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.The noise came from down the tunnel near the door they exited from.Adam pulled Elliot by the wrist."Come on.We gotta run."Running down the tracks was tiring.At times it felt as if they were on an incline, jogging up a hill.About every twenty feet another bulb would light up the tunnel, bringing attention to the large arched sides where metal pipes ran along lengthwise and wooden supports beams held up the loose rocks, preventing them from sliding into the tunnel.Large logs and plywood boards had been placed to keep the larger rocks from collapsing into the tunnel completely, but it still seemed very unstable.He and Adam kept a steady pace, finally catching up to Mason who was hunched over with his hands on his knees trying to catch his breath.The box he was carrying was sitting atop the dirt beside him."It seems like it's just going on forever." He huffed."Like we're running in circles or something.""We're not running in circles." Adam reached into his pocket, taking out the blueprint."This doesn't say anything about how long this tunnel is.It really doesn't say much." He handed it to Mason."I thought you knew this place inside and out."Mason nodded, standing straighter."I hadn't spent too much time in the tunnel, but it can't be too much longer.""Let's keep moving." Adam put his hand out to Elliot, he took it and they continued walking.Adam gently led Elliot's exhausted and emotionally overwhelmed body down the tunnel.They passed an empty overturned rail cart.Deep and hollow with one of its two metal wheels broken and dangling from the body.Farther up ahead the nearest light blinked, threatening to go out completely, but even farther ahead was absolutely darkness.Elliot squinted but couldn't make out anything beyond the darkness.As they got closer he understood why that was.A wall of rocks many different sizes had filled the tunnel from top to bottom.It looked as through the top of the tunnel had collapsed in on itself.What were once support beams and thick logs were now splinter wooden pieces mixed in with the dense rubble.Elliot paused and stared at the massive wall of rock."What do we do now?"Mason dropped the box of food on the ground, ripped a hole into the fabric from of his shirt with his teeth, and tore a piece off with his hands.Then he wrapped and tied the small fabric around his finger where his wound was."I'm climbing this and clearing the rocks so watch out." He began to climb the raggedy wall sending some of the smaller, loose rocks tumbling down and spewing up dirt and dust."You can't clear these rocks." Adam scoffed, scratching his temple."Just the upper ones so we can crawl through." Mason threw down larger rocks without looking, pulling some and allowing them to roll down the mound with help from gravity."My damn shoulder better not give me too much trouble.""We don't know how thick this pile is or how much damage was done to the tunnel." Adam's voice raised an octave probably from frustration."Who knows.There might be rocks above that'll collapse, crushing you."Mason paused and looked over his bummed shoulder at them."Or we can just sit here and rot.Whatever sounds better to you.Hey, I'll know.I'll just wait here while you two deliberate."Adam scoffed and sat down on the dirt floor, his back against the tunnel wall."I don't know.I just don't know.I'm tired of running.I'm tired of thinking.Just want it all to be over.""Let's clear the rocks." Elliot looked to Adam then to Mason.When they didn't say anything he went toward the mound of rocks.His decision has been made."We can't just sit here and rot, right?" He climbed the mound.Some of the rocks slid from under his weight and went tumbling down.He climbed to the top near Mason and settled in the best he could.Together they carefully plucked rocks from the top of the mound and threw them aside.***Adam couldn't help but think they were working so hard for nothing.However, he couldn't just sit by idly and watch Mason and Elliot do all the work.After all, they were right.They had to do something.Doing nothing was just like giving up and he would never give up.Not that easily.They've been moving rocks for what seemed like hours.Every few minutes Adam had looked over his shoulder down the tunnel expecting to see a force of angry men and women being led by enforcers and the imposter Eugene himself.He's expected weapons and more bloodshed but was thankful they hadn't received any.Maybe they had given up on them.Maybe they're using their time to tend to the residents now or more important things.Maybe they understood it was too late.Still moving aside rocks and crouching inside the ten feet tunnel they had dug, they were beginning to move slower, growing tired.Mason complained of hunger, they hands hurt and bled, but they were making progress.Adam was about ready to call it quits when he moved a large rock and a steady stream of dried dirt poured in on top of him."Watch out," he warned, putting his hand up to stop the dirt from getting in his eyes and mouth.He soon realized the pouring stream was thinning.He coughed noticing a dank smell."Get back some.This stuff is thick." It felt different than dirt.It was dry and tacky at the same time."That's not dirt," Mason said with excitement in his tone."That's the stuff that fell from the sky.The heat of the asteroid changed the molecular structure or whatever nearly turning the sand into glass and this is the byproduct, which means we're almost to the outside of the tunnel.""Don't breathe it in." Elliot warned.Adam coughed again."I think I already did." But he remembered what the man on the recorded CD had said about the dust not being harmful unless ingested and didn't worry.They continued to move the rocks surrounding the jagged hole which allowed the sand to fall through.Beyond the hole was pitch black and they couldn't make out what was on the outside of it, but when enough rocks were removed a light, cool breeze swept across Adam's face."I feel air.""I smell it," Elliot added."I think we've made it." Mason pushed Adam aside and began to crawl through the hole."Yes, we're outside.We made it." He laughed hysterically.His loud chuckles seemed to float out into nothingness.Elliot stood on the rocks, poking his head up through the hole."Well, where is the sunlight? I thought there was sunlight." Elliot cautiously pulled himself through the hole.Adam followed, carefully hoisting himself up to the rugged outside feeling the cool breeze hit his skin, smelling the musty air."I think he was wrong about the sunlight, Elliot.""I'm not wrong [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]