*SPOILER ALERT for original Function series! Also contains strong language and minor graphic scenes*
Whether it was enough that Geoff had found her would boil down to this moment. Specifically, it would boil down to whether he had run fast enough from Copper, Wolf and Yeti to keep himself out of their line of sight. He felt doubtful, but if they only spotted him and not Janet, he might still have a chance.
It was by luck that Geoff had spotted Janet from afar during a supposed suicide mission ousting Windegos. He’d known her, long ago, and she had a certain look that told you if she thought something was worthy of her attention or worthy of burning to ashes. She had the look of the former then, and had been striding with considerable determination. It seemed foolish not to follow the only other human left with untarnished brains.
It wouldn’t have taken Wolf long to figure he’d chickened out of the fight, that’s for sure. He had been immensely dependent on being light-footed to get his plan to stick. Dodging and weaving snapped bones and bloodshed Geoff had become part of the scenery right up until being away from the upgraded world. Thereafter it was finding a path from inhospitable building to inhospitable building, moving with the wind to avoid being scented out, all the while tracing Janet’s footsteps.
Either he’d been a creep at school or he was smarter than he remembered.
It was now the end of the day. Dusk rose to intimidate the Sun with streaks of Blood Orange, a vista of strange sepia shades. To Geoff’s left was a train track to nowhere, except that Janet was evidently fixed on it. To his right, Geoff had seen her clamber inside, presumably to fix it. She’d always seemed more technically minded than Geoff’s fascination with the animal kingdom – and yet their interests in machines and beasts had driven them away from both. Geoff scanned his peripheral with a shudder and still found nothing.
Was he presumed dead? He could but hope.
The carriages jolted and howled to life, lights flickering on inside. They revealed rows of sleeping silhouettes further down the line who lifted themselves into a sauntering cacophony of bloodthirst. Evidently they had anticipated humans would eventually want to leave.
Geoff sprinted towards where Janet had entered the train. He nearly collided with her as she flew out and, in shock, she struck him brutality across his jaw.
“Flesh eating bastard!” She yelled, and then, “Wait, Geoff? The fuck? When didn’t you die?”
“Well-!” He spluttered, wiping blood from his lip. “You won’t have long to wait unless we both get on that carriage!” He gestured behind her.
Janet rolled her eyes. “The drivers’ seat is the way I’m headed. This isn’t some private pad.”
“That’s where the real flesh eaters are too,” Geoff replied. “And now they can smell us a mile off… we need to get there through the train, not around it!”
The pair scooted back inside and barely stopped in momentum, passing through carriages A, B, C and D in minutes. By this time the windows were cracking from abuse and it became clear that this escape would be as much about fight as flight. By Coach E, Janet was using bits of scrap debris to slice off the hands flailing through broken glass; by Coach F she and Geoff were cornered at a table seat.
“I really should’ve taken an upgrade…” Geoff sighed.
“Excuse me?” Janet retorted. “I guess you’re speaking for yourself, because I outclass these tossers any day.”
Janet landed a boot in the face of a leading Windego and nearly lost the sole of it to gnashing teeth. Thankfully the force knocked out a few teeth and blood with it; the others were so excitable now that they circled their former ally and cleaned him out tendon from tendon, emitting crackling screams as he tried to bite back.
Geoff followed Janet over hurdles of seats, every time reminding himself how exhausted he had become. Thankfully this train stopped at Coach G. The horde of Coach F were following the stench of Coach E so barely noticed the other two in the stampede.
Janet slammed her hand against the handle of the drivers door and wrenched it open. She turned to Geoff and yelled,
“Quick! Inside, now!”
Those were the three words he would hear as her face turned grey and his vision faded to black.
This post is in preparation for an experiment to turn Function into a visual novel game. It explores one narrative avenue away from the original ‘Function I’ plot. Stay tuned for a few more narratives coming soon!