"Tuning into a real circus out there," stated the Ranger to a mining engineer who just pulled up to the station.
"Yeah. Who's trapped?" asked the engineer.
"Don't know. Two kids from the collage found him. They said he looked like he got caught in an explosion," replied the Ranger.
Luke had crawled as far back into the cave as he could. He was frightened from the encounter, and the hunger was growing. Plus, the noise and activity outside the cave was something totally foreign to him. His mind was swimming with bits of thoughts he could not control. John's screaming was slowing.
"Hand me that light," said one of the police officers who had climbed up to the cave opening.
He shined the light into the opening. He could see John wiggling and making a gurgling and subdued screaming like noise. Then his light shifted to Luke. Luke crawled toward the officer as fast as he could. All the cop could see was a two white eyes, a bloody face, and long matted hair coming at him. He also jumped back and fell off the side of the cliff. The engineer next to him almost did the same when Luke's arm was thrust through the opening trying to grab the cop.
Several people ran over to help the cop.
"Gotta watch your step up there," said another cop.
"Watch my step my ass! That guy scared the crap out of me, and there's two in there." Claimed the cop.
"Two," the engineer replied.
"Two. Wait till you see those guys. They look like they've been in there for real long time. Don't go near that hole! Whoever is in there is very aggressive. Probably because they've been in there for so long. Leave contact with them to the paramedics and us," the cop shouted to everyone.
The firemen put up a ladder for engineers, and another group was setting up a generator for lights and equipment.
An ambulance pulled up with a doctor on board. Once the doctor understood the problem, he called for two more doctors and additional equipment.
Every time an engineer tried to see inside the cave Luke would try to grab him. So widening the hole was going to be tricky.
"Any idea who they might be?" the doctor asked a deputy.
"Nope. No one reported missing around here for as long as I can remember. Probably a couple of homeless guys looking for a place to live, or a couple of prospectors who got in over their heads," replied the deputy.
Those looking on the other side of the ridge for the opening couldn't find it, but did note there had been a landslide a long time ago.
"Say, Doc. If you can, tranquilize them. Their a bit hostile," the deputy said.
The doctor made his way to the opening. The engineer was ready to blow part of the face away from the opening.
"How's it going?" the Doc asked.
"Well, don't get too close there, Doc. Where ready ignite," replied the engineer.
A moment later there was a small popping noise, and some rock went flying of away from the opening.
"We're going to have to do this a few times before the opening will be big enough for an extraction. We don't want a cave in. Be a shame for those guy's to have survived in there just to get crushed," said the engineer.
The explosion sent Luke scurrying to the back of the cave, and holding his ears. John was slowing down, ready to die again.
"The deputy said their somewhat energetic," stated the Doctor.
" Don't get too close to the opening. The one who is mobile will grab ya," the engineer stated.
" That's what the deputy said, so I ordered a dart gun," said the Doc.
"Well, I won't open it up any more until your ready," replied the engineer.
Luke stayed as far back in the cave as he could. He was having flash backs of people, horses, trains, class rooms, and sunny blue skis. None of the flash backs made sense to him. After all, he had died every month or so sense 1833. The words he was hearing made no sense either. He then noticed John's shallow breathing and began to move toward him when the Doctor and the engineer moved to the entrance with a flash light and the dart gun.
"My god, he looks terrible. I hope this doesn't kill him," said the Doc.
With that he pulled the trigger and the dart found its mark. Luke didn't flinch.
"Got him," the Doctor shouted. Then added," Hurry, I don't know what the tranquilizer will do to him."
Two paramedics pulled Luke out of the cave which had entombed him and John. At the entrance two more paramedics standing on the ladders gently lowered him to the several firefighters and other paramedics below.
All of Luke's cloths had long ago rotted away, and he was covered in deep wounds from the bugs feeding on him.
Oh my god, Jesus Christ, son of a bitch, damn, and a few other phrases were vigorously used by everybody who seen him.
"How the hell does somebody live through that doc?" asked a deputy.
"Damned if know. I've never seen anything like this before," replied the Doctor.
They got Luke into the ambulance and took him to the hospital. The engineers began working on freeing John.
"This poor devil is worse off than that other guy. How the hell did they survive?" said one of the engineers trying to figure out the best way to extricate John.
"Can't imagine what it was like. Being trapped in here, eaten alive by bugs," said another one of the engineers.
"Holly god almighty! Look at that!" said a paramedic pointing to bite marks on John's arm, neck, and head.
"Jesus H. Christ. That other guy tried to eat this poor son of bitch," exclaimed an engineer.
"Sure as hell looks that way. Except he didn't try, he did. He ate part of him," another engineer said in a raised voice.
Robert Evan Howard