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>Everything: Go pretty well… For the count of 10

They watch the naughts for a few minutes. Every so often one of them makes a wheezing caughing moan, and about a second later, the others echo it back. The moaners are usually the ones trying to get into the chute.

They don't move around much, they don't shuffle their feet in the slowly rising water, but they give off the air of something coiled and ready to sting or leap. Only the two at the chute move, and their movements as they both try to force themselves into the opening at the same time are fast and have the same disturbing, unnatural organic fluidity of oiled machinery.

[size=10]"Damn they're unnerving,"[/size] whispers Edwards.

[size=10]"Yeah,"[/size] says Amie.

[size=10]"I keep expecting them to disappear or, I dunno, for me to wake up but they're just… still there."[/size]

[size=10]"You're not going to have some kind of existential or theological crisis on me, are you?"[/size] asks Amie. [size=10]"Because if you are, that's cool, but could you do it down the end of the hall where they won't flip out and eat us?"[/size]

[size=10]"No I'm just-"[/size]

"Are you still there!?" comes the voice from the chute.

Amie flicks the light off and on once.

"OK! Uh… dang - this is… I shoulda just kept running huh? I thought they wouldn't notice me in the bin if I covered myself in the laundry bags but they moved so fast and by then they were at the door and - well this seemed like a good idea at the time."

There is a moments silence and then some muffled banging as the person in the chute repositions themselves. "I shoulda done more, I dunno, more upper arm exercises. Isn't that always the way? If I were hanging by my legs I'd be fine. I run you know, every morning before my kid gets up, thirty minutes - but no - arms it is. Fingers."

There is another short pause.

"My sister there with you? Kendra?"

Amie flicks the light twice.

That's confirmation. Beside her she feels Edwards tense, [size=10]"So she's…?"[/size]

[size=10]"Yeah,"[/size] says Amie. She's not surprised. This is how these kind of things go.

"Well - OK, damn - if you uh - if I don't make it outta here - you tell her I love her but uh - well I'm actually really, really, mad at her for not telling me about this Gregor guy. 'He's dangerous' is not, in any way, sufficient warning for someone who can crack the world in half and call up a butt-load of freaky fast ninja zombies. Not nearly sufficient. I am really cheesed about that!"

There's another series of bangs and a moan and echo moan from the gathered Naughts. The call and response thing is starting to get to Amie.

Melissa's voice is now panting, "I tried to - climb to the next floor - before you got here. Can't get a grip. This thing I'm holding on to - some kinda vent, not a disposal hatch - I could get through a disposal, one of the ones on the higher floors but not this - stupid goddam safety grating!"

There are several loud banging noises as though someone were striking a tin pie plate underwater.

[size=10]"What the hell is Castillo playing around with!"[/size] whispers Edwards, clutching her gun. [size=10]"Come on you idiot! Hurry!"[/size]

"I wonder why they aren't chasing you," pants Melissa in the chute, her voice tinny and muffled. "Not that I - want them to exactly but - they sure chased me. Heh. I guess they didn't until he told them to. They were just standing there on the other side when it happened - everything cracked like an eggshell - then he points to them and then to me and says - I dunno what he said - he said something - then woosh, everyone starts running!"

Another pause and the clunking noise as she repositions herself in the pipe again.

"Dang! Didn't think - I was goinna die today!"

"They're not going to be fast enough," says Amie, not bothering to whisper.

"Don't you tell my kid about this," says Melissa, not panting. "Don't you let anyone tell my kid about this either. OK? It'll screw her right up. You tell her something else, OK? You tell her something else."


Finished recording the podcast with the peeps over at Eagle Talk. It was fun! I've been wanting to do a podcast episode for years.

btp said that the episode should be available sometime next week. I kinda talked their ears off, so here's hoping I didn't make too much of a dink of myself! :)