Journal Entry #000945
Back to the issue at hand, today's mission takes me out onto the superhighway tarmac. There's an Arecaceae specimen growing just off the 101 right past the 405. It's hidden, juxtaposed to a pile of rescue trucks and a tiger pit of cars on the wrecked highway. I've been waiting and observing the growth pattern before harvesting the Gene Seed (moving in on the growth too soon would kill the specimen and leave me with an unfinished Gene Seed sample). Hopefully today it will be mature enough to harvest.
The Herd's encampment smelled. The kind of putrid stink Kyle hadn't experienced since the sewage plant fiasco in Hope when he was still a kid. Where the smell is so foul you can almost see the cloud of Hydrogen Sulfide in the air. Here however, its just the dust and air mixing with the Sulfur pit about 6 klicks or so from the camp. It stills smell bad enough to complain about though. And the living conditions don't seem much better than the air quality. The figures through the dust don't even look like people, but rather cloak covered ruins, watching the landscape with a melancholy only the moon could sympathize with.
"What happened to your Mobile Atmosphere Unit? The last time I was dragged to a Herd encampment it at least had decent smelling air."
They shoved him into one of the larger tents and laser cuffed him into the seat. At least it was cushioned. In the tent he found his specimen sitting on a desk, in front of an empty chair. Before long a curtain was drawn aside and out stepped this behemoth of a man. Every muscle was made of stone, the look on his face could calm a Tsunami. Kyle couldn't give two shits about him.
"Out fucking your cows, Bull? Must be nice to be the Alpha Male."
The deep breath the man took before he spoke, was like an airlock releasing its pressure into the black void of space.
"You're lucky I'm in a good mood today Lenin. Unfortunately, just because I have time for you, does not mean I have time for your Bolshevik distractions."
Kyle was beginning to feel angst creep up the back of his neck. This game of discussion was already not sitting well.
"What do you want Bull? Why did you bring me here?"
Suddenly his body language went from "charge Kyle's face" to "circle Kyle menacingly".
"Certainly not for my own amusement. As you've already smelled, the state of things around here have gone sour. The Grill Sergeants come around less and less, the Gaurdians make it harder and harder for The Herd to travel. We need something that will ensure our survival. Give us an edge."
"You want a handout?"
"We want your research. Simple as that."
"You can't have it. Simple as that."
Animals don't like being mocked, especially human ones. The Bull grabbed the arms of the chair, which began to groan from the pressure.
"Do you have any idea what its like out here!? We don't have the resources you do, the access to transportation and technology that you do. We are just people trying to SURVIVE. Hell, even our MAU went out, and its been 3 months since we last saw parts for it that we could scrounge and use. Lets face it, our planet is getting worse and worse and there is less and less things to scavenge. And what is left? Leviathan and Earth Corp. are splitting whatever resources remain on this god forsaken planet."
"Sounds like a personal problem to me."
"We all know what you and your Ethnobotanist buddies are up to! We know you are trying to make a tree that will survive in these harsh conditions. All we are asking, is that you give us the seeds once they are completed. Give us a fighting chance! Please!"
The Bull knocks this specimen into his chair and sends the desk through the tent fabric.
"It breaks protocol. This specimen is not just for one person, or group of people. Its not for me, for my colleagues, or to get the one up on anyone. This is for EVERYONE. This is for Earth Corp, for The Herd, The Grill Masters, Leviathan, even the Guardians. Our leader had a vision, and that was a shared future, a future of humanity. Not for profit, not for the Herd, not for hidden agendas and certainly not for the Gods. He did it for humanity, and that is why we do it too."
Before the Bull could bitch slap Kyle back to the beginning of the 21st century, an X-7Z Earth Corp. Plasma shot made a hole straight through The Bull's chest. This was followed by gunfire and screams. For a second, Kyle thought he smelled Grilling beef.