The colony. Chapter 12: Future Plans

Angus woke up and immediately felt a slight nausea - such an unpleasant condition occurs if you drink more than you should. He swallowed, slowly opened his eyes and saw the same bar counter. Taking off his head from his hands, he realized that he had dozed off at the very same place where he had knocked over the last few glasses, which were clearly superfluous. “Damn alcohol,” thought the doctor, rubbing his eyes and moving his glass to the area of ​​dirty dishes. The mechanical hand did not take long to wait - the glass instantly went to the sink.

The doctor got up and went to the water cooler. His throat was completely dry, so he did not use voice control, and pressed a touch button that says “Water”. After receiving the glass, he eagerly drank its contents, feeling the pleasant coolness, which moistened the throat and went down into the stomach. When finished, Angus breathed a sigh of relief, stood for a few seconds and ordered more water.

He got drunk and got a little awake, he looked around. A pleasant twilight reigned in the dining room, and the light came only from the bar. Twilight and alcohol - a good combination to fall asleep where you drink. Angus grinned at the thought and glanced out the window — it was dark outside. It means that it is far after midnight now, but dawn is not soon. Offhand, one in the morning or even half past one. The tablet wasn’t with you, so you won’t know the exact time. In principle, it is not necessary.

Crunching his stiff neck, Angus walked over to the window and began to peer into the darkness in search of the titan who had caused them trouble. However, that was not there anymore. Moreover, Angus saw absolutely nothing, as if there were no living creatures around the base, and this fact seemed strange to him. He went to another window and looked into it, too, as if a completely different picture could open up in it. Of course, this time he did not see anything either.

The doctor raised his hand to the back of his head and began to stimulate his mind with puzzled scratching. Then he slowly turned his head to the bar and looked at the glasses lying peacefully on it. Cursing himself and the damned alcohol that makes him dumber, Angus grabbed his glasses and put them on - it should be much better, because with their help his gaze will be able to pull the silhouettes of warm-blooded animals out of the dark.

Angus returned to the porthole, looked at it again, and abruptly recoiled in surprise. Directly in front of him, just at that moment when he looked out, a wolf slipped through and headed towards the side where the titanium-damaged rover was supposed to be. Angus took a breath and looked out again - the titan was really no longer around, but there was a whole pack of wolves. Apparently, they were attracted by the smell of blood, the traces of which remained on one of the rover beds. The doctor cast a quick glance to the other side. Not far away, behind the trees, a small family of moose, which did not even know about the nearby predators, passed quietly. Further away, in the thicket of the forest, he wandered in search of prey and broke titan branches. Also, the doctor noticed a flock of strangers and not very large creatures in the forest - at least he could not identify them by their silhouettes. However, he was not embarrassed by this fact - probably Demetrion, like the Earth, is very rich in various types of animals.

The only fact that confused the doctor was the presence of a pack of wolves right next to her. It was completely unsafe to go outside, so it’s just vital to get into the command post and turn on the protective dome.

But not now. Now we need to return to our room and try to sleep, because everyone agreed to meet in the dining room at eight in the morning. Angus went up to the residential floor, went into his room and immediately found the tablet - it was 1:48 on the clock. Slightly more than six hours you need to be already below, and this means that, taking into account water procedures, you will get sleep on the strength of five and a half hours.

Angus put his glasses on the bedside cabinet, took off his jumpsuit and went into the bathroom, grabbing a towel along the way. Then he opened the tap, washed in cold water and leaned on the sink, looking at his reflection in the mirror. He did not leave the thought of wolves. Did not like that they revolve around the base. And what if they are well aware that easy prey is right here, behind the wall? Are the doors of the medical building firmly closed where Barney lies and is being rebuilt?

Cursing himself for his paranoia, the doctor came out of the bathroom, put on the jumpsuit again, and, going down to the first floor, headed through the passage to the medical building. Approximately in the middle of the building, the passage had a branch closed by a door, and for a second Angus stopped opposite, trying to remember where he could lead this passage. However, it was not possible to recall, and he decided not to waste time. Once inside the medical building, he proceeded to the compartment where Barney was lying to check on his condition.

A number of sensors were connected to Barney's body - Angus did not understand their purpose, but he concluded that everything was fine with the patient, because all the graphics on the equipment were green. Pulse, respiration and temperature were also normal. Angus could not cope with curiosity and bent down to examine the wound on Barney's neck, however, there was no trace of the bites anymore - of course, Isaac knew his stuff and did a good job. On the other hand, Barney's body also tried, who plunged into a short-term restorative coma.

The doctor finally looked up from Barney, walked out of the compartment, and walked to the outer doors of the hull. Wearing his glasses, captured with him, he looked out the window. The rover, or what was left of it, could not be seen, because the glasses did not illuminate its outlines. But there were a lot of wolves near the door - the doctor counted five of them, and it is unknown how many are still out of sight. Angus walked away from the window and looked at the doors - and why on earth did he get the idea that they could not be locked securely? Fucking paranoia.

Finally, returning to Barney and once again glancing at the charts, the doctor left the compartment and headed towards the dining room, where his room was located on the second floor. This time he again stopped in front of the branch, still trying to remember where this passage leads. Angus looked at the signposts on the wall — the arrow with the inscription “Medical building” pointed in one direction, and the other, with the inscription “Dining room / Residential building” - in the other. What is straight?

Angus closed his eyes and began to massage his eyes with the fingers of his right hand, as if this could somehow help. And then he suddenly slapped his hand over his forehead, and, once again cursing his stupid alcohol, he took a tablet from his pocket and brought out a hologram with a map of the base, which he downloaded on the first day of his stay. Turning his head a little and orienting himself on the map, he found on it a blue dot, indicating its current location. But on the map the purpose of the corps, where this passage leads, was not indicated. Strange.

The doctor's heart pounded more often, and he felt a barely perceptible chill running down his back. Of course, this passage leads to the command post. Angus, as one of the attorneys of the corporation, thoroughly familiarized himself with all the data regarding this base, but had never been here before - so he didn’t find his way right away. He took an uncertain step toward the door, then a second — and it opened with a soft hiss, revealing a long and dark corridor. Opening doors served as a signal, and automatics turned on the light in the transition independently, however some of the lamps failed, creating an oppressive gloom. At the end of the corridor several lamps in a row did not burn at once, but still it was possible to notice a door with glass inserts behind which there was a command post. Feeling the growing excitement, Angus took a deep breath and slowly walked forward. He took a few steps and shuddered at the unexpected, but soft sound — the doors closed behind him. The automatics understood that there was a person in the aisle, so the light remained on.

Dozens of thoughts flew through Angus’s head, all on the same topic - why did the corporation betray him? Why did the satellites stop sending him a protective beam? What if all the information that he himself possessed is also false? And, the main thing at this moment - what is actually located behind the door to which it was approaching?

There was a few meters to the door, and Angus moved in the dim light, when the lamp above his head suddenly lit up, lighting up everything around, and after a moment, went out. Angus's heart pounding at a breakneck pace - it seemed to him that at that instant something flashed past the door. He stopped and, looking away from the door, pressed his back to the wall, often breathing. He wanted to turn around and run back, but something kept him in place. He did not want to believe that the corporation really betrayed him, and even the slightest danger threatens him here. Maybe in fact everything is going according to plan, and he will be contacted soon?

Having calmed down a little and having recovered his breath, he again glanced at the door. Through the glass inserts it was only visible gloom, and so far it remained unclear what was actually behind it - the command post or some kind of warehouse. Or something else. With the index finger of his right hand, straightening his glasses and struggling to cope with his own panic, the doctor walked right up to the door and began to peer. His glasses didn't detect anything, and that meant no one was inside. True, there is one thing - only warm-blooded animals could detect glasses, and the doctor's imagination assured him that there must be some kind of cold-blooded guard inside, or an android. He saw something at that moment when the lamp came on sharply.

Angus stepped back and carefully inspected the door. On the right was a palm print scanner, but it was inactive. The doctor tapped it lightly, but it did not help. Angus thoughtfully put his hand to his chin and looked up - there was just a retractable scanner, which for some reason did not wake up and did not intend to scan the person standing in front of him.

- Hey! - the doctor hesitantly depicted the semblance of a cry, while waving his arms.

To his surprise, it worked, and the scanner immediately moved out of the ceiling and found a man standing opposite. The scanning process took no more than a second, and then the scanner blinked red and moved back - access was denied. For some reason, this caused Angus an unprecedented relief, and he turned to go back. When he walked away a couple of steps, the ill-fated lamp above his head lit up again, and despite the fact that the door was behind him, it seemed to the doctor that there was something there. This time, Angus could not stand it, and without turning around, ran.

Returning to his room, he immediately closed the door on the lock, took off his jumpsuit and headed for the shower. But instead of taking water procedures, he stood for a long time opposite the mirror, leaning on the sink. “What if everything goes according to plan, and they still get in touch with me?” - only this thought was spinning in his head. He slowly tore his hands from the sink, clenched them into fists with all his strength, and clenched his jaws.

- No, damn it, no! He suddenly shouted out loud and hit the wall in front of him, almost breaking the mirror.

You can not be so stupid. Angus ran his hands through his hair and looked at the ceiling. The corporation has betrayed him, and on this point. Now he, like everyone else, is in danger, and now these people are his friends. Only by combining, you can get at least any chance of survival, and the information that the doctor possessed can be very, very useful. Of course, it may also turn out to be false, but this is no longer important. The important thing is that now Angus has chosen the side on which he wants to fight.

With this thought, he went to sleep without taking a shower.

As agreed, at eight o'clock in the morning everyone gathered in the dining room - there was not only Isaac. Raytnov today chose breakfast longer than usual, but in the end leaned over an omelet with bacon and tomatoes and finally took his place at the table.

“Where is Isaac?” - asked Emilia, - I do not remember that he was late earlier.
“He warned me that he would linger a little,” said Gordon, while chewing his chicken-cutlet with vegetables at the same time, “he decided to go to Barney first.”
“I see,” Emilia replied and looked down. She felt a little ashamed of the fact that the very same idea hadn’t occurred to her.

Gordon chewed, washed down with water and continued:

“I wanted to go with him, but he said that this was not necessary, and sent me to breakfast.”

Emilia looked up again and looked at the doctor, but did not dare to ask a question. Angus read it in her gaze and said:

“He should be fine.” The reaction of his body to the injuries received is more than adequate - he independently fell into an artificial coma and could stay in such a state for several days. This is the most effective way to recover from serious injuries.

The doctor saw a slight smile on Emilia’s face and smiled back. He wanted to tell you about his nightly visit to Barney, about the green graphics and stable pulse, but something stopped him. He understood that his night walk through the buildings might seem suspicious and raise questions, especially from Rytnov. Angus threw him a look - he measured his omelet measuredly and periodically looked around at everyone. Having finished the contents of the plate, he got up and went to the coffee machine.

- Cappuccino! - He shouted from afar.

There was no reaction - to save energy, the car was constantly turned off, and turned on only when someone was standing nearby. Raytnov walked right up to the machine, repeated his order, and began tapping his boot on the floor with the same interval.

“Cappuccino,” repeated the pleasant female voice, and the knives began to rustle.

After ten strokes of the shoe, Raytnov received his drink and returned to the table. Taking a sip, he shared his observation:

- Today, in ten seconds, my coffee was prepared. Probably the first time ever - usually only prepared for twelve.

Gordon, who had been watching him all this time, squinted his eyes skeptically and replied:

- It seems to me that you thought unevenly. You had a big pause between hits.
“So this damn car is still unable to cope with its duties,” Raytnov said purposefully, seriously, and took another sip.

Gordon, who always loved accuracy, wanted to bastardize and say that the machine still copes with its direct task, only does it a little longer than stated. But before that, the door of the transition hissed, and Isaac appeared in the dining room, and Barney followed him, alive and almost healthy.

“I couldn’t persuade him to take a rest yet,” Isaac immediately took all the responsibility away from himself.
“Well, hello, guys,” said the “patient” and broke into a smile from ear to ear, thereby provoking a stormy and joyful reaction from the dining table.

Despite seeming cheerfulness, he was still quite weak, and Isaac had to hold him slightly. Gordon noticed this and approached, but Barney took a confident step forward, gesturing that he did not need help:

“I'm really fine, Gordon,” he said, and slapped his comrade on the shoulder.

Barney sat down at the table next to Emilia and smiled at her kindly.

- How do you feel? Asked Raytnov.

Barney scooped up full air to talk about his beautiful state of health in all details, but just in time noticed Isaac’s stern look on himself.

“To be honest, it’s bad,” he admitted.

Gordon, who was sitting next to him on the other side, got up and headed for the vending machine with food.

- What will you have for breakfast? - on the move he threw, without turning around.
- Exactly! - Barney was delighted, - I, it seems, did not eat dinner yesterday. Then I have a double serving of an omelet with vegetables and chicken fillet with potato wedges. And I really want to drink water.

He eagerly pounced on the food brought by Gordon, and no one distracted him by talking.

“This is better,” he said, emptying the containers and leaning back in his chair, “I would say generally good.”

He looked at everyone and continued:

- Well, who should I thank for my salvation? The last thing I remember is how I walked towards the base, and then I was suddenly tired and lay down to rest.

Barney was surprised that no one appreciated his joke and did not answer the question, but he was even more surprised when Raytnov finally said:

- Angus.

The doctor was a little embarrassed and hesitantly replied:

“Well ... I shot another wolf who wanted to try you.” And you killed the first one yourself.

Barney looked surprised at the doctor and said suspiciously:

- I thought you could not shoot. At least, you said so then, in the hangar.

Angus ignored it and continued his previous thought:

- But in fact, you were indirectly saved by the corporation itself, giving your body so much strength and health. Any other of us would die.

Barney finally ceased to understand what was happening, and he became wary. He looked at Raytnov, at Gordon - but their faces expressed absolute seriousness. Barney looked at Emilia, but her face also did not indicate that it was a joke, and the guys decided to play it. Everyone expected the doctor to repeat his story and were intensely silent, but Angus was also silent.

- What corporation? - finally asked Barney, - did you pick up mushrooms at the same time in the forest? Are they still left?

Emilia could not stand it and the first one laughed, and others followed her example, not paying attention to the tension in the air. However, then the doctor still had to repeat his story. Barney listened carefully, nodding his head, and it seemed that he was not even surprised at anything. As it should be.

“Does that surprise you?” - asked the doctor, without waiting for the expected reaction.
- Does it help? Barney asked in reply, “I should already be a corpse, but I'm alive.” Titans should not be, but they are. We should have no problems either, but they also exist. Let's work with the facts then.
“This is a good position,” said Angus, “with such an attitude, we have every chance to get out of this ass.” From now on, I will share with you all the information that I know.

Raytnov nodded silently. Perhaps the information now is the most valuable resource and the most powerful weapon. However, as always.

“There really is something here that is really bad,” said Barney thoughtfully, and looked around at everyone, “that you are all criminals.”

Then he jabbed a finger at Gordon and Rytnov.

- And especially you and you. You are dangerous guys.

“Dangerous guys” smiled approvingly - they definitely liked his mood. Even the day before he was a hair away from death, and a minute ago he learned that an ordinary person would have been knocked out of the rut, and yet he remained the very kind old Barney, whom everyone loved for his sense of humor, reliability and ability to overcome any difficulties.

And yet, it was noticeable that in his head a lot of thoughts revolve about the situation. Like all the others.

“I wonder what's up with the rover,” said Raytnov.
“We have already looked,” Isaac reported, “so far it is only clear that he is lying on the roof.” It is difficult to judge the nature of the damage.
“We’re not going to go out and watch,” Gordon snapped, and Raytnov looked down, still believing himself guilty of what had happened.

“Well, let's penetrate the command post and turn on the damned dome,” suggested Barney, “and at least protect ourselves from all kinds of predators.” This will be our first step from here.
“Be sure to turn it on,” said Gordon seriously, looking at him, “but without you, you excuse me.”
“I support,” agreed Isaac, “you can barely stand on your feet.”

Barney looked at them indignantly and was about to get up to show everyone the confidence of his walk, but Emilia put her hand on his shoulder and said softly:

“You will still be useful to us, but first you really need to gain strength.”
“They are right, Barney,” the doctor said quietly, “you can do things as much as you can and feel unwell for a long time, or you can give yourself a rest and recover in a couple of days.” Now we can handle ourselves, but then we will need you.

Barney still did not fully agree, as he felt a surge of energy after breakfast, but decided to listen to the voice of reason:

- Well, they persuaded. I hope I no longer need to connect to all of these devices?
“Yes, you can rest in your room,” Isaac nodded.

Barney took a deep breath, looked at everyone once more and said:

- Thanks again guys. Alive is much better than dead.

He got up and went to the second floor - Gordon escorted him. All the others left the dining room and met Gordon as he went down the stairs.

“Well, let's look at this command post,” said Raytnov, and headed forward along the crossing.

When they reached the branch, they stopped. In the corridor, as before, there were only two signs - to the dining room and to the medical building. Raytnov took a tablet out of his pocket, led out a map projection in front of him, and began to examine it. With a smirk, Angus remembered his nocturnal stupidity and cursed the drink again. Orienting on the map and finding the current location marked with a blue dot, Raytnov jabbed his finger at the projection. He pointed to the corps, the purpose of which was not noted, and, judging by the map, the branch led just to him.

“Apparently, here we are,” he said, and stepped confidently forward.

The door with a soft hiss went into the wall, opening the passage already familiar to the doctor. Some of the lamps still did not burn, creating an ominous atmosphere. Angus once again remembered his nightly sortie and felt the growing excitement and rapid heartbeat, despite the fact that now he was not alone.

“Atmospheric,” said Emilia.

They headed forward, straight to the entrance to the command post. To that door with glass inserts, behind which Angus saw something at night. Suddenly, one of the lamps, when the guys passed right under it, went out, creating an even darker atmosphere. The doctor breathed loudly and intermittently, becoming increasingly worried.

- Everything is good? - asked Raytnov, - claustrophobia?
“No, no, everything is fine,” he answered quickly, trying to appear as calm as possible and even smiled.

When they came close to the door, a scanner came out of the ceiling above it, quickly found all the people standing in front of him and set to work. When he finished scanning, he blinked red negatively and returned to his slot.

“I didn’t,” Isaac sounded the obvious.

Gordon began stroking his beard in thought, and Raytnov crossed his arms over his chest. Angus began to scratch his head, thereby showing that he was also absorbed in the thought process.

- How do we get there? - asked Emilia, the posture of which in no way betrayed the fact that she, too, is in thought.

Raytnov looked at the door. No, it cannot be broken out in any way - it is made of modern high-strength materials. He made this assumption out loud, but suddenly he himself brought himself to another thought:

“Wait,” he said, and touched the door, “what does it mean, modern?” I have never been particularly interested in all sorts of alloys and materials, but for some reason this material is familiar to me. For the life of me, I do not remember his name, but this is something light and extra strong.
“And very heat resistant,” the doctor added.

Raytnov looked at him carefully.

“As I have already mentioned, I will not hide any information from you,” Angus continued, “unfortunately, and I don’t remember the name of this material, since I don’t follow the sphere of production either.” However, you are right - this is the newest material, which was originally invented a little more than ten years ago, and has been constantly improved since then. Even the spaceship on which we arrived here, partially consists of him.
- Why did I remember this if the corporation rummaged in my head?
“Well, the human brain is still poorly understood,” the doctor smiled, “you can implant certain memories and even skills, but all of this will be based on what the brain already knows.” And your own memories are not erased at all, it's just a little harder for your brain to get to them. However, if he guesses the principle according to which your knowledge is replaced - and he is quite capable of doing it - you will remember everything.

Now, even Emilia crossed her arms over her chest, still showing off her thought process.

“Impressive,” said Raytnov thoughtfully, “so how old is this base?”
- It was built four years ago.

Raytnov turned away and again touched the door. Behind her, inside the command post, the light did not burn, therefore it was not possible to consider something. Without thinking twice, he again took out the tablet and turned on the flashlight, however modern materials showed another feature of its own - the glass weakly let in the light outside.

“Let's think logically,” suggested Isaac, “what does this modern scanner need to calm down and open the door for us?”
“This is a military base,” said Raytnov, “I think something military is necessary.”
- But what? - did not understand Emilia, - uniform, automatic? What will help us get inside?

She looked at the doctor inquiringly, but he only shrugged - he didn’t know how to open this door. This part did not get into the briefing, and Angus was once again convinced that a lot of information was hidden from him.

“And you, Angus, were talking about this base, right?” Asked Raytnov, without turning around.

The doctor, not understanding what he was driving at, hesitated a little with the answer.

- Well, yes, and also gave to get acquainted with the map and some additional information. For example, that it was built not fifty years ago, but only four, and that it can generate a protective dome. But nothing that could help us in this situation.

Raytnov, still not turning around, slowly put the tablet back in his pocket.

- No wonder that it was her attention. , . - .
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