Guiding star: Rain will wash the traces away (Part 4)

You can read the previous part here.

The Wasteland met Foxy with an unusual phenomenon — dark gray sky and heavy rain. Sand and dirt in large lumps stuck to the wheels of her armoured car, causing it to often slip and slow down. Out of helplessness, the girl often hit the dashboard, afraid of losing time and missing something important in her investigation. One of the rear wheels was so badly covered in dirt that it doubled in size and became very slippery. Trying to cross a small hill, the armoured vehicle stopped in place. The wheels rolled underneath and did not move the car forward. Being even angrier, Foxy hit the iron again and let out a quiet cry. The girl abruptly shut down the engine and lowered her face on the steering wheel, tossing her injured hand on something resembling a glove compartment.

— I need to calm down. How am I going to deal with all this if the first little difficulties piss me off? 

A moment later, the girl felt a cool and damp little nose touching the back of her palm, followed by a tiny, rough tongue. The pain and doubts immediately began to subside. 

— Thanks, Bunny — Foxy said to her rat, sniffing her nose and not lifting her head. 

When the scout’s hand stopped hurting, she stroked the animal, running a few strokes over its still coat. Then the girl finally came to her senses and looked around. 

— You don’t think I’m going to let us all down, do you? — the girl smiled at the pet. 

The rain no longer drummed on the roof, but only occasionally reminded of itself, with rare drops rolling on the windows. The dark views from the window did not inspire the girl’s optimism, but the fire of the desire to find Lloyd and get revenge was still smoldering in her heart. By activating the optical sight module and looking into the glasses, Foxy examined the surroundings. Usually, the yellow sand was now brown mud, and the rocks darkened due to the rain and the gloomy sky. It seemed that the entire environment merged into a single lump of dirt, in which there was nothing for an eye to cling to. However, Foxy’s sniper instinct didn’t allow her to take her eyes off the sight until everything around her had been investigated. 

Behind another small hill, the girl saw almost a piece of metal that almost didn’t stand out in the overall picture. Frowning her eyebrows, she left the cabin and inspected the chassis of the car. In a moment, the seriousness on her face changed to hope. Taking a crowbar with a red handle from the trunk, the girl cleaned wheels of wet sand, returned to the cabin and started the armoured car. The faithful pet jumped on her shoulder. The wheels rolled with even more force, picking up dirt again, but the blue-eyed scout no longer gave vent to her emotions and was able to overcome the rebellious hill. Now the goal was tangible.

— Bunny, stay inside — said Foxy to her hand rat and stepped out of the cabin near a pile of iron that used to be an armoured car. 

The distorted remains had melted holes around its edges, and the cabin was deformed so that it was impossible to get inside or see the contents. The girl pulled out the radio and continued walking around the remains. 

— Nest, this is bird — said the scout quietly, straightening her red hair and exhaling a cloud of steam. 

— Foxy, I asked you to change the callsigns.

— I have some important news, Ivy. East of the Valley, I found a wrecked armoured car. It’s got horrible holes in it with what looks like melted edges.

— They rarely use energy weapons here. Did anyone survive?

— Judging by the damage, no. The cabin doesn’t look familiar to me — it looks like “Trucker”, but at the same time it reminds me more of a... Train car? There’s also a rather strange module of an unknown purpose. I’ve never seen anything like it. But I think that I’ve seen most of these parts before. 

— Right now, we don’t have enough people to send them to look into these remains.

Without interrupting the air, Foxy continued the inspection and only now saw traces of yellow and black paint under the mud on the armoured car. 

— Ivy... There’s a bomb drawing on the door.

—Scavengers?! Their armoured vehicles are very solid. 

— I don’t understand who would need to destroy a vehicle like that. Especially someone who has energy weapons.

— They could fight with anyone, Foxy. Judging by your coordinates, there’s a Scavenger base nearby — right next to the Ship Graveyard. Actually, me and SCAR AB had some business to discuss. 

— I’ll check on him, but then I’ll need to slightly deviate from the northeast course. 

— Now it’s your first clue, — Ivy said, trying to make her friend feel optimistic. — Be careful.

— I always am — Foxy smiled — talk to you later.

The scout hid her walkie-talkie and tried to examine the car’s tread mark, hoping to understand where it came from. But it was impossible because of the rain that has passed recently. Then the girl returned to her car, her furry pet sitting on the hood. Foxy took it in her arms, put it on her shoulder and returned to the Scavenger’s car to examine it once again. Gradually, her face grew more gloomy. 

— Something very strange is going on here, Bunny. If it had been the Ravagers, they wouldn’t destroy an armoured car like that, and there would’ve been a madman with a wiped memory hanging around. 

Foxy ran her hand along the edge of one of the holes on the vehicle’s hull.

— I’ve already seen similar melted holes on the armoured vehicles — when the metal freezes as if it had been turned into water. It’s very similar to the weapons that are created and used by Lloyd.

The girl with the pet returned to her transport, and, having taken out the map, she calculated the way towards the Scavenger base. Usually the road wouldn’t take much time, but the weather made its adjustments. The thunder rumbled, and the rain in the Valley poured with even greater force.


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9 June 2021
Stories