The sight of a small chest from the end of the long and abandoned platform caught my sight.
It was in the other platform, with a long rusty hanging bridge connecting the platform where I stood and the other one. Scouting the area with a pocket-sized telescope, I could gauge that it was a bit half of kilometer walk to reach the said platform. All I needed to do was to cross a rusty bridge, grab the chest, and leave. It was easy. And the thought of being hundreds of meters from the ground, on an old abandoned clock tower, made it even easier. ‘Insert sarcasm here.’
“Piece of cake,” I whispered sarcastically, adjusting my telescope as I scouted the area.
A groan escaped my lips when I heard the familiar static sound on my side. It was expected that I be hearing the beautiful voice of an angel, greeting me, and blessing my travel. ‘Again, insert sarcasm there.’
“Where in a machine’s name are you?!”
I heard the voice of my companion from the communication device, ComLink, clipped on my belt and sighed. ‘As expected.’ I thought of.
Unclipping the ComLink from the side of my belt, a rectangular copper device that showed the bits and pieces of cogs and finely braided wires with a small screen, showed a woman with long black hair and a pair of black goggles on top of her head. She has a slender brow raised and her arms crossed with her sky-blue hued eyes showing how irritated she was.
I waved at her carefreely with a wide grin. “Hello darling bird,” I said with a cheery tone.
“Oh don’t you ‘darling bird’ me, woman. I came back to the shop, only to find my best mechanic isn’t there since morning!”
A chuckle escaped my lips when I saw how pissed she was. “I decided to take a stroll.”
“Stroll? Where did you decide to take a stroll?”
I could imagine she was tapping her foot impatiently right about now. “Chill, darling bird. I’m just a good few kilometers from the city,” I told her with a toothy smile.
“Few…? The Locator shows you’re in an abandoned building, 87 kilometers away from the city!”
She had a furious look on her face as she pointed out my location. Sometimes I hate it that I agreed to carry a Locator, a small device that’s pinned on my vest under my coat. A Locator could show the distance of it from the main mechanism and because of it, my confidant could pinpoint wherever I was. How she hates it when I leave without telling her. “Hey Crowe, calm down. It’s just a quick scavenging and I’m going back. I just saw this very interesting item.”
Not waiting for Crowe’s response, I clipped the ComLink back on my belt and tucked the telescope in my satchel. Holding the strap of my bag and adjusted my black coat, I bent down in a runner’s position and sprinted towards the other platform. The bridge creaked and wobbled at every step I did. Despite the lightness of my movements, the ancient structure still felt strain from my weight.
Nearing half way to the other side, I suddenly heard a few loud metallic creaking and clanking sounds and the bridge started to wobble violently. Familiar sounds and motions, I didn’t even try to look back and check it as I ran towards the other platform. My mind was set on reaching the other side and getting my prize. The chest at the end of the bridge.
Oh and also my life.
I couldn’t stop my momentum and as soon as I reached the platform, I ended up tripping on a protruding old pipe. I rolled forward, stumbling on some loose wires and other metallic objects scattered on the floor. A groan escaped my lips as my back hit the pedestal that held the chest.
“Shit…” I hissed, arching my back from the pain.
With one eye open and a hand rubbing my back to ease the stinging pain, I saw how the bridge I used to cross was now missing half of it. A sigh escaped my lips, thanking my lucky stars that I could cross it before it collapsed and fell.
“Jeanne! I heard something breaking! Woman, if you’re hurt again, I swear I’ll stick a tube up your ass and pump you full of steam!”
A breathless chuckle escaped my lips when I heard Crowe’s threat. Taking the ComLink, I smiled weakly at my confidant. “I’m fine, nothing that some ice couldn’t fix, so please, let’s not shove anything on my ass that isn’t something pleasurable?” I said with a hollow chuckle, showing Crowe a grin.
“I will if you don’t finish your expedition! Now grab the loot and come back! Shit, we have a lot of customers today!”
I rolled my eyes and let Crowe rant about my sudden need to travel and hunt for artefacts. Still holding the ComLink, Crowe still on with her reprimands about my wanderlust nature, I stood up and looked at the box on the pedestal, examining it carefully.
It was a dusty old box that was as big as a toaster. Wiping away the dust, blowing on it too, checked on the box and pouted when it was a plain old box. Most old artefacts I find are marked with intricate designs or those that portrayed when they were made. Some showed it was made when the world was full of advancing technology. Some from the beginning of the world renewal when humans nearly eradicated the world.
“So what did you find?” I pointed the ComLink on the old box to show it to Crowe. “A box?”
“A box. A plain old box,” I replied flatly and putting the box in my satchel. “Anyway, I’ll open this back at my workstation. Be back before dinner,” I said with a slight dejected tone. Clipping the ComLink back on my belt and dusting off the debris and dust, readying to go back to the city. With a deep breath, I turned around to check on my way back but only to groan loudly.
From the distance, I could see the steam-filled city among the sea of trees and old moss-covered ruins. I could see some airships floating around the said city, making me feel a bit idiotic for not planning and taking a small one during my trip. As I walked and stood at the ledge of the platform, I unbuttoned the three straps on my black coat, removing the said clothing and leaving me with my usual attire—white polo with a black vest, black slick pants, and long boots. Grinning widely, I put on the googles that was hanging on my neck, adjusted the small pack that’s strapped on my back, and spreads my arms before slowly freefalling from the ledge of tall old clock tower.
“Geronimooooo!” I yelled with a wide grin and saw the face of the clock showing ‘3’ before thinking fast and pulling the ripcord from the straps around my arm. A loud flapping sound echoed along with the winds and my body jerked and my fall was slowing down as I held on the cords that were hanging above me. Tilting my head up, I silently thanked Crowe for always preparing my things. And one of them is a parachute that’s gliding me back down to the safety of the ground.