The mountain seemed to be waking up. The thick fog was cut by the slowly rising sun lights. A big red dot started to grow from the top of the mountain. There was an eerie feeling, the rising sun didn’t bring the dawn of life over the forest, it just barely illuminated it. All was quiet, only here and there you could hear a rustingling.
“Faster, faster” she cried in a low voice, breaking through the bushes with eaze.
He could barely keep up, but he knew he had to move. Dawn was fastly approaching and they wasted too much time in the cave.
“We have to get to the top of the mountain before dawn” she told him. “That’s the hard part, but if we get up there we have a million places to hide. The terrain is horrible and the Marks barely know it. It’s a deadland to them, but it will be life for us. After the mountain we just have to get by the border outposts”.
She made it sound so easy. He was terrified as hell, but she was confident and more knowledgeable than him, with all his books.
“The damn books got me here, but didn’t teach me anything about surviving”
He tripped and fell hard. Jora turned back quickly, grabbed him by the collar, looked him in the eye and told him in an almost sweet voice:
“Focus! Your life is up to you … and my life as well”
She slapped his face hard even before she finished her sentence and got back to running. He fell to the ground again, but quickly got to his senses and followed her.
“Focus, you moron”, he told himself. “They’re close”. He didn’t actually see them, but Jora told him that the Marks will have sensed the fire, so they had to move as far away from the cave as they could. He believed her, even though they barely knew each other, he believed and trusted here, they were bonded in a fight for survival and freedom.
Also, the fact that the Marks could sense heat didn’t really surprise him, he knew they were a genetically superior race. It been just over a century since the Mark State began, through the work of the doctor who created the genepool. He altered the first humans, bringing them into the next level of evolution, he made them bigger, stronger and more powerful. But he didn’t make them smarter, the Marks only appreciated brutality and despised learning. Most of them couldn’t even read, especially the new generations. Still, the Mark doctor was now a god, a founder and a figure to be worshiped. But evolution wasn’t supposed to work like this, at least that’s what the books he read said.
“The damn books, again” he whispered angrily towards himself. “Focus, you moron”.
They reached the edge of the forest. His side hurt like hell and he was panting like crazy. In front there was an empty field, it followed the mountain side for miles. It was in the open, completely in the open and as far as he saw, there was no way they could climb the first row of rocks. They were completely flat, like a sea wall. The sun was up now, glowing over the mountain. Its rise touched his face, it felt warm and nice.
Jora turned around and looked at him. She was scared.
“What?” he asked. “What?”
“Get down!” she yelled punching him to the ground as an arrow flew by. She just gave him a quick look and said:
She ran in the open field and he followed. Arrows were singing around him and ahead there was a flat cliff.
“This is it”.