"Y-you're..w-w-welcome..." Sprint panted. He hadn't sprinted, but it still made him tired to carry Cage, as tiny as she was, back to the cave. He took the water gratefully. "Th-thanks."
"N-no e-e-experim-ments." Sprint stumbled over the word. He took another careful sip of water, slowly sitting down on the cave floor. "I-I've been h-here for years. No l-labs, or doctors."
Sprint quietly sat on the floor, drinking his water an watching the cave entrance. He stayed close beside Cage, glancing over towards her now and then.
((S'okay. :) ))
Sprint kept his protective watch over Cage, watching both her and the cave entrance. He finished sipping his water and carefully set down his cup, still sitting on the floor.
"K-keeping g-g-guard." Sprint said. "S-sorry. I'll s-stop." He looked away, pulling his knees up to his chest. He kept his eyes glued to the tiny entrance of the cave.
((Something attacks them...? One of the other new arrivals perhaps...? I dunno. My creativity got shut shut off today. :P))
"I-I didn't m-mean to upset y-you." Sprint said quietly, still looking at the tiny entrance of the cave.
((Beasts from the Wilds? A transport shows up and starts shooting at anyone that moves cuz they need to thin out the Wilds?))
((Okay. That sounds sufficiently exciting.))
Sprint froze, jolting up as his heart started to beat faster in his chest. The deep, loud thrum, bigger than a transport's thrum, rattled his bones and made him afraid. There couldn't be any more newcomers. Not for another few weeks. He jumped to his feet, scrambling towards the tiny entrance to the cave.
He started to pile rocks over the cave entrance, hands moving quickly to pick up any and all rocks that laid within arms reach.
Sprint just pushed the rocks back into place, sliding them in with careful, practiced, shaking hands. He did his best to block up the entrance before grabbing a sharpened stick that laid beside the entrance. He gripped it tightly, crouching beside the tiny entrance.
Sprint moved even farther to the side, frantically gesturing for Cage to move towards him. He held tightly to his stick/spear, pale eyes widened fearfully.
Sprint immediately dashed to scoop the girl's tiny body in his arms, shoving rocks off of her an moving as fast as he could, choking on dust. They had blasted through his cave, his only safe place.
Well, one of his only safe places.
He grit his teeth, ignoring the blood dripping down his face from a cut above his eyebrow. He scooped Cage up, shakily climbing to his feet. He took a single shaky breath and then Sprinted, blurring past the people awaiting outside his cave and hoping furiously they wouldn't catch him.
Sprint pushed forward, moving even faster, even though he had already burned so much energy and Cage was starting to feel even heavier in his arms. If he could just make it past these people, he and Cage could be safe...
He gritted his teeth even faster, running short of breath but determined not to stop.
Sprint was starting to burn out. His lungs burned and his legs threatened to give out underneath him. He panted an gasped, trying to keep running. He held Cage tighter, more protectively.
But then his leg buckled, his knee giving out. He tripped and stumble forward, coming to a fast halt. He shielded Cage with his body as he fell, squeezing his eyes shut as he came crashing down in the underbrush.
Sprint struggled as best was he could. Which wasn't very hard, so soon after a hard Sprint. He panted and gasped for air, limbs shaking as he tried to fight them off. It was in vain, and he watched the Wilds get cut out of view as he was sealed into the transporter, completely helpless. He looked around desperately for Cage, trying to find his only friend as his heart beat even faster in his chest.
"I-I-I...I-I..I'm o-o-o-over here." Sprint stuttered, starting to crawl towards Cage. His breath came in shallow pants and his eyes were wide with fear. No, not fear. Absolute terror.
"W-w-we're i-in a transp-p-port..." Sprint replied, eyes darting frantically as he spoke. He curled in on himself. He was trapped. They were trapped. In the belly of the metal beast, trapped like little rats. They were being taken back. Back to the labs. Sprint squeezed his eyes shut, wishing desperately, with all his heart, that this was just another nightmare. But it was all too real.
"I-It's..I-It's a Th-Thinning." Sprint crawled closer to her, his limbs shaking hard. "Th-they h-h-have to th-thin out...th-the number of..of..of test s-subjects in th-the W-Wilds." He whispered.
"I.....I-I don't know.." Sprint swallowed hard. This couldn't be real. He had survived all these years, all those Thinnings. An now he was being taken back to be tortured again.
Sprint pressed his lips together. He slowly wrapped a trembling arm around Cage's fragile little frame.
"I-I'll...p-protect you." He whispered into her ear, as firmly as he could manage.