4: Thunder - The Search

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He looked around, closing his eyes to let his senses concentrate together rather than try and locate the whisperer separately. He waited. The voice had been quiet, but sounds seemed to carry in these halls as if the air helped it on its way to the recipient. It had to be close, however, as the noises from further away, cries and rumbles and screeches, would have drowned it out easily.

But where? The only door he could see was the one he had just left through. There were no cubbyholes or breaks in the smooth stone for someone to be hiding. Where could the person be?

"Help me."

He had to choose a direction and move, opening his eyes. Staying where he was, was inviting discovery and it would neither help himself nor the person who was calling out to him. His instincts, such as they were, seemed to pull him to the left. He chose right. He had followed his instincts with the creature he'd called Adrianne, and with Ursen too. He knew not to trust himself.

He kept his hand to the wall for balance and to give him something to push against if he faced an attack. He crept slowly, breathing in and exhaling with each steady step. The pace brought his heartbeat down to a less reckless level and meant he could hear more than the blood pounding in his ears. The rumble of battle, for that must be what the other sounds were, became a jumbled background as he narrowed the field of concentration to his immediate area.

But there was nowhere to hide!

He must be hearing things. His incarceration and solitude had left his mind desperate for company and was creating voices where there were none.

"Help me."

The tone was more insistent. The voice still hushed, but heavy with peril. He stopped suddenly. He had felt it! Hadn't he? The words? He'd felt a tingle in his fingertips as they were spoken... didn't he?


Rick had dared to respond. There was nobody close who might want to drag him back to his cell. Whomever was speaking needed him and, if he wanted to find them, he had to speak out himself.

"Help me. Please."

Again, he felt the tingle. It was as if hundreds of tiny ants were running across his fingertips and spreading upwards into his arm and shoulder. Again, he couldn't tell from which direction the voice was coming from. It was growing now decreasing in volume. It was just there, hanging in the air as if executed mid-sentence so it didn't realise the words and the mouth that spoke them were no longer connected.

"Where are you?" he asked.

He was looking around, He was feeling the surface of the walls. He was searching, but he wasn't finding.

"Everywhere," said the voice. 

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