Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Burning: Part Three

Continued from Part Two

The bunker was dug into a hill overlooking the city, which looked like a huge siler jellyfish, stranded on the vast sandy plain, the highways leading out of it like tentacles. Uax and Khem had worked almost non-stop for three weeks rendering the disused bunker inhabitable, using the plans drawn up by R'Leef.
The main entrance was through a well camoflaged door forged out of heavy steel, which led past a lift shaft running between the bunker's three storeys, and extended back into the hill. At it's far end, another, much smaller, steel door opened out onto the hillside.
R'Leef sat beside the main entrance, watching a convoy of hired trucks making their way slowly up the steep hillside. Power generators, plants, freezers, furniture - all were on the way to the bunker as it neared completion.
R'Leef knew what he had to do. God had been warning mankind of his judgement; only R'Leef and his family had listened. Once they were ready, God would bring his judgement.
One more week, he prayed, nervously. That should be enough.
Something cold and wet nudged R'Leef; he jumped, then relaxed, seeing the face of a friendly dingo behind him.
"Yes, this is the place," he said, stroking the dingo lightly. He stood up to lead the animal to Zalbeth's temporary surgery. Only when he turned did he see the full extent of what God was doing here.
The plain below him was alive, as creatures of all sizes moved across it, faster animals running in from the horizon, overtaking the closer, slower animals. Even as he watched, herds of animals appeared from other directions, all converging on one point, a large tent at the foot of the hills.
"Zalbeth," R'Leef spoke softly into his two-way radio. "I hope you're ready for action."

The next seven days were filled with activity; extracting, labelling and storing DNA samples, preparing a greenery, and putting the finishing touches to the living quarters.
The upper floor was taken up entirely by the greenery, divided up to provide the optimum amount of heat and light for the huge variety of fruit, vegetables and other plants.
The middle floor was set aide for the animals they would be taking with them - some they would need for food, others were needed as offerings to God. A small kennel had recently been added under the stairs, where the dingo and its mate slept. Several birds flitted around the dimly lit room.
The bottom level consisted of six bedrooms, the living and recreation rooms, a kitchen and dining area, and a walk in freezer packed with DNA samples. Near the lift shaft, Khem had set up a reserve power generator - he had installed and powered up the main generator as soon as he could, but couldn't take the chance on it lasting indefinitely. They had no idea how long they would need to stay below ground.

Once the bunker was furnished and habitable, all the animals saved for future generations, and R'Leef had done all that the Lord had asked of him, the eight of them entered the bunker, where they would be kept safe from the wrath of God. R'Leef watched as his family went in, a hot wind building up behind them, swirling, directionless, so full of dust that at times it obscured the sun. One of the heavy trucks they had hired for the move rocked in a strong gust. R'Leef felt a pang of guilt; he had every intention of returning it, but time had run away from him.
It doesn't matter now, he felt God whisper.
He smiled, raising an arm to protect his face from the hot dust blowing into it.
"It's starting," he said to Uax, the last to enter the bunker. "Go on in. I'll follow in a moment."
Uax turned briefly to his father and nodded, unable to make himself heard above the howling wind.
With the last of his family safely inside, R'Leef took one last look out over the city, through eyes half-closed against the dust-laden wind.
His eyes widened, and his jaw dropped, suddenly oblivious to the flying grit, when he realised he was looking at the full awesome power of God being used in anger. High above the city, still as visible through the dust clouds and the sun, a new star glowed a deep red-orange.
For a moment, R'Leef even thought he could see the huge waves of energy this exploding star was sending out, and which were just beginning to reach Tellus, when he was knocked backwards by a sweeping gust of warmth, hot dust stinging his face, the wind taking his breath away.
He stumbled backwards into the tunnel, where he was caught by Uax.
"Are you alright?" he asked.
R'Leef was staring, wide-eyed, out of the metal hatch at the plumes of sand and dust that whistled across the entrance to the bunker.
"Yes," he whispered, nodding weakly.
A sudden change in wind direction slammed the hatch closed with a bang that echoed through the narrow passage for a second, and rang in R'Leef's ears for much longer. He looked up at Uax, who confirmed that the hatch was locked.
The Lord had closed the door behind him, and had locked them in.

Continues here

1 comment:

UKSteve said...

This is the bit in the middle where the story really sags. I cut a chunk out from the original before posting because it was that bad, and added nothing to the story.
I never liked the whole DNA/cloning thing either, for which my research consisted entirely of watching Jurassic Park...