The Crystal Caverns

If the war didn't kill you, Hampak did.
Shiloh has learned to live within a world of war and plague. But what about the little flicker of hope she felt that the world could be saved from destruction? That one hope led to the Crystal Caverns; rumored caves to be under their own world. Where the crystals could be the cure for Hampak. Shiloh has to decide: Fight the never-ending war, or listen to that little flicker of hope inside her?


1. O n e

November 17, 2187                      18:14pm    

28 Celsius              Section B


  Reyana and I ran as far away from the Toronto Bombs as fast as our 17-year-old legs could take us. I scanned the Section we were in. The Bunker. The Bunker was close. Very close...

  "There!" Reyana shouted, pointing to the wooden house in the distance. I grabbed her hand, smiling, and ran. Running through the abandoned city,  passing piles of sand, carefully maneuvering around the glass shards that littered the ground. My pack's weight was starting to push down on me, my back and legs screaming for me to stop and rest. But this wasn't the time. We were almost there.

  200 steps. 100 steps. 75 steps. 50 steps. 20 steps. The door handle brushed my fingertips as I anxiously tried to open the door. I pushed the antique door open with my shoulder, almost toppling on the ground. Reyana rushed in and helped me off the ground. We pushed the door shut as fast as we could. At the exact moment the door shut, a Toronto Electronic Wave rolled past us. Reyana and I slammed onto the ground, a slight ringing noise traveling through my ears. After a few seconds, the sound dimmed and I regained strength in my legs, pulling myself up with a nearby table.

  As if on cue, Kai stormed over, his military boot footsteps echoing through the room. His arms were crossed, his blonde hair was wild on every side, his brown eyes alert.

  "Where were you two?" He walked over to me and stood me up, taking my pack and tossing it on the table. I jumped on the table and sat, Kai checking me over for injuries and Hampak symptoms. Reyana jumped up next to me and Kai did the same check. He put a cloth patch on a small cut she had, then stood up straight, his arms crossed at us, expecting some answers.

  Reyana looked at me, then whispered, "Sector BL."

  Kai's mouth widened in surprise, but he quickly closed it. "What in America's name..." He dragged off, knowing he wouldn't get much information from us, much less information that made any sense. After a minute of putting his hand on his forehead and silently shaming us, he muttered, "Just go to you bunks."

  I grabbed Reyana's hand and my pack and ran to our bunks. Exhausted, I fell back on my bed, sprawling my arms and legs out in utter defeat. Reyana pulled her ring out from her pocket, gently ran her fingers along its surface, and hid it away.

  "So," she started, "When are you going to tell Kai that you're looking for the Entrance?" She leaned back on her pillow and ran her fingers through her hair.

  I sighed. "Not soon. He thinks going to BL is far, but if he found out we were going to Sector E..." Reyana said nothing because she knew I was right. Sector E was a five hour journey by motorboard, while Sector BL was only a two hour journey on foot. Telling Kai would be like certain death.

  After resting for a few minutes, I pulled my pack off the floor and carefully poured its' contents on my bunk. Reyana swung over from her bunk and sat next to be, curious to what I found.

  "You didn't find too much today," She stated blandly, running her hands along all the rocks. I gave her a look, though she was right. I only found a few rocks: one was a black color with some rust, another was tan with dirt lines along it, and the third was a dark navy with specks of white.

  I pulled out the last rock from the bag. "This... is different." I laid it in my palm for Reyana to see. It was bright blue, the bottom broken off, and it came to a point at the top. She picked it up gingerly, slowly tossing it from hand to hand.

  "Its very smooth compared to the others. I'd keep this one locked away." She handed it back and I pressed the hidden button on the side of my bed. I typed in my code and my small, hidden compartment popped up.

  Besides the special rocks that I'd found, there were only two other things in my compartment. The first was the necklace I was wearing when Kai found me, which has strange markings and patterns all over the locket I have yet to open. The second was a picture. An old, creased photo of me, my parents, my brother, and my sister. Every time I opened my compartment, I looked at it.

  I felt the sadness of looking at the picture coming and gently shut the compartment. Reyana gave me a quick hug before heading back to her bunk and falling asleep.

  Every night, it seemed like falling asleep was more and more of an issue. And when sleep did come, weird visions came with it. It was never something I looked forward to. On nights like that, like tonight, all I can do is wrap my throw around me and hope for good sleep to come. At least once.



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