Categories > Cartoons > ReBoot


by RapunzelK 0 reviews

Having gotten through his first second in the WEB, Bob gets a crash course in cold weather survival.

Category: ReBoot - Rating: PG - Genres: Humor - Characters: Bob - Published: 2009-12-21 - Updated: 2009-12-22 - 634 words - Complete

Those not guarding the herd made camp in the center of a hollowed asteroid. Too big to be tumbled much in the shifting currents of energy; it accommodated the six riders and single Guardian fairly well. Bob personally thought it a bit cramped, but supposed one couldn’t afford to be too picky out here. The bedrolls, to Bob’s confusion and mild shock, were musty hides of different creatures that varied in texture from leathery scales to thick and matted fur. One of the latter pelts was thrown at him. It smelled strongly of creature and sweat, but he was cold enough that it didn’t matter. Throwing the skin around his shoulders, Bob selected a spot and settled down to try to sleep.

Exhaustion bought him a few microseconds but the cold soon woke him. Arms crossed and knees tucked to his chest, Bob huddled more deeply into his dusty fur blanket and tried to go back to sleep. It took a nano to realize that the asteroid wasn’t shaking; he was shivering and that chattering sound was his teeth. An ungentle nudge from one of the Rider’s boots roused him fully and Bob squinted up at him in the darkness. The Rider gestured with one arm towards an indistinct heap a few bits away. Without waiting for a response, he grabbed the half-frozen Guardian around the bicep and dragged him across the cave. Unsure why the dark and blurry mound needed investigating at this exact moment, Bob followed along, forcing cold-cramped muscles to obey as best he could.

Upon closer inspection the mound appeared to be snoring. Part of the shape roused itself, the crest of a Rider’s helmet peering up at them from the pile of rugs and bodies. It took Bob’s sleep-starved, cold-stalled brain a moment to realize the Riders had heaped themselves and their bedding together, dog pile, in order to conserve body heat. The pile of men and hides shifted slightly, creating a space. His escort shoved him towards the newly-formed gap and Bob gladly collapsed into the pre-warmed trench. The Rider followed right behind, drawing his body parallel with Bob’s before re-wrapping the creature skins around them both. Under any other circumstances Bob would have considered the sleeping arrangements entirely too odd for his taste. However, being curled up with half a dozen men he couldn’t even speak with was probably the least weird thing that had happened to him all second, and the shared heat made the close quarters seem a negligible detail.

Slowly, the frozen stiffness in his neck and legs lifted. Pins and needles prickled his toes and fingertips as feeling returned. Sighing into his mask, Bob allowed himself to uncurl somewhat, instinctively leaning back into the warmth of the Rider’s body. The Rider rattled off a sleepy, friendly-sounding screech and patted him on the shoulder.

“Thanks,” Bob yawned, hoping his tone would get the point across. It must have, for the Rider replied with a few staccato beeps.

Now that the half-frozen sensation had left him, his nose was the only thing keeping him awake. The stench of unwashed man and blankets was making his eyes water even through his mask’s filters. Snuggling deeper into his own rug, Bob discovered that if he kept a fold of it over his nose and mouth, he only had to smell himself. Compared to everyone else, he was springtime fresh. However, even the stink of sweat and tanned pelts was beginning to matter less and less. His bunkmate, apparently judging Bob was warm enough, had withdrawn his arms and turned so they lay back-to-back. Bob found this arrangement far less awkward. Heat and personal space restored, exhaustion overtook him and he fell into a mercifully dreamless sleep.
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