Understanding people is…hard for me. Not because I don’t understand humanity. No, I don’t understand when people interact with me. Humanity is simple, and easy to grasp. It’s when a person does something that I fail to observe yet and am able to pick up on them doing other things to other people. It’s almost like a static barrier exists around me and I can’t pick up anything directed at me except negative things. I’m always told that I’m hyper self aware of myself to the point it’s not a good thing sometimes, but yet also I’m told that I’m one of the most naive/oblivious people they know. Hearing you say that it’s not a bad thing brings a bit of comfort because it’s you saying it, which isn’t probably good, placing that much faith in one person huh?
Echo’s noises and Shade’s barking brought Alexi back to the world of the living. He didn’t sleep that night, instead simple rested as best he could against the wall in a sitting position. Echo was making a flurry of beeps, asking if they should remain on guard duty so that Alexi could try sleeping, and Shade stared up at Alexi as he got his bearings.
“Will you stop worrying if I sleep for a few hours?” He asked, Echo nodding it’s body without wasting a second. “Fine, if I don’t wake up on my own in two hours, wake me. Ok?” He grumbled. Laying down, his back to the wall near him and his head resting on his duster which was bundled up in a pillow like lump. Shade tilted her head and then moved to lay on him, protectively. Echo hovered over him, in scanning mode spinning one of the antennae on it’s body keeping tabs to make sure no life signs tried approaching to surprise them. He drifted off to a restless sleep quickly.
The Pursuer walked calmly along the outskirts of what obviously was a reclaimed city. The Brink had no qualms of having nature take back the lands in it’s boundaries, what were once bustling lively thriving cities, now graveyards to a long begotten past. They filled the Pursuer with a sense of glee, there was something so satisfying about how a once proud display of man’s avarice to touch the sky came crashing down. Where years ago this place would have been loud, cramped and always running full of souls going here and there, many angry for not being somewhere on time due to something trivial, now echoes from any and all minor sounds cascading off the moss covered cracked walls. The shards of glass littering some streets due to buildings near by having the windows that lined all their sides shattering and sending the sharp material down to the ground below.
“History says they fell in line, one at a time ready to play. No time to lose they thought, they had to move. Steadied their weapons, they fired their guns and were in turn blown away. After the fall they didn’t shake it off. Only the Strongest survived. It wasn’t them. It was The Brink.” They said, the voice deeper than normal, almost guttural. “Wanderer, you have entered this place. You were not invited. You were not one of it’s citizens. This place is not for you, yet you persist and continue further in. Shatter Point is not yours nor should you seek it thus. I promise I’ll make The Brink claim you or claim you myself. You’ve gotten this far. For a year you remained on the outskirts, why have you suddenly began traveling inward I wonder?” They climbed a fallen fire escape ladder to the roof of a brick building. Surveying the skyline, taking in all the buildings, the streets littered with remains of vehicles. Along the edge of their eye sight they observed something sticking out of the rubble.
“Oh…that’s promising. Alright Wanderer, let’s see what happens when I wake up this graveyard with one of it’s greatest monsters.” The Pursuer mused leaping down and heading off toward what they discovered, humming an old world tune of honor and glory.
Alexi didn’t realize it had been a few hours of sleep when Echo’s screaming woke him.
“Whoa, I’m up! I’m up! What the fuck?” He exclaimed, jumping to his feet. Shade was over near Echo and the two were watching the outside for some reason. Echo’s sounds persisting in alarm. “Oi! What the hell are you two doing?” That was when he saw it. A bright flash on the far end of the city. Something exploded. Shade and Echo darted away from the window and hid behind and under cover while Alexi didn’t have time, was thrown back to the wall by the shock wave that ran through the city. He felt his back slam hard against the solid surface but then sharp pain as an exposed edge of glass drove into his arm. Screaming in pain he dropped and grabbed at the injured limb rolling behind a toppled desk to examine it. Hoping that was the only explosion while he tended to his injury.
“Echo! What was that?!” He called once the noise and ringing in his ears finally stopped. The little robot peaked it’s self over the desk to see him and screeched seeing the blood, bounding hurridly toward Alexi’s belongings and using it’s multi tool to find it. The triumphant whistles echoed louder and the machine returned with the first aid kit being dropped at his feet. “Thanks buddy, I’ve got this, but seriously what was that? What made that explosion?”
The pause was obvious Echo didn’t want to respond, but Alexi’s stare broke the machine’s silence.
“…A what?! There was a tactical warhead in this city?!” How far is the yield?! Are we in the rad radius?” Alexi panicked as he ripped the glass out of his arm, the fear numbing his pain. But he groaned none the less while searching the kit for rubbing alcohol to clean the wound. Echo began to explain what they picked up. “So it was only a few hundred meter radius? If that’s the case why was the shock wave that powerful?” More beeps followed. “All the vehicles on the streets went up generating more…alright, still fucking shit hurt. But we’re good? No Rads?” The beeps confirmed. “Alright, while we travel, I’m gonna need you to keep your rad counter on so we don’t stray into those areas got it? Last thing we need is me gettin cancer.”
Sewing up the wound was not something Alexi was good at, so he simply looked up at Echo, and without saying a word the machine powered up it’s multi tool and quickly singed the wound with it’s laser, cauterizing it.
“I cleaned it all out, and with you sealing it up like that I should be good right?” He asked. Echo’s response sounded almost insulted. Shade however had trotted over and licked at the spot trying to clean it more it seemed. “Thanks girl, I’m sure it’s perfectly clean now thanks to you.” He commented to assure Shade he was okay. Putting everything back into his backpack and grabbing his things getting ready to go, the three quietly left their little hideout and Echo lead the way cautiously, it’s scanners working not only for life signs but radiation now.
“Echo, what do you think is gonna happen cause of that warhead?” Alexi asked. After a solemn tone response, Alexi nodded. “Yeah, whoever did it- or whatever- I doubt we’ll see them. I hope.”
The three were not that far from their starting point when from high above them, watching on the roof of another brick building sat the Pursuer, legs dangling off the edge of the building’s roof. Head tilting in curiosity.
“Hmm well that did the trick, got you moving again. But where do you go and why, Wanderer. I track you but I don’t fully understand you. That prop you travel with and that mongrel, do they protect you or you them? Also find it interesting- though injured you carried on. Many would have gotten the bloody nose and gone home. Hmm maybe The Brink isn’t finished with you as I suspected. We’ll soon see.” They puzzled over the thought. On their belt under their coat a device hung, resembling- if barely, a handgun but instead of firing bullets it fired out a signal. One to wake up the devices like the one he had earlier. The more he found the more he’d see if it could influence the Wanderer in where they went.