MINI-READ Ninth Installment
This ninth mini-read installment ran for two weeks from 16/12/19 to 30/12/19 which features the tenth chapter of Participant In Entropia by Andrew Jenery.
Participant In Entropia
Vacation to New Switzerland
After all the recent activity, the mining run; trapping and scanning robots; space rides to the asteroid resort or the space station; repairing vital equipment and acquiring new armour and other things, I was starting to feel a bit jaded. There was no other solution, I simply needed a vacation!
Once again I consulted my personal e-map and selected the atlas for Amethera, as by default, one was always presented with Eudoria for some reason on starting up the hand-held device. Looking at the list of entries in the left-hand panel, I decided to go somewhere that I had only been to once before simply to acquire the teleporter there - New Switzerland! This new frontier in north-west Amethera hadn't been there that long, having been completed only recently - not exactly the size nor characteristic of a city, but not your typical townscape either. I remembered it as being an ornate and picturesque collection of surreal timber houses on wooden platforms going into a large lagoon or fjord, surrounded by evergreen grass banks and forested hillsides and the constant swishing sound of the wind turbines that generated electricity for the residents.
However, I had no intention of sleeping-rough there throughout the whole of my stay, whatever the novelty value of the landscape. After all, I didn't really know which creatures or robots lurked there, and furthermore, there was no point in having a vacation if I wasn't going to enjoy a few mod-cons. Not having looked at the global chat-log for some time on my electronic readout, and so not knowing whether a friend or two had recently logged-on, I closed down the e-map before looking-up my Friends List to see if someone that I knew had an apartment there was showing. Luckily Bill's entry was there, so I sent a 'hello - how are you doing...' greeting on the PM facility and waited for a few seconds. I was presented with a similar message not long after and duly told him of my vacation idea, asking if it would be OK to use his abode for somewhere to crash-out in for a couple of days or so. Offering the consideration of 50-PEDs in return; which would easily cover his monthly maintenance fee, quickly sealed the deal without much further ado. He told me he was conducting a teleporter run for a small group of new colonists and asked me to meet him at the popular apartment complex of Omegaton West Habitat. As I happened to be near a teleporter anyway, this wouldn't be a problem at all. A few minutes later, and I'm at the given location, and sure enough he is waiting there. I sent another private text message, or PM, that only he and I could read.
“ Thanks for helping me - how you doing?” Bill was never the type to get in a flap about anything.“No problem... The 50-PED offer helped though - he, he!”
“Sure - hold on..” Quickly activating my private trade terminal, I place the 50-PEDs into the matter converter before pressing a few keys and seconds later the amount reappears in his own machine. “Great! OK - thanks a lot. Now, I must get back-on with this TP run - no offence. The house number is '8' and public access is enabled. Here's the coordinates... See U later.” I give a final farewell and then quickly log the figures before alighting back onto the teleporter. This time, it would finally be to New Switzerland.
The coordinates must have been slightly inaccurate, as ten minutes or so later I was standing in front of a doorway with the number '5' on it, which meant that the actual house that I wanted was either three further along to my right, or three more to my left. The surreal sound of the wind turbines continued to fill my senses as I did a quick check of some of the other dwellings, and finally I find the right one. The auto-door opens as I approach the ornate wooden entrance, and I go on in to have a quick look around. There were hunting trophies and various weapons on display-boards on the walls and other trappings of success all around the main room. There were other rooms leading off from this one, but I didn't bother checking them out straight away, as it didn't really matter where I crashed-out later on. Right now, I was curious as to what creatures roamed around here, as I felt like doing a spot of hunting so that I would have something I could sell in a few days time. I quickly check my equipment and then leave for the neighbouring hills to see what I could find.
Half a mile or so later and not even one red dot had appeared on my direction scanner. As idyllic as the landscape was, there was something odd here. There were no gun towers anywhere, and yet no mobs either, so I decided to go on just a little bit further up and down the steep hills and crevices, through tall grass, thickets, what have you, mindful however, that I was going further and further away from the teleporter, and that I could come across major mob activity at any moment, which was often the case in my experience after not seeing mobs for great lengths of time.
Suddenly, two dots appear on the direction scanner approximately 70-yards away; one to my left at about '10 O'clock' and the other to my right at about '1 O'clock' respectively. I couldn't detect any 'growls' or 'grunts', so they weren't anything like Atrox, but I couldn't see anything through all the dense undergrowth either, so I walked rather than ran a little bit further just in case. It turned out that I had nothing too much to worry about. They were two Molisk Scouts slowly moping along in their usual arm-paddling fashion. However, as dead one's often resulted in fairly valuable by-products, I decided to take the opportunity. Some time later, I had taken about twenty Molisks in all and had managed to convert the carcasses into saleable items via my ever useful matter-converter. For now though, I had had enough of hunting, and so decided to head back to the cabin.
In the end, I stayed there for only about a day-and-a-half, and did three or so further Molisk hunts. The change of scenery was good, and New Switzerland was certainly different from a lot of places that I had seen, but in the end, there was a certain monotony about the area that one could only put up with for so long.
End of this mini-read installment. Click here for the next chapter or chapters of Participant In Entropia which runs from 29/06/20- 13/07/20.