"Come on!" Charlemagne whined.

"It'll be fun!" Zaiyah exclaimed.

"Yeah, Brielle! Don't be such a baby!" Maverick remarks hoping that last comment will convince me. That's the last time I ever listen to those idiots. And it really will be the last time, if everything goes the way I think it will. I truly hope it doesn't. I don't want to die. Down here. In the dark. Where no one will ever find us.

If they do find something it will be our bones, because by the time they get to us that's all that will be left. No one will ever know what actually happened and assume it was some kind of accident. Maybe we suffocated because of the cave-ins. Or starved to death because we couldn't find our way back through the maze of underground tunnels. They would all be wrong of course. They would never guess that we were killed by something. Something everyone thought had been extinct for hundreds of years. Something leftover from when humanity went underground and disturbed it.

It was after the earthquake and subsequent eruption of the Yellowstone caldera. Millions died during that earthquake. Triple that when the volcano erupted. The United States of America was wiped off the map. Then came the ash and climate change. Millions more died of starvation when there wasn't enough of America left to farm and the earth began to cool. That's when humans went underground. Or tried to. We were not prepared. Even after all the summits, meetings, and planning. The world was not prepared. We all banded together as a planet to create underground cities. To try and survive. It still wasn't enough.

There was only so much room on the surface and even less underground. Especially when we ran into the creatures. Dragons, for lack of a better word. They breathed fire and spat magma, destroying what we built. Some places were able to co-exist most weren't. Major cities were destroyed when they woke and we all fled to the countryside. Those that could. Most were sent off-world. Even though the ships had no idea where to go other than the few colonies we'd set up on Mars, Jupiter and some of its moons. There simply was no place for us to go. Sending people to the colonies taxed them, but everyone worked together. We wanted to live. That's when the second industrial and technological age occurred. Ships were made by the thousands and many signed up to explore the unknown universe Find more places to settle. Then we were discovered by the Intergalactic Republic of Sentinels and taken pity on. Thank goodness for them or the human race would've been toast.

Still, Earth was all but abandoned. Everyone wanted to get to know the aliens and see the universe. Yet here we were. My three best friends and I. One of the last few families to stay on earth and survive. We lived in what I guess you'd call a suburb of London. We don't use terms like that anymore. There are no cities or towns. Only communities. There's not enough of us left or enough space to make a town, but we've managed. Even though humanity left, Earth is a good stopping point between worlds and we have several spaceports in the sky for that. We get visitors on the surface. Other races that want to see Earth that was. Since Harlow is so close to a former city it has become a popular place for tours. That's what me and my friends do. Give tours of what they used to call London. The dragons that live there are friendly-ish. We have a specialized treaty, allowing us access to the city at certain times. Otherwise, it's theirs. They were here first.

However, Charlemagne got a bug up his ass and decided to sneak into the city. To make matters worse he decided he wanted to find tan abandoned tube station he heard exists. He doesn't even know if it does! He read about it on the data stream and thought it might make an interesting addition to our tours. I asked the dragon that lives in the area if she knew, I guess you could call us friends. She emphatically advised us about not going into the tunnels, let alone looking for the station. "There's something down there. We don't even go underground anymore because of it. That's why we had to..." We were interrupted before she could tell me more. Her parents barely tolerate us.

My friends convinced me anyhow and if you must know, that's where we were now. Stuck somewhere called Charing Cross. Only there were cave-ins so we can't get out and now we're being hunted, by something that even dragons are scared of. We were in deep shit. Why did I agree to this? Why?

I found myself wanting to cry but I pinched my arm. "I would not die down here! Not when I hadn't even been off-earth. I so wanted to, all the alien species I'd met putting thoughts of wonderful places I'd yet to see. So, help me I would fight that thing until my last breath for a chance to see one of the tropical planets. All I'd ever known was snow and ice, occasionally rain. I wondered what it would be like to wear a bathing suit and go swimming. I'd never done that before and oh how I wanted to. I looked into Maverick's eyes with determination. He was scared. Hell, I was too but we were going to get out of this alive. I reached my hand to grab the makeshift steel weapon from his hand. He was hurt pretty badly and couldn't use it. I wiped his blood off it as best I could and gripped it tight. I could hear the thing breathing behind me. It was close. Now or never. I sprung from my hiding place and leaped at the thing.