I can see why they renamed Cheyenne to Alpha Complex (if that’s what happened). Not the alpha part, that’s just posturing, but the complex part. Even based on ruins it doesn’t look like a city as I know it from my time. It looks more like a bio-dome that made sweet love with an Olympic stadium and had a baby that was also part solar farm and part Cobra Terrordome from GI Joe. Which I only know about because I was supposed to be a movie about that crap. I’m not a nerd.
You know, and then they dropped one to seven atomic bombs on that city baby. I don’t know if Paul’s sister is really the one that lead the attack that tore this place open but someone sure did. Out of the many, many, many crazy things I’ve seen in the future this was top ten craziest. I know this I my own personal hang up, but I have a hard time accepting that things changed much while I was Sleeping Beautying. But seeing that giant hunk of twisted sci-fi metal there was no denying that humanity kept on marching on.
And that’s what I was thinking before we saw any robots.
Once we saw the Future-Dome Lucien pitched the idea of going on by himself to look around since he might be resistant to whatever toxins are floating around, but I vetoed that plan because there was no way I was going to be left alone for the toxic critters or the rape-gangs or whatever was lurking around there.
It was actually proved to be pretty hard to get close to the thing because it was at some point after the place was wrecked a shantytown sprung up around it. A shantytown that looks like it had more people living in it that I’ve seen here in the future in total so far. There wasn’t anyone there anymore, but there was plenty of their crap left to block our way. We had to leave the Invincible truck behind and walk that seemed like several miles to reach the city-dome-shell proper.
Even though I had already seen one functioning robot and knew that existed I wasn’t prepared for all the “dead” robots we found. None of them looked like people, androids I guess you call those, but we saw dozens of different kinds of what looked like autonomous machines. Many of them clearly had weapons, others you couldn’t really tell what they were for. None of the murder-bots looked all that damaged but I guess they were shut off or ran out of juice or got hit with an EMP. Who knows?
Once we got up to the complex it took as several more hours to find a way in. Even though it was blown apart at the top like a blooming flower, the bottom part was just a solid wall of shiny metal. We found a few holes that had been gouged into the sides but they were too crammed with debris to wriggle through. By the time we found a twisted ramp leading up to a yawning alpha-hole it was night and even though it never gets that dark because of the non-Northern lights it was dark enough we hunkered down in whatever the future equivalent of a cardboard box is called.
“Do you think those were birds or feathered dinosaurs we saw up there?” I asked attractively while chewing on some scrud we brought with us for food.
Lucien had his back to me, keeping watch “Aren’t those the same thing? They looked like bats to me, only with feathers? As long as they don’t try to eat us I guess I’m not that concerned with what they are.”
“That’s the spirit. If this was a TV show I’d be an artist and I’d be sketching all these new creatures. At least until the Duke captured us and took away my sketch pad and burned it after saying something mean.”
Lucien’s shoulders moved slightly in a silent chuckle “Also if this was a TV show you wouldn’t smell like a dead possum that’s been in the sun for a week.”
I threw a rock at his head “Rude. Cheyenne really came up in the world huh? In my time I think there were like fifty people there. This looks like it was some kind of Brave New Worlds shit.”
He glanced back at me “How so?”
I rolled my eyes “Okay, you busted me, I never actually read Brave New World, but you know what I mean. This is like a sci-fi megacity where millions of people would have lived right? And if that many people were living in Cheyenne the world population would have had to have been like a trillion people. I never thought about that, I assumed it was merely the six billion people in my time that died but probably it was a lot more.”
Lucien turned back to peering at the not-so-dark night “Impossible to say. From what Paul said it sounded like the western part of North America was already a wasteland when this place was thriving. Whatever happened, I don’t think it happened all at once, I think it was a series of happenings over time. For that matter, for all we know, other parts of the world might be fine.”
I sighed and lay back “That would be nice, let’s go to one of those places. I wasn’t expecting this place to be a million square miles tall, our mission of, go and maybe find some weapons for everyone is seeming a little silly in the shadow of this mountain.”
“Square miles tall? That doesn’t make any sense.”
“Sure it does, anything makes sense if you believe in yourself.”