Chapter 13: Going Down

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There was hardly any lighting inside the dome.

Allan flipped on the shoulder-mounted flashlights embedded in his suit, then activated the small but powerful light built into his pistol. He heard the others doing the same. The sounds echoed away from them, spreading out across the cavernous interior. Stacks of silver crates closed in all around them, making him feel claustrophobic. Allan began moving forward, trying to get a better view of the area, but there seemed to always be more crates, a field of them, a forest. Sighing, he finally found a sturdier stack of them and climbed up it.

Hauling himself up, he felt the pile shift beneath him and hesitated, wondering if he'd go down. But, at the last moment, he shifted and they stabilized below him. Sighing softly, he stood up fully, playing his flashlights across the immense area around him. The dome was massive. Hundreds of feet across, it encompassed quite an impressive dig site. All manner of gear, equipment, and vehicles awaited his inspection.

"See anything interesting?" Callie asked.

Allan glanced down. She stood below him, looking up. Behind her, moving among more crates, he saw Colin and Enzo.

"Yeah...it's quite a view, come up," Allan replied.

"Okay," Callie replied.

He knelt and offered her a hand. Again, to his great and happy surprise, the crates didn't topple over as he helped her up. Together, they stood still and silent atop the crates. There were no lights overhead, or at least none that worked, and as such, the whole place was bathed in darkness. Pools of brilliant white light were scattered across the dig site, work-lights that had been left on, powered either by batteries, a backup generator, or what remained of the power in the primary generator. Either way, Allan was willing to bet they'd have to fix something.

"We should get power restored," Callie said, echoing his thoughts.

"Yeah, I was thinking that, but I'm having a hard time figuring out where the damned generator is," he replied.

"There," Callie said, pointing.

He followed her finger and saw something flaring in the darkness, a red light that looked familiar. It took him a moment to realize it, but he finally remembered why it looked familiar: it was the same color and flared in the same pattern as a warning light indicating low power. There was a good chance that was their generator.

"Good eye," he said.

"Thanks," Callie replied as they climbed down.

* * *

Pain again.

Enzo was making his way through the crates, trying to get free of them. They were looking for an elevator or lift of some kind. Behind him, he heard a quiet conversation. Turning, he saw that Gray and Callie had climbed onto some of the crates. Fine, let them figure the situation out. His shoulder was giving him enough trouble as it was. At least Colin wasn't talking anymore. The old man seemed to have been silenced by their ominous surroundings. Enzo wasn't feeling so hot about the dome, either. It reminded him too much of Syberia.

He set off through the crates again, finally pushing past them, making his way towards one of the areas that was still lit. Clenching and unclenching his right fist in a steady rhythm, he fought to clear his head, because he was thinking about dark things. What he might do if he didn't get some kind of fix for his problem, because ever since waking up on Syberia, something had been different. The pain was worse, more frequent, more difficult to make go away. Why? Had something been done to him in between the prison ship and when he'd woken up? Had they tried out some small experiment on him, maybe to change his body, make it more pliable for fusion with the Slugs? Had they somehow fucked his shoulder up worse?

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