The Ship of the Unforgotten - Chapter 31

Camp NaNoWriMo

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Jun. X, 2565 A.C.E.

Cobb paced back and forth at the grated stairs of the junction room. Tundra or islands? Tundra or islands? He’d never been to the island biome, and a voice in the back of his mind warned him away from it. If he hadn’t been there, it was very possible—likely, even—that they’d booby trapped the whole place, as they’d done with the tundra earlier. Exploding coconuts, maybe. It was hard to predict how the minds of traitors and cowards worked.

He stopped by the stairs and rested his forehead on the cool metal rail. The islands were almost certainly booby trapped. The tundra though; he’d been through there. He’d already set off the booby traps they’d left. Unless they’d been back to set more. He couldn’t put that past them; they’d already proven to be far more resourceful than he’d have given them credit for. Especially the android; he shuddered to think of facing her. She’d taken down a bear bare-handed. No matter; even if she took him down, no amount of practice wrestling bears would save her from his plan.

He didn’t relish the thought of going back to the tundra. It was cold, and thoughts of bears brought the polar bear back to mind. But part of him relished the danger and discomfort. He’d show them it didn’t matter what traps they laid, or how severe the conditions were; he would still outwit them, would still overcome and persevere.

He lifted his head slowly, thoughts of overcoming the cold filling his mind. His eyes crossed over the banks of equipment that lined the room, lights twinkling on the control panels, white, yellow, blue, green, and … green and red.

The coward had showed them something, hadn’t she? A map of the ship with a sea of red lights, all over the biomes. The red lights of the fortunate ones, spared forever the knowledge of the disaster their hopes and dreams had come to. But there had been more; along with the lucky ones, there had been one large cluster of green ones. The unfortunate ones. The traitorous ones, waiting even now for the other traitors to wake them up.

That was it. That was why they’d set so many traps in his path before. They were searching for their accomplices! They’d been incredibly lucky that he hadn’t found them first. Or maybe they hadn’t been lucky enough. His lips locked in a feral grin. Maybe he still had time to find them first.

A part of his mind tried to tell him he had another quarry, that it wouldn’t matter whether they found their friends or not, that his plan would reduce them all to ashes anyway, but right then, he couldn’t care. They wanted to find their friends. He’d make sure that if they did, they would find them only in the peace of the glowing red.

He opened the door and set off into the snow once more, leaving behind the soft blink of an active video feed’s light.