Tornado Trailer Park (Pt. 6)
looked so comforting, he had just reached his hands toward the flames when the chain attaching him to the chimpanzee was pulled sharply.
“Ow!” he hissed, careful not to be too loud and rouse the suspicion of his captors. For a moment, only a moment, the old guy with the wizard beard and the robot stopped arguing. He turned and glared at the chimp, realizing for the first time that he was actually a she. “What the hell was that for?”
She looked at him with contempt. “You don't want to get too close to that. Fire attracts the salamanders.”
“I thought those were a myth?” the old guy asked, putting a hand in front of the robot’s face to shut him up. “Though I have to admit, I have never been this far out from Ramshackle before, nor have I met anyone who has. This area is strictly ape territory after all.”
“Let me guess,” Clem sighed. “These are giant salamanders that breathe fire and eat people and make everything terrible.”
“Pretty much,” the chimp answered, reaching into one of the many pouches that were woven into her vest. “But if the salamanders don't get us, my people will. They'll let me go because I keep the windmills running, but they'll probably end up just selling you themselves. Either way, these fools who have taken us don't stand much of a chance.”
“They seem pretty capable to me,” the robot spoke up. Turning towards Clem, it reached out its three fingered hand towards him. “I'm Roy, by the way. This bearded guy who likes to be wrong about everything is Roderick. He follows me around.”
“That isn't exactly accurate,” Roderick huffed, bringing a spoonful of the thin soup the soldiers had given them up to his lips. “Roy is my assistant. I am a teacher at the University in Ramshackle, currently on leave so that I could circumnavigate The Eye. So far, it hasn't gone well.”
“My name's Clem. I just got here.”
The three of them all turned toward the chimp, waiting for her to introduce herself. She simply furrowed her brow and looked away across the plain.
“So does it ever get dark around here?” Clem asked. “I've had to have been here for more than twelve hours already and the light hasn't changed at all.”
“No, it doesn't,” both Roderick and Roy replied at the same time. The two glared at each other, which was quite the feat since Roy's face was pretty much expressionless.
“Well that's not exactly true,” Roderick quickly continued. “There are records that I've seen that make mention of a 'Year Of Darkness' that descended upon the land for no discernible reason. It was because of that event that the windmills our nameless friend here maintains were built.”
“They generate power,” the chimp mumbled. “As an engineer I'm supposed to be off-limits to crap like this. If these fools actually make it to Parlay they're in for a pretty nasty surprise.”
“That's true,” Roy piped up. “Interfering with the windmills is one of the only capitol offenses that is observed through all of the cultures.” He leaned in closer and dropped his voice to a whisper. “If they realize their mistake though, they are very likely to kill you in order to hide their crime. You may want to keep that quiet.”
“Good point,” she said. “My name is Kayla, by the way.”
Clem had a million questions and was just about to start asking them when they heard a commotion at the edge of the camp. The captives watched Mathers and Lt. Killroy came out of the command tent and walk toward the noise. Soon enough all eight of the soldiers were gathered at the edge of the campsite. They all had their backs to their four prisoners.
“Now might be our chance,” muttered Roderick.
“To do what, get killed?” snapped Roy. “If you haven't noticed, they have guns and bullets tend to run faster than we do.”
Roderick and Roy began to bicker again. Kayla and Clem stood to get a better look at what was going on.
“What do you see?” Kayla asked.
“One of them is holding an hammer,” Clem said, squinting so that he could see better over the fire. “A big, gold thing. Its huge. Looks heavy too, the guy holding it is pretty strong and he's struggling to keep it off the ground. Another guy has some kind of silver axe. Must be heavy too. He's just dragging it.”
“Oh no,” Kayla whispered. “Are they covered in runes, in writing?”
“We have to get out of here,” Kayla began looking around for a place to run while gathering up the chains that linked them together. “Right now.”
“Those are the weapons of The Obsidian Brigade. They don't just leave them laying around. If someone took out one of them, we don't stand a chance. I don't care how many guns our little friends have.”
“Who are 'The Obsidian Brigade'? Roderick asked, struggling to get to his feet.
“They are an...almost...religious order,” Kayla explained. “But that's not quite right. They are made up of humans and apes and they believe that The Eye is a prison, meant to keep big bad things in. Like gods and demons and stuff.
“Get ready to run for it. We'll head west and try to make it to Windmill 4. I have some supplies there and we can defend it pretty easy.”
“Wait. So are these guys monks or something?” Clem asked, gathering up slack chain as quietly as possible. The soldiers were taking turns trying to lift the weapons. They were still ignoring the prisoners.
“They only leave their tower when something bad is on the move. The last time it happened was just before The Year Of Darkness, when most of the population of The Eye was slaughtered by some kind of monster. If the brigade is here, then something like that can't be far off.”
“Great,” Clem said. “now I miss the goddamn raccoons.”