Legend Hunting Part Two
Posted By: Dispraiser<email@example.com>
Date: 22 January 2003, 12:06 am
I stopped at the edge of the forest. I checked my watch, 8PM. The local curfew was 8:30 PM during Summer2. I decided to wait for the curfew to enact and move quickly. It wasn’t too strictly enforced in this area, though none of the residents wanted to be considered a criminal by their neighbors in such a small community. I could play the tourist card it I was caught though. I’d say “Me no speak zee english, you zee.” If anyone asked and move along. No one busts someone like that. I slipped on some large glasses and grabbed onto my backpack. It was blue in color and said Goxinus on it, a popular backpack brand here. Something a tourist would carry. I flung one of the straps over my shoulder and began walking. By the time I arrived at the hotel it would be near to 8:30. I stepped onto Main Street, Melo. It was probably one of the two or three paved roads here, most were only dirt or just a well ground path over the grass.
The setting sun hardly lit the streets, as the nighttime sunblocker slid into place over the rising sun to the West. With the binary stars of Lunar 4, it would never have a nighttime half the year, so a large panel lines itself up with the sun every day once the first sets. The street were dimly lit by a few streetlights, however none were needed, for few people traveled at night here, it was a mainly agricultural community, and most of their work was done during daylight. I continued walking down the street, carefully observing the surrounding buildings. None were as tall as I was used to seeing, the tallest being only a half dozen stories high. The tallest building was the inn, where I was going. It was six stories tall and looked to have only one resident, only one of the windows was illuminated on the side of the building. Before it sat a flickering sign, an advertisement that was hardly needed being that it had no competition for eighty miles in any direction. Bucky’s it said. Probably the name of the store owner or manager. The sign stood ten feet off the ground, a good place to hide my rifle. I stepped off of the street to avoid a light and continued down. I was still armed and in no position to be spotted with a military class rifle. I continued to the hotel and scaled the side of the sign to stick my weapon within it. Once I was satisfied that it was securely placed and near to invisible I jumped down to the ground below. I brushed off my hands and flipped my backpack over my shoulder, continuing to walk into the hotel.
The door slid open for me and a bell rang, signaling my entry. It wasn’t enough, however to awaken the man behind the counter. My footsteps echoed in the large lobby. I was impressed by the finely polished marble floor, which looked to be much better maintained than the sign outside. I cleared my throat, a polite attempt to wake up the man behind the desk. He was a fat man, and wore a tight T-shirt and a denim vest, which was at least three sizes too small. A red and white hat sat atop his head, which had some grey hair that hung frailly from it. He had some straw extending from his mouth, and his feet up on the table. I walked up and rapped the desk three times awakening the man from his slumber. He quickly sat up, wiping the spit from the side of his mouth and snapping to attention, seeing me.
“Quiet night?” I asked him, a way to break any tension that he had, a result of his embarrassment.
He sat a little bit straighter up, probably just now beginning to truly wake up. “Yeah, yep, a real quiet night. Only one guy so far, so, are you here for a room or directions?”
“Well, both. I need a room for tonight, and I need directions to the Martinez family farm?”
“Don’t you need a hospital boy?” He gestured to some blood that I had on my shirt, probably from hitting that branch on the way down. I hadn’t noticed it before. That probably wasn’t helping me to blend in either.
I looked down for a second, “Oh, no. This is just a little scrape I got.” I slid an arm over it, I wanted to look as normal as possible, and if nothing else conceal this wound. “Yeah, so could I have a room? Just for tonight?”
He grabbed a set of keys off the wall and tossed them to me, a sign of trust that he gave them too me before I paid, that probably meant that he was a fool or I was blending in. “86 credits, one nights fee.” He paused as I began to extract my wallet from the Goxinus backpack, “Actually, you can stay for free. I haven’t got any use for money anyway. All I need I can get from my neighbors. You see, round here, we have our own system of money, none. Enjoy your stay!”
“Thanks man!” I looked at the keys, they said 106 and pool room. “Hey, Mr.”
“Ah, Mr. Roguriez, Alan Roguriez, pleasure to meet you, and you are?”
“Oh, Scott Martinez. A relative of Jose’s. But anyway, can you tell me how to get to room 106?”
“Yeah, just go the elevator to your left and up to floor three. From there you just walk three doors down and it’s to your left. Right?”
“Easy enough, floor three and room three.” I said.
“Good point. Well, do you want a wake up call?”
“They still have those?”
“Well, they do here. Do you want one?”
“Yeah, call me up when the sun rises, right?”
“Alright.” He said as I began to walk to the elevator. I pressed the small, round button and watched as a warm glow was placed upon it. A ring ensued as the elevators reached my floor. The doors slid open to reveal an elevator. It was a half circle in shape, the flat side towards me, and another polished marble floor. I stepped into the cramped car, hardly meant for more than two people without their luggage, and pressed the third floor button. The doors slid shut and some elevator music began to play. It was an orchestral piece, and was, frankly, horrible. Luckily, I was saved by a refreshing ring from the bell at the top of the elevator, I had hit the third floor. I stepped out of the elevator and walked down the carpeted hallway. Some ceramic sconces hung at odd intervals along the wall highlighting potions of the peach colored walls. I walked past the first two doors and soon arrived at the third. I held up my keys, looking at the number which was engraved upon it, 106, and verified that it matched the door. Satisfied with my query I slid it into the keyhole and stepped into the room. It wasn’t much, two rooms total, a small bathroom with a bathtub, sink and a toilet, as well as another room with a TV viewscreen and a bed. Behind the bed lie a window, which was concealed by some white curtains. I dropped my backpack near the door and continued to the bed. I wasn’t tired, but was glad to be able to sit down. I sat on the bed and slid the window open. I was used to seeing a cityscape out of every window, and was confused by the vast black expanses I witnessed. Like the early night sky, only a distant trio of lights were visible. In the sky’s case, the three planets, and in regards to the current image, the distant lights of some farmhouses. Behind this hotel, according to my briefing, was miles of farm fields. On almost any given day from ground level I could only see half of the field at most. It was my destination as well, where the monster last struck.
I awoke the next morning and rolled out of the bed. The suns light shone straight in the window at me, and gave the early morning a warm, golden glow. Some dew had collected along the base of my window, but aside from that not much had changed since the night before. I quickly changed into another Tshirt, white in color, and blue jeans, lightly tattered to blend in better. I rolled the bloodied Tshirt into a tight ball and stuck it into the garbage can near to the door of the room being there was no use for it. The stains from the blood would most likely never come out, and besides that, it was on the UNSC. The wound on my chest was small, however, not much larger than my extended pinky. It had bled a lot, so it probably needed to receive stitches, but it was too late for that, it had already clotted. I instead put a bandage over it and swung the backpack over my shoulder. I stepped out of my door as another door on the opposite side of the hallway flipped open. A tall lanky man with blonde hair stepped out, nodded and slammed his door shut to get around t, both of our doors effectively barricading the hallway. Before he closed it I had spotted three or so other men in the room, sitting around a card table, a few smoking. They were treating this hotel as if it were their home. I closed my door silently, a habit from years of black ops, and continued down the hallway to where the tall man was waiting for an elevator to come. I stopped near to the elevator door as he had and looked over. He stood a full head taller than me, and returned my glare.
“What?” he asked. I broke my glance, thinking of replying with the same question to him, but there was no reason to needlessly anger civilians.
“Ah, nothing much. I thought I saw you somewhere before. Did you go to the Lunar 4 Missoula academy?” I asked him. The truth was that I hadn’t gone to the academy, and that I hadn’t seen him before.
“No, this is my hometown. Home-schooled just a little to the north. Kindest old lady taught me.”
“Ah.” I noted his accent. He had a northern Siberian accent that seemed to be artificial. His vernacular combine with his accent led me to the belief that he must have moved to one of the Russian controlled areas of Lunar 4 at a young age.
“I have a question for you. Why are you here?”
“Not one for pleasantries I see. I am here to visit my long lost relatives, the Martinez family.”
“Ah. Everyone has their guard up now, see. That monster’s attacks…”
“Monster?” I asked, hoping to see what a real local thought of it.
“Yes, the Neo Chupacabra. It has been killing livestock near the forest. Or so people say. I don’t think it’s that at all, something else.”
“What do you think it is?”
“I’m not really sure, but I’m sure we’ll all find out soon enough.”
The elevators bell rung right as I was willing to escape, I didn’t like this man, or this hotel. I stepped inside the elevator and Turned around. The doors slid shut after the tall man pressed the button with a ‘one’ on it. The elevator dropped down two floors as an eerie silence filled the car. I definitely didn’t like this man. The doors soon slid open to reveal the familiar lobby, this time with someone else behind the counter. I walked up to the table and threw the man the keys to my room. He flopped them loosely over the hook muttering about his lousy job and they way people treated him. I quickly turned and walked out of the hotel and onto main street.
I swung the doorknocker methodically twice before a response came. The door handle jangled as the person on the other side unlocked it, and then it finally creaked open to reveal an old lady. She was short, wrinkled, and carried herself with a hunch in her back. Even eerier was her voice, “Come in, you must be Scott, your wife called ahead telling us you were coming. God, has it been a long time since we have had a family gathering like this.”
“Thank you, um,” I extended a hand, “Scott Martinez, Construction Worker.” She mirrored my reach and shook my hand with surprising strength for a woman of her age.
“Just call me Granny Martinez and I’ll be fine. Now come on in, nothing wrong with the outdoors, but I can guarantee you’ll like it better in here. We just got air conditioning!” I was surprised by this statement at first, just got air conditioning, but soon remembered, I wasn’t exactly at the center of the technological world currently, I was literally as far as possible, being I was staying with a family that was quite near to Amish in nature. She clapped her hands as we entered and a few children, probably ages six to nine raced around the corner.
“It has been three days since my entry into the Martinez family.” I talked to the tiny uplink camera, which I had posted on the side of the mirror in the guest room. I ran the shaver across my face, it instantly devouring any hairs in it’s path, “They have accepted my arrival with welcome hands, and have treated me as family. It alerts me to what I am missing. HQ. This is my last mission. After this I’m retiring. I need to gain a stable life where I can have friends and family and a life. I don’t like this business anymore. Anyway, I have noticed that there have been no sighting of this so called ‘Chupacabra’ monster over the past three days, it’s almost as if it has left the region. Today however, I am going on a hunting expedition to recon the woods and see if I can find it’s shelter. Get some ODST troopers into the cave or whatever and see if we can’t kill this thing.” I finished shaving and began to dress in forest fatigues, “My mission will begin in three minutes at 0800 hours L4CT. The family will have left by then to farm the fields in the northern region, and I can leave with no notice. I will then proceed south to retrieve my rifle, and move immediately towards the forest. I will sweep the outside five hundred feet of the forest and then return. I believe I have put enough burden on this family though, so I will be leaving tonight. From here on out I want you to wire me the needed money to use the hotel every night. I like it better with no kids, they make too much noise.” I put on a camouflaged hat and finished my fatigues. I grabbed a pair of boots and shuffled down the stairs. I reached the bottom and turned to the left twice to reach the door. I kicked open the screen door. And slid on the rubber boots, tying each securely. If only I were so secure on this mission. Chances are that I would either find nothing at all in the woods, and fail the UNSC, or I would die, and fail the UNSC.