"Hey!" James cried out, "I think I found one!"
"Really?" Cyrus dropped a scrapped piece of old machinery, ignoring the loud clank as it struck the floor, and rushed to his friend's side, "That's excellent. Does it have a charge?"
"I think so!" James hefted the old power-box with a single hand, his right arm arriple in the dusky light of the ancient repair shop windows. "Where's the power-tester?" he asked.
"Here," Cyrus pointed. It was an old trinket, used by the ancients, over 100 years ago. When connected to another power-box, the device could tell by show of lights if it could be salvaged by the alchemists, and then used by the settlements outside of town as a source of electric power..
The ancient scrall upon the box was covered in soot and grime, and the posts were badly rusted, but Cyrus held out hope, as James connected the red hooks to the positive post of the both the good powerbox, and his latest find, and then connected negative to negative.
No lights lit on the tester.
"Christ!" James disconnected the dead box, and heaved it behind him in a fit of frustration. "Two weeks, we've been lookin' .. and nothin'!
"We must continue to...." Cyrus stiffened. James went into a crouch. Outside, moaning calls of Chasers could be heard. "Take cover," Cyrus whispered, reaching for his crossbow, while James found a shadow near the rear of the old shop.
Cyrus pressed a finger to his lips, bidding his old friend to remain quiet - not nearly a needed warning. Too often, these two men had engaged the chaser is nearly futile melee.
Their deformed faces belied the human beings they'd once been. Their white eyes could see as well at night as they could during the light of day, and tho' their bones broke easily, they felt no pain, and as a horde, surged forward with little to no regard of each other. Their only obsession was to feed only to regurgitate flesh to breed more chasers.
"How many?" James asked.
"I dunno," shrugged Cyrus, "Five maybe. Headed towards Sheppard," Cyrus' lips curved downward.
"Hey," James grit his teeth, "Weren't Micki and the girls out that way?"
"I was just thinking the same thing!" Cyrus' eyebrows grew heavy, as adrenaline stung the muscles in his arms and legs. It was all he could do not to bolt ahead shooting. "Micki's smart. If they ran into chasers .. she'll do whatever she can to avoid 'em, mark my words!"
The two stood in silence, allowing the last of a moaning gaggle of Chasers pass. Cyrus counted to thirty, then stepped forward and peeked outside. "Definitely going to Sheppard."
"The subway runs right below us, Cy! We can be at the station in ten minutes; maybe less!" James said.
Cyrus' eyes searched the streets. There was an old abandoned shopping market: The Cedarview Center, directly across the street. "We should be able to get to the tunnels from there," Cyrus pointed.
Cyrus looked to him, "What is it!"
James sniffed, and wiped sweat from his brow, "Reapers tell us Cedarview is a well known hatchery for Chasers,"
"When did they learn that?" Cyrus rubbed his eyes, and rubbed the palm of his hand across his forehead.
"Two weeks ago. Don't you listen at the village meetings?" James punched his friend in the shoulder.
Absently, Cyrus rubbed it, and smiled, "Not really. If anything, Shahken Drel puts me to sleep with her 'affairs of state'. What state, right? There is no union here; no 'United States' as she calls them. Just humanity fighting to survive."
"Right well, uhm, for now, we should be thinking about Micki and the girls,"
"Right!" Cyrus opened the door. "We go through the center, and into the tunnels. It's the fastest way. We meet up with any Chasers?" he lifted a bottle of fire-water in a red jug, "We burn 'em!"
James smiled a bearded grin, "Now you're talkin'"