Atomic Sunrise 8: Point of Departure (R-rated)
Posted 12 August 2014 - 05:31 AM
Nemo looked up……”You think?” Before he could run the swarm dissipated slightly, there were now 20 or so heading directly for them…he turned his rifle around and started swinging at the...whatever they were….with the stock…he shouted over at Myka…”we need to be back to back….one target but two weapons” …he swung and made contact, the sizzle and smoke was odd…”androids? drones? He felt Myka behind him….”we just keep swinging and hope that”…..one of the things smacked into his left shoulder….he cursed…”that hurt!” He watched as it shattered and felt to the floor…..he started swinging faster…..”darned bugs, or whatever the heck you are..”
* * * * *
Joseph looked at the swarm heading their way….”the box car sounds good to me"….then he had an idea….."the one with the soda, the Mountain Dew….I have a plan, a stupid plan, but I’m too old to fight those things, too frail to get hit by them"…he went to the box car and crawled through the sliding door that Amet had opened…..he took several bottles of the soda and starting shaking them vigorously….he could see Conner staring at him……”they pop and sizzle, they smoke…I’m guessing electrical, or at least components….liquid could short them out…if not I just whack ‘em with a soda bottle
* * * * * *
Isabella came to an immediate halt…”what the”…there was a swarm of something heading straight for her and Dmitri….”run”
She raced towards the trucks, the incessant buzzing growing louder and louder, she knew she wasn’t going to make it…she needed a weapon…the guards on the trucks seemed to be swatting rather than shooting…..she didn’t see the old wooden board lying on the ground until she tripped over it, on instinct she flung out her arms to steady herself, but there was nothing to grasp and she pitched forward and hit the ground hard, her mouth filled with blood from where she’d bitten her tongue… she rolled, crouched, grabbed the plank and covered her head just as one of the swarm dive-bombed her….the impact knocked her back to the ground…..”I’m through eating dirt” she quickly got to her feet, spat a mouthful of blood onto the ground and started swinging….she knew the board wouldn’t hold up for much longer…as she fought she backed up towards the trucks.
Posted 12 August 2014 - 08:08 AM
"Ow! You stupid thing!" Getting angry Myka batted one before it could became tangled in her hair and whacked at it. "They hurt," she called out, "but they don't seem deadly...well, not alone anyway!"
She ducked and whirled slightly to the left doing a small shuffle. "Whoop!" Myka yelled a little too enthusiastically, hitting two at once. "We nearly got 'em, Nemo! Keep smacking at them!"
* * * * *
Conner almost laughed at Joseph's idea only because it was so crazy it might actually work. Then again they might be pelted to death with mechanical flying insects the size of damn baseballs. With Amet already blocking the advance of the creatures and doing his best, Conner grabbed a couple of bottles of the soda.
Shakeshakeshake. Then he smashed one against the side of the boxcar so the neck shattered, spraying foam all over. He directed it toward the two nearest beetle-like creatures, gleaming a dull green in the fading light of the sun. They somewhat shorted out with a slight pop and a few sparks but then lay buzzing on the dirt by the tracks. Before he could get another bottle shaken more were upon him, so Conner abandoned the bottle and swung his ax as best he could.
After shattering several more, two knocked him over on his rearend. He scrambled under the boxcar on the flatbed and, despite his age, found the energy to roll out the other side. However, standing up was another matter entirely.
Edited by Nikki Peppermint, 12 August 2014 - 10:25 AM.
Posted 12 August 2014 - 08:31 AM
But at least he took out a good number of the attacking beetle-things before that.
Above him it was almost raining green metal shards as the other three guards helped lessen the number of metal beetles.
* * * * * *
Razor could only watch Isabella peripherally. He winced as she went down and came up bloody, then back her way towards the trucks to give her some protection behind her.
"Keep swinging!" he yelled. "We've nearly got them, I think!"
At least so long as more didn't come, nor something else. He briefly wondered as he ignored the ache in his arms and shoulders where the little bastards had come from.
Edited by Nikki Peppermint, 12 August 2014 - 08:33 AM.
Posted 12 August 2014 - 01:32 PM
"Should we try to run?"
Ishmael shook his head. "That will just give them a opening. We need to get our backs to the building and use it as a shield as we make our way around to the others." He shifted the sign to block one of the bugs who had darted out from the swarm; the bug quickly altered course and returned to the swarm. "Definitely around," he added. "I'd hate to have to try and deal with these things in the dark." A second bug darted from the swarm, but this one wasn't as agile as its fellow and it smashed itself into Ishmael's makeshift shield before falling to the ground. "What worries me," Ishmael continued, "is these seem designed more to annoy and distract than anything. But distract from what?"
Posted 12 August 2014 - 04:43 PM
As he was being beaten back by the relentless swarm brief relief was afforded as they were sprayed with Mountain Dew but soon they were upon him again.
Posted 12 August 2014 - 08:38 PM
When it remained still and quiet around them, the group began to cautiously move. It was evening now and the sun was disappearing behind the trees leaving them in twilight. They couldn't stand around forever just waiting as darkness fell. There were friends to check on, injuries to tend to, the perimeter to search against any other attacks as well as assign patrol duty, and a camp...including food and lights...to set up.
Suddenly there was a roar of extreme displeasure from near the trucks that no one could miss hearing.
“ALRIGHT! WHO LET THE DAMN BUGS LOOSE!?”
* * * * *
Sophie winced at Razor's shouting from across the roof of the building. When he discovered it was Myka who had released the metal insects...well, as much as Sophie was angry herself, she'd have to run interference for the poor girl. She just couldn't seem to stay out of trouble, and Razor hadn't seemed to yet take to her completely.
As her breathing finally calmed down, Sophie knew she had to start checking on the others. She didn't know what was going on around front, especially where Isabella had gotten to, and that made her nervous. She couldn't see her father over near Joseph and Amet and that was making her fearful. The mystery of the shiny, green attackers might have to wait...at least for her. Sophie was just relieved that they were all...well, dead. Or destroyed. Whatever. If they were a distraction for something, as Ishmael had suggested, she hoped there was nothing else coming.
But everything seemed calm enough.
She turned to Ishmael in concern and began to pat his chest and arms down. “It seems to be over, we seem to have gotten them all. Maybe we should stay here tonight, if everything else seems safe,” she said. “Myka is not allowed to touch anything else while we're here. Now, are you okay? Did you get hurt?”
Edited by Nikki Peppermint, 12 August 2014 - 08:59 PM.
Posted 13 August 2014 - 02:44 AM
* * * * *
Isabella kept swinging until her arms felt like lead, with each swing she took a step backward, moving ever closer to the trucks…finally, just as she felt she couldn’t do anymore the buzzing stopped….she gave a small sigh of relief….her relief faded fast as she caught sight of Dmitri lying on the ground.
ALRIGHT! WHO LET THE DAMN BUGS LOOSE!?”
She winced and walked over to Razor….”there’ll be time for that later, for now we have wounded”, she was aware she probably had blood around her mouth, “myself included….we need to round everyone up, get the injured to the med truck”…she glanced up at the sky..”it’s going to be dark soon, there may be more of those things, or something worse….there’s usually something worse. Can you help me get Dmitri in the lab?”
* * * * * * *
Nemo stood still, his rifle held out in front of his like a club….”Myka, it’s gone quiet, I think”…he looked up at the early evening sky and grinned…”yep, I think we did it..I think…..
ALRIGHT! WHO LET THE DAMN BUGS LOOSE!?”
He clasped his friends hand…”I’ll tell them I did it….we were told to explore, we explored, I found the box car, heard something inside, wanted to take a better look and then”….he waved his hand around..”that happened…”.
Posted 13 August 2014 - 08:35 AM
He took a deep breath the calm himself. He briefly thought, as he hurried over to Isabella and Dimitri that he knew who had released the attack upon the group. Razor also knew he shouldn't be so angry, so irritable all the time. It wasn't really his usual way of being. He'd made his decision about who to leave behind and who to go with, now he needed to come to terms with it and live with the damn decision. But he only sighed heavily. With his hands and shirt sleeves he scrubbed the sweat and dirt off his shaved head and face, really not wanting to see Myka any time soon.
Another guard had climbed down from the trucks and met him there. "We got him," Razor said to the doctor. "We'll get him inside, Isabella, then I'll go check on the others...unless you want to go have a look first."
John already had the flat stretcher pulled out of the medical truck. Despite Demitri's feeble protests, Razor helped slide him onto it and fitted the straps. "One, two, three...," he called out as he and John lifted. They were able to climb the steps leading into the side door and carry the injured guard inside.
Posted 13 August 2014 - 08:44 AM
He raised his head to see his old friend crouching in front of him, after hearing several joints pop and complain. "Sure do need help," Conner replied, wishing he was still young and didn't. "But in your current position I doubt you'll be able to get back up yourself," he commented.
But between the two old men and much grappling of the boxcar, Conner managed to stand upright and bring Joseph with him. "I bet Amet would give us a hand. He's good kid, probably saved us by taking so many of those flying horrors out on his own."
They helped each other around the boxcar. "You know that granddaughter of yours is going to be in her 'I have to poke and prod everyone even if they seem fine' mode, right?" Conner grouched. "However, in this case, I think I might just let her poke and prod at me."
Edited by Nikki Peppermint, 13 August 2014 - 10:49 AM.
Posted 13 August 2014 - 10:32 AM
"I am fine," Ishmael growled, capturing Sophie's hands between his. "I'm not the one who was just knocked off a bloody building!" He drew in a breath, then let it out slowly. Raising their joined hands, he dropped a quick kiss on the tips of Sophie's fingers in apology. "Reinforced skeleton or not," he continued in a calmer tone, "I would still like you to see Isabella- and tell her exactly what happened- once we're sure everything has calmed down.
"Now, let's go make sure everyone else made it through all right," Ishmael continued. "Although from that bellow, I'd wager Razor at least is perfectly fine," he added with a smile.
His smile faded as they headed for the group of boxcars where Conner, Joseph and Amet had been. He felt reasonably certain Amet would have tried to protect the two older men; what he wasn't sure of was the giant's ability to do so. Those blasted bugs had struck hard when they hit, maybe hard enough to break older, brittle bones. Fortunately, as they rounded the building they could see Joseph and Conner helping each other toward the med truck.
"This is probably as safe as anywhere," Ishmael said, answering Sophie's earlier question, "but we should double the watch tonight, just in case." He looked over at her. "I take it from what you said about Myka earlier that she- and probably Nemo as well, considering how close those two have been getting- were the ones who started this whole mess?"
OOC: Sorry! I accidentally did something to your post when "replying"...I had to put it back!
Edited by Nikki Peppermint, 13 August 2014 - 04:10 PM.
Posted 13 August 2014 - 11:02 AM
Myka stared at a moment at the fact that Nemo was holding her hand...her hand with the weird coloring, the small scaly patches, the long and ugly sharp fingernails...and he didn't seem the least bit disgusted by the contact.
Then it dawned on her what he was saying. Nemo was willing to take the blame for her mistake, her yet-another-really-bad decision.
In her fear of what the others would say or do, the lavender-gray skinned girl almost agreed. But she sighed and shook her head, awkwardly taking her hand back. "I can't let you do that, Nemo, but thank you. You're a...a real friend."
She glanced over to where Ishmael and Sophie seemed to be looking their way. "I'll take my punishment," she groaned, slightly more dramatic than necessary. At this point she knew that no one in the group would literally hurt her...although that hadn't been uncommon in her short-but-eventful past.
But she wasn't so sure they wouldn't make her leave. Now that was more frightening to Myka than all the physical abuse in the world. To be alone again and have no friends.
"C'mon, let's get this over with...and you know Isabella will be waiting for us all to submit to her tortures."
Posted 13 August 2014 - 11:06 AM
Isabella thought for a moment then stepped up into the med truck,much as she wanted to check on her grandfather and Sophie, she had work to do..."No, I'll stay here, I'll get started on Dmitri...John, I'll need your assistance please....just until Nemo gets here....Razor when you find Nemo send him over, even if it's just scrapes and bruises, I am going to need another set of hands...and send Myka too" she sighed...."I know it was probably one of those two that started this, but....let's just get everyone patched up first and then we can find out exactly what happened...don't be too hard on them, they're just kids"
She took a bottle of water out of a cupboard, poured some into a glass, added a hefty pinch of salt and rinsed her mouth out...she spat the bloodied water into a metal pail then patted her mouth dry...her tongue throbbed, but would heal fast....the grazes on her hands and knees were minor, she'd have bruises later, but some comfrey oil would speed the healing process. She washed her hands thoroughly and then went to examine her patient "try and stay awake Dmitri, you have a rather large bump on the back of your head"....she checked the dilation of his pupils..."mild concussion that's going to leave you with one heck of a headache for a while"....she undid the straps of the stretcher and slowly helped him sit up ...."you may feel nauseous for a while...dr's advice, sit on the cot over there and relax".....she squeezed his arm gently..."thanks for what you did out there...I can't believe that I tripped!" she helped him over to the cot and removed the stretcher from the examination table. While she waited she sorted through an assortment of herbal lotions...she found the arnica salve and some dried meadowsweet...."Dmitri I'm going to brew some meadowsweet tea....it's an analgesic and will help with the headache"
Posted 13 August 2014 - 04:13 PM
When he finally saw the two of them, Razor took a deep breath and headed straight for the pair.
* * * * *
As she and Ishmael walked and saw that everyone seemed to be upright and functioning, Sophie relaxed against him for a moment, savoring the strength she felt from him. She'd promised to report in to Isabella...not that their doctor would have let her get away with anything less, but knowing Ishmael would be watching her as well meant Sophie could not get away with "forgetting." Besides, she'd need that muscle relaxant.
She'd agreed to doubling the watch--she would even take a turn--and knew both Razor and Ishmael would help set that up. Sophie wanted to wander further around to make sure the area was as secure as it could be and set up a perimeter of sorts, but she would need a flashlight first. Perhaps Amet could even help to create some make-shift barricades in some areas later. Sophie would definitely have the guards move the trucks into a semi-circle of sorts, at least give them a barrier on one side with the building on the other.
"I take it from what you said about Myka earlier that she- and probably Nemo as well, considering how close those two have been getting- were the ones who started this whole mess?"
"I've no doubt it was at least Myka...she screamed, "I'm sorry" just after it happened. As for Nemo..., " Sophie suddenly laughed. She'd been a teenager herself--once a long time ago it seemed--and watched many children grow up in the settlement. "I guess this is what it's like to raise "children" on our own, huh? Mistakes will be made. But they do need to learn to be more careful, if we're going to be out by ourselves like this. They both know what's at stake in the world these days."
Then she raised on her toes and kissed Ishmael for a moment, her palm on his cheek where his beard tickled her hand, and smiled. "On with setting up camp then?"
They walked toward where the trucks were parked, catching up to her father and Joseph. She figured Nemo and Myka would be along.
Edited by Nikki Peppermint, 13 August 2014 - 07:52 PM.
Posted 13 August 2014 - 04:17 PM
Posted 13 August 2014 - 07:42 PM
After a while, he realized that the only sound he could hear was the ocean. No, it was the blood rushing through his ears. He took his hands away and listened. It was quiet. All the weird people were dead. Maybe the bugs went away after they killed everyone.
He carefully slid open the big door on his little house and looked out. It was late. It was the blue time between the day and the night. He listened carefully and didn't hear any bugs. But he did hear some faraway voices. All the weird people were not dead. They must have won and killed all the bugs.
What was he going to do? He could go back to walking in the woods, but he couldn't carry all his nice food and drink. He would starve to death again. And he had forgotten where he was going anyway. And he didn't know where to find any pigeons to remind him.
Maybe the frightening people would go away. But maybe they would like it here and stay. They would take away his food and drink and make him go back to the woods, or maybe kill him. He had to hear what they were talking about. If he could hear what they were talking about then maybe he would know what to do. Maybe they would talk about leaving and he wouldn't have to do anything.
He pulled down his gray hood and tightened his robe, then climbed down to the ground and bent down low under the floor of the little metal house. He was pretty tall and his head was big so he thought he should stay scrunched down and stay behind things. Figuring out a plan like that made him feel good and brave. Hiding behind the metal houses and other things, he tiptoed carefully toward the people. As he got closer he stayed near the trees and tall grass. It would be hard for them to see him because it was getting so dark. The people had a bunch of giant metal houses on wheels and they had a circle of strange big chairs in a circle where they were starting to gather.
Alexander got down on his hands and knees in the grass and crawled slowly forward, straining to hear what the people were saying.
Posted 14 August 2014 - 10:04 AM
* * * * * * *
With some help from Nemo and Myka, Isabella checked everyone out, treated minor wounds, applied salve to bruises, assured Sophie that Ishmael was fine, assured Ishmael that Sophie was fine, assured everyone that Conner and Joseph would be fine in a day or two and made sure everyone drank some tea to help ease their muscles....when she was satisfied that everyone was ok she let the pair go.
* * * * * * *
After being checked over by his grand-daughter Joseph made his way towards the sleepers Amet had put down...he'd seen the young man head towards the trees and assumed he'd gone to fetch wood for a fire....he wanted to just sit and wait, he ached all over...."I am getting too old for this" he sighed and headed for the food truck, people needed to eat and whilst he wasn't the best cook, he thought he could manage to rustle up something edible.
* * * * * * * *
Nemo unlocked the back of the truck and attached the ramp.....he brought the goats out first and tethered them by a small patch of scrubby grass not far from the truck....he put the chickens in their cage and with Mykas help hauled that out into the open, then he moved to the back of the truck where the horses were kept....he smiled "Connie, Gabriel, Willow, Hippocampus, Python...good news my friends....you get to stretch your legs and eat some fresh grass" he led them out of the truck one by one and took them over to the pile of grass he had collected earlier "it's not much I know, but it's fresh" Connie whinnied in appreciation and bent her head to begin eating, the others quickly followed suit..."Myka can you watch them for a moment I need to let the mule out" he got back to the truck just as the mule was making his way out..."how did you get loose?" the mule snorted and butted his head against Nemos shoulder....before he could grab the now trailing rope the mule was off the ramp and trotting away...he ran after the mule, the mule sped up then stopped, shook his head, brayed, waited for Nemo to almost catch up, then sped away again....he was heading for the tall grass....Nemo stopped chasing "ok, fine, you stubborn creature, you go ahead, you'll come back, you always come back" he turned and walked back to Myka and the horses
The mule made a noise that sounded almost like a chuckle......when he reached the grass he bent his head and grazed...as he grazed he walked slowly forward...his ears flicked and his head came up....there was something in the grass, something that wasn't edible.....he began stamping his feet and braying loudly.
Posted 14 August 2014 - 12:00 PM
With the camp set up, guard rotation duty assigned, a perimeter set up, everyone given a clean bill of health with only minor injuries, the animals taken care of, and a basic meal set out, the group finally felt...well, safe enough to settle down.
* * * * *
Sophie glanced at the light coming from the interior of the command truck. She'd seen her father head in there mumbling something about doing some research on the computer. She'd rather her father have gone to rest but telling him what to do was impossible.
Suddenly Nemo's mule ran past her trailing his rope...again. That stubborn creature usually did whatever he wanted after set loose from the truck. At least he always returned. Although if he hadn't, Sophie wouldn't have been too upset...but Nemo would have been heartbroken. He loved that damn mule.
The creature's sudden display of noise made Sophie frown. They didn't need any unwanted attention from all the noise, just in case there was someone else around. But with all the commotion from earlier, surely they'd have come to investigate. Still the mule's little fit was annoying. She shone her flashlight in its direction and followed the beam, sweeping it along the ground.
"What is the matter with you?" she said, heading over the the animal. "Where's your owner anyway? NEMO!" Sophie shouted. Then she stopped abruptly and snatched at the mule's rope dragging him away.
Or trying to anyway.
Looking down Sophie saw a shape, a human shape in a what looked like a gray robe and hood nearly hiding in the tall grass. Eyes were staring up at her, eyes in a too-large head. She quickly moved her flashlight, not having meant to shine it in the eyes. A hand reached out on the ground, one that had six fingers instead of five. But the...the person staring up at her with fear in his eyes didn't move. Just stared. The mule kept nuzzling and making snorting noises.
"Stop that!" Sophie admonished the animal, putting the the mule sort of between her and whatever was on the ground. Then, "Hey," Sophie said quietly. "Hey, it's okay. We're not going to hurt you. Do you need help? Just...just stay there."
She turned to the group further away. "I found something! Or rather the mule did...There's someone here, someone who might be hurt!"
Edited by Nikki Peppermint, 14 August 2014 - 12:22 PM.
Posted 14 August 2014 - 12:50 PM
Nemo was already on his way when he heard Sophie shout his name..the mule, his mule was smart and when he'd started making so much noise he'd known something was wrong...
"Sorry Sophie he got loose...again, I'll take him, I'll go fetch Isabella" he scratched the mules muzzle...."c.mon boy you have to come back now, it's late" the mule planted its feet and refused to budge, Nemo smiled "smart fella aren't you...greedy too" he took some potato peelings out of his pocket and waved them in front of the mule....he would never understand why the mule had such a liking for potato peelings, but he did and he would behave so long as they were in sight.....he glanced down at the figure in the grass, he could see better than most in the dark, but even he couldn't make out much under the hood...he quickly led the mule back to the livestock truck, stopping by the med truck on the way to tell Isabella that Sophie had found something.....Isabella had heard the commotion and was already outside the truck......"what's going on Nemo what has Sophie found?" he shrugged..."I don't know, it was hard to tell, it's dark and...well Sophie said they might be hurt"
Isabella grabbed the small portable med kit and headed towards Sophie....as she approached she could just make out a figure, partially hidden in the long grass.
Posted 14 August 2014 - 04:21 PM
He moved his chair closer to the table attached to the wall of the truck and inserted a disc...like a miniature version of what he used to know as a DVD. This time it wasn't one that he'd copied back at the underground facility, where before they'd left he'd managed to download much of what had been stored on the computer there. There was all sorts of information from the past...mostly informative...on those discs.
No, this was one they'd found in the truck. One that Ishmael had asked Conner to set up for him. Ishmael had told him he wanted the part about the trucks' construction from the operators manual, but not exactly what section. So Conner left it ready for him to search through when he was ready.
"What are you up, boy?" Conner mumbled curiously. He'd been pleased when Sophie found someone else to love, since Kurt had died she'd never shown much interest in anyone. He was fond of Ishmael and trusted him.
But he was still curious.
Stepping out of the command truck's side door, he searched around and finally spotted Ishmael.
"Got your information pulled up for whenever you're ready," he informed the other man. "Just open the laptop...," then he paused, seeing Isabella rushing from the medical truck. "What's going on?"
Edited by Nikki Peppermint, 14 August 2014 - 07:21 PM.
Posted 14 August 2014 - 07:14 PM
But before he could do that, something happened. One of the weird people opened up one of the rolling houses, the one with no roof, and let out a bunch of animals. All Alexander could see was dark shapes moving around, but they were gigantic. He knew he had to get back to his house and hide, but he was too terrified to move. If they heard him, they would chase him. And he knew that animals could run faster than people.
Then one of the animals came toward him, stamping its feet and snorting and bellowing. It bit at the grass to show him what it would do to him, and he knew he was going to die. Back when he was smart, he knew a lot about animals and he still knew a rhinoceros when he saw one, and he knew that it was a people eater. He wondered if he would see Ranesha again when he was dead.
Then one of the people came, shining a bright light in his eyes and yelling. More people came running then, yelling some more. His knees were too weak for him to run away. He had no pigeons to send for help. They were going to kill him and feed him to the rhinoceros, then they were going to laugh and eat all his food.
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