Enzo considered the situation. He had no idea who was on the other end, who they represented. There was a good chance it was an operator for whoever the fuck was running this freak show. Between waking up naked on a bed corpses in a furnace and having to do battle with–his eyes shifted to the corpse he'd made–whatever the fuck this Mutant thing was, he was really having a difficult time trying to suss the situation out.
"It's not important who I am. What the fuck is going on here?" Enzo replied.
There was a long pause. "Listen...I need to know, did you wake up in a furnace?" Enzo said nothing, waiting, not feeling good about this. The woman sighed. "Look, the situation is fucked, okay? We're going to have to trust each other. I'm the one that put you there."
Enzo snorted. "That is not a ringing endorsement for trust."
"What? I saved you!"
"By putting me in a fucking furnace naked?!"
"Yes! It was the only way to free you from your holding tube!"
He opened his mouth to respond angrily, to ask what the fuck he was doing in a holding tube, but then a memory came to him. It was faded and fogged, less of a memory and more of a half-recalled nightmare from the distant past. And yet...he felt like it was a memory, and a recent one. Enzo could remember waking up, beating his hands against glass...something covering his face, keeping him breathing...being submerged in liquid.
"Where the fuck am I?" he asked.
"You're in the bowels of Syberia Installation. Listen, I freed you, it was my only shot. There's so few of us left and I need someone down there to activate the auxiliary generator before we lose the whole fucking grid. Now where are you?"
"I..." Enzo could hear the raw need, the desperation, in her voice. He'd gotten good at sniffing out bullshit down the years and prided himself on being able to figure out when someone was lying to him, even people that were really good at it. "I'm not sure," he said, deciding that whoever this was, they were genuine.
For the moment, at least. He'd also found that people could love one second and the next fuck you over easy as can be.
"There's four sections down there. The first is disposal, which is where you would have woken up. The next is containment. That's going to have a lot of big containers in its main room," the woman advised him.
"That's where I am. In one of the offshoot corridors. I'm trying to find my way out. The only door, as far as I can tell, is locked down," Enzo replied.
"I was afraid of that...hold on..." A long pause left him drenched in gloomy isolation. He jumped as the body shifted slightly. He took a step back, knife out, staring at it.
"Any day now..." he muttered.
"Hold on," the woman replied irritably.
Enzo stared at the corpse. He'd only heard it move, not seen it, and the sound had been very slight. As he continued watching the body, he began to wonder if it was just his imagination playing tricks on him. In a gritty, industrial place like this, apparently buried underground, it was easy for that to happen. He took a deep breath, let it out slowly.
"Fuck!" the woman snapped, making him jump. "Okay, that door isn't opening, and it's the only conventional way out. Which means you'll have to get unconventional. I need you to go back into the main room, find Container Seventeen. It should be empty. Open it, crawl inside. It'll lead you to a maintenance hatch that will give you access to the maintenance areas. Move through that area. You'll have to proceed through the next section, which is the refinery, to get to the auxiliary generator. I need you to turn it on, the procedure is very simple."
YOU ARE READING
The sixth novel in The Shadow Wars. Enzo Rains could be a poster boy for the average twenty-fourth century mercenary. (If they made such a thing.) He's paranoid, entirely self-reliant, and does everything in his power to earn his next paycheck. His...