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Old 03-25-2012, 02:50 PM
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Default A man, a bunker and a bunch of computers

Four computer screens lit the small room dimly. It was a good way to conserve power, though – no unnecessary lighting. That way, the batteries that kept the lighting running would have time to recharge. Andy sat by the desk, glancing between the screens. Three screens were divided in to a dozen windows a piece, all showing images from cameras, mounted in various locations around the world. The connection wasn’t too fast, but enough to get an updated image every five seconds or so. The guys, who had built the system knew, what they were doing.

On the fourth screen, lines of raw data scrolled on, line after line. While the images were important, the data was even more. It would download on to the server bank and some guy somewhere out there would go through it in some location, Andy had no idea of. He had been hired just a year before the war – to care for a link-station abroad, he had been told. Nobody told him, what kind of a link-station it would be, just that he wasn’t supposed to talk about what he saw. He had been supposed to be relieved three months ago, but from what he could gather, the relief wasn’t going to be there very soon. While he would have liked to get out of there, he knew, it was much safer to stay in. Here, he’d have a water filtration system, a huge storage room full of preserved food and shelter from what was out there. And he was in a location, people would have hard time reaching.

Another burst of raw data caught his attention. It was not just static, it was a communiqué – actual people sending a message somewhere. It had been several weeks he had last seen anyone transmitting anything else but raw data. “Dragonfly back in operation”, the message said. ”Proceeding with the operation Aesclepius.” Aesclepius? Wasn’t that some ancient Greek guy? Andy had never been too interested in ancient history at school – that’s mainly why he ended up studying electronics in the community college and not in to the MIT or CalTech. But he was good at what he did – there had been a bunch of people after the position and he had gotten it right from under their noses.

All of a sudden one of the cameras on the three split screens went on to live footage mode, draining bandwidth from the others. It took Andy a moment to figure out, what camera it was – circuit A3C982. Hell, it was the one outside his location. This time, it was not a wild animal that had walked past the motion sensors cone. No, it was a human most certainly and he was holding a gun. He was right outside the door of the bunker, looking at the door oblivious of the camera. Damn, that guy must have been a good climber to get up here. And what was he really looking for? Even if he could have detected the transmission, he would have needed at least three radio stations around the bunker to pinpoint the emissions from the antenna, located at the peak. No, this could not be a coincidence.

Andy saw the man to reach for the keypad next to the door. He punched in a code – Andy held his breath – would this be the guy, who was here to relieve him? Yes, the door opened for him, so he had to be from the company – Andy couldn’t say for certain, what the company was actually dealing with, even if he had worked for it over a year and a half. In that time, he had watched all the data he could receive from outside – the satellite transmissions going dead and the backup ham radio system going online. It had been spooky – the whole world being engulfed in a nuclear fire and electromagnetic pulses wreaking havoc on all the electronics, except those he had access to. He supposed, the guys who had built this system had taken precautions against such occurrences.

Andy knew, the guy would soon appear in the room – he had been waiting for this for a long time. He would be going home somehow – he didn’t know, how that would be achieved, but he thought the company would handle that somehow. If the guy was here, there would most certainly be some kind of intercontinental transportation available – there had to be, because his relief would come from the States. How else would he have gotten in to Eastern Turkey?

The door opened. “Hello the…”, Andy managed to say before the man shot him in the head with a heavy pistol. He would never go home.
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"Listen to me, nugget, and listen good. Don't go poppin' your head out like that, unless you want it shot off. And if you do get it shot off, make sure you're dead, because if you ain't, guess who's gotta drag your sorry ass off the field? Were short on everything, so the only painkiller I have comes in 9mm doses. Now get the hell out of my foxhole!" - an unknown medic somewhere, 2013.
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