The soldiers are fanning out across the terminal and walking this way. All ten clutch their guns as if they are safety blankets.
“Well, I guess they are going to shoot us if they see us?” Max says.
“How do you figure that?” I ask.
“The way they are holding the guns.”
I frown. I don’t think it matters how they carry the guns, but they do look intimidating. And they aren’t calling out to us. As I watch, one holds a hand out, fist closed. All the men stop. One comes from the back and walks to the soldier who has called the halt. They both look at the floor and then right at me.
“Oh shit,” I say, ducking down. “Did they see me?”
Before either can answer I hear a voice boom out. “We saw you. Come out with your hands held away from your body and you won’t be harmed.”
I turn wide eyes to Colin and Max. They look grim but are not showing any sign of panic, which is good as I think I can panic for all of us.
Colin nods to Max and he grabs my hand.
I nod and then we are off, running. This time though we are silent except for the sounds of our breathing. We head to the back of the room where a door is slightly open. We don’t wait but plunge through.
I am blind. We have walked straight out into daylight, and it is a blue sky shining wonder which makes me stumble. My eyes screw themselves up in reaction to the brightness and I fall to my knees.
“Leave her,” I hear Max say.
But arms grab me and haul me to my feet. Everything has a purple hue but I run. I pick up my feet and move as fast as I can. Behind us I hear a shout and then a popping sound. The ground next to me erupts in a cloud of dust and stone chips. I feel a sting on my arm but ignore it. Then Colin is pulling me into an open bay. My eyes adjust and I realise we are in amongst bags, they are lying around or loaded onto carts. We run.
Max is a little ahead of us and as we follow I realise that this place looks like a tornado has hit it. Whereas until now it appears time has been frozen, this is as if everything has been knocked over. And whoever knocked them over was stampeding this way.
I pull on Colin’s hand. “Wait…”
But he pays me no heed and drags me further into the area. I have a bad feeling about this. A really bad feeling.
There is a corridor off to one side. The doors are closed. Max pauses and I take a breath. “Yes,” I shout. “Take that one.”
Max reaches out and pushes on the door. “It’s locked.”
“Then kick it in.”
He looks uncertain. We stop next to him. “Look,” I say, panting. “Everything points to a load of people running this way.”
“So?” Max says.
“Where are they?” Colin asks, looking around.
I glance back the way we have come and catch a glimpse of fatigues. “Whatever we are going to do, we’d better hurry.”
Colin drops my hand and he and Max run at the double doors. They open with a quiet pop and the guys disappear. I follow, pushing the doors closed and leaning against them. The guys look at me but I shake my head. We have just walked into a dead end. The room contains nothing but empty water bottles. I look at their faces. Max is angry, Colin distressed and I know I look as if I’ve given up, because I have.
Footsteps get closer.