Ruinga

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short story about a life on a mysterious island in the middle of the ocean and the attempts two of the local residents make in an effort to understand a little bit more.

Submitted: September 03, 2012

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Submitted: September 03, 2012

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I live on an Island. Now, while that may seem a boring and generic description, there are a few things of which I must point out. The most important thing is that this city is not the first city. The history of this current city is about only one hundred years or so. Nobody in this city has actually lived her before one hundred years ago and the mayor currently in office is only the second mayor ever. The ruins of the former city is alluded (in mythology) as to having been some sort of super-natural disaster or something like that.
Of course, none of this makes any sense anyway since there’s no volcano on this island and surely an earthquake wouldn’t have caused an entire people to abandon their island. There’s no sign of an asteroid strike or flooding from a tidal wave or even traces of some sort of pandemic. There’s no way to actually claim it was something natural so it must have been some sort of demonic invasion or whatever.
The most interesting thing about all of this, however, is the former remains of the past city beneath the ground. For safety reasons, access to these underground ruins has been sealed off for the past thirty years and excavations have been banned.
However, there is at least one person on this island who could not understand such reasoning. It wasn’t me, that’s for sure. I am quite fine with just living a rather eventless life, a normal life on a slightly abnormal city. Not so much for our local museum curator and designated weirdo Gail. Despite the name, Gail’s actually a 23 year old woman.
On that note, she’s also quite attractive as well. She has long wavy blonde hair which reaches the back of her knees. She typically is seen dressed in all black. Her staple is the long black coat with black fur at the bottom edge and sleeves and of course the fringe of hair covering the left side of her face.
So then, what do you get when you add a bunch of ruins on an island, a woman whose life revolves around history and old things and of course the one unfortunate enough to encounter her while she’s suddenly deciding to become rebellious? You get something like the situation I am in right now.
“There are about seven entrances to these ruins scattered all over the island. Four of them are constantly protected by a team of security and the other three are kept under surveillance.”
As if planning out a bank robbery, Gavel is looking over a map of the island with great detail. Of course I already know all of this stuff, but she wasn’t giving me a history lesson, she’s referring to something else entirely. She’s pointing out something else on the map, something that’s not marked.
“It took hours of staring at the maps collected by the excavators of the past, but I believe I have found an eighth entrance to the ruins one that the Mayor may not even know about it.”
“And where is it then?”
She looks up at me for a moment with a serious look on her face. “First, you must promise me that you’re actually doing this because you care. I’m already despised, so if it comes to light that I’ve excavated another entrance secretly and even explored it…I probably will get kicked off the island. If that happens the Mayor will be in control of the museum and everything will probably be boxed up. That’s why you have to promise me to keep this a secret.”
I see, so she’s worried about something like that is she? Interesting enough, to avoid all of this was probably the best to avoid having any of that stuff happen to her. I just came along for the ride; I’ve got no ulterior motives.
“Don’t be so worried about it, Gavel. I wouldn’t go in the ruins if I didn’t care. I’m already guilty of conspiracy to commit trespassing on restricted grounds you know? Besides, I’ve been a fan of your museum for a while now, and the collection there is starting to get a little repetitive.”
I smile and give her a thumb up. She won’t be getting kicked off this island alone. Yeah, I guess that makes me a criminal against this point. We’ve only had an ordinary relationship up to this point. This is the first time either of us has done something like this. I’ve known her since we were kids but we were never really “friends” or anything close.
Gail’s family owns the museum and just before the bans were imposed on excavations, it was quite the popular attraction. Gradually, however, that place fell out of times and eventually the works turned towards paintings and other forms of art rather than archeological finds of this island.
“Thank you, Steven, it seems as though you’re the only one I can rely on.”
Even so, I’ve always come to the museum. The object which fascinated me the most was the Scarlet Eye they had found. It was basically a red stone with a black spot in the middle which made it resemble a red eye. I’ve never seen anything else like that ever since then.
I’m just a normal citizen. I don’t own anything and I work in an electronics store where I’m the cashier. It’s a simple enough job I guess. I’ve never had any ambitious goals or dared to tempt fate by throwing myself into the ocean. However, all for the sake of possibly finding another stone like the one she has in her display, I find myself willing to break the rules. I can already sense that this isn’t going to end well for me.
“So where is this entrance of yours?”
“If my research is correct…well…it should be right about here…”
She points to a location on the map which is spread out before us. For privacy reasons, we’re not in the city right now. We’re outside in the forests to the south. Rarely does anybody come to the forests to the south. Further south there’s a Primary and a Minor Gate as well. The Primary gate down here is sealed off with a large gate. You’re not getting through it.
She’s not pointing down this way nor is she pointing to the plains in the north which also have one Primary and Minor entrance as well. There’s one further up north right before you hit the city, and by proximity that’s the closest one to the place she was pointing to.
“Are you aware of that there is a pot hole which connects to the city’s sewer tunnels in the downtown area?”
“Well…I know that there are quite a few of them so if you could be a little more specific…”
“I’m going to give you a little exposition then on the architecture of this city.”
“You don’t need to do that…” is what I want to say to her, but I can see that her Curator gauge is already reading full and I wouldn’t want to be a buzz kill.
“Educate me.”
“This city may be new, but most of its facilities aren’t. In fact, the sewer system is just redesigned passageways with the ruins beneath the island which ultimately lead out into the ocean. You could see they follow the designated “safer” passage through these ruins. Because of this, the ruins and the sewer systems are essentially one and the same.”
“…So what you’re saying is that the eighth entrance is in one of these sewer tunnels?”
She nods her head excitedly which kind of reminds me when she was younger. “The ruins to the south of the city, the entrance I mean, they should connect with the sewer tunnels which travel in that direction. The only problem is…”
“…there’s no way we’re just going to just open up a pot hole in the middle of the city street and not be noticed.”
“Yeah, and the only logical way around it is to come back in the middle of the night when there’s very little chances of anyone noticing right away. Not to mention the task involving actually lifting up the pot hole and actually putting it back to hide what we’ve done. With all the security around the other entrances as well…this’ll most likely end with us being shipped off the island before the entire island finds out what really happened.”
She places her hand on her forehead and groans to herself. So she’s considered the end results and the flaws as well then. Alright, so she’s not simply shaking off reality.
“Don’t worry about these things too much. We’ll go in the dead of night, I’ll open the man hole just enough so we can slide through then slide it back over. That way, we don’t have to worry about lifting it or something like that. And if we should end being shipped off…well you won’t be alone right?”
It’s kind of lame really. I don’t want to leave my home. However, I guess after saying that I can’t really go back on my words can I? Rather, the moment I decided to come all the way out here is when I knew that I probably wouldn’t be going back on my promise. We can still turn back around, but I think that’s something which is probably going to happen later then.
Standing up, Gail rolls up her map and ties a rubber band around it to keep it from unfolding. “Then come to my museum later, alright? I am going to buy some things we are going to need. I guess we can just meet up at my place later. That way, we can just lie and claim we’re on a late night stroll together should we meet anyone. You don’t have a problem with that do you?”
“Sounds fine for me I guess. What time should I stop by then?”
“Just come by at around nine and we can leave a few hours after that.”
And so the plan was made. Afterwards, Gail walked away and headed back towards the city. Well now what should I do? I’ve got plenty of time left since I am going to be kicked off the island so I guess I should probably do something to enjoy myself for the time being shouldn’t I? Taking a look around, the forest is as quiet as usual. A butterfly passes through my vision. I guess it wouldn’t hurt to look around for some valuable stones.

***

Time passes by without anything unordinary happening and night eventually over takes the city. Late into the night, the buses stop running per law and nobody’s going anywhere to need to drive around. The streets are completely empty. The patrols done by the city protectorates are also more lax since nothing ever happens here.
“I guess I’ll have to thank the fact that I live in such a place to allow completely obeying its most important law possible.”
Mumbling I pull back the manhole cover and covers up our tracks. Total darkness takes over. And then, there was light. It belonged to a small box shaped flashlight provided by Gail. She lights my way to her so I can navigate towards her. It’s like a canal down here. For obvious reasons, Gail also brought with her a pair of oxygen filter masks complete with capsules of oxygen. There might not be air or breathable air down there.
“If I am right, there should be something up ahead.”
As she turned the light of the flashlight pointed forwards into the darkness. I was reminded of a lesson in physics when I saw Gail’s’ body seem to disappear from my view.
“The brighter the light, the darker the shade.” 
“What about it?”
“It’s nothing really. I just thought it was kind of like magic how, in a pitch black cave, when you have a bright light in your face, you really can’t make out anything directly behind that light is all.”
“I see are you interested in that science stuff?”
And just like that a conversation started between us. This line of small talk continued as we strolled along the narrow walkway underground. After some time of walking, Gail’s light shone on the wall and focused on a rather large crack.
“Here, hold this.”
Passing to me the flashlight, Gail reached into the bag she carried and retrieved a red pickaxe and shovel. I kind of thought they were plastic toys until she struck the opening with the pickaxe repeatedly. There was no need to be silent down here. I bet we’re probably underneath the entrance to the city right about now. She was spot on. I guess museum curators are a really knowledgeable bunch when it comes to things like this. Digging away furiously, without concern for the dirt getting on her and wearing an imperishable smile as well…it really seems as though she’s enjoying herself. She doesn’t even care about the dirt getting into her beautiful hair. It must be a pain to wash since he has so much of it.
After the pickaxe she takes the shovel to the wall and forces her way through. With this, an opening is formed large enough for us to squeeze through. She puts her tools away and pushes her bag through the opening before taking back the flashlight from me.
“I’ll be going in first then.”
As she crawls through the small opening in the wall which is about the size of a small child but wide enough for an adult to pass through, I am once again shrouded in darkness. It’s probably because of all the dirt in the air, but I feel my skin becoming a bit…dusty.
“Alright, come this way.”
She lights the way by shining that bright light through the darkness. I too packed a bag as well. Just in case I found something I wanted to take back with me I brought it along. Of course, there are other things in there as well which might not be needed, are there just in case. I push that through and it’s pulled to the other side.
Well, you can’t be rock collector if you’re worried about getting dirty so I get down and crawl through the space. Halfway I thought I might be a little big and got a little stuck, but like the bag before me I too was pulled through the opening by a certain woman. For a girl with a rather petite figure, Gavel was deceptively strong. She’s more than a pretty face and a strong sense of will.
“So…this is the ruins is it?”
As Gail shined the light around, I picked up my bag and placed it on my back again. It wasn’t exactly what I expected though. Where I expected there to be dirt floor and vines penetrating into the wall, there none, instead there were unmistakable walls and the ground seemed to actually be a floor instead.
“Alright so…that way’s probably going to lead us to the entrance just outside the city limits so, logically, the other way will bring us deeper into the ruins.”
It was hot down here, and I lamented actually bringing along a nice dress of clothes. I can’t even imagine how hot Gail must be with her long hair and black clothing. Her enthusiasm about being in such is probably what’s keeping her from worrying about it though.
“I guess we’re going in deeper then. “
We’re going deeper in more ways than one. We’ve already passed the point of no return. There’s no going back. Well, there is a going back, but I said that I’d stick it out with her so, by the Men’s Code, I must do just that. It’s part of my pride and honor as a man to do so.
“You sure do seem to not mind it very much you know? Having all of this happening around you? You’re a normal citizen so I expected a little more hesitation. Instead, you’re acting as though it’s completely fine. Do you really know what you’re getting yourself into?”
“Would it hurt to have a little more faith in me? What’s the point in asking me all of this now anyway? Like I said earlier, we’re in this together aren’t we? I’ve always liked that Crimson Eye you kept on display and since then I’ve always been searching for a stone that looks like it, but nothing like that can be found above the ruins on this island so…I do have a personal reason for coming along. It’s not like I just answered the call for the sake of a beautiful woman.”
The moment I realized what I said, I covered my mouth. Then I realized there was no point in doing that since there was a mask there and looked away. C-crap… I always get ahead of myself at times and say what I’m really thinking!
No, it’s a compliment so it’s not stupid, but would it be too much of a problem to choose a better time to have a slip up? It’ll sound like I am denying something suspiciously specific when saying it comes out like that.
“I see…well since you always were around I thought that might be the case. I’d always catch you staring at that rock. It was pretty obvious that were in love with it or something like that.”
I’m not sure if she’s just avoiding the topic or if she really believed in my words, but she doesn’t comment on the beautiful comment. I thank her for being that kind of person and accompany her as she begins to walk further into the tunnels.
“So, hey, what are you looking for exactly?”
“What do you mean “what am I looking for?” that’s rather self-explanatory isn’t it?”
“It sounds rather vague. I know you really wanted to come down here, but did you have something you wanted to search for or….”
Otherwise it just sounds like you’re doing this just for the fun of it.
“That’s right,” she says loudly, “Steven is searching for rare stones like the one I have in my museum and yet as the Curator of the museum, I have no idea what I actually desire to bring back. Hmm, assuming there’s nothing to bring back anyway…it is fulfilling enough to simply be able to walk through history as the firs in decades to do so. Think about that for a moment. Nobody of our generation has entered into these tunnels for an incredibly long time.”
“I guess that is something to brag about…for historians and such. I’m just in it for the collection you know?”

After a while of walking through the various tunnels and what not, we came upon rather odd sight. It was a door. Except this door didn’t seem as though it were hundreds of years old. It seemed rather…advanced. We didn’t how far underground we were, but if something like advanced technology existed wouldn’t it be in a place like this?
“I think we should probably turn back around…”
*beep*
“Oi! What are you doing?”
Gail, who was observing the door up close, suddenly did something and the door began opening upwards. It seemed as though the entire tunnel was shaking violently as the door rose up. Fearing that the shaking might cause a tunnel collapse, I rushed forward and pushed Gail past the now open door. With a rather rough BOOM the door slammed shut behind us.
“I didn’t do it! It opened on its own I swear!”
“Huh? What do you mean by that? You sure you didn’t accidentally step on a rock or place your and onto a part of the door which sunk in?”
“I didn’t touch it, because I didn’t touch it! It just made that sound all of a sudden and opened like that.”
She sounds rather serious about it. I don’t think she’s the type of person who’d lie about something like that. Sighing I shrug my shoulders and look back at the door which slammed shut behind us. I turned back around and knocked on the door a few times. There wasn’t anything as clear as a doorknob or a button conveniently placed there…so I guess she was probably telling the truth.
“Well, regardless of what happened, it looks as though we’re probably not leaving through that way anyway.” I turn back around to face Gail. She’s shining that light in this direction, but fortunately, she’s not shining it directly in my eyes. “I guess the only way to go is forward then.”
There’s no point in hanging around here waiting for something to happen, right? Of course, we can’t move forward without her high powered flashlight so…she has to lead the way. Fortunately, that’s not a hard thing to get her to do.
“If you’re sure about it then, let’s go.
Walking forward, we once resume walking in the only direction we could. If we had the option of always backing out in case things went awry, we didn’t have that option anymore. The only way we could go was forward and that was because of a possibly alien door. I still can’t see how something like would happen. Maybe it’s only open on one side? Then that would mean that it was something we did in order to have it open after all right? No matter how hard I think about it, there’s just no clear answer on what really happened back there.

Suddenly, the architecture took a rather strange turn. The tunnels we were in before were somewhat advanced, but where those rightfully looked as though they had been sealed away and gradually deteriorating, this place seemed more…clean. It was as though this place had been kept in perfect condition as though nothing had rusted or anything of the sort. There was no light though or anything. Primarily, it was just the lack of dust. As we continued further into the structure it became apparent that we were no longer in the same tunnels a moment ago.
“Hey…do you think we might have crossed into those Primary Ruins?”
“It’s most likely true. That or…”
Her voice sort of trailed off as we came into a rather large spacious cavern. The only thing worth even mentioning within this space was a large platform built into the center. I didn’t know what so say either. Gail walked forward towards the center of the platform. There was no need for discussing it. There was only one way we could go. I followed her to the platform. There was a blue switch and a red switch on top of a panel.
“…I guess this is where the real show begins…are you ready?”
I nod my head and shove my hands into my pockets.  “Ready or not, we’ve got no choice but to move forward eventually. Let’s see what lies beyond here then, yes?”
“Alright then, well here goes.”
Tapping the blue button, the platform begins rumbling heavily. With a sudden jerk as though dislodging itself, the platform begins descending rather quickly. For a moment, we’re surrounded by steel and concrete walls. However, as the platform descends further the front opposite side of the platform becomes something of a gate. Looking past that gate, as Gail shines her light around, I can see that this space absolutely dwarfs that of the room we were previously in. This is made even more obvious because this platform is taking quite a long time to reach the bottom.
“So…listen Steven…I’ve decided on something…once this is all over and all…there’s something I need to tell you. Actually, it’s strange since you’re the only person I plan on telling anyway and I really can’t seem to think about why that is…”
“Really? You can’t tell me now if it’s so important?”
“Well,” she seems to hesitate on choosing her words for a moment. I wonder what’s on her mind. “It’s only relevant if we actually make it out of her alive and somehow manage to keep this a secret.”
“Is it something worth looking forward to hearing? If it’s bad news I would prefer you not tell me about it.”
“That depends on what qualifies in your definitions as “good” or “bad” I suppose. Still, I would rather have you know about it than not know about it.”
“Me in particular eh? Well, I guess I wouldn’t mind it if you want to tell me what’s on your mind. I feel kind of special feeling that you’re telling only me something important. I’m quite interested in hearing it so let’s make it out of here.”
“We kind of seem like a band of pirates or treasure hunters don’t we. It’s like we’re heading into some place looking for buried treasure. Well, that’s more appropriate for you anyway. I am doing this because it’s just something that I, as a person deeply involved with artifacts from the old, am interested in.”
“Eh…but seriously though…doesn’t this thing end? It’s been about a hundred feet by now, I didn’t even know this city had such a thing beneath it.”
“Islands are just humongous underwater mountains after all. If mountains can be carved through to create tunnels and above ground, then logically the same should be applied for mountains underground as well.”
“Heh, there might just be something to this whole super-natural disaster after all then. Especially when you consider…oh we’re here.”
After a few minutes of descending that platform, we finally reach the open. The gate like fence conveniently ends at the bottom thus allowing the person to simply walk right off into the room without any troubles whatsoever.
As I step off the platform, the need for a flashlight becomes irrelevant. Through some sort of mysterious origin of dark blue light, I can see perfectly clear. There are small houses which resemble longhouses scattered about here and there. There is a single tallest building built in here as well. Making even more of this improbably is also the fact that there is a wall surrounding the entire area as well. There should be a ceiling as well.
What’s going on here? Why does it look as though the ceiling is instead a night sky? Is it an artificial sky or something like that? No, it could also be certain stones in the ceiling simply emitting a luminescent glow.
“It’s like a sleeping city down here. I’ve never heard of something like this before.”
Gail makes a comment on the nature of the city as she walks further in. She turns off the light in her flashlight and we make our way towards the center of this sleeping city. Although I am following after her, my attention isn’t on her anymore. It’s on the architecture of this place. There’s no doubt about that this place is ancient. By the fact that it’s connected to the upper ruins makes this city just as old if not older than they are.
And yet, for some reason, this city gives off the air that it’s just better than other places. It’s like a lost city down here.
The tall building in the city is where we were obviously going. Well, since I was following Gail, it’s more like she was the one heading there. Just before arriving, however, she stops and holds out her hand signaling for me to stop as well.
Immediately, I understand why. In the moment it takes for me to stop my thoughts to transition to another train of thought, I become aware of something moving. They were loud footsteps and whoever they belonged to were not inclined to hide them nor were they especially slow moving either and became louder and louder. I quickly looked around, but could not see anything coming towards us despite the sounds.
At their loudest-and their closest- it decided to make itself visible. I only had time enough to notice that something was coming towards me before I was hit by something rather hard and sent flying. I landed rather hard, but I somehow managed to survive a hit like that. There was a loud boom moments before Gail came rushing over to my side.
“I’m alright, I’m alright…”
Sure, I had been hit rather hard, but it seemed as though that was the only damage I had received. Nothing was broken, fortunately. I stand to my feet with the help of Gail’s hand and take a deep breathe.
“Strange, I’ve never seen something like optical camouflage before. It seems as though this is the “danger” which sealed this place off.”
“…Where did you get that weapon?”
Gail looks at the gun in her hand. It’s a ten shot revolver which she must have kept in with the other tools as well. “You mean this? It’s nothing at all. It’s just something my father had and left just in case I ever had to defend the museum for any reason. It’s been dubbed “The Peace Maker.” It too is a relic found by my family and restored. It has about ten shots and I’ve modified the bullets and the barrel to fire these specific bullets myself.”
Sounding rather proud about her treasure, Gail strikes a brief pose with both hands on the grip pretending to aim at something.
“S-so you brought something like that did you!? Well…eh did you hit it?”
“Of course I hit it. It didn’t go down though, and just ran off again. It vanished as well. Talk about a problem. We’re going to have to destroy that thing or else we’re going to have some trouble. Get ready.”
“Get ready” she says as she reaches into her bag then throws her pick-axe back to me. She then tosses her bag to the side and grips her Peace Maker tightly with both her hands.
“Hey you know aiming might be trouble with only one eye you know?”
“Humph, just you watch and learn. This isn’t my first time shooting this gun you know?”
I guess that explains why you’re using such a weapon as well. I don’t have time to answer her this time, this time; however, we don’t need to communicate with each other. There’s only one of that thing and there are two of us. In that case, if we keep a distance between us, we effectively maximize our target range over ourselves. The only problem lies in guessing where it comes from.
I tighten my grip on the pickaxe ready to move and swing with all my might. I want to get that thing at least once for hitting me like that. It didn’t do a lot of damage to me but I am just going to chalk it up to my good luck.
The footsteps reach their loudest once again and suddenly the tall figure appears once again. It’s attacking me again, but I won’t be getting hit a second. Its left pole like arm thrusts towards me. It’s like using a bat for a lance.  I jump to the side avoiding it and swing the sharp point of the pickaxe down as hard as I can. With a “chink” the sharp end penetrates into the…armor?
BANG!
The sound of the bang from the gun fills the entire city it seems. At some point, Gail had quickly moved into a line of fire which made sure I wasn’t in the crossfire and fired off another round. It hit and the effects were devastating as the metal monster was knocked to the ground. I moved back while she moved in and quickly released three more point blank shots blowing off what I perceived to be the head of the machine.
“…It’s an Autonoma. I never thought they actually existed underground though. Actually, these models appear different from the ones overseas on the continents…quite interesting really. I wonder how it ended up here?”
“You don’t think our local island government is responsible for this do you?”
Inquisitively, Gail spends a moment looking over the fallen robot before walking off. She retrieves her bag and continues on towards the tall building. I spend a moment extra looking over the Autonoma which was destroyed. I pull out the pickaxe which only managed to dig in a few centimeters into its shell. Really, just what the heck are those bullets she uses anyway? They must be some sort of alloy or have some sort of explosive charge in them.
H-Hmm…it might be best to not get on her bad side again. She said she had ten shots in that thing. So she has seven more shots. Well, in any case, we don’t have to worry about this creature anymore.
Catching up with her, she opens the door the large building. While it looks like a building, it turns out, there’s not much of an interior. It’s more like a holding space. That said…whatever this place once held is long gone by now.
“Well…I suppose we can’t always get what we want. But what should we do now then? To get back home we have to get back through the same way we came in. Maybe there’s something like a control panel here?”
“I don’t know about a control panel, but there is something especially curious here. It’s a button. Shall I press it?”
I noticed it after having given the place a once over. Gail nods her head. “There’s nothing else we can do at this point” she says.
With permission granted, I push the button and wait.
…..
“Eh?”
“I don’t think that did anything…”
“Hmm…well…I guess we have no choice then. I expected something like a cave in might happen, so I brought something along with me just in case. Although I have to warn you that using it might just cause that which I brought if for in case happened.”
Gail turns towards me and raises her eyebrow. “What are you saying?”
“Just watch and be amazed, missy.”
I turn around and reach out to open the door.
“Eh?”
“Oi…what are you doing over there? Open the door already.”
“It…it won’t open!”
“W-what? Quit playing around.”
I am moved aside by Gail. She tries her hand at opening the door the normal way, but when that fails, she begins pounding on it.
“No…nonono you’ve got to be kidding me…!”
“Oi, oi cut that out!”
“I am not going to die here! I can’t Argh!”
“Hang on, hang on, and don’t do that, c-calm down! Put that gun away! Are you perhaps claustrophobic or something like that? Just try to relax alright?”
I am forced to physically restrain her, but in this confined space trying to gently calm down an irrational woman with a large gun is something not to be taken lightly. Do I dare strike her to knock some sense into her? I shall, lest I decide to forego all possible bad ends in this scenario! Instead, trying to hold her back I pull her away from the door.
“Let go of me! I’ll just blow a hole in the wall!”
She’s getting a little dangerous now. I’m not going to hit her, but restrain her until her emotions get better is something I need to do immediately. Cool heads prevail after all.
*Thud*
I’ve no choice but to pin her down for the moment. I don’t feel comfortable at all doing this with someone who has a weapon powerful enough to blow my face off. Woe to me if it accidentally discharges. This is ricochet heaven!
“Calm down! This isn’t the time to focus on the negative. If nothing else, just for the time being focus on me. You just leave it to me…”
“Steven…”
*BEEP*
Oh, it seems I’ve slammed her onto the control panel. I don’t know where exactly that sound came from, but in the next instant, the little thing we’re in begins shaking terribly so. There’s also a rather loud rumbling. In an instant, we lose our footing and shoot upwards towards. My back slams into the small ceiling and Gail is pressed into me from the same force. She’s screaming, but if it’s from sheer terror or sheer excitement, I can’t tell.
It’s quite annoying though. I never though her voice could hit such high notes. She’s doing it better than Soprano! I hate loud noises and it’s the main reason why I don’t associate with small children. I can’t explain why, but it’s like…it hurts!
I’m no longer aware of what’s going on anymore. We’re probably going to die here as well. If that’s the case I would have had just one more ice cream bar. I swear it was because of the rocking of the sudden projectiles we had been turned into, and the only reason, but we bumped out foreheads together accidentally pressing our lips together.
However, I had barely enough time to notice that, and it may have just been her nose or perhaps nothing at all, before gravity seemed to take control once again and we fell to the floor. Being the guy I am could only play my part and protect the girl. It’s kind of genetically inherent in all men I guess. Protect the women and children with your lives. They’re the key to survival after all.
Wrapping her in my arms, she takes the hint and buries her head against me and clings on to me for dear life! I don’t know what’s about to come next so I shut my eyes tightly and prepare to receive some great deal of punishment.
The building we’re in hits something hard and I am treated as a pinball, being banged around for the amusement of some sadistic player! By the time the rocking stops, I feel as though I’ve just been though a thousand ruins and back. The door slides open naturally and, because it seems that’s where I’ve landed, I fall out and hit my back on the ground.
I can’t tell how many bruises I’ve received, nor can I say that I didn’t have the absolute worst time of my life. I can say, however, that, were it my choice, I would not do it again and neither will I allow this museum curator whose packing a ten shot revolver, to do it either.
Ah~ I don’t think I can stand at the moment. I don’t think I can move! It hurts too much. My arms hit the ground. I almost forget that I was protecting that very same museum curator. In the end, I never did find any cool rocks down there, but I guess Gail found something worth a lifetime.
“Steven, are you alright?”
“…I’ll be fine…probably.”
“I’m sorry, this is all my fault…it looks like we landed in the East of the island near the lake. From the lake…now that I think about it so I guess we’re close to the hospital, I’ll go call for some help alright?”
She starts to get up, but I reach up and grab her wrist before she gets out of range. It seems as though my body isn’t so banged up that I can’t move after all. She looks down at me for a moment.
“You should hide this thing before you do that. If not, I won’t get to hear what important thing you have to say to me. If anyone asks, just tell them we were attacked by space aliens while we took a stroll at night. Heh,” I’m laughing at my own joke. I guess I am fine after all. “They won’t have a reason to deny it.”

The days passed by without incident, fortunately. I didn’t expect her to but I was surprised to find out that Gail seriously went along with the whole “alien abduction” thing. Of course, the entire city was more interested in finding out when exactly she and became close enough to go on “a late night stroll.”
As far as that question is goes…I don’t think I could possibly give an answer. We were never that close and that never happened. For now, though, I am perfectly content with it being the best story that was never told. Besides, nothing good would come from it anyway. I’m perfectly content with it the way it is anyway. I’m glad I can just put this back on the shelf and resume my daily life.
That said work for me has just ended. After clocking out of my shift, I leave the electronics shop and start to head back home. I am stopped, however, when I see a familiar brilliant yellow headed young lady standing outside my store.
“Oh, that’s right; you said you worked in a store that sold electronic things didn’t you?”
That is…there’s only one store…so what?
“I did…actually. Sorry, but I wouldn’t recommend buying anything you don’t need. It’d be just a waste of money.”
“I didn’t come here to buy you something from a store; I came here for a different matter entirely.”
Is that so? I guess she’s here for me? I point my finger at my chest.
“You came to see Steven? He just left work about a minute ago.”
“Yeah, yeah, whatever, I came to give you something, here.” Reaching into her pocket, Gail retrieves a large light red stone and throws it tosses it towards me.
“I thought you were keeping this for your museum? It’s something which can’t be replaced you know? Actually what’s up with that? I’ve stopped by your place but you’ve been closed. Is something happening?”
“…about that…come with me.”
She seems to not be in her usual mood. She’s not as eccentric as I found her out to be. Something’s probably on her mind. She doesn’t lead me anywhere special. She leads me to the port of the island. It’s not a very large port at all, but it has its uses.
It’s at sunset and the sky is strangely dyed a particularly beautiful red. It’s only something seen when a rain has passed by earlier in the day or something. This iconic scenery grafts itself into my head. This is the part of the city where her museum is also located. We could have just gone there…why did she feel the need to come all the way out here? Is she feeling particularly wistful today?
“I’ve decided to leave the island.”
She delivers a certain declaration with her back turned to me. Which is why I’m particularly stumped for an immediate reply-I can’t tell if she’s joking about it or not.
“Seriously…?”
“Indeed, actually, I’ve already packed up most of the things I am bringing with me so it’s been pretty much decided. Even before we went on our little excavation…it’s what I was planning on doing. I don’t know…perhaps it was just that if someone was to say “stop” or “don’t go” I might not have…so I forced myself to go through with it.”
“…Someone?”
“I am going on my own little adventure to see the world. The world is a large place and I believe there might just be more things to be dug up and found to be appreciated by everyone. I can’t do that in a place where it’s forbidden to do so because it gets a little dangerous.”
“Are you forgetting your breakdown you had down there? It was sealed off for good reason.”
“Yes, yes I remember what happened very clearly. However, a little danger is not going to stop me from pursuing my dreams. I may have once been your Curator, you Keeper of Artifacts, but I am, from own, simply Gail. Everything in the museum is going to be turned over to the Mayor until another person is chosen for my old job. Except for that Crimson Eye, I remembered that you liked and decided to give it to you.”
“A gift from the Curator?”
“Nope, it’s one from Gail. So you can think “this is what Gail gave to me” when nobody else is around and when you decide to have a wistful moment.”
“Well…I don’t know…I would prefer to just have Gail with me rather than a memento. As great a stone it is…it’s just a stone and it’s never going to speak back to me, show me a hilarious face or suddenly pull an antique gun called the “Peace Maker” from her bag and display excellent marksmanship skills.” I toss up the Eye and catch it in my palm again. “No, I’d rather have Gail than a stone…if I’m forced to choose that is.”
“When you say things like that it gives me the wrong impression.”
“There’s nothing “wrong” with that impression now is there? I don’t think there is anyway.”
“Saying that you are fond of me won’t get me to change my mind…just something I’ll painfully remember for a while.”
“Please don’t put me in the same case as something of a bad day. When are leaving? You can tell me that much can’t you?”
“The ship to the mainland leaves tomorrow morning at dawn. If you were expecting something to happen…I’m afraid you don’t have enough time.”
“Hmm…did you think I’m just a rock freak? When people put their minds to it, a lot can be accomplished in a relatively short time, however.”
“And your point is?”
“I’m coming with you.”
Gail turns around to face me. She has that serious look in her eye. It was at this point the only wind on this day decided to make itself known and blow. With her long hair in the wind, her looks are magnified exponentially.
“There’s no need for you leave your own home. In fact, it’d be better if you didn’t come at all. It’s better this way.”
“Although I just said something contradictory a moment ago…but do you think I’m not more than just a rock freak? If you’re going on an adventure to some unknown place to chase your dreams then I may as well follow after to do the same. Besides while you’re poking around in the dirt and you come across a shiny stone…won’t it be me you think of first while smiling to yourself before you place it into your pocket? Wouldn’t it be better if you were just simply handing that stone over to me? It just makes more sense.”
I can’t really say anything more than that. She doesn’t give me an immediate answer and turns away from to face the ocean once again. “Then do as you like…but I will be leaving on the first ship tomorrow. I am not going to wait around for you, understood?”
A ruin maniac and stone collector. I guess in our respective fields of interests, we’ve got some similarities. We’re both wiling to break the law and put ourselves in harms’ way in order to obtain them. Like this sunset which closes the day in a dramatic fashion, it seems as though a similar thing is happening in a chapter of my life at the moment.
Lifting the Scarlet Eye up against the colors of the sky…I wonder…does this thing seem about wide enough to fit on a pedestal inside of an alter somewhere underground?
 


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