.
“Well how do you suggest we get down?” I shot back.
He shrugged. “Not a clue.”
“Well, that settles it. We use the cord.”
“No buts. Is that clear?” I scolded.
Harry sighed. “Yes, Jennie.”
With that, I walked out the door and grabbed the new, yet also rather frayed, cord from the hall and opened the window with even less precaution than last time. I simply rammed my shoulder against it, shattering the glass, and knocking the wood frame out of place. The entire thing fell out and landed with a wumph on the ground below, unsettling some of the sand.
“Mo and Jack, you two will go first, together. Everybody else, help me out.” I said as I tied the cord in a loop, not unlike the last one, with my bandaged hands. I tossed the loop out the window, letting it hang just below the window sill.
Mo climbed out first, her feet settling on the cord, then helped Jack do the same, which ,unfortunately, took a while. Once they were both settled, Harry, Rachel, Richard, and I slowly lowered them down the side of the boat. Harry was next, then Rachel, then Richard. While lowering Richard, I was alone, so there was more wait on my hands, causing the bandages Harry put on them to rip, exposing my raw hands to the cord, which immediately started to tear at my flesh.
I bit down on my bottom lip to restrain a scream as the scars that were just beginning to from were shredded, causing warm blood to flow down my hands as searing pain flared deep inside the cutts.
The cord, now slick with blood, began to slip from between my fingers.
“LOOK OUT!!!!” I screamed at the top of my lungs as Richards pace began to accelerate, and Richard was suddenly free-falling the final ten feet down to the sand. And thank you Harry for having such good reflexes. Harry, hearing my scream, had somehow managed to wad up three blankets and toss it underneath Richard just as he hit the ground, probably saving Richard from a broken leg or two.
“Umm, guys?” I shouted, leaning out the window, careful not to touch anything with my hands. “I’m stuck.”
“What do you mean, ‘I’m stuck’? Can’t you climb down?” Rachel shouted back.
“Nope. The cord ripped the scars on my hands open, and there’s blood everywhere. I can’t climb down without risking a high chance of falling.” I replied flatly.
“Great. Just great.” I heard Harry say, beginning a ranting session. And trust me. You do not want to be around when Harry has his rant session. He will go on for hours, and sometimes gets slightly violent. I only know this because I had the luck to come across Harry during one of these explosions. And it was not pretty.
“Harry, take a deep breath, and use that brain of yours too get me down from here, not scare the others away.” I yelled. This seemed to have some effect on Harry, if only a little. He walked over to the boat and punched the side as hard as he could about five times, then seemed to regain control of himself. He walked back to the group, most of whom looked just slightly perturbed, and put his thinking face on.
After about three minutes, Jack piped up. “I have an idea.” Everyone looked at him expectantly, waiting for him to continue, even me from up above. “If you guys take the corners of a blanket, pulling it taut, then pile a bunch of blankets underneath, Jennie could jump without getting seriously injured.”
Jack sat there, waiting for an answer as the others looked at each other, contemplating the results.
Finally, Richard said out loud what seemed to be on all their minds. “Jack, that’s a great idea, and it could work, but it also could fail. This is our leaders life that we’re talking about, and that, no offence, is just a little too risky.”
I was touched at how they thought of me as their leader, even though this was not really the time.
Harry sighed. “I know it’s risky, but, unfortunately, Jacks idea is the best bet we’ve got. Let’s try.”
“Ooo, ooo! Idea!” I shouted as I felt a brainwave come on. “I can toss something down as a test, and if that breaks, we try something else.”
“Jennie, you’re brilliant!” Harry and Mo in unison. I grinned, then ran back into the lab room to find something too drop. I picked up a bag of needles for giving people and animals shots off a table. Walking back to the window, I saw that the others had already got into their positions, each holding part of a blanket, except for Jack, who was sitting a few feet away, unable to help. I hoisted the bag of needles over the window sill, and let it drop. It landed right in the middle of the blanket, and when Harry checked, only three of the thirty needles had broken. Next it was my turn.
I swung my legs through the gap in the wall, took a deep breath, looked up at the sky, making a silent prayer. Than,closing my eyes, I jumped. I leaned back slightly, like a was about to lay down. I then spread out my arms and legs to increase the air resistance. With a small, sharp jolt of pain that spread from my but, up my lower back, I came to a sudden stop.
I opened my eye to see Rachel, Mo, Richard, and Harry, all leaning over me with conserned looks gracing their faces.
I sat up, and held my hads out for Harrys inspection, as I saw he was about to ask me about that.
“That was kind of fun, but I don’t think I’ll be doing that again.” I said matter-of-factly, though the sarcasm was rather obvious.
We desided to set up camp here, instead of walking all the way back. Harry had wraped my hands back up, but this time, he had wrinced the cuts out with juice from a fruit, then wrapped them up with at least four tight layers of cloth. It didn’t take long for me to go to sleep next to the blasing fire that Jack and Rachel had set up, curled up in a ball, my head resting next to Mo’s.