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Here you go! Felt guilty after the smallness of Part 5. Been working on this most of today. Hope you enjoy!!

 

Superior: Sixth Part

 

Her hand was so small, like a child’s. It was the last thing he saw of her: pale digits writhing frantically, clutching desperately for a hand that wasn’t there, as she was pulled into the bronze melee of muscle and sweat. 

 

He fancied – momentarily – that she waved goodbye, before his view was blocked by the bunched Christmas tree brawn of an Alpha’s glistening back. But it could simply have been his imagination.

 

And then Clothilde was gone.

 

The fact that the mob’s backs were turned to him was probably the only thing that saved Lewis from being swept too into the churning sea of straining flesh. It certainly wasn’t his speed or stealth; stumbling and cursing through the humid night air, it took the scientist nearly a full ten minutes to hobble away from the crowd and throw himself down a comparatively-dark side-street. The screams, cheers and grunts of the bodybuilders dogged his footsteps. Even as he crouched in the shadow beneath the plastic awning, they echoed demonically through the city streets, every roared syllable causing his heart to beat that much faster.

 

Damn lorry.

 

He rubbed his swollen ankle. It hadn’t been the lorry's fault, of course, not really. But right now his panic and fear were curdling into anger, and he needed something to throw it at. In the madness of this dystopian future, even ire at some vehicular personification didn't seem too far-fetched.

 

Wincing slightly as his fingers pressed against the snapped bone, Lewis’ mind flicked back to the moment when the mission had all gone horribly wrong.

 

 

*

 

 

He had been surprised and relieved at the lights at first. The city had been steadily darkening and more than once Lewis had lost his footing in the gloom. The orange glow of streetlamps, the white warmth of house lights and the pulsing flicker of fairy lights strung up about the awnings above bathed the centre of the city in a welcome electric glow. Until Holly had pointed out how difficult things were likely to become now that they could no longer rely on the darkness to hide them.

 

“Damn,” she cursed hotly. “I was hoping to be in and out before they turned this shit on. Getting to the Festival Hall has just gone from difficult as hell to near-impossible.” She pulled them into the alcoved doorway of a grocery store.

 

“Especially at the pace we move,” Martha chipped in with a grumble, onion breath hot on the nape of Lewis’ neck as she pressed close into the shadows.

 

“I didn’t think they’d have electricity,” he murmured, ignoring the bait. “I mean, the rest of the city is so ruined.”

 

“Was the first thing to be restored,” Holly’s voice was beside him. He turned to see her face. Even half-hidden in the dank blackness of the alcove he could make out the lines of stress and worry. Her face muscles were so strained it looked like they would burst through her very cheeks. “Even gods have to be able to see at night.” She paused while a particularly violent shout shook the buildings around them. The last fifteen minutes had been peppered with such hollers. Lewis wondered what there was to cheer about. “It was one of the reasons the Epsilon class was created. Keep the lights on, the power going, that sort of thing.”

 

“How many are there?” Lewis whispered. “Epsilons, I mean?”

 

She didn’t reply and for a moment Lewis wondered whether she had heard him above the manly rumbles before them. Then, quietly, her voice sounded in his ear.

 

“Who knows?”

 

“Who cares?” Martha huffed loudly, interrupting. “All these questions aren’t getting us any closer to the damn hall. We should be moving, not crouching here in this stupid doorway while Mr Amnesiac tries to piece together his fucking memory.” She wriggled uncomfortably next to him, as though disgusted at being so close to someone she clearly viewed as being so utterly useless. “And when was the last time you checked the radiation on your little screen, scientist?”

 

Holly cut in before Lewis could respond: “That’s enough, Martha. Look, we’re all tired and scared-” Martha snorted at that, “but Lewis is just as much part of this team as Clothilde or I, so keep your opinions to yourself. Besides,” she squeezed Lewis’ shoulder, “you checked about three minutes ago, right? I saw your face light up from the screen.”

 

Lewis nodded.

 

“Still nothing, though.” The chronal radiation spewing from his craft was still blocking that of the sun. Still. The word hovered in his brain, unwelcome, like a mosquito in a hot night bedroom. Still. “Guess we’ll have to…” He paused. “Can you hear that?”

 

“A vehicle,” Holly muttered, as the rumble of an engine sluiced through the night.

 

“A delivery,” Martha grunted.

 

“Delivery? What are they delivering?”

 

The beam of a headlight shattered the gloom about them.

 

“Roof. Now.” Holly’s voice had lost its warmth. There was a rattle of a door lock, then Lewis felt himself pulled inside the grocery store. Martha and Clothilde were already ranging ahead, weaving through the ruined rows of mashed food towards the stairs at the back.

 

Lewis tottered after them while Holly closed the door. He was amazed at his ability to respond quickly to orders, to pause the thinking part of his brain and just act.

 

How different he was to the little scientist who had arrived in this scorching horror a lifetime ago.

 

Now he was one of them. One of the Resistance.

 

The stairs led to a hatch. Before Lewis could attempt the climb himself, Martha’s strong hands grabbed him from beneath his armpits and pulled him up.

 

So it was that, ten seconds later, the quartet found themselves crouching by the edge of the roof, peering down into the streets below.

 

Lewis had heard the bodybuilders, of course. Had even seen a few at the end of streets, or through windows (Holly, able leader that she was, had always ensured that they never got closer than that). This was the first time he had pictured them all, together.

 

This was the centre of the city.

 

The hive.

 

The goddamn tenth circle of hell.

 

*

 

 

Like a bronzed maelstrom, the freakishly over-muscled bodies of Alphas swirled through the streets. Knots of striated mass formed in squares and other open spaces as the bodybuilders fought one another, or fucked (it was hard to tell which.) Every few minutes bits of debris – cars, street signs, bus shelters, and crumbling parts of buildings – would explode upwards from the throng of muscle in a roar of raucous laughter and disappear into the night sky far, far above.

 

"You can see...everything," Lewis murmured. "All the streets."  

 

"Where'd you think I go when I scout ahead?" Came Holly's reply. "Don't get many Alphas up here. Roofs don't support their weight."

 

“Then couldn’t we just cut across the rooftops?" He nodded at the Festival Hall rising up from the twisting urban maze, an island of hope to the battered quartet atop their crumbling parapet some half-mile away. "Wouldn’t it be quicker? I mean, the subway's out, the streets..." He looked down at the squeezing, straining throng of packed muscle filling the metropolis' avenues, alleyways and roads. "Are getting more and more dangerous. Wouldn't this be a better solution?" 

 

Holly shook her head and allowed herself a faint smile. It seemed at odds with her serious face.

 

“This isn’t like Agrabah from Aladdin, physicist; you can’t jump from rooftop to rooftop.”

 

And certainly not with me in tow, thought Lewis glumly, his gaze returning to the illuminated cityscape that stretched out below them.

 

Many of the streets, like the one they had just escaped, were covered with awnings – to block out the glare of the sun during the day, Lewis understood – but there were still a few without.

 

In one such street Lewis watched a handful of naked Alphas performing a bodybuilding show on an impromptu platform made of two mashed buses.

 

It was oddly...fascinating. Lewis felt drawn to the spectacle. Back in his own time he had never been inclined to watch a bodybuilding show - but the chance to view one now, where the smallest competitor was over 2,500lbs of brawn, tickled his scientific curiosity. He leaned closer.

 

Street lamps had been twisted round to shine like stage lights down on the Alphas' hideous muscles as they performed pose after pose for their cooing Epsilon audience. The biggest among them had to be nearly 20 feet tall, his muscles so bloated with power as he flexed them arrogantly to the little people at his knees that Lewis wondered how he could even walk, let alone pose. One of his rivals, a smallish bodybuilder whose Hulk-like, grotesque, writhing bulk belied his young, handsome face, clearly grew tired of the competition and instead turned his attention to the audience. Hopping off the stage, he seized an Epsilon in each hand, humungous cock swelling horribly with blood in his excitement, then turned and leapt off into the night, deep chuckles nearly drowning out the terrified squeals of his captives.

 

The gargantuan bodybuilder in the centre of the stage didn’t even notice, so into himself was he.

 

And he wasn’t even the biggest.

 

The same sense of curiosity that had driven the scientist to watch the bodybuilding show drew Lewis' eyes into the murky distance, where his view of the heavens was blocked by the vast, twitching, v-shaped back of a monstrous Alpha. 

 

Lewis realised he was holding his breath. How big did the Alphas get? And could radiation - mere solar radiation - do all this?

 

He had to get answers, and quickly.

 

But in the meantime...just while they were resting up here in relative safety, and to sate his scientific hunger...he continued to stare in disbelief.

 

The man could only be compared to a Titan from Greek mythology. Though his vast, boulevard-wide shoulders were turned to the quartet on the roof, it was clear that he was masturbating. Ignoring the waves of Alphas crashing against his thighs in the streets below, he grunted his pleasure into the night. With each stroke of his vast, car-crushing hand on his godlike penis, the twin globes of his perfect naked buttocks, like bronzed hills, squeezed together.

 

Lewis doubted that anything could survive between them.

 

It was a horrifying and yet somehow majestic sight. Like he was both shocked and privileged to view such hugeness, such power, all at the same time.

 

The scientist turned away quickly before the titan finished, his eyes distracted by yet another staggering spectacle. This time it was a massive structure to the east. Not a building. More like…

 

He saw it rise slowly, glinting metallically in the lights from below, and then fall, with a CRASH that he felt in marrow of his bones.

 

 

More like a weight machine.

 

“Impressed, scientist? We built that for the gods nearly half a year ago,” said Martha, even her gruff voice sounding eerily small in the tide of man-sounds whirling up from the streets. “Thousands of tonnes compressed into each plate. We thought it would keep them busy…you know, play on their competitive nature? Now even the smallest can lift the whole damn lot. All 40 plates.” She coughed a laugh. “Thing’s the size of a building and it doesn’t even phase them.” The laugh returned, gravelly, cruel. “Shame the same thing can’t be said about you, heh. You look like you’re about to throw up, scientist.”

 

His eyes felt burned, scorched by what he had seen, worse than they had in the glare of the sun. These bodybuilders redefined what it was to be human. What was science in the face of this power?

 

He would never admit it, but a small part of Lewis - a very small part - finally caved and came to accept the Alphas as the gods that people in this time saw them to be. How could it not? These beings' strength sneered at physics. Their muscles rewrote the rules of biology. Their physical make-up sent chemistry running for its momma. 

 

Lewis shook his head as though that might shake the horror and disbelief from his eyes. Eyes that caught a glint, like that of a shiny penny in a rainy street, and followed it to its source.

 

Through a window opposite he watched as a 800-lb Alpha slowly forced a struggling Epsilon down on his cock, his pathetic jaw buckling as his throat filled with man. A bead of sweat moving slowly down upon the striated mass of the Alpha's right pectoral - the source of the glint - was the muscleman's only sign of exertion. He was an older bodybuilder, maybe 40, 45, though his partner looked to be in his early 20s. Grey streaks peppered the rich, black hair on his head and the ample bush at the foot of his grossly swollen member. That, and the one or two wrinkles at the edges of his cocky smirk, gave away his age - his physique was certainly not that of a middle-aged man.

 

Realistically, it wasn't the physique of a man at all.

 

His biceps bunching bigger and thicker than footballs as he leaned back on the bed, the muscles of his wrists standing out in bold relief like bands of power, he chuckled down at the squirming Epsilon.

 

No, it was the physique of a god.

 

Lewis watched, sickly fascinated. Car-crash fascinated.

 

“Mmm, you’re gonna swallow the whole fuckin’ thing, little shit,” the behemoth grunted, loud enough that Lewis heard the sound above those of the other yelling, snarling, hypermuscled freaks clogging the city below.

 

Then another noise caused the scientist to glance west.

 

A large tear in the yellow awning revealed a monstrous hispanic bodybuilder flexing for an excited television crew. His mass was crammed into a tiny pair of black posing trunks - the first Lewis had seen since looking out across the city. 

 

He assumed it had something to do with the cameras.

 

The sound had been the collective gasp of the crew, a skinny cameraman and two diminutive producers, one male, one female, when the bodybuilder's biceps had swollen twice the size of his own head. The mewling, worshipful unprofessionalism of the crew increased as his flex grew more and more strained, pumping his arms bigger and bigger as blood rushed to the muscle.

 

Lewis couldn't blame them. How anyone could keep their composure and objectivity before such massiveness was beyond him. Even with a shield of scientific detachment about him, he doubted that he would fare much better than they. Memories of Shawn and Daniel flickered unbidden to his mind.

 

He shoved them aside and, rubbing his eyes, continued to watch.

 

Were they just filming the bodybuilder's mass? Surely the public had had its fill of hypermuscle?

 

Then a strange sort of twinkle sparked in the hispanic muscleman's dark eyes. The Alpha turned and, crouching, tight glutes straining against the flimsy material of his posing trunks, dug his fingers into the building behind him.

 

It was such a fluid movement, Lewis barely had time to work out what was happening. These Alphas just moved so FAST.

 

With only the smallest of grunts the bodybuilder stood up and RIPPED the entire façade from the building, concrete dust filling the street like a choking fog, and held it above his head with one arm. The clouds of dust could not hide the awesome display of muscle playing across the bodybuilder’s physique, nor his wide, cocky smile as the camera crew backed away from the crumbling masonry.

 

“See?" His voice rumbled with a delicious Spanish lilt. "This is why we should bring back ‘Challenge the Alphas’. Fuck your soap operas and your sitcoms. This is what people want to see, right? Fuckin’ POWER!” And with that, he hefted the mass of concrete and brick THROUGH the awning with a tremendous ripping sound and sent it spinning up into the heavens.

 

Lewis didn’t doubt that within seconds, it would be in orbit.

 

It was some time before he found his voice.

 

“It’s like…it’s like…”

 

It was like Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights transformed into some twisted hypermuscled homoerotic hell-fantasy.

 

Instead, he said, “It’s awful. And...amazing, at the same time.”

 

Clothilde's, Holly's and Martha's expressions were smug, like he had just cottoned onto something that they had known about for a long time.

 

“Here comes that vehicle,” Martha gestured.

 

 

*

 

 

He followed her gaze to where a long, white, unmarked lorry was edging forward into the square below where they crouched. Low headlights flashed across the sordid remains of the square, illuminating broken shop windows and smashed builidings, silhouetting the brawny melee of figures pressed together. Lewis watched with fascination as the Alphas backed away to allow the vehicle room, muscle squeezing against muscle in the narrowing space, then quickly closed the circle behind it.

 

Lewis was reminded of some footage he had seen of a grub surrounded by hungry ants. Though some of these ants towered above even the tall lorry.

 

The engine slowly grumbled to a stop, though it was a good minute or so before the lorry door opened and a small man climbed out.

 

No, not small, the scientist reminded himself. He just seems that way compared to the Alphas around him. He could be 6"4 and built like a rugby player for all I know.

 

Lewis couldn’t make out the man's face from this distance, but from his hesitant, shaky walk, he imagined that it was twisted in fear. The man was wearing dark clothing and something – an ID badge? – was thrust out before him, clutched in panicked fingers, white and clean in the gloom. Like it was a relic that would protect him against the muscled swell of men.

 

He was saying something to the amassed throng, but Lewis couldn’t hear anything above the sounds of the city. Explaining himself, perhaps? Begging for mercy?

 

Whatever it was, none of the bodybuilders were moving.

 

Lewis thought he felt a horrid sense of tension in the air. Perhaps the bodybuilders were waiting to find out what was in the lorry, just as he was.

 

A groan rumbled through the city, and Lewis, ever the scientist, hurriedly turned his eyes to the source.

 

The titan was cumming.

 

With a tremendous moan that shattered nearby windows, his vast godcock splattered car-sized globules of scalding man-seed onto the straining, bodybuilder-choked streets below, his massive toes curling in ecstasy, crumbling concrete and buildings alike, an errant elbow smushing a skyscraper to scrap.

 

This time, Lewis held his breath for so long that he actually coughed and choked before realising it.

 

“Food delivery?” Said Martha, drawing the scientist's attention slowly away from the mind-blowing, once-in-a-lifetime spectacle of a giant muscleman orgasming, and back to the scene below.

 

It was one awe-inspiring scenario after another. Lewis' eyes ached with disbelief.

 

The driver moved to the back of the lorry.

 

“No,” Holly said.

 

Even as his eyes readjusted themselves to the scene below the rooftop where they huddled, Lewis heard a faint cry to his right.

 

His pupils flicked to the bedroom window he had noticed earlier.

 

Somehow the struggling Epsilon had fulfilled the bodybuilder’s request. The Alpha’s cock was thrust to its hilt in the poor, struggling man’s face, curling pubes tickling his brow.

 

Lewis shuddered. That was over twenty inches of dick. He was no biologist, but was cleanly aware of what was and wasn't humanly possible.

 

Even with lust pushing the little 20-something year-old to handle more than he would normally, nobody could take that much mancock without splitting in half.

 

The Epsilon barely looked human, his mouth stretched so wide and his throat swollen hideously large to accommodate the hulking brute’s freakish dick. His tiny hands clawed futiley at his neck as he struggled to breathe, tears falling down his cheeks and running in rivulets down the veined expanse of the muscleman’s hyper-huge fucktool.

 

“Mmm, FUCK yes,” the bodybuilder’s eyes had closed. Flexing a striated chest that was wider around than Lewis was tall, he pulled out a little with a horrid slurping sound, then shoved his immense manhood back in. The Epsilon’s jaw seemed to buckle and Lewis swore he lost some teeth. “An’ just think – next time we do this I’m gonna be even BIGGER, ha!”

 

 

The back doors of the lorry were open when Lewis’ gaze returned. A large cry went up from the hulking crowd. The scientist felt the thrum of excitement from the Alphas. A throb of cock. He smelled it, too…that rich testosterone scent, like a steroid freak’s gym locker room, curdling up through the night air. Not just from the titan, who had finished his godly ejaculations and stomped off across the city to find some fun, but from the mass below.

 

The whole damn centre of the city reeked of MAN.

 

“No,” said Holly again. “Not food.”

 

Something came off the back of the lorry. Lewis squinted down. The bodybuilders began to move forwards.

 

“Sex toys.”

 

As though obeying a silent signal, the straining sea of men surged forward. Grunts of pleasure and deep, animalistic roars of “MINE!” trumpeted horribly through the square as they closed in about the lorry.

 

The driver disappeared from view instantly.

 

Then Lewis saw them: two, seven, fifteen, twenty, thirty – thirty four people, some stumbling out of the lorry, others pulled by monstrous hands and held aloft like human trophies.

 

Within seconds, the atmosphere below turned hot, violent, as the Alphas fought each other for these new prizes. The lorry was quickly tossed over into an adjacent street. Lewis lost sight of the diminutive human arrivals in the melee.

 

Holly’s hand on his shoulder pulled him around.

 

“We’d better get going. Things here are turning ugly.”

 

Lewis struggled to his feet.

 

“But they’re…sex toys? I don’t understand.” He caught sight of Martha’s smirking face. “I mean, I thought the Alphas just had sex with anyone they wanted?”

 

Martha shrugged, an oddly calm gesture contrasting with the chaos below.

 

“Yeah but these guys volunteer, scientist. They're people who actually want to be fucked by Alphas. Makes 'em special."

 

Lewis shuddered despite the heat of the early evening.

 

"They want to have sex with Alphas?" He tried to keep his eyes from returning to the bedroom window. "But most Alphas are huge. Even those under eight feel tall have oversized genitalia. I mean...how can these people survive?"

 

He noticed the three women frowning back at him.

 

An odd moment of silence passed between them.

 

"Why don't you save that question for Richard?" Holly quipped, grabbing his arm.

 

Yeah, thought Lewis as he felt himself getting tugged along. I'll add it to the list.

 

People into worshipping grotesquely huge muscle men? Having sex with them? Lewis pondered. It made no less sense than any of the other crazy truths he had been forced to swallow since arriving in this warped future reality. The way Big Adam and Richard talked about the Alphas...it wasn't hard to see how that awe and reverence could turn to devotion.

 

Perhaps, Lewis thought, we're just pre-programmed as a species to worship those more powerful than us.

 

...

 

And that's where it went wrong.

 

Because he was too busy thinking like a scientist, instead of acting like a Resistance fighter.

 

That, and because the building collapsed.

 

 

*

 

 

After a stomach-lurching fall that made Alton Towers' Oblivion feel like the teacup ride, the scientist found himself sprawled headfirst in a pile of rubble and rotten fruit. It had happened so quickly that for a moment, he half-believed this topsy-turvy world to be the real world and the real world to be nothing more than a product of his own straining psyche. Then his crutch came whirling out of the night air like a thunderbolt and slammed into the ground beside him.

 

His legs were still kicking feebly in the emptiness above. He stopped them. 

 

He might have murmured a "what the hell" but the swelling noise of the crowd drowned out all other sounds. Even as his mind began to right itself a huge coughing form of a monstrous blonde bodybuilder shrugged itself out of the debris beside him. He rose genie-like from the cloud of dust, trailing concrete bricks and slivers of wood and masonry. Dust and sweat ran in rivulets between the freakishly pumped, straining striations of his grotesquely overmucled physique as he pushed a fruit-stained boulder the size of Lewis' time machine off himself with a grunt.

 

"Fuckin' city," he spat. "Gets more and more fragile every fucking day."

 

Lewis froze. Even if he had been on his feet the man would have been monstrous. Prone, as he was, on the ground, the man looked big enough to wrestle one of Tolkein's trolls. Maybe all three of them.

 

The scientist recognised the man, for once. The face of some protein powder or other. Justin Compton.

 

The hulk sniffed and glanced down at Lewis.

 

"Stay there, runt." Deep, resonating with potency, it sounded like a command from God. "I'm fucking horny. If I don't get my own sex toy from that fucking lorry, I'll be back for you. Got it?"

 

Lewis nodded, hurriedly, but the god had already tottered back into the throng.

 

No, the scientist corrected himself. Not god. Alpha.

 

No. Bully.

 

Bully. That's what they are.

 

Bully.

 

His own thoughts sounded wrong in his head.

 

But then, so did Clothilde's voice.

 

He sat up. All around, grotesquely huge biceps flexed, thighs tensed into teardrops of horrific magnificence, pectorals pumped freakishly huge, chests slamming against chests with the muscle-straining, explosive force of bombs, abdominals clenched into serrated, titanium walls, sweat shimmered on hillocks of swollen brawn and glittered in the valleys between them, monster cocks swung and slapped like meaty pendulums, and throats spilled hatred and curses into the air. An ocean of MAN sloshed and strained from one corner of his eye to the other. A moving, erotic, horrid tableau of muscle writhed and swelled and flexed - and, scientist that he was, Lewis could not turn away. Nor could he close his eyes.

 

Wait. Clothilde's voice?

 

"Scientist!" He turned slowly, still dazed, to see the petite Frenchwoman's eyes sparkling before him. "Are you hurt?"

 

It took a while for him to realise that she was talking to him.

 

Had he struck his skull in the fall? Was he, even now, reeling from some brain damage? He felt the edges of his head.

 

No bleeding.

 

"I'm...ok. Just stunned."

 

Her little face sparked into a smile.

 

"I think we both are. You can stand?" She handed him his crutch. 

 

He allowed the diminutive former investment banker to help him to his feet.

 

"A fall like that, and here we are, huh? Not a scratch." Her eyes flicked heavenwards. It was a faint, and quick, gesture, but scientist that he was, Lewis noticed it nonetheless. "I guess someone is looking out for us, huh?"

 

Against the straining backdrop of adamantine sinew, her faith seemed misplaced, somehow. 

 

Like she was placing her hope in the wrong thing.

 

Lewis blinked. Perhaps he was just dazed.

 

"I think the others got away," Clothilde coughed. "The roof - it only collapsed beneath the two of us. We should regroup. If we head back towards the alcove for the grocery store..."

 

It was strange.

 

This was the most that Clothilde had ever spoken to Lewis.

 

And it was also the last time she would speak.

 

With a roar, the crowd fell backwards towards them – and Clothilde disappeared into a clenched wave of striated flesh.

 

 

*

 

 

Lewis sat rubbing his ankle and staring at the screen of his radiation device for some time before stirring. His misplaced anger at the lorry had fizzled away. He was left with a sort of numbness. Like a blanket between him and the events going on around him.

 

He felt…detached from himself.

 

It was shock, he knew, and he welcomed it.

 

Better to feel nothing at all than the alternative.

 

The time would come when he would have to face his feelings: his nervousness, his terror, his anger. But for the moment, he was numb and at peace. Fear was knocking at the door, a distant sound, but he felt no inclination to let it in.

 

The knocking, however, was persistent.

 

Blinking away the cobwebs, he tried to focus on it.

 

No, it wasn't knocking, more like...a steady pulse of beats.

 

Morse code, or..?

 

He glanced down at the screen again.

 

Still, it shone with the unbroken sickly green tinge of chronal radiation.

 

Maybe the sound had been in his imagination.

 

A repurcussion of the fall, or residual damage from the solar radiation. Hell, it could merely have been his sanity snapping. Surprising that it hadn't happened sooner.

 

Then the message appeared.

 

Hey dickhead, it went.

 

He grinned, his whole face straining at the expression, dust flaking from his cheeks. But it was a welcome strain.

 

Richard.

 

Seems like you're in need of some assistance. Lewis almost choked at the understatement, before another message swam into view. When Big Adam says "we're all coming with you", he means "we're all coming with you".

 

The scientist frowned. His eyes, witness to so much pain, so much horror, so much awesome power, itched.

 

A tear oozed into life and began to run slowly, slowly down his cheek.

 

And another.

 

And another.

 

The screen blurred as fear, anger and horror were squeezed out, and relief - solid, cling-to-able relief - filled him.

 

...

 

So he nearly missed the last words.

 

Look up.

 

Though he needn't have seen them. The shadow, eclipsing not only his crouching space but a good half of the doorway beyond, had fallen across him. And he knew he was safe.

 

"Hmph," the man before him grunted. There was a faint straining sound, a snapping of threads. "Seems like you lost your team, physicist. Heh. Wanna join mine?" Almost imperceptibly the shadow about Lewis seemed to swell, slightly. "I can't guarantee we're gonna be very stealthy, but - heh - it seems like this last stretch to the Festival Hall is gonna be more about MUSCLE, anyway." Again, the twang of ripping elastic and the shredding sound of tearing cotton whispered faintly in the night. "So whadda you say, physicist?"

 

Lewis looked up. The tears were flowing freely now, unrestrained.

 

"Ready when you are, Big Adam," he replied.

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Thanks for bearing with me through this. I know it's not everyone's cup of tea but since alexdraxe's first inspring message I've kept going. I really appreciate your likes and comments. They have really kept me on a good path.

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Thanks for bearing with me through this. I know it's not everyone's cup of tea but since alexdraxe's first inspring message I've kept going. I really appreciate your likes and comments. They have really kept me on a good path.

"Bearing with you?"  Are you kidding!?  We wait with bated breath!  THANK YOU for writing something we all can't wait to read!  Take all the time you need.  :D

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