Chapter 4 - Danger?
”And here is your scout, ” The man in the middle of the group said with a smile
”Are you serious, You
e giving us a kid for a scout ” Another man jumped in clearly irritated after looking at the kid who just walked up to them.
”Its just a scout, as long as he can run it doesn matter who he is, ” another man said while looking towards their infuriated comrade.
” the man who first introduced Ashe said trying to calm the rest of the table who were just as surprised to be working with a kid.
”And besides we
e already giving you quite the recourses for this expedition, So Im sure that one scout being a little on the younger side won matter ”
The person in the middle was the boss of the scavenger group. He hired and orchestrated all the expeditions this one being no exception.
e right, lets get going the sun is about to set and we
e going deep in the wilds today, ” said the previously irritated man while getting up from the table.
”Lets go! ” Said another in a commanding voice making everyone except the boss start following the first man to another room.
Ashe who didn even have time to sit down was now also joining the group. On entering the room his eyes lit up. Is that a car! He never got to ride in one before as previously he was only sent on smaller scavenge runs.
The rest of the group took some bags and put them in the back of the car while signaling to Ashe to get in.
Once everyone was inside they started driving towards the city border wall checkpoint.
”Hey kid, have you ever gone on an expedition before? ” The man next to him who was dressed in dark green asked.
”Ive been on a scavenge run before but never one on this scale ” Ashe responded quite nervously making everyone know that he was nervous.
”Ha, its okay kid this one is a bit special so youll have to understand your role ” the man responded with a positive attitude making Ashe feel more comfortable.
e a scout just like your friend over there, ” said the driver while the man in dark green pointed to himself with a smile.
e going to be in the outer circle in our formation ” the driver continued while signaling to the man next to him to give something to Ashe.
After searching through a bag, the man handed Ashe a burner phone.
”You will be telling us what things you find and especially if you see any beasts ” the driver continued. ”That guy over there, ” he said while pointing to a man with tight dark sportswear and a very athletic figure. ”Is going to be are climber, meaning if you find a place thats hard to reach and looks untouched you text him ”
”We will be somewhere near him at all times acting like guards so whenever you see a beast text us and we will come help ” the man next to the driver continued for him.
”You got that? ” The driver who now felt like the leader of the group asked Ashe
”Yes sir! ” Ashe responded now feeling a lot more confident
Right after responding to the driver, the car started slowing down. At first, Ashe felt worried he had said something wrong but he quickly realized that they were just arriving at the checkpoint.
”Im sorry we can let anyone through at the moment! ” The security guard yelled at the car while going over to the car window.
Are we going to be in trouble?! Ashe thought while so visibly anxious that the other scout started to comfort him.
”Don worry we got his covered ” he whispered into Ashes ear.
Then after the police officer came up to the window the driver showed him something in his hand. Ashe couldn even tell what it was before the officer left them alone and opened the gate.
”What was that? How did we just pass through so easily? ” Ashe was so confused because even though scavenging wasn strictly illegal border checks would usually be a lot more thorough and there would be at least 5 more officers around the checkpoint.
”We told you today was special, ” the man that was supposed to be the climber said while everyone else was also grinning from ear to ear. ”Security is all on the other side of the city because of that titan and coincidently so should the beasts. ” He continued with an even bigger smile.
”What!!, a titan! ” Ashe screamed in shock as he could not believe the information before him, in fact even though he saw the complete lack of security he still was doubtful.
Nobody could blame him either as titans are an incredibly rare type of beast if you could even call them that. They are usually bigger than cities, the outer zone included. They were so big that they had their own ecosystems where beasts and plants live on, or inside them and when they die their corpse decomposes into the titan and feeds it. They are also very docile and most of them don move much which is why the news was such a surprise to Ashe.
”Do you know what titan it is? ” Ashe interrupted the group who were discussing the bribe that they had just made. Almost every titan had been well documented and some even had research based on them so
”We don know nor do we care. If you want to know just check the news later. ” The driver said and the happy atmosphere suddenly disappeared and everybody else also stopped talking.
”Sorry, we just really need to focus right now. ” the driver said after noticing the gloomy atmosphere he made. Everybody nodded in agreement but it didn bring back the mood. Because they got reminded that they were outside of the city now and anything could happen.
They continued to drive on a dirt road for about 30 minutes. Ashe mostly used this time to look out the window of the car. He has never been so far out of the city before and even though it was getting dark since the sun had already set he appreciated the chance of getting to see the landscapes of the deep wilderness.
The car had stopped in front of a forest. Once they stepped out of the car the driver went to the back and pulled out some duffle bags and handed out one to each member of the group.
”Okay lets run over what we
e doing, The plan is simple we will be walking around 20 meters apart from each other forming a line ” speaking loudly and clearly, was the driver now emanating the aura of a leader.
”Every couple minutes I will text you all on the burner phone to stop and start flashing your lanterns in order of the line, ” he said so while giving everybody their lanterns and showing them how they work. The lanterns were more like flashlights except they had a glass dome on the end so instead of flashing in a direction it would light up around you.
”The east scout will signal first, ” the driver said while pointing at the person in dark green. ”Then when the east guard will see your light he will flash his light and then the climber will flash his light than me and finally the west scout ” upon finishing his sentance he handed a flashlight to Ashe.
”Finally if you find something text us and if you find something for the climber mention it as well ” with those final words they all started preparing.
The scouts had the least gear with only a flashlight, phone, and bag. While the guards also carried what to Ashe looked like assault rifles and the climber had a lot of different climbing gear from rope to what looked like a climbing axe.
But what caught Ashess attention was when he took a glance at the climbers skin he saw that it didn look exactly human. This could only mean that the climber has a stage 1 mutation.
Stage 1 mutations are fairly common as about 1 out of 5 people have one. However, they are mostly just vanity changes like the climbers rough and yellowish skin or Ashes mutation that gave him golden eyes that reflected light making them appear to be glowing under direct light. Rarely however a stage 1 mutation could have some other effects because of the vanity changes.
This is exactly what Ashe was thinking while looking at the climbers arm. Doesn that look like lizard skin? Maybe it helps in climbing.
Ashes thoughts were quickly interrupted
”Okay lets go! ” A commanding voice ordered and everyone was suddenly in position after the driver pointed towards the direction they were supposed to go. Everybody split up and started walking into the dark forest.
Now all alone Ashe was getting more nervous with every step. Gripping the burner phone tightly hoping to hear something after every step but not a single notification came. After a couple of minutes suddenly a notification appeared.
< Stop walking, roll call from the east scout >
Ashe stopped and waited. Now suddenly it was quiet no longer distracted by the sound of him stepping on the forest floor it began scaring him even more.
But then a small light was flashing light could be seen in the distance being turned on and off repeatedly. Quickly Ashe lifted his flashlight and began doing the same.
Once one light turned off permanently the other soon followed and a text message was typed out
< All clear? >
< Will do > Ashe quickly responded and soon they were all back to walking.
Now with the knowledge that a guard was close by Ashe was more reassured and began walking more confidently. He was starting to enjoy the rare opportunity of exploring the wilds. After climbing over a large rock formation he got a text on his phone.
< Stop walking, roll call from the east scout >
Now on top of the rock formation, he started to rest after the small climb and look around his surroundings. The rock formation allowed him to look above the canopy of the forest. Ashe was star-struck at the beautiful night sky as he had never seen this many stars in the shimmering sky.
His phone received more messages turning his attention from the sky back to reality.
< West scout isn responding >
Ashe looked over the edge and he couldn see the light of the west guard.
< Sorry Ive climbed a rock and Im slightly above the trees so I can see your lights. >
< A rock higher than a tree? Is it possible thats actually a collapsed building? >
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