Part VII

 Star’s eyes popped open and with a start, she sat up. Something had awakened her, but nothing she could identify by glancing in every direction around her. The band had hiked deep into the dark tunnel to avoid the bright light shining down into the energy chamber. Her watch told her it was barely five in the morning. She shook it to make sure the mechanical movement was wound sufficiently to allow the thing to work. Watches were plentiful, but only mechanical movements had survived into modern times. She awakened Jameson.

“Get everyone up and ready to go,” Star instructed. “We can’t proceed into the dead darkness ahead, but if we turn the tunnel lights on from this end then those long lights will reveal what tunnel we’re in back at the train station. That gang of cutthroats has to be headed there. We’re going back to examine the sphere. Maybe there’s some help there if we look close enough.”