Like Scarecrows to Slaughter

Plisken finally pulled his old frame over the ledge of the elevator shaft and dragged himself to his feet, stumbling to rest against a nearby wall, curses and swears tumbling through his breathless voice.
He was not as young as he used to be.
Slowly, the slimmer frame of Arien appeared, quickly followed by the hulking form of Sven. Arien slowly climbed to meet Plisken by the wall, Plisken staring silently into the middle distance.
“Dr. Pritchard?” Sven’s mechanised groan grinding through the white halls of the lowest levels of the bunker.
“I don’t know, he might have been useful when the elevator stopped,” Arien said breathlessly.
“He’s probably finding whatever data is still lying around the base,” Plisken mumbled, “He’ll be fine, come on.” Plisken pushed himself off the wall, his breathing already under control, and began to walk down one of the many white corridors. Arien and Sven both looked at each other with confusion (well, as much confusion as a robot can give).
“Where are we going?” Arien asked, her voice echoing in the empty halls.
“Anywhere,” Plisken replied, and kept walking.
Sven and Arien shrugged, feeling it was best to follow the only man that seemed to know what he was doing at the moment.
In silence, they passed a dozen white locked doors, each with red lights above the threshold. And each time they came to one, Plisken would attempt to kick it in, to no avail. When the came to the 13th, Plisken rammed his metal fist into the hard metal door, a heavy thud shouting in the halls as a small, but impressive, dent was formed in the metal of the door.
“Are you feeling okay?” Arien asked.
“No,” Plisken said, and ran his hands through his wild white hair.
“Are you going to share?”
“Comrade, this appears to be affecting your ability to work as an effective team member,” Sven’s militaristic tone said.
“You don’t want to know.”
Arien sighed, and glanced to the ground, searching for something to say. “Where are we going? The crew, what are we even doing here?”
Plisken sighed and slumped down to the floor, resting his back against the door. “I don’t know. We don’t know. How could we? Three million years in deep space and cut off from anyone and anything. Hell, I don’t think even our esteemed captain knows.”
“Surely we should be trying to make contact with Home World?” Sven asked.
“There isn’t one to go back to. I don’t think so anyway. We never came this far, back in the old days.”
“The old days?” asked Arien.
Plisken forced a smile, “A story for another day, I think.”
He leapt to his feet, a renewed vigour about him, or rather the emulation of one. He painted a smile on his worn and weary face and turned to face the door.
“Now,” Plisken said, examining the door, “I think we can open this by a manual release…”
The door slide open with a *wush*.
“What did you do?” asked Arien as she leaned forward into the newly opened room.
“I didn’t do anything…” said Plisken, taken aback, “I think someone wants us to go in.”
Plisken took a step inside, his dirty booted foot making a drown print on the floor. It was a white and open room, like the corridors has been, and was rounded at one side. Plisken moved closer in, closely followed by Arien and Sven.
When they reached about halfway, the rounded wall began to retract, or it was replaced (it was hard to tell), to reveal a wide open landscape of a jungle far below.
“Well, will you look at that,” Arien said breathlessly as she admired the view.
The window looked out onto a lush green jungle. A thick canopy of foliage mostly hid the floor from view but that canopy stretched for miles and miles around, rounding off into the horizon. A setting sun cast stark, harsh jags along the clouds above, the sky a burnt orange with ribbons of pink.
“How is this? We were far below the ground?” asked Arien, successfully breaking her gaze away from the view after several minutes. “And how can this even be? We saw the state of the other rooms?”
“Well,” Plisken said, his eye fixed on the burning sun, “We are lower down so we have been shielded from most of the deaths of age. It doesn’t look like No Boundaries, not their style. Or at least, this isn’t directly them. No, they wouldn’t be too careless.”
“They wouldn’t have built to last. If they had were unable to start the self destruct, they’d need the whole place to fall apart to keep their tracks covered.”
“How do you know?”
“Because I gave them the idea.”
“Story for another day, Arien.”
“Okay, then answer me this: how can we even be up here?”
Plisken walked closer to the window, his eye examining it thoroughly. He let out a low ‘hmm’ as he pondered.
“It’s a portal,” said Sven, “Scans indicate a portal.”
“Ohh, that’s clever,” Plisken muttered, “They created a portal to the outside so they could get a view. That’s quite clever.”
“Yeah, but why?” asked Arien.
“Ask him,” Plisken said, nodding to a reflection in the window.
Arien spun round and saw a dead body slumped against the wall, a pistol held limply in his cold hand. Even with the little-est knowledge of the human body, it was clear the cause of death was lead through the head. Dried blood was splattered on the body’s clothes and on the floor and walls.
“When did that get here?” Arien asked in a gasp.
“That’s really not the question we should be asking ourselves,” Plisken said, finally turning from the window and going to pick up the dead man’s pistol. “We should ask: ‘Where did the door go?’”
Sven and Arien whipped their heads around in a fury, desperately searching for a door that wasn’t there.
“Plisken?” Arien said, her voice breaking in fear, “What the hell is going on?”
Plisken ejected the magazine of the pistol. “Fuck, 4 god damn rounds. I swear - I would love to have my gun back right now.”
“Plisken?!” shouted Arien.
There was a thunderous crash echoing from all around.
“Comrade!” cried Sven, indicating to another dead body lying against the wall. The cause of death was the same as the other. But he looked older. Older like he had been lying their longer.
There was a bloody roar.
“Oh my god,” Arien said, covering her mouth as a rotting corpse appeared behind her, its hand desperately touching the glass portal.
“I suggest we all keep focused,” Plisken advised.
“Don’t let your fear get the better of you.”
Out of the corner Plisken could see something, but he ignored it.
“Our fears?”
“I’ve seen this before. They pump the room full of brain waves or a chemical too see how they effect the brain. This one is for fears. They call it the Scarecrow Room.”
“Scarecrow Room?!”
“The designer was a bit of a comic book fan.”
“How can you know all this?”
“Because, I can see it.”
In front of Plisken was a familiar man, standing just in front of the raised barrel of the pistol. White hair and a battered leather jacket, he was a familiar man.
“You can too, can’t you?” Plisken asked not breaking eye contact with the man. Staring into the deep, sad eye.
“I- I-,” stuttered Arien.
“Focus on something.”
A great beast suddenly crashed through the walls of the test chamber, debris flying all around them .
“That will work.”
This hulking mutant roared into the room, Plisken only able to let off one shot before diving out of the way of the monster. It was roughly the same size as Sven, not overly big but big enough. It oozed a thick red blood from the bullet wound Plisken had caused, and its wild eyes danced crazily around the room as it search for a target.
“We’ve got to kill it!” Sven grated.
“You think?!”” cried Arien.
The beast charged again, this time a horn clipped Plisken’s side, creating a large gash in the already wound covered body.
“Can we lure it out the portal?” asked Sven as he charged for the beast, holding it in a lock.
“It’s not stupid!” cried Plisken over the noise of the beast. He let off a round into the mutant’s skull, but it wasn’t enough. “It’s not going to jump to its death!”
“Have you got any ideas, Comrade?” Sven asked, the first signs of anger in his voice, as he threw the mutant off him, the teeth getting to close to his face.
“Well, no.”
“So do it!” shouted Arien as the mutant charged for her.
Plisken shot the mutant in the back of the head, the hulking and bleeding frame turning to him.
“What are you doing?”
“Luring it through the portal, what does it look like?!””
“But you’ll be killed, Comrade!”
“Yeah well, life’s full of ups and downs.”
The mutant looked around wildly as the shouts of the three echoed around it. Its own fears had begun to plague its mind, images of a mutant’s nightmares flashing around it.
“We’ve got to be able to change the co-ordinates of the portal.”
“Probably,” Plisken muttered as he braced himself for the fall, “but not having knowing the co-ordinates we’d need, I don’t know.”
“54-233-666-3354, 43-3432-5345-2,” said a blanked faced Sven, a list of even more numbers reeling from his voice emulator.
“It’s co-ordinates!” cried Arien as she searched for something to input them into. Her eyes found a small panel hidden discreetly out of sight. From memory she began to punch the numbers in.
The mutant began to charge at Plisken.
“Whatever you’re doing, please do it quickly!” Plisken said as he let off the last round in the chamber.
The heavy mutant collided with Plisken, sending him flying backwards. Both he and the mutant crashed through the glass portal, sharp shards cutting them to ribbons.
Plisken braced himself for a fall, but it never came. Instead he and the mutant crashed in a jungle floor. Or more specifically, they crashed in a speeding hover bike carrying two passengers.

<OOC- Sorry for my long absence but RL got me down. Well, I say 'got' but I of course mean mercilessly trapped in its col and unforgiving grip. So here I am.>

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