Hiding from the Present

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by The Mood is Write, Jul 1, 2016.

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  1. A chill wind blew through the long, crisscrossed halls of the ancient base. This blocky, rectangular base was from the early days in Biocybera's empirical regime. The steel inner walls remained shockingly stable, with only a few rust spots. Snow rested in the halls nearest the wide-open armored doors at the front, and dust laid in heavy drifts further inside. The wiring inside the walls, accessible by cutting the rivets or picking the panel locks, was mostly intact, and the further in a person went, the less touched it became.

    Most people, one could assume, left pretty quickly rather than delve deeper into the gridded halls. Ancient blood stains, untouched by time, stood starkly on the wall. In one, a bullet hole marked the central point—likely evidence that the stories about the cruelty of Biocybera and her generals were true.

    To the persistent trekker, deep in the center of the base, farthest from the front door, a door stood out. Rather than a sliding door with a card reader, this one opened as soon as a person entered its proximity.

    Many people fled from the sudden movement in the darkness.

    Stairs beyond the door led downward to a hall of similarly sliding doors. Each looked in on an empty room, with a few outlet plugs on the wall.

    At the end of the hall, another sliding door led to stairs, and another row of sliding doors. At the far end, however, under one of the doors, the observant could see faint, shifting light...​
  2. A lone figure stalked through the empty corridors of the long abandoned base. A soft red glow is cast before the man as his visor compensates for the low light conditions of the interior hallways, the main power source dormant for almost centuries now. He looks down at his wrist as though it had a watch on it, though to his eyes there was a wire layout of the labyrinthine corridors hovering over it. Ahead on the map was a blip, some sort of anomaly which piqued the man's interest. A high energy output was detected in the rooms ahead about an hour ago while he was scavenging elsewhere in the base.

    He moved slowly and surely, every move measured and smooth, until he found himself in front of a somehow yet operating door. 'Odd,' The man thought to himself, 'All automatic doors shouldbe inoperable, what with the lack of power...' Carefully he makes his way towards the door, flinching as it hisses open. He peers into the doorway, unholstering his pistol to make sure no other scavenger is going to get his treasure.

    He heads down the stairs, carefully making sure not to make much noise even though the hissing of the door would have alerted anyone at the bottom of his presence. At the bottom of the stairwell, he looks out across the empty corridor. It was wider than most others in the base, more akin to a hall. The man's gaze slowly scans the room before he holsters his pistol upon seeing it as undisturbed as the rest of the base. In this area the man takes his time, observimg each of the sideroom doors, before making his way down the second flight of stairs. At the bottom of these, however, was a similar hall to the one above, though the man's visor started acting up whenever he looked at the only doorway to be open...
  3. The final doorway in the hall was thick, and didn't open on the man's approach, though his visor could detect activity inside, and if he was very quiet, he could hear the quiet sounds of flesh on metal—footsteps. They stopped at the inside of the door, casting part of the thin line of light into shadow.

    An unusual signature blipped a few times on the looter's visor, seen before only briefly when he was looking around on entering the long-abandoned base.

    Whoever it was did not open the door. Instead, the heavy metal shifted, then clicked, and the gap at the bottom disappeared. A sudden shriek of static and noise came from a shadowed corner above the man, and several more shadowed corners further down the hall, and then a voice came through all of them. "There's wire in the walls on the main and top floor if you need scrap. I'm not using it." With a 'KSS' the speakers turned off, reduced from cacophony to silence in an instant.
  4. The man frowned as his visor's display had began functioning properly again, and the room returned to silence. He muttered under his breath something about uppity newbies, before he inched closer to the door at the end of the hall, hand on his sidearm. "Well, it seems like someone's a bit too observant." He continued onward until he was right next to the door. it didn't seem like he would be able to open it easily from this side, though a simple door wouldn't keep him from a possibly really good piece of loot, and whatever this other person might have scavenged. He slowly drew his pistol from it's holster as he inched closer, setting his visor to do a deep scan of the room.
  5. The speakers crackled noisily to life. "Stay away from me! I have a gun that can fire through the door, aimed right at you!" The sound cut out just as suddenly. The static-shrouded words were difficult to understand, and it was even harder to identify if it was a person or just a programmed 'vocaloid' unit making announcements for a person trying to stay anonymous.

    A sense of tension hung in the air on the other side of the door. The sliding door stood solid, with only a pad at the side with some sort of scanner. Based on the image, it was for a fingerprint. There was no keypad to be seen, only the lone scanner.

    Through his visor, he could detect various screens and computers inside, as well as other high-tech gadgetry. The electronics weren't insulated enough to prevent their electronic fields from being picked up, either: a sign of age or clumsiness.

    A heat signature stood on the other side of the door, though the extremities looked quite cold, especially compared to the very warm core. Whoever it was appeared positioned to use a firearm, and it was aimed directly at his head.
  6. After a few moments, and the reading from his visor came in, the man frowned under his mask, though he holstered his pistol as he turned around. "Fine. Finder's keeper's I guess. I ain't about to risk my life on whatever the hell that is." (Even though it could probably keep me fed for a month) He thought, though he kept from speaking his mind. He backed away from the door slowly, before making his way back towards the stairway.
  7. Behind him, silence reigned for several long moments as his boots echoed in the metal hall. Again, the speakers crackled to life. "Don't tell anyone you saw anything. Please."

    And then the buzzing, staticky speakers died again with a pop, and the underground hall was bathed once more in darkness and silence. It felt like the place itself was waiting for an answer as much as the mystery person behind the door.
  8. The man paused when he heard the speakers come to life again. He raised an eyebrow as he looks back at the closed door, wondering if the person wasn't actually a fellow scavenger. "Hold on a moment, you aren't here because of that huge energy spike?" He paused as he contemplated the situation. He was lucky that he was in the base when his visor alerted him to the huge amount of energy deep inside the complex that appeared out of nowhere.
  9. After a few moments, the speakers crackled back to life a fourth time. "Energy spike? Please tell me that doesn't mean more people will be coming here." The static remained as the person on the other side waited for an answer. "I live here. I don't want a bunch of people stomping around. Are more people coming?" Whoever it was seemed impatient for an answer. The door behind which they hid let out a brief hiss, and the gap appeared again at the bottom, revealing once more a thin line of light. This time, interrupted by two shadows.
  10. The man turned around so he could look at the door at the end of the hall. He shrugged, having assumed that the person on the other side of that door could've seen him. "Personally, i don't know for a fact, though any joe with half-decent tech could have picked up that electronic energy from at least two-hundered kilometres away. Not to mention any high-power instruments that would have picked that up from the other side of the world. Besides, isn't this place a bit, well, abandoned? Kinda odd that anyone would be living here." He narrowed his eyes as the door made a hiss as it moved to reveal two shadows under the door. "Hell, I was lucky enough that my tech wasn't fried from the proximity."
  11. "Fuck." He could hear it through both the speakers and the door now. A woman's voice. The door came up and the speakers turned off. "Shit, it must have been when I..." She trailed off, visible now to plain sight.

    The woman was skeletal-thin, and hard large, slightly-sagging breasts held in place by a threadbare, stained cloth that may once have been a tank top, once upon a time. It hung limp from her frame, as did the formless, long-worn green coat that hid all but her prominent ribs above her bust, the very large and covered bust, her belly, and the skirt held together with uneven, off-colored stitches.

    "How many do you think are coming?" His visor could pick up the strange energy again, coming from her body. It wasn't radiation or electricity, but only flashed question-marks and encouraged him to report a possible error. "What does that visor say? Turn it off."

    Despite her demands, her expression showed no sign of imperiousness or pride, only wide-eyed terror. "Turn it off." She repeated, more firmly as she stared at it.

    Now that her face had emerged from her tangled hair, he could see a silver pince-nez on her nose and large silver hoops in her ears. A locket hung against her chest. Her cheeks were heavily caved, and deep, dark circles like bruises decorated the flesh under her eyes as she stepped barefoot into the hall, a strange object in hand. It had no energy signature of any sort, and looked like an ancient megaphone more than a weapon, though she aimed it like one. Her hand shook.
  12. The man shrugged to the woman as she stepped out and asked some questions. He made note of her attire, which didn't even seem like it could even be called clothes at this point, let alone scavenger gear. He had frowned under his mask as his visor acted up again, the display swarmed with hundreds of tiny squares over the woman's form. After a second of that, he deactivated the visor, before he removed it and the attached rebreather mask from his face. Underneath the mask was a rugged yet vaguely handsome face, worn by years and trials. His shocking grey eyes clashed with his black hair, which was swept back. His sharp jawline was framed by a bit of stubble, which was at least well maintained. "No clue." He had broken the tense silence, before he went to messing with his mask. "Could be 5, could be five thousand. All I know is that very few people missed that power spike. Wether or not someone comes to check on it is up to them. Though for your sake, you should probably get out of here. Not only 'cause you might be in danger, but you also look malnourished, dehydrated, and tired as hell. The wastes aren't kind to newbies, even if you have a fancy megaphone weapon." His tone was nonchalant and straightforward, though he frowned to himself.
  13. The woman relaxed as he pulled away his mask, then sighed. She was barefoot, and from what he could feel on his face, the air was frigid. His nose and ears already tingled painfully from the cold, and his breath made clouds. His entire face began to sting in the uninterrupted cold, but there she stood, near naked, with only faint discoloration to her fingers, those, nose, and ears. "It's just Norway." She murmured as she stepped back into the room. Beyond its entrance, a multitude of screens lit the room, showing television channels from around the world, all playing at once, the audio a dull roar of incomprehensible gibbering.

    "Norway isn't bad. It's just cold." She looked around the room. There were machines and devices on either side, but it was hard to tell what they were. "Can you help me find another place to live? I just... need a place where I won't be found. It doesn't have to be hospitable."

    What had even let off that signal? She couldn't figure it out. On the screens, people reported on the new year celebrations around the world, but the woman ignored it as she began by running a hand along the cushy chair. Suddenly, it disappeared, and a pill-shaped wad of metal fell to the ground with a heavy thud.
  14. The man raised an eyebrow before replacing his mask, not too fond of the icy bite of the air around him. "You're an odd one. Sensors read that the temperature of this place is well below freezing, and you're in what basically amounts to your skivvies?" He sighs, before looking around. "Why are you here, anyways? You definitely aren't dressed like a scav, though it does look like you've been here a while..." He looks around the room as his visor alerts him of multiple incoming aircraft, though they are quite a ways away. "Huh. Didn't expect they'd show up so soon." He then looks over to the woman, weighing his odds. His own place wasn't too far off, though he didn't have much food and water left. "I could give you a place to stay, but accommodations aren't quite as fancy as the set up you've got here." He purses his lips, thinking before he continues. "Though you might want to make your decision soon and pack up fast, we've got incoming aerial transports from all over."
  15. Incoming aerial transports. His words froze her as she stood in front of her screen array. "Perrrkele..." She looked around. "I don't notice the cold after living in Norway so long." She pressed several buttons, and the screens and interface turned to metal pills as well. She did the same to a few other machines and picked up the pills before she put them into her bag. "You don't have EMP things, do you? Ones with timers? I want it to go off after we are gone." She looked around, and her eyes fell on a trio of glowing tubes. Each housed a figure: two children and an adult. She stared a few moments.

    Her expression fell as she stared, and then she wiped suddenly at her eyes. "Fuck... I... will need to start all over, if this fails." Trembling fingers reached for a button around the back of each tube. With a press, each tube became a metal pill, and her hands shook so hard as she reached for each that she dropped them a few times.

    "That's... the last tech." She looked around, then grabbed a small bundle of cloth from nearby. "If you have something to start a fire, please incinerate the mattress in that room." She pointed. "And then we need to get going. I took long enough getting around. I'd light it up myself, but I don't have anything to start a fire..." She trailed off.

    Inside the room to which she pointed, a lone, bare mattress and a new-looking fleece blanket rested. The blanket was almost pristine, like it hadn't even been used. The mattress had a massive black stain up and down the center. The center looked more brown, and stood out on the sagging mattress. It looked like a scab, save that it had an imprint of what might have been the woman's thigh. It didn't look or smell like feces, though.

    The woman, meanwhile, headed toward the door.
  16. The man looked at the stranger with confusion. "No, I don't have an EMP, and even if I did, I would have sold it long ago. A good piece of tech like that would allow me to eat for a month, let alone other things." He sighs, not really bothering to follow her into her room, instead staying out in the hall. He does, however, raise an eyebrow when she mentions burning a mattress. "I've got a few firestarters, but it's mostly survival-grade stuff. If I had spare fuel, I would, but I only had enough to get here and back." He mentions his only mode of transportation, which sits just outside the main entrance of the base. "Other than that, I don't have anything. Why are you so desperate to get out of here, anyway? The only thing most people would be interested in is that fancy gun of yours." He frowns, stepping back slightly as she makes her way past him.
  17. "I'm afraid not everyone is as... " She paused as she marched back into the room and began to dig through her bag. She paused at the sight of the blanket. "Where the fuck did this come from?" She picked it up and stuffed it in, then pulled something from her bag. "Screw it, I guess I don't need ten of these. Anyway. Mattress is covered in DNA. Whole room is. Can't risk it." She pulled a second one out and looked around, then shuddered.

    She looked toward the man. "You should get started heading out. I don't think your fancy gear is going to appreciate a bunch of smoke. I'll be fine, but you're just mortal."
  18. The man looked at her, curious. Mortal? What did she mean by that? This is all a bit too odd for his tastes, but he recognizes the danger of explosives anywhere. Especially when his visor alerted him about hazardous materials, though it couldn't properly identify the objects. He sighed as he trudged up the stairs, his eyes drawn to the previous alert. His local map had zoomed out to show the incoming 15 or so blips, all from different directions. It looked to him like the closest was about 20 kilometers away, but these blips were rather fast. He frowned as he walked across the hall, headed up the second flight of stairs.
  19. Five minutes later, as he was halfway to the stairs that would lead to the main floor, a blast sounded from below. The metal around him vibrated, and smoke began to come up from the stairs behind him: black and thick. His visor alerted him to smoke and fire in the vicinity, with the heat signature centered at the room in which he'd found the woman. Hers seemed absent, perhaps inside the fire itself for several moments, and then it separated from the fire, staggering.

    The woman's struggle to move lessened the more she became distant from the fire, and if he followed her heat signature, he could see her pace growing faster, only for her to pause, and then try to run again.

    She finally caught up seven minutes after the explosion, then groaned and nearly fell as she slowed from a struggling half-jog in heels to a slow walk. "Should be good, now." She murmured, then looked sharply toward the nearest incoming 'blip'.
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