“Rex!” Captain Carter hissed into his wrist radio. “Rex, damn it, come in! Rosemary, do you read me?”
The only answer was static. Then, other voices began to pipe through the small speakers on their wrists.
Theresa: “Sir, what do you want us to do? Do you need help?”
Ed: “Captain, did what it sounds like happened, just happen?”
“Everybody shut up,” Carter snapped. “Radio silence.”
He inhaled deeply from the cold, thin air, his eyes scanning the circle of knockers as around them as they clattered quietly in the breeze. His gaze met that of Lamont briefly, and was quickly averted.
“This is a bad situation,” Rico muttered.
Frowning, Carter lifted his wrist. “Ashton, Overland—have you seen any indications of intelligent life?”
Clifford Ashton answered: “We see something that looks like ruins of twisted metal. But very old. We didn’t get close to it because the radiation levels are higher there.”
“I want you and Theressa to return directly to the elevator. Rico will meet you as soon as possible.”
“Yessir,” Clifford responded.
Rico’s eyes flashed with anger. “Captain, Rex and Rosemary need our help. I should not be returning to the elevator.”
Carter shook his head firmly. “There are more people there than out here. Your job is to protect them. I’ll go to the foothills.”
“I do not like it, sir,” Rico protested.
“You’re not being paid to like it. Do as you’re told, Estevez.”
With overt moodiness, the security specialist returned his automatic inside his coat and began to tramp toward the wall of knockers. “Come along, Señor Townsend,” He growled.
“I’m going with Francis,” Lamont stated. The words coming out of his mouth surprised him. Up until that moment, he had felt paralyzed by indecision.
The older man looked at him disapprovingly. Lamont gave a defiant shrug. “You’re not paying me,” He pointed out.
“Very well,” Carter huffed with a wave of his hand. “We’re wasting time. Let’s go.”
Next: To Face the Unknown