Categories > Original > Fantasy > Tradewinds 10 - "Reflection"


by shadesmaclean 0 reviews

Shades' disturbing discoveries

Category: Fantasy - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Fantasy,Horror,Sci-fi - Published: 2009-11-14 - Updated: 2009-11-14 - 973 words - Complete

On his way to the next room, Shades nearly tripped over a gun lying on the floor.

An assault pistol, he found upon further inspection. As a semi-retired soldier, Master Al had also given his core students a bit of an overview of firearms, as well as teaching martial arts, and Shades quickly concluded that it was a military-grade model, though illegally modified. At least according to the laws of his world, at any rate; for all he knew, there might be no laws about such things wherever this weapon came from. An extended clip, threads on the barrel to mount what would likely be a custom silencer, and a red laser sight. Checking the safety, he then removed the clip, finding only four more rounds left. He switched it out with the full clip he found back in the desk drawer.

“How pleasant…” Shades commented, now about ninety percent certain that what he held was the weapon that put all those bullet-holes in the wall upstairs.

Taking the gun with him, not sure if he really felt any safer with it or not, he opened the next door. The room inside was unfurnished, apparently still waiting for the lunatic owner of this place to find more random crap to fill it with. He was rather surprised that all the doors down here were unlocked. The level above contained mostly junk, yet it was all locked up tight, whereas this level, which actually held things of some value, was wide open.

Then, thinking of Justin, he wondered if perhaps they weren’t the first to prowl this house.

Shutting the door behind him, he tried the next one, looking inside and remarking, “He was a vet, too?…”

At first he found himself staring at the large surgical table in the middle of the room. Then his gaze roved around to shelves loaded with vials and bottles, most of the remaining wallspace taken up by charts showing the anatomy of various animals. Some familiar, some the like of which he had never seen before, as if he needed any more reminders that he was in another world. He would definitely have to come back for some of those; depending on the wildlife of different realms, the info might well be a lifesaver. On the far side of the room, cages of varying sizes were built into the wall.

The room itself even smelled like a veterinary office.

One of the cage doors was hanging partway open, and on some impulse he went over to check it out, finding another ammo clip, which he shoved in his pocket as he left the room.

The door after that let into a room stacked with empty pet-porter style containers of various sizes. Some looking like they were meant for rodents and other small creatures, a couple that looked big enough to hold a tiger. He also saw pots and planters loosely arranged on a long counter.

Shades gave a low whistle as he took in this room, pondering the variety of fauna and flora that could have been transported here in those containers. For a moment he wondered where all the animals that came here in them were now, then he remembered the jungle garden Max wandered off to explore. Wondered if perhaps something among them was what Bandit was so freaked-out about, if any of them was dangerous. Of course, Max was no stranger to wilderness survival, still it worried him just a little.

At least until it occurred to him that he hadn’t seen a trace of these animals anywhere in the house; his best guess was that, with no one to take care of them, most of them, bereft of their natural habitats, probably died.

Though he knew he could be wrong, he was fairly confident that if there was anything dangerous on this island, there also would have been a warning of some sort next to that “for sale” sign. Surely Dominion Realty couldn’t be that desperate to sell the place off.

Shaking his head, he went to go see what was in the next room, when he noticed that, unlike the level above, at the end of this hallway was a corner that turned right. Deciding to have a little fun with his new toy, Shades edged around the corner, pointing the assault pistol down the hall. The hall-way itself was almost too short to be called such, ending at an elevator door.

And at least now, he reflected to himself, he was beginning to understand the fascination with running around brandishing a gun.

Though he never would have expected to find an elevator in this place. Nor a lot of other things he had found so far, either, come to think of it. Wondered idly about where it would emerge in the building above. Figuring that this was probably how some of this stuff was brought down here in the first place, he shrugged as he pressed the button.

As he waited, though, hearing all of the mechanisms start up, he tensed up for a moment, remembering again how every door felt in the Harken Building. A few seconds later the elevator slid quietly open. Not sure what to expect, Shades flinched for a moment, then opened his eyes to see a squarish metal cart inside.

Just this and nothing more.

Shades released a breath he didn’t even realize he’d been holding. Shrugging his shoulders at this rather dull discovery, now that this mystery was solved, he turned to explore the rest of this sub-basement. Thinking to himself that he would either get a grip on his nerves, or else he would just have a psychotic episode or something.

After all he had been through of late, he was beginning to care less and less which.
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