Who landed a freighter on top of me? were the words that slowly coalesced in his mind as consciousness stole up on him and robbed him of peaceful blackness. What came out of his mouth sounded a lot more like “Graahhbhrugh” to his ears, though whether it was his mouth or his ears that were malfunctioning, he couldn’t say.
He blinked a few times, but either his eyes weren’t behaving themselves either, or it was very dark. He struggled to remember how he’d gotten here, wherever and whatever here was. Remembering stuff seemed safer and less painful than trying to move around blind.
He’d been out drinking; that part he didn’t have to remember. The taste of his mouth told him that much. A fuzzy image came to mind of sitting alone until he’d been approached by …
He wasn’t sure who they were, but they’d been rough characters. That’d account for at least some of the hurting going on. Everything after that was a dizzy blur. There’d been a lot of fists flying, a few of them his, the rest of them flying his way. After that there’d been some bumpiness and movement, and then he’d been flying. No, falling. Yeah, falling.
And now he was pretty certain he was laying somewhere in the dark.
He tried blinking again a few times and it helped, or at least it seemed to. Everything looked dark gray now instead of black, anyway. And the nearby sound of crunching gravel confirmed his ears still worked.
He wondered for a moment if he should be worried by that sound; he hadn’t noticed it before. But it didn’t sound like anything big, so he gave it a pass.
“No’ goin’ ge’ anywhe layi’ ‘ere,” he mumbled. Okay, his mouth sort of worked. And his jaw hurt, a lot. He shifted an arm, and found it in one piece. Encouraged, he moved the other, and his legs. So far so good.
The crunching gravel sound had paused, and a curious series of beeps and electronic squeals took its place. He couldn’t see the source; everything was still grey. He tried turning his head.
He’d been staring at a great gray pile of… he had no idea of what. It was definitely big and pile-like. Metal scrap, mostly, he thought. Turning his head revealed more piles, and more, and more after that. But the change in perspective gave him enough contrast to recognize what he was seeing, and there was more there than scrap, and more colors than gray. He shuddered a bit and focused on finding the source of the sound.
He pushed himself up with his hands and got to his feet; to his relief, he wasn’t feeling that bad. Definitely sore from head to toe, and he definitely had a wicked headache, but nothing he couldn’t handle.
He looked around properly, seeing nothing but more and more piles of discarded crap. “They dumped me in a dump.” It wasn’t till he’d turned around to check behind him that he found what must’ve been the source of the odd sounds.
It was a robot; a tiny one, as such things went, no bigger than a breadbox, and it bore a striking resemblance to one. He knew that, he suddenly remembered, because he’d always loved museums and ancient history.
It was flatish and broad, with belts of treads to either side that let it navigate the junk piles. It had no other appendages that he could see. It was rusty in spots, and had a couple of dark swiveling camera ports that served as eyes. It backed up, almost apprehensively, when he fixed his eyes on it.