They passed into Dupont Station and Carlos sounded surprised that it hadn’t taken another half-hour to get there from Spadina.
“It never takes very long to get here,” Amber replied, her voice quizzical. “I think it’s the only station in the entire system where you can stand on the platform and see another station”.
“It is,” Olivia confirmed. “When the lights are on you can see Spadina if you stand at the end over there”.
Mark shone his flashlight around and then trained it back on the tracks. The walls were tiled in small orange pieces, and he’d seen a bench that was clad in the same stuff. It had been interesting for about half a minute and then he’d grown concerned about the path ahead once again. He left Olivia reluctantly for a moment and picked up his stride to fall in with Emily. He walked beside her in silence for a moment before speaking.
“Is our little stalker still behind us?” he asked in a whisper.
“You know very well he is,” Emily replied, her voice amused. “If he’s trying to hide, he’s not very good at it”.
Mark chuckled, although it felt forced.
“I wonder what he’s after?” he wondered aloud, trying to inject some joviality into his voice. Emily shook her head.
“I have no idea,” she replied lightly. “To be honest, I’m more concerned with the intentions of the people who are stalking our stalker. Don’t look now, Mark, but we might be in very serious trouble here”.
Mark stared at her for a long minute as they walked, unable to connect her tone to her words. Then he latched onto the most important part of what she had said.
“There’s more of them back there?” he hissed. Emily’s free hand darted out and grabbed his wrist painfully. Wincing, he found that she had an iron grip.
“Keep your voice down,” she whispered at a level that meant that it was for him alone. “If the others find out they might panic, and if any of us panic then we are all going to die down here. Do you want to end up as scraps of chewed meat in some dim corner of the subway tunnels?”
“I, uh…no. No, not really”.
“Good, neither do I. My advice is to keep it light. If the time comes that we have to run, I will alert the others at the right time. Otherwise, keep your mouth shut”.
“Sure,” he agreed quickly. Then a sudden thought occurred to him. “Wait, what do you mean, ‘chewed meat’? You think they’re going to eat us? Why would they eat us?”
Emily flashed her light into the recesses of the tunnel.
“Have you seen or heard any rats down here since we’ve been walking?”
Mark thought about it, running the last few hours through his mind with fine concentration.
“No, I haven’t,” he concluded finally.
“No, and neither have I. That’s how I know”.
Mark swallowed hard and nodded.
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