This flash fiction is a continuation of the story from A Beautiful Day, although this time we check in from a different perspective. Inspiration for this can be found here and here.
She was hopelessly lost. After stumbling through the tunnels for what felt like hours she was about ready to give up when she saw light ahead. Not the diffuse light of the undercity but sunlight. Stumbling through the waters towards it, she was soon rewarded with an opening. She almost couldn't believe it. Even now she still couldn't believe what she had seen.
She thought back a few short hours ago- she had been exploring, like she often did, but she had never come this far before. Most areas of Sanctuary were open to all, but much of the undercity was not- the ostensible reason being that only maintenance and other authorized personnel needed to be there. The truth, however, was turning out to be something different. The first thing that had surprised her was the water- many of the tunnels under the city were flooded, and she had sloshed through ankle deep water, trying to make as little noise as possible. And she had felt a bit claustrophobic at times, as many of the tunnels were meandering and try as she might, she had soon lost all sense of direction.
The truly terrifying thing, however, was what she had discovered deep under the city. She was trying to take every left tunnel, hoping to end up somewhere familiar, when strange noises had attracted her notice. She had seen light ahead as well, a greenish tint, and when she came around a corner the light was all around her. On both sides of the passage were enormous windows, and what she could see beyond them was unlike anything she could have imagined. On the right she could see great tanks, row upon row, filled with a greenish liquid- and in the tanks were... something. They looked like people, but they weren't just adults. There were children too, and babies. She could see what looked like technicians as well, moving amongst the tanks.
On the left it was even more horrific, if that was possible. Bodies. Piles of them, and men in white suits dumping more unceremoniously on the floor. Men and women, all naked. But she had seen something else, as well. Some of the bodies had cables attached to them- most were connected to what looked like a port in their neck, but some were connected at the side as well. She didn't dare look more- if anyone saw her she had few illusions how that would turn out. She turned in a panic and ran away.
Hours later and here she was. She had never imagined Sanctuary could be so big- it seemed to go on forever. And now she finally- maybe- had a way out. She cautiously emerged from the tunnel and was startled to see open sky. Somehow she must have ascended without realizing it? There were trees and vegetation, it almost looked like a garden, and a stream ran though the center of it. It was peaceful and quiet, with the wind blowing and the sound of insects.
The stream flowed out from two different directions before meeting up and flowing her way. Both directions led back into the maze, but she noticed that at least the tunnels in those directions were open to the sky. Maybe following one of them would lead her back to the Hub? She could only hope. Her feet were aching though, and her shoes were soaked anyway, so she took them off and dipped her feet in the cool stream, feeling relaxation flow through her. She couldn't stay here long, but she didn't want to leave either.
Eventually she redonned her shoes and, wincing, set out again. But which way to go?