I AND I, Anomaly Outskirts, just shy of safety

“This is not what I was expecting.” I said this sternly to my transport. “Why, in the zones name, are we here?”

I turned angrily towards where Pilot once stood, but he was already gone, vanished into thin air. It was my first time using a courier to get to the Outskirts, and I had one simple expectation, and that was to be safely transported to somewhere safe. That’s it. Instead, I arrive at this frightening point of interest whilst overburdened.

The apartment buildings that border the headquarters before me, loom ominous, smothering me in fear with its rows upon rows of empty windows, staring into my very soul. Fortunately, no one else is aware of this unplanned visit. I should keep it that way and quietly go about my business.

In hindsight, a walk to Jupiter would have made more sense, even with this load. Of course, luxury was selected, leaving me struggling through this maze of abandoned buildings and deserted roadways, heading towards my intended destination, the laundromat.

“Take me to the Outskirts instead.” I persisted, when back at the ship.

Pilot hesitated, and nervously looked away. I should have taken that as another omen, as this freshly patched play through has been plagued with oddities. But, that moderate increase in stash coordinates on display, made a visit to the Outskirts seem not to be such a bad idea. At least, not at that time. Plus, I wanted to offload my surplus, and am in need of new clients for trade. And with that desire in tow, off to virgin territory we go.

It’s the fatigue I tell you, can’t move too far, or move too fast, and too damn greedy to lessen the load. That internal conflict begins to slowly build, elevating anxieties prominence, while fear, that bitch, draws on murky schemes, cluttering my mind with demotivating images.

“What if we find that base deserted, or worse, under hostile control?”

The poorly rendered world before me said nothing, instead it responded with whispers of ambiance, care of the city-scape, followed by unsettling silence. A shaded bit of refuge was spotted up ahead. Good, my avatar needs rest, and interestingly enough, so do I.

The things not considered that plague me now, come into focus, contributing to the conflict. Like the chems. How could I forget them. The tasty sweeteners used to chase the limited benefits enhancements provide. Without the drugs, my physical and mental state is left vulnerable to emotions. Don’t get me wrong, thanks to the artifacts attached, I can haul an impressive load, but the excess drains fatigue quick, with way too many moments left for recharge. A bottle of that energy drink would fix me right up, as well as keep these senseless patterns brought on by exhaustion at bay.

“Mutant bait now.” I keep taunting myself.

Just shy of safety and crouched low behind these shrubs. I am oh so reluctant to cross the road before me. I wish to stay rooted within this tiny little taste of sanctuary, at least for the moment. The bushes that surround me, appear thick enough to obscure visibility from all. But is it though? I truly hoped as much, as just across the street, and within what appears to be a hollowed out store, reclined a rather large and frightening mutant of interest. It was a chimera and It too seems to be suffering from exhaustion. At least we had that in common.

Chimeras are hairless mutants, typically the size of a cow, with two heads and a massive tail. Not the most social mutation in this zones’ existence, can’t say I’ve heard of them ever being domesticated, but they thrive nonetheless, feeding on anything they desire. Fortunately, It hasn’t seen me, and if I play my cards right, it won’t ever.

I can respect its desire to rest, pull back and recharge. And that’s exactly what we did. I spent the duration crouched within that wall of shrubbery, scrolling through the PDA checking up on messages, the creature across the road stretched and adjusted itself into comfort, while both heads meticulously pruned it’s pink leathery skin. I began to envy the creatures’ freedom to move about and stretch, as sitting for long periods can take a toll. Not on the avatar mind you, but the idiot playing. It was past time for me to get up and move.

The chimera was gone when I returned, off into the unknown to do the things that chimeras do. After a cautious survey, I hurried myself across the road and took refuge in the very same structure that chimera left behind. In there, I found the bodies of an unfortunate mercenary squad laying about the room. Perhaps victims of that chimera.

It was tempting to loot their remains you know, but I resisted, as I was already pushing it with the weight. The laundromat isn’t too far away, and these boys aren’t going anywhere. I will see about the loot I already possess, then perhaps come back later for the rest.