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Sahra was on the opposite side of the station to Ore Processing when it blew up. She, like all the other tunnel rats, closed her hands over her ears and stayed rigidly stock still until the echoes died down. Alarms, shrill and piping to human ears, were still filling the air with their near-musical noise.
She knew what to do. Follow procedure, and maybe nobody would get hurt.
No smoke in the air. Good. She had to take herself and as many other tunnel rats to the nearest checkpoint. Sahra re-oriented herself and hollered, “Ullyully uxinfree!” At the top of her lungs. Human code for ‘come out of hiding and follow me, I know the way’.
Important things had to be communicated quickly or they wouldn’t be communicated at all.
Sahra crawled slow and patient, hollering, “Ullyully uxinfree!” At every tunnel seam. Those following her, big or small, joined the chorus once they were on her tail.
Once out, they lined up with their carts disconnected from their body-harnesses, neatly by their left sides. Sitting down with their ankles tucked under their bottoms and their hands on their heads. They had to remain that way until a supervisor got to them and told them what to do.
Disobedient slaves got shot.
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