Together they wrestled the door open, making enough noise in the process to scare off any wayward ghosts that might have been in the area. Once safely away from the acid rain, they put their backs to the walls and rested.
“Mike, you look awful. Are you feeling okay?”
“I—I’m fine,” he said.
“Liar. We’ll rest here a minute but then we have to get on with it and get you out of here.” And me, she thought. She didn’t feel nearly as bad as he looked, but she felt a heat on her skin that had nothing to do with the minor acid burns. It was like something had latched on to her and was sucking the energy right out of her.
They ended up waiting a couple of minutes before moving on. The interior of the ironworks’ basement was pitch black; Jo once again used her phone’s relatively diffuse light to brighten an area around them, while Mike tried to use his more directional light to focus on specific areas. In practice though, they relied on her light; Mike couldn’t concentrate enough to be effective.
The space they were in was huge and still littered with discarded equipment. Part of Jo was surprised there was anything left, given how long the place had been abandoned, but given the briefing they’d gotten, it wasn’t too hard to understand.
The old ironworks was a recognized radiation hazard, had been for decades. Jo didn’t know all of the specifics, she just knew that they would very shortly find their progress blocked by very old containment blockades, and then they had to take anti-radiation tablets before entering the hot zone.