MINI-READ Fifteenth Installment
This fifteenth mini-read installment ran for two weeks from 09/03/20 to 23/03/20 which features the sixteenth chapter of Participant In Entropia by Andrew Jenery.
Participant In Entropia
I had probably had enough of the routine every-day for a while, so I decided to hook in once more to do something completely different. That is, to go somewhere completely different. To go to Eudoria's back-of beyond, at least that was how it was quoted to me not long ago.
The person who told me hadn't even been there, having received the info second hand. About a colossal tower way out in the desert region due south of the remote outpost of Fort Pandora. I asked about any mob activity there, but this had drawn a blanc, so it looked as though this really was going to be a real box of surprises - maybe... Maybe there wasn't any tower either and this was just game folklore? Time would tell.
I arrive at Fort Pandora in the usual way, somewhere that I had only been to once before when acquiring my first batch of teleporters, and start to head south. I hardly remembered the area, which going by what I could see, wasn't that much. First came the slow ascent up the perimeter grass bank that finally levelled-off as I got to the top, and then what seemed like the beginnings of a desert. I checked the e-map just to make sure and true enough, there was nothing but miles and miles of light-coloured terrain ahead of me.
Soon it was nothing but dunes. Acres and acres and who knows how many millions of tons of virtual silicon that just seemed to continue for ever. I'm sure I would have fried in the Calypso sun if it hadn't been for the armour's heat exchanger, which annoyingly was starting to play-up, but I pressed on anyway, now determined more than ever to see if this tower truly existed.
The monotony of this endless wasteland was starting to get to me, as yet more miles of sand passed beneath my boots, which luckily was broken by the sudden appearance of a red dot on my direction scope. It turned out to be just a Berrycled, which I left alone in spite of the monotony as they never looted that well and because I wanted to save my medium laser cells in case of more difficult mob activity later. A few more appeared in the distance as well as the odd Sabakuma, but again I left them and went right on past in my continuing quest to find this tower.
Then, a sea of clam-shaped outcrops of some kind appeared just below the horizon, prompting me to check the direction finder for mob activity, but no red dots were showing - but then what were they? Closer inspection with the optical scope on the plasma revealed that they were some sort of strange rock-shaped plants with huge blades of grass sprouting out of the tops. I had seen it all now...
I must have passed hundreds of these things in the ten minutes or more that it took to get clear of them, only to be met with yet another expanse of nothing but sand after this. I carried on anyway, and just as I was thinking that perhaps this had been a complete waste of time, so the sky ahead of me started to change from clear blue to a faded concrete-gray tone. Was this a mirage? I couldn't yet tell because of the heat haze, so I would have to get closer. Then, slowly but surely, a huge quadruped tower began to loom towards me like something out of a dream - so tall and vast, that it seemed as though I was running in slow motion. This was a marvel in civil engineering and made the Pyramid of Argus seem simple by comparison, but what was it for and what were they doing in there? Who ever 'they' were.
These and other questions go through my head as I begin to approach the nearest of the four colossal pillars, wondering how much longer it would take to actually get to it. Something also told me that there would be more difficult mobs here, and true enough, a few red dots appear on the finder a few seconds later, slightly to my left. Two Berycled Provider's and a huge red-beaked Longu Mature.
I raise the plasma rifle to fire one pinging round and the Longu starts lumbering towards me in their usual ungainly fashion as I switch to the quicker but shorter-range Isis carbine. Four rounds later, and it crashes to a halt a few yards in front of me. My trusty old matter converter then makes short work of the carcass before I switch my attention to the side-by-side Berycleds. I decide on a double-hit just for fun, knowing that the plasma should do most of the damage anyway.
I send one round into the first one, that for some reason just stays there and doesn't run at me, although a fair amount had come off it's health-level indicator - then another round into the other one which does run towards me. Much faster than Longus, it reaches me in very little time, but a few rounds of the fast reloading Breer-P5 makes short work of it. In the next ten minutes or so, I've finished off the other Berycled and two Atrax that came onto the scene prowling around one of the other pillars.
Then there were no mobs, it was just me and this huge construction, the purpose of which I still couldn't quite figure. There were no doorways in the four pillars, and no apparent means of accessing the huge dome-shaped top. The whole thing was just an enigma, stuck out here in the middle of this desert.
In the end I decide to make some distance between it and myself so that I can take a screen-shot of it and turn it into a work of art for my apartment in Omegaton. If I transferred it onto a recently acquired sign-board that accepted 'participant created' content, it might even be worth something in the near future. It was time to get back to Pandora.
End of this mini-read instalment. Click here for the next chapter or chapters of Participant In Entropia which runs from 29/06/20- 13/07/20.