Here’s an arrowhead update, sorry I didn’t post this sooner.
He just sat there with his eyes blank.
“H-Hello?” he said, “Where am I?”
“D-Don’t you know?” I asked, concerned.
“It looks like I’m in the tropics, why would I be in the tropics? I was in the arctic!”
“W-What am I doing here?” said the Russian researcher Vladimir Mikhail. “I was in Argentina now I’m in the Arctic!”
“Y-You don’t remember? The secret plasma research project? The government rewards? It will be the secret to unlocking energy shells!” said his assistant.
“What are you talking about?” Said the foreman, before realizing he was speaking fluent russian.
After we took the foreman to his wife he had calmed down a bit, though he still kept talking about some research project in Russia, and how it would change warfare.
I thought more about the Fear, had it done that to the foreman?
I walked back to my hideout.
It was located in one of the Old Cities, one that had turned into a junkyard. (this was a fairly common phenomenon, buildings fell over, trash was deposited, and sometimes the government destroyed them to keep the Arrowheads from moving back in [the term ‘Arrowhead’ had become fairly common now, it being several months after Jelani’s encounter with Kaylee])
My hideout was a medium sized van buried under a pile of other cars, only the back doors were visible, it wasn’t really much of a hideout, since it was in the middle of a small Arrowhead settlement in the Old City, especially since several other families lived in the car pile. My own family had been gone since I was born, my mother died of an infection she got during childbirth a few weeks after I was born, and my father had gotten sick when I was two and died then, (of what I would later learn was colon cancer) so I never had much in the way of family, I was raised by the entire community, but I didn’t feel particularly connected to anyone.
Anyhow, I opened one of the doors, only to find a man in blue fatigues holding a rifle, he was smoking a cigarette and looking bored, I instantly recognized him as one of Cabrón’s men. I was terrified, what if he had come about the Foreman?!
“Hey, kid,” he said, he looked calm, which calmed me down too, but I was still scared.
“I just need you to come with me, all we’re gonna do is ask you some questions.”
“O-Okay,” I stammered.
I had eaten half of the candy in the jar, needlessly to say, I wasn’t feeling to good, I was sprawled out on the couch groaning. I thought for a bit and then decided to tinker with a computer I found. I easily figured out how to build rudimentary games with the software, but soon became bored. I walked over to the bed, laid down, and swiftly fell asleep.
In the morning, I decided to work on the elevator. I grabbed up Raymond’s tools, no, they were MY tools now, and headed down the hall. I quickly set down the toolbox and got to work. I wasn’t quite sure what to do at first, but then decided I would build a flying machine! Not like a heli-jet or anything, probably just a small quadcopter, so I got to work, first took out the elevator’s motor, it was much too heavy to fly, so I stripped it down a lot, eventually I had something to work with, so I started to tinker, in a little while I felt my eyes glaze over, I couldn’t feel anything, just a deep drive to complete my project, I couldn’t feel any emotions, or think any thoughts, just a drive to finish the drone.
About four hours later, I opened my eyes, I must’ve fallen asleep, the last thing I remembered was modifying the engine. I looked sideways at the drone, expecting it to be mostly incomplete. This was the first time in my life I had ever done a double-take. There was the drone! Absolutely complete, with six propellers made of computer fans and a body about a foot long and half that wide! Upon closer inspection I realized that the controller was done too! I had apparently rigged an old Mac up to the drone, and gutted another one for its camera and hardware. I pressed the power button on the intact computer, it powered up, a startup page appeared, proudly displaying “Pursuit V1” “press start” against a green background. I pressed start,
And the Pursuit’s running lights began to blink.
The screen switched to the view from the camera, with three buttons in the corner, one shaped like a bomb, another shaped like a map, and a third shaped like a gear. I pressed the gear, assuming it was the ‘settings’ button, which it was, three icons appeared, one was a keyboard, another the drone, and the third was a computer monitor. I couldn’t believe I had programmed this, me, who had no experience with computers whatsoever. I clicked on the keyboard icon, somehow I knew it controlled the controls for flying the drone. It did.
There was a key for almost anything, W, A, S, and D were forward, left, back, and right; The arrow keys were up, down, and rotate; E was hover, Shift was take screenshot, and Slash was switch camera modes. The drone could do everything from follow a preprogrammed route, to have the camera view be in black and white, to carry packages up to ten pounds, it could even blow up! (that was the bomb icon, but it could also be triggered with shift+b+l+o+w+fn) I figured I had nothing to lose, so I went back to the flight page and pressed the up key,
The Pursuit lifted off.
I quickly set it to ‘hover’ so I didn’t need to regulate the height. Than I carefully guided it out the door, and into the hall. It handled beautifully, the props made almost no noise. I guided it out of a broken window, stopping to check how long the batteries lasted and how far it could go, five hours and up to two miles.
After about two hours of testing I had determined that the Pursuit worked extremely well, I had tested almost everything. I looked outside, I saw that it was pretty much night. I quickly programmed the Drone to retrace its steps and then shut down, it would be back by morning.
I followed the man, shaking in my old, mud-covered boots. He strode ahead with an air of importance, his jaw set as if he were escorting the president, and not some little street kid. As I walked, I thought about how easy it would be for someone rich like Jóse to bathe, the last bath I had was months ago in the river, since then they had put up a fence, apparently it was unhealthy to go in the water, (even though everyone knew that water was only unhealthy if it had fish in it). A hand pushed a flask in front of my face,
“here,” the man said, “drink, it will give you the stamina to continue. I remember my first visit with Mr. Cabrón, its not something you forget quickly.” With trembling hands I took the flask. I opened it, amber liquid sloshed inside. I took a quick swig and almost threw up,
“G-G-Great, thanks,” I stammered, my stomach doing some advanced form of digestive breakdancing. The security guard looked satisfied and downed the rest in one gulp.
“We’re almost there,” he said, as we emerged from the trees. It had been a short walk across the village and through the field, where more workers toiled under the sun, they gave us dirty looks, but knew better then to mess with the guard, we trudged along a dirt path that wound through a short section of forest. I looked around but there was only a ledge in front of us. The man, (who had introduced himself as Lucien) noticed my confusion and said,
I looked up.
The mansion was all the way on top of the cliff, with a winding path that looked like it would take days to climb that skirted around a waterfall. I stood there in silence for a second, taking it all in.
“Pretty impressive, ain’t it?” said Lucien. All I could do was stare up through the mist, amazed that anyone could live like this.
Halfway up the path our way was blocked by the waterfall, but Lucien quickly redirected me before I stepped through. Turns out, there was a small cave with an elevator in it, we stepped in. I had never been in an elevator before, and was worried that it would fail halfway up, plummeting us to our deaths. I was surprised at how fast the wire cage moved, but it slowed down almost immediately, Lucien banged on the cage with his fist,
“It normally moves faster,” he complained.
When we got to the top, Lucien opened the door into a large room.