“Those dykes are nuts” said Spyder, oblivious to Ms. Chin and Mariana sitting in the Rover with them.
“Shut the fuck up Spyder” said Paul bluntly.
“I mean, a creature with a long neck and two glowing eyes that growls and hisses and lives in an underground lair. Pfft. Women”
“I tell you, " said Spyder, “What them women need is a few hours with me and my manly body so that I can…..”
“SPYDER!” shouted Paul. “SHUT THE FUCK UP! Or to I have to stop driving and kick your ass around the cabin?” The two women remained silent, but clearly Ms. Chin was on the verge of cutting loose. Clearly to anyone except Spyder that is.
The Rosalindas had explained that there were two ways to get into the Grinch’s lair: the primary entrance via a large cave leading into a complex cave system – and likely guarded, and a narrow sinkhole, which was a few km nearer leading into the same system. They had opted to check the latter first.
Before Spyder could respond Jonas cut in from the other vehicle.
“I see a body!” he yelled. “Hold up!” Both vehicles ground to a halt.
A slight localised dust cloud gave away the sinkhole location, spotted by the expert eye of Doc. Orlov. Not far from this was sprawled a vacc suited body, and two low rectangular structures only a few feet high. Cautiously they dismounted and approached.
The body was a tall woman with blonde hair and mismatched eyes, twisted in the contortions of a painful death. She had been cut apart by twenty or thirty bullets.
“This entire are had Rover tracks across it” said Jonas. “Can’t be older than a day or two either.”
There were also more footprints: at least two other sets. They led up to one of the rectangular structures which was in fact a low bunker: a set of steps and a trench led to an open door below ground level, which led to a couple of small rooms with empty rack.
“Missile racks” said Paul.
“That thing above us is a Jack in the Box” added Jake. “An automated missile defence system.”
There was still intact wiring on the walls, and flipping a switch slowly started up some low level lighting..
A second bunker seemed to have the remains of a machine gun battery, but it had recently been blasted by some sort of explosive weapon.
“Well someone was here” said Marcus. “Maybe they triggered some old defence system?” He turned to Mariana.
“Know anything about this?” She shook her head.
“No registered bases or structures hereabout. And this stuff looks older than Pharoah, which is maybe 25 years old.” she replied.
They determined to enter the sinkhole.
“I’ll do it man” said Spyder.
“No Mr. Webb " said Doc. Orlov, “You will not.”
“You are useless and incompetent climber, and last time you do this you waste much of our time and nearly get yourself killed” she said flatly. “I will go.”
“Now wait a ….”
“Shut it Spyder” agreed Marcus, “You’re useless at this. The Doc’s a Field Scientist and has being doing this sort of stuff for years. What more look at her vacc suit – it’s exactly geared up fro climbing and rope work.”
.The others agreed, and Spyder went off and sulked. Katrina went back to the Rovers to collect the necessary equipment.
“No Sasha” she admonished to the little robot, as it tried to climb into her pack. Is not safe – you must stay in Rover."
As she jumped out of the airlock Mariana handed her a Ball Gun, and several light balls and other missiles.
“Pfft” said Spyder. “A soldier as well as a climbing expert now huh Doc?”
“Not at all Mr. Webb” said Katrina. “Is valuable tool. Watch and learn.”