Captain's Log: Stardate...ahh who am I kidding. It's been years
since the first wave of nukes wiped out our once-great civilization, and of course electricity as well. Only in the Complex can we watch the few old VHS tapes some lucky scavenger managed to bring in a while back. Other than that, life's pretty boring there, except of course during the cockroach racing tournaments...I won 700 water crystals once and to celebrate, me and my buddies cooked up a nice fat Coqui and some Walking Ooze pudding.
God how I miss those days. But oh well, there I was once again
stuck in the lowest level of this swampy nightmare, having fallen
thru one of many sinkholes in the swamp due west of the Complex.
Someone once told me not to EVER go there, but did I listen?
Hell no! I did what I always did, closed my eyes and blocked everything out til all I could see or hear were the colorful patterns and gentle buzz of the fermented Germite Beer swimming in my head. "I could sure use a warm one about now" I thought.
God I was thirsty.
It's funny really, considering I had 200 water crystals on me, yet
no way to heat them to melt the crystalline structures back into drinkable water. And of course, after falling through that slimey worm-tunnel down to map5, I broke my leg. It hurt like hell, and I could barely move from the pain. I used up my last medkit just to stop the bleeding where my lower legbone was stabbing slightly thru the skin just below my knee. I'll live for now, having (with great mental effort mind you) shoved the bone back into place before applying the medkits' Temp-Cast to the wound.
The only good thing out of this whole mess is that the water I landed in after falling from map level 1 to map level 5 prevented me from smashing like a Hydrite egg in the hands of a Hexonium commander. The water was of course as polluted as everything else around here, but my enviro-suit kept me safe.
I managed to find a transmitter near where I fell, along with the bones of the last poor soul who'd been that far down. I played with the knobs and buttons for a while but to no avail. The battery was shot.
In absolute desperation (and complete fear of my life) I crept painfully along using my hands and my good leg. God it hurt.
After what seemed to be an eternity, I found a road, and another eternity later I found what appeared to be a camp. It wasn't far from the road, and there was smoke rising. After carefully spying on the camp, and seeing no-one, I approached....
As I entered the camp, I was extremely cautious, lest I yelp in pain from my wounds. I found a canteen near the dying campfire
but it was empty. Before I could drop it, I felt something sharp touch the back of my neck. I carefully reached in my pocket and withdrew the hide-bag full of water crystals and offered them to my assailant, who greedily snatched them from my hand.
Suddenly the blade was removed, and I turned around to see a large, grungy scavenger, who laughed with the kind of roaring belly laugh only a well fed fat man can produce. He was a jolly tree of a man, huge and well-armed. He wielded a hand-forged battle-axe, double bladed. At this point (despite the gruesome appearance of the blood-stained axe) I felt a sense of relief.
The man told me (still somewhat giggling) to get up, to which I replied by simply pointing at my leg. His look changed to one of concern, and he said (in a very civilized tone) "I'd better get you taken care of...." He scooped me up like I was nothing and carried me over to a pile of grass near the fire. It was then that I noticed he was wearing an old Hexonium uniform. Was he one of the legendary HX soldiers who had helped defeat Overkill during the First Invasion? My mind stirred with many theories, though I didn't actually ask the man in case he had maybe killed someone for it. I spent that night around the fire eating some unidentified roasted meat, grateful to be alive. He called it "Lez-Mot" and told me "they're tough as hell but too stupid to use a real weapon."
He then pulled out from behind him a rolled-up Lez-Mot hide. It was huge, and pale white, hairless and almost human in appearance. Next he pulled out the weapon he had used to kill the thing. It was the wierdest thing I had ever seen. It was a huge launcher of some sort, and he called it a TrigNet. He told me it shot an electrified net around the target, burning and paralyzing at the same time. With his axe, it proved to be a deadly combo.
I don't know how many Lez-Mots this guy had slain, but it was
sure worth it. The meat was tender and juicy, something you never see in the swamps near the complex. Everything there that's edible is either toxic or highly irradiated.
The man pointed south to where a large concrete structure stood. He said it was "Omega Base" and that it was his home. He had found it several months ago and claimed it as his own. I presumed he'd been living off the supplies within. He said there were enough supplies to last 200,000 people for a decade. I doubted him, but maybe the largest portion of the place was underground? My head hurt so I quit thinking about it and fell asleep.
The next day, I awoke to find that he was gone. Not only was he gone, but the entire camp was gone, including the large concrete building. I nearly crapped myself.
Before I could question the total absurdity of the situation, or even come to grips with the fact that this was REALLY HAPPENING, a strange white mist quickly rose from the ground and almost instantly engulfed me.
I felt as though I were falling through a cloud, though very slowly, and I wasn't afraid. I felt nothing. Then out of no where
a voice resounded (as though it were coming from EVERYWHERE),
"Omega Base is real...find it...free the earth and rebuild civilization... this is the KEY"
I awoke from my dream-like state and found myself sitting on the dirt road I originally crawled from. "What the hell is happening?" I thought. Did I just see the Oracle? I never believed those stories,
but that's the only way to explain it. I could pass the whole thing off as a dream or hallucination caused by my infected leg, were it not for the fact that my leg was now completely healed, and I still had the man's canteen (which was now full of the cleanest water I've ever tasted). The only other thing as far as the eye could see was the very transmitter I am now using to broadcast this message. To all my friends back at the Complex, I'll miss you guys, but I MUST find this "Omega Base". A place for all mankind, to regroup, revive our world, and be finally and completely safe from the Hydrite threat. In the meantime, I'll just sit here until I figure out which way I need to go....
What a wierd day it's been.....
(Chronicles of Enviro-Suit Ernie, chapter 1)