((The very belated Monday Triple catch-up: page 3 of 3))
Hector stopped walking. “Something wrong?” he said aloud, since there was no one conscious around to hear.
‘...Not sure. I thought I sensed the aura of death just now.’
Hector’s brow lowered. “Where?”
‘Back the way we came, on the other side of the train. But it’s not there anymore.’
“Hmm.” He turned around and started walking again, this time at a brisker pace. “Is it where the Blackburns are?”
‘Not quite that far, but close. At this distance, I almost missed it, but their reapers would’ve noticed it for sure, especially with how alert everyone is right now.’
Hector quickened his pace even more. First, he had to pass back through three more cabins full of sleeping Rainlords, but before he even made it to the end of the third one, Garovel spoke up again.
He stopped. “What?”
‘Hector. Right now, everyone in these pods has the aura of death around them.’
Hector looked around with wide eyes. Each and every pod was already covered in the shields he’d made earlier. “What--? Why?!”
‘I don’t know, but--’ There arrived a pause, and Hector waited without breathing for Garovel to continue. ‘I sense a worm. About half a kilometer to your right and closing.’
Hector’s expression turned grim.
He knew the plan. The militiamen and Rainlords had made sure that everyone did. Each cabin had a compartment where the train’s defenses could be accessed. Hector was not trained in their uses, of course, but he knew that people who were would be arriving momentarily. His job would be to protect them.
Hector searched for the emergency lever in the floor and soon found it in the center of the cabin. He removed the metal screen in his way and yanked the lever in a hard clockwise motion.