The colony. Chapter 15: Scott's Tale

The sun was barely a few centimeters from the horizon, but it was already so bright that it was impossible to look at it for longer than a second. The Titans left about two hours ago, but people in the hangar still behaved very cautiously and shuddered at every rustle.

The wind blew a little harder, clinging to the torn off sheet and creating a crash outside, causing Scott Little to turn around sharply, and his heart began to pound more often. When his mind realized that this was just another gust of wind, he turned back and continued to do his job.

He stood in front of the rover with the engine removed. Scott knew that his assembly and installation will take time, and significant, but, nevertheless, decided to take on this business. Somewhere in the depths of his soul, he hoped that the others would follow his example and would not leave Raytnov alone on a dilapidated base without the opportunity to get out.

- Hey, Lil! - Joe snapped from the open door of another rover. - Are you here, decided to do autism? They fell into the cabin, it’s already time for us to get out of here.

Joe clearly did not share the views of Scott on the situation. Altruism, or, according to Joe, “autism”, he was not going to engage at all, but also betrayal, too.

“We can't just take it and leave on the only working rover,” said Scott firmly. - We will either p-fix it, or at least let Alex be warned that the second p-rover is not on the move.
“Go ahead,” said Joe skeptically, expecting the follow-up reaction of his comrade.

Scott looked into his eyes, then turned his eyes to the disassembled engine. Work for several hours, even an experienced mechanic. It is not so much complicated as monotonous and voluminous, besides it is very inconvenient to assemble the engine alone. Without the help of Joe and the rest of the idea is doomed to failure. Scott looked at Joe again, then turned on his heels and headed for the exit from the hangar. The rays of the rising sun, striking exactly into the passage, created a strong contrast with the darkness inside the room, and from this it seemed that the exit was surrounded by an aura, like a heavenly gate.

“I’d listen to old Joe if I were you,” he heard a voice behind. - You risk, Liliput.
“W-go,” he whispered and added a step.
- What you said?

The next moment, Joe was already standing next to a naughty comrade and holding him by the collar of his jumpsuit.

- Repeat what you said?
“We should warn A-Alex.”
- What you said?? - Joe was running out of patience. Liliput identified this by splashing his saliva on his face.

However, his voice was calm.

- I said - go you.

The next moment, he felt a serious shortage of air in the lungs, as well as the fact that new air could not enter there. Joe seemed only slightly to put his fist on his solar plexus, but that was enough for Scott to form in half in greedy attempts to grab at least some oxygen with his mouth open. After a few seconds, which stretched out for a whole hour in his mind, he still managed to inhale. Next to the rover, he saw Tom, Peter and Andy, who only looked at him sympathetically, but were in no hurry to help. Of course, and with the repair of the second rover, they will not help without the written permission of Joe.

"You are risking, Liliput."
He knew that he was taking risks, but he hoped that the others, seeing the protest of the smallest and weakest of them, would finally find their masculinity in their pants and acquire their own opinion. But that did not happen.

“Now let's go to the rover, Scott, and leave this base,” Joe began to smile, and he spoke as if his level of intelligence was more than one hundred conventional units.

Without waiting for an answer, he lifted him by the collar of his jumpsuit and put him on his feet, and then slightly pushed him in the right direction. Scott took a few steps, then stopped and looked at the rest of the Joe gang.

- And why are you so silent? Do you really not care about the fact that we, the k-mechanic team of mechanics, are knocking off the base, putting a hefty bolt on our p-direct duties and not fixing the second rover? P-treachery smacks.

Joe laid his hand on his shoulder and opened his mouth to say something.

- We would have managed in an hour! - raised his voice Scott. - Come on? Andy, Peter? Tom?

They were silent, and Andy and Peter only occasionally threw modest glances toward the rover. Finally, Peter gained decisiveness and took a step, intending to say something, but immediately received a smash from Tom. The latter was smaller and obviously weaker, but, nevertheless, Peter did not answer him, fearing Joe. I did not want to get a breath, so he returned to his seat and looked down.

Joe laughed unnaturally and disgustingly.

“Why are Tom and I always forced to teach you?” How much can you say - always think only about your ass, because nobody will think about her except for yourself.

Tom smiled back.

- And you, Andy? - Joe asked a silent friend. - What are you going to say?
“We need to save our asses, Joe,” he replied after a pause, causing a smile on the face of his leader.

The latter raised his hand and consistently bent three fingers on it.

“My dirty five are us.” I, Tom and Andy agree that we should get out of here, and as soon as possible. And since we have democracy, then, according to the results of open and voluntary voting, we will do so.
“Okay, we’ll get the hell out,” Scott replied irritably. “But at least let's warn Alex.”
- If you forgot, Liliput, he himself sent us to hell and told us to dump.
- But he does not know that we will fall on a single rover.

Joe leaned toward him and looked into his eyes.

“And that's just his problems,” he whispered. - I already did him a favor. And I do not provide more than one service per day.

Scott looked at him questioningly, not understanding what he was headed for.

“Here, look,” Joe pointed to his chin. “See that bruise?”

Of course, nothing was seen there because of the stubble and dirt acquired during the last night.

“He hit me,” Joe explained, “but I didn’t beat him back.” Because I don’t beat women and children, but he’s like a girl’s. But, nevertheless, I did him a favor by ignoring his nervous and, of course, inadequate attack.

Joe thought for a moment, putting his hand to his chin. Scott wanted to argue that he himself was guilty and provoked a blow with his behavior, but he continued the thought:

- Although you know, Lil, you're right. I am in such a wonderful mood that I will give him one more service. We will leave the full ammunition in his rover - so he can protect himself while he is collecting the engine. Is going?

Scott stood still and did not know what to say.

- And now live in the rover! - Joe grabbed him again by the collar and pulled him along.

Once inside, Scott took one of the seats and watched the others take turns following and sit down too. Joe was the last and closed the door behind him, and then climbed into the cockpit and took the pilot's seat, parallel to throwing out Andy, who took the next seat.

- Lil! - Joe heard Scott. - I want you to be my co-pilot.

He got up and silently squeezed into the cabin. He knew that Joe should not continue to unnerve. In the end, Scott was worried that, because of his desire to help Raytnov, he himself could be with him on a destroyed base - of course, having received a substantial portion of cuffs.

Yes - if he stayed on Alpha, he would be able to help Raitnov to assemble the engine, and perhaps they would have finished before darkness, and then spent the night in a bunker, but something inside Scott tied him to Joe. The fact that this rare idiot is a fact that has long been known and proven in practice a great many times. But Scott did not have the opportunity to simply stop communication - they were both mechanics, and, whatever one may say, they had to work together every day, and some semblance of affection resulted from this. Sometimes Scott even had the idea that Joe, in general, could be a good guy, if he were not such a shit.

Scott took the place of the co-pilot, checked all the systems and, making sure they were fully operational, turned his head and nodded. Rover gently moved and left the hangar. Raytnov, who was walking past the bunker, watched him go — Scott saw it through the window of the porthole — and continued raking debris in search of survivors.

The fork, from which it was possible to go to other bases, was one hundred kilometers to the northeast, and the path to the fork lay through the forest. The road for some time went along its edge, and went inside on a hill a few kilometers from the "Alpha". From here, the base could be seen clearly, and, looking at the scale of destruction, it was possible to assume that she was attacked by some fantastic and immortal monster, or even their whole company. However, this assumption was not far from the truth.

Joe stopped the rover in the very place where the road turned into the forest and began to wind between mighty, but rather far away trees. He displayed a map of the area on his monitor and began to study it.

“Where are we going, Joe?” Tom asked from his seat.

He continued to study the map and answered after a short pause:

- There is a fork from which you can go to other bases. A hundred kilometers from the fork, from it to the Delta - fuck knows how much, so to hell with Delta. The military base, too, to hell, despite the fact that there is only a couple of hours on the way to it - it has been abandoned for over 50 years, and we will not find anything there. So, we are heading to Port Demetrion, and to him, guys, almost two thousand kilometers.
“Two thousand,” Tom whistled. - Maybe still come back for a helicopter?

Joe turned and looked at him squarely. Of course, Tom completely forgot that the helicopter was mercilessly pinned by a radio tower broken by a titan that night. And Tom remembered that it was better not to ask further idiotic questions.

“We're going to Port Demetrion,” Joe concluded. - If you have a different opinion - rub it down.

He turned to the pilot panel and chose the point of arrival.

“The route is built. Before the arrival - one thousand nine hundred and eighty-one kilometer. ”

“Listen, Joe,” came Andy's impressive voice from the back of the rover. - Since the road is so far, can we go out for a while? My legs are already numb, and I am not averse to casting a little.

Scott grinned slightly, remembering his downcast and guilty eyes in the hangar as they discussed the fate of Raytnov. And now this guy quietly offers to go out, cast, and go on. Most likely, he has already forgotten that there are other survivors besides being in this rover who may need help.

“The plan is good, and therefore doubly valuable,” Joe approved. “Because you usually have as many valuable thoughts as a chicken’s teeth.”
- What? - did not understand Andy.
- I say that this is what we will do. I would also relax in front of the track.

He opened the door of the rover, squeezed past Scott, just in case weighing that purely preventive slap in the face, and got out. Without becoming particularly bother, he immediately unbuttoned his pants and set to work. Andy, who got out of the rover behind him, laughed shortly and called Joe handsome, but decided to walk to the bushes and cast as a decent person, hiding his jet from others. Or maybe he just wanted to shit.

Tom also decided to go out, but before that he had prudently seized the machine from the stand. When he came close to Joe and saw the fruit of his creations immediately before leaving the rover, he laughed and also said that he was none other than the real handsome.

“It was here when I came, I swear,” said Joe, and at the same time there was a loud volley signaling that from now on his intestine was free of accumulated gases. “Why do you need a gun if you just went out to see how I cast?”
- Here, sort of like, wolves are found.
“Come on,” Joe waved his hand. - Have you seen at least one in three months?

Tom looked at him like an idiot.

- For three months I have not seen titanium, if you think about it. In the end, I'm not such a lucky son of a bitch like you, so I prefer to be safe.
- Oh well. Do you even know how to shoot?

As a response, Tom chose the words of action. He offhand aimed at the nearest tree and pulled the trigger. Naturally, nothing happened, as the machine was on safety, and this caused a lot of emotion in Joe.

“Give it better here,” he said, still laughing, and snatched the weapon from Tom from his hands. “You can still shoot Andy while he is laying his larvae there.”
- By the way, where did he go?
“Somewhere in that direction,” Joe waved his hand forward, “I didn't really watch, I was busy with things that were much more important.”
- Andy? - shouted Tom.

In response, there was silence. The smile began to slowly go off Joe’s lips, and he squeezed the machine gun in his hands, without removing it from the safety catch, then dived into the rover and threw it in the direction of the cabin:

- Lil, cut in the radar.

Scott did not take long to wait and immediately followed the instructions, but he was surprised that he had been guessed to turn it on only now, and not before leaving. Probably, many considered wolves a myth, since they had never seen them. However, the radar was clean and said that within a radius of a hundred meters there was not a single large animal.

- Andy, your mother! - shouted Tom again.

Peter, dozing in the back of the rover, woke up from these screams, but did not go outside and watched the developments in the porthole.

- Maybe his hearing fails when he is engaged in this business? - Tom laughed, but somehow unnatural, with tension. Although the radar readings were satisfactory, the silence of the comrade caused some alarm.
“Hold on,” said Joe, handed him a machine gun and dived into the rover.

Squeezing into the place of the first pilot, he transferred the radar to the detection of colonists. Of course, the point designating Andy's receiver was located thirty meters from the rover and did not disappear anywhere. Radar made a monotonous intermittent sound, notifying the detection of all five sensors.

“So why the hell is he silent?” Asked Joe nervously at Scott, although he obviously could not know the answer.

Then there was loud laughter from Tom, and then his head appeared at the door of the rover, and he reported:

- Andy just got in touch. He said he rubbed nettles and asked for something refreshing.

Joe took a deep breath and rolled his eyes.

“I always knew that he was the dumbest of us.” He is even dumber than I, because I would not have guessed to push into my crevice it is not clear what.

Scott took out a napkin package from the glove compartment and threw it to Tom, while for some reason mentioning that they contained chamomile extract, thereby triggering a new bout of laughter from the latter.

“So that the priest was tender like a baby’s,” they heard his receding voice.

Joe frowned - this stop has already taken longer than he had planned. Before dark, he wanted to be as far away as possible from the ill-fated Alpha, where the titans first appeared before the human eye.

Joe did not yet know that they were everywhere now, and moving to such a considerable distance was a bad idea. No one else knew this.

“Cut this crap out,” he snapped, and at the same time turned off the radar itself, continuing to make an annoying sound. - These clever men have two minutes to return.

Andy stood in the bushes and breathed deeply, trying not to think about the pain and the strong discomfort brought about by outwardly unremarkable grass, like plantain leaves. The burn didn't manifest itself immediately, but now Andy fully felt all his colors. He has already cursed himself for a short-sighted decision a hundred times and decided to continue not to be guided by his thoughts in the style “suitable in size - it means you can use it”. Still, a burn on the arm is one thing, and a burn in a certain place can deliver a bit more discomfort, right?

He heard a rustle behind him and already released an internal gratitude to the Almighty, when it dawned on him that the rustling came from the side opposite to the one where the rover was.

- Tom? He called uncertainly.
- What? - came the voice from the opposite side.

The hundredths of a second in Andy’s head was a cunning plan for the next ten seconds — that was how long it took his brain to get to the rover. The plan was very detailed: first, of course, it was necessary to tighten the pants, and it was extremely necessary to neglect buttoning, pants and belt - the left hand would take over the support for pants in the belt area, while the right hand would actively move along the body forward -Back, and the palm will cut the air, like a professional sprinters. In general, Andy needed to save his ass - now and in the literal sense.

He immediately began to implement his plan, but something stopped him after the first item. Namely - a muffled growl a few meters behind. Andy, holding his pants with his left hand, as he had planned, slowly turned around and saw an impressive black figure with burning eyes, and then he felt his hand filling with warmth and moisture. The growl repeated.

“A healthy mind in a healthy body,” said Tom, who was still behind the bushes and took a growl for something else. “Even Joe isn’t farting like you.”

Andy squeezed his pants tighter and wanted to shout out to Tom so that he wouldn't fit, but his tongue would not obey him. After a second, Tom was already standing nearby, holding the napkins in one hand and the weapon in the other, while looking inquiringly at his comrade. He didn’t even look towards the wolf.

- What, itself passed? - He asked, looking at the stretched pants of Andy, and then drew attention to his strange posture and eyes fixed on something.

Tom followed the direction and dropped the napkins from his hands. He slowly reached for the fuse, and then he heard Joe's voice from the rover:

- Pull down from there, there is a wolf!

Andy seemed to be waiting only for this team and immediately fell off. Tom could not find the fuse and looked down to find it. It seemed that this hitch cost him a whole eternity, and he heard the wolf rushing in his direction, but did not know whether he would have time to aim and shoot. Finally, he looked up and at the same time began to throw up the machine, for some reason thinking that it would be nice to pick up a dropped pack of napkins.

Andy heard a dull sound behind him, as if someone had fallen to the ground two or three meters away, and then there were squealing sounds. Shot never followed.

- Maybe you should still turn on the radar? - asked Scott.

Joe silently followed his advice, switching the radar to the detection mode of large animals. Within a radius of one hundred meters there was no one. Joe glanced at his watch — almost two minutes had passed, but the guys had still not returned. He was about to go outside and shout that they were idiots, and that he intended to leave without them, as the radar suddenly began to issue alarming signals.

"CAUTION! Near a large predator! "

Scott flinched from the unexpected and almost unfamiliar sound - he had only heard it a couple of times when they tested the detection system on one of the rovers. Two fat points were displayed on the radar, which approached from the depths of the forest. In terms of speed and purposefulness of the movement, there was no reason to doubt that these were wolves.

Joe darted off, grabbed another machine from the rack and stood in the door of the rover.

- Pull down from there, there is a wolf!

He jumped out, but did not move far from the rover, allowing the self-preservation instinct to fulfill its task. Even with a gun to go on two wolves - a dubious idea.

However, after some hesitation, he still rushed forward in an attempt to save his comrades. Scott saw it and was horrified, but noted to somewhere in the corner of his brain the thought that he did not want anything to happen to Joe. As with the rest.

Joe did not have time to escape far - after a couple of seconds Andy appeared from the bushes, who completely forgot his plan and stopped holding his pants, actively working with both hands. As was to be expected, the pants quickly descended and interfered with the run, and then Andy got confused and began to fall. But he didn’t have time - in flight he was intercepted by a wolf that flew out of the bushes behind him and grabbed his neck, creating a short-lived but very colorful bloody fountain.

Joe instantly took aim and pulled the trigger, after removing the machine gun from the fuse - however, the plasma charge only touched the wolf on a tangent, slightly beating the skin and forcing him to retreat for a short time. Joe ran up to the body of his friend, but he did not have to hope for a happy outcome - he was lying on his chest, but his head was turned up, almost cut off from his body by powerful jaws. Dark blood flowed out of the arteries, no longer pulsing, and formed an increasingly impressive puddle.

"Here is the devil!", A thought flashed through Joe's head. Suddenly he heard the noise of breaking branches in front and quickly raised his eyes, holding his weapon at the ready.
He saw the second wolf, but he ran into the thicket of the forest, holding something in his mouth. Something of red color and shape remotely resembling a human body - no doubt, it was Tom.

Joe glanced around and began to move his back toward the rover, and when he was no more than three meters away, he turned and reached the door in two bounds.

- Close! - He shouted, once inside, although this was not necessary - Scott did not think to hesitate.

Peter helped Joe get up, but he just waved away and went to his place of the first pilot, started the engine and pressed the pedal to the floor.

“Are they um-dead?” - quietly asked Scott.
“They're dead,” Joe replied, and then cast a quick glance at him. - I'm sorry, Scott.

Peter confusedly raised the machine on the floor and put it to safety. The route was built - they were on their way to the main base of the planet - to the base called “Port Demetrion”. To the base from which it would be possible to return to the native Earth.

I will be glad to see everyone in VK group :)


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