Battle of the Shoyru Gang 2: Part Eight
Outside the wreck of the old train station from which Shoyru's team had departed,
hidden underneath a large, halved wooden block that used to be one of the pillars,
Wingman was resting alone and in fear under a ragged blanket. It was already
dark, and the stars were twinkling in the night sky.
Wingman hadn't known about the Shoyru Gang's latest strike, but he was afraid
that they'd come and get him. Trying to put this behind him, he stood up and,
still covered by the blanket, moved from the broken pillar and out into the
road. Satisfied that there were no cars coming he walked on, lifting the blanket
slightly each time to see where he was going.
"I wonder whether Shoyru and his friends are doing all right," he whispered
quietly to himself. He walked further on along the road where the group had
first found Goldy and Red, or where Goldy and Red first found them.
He threw the blanket off of his head and heard a crackling noise nearby; it
was part of the hospital still burning fiercely. He spun round. No one was about,
not even a Shoyru or a Petpet wandering anywhere.
Wingman paused for a moment.
"Hello?" he said aloud. No answer.
"Hello?" he called out louder. Still, nothing happened... not a stir anywhere,
as far as he could see. He walked further, towards the burning hospital where
the remains of the wards and a few linen beds were flaring brightly. He advanced
further until he could feel the blaze; sparks of fire hurtled through the air
and exploded, centimetres away from his body. He frowned.
Everybody's gone, he thought. If the whole place is completely deserted,
houses and all, then it looks like I shouldn't be here. On the other hand, they
may have all fled in terror.
He backed away from the flames, and ran around the giant stretch of rubble
to the other side of the flames. Here, he moved closer, until he could see the
unmistakable sight of a young, yellow Gelert stranded on the ground, lying motionless.
Her face, legs and ears were badly burned. Wingman breathed loudly in a gasp.
"Hello?" he whispered to the Gelert, pulling her away from the flames and
nudging her. "Can you hear me? Hello?"
The Gelert stayed for a moment, still without moving. Then her eyes opened
slowly, and she made a feeble attempt to raise her head and look at Wingman.
"I... I'm wounded," she quivered. "Everybody's... gone and... and left me.
I haven't got long..." She dropped her head again.
The heat from the flames was almost burning Wingman's back. He gave the Gelert
a push further away from the flames and onto the pavement beside the road.
"We need water," said Wingman thoughtfully, determined to save the Neopet.
Then he remembered. The blanket! He darted back around the flames, grabbed the
blanket and returned, dragging his legs and falling tired from the long run.
"I may have to sneak into somebody's home and get the water from there," he
sighed, resting the blanket gently over the Gelert's back. "It's a difficult
job, I really don't want to get caught, but that's peanuts compared to this.
Who are you, anyway?"
"Gina," replied the Gelert feebly, not raising her head this time. "I'm a
nurse, I'm Geraldine's younger sister."
"That's the nurse who tried to fix Shoyru but failed," he spluttered, then
he composed himself. "Don't worry, I'm going for water. Don't give up, please..."
Hesitantly, Wingman swivelled round 180 degrees on the spot and dashed toward
a house with a bright, blue door with a handle in the middle in the shape of
a horseshoe, used for tapping on the door.
But the strange thing about this house, as far as Wingman had so far gathered,
is that there was no letterbox, house number, or any delivery box anywhere,
and that the door handle was in fact a doorknob with no keyhole. Wingman blinked
at it. He glanced 'round the front of the building for any sign of security.
Since he'd approached it he thought, since no lights blared off in his eyes,
it was safe to go on. Slowly, he approached the doorknob and his sweating palms
almost touched it. Once he was turning the knob he felt a sudden, sharp pain
sear through his hand and shake his arm. He assumed it was just fear, and he
told himself he had to help Gina, not only because she was a nurse, but also
she might just know something about Shoyru's surreal tremors. Or it might have
been a multiple case of Neomonia he'd suspected. What nonsense about surreal
tremors, surely it was just Neomonia. Still, though...
Wingman ignored the pain, turned the handle, and went in. Not even fear stopped
him in his tracks, though it lingered like a weight on his mind dragging the
rest of his body down, or suddenly forwards or backwards. Inside the house,
his breath echoed ever so slightly in the dark hall. The bulb on the ceiling
for the hall light had been blown up earlier somehow; glass was on the hall
floor. Wingman stood on his tiptoes and walked forward, trying to avoid the
shattered glass, and trying not to scream as he slipped and fell on his tail
on a sharp point of glass. The tiny glass tore across the back of his tail as
he fell, and when he stood up again, the floor was blotched with scarlet markings
and tail streaked in the markings exactly where he was cut.
At the end of what he felt like was a mile walk, but only was a few metres,
he turned 180 degrees and walked forward nervously, with the floor creaking
and progressively changing height, but when he looked down he saw, in no surprise,
that he was climbing some stairs.
He looked further up the stairs, and suddenly shivered. The blood from his
tail dripped in tiny drops wherever he walked, and the puddle that was left
on the stairs indicates just how long he stood there, perplexed and terrified.
"I only came to a random house for water," he said quietly to himself, "but
did I have to choose this one?" He'd gotten no further when he suddenly collapsed
onto the stairs in agony.
Outside, Gina was gaining just enough strength to stand on all fours. She
waited, expectantly, but the new strength began to leave her again, as worry
started to cross her mind.
"Hello?" she called faintly. She glanced over to the house with the blue door.
"Dare I?" she told herself, questioningly. Then she was firm about it. "That
little Shoyru did his best to help me, so why not?"
Her new strength began to build up gradually again as she made a quick sprint
for the blue door, taking in heavy breaths to help her sprint further. As she
approached the house, she too looked at it doubtfully. She clenched her teeth
in fear and chattered.
"The Shoyru has been a long time," she thought desperately. "And look at that,"
she said to herself, peering at the blood blotted floor. She moved bravely towards
the glass, and took a high leap over it and landed safely by the stairs, and
turned to face up them. She blinked, peering closer, but her eyesight was bad
in the dark.
"I can't see," she started. Then she began climbing the stairs, and she too
stood there, staring up the stairs as if she had seen a ghost. Most of her attention
was immediately drawn to Wingman, when she had noticed that the side of his
body he lay on was even redder than his usual colour.
Gina wanted to scream, but she told herself to pay him back for helping. Slowly,
she slipped Wingman on her back and over her head, wrapping her long, gentle
ears around him. She continued up the stairs, unable to ignore stabbing pain
in her side from the burns and her feeble eyesight. She blinked back tears and
reached the first floor landing. The walls were quite close together, and there
wasn't much room to squeeze through a pile of huge, empty flight suitcases that
were scattered on the floor. Then, she escaped the suitcase with Wingman still
lying on her back, burst out of them and ran into a bathroom just centimetres
away, turned the tap in the sink and gulped water down heavily, not even stopping
for breath. She hadn't noticed that Wingman had fallen off her back in a heap
on the floor, she was too busy concentrating on taking in water. She didn't
even notice that a shadow was looming behind her, the distinct shape of a large
Shoyru. The shadow crept towards Gina threateningly, but didn't do anything
to her. The shadow came into closer focus as a fire Shoyru, a Shoyru with a
red glare in its eyes and a circled lightning cut over the right eye. Its wings
covered over Wingman, who had now fainted, and in a flash, he and the figure
Gina had finished drinking water, and now felt stronger and confident.
"That's better," she said, breathlessly. "I think it's time I sorted out my...
She was turning 'round to go back out again and she realised that Wingman
was gone. He wasn't on her back, or on the floor, just gone. She gasped, now
gasping for breath as she heaved up some of the water she was drinking so fast,
strength leaving her once again. She took a huge breath and darted down the
stairs, scarcely pausing for breath as she ran out of the house and onto the
road, screaming and yelling, "NO! PLEASE DON'T HURT HIM! HE'S MY FRIEND! PLEASE!"
She fell into the middle of the road, crawling weakly to the curb for safety
against any midnight cars and sobbing into the ground. She didn't dare try using
any more energy to get up, there was too little to summon, so she just crawled
along the ground, hoping to get somewhere, hoping that Wingman would return
to her in one piece.
To be continued...