A rumbling pulse carried through the thick stone walls. Stevan slept, though his eyes remained alert. He was accustomed to the vibrations.
Scant light entered the damp dungeon where he lay, and none announced the arrival of morning, but Stevan knew. His keen barbarian instincts roused him as easily as the bright shine of the sun in the overworld, and he quickly climbed to his feet, looking down to check on the pretty young prize he had taken. She slumbered still.
He crept quietly into the open, eyes rapidly scanning in every direction.
Two days had Stevan traversed the tunnels of the underworld, harassed at every turn by the mighty machines that screeched through the passages, apparently searching for him. The darkness and the many shadowy inlets and crevasses came to his aid, preventing the mighty rail-riding monoliths from discovering or destroying him.
A sudden scurrying caught the barbarian’s attention. As a flash, he was back within the hidey-hole, evoking a yelp from his battle prize.
“Let me go! What’s wrong with you! Help! Someone help! Can ahmmph!” Stevan’s mighty hand muffled the shrill voice while his other simultaneously hoisted the feminine frame over his shoulder.
“Hush! While you slept, I have watched for the machines that chase us, and you will not lead them to us now that you are awake,” he said before freeing her mouth.
“They’re trains,” she sobbed. “They’re run by the city.”
“I care not if it they were sent by the god of war himself,” he replied. “They are after our blood, and they shall not have it.”
She breathed a deep sigh and resigned herself to be carried.
The two trekked through the shadowy depths, surrounded only by the dark, reverberating walls and the occasional shriek of rats as Stevan plodded on. After hours of travel, a bright light slowly made visible to the woman what Stevan’s superior barbarian senses had perceived all along. She craned her neck towards the light to see a lone figure casting his shadow into the tunnels.
Stevan’s rippling muscles tensed as they approached the figure peering into the darkness. With the ferocity of a tiger and the gentleness of a kitten, the barbarian quickly placed the woman on her feet and rushed at the figure, letting out a bellowing roar.