He came with me, of course he came with me. Who else would I have by my side for the biggest adventure of my life? This was my mission. This was my purpose.
We gathered all the strong members of our group that we could. Many said that we were foolish for even trying. Some didn’t think we’d come back. My father didn’t support the expedition, but my mother and the major lack of supplies kept him from forbidding that we go. We packed our bags with what little food we could manage and grabbed our best climbing gear. There was only one way in, from the top.
There were fifteen of us altogether. Once we got everyone on to the roof, it was time. We pried open the hatch and repelled down into darkness. I went first, he made sure everyone else got down safe before going in. We had our earpieces in, but we both knew there wasn’t much battery left.
I didn’t go six feet before I hit the ground. There must be different levels. I switched on my light and looked around. This was the sleeping area. Semi-permanent walls were erected, but they didn’t go all the way to the roof. There were beds everywhere. All perfectly clean as if they had just been made that morning and were waiting for night so that they could be slept in again.
“What if we could move in here? That would solve everything!” I thought.
I quickly found the staircase. There were three levels in all. The bottom was the most interesting. There was a section devoted strictly to food. Large refrigerators stored cheeses and meats and milk while there were giant iron shelves that went from floor to ceiling stacked with bags of rice and potatoes and laundry soap. From the ground level, there was probably enough supplies for our group to survive on for at least a year.
And then I heard it. It was like I had been tuning out everyone and everything. I was so amazed at what I was seeing. He was calling me through the earpiece. He sounded worried.
“Hey, can you hear me?!”
“Uh, sorry, I can hear you.”
“I made it inside. Everyone’s here. What do you see?”
“Everything. Just, everything.”
And then I realized. There was power. It had been over twenty years and there was power in this building. There were no people, but there was fresh food. Something wasn’t right. It’s a trap.
“It’s a trap!”
As I looked around, I saw a camera. Very small and very high up, but it was definitely watching me.
“It’s a trap! This place, this whole place is bait. They have to be coming. They’re coming. GET OUT!”
As I sprinted up the second flight of stairs, shouting at every person I saw to get out, I smelled it. The gas. I looked straight into his eyes, pleaded for him to get out if he still could. And then it all went black.