I must say, I was quite the sight. Here I am, a guy barely reaching five and half feet tall, and weighing a little over 120 pounds wearing a long cloak, a reconnaissance helmet, a hidden backpack, and twin kukris at my side. I looked like some goddamned giant mutated combative turtle or something…
We set out immediately. It was extremely bright out today, my helmet which usually does a very good job at properly adjusting and filtering the sun was struggling between trying to blind me and keeping me in total darkness. And while I am no stranger to the light of day, I do prefer the cover of darkness… It’s when I work best.
We had been walking for about three hours before, what I presumed to be, trouble arose. In the road stood 13 Antar, 5 or 6 Rakers, 4 other Archor, and what appeared to be a Topledo…
God I wanted to kill that one right then and there, but it was a small fish. Killing the piece of shit would serve no purpose in the end and ultimately would make me feel no better…
I pleaded with ‘John’ that we should hide before they could see us, that we should walk around this block… And ignore this group altogether, and approaching them would surely mean our death. He just laughed, said “Shut up, say nothing….. Let me handle everything…” and continued walking. Each step only seemed to be confirming our deaths.
Time stretched out before us: each breath, a lifetime; each step, a millennia…
As we neared them, their conversation abruptly ended, they tensed. I remember thinking: “This is it; this is how I’m going to die. I am not going down without a fight goddamnit. Even if I only take one of them out, I won’t feel quite as bad about trusting ‘John,’ who has apparently found me just to lead me to my death…”
Under my cloak, my hands seek out the worn handles of my kukris. There is comfort in knowing that at the opposite ends of the handles are heavy blades designed to inflict as much damage as possible. And then something interesting happened. The Archor of the group seemed to twitch. My helmet was able to pick up the conversation, something I didn’t even know was possible.
“Who is your friend….. CDQ544386?”
‘John’ simply stated “It is a new flesh slave for VDR. I am hoping it will be able to help install ‘new’ systems…” The unknown Archor seemed to get a laugh out of that. I personally had no idea what the hell they were talking about, however, let me try to explain I have never been so thankful for the tinting function of this helmet. Had any of them been able to actually see my face at that point, they probably would have ripped me to pieces and spread me across the landscape…
Instead, ‘John’ told me to go take a seat on a nearby rock, and being the perfect little slave that I was, I followed the orders. And then my helmet suddenly muted everything that was said. ‘John’ had wanted me to hear that conversation. He had actually saved my life. As all of this dawned on me, I noticed ‘John’ removed small items from his cloak, and even with the helmet’s amazing capabilities, I couldn’t make them out from this distance.
I may never know what was given to the rag-tag gang, but I do know what was handed back: a white brick.
After a few more moments, ‘John’ walked to where I was seated, grabbed my cloak, pulled me to my feet, and continued our journey. He said nothing for a long time, at least an hour, and no matter how hard I tried to strike a conversation, I was unable to. My helmet not only seemed to be stuck in full stealth mode (a mode that blocks all internal noise), but the damn thing also seemed to be locked into place. Finally, I could hear myself breathing again, stealth mode had been deactivated. I stopped dead where I was, refusing to move even another inch until I had some answers
“What the fuck was that? I’m not a fucking flesh slave! What the fuck is a flesh slave!? What the fuck did you trade for? How the fuck can you control my helmet!?” The questions were flying out before I could actually consider what I was saying. I was pissed.
“Listen to me; I did that for your safety. I protected you… And you are not a flesh slave, that was a….. Diversion. It was necessary. As for the stuff I traded, it is called ‘Hawking,’ and it is none of your concern… For now.” With that ‘John’ turned his back to me and continued his trek along this unknown path. Over his shoulder, I heard him call “Come or stay, it does not matter to me…”
What choice did I really have?
I followed, at a distance… In silence. We walked the entire day, stopping only once so I could eat a bit of food. The day wore on, my helmet slowly starting lightening its screen, and then slowly starting showing everything the grey-green of night vision. Before long, I could see nothing without the helmet in place.
When ‘John’ finally spoke again, he simply said “We camp here for the night. This is the STV forum, stay with me and everything will be fine. Most Archor forums do not like outsiders, and this one is especially strict about that ruling…”
I watched “John” plug into a small hole next to the door, I saw some movement, and then there were screams of pain. And then nothing…
- AYCOoB: Something bad has happened… Part 1. (fischfail.wordpress.com)
- AYCOoB: The Storm (fischfail.wordpress.com)
- Two men enter, one man leaves! (fischfail.wordpress.com)
- AYCOoB: The Flood (fischfail.wordpress.com)
- No You! (fischfail.wordpress.com)