Day Thirty ➣ Part Three

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TERROR PLOWED THROUGH RAINA faster than she could run. They scrambled to the door and threw it open, the metal slamming back against the wall with a crack. Around them, massive machines pounded and screeched, steam wafting into the air. High above on the other side, connected only by stairs and a metal catwalk running along the walls of the room, lay the control booth.

A roaring began to rise behind the clamour of the machines, distant but nearing. Floodwater. It trickled in and around their feet, the first hints of what was to come. In moments, it was at their ankles. 

"To the stairs!" Raina cried. 

They wove between the machines, ducking under metal and hopping over vents rapidly filling with water. One of the machines bucked and screeched, spraying back the water pouring into it, and it shuddered to a stop. Another let out a flurry of sparks before sputtering out. The steps loomed ahead, and they leapt onto them, clutching the railing as their feet slipped on the metal. 

The roar of the water grew louder as it began to rush in, and machine after machine went down, the lights flickering. Raina's foot slipped, and she let out a cry as she sliced her foot and sprawled onto the catwalk. The wounds on her hands ripped open. 

"Raina!" Rance cried. He turned and ran back to her, offering his hand. 

As she reached up to take it, the machine below them exploded. 

Raina flew backwards, her fingers scrambling to find purchase on the metal as she skidded over the edge of the catwalk. Hanging on for dear life, she looked over to see a piece of the platform collapse--and Rance along with it. 

"Rance!" she screamed. 

He let out a shout and tumbled into the water. 

"Rance!" she screamed again. She scanned the water, searching for any sign of him, but there was nothing. The water continued to rise. "Rance!" 

"Raina!" Maeve yelled. She lay on the other side of the catwalk, her hand soaked in blood as she clutched her head. She pointed. 

Unconscious, Rance bobbed up and down in the middle of the room, pinned against a machine by the current.

"He's going to slip under and drown!" Maeve said.

Raina did not even think twice as she jumped. 

She hit the ground hard and her ankle screamed in pain, but she ignored it; she ignored everything as she wrestled her way through the water. It was already at her thighs. 

Another machine exploded beside her and she ducked as a gear flew by her head, a strip of metal slashing her arm. Her body begged to ease up as she reached him, but there was no time. The current swirled around them, rising toward their hips. 

"Rance," she said. "Rance." She jostled him. 

"Raina," he mumbled, coming to. His eyes flitted about, his face pale. "Leg," he panted, squeezing his eyes shut. "Broken." 

"It's going to be okay," she said. "Put your arm around me." But as she looked at the stairs, at the tonnes of crashing water that lay before them, she realized they could not make it back. Not by walking. 

Grunting against the water pressure as it squeezed her, she looked up at the machine behind them. 

"Rance, grab onto me and don't let go," she said. 

He nodded and wrapped his hands around her neck, hopping onto her back. She braced herself, eyeing the sharp edges and spokes that would be her handholds, and began to climb. 

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