Behind Yellow Eyes: Chapter 13

Story by rhenthar on SoFurry

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Chapter 13.

Mist wound up making Marcus a nylon one-piece coverall from his MC. He'd only recently learned about matter compilers at his university, it's very advanced technology that can fabricate almost anything within the physical dimensions of the compiler itself. Mist's is about a third of a cubic meter, more than enough to make the clothing.

Shoes and underwear came next, with some begging. Marcus is very worried about the attack on his city, he has no idea of what to expect. He keeps his suspicions to himself, and harbors terrible thoughts indeed. His grandfather had told him very early on in life that he once was involved with a classified project, something top secret. In it he helped a destructive event take place, one which cost the lives of many people. He explained that every precaution had been taken to keep it hidden. But if it ever got out, it was important for Marcus to run and not look back. He has access to an alternate identity and a survival fund his grandfather had setup when he was little. But it's been so long since he's thought about it... so long since life was anything but routine.

Mist was clearly disappointed, but he seemed to refrain from further influence. For that, Marcus is glad. He left him with no wetware contact address, no means to reach him in the future. A one-time deal, indeed. It weighs heavily on him, a decision he already regrets.

He walks awkwardly to the public transit station, just outside the crumbling old starship landing area at the city's outermost edge, the one used before the starport was built 80 years ago. Normally, it doesn't see much use, not with a modern starport providing superior services. But now there is a lot of activity, the starport was one of the targets hit by the hostile forces, it was leveled beyond repair. Marcus worries that it was targeted because he works there. He wonders if it's a bad idea to even check to see if his home is still standing, but since he's received no responses from his grandfather via wetware comms, he's extremely anxious. He has to try.

The one message sent to him while Mist was leading him through the starport is missing from his wetware, and he can't explain its absence. He writes it off as a glitch from powering it off during active comms.

He has to wait in a line to board the subway that will take him closer to home. He sees no humans anywhere around him, and feels reluctant to talk to Rhenthar, not even to ask them what's going on or what they might know about the cause. He finally makes it onto a crowded subway car and travels in silence. He has an intense feeling of dread, the closer he gets. Everyone around him seems nervous, he doesn't stand out at all.

When he exits the car, the first thing he notices is the smell of something on fire. After he walks up the stairs, exiting the terminal, he can't find his bearings, all of the tall buildings in the distance have been destroyed. He looks up at a street sign, Fifth Avenue and Bernois Street. He knows where that is, but it looks all wrong. It's only a few miles from where he lives, so he starts jogging.

He comes up on a blockade in the middle of the road entering his neighborhood. A Doberman Rhenthar opens the door of a city hover patrol cruiser and steps out, holding up his paw.

"Turn around, son. You don't wanna go this way. Where's your parents?"

"I live four blocks from here, 6017 Sweet Oak Court! I need to get to my grandfather."

He's shaking his head, he hooks his thumb behind him in the direction Marcus wants to go. "That area got bombed, it isn't safe. Your grandfather, if he survived, has already been extracted and will be waiting to see you at the baseball stadium, downtown. Comms are online, have you tried reaching him?"

Marcus shakes his head. "Nothing, no responses to any of my messages. I'm really worried, can I just see if my house got hit?"

"Absolutely not," he says. "Get to the stadium, this area isn't safe."

Marcus nods, noticing the wind is facing toward him from the Rhenthar. "Ok, I will, officer." He has no intention of following these instructions. He goes back the way he came, though, and when he's pretty sure he can't be seen, dodges sideways into the back yard of one of the houses that line the street. He climbs the fence and hops over, then runs parallel to the street he needed to go down, climbing over fences in each yard until he's past the blockade. Not every house has a fence, some have community backyards, and he runs through those quickly.

Marcus sneaks out onto the sidewalk and glances around a tree, looking at the blockade about two-hundred meters away. It's designed to keep people out, so nothing faces him. He turns and runs down the sidewalk towards where his house is.

Half a block away, he starts getting a really bad feeling. There's a lot of smoke in the air, one of the houses he passes is a crumbling ruin. Then another, and another, closer together. He's getting near the center of an explosion. Foamed fire suppressant struggles to smell even stronger than the smoke.

He pulls up short when he realizes he's staring at his house, or rather, what's left of it. The palm trees around it are burned stumps, sticking out of the ground at a 45 degree angle. The structure is partially collapsed, and he feels like he's in a dream when he walks up to it. A nightmare.

He's unsure what to do. The front door still stands, and he thinks if his grandfather got out, he wouldn't have shut it behind him, would he? He'll just see if it's unlocked, maybe take a look inside.

He walks up to the door and hears the grinding groan of straining supports. He twists the doorknob, it's unlocked, but the door is stuck in its frame. He leans against it and pushes, it finally scrapes open. He looks in and sees that it's very dark inside, but he knows where they keep some flashlights. It's just down the hallway...

"Hello? Grandpa?"


He carefully walks into darkness, turning back to look at the open door, thin sunlight follows him in for a meter and then releases him. His eyes slowly adjust to the darkness. The windows are covered in dust and debris, allowing very little light to enter. The power must be out, none of the light switches work.

"Grandpa? Are you in here?" He casts his voice out as loud as he can without screaming. The broken house seems to swallow the sound right up.

Something isn't right, the furniture isn't where he expects it to be. He feels lost, almost like he went into the wrong house. He turns around and the floor gives away under him. He slides down jagged plywood, into the basement, landing painfully on his right leg.

He hears a splintering snap, like maybe he broke what he landed on, but then pain strikes him and he cries out, his shin is on fire. He hears a rattling scrape and looks up to see part of the ceiling from the floor above him hurtling towards his head. There isn't any noise when it hits, just a bright flash of light.

His leg doesn't hurt so bad, but he feels very tired, and isn't sure he can move. He rests for a minute, trying to sort out his thoughts, which promptly exit stage left.

Behind Yellow Eyes: Chapter 22

Chapter 22. Casey is peering in through a thick window set into the door leading to the engine room section of _The Jefferson_. The door is locked, probably because there's no air in there. Ash is standing behind him, trying to hide her fear,...

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Behind Yellow Eyes: Chapter 21

Chapter 21. Gravity and lighting have returned to some semblance of normal, if anything on this crazy ship ever is. _The Jefferson_ has reached a Mass Accelerator, a towering structure that looks similar to a nautilus shell. Scattered all over the...

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Behind Yellow Eyes: Chapter 20

Chapter 20. Casey and Ash are standing next to Epi, they're both furious. The Lieutenant is solemn and apologetic. His other officers are dispersing behind him, headed back to their various posts. "I'm sorry about that," says Epi. "I figured we'd...

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