Cold Steel [Ep 1]

This is a short story which I will be uploading as episodes. I wanted to practice how to describe objects, because usually my stories have next to no description of surroundings at all. Please feel free to spot any shortcoming or any fault in my writing. Thanks a lot for reading!

The old house stood perfectly still. What was strange about it was the fact that it still had it’s roof.

Joe scratched his head. The entire city had been decimated by the blast. The buildings which hadn’t been obliterated, had no roofs. The blast wave had ripped them off. But this house still had one. Granted, it was a bit far away from ground zero, but still, the shock wave must have ripped through here.

From his perch, Joe had a perfectly good outlook over a large area of the town. The entirety of ground zero was rubble, to the east. To the north was the humanitarian aid base and an air-field which might get you to one of the few working spaceports off this burnt-up rock. The traders there might set you up with some good gear, but a wrong turn into a dark alley will get you killed, at the very least. Towards the west, to his left, was the militaryfort for the psychos who currently controlled the turf.

Now, don’t let the word ‘fort’ confuse you. It was no more than a forward operating base grown beyond it’s size. It had changed hands many times, and each time the geography around it also changed. The defending parties added more turrets, traps, frigged(Force ReInforced Gauze Glass) shielding and plates. Meanwhile, the attackers blasted open new routes, closed down supply routes, and created more and more points of vantage around the fort. In short, it was a mess, but a strongly defended mess.

And then there was the house, smack right in front of him. He had overlooked it at first, busy scoping out the territory and marking the movements of troops with the help of his suit AI (Artificial Intelligence) Lark. There was a lot of traffic between the base and the fort,and every half-hour or so, crafts would depart from the base to various directions. The traffic continued from the base to ground zero and circled around it first towards the north and exiting the loop from the north eventually vanishing at the horizon where he lost sight of the crafts.

He had got a nice OP (Observation Point) in the only intact room on the tenth floor of a half collapsed building. Being a corner room, it had windows on two of its sides. The bitter wasted wind blew mercilessly, but otherwise it was a good spot. In the half a day he had spent there, he had recorded enough data to satisfy the client back at base. He was about to pack up, when the relief of the evening light illuminated the house like a spotlight.

He immediately dropped away from the windows. No need to give any casual observer (much like himself) any hints on this OP. He crept around the room, installing a few cameras and motion detectors. It was a good spot, and he would like to use it again. Setting up the network and checking the feeds against Lark, he moved into the stairwell, leaving the door open.

Moving down slowly and silently, he took out 3 air-recon drones, which he sent through the nearest windows. By the time he would make it down, Lark would make sure that there wouldn’t be any surprises waiting for him .

Careful planning always pays out. No one was waiting for him down below, and he had seemingly maintained the secrecy of the OP. Maybe he’ll come back again. He opened up the map in his HUD (Heads-Up Display) and began planning the safest route back to the base.

It’s gonna be a long walk.

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