Hands touched as the train shifted in direction.
Lyla retracted, only to find another loose appendage of another stranger.
“Sorry,” she says, barely a whisper.
There was no way to tell if she was heard, but she did not worry. The apology was simply an ingrained response.
She saw only shoulders in the passenger car. When the train turned, her small bubble of space was invaded by another indifferent refugee.
They were all refugees. Leaving the destroyed remnants of their homeland was all anyone could think of. The U.N. had urged the rising, violent tide of angry militia to leave historical sites alone, but even the great statue of Jorell had been ruined beyond recognition.
The goals of the armed people split until there were no leaders. With no direction, and no way to tell who was an enemy anymore, the small groups struck out in every direction. They attacked each other, attacked their own without knowledge, and they recruited by force. All of them.
Mothers with sons were the first to run, then single mothers, then the rich, and finally anyone with common sense.
Nowhere had been safe. The short distance to the train station had been treacherous for Lyla. She had feared for her life multiple times in those two miles.
There was a clatter of gunfire from outside the train.
People screamed, and the further from the windows, the people panicked faster. Lyla grabbed hold of the man in front of her, but only the end of his sport-coat, in case she was knocked over the man would know. Hopefully he was a kind soul, and would help her up before she was trampled.
A response from the train was heard, and much louder than the offenders. Silence followed.
Lyla guessed it had been more gangs trying to get a hold of recruits from the train. She was very glad that the U.N. had become involved.
“My jacket!” the man turned to Lyla, indignant.
Realizing she was still holding on tightly, she released her grip. Her dusty, dirty hands had left marks. She looked up at him.
“I’m sorry,” she croaked.
He was clean shaven, with gel in his hair. This one was wealthy, and was visibly upset.
But he simply turned away and pushed past some others to distance himself from Lyla.
She did not blame him. The situation had made animals of them all, herded towards a supposed oasis. Some people valued life less than others. And still, others valued possessions above all else. But they were all here, in this train.
The loud baby started crying again, and the others in the car, followed suit. The train car sighed with collective depression.
Soon, Lyla thought, soon I will be out of this train, and begin my life anew.