Inktober 2017 day 15

No more prompts, I’m doing my own thing now.

Continuing my drafts. I going to start revising this stuff this week. Going to do some real drawings to go with it as well.

Broken pipes dripped in almost perfect sequence in the now shambled halls of the bunker. They were the first noises that greeted Barrel as he regained senses. He could smell the water, and the smoke and something akin to bacon and beans. He tried to roll his head but was greeted with a sharp pain. Reaching to touch his face he could feel a fracture sliding down his visage. Each time his core beat, so too did the pain in his head. His legs responded, but one also had a large crack on its side. He remembered the crash but did not remember what happened after he skidded across the room.

 Opening his eyes, he was a bit shocked to see others. Glassoids, Glazier constructs, a few beaten down automatons, and Diana. “You are awake, finally. Well, repairman you are going to have a lot of work orders after we clear out this infestation.” She said, materializing a holographic datasheet of medical information on him and handing it to him. His vision was blurry but he could see the reports. From what he read, his hover trike was in better shape than he was.  He had tons of questions, but the first he could form was “In…fe…station? How long… was I… out of… it?” Diana responded rather promptly and with a bit of casualness “Thirteen hours, the field surgeons patched you up the best they could.”

As she spoke, a medic in a white and red trimmed uniform hoped up from their rest to attend to him. They were a pawn, one of the many variants of Glassoids that existed. They were known for their round and shapely forms, like board game pieces with pleasing curves. Barrel admired his caretaker's shape as they walked towards him. He was going to ask for her name till he was greeted by a deep and baritone voice of a male. He was partially disappointed but paid attention to the reading of his medical reports specialist Juan was presenting. “Well, your core did not rupture. The Glaziers stationed here said you crashed in here at well over three hundred paces. They dragged you in here right before the swarm hit” He said.  

“Swarm?” Barrel said confused. The specialist nodded and said “You should consider yourself lucky, or unlucky by some standards. You have a special core type. Makes you more attractive to cryptids that can detect our particle signature.” Barrel processed that information slowly. “You mean, like the bird?” he said. Before the specialist could respond Barrel continued. “I’m just a repairman. I had a B+ average all through school. I have never done anything special or extraordinary in all my three hundred and sixty-four years of living. Out of the blue, you are going to tell me that I am somehow now magical bird food that everyone wants to eat?” the specialist, rummaging through a tote bag casually replied. “Yes, that about it. Don’t feel so bad about it, it’s quite a common occurrence. About 1 in six for us Glassoids to be exact.” Barrel knew from the casual tone of the trooper that he was not going to get much sympathy. Barrel stood up and limped to the cooking beans and bacon. A Glazier roller was turning over a portion of preserved meat. He wanted some, even though neither Glassoid nor Glazier needed sustenance. It was the comfort in having meals that mattered.

After eating, Diana had begun to explain what had been going on outside while he was asleep. “The crows have come back, and the bird is out but we don’t know where it’s at exactly. We have flyers out looking for it. As for you, well, you are technically a civilian caught up out here. We need to get you to safety but they birds aren't letting us.” She said, sitting by him as the medic did one last scan on him. Barrel knew he was in it now. the crows wanted him, and they were all pinned down because of it. He started to think it would have been better if he had let the bird eat him in the first place. He felt motivated to do something, to provide a solution. He was a repairman, and thus elected to repair the satiation they were in.  He pondered what to do for a second, then in a eureka moment, he blurted out. “Glassoids build service tunnels for all of their facility’s, Diana, can’t we just evacuate through one of those?” He asked.

Diana pulled up several maps and schematics of the structure along with several charts for the region. “Well, we could do that. Noey and his team have lined up with the reinforcements and are moving to fight off the latest flock that has moved in. I doubt the birds could make their ways into the tunnels without us finding out. And our orders are to get you to safety.” She said. Barrel nodded his head and stood up, staggering at first but then marching to his toolkit that had been so kindly placed at the far end of the room. Grabbing his bags, he awaited Diana to get the confirmation order to move. “All green Murder Queen, you may escort the V.I.P. to extraction point YR4.”

Barrel was caught off guard at Diana’s callsign. “Murder queen? You? I thought you were a communications ancilla.” Diana, who had immediately started to instruct the troops there to prepare for departure paused to say. “I’m a multi-role unit, now, get ready. We need you to open the access hatch.”

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The tunnels were dark, only the dim blue emergency lights provided any sort of illumination. Barrel felt a bit of pride in himself now, he had been the only one capable of bypassing the security on the access tunnel’s entry hatch and get them in there. They would have already left if they had the power to do it without him. Blast marks and scaring could be seen on the door, evidence of there failed attempts to open it by brute force. Glassoid doors were tough. Nothing shorter of an artillery bombardment would get one open, without the access keys. Barrel crept down the tunnels in the middle of the pack. There were three squads of Glassoids, two packs of Glaziers and a clutch of automatons escorting him, along with murder queen, who was in a surrogate suit of armor now.

Diana had been assigned to be their heavy weapons escort by command. Jordy, an A.I. aboard the support frigate “Silver Cloud” had taken over Logistical data and communications for the incursion here.  Barrel could hear the men talking about him, and was alarmed greatly. Things like “This guy is marked.” And “How screwed can you get?” were whispered between the men as the pointed their assorted arsenal down the dark tunnels. Barrel still had he long weapon that Noey had given him. One of the troops passing by had told him “Oh nice find, you have a shatter ray! Feel bad for whatever you shoot with that. Keep it with you, but don’t fire it till you must. Let us do all the shooting, okay?” he did not have the hart to tell the privet that he did not even know which end to hold it.

The smell of fresh water started to fill the tunnels. Barrel pulled out his now cracked datapad. It showed that there was an underground aquifer that had been under the barracks this whole time. They could move through it and then to a larger cavern that leads to YR4. The extraction zone was a flat, shrub free zone far enough away to provide an able pick up point. Barrel watched Diana sweep the dark. Her regular holo-projection was slender and petite. In that surrogate suit, she looked like just another automaton, or drone. Murder queen had been recently spraypainted on the side with a stencil and had a crown and scepters as an emblem. It was a good 4 meters tall and was about 5 tons, with armament. She was considered a light unit and in the wide, open service tunnels provided the biggest source of light and security to everyone down there.  

 Diana had almost shined her headlights oontoone of their silent stalkers. The had been observing for a while now. They have come down far, farther than anything has in a long time. They would be in the lair soon, and then it would begin.  Its mustard yellow teeth flashed a silent and anticipating growl.  Barrel could feel his hairs stand on end. A Glassoid armed with a life detector scanned the hallways. They were teeming with life. Barrel viciously taped at his data pad. It brought up past records about its usage. It had been allowed to be an artificial reserve for cave drillers and cryptids years ago. As one of the troops stepped on a mound of organic waste, the group collectively relisted what mess they all had stepped in. Dianna fired the shots…

 

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