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Chapter Three - What to do.....
"What's the last thing you remember," Garret asked as I sipped on a cup filled with some kind of stew.
I tried to think. It was difficult as my thoughts were all a bit cloudy. "I remember seeing a bright light," I responded. And it was true. Before I'd found myself in that tunnel, I'd remembered a light, but after, between, or before was a big blank. It took a bit, but I finally conveyed all of this, and what my past recollections entailed. It wasn't much.
Garret listened like I was telling him the secrets to the universe. His companions, the blacksmith and his wife, whose name I learned was Sara, also sat nearby, listening. I felt a bit self-conscious as they seemed to all peer into my soul, evaluating what they found. I wonder if they found me lacking anything important, aside from my memories.
After I was finished, there was a bit of silence. They all looked rather thoughtful as they contemplated things. I just sat there, wondering what they were thinking. It didn't show on any of their faces. Finally, Garret spoke.
"It's highly unlikely that the automatons, or those controlling them, did this to you," he mused. "If that had been the case, they would never have let you go. Unless you somehow managed to escape. No. Someone else must be responsible for this happening, but I have no idea who that could be. It takes a great deal of skill to do what has been done, without leaving any visual scars behind."
Sara agreed. I learned she'd once been a medic, before her small family had been forced underground. Her husband, Lance, had once been a mechanic. And Garret... he was a jack of many trades. Both husband and wife seemed to look up to him, though, for answers.
"Wish I knew who that was," I muttered. This was getting us nowhere, and fast. What I really wanted to know was why someone had done this to me. What was the point? To prove that they could? And then what? Just throw me out like trash? That didn't seem right.
Garret sighed, then slapped his thigh as he stood from the wooden stool he'd been sitting on. "One thing we can do is reach out to our contacts on the surface. See if they have any information to pass on."
Sara and Lance nodded their agreement and I squirmed on my bench. "So, how does that work," I asked, looking at each in turn.
Sara glanced at Garret, then back at me. "One of us will go up top and contact our person, give them the details. Then we wait."
I pursed my lips. "Sounds very unproductive and time consuming," I commented.
"It's the best we can do right now," Garret responded. "Until we know who you are, what kind of threat that might entail, and if anyone is after you, we can't bring you to the surface. For all we know, there's someone up there looking for you. They could be right on top of us."
I sighed. "Fine." I didn't have to like it, but it did make sense. None of us had a clue who or what or anything about me. I felt like a sulking child, though.
"Now that it's settled, I'll be off," Garret announced as he grabbed a rough looking pack. "It might take me some time to find our man. In the meantime, maybe you should look through the stuff in your pockets and belt. That might ring some bells."
I'd totally forgotten that my voluminous pockets, and utility belt, had contents as yet unexplored. Having the reminder, I looked around for the belt. Seeing my probing eyes, Sara pulled it out from a corner of the room. "Here," she said as she handed it over. I nodded my thanks and moved over to empty out the contents. Neither of use noticed when Garret made his exit.
The belt contained an plethora of dehydrated rations. Now I understood why Sara had said they could use them. Food did not look like it was easily obtained here. I did notice something strange about the rations, though. They had a military looking stamp on them, like they'd come from a specific location. Maybe they had.
There was also an odd looking piece of metal that I couldn't identify. Neither Sara or Lance had a clue what it was either. It was long and thin, like some kind of antennae, but not like any I'd seen before. Maybe it had some other uses. It also was retractable, collapsing down to three-inches long, and just under a centimeter wide.
Turning to my cargo pant pockets, I unearthed more rations, a few odd sprockets, a few tools, and a smooth metal disc. I felt as though this disk had more to it than what appeared, but had no idea to open or activate it so I set it aside. The last item was a rather odd looking stone. It was crystalline in nature, but like nothing I could even hope to recall.
"Neither of us could identify that one," Sara admitted as she noticed me looking at the orange stone. "It's not made of any elements we're familiar with."
I set it aside for further investigation, then reloaded my pockets. As far as I knew, there was nothing there to tell me who, or what, I was. It was disappointing.