Yurtdışı Yatırım

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The pair of us cautiously walked into the museum. If there were signs of battle on the steps, it was a flat-out massacre once you walked into the main lobby. There were dozens of bodies strewn across the ground. Compared to robots, it seemed that a great deal more human life was lost. However, the robots had been slowly beaten back and destroyed. Katarina kicked over one of the bodies and made a face.

“Raiders,” she said in distaste.

“You’re sure?”

“I’m sure. No one else would be so thorough stripping the dead.”

Despite bodies and electronic scrap lying everywhere, there weren’t any guns or resources. I had briefly thought that maybe we could luck out and find replacement arms for our destroyer, but every robot had been stripped down to the skeletal components. The only parts that were remaining were the ones that had holes and burn marks on them.

As for their own, the bodies of the fallen had been stripped clean of anything useful. A few were even partially naked, which just showed that they had been wearing something someone else had wanted. They did not attempt to recover the dead and instead left them lying where they died for their eternal rest. I remembered the group we had run into before. They had wanted to rape Katarina and were only interested in me because of my Perco. If I didn’t have it on my wrist, I would have already been dead.

“Are they still here?” I asked worriedly.

It wasn’t just that they had attacked and raided the museum. It was also that the museum was so close to us. If they could attack this place with enough firepower to wipe it out, then what chance did our building have of protecting itself.

“Doubtful.” Katarina said, “It quiet. They aren’t known for being quiet. Be careful though. I wouldn’t put it past them to leave traps.”

I nodded, deciding the best course of action was to stay close to her and trust in her judgment. I even considered waiting outside, but I couldn’t believe it’d be any safer. I wasn’t exactly sure where she was going, but I decided to let her concentrate. So, I kept my mouth shut and followed as she slowly walked through the museum, looking in every direction as she progressed.

“Why would they sacrifice so much life to take this museum?”

The merchant had once said that human life was cheap. I had never truly understood that until I saw all of these bodies on the floor. If I had to guess, at least fifty people died taking this museum. There were about ten robots in all, but they had all been scrapped in the lobby. I didn’t see any more. It was just burns, rust, blood, and holes.

“They didn’t,” Katarina responded. “Look at their necks.”

She didn’t stop her patrol, but I kneeled and looked closely at one of them. Their neck had a circular mark on it. I could see that most of the bodies nearby had similar depressions around their neck.

“Slave collars?”

“Likely wastelanders they snatched from previous raids. Once they were done with them, they would have killed them anyway rather than feeding them. They were dead the second they were captured.”

In other words, the raiders hadn’t risked themselves at all. They had used innocent people and locked collars around their necks. Then, they forced them to charge on the museum and take it by force, using their lives as shields.

“Are they related to the men who captured us?”

“No, they were just a small group of troublemakers. Even calling them raiders is giving them too much credit. They were scavengers. This group is organized. They have access to some pretty nice tech. Those blasts over there are laser rifle fire. That’s the result of some grenades. These guys are professionals. I didn’t know there was a group this big in the city limits. This is bad.”

As I looked at the damage she indicated, I could see that the museum truly had been trashed. Even taking away the decay, these raiders had no respect for the place. They had graffitied the walls and had wantonly destroyed every display. The damage was far more than what would have been caused in the fight. They destroyed things just for the pleasure of destroying things.

“This is it.” She declared, stopping in front of a door.

It was wide open and had a stairway that descended into the light. I didn’t have the chance to ask what before she clicked a button that turned a light on her smart rifle. I didn’t even know it could do that. She started walking down the stairway. I turned the light on my Perco and then followed after her. The stairway led to a caged room. The cage door was swinging open. Katarina didn’t hesitate to walk into it before lowering her rifle and sighing.

I followed after her. It was an empty room with a concrete floor. There was a panel against the wall. I walked over to it, where there were six holes. One hole was filled with some kind of cylinder object. Katarina walked up beside me, pulled out the cylinder, glanced at it, and then slammed it back in with a hint of aggravation.

“What?”

“One half dead energy cell. That’s all they left.”

“What do you mean?”

“Look around. This is where the generator would have been. Do you see the generator?”

“Ah… no.”

By the coloration on the floor though, it did look like something big had been picked up and dragged out of here. In other words, the raiders had already beaten us to it. They had taken the power relay. As I looked around the basement one more time, my eyes landed on another room besides the caged one. This one was sealed up even better. There appeared to be some kind of electronic door. The light on it was green. I hadn’t noticed it before. The battery must have been providing the power, and when she slammed it back in, she reactivated it.

I walked over to the other room. Katarina eyed me.

“Archives.” I read.

The door had some damage on it, but it was extremely thick and seemingly sealed. The raiders had tried to get in, but they weren’t able to.

“You won’t find anything of any value in there,” Katarina warned. “Well, you’d need a museum code to get in, and you don’t even have that.”

I ignored her, as my eyes landed on a port that would accept the connection from my Perco. I pulled out the cord and then plugged it in. It asked for a passcode, but I also had the option to do a factory reset. I reset the computer algorithm, and once I gained control, I unlocked the door. There was a loud hissing sound followed by a click. The door swung open, and I walked into a dry, warm environment.

“This is all the stuff they don’t put on display.” I declared.

“Exactly. Useless garbage.” She crossed her arms.

Most of it seemed to be files and papers. There were several old-looking books. I pulled out my cellphone and snapped some pictures of the books and their titles. Something here had to have some kind of value that I could sell back home.

“What is that?” She asked.

“It’s a ph- ah… nevermind. It takes pictures.”

Of all the things the Perco had, an onboard camera was not one of them. I wasn’t sure if they had just never thought of it, or if 90s culture just hadn’t developed to that point where we thought of stuffing a camera on everything.

“What are you taking pictures of?” She asked, curiosity on her face.

“Some of the things here might have some real value. Back home, someone might pay a lot of money for something like the first edition of a book. Maybe I can find some artifact someone can collect. If I’m able to bring back something of value there, then it’d be easier for me to bring things of value here.”

“Books? Artifacts? Where do you live that people can act so frivolously?” She asked, and when I turned to her, she blushed and looked away. “I… haven’t asked for your past much. Everyone is entitled to their own secrets. However, I was born in a colony, so I know a thing or two about how they were run. Where your from doesn’t sound like a colony at all.”

“Then, what does it sound like?” I asked.

“It sounds like a place without war and violence.”

“How can that be true?” I made a face.

I was being honest. There was definitely still violence and war. I just didn’t live in an apocalypse. I thought about telling her, but what would that serve? If she knew about a world where food was plentiful, safety was common, and she never had to worry at night, she would want to go there. I’d even take her there, but that didn’t seem to be possible. Why disappoint her with a place she can never visit? My only choice was to make this world better for her while I made my life better in my world.

She still looked at me suspiciously, but she could tell I hadn’t lied, which made her start to doubt her worries.

I turned back and my eyes fell on a drawer with a certain label. “Bingo. That’s my ticket to wealth.”

Up above, there had been a completed dinosaur skeleton that had crumbled to dust. What some people don’t know is that the bones on display aren’t the real dinosaur bones. They’re cast from molds of the real bones using fiberglass and other materials. The real bones are often left in the basement, to only be brought out and studied carefully by scientists. I wonder how much money a complete T-rex would sell for. I heard a certain actor who bought one for millions. I wanted to see the look on Lily’s face when I brought her those.

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