Randy is a half-droid scout employed with the Rescue and
Reconnaissance Unit Special Forces to find survivors from the recent disaster. His fifth mission is Project Wasteland, to bring survivors to the Northern Territory, a populated region with plenty of resources.
Preston is a survivor who, strangely, doesn't want to leave.
Once we were out of harms way, I maneuvered in the dark bunker to the back room and tore away my jacket. It shouldn’t have gotten wet. At least it was some protection in case the rain was full of toxins, but the outer lining wasn’t made to get wet, even a little bit.
In the first room, the oil lamp flickered, its flame also almost dampened by the rain. Luckily, I’d pulled Preston in before it happened.
I laid my jacket out on the table and took a deep breath. What a wild night. But Preston did have a good plan, I had to admit. If he could distill the rainwater, it would serve as perfectly good drinking water for him, and his survivors he was so adamant on protecting. Thunder continued to rumble outside. I wondered if the survivor camp was also getting the rain.
“It’s,” Preston whispered behind me.
I turned around briefly, suddenly realizing the air was hot in the bunker, drying the sticky sweat on my lower back—the area that my equipment didn’t temperature regulate properly. Preston’s eyes were wide, staring at my machinery. I couldn’t imagine what he was thinking.
“Go ahead and say it.” I moved back to the table and situated the jacket, making sure the sleeves weren’t bunched up. “It’s disgusting, right?”
“No. It’s awesome.” His excited reply shocked me. “Can I touch it?”
I shrugged. “If you want.”
Footsteps sounded behind me. I knew the warmth of his presence as he stood near. His breath was heavy, and I glanced at him as he ran his fingers across the chrome metal parts of my outer forearm, but couldn’t feel his touch. “It’s warm,” he whispered. He flattened his hand across what was my elbow and continued inching his way up to my shoulder.
“Of course it is.” The metal infused into my skin and joints was meant to imitate flesh as much as possible, while giving me the necessary protection, though I wished that I could know his caress. The metal didn’t replicate that much.
I turned to face him, and he continued his exploration, grazing his fingers against the chrome metallic parts inserted into my chest. His hot breath whisked past my neck, teasing the small hairs there as he stepped around me. I tried to hide the slight tremble his inspection was causing, and the flush in my face that was building each second.
Preston’s fingers caressed my naked neck. I closed my eyes and almost quaked as his fingers tickled the backside of my ear. “Nothing here?”
I shook my head. “Invisible. Chips inserted into the brain send messages pertaining to my missions.”
“Unbelievable. I always wondered how you guys worked.” He moved to my back, each time he touched my bare skin, I jolted. But his fingers always found another piece of metal, and the excitement wavered when I couldn’t feel him anymore. “Is it on your legs, too?”
“Yes. Starts again at my hips and straight down to my toes. They’re all mechanical.”
“My feet from the ankles.”
“Damn,” he exhaled another hot breath, then stepped around to face me again. He pulled his hand away, leaving me unbelievably cold. “Must take a lot of work to keep the parts in good working condition.”