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The chain always seemed heavier in the rain.

Deimos remembered when downpour meant the smell of overgrown grass emitting their sweet scent, greenery swelling with the precious resource. He used to love it, as the rain would bring chances to refill canteens and wash away the horrors of the day. Now, all it did was amplify the constant rot and mildew-ridden burden he forced himself to literally drag around. They had promised to never leave each other, and the short, rusted-but-dependable iron chains made sure that promise would last.


He would tell himself this hell he submitted himself to was worth it. Every fucking day, in the dead of night when sleep was evasive at best, Deimos would desperately think of alternatives and come up empty. If he couldn’t have this, there was no point in fighting to stay alive anymore. He would be just another idiot who thought running around the city instead of finding some barricaded rural town was a better way to live. Another poor bastard too proud to depend on others. Anoth-


Again, a shuffling sound came from behind and he sighed. With the rain falling in earnest, he couldn’t afford such distracting thoughts. Not yet; too open. Visibility too low and the sounds of enemies muted over the patter. His right hand swiped the drenched hair away from his face and gray eyes scanned for any eminent threat before spotting a relatively stable looking house in the distance. Steeling himself to break out into a run if necessary, his left hand clenched hard before he looked behind himself and into the dead eyes of his burden.

“Cain, let’s move.”

Unable to discern if Cain had heard or even understood the clipped command, Deimos started to make his way toward the ugly yellow house that couldn’t have been more than 300 yards away. It looked defensible enough, and he desperately needed to check supplies and rest his legs. His burden might not get tired like he did, but muscles were muscles and he couldn’t let Cain slow him down any more than usual. The familiar tug on his left wrist was a familiar one, but the chain always seemed heavier in the rain.

It had been 5 years since they made it back to Earth. It had been 3 years since the world went to hell.

And it had been 1 year since Cain died.