Shadow Crawlers. Part 45

Sorry, there was some technical difficulties!

Had a fun week, went up to the mountains with my friend, she was taking photographs for an art project. When we were done we wandered around for a bit, climbed one some river rocks, was pretty cool.

I’ve made a bit of a dent in my reading list too, which is always a good thing, though I’ve a long way to go to clear all the books off it, and it just keeps getting longer too, which doesn’t exactly help. I think I’m going to have to organise it a bit, as books keep getting lost in the jumble and I find it a few years later thinking “oh yeah, I meant to read this.”

On with the show!

_______________________________________________________
Part 1, Part 44

Amy pulled into the parking lot of the mall and found a space near the entrance, it was mostly empty to her surprise. She felt a thrill of nerves brush along her back. It would be fine, there were other people here, even if there wasn’t many. They got out of the car and made their way inside, the thoroughfare was mostly empty, a woman struggled along with a pram and a handful of bags, Amy spotted someone going into one of the shops, again, she felt the frisson of nerves.

“It’s really empty isn’t it?”
Grady shrugged, “Everyone’s probably in work or picking up their kids or something. Let’s just get to the food court, ok? We can pick up some lunch too while we’re at it.”
Grady started walking, Amy followed.

As they walked, Amy scanned the area, Grady just ploughed through, heading directly to the food court. They passed few shoppers on the way.

Ed and Rose were sitting in the food court, both held cups of coffee and neither noticed the arrival of the other three. They headed straight over and sat down at the table.
“Where is everyone else?”
“We don’t know. Gone.”
“What do you mean gone?”
“Taken.”
“By who?”
“We don’t know.”
“Jesus, ok, tell us what happened.”
“We were fighting Alice, doing pretty well, then someone knocked out Simon, then Brett, we got away. Don’t know if it was Alice’s doing or something else. Didn’t stick around to find out.”
“If it was her doing what’s going to happen?”
“Nothing good for them or us.”
“And if it was someone else?”
“Same thing.”
“What do we do? Do we rescue them or?”
Rose looked at Grady, then at Joey, “If they can’t get out themselves well, then there’s nothing we can do.”
“We have to try.”
“No, we don’t. We have to run, run and hope that Alice is dead and never catches up with us.”
“Brett wouldn’t leave you.”
“Yes. Yes he would and you know it.”
Ed looked up from his coffee “it doesn’t matter what he would have done, we need to go after them. Who ever took them has tranqs powerful enough to take them down, powerful enough to take me down. If they’re being kept somewhere, it’s strong. They’ll be able to hold us. We have no option. Either we find them or they find us. They knew where the fight was going to be, no one else knew, they had to have been tracking or monitoring us. There is no other explanation. They know about us and they’ll want the full set. I don’t know what they’ll do with you guys, but I can’t imagine it’s anything good. They want to use us, for power, money, what ever. They’ve got power, we’re strong but they could be stronger. They caught us by surprise, but they won’t do that again. When they attack again it will be all out and will end with us captured or dead.”
“So how do we find them?”
“Myself and Rose will figure that out. For now we should eat, get it to take away, we’ll need to start moving.”

They split up and placed their orders, then they regrouped and carrying their food, they left the food court. As they walked to the car, both Amy and Grady looked at everyone suspiciously. Rose didn’t seem to care all that much, nor did Ed. Joey trudged along behind them all, head buried in a game.

 

They piled into the car and with one last look at the mall, Grady drove from the parking lot. As she drove, she kept an eye in the mirror, trying to see if there was anyone following. She took some random turns, but no car followed for more than a single one. Grady relaxed slightly, there was no one following. She sat up straight, the car could be bugged. She signalled and pulled over, everyone had already finished eating.
“We have to switch cars. Everyone grab your stuff, don’t leave anything behind.”
“We lost track of them.”
“How? You told me once they surfaced you’d be able to find them.”
“We were following the faint seismic activity caused by Ed, though we didn’t expect him to branch off multiple tunnels underground. That made it difficult to track, and they went through several densely populated areas. The tremors were too faint to detect at times. We’re not sure where they actually surfaced, if they have at all. There are still pockets that are moving around. We think that there’s no one in them, some are moving too fast and others are moving too slow, as far as we are aware, neither was injured. No tunnel that we have been tracking has come up yet. They either stop or vanish.”
“Could they have gone deeper?”
“That is a possibility, but if they had the activity would be larger and we would have spotted it.”
“So you have no idea where they are or where they’re going?”
“Correct.”
“Find them. Now.”
“We’re doing our best, we-“
“No, you’re not. If you were doing your best they would be here. I don’t see them, do you? Find them or you will be responsible. Right now I’m considering permanent termination for you, and maybe even your family. You’ve fucked up monumentally. Failure is not an option.”
“Yes sir.”
The man left the room pale and shaking. He sat back into his chair and sipped his coffee. He was surrounded by incompetent fools. He looked down at the reports on his desk, the psychologists had okayed some forms of torture on them all. Good, they’d get things moving there, though he didn’t expect any of them to break. They were strong, old. They needed to be careful, two could afford to abandon the bodies they were in. The rooms they were in shouldn’t allow that to happen, but that hadn’t been tested yet. He didn’t want to find out they had gotten that wrong. He’d find out who their masters were, kill them and assume their role. It was simple. He stood from his desk, he wanted to check in on them personally.

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About Alan James Keogh

I am a 24 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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One Response to Shadow Crawlers. Part 45

  1. Pingback: Shadow Crawlers. Part 46 | Alan James Keogh

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