Everything looks grey, as though I have filters over my eyes.
I am running behind a man, following him up a metal staircase. We are in a hurry, but I’m not sure why.
The stairs lead to a room with a low ceiling, where the man walks into the centre of the room and looks up. There is a hole in the ceiling; and he reaches up, and pulls himself through it. He momentarily disappears, but then leans back through the hole and offers me his hand, helping me to climb into the cavern above.
The man, who is a stranger to me; is short and stocky, unshaven and dirty. He walks over to the machinery, that runs all the way round the walls of the cavern; looking at the dials and pipes that emerge from the machines, when suddenly he looks up. He places one finger to his lips, while at the same time motioning with his hand for me to stop moving. There is a constant drone in this place, like that of a manufacturing factory, but the noise is distant. But now I can hear something else. Something is moving. Things are coming from above.
The stranger motions to me to run for the hole in the floor, and as he’s sliding through it himself, it starts to close, making a stony grating noise. I dash for the hole, but can’t make it and it shuts tight with me trapped on this side. The noises from above get louder, as whatever it is moves down towards me. Running to the nearest machine, I squeeze myself in between the pipes. I slide further and further among the metal tubes to get as far out of sight as possible, and finally my back is against hard wall. I slip down until my knees are drawn up level with my chin, and the flamethrower that I carry points out into the cavern.
My breathing is shallow as I try to become a silent, inanimate part of the machine. I melt and disappear into the shadows, filth and dust. There is nowhere else to go, no escape.
From my hiding place I see them drop to the floor.
They are black and hateful.
They are ugly and full of malice.
They are low to the ground like cats when stalking prey. Their heads spin round looking this way and that, searching. Tongues flicking, tasting the dusty air. They have limbs like humans, but not covered in soft skin; theirs is an ugly leather black hide, covered in spikes like a desert lizard. They gradually raise themselves up from the ground to stand about 7 foot high, still spinning and turning, inspecting the cavern. The things start spreading out to the machines that surround me. They turn dials and pull levers. They love this machine, but it does nothing of any good for mankind. The contraption hisses and spits and kills. It smells of creosote and damp, burning plastic and rotten meat.
I think I’m safe for the moment, and I allow my eyes to close. Someone will come to get me, I feel sure of that, or at least hope they will. Meanwhile the demons carry on their work, oblivious to my presence, for the moment.
I wait, and so do they.