This is a chase. I’m moving fast, in a vehicle that looks and feels somewhere between a car and an ATV. It’s loud and right now I’m the only one on the road.

The road is mostly dirt, the concrete showing in patches like that bald spot that you try to cover up with an intense combover. Dirt is kicked up by my tires, and I swerve at the next corner while hitting the brakes, and in the split-second I’ve stopped my friend has hopped on, and we speed down the road again. Call him Reggie, but he won’t be with us long.

Up ahead, there’s shouting, and gunfire, and smoke rising and gathering into larger and larger clouds. From the right, we’re hit with a spear. The head is stone, and it knocks one of my tires loose. We spin out of control, both Reggie and I thrown to the dirt. But we get up quick, and keep running, because there’s nothing left to turn back to at this point.

There are calls to our right, and we start to see them, the shapes of them, the creatures on the hunt, trying to eliminate us. We shoot, Reggie and I, our crossbows. Bolts automatically reloaded after each is fired. Screeches in the woods, blood squirts shooting into the air. We’ve done this before, our aim is sure.

Around the next corner, we hit it: the straightaway. The last rod before the Dome. It has been erected for weeks, and there are scratches along the walls and up towards the roof, but it appears to still be secure, and inside are the last remaining people.

We run. Reggie is faster than me. He speeds up, somehow faster, and fires the remaining bolts at one of the larger creatures that’s hanging from a tree branch. The creature falls, splatting to the road in front of me. I jump over it, barely making the leap in time, and when I come down I’ve got to roll forward to avoid a twist of my ankle.

Back on my feet, I watch Reggie get pulled into the air by another creature. He’s torn in two, and the creature chews Reggie’s legs like old chicken bones. I do nothing but run, barely holding onto my crossbow but knowing I might need it some time down the road.

I reach the hatch to the Dome and I don’t have to knock – security systems recognize us, or someone is watching and knows to let me in. Either way, the hatch opens fast and I dive in. SNAP. I’m shut in, barely hearing the thumps as Creatures try to pound the hatch and enter behind me.

But soon they stop trying, having been through this hundreds of times before. I’m safe, inside, and I wander the halls looking for signs of life, for the rest of the people in this football-stadium sized Dome. The ceiling lights are dim, flickering, and the floor is dusty. The only footsteps are my own, and the smell of dried blood becomes overwhelming as I enter the main hall.

This was all Reggie’s idea, and he’s not even here. But it’s for the best.

Eventually I’ll find whoever let me in through the hatch, there has to be a security room somewhere monitoring everything, and we’ll want to be ready when anyone else comes.

If anyone else is still out there.

The roads all lead to the Dome.

Find us.


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