90 Chapter 90
The soup was hot, but Xun enjoyed the warmth. He had been so busy the whole day, working with different people, instead of sitting in a room and letting people come to him, that he was about froze. It made a huge difference in how they viewed him though.
When he started going around, at first they were confused, but once it was explained that if he was to be a good leader to them, he needed to understand them, they perked up. He learned a lot about animals, that he hadn't known before, as well as seeds and food.
The factory was the most impressive. He realized his first thoughts about moving everything, were going to have to be revised as he gazed over the huge machines that were responsible for all of the improvements this compound had to offer.
It was just after noon, and he could see Alex coming towards him, with his dad.
"Xun, I heard you found your mother, do you know..." His dad stopped speaking, mid sentence, as his eyes landed on her. She was coming around the corner, speaking with one of the girls from the underground city. Then she saw him.
Xun watched as they approached each other, and a smile grew on his face as they grabbed each other and started laughing and crying in joy. Both of them started talking at the same time, stopped, then started again.
He had a feeling it would be a long time before they were done talking, as the two wandered off, arm in arm. There was a warmth in his heart that he had wanted for a long time, and he closed his eyes to cherish it.
"Xun, I didn't come here to tell you that your dad was looking for your mom," said Alex. "The guards told me to tell you that Willow, Hayden and Rick are back and looking for you."
"What? Where?" He jumped up and followed Alex, wishing that he would run faster.
The three were in the cafeteria, eating food like they hadn't had any for days. Thinking back on his time with the vampires, he wondered if they had food for them.
"Xun!" exclaimed Rick, who waved at him from across the room.
"How did you guys escape?" asked Xun, his heart pounding in uncertainty.
"Dr. Achak told us to go home. He said he didn't have any food for us, and he had too much work to do, to keep us there," said Willow, shoving more food into her already full mouth.
"He said he would come see you tonight," added Hayden, dipping his bread into the broth of his soup.
"It's great to see you guys, I felt awful not being able to get you out of there." Xun sat down at the table, feeling a bit of deja vu as he remembered sitting at this table with the three of them before. So much had happened since then. Would they ever get a chance to just rest and have normal lives?
"Leader Xun?" asked a guard, pausing awkwardly at the end of the table. "I was told to tell you that it looks like a blizzard is coming from the north."
Xun nodded at him, and turned back to his friends. "I have to check on this, I will be right back."
They laughed and waved him on, as he left the table. As soon as he got outside, he could feel the cold snap in the air. Looking to the north, he could see a wall of black ugly clouds filling the sky.
"Spread the word that everyone needs to prepare things for the storm. Tell the runners to come so I can give directions. I'm going to be at the tower in the center of the compound so I can see things a bit more clearly."
"Yes, sir," said the guard, running off.
Not hesitating, he took off running towards the tower, and found to his relief that the door wasn't locked this time. Inside, there were two sets of stairs. One went down, and the other went up. He didn't want to think what was down, and started climbing.
The landing at the top was open on all sides, and the wind had started howling. The storm would probably hit in the next hour. He moved from one side to the other, watching what the people were doing, and trying to figure out what to tell the runners when they arrived. They came in drabs and dribbles, running from all over the compound, where they had been trying to help get things up and running after the time when everything had stopped.
Xun had people getting the animals into the barns and moved all the children and non working people into the cafeteria. The storm looked nasty, and if they could get everyone into one or two places to weather it out, they had a better chance of surviving if they were all together. He made sure everyone knew to shelter in place, wherever they found themselves, when the storm hit. He didn't want anyone getting killed because they were lost in the blowing snow.
It was minutes away, when he decided everything that could be done, was done, and rushed down the stairs for safety. As he reached the door, the storm rushed in with a vengeance.
The building shuddered, but held. Snow swirled down the stairs, and he couldn't help but wonder if there was anything he had missed.
The door to the outside was cold as he touched it. Turning the handle, he meant to peek outside, but the force of the wind slammed the door open, and he was suddenly blown back. Hitting the railing, he grabbed it as the wind tried to flip him over it.
Sweat broke out on his brow, as he realized what he had done was very stupid, and it promptly froze in the icy gale that pushed at him. Fighting to breath, he lowered himself to the floor, still with a death grip on the railing. His feet kept slipping out from under him, as he began working his way around the room to the stairs going down. He needed to get out of the wind, before it grabbed him and pushed him off the ledge.
Small wind devils formed in the middle of the room, twirling with snowflakes. If he wasn't fighting for his life, he may have found the image beautiful, but it had gotten so cold, he was afraid his hands might freeze to the metal railing before he could reach the stairs.