The Price of Entanglement - Chapter 10, pt. 5

Transient

Mike’s pallor got worse as he stared at the cool blue glow beyond the doors, and he took a hesitant step towards it before Jo caught his arm. “Hey, hang on! We have to give it a couple of minutes, the anti-rads won’t be protecting us yet.”

“Right,” he said. His voice sounded funny, like the word didn’t quite fit his mouth.

“Hang on, we’ll get out of here soon,” she said, hoping it was true. She felt a bit unsteady herself, and flushed, with a growing heat in her chest. She caught her eyes darting around at shadows and found herself picturing every image she’d ever conjured in her mind of the stories of the ghost. She shut her eyes tight and shook her head to clear it, to questionable effect. Finally a tone from her phone told her the pre-determined time had elapsed and they should be relatively safe from the radiation.

A sudden thought clicked in her mind and she cringed. “Shouldn’t have opened the door before we took the anti-rads, Mike,” she said as steadily as she could. “We’ll need treatment now.” At least they hadn’t actually entered the hot zone.

“Oh, right,” he said. His eyes were dull and half-closed; he looked like he wasn’t entirely there.

Is this how I look to others when I’m seeing … them? she thought. They couldn’t afford to wait around. The anti-rads would protect them even from the fierce electrite radiation within the sealed area, but not for long. Every moment they wasted before going in was a moment less to spend inside, learning what they could of what had been abandoned there.