. . .
Andie’s eyes opened to an image swimming into focus. A man with brilliant blue eyes, pale as a sheet, with long white hair was looking intently into her face. She could see the stars behind him through the skylights of the station. She was back on the platform.
“It’s working. She’s coming to,” she heard a voice say.
Andie shook her head, trying rattle out the fuzz and marshal her thoughts. “W-what?” Andie asked. She didn’t remember anything after she collapsed.
“Lay still. The medicine is still working.” The pale man in front of her said softly.
“What happened?” Andie said slowly. The words came out thick and jumbled.
“You were injured by a sheitoonak. Their poison can be deadly. Luckily, your cut was superficial. We’ve given you some medicine that should help counteract its effects,” The man replied.
“Mole People?” Andie’s labored breath was easing now and her head felt clearer.
“Yes, my name is Juergen. I am the Mole Chieftain.” Juergen pointed to the man kneeling behind him, “This is Morgan, my assistant.” Morgan looked like Juergen, with white hair to match his skin and piercing blue eyes.
“Where did that little thing come from?” She asked.
“The Otherworld.” Juergen answered.
Questions were popping into Andie’s head fast. “I know that. Why? How? Aren’t you supposed to be keeping us safe from things that come up from the subway?”
“That didn’t come from the subway. That came from the Otherworld. For over a hundred years, we have been successful in our efforts to protect this world, until now.” Juergen replied in his even-keeled voice.
“So you know about the Moledaemon attacks? Why haven’t you told anyone?” Andie’s voice was starting to take on an accusatory tone.
Juergen cocked his head and fixed Andie with an inquisitive look, “Are you not from The High Council? We thought you were sent to address our request for assistance.”
Andie fidgeted but evaded the question, “So you have told The High Council?”
“We have sent numerous requests for assistance over the past few months. We explained that there was an incident and now . . . are you not from The High Council?” Juergen asked again, eyeing Andie carefully.
Andie sensed honesty was the best route now, “No. I’m not. But I am here to help.”
“You will speak to The High Council?” Morgan asked hopefully.
“Yes, but I need to know everything that’s been going on. You said there was an incident?” Andie tried to lift herself up on her elbows but got lightheaded.
“The poison is powerful and so is the medicine we gave you. Rest for a while.” Juergen placed a cold compress on Andie’s forehead before continuing, “The Moledaemons reside in the lowest depths of the Earth. Far past the tunnels. Only the Mole People are allowed to enter those regions. We have been able to keep them from emerging by trapping them into these spaces and guarding them. But a few months ago, there was evidence that someone or something was able to get into the space. Whoever it was had created a tunnel leading back up into the subway. We were able to close the space off with much difficulty but there’s no telling how many Moledaemon have escaped.”
Andie was astonished, “And you told The High Council about this?”
Morgan spoke, “We have sent them messages on an almost weekly basis since. I personally went to The High Council chambers but was informed the members could not meet with me and they would get to the matter in a timely fashion. We have not heard any response. ”
“What about the creature that attacked me?” Andie asked trying to pick herself up again.
Juergen gently pushed her back, “That creature is not native to the subway system. It must have come from the Otherworld. Releasing the Moldaemons has seemed to set off a chain reaction of events — why your friend was attacked.”
“You know about him? Let me guess, Egan,” Andie raised her eyebrow.
Juergen chuckled, “Yes, Egan has never been one for discretion. Ironic considering his profession. You will help us then?”
“Yes, absolutely. But I need to get out of here first.” Andie said resolutely.
“Of course. It looks like the medicine has taken effect. It has altered your appearance but that should fade in just a few short hours. Do not be alarmed.” Juergen put his hand out.
“Right,” Andie pulled herself up slowly with the help of Juergen, now how do I get out of here?”
“You can wait for another train or just walk through the tunnel to the platform. I would suggest walking. You are not in any shape to be performing acrobatics.” Morgan advised.
Andie gathered her belongings and jumping back down onto the tracks, slowly trudged up down the tunnel.
. . .