Categories > Original > Fantasy > Tradewinds 04 - "Tranz-D"


by shadesmaclean 0 reviews

carbon scars

Category: Fantasy - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Fantasy,Sci-fi - Published: 2008-10-17 - Updated: 2008-10-17 - 807 words - Complete

Meanwhile, Justin had sat in the closet for some time, doing some thinking of his own.

He could no longer stand the silent, staring company of his morbid new friends. After ransacking the two crumbling corpses, the only coherent thing that remained was half a skull, whose one-eyed leering was creeping him out by the minute. His new guns’ previous owners almost seemed to admonish him for still breathing. He had contemplated piling boxes in front of the long-dead pair, but decided that it would take too much strength. Now that he was no longer running for his life, he noticed that he was starving.

He again cursed Max for insisting on going running before breakfast, and his stomach seconded the motion.

He looked at the other two occupants’ remains, wondering how long it had been since they had eaten. Soon he would be forced to abandon his hiding place if he was going to avoid their fate. Still there was something about the name, a jumble of numbers and letters, that made this NK-525 business more disturbing to him even than the corpses themselves.

Finally, he told himself that these two had died long before he was even born. Given how many years must surely pass between Intruders, he doubted anyone would linger around here for that long. Then again, those androids apparently had, and that thought made him feel more hunted than he had even in the Triangle State. Worse still were those things he had started to think of as the Junkyard Dogs— he’d rather fight the Authority’s soldiers any day. Just something about them suggested they were made for a totally different purpose than the regular robo-guards.

Realizing that he needed to act while he still had the strength to do so, he set out again into that deceptively silent labyrinth, arming the right-hand pistol with the extra (hopefully) full clip and put the other two into the left’s slots, keeping that hand free to operate controls and such.

Having no clue how to get back to where he came in, he traveled in a straight line for a long time. He was still too sacred to touch any of the door controls, and terrified at the thought of calling out for Max. And he was pretty sure Max was in the same boat, assuming he was still alive. A thought he quickly shunned, surprised by his own worry. While looking around, though, he happened to notice something he hadn’t before. Painted on the walls, at regular intervals, were numbers and other symbols.

He just wished he could figure out what they meant, then he might be able to find his way around.

While he found it useful that only every other light panel was lit, making for readily available concealment behind the supports— at least as long as he saw them first, and not the other way around— what bothered him was having the lighting concentrated around the intersections. Making crossing through them unseen even more difficult for hapless Intruders, Justin noted bitterly.

After traveling for a while, he reckoned that he had long since left the edges of the Isle of Paradise. Not only was he underground, but that also meant he had to be under the sea, as well. Yet somehow he knew that wasn’t quite right. Something had happened, but what exactly, was beyond him.

Though he wasn’t sure how it was possible, Justin was feeling more and more lost by the minute when he found a door that was different from all the others he had encountered so far. A manual door, which stood out in this place of such thorough automation, and hanging wide open. Inside was a ladder well.

It was the carbon scarring on the inner walls that held his attention, though. As if there had been a shoot-out down at the bottom. His first thought was of Max, and he started climbing. The two of them covering each other’s backs would greatly increase their odds.

At the bottom, he found that the door wouldn’t budge, so he carved out the handle with his laser staff, seeing once he was through that the handle had been “fused” with several laser blasts. On the other side he found a very different type of hallway. The walls were off-white and no longer slanted at the sides. Not to mention at least somewhat better lighting.

But this place still held most of the creepiness of the levels above. He still couldn’t quite shake the feeling of being followed, but the crisscrossing slashes of black on the walls and floor told him that Max was still alive and kickin’ when he came this way. Justin set out again with some hope of finding his friend, NK-525 all but forgotten.
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