Chapter 11: Communications

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"You sure you're up for this?" Greg asked as they made their way down the ladder.

"I'll be fine," Eve replied.

She'd been quiet ever since they had left the Military HQ. Greg had to admit, he felt a hell of a lot better with this suit of armor. Plus, whatever it was Eve had done, combined with the artificial skin, was making his back feel better. Well, that and the painkillers he'd thrown down. Having a real arsenal helped, too.

He still had very mixed feelings about Eve. He'd been kind of avoiding her over the past month or so, and he'd stopped sleeping with her not all that long ago. It just seemed to cause more problems than it solved. Part of him just wanted to be friends with her and try to forget about his problems, but another part just...hurt too much. He'd really liked what they'd had and had wanted it to go even further, and it was just painful now whenever they got intimate, because it was kind of like a torturous window of what could have been.

One he could never pass through.

Greg hit the bottom of the shaft and stepped away from the ladder, rifle raised. He didn't bother with the flashlight, activating his vision filters instead. They'd come into a small back room packed with crap. He secured the area with a sweep of his rifle, checking out the niches and hiding places between the derelict workbenches and stacks of crates. He found nothing and moved over to the only door in the room.

They needed parts, and a few tools.

Didn't they always?

Luckily, Eve was still pretty great with technical things. Volker had marked the two locations they had to visit on Greg's map. He opened up the door and looked outside, finding a huge warehouse-sized room that was actually mostly empty. Greg moved out into it, feeling grateful. It was really nice to be in a room that wasn't absolutely packed with all sorts of stuff to have to navigate through, where, around every corner, there might be a killing horror lurking. He remembered from the map that the first store of supplies they needed to ransack was in the far right corner of the room. The way seemed to be clear, for the moment anyway.

"Come on," Greg said, heading across the open space.

Eve followed silently behind him. They had made it about halfway there when, suddenly, the sound of rending metal filled the air. Both of them skidded to a halt and raised their weapons, looking for the source of the noise. They found it to their right, where a large door was being peeled open by something trying furiously to get into the room.

A Bandersnatch.

Greg felt his stomach go cold.

"What the living fuck is that?!" Eve cried.

"Hard to kill! We need some heavier ordnance or...to pull something from the goddamned air," Greg snapped.

Both of them looked around frantically as the thing continued ripping its way into the room. Suddenly, Eve let out a sound of triumph and took off running. "I found something! Keep it busy!" she called.

"Oh come on, why do I always have to be the one to keep it busy!?" Greg called as he opened fire, trying to land a shot somewhere crucial.

"Cause you're the only one who's dick gets hard at the thought of danger!" Eve shot back at him.

He sighed and kept up his rate of fire. Behind him, he heard Eve searching frantically, knocking over crates and throwing things aside.

The Bandersnatch finally ripped its way into the room.

Greg emptied his magazine into the thing, trying to get a few shots into an eye or its mouth, but didn't manage to do any real damage. His bullets were basically bouncing off of the thing's hardened natural armor. What he wouldn't give for some armor-piercing rounds right now. He slapped a fresh magazine in and kept firing, backing up away from Eve to give her some time and space to find whatever it was she was looking for.

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