“BLADES!” The girls scream as they charge towards the ladders.
They catch a glimpse of a long tail before it disappears out of sight.
“What do we do?” Blue asks, stunned.
“Go get him!”
Together, the two girls sprint down the stairs, their feet ringing. Ahead of them, the howl of a creature grows fainter. The girls slide to halt on the next floor down. Three halls lead in different directions. One to the left. Another to the right. The last hall lies in front of them.
“Follow the blood.” Sparky points to the floor.
Drops of blood lead off to the left. Without another word, they start running down the hall.
“Where did that thing come from?” Sparky wheezes out, “I thought they were trapped.”
“Not a clue. Might have gotten out before the security measures.”
“Great. I thought we had put them all behind us.”
They slide to a stop again at another intersection. The trail of blood they have been following is joined by several more from different halls. The girls slow to a stop and glance at each other.
“Maybe they are eating each other.”
“What is the likelihood of that?”
Carefully, the two girls walk forward. Their energy crackles along their forearms and lower legs, ready for a sudden attack. The further they walk down, the thicker the blood trails become. Eventually, it becomes impossible for them to avoid the blood. Their feet stick to the floor. The only upside is the trail of footprints left in the sticky blood.
“Can you hear anything?” Blue whispers quietly.
Blue winces suddenly as she puts a hand to her head.
“A headache. I was remembering a nightmare.” Blue takes a deep breath and slowly exhales, “I was a kid running down a hall and then a river of blood swept me away.”
“I’ll be alright. Come on.” Blue slowly moves forward, “I don’t hear anything right now.”
“Great. What is the chances that is just the one?”
“Not likely.” Blue leans towards the floor, “Looks like another set of tracks here. Smaller than the one that took Blades.”
“Great. Just great.” Sparky starts at a metallic clang.
“Do we keep going?”
“What choice do we have?”
Slowly they walk forward into the hall. The well-lit hall is a sharp contrast with the blood-streaked floors. Here and there are streaked handprints. Without a word, the two girls move cautiously forward. They round a corner and freeze.
A pair of giant lizard creatures lies on the ground. They are twenty feet long but with a narrow, lean build. Protruding from their jaws are curved teeth. Long black claws decorate the end of their limbs. Their hide is dark green along their backs but white along their underbellies.
“Look at the size of them.” Blue whispers.
“Think you can take one of them out?”
“That’s what I’m thinking.”
“What if there is more than one?”
Blue smiles, “Do you know how to make a pulse bomb?”
“Nevermind. Just get ready to hit them if it doesn’t take them out. Or if any of their friends come to check in on them.”
Blue takes a deep breath and steps out. Energy pulses between her hand. A white-blue stone forms and crackles with energy. The sounds of the crackling lightning cause both beasts to wake. With a grunt, Blue tosses the white stone between them. The lizard creatures rise to their feet as the stone explodes. The force of the blast knocks both creatures into the hall. The power released scorches the hall, burns away the paint, and tears a chunk of flesh out of the two lizard creatures.
As the stench of burned flesh fills the air, another lizard creature leaps forward around the corner.
Sparky steps forward and throws a fist forward.
The orange energy rips through the air and hits the lizard on its head. The animal curls up as if it hit a wall. With a roar, the creature writhes in pain as the energy consume its head. A moment later, the creature flops onto its side. The flesh on its head burned away.
Howls fill the air.
“Can you use quick speed?”
“That I can do.”
Energy crackles around both girls. Their legs glow as they leap forward down the hall. Moving down the hall quickly, they glance back and forth. The side doors are jammed open. Unlike previous rooms, these have been gutted. What few belongs are arranged in circle-like nests. Here and there are creatures curled up.
“Look like they’re moving in.”
“Great. Wait.” Blue yells.
They slide to a stop at an intersection. Carefully they look about. Then they hear Blades yelling and fighting down the right-side hall.
“I go first.” Blue says, “You come a few seconds behind me.”
With a flash of energy, Blue moves down the hall. Lighting crackles in her wake. The energy casts dark blue light as she speeds down the hall.
“One thousand one.” Sparky whispers to herself, “One thousand two. One thousand three.”
She allows energy to sweep through her body. The lightning dances along the length of her body. Moving quickly, she sweeps through a blood-stained hall. In what was a large cafeteria-area, she finds Blue in the middle of a fight.
A dozen of the lizard creatures are charging her. Blades is beside her, firing spikes as quickly as he can make them. His left leg is covered in blood and he is leaning against the wall.
But at the opposite end, filling the room with angry bellows is a giant lizard. Nearly five times as large as the ones they have seen, it crouches over a clutch of eggs. Its tail forms a protective barrier between them and Blades’ spikes.
Letting the energy flow and form into white-orange swords, Sparky charges into the mix.
The giant lizard is immediately aware. With a howl, the entire pack of lizards turn their attack away from Blades and Blue and begin charging towards Sparky. Out of the corner of her eye, Sparky sees Blue grab ahold of Blades. Using her enhanced speed, Blue gets Blades out and into the hall.
Sparky holds the door, fending off two lizards with quick swipes. Blue hurries past with Blades limping beside her.
Letting go of the sword foams, she slaps the ground in front of her.
The ground glows with orange-white energy and a wall appears. The front wave of lizards slam into it and rebound. The remaining begin their own attack, slashing with claw, tail, and headbutts. Cracks begin to appear in the wall.
Letting the energy flow once more, Sparky turns and runs.
With an explosion that fills the hall, the wall collapses. Animal cries of pain are drowned out with an angry bellow. From the sides of the room comes movement.
A few moments later, Sparky slides to a stop in the first clean hall. Blades lies on the ground, his face grimacing in pain. Blue stands close by, breathing hard.
“What did you?” Blue asks between gasps of breath.
“Tried to build a barrier. It didn’t hold.”
“I think you ticked them off.”
“A little. And there is a lot of them heading this way.”
“Alright.” Blades tries to stand up but his leg refuses to hold the weight.
“That big one bit it off.”
“Off?” She looks at the blood soaked leg.
“Tried to at least. Advance regenerative abilities.” He answers with a gasp, “Makes useful for recovering lost or damaged limbs but also really painful when I do need to replace them.”
The sound of howling echoes down the hall. Steadily it grows louder.
“What do we do?” Sparky asks as she raises another barrier to block the hall.
“I don’t know. Can you travel? I mean a long ways.”
“I don’t know. I need time to heal. Just. Maybe twenty minutes? Thirty?”
“With how fast those things move, I don’t think we have a time.”
A few feet away, a part of the wall slides upward. A low rumble comes from the hall. The teens struggle to their feet. Each extends their sword-like weapons.
The rumble becomes a low roar.