Chapter 10: The Call-Up

The next day, Lara awoke to a somewhat overcast morning. The very air seemed to convey a sense of foreboding, like an invisible messenger bringing tidings of dimness. For the moment at least, sleeping arrangements in the Workshop were somewhat cramped, one of the old beds having fallen apart. At present, the Twins were bunking together, as always they had, and each of the giants, Jordan and Carter, needed a bed to themselves because of their sheer bulk. Jeff and James were rotating a night-long watch to give the bed-less person something to do, the person not on watch taking one of the beds, and Lara had to share the remaining single bed with Miranda.

When Lara had rubbed the sleep from her eyes, she noticed that Miranda had her arm around her. She started and tried to free herself, nudging Miranda in the gut.

"Hey, get off, huh?"

"mmmmmm…huh? Oh, right." Miranda said as she stirred, removing the wayward limb from Lara's body and curling up as Lara climbed out of bed and donned her work clothes. She then picked up the knife that Jeff had fashioned for her and sheathed it. Thus accoutred, she made her way to the washbasin to splash some water over her face. She did so, the cold liquid jolting her mind into action.

"Okay, Lara. Let's do something useful." She said to herself.

"That's a good motto to have." said James, striding through the door, pausing to yawn, and then plonking himself down at the table. "How about breakfast?"

"…I…can't cook." Lara said slowly. James paused for a moment, turning to face her.

"…you serious?"

It was at that moment that Jeff arrived, seating himself by James and drawing his knife, proceeding to carve a small but intricate flower design into the tabletop. He stopped however, when a small red light flickered into life on the wall next to him. James, too, stopped what he was doing. They looked at the light for a while, and Lara, fascinated by this strange occurrence, also stared at the small red light. It was pulsating ever so slightly.

The rest of the Squad suddenly showed up, and they, too, seemed transfixed by the light. After a short span of minutes, a voice broke the silence. It was James.

"…we never get mail."

Then, as one, the entire Squad sprinted for the door, James and Jeff knocking over their bench in the process. Lara stood there in shock for a moment, and then joined the mad rush for the door. The Squad threw themselves out of the doorway and the nearby window as well, the Twins scampering out of the empty window frame that the zombie head had smashed a few days ago. James was the first to the small brick structure by the gate, which Lara now recognised as a post-box. He opened it and pulled out a small slip of paper with a red wax seal on the bottom. The seal read: DESK OF THE NEXUS CITY PLANNER, in minute letters in a circle around the effigy of a tower.

The letter read thus:

Squad (437),
You have been called upon in these extraordinary times to assist your fellow workers in the great capital of our nation, the Nexus, in expanding the limits of our walls. While you will not be working on the walls themselves, you will be involved in:
(Extracting ore deposits and laying foundations for future structures over the top.)
You will of course have your pay doubled for the duration of your call-up, and upon completion of the new section of the city, you are hereby promised a bonus in the form of (10) (bars) of (purest gold).
Joseph Maybelie Esq.

"Stupid bloody template letters, wish they would send us proper correspondence." said Jeff, disgustedly.

"Ah well, they're too busy and we're too minor." James replied resignedly. "Ok boys and girls, pack your bags, we're off to the Nexus!"

The Squad cheered, somewhat half-heartedly. Lara looked questioningly at James.

"Lara, Squads sometimes get calls like this. We've gotten a call-up to do work where they are short-staffed in our nation's capital city, the Nexus. Looks like we've got a little more 'diggy-diggy' ahead of us, but you never know, we might be posted as sentries in case something nasty makes it through the city wall or appears below ground."

"Oh good, I like sentry duty."

Well, that was that. Getting some juicy storyline going here. Sorry these chapters are taking so long but I'm not getting a huge amount of writing time these days. I'll try and get some more out of decent length sometime soon, and I just got on school holidays so that should help some. Again, read, review, and if you like it; favourite! Also, I'm still up for suggestions in terms of storyline and maybe characters. (Shoutout to Crimson Dawnbreak, I like the idea.)
Boone, out.