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walking shadows pt 1

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Nate's eyes were shut.  Ocean waves lapped against his arms and legs.  The water was ice cold, but he was strangely warm and peaceful.  He felt a relaxing peace that he was afraid to disturb, but he reluctantly opened his eyes.  As he did so, all he could see were vague fuzzy shapes.  As the world around him slowly came into focus, the cold reality of his situation hit him like a tidal wave.  "Oh my god!" he exclaimed as his eyes adjusted to the world around him.  He was treading water in the middle of a deep ocean.  The sky above him was black, but the water around him was a nauseating shade of pink.  About ten yards away he could see the twisted flaming wreckage of the bowing 777 that he was flying on earlier.  It began to tilt on its side and sink.  Several feet away the fresh corpse of a young woman floated by on her back, still in her ripped skinny jeans and blood drenched Old Navy sweatshirt.  
Nate's horror was only overcome by his intense adrenaline and desperate survival instinct. He began to swim away from the gory accident with flailing, untrained motions.  His limbs ached  badly, and his joints felt like they were aflame like the plane, but he managed to push through it.  As he swam, he recalled the circumstances that got him here.  The trip to Romania where he was going to visit his aunts and uncles with his girlfriend.  The mad dash at the airport to make their 2 AM flight.  His last memory of the plane was the rum and coke he was sipping on before the jumbo jet plummeted toward the sea.  That life was gone now.  He was freezing cold and swimming toward a speck on the horizon that he noticed when he first assessed the situation.  He decided to just close his mind to the world around him and keep swimming until he arrived at the island.
4 hours later


Nate was neared the mysterious speck.  He was now close enough to see it's distinct features.  The speck turned out to be a beige outcropping of jagged stone, about 15 feet across and 10 feet tall.  The sides were smooth but the top was covered with jagged spikes.  the front of the tiny island was a smooth, artificial looking incline that met a pitch black cave.  In the mouth of the cave was a rusty iron pod, about 7 feet tall and in the shape of an egg.  As he arrived at the stone mass, he could see the letters G and a slightly scratched off letter that looked like an E or F Engraved on the side of the pod.  He could also see a raised panel in the side of the device with sparse red paint chips that used to indicate an activation button.  
Nate cautiously approached the mysterious device and tried to press the panel in.  It was rusted in place, so he gave it a strong kick, and the panel broke free of the rust and pushed itself into the machine.  A clear, robotic voice said "Recluse evacuation protocol activated" in a vaguely female monotone delivery.  Just then, the front half of the pod split from the main section with a burst of hot steam.  A disgusting stench, like that of rotten meat mixed with feces wafted from the interior of the pod.  A body of a man tumbled out.  He had obviously been dead for a long time, but his body had been preserved like a mummy Nate had seen in a museum once.  The skin was black and pulled back against it's bones.  The pod must have been sterilized and sealed shut for at least a year after this man died.  
Nate nervously stepped toward the now malicious looking device.  On the one hand, he feared a similar fate as the man that was splayed out before him.  On the other, his chances of rescue were slim to none and he didn't have many other options.  He cautiously entered the decrepit capsule, silently praying that it wouldn't kill him.  As he stepped on to the metal his sneakers made a notable clang.  The interior of the pod was almost entirely white.  The only color that could be seen were some splashes of blood on the wall and a mysterious purple liquid whose drops dotted the floor.        
The pod smelled surprisingly fresh, considering that it had just been the home of a corpse.  There must have been some sort of internal ventilation system.  This inquiry was highlighted in Nate's mind by the taste of dry, artificial air like one would find in an airplane cabin.  There was a white bench that curved outward from the pod's walls, and a slight indent opposite the bench that indicated that this panel of the wall could retract and reveal a storage compartment or screen.  Nate apprehensively sat down on the bench.  
The door of the pod immediately clanged shut, drenching Nate in total darkness.  The pod shot backwards at the speed of a bullet, clanging into the cave walls and whipping Nate's head back.  It then began to fall at a dizzying speed.  Nate desperately clung onto the handles of the bench as the capsule that contained him vibrated and shook.  Soon, the motion began to die down.  The egg was still moving at a break neck speed, but it had stabilized and was now moving smoothly.  Subsequently, a screen appeared opposite the bench Nate was sitting on, right where the indented wall panel used to be.
"Welcome to quarry infinity,". Said a speaker system hidden near the top of the pod.  "This mining outpost, created by the scientists at GE,  is designed with the technology of the future in mind.  You are currently riding in mine cart X 350, the ultra-fast, fuel efficient subterranean transportation device.". A picture of a much cleaner and newer pod, similar to the one Nate was riding in, appeared on the view screen.  As the speakers finished describing the pods, a picture of a bizarre six legged creature with a similar appearance to an elephant appeared on the view screen.  "This is the pride and joy of the quarry infinity program.  The transofont is a creature specially designed by GE's biotechnology division with the needs of a quarry or excavation site in mind.  The transofont can lift up too 10,000 pounds and carry a load of that weight at up to 15 miles per hour.  The transofont is even capable of walking up walls.  the transofont is superior to any mechanical mining vehicle. Transofonts are more maneuverable, and more strong, than any traditional truck or automobile.  The transofont is the first in GE's line of modern organic tools, and will revolutionize the mining industry.  You will soon be seeing them in mines around the world, but they are currently in a trial run in Atlantic granite mine FR27."
Nate then watched a montage of various transofonts performing astounding athletic feats.  One was lifting a gigantic train car filled with iron ore.  Another was pushing a ten ton boulder across an empty warehouse.  The third was walking straight up a stone cave wall like an ant up a tree.  One thing stuck out in Nate's mind.  For just a brief moment he saw a mystifying apparition appear walking up the wall just below the transofont in the third clip.  It looked like some kind of brown blur, but with at least 5 distinctly human eyes.  before he could register the creature's more nuanced features, though, it disappeared from view.  Before he could contemplate this fact, though, the mine cart hit the mine's floor with a smash that rung through the mineshaft.  The front door opened up to a cold, pitch black hallway that smelled faintly of sulfur.  With no knowledge of what lied ahead, Nate stepped into the darkness.
End of part one





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