MINI-READ Eighteenth Installment
This eighteenth mini-read installment ran for two weeks from 06/04/20 to 20/04/20 which features the nineteenth chapter of Participant In Entropia by Andrew Jenery.
Participant In Entropia
The Road from Twin Peaks
Back at the teleporter, I selected Twin Peaks from the locations menu, as I wanted to track down some Argonauts that used to roam around not far from there.
Argonauts had the nasty habit of using large pieces of iron ore as primitive bludgeons on the unsuspecting, but iron ore also happened to be a much needed commodity used for the manufacture of tools and equipment. They also robbed victims of their possessions, even if they didn't know what to do with them, so there was a good chance that I could get other items as well. Unfortunately this little plan was cut short, as it turned out that the landscape had been changed just like everywhere else that I had seen so far, and that the Argonauts there had been wiped out by fallout from the Typhon impact according to other colonists. I also found out that roads had been recently introduced to the game after talking to another participant. This finally explained the odd looking fissures that I kept seeing when ever I looked at the electronic map.
There was such a road due-west of the teleporter, and at first I wasn't too sure as to if I should actually follow it, or leave it completely and take the more usual scenic route, but the more I stood there and thought about roads and walkways, the more I realized the sense of them.
The important difference of having roads as opposed to not having them, was that I wouldn't have to keep checking the electronic map to know where I was or where I was heading in relation to Twin Peaks, or for that matter, any other place in Entropia that now had roads. As long as I stayed on the road or didn't wander too far from it, I knew that I would never get lost. I cleared my mind, and without further ado took this road due-west of Twin Peaks to see what I could find.
I must have travelled miles along this road west of Twin Peaks without even one red dot showing on the radar scope, and the frozen water that was still falling everywhere was making visibility almost impossible. Suddenly I stopped in my tracks and stood perfectly still as a very bad thought occurred to me. The frozen water storm may have been jamming the scope, and that was why red dots indicating mobs hadn't shown on the display.
For all I knew, there could have been creatures of all kinds not too far from me right there and then, although I was fairly certain that nothing very territorial or predatory had got too close so far. Even so, I knew I couldn't take any further risk – it or they, could attack at any time.
There was no choice but to increase the gamma rate in the visor of the face-mask as I looked around warily with my Isis laser-carbine at the ready. Nothing was showing though, so I continued further along this road that seemed to be leading to nowhere in particular. Minutes soon turned to tens of minutes and mile after mile had passed beneath my thermal Reilly boots, but still I saw no 'mobs' of any kind, making me wonder if perhaps creatures were as unfamiliar with roads as I was.
I stood still and checked my electronic map once more which told me that this road would very soon branch to the left and right, but which deviation should I take? I was undecided, although it probably wouldn't make any difference which way I went. Finally I came to the fork in the road and decided to take the left path and continued going ever further at a fair pace, but still nothing. This lack of mob activity was becoming puzzling and also a major concern. It was getting late already and I still hadn't acquired anything, not even one Caroot, nothing!
Then I saw them. Three Dakaiba Matures just ahead of me bang in the middle of this road.
Daikiba's had a wide tolerance-zone and ordinary mature one's were very little threat, so I had been very lucky so far to say the least, as the scope was still obviously being jammed by this falling frozen water. I switched to the lower-powered Isis handgun and fired several energy rounds in quick succession into the three of them, conveniently grouped together and so effectively making one big target which made my job a lot easier. Once again my trusty matter-converter automatically kicked-in and made quick work of the carcasses, transferring the valuable by-products into my personal inventory a few seconds later. At last I had something to show for all my searching and a new incentive for carrying on further.
At least another mile or so must have gone by, making me think that the Daikiba's were maybe a false dawn, when suddenly I clocked the unmistakable silhouettes of a pack of predatory and vicious Atrax on the horizon. Gremlin armour worked against one or two attacking at once but no way would I get through the whole five or six of them rushing me, which I knew they would do if I got any closer. But I still needed the by-products – that's what I was here for, so I decided I would back-off fifty yards or so and deploy the long range plasma rifle to separate them before finishing them off one at a time with the Isis carbine.
A pile of carcasses were lying in a heap in front of me ten minutes or so later and once again the matter-converter did its invaluable job before the matter-transfer-er sent the resulting by-products to my personal inventory. For now though, I had had a belly-full of killing creatures, so it was time to turn around and head back for Twin Peaks.
End of this mini-read instalment. Click here for the next chapter or chapters of Participant In Entropia which runs from 13/07/20- 27/07/20.