Factory 9: Part Nine

It took a few moments for the brothers to stomach the thought of someone walking around the factory that wasn’t a Phantom, insect, or mutant. It was easier to be hopeless than to be hopeful.

“Are, are you sure Tin One?” Gabriel asked, carefully approaching the freezer door like he could see through it. 

“I’m fairly certain it is human footsteps judging by the pattern, weight, and frequency,” Tin One replied in a mechanical echo.

“No extra footsteps, from multiple legs or feet?” Raphael interjected.

“Not that I can detect?” Tin One said.

“Well, we need to go out there and help them?” Gabriel said, turning back at his brother.

“Take it easy, Gabby. We don’t know if they’re a mutant or not,” Raphael said.

“He send there was just two feet?”

“How prevalent are mutations in this everyday environment?” Tin One said, again raising his hand.

“Well, if something isn’t mutated you wonder about it,” Raphael said.

“Raph, you can’t think every survivor that might stumble through this factory is a mutant. You’ve got to have more hope than that,” Gabriel said.

“Quiet, Gabby.”

“Geez, you’re rude. Mom would say ‘don’t be rude’ to you right now.”

“Mom’s dead.”

“My audio sensors have picked up breathing and coughing as well,” Tin One said suddenly, as if the robot could sense the awkwardness. 

There was a distant yell. It cut through the walls, floors, ceilings, and doors. It bounced off the shattered glass, piled plaster, and dangling electrical cords. It repeated, as if it were a skipping song or broken piano key. 

“Help, help me,” the scream said.

The two boys looked at the robot then back at another.

“We, we got to go,” Gabriel said. Raphael bent down and picked up the torn backpack he’d been wearing when he activated Tin One.

“Your turn. I’m going to sit this one out,” Raphael said.

“What? Really? Why? You don’t care about saving anyone else,” Gabriel said.

“Of course I do. I’m just not feeling well. I need to sit for a little bit. Take Tin One. He’ll be more helpful than me. 

Raphael bent down to show Gabriel the items zipped into the backpack. 

“Flare gun for insects. Shotgun for mutants. Slingshot to distract the Phantoms.” Raphael said.

“Of all the times to send me out by myself into this hellhole, don’t you think you want to be there to find another survivor?” Gabriel said, reaching for the backpack. Raphael held tightly to the straps as Gabriel pulled on it. The look in Raphael’s eyes was a million miles away from the wasteland. A few tears had gathered in the bloodshot corners of each eyelid. Gabriel was too annoyed to notice. 

“You have to get used to doing things on your own a little bit. I can’t always be there to help you,” Raphael said, releasing the bag. He stepped backwards into the low light of the lantern, to hide how worried his face looked. 

“Okay, well, I get to give you a haircut later then,” Gabriel said, pointing at Raphael’s head with a grin.

“Yeah, whatever Gabby.”

Thank you for reading my work. If you need to catch-up on previous parts of Factory 9 you can click here. Cheers!