Chapter Two – Hunters

After the adrenaline effect faded Arya was feeling exhausted. She felt like she ran a marathon, while in fact she didn’t even run, apart from sliding to her hiding spot; that’s adrenaline for you.

But even being tired, she kept all her senses alert, mainly listening for any foreign sound; A new portal opening, some radio chatter, footsteps, anything, but no sound came from the tunnel.

She picked up her things and headed down at a steady pace; she didn’t want to stay there longer than necessary, in case a new combine portal opened. They knew she was there and they would send more soldiers for her, of that she was certain.

About a hundred meters down, the tunnel curved to the right; not a sharp turn, but enough to break the line of sight from her original spot. As she pressed on, she starting losing sight of the back of the tunnel, when suddenly she heard annother portal opening.

“Shit. Not again!” – She thought.

This time, beside the usual radio chatter she also heard some mechanical sounds along with big heavy thuds. The ground was shaking ever so slightly with each thud, a familiar shrieking sound could be heard, echoing down the tunnel.

“Robots? OH shit… Hunters.!” – Arya’s mind was now racing, threatening a panic attack. Except, this time, there were some valid reasons for that.

She starting running as fast as she could deeper into the tunnel starting to create a slight distance between her and the combine, but that wasn’t good enough. As soon as the hunters heard her boots stomping the ground as she ran, they pinpointed her location and letting out a loud whine ran after her. Because of the curvature of the tunnel, she was still out of sight from the hunters, but that wouldn’t last long. She needed to find a hiding spot, fast, or at least some place where she could set up her defenses.

She saw a badly lit door on the right side of the tunnel. Concentrating all of her weight on the door, she smashed through with a loud bang. The door was so old that it desintegrated with the force of the impact, wood splinters flying everywhere. She ended up inside a tiny corridor leading up to a small control room.

The room had no windows and was lit only big a big fluorescent lamp in the middle. Several control consoles with buttons and green, yellow and red lights stood in a U shape in the middle of the room, facing the entrance. Most of the consoles were dead, but some of them still had power. she couldn’t understand what they were or what their purpose was, specially because everything was written in cyrillic, probably Russian.

“Never mind what this is for Girl. Get a grip. The hunters are coming” – Arya chided herself.

She could hear the hunters’ footsteps making the curve on the tunnel outside, two of them at least. with her adrenaline reaching critical levels, she looked around to see if she could find something to help her fend of the hunters.
In one corner she could find old hydrogen batteries. She could make some mines with them. The batteries were probably dead, but it doesn’t hurt to try. Quickly she opened her rucksack and picked up some copper wire that she had found earlier in the big reactor room. She connected the cables to the batteries and with a makeshift trigger the mines were ready. As soon as the hunter stepped on the trigger, the wires would connect the batteries, creating a short-circuit which in turn would make them blow up. She didn’t even know if it would work, but hell it was something.

She hid behind the middle console, facing the entrance and waited. A few seconds later, one of the hunters peeked through the door scanning around. It took one step forward and a click was heard. At first nothing happened, but another second and a blinding flash appeared. The batteries didn’t explode but instead the short-circuit created an electric arc so big that when in contact with the metal body of the first hunter, released a huge amount of energy frying his circuits almost instantly and blinding the other hunter. Arya quickly stepped over the console and taking advantage of the confusion, jammed her rifle into the hunters’ electric brain and pulled the trigger sending the hunter flying to the tunnel outside. For a while it was on the floor, with a huge hole where it’s head used to be oozing some sort of fluid, legs trashing around, until it finally stopped dead.

Another portal was opening, and she thought that this was it, she wasn’t going to make it out of there; However, this time the radio chatter disappeared into the portal and silence returned to the tunnel.