Friday, November 05, 2004

The reality that they very well might be standing right over real history, right that very second made him feel refreshed and anxious. Expanded data chronicling the great emigration, first hand accounts in journal form, just about anything could potentially be down in those bunkers. The thought sent chills up his spine. They had enough supplies to search through them for weeks if help-

His thoughts were interrupted when they rounded a corner and Will broke into a run, distracting his train of thought as he looked up and followed with his eyes. Dead ahead, Robbie was lying face down on top of the grass and sand next to one of the few real buildings in the area. He broke into a run and pulled out his knife before his brain could even finish thinking about it.

Will was already down by Rob’s side with his hand over his shoulder saying something that Sanders didn’t quite catch as he caught up with him. Robbie groaned and rolled over onto his back, while hank was looking down at him and he heard William talking again.

“ Hey, Rob! Are you okay? What the hell happened? “

After a second of looking around while Robbie stopped moaning, Sanders notice a little bit of faint smoke drifting out of the garage door and the acrid smell of smoldering ash and burning plastics. It was only half a second before Rob opened his eyes and he looked as lucid as someone who was at the top of his game when he answered Williams inquiry, “ Which one of you bastards turned the power on? “

William sat back, more than a little bit relieved when he replied, “ I did, what was it? Bad breaker? “

“ No, the whole building, there’s a water leak inside, has been for quite a while, you wouldn’t believe how rotted everything in that building is “, Robbie started off. “ Falling apart, water seeping into everything. Power came on and the lights started coming on, and then, kaboom, everything was sparking and catching fire till the breakers blew. Not pretty, not expected, just about not anything you want to be inside of. “

“ Well, can’t undo what’s done, at least you’re all right. Find anything interesting in there before she blew? “

“ Not particularly, only had a brief look around, was just about to open up the main doors and let some real light in. If I go in there and do that now, it will probably help vent the smoke out. Personally though, I don’t plan on going inside there until you go back to wherever the hell you were and turn the power off “, Robbie said as he raised himself up onto his elbows. He looked around and saw Sanders standing over him with his knife out looking a little bit nervous. “ You expecting trouble, cowboy? “

Hank startled when Rob spoke to him. He looked down for a second, his brain was stumbling just a tad, trying to figure out what Rob was talking about when he saw the knife in his hand. “ Nah “, he spoke clearly considering the panic he’d just had, “ just saw you down and, well, worst case scenario. “

“ Good man! Well done, hope I have the good sense next time I’m in your shoes to be prepared. “

“ Thank you, sir. “

Robbie laughed, Sanders had to be rattled. That bastard hadn’t been the one with the whole world seemingly exploding around him right after being shut up in the dark feeling just a little bit put off by the dead, and at the same time all too alive atmosphere caused by things growing in the dark. If he didn’t feel like he had about a million volts coursing through every fiber of his being he would have shuddered thinking about it, as it was, he felt like he’d chugged a gallon of coffee, the strong stuff that Martha made back at home. “ Hey, guys? “

William looked at him and said, “ What’s up? “

“ I think I’m going to just lie here for a minute or two. Until I stop shaking, if you don’t mind. I hope you don’t mind “, he slowly let himself back down on then sickly looking grass as he spoke. When his head touched down and felt a firm support behind it he let go and relaxed as much as he could. His fingers were still twitching a little bit, disobeying his brains orders to sit still.

“ That’s fine, I’ll be right back after I shut off the power for the night. You boys are going to love the news I have for you when I get back from the maintenance shed over on that side of the base, “ Will pointed in the direction he was talking about before he continued, “ Sanders, I want you to wait here with Rob till I get back and then we’ll all stick together for the rest of the day. You know, it was pretty stupid to just split up like we did today. “

“ Agreed “, the other two men voiced their thought simultaneously.

***

During the rest of the day, they explored the garage first, almost out of an apology to Robbie for the surprise that Will had popped on him so unexpectedly. There certainly wasn’t anything in there that was in working order. There was one jeep that certainly might have if it hadn’t been soaking in that humid air for a length of time that they couldn’t even guess at. It must have been amazingly well maintained when it had been in use for it to be in the condition that it was in now. The engine was fine, some rust needed to be cleaned off here and there; a new battery was needed, other small parts, new fuses, cables, etc. The list was long, but certainly, Robbie had never seen a remnant car that was so close to being in working condition before. Suddenly, he understood why government facilities were considered such high prizes to the older explorers.

There were countless cast iron tools that would be more than handy if they could ever get them back to the base. Probably just one or two would be coming along with them when they left after their extended stay. They would certainly need to record the location very carefully and send multiple expeditions with heavier transportation equipment.

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