Stu slipped out his front door and shut it quickly behind him. “I just hate trading air with the hallway, Celeste hates the smell out here.” He acknowledged his 2 year old back in the hermetically sealed unit. Stu was the survivalist in our group. We all would have starved without him. It was his idea to get the master key from the management office. He suggested moving up as high as possible once he theorized that they could smell us living on lower floors. He started the scavenger trips for food. He organized the team. He founded The Council. The more that I thought about it, we all owed Stu our lives.
“Okay men, down to 9 today. Are we ready? Ed? Don?” Stu rattled off as he checked his pack.
“Ready as I’ll ever be.” I said while walking toward the stairwell. We reached the barricaded door. Ed produced the keys for the padlocks and removed them from our makeshift grate over the door. The door swung inward with a creak. The air slammed us and took us back a step.
Stu pushed through us and down the steps.