Author's Note: Before I left for my haitus from this site, a long while ago, I had created a bit of a backstory to my one-shot Them which, I admit, left a lot of room for improvment and explaining. Before you read this, I suggest you read my earlier story, linked above, for some more understanding. Besides a few grammar corrections and spelling corrections, this story hasn't been altered since when I first wrote it months ago.
I also ask you to consider not giving my older story any comments and bringing it back to the top, regardless of the revival rules. There are newer stories that deserve the attention, and I rather leave that one in the grave. Thank you.
The Agori held his head in his hands. The screens surrounding him were blaring red, illuminating the small, dirty room he sat in. He occasionally looked up at the screens, before shaking his head slowly in disbelief. “Great Beings, save us...”
The door behind him creaked open, and the Agori turned in his chair. The intruder was the lead member of the research team. His name was Marrs, an Agori. He stepped forward quickly, eyes full of worry and fear. “What have you done Gorfe?” Marrs asked, looking over the screens quickly.
“It isn’t like I expected this to happen, Marrs.” Gorfe said quietly, putting his head in his hands again.
Marrs’ eyes burned with anger as he made fists with his hands. “It doesn’t matter now! I warned you-I told you! Don’t touch the notes, don’t look at the notes, just burn them and never look back!”
“At the time-”
Marrs put his fist through one of the screens, then he turned on Gorfe, “It doesn’t matter! Right now, in this time, dozens of our friends and family members are out there-in the streets, in the cities-killing each other because you wanted to play like a Great Being and see what you could make with those cursed notes!”
Gorfe shook his head, tears building up. “It wasn’t like that, not like that Marrs.”
Marrs grabbed Gorfe by the shoulders and shook him. “Look out the cursed window,” he pointed towards the small window in the room, “LOOK! Do you not see the fires in the distance?! That’s New Atero! That’s the Matoran District! You don’t get it do you?!”
Gorfe pushed Marrs off him and stood up. “Shut up! You don’t think I know what I did?!” He glanced at the window for a second, then looked at Marrs. “We can fix this, I know we can. Just-”
“Gorfe, there is no coming back from this! We are probably the only two beings on this cursed planet that hasn’t been exposed!” Marrs waved his arms around the room to accent his point. “Even if we can stop it right now, how long do you think it would take for us to rebuild everything that has been lost? You can look at the screens, listen to the soundwaves, and you can calculate how much is gone.”
Gorfe raised a hand and looked at the ground. “Marrs...just stop.”
Days passed. At first it seemed like the screams and the fighting wouldn’t stop, but on the fourth day they did. Gorfe and Marrs managed to seal themselves into a set of secure rooms for the time being. They had food, they had water, and they had power, but they would eventually run out. Marrs knew this, but denied the fact they would run out of food. He needed to keep hope.
Gorfe had built a small communications station, to see if anybody outside was still alive, and to keep track on....Them. Marrs didn’t approve of Gorfe sending out soundwaves, but he knew it was necessary.
“Any movement in New Atero?” Marrs asked, stepping into the even smaller room than the original.
Gorfe looked over his shoulder and waved a hello to Marrs. “The scans aren’t picking up anything, but if you let me go adjust-”
Marrs shook his head, “No. I’m not risking you getting exposed Gorfe. Worst, if....They....see you, They will come here, and They won’t leave until They get us.”
Gorfe gritted his teeth. He knew that if they adjusted the sensors outside, they would get a better reading from New Atero. But Marrs insisted on not going outside. He looked up at him. “We can’t stay here forever.”
Marrs turned around to leave. “We can, and we will if we must.”
Weeks passed. First Marrs gave up scanning for Them, believing they went North. Then Gorfe stopped, leaving the station empty. The general mood became one of waiting it out, hoping cities that weren’t affected, if any, came to help them. Marrs kept up this idea, Gorfe was losing hope in it, and the both of them noticed that the food was running low.
On their 103rd of hiding, a low rumbling was heard by both Agori. Marrs and Gorfe, thinking it was the arrival of salvation, squeezed into the communications room.
“What’s that sound?” Marrs asked, a small laugh in his voice. Finally, he thought, we’re free!
Gorfe played with the sensors for a second, before looking up. “There’s...movement south of New Atero, near the Matoran District.”
“Movement?” Marrs asked, a sudden doubt rushing into his voice. “Shouldn’t you be reading vehicles?”
“It’s big.” Gorfe said, looking at the screens, “It’s.....oh, you have got to be kidding me.” Gorfe jumped up from his chair and grabbed Marrs by the arm.
“What’s on the scans?!” Marrs screamed, his mind finally breaking, as he ripped his arm away from Gorfe. “What are they picking up?!”
“All of Them! They’re coming right here!”
“Get to the b-” BOOM.
“Gorfe, where are you?”
“Gorfe, it’s safe.”
“Don’t you trust me, Gorfe? It’s Marrs.”
“There you are.”