“Yes. I’m familiar with the building design. I have a blueprint saved and interfaced to my memory,” Tin One replied.
When Raphael finally opened the door, the world staring at Tin One was nothing like any of the images uploaded to his hard drive. Past the hallway to the facilities closet they were currently inside was a large room, which was completely dark except for a hole in the ceiling where rain was pouring through. The purplish light from the toxic clouds gave the water a red glow, which illuminated the ground and the ocean of wreckage covering it.
There was so much debris on the floor, Tin One had to relax his optical sensors to interpret it. Chairs, tables, ceiling panels, rocks, metal, dust, bones, and fabric were just a few objects spread across the floor tiles. On the left side of the room was a long counter covered in curls of shattered glass. Two large, pointed legs propped up in triangles, with a variety of hooks on their stems sat stuck on the surface. Tin One focused on them. There was dried blood below them. It was human.
“You don’t get used to the insects,” Raphael said in a whisper, peeking out into the chamber.
“But, you’ll get used to the smell,” Raphael laughed. He was crouched down at Tin One’s feet, using the robot’s shadow as cover.
“I cannot smell, Raphael,” it said.
“Ha, that rhymed. But, well, you’re lucky then,” Raphael replied. He shook his head. The smell of rot was everywhere. It was the dank and moldy type of decay, the kind that is wet and sour, and sits on your nose. He remembered going underneath the stairs with his dad to put Christmas decorations away and the floor had a similar stench.
“This way, take small steps.” Raphael said, nodding towards a hallway opposite their hiding spot. There was a red light glowing atop the ceiling.
“Only thing left working after the Earthbound woke-up and Purple War are the Exit Signs. Ironic isn’t it. I most certainly want to exit this horrifying world,” Raphael said. He was taking small steps in front of Tin One, like he was trying to walk on a wire.
“Earthbound? I’m unfamiliar with such an entity,” Tin One said.
Raphael did not reply. He silently crept through the constellation of debris. He reached the hallway then motioned for Tin One. The robot was still learning how to walk and in the forty feet it had moved since waking up minutes earlier, its legs wiggled and trembled under the weight of its can-shaped body. A streak of lighting bit the clouds outside the roof throwing blue light between the shadows. Raphael refused to look backwards at his new, shambling friend. yup
Not watching the newly awakened robot stagger between mounds of rubble was essential to maintaining his sanity.
After a few sweaty seconds, Tin One arrived at the entrance to the hallway. He towered over Raphael. It was the first time the 12 year old boy had felt safe in months. Finding the salvage robot randomly in the broom closet was fortunate, but also finding a manual on how to activate the machine in one of the desks downstairs was a godsend.
“Get behind me, and I’ll throw a few rocks across the cafeteria. They’ll be here quick once they hear it. The moment they appear we’ll run into the stairwell on the other side. Remember, I’ll go first and just follow me.” Raphael said.