Down under the Town
© 2008 CW Kelson III (Tad) All Rights Reserved
A piece of Etherscope Micro Fiction
The sewers were their typical mess. The refuse from the previous life spans of residents still lay in the bottom, in a sludgy mess. There was little room to manoeuvre in the brick and mortar piping, making a precarious locale at the best of times.
The light coming down the tunnel was flickering, glowing, running red and into the orange. Nothing like a nice fire in an enclosed space with explosive gases to get a man’s blood stirred up, nothing like it at al.
I took my time making my way to the intersection, no sense in disturbing the locals if I could avoid it. Easy enough to say, a lot harsher in reality with the muck dragging at ones boots, as well as the potential clatter of debris against one and another. The rats being an entirely different occasion, hopefully I wouldn’t step on one of the slimy buggers and it would bleat out some unintentional warning. That would be a right nasty turn of events. Not to mention an embarrassing fall.
So much to worry about there, never mind what the dampness is going to do to my ‘Naughtics and that the cleaning and buffing will take hours of work to accomplish.
Still if I got a solid lead on where my target was stashed at, it would make it a lot easier in the short term. Best to soldier on in spire of it all.
Hmmm, now there is some vibration in the walls, I can feel it in my ears and my fingertips as I balance myself once in a while. Not sure what is causing it, some large piece of machinery perhaps. Nothing on the metropolis maps indicated any such device should be present. Makes me wonder as I close in on the main intersection up ahead, the light is still there, still looks like a fire, but I cannot smell any smoke, and what would they be burning down here as well, worth a shudder to contemplate.
Time to slink a bit, be like what my mum called me growing up, a little sneak I was, she would say. I can still here her rasping cough from the mines she worked close to, where my dad died at, coughing up his lungs thick black phlegm coming out of his mouth the day he went down there for the last time. The day the cave in finished off what the mine had started. Setting my mother to working closer to there, since they never found his remains, so setting me on my path down here underground stalking a killer, so I could do to him, it really, what it did to a poor innocent family a few cubes down from where I made my space.
Some noises, a little grunting, cracking of small bones in teeth, likely cat or rat, could hope it is chicken at least, doubt it not a lot of them in these parts. No cooking odor, either was done before or the worse case applies. Never the mind, time to make it the last few paces and take a look sees. Got my trusty mirror on it’s little wand to reach out and around and look from concealment.
Easy lad, easy, there you go, able to get a view.
Three of them in there, not sure what breed, people or gammas or what. Still only three, no serious pieces in sight, time to announce myself and see what is happening.
Some sort of small smokeless fire, not dung, might be some dry wood, it is venting right up. Trash and refuse all around, some small piles of bones, looks like rat to me, some larger ones, could be dog or worse. No need to know at this point. It seems to be the time for the entrance to be made.
Step out of the tunnel,
“Good evening gents, Mind if I ask a few questions?”
Pull my trusty little lady out of her holster and wave it in their direction for the sake of peace and security.
“Sit,” what sluggards they didn’t even go for weapons or make it to their feet. Slow, going to get them someday, “Sit I tell you and this will be over painlessly.”
“So any of you fine lads heard about a newcomer down to these parts, ‘sides myself of course?”
Point the gun directly at one fungal blotched face, “You sir, you there, any words on someone going to ground here in these parts of the city, a tough sort, like myself but insane?”
“No guvnor, not heard nottin like that, says me.” The hobo has a distinct lack of fear in my presence or firearm. This is most disturbing, means they think there I no real danger from me. Cannot really turn my head around to just double check the way I came in, time to manoeuvre.
Step to the left, oblique like, out of the main tunnel, back has some cover now, and not been stuck yet.
“Fine, how about one of your fellow diners, have either of you seen or heard of anyone new, besides myself of course?” I so do not want to touch any of them. I swear I see lice crawling from ten feet away on the fattest one of the lot.
“No sir, can’t saze I heard a peep,” the arbitrarily designated middle one pipes up.
“Course could be that you are the only newcomer down here, and we three be friends, might be the case.”
Ohh great now they look at each other garnering their courage.
Going to have to make an example or three before I leave this forsaken stretch of piping.
“If you lads stand, I will kneecap you and you will never walk again.” The pistol is steady on point with the middle fellow, not sure which is the big dog in the little pack of rabid hoboes, but that one gets it first.
“See Mr, there is somethin you might not of reackoned on.” I see the muscle tension coming into play, going to have to kill some of them, if not all three.
“Could be the man you be lookin for, is my mate, come brought us some pretties from the top of the world, and we aint too kindly to strangers.”
Bang…splash, shriek, gurgle
Bang, Bang, Bang, …Bang…Bang
One round left. Not sure if I read it correctly, but their teeth were filed in an ominous fashion, and I think I found the monster that killed that family. One round left in this clip, might as well put it in the braincase for safekeeping, leave an incendiary what to cover the location and erase the damage, and then to head home.
Over 30 years spent gaming, all sorts of systems, feel free to ask me anything, no guarantees I will have an answer.