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   Chapter 48 The cellar

Bactine By Paul Kater Characters: 11738

Updated: 2018-02-11 12:03


It felt like hours to Daniel until he finally could get off the Pricosine 2 and start towards the exit. In the cover of the shadows he could get quite close to the three men. He heard how Clelem locked the gate. The three men walked off, talking and apparently joking, as Birkle laughed again.

Daniel looked at the gate. It was high. The top had nasty-looking pointy parts. He was for certain not going to leave the shipyard through or over the regular exit. Taking more chances, he started to run towards the spot where he knew the fence to be low. The one he had climbed over before, to get to this shipyard. Darkness did not make that easy, so he did not go fast. Nothing much had changed, so he climbed over the fence and found his way to the exit of that yard. There, the powers were with him. The gate was as open as the first time. Even in the night.

As he walked towards the road, careful still as he had no idea how fast the three others had gone, he debated with himself if he should take a carriage or go walking. With the carriage, he was afraid he would fall asleep. And walking was at least as fast. That took care of that.

In the streets everything was quiet. No carriages, no people. Daniel fell into a jogging pace he usually could hold for hours. His long legs took him to the corner of what used to be 'his' street. The police now had put up a fence and a few warning signs. From where he stood, he did not see any guards, but that did not mean there weren't any.

"No chances, " he mumbled to himself. He walked past the Street of Barges and found the parallel street again. This time there were no people guarding the fence. Slowly, moving from tree to tree, Daniel reached the fence. It took him only a few seconds to get over it.

On the other side, he crouched down for a while, scanning for police that might still be around. The area was quiet. Very quiet. The street lights showed the devastation that was the result of the bomb Gaguran had arranged. The lower half of the building was still standing, that much was clear. For some reason Daniel did not know, the top part had collapsed to the front, not straight down. The way things looked was as if some giant hand had knocked the upper floors off the building, slapping it from behind.

After minutes, Daniel decided that it was safe to move closer. He kept to the shades, to make as sure as possible nobody would notice him. After all, there had been enough commotion around this explosion. As he circled the remains of the building to get to the back side, he saw two lamps burning. He came closer and found a table in front of the back-door. The two lamps were on it, and next to one of the lamps was a handwritten sign that read 'Keep Out: Danger'. Especially the capitals made it look quite deterring.

Carefully he moved the table far enough to the side to give him access to the back-door. That was still in place. Daniel tried the doorknob and pulled. The door resisted for a moment, then opened. A creaking noise startled him and he ducked behind the table. Again he waited for several minutes, but nothing stirred. He dared to breathe again and picked one of the lamps from the table before he entered the collapsed building. Daniel was fully aware that he was taking chances. The sign was not terrifying, but it did tell the truth. This place was dangerous now.

His feet bumped into strange blocks of stone. Lowering the light, he saw there were many and they seemed to have come from the ceiling. "Okay, Dani

re, as fast as you can! Time to explain later. I will have rooms prepared." The display went grey, Daniel quickly called for a carriage and hoped it would get there fast. He stuck the hydger in his pocket and supported Rayko again.

"Calm down, girl, calm down. You're safe. No one is going to hurt you, okay?" Daniel said, trying to comfort her.

"Thirst... water..." were the first words the young woman managed. She looked awful and probably felt far worse.

"I wish I had some for you, Rayko, " he said. He hoped that saying her name would help.

With both hands the woman grabbed his shirt and she pulled him close. Daniel put his arms around her and mumbled soft words. In his arms, Rayko was sobbing in her misery.

After what felt like an age, a carriage came into the street. It stopped next to them by the time Daniel was on his feet again, Rayko in his arms. The door opened, and he gently put her inside, laying her down on the seat as well as he could. Carriages were not made for this, clearly. He told the thing where to go. As it started to move, in its tediously slow night setting, Daniel saw he had to change Rayko's position; she was bound to fall this way. He took her in his arms as he sat down, holding her in his lap, her legs curled up so she would still fit on the seat.

He was not sure if she was awake, but at times she moaned and winced. His own fatigue was attacking him again now. He nodded off, and each time either a sound from Rayko or a bump in the road shook him up, forcing him into what awareness was left to him.

Suddenly, after fading in and out for a while, the carriage was no longer moving. Daniel had not noticed it stopping. The fact that someone opened the door was however a sign.

"Mr. Zacharias, please let go of the young lady. We will take care of her, " a voice said. The person had to wrench Daniel's hands free and he noticed the weight being lifted from his lap. "Mr. Zacharias, you can step out now. We are here to help you." Helpful arms pulled at him, and he moved, as in a daze.

"Where is Rayko?" he asked, not sure if he should know the answer.

"The young lady is right here, sir, do not worry about her. We are going to take care of you."

Daniel was halfway aware that he was taken to a room and that there was a bed beneath him and then there was nothing.

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