Lumina clapped her hand repeatedly as the gunmen fled. I was feeling pretty elated myself. The stray dogs turned to look at old gray, as if awaiting another command. I grinned at the dog, saying, "Please tell them they can go home now, and please thank them for me!" Eyes shining, I said, "I couldn't have done it without them...or you! Thank you!" I hugged the grey, who barked something at the others. The dogs seemed to think a moment, then ran off, vanishing down the street.
Lumina threw her arms around the dog too, saying, "Thank you doggy!"
I gently stroked its fur, marveling its softness. "He's a very special dog, you know?" I said. "His coat's so much different from theirs, and he's so clever. He's gotta be something extra special." I thought a moment, then laughed. "Maxwell will know! Lets go ask him!" I leapt up excitedly.
One of the buildings burst suddenly into flames. I glanced up in surprise as burning timber rained down, blocking the alley entrance. I leapt on behind Lumina, saying, "Well, lets get out of here before we can't escape."
The dog ran down the street as fast as he could. Lumina clung tightly to his neck and I held fast to her. I looked back, watching with horrified excitement as the flames were coming after us. The dry wooden buildings were easy kindling, everything the fire needed to keep going. And it was coming after us.
A building ahead of us came afire. The dog skidded to a stop as a shower of sparks fell on us, then changed direction, pushing off the curb it had stopped on for an extra boost. I protected Lumina with my body, but none of the sparks actually hit us. I turned, watching the leaping flames take over the north side of town. I didn't think it'd get too far, most of the buildings were stone and brick from here out. So hopefully we were in the clear.
There was a sudden loud rumbling, making my heart sink. Not the roar of fire, but the booming of an oncoming storm. Which meant only worse things were to come. I glanced up. The clouds were pitch black, with a sickly greenish tinge to them. "Acid clouds," I breathed. Lumina whimpered, burying her face in the dog's matted fur. Acid rain was what poured from those putrid clouds, poisoned from the remnants of the wars, the ones that occurred before and during the breaking of the world. Maxwell had explained to us about the vile toxins that had seeped into the earth and blended with the waters. The acid that fell destroyed everything it touched. It had also been proved highly flammable.
"We need shelter!" I said urgently. "Look for the sewers, that's our best bet!"
"But won't the water go down?" Lumina asked.
I nodded. "Yes, but under heavy concrete is our best chance of making it. There!" I leapt off the dog and managed to scrape my knee and elbow pretty badly. I ignored the sharp pain, beckoning to the dog as I slid over to the opening in the curb. "Careful Lumi-light," I said, holding her hands as I cautiously lowered her down into the dark. I went next, managing to bang my head against the curb as I suddenly fell. The dog joined us in the murky darkness soon after. The tunnel was pitch black, and random sloshes and shrill squeaks could be heard. Lumina clung to me, frightened,and I hugged her, just grateful for the feeling of another human being being in this dark place with me.
I felt the dog's damp nose gently prod my hand, pushing against me, reminding me we needed to move away from here quickly. "We'll be alright," I said confidently, and my voice echoed across the tunnels. I shivered, and Lumina sniffled. I took a deep breath, then picked her up and started walking. The tunnels grew darker till I couldn't even see the friends with me. The only way I knew they were there was Lumina's warm, frail body pressed fearfully in her arms, and the warm breath of the dog on my arm. I took comfort from these and pressed on.
The ground suddenly began to quiver and shake. Lumina cried out, her shrill voice bouncing off the walls almost stunning me. I felt the wolf's teeth sink into my shirt and it pulled, clearly trying to lead. Fearfully, I let it pull at me, leading the way in the rumbling darkness. The harsh pattern of the falling rain echoed from openings, and I saw the wicked, icky green acid pour down the drain and into the irrigation gap. The dog led us around those, where it was going I had no clue. But at this point I had no clue where we were, so I laid my trust in the dog and followed.