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The sun was burning hot, causing sweat to run down my neck and collect unpleasantly in my collar. The heavy pack was pressed against my spine, causing me to stoop slightly, and furthering my heated discomfort.

The knowledge that what we were doing was furthering the war effort didn’t really help. My companions were relatively unburdened compared to me. Roger, the dangerous, wiry sharpshooter, kept his rifle out and was constantly scanning the open sky to our right and the cliff face to our left. He carried only a satchel with his rations and had taken point, walking ahead of me.

I felt sorry for him. Roger was Irish originally, and his pale skin was burning, even under the wide-brimmed Akubra he wore.

Chris, our technician, lagged a little behind me. He was big, surprisingly so, with a physique more suited to a front-line soldier (and a face more suited to a bull) than a technician. But his mind was sharp and he understood computers better than any of us. Just as Roger scanned above us, Chris was using his tablet computer to scan below us.

The fourth member of our little party, Rebecca, was on my right. She had no specific role, but was with us as an extra gun. She was also bloody smart. And beautiful. Rebecca scanned the ruins and forests to our right. We were travelling on the remains of a road that had been cut into the side of a cliff, and the forest’s canopy was roughly inline with our knees. The reptiles could leap from the trees at any moment, so it fell to Rebecca to keep us safe from that threat.

As we trudged along, I watched Rebecca out of the corner of my eye. She was around five-eight, five-nine (making her a few inches shorter than me) with a slim, toned body. Her hair came down to just below her shoulders, tumbling in tight, dark blonde curls. I couldn’t see her face, but weeks of looking at her back at the Base had engrained it in my memory.

Rebecca has heart-shaped face, slightly tanned with light blue eyes. The Base didn’t have high-end medical equipment, so she was still stuck with glasses. I thought they made her look cute.

“Ptero!” Roger called back lazily. He raised his rifle.

The Ptero was flying above us, watching. Based on the DNA of ancient dinosaur Pterodactyls, it had a telepathic connection with its reptile masters. They would be using it now to spy on us.

The rifle cracked, firing a super-dense pellet at many times the speed of sound. The Ptero was so far above us that its head exploded soundlessly, and the dinosaur began to plummet into the forest.

“We better pick up the pace,” Chris commented. “Ray, hand me your pack. You watch the tablet.”

I sighed gratefully, unbuckling the pack. Chris took it from me, handed me the tablet, and continued on past me, hurrying to catch up with Roger who had continued on ahead. I glanced at the tablet, seeing that we were clear, and hurried after Chris.

Rebecca flashed me a smile, making my heart skip a beat, and continued to scan the canopy.

With Chris carrying the pack, we could all move faster now, and it was only an hour or so later that we rounded a curve and could see the remains of the City ahead.

The forest extended out before us, filling the land between the cliffs and the river and stretching out to carpet the City as well. Ruined buildings could be seen dotted throughout the forest, which had once been a suburb. The City was only distinguishable from the surrounding forest by its taller ruins: skyscrapers that had been blasted in half, office blocks that had no windows, that sort of thing.

The City sat on the outside of a right-hand curve of the river. The Story Bridge still spanned the river, and it was to there that we were headed. Well, not there specifically. We were actually headed to a small bolt-hole underneath the City-end of the bridge.

“Anyone spot a rep?” Chris asked. Roger was scanning ahead of us through the scope of his rifle.

“I got nothing,” he replied. I looked at the tablet.

“Clear.”

“Nothing over here,” Rebecca added.

“Let;s keep going then.”

“Hang on,” I said, stepping forward. “Stand still for a second, I want to get my weapon from the pack.”

Chris waited patiently while I opened up one of the packs compartments and withdrew a small metal tube.

“Good to go.”

We kept going, the road now sloping down to reach the city. We were soon below the canopy, and we all tensed up slightly. I kept one eye on the tablet and the other on the branches above us. I welcomed the shade that we were starting to get into, now that the road was veering away from the cliff and spearing straight into the trees, but it gave our enemies even more avenues of attack. There were only four of us, and someone had to carry the pack. It was so bulky and awkward that it effectively reduced us to three fighters.

We picked up the pace, now we were in shade, keeping our eyes peeled. The reps could ambush us at any moment.

“Rep!”

Roger spun at the sound of Rebecca’s voice, his rifle cracking twice. Two of the reps ataşehir escort bayan went down, a third dropping from the trees in response to Rebecca’s shot.

I waited, my finger hovering over my weapons activation switch. But it seemed I wasn’t needed.

“No more movement,” Rebecca said after a moment. I tapped on the tablet, switching it from subterranean detection to regular motion tracking. It wasn’t perfect, what with falling leaves and shifting branches, but nothing on the screen seemed out of place.

“Tablet comes up negative,” I told my companions.

“Hold for two more minutes,” Chris said. “Then we’ll move out.”

We kept watch for a further two minutes, but nothing else came out of the trees. We continued on.

We reached the city soon after, and from there made our way through the ruined streets down to the riverside. The cracked concrete was bone white, bleached by the sun, and the decorative gardens were overgrown and wild. We kept to the middle of the concrete, avoiding the rotted wood of the board-walk to our right and trying to keep as much distance as possible between us and the gutted cafes on our left.

The City was relatively safe: the forest ensured that humans avoided it, but the reps didn’t much like it either. They abhorred humans and anything we made, believing we were a blight to be wiped out with an almost religious fervour. With no humans in the City, they had no reason to enter such a ‘horrible’ area.

I took the opportunity to keep an eye on Rebecca. Her arse looked fantastic in the tight combat trousers she wore. I found myself mesmerised by her swaying hips, lost in fantasies of ripping them off.

So it was me who spotted the unstable ground first.

“Bec-!” I cried, leaping forward.

She turned, frowning, as she stepped forward. The concrete gave out beneath her foot and she fell forwards with a startled cry into a hole that opened up.

I managed to grab her arm before she completely lost her falling and tugged her back onto firmer ground.

She grinned widely at me, tossing her head to get her hair out of her eyes.

“Thanks Ray,” she said. “Good spot.”

“Yeah,” Roger commented drily. “It was good luck he was watching where you were walking and not keeping his eyes on his tablet.”

I forced a laugh, not wanting Rebecca to realise I’d been staring at her arse and definitely not wanting them to realise I’d slacked off on my duty to stare.

She grinned again and I let go of her arm. We skirted the hole, rubble still falling down into the river below, and continued towards the bolt hole.

We soon left the riverside, branching away onto a small clearing. There were bits of rusted metal and wood sticking out of the gravel. The clearing backed onto the foundation of the bridge, the pale yellow paint peeling from the concrete. It was to the foundation we were heading.

“Okay Ray, pass me the tablet,” Chris said, swinging the heavy pack to the ground and holding his hand out. I passed him the tablet, looking up at the underside of the bridge.

It was huge, the great metal struts arching proudly above us. As yet, there was no sign of rust, but it was well known that the bolts holding the bridge together were slowly giving way. Nobody had performed maintenance on it in nearly a decade.

“Cover me.”

I tuned my back on Chris, watching the approach from the river. There was a resounding crack as Roger took down a Ptero that was circling above us. He swore.

“They know where we are.”

“Nearly open,” Chris told us.

I fingered the activation switch on my weapon, waiting and watching. If the reptiles wanted to attack, now was the time.

“Open, let’s go,” Chris yelled over the sound of stone grating on stone.

Bec went in first, followed by Chris. Roger went next, and I brought up the rear.

The opening we stepped through took us onto a rickety elevator. Chris pressed a button on the wall, closing the stone door. Absolute darkness enclosed us.

“Come on, come on,” I heard Chris mutter. There was a muffled bang and the lights came on, bathing us all in dull yellow light. There was another bang and the elevator began to jerkily descend, rattling and banging. I grabbed Bec as she stumbled, clipping my weapon to my belt. She grinned at me, twisting her arm out of grip and grabbing my hand instead. I grinned back, taking hold of one of the chains overhead as the elevator jerked violently. Bec managed to grab hold of the railing, sadly letting go of my hand in the process.

The rickety elevator, which I was sure was only held together by string and blue-tac, reached the bottom after another few minutes of banging and clattering. The dull lights, powered by some hidden bank of solar panels, guided us down a concrete-sealed corridor and into a large room.

The room was long, with metal grille stairs halfway down that led to a metal-grille floor about three metres off the ground. The second floor, which took up the far half of the room, was supported by escort kadıköy concrete beams. The area underneath it seemed to be used for storage: rows and rows of metal lockboxes were arranged amongst the concrete pillars. I looked up and saw that the roof, also concreted, was criss-crossed with pipes and lights. I judged it to be about eight metres above us. The room seemed cavernous.

“Right, home sweet home until tonight,” Roger said. We tried to travel at night: the cold air slowed the reptiles and made them more sluggish. If time hadn’t been such an issue, we’d have waited till nightfall at the Base before heading to the bolt-hole. But it was imperative that the pack was kept moving and away from the Bases: the reps couldn’t find it then.

“Showers are down there,” he said, pointing to the right at a series of cages, “and beds are wherever.”

Chris took the pack into the shadows beneath the second floor, presumably locking it away in a safe or something. I went to see the showers.

Standard for a bolt-hole. Five metal cages, roughly two metres wide by four metres long, with a drain in the floor and a shower head at the far end. Foam encased in rubber was tied to the base of the walls, rising about a metre. It kept the water from spraying everywhere, gave something other than metal grille to lean on if you were sitting down and provided some privacy if you sat down, while still giving clear sightlines in all directions in case of a surprise attack. I smiled slightly to see that none of the cages were fully walled in foam– most only had it around half the cage. Even if Bec sat down to wash naked, like most of us did, I could still catch glimpses without attracting attention.

“Right, I’m showering,” Bec declared, her voice echoing. “I’ve got way too much sweat on me.”

“Great minds think alike,” I called back, seizing my chance. I was already at the showers, so it didn’t seem suspicious at all that I was joining her. I opened the door, stepped in and tugged off my shirt.

“Quite the scar there, Ray,” I heard her say quietly, stepping into the shower next to me. I glanced up, seeing that she was staring at my side.

“Oh, that?” I replied nonchalantly, raising my arm and twisting so I could look at it. “It’s nothing.”

“It’s nearly a foot long.”

“It’s a long nothing.”

“What from?” she asked, taking off her shirt as well. I tried not to stare at her ample cleavage, bound tightly in a sports bra.

“Oh, picked a fight with a raptor a year back,” I told her, trying to remain calm as I pulled off my combat trousers, just leaving my underwear on. I watched her out of the corner of my eye to see if she was eyeing my bulge. She wasn’t.

“What sort?”

“V.”

She gasped, staring at me. “Velociraptor? And you survived?”

I grinned back. “I’m pretty handy with that weapon of mine.”

She laughed, taking off her trousers. I did my best to not check out her arse and groin now they were clad only in panties. “A lot of guys say that.”

“Maybe I’ll show you sometime,” I replied cheekily, heart pounding. She flashed me a grin, took off her glasses, and walked down to the shower end.

Our two showers had no foam at that end, so I had an unimpeded view of her long, smooth legs and the hips they flowed into. I felt myself hardening almost immediately Turning the water on, I turned my back on her so she couldn’t see, sighing gratefully as the warm water fell onto my back.

“Oh, that feels good,” she groaned.

“Mhmm,” was all I said back, forgetting everything for a moment as the water relaxed my muscles.

“You know, you’re a lot more muscular than I’d thought,” Bec said thoughtfully. I turned a little, not enough for her to see my erection, but enough so that we could speak properly.

“What do you mean?”

“Well, you were labouring with the pack, and you’re really slim,” she explained. “I figured you were a sharpshooter or something. But now I’m not so sure.”

I grinned. “I may be slim, Bec, but I don’t have an ounce of fat on me. It’s all muscle.”

“So what are you then?” she asked nonchalantly, splashing water over her chest.

“I’m a guy,” I answered back with a grin. “A guy being checked out by his coworker.”

She blushed, and my heart skipped a beat. Maybe she was checking me out, and not just being her usual academic self.

“You know what I mean. Chris is a techie, Roger’s a sniper. What are you?”

“What are you?” I shot back. “With a mind as sharp as yours, there’s no way you’re just a gunner.”

She grinned widely. “Cheers, Ray.”

“So?” I pressed, interested. “What are you?”

“Archaeologist, mainly,” was the reply. “I specialise in pre-rep history.”

“Shit, serious?” I asked, intrigued. I had always had an interest in those times, back before the cataclysmic war. I forgot myself and turned to face her properly.

“Yeah. Didn’t think that sort of thing would interest you?”

“It does,” I replied. “Ever since Darwin, I’ve had a lot of respect and interest maltepe escort in history.”

“What happened in Darwin?” she asked.

“It’s a long story.”

She sat down and leant against the cage wall, her legs spread just enough to be a distraction.

“Then do tell,” she told me. “The water isn’t going to shut off anytime soon, and I’m interested to know what turns a thug into a scholar.”

I laughed, sitting down as well. It was then that I once more became aware of my erection. I sat with one leg raised, resting my arm on my knee, hoping to God she hadn’t been staring.

“So?” she asked. “Do tell.”

“Well I was in Darwin, two years back. Jeremy, myself, Claudia and Robert had been ordered to defend an archaeologist who was going in to see if she could repair some old technology,” I began. “We got ambushed by reps. They cut down Robert and Claudia pretty much straight away. Jeremy, the archaeologist and me ran for it. We hunkered down in an old house, and I remember going off my brains at the poor girl because she didn’t know how to shoot.

“She stood up to me, though. Told me that while I was an uneducated thug, she was ana academic and technician. I could put in a rep with no problem: she had the expertise to use a weapon that could level a city. I asked her where the bloody hell this weapon was. She grinned at me in the most infuriating way and handed me a little tube.

“‘What the bloody hell is this?’ I yelled. ‘I ain’t hungry, so don’t go giving me no protein paste!'”

“Uneducated indeed,” Bec laughed, “if you were talking like that.”

I blushed a bit, but laughed. “Yeah, I was. Anyway, she said to me:

‘Ray, you’re a dimwitted fool, but you’re the best fighter here. I led us away from the ambush. I led us to this building. Want to guess what it is?’

‘Yeah? What is it? Some old orphanage?’

‘The old armory, moron. Now hit that button, get out there and save our lives!’

“I stared at her like she was an idiot, but it didn’t matter. Some of the reptiles’ dinosaurs found us then. They killed the archaeologist and took down Jeremy before I could even blink.”

She gasped. “What did you do?”

“Only thing I could do,” I replied. “I hit that button and it saved my life. I still got the scar, though,” I added, looking at it.

“So what did it do? The weapon?” she asked eagerly. I smiled at her enthusiasm.

“Can’t tell you Bec,” I replied. “If I need to use it, I will, but it’s better off that as few people know as possible. Just in case.”

“Oh! Of course,” she chuckled. “Secret weapon?”

“Something like that.”

“Guys never let me see their secret weapons,” she said, pouting. A shiver ran up my spine.

“Well, I only said I wouldn’t show you that secret weapon,” I replied slyly.

She poked her tongue out. “I bet there’s another one you’re dying to show me.”

Her abruptness caught me off guard. I coughed to give myself time to think, then grinned at her.

“What are you two chattering away about?” demanded Roger, getting into the shower next to mine.

“Damn it, Roger, you should warn us if you’re going to walk in naked,” I cursed, quickly looking away.

“I didn’t ask you to look.”

“And I didn’t ask to have acid poured in my eyes, but I may have to go do that now.”

Bec laughed, also looking away from our naked companion.

“What’sa matter, Ray? Insecure in your manhood?” Roger jeered. “Afraid to see what size a cock’s meant to be?”

“If that’s the size it’s meant to be, then I’m a god-damn giant, Roger.”

Bec laughed again, but I saw she was blushing. She turned off the water and made her way back to the relative privacy of the foam-walled area.

I turned off my water and did the same, keeping my eyes off of Bec as she towelled herself dry and put her trousers back on.

I got dressed (hating that I only had one set of clothes to wear) and made my way back to Chris, who was busy doing something on his tablet. Bec soon joined us.

We spent a good half hour just checking over and cleaning our assorted guns and other equipment. Roger joined us after about ten minutes, at which point Chris went for a shower. I was lost in the repetitive, easy task of cleaning and buffing everything we had.

It wasn’t long after that that we had dinner, eating from vitamin tubes and sucking down mineral shakes. It wasn’t bad. In all honesty, I preferred it to real food. Tasted better, and I was sure I was getting the right stuff. No diet to plan out.

Chris, who had been on the tablet the whole time, announced he was going to sleep.

“Night Chris,” we all said. He went off to one of the corners, setting up a swag.

“We should probably all go to bed soon,” I said. “We’ll turn out the lights.”

“Righto,” Roger replied. He’d been quiet most of the night, cleaning and servicing his rifle, or just staring into space. “Night.”

“Night.”

I looked to Bec. “Going to bed?”

“Yeah. I’ll get the lights.”

I smiled, getting up. “I can guarantee that my night-vision is better than yours. Yell out when you’ve picked a spot.”

“Okay,” she replied with a smile. “Night Ray.”

“Night.”

I stared at her swinging hips and tight ass as she walked away, imaging all the things I wanted to do to it.

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