Frozen in Line 19: Who To Save?

The sync of the marching line ended the first step. One more step sounded like ten, then a hundred, and grew into a stampeding rumble. Green orbs floated as if on a wire hung tight. The leashes of light pulled at the back of the human’s necks. The rock walls faded into the solid steel Anthony had only seen in brief glimpses.

“That’s not good, right?” Donnie asked.

Red floor lights flashed in a soft, melodic pulse. The line shifted to one side of the hallway and from the other side came two sandstone aliens dressed in piecemeal armor. Before they could raise the oblong objects in their hands, Atlas leaped at the aliens with a hiss. Both screamed, and as soon as Atlas’s jaws found the gap in the armor, the rock-like skin of the first alien liquefied.

“How the hell?” Anthony asked.

The alien’s screams turned into grunts of pain as Atlas leapt away. Atlas arched his back, hissed, and dashed toward the injured alien. Both aliens gave up their attempts and ran back to the front of the line, marching off. Atlas pranced back to Anthony and climbed up his legs. Anthony winced and watched the line, searching for Elida’s face amid the soft green glows.

“Wait, where are you going? We just found Donnie and saved you, but you’re still following them?”
Anthony paused mid-step. We could just leave. I only came here to find Donnie. Those at the front of the line disappeared around the corner. Elida had only tried to trick him into getting to the line. I tried to get Kyle to the line as well. There were no lists for how to handle his situations. The footsteps turned into shuffling as the line slowed near the curve. A man ran into a small woman who fell over. A snapping sound, but no scream of pain. The woman used her good arm to push herself back into a standing position. The other arm hung limp and twisted against her side. After a tug from the green ball, she walked on.

“Fuck it, Donnie, we’re leaving,” Kyle said.

“But how do we get out of here? I couldn’t find my way through here when it was a cave.”“I wish we had a map, or list alien exit signs,” Anthony said.

Kyle and Donnie stared at Anthony with raised eyebrows. Work with what you have, not what you want. Anthony had little to offer. He’d never read a science fiction novel or fantasy. Lists came from historical fiction, detective novels, and psychological thrillers. Is Kyle useless now that the virtual reality simulation is gone?

“Donnie, remind me what you were studying at the university.”

“Structural engineering.”

“And you can’t figure out the structure of this spaceship?”

“It’s alien, not human, and that’s not how structural engineering works.”

Anthony fought the urge to throw his hands in the air.

“Look, you two are smart people. You look for a way out and I’ll try to find Elida.”

“How will we know where to meet?” Kyle asked.

“I don’t know. Signal me, and I’ll do the same.”

Anthony didn’t wait for a response. Carrying Atlas, he ran toward the line that marched around the corner.

Previous: Donnie’s Return

Next: When One Door Opens

2 thoughts on “Frozen in Line 19: Who To Save?

  1. Pingback: Frozen in Line 18: Donnie’s Return – Myers Fiction

  2. Pingback: Frozen in Line 20: When One Door Opens – Myers Fiction

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