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"Renaissance: Twilight" -> (18 skipped) -> "Renaissance: Showers – Day Ninety-two, 9:48am" -> "Renaissance: Surge"

Renaissance: Downpour – Day Ninety-Seven, 5:39pm  by JD_Renaissance

At first, Renni had made her way out of the city using the main road. Soon, however, she realized her mistake, her two mistakes. The main road was wide and open and offered little protection for her if she needed to hide from the Mongerers. And, it led to the fallen transport. The last thing Renni wanted to face was that transport and the doubts it would bring. She didn’t want to doubt Max was still alive. She wanted to believe. So she turned herself towards another direction. Using side roads, Renni headed towards the mountains.


The mountains had loomed over her nearly her entire college career. But she’d never visited them. She’d wanted to often enough. But life at school kept her busy and she never got the chance. Until now.


Five days had passed since her departure from the city. Renni still had plenty of food. She also had three full water bottles. She reached into her bag and grabbed one, screwed off the cap, and took a small sip to wet her dry mouth. Only a little. She didn’t know when she would be lucky and find another source of water. The bottle went back into her bag. Never at easy access. She had to work for it. She couldn’t just absently grab the bottle and drain its contents without knowing what she was doing. Every action had to be deliberate. It was the way of survival.


She pulled her borrowed coat tighter about her neck. She had a scarf in the bag but Renni resisted using it just yet. She wanted to develop a resistance to the cold before the first snowfall. Maybe by then she could find a place to hide where the Mongerers couldn’t follow. She looked up into the hills sitting at the foot of the great mountain range. Some of the trees still had their golden leaves. Most were skeletons, an omen of the winter to come. Higher up, snow already blanketed the great peaks bringing stark white contrast to the deep blues and browns.


She’d come far in the last few days, walking steadily, always with her ears alert to the Mongerers. The farther she went from the city, the further the Mongerers seemed to get from her. Perhaps they relied on their ships. Perhaps they hunted her in another way. Of her fears, the greatest was that she headed towards another swarm, one waiting for her just beyond the hills hidden in some valley. She shuddered at the thought, but continued on anyway. Where else could she go?


Renni climbed over the crest of a hill and looked down into the world below her. She spotted several cabins tucked in and among the trees. The sun, falling behind the great mountains, no longer brushed her with its meager warmth. She shivered, ignoring her leg.


More often than not now, she felt numbness there. She forced her mind to believe it was numbness. The last time she had compelled herself to look beyond the bandages, she nearly stopped right there and gave up. In the beginning, the rod must have not only stopped the pain, but it stopped infection also. Now that the Harbinger device no longer worked so well, infection had set in. Either pain or numbness now. She didn’t care which anymore. It was life. The rod no longer took the pain away. It made it bearable for a few hours. The rest she turned into numbness. With practice, one can make the mind believe anything. Renni had much practice.


Gripping the crutches tightly, Renni dug in and aimed herself down. The slope was slippery and steep. Not exactly ideal for crutches. She slipped and fell onto her back before sliding down the remainder of the hill.


Renni came to a hard stop against some rocks jutting from the ground. She laid in the dirt and rocks, every bone in her body aching. Opening her eyes, she stared into the night sky. Stars dotted the blackness, winking at her from miles away. She remembered Marshal pointing at them and then at her. He’d called her Harbinger.


Tears fell, streaming down her face. In her hands she still gripped both her crutches. She let them go, putting the heels of her hands to her eyes. Renni cried hard. She cried for the pain, for Max, even for Marshal whom she’d met once but admired. Had Thomas made it to the transport? Had the transport even made it to safety? Images of the fallen Harbinger ship filled her mind. She pushed them back, focusing on the familiar faces of her friends instead.


Renni did not rise this time. She had nothing left in her to rise. She had walked for five days along rough terrain, fear driving her until she jumped at every sound, even ones she made. She cried for her leg. If she ever found a physician, would she keep the limb? Had the Doomsdayers actions cost her that much? She wept bitterly, her chest heaving in great sobs.


Time passed and night came fully upon her. She shivered violently. But she did not rise. Renni had risen so many times before, driven by some need to survive. This time, she embraced the cold. She let her body go numb. She let her mind wander until she no longer saw the diamond studded sky. She saw blackness.


Only one sound touched her blanket of despair. It offered no hope. She ignored it, or rather willed it, hoping it would dispose of her, hoping her corpse would sustain another being long enough for it to find safety. As she grew further and further from the world, as her body finally stilled and the pain finally left her, Renni listened unfeeling to the faint sound of a barking dog.



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  'Renaissance: Downpour – Day Ninety-Seven, 5:39pm' statistics: (click to read)
Date created: Oct. 8, 2009
Date published: Oct. 8, 2009
Comments: 8
Tags: post-apocalyptic, rebirth, renaissance, science-fiction
Word Count: 1847
Times Read: 650
Story Length: 35
Children Rank: 4.4/5.0 (7 votes)
Descendant Rank: 0.0/5.0 (198 votes)