Sci-fi Novel - Underground City - Part 22
When Omay woke up, they were lying beneath the vast black mass that attracted them. Omay's leg that was melted by the creature they met in the purple room was moaning badly. She stood up hoping that what she had been through was a dream, and she looked at her left leg that was no longer in place. The remaining part of her leg was dark and crusty, and she tried to comfort herself, thinking she had not lost too much blood. The memory of her suffering was still echoing in her mind. She tried to straighten out using her elbows, but because she was dizzy, she put herself back on the ground. She turned and looked at Akman who was sleeping with the innocence of a child on the stone floor. Akman, who felt that someone was staring at him, opened his eyes, first sat down, then stood up.
"We must get out of here soon," said Akman, helping Omay to stand up.
“What we had was real?” asked Omay. She put her right arm on Akman's shoulder and leaned her body on him.
“It seems so,” said Akman. They walked out of the building in slow and cautious steps. There were a glittering half moon and a few stars in the sky, and when they met with the cold air of the night, a shivering wave passed through Omay's body.
“Are you okay?"Akman asked.
"I'll be better when we get home.”
“Don't worry, everything's gonna be okay,” Akman said.
“We have three legs now,” Omay said, smiling with difficulty.
“The two of us...” said Akman, thought for a while, and then he added, “I was very young. I didn't understand love. I'm sorry”.
"The past is the past," said Omay.
Did Akman have to understand from the words that Omay forgave him, or that their relations were no longer relevant? For all of this to mean something, they had to succeed and return to the underworld that nobody had ever done before. They sat under a thick tree. Akman pulled his compass out of his pocket, looked at the direction it showed, looking at the position of the stars and trying to make sure that the compass was pointing in the right direction. “I guess we're two days' walk to the city,” he said.
“It takes four days with a single leg,” said Omay.
Akman took Omay on his back, regardless of her objections, and they began to move forward in the tree-lined forest. The ground of the wood was moistened due to the dew, and every time Akman breathed, wet soil and moist, dry leaf smell attracted to his lungs. The half-moon, which was thoroughly elevated was appearing and disappearing through the trees, forming moving shadows on the ground of the forest.
They rarely heard a sound except for the monotonous rhythm of Akman's steps. An owl sound far away, a dry branch that broke, and the wind that swelled the branches caused Omay to shudder at every moment. She worked hard throughout her life; never knew what fatigue, agony, fear was, but the event at the robots' headquarters made her sensitive. A voice inside her said that six-legged hideous creature was some kind of parasite. It probably didn't have a place in the hierarchy of robots, because its move didn't make sense and it could not be explained in any frame of logic.
The moon has sunk, the stars have become invisible, and the first lights of the morning began to illuminate the forest. When a giant tree pail popped up in front of them, Omay said, “should we take a break?” because her fever was elevated, and her upper body was numb from inertia. They walked into the tree trunk and sat down. Omay put his back on the inside wall of the bucket and breathed. In the nest at the top of the hive, the mother put a piece of cork in front of the squirrel puppy. She started crying, remembering her daughter Derma. She lost her left foot just like her husband Tulpar, and if she could not return home safely, Derma would have lost his mother after his father. The problems she had to solve had never looked so hard on her.
“What if we never make it home?” she muttered.
“Didn't you say we were three legs? If we don't break up with each other, we'il be fine," Akman said.
After resting for a while, they continued to move through the forest. They drank water from the spring on the way, and they ate the mushrooms they collected and tried to ease their hunger. Omay's fever was elevated, she was feeling nauseous and worried she'd faint. She had red and blue daytime dreams before her eyes. In the dreams she had, the shapes were vague, the objects were in a fog. She thought the grizzly bear she saw behind the trees was a part of these dreams, and the bear had a baby. At this time, Akman narrowed his steps, and the bear turned and looked at them, and began to stroll towards where they were standing. "Is that bear following us?” asked Omay. Akman answered "yes." Fortunately, the grizzly bear gave up following them a while later.
After a long walk, they saw a hole going underground in the grass. They waited for a while near the hole; then they decided that it was one of the ventilation shafts of the tunnel to Nemrut. They lifted the metal cover over the hole and slipped into it. The hole was narrower as it descended, and they continued to slide themselves downwards, taking the risk of being trapped inside. Then they fell into the tunnel. Omar knew the area, he could smell the scent of sulfur and it must have been one of the tubes around the holy volcano. Omay refused to ride on Akman's back to make sure he rested a bit, she threw her hand on his shoulder and began to bounce on his sturdy leg with the support from Akman. The heat was increasing, and they were convinced that they were approaching the holy volcano. Indeed, they soon reached the plant that produced electricity from the volcano. The workers working in the facilities were surprised to see President Omay. Omay and Akman took a mini-train to the center of the city.
Derma was offended by her mother who went to the earth without informing her, and she swore to herself that she would no longer speak to her. Seeing her face of faded, mud-washed and lost one leg, she gave up her decision. She ran up to her mother and hugged her in tears. Derma then hugged Akman and thanked him for bringing her mother back.