The Other Side Joel Fagin

Chapter 2 - Obakemono <Monster> (2744 AD / AW 1274)

Before we could always blame our failures on external forces. The Government, multinationals, nature, even fate. The Gaian Collapse changed all that. We all share the guilt.

- The Restoration, by John William Lewandowski

Flora shone her torch into the next room.

The room had its own light, but the sub-levels were never lit very well, and there were too many shadows between the pipes and conduits. Right here she would be pretty much directly underneath Mother Brain's neural and memory cores. This was the place the other shift was worried about, but the note that had been left for her hadn't really explained why.

There was a box in the room, a large equipment chest up against one wall. Flora tried it, but it was locked. Apart from that and the usual profusion of pipes and wiring, the room was empty.

As she turned to leave, Flora's foot trod in a puddle of something thick and liquid. She bent down and felt some between her fingers. It was clear and slightly slippery to the touch.

Flora shone her torch around, and found a few more puddles. She pressed her fingers to her earpiece.

"You there, Mother?"

"Yes, Flora."

"I can't find anything strange, but I think we might have a leaky pipe in here somewhere."

"I'll deal with it," Mother Brain lied.

The chest opened again only after Flora was long gone, and the shadow seethed out in a rush of textured darkness.