IS IT SATURDAY ALREADY???
And because I’m a procrastinator and lazy and completely forgetful, I forgot about posting… and I promptly decided to wait until Sunday…
But THEN I just remembered about a little thing called reliability…
And I realized I had to post to uphold my blog’s poor reputation!!! #nonexistent
I decided not to do a poll at the end of this part, just because I wanted to mix things up a bit
and also because I had no idea what to ask and I didn’t feel like writing a cliffhanger.
Hang around after the next part for a little extra special stuff!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(and no, there’s no food. I ate it all.)
New? I command you to catch up or else…
Our feet make soft thuds on the gravel as we dash away, Daren in the lead. My hand tucked around my gun, I follow him almost reluctantly. However, the fear of having another confrontation with the gang overcomes my reluctance, making me follow my guide deeper into the Ruins.
We skirt the edge of the Weeper, climbing over fallen concrete and buildings leveled to the ground. The only sounds breaking the stillness is our breath and the crashing of the gang trying to follow us.
“They’re catching up,” I finally say, trying not to sound panicked. Daren doesn’t reply. He stops running, and I almost crash into his back.
“What? What is it?” I ask before I see why he’s stopped. Insurmountable buildings and broken metal shards jut out of the ground in front of us, blocking our way. I look around hurriedly, but my practiced eye can’t see a way over.
“Thanks, great guiding you did there.” I say sarcastically, whirling on the person who got me into this mess.
“Don’t freak out, there’s another way.” Daren replies, his gaze fixed on the ground as he walks back and forth, obviously searching for something.
“Oh, another way? Sure, let’s end it real quick by jumping into the chasm. Because that’s the only other way, unless you wanna get killed by a bunch of thugs!”
“Trust me.” He says, not even paying attention to me, to where I’m standing, gesturing madly.
“Trust you? Dude, you almost threw me over a cliff… Not exactly the best basis for trust…”
He ignores me, still walking back and forth on the ground, peering through the rubble. Hearing the sounds of the gang coming closer, fear wells up in my chest.
“Here it is.” Daren leans over a chunk of unassuming rock and reaches into a shadowed outcropping. I hear a click and suddenly a groaning fills the air. A large wire suddenly snaps up from the ground, narrowly missing my face.
“What on earth…” My voice trails away as it tightens. A dark shadow on the other side of the Weeper begins to move toward us, suspended on the rope. As it draws nearer, I can distinguish sides, and a railing.
“What. is. that.” I ask, my voice punctuated with disbelief.
“That is our ticket outta here.” Daren replies, stepping to the very edge of the Weeper. The hanging cage slowly creaks to a stop in front of him and he grabs the side, wrenching open a small door.
“Step in.” He commands, not looking at me, but instead watching the steady progress of the gang. They shout insults and threats, while jumping clumsily over the debris.
I stare at the wire that holds up the cage, gulping.“You sure that’s safe?”
“Yeah, I use it all the time. Now buck up and get in!” Frustrated, he grabs my arm and pushes me into the cage. I turn around, furious, but he’s already hopping in after me and closing the door.
“Hold onto the rails and if you get scared, don’t look down.” He says, again in that authoritative voice.
I don’t like how he keeps commanding me around, but there isn’t much I can do to stop him. I grasp the metal railing, my knuckles turning white as I watch him grab a lever and start rotating it back and forth in its socket. With uneven jerks, the cage picks up speed until we are swinging over the chasm.
The gang, left behind, shakes fists and throws rocks at us as we slowly move out of their reach. I frown in their direction and turn back to my escort, his dark forehead shining with a thin sheen of sweat as he keeps turning the lever.
“Who are you?” I ask.
“I already told you.” He replies, his voice a little strained.
“Well, a name never tells you who a person is, does it?”
I furrow my brow. “Where are we going?”
“To a Peer camp.”
“On the other side of the Weeper?”
“Care to elaborate?”
“You do realize that you’re avoiding my questions?”
“Can you tell me how you knew I was a Peer?”
“What, that’s top secret or something?”
I sigh in frustration and Daren suddenly looks up at me and grins, teeth flashing. I frown at him in annoyance. “Are you trying to upset me?”
“Maybe.” He laughs and turns his attention back to cranking the lever.
The cage moves painfully slow, and I try to keep my mind from thinking about the miles of space between us and the ground right now.
“I told you my name, so what’s yours?” He suddenly asks me.
“Why should I tell you?” I reply, studying him.
He shrugs. “I don’t know. Maybe because it has something to do with saving your life, telling you who I am, bringing you to a Peer camp…”
“First off, you didn’t save my life, I would have been fine without you. And you didn’t tell me who you are, you just told me your name and that doesn’t reveal anything about a person.”
“Whatever you say.” He replies. A moment of silence stretches between us. “Well, if a name isn’t important, then why can’t you tell me yours?”
I grimace. “Fine. I’m Nova.”
“Nice to meet you, Nova.”
I mutter something not very complimentary under my breath. Daren just snickers and goes back to pulling on the lever. Back, forth, back, forth.
“Why isn’t there a bridge over the Weeper?” I ask, my annoyance forgotten.
“Peers don’t want to be discovered. If someone found a way over that wasn’t a Peer, we would be in big trouble.”
“Oh. Why is it even called the Weeper?”
Daren doesn’t answer as the cage seems to get caught on a rougher section of wire. My stomach drops for a second, as my guide struggles with lever. In a few seconds, the cage begins to move again and my breath comes back in a whoosh.
Ignoring my tension, Daren replies to the question. “Back when the Third War was going on, the Ruins held a lot of refugees, people who fled from war zones and the front lines. The enemy sent spies and they found out where the refugees were hiding. I guess they wanted to frighten our government, so they sent out planes and bombed this whole place. The ground couldn’t withstand the pressure, so it caved in, creating this chasm.”
“Wow.” I stand a bit in silence. “But why is it called the Weeper?”
“Lots of people died here, so lots of people cried here. That’s what I’ve heard.”
We don’t talk for the rest of the ride, mainly because the wind picked up and I was too nervous to start a conversation. It was to my great relief that the cage finally reached the other side of the Weeper and Daren unlocked and opened the door.
“Well, I totally would be able to distinguish this side from that side.” I say sarcastically, gazing around at the debris and rock that looks exactly like everything else.
“It’s pretty easy. Lots that’s different.” Daren replies, jumping off of the cage and grabbing a hook that’s protruding from the ground. He places it over a metal loop on the cage and locks it in place.
“Follow me. The camp’s just over this way.” He turns and hikes forward at a steady pace.
I walk after him, feeling a bit apprehensive. I don’t know this side, I wouldn’t be able to get home even if I wanted to. I think about my little cat, probably gorging himself on rats. Trip would be fine without me for a little while…
It’s not Trip you’re worried about, a little voice in my head argues. You’re so eager to meet other Peers, you’re following a complete stranger, and now you’re stuck on unknown territory. I shake my head, brushing away my worries.
Still, I get the urge to turn around and head back. My feelings conflicted, I keep my gaze on Daren’s back and carefully sidestep around the debris blocking our way.
So what did you think of the backstory?!!! I dunno why, but I loooooove the name of the chasm.
Anyway, I said I had something special, didn’t I??
PICTURES!!! YAYYY!!!!!! Now that you know the MC’s name and nothing else about Daren, you get to see what they look like!
Go on, clap.
Yes, thank you, thank you.
I have to give a huge, huge shout out to my best friend, Indy, for finding pictures for me because I couldn’t get on the internet. She got all these pictures and sent them to me and I picked and she is so awesome so yeah.
THANK YOU INDY!!!!!!
I’m going to eat now.