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You’re standing outside a church – well a former church. The utilitarian brickwork harks back to simpler times, and yet in this current environment it seems to have a solidity that the concrete monstrosities around it lack. You wonder whether, as Jamieson promised, this place will be your salvation.
You hold the stitch in your side, and look down the length of Charlotte Street. You hear bursts of weapons fire and the deep boom of explosions.
“Not really,” you say.
Jamieson nods. His face is covered in soot. He smiles but it doesn’t touch his eyes. “Come on, we’d better get inside.”
You push through the doors of Pancake Manor, pausing as your eyes adjust to the gloom. The place is deserted. There’s food on some of the tables, and overturned chairs everywhere. All the lights are still on. You scan the vaulted ceiling for signs of roaches and strain your ears for the sound of scuttling legs or shimmering wings. Will you ever be able to sleep again without jumping at the slightest noise?
Jamieson leads you through the dining area and then the kitchens.
“I’ll show you.”
At the back of the kitchen there’s a heavy steel door. He opens it, leading you down a flight of stairs. At the bottom of the stairs is another door, again made of heavy steel. Jamieson pushes it open. You are expecting an old, dimly lit basement, most likely crammed with broken furniture and old, unwanted kitchen equipment.
Instead, you find yourself standing in a well-lit area. Camp beds are laid out in neat rows on the polished concrete floor. There’s a well appointed kitchen at one end of the room, where someone is knocking up some pancakes. Your stomach growls. At the other end, a sign points through to an amenities area. There are a few people already here, pacing the floor or sitting on the camp beds.
The thing that strikes you most is how well-lit the room is. There’s a complete lack of shadow. Nowhere for bugs to hide.
“Dave knows the owner, did some work for him. He was sleeping rough when I met him, but before that he was a structural engineer. Dave won him over, convinced him we weren’t imagining things.”
“So what do we do now?”
As if in response, a loud boom reverberates through the bunker. Dust falls from the ceiling.
“Well, I don’t know how long the telecommunications infrastructure is going to hold out,” Jamieson says. “So if you’ve got anymore roach photos to upload, now would be the time. Don’t forget to tag them #storycity and #mutantroach. Every photo that’s taken will help us fight back. If we survive this thing and save the city, we’ll be richly rewarded.
“Then we wait. And when the time comes, we fight.”